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Everything posted by Craig_Billo

  1. would love to see some pics of tonights pass too, nothing in imaging section yet but then its still early days, everyone still out looking at the night sky or stacking as we speak... lol
  2. I was also on stellarium planning tonights observing when i was fast sorwarding to see what time saturn was rising when i happened to see the iss pass. It was great timing as i normally miss it and find it on rewinding time! lol. I did think it might be the space shuttle discovery but i doubted myself and wanted to double check, the sons face when i told him it WAS the shuttle was priceless.
  3. just caught a glimpse of the iss, was i seeing things or did i see 2 objects flying past on the same path? I was with my excited 7 year old son so didnt get chance to use any optics. It still amazes us both to see her fly over.
  4. thanks for all the info, i will be leaving well alone for the time being, scope is only a month old so wont be as dirty as i think by the sound of it. with a bit of luck these clouds clear and i can have a look 'through' it instead of looking 'at' it, although it looks sexy sitting in the corner of my bedroom id rather it was in the field being used.
  5. thanks for the heads up on that Trull. Will prob leave it for now as i dont think its having any serious effect on my viewing, i have a little ocd when it comes to anything i have to look at/through, be it my camera, rifle scopes, Tv or aquarium being perfect but thats a different ball game by the sound of it. I will live with it for now and do a little more research on mirror cleansing.
  6. I have a slightly mucky looking secondary mirror, Its water spots mainly from dew and misting going from hot and cold environments. What effect will this have on the image? Also is there any decent house hold cleaners i can use as there isnt a 'local' astro shop and im looking to get out this evening if possible so ordering online is out of the question for this weekend.
  7. I have the 130p and alt-az goto mount and yes its great for visual work but i really wished i had an eq mount now even after only owning it for a month. Im looking at doing simple image captures but im at a major disadvantage with this type of mount. Id reccomend the scope for its optics without hesitation but the mount is really only good for visual work. Not the end of the world but hindsight is a wonderful thing.
  8. I had plenty of good times out in my moderatly dark garden with just my 9x40 bins, loads to see and learn.
  9. Worst scope I had was a 76mm newt from argos, was a gift when i first started to think seriously about getting a scope so couldnt express my true feelings upon recieving it. It did well for land and lunar but anything more and i was better off with my 9x bino's. Best scope is my current one lol. The 'naff' 76mm newt is the best scope in the world now as i have passed it on to my 8year old niece as she thinks the world of it. We all know there is prob a 'better' scope out there but like others have said the best one is the one you can use.
  10. excellent work with kit you described. also stunning re-working from cloudwatcher, im envious of your photoshop skills. I can see a trip to WH smiths for a copy of photoshop for dummies
  11. nice images, Id be more than happy with a shot like either of those, looking to get similar pics when funds allow a new webcam.
  12. Very nice. *envious* wish i had time, money and patience to get images like this, well done.
  13. Thanks for comments, phone was 3.2megapixel, took a few attempts to find focus point but steady hands is one of my few plus points ;-) I did try using my Fuji finepix s6500fd camera but I couldnt get image to focus what ever i tried so on the off chance I just tried the phone (orange San francisco so not a expensive phone at that) I was amazed by the results for such a crude setup.
  14. Taken with my SW130p with 10mm ep and camera phone through ep. Not the best pic ever but gotta start somewhere No post processing done whatsoever, time to learn to use photoshop properly me thinks.
  15. re: Deepview questions, I used a generic usb to serial converter off fleabay and I have posted the link to the drivers i used. The rest of the config was done in the settings within the software, stellarium in my case. One thing to note is that the telescope does need to be alingned manually with the synscan before connecting the serial cable. http://www.usbfirewire.com/manualsdrivers/usb-to-serial-windows-7.zip
  16. Hi and welcome aboard, have fun and clear skies!
  17. Hi to you both and welcome aboard, loads of helpful guys and gals here for us all to pick the brains of.
  18. I dropped my volt meter over it and the tip connection is positive so im inluck, will hack it apart and drop the fuse in now as its looking nice and clear so i might venture out later with a bit of luck, Thanks for all the help guys.
  19. Brilliant! this has saved me a big expense, cant wait to get out and give it a try for real. What size fuse would be recommended? 3amp im presuming would be enough? I have fuse harnesses and tonnes of fuses so putting one inline wont be a problem.
  20. Can I safely use a rechargeable car jump pack to power my SW AZ goto mount? I have one of these already and it would save me a small fortune on a 'proper' SW powertank and also in AA batteries for the battery harness included. I have a cigar lighter cable that fits and I have tried it quickly and it does work but I didnt want to use it properly incase it was too powerful and blew something or caused other problems. The pic is the same model I have just incase different ones output differently. Thanks, Craig.
  21. Thanks for the feedback guys, looking forward to reporting my findings but due to clouds I have really only had about 2 hours use from the scope and most of that was the first night. I do have a few updates but I will probably just edit the orig post so all the info is together.
  22. I remove all eyepieces and store with the caps on. That way your not getting any dust or dirt on the eps and they are ready to go when i get them out next time. Cleaning them 'in the field' in the dark is a pain in the a**. I store my OTA and eps in the garage and the goto mount indoors as my garage can get quite damp I dont trust the electronincs in there for long periods.
  23. Hi just felt compelled to write a review of my new telescope as a lot of newcomers like me seem to be heading towards this scope. I ordered the scope SW130p AZ GOTO from FLO at 2.33pm on Thursday and by 2.54 I had a confirmation email and an item dispatched email along with a FedEx tracking number so i could see where my precious cargo was. As a regular online orderer I was pleasently surprised with the information and speed at which I was updated with it. Sure enough by 3pm the next day I was eagerly unpacking my new 'scope. Thanks to FLO and FedEx for such a feat. On unpacking the item I was pleasently surprised to find that I had a x2 barlow lense and also a moon filter that wasnt listed on the FLO site when I ordered it (these were listed on the old blue coloured models elsewhere on 'tinternet but the new colour scheme was more my cup of tea). Also included to my surprise was the serial link cable to run the scope with a PC/laptop, again another item not listed and a very pleasent surprise. Now on to the bad bit, upon removing the OTA from its protective cocoon (its own box within the box, bubble wrap and protective tissue for paint work) I removed the end cap to reveal that a couple of the secondary mirror vanes were bent, my heart sunk as I knew I had no access to a collimator and if they were throwing the allingment off I'd have a verexpensive ornimant for a few days. Anyway I took my chances and straightened them out and blow me it seemed to be spot on when I checked it visually later that night, it really was turning out to be my lucky day. Assembly was a breeze as no fiddling about was needed with the mount as it was as simple as screwing it to the tripod after clicking the accessory tray into place to lock the legs in the open position. The tube assembly just slid into its dovetail and a couple of turns on its fixing bolt and I was ready to go, or i would have been if it was dark! Next up was the computer synscan controller and in true, im a bloke I dont need instructions style I fumbled with it for the next hour or so untill I swallowed my pride and read the instructions:o Connecting it to my laptop and stellarium was also as trouble free as assembly was, It was just a case of installing a driver for my usb to serial adaptor and then starting the already installed plugin within stellarium and telling it that I had a nexstar mount. Away she went first time and every time, its just a case of aligning mount first then connecting it to the laptop and highling the object you want to view then press CTRL + 1 and the scope slews to the desired position. Now onto the actual telescope itself, I have been using a cheap 76mm newtonion for the past 12months and as it had a basic alt-az mount and cheap and nasty eye pieces I never really got anywhere fast with it and ended up frustrated, cold and miserable after a nights viewing. Not any more!! after aligning the scope with 1 star that was familiar with me and then consulting stellarium for the second (the unit needs second star to be a certain distance apart for alingment and im not too good with the northern sky as there is a football pitch with floodlights in that direction) Anyway after a few mins I was away, My first port of call was M42 the great orion nebula. I popped the 25mm ep in and got a nice haze in the image so i knew i was there, i could just make out a shape to it. I upped the ante and in went the 10mm, now I could clearly see the ghostly shape and some detail to the cloud. I then hopped over to the western skies and lined jupiter up for a gander, With the 25mm ep again I could make out the lower band reasonably clearly and 3 of her moons as pin pricks in the sky, after plopping the 10mm in I could clearly see a darker southern pole and the lower band i just mentioned with a lighter band between them as well as another slightly darker northern band. After this I continued to hop around the sky after various other objects to test my new kit out including the pin wheel and andromeda galaxy but i was fighting on 3 fronts by now with the cold, bad seeing and worse of all CLOUDS, so not a lot came from these last few mins of viewing. All in all not a bad start to my new scopes history as I probably managed to view as much in a single quick session as i probably have in the last 12 months with my basic alt-az mounted scope. I know seeing was def not at its best last night with cloud and other things against me but atleast i got to play with my new scope the same day i got it, not many people are as lucky as me on that score. I am very pleased with the optics on the scope and look forward to seeing everyones fav saturn again when she appears at a decent hour and also the moon will def be a big target when it appears in our skies again. My conclusion is really simple Im blown away by the quality of the glass in the eye pieces and the mirrors in the scope when compared to my old scope and the mount is truly amazing and a priceless addition to my equipment and will be to many other newbies as It helped 'hold my hand', and guide me to some of the best sights in the sky. Its easy enough to navigate the sky when you know what your doing and been doing it for years like most people on here probably have, but for a newcommer like me and the countless scores of people who will be buying this particualr scope its a real asset. Along with all the 'extra free' bits that I wasnt expecting this really has been a great deal and Its a scope I will keep for many years to come as I doubt I will out grow the 42,900 listed objects in the handset even though I might not get the best views of them with the limitations of the 130mm primary I will at lest be able to say that I have seen them. If your considering getting a first scope and this is the realistic starting point for any observer, If you can afford to get the GOTO mounted version I highly reccomend it but if your on a tighter budget then the same scope is available on EQ type mounts for a fair bit less than the £250 I paid. Thanks, Craig.
  24. M42 was the first thing i pointed my brand new 130p at last night. and wow is what i said. As said by RikMcRae it wasnt the most colourful image i have seen of it but i have seen it for my self first hand, thats the experience of it for me.
  25. Hi and welcome to the forum. I asked the very same question about astro shops in the west mids area and surprisingly there appears to be very few if any. the nearest to me was either nottingham or manchester. Cant believe the second city has no scope stores but there we go.
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