Show Posts

This section allows you to view all posts made by this member. Note that you can only see posts made in areas you currently have access to.

Messages - William Mendoza

Pages: [1] 2 3 ... 8
Light Pollution Topics / Re: Los Angeles LED Lighting Effects
« on: February 09, 2018, 07:50:38 AM »
We just got our street LEDed today.

It's much dimmer in my front yard tonight. Not a lot of glare either. Overall, I think the lumen level is way down now..
The light is a lot weaker than the old Cobra-head lights. The light seems to be directed at the street and not my yard and house.
When I stand in the middle of my sidewalk, it's actually pretty dark now. Looking into the street.. It looks a lot dimmer.http://www.cloudynig...t-lights-today/

This iPhone4 pic is looking SE from my driveway. It looks a lot like what just saw. (<- is new LED)
There are other lights on the street that are brighter than these new LEDs..Since these lights are directed at the streets, snow will be a problem.. Until the snow plows come by..


Today, I removed the ALT motor. I did two different things; one or both of them fixed my problem. 1.) Slightly bent the optical transmitter to align more parallel to the encoder gear and 2.) re-soldered all of the connections on the encoder board (a suggestion from nmbob).
Unfortunate is that I already ordered a new motor assembly for $23. Good to keep around, I guess. Both motors are the same.
I did get my wifi adapter yesterday and before I made the fixes to the motor, I tested the Goto and still had the problem. Now that the motor works, I have remote control of my SLT scope, something I always wanted. It also seems to provide better wifi coverage than the wifi in my Evolution 8.

Thanks for all your suggestions and helping to solve my problem.

It could be that city slickers moving or retiring to rural areas are carelessly bringing their city lighting habits with them.
In my part of the world (Columbia County, New York), it is the city slickers who have good lighting practices and the locals who are likely to use glare bombs. I suspect this is typical of much of Appalachia.

People who grow up in this area tend to take the rural environment for granted. Life is tough, jobs are few, young people tend to leave. When the locals are at home, they tend to stay inside and watch TV. The only really popular outdoor activities are ones involving guns.

The transplants move to the area specifically in search of a rural environment. For them, the outdoors is sacred. They're much less likely to hunt (more's the pity -- we have a gross overpopulation of deer) or disturb the outdoor environment in obvious ways, including lighting it up at night. They're much more likely to walk on the rural roads; after all, people from New York City grow up walking as their major form of transportation. Rural people drive to get to their nearest neighbor's house.

I see things from both sides, being a 3rd-generation city transplant, and many of my cousins having lived here all their lives. Needless to say, I don't use glare bombs -- and didn't even before being interested in astronomy.

Yep, my rural roots have me nodding in agreement. Taking things for grantedis the norm. "It is my land, I'll do whatever I want" is the attitudewith regard to junk, water, light, etc. There is an anti-govt./anti-regulation attitude prevalent that is at odds with concerns about light trespass and such. Resistance to any statewide regs will come primarily form them, not the "city slickers."

There are also demographic factors at play. Urban/suburban populations are growing. Truly rural hamlets have been declining--those little "elevator towns" have evaporated over several generations. Iknow the one nearestour farm is pretty much gone and its post office had closed before I was born.Another one in another state thatI lived infor a few years as a small boy has about1/3 as many homes as it had then, and theschool and such had been shut a generation before me (that building is now gone IIRC.)And thatelevator townfared better than the one next to it that still had a school that I went to...when I drove through a dozen years ago the tiny town was nearlygone. The school still remained, but had been soldand was being used as a home...very strange arrangement and I have some stories about that.

What has happened mostly out on the farms that I have seenis that the kids have grown up and taken one of two paths: gone to college and gone where their careers took them or gone to work (or military) right out of college and mostly ended up in towns/cities elsewhere. Few were able to remain on the farm even if that is what they thought they would do. One has to have a bigger operation to make a living off of it, so the smaller farms were mostly aging farmers whose kids grew up while the parents were still in their prime. It is likely to be grandkids taking on the responsibility of the farm ifit isn't sold off instead. This is one of the reasonsthe more rural populations are often shrinking rather than growing.

Suburban sprawl is a different matter. There are a lot of us who grew up on farms who have followed careers into the suburban sprawl and road corridors.

Beginners Forum / Re: Portable scope recommendation for around $300?
« on: February 08, 2018, 11:46:44 PM »
Since you are still tossing ideas around and would like wide views let me suggest you consider the Meade ETX 80 - $250 - This is the version I own. 80

There is also a Mak ETX 90 90Video overview of the backpack version of ETX 80 - same scope I own, just different accessories and packaging

Here is my 60 day review of ETX 80

Wide views - Included 26 mm Plossil eyepeice gives great 15X 3.4 degree views - Pleiades looks spectacular. Also has a 9.7 Meade Plossil. Internal flip barlow works but is very inconvenient. I use a regular barlow.

Can be used on tripod or tabletop

GoTo when you want or manual as you like

High magnification is not the strong suit - Good to about 150X I have had mine up to about 180X on Saturn If you want high mag go with the Mak version.

CA? Well at 400 mm, sure, but I don't really care.

ETX 80, all up, about 12 pounds with tripod

I have the ETX 80 and an 8" Orion XT8i Intelliscope. I like them both.

Good video instructions. I got one of these for a friend and this video will help him. I forgot that this scope had a built-in barlow!


I should preface everything by saying that this is my first ever build. And although the item is supposed to be parabolic, I am concerned because there is a small note in the description that says spherical instead of parabolic. So, yes, I should probably have it tested!

building your own mirror test rig is part of being an ATMer. It's not hard, and you'll learn lots. And it's amazing to have a system allowing you to see the heat plumes in air caused just by the heat of your own hand, with just a few scraps of wood, your mirror, a small light and a couple of knife edges (razor blades).

After a lot of beating around the bush I bought the Texereau book, it is very very good for learning both what to do, and why, when building a telescope.
Actually I'm looking around for a good ATM book. I have the one by Tonkin, but it's more a collection of interesting project plans. Can you point me to the Texereau one?

Mounts Questions & Expirience / Re: Celestron CGEM Questions
« on: February 08, 2018, 02:59:51 AM »
I found the same issue (index mark location) with my new mount. That orientates the declination clutch lever on the same side of the mount as the RA clutch lever.

My mount works fine (in the garage). Bad weather and full moon have kept me from doing a full align outside.

I have a question in to Celestron as to what is going on. A factory error? Every photo I have seen of a CGEM mount has the clutch levers on opposite sides of the mount.

Am I missing something?

Follow up: I did online chat with Celestron today. I was told my mount is correct and all the photos (Celestron website, instruction manuals, etc) are all wrong and my mount is correct. Of more importance, I confirmed it does not matter to the electronics/computations which was good news.

Hope this helps.

ATM, Optics and DIY Forum / Re: Desireable Features of a Newtonian
« on: February 03, 2018, 12:33:30 PM »
if you put a dragon decal on the tube somewhere, it will help with bad atmospheric conditions.

You can use the Pointing accuracy Enhancement (PaE) to enhance the pointing accuracy of the GoTo's, this will resync the scope to the sky and update it's pointing model.
You do a GoTo to point it at a object, then press and release the ESC, then press and hold the ESC till it beeps, it tells you to center the object and press ENTER.This is how you enable the additional stars for the alignment.
7.2 Alignment Star Filter
Not all combinations of alignment stars are good for a 2-star alignment or 3-star alignment. The SynScan hand control uses a built-in advanced alignment star filter to show only the stars which is suitable to work with the 1st or 2nd alignment star(s), when asking the user to choose the 2nd or 3rd alignment star. It helps to improve the success rate of the alignment. Some advanced users or those who have limited visible sky can turn on/off this advance filter with the following steps:
1. Access the menu “Setup \ Alignment Stars \ Adv. Filter” and press the ENTER key.
2. Use the scroll keys to choose “OFF” and then press the ENTER key to disable the filter.
3. Use the scroll keys to choose “ON” and then press the ENTER key to enable the filter. Note: Even if the advanced filter function is turned off, the SynScan hand control will still apply the following rules to generate the list of alignment stars:

Note: Even if the advanced filter function is turned off, the SynScan hand control will still apply the following rules to generate the list of alignment stars:
• The alignment star’s altitude must be above 15 degrees.
• For an equatorial mount, the alignment star’s declination must be between -75 and +75 degrees.
• For an alt-azimuth mount, the alignment star’s altitude must be below 75 degrees or within the altitude limits defined by the user (Section 6.3).

7.3 Sorting Method of the Alignment Star List
1. Access the menu “Setup \ Alignment Stars \ Sort by” and press the ENTER key.
2. Use the scroll keys to select “Magnitude” and press the ENTER key to sort the list by magnitude (from the brightest to the faintest).
3. Use the scroll keys to select “Alphabet” and the press the ENTER key to sort the list alphabetically.

Thanks! I'll dig thru the menu and adjust mine. That advice should help a lot.

Beginners Forum / Re: deep sky scope upgrade
« on: February 02, 2018, 11:18:52 PM »
"...tracking only so I don't have to nudge the scope every once in a while."

Hmm, motorised tracking, but no go-to. That's a bit of a tall order for a larger Newtonian on a Dobson-style mount. Parks Optical manufactured these at one time, with a simple clock-driven mount, and the largest in apertures of 12.5" and 16"...


Incidentally, Scope City is now defunct, and has been for quite some time. Their site is still up, but never attempt to purchase anything or the funds may never be seen again. I had ordered my Parks 8" f/5 through them, but back in the early 2000s.

Aside from the Dobsonians, these Schmidts of larger aperture are quite popular, but with motorised go-to mounts...


...and with those above 11" being beyond the stated budget.

An optical tube could be purchased separately... https://www.astronom...tube_p5472.aspx

...and combined with a capable and motorised yet non-goto mount, the G-11 S specifically...

It might be possible to mount a 12.5" Newtonian optical tube, and one sourced in used condition, on a G11, but rotating tube rings might be desired. There is also the moment-arm effect, or flexure, to consider, and when mounting the longer optical tubes.

Eyepieces Questions & Recommendations / Re: Delites are awesome
« on: February 02, 2018, 09:22:37 PM »
The 17 Ethos is special. I like it better than the 21mm.
The 18.2 Delite, though, has pretty close to the best contrast I've ever seen in an eyepiece.
I use it all the time in my 4" apo at 39x as a star cluster eyepiece (1.53°) and it frames objects very well.
But, if you liked the 17 Ethos, I foresee other 100° eyepieces in your future.

I don´t know how to describe it. The overall image of the 17E was a bit brighter, including the background. That means that the Ethos has better transmition? The DeLite showed a darker background, but it was my impression that the targets too were a bit dimmer. Again, just my impression.

About 1.2 arc sec/pixel. Not large, not small.

But not good enough. If I compare what little I've done so far to some of those on B II there is no comparison! I know I need longer subs, and figuring the gain settings will be trial and error (Probably more error than trial). I'm sure if I can get the weather to cooperate I'll be able to put something up that'll be easier to decipher where the issues are. My problem is there are so few folks using this camera that I can read and learn from, so it's going to take some doing. I've also decided to do some more image trial with my little 80mm,as the mount barely knows it's there. I'll post a pic or two from it and maybe just use my light bucket for viewing and the smaller for pics. Ralph

Beginners Forum / Re: Help needed buying Omni XLT 150 OTA
« on: February 02, 2018, 07:45:39 PM »
at 388, that's a deal. 6 in stock.

Correction $349 after 10% off coupon10SPRSV

Beginners Forum / Re: First Scope / Refractor Advice
« on: February 02, 2018, 02:51:56 PM »
A 4" ED / APO would be a nice place to start. Nice blend of image quality, light gathering (at least from dark skies), portability, durability, and low maintenance. 5" refractors are great, and so are 6 inchers, but the size and mounting requirements really go up.

If you get aperture fever down the road, an 8" SCT packs a lot of light gathering power into a reasonably compact tube.

Lots of us wind up with multiple scopes as the years go by. Different tools for different jobs. And certain scopes, like a 4" refractor and 8" SCT, compliment each other really well.

Beginners Forum / Re: My Biggest Rookie Mistake
« on: January 31, 2018, 01:05:42 PM »
For me I'd say it was not replacing cheap or cheaply made gear quickly enough. That was especially true of some of the narrower fov EPs I bought 20 years ago and, which should have been retired/sold more quickly than they were. Of course a lot of advances have taken place in eyepiece design and I wouldn't part with any of my current ones. Truth be told, I could trim my scope herd to two and be quite happy most of the time, still it's nice to have bigger aperture once in awhile.


Kind of like cutting of one end of a blanket and sewing it on the other end and calling it good!

I think a better analogy would be letting that piece hang off the foot of the bed where it can't keep you warm. Since the rest of community shifts its schedule when DST takes effect, the practical consequence is that you are forced to stay up an hour later waiting for darkness. I suppose it would be less significant if you lived by yourself way out in the boonies. However, even in retirement, with no externally driven schedule to keep, DST still takes an hour off the front end of my observing time.

Pages: [1] 2 3 ... 8