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Everything posted by ajg

  1. There have been some rumours that they'll change to a tapered barrel design rather than their normal undercut. I hope so - those things always seem to snag with a focuser which uses a brass compression ring ...
  2. The stars should resolve to pinpoints if everything is correct. Check that your laser collimator is correctly collimated - easiest way to do this is not to tighten the focuser all the way down on it, then rotate the collimator. If the beam moves around on the primary, the laser is not collimated, so you'll never be able to align the optics with it. To do the collimation right, you need to go through several stages: 1) Secondary alignment with focuser Ideally you need a sight tube for this because the laser is no good for this stage. Basically you are ensuring that the secondary (diagonal) is centred under the focuser, and centred within the OTA. 2) Secondary alignment with primary Now using the laser, adjust the secondary so the beam lands in the middle of the centre spot on the primary. It's worth checking that the centre spot actually does mark the centre. There have been a few scopes where the marker has been misplaced ... 3) Primary Once the secondary is centred and aligned, it's a simple matter to adjust the primary until the return path of the beam lines up precisely with the outgoing path. You can go to the nth degree with collimation, ensuring that everything is spot on, but with a truss dob, it's pretty futile as the alignment will wander slightly every time you set it up. There's a good post on CloudyNights all about collimation.
  3. Unfortunately, "Turn left" only has a small section on southern hemisphere objects, but you should get some excellent views of the LMC, SMC, Omega Centauri, Eta Carinae, and a good load more.
  4. That's an awesome first scope you have there! A dob is about the most straightforward design you can buy. Set it up, wait a bit for it to cool down, then point it at the sky. It's that easy. Now all you need to understand how to find the more interesting objects. I'm sure others will be along with alternative recommendations, but I use Stellarium and Turn Left at Orion.
  5. I'm looking at putting mine on an EQ6, but an EQ5 should be fine for the weight of the scope + a few accessories. Just having a read, it looks like the Astro-Tech 8" could use some heavier springs on the collimation knobs - another thing to add to my shopping list ...
  6. Beginners' evening tomorrow (Monday) night starting at 19:45. Adult entry fee is £3, under 18s is £1 (for non-members). The topic is "Orbits".
  7. If it's the Altair 8" Imaging Newt, then I have one, unfortunately, I've never used it because I don't have a mount to put it on ...yet! It does seem like a pretty well put together piece of kit. The Focuser is a dual-speed crayford by GSO, and that's nice. Collimation and adjustment knobs on the primary mirror - I would recommend replacing the allen screws on the secondary with Bob's knobs. If you Google for "Astro-Tech 8" Imaging Newtonian", it's essentially the same scope so you should find more information to set your mind at ease. I'll tell you what ... Linky
  8. You'll like that 2 speed crayford. They are nice. Sounds like a great setup! Hope you get some clear skies soon ...
  9. I picked up a very nice 6" SkyWatcher dob for £150 s/h a couple of years ago. It's a nice scope with a slower focal ratio than most dobs, so it's very forgiving of cheaper eyepieces. As has already been said, there's bargains to be had out there! Keep your eye on the for-sale section here on SPF, fleabay, astrobuysell, SPA classifieds ... there are others too. Be careful though. Ask as many questions of the seller as you like. If anything feels like it isn't right, walk away.
  10. Another vote for the variable polariser. There's a bonus if you have a scope with a diagonal. You thread one part onto the barrel of the diagonal, and the other part onto the eyepiece. You can then adjust the amount of filtering by rotating the eyepiece in the diagonal.
  11. My old Meade Lightbridge 16" - it's a big 'un! Sadly, not mine anymore ...
  12. That's the £19.99 "Flight Case with Foam" Flight Case with Foam : Flight Rugged Cases : Maplin
  13. Had a good night with Sheffield AS on Saturday 12th Feb - the skies stayed relatively clear - lots of observing with a lot of visitors. Unfortunately, due to their budget cuts, Sheffield council are looking to close the Mayfield building where Sheffield AS are based. If you're a Sheffield resident, please contact your MP, councillors, newspapers, etc. to try and prevent this from happening. Sheffield Astronomical Society
  14. Mine arrived today. The foam is much better than the Jessops case. Very happy.
  15. Heh! It's just of the Headrow in Leeds - it'll cost me 10x more than it's worth just to park!
  16. Collect from store is the only option they have on the foam. No stock at Sheffield Meadowhall, or anywhere within a reasonable distance.
  17. I already tried. It's on their site, but they have no stock.
  18. Thanks for the heads up! I've been looking for some replacement foam for my old Jessops cases, but these are cheaper than the replacement foam. It's annoying, but what do you do?
  19. I'm the wrong person to ask about Barlows, but I'll stick my £0.02 in ... Celestron Ultima has always had good writeups. AFAIK the Orion 2x Shorty Plus is exactly the same item with a different label on it.
  20. Seconded on the 24mm and the 8mm Hyperion.
  21. Weirdness. Ah well, each to his own! Good ideas WRT anti-dewing arrangements - I'll look into it! Some Google-fu also discovered this
  22. Title about sums it up. After soliciting recommendations on here, I picked up a Telrad and a 4" riser from Altair Astro. The recommendations were spot-on. It's a great piece of kit. Dead easy and comfortable to use.
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