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Thread: 1st report in a long time and associated ramblings

  1. #1
    Alec in France's Avatar
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    Default 1st report in a long time and associated ramblings



    Guys, its been a long journey but there is light at the end of the tunnel (and my telescopes once more).

    Rewind a year or so and the dark thoughts I was having of giving the whole thing up. Being driven insane by local street lighting I bought a Virtuoso Mak with the idea of throwing it in the car and driving off to a better place. To be honest, it didn't happen. I built a tarpaulin screen and a big refractor arrived with the idea of cutting through the glare. Some limited success was had.

    We moved house. No streetlights! The observatory arrived and the CG4 was upgraded to GoTo and I'm mad keen to throw myself with renewed vigor back into it all.

    As suspected the Omni 120XLT F/8.3 is a tad too long to use comfortably within the confines of my Skyshed Pod observatory. With great reluctance its now up for sale. I love refractors especially when the target is open clusters. With the 120 back in its box, out came the F/4.9 102mm Skywatcher.

    Like an idiot I merely swapped the two scopes over and then spent too long a time wondering why the mount kept on making strange noises. I'd totally forgotten to re-balance the little scope. Its working a lot better now that one of the counterweights has been removed from the equation.
    In truth I'm still struggling to get the mount exactly polar aligned. I've been having a bit of a nightmare following the Synscans "polar re-align" routine. For those unfamiliar with this, it invites you to center target stars first with the direction keys and then after recalculation and slewing off, to re-align physically by only using the mount's azimuth adjustment screws and declination bolts.

    After much cursing, spending of much money, making of multiple mistakes I hit the "M" button, typed in 44 an lo and behold M44 appeared on the outer half of a 25mm eyepiece. Never have I been so pleased to see this (admittedly easy) target. I left the obsy and had a celebratory coffee and cigarette. It still being in the eyepiece on my return I had a little wander down to M67 and from thence to Leo for an hour of galaxy hunting.

    Conclusions:
    1. Great to be back having a proper astro session. (Must get a new notebook and start the sketching I keep promising myself I'd do).
    2. Wonderful to sit in an organised obsy with eyepieces, barlows, filters etc neatly laid out and to hand. (The cheap wind up torch was a good purchase).
    3. My Rigel Quickfinder proved invaluable in my struggle with alignment. (Best astronomy money I've ever spent).
    4. The much loved Omni 120XLT sadly has to go. (Negotiations under way to replace with a Celestron C6 SCT, unless you guys can suggest anything better).
    5. My Hyperion 8-24 zoom reminded me of how good it actually is. (The recently purchased $220 (£149) 18mm and 7mm Omegon Super LE wide angle eyepieces aren't that much better).
    6. Shut down and lock up time 4 minutes. Splendid!

    Clear skies guys.

    Alec.
    Alec in France (now back under orange UK skies)
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  3. #2
    Lowjiber's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1st report in a long time and associated ramblings

    Nice report and "ramble", Alec.

    Most of us remember how sad your situation was when moving across the channel. It's good to hear that your new house and the observatory are finally getting you back in the swing of things.

    Clear, Dark Skies
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    John (Urban Astronomer)
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    Default Re: 1st report in a long time and associated ramblings

    Hi Alec. Good to see you back in the game with renewed vigor. That's awesome! And the fact the obsy is helping to facilitate this is even better.

    Too bad about the 102, but hopefully you'll be able to get the perfect scope for your situation as a result.

    Thanks for the report. Looking forward to more great stuff from you Alec!
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    Bryan

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    Default Re: 1st report in a long time and associated ramblings

    Good to hear from you again, Alec! The new obsy sounds awesome. Almost makes me want to give up my Dob. Okay, not really, but it does sound cool.

    Congrats on the successful journey to get back into the swing of things. I would hate to sell that refractor, too, but an SCT or something similar does sound more practical for your limited space. Unless you keep it as motivation to build a bigger obsy!
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    Default Re: 1st report in a long time and associated ramblings

    Good to see you back in the saddle Alec.

    I'm sure it's been a challenge moving from darker skies to lighter skies, looking forward to more reports!
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    Default Re: 1st report in a long time and associated ramblings

    I've been watching your adventures with the Skyshed (and the prior building plans). It's nice to see you up and in action again. Still loving that 4 minutes from finished to inside timeframe. It was good that you had a fallback scope in hand - and hopefully the 120 will find a good home soon.

    Bob
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    Default Re: 1st report in a long time and associated ramblings

    Great to hear you are out using the Skypod and you have a scope that fits in it. Sorry to hear the 120mm is to large but a nice SCT will be a great addition to your future adventures!
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    Default Re: 1st report in a long time and associated ramblings

    Congrats on getting setup in your observatory. Must be nice to have black skies. You saw my light polluted heavens the other night. BTW, the Celestron C6S is a great telescope.
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