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After much research, primarily on this site and The Binocular Sky, I got hold of the above binoculars. I spent ages writing a review specifically for this site of what I found, as a thanks for all the advice I had received. By the power of idiocy I then managed to post it on Cloudy Nights instead (I had both open in my browser). Too much Christmas port I guess
Anyway, too late to take it down as some have already replied and I guess I shouldn't post the same thing on two sites so here is a link to my review on completely the wrong site No offence at all to Cloudy Nights but I wrote it with the Stargazers Lounge audience in mind and it may make less sense on a US site.
Comparison of Pentax SP 50 WP 10x50 and Nikon Action EX 10x50 CF
I saw a suggestion somewhere (possibly in SGL) to attach lights to your tripod legs (dark-adaption-friendly ones, of course). The idea being to avoid accidental collisions, especially at star parties or outreach events. We experience this quite regularly at home too, so I decided it was worth pursuing (and also, as users of go-to functionality, I’m getting tired of repeating alignment operations throughout the evening).
The very simple idea was a (removable) clip for each leg, each with an LED. I briefly considered a self-contained battery to power each, but decided that charging them was too much hassle (and I also doubted finding LEDs that would operate at such low voltage). Instead, they would be fed from the USB port on the power supply I previously rigged up. I thought the LEDs would be more noticeable if flashing, and found these.
My SkyWatcher 150i tripod has 1.25” upper legs and 1” lower. Since collisions are most likely with the lower legs, it was that diameter I worked with. I looked for plastic pipe clips of this size (the most common ones are 15mm and 22mm used for plumbing) and found these. They have a hole for a fixing screw that can be used to hold an LED, and they have a hinged collar for holding the tube, which preserves a gap that allows electrical connections to pass.
The screw hole in the clip was wide enough to admit the LED body but not the rim. To allow the LED to protrude from the clip I drilled out the holes a little wider, and about 2/3 of the distance through the clip. The LED could then be pushed through until the rim engaged, and the terminal leads were bent into a succession of right angles to guide them to the top of the clip. I found some twin speaker wire in my junk box, and soldered lengths to each LED’s terminals. The clips have a channel along the edge to allow them to be ganged together. I opened them out with a needle file so that the speaker wire was a tight fit when pressed in – this was for strain relief.
I covered over the soldered joints with some scrap plastic strip, screwed into the clip, and pushed some Araldite into the hole and around the exposed metal, to prevent shorting:
These LEDs seem to work on 5.1V without needing a series resistor, so I twisted the positive and negative ends of the three speaker cables to run directly in parallel. I cannibalised a USB cable for its male socket, and soldered it (with a bit of its flex) to the speaker wires. The USB wires were quite flimsy, so I reinforceded the joint by gluing, sliding over some bits of thin plastic tubing and wrapping with duct tape.
The clips are a very tight fit onto the tripod legs; with hindsight I’d try to find some slightly larger. I’d planned on adding and removing them as needed, but decided to leave them permanently attached:
Total cost: £8.39
A week or so I good I did some preliminary research for a decent 32mm eyepiece. Looking at my results today I went for budget but decent.
I have ended up with a shortlist of: -
Revelation 32.0mm Plossl Eyepiece 1.25"
Celestron 93323 1-1/4-32 mm Omni Series Eyepiece
Baader Planetarium 32 mm Classic Ortho Eyepiece
My query today as I recheck my findings is the Revelation one. That is coming up at almost half the price of the other two (at www.telescopehouse.com)
But this eyepiece made my shortlist due to positive comments about the GSO build.
So, finally, my question, does the purchase price suggest this 32mm isn't a GSO?
No rush here. It's a wish list not a need list - as I remind myself... lol
So the little circular bubble level is weak.
But how to improve the levelling stage a head of the alignment stage?
A traditional level like this one
Or a simple multi purpose one like this one?
And we do this on the tripod before adding the mount & OTA?
The mount looks gently curved. How do we check that for level or do we trust the ‘fit’?