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I brought a new scope in September I have only managed  to use it 3 times because the amount of clouds and bad weather it seems never to stop.

Having  said that I wish every one a Happy New year and clear SKY'S     

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Thank you Stephen, and a Happy New Year to you too.


I know the feeling about the weather, I got a new scope back towards the end of September and I've used it it once so far. It will probably clear up once I have to go back to work and have fewer opportunities to observe.

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Arrrrrr, so its you we have to blame is it Stephen (and Dave above)  for what has been basically 3 months of bad weather ? 😉

I've never known weather like it here in Derby, and thats saying something.

They'll be flooding again here before long. Its pretty much a monthly event here this autumn / winter.


On a sour note it makes me wonder about my future in astronomy ; its becoming almost an untenable hobby really.


But anyway, hope you've had a good Christmas and best wishes for 2024 😀


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21 minutes ago, Bino-viewer said:


On a sour note it makes me wonder about my future in astronomy ; its becoming almost an untenable hobby really.


I am definitely downsizing my my astro equipment this year but I'll never give up. One night under the stars makes up for all the frustration caused by the weather.

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I agree Stephen and Rob. I moved to the sticks to be further away from LP and obnoxious neighbours and I now have a decent sky but weather and health have limited me. When there is a rare clear sky I am usually too tired or poorly to take advantage of it, very frustrating.

I do mourn the loss of my observatory though, with 90% of kit ready set up it was a doddle to just pop out between clouds but now I have to set up every time and a lot of the time and that puts me off especially imaging.

I,m slowly thinning gear out now with all that in mind.

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On 28/12/2023 at 12:59, Glafnazur said:

One night under the stars makes up for all the frustration caused by the weather.

I agree.  I have ben keeping my self busy by 1) resurrecting my 200mm Dob.  I reassembled the mount and took the plunge and decided to clean the mirrors.  They definitely need it.



Already for a warm bath, before using Baader wonder fluid.  I did this twice to remove al the dust and spider poo!  I am really happy with the results.


All now reassembled and collimated (which was easy than I expected)




2) I then sorted out some 'stuff' I'd accumulated and made a tray a la Berlebach (which cost ~ £30 plus ~ £30 shipping!)




Holds a moon atlas nicely and is mounted using an ioptron ballhead I found.




3) I then worked out how to mount my iPad to the Rowan AZ100 mount.







The iPad is showing the 1st slide of a keynote I made to help me classify sunspots (if the sun makes an appearance again)!


Now all I need are clear skies to try it all out.


Happy new year and clear skies to you all.

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A tidy bit of DIY there Doug. I like the Altair Dob mount, it's a much more practical footprint than the wheetabix SkyWatcher ones. That might be a summer project for me. Then I can comfortably get it in the car.

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It that actually an Altair Dob mount though Doug ??


To me it has Orion Optics written all over it ? Nice looking scope though 😀

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You’re right Rob. It is an Orion Optics mount. I’ve had this setup a long time but it went out of favour and not been used. I plan on using it for quick viewing of the moon mainly. By the way Rob did you use a gpc with your Newt and binoviewer?

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--- did you use a gpc with your Newt and binoviewer? ---     Yes, well sort of. It's a necessity with a newtonian.

But when i had the 12" F4 at the time i was using an American viewer, basically a Denk 2 with a powerswitch.

This gave 3 different powers of 1.2x 1.9x & 2.7x or something like that.


+ The plus side of that meant i could mainly just use 24mm eyepieces for the entire session, and just use the powerswitch to increase magnification.

- The downside was it caused huge balance problems, with a 2.5kg load (yes, that heavy) hanging out the focuser using around 50mm of travel.

The mounts 'variable friction brake' couldn't cope with it. A sliding counterweight system may have been a help, (i really needed a 14 or 16" primary !! 😀)

but i mainly just physically stopped it moving by pressing a leg while sat down against the tube to help mitigate the imbalance. This was only an issue at lower altitudes below about 35º or so.


I sold the scope in 2019 and the binoviewer around the same time.

No regrets really. 

It showed me what i wanted to see, but i don't miss the weight and bulk of it. I'm getting old !!!

It went deeper than the refractor, but with our skys and light pollution and weather i decided to sell.

The refractor is no slouch at deep sky, and is good enough for me and is less effected by wind gusts than a dobsonian.


Regarding using your bino on your 8" Baader used to sell a dedicated Newt GPC / coma corrector, but they discontinued them.

I used to have one and used it with the Mk 5. A 2" 2x barlow / Powermate is another option. (If you want to borrow mine you'd be welcome)

But the 1.7x tied me in to rather too high a power for my liking, somewhere in the region of a 2 metre focal length, when what i wanted, was rich field, low power, wide angle views.

So i went for the Denkmeier option. Great if you have the skys, weather and zero balance issues.


You may be able to source a used 1.7x Newt gpc second hand, but they are a rare find. I think Baader are supposed to be doing a re-design, but who knows when ?

And if you think you can use your current 1.7x 'refractor' gpc in the back of the viewer, i'm afraid its a no-no. I tried it. Nowhere near enough travel to reach focus.


Main problems though are the guaranteed balancing issues and the loss of those those low power, rich field views.


Hope you've had a good Christmas, and best wishes for 2024. The Altair tube looks great on the OO mount doesn't it ?







Edited by Bino-viewer
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Thanks for the info Rob. Most helpful. All the best for 2024.

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