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Getting back into astronomy after many years. Really tasted the thrill as a youngster: eg
Jupiter Saturn conj of 1981 viewed through a 4" refractor
Splitting the double on the 'tip of the sword' of Cygnus - which as I recall were red and green.
Naked eye all night sessions in Spain and New Zealand.
For the last couple of weeks I have been getting off to dark skies a few miles from where I live and using 8x32's and I have just bought some used Celestron (Echelon) 16x70's which came a couple of days ago - since which time, in accordance with the Laws of Physics, the skies have been cloudy!
I am probably going to get an Orion parallelogram tripod, but there are long waiting times - in the meantime would love to know of any advice people may have on monopods / heads and a mount that will fix to the Echelons.
£350 inc postage.
4 degree field of view.
Individual focus eye lenses, each +5 to -5 diopter.
Very clean & collimation checked.
Flat field, good FOV for 16x magnification. Bright images.
With own original case.
1. DEW SHIELD
I've completed a pair of dew shields for my 16x70 binos. I used a 10mm thickness Mountain Warehouse camping mat paired to some 50mm Valcro with additional strong glue to keep them stuck together.
For the first one, I used the full 50mm overlap on the Velcro to hold the ends together but they were quite hard to pull apart. So, for the second one, I used 50mm on one side of the Velcro and cut-down to 25mm on the other side of the Velcro.
Time will tell which is the best solution, then I can make up a "third one" to be the same as the best of the other two - if needed!
2. FILTER HOLDERS
My APM binos have 20mm of eye relief so I hope to make some filter holders from some of this matting.
I have some spare old 2" Skywatcher UHC and O3 filters in the loft, so I plan to experiment to see if I can construct something from the camping mat to fit them over the eyepieces of the binos.
After removing the rubber eyecups, I am left with a 2" diameter eyepiece which matches the circumference of these 2" filters.
So, I am making a 40mm wide & 210mm long camping mat "roll" that will fit exactly around the eyepiece. The ends wont overlap, they should just meet up and i will wrap the whole thing with Gorilla Tape to hold it "in a circle". This circle should then just push down over the eyepiece to hold the filters in place.
I will use some folded over gorilla tape segments to make a "rim" that the filter will "sit on" ( at a distance of 10mm from the top ) when pushed inside.
As the 2" filter is way more than the 30mm of the bino eyepiece lens, then as long as I dont block the central 30mm of the filter, the view should be unobstructed.
The glue is setting at the moment, if successful then I will post up some pics... (Blue Peter would be proud!)
I have had my APM 16x70 ED binos for a week now and they are proving to be very good. However, the single weakest point are the supplied lens caps, they just love to fall off (its impossible to remove the binos from the case and have the lens caps in place when the binos come out of the bag! ).
Having measured the diameter of the lens as 84mm, I have purchased two Keiser 85mm lens caps (as the closest larger size that I could find).
I have stuck a layer of trimmed "Gorilla Tape" to the inside edge of the caps and now they are a nice fit, needing significantly more pull to get them off than the originals
[Pic shows Keiser 85mm caps with added Gorilla tape around the rim]
However, it is still impossible to get the binos out of their supplied bag with both lens caps in place (the bag is too tight!)
So, I have fitted some sticky Velcro squares to the binos (two on each lens) and I am using the "other" part of the Velcro as a strap to hold the lens caps on - I can now remove them from the bag and have the Lens Caps in place
[Pic shows the Keiser caps on the APM binos + the sticky velcro pads]
[Pic shows the velcro securing strips in place]
Finally, I have at last received my Amazon Basics tripod "with pistol grip" so I have removed the pistol grip and added it to the end of my Manfrotto Monopod and I am at last good to go...