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Second Time Around

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Everything posted by Second Time Around

  1. This £10 stool from Ikea is recommended by many. Being 3 legged it's more stable than one with 4 legs. https://www.ikea.com/gb/en/p/kyrre-stool-birch-60416925/ Ikea charge £15 for delivery, so if you're not able to go to an Ikea store it's cheaper to buy it on Amazon if you have Prime: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Ikea-FROSTA-Stool-birch-plywood/dp/B005IDR2NW/ref=sr_1_5?crid=1P661FZKLNIIT&dchild=1&keywords=kyrre+stool&qid=1631115141&sr=8-5
  2. They look similar, but contain just alcohol as opposed to a combination of ingredients in the Zeiss ones.
  3. With many of my eyepieces I use a Dioptrx to correct my astigmatism. One of the many advantages is that I don't scratch my glasses on the rim - yes, I've learned from experience! So instead of cleaning the eyepiece I clean the Dioptrx. Whether it's a Dioptrx or an eyepiece though I clean it as soon as it gets dirty. As I have to get close to any eyepiece this is pretty often. However, I've never found the coatings on the lens is damaged by cleaning. This may possibly be because of the method I use. To get rid of anything loose, I first use a squeezable blower followed by a soft brush . These items are available very cheaply on Amazon etc. To get rid of anything more stubborn I then use Zeiss disposable lens wipes. The great advantage of these are that they're disposable, and so one can be certain that they're always clear of dust or grit that could damage a lens.
  4. I had to look that one up, Heather. My wife will never hear the end of it now!
  5. Here's the promised photos. This is how the box is currently laid out for use with my night vision device and conventionally. It's very quick and easy to substitute other items. There's also plenty of space to add further items thanks to the depth. For instance, under the Baader zoom I've got some spare batteries for both my headtorch and my night vision device plus some lens wipes. Everything is held very securely - I can even close the lid, then turn the box upside down and everything remains put. The other picture shows the 3 components of the anti-dew system. In practice the cloth bag stays permanently in the plastic one, with them going into the microwave together.
  6. Thanks, Heather. That's certainly an economical solution. I had considered these but wanted something the same size as the box to get even, controlled heat. Varying the time the rice is microwaved for gives this control. I've used them before for fishing but I'm one of those rare beasts who doesn't feel the cold. Instead I very much feel the heat. Believe it not, even observing in the winter I very rarely wear socks. It even has to be pretty cold before I swap out of shorts. My eldest granddaughter used to believe that we were descended from Martians!
  7. Mostly horizontally but a few of the small ones vertically. The beauty of the dividers is of course that they're infinitely adjustable and it's easy to do so. I try to remember to put caps back on but sometimes forget. Like you though I've never done any damage. Thanks for the good wishes. No suffering as I'm almost symptomless.
  8. I wanted a waterproof hard case but very much prefer ones with padded dividers. These are hugely more flexible than foam interiors when you want to change the contents, either temporarily or long term. Initially I was worried that dividers wouldn't be secure enough, but in practice I've found no problems whatsoever. That's probably why they're so popular with photographers. I also wanted to slightly warm the case to prevent eyepieces dewing up. I found that rice gently heated in the microwave for about a minute worked well. The rice goes in a cloth bag with one end secured with Velcro. You can't fill the bag completely as the rice swells when heated. So to ensure the rice doesn't settle in a clump my wife stitched channels in the bag like on a duvet. (This was a tip given to me by Keith at Cases 2 Go.) The rice also tends to sweat, so the cloth bag goes in a waterproof plastic zipped bag. This tends to get too hot, so finally everything goes into a zipped mesh bag that distributes the heat slowly and evenly. These mesh bags are available as an accessory from most makers of this type of case. However, most large sizes of such bags have lots of compartments and so wouldn't do for what I wanted. After a lot of research I found a few suitable products. The one I finally bought was a B&W 3000 that has interior dimensions of 330 x 235 x 150mm and has up to 8 compartments. Cost from Cases 2 Go with the mesh bag was approx £90. I also bought a pouched pocket that replaces the eggbox foam in the lid. However, I found this didn't let the heat out well, and the mesh bag plus the eggbox foam is much better. The larger sizes of the B&W boxes (3000 up) have particularly good latches, and the 3000 size is available in black, orange and yellow. Black isn't suitable for use in the dark, and I chose orange, that shows up well in a red headlamp or torch. I've bought more gear recently and so I'll probably also buy the 4000 or 5000 size but in yellow to differentiate between them (note that orange isn't available in the 4000). These have all the features of the 3000 but are larger and with extra compartments. Note also that the mesh bags on sizes above the 5000 have multiple compartments. I haven't used this system on a really dewy night yet, but early tests suggest it will work beautifully. Once I'm out of quarantine I'll post some pictures.
  9. Just to let you know my friend has decided to pass on this.
  10. Thanks for the fast reply. It's for a friend, but I don't I think they have transport at the moment. I'll have a word with them and come back to you as soon as possible.
  11. It takes 2 hands, one to hold the Dioptrx steady, the other to rotate the zoom. However, it's not easy when my hands aren't working properly. Then I often have to adjust the zoom and then adjust the Dioptrx. That's one of the reasons I've bought the Syvony zooms for binoviewers. I'm also looking forward to receiving the new 75 degree APM zoom when it becomes available.
  12. Currently the 8-24mm Baader zoom, the Svbony 7-21mm zoom, a 28mm/68 deg Explore Scientific and a 22mm Vixen LVW. In the past I've used a 22mm Nagler, a 22mm/70 Deg Omegon Redline and a 20mm Pentax XW.
  13. I've got the Baader 8-24mm zoom and the Svbony 7-21mm. The Baader is markedly better. However, the Baader is about 4x the price, but it's not 4x better! The Baader is the best medium power zoom I can find (at the moment) that accepts a Dioptrx. The Svbony 7-21 does as well if you remove the stuck on eyecup. In head to head tests I did, the Svbony on Saturn was as good as the Baader on axis (praise indeed), but not as good off axis. However, on prominences the Svbony was left totally standing by the Baader. The problem seems to be poorer contrast. Neither are parfocal to my aging eyes. The Svbony also has a smaller field of view. However, it's both lighter and slimmer, the latter attribute useful for binoviewing. It's also of course very well-priced, that makes it good for outreach. So for me the Sybony is a keeper. In fact, I recently bought another to make a binoviewing pair.
  14. Although I started off observing with glasses, I'm now totally converted to using a Dioptrx. In fact, so much so that I won't buy an eyepiece with an exit pupil of over 2mm that isn't Dioptrx compatible. This is where my astigmatism becomes noticeable. Many Televue eyepieces accept a Dioptrx. However, any of those that need an adapter will be unlikely to show the full field of view due to lack of eye relief. Additionally, many other eyepieces can also be used with a Dioptrx (do a search here on Stargazer's Lounge for others not mentioned in this thread). Note that with some you get a better fit if you add an O ring or elastic band in the groove below the top of the eyepiece or alternatively on the very lip. There are 2 advantages of the Dioptrx that I particularly appreciate. The first is that the quality, especially the coatings, are better than even my expensive glasses. The second is that my astigmatism angle varies between my annual eye tests. With the Dioptrx I can dial in the precise angle required at any time. Tests I did myself showed that I need 0.25 dioptres extra astigmatism correction at night. I also need an extra 0.50 correction at night for my short-sightedness (this is called night myopia).
  15. Here's the July results. I'd add that when I've marked that I'm away I get observations from 3 local weather stations. Now that I've got Covid and am confined to my bedroom all I can do is look out of the window. So the results may not be so accurate. I'll mark those dates accordingly on the September results.
  16. Jeremy, are you referring to the locking screw on the Scopetech? Or to the one on the Report module 1?
  17. As per title. Go to https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00IKGH2TI/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o01_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1 A pack of 200 today is £7.72 instead of £19.99. I use these to clean all my optics plus my glasses having first used a blower and soft brush. The advantage is that because they're sealed there's no way they can be contaminated with damaging grit/dirt like a cloth can.
  18. There's a 12 inch OOUK tube assembly on UK Astronomy Buy/Sell. Go to https://www.astrobuysell.com/uk/propview.php?view=177296 It includes a Losmondy plate for an equatorial mount, but instead I'd suggest you buy a Dobsonian mount from OOUK as a 12 inch equatorial is a beast!. These OOUK Dobs are really excellent.
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