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Topics - Aaron Maggot

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ATM, Optics and DIY Forum / Who built a unobstructed telescope...?
« on: January 10, 2018, 09:31:51 AM »
Hi,

I'm curious how many CN visitors ever built a unobstructed and working instrument. I'd very much like to see as many scopes as possible : Kutter, Brachyt, Tri-schiefspieglers, Yolo, Solano, Schupmann, Schiefs, Herrig and many many more...
-Ideal would be to post pictures or drawings and/or optical layouts(sources) of the instrument you made.
-Did you make the optics yourself..?
-When did you built it..?
-Did it perform as you thought it would..?
-If you build it again, what would you change on the scope itself..?
-...
This thread : Not to compare different types.

-I myself grinded/built two 150mm f/29 Kutters in the late '80. One I gave away to a friend.(in return the guy made for me a DCF77 receiver-for occultations-) The second one I sold for a few bucks. No pictures(did not have a camera back then!) Maybe I can get a picture. Rather easy to make the optics (2x sphere).
-I also grinded/built a kutter binoscope 60mm primary mirrors. Optics are used in another project, but I still have the scope. I'll post a picture of the units later on.
-From Art Leonard I got drawings to make a Yolo and a Solano. (These drawings were all made on ve-ry thin paper. In those days everything had to be sent by airmail.) Made the optics to make me a Solano and gave the finished optics away to a friend. Don't even know if that scope ever has been finished. I'll post a few scan of these drawing later on. I should not mentioned this last, but I'm kinda proud I have these drawings from Mr Leonard.

Maybe this thread pushes someone over the edge to build one...?

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General Astronomy & Observing / Best State for Planetary Observing?
« on: January 01, 2018, 08:30:52 AM »
Which state has the best skies for planetary observing........taking into account;

1. Seeing

2. Clear skies

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Beginners Forum / Telescope & binoculars for a newbie :)
« on: December 29, 2017, 06:02:32 AM »
Hello!

I´m newbie in the telescope/binocular world, but really interested in starting in this awesome hobby to observe planets, nebulae, galaxies and star clusters. Been searching info and trying to learn as much as I can but there are a lot of options, so I need your advice. From what I´ve read, seems like a good idea to have both a telescope and binoculars, but I have a budget of spending maximum $400. What do you think, should I get both or for now just a good telescope? Binoculars seem like a really good extra to start learning more about the constellations and I can take them everywhere more easily.

Haven´t found yet which binoculars could be best for my use & budget but for telescopes, been looking at these options:

- Meade Lightbridge Mini 130
- Orion Starblast 6
- Meade Polaris 130 f/5 EQ
- Celestron Astromaster 130EQ

Prefer a telescope with no GoTo mount, it´s going to be harder to use but will help me learn more about the position of the celestial objects, the satisfaction of finding them and well, they´re mostly more expensive.

The telescopes with the dobsonian mount look very simple, grab & go, but doesn´t seem very practical, probably I´ll always need a table or flat surface to put it at a higher level (than ground) that´s more comfortable. What are your opinions on the dobsonian mounts?

And just to add, I go as often as I can camping, on average 1 weekend per month and sometimes just a quick 1 day trip out of town to get away from the light pollution and watch the night sky (With the telescope and/or binoculars I´ll go more often out of town).

If there´s any other info I could share that could be helpful for your advice/recommendation, let me know!

Thanks in advance for your help,

Juan

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Reflectors Telescopes Forum / Newtonian OTA mounting trick?
« on: December 29, 2017, 04:36:17 AM »
I am new to equatorially mounted reflectors. If I loosen the rings to rotate the OTA, then it has the tendency to slide down and get my entire installation out of balance. Is there any good trick to prevent this?

I was thinking of perhaps adding a third ring, not attached to the dovetail, to support the lower one. But with all the felt the two rings wouldn't slide very well. Rotating Parallax rings are not within the budget.
Any good ideas would be appreciated.
--Dom

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Beginners Forum / Good spots to use my AR127 near the Boston Area
« on: December 28, 2017, 10:54:10 AM »
I was wondering if any refractor users out there know of any good spots near Boston where I can get some good views. So far I have been to Plum Island, and looking to go to a light house in Marblehead this week. Also anyone been to Bar Harbor Maine and used their scope there. I would like to know what sorts of seeing you got there. Thanks guys!

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I am in a quandary: I like the idea of getting more aperture to take to dark sites but have never been enthused about the Dob experience. And I now find that I really, really want to like Dobs, but I have to get past some significant mental barriers. First off, I am a confirmed non-nudger. Lots of folks don’t mind being cuddled up to the OTA and pushing it along…but not me. I need to put my scope on an object and forget the tube is there; in short I want automated tracking. And while I can find my way around the sky the good old fashioned way, I prefer observing targets to hunting them. So, push-to or go-to target finding is the order of the day for me. Not really a fan of diffraction spikes either, but there are mitigation strategies for that so I can probably get past that hurdle. Fast optics seem to be typical these days, though one can easily get f/5 or slower optics. Of course the trade off is where your eyepiece is going to end up when viewing a target near nadir…I’m 5’7”. Which brings me to my last major issue, I don’t have any desire to stand on a ladder to get to the eyepiece. In fact, I simply won’t do it for routine observing.
I like the thought of more aperture and what that would give me. I like the ease of setting up and taking down when a GEM is not part of the kit. I like the idea of slower optics so that I would not need a Paracorr (but will not go up and down a ladder all night). I like the idea of more laid back observing and seeing deeper than I can currently go. So what are my best options? Here’s what I would like:
• I would like a system that will give me some visual “pop” above-and-beyond what my EdgeHD 1100 provides, but this is not necessarily a deal breaker.
• I want ease of set up and take down.
• I want a system that will work reasonably well for both solar system and deep sky observing.
• I want to binoview.
• I really don’t want to have to correct aberrations introduced by fast optics (how would that play out at f/4.9 or so?)
• I would really like to keep the price down to under $7500, though I could go maybe a third higher if that would make a massive difference.
And here are some questions:
• A 14” to 16” mass produced platform seems like it might do the job and would allow plenty of latitude for upgrades, but would the views likely be more pleasing in a smaller (say 12.5”) premium scope?
• Do folks favor less aperture if higher quality optics and mechanicals are the trade off? Would a 12.5” Teeter be a better bet than an Orion or Skywalker 14” or even 16”?
• It would not seem like 12.5” would give me much of a boost over 11”…any thoughts?
• Would the convenience of a Dob (in your mind) help compensate for the comparatively minor increase in aperture?

I am very interested in what my fellow CNers think about these questions. Thanks in advance for your feedback!

Clear Skies,
Brian

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Eyepieces Questions & Recommendations / APM 18mm Ultra Flat Field
« on: December 24, 2017, 06:19:17 PM »
I'm starting this thread for discussion of the new APM Ultra Flat Field 65 deg eyepiece line.

I ordered one last Wednesday and it came an hour.  Cost was $140 shipped.  Forecast appears lousy for the foreseeable future so I will report some quick late afternoon daylight impressions with overcast skies and allow others remark as they can.

The APM info indicates the 18mm is an 8 element in 5 classes design with 20mm of eye relief.  Markus made a point of highlighting that this is a new design and not the like the Flat Field design we have seen.  The caps do fit the caps that include the Orion edge on and BST flat field so I would guess the source is the same.

The eyepiece has the finish of a high quality eyepiece.  Internal blackening appears excellent with no bright rings of scattered light.  Coatings look great.  The eye lense is large.

I analyzed it in daylight and what I saw was really promising.  It will actually appear that it will be sharp very close to the field cease- perhaps a very slight falloff in the past 5 percent of the field of my 120mm f/7.5 ED.   Obviously a night test will be authoritative, but I am hopeful.  There weren't any blackouts - really comfortable!

That's all for now except a few pictures:Attached Thumbnails

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Beginners Forum / But all I see is a fuzzy blob!
« on: December 24, 2017, 09:35:36 AM »
Hi Everyone! I got my 8" dob about a year and a half before, type of doodling around with it.  This summer I finally managed to locate some Messier objects, and my curiosity has zoomed ahead.  I recently commissioned the 25 mm Sirius Plossel that came with the scope using a Meade 10 mm MWA eyepiece, and swapped out the red-dot finder for a Telrad finder.  Unfortunately, I've only managed to use them after, but I think they'll significantly improve my seeing and finding expertise.
However, all I see is a fuzzy blob!  I'm sort of joking here I've been tremendously excited by the fuzzy blob galaxies I've found (M81 + 82, M65 + 66, M108, M106, owl nebula).  However, when I read about observing these it appears I should be able to see spiral arms, dust barrels and these.  I can at least partially answer the implied question here - mediocre seeing conditions (Western PA is not an astronomy mecca for a reason), not spending a lot time after I've found something (too excited and wish to find more!) , in addition to overall inexperience.  But,  in case these are not sufficient explanation...
My question is: what tips would you have for seeing detail in deep sky objects?
Thanks!
Deb

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Beginners Forum / First Telescope
« on: December 24, 2017, 12:15:32 AM »
Hey guys, I just recently purchased my first telescope from my supervisor at work.  Orion Starmax 127mm Maksutov-Cassegrain, I think I got a great bargain on it.  Though it did have some things missing such as counter weights.  I only have one eyepiece that's a 25mm plossl.  I was able to see Saturn and the rings separated out of the planet but it was very compact thought only the 1 EP.

Can I be able to see more information of Saturn with a smaller number EP or might it became blurry and unfocused at higher mags.  I think that the 25mm EP gives me about 60x or 64x atm.  And everything else should I be able to see with only this 1 EP, I really do reside in a light polluted location.  However, there's a mountain top that's about 25m push for me that I could access.

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