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Losing patience


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I live in North Cornwall,and haven't been able to see the night sky for more than a few minutes at a time for months.I have an 8" Dob mounted on a custom trolley,which I can whip out of the garage in a few minutes,but even this can be a totally frustrating business. I am thinking I will be better off with a good pair of binoculars -I already have a tripod-and would welcome some advice .My main area of interest is planetary and lunar. What bins would suit?

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If I were you I'd stick with it. Once this bad weather clears, and it will, you will regret not having 8" at your disposal. Bins are ok for a casual look round the sky but aren't really any use for planetary or lunar.

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My opinion for what it is worth is that Bino's are great for sweeping up large star clusters and generally scanning the heavens, with pleasing views of the moon, but they are woefully inadequate for views of the planets. The magnifications are just not high enough to make them anything other than very small discs.

If you are dead set on this course of action then Vixen make some amazing astro binoculars but they are more like two small telescopes bolted together, And they are not cheap.

http://www.vixenoptics.com/binoculars/bt80.htm

I know it is frustrating with the weather, but keep the faith, eventually it will get better and you will have some amazing views of the objects that interest you.

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As said keep the faith, I came home late from chess last night and there....in the sky....were stars...sob...sob....It was about 12.30 so I ran in hauled my scope outside and had a pleasant half hour before the clouds rolled in. The moon was the last thing to be swallowed up, brief but worth it, I didn't even let the scope cool down! :smiley:

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this game certainly teaches patience; as has been said above, this nonsense won't last forever and you will regret not having your dob and your views with bins would be inferior to what you have currently; why not get a set of bins in addition, there are plenty of suggestions in the Equipment/Binocular section

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Fully agree with the earlier posts.

I have a vague recollection of looking at the sky, probably sometime in the spring. But would not think about getting rid of any kit.

Just wait a while. Oh yes, the nights have been drawing in for 3 weeks now!

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I imagine that almost anyone with an outdoor hobby requiring good weather is in the same boat (what an unfortunate turn of phrase :) at the moment. I've all but given up on the veg patch this year because the ground is so wet. We've got a few raised beds and the polytunnel and that's it. We live next door to the local village cricket pitch and there have been precious few matches so far this summer, not to mention their annual summer pig roast taking place in torrential rain. I think it's probably inevitable by now that this summer will end up being the wettest ever recorded in the UK and no-one really seems to know why the jet stream is behaving the way it is or when it's likely to change. For the time being it's just something we have to get through.

And let's not forget that whilst we wallow in the mud and cold, some parts of the USA are experiencing extreme heat and drought to the point where people are dying. Suddenly my own frustration at not being able to get out and do a bit of astronomy doesn't seem quite so serious.

James

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It is very frustrating. I haven't used a scope or ridden a motorcycle since I returned home from China 2 weeks ago, nor have I managed to do much more than essential repair work to the property. The constant grey sky is really doing my nut. The only plus side is that I have plenty of time to ride my bicycle (as rain doesn't put me off). Oh yes, and my ebay bill this month seems a little larger than usual....

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Oh yes, and my ebay bill this month seems a little larger than usual....

Yeah, not so much ebay but I hear you. At least nowI have a heap of shiny new kit that I can look at.

It's also had an spillover in wanting to try my hand at a few different things like mirror grinding and building a dob so it's not all that bad. I think even if observing is poor there is still lots of things you can do astronomically related that will keep the fires burning.

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Yeah, not so much ebay but I hear you. At least nowI have a heap of shiny new kit that I can look at.

It's also had an spillover in wanting to try my hand at a few different things like mirror grinding and building a dob so it's not all that bad. I think even if observing is poor there is still lots of things you can do astronomically related that will keep the fires burning.

I have this little devil whispering in my ear "Buy a lathe! Buy a lathe! You can make astro bits with it!" It's tempting to get a small one to learn with, but I know I really can't justify the cost for the amount of use it's likely to get...

James

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Hum. I bought my first astro scope last winter and it's not had much use. And my new year's resolution for daytime activities was to do a lot more butterfly and dragonfly spotting. And camping. What can you do about weather?

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i know how you feel mate. i got an 8" dob in june and have only been out with it a few times because of the weather, but there is no way i would part with it. i can't wait for the weather to change so i can get back out there. i would definitely agree with everyone here, patience is the name of the game, although i am half contemplating going out around 01:00 or 02:00 tomorrow morning because its meant to be clear and i haven't had my fix for so long lol! hope this helps.

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You have my sympathy too. I got my first ever scope at 16:43 on Friday 1st June 2012 and I haven't seen anything through it yet. :mad:

Tell a lie - I saw some very nice upside-down chain-link fencing on which I could resolve two raindrops at 200 yards. :rolleyes:

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Am cautiously optimistic....been not too bad at all here in Sheffield this afternoon...odd not grey colour in the sky! Possibility I could at least cloud dodge with my bins...or maybe, just maybe get a scope out! Been so long, I;ve forgotten which end to point at the sky ;)

Edited by Marki
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its been quite nice in south wales most of the say, reasonably clear skies and even some sunshine. been doing some reading and re-watching wonders of the solar system blu ray thinking if it keeps up, ill have a play about with the bins later and start to learn what im actually looking at. As is always the case tho, about an hour or so ago, the clouds come in and the heavens open.

Its not going to be like this forever and when people get that nice clear night and have an awesome nights viewing, this frustration and waiting will be irrelevant

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I share your pain!

I bought my scope early this year and living in the middle of a city I can only use it properly when I drive out to a remote spot.

Since buying it I've been able to use it 5 times in total.

Just have to be patient, I'm afraid. :sad:

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off work today, was hoping for a decent night last night but it was still grim in Bedfordshire around midnight.so today out with the white light filter and time to have a look at the sunspot activity before it vanishes again.you just have to be patient and try to grab every opportunity.

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Just buy a set of standard birding bin's.

If you get astronomy binoculars then you need a tripod - you cannot hand hold them.

So you will still have a set up time and unless you get a set that makes the Dob look inexpensive you are fixed at a relatively low magnification, so even with Jupiter you get a very small disk, no banding visible, 4 (possibly) small brighter dots around it. Everything else in the way of planets is smaller and less detail.

Binoculars are well suited to having a look at wide parts of the sky, they do not do magnification in the vast majority of times.

Binoculars are not an alternative to a scope, they compliment them well but are not an alternative.

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Quoting James

....I have this little devil whispering in my ear "Buy a lathe! Buy a lathe! You can make astro bits with it!" It's tempting to get a small one to learn with, but I know I really can't justify the cost for the amount of use it's likely to get...

The same devil had been whispering to me for years. A couple of years back I took his advice. While initially no individual 'job' on the lathe recovered anything approaching it's cost. I would not like to be without it. When something needed adjustment/modification, or making, it was so much easier. But after a year or so, the lathe's day finally came. My lawn mower needed parts that ran well into 'good telescope' money and were on eleventynine weeks delivery. Fifty quid on steel, pulleys, bearings and a couple of evenings later the mower ran again.

It is often difficult to justify tool purchases. But they don't need feeding and last almost indefinitely if stored properly. When you need a particular tool, and the shops have closed, or shops don't have stock it is really annoying.

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I'm having the same problem at the minute from Rotherham. Had my new scope for 2 months now and still not been able to use it because of the cloudy skies. Every time I'm working nights it seems to clear which is frustrating. Just wait till the nights start drawing in and hopefully we will eventually have some clear skies.

Nick.

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I've had my scope since the beginning of April and have probably properly used it 10 times. It would have been less if I wasn't so determined and also didn't have the luxury of being able to change my working pattern the next day so that I can stay in bed until 8am.

It has been frustrating, especially when it gets dark so late too. I managed to set up last night as it had been forecast completely clear on every weather site I checked, so I thought it was the best chance. There was a little bit of whispy cloud, but it wasn't properly dark yet so it didn;t bother me and I still managed the odd view between them. Then by the time it got completely dark the sky was covered in cloud! Nooooooooooooooooooo

This was 11;45pm, so I decided to persevere as I didn;t need to pack up until 1am. I got a cup of tea and waited and evantually at 12:30 the skies cleared and it was finally dark. so I managed to get half an hour in of good viewing, although I tended to find I was rushing and not taking it all in properly.

My advice is the same as what I tell myself in situations such as last night. Just wait until it is clear and darker earlier and the scope will never be in the house for long :)

Autumn and winter get dark early, so you can see instantly if it's clear and take advantage without waiting around (frequently it has been clear and sunny until 10pm when it clouds over! In the winter i could take advantage of those same hours of 'clearness').

so, hang in there, I know your frustration only too well. Eventually you'll get some great use out of it :)

Chris

Edited by euphony
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