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Another newcomer : Hello from Darley Abbey, Derby !


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Hi everybody.


I'm Rob. I've been meaning to join EMS for a few months now. I met Craig last July, up at our society observatory and was told about it, but it wasn't until last Thursday at 'Stargazing Live' where i chatted to a very friendly couple from this forum that reminded me again to join. ( I have a terrible memory for names ; i'm sorry i've forgotten yours' already  :o )


Anyway, a bit about myself. I'm 45, and I've been interested in all things astro since i was about  9 or 10. However, its only in the last 15 years that i've taken this interest more seriously, and started to read the magazines and books etc, buy a scope and observe and learn the night sky. I moved from Mickleover to Darley Abbey in 2005, and discovered Derby & District Astronomical Society met 10mins walk away from me, and joined them the following year. They have a monthly meeting, with a lecture and an observatory at a dark sight in Brailsford. (Some of you who are associated with DDAS may already know me.)

I spend too long on the astro forums, particularly SGL, but have learnt a wealth of knowledge on there.

I love telescopes, and am fascinated in telescope history and all the different optical designs there are. I'm on my third scope now, a long gone 50mm refractor was my first scope as a 12 year old. This was followed by a 10" Orion optics reflector in 2001 which i had for two years. It had its faults, mainly a flimsy mount. Had Orion sold it as a Dobsonian back then, i'm sure i'd have done a lot better with it. Work commitments back then meant it wasn't getting much use so i sold it and put astronomy on the 'back-burner'.

The following year i treated myself to some lovely Canon binoculars : the awesome 15x50 is. I've loved using these, but always wanted another scope. 

5 years later i got some money together and after drooling over one at Astrofest, brought my current scope : a William Optics 5" Apo. Its a bit of a handful to be honest, but i love it. 

I've had a few problems though, mainly in the mount department. I've had a Vixen GP-DX, which was way too small. I sold this and brought a CGEM. I struggled with this too and the motors sounded awful. Last month i packed it up, drove over to Rother Valley, and traded it for the new Skywatcher AZ-EQ6

I've got a good feeling with this mount, and think this may be the mount i've been looking for. I'm still getting to grips with it, and want to become completely proficiant with it before i take it to a dark site.


Phew !!  Anyway, here's hoping for some clear skys for 2013. Hopefully soon, i'll get to meet some of you up at Belper.

Regards to all.


ps heres an image of my setup.....




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Hello Rob and welcome!


I remember meeting you and I also remember you and Mike both "steering" my 300P at the time. I was a complete novice. :D


Good to have you on EMS.


I see DDAS is going well, I speak to Mike a lot at work. I was very pleased to hear you had all be involved with the BBC, some great publicity for you.


I also recall you having some superb IS bins. :D

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Thanks for all your welcoming comments. Hope to meet you soon.

Hi again Sheila. Yes, that was me at SGL at Derby Uni. I had the bright green jacket on. The plan was, I reckoned it would show up well on tv, but I only caught a glimpse of myself. The day before however, I was on tv, with a few others from DDAS. I felt quite chuffed ! SGL has been a bolt from the blue really. I can't really believe I've been on tv, and then the following night experienced a live tv show and had the honour of meeting and chatting with the one and only Alan Chapman ! I didn't care about the foggy weather after that !!

Hi Pete. I live right next to Darley Park. It's a lovely area. I suffer with light pollution quite badly though.......I'd like a big light bucket someday, but wonder if it would be wasted at my location. I used to own a Vixen LVW 42mm 2" eyepiece : I sold that and put the cash towards the N31 when Televue had that nice 20% discount offer on a couple of years ago. It's an awesome eyepiece & so big it's almost laughable !!

It certainly asks questions of ones focuser. I goes together perfectly with my Feathertouch thankfully. I remember a couple of years ago up at Brailsford, a chap from Loughborough turned up with a 14" Dob and put a 21mm Ethos in it...! I was drooling at the bit.....the 21 E is also huge....and crazy money to buy. We slewed over to the Perseus double cluster....and he let me have a look......Wow !!! I was blown away ! Certainly that was one of my observing highlights of my life. Maybe some day........??

Hi there Craig. Good to here from you again. Do you still have the 12" ? Hopefully see you up at Belper someday.

( By the way : I consider myself a novice, and probably always will be..)

DDAS is doing really well and we now have over 40 members ! It was only a couple of years ago that it stood at 17. Good times for us and for astronomy in general.

Regards to all......

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Welcome along :) That is some seriously lovely kit you have there! I recently purchase my NEQ6 Pro and am still getting to grips with it also. I'm sure the AZ-EQ6 will perform brilliant once you have the routine down. Clear skies

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I got rid of the 12 inch, Mick now owns that (Doc on here). :)


I now have a Celestron C9.25 on an NEQ6. It's marvellous, I love it. I need to get out more to use it though.


Mike tells me you had a stargazing session at Alvaston Park on Saturday, how did that go? (he borrowed my dew control!) :)

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Thanks again everyone. Hopefully meet you soon. 


Craig....your C9.25 sounds great. This particular SCT has always had a good reputation. Damian Peach has done great things with them.

I was very tempted a year or two ago when FLO had a few of them for sale at £1000 !  Compared to the new 'Edge' model at triple the cost, that was a bit of a steal.

The really tempting bit, is my new mount has a 'dual-scope' option when in alt-az mode, and i have a vacancy on my mount. Hmmmmm...... :)

Unfortunately it was my wife's birthday last weekend, so i missed last Saturdays star party at Alvaston. It was nice & clear though, so i bet they all had a good night.


As my name says, i want to get into binoviewing as soon as funds allow. 

If anyone out there has any experience with them, i'd be most interested. I've been doing a fair bit of research using the forums to get genned-up. (Cloudy Nights has been particularly useful ; they have a dedicated binoviewer section)  I'm pretty much decided on the Baader Maxbrights, as they seem the best value for money. 

Next month i'll be making my usual pilgrimage to Astrofest in London to hopefully find a bargain or two.


Regarding the new mount, the AZ-EQ6.....well.....i've only had it a month, and only had chance to use it twice. I've been very impressed with it, particularly with it's design.

It has some nice features. The Dec & RA levers are a mile better than anything i've used before. No more fumbling around in the dark trying to locate them ! 

It came with sufficient counterweights...! (2x5kg)  Its very solidly built, yet lighter than a standard EQ-6. The dovetail clamp has dual 75 and 40mm fittings for both size rails and my Losmandy dovetail bar on my scope fits beautifully. It will convert from equatorial to alt-as in seconds, and comes with a second saddle which is a piece of cake to fit.

But....i find polar alignment hard work and it's a steep learning curve for me. I'm also struggling to 'centre' the polar scope. There are some very useful online You-tube video's to help with this though. (Astro-shed & Astrobaby are very good )

I suspect i'll probably have it in alt-az mode more than i do in EQ.

I'm getting to grips with it, and i'll post a few images and have a go at a users report soon. I should really have been using it tonight : its a beautiful clear night, but i've spent the evening in the pub as it's my wife's birthday, and i've drank one too many...... :facepalm:

One other thing......while i was at RVO, i had a good look at the Meade equivalent : the LX-80. I wasn't interested in buying it, but the one thing i really liked about it was the tripod.

On each of the legs was a collar, which when turned adjusted the height fractionally, making the levelling process really easy. i really struggle to get my set-up level, especially as i have a sloping garden. If i could change one thing about the AZ-EQ6 this would be it. Maybe someone will come out with a 'modification'.....


All for now


Regards, Rob 

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