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Everything posted by Starwatcher2001

  1. Welcome aboard SGL Tommy. Good to have you with us.
  2. Welcome aboard SGL. Good to have you with us. Dive in and enjoy the forum.
  3. Welcome aboard SGL, and welcome back to astronomy. Good to have you with us.
  4. Welcome aboard SGL, good to have you with us... or should I say welcome back! Yup, York's not brilliant for light pollution (born there), but where you are now sounds much better. Enjoy getting back into this great hobby.
  5. What do you think of the Moon? That's visible from almost anywhere and can provide a lifetime of pleasure on it's own. You can see craters, craters in craters, ridges, mountains, rilles, "seas", all of which look different and reveal different aspects at different times of the month. Double stars are also a good target in poor skies, and is when your goto will really come in handy.
  6. I've got a dob and an SCT, not unlike yours. The dob's great fun, more relaxed, and teaches to navigate the sky better, but the goto is a lot more efficient if you want to find more objects in a shorter time. But the goto takes a bit more getting used to, and needs aligning each time you use it. Your Orion scope (which looks like an f/4) has a much bigger field of view than the Celestron, meaning you'll see more sky and find it easier to navigate by eye. If you don't want to use the goto facilities of the Celestron, make sure you've got a good (and aligned) finder, or at least a low power eyepiece (32mm or so). This will be true regardless of the type of manual mount you go for. Although I'm reasonably familiar with the night sky, I like using goto to find an object, and then use the handset control to wander around the vicinity looking for other cool objects nearby. Edit: Sorry, I meant to welcome you aboard SGL too. Good to have you with us.
  7. This morning's postie brought me this rather nice Pentax 5mm e/p, courtesy of @GordonD, nicely bedded down in bags of bubblewrap for its journey to its new home. Thanks Gordon! It's in excellent condition and is joining a couple of its brothers. I love the good eye-relief and easy going nature of these eyepieces and will probably have to put one or two of the others on the transfer list.
  8. Welcome (back) aboard SGL. Good to have you with us. Sorry I can't help with the locations, but I'm sure there'll be some locals on here who can.
  9. Welcome aboard SGL. Good to have you with us. I'm another one who started with a small scope like that 20 odd years ago. With a bit of care and modest expectations, I managed to see quite a lot of cool stuff in my first year. Don't write off your scope just yet, it's a lot better than Galileo had, and he did quite well for himself.
  10. Hi Matt and welcome to SGL. This sounds interesting. Was this just with your naked eye, or were you using binoculars or a telescope of some kind? Satellites look very much like moving stars and can be readily seen with the naked eye, but I wouldn't have a ready explanation for the shooting stars phenomena. One of the weirdest things I've seen was what looked like a UFO during daylight, but as I watched it turned out to be an aircraft catching the sunlight. What fazed me was that the location wasn't on any regular air route. Had I not continued to watch, I might have thought to this day that I'd seen a genuine UFO.
  11. Welcome aboard SGL. Good to have you with us. Seeing with your own eyes the beautiful objects in the heavens is a fascinating and rewarding hobby.
  12. I agree Stickey, I've seen that phenomena too. It's the prediction of weather that's never going to be accurate within a few miles. As it happened, I managed to get a good couple of hours under the stars last night. The skies weren't perfect here, but I had a blast anyway and saw a good 15-20 objects across the sky - a thoroughly good antidote to a naff week in the office.
  13. Well spotted, thanks. But those fractions only work out to be less than a couple of miles, which I don't think is significant where the weather is concerned.
  14. Checking the weather for tonight on the 'Clear Outside' app on Android, teasingly shows a good chance of observing. I'm rather doubtful looking at the weather forecast from the BBC, so I checked the PC and the forecasts are totally different. I've got them set for the same location, refreshed both, removed and re-installed the android app... any idea anyone? EDIT: Ah... worked it out. The PC is showing Saturday's forecast. I must have scrolled the display or something.
  15. "Update. l have just checked the focus in day light. lt was so far out it made my wrist ache winding it in lol. How the heck that happened Heaven knows as l am the only one allowed to touch the scope. So thats sorted." Be aware that the focus on an SCT has a massive range of movement. On mine it can take me more than a minute or two to move from one end of the focus to the other and does make the hand ache. When I first went from one end to the other I thought it would never stop and I'd broken something. So your focus may well not be sorted yet. If you're focusing on something relatively close (neighbours chimney pots for example) during the day, it will be very different to focusing on objects in the sky. Before you worry about alignment just move the scope to scope to somewhere with plenty of stars (or moon, jupiter), and play with the focus with your 25mm ep until you've got a nice sharp image, and stars like points rather than circles. Then trackle the other problems. Hang in there, we've all been through similar
  16. Welcome aboard SGL John. Good to have you with us. You've hit the floor running
  17. Welcome to SGL. Good to have you with us.
  18. Belated welcome aboard SGL John. Good to have you with us. Newer astronomers are sometimes the best people to pass on tips to newbies as they have just climbed that hill themselves. More experienced bods often take things for granted, slip into jargon, or forget how tricky certain things once were - or maybe that's just me. The forum's more fun and friendly if you join in, if only with banter.
  19. Postie brought me a rather nice little finder scope, courtesy of our very own Callisto. It's in brand new condition and will come in very handy on my grab and go, once I've done a bit of fettling. He also sent me a free 25mm plossl. That will probably be rehomed with a couple of neighbouring youngsters who are showing an interest in astronomy. Thanks very much Mark - top bloke!
  20. Hi Neil, welcome aboard SGL. Assuming the kids need something to stand on, a kitchen chair or something with a back can be useful. With the back facing the scope, it gives the youngsters something to hang on to in the dark. They often have a tendency to hold onto the eyepiece, which can move the scope off what you've just spent a few minutes finding. As others have suggested, get yourself used to the scope and finding a few of the objects yourself, before you get the kids involved. That way when they do accidentally move the scope, dad can quicky re-acquire the object for them. Maybe let them try the scope out during the day (nowhere near the sun, obviously) and let them look at distant trees, houses or whatever. That will give them a little experience with moving the scope and the scale of things. Getting familiar is much easier in daylight. After showing them a few things at night, maybe aim the scope into a populated area of the sky (Cassiopea, Cygnus...) and let them have a scan around. Let them see how many stars, shapes and colours they can find. I can spend hours doing that myself!
  21. Welcome aboard SGL Phil. Good to have you with us. Love the projects that you've done. Well played. I motorised my own homebuilt dob about 20 years ago. The driving software was MSDOS based, provided free by a very helpful American chap called Mel Bartels, who's well know in ATM circles. This communicated using the parallel printer port of an ancient laptop to a home-built driver circuit cobbled together on vero-board. The bipolar steppers came from an old mini-computer printer. The hardest part was the physical connection between the steppers and the mount. I'm no engineer and don't have a lot of facilities, so used threaded nylon rod around both the alt and az wheels, driven with a worm drive. The main problems were accuracy and getting a decent slewing speed. I never overcame the accuracy issue but managed to get "goto" within 2-3 degrees or so of the intended targets. The tracking worked well enough for visual (microstepping the motors). Slewing problems were solved with a combination of ramping up and down the stepper speeds, and adding flywheels to the motors keep the momentum. Oh, the whole thing ran on two car batteries, which weren't exactly light to move around. It was a fun project and I learned a lot, but the whole apparatus was unwieldy and needed a lot of babysitting. Having realised I'd spent 18 months messing with tech rather than doing much observing, I gave up and reverted the dob to manual. Things have moved on a lot since then, and you look to have a lot more engineering skills. Looking forward to seeing what you create Phil. All the best, Mark
  22. Welcome aboard SGL Malcolm. Good to have you with us. Nah, you haven't been spending, you've been investing. You'll be quids in when your FC100DC and FS60CB/Q have puppies
  23. Welcome aboard SGL Steve. Good to have you with us.
  24. Welcome aboard SGL Bob. Good to have you with us. Yeah, weather's not been playing very well here either
  25. Welcome aboard SGL Tim. Good to have you with us.
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