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Messages - Santosh Wolf

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ES 152 CH "Mack The Newt", C90 MAK, Pentax 8X42 DCF binoculars; Canon T4i & Olympus TG-4 cameras.
Visual experience definitely precedence over photography or technical.

Building solar filters, getting ready. Will practice.

Beginners Forum / Re: Beginner planetary filters
« on: February 08, 2018, 11:04:56 PM »
One can adopt a scientific approach and use filters for what they were designed for. See

Filters are used to enhance the contrast of planetary features anddepending on the colour of a particularfeature determines the best filter to use for it.Some features are very subtle and choosing just the right filter will assist in seeing such features. You essentially need quite a few different colours in your filter tool set. If you want a single filter to give an overall contrast boost then I recommend the Tele Vue Planetary filter which unfortunately has been discontinued. I call it the great red spot filter because is gives a significant saturation boost to the red in the spot without making the whole planet red.

That is an excellent article, pretty sure it was written before the TeleVue Bandmate or Orion Mars filters were introduced.
I used to use the #82A light blue and #8 yellow or even the #11 yellow/green, haven't had the clear sky to use the Bandmate or Mars filters yet, and I'm not going to recommend them until I do, they cost more for one than the combined cost of the color filters.

As for the name, I have to admit that it is an unfortunate holdover from my younger days when I cared more about appearing clever than being sensitive. I am tied to it in a number of online domains, so at this point I just leave it as-is rather than rebuilding a new presence under a new name - though I do regret that it is probably not the wisest username over the long term. You provided an interesting explanation of how it works and developed - I hope the name isn't offensive.

If a dyslexic is making the joke, I tend to cut the person more slack. My daughter at about the age of 16 decided that her on-line persona wasn't "professional" enough. So she dropped her nickname and went with her regular name for her on-line identity. 16. What did I do wrong?

Moving on to the eyepiece question. If the focuser accepts a clamp ring for 1.25" eyepieces, that's the way to go. Second best is a hybrid diagonal. There are no "ultrawide" eyepieces in the OP's price range. There is also the danger of getting standard wide angle eyepieces with too few elements to produce a decent image. So, I recommend standard angle eyepieces, as they will do a good job, and not be too heavy.

I also recommend the 32mm GSO Plössl. It's a fine eyepiece, and you can't beat the price. High power should be in the 7-8mm range, assuming a 910mm focal length. Avoid Plössls at that short a focal length, though you could go with a 15mm, and Barlow it. I'll put in a good word for the Baader Classic orthos. I have the 18mm and the 10mm. They have Plössl like fields of view, and ortho like eye relief. My 10mm nestles between a 9mm and 12.5mm Takahashi ortho. It holds its own very well.

ATM, Optics and DIY Forum / Re: Min. distance to artificial star ?
« on: February 03, 2018, 01:26:22 PM »
You can bounce a green laser of a Christmas tree ornament placed as far away as possible.

Large fast mirrors will still need the star to bequite a distance but one way to deal with the residual spherical is to place a null lens in the focuser like this:

ATM, Optics and DIY Forum / Re: Miniature Telescope
« on: February 03, 2018, 12:19:39 PM »
Amazing! Much more patience than I know I will ever have. Great job!

General Astronomy & Observing / Re: Observing Alone
« on: February 03, 2018, 12:19:58 AM »
I was afraid of the dark until about the age of 14. One night I was standing alone in the dark and got fed up with the ghosts which wouldn't show themselves. So I started yelling at them and calling them names. I dared them to show themselves. They never did. I feel like I am now bigger than the ghosts and no longer fear them.

As a teenager, we lived out in the country. The house and yard had several gates and passage ways. I don't think i was ever afraid of the dark but my brother and I used to enjoy hiding behind a gate or doorway on a dark night just waiting. When my brother would come through the gate, I would slip in behind him and goose him with both hands in the ribs while screaming Yaaah..  that would make him jump just as I would jump when he did it to me.

We tried it on my dad numerous times but it never affected him..


Wow! So that's just a wood block, huh. Did you cut it any special way? Hardwood?

On this?
If you meant mine, it's a two piece maple board, glued together after I cut the offset out of one (to accommodate the circular metal part of the stock attachment can see the notch cut out in the pic at the lower left of the block). I also had to notch out the wood where the tiny (and useless) perpendicular metal brace sticks out. At the top of the maple block I cut out a circle to fit the PVC extender.

The maple upright block and PVC got screwed to the stock arm from the outside as well as two screws underneath (I removed the magnets in the stock arm). The PVC extension (to mount the altitude assembly outward laterally) has two circular maple blocks screwed into each end. One end gets screwed to the stock vertical arm, the other gets the altitude assembly attached. There is one long lag screw running through the middle of the PVC,straight down into the upright maple block.
It's about a $10 and 2 hour mod that makes it extremely rigid, even at higher powers.

Mounts Questions & Expirience / Re: Is there a motor for this mount?
« on: January 31, 2018, 01:39:33 PM »
The drive should be here tomorrow. I may have to do some mod-ing to get it on right, but that shouldn't be a big deal.

I have the polar axis workings a little tight with the worm tightened to the wheel gear to avoid backlash. Should I loosen things so the motor drive doesn't see as much resistance? I don't want to overheat the thing.

ATM, Optics and DIY Forum / Re: Opinions please on these Ronchigrams
« on: January 31, 2018, 11:28:40 AM »

His name wouldn't be Thomas Dey (or the guy that bought it from Thomas would it)?
Yes, that would be Tom's 29" Coulter mirror scope ... recently sold. It's being replaced with a 36" F/4 dob.

Beginners Forum / Re: When do you mark an object as seen?
« on: January 31, 2018, 06:08:44 AM »
OK, maybe it's partly on account of this thread, but last night the clear sky clock showed a clear sky with good transparency, the temperature was up to 32 degrees F, I was in the mood to hunt down something new to me, and so this 65 year old man dragged out his 39 year old C8 for the first time since Nov. 7th to run down a couple of open clusters... NGC's 2539 in Puppis and 2506 in Monoceros. A couple of nice little clusters, and yes, I put a little CHECK MARK by each one in Luginbuhl & Skiff. Not elusive targets, but I'd just never seen 'em. Of course, I also reveled in the view of M's 48, 46, and 47, along with a number of other DSO's which I'd seen many times before. Especially M 46... Hundreds of tiny little well resolved stars...!
 This was also first light for my Celestron Star Pointer Pro, which I only really use as a finder for my finder scope, but that's another story and another topic...

It is another "Pie in the Sky" wishful thinking kind of thing that won't happen. Just not enough demand to make it worth doing.

It would have to be 2", and it would have to be quite large and quite heavy.

And quite expensive.

My guess is that Leica sells 20 zooms for spotting scopes for every one that is purchased by an amateur astronomer.

If birders did not want the Leica, it would probably not survive in the marketplace.

Birders would not use such an eyepiece (to big and heavy) so that is 95% of the market.

Beginners Forum / Re: First ever upgrade, what telescope should I buy?
« on: January 31, 2018, 05:39:46 AM »
Beginner visual observing is like the first week of driving after you get your license. Astrophotography is driving in the Indy 5 hundred. In other words its NOT just a hop up from observing. Spend some time observing and join a club where you can see astrophotography at work.

Good one. But I think beginning AP is like showing up the day before the 500 qualifying with a week-old driver's license and your car in kit form in a box, unassembled. Those guys I know whose pics appear in Meade advertising and on the APOD site have decades of observing experience, almost unlimited funds, an array of $$$$ task specific gear, years of data-capture/data-processing experience and loads of free time.

The joys of visual astronomy are instant and personal. They are palpable. To me all they lack is they don't post well to facebook but I can't be bothered by that.

General Astronomy & Observing / Re: DIY stargazing trip to Chile
« on: January 31, 2018, 12:28:30 AM »
Curious, what to the flights usually connect through from the U.S? I certainly hope they don't connect through Caracas, Ven.
I might be considering a trip to the Atacama area in the future.

All flights from the U.S. go through Santiago for customs entry. Arica Chile in the far north has a part-time customs station for flights to/from Peru, Bolivia, etc. In theory an American tourist could leave Chile without having to fly back to SCL, but they don't make it an easy or obvious alternative.

You got that right!

I suppose that the exposed gears were deliberately left that way so visitors could view the gears in action. I should be able to devise some sort of enclosure for the mechanism. Fortunately, the RA clutch is extended a few inches away from the line of the gears, so even my modest fabrication skills should suffice. I hate to use plastic, since the only plastic on the entire mount/dolly combination is the insulation on the clock drive power cord and the dolly pull handle grip.

My home here in Lawrence has Menards, Home Depot, and Lowe's all close by, so the only issue is one of design. Clear Plexiglas is an option, permitting curiosity views of the mechanism and safety simultaneously.

Reflectors Telescopes Forum / Re: Dobsonian advice - late 2016
« on: January 26, 2018, 06:31:04 AM »
Zhumell is GSO and a very good value. I liked my Orion XT10 (sold it while upsizing) and LOVE my Z12s. (I have two of them- long story.)

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