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Messages - lolusthoumin

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Hey guys, I recently got into astronomy and the one thing that kept cutting my sessions short was the extreme cold we’ve been facing lately. Well, extreme for a California boy who lives in a desert.

Last week it hovered around 20 degrees all night with some wind and in that kind of weather it’s tough to get anything done. But I’ve found a solution. My folks used to work back on the farm in Minnesota so one of the first things they would do before going outside was to throw on a pair of insulated coveralls.

Be the envy of your astronomy friends by looking exactly like Dr. Venture, and as an added benefit it’s hard to use the restroom!
Seriously though. Duluth Trading Company and Dickies both make these. You can get them with arms or without. Links coming down. Here and Here.
Of course they don't have to be Dickies or Duluths but they are well known clothing companies that don't skimp on making quality outerwear.
I know you guys back east have been seeing unseasonably warm temperatures, but believe me it'll get cold for you too, and you'll be happier with a pair on when it does get cold. You can literally throw these things on in seconds and I've found them to be extremely nice and warm.
Another thing I've found, that is immensely better than cutting a fingertip off your gloves are these, here.
These allow you to use your smartphones, which are becoming an increasingly necessary item with go-to scopes with amateurs, as well as being a handy reference for people with more expertise. Or a means of controlling your entire telescope as with the Celestron Evo's.
By the way, if you're operating a cellphone at a black sight, you'll blow up your eyes looking at the screen, but many apps now transform your cellphone into a nightime red light. Here is one.

Use this thread to discuss the nice and the necessary things you have to do in order to be observing in these winter months. Remember never to operate below your telescope, or your electronics', temperature limit.
I wouldn't be afraid to wear one to a star party. ****, let them freeze! I've got scienceing to do!
Hey! Just move to Long Island, NY! Record- breaking temps! T-shirt weather, and it's Christmas time! Love it! Can't view the Heavens for the clouds and fog, but NO SNOW!!!!

Maybe after I retire ... but for now not enough hours in the day.
and if you hand figure on a can get a little freaky if your not use to vertigo.

fine hardwood supplier. not a big box like Menards or Home Depot - has 4x8 sheets of true baltic birch:


maybe its a recent development but definitely available and imported.

Will have to think on it some more - thanks to all

Eyepieces Questions & Recommendations / Re: Source for 2" Orthoscopics?
« on: February 04, 2018, 01:46:59 PM »
If it's for a long focal ratio telescope, then a very simple design can give wonderful performance. I had a 40mm reverse Kellner from GSO and it was a ridiculously sharp and bright eyepiece on my 63mm f/13.3 Zeiss Telemator. Unfortunately, it disappeared at a star party and was never seen again (the eyepiece, that is).

https://www.teleskop...tdurchlass.htmlClear skies!
Thomas, Denmark

I'm wondering if there is rule-of-thumb bias in some of the statements I see about mount capabilities for AP.
I watch the videos where Scott, or Roland, or Steve flatly says the weight rating of their mount IS the AP rating, period.
Then I read opinions on here that half the rating is the best you can do.
I understand that reduction for the mass market asian built mounts but has me a bit puzzled for the almost hand built like Losmandy and the hand built like AP/Bisque/10-Micron

I don't think I would describe it as a bias. It is certainly conservative, particularly for the mounts mentioned. From my perspective, it is more that loads around 1/2 the rated capacity are likely in the mount's sweet spot for performance. This does not mean you can't image successfully with loads approaching or even exceeding the rated payload. People do it all the time, even with the Chinese mounts. As you approach the payload maximum, whatever eccentrities exist in the mechanical train will become more evident. This is generally true for any mechanical system.  Now I have heard it argued that the makers of these higher end mounts take this into account and are more conservative in what they publish for their payloads to start with, and it is certainly true the high end mounts have taken more effort in
eradicate mechanical eccentricities to begin with.

In the end, it is really up to the individual and the level of performance they expect. Personally, I have an F8 5 inch triplet that weighs about 25 lbs with a 2 inch diagonal and a 35 mm panoptic. When it is mounted on either my atlas(on a pier) or my gm8 on the heavy duty losmandy tripod, and I notice small but evident vibration when focusing. On my g11gt( on the Same pier) nothing. Not even when I tap on the scope.  I like both the atlas and gm8 and use them with my smaller scopes often. That is the benefit that I personally find in being conservative in the amount of load I put on a given mount. Just a personal preference.

Hope this helps.



Just like the topic says. I am not sure how these work. And because I am not sure how these work, I don't know if it is possible to get a universal focal reducer for a telescope with a 2" focusser. Can someone help?

ATM, Optics and DIY Forum / Re: Question about folded refractor
« on: February 04, 2018, 11:55:00 AM »
 Does plate glass present a problem with the Finished flat? I thought that since it had no curve, there wouldn't be much change with changing temps. I understand that in Testing plate, even holding it for a little while will affect what you see in testing, but I see this as a longer project, one in which he will have to be patient anyway, and not in so much of a rush.
 Also, compared to some of the 'nicer' glasses, I've read (sorry, I forget the source) that plate can take a very good polish. With Thorough fine grinding, and a good aluminum coating, it could scatter less light. No ?

Reflectors Telescopes Forum / Re: A visit with John Pratte
« on: February 02, 2018, 11:36:40 PM »
AC testing is the fastest way to test mirrors, check for stig.

I saw steve dodd's 16in flat sold for nothing in the classifieds.

A logic probe is good to have in your kit, can pick'em up chesp.

well purely optical observing will go the way of the AMPS analog cell phones and vinyl recordings.
Vinyl sales are booming, you know. skies!
Thomas, Denmark

Beginners Forum / Re: Meade ETX 90 ec
« on: February 02, 2018, 06:11:21 PM »
Friend has the ETX-90, same friend borrowed my Paradigms at 15mm and 18mm. Took me 2 months to get those back off him. They seemed to work very well on his, too well. They work well on my 105.

Would say just get 3 or 4 of them. If 4 them just forget the 5mm and 8mm. If 3 then the 25mm and either the 15mm or 18mm, after that whichever of the one you didn't go for.

Mounts Questions & Expirience / Re: How To Check the PE on an AP1100GTO
« on: January 31, 2018, 11:43:20 AM »
People are telling you how to be very precise here, and to gather and store data, suitable for all kinds of things.

A "good enough" measurement of PE is easy and fast. Get guiding. Turn off corrections in PhD2. Simply watch the RA move up and back. One worm cycle (5 minutes?) is enough to get you the PE "pretty good".

The second line of my sig applies. <smile>

Well, yes and no.

In this case we have a mount that is probably going to have a tracking accuracy with PEM turned on of 0.0-2.0 arcseconds.

If your seeing conditions are somewhere between 2 and 6 arcseconds, you will NEVER be able to collect an accurate curve in one (or even a few averaged) worm rotation(s).

If we are talking about good enough for low-to-medium power or short-to-medium exposure imaging then yes, just turn on the factory curve and don't worry about any of this stuff. Or better yet, autoguide.

However if you want to really learn what your mount's mechanical accuracy really is and don't trust the factory curve in the CP4 then doing 5-10 worm cycles in PEMPro is a must.

Multiple worm cycles in PEMPro is the ONLY way to figure out your mount's mechanical accuracy really is. Unless you can take your mount up Mauna Kea on one of the sub-arcsecond observing nights and collect one or more PEM curves there.

I hope this helps.

jgroub asked:
<p class="citation">QuoteAre UHC filters being made obsolete by LED lighting? My understanding is that one of the ways that UHC, or even pseudo-UHC, filters work is by cutting out light at two important wavelengths, that of mercury vapor and sodium vapor streetlights, the bluish and yellowish tinted ones. But I also understand that LEDs emit light over the entire spectrum, so they can't be blocked in this way. As municipalities switch out old streetlights for new, they are replacing them with LEDs. This switch out is already well underway here in New York.[/quote]

No, the narrow-band filters (like the Lumicon UHC) are not being made obsolete by LED lighting, although truth be told, the narrow-band filters do tend to work best under a sky that is already fairly dark. However, the narrow-bands still help emission nebulae somewhat under LED lighting. The broad-band "LPR" filters might be getting closer to being useless under city skyglow due to increasing LED lighting. The Narrow-band nebula filter's narrower bandwidth (23 nm to 30 nm FWHM typically) still excludes a lot of out of band skyglow including quite a bit of the broad emission from LED lighting while still passing the prominent nebula emission lines. One note on the terminology again is that "UHC" is not the best term to describe a filter. "UHC" was originated by Jack Marling of Lumicon in the late 1970s to refer to the first truly effective narrow-band nebula filter (the Lumicon UHC, where UHC stood for "Ultra High Contrast"). However, since then, other companies have basically ripped off that term and stuck it on filters that sometimes have little in common with the Lumicon UHC (and don't perform nearly as well). Some examples of these "pseudo-UHC" filters are the broad-band Baader UHC-S, the Astronomik UHC-E, and the Celestron UHC/LPR (basically a re-branded Baader UHC-S).  For this reason, the Lumicon UHC, Orion Ultrablock, Thousand Oaks Narrowband LP-2, DGM Optics NPB, and a few others need to be classed as true "Narrow-band Nebula Filters" and not "UHC" filters.
<p class="citation">QuoteIt is said that you need to have a larger aperture than my 5 inches to use a UHC filter effectively because it saps out so much light. There is something to be said in favor of that, but it still works on mine.[/quote]

I have used my narrow-band Lumicon UHC and DGM Optics NPB filters on apertures from 50mm (2") on up, so that "myth" that you need moderate to large aperture just isn't true. You do need to use the right magnification range and take the proper steps to get and stay fully dark adapted in order for these filters to work properly, and many amateurs fail to do this, especially when using smaller scopes. Clear skies to you.

I think I may have the same problem. Purchased Exos-2 GOTO, but my legs are 40mm (1.5 inches). It seemed so sturdy, I never questioned it!

Please post a pic when you receive it, so we can compare.

Where did you purchase? I bought it from BHphoto but it probably wouldn't matter because all packages were sent by ES. I don't think BHphoto has its own packaging.. If so, there must be a huge error in packaging. The 1.5 inch tripod is for Twilight II mount, maybe also for exos-1.

I will take pictures with two tripods when it arrives. It will be the end of this week.

Happylimpet -

What's the transmittance of the #47? I think that's the one I mentioned. I found it unusable downstream from the Baader aperture filter. It was too dark.

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