Birthday Present Arrives

This birthday, I’m sorry to amit was a landmark birthday, and I’ve spent the last month or so trying to work out what to put my gift money towards.

I’ve wanted an astronomical telescope for a while, and after several discussions with a work colleague I decided to opt for a dobsonian telescope for the following reasons:

  1. Ridiculously simple Dobsonian mount requiring no set up
  2. Dobsonians offer more aperture for your money
  3. I decided to heed the warnings on the forums and steer clear of Astrophotography

I did a lot of research on various forums, and decided that I could afford a 8″ (200mm) diameter Dobsonian telescope, whereas I could only afford a 6″ (150mm) diameter telescope on an equatorial mount.  Given that I wanted a scope that I could literally unload and start observing with, I discovered that Dobsonians could not be beaten.

After several weeks of deliberation, I’d narrowed my choices to a Skywatcher Skyliner 200P or a Revelation 8″ F6/M-CRF.

From the reviews that I read, I gathered that the Revelation scope was slightly better specified including:

  1. A Micro 10:1 Crayford style focuser;
  2. Mirror cell with cooling fan;
  3. Roller bearing heavy duty wood base with handles; and,
  4. Slightly better eyepieces.

But the scope was out of stock at http://www.telescopehouse.com and the scope was more expensive than the Skywatcher Skyliner 200P.  I was going to wait for a while, but then this deal appeared at Jessops and so I decided to take advantage and take the plunge there and then.

Anyway, the scope was delivered this morning, and I took about an hour to assemble it during my lunch break, and here is the fully assembled item.

I have to confess that its a lot bigger than I thought, but I’m lookg forward to taking it out for a test drive later this evening or possibly tomorrow.

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New Binoculars

I’ve been re-igniting my interest in astronomy lately and have been struggling with an old pair of Helios 8 x 30 binoculars of 1980s vintage.

The vintage of the binoculars does not really matter as the optics will perform well if looked after, but I’ve found that the 30mm diameter objective just doesn’t have enough light gathering capability for stargazing, and although they are fine for daytime use I’ve found it near impossible to get a sharp image of the stars, as the points of light tend to flare quite badly.

So, today I placed an order for a pair on Helios Naturesport Plus 10 x 50 Wide Angle binoculars which got a Sky At Night best in test award.

I’m looking to get a scope as well, but figured that these binoculars would be significantly better than what I hve at the moment, and will be put to plenty of use in daylight hours too.

With a bit of luck they’ll be delivered tomorrow, so we’ll see how good they are when they arrive.