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About LondonSi72

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  1. Thank you. That’s really useful to know for future. However... The converter / adapter I ordered from eBay - as Dave spotted from another post in SGL - arrived last week (early) and I had a clear night so managed to try it out. It works a treat! The eyepieces I have all worked with my short 2x Barlow (and even with the 2.25x - though it wasn’t an improvement in clarity) This setup is really nice. I’ve attached a photo of the converter and helical focuser. The converter is the first narrow black ring in the picture, attached to the silver thread on the focusing tube, an
  2. Yes - I suspect I'm pushing my scope beyond its limit - which I'm sure every newbie has a tendency to do . Theoretical max magnification of the SW130 / 900mm scope is x260. The 8mm with a 2x barlow is x225, which I thought would be OK as it's almost 15% less than the max magnification - if you follow me. Maybe that was too optimistic. (I have a Baader 2.25x Barlow as well - now that would be optimistic at x253 !) The Helical focuser works really well without the barlow - a very smooth, fine adjustment, so if I can't get this setup to work with the Barlow as well, I'll just go with the he
  3. You absolute STAR (excuse the pun)! I looked on this forum - and many others - to try and find anyone else who had this issue, and this post didn't show up (my search criteria, I guess). That's exactly the same setup. Found and ordered on eBay. Bit of a wait (20 October), but I'll let you know if it works. Thank you
  4. The end of the EP holder has a T-thread - that's actually what the helical focuser screws on to - but the silver tube is different - much wider pitch, and slightly smaller diameter (I think).
  5. Dave - yes - in-focus is exactly the problem. That's what I was trying to work out - if there's some way you could calculate where the focal point would be for a given telescope, barlow, eyepiece combination based on the information the manufacturer's provide with these items. It seems not. The helical focuser is probably about an inch in length, so quite compact. If you have the SW130 then you may be able to answer another question I have. I noticed that the EP holder in the SW130 screws into the focusing tube, and the holder is just about the length of the helical focuser. I was w
  6. Thanks Dave. I saw a post from a guy who moved his mirror like that on the same scope as me - but it was like open heart surgery! The primary isn't attached to the tube in a very user-customisable way on some of the SW130s - including mine. There are non-captive nuts inside the tube holding the side bolts in place that hold the mirror assembly. Undo the bolts and the nuts fall free and would have to be super-glued in place to allow you to screw the bolts back in securely. I think I like the long Barlow option better (I'm a whimp!) I've started looking at the SW 200P as a nice upgrade
  7. Thank you Louis. I'll have a look for a long barlow and see if that does the trick. They seem to be harder to find these days, as I guess the optical quality of short barlows has improved, and they're more convenient. (I'm still intrigued as to how you can determine where a particular eyepiece / barlow combination would need to be in the focuser for it to focus)
  8. Hi Rob. I'll try Mak the Night - they last posted on the forum 2 years ago so suspect they aren't monitoring it these days. Yes I can focus without the Barlow - though a large part of the point of getting the helical/fine focuser was to focus at higher magnifications. I could buy a higher mag EP, and not use the Barlow, but that's not as flexible as having the Barlow / medium mag EP combination. Mak didn't modift the scope - the helical focuser attaches directly to the T-thread that's on the focusing system and then accepts 1.25" EPs. It just adds about 1" to the length of the focusing tu
  9. Thank you John and Rob. Sorry - My explanation of what I’m trying to work out was very poor. I’m trying to work out why some eyepieces will work with the helical focuser and Barlow in place and others won’t. It must be something to do with where the focal plane is in the eyepiece, I think, but I haven’t been able to find anything that explains this. MackTheNight managed to get a combination of The helical focuser plus 2x Barlow and 10mm eyepiece to work in the 130 scope. I have the helical focuser, the Barlow that came with the scope and the Super MA 10mm & 25mm eyepieces tha
  10. Hi SGL, My lovely wife bought me a SW Explorer 130 with the basic RA drive for my 40th birthday 8 years ago, and I've enjoyed using it on and off ever since. I've started getting more into it - it's a great beginner scope, but I'm - like lots of others on this forum - looking at upgrading. One of the things I found tricky with the scope was getting the focus just right at high magnification (I'm sure that's kind of obvious!). It does wobble quite a bit on the EQ2 mount when focusing. I get pretty good - if small - views of Jupiter, Saturn, (the Moon, of course) and have had hints of s
  11. A challenge with the SW Explorer 130 is that it doesn’t have a centre mark/donut on the primary. I’ve seen articles describing how you can add one, but on my scope removing the primary mirror looks like a potentially terminal action!. I wouldn’t want to risk removing the mirror and damaging it or not being able to get it back in, just to get that very last tweak of collimation correct. There are clearly a few variations on the SW Explorer 130, depending on when it was manufactured/purchased. Mine was bought in 2012 and has captive nuts on the inside of the tube holding the primary mirro
  12. I bought the Astro Essentials Cheshire and a collimating cap, having had problems using a laser collimator that I got when I first got my scope. I’ve started getting back into using the scope recently, and figured it probably needed collimating. I followed the instructions in AstroBaby’s guide and she recommended using a collimating cap for the secondary mirror alignment so you can see the primary mirror clips more easily, and the Cheshire for the primary mirror alignment. This seemed to be easier - and more consistent - than using the laser collimator, which seemed to change every time I rem
  13. Hi John, Where have you seen them for that price? Every advert I've looked at so far (Astrobuysell, Ebay, Gumtree, and the private ads forum here) has been ~£350 for a complete scope and mount or about £250 for scope and £250 for the mount if sold separately. Are there other good places to look? Thank you
  14. Yes! That’s what I’m finding. A few 200ps have been available but all seem to be a 200mile round trip away. I’m also not sure if upgrading to the 200p from my 130 will allow me to see that much more, so a little reluctant to take a punt. I just found there’s an astronomy shop about 40mins drive away so I think I’ll go there and hopefully check out a few scopes to see for myself. I’ve kind of set my self a £300 limit for my upgrade, but think that’s too optimistic! (A boxed pretty much mint condition 200p +EQ5 went on EBay for £250 early last week - whoever got that was very lucky!)
  15. Ha! I was just looking at that scope on Astrobuyandsell. I asked the seller what the mount was as I couldn’t figure out if it was an EQ2 or EQ2-3. At £265 I thought it was probably too much of a bargain to be an EQ5 and it didn’t look quite right. I have the SW 130 and am looking to upgrade but can’t justify the £480 that the 200P and EQ5 are brand new. The score is still listed as for sale so I guess they didn’t get around to updating the listing yet Guess I’ll keep looking. There have been a couple on eBay recently, but they disappeared before auction end. Probably because the
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