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NGC 1502

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  1. Prior to the star parties at Kelling Heath in north Norfolk the venue was in Thetford forest near to East Harling. The Thetford forest site was adjacent to a caravan site. You’ve mentioned the Dengie peninsula. My local club has 2 dark sites, one on the Dengie peninsula the other at RSPB Wallasea Island. Both these sites are beyond a locked gate and access is very strictly monitored. To gain access you’d need to be a paid up member of Castle Point Astronomy Club. Perhaps a long shot given your London location but maybe a possibility. Ed.
  2. Thanks it does, but it’s not clear if that’s the scope with the issue, it would be nice to know, Cheers, Ed.
  3. Erm.....please let us know what not to buy Cheers, Ed.
  4. I think OO UK are capable of making good mirrors......however I do question their mirror optical grading. I’ve always been pleased with my 15 year old OO 10”Dob, it’s engraved 1/4 wave on the back of the primary. 3 years ago I was offered an OO 8” f6 Dob 1/10 wave at a great bargain price from the widow of a deceased local club member so I bought it. I thought it would be an excellent planetary and double star scope. It had hardly seen any use, the deceased member had been a beginner and had fallen into poor health shortly after purchasing the scope. However when I tried it I was disappointed. I made sure the primary wasn’t pinched in its cell, carefully collimated, fully cooled before use..... Of course the issue could have been a duff secondary. One of my local club members has an optical workshop and has made mirrors up to 24” for well known UK astronomers, he really does know his stuff. I removed the 8” primary for testing. My club friend said it was dreadful and on my behalf contacted OO about the problem. To their credit, taking into consideration it was a second hand scope, OO agreed to check the mirror if I returned it. They returned the mirror to me within 2 weeks at no charge saying it had been “reworked” and of course recoated. The reworked 8” 1/10 wave mirror is better than it was originally, but my 10” 1/4 wave tests as good! There is more to this saga but I’ll leave it there. My intention is not to slam OO but just to point out my own experience. I’m still very pleased indeed with my 10”, it’s an excellent lightweight very portable scope that transports easily to my club’s dark site, holds collimation very well and gives fine views. And the 8” is still a nice scope, especially considering the bargain price. A request to all. Please don’t use the above and turn this into discrediting OO, if you do that, then the mods may possibly find it necessary to lock this thread, preventing any further discussion. Ed.
  5. Easy to miss, but the reviewer mentions he was using a C8, that’s the Celestron 8” 2000mm focal length f10 SCT. F10 scopes generally don’t need a coma corrector, these are much more usually needed with F4 to F5. Opinions vary greatly as to the necessity of coma correctors. One of my reflectors is F3.8 and with good eyepieces I’m not bothered by off axis coma without a coma corrector, someone else could be horrified. Ed.
  6. I wouldn’t assume that £100 less means it’s not as good. If it were me I’d do a thorough search of online reports, carefully read the specs of both scopes and base my decision on that. It’s often said you get what you pay for and that’s often true, but £100 difference is not large in the total cost. All the best in your deliberations, Ed.
  7. I’d like to politely mention that saying some SGL members need to “take a reality check” is close to a put down and perhaps not in the generally friendly way we conduct ourselves on here Cheers, Ed.
  8. As above, possibly 70% of new price if in top condition, boxed, instructions etc. We have to look at this from the buyers perspective, no guarantee or dealer back up, often needing to travel to view larger items, most sellers are completely honest especially on SGL but not all sadly from other sources. Of course the current situation with low or non existent stock at dealers can change things, but hopefully won’t produce a high second hand price. Ed.
  9. Indeed just looking out is accurate for that moment...... However if the forecast doesn’t match the sky at that moment then my conclusion is the forecast is rubbish. If it does match, and several forecasts are in agreement then I start to trust the information. A big downer is if the sky is actually cloudy, and all forecasts agree and predict full cloud cover for hours, then I cancel a dark site visit, only to be greeted with a crystal clear sky that evening then it’s tear your hair out time Ed.
  10. In spite of what I’ve said I am fond of refractors. I once owned a lovely TV 85 and regret selling it....seemed like a good idea at the time Your mention of Dobs being a complete pain, I do get that and have heard similar from others.....yet again this proves the point of finding what suits yourself, not someone else. At my local club I’ve been asked about what scope to get. I always say that I love basic Dobs for visual, but point out my club has scopes of all types for loan, try it and if it’s not good for you just swap it for something else.....a club subscription could save a fortune when members can borrow scopes at no further cost Ed.
  11. Thanks all for the varied thoughts and experiences. As always what suits one individual may not suit another, it’s a case of finding what works best for you. I think that the problems I’ve found with refractor use are made worse by observing a range of objects at different parts of the sky during a session. That means multiple shifting of my observing chair, adjusting the height and getting reasonably comfy. Perhaps for an extended session on one object it works much better, like Jupiter occultations and shadow transits, you can get comfortable and enjoy the view. Ed.
  12. Ok, I’m not referring to the optical difference or quality of the views for visual astronomy. What I am mentioning is convenience in use. I’ve just had a session with one of my alt-az mounted refractors I’ve not used for a while. Whilst I did enjoy the mainly double star observing, it was a bit of a pain....the tripod legs get in the way of where I need to put my observing chair, and the constant adjustment of the chair height according to where the eyepiece was, very low down for observing at a high elevation. It seemed a lot of messing around compared with my Dobsonian reflectors. With my Dobs I can use a fixed height observing chair, the eyepiece is always much easier to get to, never very low down, and the Dob mount doesn’t get in the way. I do find my Dobs so much more convenient to use. Of course we’re all different with what’s good or not so good. You may not agree that’s fine, but what are your own thoughts? Ed.
  13. Not a complaint, however Clear Outside can be accurate at times, or completely wrong sometimes..... Cloud cover forecasts are tough to get right. Much easier to predict are temperature, wind and rain. I use several online forecasts and try to interpret what they say...I’m 1 of 4 keyholders for one of my club’s dark sites and have to give a go/no-go according to my best guess on cloud cover. Sometimes I’ll say go, but add a request for club members to check forecasts themselves before deciding to come along. Of course right now the Covid restrictions don’t allow us to meet up, hopefully after 29th March the “rule of 6” outdoors will allow us to get out under a better sky than in town. Ed.
  14. Excellent On dewy nights the secondary on my Dob can mist up. I usually sort that with a 12v dew gun pointed down the focuser, having removed the eyepiece. Usually lasts 20-30 minutes before a repeat becomes necessary. But a low heat pad on the back of the secondary would be a longer lasting fix. Ed.
  15. It’s a standout in the world of upgrade upon upgrade, obsolescence upon obsolescence..... The very same 1/4 -20 thread used for generations and still current today Same as plumbing threads thankfully, helps a lot when I fix the pipes in my 1923 house with bits from B&Q.
  16. All good info above on this topic. I think it’s a case of try it and see what works for your scope. One of the great things about Dobs is the many DIY improvements that’s possible, to make a good scope into a superb one Ed.
  17. Well done Alan, looks like the mini shed was made to measure, did you remove the loo roll You have strong looking dust caps each end of the Dob, more substantial than the shower caps I use, where did you get them please ? Cheers from Ed.
  18. Hi Dominic, greetings from the UK Presumably you’re using a proper solar filter designed for solar observing. The Skywatcher 100 ED is a very nice telescope, is that the one you have the problem with, or the 70mm Bresser in your signature? The “small bright dot” is most likely some sort of reflection within your kit. You’ve mentioned “if I angle my eye incorrectly to the eyepiece”. If there’s no problem when you don’t observe that way, perhaps you have your own solution ? Ed.
  19. Glad the soap bar works for you to improve Dob movements Unfortunately I’ve found that adding any lubricant only helps for a limited time. After one or two sessions the lubricant collected dust and crud and the smooth movement deteriorated greatly. The proximity of the azimuth bearing to the ground was a big factor I think. Perhaps it’s not a big job to dismantle, clean the bearings and re-lubricate. But I found that clean Teflon pads worked best and lasted. Other factors for good azimuth movement is the surface that the Teflon contacts. The bottom surface of the rocker box needs to be clean and exactly flat. The aluminium that my Orion Optics Dob mount is constructed from has a hard pebbly finish and works well. It’s precisely flat too. There’s also the “lazy susan” type lower bearing used by some manufacturers, but I’ve no experience of how well that works. For me a Dob with smooth movements is a joy to use, but a “sticky Dob” is a right royal pain...... Ed.
  20. Extra from above. If you can sort out transporting the 150 Dob then that would save you making/buying a tripod for either the 130 or 150 Heritage. Or........save for a Skywatcher 200 Flextube........ Ed.
  21. From the above scopes I’d pick the Heritage 130 or if you have the funds the 150. I do agree about the wobbly table problem. A solid tripod is not hard to adapt to fit below the supplied mini Dob mount. If you’re ok with DIY a suitable timber tripod is not hard to make. You don’t need extendable tripod legs if you choose the length carefully. I wouldn’t worry about “looking silly if you join an astro club”. Just buy and use what scope suits you and your family. The chairman of my local club brought his Heritage 130 to my club’s dark site last time we were able to go in September 2020. Another senior member took his 80mm binoculars. A modest scope used as often as you can will give years of observing pleasure and is more likely to get used because it’s quick to set up and use Ed.
  22. So sorry to hear about your dad. You’ll treasure those bins even more than if you’d bought ‘em yourself.......
  23. Indeed it’s frustrating.......I’m afraid I’ve learned over many years not to trust forecasts about cloud cover. Weather forecasts are generally good regarding hot or cold spells, windy or calm, storms etc, but accurate cloud cover predictions are tough to find. I’m one of 4 keyholders for one of my local clubs dark sites. When I’m struggling to decide a go/no go I do my best and say if I’m going but ask others to check the forecasts themselves and make their own decision. Of course right now we’re not going, but hoping that after 29th March the ‘rule of 6’ outdoors plus a relaxation of ‘stay home’ will allow us to go. Ed.
  24. Hi and a warm welcome to SGL If you can afford it I’d get the 8” f6. The 8” will be better for deep sky and be excellent for the moon and planets. A telescope like that can be a lifetime instrument. If you’re averagely fit you should have no trouble lifting the 8” base from your car, then place the tube assembly on the mount. When I’m transporting my Dob by car, the mount goes in the boot, the tube fits across the back seat. You can secure the tube using one of the seat belts, or tie it to the headrest supports, then if you have to brake hard, the tube doesn’t get damaged. Having said all that, the 6” would still be a great scope. All the best in your astronomy venture! BTW, I have good friends in Andhra Pradesh, they lived in the UK for a while, we keep in touch when they join our church services on Zoom Best wishes from Ed.
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