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Messages - russnappditcva

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1
Reflectors Telescopes Forum / Re: Dobsonian advice - late 2016
« on: February 09, 2018, 07:03:39 AM »
Well, done and done. I originally thought that I'd wait on the Z8 until late spring, but with the incoming administration and their (supposed) positions on international trade, who knows what price and availability will be? $370 shipped for the Z8 with a $30 credit (to be used towards a Meade 5000 in my case) seemed pretty good. I had wanted some time with the AR102 before I bought the Dobsonian, but given the winter here I figured I'd put the Dob together and test it but concentrate on the AR102 until the weather gets better. I live right on the edge of a yellow and green zone, and so I'm hoping to have some fun from the driveway. Thanks for all the advice. Aside from getting the scopes set up, my next undertaking will be to make a big coordinate circle and declination scale for the Z8, to pair with my cell phone for a "push-to" system.

2
Reflectors Telescopes Forum / Re: Transporting Dobs......
« on: February 09, 2018, 02:02:35 AM »
When I first got my Coulter 13.1 red tube, I could just get it in the rear seat of my 77 Malibu 2 dr. I changed cars to 88 Beretta and had to cut off a few inches off the top of the tube to be able to transport it. Later I cut the tube in half but was not happy with the outcome. I quickly moved to a truss setup (8 tubes) and it was a pain. I saw an ad for a Starsplitter which used a square box, so I built a 16" cube, with 2 tubes for the focus board and a knock down base. So now in my 07 Cobalt coupe, I can carry the scope lower section (the 16" cube) and two passengers in the cabin and the remaining equipment in the trunk. Also carry a SW 80ED in an aluminum case, HEQ5pro w/weights and tripod, eyepiece case, two large mechanics bags for assorted equipment, camera case, small table, folding bag chair and still have a bit of room for a snack and drink bag, second laptop and camera for the observatory setup.
So yes, the scope can dictate the vehicle of choice but you can modify the optical support system to fit the transportation too!
Pierre

3
ATM, Optics and DIY Forum / Re: Sawdust as Flocking?
« on: February 03, 2018, 01:29:42 AM »
Lots of sawdust experience here. Softwoods create a tangle of shreds that tend to clog the plenum at the base of my tablesaw and often need prodding into the dust collector tube. I don't think that would be appropriate for flocking. Medium to softer hardwoods like Alder or Cherry produce a nice granular dust. I hate oak so no comment on that. Walnut also produces a nice dust, maybe a bit finer than the others mentioned.

How about a fine tumbling/polishing media like walnut shell? The problem with sawdust is unless you have a source, the only way to get it is cutting up stock, lol. Also, the amount of paint that it sucks up may add considerable weight; IDK, never tried it on a scope. I have laid a number of walnut shell non skid decks on yachts back in the day, and it took LOTS of paint.

4
ATM, Optics and DIY Forum / Re: The Pogson Platform - a truss focuser
« on: February 02, 2018, 10:25:55 PM »
I actually bought a Lazy Susan for the experiment but wasn't impressed with its standard of engineering.

5
General Astronomy & Observing / Re: Super Limits
« on: February 02, 2018, 08:58:37 PM »
Don Pensack wrote:
<p class="citation">QuoteWhen I was young, the Veil nebula was something that could only be photographed or seen in large observatory scopes.[/quote]

Not when I was a kid! As a young teen-ager (well before nebula filters were created), I had just finished building my 8 inch f/7 Newtonian and had it out in my magnitude 5.7 back yard. I had seen the Veil marked in my 1964 edition of Donald Menzel's FIELD GUIDE TO THE STARS AND PLANETS, so somewhat tentatively, I pointed the scope at the right spot and took a look in. I was floored to see a ghostly irregular band-like arc running across the field, which pretty much made my night. Not long after that, I had heard from one of our veteran club members that the main Veil (NGC 6992) arc was visible in a pair of 10x50 binoculars which I personally verified later on that this was possible. Filters made it a lot easier to see, but well before filters, many observers had reported that the object was visible in rather modest apertures. In the case of faint stars, I have to see them more than a quarter of the time I am looking for them before I consider the sighting firm. Even then, there are exceptions to this (as in the case for the central star in M57). For decades, I completely wrote-off amateur sightings of the Ring's central star until one night in a 20 inch where I learned the truth about seeing faint stars in nebulosity. Time and observing experience almost always reveals what is possible and what may not be, but hard and fast limits may not be all that hard and fast. Clear skies to you.

6
Quote
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yep I get it

brooklyn ehhh.. rough place to find dark skys
down here in NC it better... not perfect.
you get your gear from Smart Astro,Bkyl,,,Adorama nyc...B&amp;H nyc

I'm going back and forth to B&amp;H right now.
Ive been to B&amp;H in NYC
and Adorama,
,IMHO,
,both are more camera oriented {B&amp;H, A better set up} ,,,Than a dedicated astronomy shop
Good advice will steer you to a good reputable astronomy dealer for future advetures
PS-I bought a TV -85 from Adorama in store &amp; yup they opened the box for kind of cash I layed out,,,

7
Beginners Forum / Re: College Graduation Present!
« on: January 31, 2018, 12:27:56 PM »
hello congrats grad.

I have both the 150 f5 newt on a cg4 and a dob. I like both.
There is a lot of eq bashing here. They are not hard to set up, and not hard to use, especially with a small newt. Yes once in a while you have
to rotate the tube in the rings, but with a 6" f/5 it is not that hard.

for an eq, For visual work, just set the elevation adjustment to your latitude, and point the mount north. That gives you 10-15 minutes of observering by just turning the slo-motion control with a simple twist. After 15 you will have to make one adjustment to the dec control. The cg4 mount is not that heavy and its motions are smooth. I use the setting circles with some degree of success. I wish they were bigger on the cg4. You can add a low cost motor drive and polar align on the north star to the eq to keep an object in view for a long time.

You can get an 8" dob for about the same price as the cg4/150 combo.  It is great too. You will be able so see more. Others have said tracking is no problem.
Well I find it a problem. Not unsurmountable, but sometimes annoying when looking at the planets with high power, it is easy for me to overshoot.
There are some simple mods to the commercial dobs that reports say make it easier to track. I have yet to work through all of these. Like adding weights
to the tube to help balance, and rubbing the ground board with parafin wax.

8
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I'd be interested on your comparison of the 13 and 17 I have the 6, 10, and 17 at the moment and my case has spots for the 8, 13 and 21 just waiting for occupants

John,

You may want to ask range88 his opinion when comparing the 17 and 13 Ethos. I suspect that no matter how much time I spend using both, he'll have twice as much experience with his bino pairs!

9
Mounts Questions & Expirience / Re: ES G11 & PMC-8 plus TDM?
« on: January 31, 2018, 04:43:36 AM »
Okay so I pulled the trigger and will be getting a ES G11 PMC8 mount. Can't wait to get this setup going.

Jerry, I will probably be touching base with you for some initial help on this mount. I will also have some questions on the TDM drive and how it works with autoguiders.

Wow scope and mount fever has struck me hard!!!!

10
General Astronomy & Observing / Re: Which telescope would you hold onto?
« on: January 31, 2018, 02:48:35 AM »
Quote
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Probably my 7" Starmaster Oak Classic.

So far, the only scope to get two votes within this thread. Not bad, considering how few Oak Classics were made!
There's 3 votes for a 10" dob (including mine) if you count the "likes".
There are three votes for 8" SCT's if you count likes, too. Just sayin'

11
Mounts Questions & Expirience / Re: Vixen SXW with no Starbook.
« on: January 31, 2018, 02:11:28 AM »
How long were you able to run unguided?

12
Reflectors Telescopes Forum / Re: Wood for making new dob base
« on: January 30, 2018, 04:14:05 AM »
Quote
I made my own base for my Orion xt12i for 2 main reasons: first, the original base was a bit shaky and had too much flex for my taste, and second, the new base allowed me to get rid of the annoying stiction in the azimuth motion by using frp.

Nice job!

I have already added side rails to my XT12i to help stabilize it a little, plus I have the sheets of Baltic Birch for the new mount.

So far, my old base is holding up okay, but I'll probably start working on my new one this year. The only major provision I'll make for mine is for my wheelbarrow handles. I made a pair out of solid oak and they have helped save my back.

Cheers,

Ron

13
Beginners Forum / Re: Confused Newbie
« on: January 30, 2018, 01:41:35 AM »
The Fort Bend astronomy club is local. http://www.fbac.org/

14
Eyepieces Questions & Recommendations / Re: Eyepieces with fewer elements
« on: January 26, 2018, 05:24:16 AM »
Quote
+1 on modern coatings being critical. I have some old Kellners that I like to use occasionally just for fun. They're surprisingly sharp when I kick up the power, but the ghosting and scatter is almost unbearable. But I'm sure that some of the boutique companies are making simple designs with good coatings.After reading a few discussions, I'm interested in trying some ball lens EPs. In the words of my band's bassist, "I'll try anything twice!"


Sidgwick in the Amateur Astronomers Handbookhas a nice discussion of Kellners:

"The Kellner is one of the finest of the older oculars for LP work..... It is, however, one of the most haunted of oculars (if one may use the expression for an ocular which is afflicted with ghosts)"

A rare bit of humor.

Jon

15
Eyepieces Questions & Recommendations / Re: Any love for 15mm Panoptic?
« on: January 26, 2018, 04:34:41 AM »
Any info, review or opinion that helps combat EP fever is welcome advice.
So, my take away is "a little short on eye relief" and potential "hit or miss" with QC.
Its back to saving my pennies and enjoying what I already have.  Thanks, guys.

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