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Everything posted by Tiny

  1. Our Celestron CPC 800 will not obey the up. down, left right computer controls. It's not been used for a year and now it seems to have gone funny. Any suggestions.
  2. Continuing this theme the up,down, right, left buttons on my Celestron CPC have stopped making the scope move. I assume something is broken or seized up. Any suggestions.
  3. Not Brian Cox. Have an apres PM lineup of Pete Lawrence and his mate Abel. They seem to work well together, are enthusiastic, [removed word] but nerdy enough to fit in but still hold interest. Chris Lintott could do his bits but he is too serious to deliver the program in the current age. Do the whole thing from Farthings in the preserved study complete with PM in full sized form looming from a glass case in the corner complete with cat. Run it in its current slots. Then take it from there.
  4. I did one go and got two pins - one ten miles from the other. Can I get rid of one somehow?
  5. Being a large chap and liking to wear multi layers I buy stuff from another group who use products produced by smudgeline. This firm produce labled goods for a number of different groups. For my group the stuff produced has a large size range and in the size their stuff is large too. Maybe you could contact them to do Stargazers stuff including the personalised name, logo and choice of colours. (The personalised name bit gets confusing when you wear your wifes and she wears yours!) The firms address is sam@smudgeonline.co.uk and (for example) they do sweatshirts with logo and name in various colours in sizes between S and 6XL for £15 including delivery for the group I am a member of.
  6. With Solarscope you pay more but you get the best. As someone once said if James Bond drove a solar telescope he would drive a solarscope.
  7. I read somewhere that young people like a scope that looks like a scope - which means a refractor. I see First LIght do a sky watcher one on a basic mount for under £100. Add the odd book and star chart to that and it could work out. If she likes the hobby then she will figure what she wants next...
  8. I saw the spot the flare etc. is assosiated with through a PST today - big one. Unfortunately it's too windy and cloudy to get the big guns out still the spot looked good.
  9. I've always found you get good sunsets (or mor pollution) to the west of certain towns like Crewe, Wrexham and so on than in other places. To our west last night a bit of red but not much and a very thin layer of stuff (hardly enough to even show red high up. It was a bit the same looking at the sun today - the sky was blue but slightly off blue and the sun (in H-alpha) not quite crisp or as bright as on a real blue sky day. Nice shots though.
  10. It's so long ago I have no recolection of why. Dad read scifi I started reading some. So maybe there is a link. Mind you dad also read what were then slightly sexy books and collected the odd unabriged victorian one. Later you could buy these at Smiths Waterloo with whole chapters there that were obviously cut from the originals. Still reading scifi as a kid was easier than the other stuff - a lot of which I never got till years later. So it was scifi - space and I learned that looking up at the stars is fun. Amazing how many people think you are nuts to look at the stars yet there they are waiting.
  11. We have been following the various groups for the last week and managed to see them around 11 gmt (universal) this morning though there was a bit of misty cloud about. We found the three groups of fan like to the east of the dino a bit like volcano spouts and the main biggy a bit like a dinosaur with a pile of stuff behind it (it even had 4 legs). It's interesting that the 3 volcanos spouts have really looked 3 dimensional with, on earlier days the 'smoke' blowing across the surface back towards the east. (on filament further north and nearer the edge was doing a similar effect this morning. The large western flare was not so pronounced in our view, and the flare at your 6-7 o'clock was a spout with lots of more nebulous stuff round. The main dino showed a lot of surface detail as did the two white areas to the north. All in all it was a wonderful sight (my poor strained eyeball! But yours is a real nice sketch and (also) it is nice to see the sun waking up.
  12. This morning at 2am the seeing was amazing. Stars upon stars up there and so clear. We live in the country so would hope for good seeing BUT. All round the horizon, up to 30 degrees in places, it was like dawn with the lights in local villages and on road 'danger spots'. We have watched the lights get worse and worse over the last many years. The police don't help as they have a campagn going which (mis) informs that lights on outside makes thieves go elsewhere. (They do - most thieves operate in villages and country round us in the daylight as in our lightless area they get lost at night.) The police also push lights for road problems allowing safe speed as calming measures mean the police might be held responsible if people ignore the limits. Meanwhile our councils love lights - they show the worriers they care about them by doing as the police suggest and they are a cheap option to win votes. Interestingly last year some councils (to save money) switched off half the lights in some villages. According to the papers (including one national) there was a massive public outcry BUT. One local daily sent a reporter to one village for a few nights. Far from an outcry the villagers seemed unbothered. The kids played football by starlight though some (without prompting) admitted it was nice just stop, look up and to see stars like they show on TV for the first time. Most other villagers went about there business using torches (as we do) with only one lady, who admitted she didn't go out at night anyway, saying she didn't like it being dark as there might be criminals lurking. Then an anti spokesman arrived from somewhere else by car and started bending the reporters ear on the dangers in the dark and how irresponsible the council were. The reporter soon found that the spokesman saw no danger to himself or even to most local people whined on about the 'old folks' who might fall on a kerb in the dark. By this time a crowd had gathered - mostly of old folks - who told the spokesman in no uncertain terms that having not had lights for most of their lives they were to the last to be bothered about when it got dark. Needless to say the spokesman was not having this as he knew best. Unfortunately most reports echoed his (prepared?) words and 'due to public requests' the council relit the lights soon after. One understands they now plan to close schools to save money - a public outcry has started though this one sounds genuine.
  13. We had PSTs and found them incredible value for view. We added a double stack piece and things got even better with prominances and loads of surface detail too. Then we had a small legacy and wondered what to do with it. It is said that one sun scope gets as much use as 2 or three night scopes and the sun - even when not doing much - is still varied enough to keep you staring as it changes almost by the minute. And change it does - often when others get bad weather and we get a gap we see an effect that never appears or seems to get noticed and remarked on even in sunny countries. It will be there for a few minutes and then disperse and is just ours. Anyway we had always facied a better sun scope but they were expensive. Were they worth the money?. We plucked up the courage, counted our pennies and ordered a 60mm Solarscope SV60 - double stacked of course. It took some time for Ken to put the kit together as he is a perfectionist. He had to do the job twice as the delivery lot managed to smash the first attempt up badley enough to stop it working even single stacked. Back it went and we got replaced for free. The second one arrived in working order and one look - even through the single stacked beast - showed what a near perfect sunscope could show. Even single stacked the scope showed a lot of surface detail and the image was equally clear across the whole field. In our imperfect atmosphere the best viewing images were produced if you kept the magnification at or below 60 though you could double that but then tended to lose brightness. That was single stacked. Screwing in the double stack was a whole new ballgame. A less bright image but one with oudles of detail and clear across the whole of the eyepiece. After a few peeks we wanted to both look so blew the rest of the dosh on a 60mm double stack filter set to screw into the front of an old Pronto scope. This time the deliverer got it to us OK and it all worked perfectly. The image was brighter than the SV60 scopes and so Ken was contacted and changed the eyepiece filter on the SV to give the same bright image as the SF which we prefered. This means both setups work to produce near identical results and those results are truely amazing for the detail. Suddenly the sun becomes a ball rather than a flat surface with stuff happening on the surface and above it. The nearer the limb the more you get the 3D effect - the trick is to get the eye and brain to work out what you are seeing. Like all scopes you have to learn the tricks - for example Ken sets and personally tests the settings and leaves them in the ideal spot so its best to mark that or just not touch the adjust on each etalon set at all. On double stack because of the way the two sets of etalons reflect images you get multi suns The one on the end of the line is the one you want and once the finder is set you get that one but its always worth remembering that just two sun widths to the right of the good image is another one not as good so if there is not a cloud in the sky and the sun you look at shows little detail are you on the right sun. (The PST does the same multi sun trick but as the finder is built in you tend to only ever see the good one with the next one a few sun widths out of sight.) In fact the Televue finder supplied with the solar scope works very well once set up and once centred you can peep through the eyepiece and stare at the great orange ball which is nicely centred. Having spent a lot of time experimenting with loads of eyepiece combinations with the scopes we prefer a click-stop 8-24 zoom and actally have them permanently in position and focused even when the scopes are not in use. The scopes sit on Equ 3-2 mounts as these give a nice high positions for no bending viewing. As we carry the whole setup in and out through narrow doors we leave off the tray supplied with the mount so the legs can be folded in for travel and the pulled out for use or in the scope storage position. We have reversed certain screws in the mount so it is not an equitorial but an azimuth mount as this allows a nice high viewing position and the sun does not move very quickly across the eye piece - even at 60x. By doing all this we can have the scopes out a in use in a couple of minutes - a thing we always loved about the PST too! Is the Solarscope worth the price. We think it is for us. Solarman uses a Solarscope filter for his images which must be another vote for the quality of Ken's product. Of course he is a very good imager too!! We are always going to image (or rather video) the sun but once we start looking... Normally on the rare sunny day it clouds over where we live in the late morning and our poor eyeballs (both) need the rest by then from just staring. The bottom line of this is if you win the lottery (we didn't!) then if you want the ultimate quality view of the sun a few thousand invested in a Solarscope would be money well spent. Us old forgies recommend it. It works for us.
  14. Today the proms look even better. The one heading over the edge has its 'smoke' blowing back over the suns surface just like a chimney smoke in the wind. Another filament is bent like a sun dial and a shadow. For a minute - being stupid I forgot I nam looking at the sun and wondered where the light to make the shadow was from. Now the cloud is in - so the eyeball can recover.
  15. Of course - when the Chinese reach the moon and set up bases there the US press will be yelling for them to do it to. But by then it will be to late. Still polititians will be polititians. So - is there a chinese Bruce Willis plus crew of heros for the next man in space movie or will Hollywood forget space too. As to the cancellation - O bumma!
  16. I like Zoom eyepieces. Less to find in the dark as one does the job of 4 or more other eyepieces. Two scopes have their own dedicared zooms - Barder and Televue ones. I see the Meade one was judged best by Sky at night mag. All cost between 1 and 200 GPB. Televue also do a 3-6mm zoom which is highly rated - and expensive so with a 3-6 and 8-24 you have the whole field covered - with maybe a 30 or 40mm wide field eyepiece for a bigger view.
  17. Having seen the ISS only once of all the good passes in the last weeks it was nice to cheer it and its little friend past. Looked like mother and baby following - quite sweet.
  18. Seen the hadron rap on Youtube?
  19. Me. I'm an optomistic pessimist. I expect the worst and are happly surprised if it doesn't happen. Today I expected rain and got mostly cloud BUT for 5 minutes the cloud parted and I looked at a couple of promos on the sun plus a lot of smaller lumps round the edge. So that was nice.
  20. The man you really want was Col. McCauley in Men into Space. This gent landed on 3 mile by 1 asteroid, decided, after saving a scientist blinded by the sun that as it was approching Earth he should blow it up and did in 5 minutes flat with a explosives doing such a good job there were no bits or anything left. Then back to earth to find (later) the scientist, sight restored, had decided to breed guide dogs for the blind. Strangely enough most of the science is OK and with the non-stop Walter Cronkite commentary to descibe the hard bits was (then) quite believable. Now you think - if only with the steady progress from earth to space station (at 3,000 miles), to moon, to Mars. With no space race to the moon then nothing like the real thing just the US quietly going - with hardly a reporter in sight after the first flight. Some reckon that men into space, shewn in 1959, spoiled the real Lunar stuffs impact as in the TV series they did it better (though they often lost men) AND they had the advantage that all their space stuff was visible on an outside the craft camera insted of just inside the tin can as happened in the real stuff.
  21. Firstlightoptics are a good lot for buying that Skywatcher. They sponser this site. See logo at top of page.
  22. If you go to the SKY & TELESCOPE site they have lots of useful toys. One gives times for seeing the red spot and another shows the 4 moons at any time.
  23. We have the horizon one. Very solid, very portable, easy to get scope on and off. Works for us.
  24. You say Jupiter is a white blob. Has the white blob got little white moons around it. If these are dots in your scope with the white blob in the middle and you are running at - say 60X - then you might have a problem with glare. If the seeing is bad increasing the magnification won't help but a filter might if your problem is glare.
  25. Using a 6se I found a variable polorising filter helped reduce glare when looking at Jupiter and it brought out the bands and top and bottom features better. Having said that Jupiter is so low that the seeing is not that great even though we have dark skies. In fact for comparison I got out a 70mm Televue Ranger - which is a really a lightweight spotting scope but with very good colour correction and the same optics as the Pronto and gives excellent viewing. That - working at the same power as the 6se - gave the same image but with no glare. If Jupiter were higher in the sky I would expect the 6se to beat the 70mm hand down but with Jupiter so low. Even so the moon transits are fascinating.
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