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Anyone going to astrofest today?


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Was a good event, only went to exhibition though. Similar setup to previous years. Its always good to see the kit in 'the flesh' so can get appreciation of size of scopes / eyepieces - often a lot bigger than you think!

Starlight Xpress had their all sky cam on show along with a number of sensors. Id love an all sky cam but bit too expensive for me. Seeing the wide selection of green eyepieces on TV area always nearly leads to temptation :) though avoided any purchases - they did have a bit of discount on them. Good variety of books on display from Cambridge books stall and another which i cant remember. Looked at a couple of Lunt scopes, got the 35,50 and 60 on show. There was an oculus rift type demo someone was on, but didnt stay around long enough to test. Celestron had wide variety of massive scopes on display - they certainly didnt look portable :) 

Atik has a good stand also, as did a couple of Universities / smaller organisations including campaign dark skies

Number of good discounts on display, quite a few scopes with decent sums of money off - saw an APM 152ED with discount - a great deal if anyone invests! Saw the APM 170 or 180ED (cant remember which) on an Avo type mount - scope was massive and looked decent build quality - can only dream of buying! the mount was on demo and was surprisingly quiet and smooth. Another stand had selection of Taks on display. Usual skywatchers upstairs and selection of dobs.

Went to the Orion Optics stand - chatted to the reps about their mirrors and F4 vs ~f5 as was thinking of upgrading to either a VX10 or VX12. (i have a 250pds at the moment). I really liked the OO focuser / spider quality - looked a good sturdy build. After chatting for around 5-10mins he offered a really good deal on F4 VX12 with PV1/10 mirror OTA - aperture fever got the better of me and ended up purchasing one as discount was really good and too tempting, put down 25% of price as deposit, will pay rest over next few weeks and will be a new owner of one in about 8 weeks :) Apparently they do a custom mod as will be using for visual only, will send them my paracorr for a few days for measurement so they alter the position of focuser (apparently as the paracorr changes focal plane )- this will stop the paracorr and EP jutting right out! the OO appears to weigh around the same as current scope also its still 1200mm so will fit in car ok - cant wait now :)

Overall a good afternoon out, spent around 1 hour there wandering around and chatting to a couple of vendors - didnt intend to buy anything originally - so suggest leave the credit card at home if lack will power :)





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I'm not going to any of the talks as I couldn't justify the ticket price, so I'll just be going to the exhibition, though I do intend to buy a red head-torch if anyone has one on their stand. Beyond that, no big spending as I have some serious expenses coming up and I've just blown £10k on an upmarket bathroom.

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