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Messages - Jason Pederes

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Mounts Questions & Expirience / Re: Celestron AVX Rebuild
« on: February 09, 2018, 10:49:33 AM »
Well, I regreased the gearboxes with white lithium grease. I attempted to unscrew the bolts on the clamps, but they were SO tight.

Beginners Forum / Re: hello :) :)
« on: February 09, 2018, 09:11:10 AM »
there is definitely light pollution where i live, but i live right by an observatory, so i plan on going there whenever possible. that one telescope you you just set it on the ground?
Yes. Technically it is a Newtonian telescope on a alt/az Dobsonian base. But it's just called a Dob or Dobsonian after John Dobson who invented it. He wanted a telescope that performed well but was affordable and easy to use.

Reflectors Telescopes Forum / Re: WOW! 2 years today with the Starmaster
« on: February 09, 2018, 07:55:41 AM »
Another beautiful scope! Not that I'm biased or anything!  Hmm, looks like I need to get with the program and get the Nexus DSC's like you two. Not to go too far off topic, but what would the mod entail beyond swapping out the Sky Commander unit?

If you don't have the Sky Tracker goto system on your dob then its just a swap out.

Beginners Forum / Re: Just ordered my first eyepiece (on sale!)
« on: February 09, 2018, 06:19:30 AM »
Check out this article before getting any max FOV 2" eyepiece for a C8:https://www.celestro...-the-ota-itself

I think the preferred route in a C8 is 1.25 diagonal and a 6.3 reducer since you will have vignetting with the max FOV 2" EP in a C8.

That is a very interesting article. Never seen that before. I don't have an SCT but I do like to learn about them.

I think you are right in that I think I have seen a lot more using the Focal Reducer on the C8 than a 2". But that is an impression, not a fact.

Thanks for the link.

Beginners Forum / Re: Must-have accessories
« on: February 09, 2018, 04:15:44 AM »

I have a Nexstar 6SE that is about 2 months old. I also made a Christmas list which included an observer's chair, a dew controller, heating strips. I had other things on my list but ended up buying a few things myself. I hope I can wait until Christmas for the chair and dew control. I was out tonight, the first clear night in a couple weeks, and the red dot finder, collector plate and eye piece started to fog up after about 45 minutes. Frustrating!
Depending on what part of the country you are in, the dew control might be needed sooner than later. I'm in Iowa and it was 40 degrees tonight and nice and clear so I thought it was a great observing night. Not without dew controller and heating strips!

I'm in Florida, at what temp do you start to need an actual heater? Not too many nights below 40 degrees here, and with my Floridian blood I am not sure how much I will be out in those types of frigid temperatures.
Dew depends on the temperature of surfaces dropping to approach the dew point. I am in Florida, too. Florida with its high humidity is highly prone to dew forming. Some nights my scope is soaking wet. You will not be able to observe for any length of time without dealing with dew. Some nights are worse than others. At a minimum you will need a dew heater for the corrector and a controller. I also have dew heaters for the eyepiece and for the finder objective and eyepiece. A 2 channel controller with 4 outputs will suffice. You will also need a battery to power the dew heaters. I use a deep cycle marine battery to power everything.[/quote]

Thanks. Where in Florida are you? I am on the Space Coast.[/quote]
I am in northeast Florida. I used to live in Cocoa Beach and then Merritt Island years ago. Check out the Brevard Astronomical Society if you haven't already.

i recommend the Pocket Sky Atlas. It's not expensive and you can buy it used. I buy most all my eyepieces and books used to make my money go further.

Beginners Forum / Re: First ever upgrade, what telescope should I buy?
« on: February 09, 2018, 03:00:48 AM »
"Just out of curiosity, what are the benefits of a gem mount over an equatorial wedge?"

The equatorial, a sky-based mount, was invented specifically to be aimed at Polaris, which doesn't move, and then to track everything revolving around said star. If the polar alignment on the mount is precise, then the declination axis need not move. Of course, alignments that precise are rarely the case, if at all. Equatorials are not that difficult to master, but they can be beasts to haul around...


An equatorial wedge is actually a ground-based alt-azimuth mounting, with the azimuth base tilted upward and set to one's latitude, and a simulation of the motions of a true equatorial. However, both the altitude and azimuth axes are in constant motion, compensating for tracking errors. I would think a wedge fine for visual, but for serious astrophotography there is no substitute for a true equatorial...


Pair the Sirius with this 8" Schmidt on sale...


...or this one... https://www.astronom...ube_p19965.aspx 

...or this combination... https://www.astronom...ain_p20051.aspx

With a true equatorial in place, you could then, in future, swap out the 8" Schmidt with a sub-100mm fast refractor for deep-sky astrophotography...


The faster the telescope, f/5 versus f/10 for instance, the faster the astrophotographs are processed. This is also suitable for deep-sky astrophotography: a 5" f/5 Newtonian...


...and available from several Canadian vendors just to the north.

General Astronomy & Observing / Re: Armed (LEGALLY) While Observing
« on: February 04, 2018, 11:43:54 AM »
I do not get many chances to go dark sky observing but always feel more secure if I know fellow observers are carrying. Many years ago my wife and I were camping deep in the woods of the high sierra and had a bad two legged encounter. She was in the campsite alone and a car with two low life individuals pulled into our camp. I was gathering fire wood about 25 yards away unseen to the visitors. I had a camping ax in hand and a 1911 in a open shoulder holster. Casually using cover I approached them. When they saw me the change in their demeanor left little doubt in their original intentions. They slowly walked backwards to the car and left. I made no comments or gestures towards them during the encounter. I told the Ranger about our encounter a day or two later and he informed us that other campers over two years time had been killed. An encounter like this is unlikely but it only takes one if you are not prepared.

Light Pollution Topics / Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia
« on: February 03, 2018, 01:58:43 AM »
Hey, I actually got 2 e-mail replies from the artist himself.  In the 2nd e-mail, he remarkably stated, "Mark, I never said I was not contributing to the (light pollution) problem. I am fully aware that this project pollutes and all I am saying is that I am doing my very best to mitigate those effects."He dropped the bird issue after I pointed out that his site states that they are using his project to study the effects of such projects on migrating birds. I stated that the fact that they're conducting a study indicates that they don't know what the effects will be.

General Astronomy & Observing / Re: Some Atmospheric Optics observations
« on: February 02, 2018, 11:27:11 PM »
This lunar halo took place on February 22nd of this year. Jupiter is visible about 11 degrees to the lower left of the Moon.

Dave MitskyAttached Thumbnails

Beginners Forum / Re: deep sky scope upgrade
« on: February 02, 2018, 05:59:00 PM »
That used Teeter is a spanking good deal! If you can that would be a great option! Other than that the Obsessions are very good options. I would look closely at the status of Discovery before going down that route. Another (more cost) option would be to add ServoCat to the dob you choose that will give you GOTO and tracking but you don't have to use the GOTO. You can slip the clutch, move the scope, then reengage it.

Reflectors Telescopes Forum / Re: Looking for an under $500 astrograph
« on: February 02, 2018, 05:57:17 PM »
Problem is finding a scope suitable for your mount that will reach focus. I don't think they make 4" newt astro graphs, so how about a small refractor? Refractors have a larger focus range, don't require collimation, and has been mentioned, a small refractor is ideal for learning AP. I would think you could get a 70-80mm Apo doublet in your $500 price range.


I live in the southern US. We have lots of moisture in the air, but on clear cool nights or after rains the sky clears up pretty good. We are less effected by the jet stream. I have sizes from 4 inch to 16 inch, and the 16 on most nights will produce the best images of all my scopes visually. I too have an EQ platform made by Ed Jones for a 12 inch truss dob. It tracks well. I have taken many videos (because that is what they really are.) Then used software to stack them and process them to a final image.

Here are some made with a 12 inch GSO/Zhummel mirror in a rebuilt structure made by me. Taken with a ASI 120MC sub 200 dollar camera. Using a 2x and 3x GSO barlows.
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I think it is a toss up with the GSO mirrors. You may get a keeper or maybe not. I own a 10 and 12 inch GSO. They are both good. I also own a Terry O 12.5, 14 and 16.25 and there is a noticeable difference in detail no matter the sky conditions if comparing apples to apples for me.

Beginners Forum / Re: Can't see North American Nebula
« on: January 31, 2018, 01:11:36 PM »
Since this is the Beginners Forum and some have suggested wide field refractors for viewing the North American Nebula, folks may need to be reminded that if a mirror or right angle prism star diagonal is used, the view of the nebula will be the mirror image of a likeness of the North American map. Observers might not recognize Florida over where California is supposed to be! This of course is not a problem with binoculars or most reflecting telescopes.

I use a 6" F/5 refractor at low power with a O-III or UHC filter and a big Amici prism that gives a non-reversed view. Even casual visitors at a public star party can see it IF viewing is from a dark sky site. When visitors from the public say things like "I see the Gulf of Mexico!" you know they've seen the nebula.

Mounts Questions & Expirience / Re: Vixen Mini Porta?
« on: January 31, 2018, 10:46:47 AM »
As you can see from my jpeg I plan to use an Orion 9x50 RACI finder with the ST80. Along with the weight of the diagonal I plan to use fairly normal sized 31.75mm (1.25") eyepieces (including TeleVue Plossls) sometimes in combination with a Barlow.

Do you think the Mini Porta will support the combined weight well?
I often use an ES 1.25" 24mm 68 degree (11.6oz; 329g) eyepiece, a 1.25" mirror diagonal and an Orion 6X30mm RACI finder and find this weight is handled nicely on the Mini Porta. I decided to get out the bathroom scales and weigh myself with and without the scope, mount/tripod and accessories and found that this "Grab and Go" combination to be about 14 lbs. or 6.4 kg.

Additionally, I have an original Porta which I use with a Celestron 80ED and a Vixen A80Mf refractors. I really like the Porta but it is about twice the weight of the Mini Porta. The Porta is physically larger and much more unwieldy which means that I need two hands when carrying the Porta and refractor.
OK thanks. I'd almost certainly carry the ST80 and the Vixen mount/tripod separately due to my disability. How would you say the original Porta, which I believe is roughly the same weight as the Porta II, compare in weight and transportability compared with a regular AZ3/AZ4 tripod? Is it much heavier to manipulate? Bearing in mind, I'm only really planning on carrying the Vixen in my garden.

Beginners Forum / Re: Best way to observe sun through big reflector?
« on: January 31, 2018, 02:42:58 AM »
To be truthfull however, getting the ST80 and a solar filter did me better then the dob.....then came the PST....

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