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A bit of advice and discussion on equipment


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I wouldn't keep it in the loft unless you have no problem at all getting it in and out - you will curse if you drop it!  It's generally not a good idea to temperature cycle too much - it might mean you have to recollimate often. That being said, mine is in the "loft" permanently and I don't have problems.

For polar alignment to be made easy, solar noon, when the sun is due south, is half way between sunrise and sunset (time should be in the local paper or any local weather site) - if you have a sundial (aka a stick in the ground) where you put your scope, then you can mark the position of north (shadow at noon) without having to resort to the equation of time, magnetic variation etc. Sticks, string and shadows were good enough for the pyramids (not to say they were intended as piers!). Don't forget:

  • the ritual of an hour or two with the grub-screws to align the polarscope properly from the "factory settings" (can be done during the day with the latitude set near the equator using a convenient distant church spire)
  • in the UK the shorter "bendy bolt" goes in the front (N), otherwise you run out of thread if you take the scope north of Leeds!

P

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Build yourself a study wooden case (shuttering ply is cheap) and use the polystyrene the scope came sitting in - a nice throw cast over it makes a convenient extra seat for your room!

It's worth always checking balance even with the sticky label approach - rotating the scope in the rings will change balance, and a scope balanced vertically may not balance horizontally. No doubt someone will raise the issue of whether a camera weighs more when it's got pictures in it... ('cos it's more information :) )

Other problem with shed is possible theft...

P

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yeah the loft is a bit tricky getting in and out, at least we've got a proper loft ladder now and not just a step ladder. Space outside the loft is a bit of a premium but i'll figure out the best/easiest place to store it sooner or later.

I think i'll balance check with the camera cards full as i agree that information should weigh something.... if i can find some images of DSO's or planets they might be heavier and just some trees or empty sky :D

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I was considering that but i wasnt sure if they'd suck my camera in.... looking like clear skies tomorrow so going to see how the day goes and set up in the early evening

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Hopefully you had decent clear skies to test out your new "boys toys" so to speak unfortunately I have not been able to do any thing this weekend family commitments and blooming Guy Fawkes here in Sussex it last 2 blooming months of firework pollution.

I need to try out my new elcheapo zoomable lense and 3x barlow which will take me down to my scopes maximum magnification.

Tonight I shall be able to see how good our new glass conservatory roof is for warm electric hook up observing. Only problem will be east sussexs light pollution and the wife's tv might have to invest in blackout curtains, glazier has just started work on it so should be ready for tonights clear skies.

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unfortunately Geoff i haven't, I'm not too far away from you myself, although I'm hoping that clearoutside.com has got the cloud cover correct for tonight for some viewing and maybe some test photography.

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Sorry to hear you live in the light and smoke polluted south east it can be one hell of a pain and clear skies are not available atm I did catch a glimpse of a bit of the moon through a crack in the clouds though about an hour ago.

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Unfortunately my new roof is not completely finished so have scaffolding etc sitting in the middle of my 6m glass house. Clear skies are not yet available so may be a godsend. Did catch a very brief glimpse of the moon through the glass in a small break in the clouds but that was a taught to my eyes lol.

good luck hope you gey the beastie sorted because it is really great sees 800x more light than your unaided eyes so even empty sky is often full of stars.

Geoff

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My builder glazier is doing his cloud dance as I have a load of scaffolding in my conservatory/observatory with its 15m2 clear glass roof I have been waiting for since may/june. Now all I must achieve is to get EastSussex to turn off the street lighting at about 10pm everynight so I can get a good dark sky in my back garden after the college turn off their floodlights over the astroturf footie pitches. Its light up like a driving range so is almost day light in the westerly direction.

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So last night the anti-cloud dance worked and I managed to get some scope time in Here is the Resulting thread 

now my next question is the scope only came with a 28mm 2" EP so I'll now need to get more.....so questions are what to get...with my F5 the eyepieces thread suggests not really below an 8mm on a 2x barlow ? So do people have any suggestions on EPs? 

What are the differences between This set from FLO and This one

 

Are the Baader's worth the extra cost over the celestrons? are there other UK suppliers people use with a greater range of EP's?

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Hi

I have just looked at your link to FLO and will now be able to say in the short term Baader make a very good by all accounts on the forums a decent Zoom with either 1.25 or 2 inch eyepiece which is half the cost of the individuals you have selected i believe it goes down to 8 mm I have seen it on Amazon slightly cheaper with the 2.25 magnifier included

So if you want to save a few bob thats the way to go, I must admit between 24mm and 18mm many people comment about it being a narrow Field of View but you have your original stock piece to cover a wider field of view at low magnification.

http://www.firstlightoptics.com/baader-planetarium/baader-hyperion-zoom-eyepiece.html

hope this post helps a little.

Geoff

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Hi

I have just attached a link to the discussion in this Forum http://stargazerslounge.com/topic/167120-baader-hyperion-zoom-mkiii/regarding the Baader Zoom lens and it is £175 on Amazon.

I hope this helps with your decision to let the moths escape your wallet yet again, or I my case have a bit less earache from she who must be abade.

Geoff

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thats a nice pic mate, I love the colour on it, i'm sure at least one of my mates is doing a constant cloud dance just so he can make me go to the gym in the evenings instead of stargazing

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Hi after the best part of a week without any decent skies I finally got a few hours outside and nature biggest light polluter spoilt any hopes of a decent night star hoping due to still quite a lot of cloud cover howver I was able to take a picture which looks very decent.

I wont say its exceptional but it is a single1/640 second sub at 320iso via my D90 directly mounted to the tube.

post-47183-0-48263400-1445734843_thumb.j

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I hope you got some Scope time , I found a good spot yesterday in Alciston it is at the top of the downs up Bopeep Bostal alot less light pollution than firle beacon and 360 views. Give it a try must arrange to meet up next month for a evenings viewing.

Geoff

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it may not be a good idea keeping the scope in the loft, I'm not an expert with reflectors but I would have thought too much heat veriation could play havoc with collimation. Also man handling it in and out of the loft may also be detrimental to the scope and collimation.

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It's sitting in the hall at the moment eagerly waiting for clear skies, I might keep it in the spare room after my nieces have gone home after the weekend. Managed to get out again last night for a few hours grabbed a few more shots of the moon and a video too. Been playing around a bit with registax and ended up with the attached moon pic, might play more with it in photoshop though (add a moon lander and UK flag  :grin:

Using the 28mm EP that came with my scope I can see stars as nice clear pinpricks but when I went to use the camera and also my zoom lens I end up with this effect.. I'm assuming that means the scope still isnt collimated properly and if so I really don't understand how to get it set up nicely even after reading astro-baby's guide and all sorts of other guides and watching youtube vids, everything looks fine when i look through the cap and cheshire but obviously it isnt.

post-47232-0-82352900-1446113521_thumb.j

post-47232-0-72538400-1446113940_thumb.j

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Thats not a collimation issue. The images in the lower photo are just out of focus stars, well out of focus !

The collimation actually looks OK from the defocussed star nearest the centre of the field of view, not perfect, but not too far off at all.

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