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Messages - unoritvie

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Beginners Forum / Re: My first Telescope.
« on: February 09, 2018, 09:05:18 AM »
My 2 cents.
I started with a Questar when I was a kid (not mine). Got back into it a while ago when my son got a Nexstar 4SE.  Bought an 8" dob off Craigslist for $75.
That 8" was an eye opener. Aperture is a big plus. I was so impressed I went out and spent real money on a zhumell z12 and eyepieces. Those great views from the 8" DSE got even better.
That being said, if I were doing it again I'd seriously consider the 8" dob to start. It's a great size. Not too heavy. By comparison, there are times when I just don't have the energy to take out the Z12, or worse, put it back when I'm done for the night. It's very well built though, comes with a focused that is about as good as the moonlight focuser I put on it late last year, and it provides detail in clusters that would have cost 5-10x as much 20 years ago.
I could see myself selling the Z12 at some point.  If I had a quality 8", however, I can imagine it being useful regardless of what other gear I got.
As a final note, someone here likes to say there is no such thing as a beginner telescope. I tend to agree with that a lot. Regardless of your experience you will get use out of a good scope, whether it's a Nexstar 5se or a 12" Lx200 (figured the Meade ppl needed some love too;-)).
Goto is nice but not 100% necessary. I'm looking to get an 8" SCT and atlas mount this summer so I don't discount the benefits.
My list within reason would probably be:
8-10" dob from zhumell or Orion, new or used. Extra money for eyepieces is a good thing.
6-8" Nexstar
Or a used CPC800 or LX90. All real good stuff that id be proud to own.
And welcome to CN. Always great advice here from the experts. Been observing for 35 years but still hang around the beginners forum for tips and opinions.

It's very rare but sometimes I will take my binoculars out with one of my scopes. Usually it's when I am trying to spot a difficult object.

Beginners Forum / Re: New to the forum
« on: February 09, 2018, 04:55:10 AM »
Thank you everyone for commenting and providing your valuable insights. They were very informative and helpful in my decision.

My Nexstar 6SE is arriving today, and I timed it perfectly with 3-4 nights of clear skies. :-) I'll post back with my experience.

Enjoy it! You'll have lots of fun, I'm sure.

One thing you might consider exploring is called Eyepiece Projection Photography, and for planets and such, it should be okay on a 6SE and Alt/Az mount. You'll actually take a video, and then use a program like AutoStakkert 2 to combine individual frames from the video into a single image. You can use anything from a smartphone to a small point and shoot camera that does video to record the images from the eyepiece (which gives you greater magnification). Since it isn't long exposures, you won't have to worry about field rotation, either.

For this one, you can use a DSLR camera with a specific T-Ring for the camera. Just insert your eyepiece, lock it in place, and then insert in your star diagonal with the camera attached, and instant high mag planetary video setup.


This is probably a better, higher quality one, but you pay more for it. But, then again, you usually get what you pay for.


There are other options, if you're interested in such.

Right now the forecast is for fire season to go through September in western Montana and into October and November!!! in eastern Montana.


Carol, might be time to take a trip to someplace without smoke.

Eyepieces Questions & Recommendations / Re: Eyepieces for APM 120 SD-EPO
« on: February 03, 2018, 05:42:55 AM »
Thursday night was my first observation. I was there for hour and half and the most of my observation was with APM 18mm. I did try Lunt 9mm with rubber guards on for saturn and swan nebula. Unfortunately, It was little windy which affected my viewing and I had to pack. So far, I think I liked Lunt 9mm when I scanned the area near swan nebula. You do really get immersive feeling which is exciting. I am going there tonight again, hopefully it won't be as windy.

Yeah Lunt XWA 9mm 100 deg are 1.25" EP and they come with adaptor for 2 inch.

Hi Orly,
Yes, I was referring to the Boxdoerfer driving my G-41 (directly coupled stepper motors, no gear reduction) and the lack of smooth tracking I experienced. I guess I'm a little skeptical of the approach given previous experience with these transmissions and their quirks, smooth motion without a good PI control loop and encoder feedback isn't assured.
Clear skies,

Another possibility would be cable drag, as someone else suggested. Do you have a picture of your complete imaging rig?

Mounts Questions & Expirience / Re: Mount suggestion needed.
« on: February 02, 2018, 06:20:10 PM »
Reviews seemed to suggest that stellarvue may be a better choice than Orion. It was hard deciding. The more I read the more indecisive I got between Orion, ES, Stellarvue and WO. In the end, I didn't wanna read and agonize anymore. I just pulled the trigger.

Mounts Questions & Expirience / Re: skywatcher azeq6 issues
« on: February 02, 2018, 04:20:46 PM »

 Just to follow up, did you observe the power LED while doing a slew? Did it blink any at all? Just verifying that the symptoms were the same after changing the power source is not enough to completely eliminate a possible power problem. Whether the power LED blinks during a slew is the key. Solid On during the slew, no power problems; even a single LED blink during a slew, a power starvation event was detected.

 If it is not a power problem, I hope you can track it down and get back into full operation.John

Reflectors Telescopes Forum / Re: Squaring Focuser Using Laser
« on: February 02, 2018, 03:51:01 PM »
The accurate math to figure out the offset is explained in this post

The following equation is a good approximate and more practical to use:
secondary_mirror_axis / 4 * F_ratio

Keep in mind that the secondary mirror optimal placement does not only target the center star also off-center stars.


Thanks, Jason...very thorough and useful work...I'll give it the full attention it deserves.

Denis Forget

Looking forward to the Geminids.



One recurring theme you should be aware of with the Leica, especially, and that is mechanical quality. The Leica tends to deposit tiny spots on the interior lenses. You will need to send the lens in for cleaning when that happens. When you get it back, it will likely gain more spots over time.

Another flaw is the eye cup, which tends to break off. Leica will replace this, too, likely more than once. Check Cloudy Nights threads for more permanent fixes.
If these issues are a concern, you might want to consider the Swarowski zoom. I had both side by side and sold the Leica. The Swaro had very similar characteristics to the Leica with respect to FOV, zoom range, feel and optical quality (including edge of field brightening in both of them, unfortunately), a smaller form factor, and no reports of issues with dust or eyecup. I was able to mitigate the EOFB somewhat by blackening some lens edges following instructions posted elsewhere on this forum. I also like the tethered eye lens cover that is a better design than the rather cheap one that comes with the Leica.

Hey Michael, thanks so much for the Swarovski zoom tip. I didn't even know this zoom eyepiece existed and definitely looks pretty phenomenal. I also just discovered the Zeiss zoom eyepiece as well.

How do you think the Zeiss and Swarovski zooms compare?

Also, what does EOFB mean?

EOFB is edge of field brightening. There are a bunch of threads about it if you search this forum (both in general and regarding the Leica zoom). No one is really sure what causes it, and people seem to have different sensitivities to it.

Regarding the Zeiss and Swaro, there was a longish thread here a while ago. I don't remember all the particulars, but would be curious to try the Zeiss sometime. I believe it is a bit narrower than the Leica/Swaro, but has a larger zoom range (more similar to the Baader?)



Eyepieces Questions & Recommendations / Re: New 2X Zeiss Barlow Best Yet?
« on: January 31, 2018, 08:50:59 AM »


I also had two sets of ZAO-II orthos a few years ago. But after I couldn't use them very much due to my eye problems, I finally let them go.

The saddest part for me was selling that beautiful little Zeiss Barlow with the final set. It was the sharpest and nicest Barlow I ever owned. So when Baader announced a new release, I jumped and bought another. Yes, the price is high, but so is the quality and so are the views.

I have no clue about new coatings or anything. I simply love this new Barlow as much as I loved the old one and I suspect that Zeiss might run continuous improvement programs all the time. In fact, I think ALL top manufacturing companies do this all the time. If they can find a way to maintain (or improve) quality without impacting the bottom line.... I think it's one reason Zeiss has stayed near the top of the optical heap for so long.



Exactly, it will be superb no matter what.
I thought Zeiss's amateur astronomy optics division had closed years ago???
My theory is that Baader and Zeiss have some sort of relationship. The Zeiss barlow is just a zeiss negative doublet that they use somewhere else, maybe in their spotting scopes or binoculars. Baader than takes that doublet and puts it in a housing and sells it as a "Zeiss barlow". But then again, I could be all wet.

Beginners Forum / Re: deep sky scope upgrade
« on: January 31, 2018, 08:39:28 AM »
I live right in the middle of the southern-middle part of Mississippi. go to dark site and look at the map. the darkest place. it might be the 3rd or fourth darkest

Aperture is in fact, second only to the sky itself. Otherwise your eyeball would work just as well as your binos. Everything after that is just application.
Yet there are observing experiences available only to the naked eye or binoculars or a smaller aperture instrument, unavailable to larger aperture instruments, that are no less remarkable than experiences exclusive to larger aperture instruments.

If aperture is king, experience and self-knowledge of what you like to observe and most importantly why is the revolutionary mob hauling the guillotine to the palace. Viva la connaissance de soi!



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