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mcrossley

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1. I'm an evangelist for ski socks and snowboarding trousers

2. pocket warmers - also elastic band one to handset or use on eyepieces to de-dew

3. one of those airline goodie bags with pouches for shower gel etc - makes a good portable eyepiece/bits and bobs holder (mine's white, better visibility)

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Dont rely on the built in tripod spirit level, caused me all my alignment issues! buy a proper spirit level for accurate alignment.

He who goes to bed with an itchy bum, wakes up with a stinky finger!

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The skies will inevitably clear just as you finish packing up...but will cloud over again if you set the gear back up...

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Here's a controverstial one...

Whenever possible Check out any advice you are given on the internet from other "reliable" sources - or at least try and check it out from as many sources as possible otherwise you can end up with a lemon... :)

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I have never heard of waterproof paper! :) I've been thinking that I need to be better prepared for observing sessions with maps aand lists etc and was thinking I'd have to laminate them. Is this stuff any good? Would it last or is lamintating the best bet for long term?

Also do most of you plan what you are going to look at before you go out?

Thanks

Brian

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Waterproof 'paper' is actually a plastic film rather than paper, it is full of embedded silicon granules that absorb the ink and 'lock' it in. You really can run it under tap or stamp on it in a muddy puddle, you get a tiny bit of bleeding of excess ink, but a wipe with cloth and it is perfectly readable. I have used it to print out sections of OS maps to take on walks for some time, works great, just fold it up in your pocket and it springs back into a flat sheet.

I image you could use it for astro sketching too. Print out planetary outlines and fill in the details with pencil, it won't get soggy like paper.

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I've been thinking that I need to be better prepared for observing sessions with maps aand lists etc and was thinking I'd have to laminate them. Also do most of you plan what you are going to look at before you go out?

I've been taking ordinary maps, books and notebooks into the field for nearly ten years and they've all survived. My hardback Uranometria is a bit warped and my SkyAtlas 2000 (field edition) is ripped and muddy, but they still do the job. Thing is, although they get subjected to damp air, they don't actually get rained on, so I don't see lamination as necessary (though a laminated SkyAtlas is available).

As for planning, I always have a list. First it was Messier, then Caldwell, then Herschel - I go for whatever's visible on my hit-list. I'm afraid when it comes to DSOs I'm a bit of a "twitcher".

Andrew

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Regarding the waterproof paper.. a few years ago I tested a sample sheet from this company for lunar sketching compatability but wasn't satisfied due to insufficient blending capability, greasy-looking erasures, and problems with bits of residual eraser getting 'stuck' to the paper, making it necessary to rub quite a bit to release them... not something you want to do on a graphite sketch.

Then I got silly and submerged the paper in the kitchen sink and although the ballpoint pen wrote a bit sporadically, the pencil worked perfectly. :) I didn't test the ballpoint any further, but others who were running tests said the pen worked very well on spray-dampened paper.

Btw, the sample sheet I tested wasn't requested by me.. I emailed the company with a few questions about the product and they offered me the free sample in their reply. A websearch on 'waterproof paper' might point you towards a local source.. worth a try, anyway. :)

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The combined astro knowledge here on SGL is greater than your own, whoever you are :salute:

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The combined astro knowledge here on SGL is greater than your own, whoever you are :salute:

Ha ha, very true but I am sure a few people on here would disagree with that statement............there was a lad on my uni course who was like that, arrogant so'n'so.

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if using a fixed pier, when entering the time into a goto handset ensure you use the same clock/timepiece as reference. Obviously some have GPS systems so this wouldn't apply to them.

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Surely they would where fishnets...

Oh Dear!!!! Bada Bum Tish!

:)

Thanks for info on the waterproof paper may give it a go. And I'll get me a list started, maybe a log to go with it.

Brian

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If your flexible dew shield does not fit well due to dovetail bars and the likes, it is perfectly ok to snip off square pieces from the shield, so that it sits around the bars and not over them.

Regards,

Vincent.

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A slice of the outer cardboard box your scope came in, a pair of scissors and 18"of velcro makes a great dew shield about £30 cheaper.

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Yes, cardboard dewshield for the finder (plus elastic band). For main scope, once you get above 8" or so, camping mat might be better.

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Cardboard comes in handy while solar observing, too. :)

Some solar observers drape a dark cloth over their head like oldtime photographers did, but it can get pretty uncomfortable when it's warm out. To stay more comfortable, you can make a sunshield for yourself.

Take a flat (square) piece of cardboard as wide as your shoulders and cut a hole in it which is the size of your scope. Slide the cardboard onto the end of the OTA. It'll shade you, making it more comfortable to use the dark cloth in hot weather. Btw, the cardboard doesn't have to be square.. experiment and see what works best for you.

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If you are setting up for imaging, stuff night vision, use a 100w lamp.

No! don't do this - I might be next door doing visual :(

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For those who dont have very clever GOTO mounts which forget the time and date but remember where they are (Alts...heimer mounts)Then for a £5 on ebay you can get an MSF clock to keep with the scope.

It also tells you at what temperature your equipment freezes

YOUR CLOCK COMBINES A TIME AND DISPLAY WITH A DIGITAL THERMOMETER

FEATURES :

MSF radio controlled alarm clock with jumbo display

Calender showing day, date & month

Temperature in centrigrade and fahrenheit (switchable)

accurate to 1 second in a million years

automatically changes to summer and winter time

Snooze feature

Green backlight

Requires 2 x AA batteries (not supplied)

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Good tim with the Clock "Bigwings."

I've got one but never thought of using it to set my "GotTo."

Thanks,

philsail1

P.S. My tip is wrapping white or luminous tape around the "Dec" and "Right Ascension" locking levers on the mount. Much easier to find in the dark!

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To stop the Skyscan handset getting cold and slowing down to a crawl.

Buy a spare dew strap (the 2" eyepeice one will do) and wrap it loosly round the top of the handset.

Works great - plus you can warm your hands up on it as well when it gets really cold!

Ant

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