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About Dippy

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  1. My experience with HP laptop: just before Christmas they sent me a compulsory update which disabled their laptop’s sound card and network card. So learned a hard lesson during holidays: don’t buy HP hardware and if you bought, don’t update them to avoid their planned obsoletism, otherwise they grab you and mug you. Am I the only one who thinks this is the reality of 21st century USA?
  2. I had similar experience. Over the past five months I ordered several high value items from First Light Optics, which they did not have them in stock but their web site was not telling it and their emails were asking me to wait indefinitely. So I had to ask them to cancel and refund as it was just a waste of time. I ordered the same items from Rother Valley Optics and they always first checked their stock before taking my money and then delivered the items next day or two (if it was weekend). I yet don’t comprehend why there was such a difference as both are in England and use the same UK importers/distributors like OVL, David Hinds, etc.
  3. It depends on the target you wish to observe, planetary or wide angle. Let assume the wide angle low magnification eyepiece. With a non-tracking Dobsonian you need to nudge the telescope more to keep the target in view if you go for narrower field. I would recommend a 100 degree eyepiece like APM HDC 20mm which almost cost the same as a Pentax XW. You can keep the target in view for about 2 minutes with this. Or if you don’t want that much field of view, probably a Baader Morpheus 17.5mm 76 degrees is nice which would be about £60 cheaper and has excellent optics. Although it is very light weight which is essential for a Dobsonian to balance, it is weather sealed with neutral gas and can be used with a binoviewer due to its light weight. A Televue Delos is more than £300 new and has 72 degrees field of view. I have heard TeleVue Ethos 21mm on some targets gives almost a three dimensional effect, thanks to its exotic glass material and coating, although I have not tested it yet myself. It will cost you about 2 Morpheus eyepieces plus a Maxbright II binoviewer.
  4. This might not be related to the issue here, but good to mention that summer dust storms are starting ahead of the Mars Opposition.
  5. John, would you mind if I ask what eyepieces they were?
  6. I think your astrophoto of M31 is not bad at all. It is very wide angle view first of all. Then I can see you have managed to capture the shape of M31 itself, even showing hints of spiral arms. Beside that I can see in the lower part you have imaged the Triangulum Galaxy (M33). That is great! For comparison I attach below a chart of that region of sky( ignore the bright dot beside the star Mirach, it was a satellite passing that region of sky):
  7. From what I have read from John here in SGL and elsewhere since 2006, he is neither rich nor has deep pockets. To my observation, John has what he has through a steep learning curve, starting with some mundane eyepieces and gradually over decades of learning and selling or exchanging his eyepieces he has came to a core selection of Pentax XW, Delos and Ethos eyepieces, plus a Panoptic 24 and Nagler 31 Type 5. He just saves his money, sells what he has or exchange them and gets what is the best. I know this because once he kindly contacted me for selling one of his eyepieces to fund buying another one. John has shared his knowledge generously with everybody including myself and helped me make my mind about what worth saving for.
  8. A silk or polyester shower cap works also well and the elastic band of it leaves a bit of play for different aperture size. You can buy several of them very cheap through AliExpress directly from China.
  9. Thank you John for your thoughts on this. My reference to this is from TeleVue’s website which clearly says that it is illegal to ship, export, look through or read the manual ( even inside US soil) of the US made night vision equipment. There are known cases of covert sting operations by American agents that people have been arrested, extradited and charged from abroad for trying to buy or export such equipment, based on the US law. With UK as a junior partner, not being able to even extradite the murderer of Harry Dunn from US, I would recommend any UK citizen think twice before buying American made night vision equipment as UK government is unable to support its citizens. TeleVue website is clear on that ( screenshot attached). There are better Russian and Chinese equipment available but it seems there are left unknown. I have worked with and repaired the old Russian night vision military grade equipment and they were superior to modern US ones that I have watched video of them used on astronomical telescopes in YouTube.
  10. American night vision viewers are banned for non US citizens, even to look through, so forget about them. They are not that great anyway since many decades ago I had several of the Russian night vision viewers for repair and what I could see with them was superior to what you can see in YouTube videos of today’s US night vision viewers. The slightest point of light would have been blinding with Russian night vision gear, and a single match stick 20m away would have shined like the Sun. The details I could see in the night sky were out of this world. That was the Russian technology of 1970s and I am sure they have made more advanced versions now. I see sometimes some old Russian night vision cameras on sale in auction sites.
  11. Your photo and that of the John beautifully complement each other regarding star positions for astrometry. Well done.
  12. John, It is clear the comet has moved since your image last night. The star 26 Lynx is now farther to the lower right and the NEOWISE has moved higher in altitude towards the Ursa Major. It will move so until 23 July after which it will lose latitude until in August when you don’t need to stay awake this late to photograph because it will be an evening object, although fainter than now.
  13. Your photo truly is from today! I can see the 5th magnitude star 26 Lynx (the brighter of the two) to the right of comet. Would you mind John to ask what camera you are using?
  14. Either a larger one: Skywatcher 17h power bank, or a smaller one, Celestron Lithium Battery. Don’t buy second hand battery, because it may be near the end of its life (when they are sold second hand it means they are near the end of their life as they can be recharged only a limited number of times).
  15. I had this same problem with my 2.5 inch Gilbert reflector telescope when I was a kid. I built several “ off axis aperture stops” and it transformed my tiny telescope into a mighty planet killer! It practically reduces the glare and lets the faint details to be teased out. I am using this method even now and the details I see on Jupiter are very clear. In my childhood Gilbert telescope I could see the main belts of Jupiter and even a darkening event of one of the main belts in Jovian atmosphere. It is easy to build aperture stops with cardboard and put it in front of your telescope’s opening. The problem you mentioned is partly because the secondary mirrors are too big and cause distortion of image.
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