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Everything posted by Iainp

  1. Hi, just to add my experience: I tried for the Elephant's Trunk with a 16" scope from my urban / rural transition sky (SQM 20.39) a couple of years ago and got nothing. Last month, full of expectation, I pointed my new 20" scope to it, with UHC filter, and got....nothing! I was definitely looking in the right place and spent a good half hour hoping for at least a glimpse but didn't even get a hint of it, though the nebulosity in the surrounding area was fairly apparent. I conclude that this one is really very dependent on excellent skies. The only other conclusion is that I'm not as good an observer as I thought I was! I will try again when it's even higher up. Iain
  2. Thanks. I'll let you know about the views when I get a decent night! First impression is that on some objects it's a massive step up from my previous 16" scope, and on other objects it's not so great a difference. I suspect that's due to my not great skies; galaxies and other faint fuzzies are going to be tough even with the big aperture. Price: it's a high spec David Lukehurst model (1/10 mirror etc) so doesn't come cheap at around £6100 ($8600). These are handmade and superb pieces of kit, and it's the "ultra-portable" (ha!) version, which adds to the price too. (website link below). I got it second hand for not much more than half that, so I'm very happy! http://www.dobsonians.co.uk/index.html
  3. Thanks mate. There have only been 2 clear nights since buying it, so not much rolling out has been done since then... It works like a dream, though I was seriously worried when the friend who did it went at it with a hand held saw! Here it is part way through. The more he chopped, the more the front section fell apart. Luckily he knew what he was doing:
  4. I had the police come over to me as someone had reported a man dragging a body across a field! How a 16" dob got confused with a body I'll never know. They were very nice about it. Another time I was in my own front garden with the scope (Potters Bar , north of London) and a police car arrived. They were far less pleasant, and were actively suspicious. I explained what I was doing and offered them a look but they took this as sarcasm, which made things worst. Iain
  5. Since buying my 20" dob exactly a month ago, apart from a couple of quick moon grabs, there has been just ONE clear night. Ah the pain ! Iain
  6. Thanks mate, funnily enough i just posted over on Cloudy nights forum about observing the Eskimo Nebula last night. The sketch is here, superimposed on one I did a couple of years ago with the 16". The difference is very obvious!
  7. Thanks. I see you have the same wheelbarrow handle set up. Invaluable aren't they? I don't know how I'd move it without. I'm so happy with them, I carry them around ;-)
  8. "Dob Royalty": I like it! First report: moon stunning, like being there, saw the rille in Alpine Valley very clearly, Eskimo Nebula: not immediately more impressive than through 16" but 1/4 moon was nearby so not a fair test. And pink colour in M42! Wasn't expecting that , as never saw anything but green/blue with the 16"
  9. Thanks guys, yes I realised when observing the moon last night that leaning over to line up the scope was a risky business!
  10. Hi all I just took possession of my biggest scope ever, a 20" Dob. We had to cut off the front of the large shed and fit hinges so the shed now has a double door. Then we fitted permanent planks inside and a moveable ramp on the outside. There's a large mirror at the back so you can check the wheels Stay on the ramp during roll out. Short video of its inaugural roll out here! Iain http://fouragesofsand.blogspot.co.uk/2018/02/the-half-metre-dobsonian-telescope-see.html
  11. NOW SOLD Lunt LS80THa/B1800 80mm H-Alpha Telescope Crayford Focuser, Pressure Tuner. Hi all, I was talking about this scope on the Solar Imaging Forum and offered it for sale there, and the post was subsequently moved here, but now I'm doing it "properly" with much more information and some images. On the original post you'll see my concerns about the main objective, as it appeared to have a scratch and some chips to the surface. It was very kindly pointed out to me that these were in fact stuck on pollen grains, and my worries were unfounded! A quick wipe with Baader Wonder Fluid lifted the pollen grains off straight away, and what I thought was the scratch was a pollen streak too, so it's as shiny as new now, see images below, and a full set of images on my blog link below. The scope: It's a big heavy scope, but still completely portable, and with the 1800 blocking filter the FOV is enough to see and image the Sun's full disc. See the many online reviews if not familiar with it. With a 2X or 3X Barlow, and the superb light gathering power of an 80mm, very close up observation and imaging is easy. I'll attach some links below of some of my animations so you can see what it can do. I've had the scope from new, bought from Widescreen Centre, London, in 2014, had a brief spell of using it for a few months then stopped for ages, then another year or so of proper use. It's been used exclusively by me, from my back garden, and stored in its case in my bedroom at all times. It has been handled with extreme care at all times! Basically it's a mint scope, but if you want to look closely there are a couple of v small points: 1) the viewer on top had 2 screw originally. One holds it firmly in place so over time I lost the other screw. 2) On the side, the internal bush rubs against the draw tube and lifts off the thin surface coating in a line (see photo). This is completely cosmetic and happens from Day 1 the scope is used. 3) I tightened a small screw on the base and it split the thin piece of plastic it was fitted into. This is very small, and again cosmetic, and the part is completely rigid. (see photo too).4) There are screw marks where the mount grips the rails on the base of the scope (photo). As you can see in the photo, the main objective is in perfect condition, with no scratches or marks. You can buy this scope now for £4800, or save £1700 by getting it here for £3100 ono. Comes with the Standard Zoom eyepiece, 7.2mm -21.5mm, also in perfect order, and the scope takes any other 1.25" eyepiece too. Collection /viewing welcome from St Neots Cambridgeshire, or I visit Hatfield, Herts every couple of weeks, and Rugby Warwickshire too, so any reasonable point along those routes is fine too. I prefer collection /meet up, but can post to UK address. The metal case is extremely rigid, and the scope is completely protected by the interior foam. Complete package is around 10kg. I will also add external packaging to the outside of the case, adding perhaps another 1kg. Hermes offers a very reasonable Tracked and Signed for option for £20. The only problem is that the maximum insurance is £300, as far as I can tell, so we might have to look at another delivery option, or do some kind of additional insurance. I'm open to suggestions. I'm 35 minutes away from London Kings Cross on the train, so happy to deliver there. I'm also happy to deliver /meet up within say a 100 mile radius if you cover petrol and say £20 extra. I'm planning to sell the imaging equipment separately, or it can be added into this sale, reasonable offers invited, if buying the scope. The camera is a Point Grey Blackfly GigE Camera (EV76 Mono) 5.3µm, £359 new, with Anker Astro Pro2 20000mAh Multi-Voltage (5V 12V 16V 19V) Portable Power Bank External Battery USB Charger, £60 new (in 2015). Total = around £420, so a reasonable expectation would be around half that? eg £210. (included cables, connectors and charger for the battery of course). Any questions please ask. Iain. Links to a couple of my animations below. Also see photos which are on the page link below, as well as the attached images. Thanks for looking. The links: The page with the all the photos: https://fouragesofsand.blogspot.co.uk/2018/02/photos-of-my-lunt-80mm-soalr-scope-for.html The additional links showing a few of my animations taken with this scope: Massive prom animation: https://fouragesofsand.blogspot.co.uk/2016/09/big-proms-on-sun-today-30th-september.html Flaring sunspots: https://fouragesofsand.blogspot.co.uk/2016/07/flares-on-sun-today-18th-july.html Detached prom: https://fouragesofsand.blogspot.co.uk/2016/08/deatched-solar-prominence-animation.html Limb flaring:
  12. Thanks Mick, that's appreciated. Interesting about those price rises Mark. It's hard to think of other manufactured items which have increased their price over the years.
  13. Yes, it's an easy lift! The only problem is the price. I wondered if these things might be more affordable over time but the opposite seems to be true.
  14. Ah sorry mate, and to make it worse, I see you are only about 8 miles down the road
  15. Hi, yes it was a tough choice! I took the advice from the salesman (not always a wise idea...) who said the 80mm was the best in terms of size, weight, portability and performance in UK seeing conditions, so best to go for that and worry about upgrading later to DS. I never had the stomach or the money to pay another £1700+ for the DS and was always quite happy with the SS (perhaps because I didn't know any better!). It would be interesting to see them perform side to side. It's a very bright image with the standard zoom eyepiece but gets much dimmer of course with the 2X Barlow, and really quite dim with the 3X, but still perfectly usable.
  16. You guys are geniuses! I always suspected it, but this confirms it. I sent off for the Baader Wonder Fluid and cloth and it arrived the next day (First Light Optics, well done). A quick wipe and the glued on pollen fell away. Even more good news is that the hairline which I thought was a scratch lifted off too, so I'm left with a beautiful mint condition objective and a beautiful basically mint scope to go with it. Thanks all . Here's the objective now. It's not Wonder Fluid, it's Magic Fluid.
  17. Thanks Stu, that's great. Yes sorry to be moving on. Solar imaging has been the most enjoyable astronomy I've done in my long but very patchy 'astro career' as you never know what you are going to see next. Sadly I can't keep so much money locked up in something I'm not getting good use out of, and unlike the dedicated folk here (RESPECT GUYS!!) I was only dusting off the scope when a big spot appeared. My wife is happy with the decision too and has started humming around the house :-)
  18. Hi Patrick, thanks for your interest. I'll PM you now in case it's not appropriate for us to carry on a negotiation here on the imaging forum! You won't believe it but I haven't actually thought about what I might ask for the kit, but looking at the main sites now, this model with the 1800 blocking filter seems to be selling for £4800. I suppose a "first pass" figure for a basically mint condition second hand one (once lens is in perfect order, which is not yet!) Would be around 2/3 of that ie around £3000? The rest of the kit adds up to around £1100 new but happy to let that go for less than 1/2 eg £450ish? Ah I see I've started the negotiations here after saying I wouldn't ! I'll stop now.
  19. Ah that's much appreciated John, really. Thank you. If I'm rich in a few years I may well be back for the next Maximum ;-) All the best, Iain
  20. Wow, that's some dirty glass there! Well done. Thank's for the kind words Dave. I have a habit of coming and going so will probably be back sometime anyway. " can't match them with my LS60DS so that bit of extra aperture must help." That sounds like a buying signal to me Dave. Let's talk ;-)
  21. That's fantastic news! Many thanks guys. I'll give that a go and get back to you. Alan, "Wow, lovely scope!" thanks, it certainly is. I'm now open to offers from you and will deliver it to you in Cumbria at your convenience ;-) Iain
  22. Hi all. Sorry for the months of silence. I've been "lurking" here but not participating and not using the solar scope either. As a result (and as a result of having no cash...) I'm planning to sell the Lunt 80mm with mount, point grey camera, barlows, battery pack, basically everything! I know this rightly belongs on the Selling part of the forum but I wanted to say hello and thank everyone for a great year or 2 participating on this wonderful forum and with all the wonderful people here. If anyone wants the whole kit, let me know! (based in St Neots, Cambridgeshire but can travel or meet up.) I'll be putting it up on the right page here soon and on Astrobuysell. I've got no idea as to value but I see that my scope, the Lunt LS80THa/B1800 80mm is selling new at over £4000! If I can't sell the package, I'll just sell the scope first. One issue though; when I photographed it just now, I noticed for the first time what looked like tiny chips on the surface of the main objective. I'm completely at a loss as to what they are. Any ideas? I then used a 1:1 macro lens to magnify them, and I'm now even more confused. One looks like a pollen grain, but it's firmly stuck on. A quick polish with a lens cloth doesn't do anything. I've owned the scope from new, and looked after it, well, and it's only been used seriously in the back garden, handled with care throughout, and kept in the house in its case. As I say, it's only noticeable when you really look, and certainly doesn't affect the performance of the scope, but is found to affect its selling price. Thanks for looking, and any suggestions (or offers!) welcome. Macro photos attached, and also 2 links to videos of the scope and mount + imaging equipment if anyone is interested. Iain
  23. Great stuff Charl! I knew big spots would appear if I went away on another holiday...fingers crossed they will be there next week on my return, or even bigger .good luck with the weather all (heavy rain here in Derbyshire Dales) Iain
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