Moderators-Sorry, I didn't know where to post this, maybe the off topic observatory might have been one place, but this is sort of different topics combined in one-
In December, I got to go to my hometown, Dharwad, in Karnataka, India, after about 1 year and 6 months. I am in Kochi, so that's in Kerala and Karnataka is a different state. My grandparents' house has a terrace on top. I wanted to build an optical observatory on the top with a Cassegrain which has an aperture of more than 12 inches, but I don't like Cassegrains any more. Large secondary obstructions, and usually very slow. What I like is a big fast refractor. Or a schiefspiegler. Or a newtonian with good contrast. I have a powerseeker with a broken lens( I unpacked it when shifting from Bombay to Kochi, then looked through and couldn't achieve focus with the 20mm eyepiece, then I unscrewed the lens cell, because it seemed the lenses might have been misaligned. Then I dropped one lens). 60mm aperture with 900mm of focal length. I have used it with a 3x Barlow and 4mm eyepiece. The best views with it are with the 20mm eyepiece and no Barlow. The half moon used to look very good with it. I have also seen the Orion Nebula with it. I have seen a magnitude 7 star with it from Mumbai. Now the lens is smashed. It used to have good contrast, and not a lot of chromatic aberration. I have a pair of Pentax 8x30s which are more than 20 years old. Very goood quality, and I have only seen chromatic aberration once or twice with them. Has 'major' field curvature towards the VERY edges, but 80% of the field is mostly sharp. No double image. In Dharwad, my relatives from Birmingham gifted me a pair of possibly generic 8x50 bincoulars. Not a very wide field of view, and noticeable chromatic aberration during terrestrial observing. I did not observe any chromatic aberration while looking at the stars with them, but the detail is not very good compared to the 8x30s by Pentax. The 8x50s give a noticeably brighter image during terrrestrial observing, but the detail not very good compared to the Pentax 8x30s. The 8x50s have a double image, while I could not detect any shift in the 8x30s. I can see more stars in the 8x30s, possibly because they have better detail, but I can't see as many in the 8x50s.
The darkest skies I might have ever seen was in the Mumbai countryside, where a stargazing camp was organized. They had a 10" dobsonian, and an imaging setup with a 6 inch newtonian and a variant of a CEM60/CEM120. I think they also had a Canon 600d attached to the 6 inch newtonian.
I might have got a taste of that again when coming back to Dharwad from Belgaum, when I loooked out of the car window and saw many more stars than usual. I could see Orion and Cassiopeia. My cousins from England in Belgaum were possibly joking with me when they agreed the Earth was flat. A conversation between me and them is sort of like this-
(Cousin)-Damian Peach says the Earth is flat.
(Me) -Who is Damian Peach?
(Cousin)-Uhhh..An ice hockey player.(Both cousins chuckle quietly among themselves)
Damian Peach is a fellow of the royal astronomy society(FRAS) and seems to be mainly involved in planetary imaging. He has used Celestron C14s.
Here is Damian's channel on youtube- https://www.youtube....etimager/videos
What seems to be his site- https://damianpeach.com/
The plan for building the observatory on the terrace...It has two solar panels on the top for water heating and plants on top. My grandfather likes gardening. He owns a Zen(about 20 years old). I would like to build an interferometer consisiting of radio telescopes on the terrace now. I have ditched the idea of a Cassegrain with an EQ8, but I want to build a 24+ inch dobsonian now with a diy camera, newtonian, fork mount setup and a large aperture schiefspiegler on top. I like refractors, so I would like to build a big refractor as well, but after reading Gary Seronik's post on his site- about the 'big red one' or the 6 inch f9 newtonian that he built with a relatively small secondary obstruction- https://garyseronik....h-f9-reflector/ , I seem to like Newtonians again instead of apochromats. I like rich field telescopes. But the obstructions are bigger than in most newtonians in them. I like the contrast of a refractor.
Karnataka university is in Dharwad. It has a sector for science. My grandmother used to work in Karnataka university. She is a retired German professor. She has travelled to Germany multiple times. There is a military tank on the outside of the building and a trainer aircraft as well. Both are exhibits. I wanted to go there to see if they had any telescope which was working. During the eclipse of 2018, I think , they had a blue colored(I think refracting) solar projector set up there, so I thought that they must have a good telescope. I wasn't expecting much when I arrived and saw the place, maybe a 80mm f11 refractor, before I was expecting a 12" dobsonian. Then when I met a person in the astronomy sector and she said that the telescope costed 3 lakh rupees, that is about 2900 pounds sterling, I got excited. Then I she took us to a room where I saw a CPC telescope on a fork. It was on a steel tripod. I asked for the dust cap to be removed and near the Schmidt corrector I saw (engraved or written in white) '203.2mm' and then I realised it was an 8 inch SCT. The non edgehd version. The person from astronomy sector said the mount's goto was not functional anymore. The telescope was about 10 years old. I asked if it had been collimated. She said the telescope does most of the work itself. She said it is very easy to operate. But it is not likely that a CPC can collimate itself. Then I met another person in the science center. It turned out that they had another telescope, but with an equatorial mount. He said some people gave it to them during the lunar eclipse of 2017 or some year after 2014. The people at the university did not know how to operate it that much, and he said that he did not know how to collimate it and polar alignment was difficult. The CPC had an ALT-AZ mount and I did not see a wedge there. He said that the telescope was by skywatcher. He opened a pc at the centre and I showed him pictures of Skywatcher NEQ6 mounts. he said that they had that one. I was once fooled by a NEQ6, thinking it was a HEQ5, so I showed him pictures of an HEQ5. He said it must be that one. The telescope setup at the university, although I did not see it, seemed to be a 200/1000 newtonian riding on an HEQ5/NEQ6. I still don't know, but I think it is the HEQ5. I showed him pictures of an EQ5 as well and he said it was the HEQ5/NEQ6 which they had. I think the university has a facebook page. I showed him cloudynights, and said I can ask people to help on cloudynights with the newtonian and mount.
Thanks for all the information on cloudynights!