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Surfer Chris

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Everything posted by Surfer Chris

  1. Thanks very much everyone. All of the replies above provide useful ideas. These replies have given me reassurance that my thoughts about using 2" on the scope side of the prism is the correct way to go. Yesterday afternoon I ordered a 2" Baader Clicklock, a 2" nose piece, and a 1.25" clicklock for the EP side of the prism. I hadn't even thought about the advantage of 2" on the scope side for better rigidity/clamping when binoviewing (which is something I might be keen on trying out in the future). Thanks @IB20 for your linked post above. I was guessing yesterday that after removing all of the threaded Tak adaptors and replacing with the single Baader 2" M56 clicklock, that my light path might be too short when using eyepieces in the prism. I am assuming I might need a bit of an extension to return the light path length back to what it is now. It might be that I try leaving the first threaded Tak coupling (arrowed blue in my post above), and mount the 2" clicklock onto this? This appears to be one solution indicated by Malcom in the post linked above. Or I might consider the More Blue Camera rotator that you are using @IB20. I guess Baader T2 extensions might also be something that could provide a cheap way of adjusting the length. The clicklock parts are due to arrive next Tuesday. So I will see how I get on with my EPs and assess how much (if any) focal extensions are required. Will post back once I have tested.
  2. This afternoon I purchased a Baader T2 Zeiss prism to try out with my FC76DCU & FC100DC scopes. I am keen to see how it compares optically against the Tak diagonal I currently use, and am particularly keen to see how much easier the Clicklock system is to use (especially with EP's that have undercuts). I just purchased the Baader prism alone today (no adaptors etc. yet). All of my EPs are 1.25", and I don't have any plans to get 2" EPs in the near future, so initially I was thinking of just getting the 1.25" T2 nosepiece (to fit on the scope side of the Baader prism), and a 1.25" clicklock adaptor to go on the EP side. However, I am wondering if there is merit in using a 2" clicklock on the scope side of the prism? Even though I will still be using the 1.25" clicklock adaptor on the EP side? Below is the current setup on the rear of my FC76DCU. Sometimes, I rotate the diagonal from the vertical position (for more comfortable viewing when seated), and quite often, when I do this I end up loosening one or more of the threaded adaptors currently on the scope. So, I am thinking that the larger diameters offered by a 2" clicklock adaptor on the scope side, might better resist the rotation forces when trying to adjust and position the diagonal from the vertical? Maybe I am wrong about this and should just stick with 1.25" nosepiece on scope side, and 1.25" clicklock on EP side to save cost? If I went for the 2" on the scope side, I assume it would be 2" clicklock M56 adaptor (Baader Part No 2956255), and 2" nosepiece (Baader Part No 2408150)? And I assume the 2" clicklock would screw directly onto the blue connector below, with the red, green & yellow connectors taken out of the system? Or would the blue connector go as well? Any thoughts or comments welcome and appreciated. Thanks, Chris
  3. New addition to the EP collection arrived this morning. Looking forward to seeing how it compares to the 3mm Delite.
  4. Funny you should mention a TOE. It was something that also just popped into my mind as yet another option shortly before pressing the button on a 3mm Delite. Thought I would grab a 3mm Delite whilst one was available and before Mars drifts too far away. Looks like I would have to wait a few weeks for a TOE. But now I am itching to try the TOE as well! I'd better work some more hours I guess!!!! I will see how I get on with the 3mm Delite, then perhaps decide which TOE to try. FYI - I am using the Scopetech Alt-Az mount (manual tracking), so I thought the 62 Deg FOV in the Delite might offer slight advantage over the TOE? But I guess ultimately only one way to find out. Do you currently use Takahashi TOE's?
  5. A 3-6mm zoom was another option I had also considered (always so many different options!). The 'new' price put me off a little though (at this moment in time at least). I do like the lightweight nature of the Delites I currently have (they go well with the 76DCU). Find them very comfortable to use. I think the 3-6mm zoom will be one I have to keep an eye out for on ABS. But I suspect Mars might be well gone before I see a second hand one appear.
  6. Was out with my FC76DCU night before last. The seeing forecast wasn't great, so I took the 76DCU grab & go setup out expecting a quick 10 min session. However, the views were actually great looking through my 4mm Delite eyepiece so I ended up staying out for over an hour. Jupiter showed much more detail than I am used to seeing, with a more vivid brown colouration to the belts than normal. Three belts and both polar regions clearly visible on Jupiter, and the planet had an almost 3D spherical look to it rather than just appearing as a flat white disk. Mars also looked great compared to what I have seen over the last several weeks. Great colours, albedo features visible, and I could just make out a white speck of a polar cap - something new to me. To top it all off, I even had my 8 year old daughter sat outside with me taking a keen interest for the entire hour despite the freezing conditions (that's her sat at the scope below). After that session, I thought to myself that I could have possibly tried a little more magnification as the views were pretty steady and clear (and Mars was looking quite small). Initially was thinking I should get a 2.5x (1.25") Powermate to use with my existing range of eyepieces. I was forgetting that there is actually a 3mm Delite available which I could add to my collection. I think the 3mm Delite makes more sense, as I think I prefer the idea of not adding weight and stacking extra components out of the diagonal. But I am also wondering if there might be occasional instances where I will want even more magnification than provided by the 3mm Delite, in which case perhaps it makes more sense to use a Powermate with my existing range of eyepieces? Perhaps the Powermate is a better option for more flexibility? Just wondering what other people would opt for? I can't really justify splashing out on both at the moment, but want to get some good views of Mars before it disappears for a while. The 3mm Delite should give 190x magnification in the FC6DCU & 246x in the FC100DC. I am not sure if it is realistic to expect to be able to go much past those magnifications? As always, any feedback appreciated.
  7. Thanks Patrick. I think I should probably get a finderscope ordered today. I kind of managed through without one on the FS60, using the Baader Zoom on low power to find my targets. But that wasn't ideal and took a little patience sometimes. I just kept forgetting to get a finderscope ordered. Just took a look at your blog - looking forward to seeing some images from your new scope!
  8. I should have told the wife this! Although she was more annoyed that I sold the FS60CB rather than the fact that I secretly bought a new scope! And my daughter even told me I was a 'bad telescope owner' - for selling Tiny Tak. Yes apparently the Napoli dropped a container full of Takahashi gear back in 2007. Scopes still washing up on the shoreline - I found this 76DCU not too far from Branscombe yesterday.
  9. Postman didn't actually bring this - I collected it yesterday afternoon whilst popping out for a quick Friday afternoon surf. Decided I wanted to go a little bigger for my grab & go set-up, so treated myself to a nice new Tak.
  10. Which Tak did you have out Stu? I took the FS-60Q out to have a quick look at the moon last night. I was trying to spot the Plato craterlets, but despite the image looking nice and crisp, I could only every now and then just about see the white ejecta marks of the central craterlet (using the 7mm Delite). I also took a look at the Trapezium in M42. I think I was hoping I might spot E or F...but think that's being a bit ambitious!!!! Maybe save that one for the FC-100DC.
  11. Nice shots of the moon in the posts above! I also had a go with my i-phone 7 simply held over the eyepiece of the new FS-60 (in CB mode) on Saturday night. I didn't think the shot was too bad actually, considering I wasn't using a phone holder, and the wind was buffeting me around a bit. Not quite on par with the moon shots above though. That was taken using a 5mm BST Starguider (which seemed to be easier to use with the i-phone compared to the Delite or Morpheus eyepieces).
  12. This is my poor attempt at a sketch of what I see.... Its very hard to draw freehand concentric circles!!!
  13. So I figured I would try an indoor artificial star test. Just grabbed a bright LED hand torch, put a bit of foil over the front and used a pin to make a very small hole in the foil. Have positioned the torch in our bathroom, and have a line of sight through the property of around 10-12m. Using this crude set-up, I am getting pretty much identical results to what I saw last night. But I am now able to review using a more critical eye. So the clearly defined rings are visible inside of focus. And actually, the outer edge of the discs probably are not any sharper than the images you provided Neil. I was hoping & trying to get a picture through my phone but no luck. Outside of focus, there is an outer ring visible, and in fact looking closely there are other inner rings just visible inside the outer ring. But the inner rings soon bunch up and are very faint - so at a quick glance gives the appearance of a uniform disc without definite ring structure. I think it looks a lot like the first image below which I have lifted from the internet (although my disc is more uniform right in the centre). Inside of focus the rings are very defined and clear. The relative difference in contrast of the rings is something like the image below (which was actually taken through a FC-100DF lifted from cloudy nights). But the spacing of the rings makes my weak side look more like the image above, because the rings are bunched up towards the outer edge of the disc. In my discs, the first 4-5 rings that are clearly visible (inside of focus) probably extend only as far as the first 20-25% of the radius depth (whereas below I would say the first 4-5 rings extend for maybe 60% of the radius depth). Although the rings are showing faint outside of focus, I guess they do appear to have the same positioning inside and outside of focus (i.e. both bunched up towards outer edge). I had the same effect with both the Baader MkIV Zoom, 4.5mm Morpheus and the 4mm Delite. Will get the scope out again as soon as possible and try to put it against some test targets.
  14. Thanks for the feedback everybody. Was feeling a little negative about the scope last night. But from the comments above, seems like I maybe just need to focus on 'in focus' performance rather than worry too much about the 'out of focus' patterns. Looking at the two images you have posted Neil, I think both of my discs had a crisper edge to them (if that means anything?). And on my scope, for the side missing the 'distinct' rings, there was in fact perhaps just the faintest trace of rings visible (but they were almost not visible). That faintest trace was probably just the outer ring. I need to repeat the test to check again, but as per comments above, I will wait for better seeing, leave the scope a good 30 minutes to properly stabilise, and use a target higher in the sky. I did some daytime testing yesterday, looking across at small branches silhouetted against a bright sky. The trees are fairly close (around 30m or so away). There was a definite green tinge to the branches one side of focus, and a magenta tinge the other. But I believe this is fairly typical of this f/5.9 scope. Interestingly today, I cannot detect any signs of colour at all either side of focus - although it is overcast & raining today and I am looking though a double glazed window (so the sky is not so bright). Yesterday, I also thought I could detect a faint purple tinge around the edge of the view, even when the centre appeared focused and colour free. It was just around the very edge of the view. I put this down to the field curvature that again is typical to using a f/5.9, and am thinking that perhaps my eyes are just quite sensitive to it. Again that was using the Baader MKIV zoom. I should add that it was windy yesterday (as it is today) which means the branches were swaying in the wind (not at all ideal for such a close target focus test). So need to check this out properly when conditions are more stable. Yesterday evening I did manage to get a brief look at the moon (using the same zoom eyepiece), and actually the image was pretty good. Craters clearly defined and crisp, good contrast (white moon against black sky), no colour visible in craters, and just the slightest hint of yellow around the limb. So that was actually a good result, considering the moon was fairly low at that stage too and the seeing wasn't great (it was around 8pm). Quite impressed with the resolution this 60mm scope was showing. Although the weather forecast is looing like cloud/rain for most of the following week, it is now showing some potential breaks tonight. So I may be able to get out for a quick look between clouds this evening. But the seeing forecast is not good. Does anybody have any suggestions for tests I could use to help evaluate the 'in focus' performance of this scope?
  15. Hi Mike. Thanks for replying. The scope hadn't been out that long to be honest...probably only 15 minutes or so. So there's a good chance it hadn't fully acclimatised I guess. And the seeing isn't that great here this evening. I would pop it back outside and leave it to stabilise for a while longer, but the clouds have rolled in now. And just checked the forecast, and it's a week of cloud/rain ahead! Hoping this isn't anything that will be too detrimental to the views through this scope, but not sure how to thoroughly test/evaluate it. Going to have to do some reading up on the subject I guess. Being a Tak, I was kind of expecting it to readily show these clear defined rings either side of focus just like the FC-100DC.
  16. I have just been out for a very quick session with the FS-60 in CB (f/5.9) mode. Pointed the scope at Rigel with a Baader MKIV zoom (and Tak prism diagonal), and thought I would check out the patterns inside and outside of focus. With my FC-100DC, I recall seeing well defined perfectly circular & concentric rings either side of focus. However, with the FC-60 I have recently purchased, I see similar clearly defined concentric rings on one side, but not so on the other. On the other side of focus, I see a perfectly circular uniform coloured disc without any rings clearly visible? Just wondering how this compares with others peoples experience with this scope? I even swapped the eyepiece over to a 24 Panoptic and got the same result. Stars appear pin-point and sharp with both eyepieces.
  17. I have taken the tube in and out of the cradle a couple of times today, and as a result the felt must be compressing slightly. Gap down to 10mm now. I also popped the extender out earlier to check the difference between f/5.9 & f/10. Only looking at twigs and pine needles on the trees opposite, but I would say even with my unexperienced eye, there is an improvement in sharpness with the extender in place. Only took it up to 75x using the zoom EP, but no hint of colour on the outline of the small twigs against the sky so hoping that's a good sign. Nice scope too Dean!
  18. Thanks all. It isn't bothering me too much. I have fired an e-mail to Takahashi Europe, might send one in to FLO too. I don't think its suddenly going to let go. And I wonder if the felt might compress a little given time. I think the screw could still be a bit longer though to provide near full engagement through the nut. Will see what they come back with - maybe the other cradle option (with foot) is generally a better fit? Waiting for the clouds to clear off now.
  19. Yes the felt does look thicker on mine. I have jiggled the hinge-links a little but not really helped. I am guessing they use the same casting patterns for each cradle (of a particular model), so must just be the felt.
  20. Has anybody else noticed that when you initially put the Tak cradles around the tube, and tighten the thumb screw, it seems like the screw could do with being a little bit longer? Just assembled the cradle and it looks like the two halves need to come in closer together (and there is only about 5-6mm of thread engaged into the thumb nut). I am reluctant to tighten the cradle hard up - for fear of damaging something. I wonder if the screw thread length caters for the fact that over time the felt compresses, and then the two hales will naturally close up to one another? I think there is enough thread engagement present to keep everything secure - but would hate to think of that cradle popping open one day!!!
  21. That will be a nice early Xmas present for you. I took the plunge and changed my order from the FS-60CB to the FS-60Q, as I knew I would be itching to try both CB & Q options out as soon as possible, and was getting concerned that the latest Covid situation might cause delays in new CQ extenders getting through to the UK. Plus, thought it would be nice to have a play with the full Q scope over the holiday period. It's such a light package - just what I was after for a grab & go. I didn't come with a red badge though! More of a blue/purple?
  22. I have only just seen your post KP82, but thanks for the suggestion. I thought triplets were mostly used for imaging though? Anyway, its a little too late now, as picked something up this afternoon...
  23. Yes same here in Dorset. I knew the jet stream forecast wasn't great so wasn't expecting too much. Looking out of the window it looked nice and clear. But when I went outside in the garden with my bright head torch on to check things out at around 7pm, I noticed a lot of very fine particles floating around in the light beam in a way I have not noticed before. Presumably these were fine moisture droplets. Without the torch though, it looked nice and clear, and I wouldn't have thought the fine droplets would have been there to the extent they were (as the ground seemed so dry). Anyway, I guessed this would probably affect the transparency quite badly, so decided not to take the scopes out. I also didn't want the scope objective exposed to these particles floating around. In the end, I just settled on sitting outside with the binoculars for half an hour. Will use my head torch to check the air in the same way in the future I think.
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