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badhex

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About badhex

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    http://camdenastro.org.uk

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    Berlin
  1. Hi all Quite concerned to find that my beloved Meade UWA 18mm seems to have developed a strange fogging/clouding on about 50% of the surface of the field lens (see photos below). The mark itself feels slightly tactile, not smooth like the glass of the lens (hard to explain), but I'm fairly sure it's not mould or similar. I cannot see any other marks inside the lens glass, just the 'open' side. Viewing through the eyepiece strangely is not as bad as you might think, a little like a mild case of dew/fogging from breath but I knew something was not right immediately, and when I checked I found this. All my eyepieces are very well looked after, regularly inspected for fingerprints, eyelash or other marks that may have been incurred during the usual fumbling about in the dark and cleaned with Baader Wonder Fluid when necessary (but not too often to avoid wear). They are stored with dust caps on in a Maplin heavy duty flight case with large silica gel packet, however for the last 6-7 months this flight case has been in storage (clean dry cellar, no damp), so haven't had the usual use/inspection and last night was the first use since they came out of storage. I am hoping that it's just some grease or other mark, perhaps not cleaned away with the usual care on my last use, which has then been sat and become stubborn to shift. All my other EPs were in the same case and are fine. I've gently tried a microfibre cloth but it won't shift and unfortunately, my Wonder Fluid is still in storage in the UK so I have ordered and awaiting some more. This will be my next port of call to try and shift. In the meantime, I was hoping someone might be able to put my mind at rest that they've seen this before and that it's not permanent! I'd be extremely sad if it's beyond hope, this was my first expensive EP and a real goto for wide angle views. Thanks in advance Joe
  2. Wow Tim, pretty industrial looking! What's the thing on the bottom you said is acting as a counterweight? Regarding the tripod legs I've had a good compare and there are definitely a couple of slight differences things between mine and yours. Yours have more reinforced banding and longer legs plus mounting rings/loops for a leg spreader chain or similar. Mine go up as far as where the fourth band (up from the bottom) is on yours, just below the loop, and the tripod hinges and head are at that point - so definitely shorter. Mine also lacks the ring for leg spreading chain which is rather irritating, very difficult to set up on your own with the legs flapping about due to the weight of the thing. I managed to get a bit of chain to run from each of the tightening thumbscrews but it is not ideal. Other than the above points and the thumbscrews it's identical in manufacture, so I'm assuming the same origins and manufacturer - government or military. Obviously mine has been painted but colour underneath where it has peeled looks about the same. I wonder if I have anything written on mine like with yours? Looks like yours says something like TRIPOD TELESCOPIC 5FT OVERALL No2 ZA46O64 Very interesting!
  3. Chris - Gunsight looks like a bit of a beast, is it bino or mono? They made that stuff to last. Tim - Thanks for that, but don't put yourself out. I too understand the nostalgia surrounding these things - although I've only been doing astronomy proper (if you can call it that!) for about 5 or 6 years. I inherited an old Charles Frank as I mentioned above and was very interested in the history of the thing. My Granddad, from whom it came, could not really tell me much as he was given it by the local observatory/Astro club I tihnk in the '70s and they didn't seem to know anything either. I started to do some research on the history of it, my findings I posted here if you're interested in that kind of thing: http://stargazerslounge.com/topic/205369-charles-frank-scope-and-mount/?hl=%2Bcharles+%2Bfrank#entry2204006 The main update to the above since posting is realising out that the helical 0.965" focuser has an adaptor which unscrews to reveal a RAS thread (and accepts the unusual EP I got with it) and now, thanks to you, the origins of the tripod legs I also found this yesterday, mine is the Deluxe 6", with a few changes: https://www.dropbox.com/s/pncq8phcrp1k92x/Charles%20Frank.pdf?dl=0 On the subject of HW English, Charles Frank and similar shops, I feel like those kind of places only really exist in our memories now, which is sad. I remember going to Anchor Army Surplus in Derbyshire as a kid 25 years ago, and being amazed at the rows of old equipment they had. Oscilloscopes, communications equipment, military vehicle engines (at least one chopper engine IIRC), optical stuff and so on. they even had a Tank for sale! Sadly I think most of the stuff they sell now is packaged new stuff.
  4. Many thanks Chris, Tim. @Tim - As it happens it's just the tripod I'm interested in - I got the first set of photos from an antiques site when researching earlier. I had long thought it was ex-military due to massive over-engineering, the Charles Frank military surplus connection, and the green paint, but not been able to find out much more. However, I believe you've cracked it, just found this catalogue based on your advice: http://geogdata.csun.edu/~voltaire/classics/HWEnglish/HWEnglish.pdf Listed on Page 44 (21 in the PDF), a rather grainy b/w image looks like it could be the one - "TPD.1. Aluminium, heavy duty. 3'3" extending to 5'. Weight 12lb. The most rigid of the ex-government tripods, this will carry up to 2 cwt." It certainly is sturdy, but a bit of a pain to put up, with the legs flapping about all over the place. I don't suppose you have any pictures of yours? No bother if not. Also, does yours have the oversized knurled thumbscrews on the leg extensions? Thanks again
  5. Hello all This is ostensibly a mount related question, but as it's (I think) specifically a bino mount I'm talking about I thought I'd post here. Does anyone own something similar to this beast? A Ross 10x70 Binocular Gunsight Pattern G.367: I understand this was manufactured by Ross of London for the British Military (Navy I believe) for WW2. This one appears to have been cleaned up to a shiny sparkle, unlike it would have while in service. What I'm actually interested in the mount, here, again cleaned up, and this is where I would need some help as the only photo I have is this: I believe that this is the same tripod base as I have on an old inherited Charles Frank 6" reflector (which would certainly fit as I know Franks bought up a tonne of surplus after the war and used in its manufacture. Here are some old photos of my mount, apologies these are the only ones I have as the scope and mount are in storage: I think they are basically the same from the tripod part down bar a few minor differences, but hoped to confirm with someone who might own one of the above gunsights or who could provide better photos. Thanks in advance!!
  6. Didn't bring any 'scopes with me when I moved to Berlin recently, hoping to hold out with bins until I pick up my Mak and eq mount at Christmas, but cracked and bought an ED80 Finally got first light a week or so ago after I picked up an extremely sturdy '70s/'80s camera tripod second hand as a stopgap. Built like a tank, you can even see the shutter remote cable! Saturn and the Moon looking stunning with the supplied SW LER 28mm and the BCO 6mm (although ER and exit pupil a bit tight with the latter). Very impressed with the scope so far - now just have to wait for the clouds to go away!
  7. Thanks Peter. It's an interim purchase anyway, but may work well In my F12.75 Skymax102 in the future from what you have said. What are the effects in faster scopes? CA or other optical aberrations, presumably? I have read elsewhere the 7.5mm one is not as good (questionable QA iirc), so I won't be tempted with it for the sake of saving a few quid. @Merlin do you mean you have the 7.5mm+ or the 8mm+?
  8. Hi all Thinking of getting this EP along with an F6ish APO, probably the Evostar 80ED. Can anyone advise about the performance of this EP in a fast scope, maybe even specifically this scope or other APOs? This is a stopgap really to cover medium low to medium high powers until get back my full EP collection (I would also likely get a BCO 6mm and the Evostar comes with a 28mm EP as standard.) I've seen one review on Amazon mention that it worked pretty well in an F5 but didn't go into much detail about the scope, I've also read a thread or two on here about the EP in general. Just looking for further opinions and advice about this combination of scope/EP. http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00663XV8S/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1438603018&sr=8-1&keywords=Seben+8-24 TIA
  9. "Release the Fraken!" Anyone? (Okay I'll be quiet now )
  10. I work in IT and until very recently had a 30+ year old DLT tape drive - completely useless in today's world. I guess nostalgia will do that to you
  11. Not mine I'm sad to say, but impressive nonetheless! Visited the Archenhold Observatory last week 21m FL, 68cm aperture - F30.88. You'd only need a 16mm EP to reach maximum sensible Mags per inch - 1300x by my reckoning! Apparently they still use the original 19th C EPs. Maybe I should put the rest of my pics in the lounge forum or something.
  12. I think I'm leaning towards the Evostar ED80 mainly because it's significantly cheaper, and I really need to keep this as cheap as possible without compromising too much. The OTA only I can get for around £350, the OTA + accessories (which I wouldn't care about normally, had I not got all my stuff in UK storage!) is currently about £430, whereas currently the OTA only on the TS 80 is around £570. The focuser just doesn't quite seem as good as the TS optics ones. Also, I assume it's thumbscrews, not compression ring? (I really don't get why compression ring isn't the standard on all but the cheapest scopes - surely the manufacturing involved is not that expensive or hard to implement?!) Can anyone allay my fears about the Evostar focuser before I take the plunge? Anyone give first hand experience of it? Thanks as always
  13. Holy smokes, there are some amazing pieces of kit on this thread! Love it I spent a few months rebuilding this large (massive infact!) Bresser Achro last year, but have had numerous issues with lens cell collimation (the lens cell was totally borked when I bought it). I have just done another rebuild of the cell a month or two ago but I've since moved countries and it's had to go in storage, so it still hasn't had a proper first light I may be fixing that by buying a small APO/ED while I'm here This was it at the end of the first rebuild:
  14. Thanks all. Glad to hear you're enjoying the ED80 Andrew! I think I'm leaning toward this myself but still a little unsure. Would be great to hear if anyone has a direct comparison between that and the other scopes I've mentioned. While I do love the Skymax 102 I already have (in the uk) I feel a little like I'm restricting myself by getting another similar model, as I have been feeling the need for more WF exploration of late (the longer SWA and UWA EPs I have bear witness to that). My general understanding is that with a good quality short FL EP I should be able to get a some modest planetary views, although to be honest having a Mak to go back to eventually I'm not too concerned if the planetary views are less than spectacular. In the short term I have a pretty good 2.5x APO Barlow which should see me through also. I was on the verge of completing a rebuild of a large 150mm frac before I moved and everything went into storage, so I never got to experience the WF views it would have boasted. I imagine my yearning for WF is related to that Regards the mount. Although I'm aware it's not the best mount available, I have found it to be more than capable of looking after my Mak 102 + Metal bodied diagonal + barlow + Meade UWA 18mm. I did this more as a test than for actual observing. I've added an extra counterweight which made a lot of difference and also an EQ3 RA motor + handset mod which works perfectly well for visual and the modest planetary imaging I managed with my Mak. The legs are tubular and remarkably sturdy for their smaller size. I was not concerned about the two smaller fracs but I admit I harbour a few small concerns about the Evostar as it is obviously a touch bigger. Having not seen or held it first hand though it's hard to judge. AFAIK my mount is the equivalent to an EQ3ish which I believe is the recommended mount for the Evostar ED80, but if I did go for the Evostar and it turns out not to be up to scratch I'd invest in something a bit more sturdy. I also have a Mon-2 back in the UK, in the longer term.
  15. Hi Ronin Yeah, I mean I didn't want to go too overboard so most stuff, including mags, is rounded I have always previously tended to work most stuff out in my head and note it down for future reference. A couple of years ago I started writing out text files with my scopes and EPs just to refer back to, and then thought it would be useful to be able to see at a glance all of your scopes in relation to your EP collection so I knocked this up in am hour a night or two ago. Just thought it might be useful for others but everyone is different I guess Cheers Joe
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