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Messages - crypagsperless

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ATM, Optics and DIY Forum / Re: Small Yolo
« on: February 03, 2018, 10:34:02 AM »
Zemax layout and full-FOV spots over a 16mm diameter FOV.  The small ring at center is the first Airy ring, so it's easy to see how sharp this design is.  Mr. Herrig's idea/discovery is simply amazing. 

General Astronomy & Observing / Re: Dark Sky Sites and Critters
« on: February 03, 2018, 07:20:35 AM »
That's why I let to set up about sunset. You can get the lay of the land. Here in Texas, there are fire ants. If you set up in the dark, you could set up on top of a fire ant mound. Those suckers leave horrible bite marks, and for some, their bites can put their body in shock. I get nervous when I hear some rustling or branches making cracking noises in the dark. We also have wild boars in Texas. They are mean critters. I don't pack heat, because that raises different issues. I don't let worry about these things keep me from going out viewing. Going into new places does give me cause, however.

Roger that GeneT, fire ants are more of a problem than snakes or anything else here in Texas. I have a license to carry a pistol and always do when I'm out in the wilderness. There are no issues if you have a license.


Beginners Forum / Re: North American Nebula - Am I just blind?
« on: February 03, 2018, 12:34:37 AM »

Redbetter I am using the RACI that came on my dob. It works well, but the crosshairs are not illuminated and of course it narrows the FOV somewhat. A variable power, illuminated reticle, RACI would be nice!

At my age, the right angle is a must.

The RACI's are great for these size Dobs, but you should consider adding a zero power finder to get you in the neighborhood before shifting to the finder. This can speed things up. As you have probably discovered it is somewhat difficult to knowprecisely where your RACI will be pointing. For the Z10 I'm using the Starpointer Pro along with the RACI. Others use the Rigel Quickfinder or even a Telrad. A simple RDF style finder would also work for quickly sighting down the tube. I put the basic CelestronStarpointer RDF on a little refractor to replace its 5x24 "finder" and it muchworks better than I anticipated.
I actually have an older finder scope with the optics knocked out to get me in the general neighborhood than I go to my 6x30 finder to get the cross hairs on.

Beginners Forum / Re: Lasik eye surgery
« on: February 02, 2018, 08:32:36 PM »
I have a couple of observations after having the procedure about eight years ago. First, I have a very wide pupil dilation at night. At the time I had the procedure, I was told they had changed the diameter of the surgical opening so I was eligible to have my eyes done. Prior to that time, the incision would have been within the pupil opening. As it is, at night I do have a softening of my vision due to the scar tissue at the edge of my adapted pupil opening. So, discuss with your doctor how big your pupil dilates and how close the pupil opening will be to the incision.Secondly, my optometrist has really stressed the need for me to use appropriate reading glasses for reading and fairly close work. He explained that our eyes will adapt to seeing at the distances we look at the most. He said if I do a lot of close work and make my eyes focus at the closer distances, instead of using the reading glasses, my eyes will retrograde back to being near sighted. I have tried to be more diligent using the glasses lately, try to look out the window at distant objects occasionally if doing close work, and size the screen at 180% on my computer monitor to keep the far vision sharp. It must be working, as at my last check-up a couple of months ago, my vision had shifted to slightly more distance favored.

I can send you the files, but they are over 10Mb, so send me your email in a private message and I'll send them to you (assuming a file of that size isn't too big for your email service).

Eyepieces Questions & Recommendations / Re: EP Case Layout Options
« on: January 31, 2018, 12:53:46 PM »
I've had an Orion pluck foam case for about 19 years. I've never found pieces of it anywhere. It certainly doesn't fall apart.

Mounts Questions & Expirience / Re: Fornax Lightrack II First light
« on: January 31, 2018, 05:26:12 AM »
Here is is a picture of the setup which consists of the Fornax mount and wedge, Astrotrac head/counter weight system and polemaster adhered to the Astrotrac head.

Nice setup. How is the polemaster held onto the Astrotrac head? And can you rotate the polemaster on the head itself as needed for alignment?

ATM, Optics and DIY Forum / Re: Bluetooth NEQ6 control
« on: January 31, 2018, 04:33:52 AM »
Attaching the BT serial to the NEQ6 gives me a dead link. I see that the serial connection is made (LED stops flashing) but apparently there are no characters exchanged with the mount.
Could it be a level problem still?

Well I don't have much of a clue but since the LED went solid then the BT has been paired and connected.  Thus this sounds like a translation level issue.  Can you translate it thru an RS232 IC to test this ?

Mounts Questions & Expirience / Re: Best small GEM?
« on: January 31, 2018, 02:54:45 AM »
<p style="margin-left:40px">If you intend to keep the mount a long time 5+ years then a Losmandy GM8 would be the way to go. There are many users that get 20+ years of use with a Losmandy, most other non premium mounts cannot brag that. That plus all the parts on a 20+ year old Losmandy are readily available directly from Losmandy. Yes it may be a bit more that you are comfortable spending but far after the money is spent you won't be thinking of that you will be thinking how much (or little) you like your mount.

Scary, but not surprising.

Beginners Forum / Re: Seeing galaxies with a refractor
« on: January 31, 2018, 12:55:03 AM »
I guess I should also add that since many people have said I should use a 10" reflecter for the faint DSOs. I think I'd rather go crazy and do 14" or 16" in that case....I think having the 6" Newtonian in the meantime would make for a nice in between scope between the 80mm refractor and a much larger Dobsonian and puts the increase of aperture closer to about 400% between each telescope.

Big scopes are nice because they show you more but they are quite the hassle and not so easy to !earn with. It's like learning to drive in a semi truck.

Most observers with 14-16 inch scopes also have smaller scopes that get a good deal of use. The reason I chose 10 inch in my posts is that I find a 10 inch to be a sweet spot between easy of use and capability. A 10 inch is a big scope when you see one for the first time and its still big some years down the road.

Questions like yours are best answered in the field, at the eyepiece. It is difficult to describe what a particulsr galaxy looks like in an 80 mm and then how it compares to larger scopes.

If you have a club or a Cloudy Nights member nearby, hooking up with them for some actual eyepiece time is probably your best bet. Where are you located?


Beginners Forum / Re: How to move beyond the basics?
« on: January 26, 2018, 12:47:25 AM »
Wow!I didn't expect this level of response, or this level of agreement. Thanks for all of your help and responses. I haven't had time until now to respond, but I am still here. I've tried to collect and answer all the questions, sorry if I missed yours...


I'm pleased to hear you like your 13 mm Ethos, This is my favourite eyepiece (so far) - wide enough to let me find targets with relative ease but also magnifying enough to provide a pleasing view. I have a 26 mm NAG as well but seldom use it, unless viewing larger targets, like the Leo Triplet - which is a seasonal target that come back to make me happy that I have the 26! For closing in on a smaller targets, I have the 8 mm and 5 mm Vixen Lanthanums (I tried the 8 mm ETH and it did not work at all for me, although others absolutely love it). So - each eyepiece is a highly personal fit and if you want to see if it works for you, then you need to take a test drive.

The ethos is still in transit and should arrive Monday. I'm exited. <p class="citation">SeaBee1, on 15 Jul 2016 - 2:32 PM, said:<a href=";module=forums&amp;section=findpost&amp;pid=7327545" rel="citation">[/url]<blockquote class="ipsBlockquote built" data-author="SeaBee1" data-cid="7327545" data-time="1468585961">

Lots of good input has been offered already, and I am not sure I can really add much if anything except to concur with good advice. I wholeheartedly agree that your 6 inch scope should keep you busy for a long long time. Slow down on the eyepiece purchases until you solve that blurriness issue you mentioned. Collimate your scope, first and foremost, I think this will have the largest effect on your experience, followed by letting your scope cool before any serious viewing. A 6 inch scope should cool fairly quickly, but it does take time, depending on circumstances i.e. where is the scope stored before a session... inside your house? or in the garage?

The scope lives in the basement. In the summer that means it has to heat up to ambient (AC keeps the basement very cool), while in the winter, it has less heat to shed. I've never bothered with waiting since, the few times I have, it didn't seem to make a difference.<p class="citation">aeajr, on 15 Jul 2016 - 5:16 PM, said:<a href=";module=forums&amp;section=findpost&amp;pid=7327761" rel="citation">[/url]<blockquote class="ipsBlockquote built" data-author="aeajr" data-cid="7327761" data-time="1468595766">What is your light pollution situation?  Find your location on this map and give us the color.  I am in a Dark White area which is the second worst. This way we will understand a bit more about your sky and the challenges of star hopping. I have very few stars in my sky. That is why I chose computer assisted telescopes.
http://darksitefinde...maps/world.htmlWhere do you keep your telescope? Ground level in a garage, shed or room? Do you have to haul it up out of the basement or down from the 2nd floor? This goes to weight and convenience should you consider getting a new telescope.  12" scopes are great but if you have to do 2 flights of stairs 3X to get it set up and the same to break it down it might not get a lot of use.  I keep my XT8i in the garage on a cart which makes is super convenient to use.How engaged are you with the members of your club? What suggestions do they offer?Investments - $2000 budget

I agree with the others that you would want to expand your eyepiece collection. You have 4 magnifications based on the barlow. 48X, 96X, 133X and 266X.  I too use barlows and like them a lot.

That 32 mm 52 degree AFOV plossl will get you 37X and 1.45 degrees  I think that is a good move.  I have a 38 mm for my XT8i but it is a 2" and won't fit your scope.  I started with 10X50s and love the wide views so I wanted that for my telescope too.New Scope?

I agree that there is a lot more you can get out of your current scope. But if you are itching to upgrade let's look at an option. The 6" scope can continue to serve as your grab and go scope to a new, larger scope.

From what I read you have trouble finding things.  Perhaps not a lot in your sky for star hopping. So let's talk computer assist.  I have two computer assisted scopes, one is a GoTo (Meade ETX 80) and one is a PushTo (Orion Intelliscope) but they can also be used manually so I do use them manually about 50% of the time. I don't even attach the hand set. If you choose carefully you can have both in one scope.


Light pollution situation:My house is in a light red region. To the northeast (towards downtown Denver) this moves to dark white and then bright white over the skyline. But I only observed near my house in the beginning. There are too many surrounding lights to get much dark adaptation.

Chatfield State Park, my go-to spot to escape streetlights, is dark red. Looking towards the south from this spot, I can see regions of orange and green. Looking towards the north, I can still make out the dipper and Polaris. But anything near that big Denver light dome is completely masked.

The DAS's dark site is purple bordering on clear.

(BTW, if any denverites are reading this, I use the parking lot for Chatfield's model airplane flying facility. It's secluded and free of light trespass. Its only downside is that the headlights of cars traveling on the road nearby are very visible.)

Where do I keep my scope?The basement as answered above.

How engaged am I with my club?I just paid the dues online a few days ago. I've had zero contact with any of them (except for those that have responded here). I plan to attend their monthly star party at the dark site in August.

Computer Assist?I'll probably end up with a computer assist someday, maybe soon. The Celestron Nexstar platform is attractive because of its simplicity and smartphone control, but the variety of computer assists is enormous.

The intelliscope is probably all I need, but if I buy a new scope, I will probably want one with tracking capability. Tracking platforms for a dob seem like too much trouble to me. A GoTo-enabled dob is attractive, but the weight is a problem. I don't see myself lugging a 100 lb base up and down the stairs.<p class="citation">CounterWeight, on 15 Jul 2016 - 7:53 PM, said:<a href=";module=forums&amp;section=findpost&amp;pid=7328097" rel="citation">[/url]<blockquote class="ipsBlockquote built" data-author="CounterWeight" data-cid="7328097" data-time="1468605200">

I have an old Meade 40mm Plossl I'll give you! I have several from various scopes I purchased from them time ago... PM me here and it's yours.


That is extraordinarily generous! I'll PM you after I'm done writing this.<p class="citation">aeajr, on 15 Jul 2016 - 8:38 PM, said:<a href=";module=forums&amp;section=findpost&amp;pid=7328179" rel="citation">[/url]<blockquote class="ipsBlockquote built" data-author="aeajr" data-cid="7328179" data-time="1468607909">

Going back to your original post, I wonder how you are planning your star hops. What tools and books are you using? How are you going about it?

Are any of these helpful?  Or is it that you just that you can't see the guide start to hop? I fully understand that as I think my skies are worse than yours.[/quote]

I find an object I want to view on the star charts in Nightwatch, then look for the star nearest to it. From there, I hop over. I'm not always sure if I'm looking at the right star, especially in the Scorpio/Sagittarius region, since there are so many stars looking that way.<p class="citation">bobcat83, on 16 Jul 2016 - 06:01 AM, said:<a href=";module=forums&amp;section=findpost&amp;pid=7329126" rel="citation">[/url]<blockquote class="ipsBlockquote built" data-author="bobcat83" data-cid="7329126" data-time="1468641705">

1. Does your local club have a structured program to help beginners? Hands-on help in the field with people who have dedicated some time to coaching beginners is invaluable and will help you move along.
2. I agree with the multiple suggestions above to get a unit-power finder to complement or replace your RACI finder. I started with a 4.5" dob and upgraded to a 10" - and I use the Rigel Quick-Finder because it's simply less bulky on the smaller scopes than a Telrad. Once I got past the Messier objects list, I found that I got a lot of help from the RACI finder in locating starfields and where objects should be, but I still rely on the Quickfinder to tell exactly where I am aiming.
3. Above mentions of collimation are also true. But since you mention navigation problems too, I have to ask - are you aligning your pointer/finder devices with your optical tube as part of your set-up procedure when you take your scope out? Pick an earth-bound target as far away as you can (power poles on the horizon are perfect targets). Find your target in your main scope, keeping in mind it will be inverted. Then, without moving the scope you need to adjust your unit finder and then your RACI finder so the red dot, crosshairs, etc are directly on your target. This may improve things for you if you're not doing it already. I usually collimate first, then align my finders, then leave my scope to cool down, and then recheck everything as soon as there is a planet visible to doublecheck alignment.


Club program for beginners?Dunno. Didn't see mention of one on their web site. I'll have to ask.

Am I aligning my finderscope?Yep. I'm not particular about getting it dead on (I don't have a crosshair eyepiece anyway so it's an estimate.<p class="citation">csrlice12, on 16 Jul 2016 - 8:28 PM, said:<a href=";module=forums&amp;section=findpost&amp;pid=7329968" rel="citation">[/url]<blockquote class="ipsBlockquote built" data-author="csrlice12" data-cid="7329968" data-time="1468693712">

I'm in the OP's location and will gladly meet up sometime and help with collimation and aligning the finders....while I'm not much at finding things without electronic help, I can still get the dob up and running and let the OP try out different eyepieces to see what he likes...and hey, sometimes its good to have an observing buddy.


I'll send a PM! Thanks.

ATM, Optics and DIY Forum / Re: Gyro-Scope!
« on: January 25, 2018, 11:54:55 PM »
Or a ball and socket?

ATM, Optics and DIY Forum / Re: Telescope Badging
« on: January 25, 2018, 03:16:58 PM »

Sorry to hear of the loss. Call the local office supply store, they do name tags and desk set tags. You can also call the local High School and find out where they get their trophies since your local supplier is gone. That was a good move on your part to try to get the engraver.


Yeah thanks that was actually my first idea... but there were a few problems with that: 1) my handwriting is terrible 2) it would have to be very small and a delicate job to create and 3) to be in focus it would have to be at the field stop like the reticle in an illuminated eyepiece, so I don't know if it is actually any simpler

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