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Everything posted by AlexM

  1. Right I'll have a crack at the CN article and see how it goes. Will keep you posted! Much obliged. Alex
  2. Afternoon all. I've got a pair of revelation 15x70 and another pair of 'hunter' 8x56s that are woefully out of collimation - to the point where the accurately simulate the effects of 7 pints of Stella on my vision. Does anyone have any advice on how I can recollimate either of these. Much obliged. Alex
  3. Tidy. What's it like on Saturn?
  4. Yep agreed. Easy for people who aren't used to astronomy to grasp how to use it as well, which is handy.
  5. Hi. I've got the 250 auto dob - a couple of years old. I found that mine doesn't track brilliantly with much weight on the nose - eg the telrad plus a fair-sized eyepiece. The motor on mine clearly isn't up to the job - This may well differ in the newer ones of course. The views I get from it when I've collimated it properly are blinking fantastic though(I've flocked the tube and use a shroud) and the flextube setup means it sits quietly in the corner of the room when it's not being used. Overall I'm delighted with it and I can live with the auto-track not being bang on in mine. If I was storing my scope in an obsy then I'd definitely go large and go for the 300 or bigger though. Just my thoughts! Alex
  6. Jupiter with its moons get a good 'wow'. Seeing another planet with stuff orbiting it fires the imagination.
  7. AlexM

    Hey guys!

    Welcome Josh. Have fun. Alex
  8. Indeed. Never a chore, as far as I'm concerned.
  9. well it is in Biggin Hill anyway. Lovely and crisp in the dob at over 200x. It even got a 'wow' out of Mrs M....
  10. Thanks folks. That platform thread looks like a monster. I'll have a good nose at it. I admit my DIY skills are pants though! Ok had a good read - probably out of my depth when it comes to the DIY stuff, but the principles of the platforms look really good. BTW, Moonshane - that 6 inch F11 dob of yours looks really interesting. I imagine it's a proper planet scope. Alex
  11. Hi everyone. I'm musing over whether to go for an equatorial platform. My interests appear to be swaying in the direction of planetary observing, but I like the detailed images a well-collimated big dob gives me - just not the way they zip across the fov at high mag! Auto-tracking doesn't work brilliantly for me in the flextube to the point where I've abandoned it(I thin kthe motors can't cope with too much weight). Anyone here own an equatorial platform? And if you do, what do you think of them? Much obliged. Alex
  12. Thanks for the feedback Alan. I don't know who was more excited about him seeing his first Saturn, him or me! Alex
  13. Quite a crisp and not too dewy night in Biggin Hill last night. I'd promised my 5 yr old that I'd show him Saturn if the night was clear. At around midnight I fired up the 10 inch dob having let it cool for a few hours beforehand. I collimated it carefully with the Hotech and pointed it at Saturn. I mucked around at 30x and 86x before getting involved and looking at it at 240x with the 5mm Hyperion. I must have lucked out on the focus first time because I was staring at the crispest image of Saturn I've seen in my limited experience. No diffraction spikes or any of that lark were present. The Cassini division was apparent on both sides of the ring every 30 seconds or so. There was a nice fat cloud band around 3 times the height of the ring across the disc where the ring went behind Saturn( I wondered if it was a shadow from the ring crossing above - anyone?). The points where the rings went behind the disc were easily apparent and there was a very clear dark division between them on both sides. Where the ring crossed the disc above there was a clear dark line running across the disc. I had a look for about 5 mins before running upstairs and getting the boy out of bed for a quick look at his first ever Saturn. He leapt out of bed and it took him a while to spot it in the 5mm but he got a clear look at it('A blob with a ring daddy') I gave him a look for a minute or two before tiredness overtook him and I popped him back to bed. I spent the next hour glued to the eyepiece. I ramped up the mag between 240x and 480x using the 5mm, 6mm and an orion shorty 2x barlow. The image held up surprisingly well at 400x or so, but it was consistently stunning at 240x. I also thought I spotted some darker areas at the poles but couldn't work out if it was an optical illusion or not. Titan was easy to spot, but I found Tethys, Rhea and Dione looking pretty faint- presumably because of the bright moon(checked them on Stellarium later). Seeing began to deteriorate after 1am - the moon got a fat halo around it. I called it a night and spent the next half hour doing some **** sketches using a biro in my logbook and pondering the splendour of the solar system and the might of dobsonians:).
  14. I got it in the dob last week. A tiny disc at 240x and I could barely make out any colours on it tbh, but that could be because it was pretty low in the sky at the time. I reckon if it hadn't been so close to Jupiter I'd have had no chance of finding it!
  15. Sounds bang on to me. I'm sure you'll love the views you get of Jupiter and the moon in it compared to what you're used to.
  16. I have a look at Stellarium and pick a few targets in the daytime. Then I divide then into: 1) Ones I know I can find no problem. 2) Ones that have eluded me so far - including some pretty basic Messier ones I must admit. I have a crack at the easier stuff over to the west first if I'm feeling organised and then try to nail at least one object I've never spotted before - with variable success rates. Then it's cup of tea time and perhaps another bash in a couple of hours when the southern sky has changed.
  17. My 5 year old got his first look at Jupiter the other evening. That seemed to fire his imagination up. My 3 year old likes a quick look at the moon. And I do mean quick!
  18. welcome to SGL Sisko. Alex
  19. Nice link Stuart. Hours of 'what if' tinkering fun to be had. Alex
  20. I got the ultima barlow and it's a nice bit of kit. Robust and does the job. Worth the cash in my opinion.
  21. Welcome to SGL Andy! I'm sure you'll find lots of friendly people here who are full of useful advice. Alex
  22. I got the 130p and had a great time with it - moon, Jupiter, Mars all looked brilliant. Then aperture fever struck and I upgraded. I've still got the 130p and have no intentions of letting it go. I'll probably take it camping in France this year instead of the dob.
  23. I've negotiated permission for Saturday. Purely for browsing purposes, you understand.
  24. Hi Swamp Thing. Love the sound of the army truck conversion. Welxome to SGL. Alex
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