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Everything posted by huwbellamy

  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.
  16. Do I get out there or stay in the warm? - somebody give me a reason to stop eating cheese and sitting. Huw.
  17. Have just seen the images on your website - your lenses are probably fine! The axis of your astigmatism can change over time so that part of your contact lens prescription may need updating if the rotation thing is causing a bit of blur. Incidentally, just for fun, this is what a contact lens prescription may look like: 8.6 14.0 -2.00/-1.25x80 8.6 refers to the radius of curvature the lens in mm - most soft lenses are between 8.3 and 9.1. 14.0 refers to lens diameter - the average cornea is 11mm in diameter. -2.00 is myopia (short sight) measured in Dioptres (inverse metre where a -2.00 eye focuses at 0.5m and a -5.00 eye focuses at 0.2m for example. -1.25 is the astigmatism again in dioptres. 80 is the axis of astgmatism (0 or 180 is horizontal, 90 or 270 is vertical) and there todays lesson ends. Huw
  18. Vega, if comfort or vision are a problem in your contact lenses then there have been new lenses to market recently which may be of benefit. The toric part of you prescription is to correct astigmatism - I have the same problem and also wear toric contacts. The comfort and visual characteristics of these lenses varies between manufacturer/design and it's worth asking your contact lens practitioner for a trial of a possibly better product. Feel free to ask me for further advice relating to this or to go away if you're sorted. Huw (Optometrist).
  19. Hi John, Glad you found us. Have fun, Huw.
  20. Hi, just go with whatever feels better. I have moderate astigmatism (1.00 to 3.00 Dioptres) and without my specs the stars are stripes. Less than 1.00 Dioptres astigmatism and you probably won't get any difficulties without the specs so far as the image you observe goes. I found that any plossl eyepiece less than 20mm focal length is a pain with specs due to poor eye relief, I was always bumping into it and the field is restricted. So I've just received a 25mm XCEL and have ordered a 9mm TMB - both have 20 mm eye relief - ace. I am willing to sacrifice a little of the purists choice of Orthos and EP's with fewer elements to get the better eye relief as otherwise my observing at high mag is not much fun. Hope this helps, Huw
  21. I took delivery of a HEQ5 yesterday and observing with my C6R was great - the motorised tracking makes for much more relaxed viewing. My only problem was play in the RA axis and Steve will be returning it for me as faulty. I didn't think that vibrations due to accidental knocks and breezes were any better than my CG5. Does anybody think upgrading to a an EQ6 will help to alleviate that sort of vibration issue? I am happy to spend the extra as I know it's a mount for life if I upgrade. I'm also concerned about the number of posts regarding upgrades to apparently knew EQ6's - are they really necessary? Cheers, Huw.
  22. Just that really but I was quite excited and felt the need to share. My old (4 Months) CG5 is in the sale section if anybody fancies it - I didn't feel it was up to the job of carrying my C6R and associated bits. The max payload is 9kg but my scope, etc come to 10Kg and there was a little vibration at high mag when there was a breeze. I'll let you know how it works out when I get home from work. Thanks Steve - Ordered Friday - very quick! Huw.
  23. Taking specs off will work well provided you are short or long sighted. If you have a moderate/high degree of astigmatism then the images will be distorted without specs or contacts. Stars become lines, etc. Those Orthos do sound like they offer a good image though. Huw.
  24. I've just sold/selling my 9.7/9mm Plossls and am replacing with a 9mm TMB Planetary from FLO. My decision was based on the 20mm eye relief (across the whole range!) compared to 9mm (Ortho) and 7mm (Plossl) - I'm a spec wearer and theres no fun in bumping into the eyepiece at high mag (I found the double-double last week). Also, as you have already discussed the field is bigger so you can watch it drift a bit if tracking is an issue. I did consider the Meade 5000 9mm but the eye relief is still a bit iffy for me. I'll let you know how I get on. Huw.
  25. Hi, I have the Celestron set and I believe it's identical to the Revelation one - all manufactured in the same placed and badged differently. I think the quality is good and I'd go for the least costly of the two, currently the Revelation: http://www.firstlightoptics.com/proddetail.php?prod=revelationepset The Meade 140 apo barlow was recommended by several people when I was in the market for one myself. I ordered one and it arrived with a chipped lens. The replacement had all sorts of foreign bodies in between the elements. I returned it and bought one of these: http://www.telescopehouse.co.uk/page.aspx?theLang=001lngdef&pointerid=DD8D75BF7CF34DBFA7E0DC5ED2F8C1EB&action=lnk fab build and optics but it's 2" not 1.25". Somebody will be along with barlow advice soon I expect but I hear that a good 1.25" choice is this: http://www.firstlightoptics.com/proddetail.php?prod=cultimabarlow costs a bit more than the Meade but you're saving £40 on buying the Revelation rather than the Celestron set. Sorry, I'm getting carried away for you here. Enjoy whatever choice you make Huw.
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