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ajg

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Everything posted by ajg

  1. There's an event this evening. SAS | Sheffield Astronomical Society | details of our latest meetings and events Auntie Beeb is forecasting clear skies. BBC Weather | S10 Subject to any other events overtaking me, I'll more than likely head over.
  2. Well I managed to sneak a few minutes this evening, although I nearly got caught out when a big raincloud came over and chucked it down for a while. So ... I'll summarise. WOW! Just ... WOW! These things are astonishing. Everything is easy (although the telrad helps ...) The clarity and field of view blow your socks off. Orion nebula was the best I've ever seen it, including through my old 16" lightbridge. Double cluster and bode's nebula fitted comfortably in the FoV of the 30mm. It's getting very cold and breezy now, and I have an early start tomorrow, so I've called it a night. I don't know if you can tell, but I really am very pleased with these new eyepieces ... I'll do a proper report when weather and work allow me to spend a few hours with them.
  3. Here they are! My old 42mm GSO SuperView on the left, the Mark 3 Hyperion Zoom on the right and a coke can to scale. Each eyepiece came in it's own box, well packaged internally, measuring 160x190x155mm in matt black. Each eyepiece is supplied with a barrel and eye-lens cap. Nothing whizzy, just very functional. These beasties are heavy: 30mm 82° weighs in at 1030g20mm 100° is 968g14mm 100° is 872g9mm 100° is 657gThey feel very substantial and well built. I'm already a fan of the tapered barrel arrangement. No problems threading any of my filters onto any of the eyepieces. The glass looks gorgeous, although I've not had the opportunity to take them out to play yet, and according to Auntie Beeb, it's looking unlikely for at least the next week, so a first light report is going to have to wait.
  4. CC has gone into hiding ... Auntie Beeb is claiming clear skies on Tuesday night ... and I have an early train to catch on Wednesday Law of sod 'n' all ...
  5. Credit card is currently cowering in the corner Ordered: Explore Scientific 100° 9mm 14mm and 20mmExplore Scientific 82° 30mmShould be arriving on Monday! Expecting the clouds to roll over on Sunday evening and remain for several weeks ...
  6. From the threads I've seen on this, I think some are picking it apart a little too much. You're average SGLer is not the target audience for this show. Personally, I found it entertaining, but lightweight. If it was more in depth, the likes of which SGLers would really go for, it would sail way over the heads of the vast majority of people, and they'd lose interest quickly. If this show makes a few more people get off their bottoms and look to expand their horizons a little, then that can only ever be a good thing. More please Auntie Beeb!
  7. Easy. Celestron 15x70 binos when FLO had them on offer for £49.
  8. I'm appalled. At this time of year, from the UK it's within 30 degrees of the zenith at ~8pm. You don't get a better view of it than at this time of year! I would recommend a book to get you going ... Turn Left at Orion: A Hundred Night Sky Objects to See in a Small Telescope - and How to Find Them: Amazon.co.uk: Guy Consolmagno, Dan M. Davis: Books ... which is a great reference of some of the best objects up there, with easy to follow instructions on how to find them. Stellarium is a great tool and I use it a lot, but (IMO) that book is the best reference to get you started.
  9. Ordered the Telrad, an additonal base and the 4" riser from Altair.
  10. Maybe "Ugly" is too harsh a word, but it certainly ain't pretty So, the concensus is definetely Telrad! RVO don't have any stock at the mo, so I'll have to scour Google for an alternative supplier. Cheers,
  11. Hmmm ... I want to replace the stock RA finder on my newshiny 300P flextube with a red dot thingy and a green laser. I already have a laser, but they're next to useless in these temperatures. The GSO one on the Lightbridge was OK, but a total pain in the rear to collimate - tiny allen keys in the dark aren't a recipe for success! So ... 1) Telrad - Reasonably cheap. - Big & Ugly - Concentric ring indicators at 0.5, 2 and 4 degrees. - Heavy. - Possible tricky eye placement close to the OTA. 2) Rigel Quickfinder - Reasonably cheap. - Tall & Ugly. - Nasty plasticky. - Concentric ring indicators at 0.5 and 2 degrees. - Lightweight. - Tall housing makes easy eye placement. 3) Baader Sky Surfer V - Expensive - Great build quality - No concentric ring indicators. - Heavy. I'm currently falling in the direction of the Rigel, unless anybody can add anything to my analysis which would sway me in a different direction ... Cheers,
  12. Merry Christmas everybody! I picked up a shiny new 300P from RVO on Christmas Eve. I already hate the focuser. I had the dual-speed GSO on the LB16 which I liked. My requirements are: - Straightforward 2" focuser with no adapters. All my EPs are (and will be ) 2". - Brass compression ring. - Dual speed. I guess that leaves me with a couple of options: 1) SkyWatcher dual-speed crayford - looks OK, but I can't seem to find out if it has the brass compression ring. There also seems to be two versions - the normal one and the "low profile" one. 2) Moonlite. I suppose there's a third option of: 3) Anything I've missed that isn't megabucks?
  13. Take a look at the local Astronomical Society. Not far from you at all. Sheffield Astronomical Society
  14. Arrived today. These are a very nice pair of binos. I'm dead chuffed with 'em!
  15. I recently sold my 16" lightbridge, and I'm looking for something a little more manageable - the 16 was just slightly too cumbersome. Top of my list is the Skywatcher Flextube 300 or 350. The key thing for me is the base size. I have no more than 27.5" (70cm) clearance to manoeuvre it through the house - I got away with the LB because I could tip it on it's side and roll it along. I'm not interested in the GOTO or tracking, just the plain ol' dob. Does anybody have the measurements? TIA
  16. Looks like they're still available. I think I'll order a set of these tomorrow ...
  17. For real? The 16" lightbridge base diameter is 31.5", and that is *huge*. The base on the XX14i is 28.5" according to Orion.
  18. Just had another thought - given that funds are tight, have a look at the Skywatcher Heritage 130P. I bought one of these for my father's birthday last year, and it's a lovely little scope for the money. Easy to store, good optics, focuser is a little poor, but it's less than £130 new and delivered.
  19. Sorry to hear that. Everything seems to be so hard these days. Things will get better, I just hope we've already hit the bottom of the trough and started to climb out of it. SAS next Solday is on the 17th. I went a couple of months ago and spent a couple of hours chatting and looking at the sun (which had unfortunately decided to be boring). They had 3 solar scopes and a projector set up, so there was plenty of opportunity to have a good look. Nice bunch of people. I need to get out there more often. I managed to pick up one of those 6" dobsonians from eBay for £150 as a birthday present for a friend. Collected it in person from Dronfield. Just be careful with 2nd hand kit - as has been said before, there are some lemons out there.
  20. Generally, I always recommend a 6-8" dob as a first scope. I like the SkyWatcher 6" as it has quite a slow focal ratio so you can use cheaper eyepieces too. TELESCOPE SUPPLIERS - SKY-WATCHER TELESCOPE Not expensive at around £200, although I would recommend some better eyepieces than one ones that come with it, but they can be added later as funds allow. I've not tried them personally, but I really like the look of the Astro Tech Paradigm eyepieces, and I believe they would work very well with this scope.
  21. It's a great idea, but I have no data on it, and I suspect that no data would be forthcoming, or at least not enough to make it useful. It's more to do with the design of the eyepiece than anything else. I would suspect that only premium manufacturers - TeleVue, Pentax, Vernonscope, Burgess, Baader, some of the higher quality Meade and Celestron gear would be interested in releasing this information. Given the sparse information most of these guys already issue (Meade and Baader, I'm lookin' at YOU!), it's going to be very tough to get anything out of anybody but TeleVue. Lower quality stuff, and I rekon they would much rather stick with non-specific marketingisms rather than hard facts.
  22. I've now added the zoom eyepieces. To avoid confusion, they are located at the bottom of the eyepiece list. http://scopecalc.grid-itc.com
  23. Should we worry? I thought the doom-mongers were all out for 2012? Perhaps they postponed it ...
  24. Hi Brian, From unhappy experience (and this is going back a few of years) ... Calculate the import duty for "Astronomical equipment and accessories (excluding radio astronomy); parts and accessories" - the TARIC code is "9005900000", currently charged at 4.2% from the USA. Add whatever customs clearance and delivery charges (Royal Mail will charge an additional £8 for the privilege of handling the imported package and duty paid). Then add VAT at 17.5% (you get charged VAT on the total amount, including the delivery charges, whatever the carrier charged for handling and the import duty- yes, they tax your tax!) That should get you pretty close, but it's a minefield and it still might not be right ... have a look at http://www.ukimports.org/how_to_calculate_uk_import_duty_vat.html
  25. Interesting idea. Would have to base it on the CCD chip in each camera. I'll add it to the "to do" list along with adding the zoom eyepieces which I haven't touched yet.
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