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About Basementboy

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    Camberwell, south London

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  1. Ideally I'd be looking for roughly the same price neighbourhood as the £30 Chinese ones on Amazon - I figured I might as well see if someone in the community has one first! I'm based in London. Thanks!
  2. They were great. The whole night was great. In fact, I'm heading back out to test out your monopod idea!
  3. Just to wade in late here – as a newbie who used binoculars for the first time (in a serious way) last night, I can say that I was definitely very glad I had a tripod. I couldn't really hold my 10x50 binoculars steady with my hands alone. It might have been different if I was lying on my back, or in a very stable reclining chair. But I'd advice getting that monopod, at least. Maybe with practice it gets easier, but I personally wouldn't have wanted to practice if all I could see was a wobbly blur. However, with the smaller binoculars you've bought @technocat, you might be OK. A mono
  4. Hi – just wanted to let all of you who helped me in this, my original thread, know that, following some good advice, I have started with a pair of binoculars ... and had a terrific night of London stargazing last night. I'm sure the clear conditions and full moon helped, but hey, if the fruit machine didn't pay out early then it would never hook the punters, right? I wrote a few notes about it in the second thread that I started earlier this week – below in case of interest. But just wanted to say thanks everyone Chris
  5. You've all been so helpful, I thought I'd let you know what I saw last night using my first instrument – a pair of binoculars, sold to me by @Tiny Clanger for a song. Wow! Binoculars! Saw the full moon as a sphere in space with what I guess are small mountain ranges or ridges along the bottom edge. Found Polaris, Sirius, Orion (of course) and a few other bright stars whose names I forget. Realised how red Mars is. And then ... up to the Pleiades! What a thrill being able to see something through the binoculars that you can't see with the naked eye. The moon was actually so bright tha
  6. Do you mean that's because the advantage it offers over an achromatic is primarily in terms of better astrophotography?
  7. Thanks! The 102 is juuuuust at the top of my price range (accounting for all the accessories), currently 499 at Altair. And yeah I think I'd need an AZ5 w steel tripod so a good 10kg plus scope and other stuff (as you so rightly mention, not to mention extra clothes etc) - 20kg? That's doable in a backpack. But I'd have to carry the mount. Is the reason you say you'd be tempted to go for the 80 mainly just because of the awkwardness of the 102+mount? Or the weight? Or both?
  8. I've been thinking that, yes! But I also quite like the idea of what you say you do ... hunting around just to find anything and everything. GoTo seems cool but a bit like ..... cheating ..... ? I can't help but think that if you struggle with DSO even in Bortle 5 skies, then I'm going to flail in Bortle-9 and might be best off giving up and going planetary for now
  9. Could be! I think 75cm is too long, though – for that I might as well be going whole hog on the 100 ED doublet. But I hear you on price. Wary of splashing out before I know what's what about what. What are your skies like in Norfolk? London really is quite washed out, although my chosen park location – on top of the Burgess Park hill – is about as far from street lights and houses as it's possible to be here. But I'm thinking DSOs might just not work for me in the city. So I'm starting to think to focus on planetary – in which case yep, a Mak!
  10. Did not know that. Stellarium Plus feature, I assume? Thanks for the tip I like this idea. Also the idea of getting a 127 Mak, and more or less sacrificing DSOs, which I likely wouldn't be able to see well anyway. Might as well do what I can in London, as well as I can, without trying to force it. I could always pick up a cheap ST80 later/as well, to see what it's like – though I get the feeling it wouldn't do planetary OR widefield well in London skies. And I do like the portability option of a Mak, and the fact that I assume it will be pretty great on moon/planets. H
  11. Thanks! Yeah, I know even experienced astronomers love their ST80s, but I fear I'll miss something of the wow factor. The Altair 80ED and 102ED have a focal length of 560mm and 714mm, respectively. I guess that's what I'm wondering: How big a jump is it from a 560mm 3" frac to a 714mm 4" frac? Is it nearly twice as good (as 63% more light would suggest)?
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