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About MikeOram

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    Near Dundee
  1. That's them ordered (skymaster pros from FLO; Nikon from Park Cameras). Will post an update and my thoughts when they arrive (and the clouds clear enough) Thanks again for all the input (and to my family for agreeing without me having to twist arms)
  2. Dear all, Many thanks for the help. Rather than wondering if a bit more reading and research would find better binos for the money (analysis paralysis), I'm going to go ahead and get the skymaster pro 15X70's and the Nikon Action-Ex 10X50's. What's more, John think he might be able repair my Strathspey's. As I can't get rid of either the Alomo 15X65's or the Strathspeys (too many great things seen through both of them) it seems like I'm going to have some spares, which is never a bad thing. Thanks again and sorry to bring the clouds in over the Dundee area in time to stop me being able to enjoy my new binos
  3. Steve: thanks for the suggested alternative to the NatureSports. Peter: I'm sure the APM 10X50ED's are lovely but they are too expensive and I want to have central focusing for more general use. Things change rapidly: FLO are offering the skymaster pro 15X70 at £125, which has really caught my eye. I've consulted my financial advisers (family) and the current permissions are (1) Get the skymaster pros 15X70's and (2) Get myself an early birthday present of an upgrade to the Strathspeys (the Nikon Action-EX 10X50's or similar). I love my family Even this is a change from earlier today when the 15X70 pros and Naturesports were negotiated (I think seeing me so excited loosened the purse strings a bit more). I've already fired an email to FLO about getting both the pro's+naturesport's but I'm sure they will understand. Thanks for John's email @Skipper Billy: I will contact him and see about repairing the Strathspey's. I love them almost as much as I love my 15X65's and would love to get them repaired if the cost isn't too bad (I can see my nascent collection growing already, but don't tell anybody). So, can anyone advise me on 10X50's similar priced to the Nikon Action-EX's (~£180) with 6.5 degree FoV & central focus. I can't ask for the budget to go up again and expect to live, so no more than £200 but would like to get as good as I can for the money.
  4. Dear knowledgeable ones. I've dropped my Strathspey 10X50 waterproof (they lasted 10 years which is a miracle for me). The bridge is loose and even when I move it to get both eyepieces in focus, the pin-prick view of stars isn't quite as good as it was. So I'm looking for a replacement. I love the 6.5 FoV and central focusing (also used for daytime viewing of birds & nature). I use them tripod mounted for star-gazing (Harma 64 with its height is great for close to zenith viewing) so want a tripod attachment (the Olympus DPS doesn't seem to have one). I've an old Aloma (Tokyo) Comet 15X65 I got way back in the 1970's (not brilliant optics but suffices) so don't need to go bigger and worry that smaller than 50mm objective will result in darker views, even if only slightly. My current thoughts for possible replacements (Strathspey shop seems closed) are Similar quality: Helios NatureSport-Plus (£78). Am I right in thinking that this should be a bit brighter because the Strathspey is stepped down? [I would never have known because I haven't compared with other binoculars] Upgrade (?): Nikon Action-EX (£179). I could stretch to this if it is a better binocular Any thoughts and comments most welcome
  5. But Saturn was easy - the joy is proportional to the effort. And trust me, there's always one that is harder to get (for certain)... You will soon become addicted, always searching for the next one, always wondering if you will be next. Then of course your partner brings you down to earth with a bump.... And your kids stress you out even more..... So out you go again, looking, searching.... God I love it
  6. Just keep going Oily. There's nothing like the satisfaction when you find your target and can say "I did that"
  7. Dennis, Ditto Pete's request. A cut and paste job and off we go Permission please
  8. MikeOram


    Welcome to a great forum Kris. I'm just starting out and find this forum excellent. Or very very bad: I spend too much time looking at the discussions All I can say is don't even think about giving up on the binos - I take mine out with their tripod every time and couldn't find a thing without them. I search for "targets" with the bino's, rush indoors to look at Stellarium then in and out until I know where I am. Should I get a GoTo system? NO. I'm old fashioned and want to learn the sky. I in a few years, I might know my way around . But in the meantime, I keep stumbling across the most awe-inspiring sights that have no name, no "value" except the most priceless of all - they are just stunning. what ever you decide, just enjoy. Its fascinating, beautiful and just plain old fashioned fun
  9. Of course you jinxed it Sunny all daya here: great I thought Got home - and still sunny Sun's beginning to go down - still sunny Sun's now 5 degrees above the horizon and I can see the clouds rolling in Its all your fault
  10. Hi Doc, Can I ask why you'd go with the 4SE rather than the 127? Is the mount noticably better or something?
  11. Hi Matty, I've just started and got the Skymax 127. I reckon its a great scope. Its easily portable and can also be used for terrestrial viewing (seals on a sand bank ~1 mile upstream from my garden are great fun to watch). Although the long focal length makes it ideal for planets, for splitting stars (and watching seals), the deep sky objects (DSOs) such as clusters and galaxies also look good to me. Of course, if I win the lottery, I'd get a "light bucket", but until then I can honestly say that the Skymax 127 is a great little scope. I would guess that the smaller Celestron 4SE would also be good, but a little less bright (64% of the light), making the DSO's that much harder to see. Which ever you go for, ENJOY
  12. A dew shield is needed - my second viewing session was cut short because I thought I could get away without the shield. There are several threads with DIY shields on the forum - camping mats evidently make good shields - but I bought one when I ordered my 127 (~£20 from FLO). A red torch is also pretty much essential - Tesco's do a head torch for camping that has red light (or at least they used to). There's nothing more annoying than loosing all dark adaptation just to find something and then have to wait until you get back to being able to see your target. The "best" thing I ordered was 32 & 7.5mm Plossl eyepieces (SkyWatcher). The 32mm gives about as wide a field of view as you can get with the 127 and its nice and bright - essential for finding the DSO's. The 7.5mm gives as bright an image as the supplied 10mm but with slightly higher magnification (X200). This is great for planets and seeing details on the moon. I just got a GSO 15mm Plossl that gives me a nice "in between" magnification - there's a good sticky thread on eye-pieces - what's the minimum wich I recommend reading. I also ordered a SkyWatcher moon filter - It helped when the moon was nearly full, but I didn't notice much difference with a new moon. I haven't tried colour filters so can't say for certain, but have a suspicion that with the relatively small 127mm aperture they might dim the image as much as they increase specific contrast (i.e. not really help). If you're tall (I'm 6'2"), think about upgrading the finder to a 90 degree right angle one (the 9X50 Skywatcher erecting finder is next on my list). While my wife and son think its funny watchiong me crawl around on the ground, I'm getting tired of muddy wet knees. This might not be such an issue with GOTO, but I reckon that you will spend some time just looking to see what's there.
  13. Hi Adam, A warm welcome to the forum. As a neebie myself, I find the information on here invaluable, so do keep searching out the advice. I got the Skymmax 127 auto-trak a few weeks ago and think its great. As NGC said, it easily portable and easy to use. In the few sessions I've had, I've been blown away. Last Friday we had clear skies around Dundee. That night (11pm-4am) I saw the following. Saturn and three of its moons was a beautiful as always - I think even old hands a have a soft spot for Saturn. Mars is more of a blob - with occasional hints of features - at the moment. Double stars are indeed fun (Castor, Mizar & Alegibra are easy from my garden). Deep Sky Objects (DSO's) also seem good to me - but bear in mind that this is my first 'scope in nearly 40 years. Galaxies like M65 & M66 are faint but discernable. Globular clusters (e.g. M13 in Hercules) look fantastic - especially with averted gaze when you can make out lots of individual stars (M92 is also a good one). Open clusters - other than Pleidaes & Presaepe (aka Beehive) are also stunning (I really like the double cluster and for some reason that I can't piut my finger on, M29). And don't forget the moon (not up at the moment from my garden viewing). When it was, simply looking at the craters within craters is mesmerising through the Skymax. Others on the forum are keen on getting as much aperture as possible. I though of this, but also enjoy daytime (terrestrial) viewing: seals on the sand banks of the Tay are just fun to watch. So I went for the Skymax 127 and really haven't regretted it.
  14. Sn00p - it looks great to me. Is it really without a Barlow? How did you attach the camera? There's another thread on the Astro lounge with someone asking about getting a camera attached to a Skymax 127. Perhaps you could offer advice?
  15. Gone from steady cloud to steady rain in Dundee How much is it to Barbados? On damn, ash is stopping me even getting there:mad: Still, therr's always tomorrow...
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