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SuburbanMak last won the day on January 20

SuburbanMak had the most liked content!


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  • Gender
  • Interests
    Visual, Messier-chaser (99/110) dabbling with doubles, light-polluted DSOs, tooled-up for planetary & lunar, grab & go a must.
    Telescopes: Tak FC 100DC, Tak FS60-Q, Skywatcher StarTravel 80 with 2 inch TS Monorail focuser, GSO Revelation 10” Dobsonian.
    Classic ‘fracs: Hilkin 60mm f13.3, Prinz 60mm f11.8, Clarkson 3inch f15, Towa 80mm f15.
    Mounts: AZ GTi goto, AZGTiX, Berlebach Report 312, Manfrotto 55.
    Eyepieces: Baader Hyperion 24mm, Stella Lyra 30mm UFF, Baader Morpheus 12.5mm, Pentax XW 5mm, SV Bony 3-8mm Zoom, Hyperion Aspheric 31mm, Baader Hyperion 8-24mm & 2.25 Barlow, Baader Classic Ortho 6mm, 10mm & 18mm, TS Optics 32mm Plossl, TV 15mm Plossl.
    Other stuff:  SW 9x50 & Telrad finder,  Canon 10x42 IS Bins, Celestron Nature 10x50 ED Bins, Helios Fieldmaster 7x50 Bins.  Nikon D80, D90.  
  • Location
    Winchester, Hampshire. UK 51 3' 56" 1 18'51"

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  1. Have been out of the game for a while so it was great to get in an hour tonight before the cloud rolled in. FS60Q, Baader & SVBony zooms and a 32mm plossl. Super detail and most of the time on the moon plus a few favourites - Alberio, nice split of the Double Double, a dim M57 showing as a ring in averted vision tonight. Seeing was good for 45 minutes or so then deteriorated rapidly ahead of the incoming cloud bank so I’ve packed up. Very good to be back out there though…
  2. Great report thank you & inspiring - I have 11 left to crack, all either very feint or very southern.
  3. This tallies absolutely with my recent side by side observation using a 5" SW Mak and my 4" Tak FC100 DC. The Mak (which actually operates around 120mm, so slightly less than 5") showed a clean black line between the two elements, the 4" Tak showed a "snowman" - overlapping discs, so resolved but not split.
  4. Down in Swanage for Easter and sneaked in an hour on Peveril Point with the 10x42 Canon IS bin’s. Once I got the town lights behind the hill I had a good sky, especially from S round to NW. Excellent views in Auriga with the three Messier clusters very apparent amid a sparkling rich field (must check as am sure there must be other NGCs in the view there). M36 (Pinwheel Cluster) showed form and was resolving to diamond dust in averted vision. Picked out M3 & M13 and enjoyed M44 and Melotte 111 (Coma star cluster). M65 & M66 down as maybes… Spent time on the Double Cluster and wandering through Cassiopeia. Lying on the ground to look overhead I was able to pick out M81 & M82 and the faintest smudge where M51 is supposed to be. No such luck with long stares at the spots for M109 & M101. Cloud swept in leaving just enough time for a last sweep of glittering Auriga.
  5. Some quality time on the moon, assorted clusters & doubles and moonwashed views of M3, M13 & M94. Nice to be out after all this cloud!
  6. Let's see... 1) 250mm f5 GSO Dob. (The "FLT" or "Fairly Large Telescope" - doesn't get enough use, all the bits purchased for a future refurb). 2) Tak FC 100 DC + FT focuser - a forever 'scope - a winner on contrast, star presentation, colour fidelity & sweetspot between aperture & portability. 3) Tak FS 60-Q f10 (also used in CB mode at f5.9 alongside the 4" above as the "Winchester Small Telescope Array" or "WSTA"). 4) ST80 + TS Optics 2" monorail focuser (whopping field, slightly retired due to FS60 purchase). 5) Towa "Topic" 339 80mm f15 (cracking 'scope but a bit long for my mounts, for sale in classifieds if anyone's interested...) 6) Clarkson 3" f15 (c.1909) "The Gentleman's Telescope" - a steampunk joy to use and an object of beauty. 7) Hilkin 60mm f13.3 (Also for sale) 8 ) Prinz 60mm f11.8 - an optical gem this one. (+ Various finders & bin's which I suppose are also telescopes. The Tak 6x30 finder would receive mention in dispatches here, often find myself lingering on it's crisp widefield views whilst orienting the main 'scope).
  7. Well first of all let’s hope it never comes to this conundrum… & secondly, phew! At least the exam question is limited to ‘scopes so I can keep my Canon IS 10x42s (which I already have a plan to designate to marine/wildlife use if push ever comes to shove over the level of Astro-clutter question). Other than that I would, predictably, plump for the 4” Tak (FC100 DC) for all the many reasons stated above. (Although if I couldn’t hang on to the bin’s the FS60 Q would be a strong contender as it doubles up as a widefield instrument).
  8. I was heading to bed but noticed the sky hereabouts looked really quite good - having taken a moderate helping of wine, I plumped for the Canon 10x42 IS rather than a ‘scope & enjoyed a super hour on a sun-lounger, pyjama and NorthFace clad. Meandered around a distinctly spring-like sky. Highlights were M13, Lyra generally but spotting M57 in AV. Rich fields through Cygnus for the first time this year, taking in M39 & picking up M29. A rewarding steady split of Alberio. Delighted to accidentally land on the coathanger asterism Tonight’s stand out view though would be Melotte 111, the Coma Star Cluster - a perfect wide field binocular object & really quite stunning.
  9. Haven’t been out for a while so it felt great to sneak in an hour and half out there with the baby-Tak, FS60 in CB mode with the two zooms - Baader 8-24mm and SV Bony 3-8mm. Transparency really quite poor and magnifying the local LP but still managed some rewarding views of clusters and easy doubles. Meandered around Orion, messy split of Rigel, nice view of the Trapezium (4) amidst slightly washed-out nebulosity, but even under these conditions still one of the best views in the sky. Pleiades, Beehive and Double Cluster never fail to delight. Dim views of M67, M35 through M38 - not the best but nice to know they’re out there… Looked at Algieba, Castor, Cor Caroli, Iota Cancri, Tegmine (as a double only, of course with a 60mm at 118x) and, the view I will think about as I nod off later, Beta Monoceros, a tiny but cleanly split triple system.
  10. It's a good thought, given the light weight of what I have running on the L-bracket (FS60CB) however its all nice and stable, it does look a bit "Heath-Robinson" but works well and I suspect that your practical 'scope customisation skills are a little above mine
  11. Great read @Stu thank you, & my kind of session! Work & other things been thwarting a little lately so great to get some vicarious enjoyment, have to say, much as I love checking in on "What did you see tonight?" I do love a longer form observing report!
  12. He brought an ADM Tak clamshell vixen bar. This is a beautifully engineered thing allowing me to run matchy-matchy Tak clamshell mounts on the AZGTiX for the FS60Q & FC100DC
  13. A short session early evening last night as I had to pack and prepare for a business trip today. Had the FC100 & FSQ side by side and a nice look at Jupiter showing tight detail and the GRS. Pleaides, Hyades, M44, M42 (still a bit low down) Castor, Alnitak - then a band of cloud rolled in. A nice “top-up” of views to remember in my week away. I also learned that it’s possible to thread the objective on the FS60 on back to front - views not recommended!
  14. Spent a nice hour out with the little Tak FS60 from midnight & just two zooms, Baader 8-24mm & SVBony 3-8mm. Aligned goto and hopped between whatever was popping out between cloud bands. Some lovely views of the Beehive, M35, Cor Caroli, Algieba, Mizar, Coma Cluster and an amazingly rewarding view of the Double Cluster given how far into the light extinction from neighbouring properties it had slipped. M3 was great with a hint of sparkle at 4mm (89x) in the SV Bony, Also enjoyed some dimmer views of M67, M36 and M94 - always nice to bag a galaxy from the garden even if there’s little detail available. A nice session then with the FS60 in f5.9 CB mode on a Manfrotto 55, being truly “grab and go”.
  15. looking forward to hearing how this all works out, should be a great rig! (may even be a couple of clear hours tonight in the South...)
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