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Monmouth3817

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About Monmouth3817

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    Nebula

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    Nottingham, UK
  1. Hello there, I had the very same issue. Take a look at SCS Astro's website and search for "Orion Dual Finder Scope Mounting Bracket 10145". I've just purchased one of these to use with my Equinox 120 (and Equinox 80). I'll be using it with my normal finderscope and an Orion 50mm guidescope. Not had the chance to use it though yet. To be honest, it isn't cheap for what it is, but looks like it will do the job. Cheers Monmouth3817
  2. Yes, that link to the SCS Astro website shows the same finder-guider I've got - in fact, I purchased mine from them. If you go for the Equinox 80 you'd be advised to purchase a flat field corrector - I got one from FLO some time back and it certainly helps. I attach a QHY5 guide camera to the guider and use PHD. By the way, I'm using an EQ6 (with goto retro-fitted). Cheers Monmouth3817
  3. I've got an Equinox 80, and it is quite a small telescope (in length) compared to other 80mm scopes out there. You should be able to attach both refractors side by side or on top of each other using mounting hardware that is available from various astro supplier. Personally, I found it a lot easier to buy one of those Orion (USA) finder-guider scopes, which I find is great.
  4. Hi, I've just bought several EQ6 knobs from FLO, so I am sure they can get hold of the knobs for the HEQ5. I don't think Skywatcher make individual parts available, but some second-hand ones might be obtainable. Cheers Monmouth3817
  5. Thanks Astro_Baby for your very useful info. I'll take a look at the mount this weekend and see what I come up with. I've already got some metric allen keys, so I'll have another go at the mount after re-reading your pages about the EQ6. I may take you up on the offer of the clutch lever, but I've got a mate who may be able to do something for me. If not, I'll come back to you. Cheers Monmouth3817
  6. Hello all, Last Saturday morning while setting up my scope for our local society’s Open Day, I had the misfortune of my EQ6 Pro head tip off its tripod base and hit the concrete ground, complete with one counterweight – lucky no scope fitted! This was caused by one of the tripod legs not being tighten up correctly, and the centre tripod bolt not being secured as well as I thought. The weight of the head collapsed the north facing tripod leg by about an inch and the resulting momentum allowed the head to fall forward and off. I normally have a strict protocol when it comes to setting up the mount/telescope, but this time I just forgot to tighten things up correctly- Doh! Please don’t make the same mistake. The tripod was sitting at almost its lowest setting, but that’s still a good two and a bit feet off the ground. Anyway, after a few swear words later, the only damage was scuffed paint to the counterweight, a half snapped DEC knob (though this is still useable) and a few paint scrapes on the head and on the motor caps (those little black/bronze colour discs near the motors. Luckily it fell onto the side which didn’t have the power or hand controller sockets. After licking my actual and mental wounds I re-mounted it I was surprised to find that the mount worked fine all day long. The motors sounded exactly like before and the control unit worked ok with no problems. Later I took some time to look at the head to see what possible damage there could be. Here’s what I found, and any feedback would be great. 1): When the RA knob is locked (fully on) I can physically move the mount in RA back and forth, probably about two or three millimetres – I’ve not measured it exactly but this wobble is more than what it had been before – I assume this is backlash. When I point at an object, and then press the RA button on the handset, there is a short delay before it moves – about a second or two - again this delay is greater than it had been before. I’ve not had an opportunity to try and autoguide with the mount yet so to ascertain if there are any issues there. 2): The stainless steel counterweight bar wobbles ever so slightly when it is locked in its extended position (and with no weight attached). This didn’t happen before. 3): The cone like collar at the bottom of the DEC shaft (where the counterweight bar can be stored in is also slightly wobbly. Maybe the stress of the impact has dislodged the grub screws. However, when I looked inside the holes with a torch to look at the grub screws I couldn’t see what size allan key I’d need – anyone know what size? I tried using some sizes I thought were correct, but couldn't get anything to budge. With the mount being quite old (2001 vintage), perhaps different types of screws were used than what’s used now, I’ve had a look at AstroBaby’s website regarding stripping/maintence of the EQ6, but before doing anything rash, and making things worse, I’d love to hear what others think I should do. I’ve had this black coloured EQ6 since September 2001 and it amazes me just how rugged they are, even after this recent mishap. I upgraded it to GOTO in 2008, and it has been a great workhorse with my telescopes – I suppose it’s the astronomical equivalent of the proverbial brick toilet. Regards Monmouth3817
  7. Hello All, Throughout June the Ilkeston & District AS are holding their Summer Astronomy Display at the Visitor Centre, Shipley Country Park, Slack Lane, Heanor, Derbyshire. This year, besides our static display we’ll also be holding two Open Days; taking place on Saturday June 1st and Saturday June 29th. Doors open from around 10:30am until 4pm. Admission is free, but there are pay & display parking charges at the Visitor Centre. We’ll have a selection of member’s telescopes on show, a gallery of updated drawings and photographs, and several automated powerpoint presentations going on throughout the day. We also hope to do some solar observing in the Centre’s Courtyard – though this is weather dependent! We also hope to have a Childrens’ Star Trail, but this has yet to be confirmed by the person who normally organises it. These Open Days are pretty informal affairs, and members will be on hand to chat about astronomy and give friendly advice. Please note that this event does not include any evening observing on this occasion – should still be a good though. Regards Monmouth3817
  8. Hello All, Here are details of our Stargazing Live event, being held this Friday:- Friday January 11th (7pm start): Free Observing Night & Exhibition at Erewash Museum, High Street, Ilkeston, Derbyshire DE7 5JA. IDAS members will be showing off the night sky (weather permitting!) with a range of telescopes. There will be various presentations, along with a display of member’s drawings and photographs. Refreshments are being organised by the Friends of Erewash Museum. Regards Monmouth3817
  9. Just bought a Pentax K5 ii to go with my faithful Pentax K10 (127,000 shots and counting!). Considering I have invested in lots of Pentax k-mount lenses and accessories over the years, there's no way I was going to junk the whole lot and start from stratch again. However, if I was starting over, I think Canon would be the way to go - quite a few members of the local Society I'm in say good things about them. If I'm in a retro mood I'll use my Hasselblad 503CW and a roll of 120 Kodak Elitle Chrome 200iso slide film that I've got - though this only seems to come out for special occations like the Equinox Sky Camp etc. Cheers Monmouth3817
  10. What a fantastic shot!! I think your video is also superb. I assume you used some sort of motorised linear rail to get the tracking shot. What this a home-made affair, or a ready-made set-up. Cheers Monmouth3817
  11. I bought one of these Scope Coats from Greenwich just in time for the recent Equinox Sky Camp, and it was well worth the investment. It fitted my SW Equinox 120 and EQ6 Pro without a problem. The mount and scope was left on the pitch, and was kept covered up until I needed to use it. The equipment was out in the "open" for six days, and everything was fine, with no leaks or dampness. If you have the legs of the EQ6 tripod fully extended, then the coat will only cover down to just above the tripod locking handles. The bottom part of the legs will be left exposed, but considering these are stainless steel, a little rain shouldn't cause a problem. As other people have said, you can probably find cheaper options by using a BBQ cover (places like Argos should have something). However, I was recommended the Greenwich cover by several members of my local society (Ilkeston & District AS), so I took their advice. Regards Monmouth3817
  12. Here on the Nottingham/Derby border, I've got cloud with slightly clear patches - though there's hazy cloud mixed up amongst the clear patches! Any aurora would have to be pretty bright to detect from here. I've already set up my camera, and it's currently snapping away 25s exposures (at 400sio). Unlikely it'll capature anything, but here's hoping.
  13. I thought I'd put in my 1p worth of wisdom on the issue of equipment cost. 1): Decent astro equipment has never ever been cheap, as others have said, it's a supply & demand thing. 2): To be honest, people do not actually realise that astro equipment today (in real terms) is much cheaper than it has ever been. For example, looking through my Fullerscopes catalogue (dated around 1981), their "Export Edition" six inch f/6 reflector set up on a nice Mk3 equatorial mount would set you back about £680 - and that's in 1981 money terms. You can still get a lot of telescope for £680 these days. One thing to say, is that in 1981 you could probably count the number of UK astro dealers on one hand. We do have more places to buy from now than 30 years ago, so more chance of haggling a discount. That's it for now - I'll get my coat
  14. Hello Everyone, Just to let you all know that our Society’s 30th Birthday Astronomy Convention will be held on Saturday May 7th 2011. The venue is the Heanor Welfare Centre, Wilmot Street, Heanor, Derbyshire. We are currently organising four specially invited Guest Speakers to give talks on a variety of astronomical subjects, which should appeal to a wide range of audience. Refreshments will be available during the day, and we’ll also be holding a raffle. There will be an admission charge, and we’ll be publishing details of this in the next few weeks. We also hope to attract several astronomical traders along for the day; so if there are any astro traders reading this and we haven’t already been in touch with you, please contact us and we’ll see if we can fit you in. The Heanor Welfare Centre is close to the town centre (about three minutes walk away), with good off-road parking. The town has good road links from the A610 and M1 motorway (Junction 26), and Langley Mill railway station is about two or three miles away. We are aiming for a relaxing/chilled-out, entertaining day. We don’t expect large numbers of people coming along like you get at the FAS or SPA Conventions, but since these types of events are very rare in our part of the world, we thought this was the right time to organise our third Convention in eight years. It’ll also allow us to celebrate our 30th birthday with a special event. Over the next few months we’ll be updating this thread with more details. Our website (http://www.idas-astro.com) will also be updated, and this will include finder maps and other useful information. We know the event is still five months away, but we thought we’d give everyone advance notice of it. More news when we get it. Regards Monmouth3817
  15. Hi All, Just wanted to let you all know that our Astronomy Evening on Friday 12th went down very well. After a day of cloud and rain the evening actually turned out to be quite good and clear - which surprised everyone! We had about 175 people come to event, and they were entertained in the Museum's "Hayloft" with a display of photographs and drawings, along with a powerpoint presentation. Two of our members had telescopes - a 6 inch Schmidt-Cassigrain and an 80mm ED Refractor. Not large telescopes by any means, but they managed to show off Jupiter, The Pleiades, M31, the Double Cluster, along with several other objects. Jupiter and the Pleiades got the biggest "wow" from the public, while M31 and the double cluster were a bit of a "duff" with people. This was probably due to the light pollution. Anyway, all in all a good night, and we hope that everyone who attended enjoyed the evening. We hope to do some similar events next year. Let's hope they are as good as this one was. Regards Monmouth3817
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