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Everything posted by spaceboy

  1. End of April / May is when it sits at it's highest Carol. Beggars can't be choosers and as La Palma is already going to be difficult to budget for, the land of OZ is only going to happen if I won the lottery.
  2. Thanks. I've already browsed this site and found it helpful for sites to visit while there. It also gives you an idea of just how high up some of the spots are and that a car is ideal but not a necessity for observing. Again though I think I'll have no choice but to hire a car as my prediction is NGC 5139 will only reach 13-14° at it's best in April / May so may pay to get up higher.
  3. They ain't avin none of it mate. Part of the problem is the lack of funds and that it would be the first time abroad (and on a plane for the kids) so their mum wants it to be all the bells and whistles "SUN" holiday for them. I should have mentioned the plan to go to La Palma was to also included a visit to the observatories. I know any of the Canary islands would have done to see omega centauri but if I'm down that way La Palma seems to obvious choice over the other islands for an astronomer.
  4. OK so the plan was to go to La Palma May next year for a family holiday and stargazing but all prices I have found for a family of 4 is simply not going to happen. The kids and their mum just aren't that much in to astronomy to warrant a holiday based around stargazing and would much rather get in to debt going away during August and making the best of peak summer. I unfortunately have decided what's the point in having a bucket list if your going to die never having at least tried ticking items of it. One of those high on my list would be to see omega centauri. This means that if I am going to get to see that globular wonder of the night sky I'm going to have to travel alone and to a very tight budget as I plan to hire a scope while there. I assume I will also need a rental car to get to suitable locations for observing. So in desperation I am sending out the feelers in the hope someone resides or knows of someone in La Palma that wouldn't mind having a lodger for a week or two around May 2018 ?? I really only need a floor to sleep on and a place to store a rental scope. I had considered sleeping in a rental car but I think after a day or two the idea would soon wear thin. I would have some budget to cover board or could do chores to earn my keep so to speak. The plan is to get a couple nights stargazing in with the emphasis on seeing NGC 5139. Needless to say I am aware that cloud and weather decide how easy this is going to be to achieve with NGC 5139 sitting quite low in the sky also against me. With this in mind I would prefer to increase my chances of seeing it by booking a 2 week flight but appreciate that not everyone would be willing to allow a stranger into their home for this long so would be grateful for any amount of time afforded. As a last resort I may be able to get a tent in with my luggage allowance so if anyone knows a cheap camping site this could also be a consideration. If anyone has any other ideas how to accomplish a weeks stay in La Palma on a measly budget other than the ones above then please feel free to put them out there. Maybe a group (star party) booking could be an idea if there were any others interested in seeing omega centauri (or even the spectacular skies in general) with out having to mortgage the house visiting the land down under ?? I'm sure I can't be the only person who can't get the rest of the family to visit a Spanish island out of season
  5. I've gone to a star party 1 1/2 hr drive away only to forget the controller for my auto focuser and had no tools on me to disengage it They really should employ some sort of clutch mechanism on those things to allow for manual focusing
  6. I have a samyang 8mm on 70D crop but really only use it as a creative lens. I have never tried it for night sky imaging but do hope to at some point. Again it will not be for anything serious as the distortion is so pronounced even on the x1.6 crop body. They are though a truly superb lens for the money, if not a little fiddly being manual only.
  7. My thinking is that the MK IV zoom is all you need and the x2.25 barlow would be over kill. I have a PST but have yet to try it with my MK IV. I have though tried it with my Lunt60Tha and it works well but again the 8mm setting (x62) is as far as I'd want to push it on an average day. Not sure how good the seeing is in Holland but it is very rare I get above x42 most days in the UK. Even in my 100mm PST mod most days only allow for x66. All said and done though there are those rare days where even in the 60mm lunt I have pushed x100 (5mm)
  8. Thanks @Stargazer McCabe I shall be in touch in the near future once I renew my passport
  9. That would be great Peter although I don't plan to go until next May. A lot of saving is needed first. The idea is to go as a family on a "summer" holiday with the intension of visiting the observatories, stargazing (specifically to tick omega centauri off my things to do before I die list! ) and anything else to keep the family interested in the idea of going out of season. This means finding an ideal place to stay that is in reach of both beaches, POI and dark locations. I have read a rental car is recommended and I would also look to hire a scope rather than settle for a smaller airline friendly scope. Does anyone know if you are permitted to stargaze anywhere near the observatories at night or do you have to settle for more public locations?
  10. A little bump on this thread and a request for anyone having a recent live link for the http://www.starisland.co.uk/ site as this one appears dead.
  11. A similar system to most but I use the capping off conduit as the slip ring. The jubilee clip fits nicely inside the trunk but the OTA ring screw benefits from being countersunk.
  12. I know you had a Skymax 127 in the past and wasn't at all impressed so I'm assuming your asking advice for a fellow enthusiast ?? I've had both a syntrek and synscan az goto skymax127 and found them adequate enough to get you on target and support the 127 MAK. That said they are as with most telescope/ mount deals the basic AZ goto is under mounted so the beefier 5kg load capacity of the star discovery would give a noticeable advantage while retaining the AZ convenience. I think the skymax tends to come on AZ mounts (as does most MAK and SCT designs) due to the configuration of the focuser and fixed dovetail. I did while owning a skymax use it on an EQ5 and found the focuser knob would often get in the way as I inevitably had to rotate the diagonal as the rotation of the RA/DEC came into play. If the scope came with OTA rings then the scope itself could be rotated and the focuser knob would never become an obstacle but as it stands due to the fixed dovetail I would on regular occasion find the diagonal clash with the knob in one way or another. It is doable on an EQ mount but just a consideration as a goto mount will often dictate the orientation of the mount/ota for you. Again addition of OTA rings would resolve any issues. It is also worth considering that MAK are dew magnets and heater bands will more that likely be necessary. My guess is cables hanging here and there can also be less prone to tangling on an AZ mount??
  13. I have given sketching a try but never with any success. It is not that I lack artistic talent but more so the skills needed to go from the eyepiece to pad in the dark. What I have found effective though is to have a picture handy of the chosen object. I then go from eyepiece to image and try to pick out the more subtle details. It can come as a surprise just how deep you can see when you know for sure a star or gas cloud exists in the view. When you just observe an object you may miss these details due to seeing or transparency but when you know for certain the detail is there you can wait for those fleeting moments where the point of interest reveals itself. It is also worth returning to these same POI on different nights as skies vary hugely one night to the next which often mask the true potential of even larger instruments.
  14. Chop it all back and go with a steel pier!
  15. Sounds like it may be firmware. You can check what version firmware the motors and handset are running then adjust as needed. I believe manuals can be downloaded from SW website to guide you throughout.
  16. Been a while myself but is it not escape twice or maybe press and hold?
  17. I have another idea mate but need to find the materials. I know what they are used for but where I can find them for sale in the form I need them is a different story ???
  18. It would work perfectly for night observing but during the day the nylon is sadly the heat trap I'd predicted. Great at blocking stray light and fit over the head perfect but just not as effective as the TG hood at keeping you cool
  19. After a break in the cloud yesterday I can confirm this is absolutely useless at keeping you cool perfect in every other way though so might be ideal for winter Either way it's back to being a studio umbrella for that and back to the drawing board for myself.
  20. Is it worth keeping a quark in an air tight case? I keep my PST in one to help reduce exposure to the elements when not in use. @DRT glad to hear Daystar are going to sort it for you mate and fingers crossed the replaced filter turns out to be a fix and not just a repair.
  21. So I figured it best to give a final update on my solar hood searching. As regards the Telegizmo solar observing hood I personally feel there is no beating it for what it offers to your solar observing. Sadly due to unforeseen and quite frankly unfortunate circumstances it became apparent that it was not going to be suitable due to the size and weight of the hood. Having experienced the hood and the comfort it offered under the midday sun the idea of going back to hats, sheets or fussing getting garden umbrellas in just the right spot wasn't a welcome thought. So it was back to the drawing board in an attempt to find something similar to the TG hood but much smaller and lighter. After a couple hours of searching the WWW. I came across an idea which I have hopefully improved upon. I will not find out for sure if it's going to be an ideal replacement until the weather breaks and the sun shows it's face one again...who knows when that will be I purchased one of these http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/371932944224?_trksid=p2060353.m2749.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT and ended up with this First impressions are that I'm on to a winner. It is dead light, the material seems durable, size is perfect and due to the shape it fits over the head and drapes over the eyepiece perfectly. At only £6.99 delivered I feel it is worth the gamble and it if stops the sun scorching my head even better. The only doubt I have are that while the reflective side sure is reflective and should do a great job of diverting the suns heat etc, the black nylon material on the underside may encourage sweating while I'm under the hood? Oddly despite what the is originally designed for there does seem a degree of breathability and the hole in the centre should offer at least some sort of venting. Again first light will reveal if it's going to remain a DIY solar hood or be reverted back to a flash umbrella for my photography uses. I will do a small review once I get chance to get out an try it.
  22. I did think if it was possible, there would be at least some mention of it somewhere. With several searches of the WWW. nothing came up so figured it was a long shot but worth asking all the same just out of curiosity if nothing else.
  23. Just a thought, has anyone ever done a PST mod double stack or is this not possible ?? Can you not stack etalon in some way ? Sorry for my ignorance if this isn't possible.
  24. Your certainly getting the results now Charl
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