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huwbellamy

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About huwbellamy

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    Star Forming

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    huwbellamy@hotmail.co.uk
  1. Thanks both. It really is lovely and I should have bought this in the first place! It is very portable and now I can easily pop to dark sites in Gower and take it camping - with the C6R and EQ6 it was just way to much hassle. I finally get it that the best telescope is the one you actually use. Collimation was easy with my cheap cheshire and a star test at high mag confirmed it was spot on (beginners luck perhaps). I can't help fiddling so I have improved the loose-ish focuser with PTFE tape and vaseline. I also had a look at the bearings and lubed those as well (no need really). In between clouds and with terrible light pollution (street lamps, neighbour's security light and my wifes garden lanterns dangling on the fence next to me!) I tried a 40mm Meade super plossl and 25mm Celestron Xcel. The Milky Way was a treat through both and I can't wait to try it on some planets - I think Venus, Jupiter and Mars are up at around 6am but I won't be awake in time tomorrow! I'm so pleased to be back in the saddle!!
  2. So it's arrived and I'm pleased to see the primary has a central ring marked on it - I've been Googling collimation and I think I have my head around it. I have a VERY cheap looking cheshire eyepiece from years ago that will hopefully get me on the straight and narrow. FLO kindly delivered a Celestron Xcel 2x barlow yesterday as my old barlow is a 2" Revelation which isn't going to fit. Can't wait to get it un-boxed properly later.
  3. Hi all, I've sold off the C6R and EQ6 lumps that was gathering dust and have just ordered a small but perfectly formed 130p. I still have a lot of eyepieces but I've never owned a reflector. What ancillaries might I need? eg: best way of collimating. Many thanks, Huw.
  4. Thanks for that. I didn't run it 360 degrees so will do that to check. Nice write up by the way.
  5. Hi all, 2 years ago you put up with me going on about which mount to buy and eventually I opted for an EQ6 after trying a HEQ5 (thanks Steve @ FLO). Anyway, although it's a stirdy beast I have always had a small amount of play in both RA and Dec mechanisms. So as I was cleaning my scope this weekend I decided to try some DIY. I loosened the four 5mm bolts on the RA axis housing first - a lot of play at this point. Then I adjusted the small 2mm screws that take up play in the gears either end of the housing. Not to tightly and I experimented with slackening one end then tightening the other to find a happy place. I then tightened the 5mm bolts again and checked that nothing was binding and all OK. Same for Dec and no play at all now. Very happy but would appreciate any tips incase what I've done sounds reckless. Ta, Huw.
  6. Thanks all and yes, just pointed it down the eyepiece. I got a decent picture (ok it's a blurred stripy ball) last year with an slr held by hand and aimed though the eyepiece too. I can't see myself getting into imaging as the cost/time investment is prohibitive at present but it's nice to show people what it is you've been gazing at for hours isn't it. Hmm.....
  7. Thanks, I'll try it. Heres the prompt reply I got from Ade Ashford (edited to remove personal details): "Anyway, to your C6R objective. I doubt that the mound/fungus would've etched the coatings (unless you're really unlucky) as they're pretty resilient these days. If it's not impairing the image (and a 5p-sized obscuration would be unnoticeable) , I'd be tempted to leave well alone for the moment -- annoying though the spot must look to you. If it came to taking the objective apart, the retaining ring of this Synta-made 'scope is not too hard to remove if you're methodical and fabricate yourself a tool (a piece of ply with two small panel pin nails does the trick). The two elements usually have registration marks around the circumference that need to be realigned after cleaning and reassembly; a simple pencil line on both will suffice if none were there to start with. With regard to cleaning, Baader Planetarium make an excellent 'Optical Wonder' cleaning fluid (obtainable from David Hinds Ltd). Full directions come with the kit." Good enough for me!
  8. Cheers dweller! I have been reading as much as google will give me on the "do dirty lenses make much difference?" issue and it would appear to agree with you. You need some pretty manky lenses/mirrors before cleaning/repair becomes worth the expense/risk. If there was image degradation would it affect bright things like the moon most or faint DSO's? Ta, Huw.
  9. To add - I took these through it last night so nothing horrendous happening: http://stargazerslounge.com/imaging-lunar-solar/84603-first-ever-imaging-dont-expect-much.html Also, I've tried holding obstructions in front of the objective a few years ago to see what degradation a dirty lens may make - I had to get a fair amount of my hand in the way before things got worse. Do smears/dust/blobs make a big difference to viewing?
  10. Hi all, I took a look through the scope for the first time in a while last night and used my phone camera to snap the moon. I was stunned by how good the images are - it makes up for the fact that my phone is pretty useless as a means of communication! The line on the left of the last one was the drainpipe on the side my house and after that the wall stopped play.
  11. Thanks both, I have found this chap and wondered if anybody else has anything to report on his services: Astronomical Telescope Repairs and Servicing Also spent some time stripping things and cleaning this morning - in the sun Merlin. The objective is certainly less dusty/fogged. I took some pics of the mould:
  12. The Moon landings anniversary TV show - I saw it a few nights ago.
  13. Hi all, it's been a while since I used my telescope (1 year+) and a lot longer since I posted here but just thought I'd share my evening with you. I noticed the moon was up at around 9pm and decided to have a look. It fills the field of view of my Meade 5000 32mm when 2x barlowed and makes for a nice starting point. Using the 25mm XCel I remembered how I don't like it very much and used my 9mm TMB which gave good-ish resolution even when barlowed. Thoroughly enjoyed it and must try to get out there more over the summer. I find my C6R ok for DSO's but it struggles really and I wonder what a big aperture reflector would be like. Nice for the moon tonight though. Huw
  14. Hi all, I haven't used my C6R in a while and having a look at the objective there is a small spot in the mid periphery with feathery lines emanting from it. I'm guessing this is mould due to be being stored in a less than dry garage? The central dot is smaller than a pin head and the feathery stuff ocupies a space just smaller than a 5 pence piece. It doesn't appear to be causing any problems with viewing and I can't split the optics to clean it (I could but I'd need a fancy tool and some bravery). Do I just ignore it? Thanks, Huw.
  15. I stepped away from the cheese and found M2 + M5. M13 is getting a bit less impressive now. M31 better than previous attempts and I could see the little ones either side - light pollution horrendous though. Pleides lovely - 1st time I'd noticed them - better through my binoculars (perhaps a wide field eyepiece in the future?). The double cluster in cassiopia was nice too. Too tired to stay up for Mars to rise above the houses. All in all well worth while, thanks for the encouragement.
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