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Everything posted by beetlejuice

  1. I had the predecessor to the Gotonova - the Gotostar on my EQ5 (it's still in a box in the garage). Complete pile of poo. Changed it out for a Synscan after many frustrating nights trying to get the thing to vaguely align. The Synscan is 5 years old now and still going strong.
  2. Sure, no problem. Glad to be of help.
  3. Hi Snakey. Perhaps I can help. First of all, forget the Gotostar, it is obsolete. It has been replaced by the iOptron Gotonova http://www.ioptron.c...e1-a829228e98b6 . That review dates from 2007. I know that because I own the very mount in the review. I bought it off Ade Ashford. I still use the mount as my 'grab-and-go' gem but not the Gotostar. I had no-end of trouble with its very erratic goto (lack of) capabilities. After struggling with it for months, I ditched it for a Skywatcher Synscan kit from FLO. This I have to say has been faultless. The only problem I had is the RA housing diameter on the EQ5 mount is about 5mm more than the equivalent Skywatcher/Celestron CG5 the goto kit is designed for. However, an hour or two with a very sharp hobby knife carefully scraping excess plastic got it to fit perfectly (test-fitting constantly). The actual gubbins fits straight on no problem.
  4. Well my CG5 and tripod is painted with what looks like a black Hammerite paint. So that's probably your best bet. B&Q sells it. My tripod has the marks around the top plate and the odd small knock on the tripod locking knob ferrules where it bangs to gether when I close it up. This is inevitable use marking. I don't sweat it, and neither should you, because marks are guaranteed no matter how careful you are. It's irrelevant in the dark!
  5. There was an article in S&N magazine a few years ago which did precisely this - mount a Meade OTA on a EQ6. If I can find it I'll scan and email it to you.
  6. $799 in the USA ex sales tax so expect around £799 in the UK.
  7. Mu experience of Meade's is limited. I did have an ETX125 for a while. The scope was fine, the mount less so. Had a mind of its own and was full of bearing slop. And this was the supposedly 're-engineered' version. As the 850 is 're-engineered' version of the 800 which wasn't round for long, I think I'd be very careful about buying a Meade again.
  8. My society, the Astronomocal Society of Glasgow, took part in the Beeb's Stargazing Live event at Glasgow's Botanic Gardens on 10 January. According to the BBC we had over 4400 people through the doors. We set up scopes in the grounds and had an informatiove stand inside. It was very hectic but very rewarding - and we picked up a few new members.
  9. Looks interesting. A biit more user friendly than the CG5-GT. Obviously aimed at the Meade LX80. Same price in the US - $799.
  10. Hi Paul. Welcome to SGL. I'm a council member at the ASG so I can help! We run monthly free lectures from September to May. Details of these can be found on our website. We have the use of Glasgow University's Acre Road obsy twice a month from October to March to which all members are welcome. We also have monthly dark sky nights at Mugdock Country Park for members. We run public outreach 'Stars over the Botanics' at the Botanic Gardens monthly from October to March and two 'Sun over the Botanics' in April and September. Twice a year we go for a dark skies weekend in deepest Perthshire. We also have an annual outing to somwehere of astronomical interest. If you are interested in joining, please email our membership secretary membership@theasg.org.uk who will soon sort you out.
  11. I use the tripod from my Celestron CG5 mount. Perfect. I picked it up and the mount brand new from an SGL'r for £120.
  12. RTV neutral cure silicone sealant is popular way of stress-free glueing mirrors into their cells. Place some biggish blobs at the corners of the support triangles; uses a spacer like a coin in the middle to prevent the sealant being squeezed out and carefully lower the mirror central on to the spacers. Leave to cure for a couple of days.Remove spacer. Down side is next time you want to remove the mirror, you'll have to cut through the silicone. Plus side, you don't need the rim retaining clips, so less diffraction. Don't use the sealants you can buy at B&Q, they are certain to be acetoxy based silicones (smell like vinegar). Neutral cure which uses alcohol as the solvent is best. Usual disclaimers apply!
  13. £8 is not bad for a handling fee. Last time I ordered from Optcorp in California, UPS ripped me for a £13 'handling fee'. On the plus side, delivery took three days from ordering online and having it my hands. PDG.
  14. The October edition of Sky & Telescope magazine reviews this mount and its big brother the iEQ30. The SmartEQ has plastic gears but tracks well. S&T reckon a 5 or 6 inch CAT is about the max this mount can take. Best suited to a camera platform for widefield.
  15. I have an Horizon tripod, but I don't use it to mount binos on. I use it to mount a PST. For the money it is pretty good. The motions are a bit clunky and I have to tighten the altitude clutch quite tightly to get it to stop drifting as the weight is not evenly distributed (a bit of counterweighting would help if I could be bothered). Overall though it serves its purpose. I only paid 40 quid for mine second hand, but in as new condition, so can't really complain.
  16. 58 (just) but have been interested in astronomy since my mum bought me the Observers book of Astronomy in 1962. Looking at my astronomy society I'd say the average age is mid-forties. We do have younger members but they are in the minority. Sent from my HTC Desire S using Tapatalk 2
  17. Another vote for the 10x50 PentaxPCF WPII's. Great bins for the price. I've had my share of cheapo bins like the Bressers. All disappointed one way or the other. The Bressers were fine optically but mechanically very poor.
  18. A great man. Well known for Jodrell Bank, he is less well known as the developer of H2S - the airborne radar use in Lancasters and Halifaxes towards the end of the war, and for which he received an OBE.
  19. I think the chap got a bargain. The Picatinny rail for my Remington 700 rifle cost about 70 quid and it's not near the length of the one he had made. Sent from my HTC Desire S using Tapatalk 2
  20. Had a nice view of the rain and thundering waves at Kingsbarns beach near St Andrews but of the transit, there was nary a peak. Such a pity as the weekend in Fife was generally sunny. Typical Scottish weather!
  21. Extortionate! I subscribe direct with S&T and my renewal for 2012/13 is $51.95 delivered to my door. (that's £33.50 at current exchange rates). That's a club rate though as I'm a member of the BAA so qualify for a discount. However, I think being a member of any registered club qualifies for a discount. Worth trying anyway.
  22. My local WH Smith has it. Maybe it's just a local thing? You can buy back issues fom S&T. Cost you though. If you are a subscriber you should also get accesss to the digital edition which can be downloaded.
  23. My local B&Q does that. Got some gloss paint made up to match a non-standard batch from a few years ago. Pretty good. However, when I touched up some chips on my EQ6 counterweights I just used Dulux Satin oil paint. Pretty good really for small areas.
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