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About spaceboy

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  1. I have to thank Shane for bringing this issue to my attention. I have to admit when I bought my PST mod I was a little dubious to the quality of the views when compared to my lunt. My first thoughts were that it may benefit from a stage 2 but having read several threads on various solar chat forums suggesting that the costs over improvements are negligible (sounds about right for anything astronomy) that I put it down to the higher mags achieved in the PST/TAL and some poor seeing that, to be fair has been plaguing my night time observing also. Anyway long story short ...... after clear blue skies yesterday I set about splitting the blocking filter ITF assembly and ....... I wish I could say I'm PSST at the idea of having to shell out on a new ITF filter but TBH I'm looking forward to swapping it out and reaping the benefits. The 100mm aperture potential has already been revealed at the eyepiece so the added contrast a rust free filter should offer is an exciting thought Sorry to yet again come across as a PST hater but at least prior to Meade you could easily identify a rust problem but now they hide the ERF away from view. I understand the reasons for doing it as the ITF is better protected from the elements but clearly this tread has pointed out that ITF are a common failing point in solar scopes and should be easier for customers to identify potential issues. Who knows how long some PST's sit on shelves before sold and someone new to solar observing may be none the wiser to substandard views offered by a hidden rust problem. OK ITF can fail as easily in Lunt but you can clearly see what your buying by simply removing the diagonal.
  2. Blimey John I can now see why you've been through a few mounts with the TMB. I assume they are x2 5.3KG CW's ? Some way down the CW bar as well. I assume they are like the AR127L fraks with a thick wall aluminium tube making them heavier than you'd think ??? Looks a great set up John and like how you went with the black HEQ5 to match the Berlebach. I find it's possible to use high mag ortho with an AZ mount but there are times I can't be with out an EQ mount. The 130mm on sturdy HEQ5 will sure will make splitting those super tight doubles on nights of good seeing a pleasure.
  3. The best events you could take him are star parties. This is basically a group of astronomers who meet up with their scopes and tents to camp under dark skies for several days/ nights. I'm not sure you will find many around this time of the year though due to the late summer evenings but if not no need to worry as you could always book up and give him something to look forward to later in the year. Not all sites require you to have your own tents and many now offer pods or similar so you don't even have to be put off by the idea of having to rough it several nights if camping isn't your thing. You don't even need your own scope as many astronomers will let you take a look through theirs if your willing to ask permission first. The beauty in this is it will give your chap an idea of what scopes can do what and also let him see the night sky and meet people willing to share experiences.
  4. OK Thanks but have PM'd you in case you change your mind.
  5. What would you take for the bag posted ??
  6. Also good for those who have large refractors as it allows you to get a little more height on the focuser. One of these and a block of lead inside the OTA really helped me spend less of the night on my knees when using my EVO150. I wish TV had threaded them for filters
  7. CONS ZOOM : Due to ER changing through the focal lengths often requiring repositioning of eye position which may sound simple but when you just sat for 20mins at one position then find yourself hovering in another it's actually requires more concentration to achieve than you may think. The FOV becoming more limited in the focal end you'd want it most wide IE 24mm can be a pain. Often larger and heavier than single focal length eyepieces. Optical performance will not always be on a par with fixed focal length eyepieces due to the extra glass in zooms. PROS ZOOM : One eyepiece for the night means you can get on with observing with no need to constantly swap out eyepieces to match seeing conditions. While they can be larger and heavier overall once your scope is balanced there is not much need to rebalance between the zoom focal lengths which again amounts to more time observing and less time faffing. You can just carry one eyepiece instead of needing to carry a box full which may mean a quicker set up time and more time observing. With both a zoom and a case full of eyepieces you can if you have dual setups observe with two scopes at the same 8-24 mm focal lengths if so required. I understand your wanting to make a more economical collection of eyepieces both space and cost wise but I wouldn't replace a set of fixed focal length eyepieces with a zoom but rather get a zoom to complement them. Zooms are handy if you have a couple setups or want to quickly get out observing. They are great for going on holiday and for showing family and friends the night sky. They are not that bad given all the bits and pieces inside them but fixed focal length eyepieces of similar optical quality will always have the slight edge regards overall views.
  8. There's quite a few things you can see in a 60mm scope including the complete Messier catalogue and quite a few in the NGC also. BUT....... whether you would consider them worth looking at is a different story. Even under dark skies with an average armature scope of say 150-200mm most galaxies are nothing more than faint smudges of light, often unidentifiable from one galaxy to the next. What these scope will do though over a 60mm scope is reveal detail on other DSO like open clusters, globular clusters, nebula and planetary nebulas. Almost all of these objects will appear as nothing more than fuzzy balls of light in a 60mm scope with the exception of the larger and brighter clusters and nebula. You will see them none the less but just not with the same resolution as you would in a larger instrument.
  9. Sadly ES purged eyepieces always loose a little ER due to the purge seal around the recessed eye lens so in most cases you can knock at least a mm of each of the quoted figures.
  10. Now found thanks to Derek. Mods please remove
  11. Sorry Neil it was the lighter MKIV I was after.
  12. I'm not sure what you mean by judder? There is always the possibility it appears the bar is fully extended but it may be again catching on something inside the mount so could be worth taking the side panel off to investigate. Failing that the only other thing is the clutch on the extension isn't tightening down on the CW bar properly for some reason? Unscrew the clutch screw and check. Be careful not to loose the small brass disc when you remove the screw. The only other thing it could be (but less likely) is the cone (for want of a more technical description) may need tightening slightly?? Just a case of undoing the hex bolts and just nipping up the CW cone a bit then tightening the hex bolts again. Personally I can't see it being this but other than this I can't really think of anything else.
  13. This was another case of a CG5 seized worm gear only this time it was on the DEC axis the problem arose. Not sure if there is anything in the thread that may help with your issues but maybe worth a read through all the same ....
  14. I wish I could remember why the 1100D was rated. Something to do with sensor pixels or something ?? The more noise capable cameras associated with good images despite high ISO when used for "normal" photography are of a higher MP and more densely pixel packed sensor so the slightly smaller MP but still relatively modern and larger pixel to cover the same size crop sensor was said to be good on the 1100D .......given the price.... I might add! for astrophotography. You'd really have to read between the lines on my rather vague explanation but someone with more knowledge may be along to offer a better insight. When I read the article it sort of made sense to me but it was only a comparison across entry level DSLR's that the 1100D came out on top. I'm not sure what 500 EURO's buy you in Germany but in the UK £500 would be around the entry to mid level DSLR's if buying new of the high St.