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Messages - Zack Tucker

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Sounds like fun! Messiers at a nice, gentle waltz tempo. Most of the time I do that, too.

Once a year pulling out all the stops and going for full on contra dance tempo is worth it to me, and totally not everyone's cup of tea (if you will excuse the mixed metaphor there...)

But, when talking to others in the neighborhood, they didn't notice the intrusive lighting like I hoped they would. Just me, I guess. Anyway, the problem is mostly fixed without them. Thankfully, no one has bothered to re-aim the lighting, including the engineer of the complex. I am sure they never even thought of these things.

This can sometimes work to your advantage. I got a long pole and re-aimed, with the owner's permission, a privately owned streetlight a few doors down from me. Worked wonders, but I was afraid others in the opposite direction would complain. I don't think anyone even noticed. As said, most people stay inside at night with lights on and never even notice the outdoor landscape.

I am fanatical about reducing lighting on our property, so yes, walking the walk. There are 3 small shielded "nightlights" in the driveway, a compromise to the Mrs., and that is it. The porchlight, rarely used, is a recessed fixture with a low wattage bulb. Even the indoor lights are fairly low wattage that all point downward (recessed and tracks...).


I think his equipment was no where near that good.

The mirrors Messier used were metal and the Foucault test has not been invented. The light transmission as well as the quality.


Lowe's Home Improvement has this directionally shielded dual-light fixture, and this shielded single-light fixture, each for about $40. I haven't bought either myself, but I've seen them on display at Lowe's and the first one I've actually seen installed at a neighbor's house down at the beach (where he recently replaced a totally unshielded floodlight with the shielded dual-light fixture).

Ok Dan, if you don't hear it on your ieq45, then I must have a problem with mine.
Bobzeq25, the noise you hear might have the same origin but sound differently because the mount is different

General Astronomy & Observing / Re: How Dedicated Are You!?
« on: February 03, 2018, 02:33:45 AM »

Electric snow plowers are cheap. I have one that handles up to about 8" quite well. $160. About the price of an ES82 eyepiece.  When we had 30 inches last year I would chop the pile down and blow it away.After that 30" snow fall I cleared and area in the yard about 6X6 so I could set up my ETX 80 for Jupiter observation. Have done similar due to lesser amounts.

If I want to observe, a little snow is not going to deter me.

Yes, I agree; I have an electric snow blower, and for a little unit, it's amazing how much snow it will move!
Another excuse for me is that I don't have anywhere to store a snow blower. I have that small shed you can see in the pictures, but it is full. I would need another shed. I wondered about an electric one.


My dad, Charles Hammond, who died back in 2004, was a well known avid amateur astronomer in Connecticut and I inherited his 7 remote high elevation observatories with substantial astronomical equipment, library of classic astronomy books, and an extensive meteorite collection. My wife and I live at the family cabin on this observatory property in the warmer months. I am not yet an amateur astronomer but am learning quickly to allow me to utilize some of his equipment. I am selling off equipment that I am not planning to use.

I am keeping his 12'x24' main observatory that houses a 6" extremely high quality F10 refractor which is mounted to a 16" diameter concrete pier attached permanently to bedrock. This telescope and mount was hand made and was perfectly polar aligned up until recently and tracked stars flawlessly. In the past year, for reasons unknown, the bedrock has shifted so that the pier is 2 degrees out of plumb. Realigning this scope is virtually impossible due to the massive weight of the steel fabricated mounting assembly to which the mount itself attaches. So, I am considering purchasing an Orion HDX110 heavy duty GOTO mount and replacing the existing bulky mount with this Orion, to be bolted to the old out of plumb pier (hope the movement has stopped!). I will fabricate a custom adjustable aluminum mounting plate assembly to bolt onto this pier

Another observatory, which can no longer be used, houses an AstroWorks fork mount and supplied drive mechanism attached to a massive concrete pier. This mount holds a 12.5" F4 reflector of the highest quality. The surrounding forest has grown up to the point that the amount of viewable sky is very limited. This scope has not been used, or even looked at for 12 years, until last week. It needs some cleaning up and the mirror has some degradation around the edges. I plan on getting the mirror finish renewed.

I'd like to relocate the 12.5" scope to the potential, to-be-purchased, Orion HDX110 mount. Please see the attached pictures of 1) the 6" refractor on the 16" out-of-plumb concrete pier, 2) the AstroWorks mount with 12.5" scope to be hopefully relocated to the same 16" pier.

So, I have some questions for this group and advice, recommendations, suggestions would be greatly appreciated........

1) Is relocating the 12.5" scope, now on a fork mount, to a new equatorial Orion (non-fork) mount even feasible?

2) How would I best attach the 12.5" scope which has some custom scope rings to the Orion mount which uses dovetails? Could I use these rings and attach a dovetail plate? Please see the existing scope rings on the 12.5' scope.

3) Is it possible to be able to quickly swap out, as desired, the 6" refractor for the 12.5" reflector on the same mount? Would I lose polar alignment from the swap assuming both scopes utilize dovetail fixtures.

4) Does anyone have a recommendation on who I should use to get the 12.5" mirror refinished?

5) I do not plan to use the AstroWorks fork mount, drives, controls, any longer. This high quality AstroWorks mount cost my dad a fortune back in the late 1970's. It is machined to the precise latitude of the observatory of 41 degrees, 59 minutes but could be relocated and shimmed to get the polar alignment correct. What is the best way to find a buyer for this mount? It would require someone to pick it up on site as it is very massive and unshippable.

6) Any other considerations I may have left out.

Thanks in advance for your inputs. As you can see, I don't know much about all of this!

Bob Hammond
[email protected]

Attached Thumbnails

Wow, big time improvement on paper and, yeah, that would seem to correlate with Danny's images.

But at least in green, if you apply an aspheric figure to R1, will I see it in the Ronchigram at focus as a ring, depression or whatever?


Eyepieces Questions & Recommendations / Re: Cleaning EP
« on: February 02, 2018, 03:44:34 PM »
This is what I describe what one at Stellafane use.
He took his Ethos out of a box and polished direct on lense.
Just breath off dust and worked out whit this pen.
He said, don’t worry. Coatings is hard.

That tool is hard enough to scratch, leaves a residue of powder on the lens, and is only clean the first time it's used. After that, it is spreading dirt and oil around.
You should NEVER use one on an eyepiece. Ever.

ATM, Optics and DIY Forum / Re: Question about F ratio and image circle
« on: January 31, 2018, 12:50:48 PM »
To expand slightly on BGRE's post...

A 2" f/4 and a 200" f/4 will produce a Fresnel pattern of diffraction having precisely the same *linear* size. It's just that the 100X larger aperture delivers a 100X larger image scale, thus resolving *angularly* 100X better.

It's important to differentiate between linear and angular resolving power.

Eyepieces Questions & Recommendations / Re: Advice on next eyepiece
« on: January 31, 2018, 10:08:39 AM »

but I don't want to buy something that essentially duplicates present holdings.

You have a near complete set of EPs that look like soda straws when you look through them (Plössls)
You have a near complete set of low power almost wide angle EPs (PanOptics)
You have a complete set of previous generation wide fields EPs (Naglers).

And you are asking not to duplicate any of the above !?! ?!?

Any given Ethoi will duplicate
a) the FoV of at least one of those EPs
b) the exit pupil of at least one of those EPs,
c) sky background level of one of those EPs.
Soda straw plossls! You nailed it. You have the measure of my dilemma. I purchased the Panoptics before the Naglers, which drew me in on account of the larger FOV. There already is a lot of overlap. Not sure I would part with any of the Televues (they are like children, after all), but if replaced one, which would you recommend?[/quote]
I'd replace either the 16mm or 26mm Nagler. Mostly because I want them and be happy to takeone off your hands! [/quote]
I think someone also just listed that they are looking for a 26mm too...

Reflectors Telescopes Forum / Re: Discovery 10" Dob for $200?
« on: January 31, 2018, 09:55:25 AM »
Going down Saturday to pick it up.

I'm looking to improve the views from my apartment in north Austin, TX. I went out to the local club's public night at their dark site and found I really enjoyed looking at the DSO's. I've had some luck off my balcony with M3, M5, and M13. What would have a greater impact on my view - a new eyepiece or a new filter? I've got an Orion XT6 with the Sirius 25mm and 10mm Plossl's that come with it. I'm considering a 32mm Plossl for the increased TFOV, or possibly a UHC filter for better nebula hunting.


Greetings from Long Island, living in the sky glow of NYC.  Based on http://darksitefinde...maps/world.html I am in a "dark white area" . How about you?

I have the Orion XT8i Intelliscope.  Most nebula have been a bust for me.  I have not been able to see the North America Nebula, one that people tell me should be huge.  I have been right on it based on star hopping and based on the Intelliscope.  Nothing!  In my signature you can see I have both OIII and Nebula filters.  No help.

I can see the Ring Nebula and Orion Nebula with no need for filters.

My club has a "darker site" in a Dark Red zone. Still not very dark but best I have been to. Tried again for the North America Nebula using the DGM filter. Nothing.

The issue is surface brightness and contrast with the glow in the sky.  So, how dark is our dark site?

If it is no better than mine, then skip the filters for now and go for the wider view eyepiece.  I have a 2" 38 mm 70 degree AFOV that gives me a wonderful 2.2 degree FOV at 31X.  As I recall you can't use 2" so something like a 32 mm plossl is probably going to give you maximum FOV for that scope. Using Tonight's Sky to create my target lists I focus on targets that are Mag 7 or brighter understanding that the mag for nebula might be 6 but the surface brighness might be 15.

Create a list of targets sorted by constellation using Tonight's Sky -

They will not collapse down if correct so you need to find how they fit.  Even then you will be left with multiple arrangements.  The wrong ones will not come to a focus and this can most easily be determined by viewing an artificial star.The way to lower lenses into a casing is to support the lenses from below towards the top of the casing, with a piece of dowel or similar (I use a felt-tip marker) and then raise the casing around the lens.  This way the lenses cannot flip or jam.

I lived in Southeast Alaska (Juneau) for a couple of years and if there's a cloudier place on the planet, I'd like to hear about it.....I also lived in Central FL for 3-4 years and fail to see the complaints lodged above.

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