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John

International Astro Show, Stoneleigh: anyone going ?

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TSRobot    14

Seems to be a huge range of uber expensive kit and a small range of affordable kit. Still loving it though :hello2:

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Tim    2,545
6 hours ago, swag72 said:

Can anyone tell me if David Jackson from Hitec Astro is at the show please? Does he have a stand?

As usual he is on Ian Kings stand Sara. He is there today, just seen him.

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Tim    2,545

Have to just chip in, I thought this was the best IAS so far. Much more of a buzz about it, more stands, and some reasonable deals to be had if you looked in the right places.

Always a pleasure to see familiar faces, great to bump into you @John, and nice to see the Widescreen Centre dog too, along with Simon, Elena and Alex.

Was very very very very, (did I say very enough?) impressed with an alt/az mount from a Danish guy called Niels on the P2V stand. Super portable and amazingly quick to set up and dismantle. Not a cheapy but really well thought out. Better start a savings fund, or flog a couple of kidneys

Didn't buy much this time, just an eyepiece to complete my collection, and a mobile phone holder, which will begin my next adventure in astronomy, and what I believe to be the future of astro photography. Oh, also bought a lens cloth :p

In all, well done Martin & Graham, great show, your hard work has paid off.

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Peter Drew    5,300
31 minutes ago, Tim said:

Have to just chip in, I thought this was the best IAS so far. Much more of a buzz about it, more stands, and some reasonable deals to be had if you looked in the right places.

Always a pleasure to see familiar faces, great to bump into you @John, and nice to see the Widescreen Centre dog too, along with Simon, Elena and Alex.

Was very very very very, (did I say very enough?) impressed with an alt/az mount from a Danish guy called Niels on the P2V stand. Super portable and amazingly quick to set up and dismantle. Not a cheapy but really well thought out. Better start a savings fund, or flog a couple of kidneys

Didn't buy much this time, just an eyepiece to complete my collection, and a mobile phone holder, which will begin my next adventure in astronomy, and what I believe to be the future of astro photography. Oh, also bought a lens cloth :p

In all, well done Martin & Graham, great show, your hard work has paid off.

The mount was a "Track the Stars" alt- azimuth mount and as you say, very impressive. I've built myself a couple of similar units but without goto and motors, one carries a 5" F15 triplet refractor and the other a 6" binocular telescope.   :icon_biggrin:

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The Admiral    1,312
1 hour ago, Tim said:

Was very very very very, (did I say very enough?) impressed with an alt/az mount from a Danish guy called Niels on the P2V stand. Super portable and amazingly quick to set up and dismantle. Not a cheapy but really well thought out. Better start a savings fund, or flog a couple of kidneys

Yes I spoke with Niels as well, as I've had a 'crush' on that mount for some time! I think it'll do well as long as he can get above a critical mass of users, which will mean dispelling the thoughts that it'll be no good for imaging. Reading posts on the 'American' site suggests that folk don't want to part with the readies for a mount with not a lot of user experience, but that is the problem, plus the fact that it where it is used, it is primarily for visual. Even your own post referring to an Alt/Az mount, which is what it is I accept, will not attract the attention of imagers. As a visual only mount at that price it would be a non-starter. But the engineering is superb and it oozes quality.

Ian

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John    17,139
1 hour ago, Tim said:

Have to just chip in, I thought this was the best IAS so far. Much more of a buzz about it, more stands, and some reasonable deals to be had if you looked in the right places.

Always a pleasure to see familiar faces, great to bump into you @John, and nice to see the Widescreen Centre dog too, along with Simon, Elena and Alex.

Was very very very very, (did I say very enough?) impressed with an alt/az mount from a Danish guy called Niels on the P2V stand. Super portable and amazingly quick to set up and dismantle. Not a cheapy but really well thought out. Better start a savings fund, or flog a couple of kidneys

Didn't buy much this time, just an eyepiece to complete my collection, and a mobile phone holder, which will begin my next adventure in astronomy, and what I believe to be the future of astro photography. Oh, also bought a lens cloth :p

In all, well done Martin & Graham, great show, your hard work has paid off.

Great to see you as well Tim :icon_biggrin:

I enjoyed the show and behaved quite well, just coming away with a dew shield extension for my ED120 and a replacement dust cap for my 12" Orion Optics - they seem to be using much better quality plastic with the latest ones, unlike the fragile original which is falling to bits :rolleyes2:

It was good to see the Altair 125mm FPL-53 doublet refractor at last after reading lots about it. It's a lot larger than the ED120 though - surprisingly so to me. Nicely put together though. Also drooled over a LZOS triplet 152mm with a strehl of .99 ! :shocked:

I didn't have £8K spare though so it stayed at the show ..... as did the mahoosive 205mm triplet on a matching monster eq mount - about as far from grab and go as you can get and around £25K more than my current astro budget has available.

Good show overall :thumbright:

 

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geordie85    384

I must say I had a great day looking at all the shiny's that I can't afford. I kept going back to look at the esprit 100ed that I came extremely close to persuading myself to buy several times. 

The only reason I didn't is because the wife would of had a fit. Maybe next year.

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Aidan    63
5 minutes ago, geordie85 said:

I must say I had a great day looking at all the shiny's that I can't afford. I kept going back to look at the esprit 100ed that I came extremely close to persuading myself to buy several times. 

The only reason I didn't is because the wife would of had a fit. Maybe next year.

I too went today.  How strange.. I was also sooooo close on buying the Esprit 100 too!  I've dealt with Steve a few times in the past, e was trying hard to persuade me!

Ended up keeping to what I had set out to buy...  Altair Astro 80mm Triplet & Pegasus Autofocuser.

Looking forward to next year!

 

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geordie85    384
2 hours ago, Aidan said:

I too went today.  How strange.. I was also sooooo close on buying the Esprit 100 too!  I've dealt with Steve a few times in the past, e was trying hard to persuade me!

Ended up keeping to what I had set out to buy...  Altair Astro 80mm Triplet & Pegasus Autofocuser.

Looking forward to next year!

 

It was a bargain at that price. I'll just have to save my pennies for next year. 

I was seriously considering the 80mm ts triplet aswell but with a house move in the next couple months, I really couldn't justify it.

Edited by geordie85

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John    17,139

One thing I did notice at the show today was just how many different variants of the 6" F/5.9 achromat refractors there are about. They were there branded by Altair Astro (2 colour choices) Technosky, Omegon plus at least a couple more variants. The prices seemed to vary between £700 and £900 but some had better specced focusers than others.

I'm fairly sure these all come out of the same factory but I assume that they must be popular given the number around :icon_biggrin:

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Paz    623
5 hours ago, John said:

 

I enjoyed the show and behaved quite well, just coming away with a dew shield extension for my ED120 and a replacement dust cap for my 12" Orion Optics - they seem to be using much better quality plastic with the latest ones, unlike the fragile original which is falling to bits.

 

I also got a new cap for my vx14 because the one I've got has a big hole on it for stopped down observing, but the highlight was finding a second hand dual speed focuser for my maksutov!

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Tim    2,545
19 hours ago, The Admiral said:

Yes I spoke with Niels as well, as I've had a 'crush' on that mount for some time! I think it'll do well as long as he can get above a critical mass of users, which will mean dispelling the thoughts that it'll be no good for imaging. Reading posts on the 'American' site suggests that folk don't want to part with the readies for a mount with not a lot of user experience, but that is the problem, plus the fact that it where it is used, it is primarily for visual. Even your own post referring to an Alt/Az mount, which is what it is I accept, will not attract the attention of imagers. As a visual only mount at that price it would be a non-starter. But the engineering is superb and it oozes quality.

Ian

Yep, still thinking/drooling about it. Really it wants to be available for about 60% of the asking price. At that price point it isnt really a serious contender for the portable imaging side, might as well get a 10 micron and do it "properly".

Managed to fly down to Lucksall for SGL star party with my dob and gave one of my IAS purchases first light. It was only an eyepiece, but proved very nice :)

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John    17,139
1 hour ago, Tim said:

..Managed to fly down to Lucksall for SGL star party with my dob and gave one of my IAS purchases first light. It was only an eyepiece, but proved very nice :)

21mm Ethos or something else ? :icon_biggrin:

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Alan White    870

I thought it was a very good show, this was my second visit as attended last year also.

The talks I attended yesterday weree:


Mark Craig, "Gene Cernan, Last Man on the Moon"
A most enjoyable and informative talk,
clearly Mark was very touched by Gene Cernan to the point he has been back to pay his respects at Gene's grave in Texas.

Chris Lintot, "Galaxy Zoo from penguins to peas"
Started nice and relaxed, got a bit scientific at one point and I drifted, but an entertaining lecture not a talk.
I felt like one of his students rather than an attendee at a talk.

Spent a lot of time walking the stands and was impressed by the lack of any pressure selling encountered.

Altair Astro where I bought a Solar Finder was interesting and most friendly.
Pulsar Observatories where I was shown the 2.2m dome and how it worked was most informative and friendly.
AstroShop / Omegon was very interesting and a very helpful chap demonstrated whatever we looked at even though we were clear we were not buying.

Sadly did not spot any fellow SGLers, but then again I doubt you spotted me either.

Can only recommend this show to those who have not been or been for a while.

 

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The Admiral    1,312
3 hours ago, Tim said:

At that price point it isnt really a serious contender for the portable imaging side, might as well get a 10 micron and do it "properly".

OK, but realistically, not quite in the same league, price-wise! The 10 Micron is almost twice the price, and twice a large sum is a very large sum :blink:. Nice if you could afford it, though.

Ian

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Highburymark    949

I enjoyed it too. Best astro show I've been to in past few years. Was disappointed only by my own lack of discipline. Came away with pairs of Fujiyama 25mms and TV 20mm plossls (thanks to Lee at Green Witch - there were good deals to be had away from the bigger retailers' stands), a filter or two and a Lacerta Herschel prism. The only business I was supposed to do was swap a misfiring Steeltrack focuser for a new one at 365. 

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TSRobot    14

I only spent £2 on a pair of spectrograph/rainbow glasses for my little lad from Astromedia. He loves them. Really I was rather confused by all the amazing kit and crowds there. The 2 OTAs I wanted to see weren't on display and the mount i wanted to see wasn't working. I went to the AP lecture, but it was way over my head though the Galaxies lecture was very interesting. Not sure if this kind of event is my kind of thing though it was good to see lots of kit even if it overwhelmed a bit.

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Tim    2,545
1 hour ago, The Admiral said:

OK, but realistically, not quite in the same league, price-wise! The 10 Micron is almost twice the price, and twice a large sum is a very large sum :blink:. Nice if you could afford it, though.

Ian

Oops yeh, the price has gone up a little on the 10 micron since I got mine. There's a 2k difference between the setup I discussed with Niels and what a gm1000 would set you back now.

Shame there isn't something of this quality available around the 2-2.5k mark really.

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SAW    43

I picked up a flattener for my WO61, saved about £20 on buying it up there.

I really want to get a cooled camera but no one was doing any good deals on them :-( £50-£90 off was the best I found, thought I'd get a more of deal if I was spending over a grand ! Glad I didn't get one as I need to research exactly which one I want.

I went to the AP lecture which was mostly over my head and very Pixinsight driven but it was interesting and and I'm now looking into Pixinsight.

Spoke to the owner of Astrograph and he was REALLY helpful regarding cameras.

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Ouroboros    852

My impression was that there were fewer people at the show on Friday than there had been in previous years. It occured to me that the show might not be commercially viable if numbers were down that much on both days. Was it busy on the Saturday? 

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Alan White    870
2 hours ago, Ouroboros said:

My impression was that there were fewer people at the show on Friday than there had been in previous years. It occured to me that the show might not be commercially viable if numbers were down that much on both days. Was it busy on the Saturday? 

Yes, or felt it.
This was the second one I have been at so comparing to last year.

 

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