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  1. I thought it might be routine maintenance ... or gremlins lol.
  2. Never a good idea lol. I'm glad the site's back.
  3. I was really excited about the Mars opposition at the start of 2020. The last one (2018) was a disappointment because of the all-encompassing planetary dust storm. I’d eagerly anticipated that opposition too and had purchased Celestron and Orion Mars filters especially for it. So naturally, in 2020, I got early Mars fever and needed to socially un-distance myself from my telescopes to ameliorate the condition. The first glimpse of Mars through a telescope was at about 05:00 on May the 11th. It was at around 16° altitude and rising steeply in the east. Mars then being ap
  4. Beautiful image John! I was going to mention Subaru but someone beat me to it lol.
  5. I've used Vixen Porta II mounts for several years now. They can take up to 5kg although there are concerns by some that long tube refractors can suffer from vibration issues. Mine work great. The mount on the left in the picture above is about six years old. The spigots for the slow motion attachments are chromed brass. The Porta II mount on the right is brand new. It has plain brass spigots. I've noticed this on some pictures of other Vixen mounts online. So I'm guessing it's an economic or sourcing strategy. It doesn't i
  6. GIMP can take some getting used to, I had it on an old laptop for over three years before I figured out how to save a picture file as a jpeg lol. Glimpse is basically a GIMP fork. Pinta is an open source Paint.NET. I always liked Paint.NET but it only runs on Windows.
  7. 102mm Starwave ED-R/Vixen Porta II, Hal-130 tripod & half pillar.
  8. The GSO 32mm RK (below left next to the 30mm SuperView) seems roughly the same weight as the SuperView. Reversed Kellners are often maligned but they aren't so bad in slower scopes. The three element design can give a bright, sharp, well contrasted image with an AFOV of 56°, regardless of some disingenuous OEM claims of 65°. They are more suited to slower scopes however and can fare badly in anything much faster than f/7.5. The GSO RK's are still available under various brand names. I believe the 28mm Synta LER is a reversed Kellner. I think th
  9. The Guan Sheng Optical ‘StellaLyra’ 30mm SuperView weighs in at a respectably lightweight 285g. It has a claimed 68° AFOV with five lens elements in three groups. The coatings seem like the usual GSO ‘green’. There is a purported 22mm of eye relief (which seems fairly accurate) and I make it 100mm tall with a folded down rubber eye-guard. The eye lens is 30mm and I measured the field stop at 35mm. The overall aesthetic is a straightforward design with a smooth aluminium barrel. Guan Sheng Optical have been gradually phasing out all of their barrel undercuts for some tim
  10. I ran GIMP for years (it's still in the Ubuntu repo). Glimpse is a fork I believe. I'm running the snap package. I had difficulty running GIMP on macOS as Gatekeeper claims it isn't signed.
  11. I uninstalled PS Essentials 2019 late last year (macOS) and paid 100 quid (Apple Store) for 2020. Then when I uninstalled it momentarily discovered 2020 had been replaced by 2021 in the Apple Store, at least I got it at the introductory 50 quid! At least Glimpse is freeware. I don't think it runs on macOS though. I run it on Ubuntu.
  12. Avoid the 'Omegon' MightyMak series. https://www.astroshop.eu/telescopes/10/m,Omegon/a,Teleskope.Allgemein.Serie=MightyMak Build quality is flimsy and they don't achieve a sharp focus above about 30x IME. The wooden Dob' base isn't very well made and sticks during azimuth rotation.
  13. Also, TS Optics and Astroshop appear to have disappeared from Amazon.
  14. Hi, yeah, I should imagine. I'm disabled so it's not quite so easy for me lol. The fact I can carry the AZ5 and the ST80 (plus some stuff) at the same time really helps as I don't have to make multiple journeys. I've had the ST80 out twice this year. Both times I only expected half an hour at the most before the weather got all inclement. All the years I had the GSO Crayford on the ST80 I never rotated it. I have had problems with larger GSO focusers. The one on the ST80 rotates well now though. It's like I've rediscovered it as a scope. When the weather is more reliable I don't mind making mo
  15. This has become my rapid deployment kit (ST80/SW AZ5). I never thought I'd dig my old ST80 out again!
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