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Messages - alssysenar

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I have both of those and to be honest, I use the 13 about four times as often as I use the 8.

If you did plug the DEC motor cable in the wrong way, it is very likely that you fried the encoder. The motor itself is okay since it runs. The runaway slew occurs because the control board is not receiving encoder data. If you want to test before ordering any parts, you can swap the RA and DEC motors. If the runaway problem follows the original DEC motor it is probably the encoder. If the problem stays with the DEC axis, could be a loose cable connection or the motor control board.

Al in AVL

Well that was strange, when I swapped the dec and ra ribbon cables on the motor control board I got no power led light and when I switched the back I got the power led again. Does the encoder in the ra motor tie into the power circuit? I guess my pictures are to big because they have been excluded from my post.

Beginners Forum / Re: New Stargazer here
« on: February 09, 2018, 06:09:19 AM »
Hi all! My daughter is so obsessed with the stars lately and has been begging for a scope to see the planets. I love to hike, fish, hunt, and camp in general so getting a scope is something that has been in the back of my mind for some time. Fast forward 2 weeks, after tons of research (and ongoing research) I can't get enough of learning about this craft. Bought a pair of nikon 10x50's for my daughter and have been using my 8x42's for nightime viewing. I got a few books with the intention of using what I have and getting some incredible views with a nice rig in the near future (Christmas!! She's gonna love it!) for the binos for my beginner map atlas, any suggestions are recommended for having a cool year round guide to help a newbie like me.

We went out last night and took a glimpse of Pleiades and it was spectacular with my 8x42's.. Its crazy the things you can see with your eye and it expands even more with binos.

So I have been looking at both Go To models like the Celestron NexStar 8se and the Orion SkyQuest XT8 dobsonian. These are both really good imo, but are totally different in the way you go about looking at the sky. I kinda like using what limited maps I have, to navigate the sky with my binos... Hopping from one star to the next as a beginner is something that helps me learn the sky. So my question is: Which should I try for my first scope? I really want to see the planets good under high mag but also really want to explore dso's... Basically, I want an all around option.. I pretty much have the setup that I would like for my 8se but will I really be losing the fun of the hunt by getting a goto scope? My daughter will probably benefit by having the go to type. Was thinking of portability, and was thinking 8" aperture is a good all around performer. Any ideas? Btw, I prescribe to the notion of buy once, cry once and budget is around $1500, but that **** orion looks like a steal and a best buy..

Clear skies


Welcome Mike! I'm a newbie and started with binoculars and the Binocular highlights book. I like the way it's organized and the quality of the paper. Not crazy about the wraparound cover and the foldout maps are too small to be practical while observing. I do refer to them while reading the book to plan my nights. What are your thoughts on it and the pocket atlas?

Hope you have many years enjoyment and sharing the night skies together!


ATM, Optics and DIY Forum / Re: Ideas for Telescope Tube
« on: February 04, 2018, 11:40:24 AM »
One other note about the concrete form tubes sold at home centers. Any given diameter of the tubes are not consistent from one tube to the next. This could be a problem if you are going to do a split tube. This is done on purpose because they vary the size slightly to nest them one inside the other for shipping. If you buy a true Sonotube brand tube made by Sonoco, they will be more consistent. Sonoco also gives wall thicknesses for their tubes on their website.

Reflectors Telescopes Forum / Re: Large mirror cleaning
« on: February 03, 2018, 12:34:14 PM »
I clean all my mirrors at least twice per year and have done for the past 17 years that I have lived close to the ocean. One year I cleaned my 14" mirror 4 times in 12 months as it saw a good bit of dirt road transportation and built up a lot of dust in addition to its normal accumulation of "salt air film". When I lived in Sydney I only owned one scope but cleaned that mirror once per year.

Currently I live about 400 metres from the river and ocean (both salt water) and not far from a main road. Consequently, my local air has a high salt content and a large amount of dust particulate.If you didn't know the telescopes you might be happy to not clean them, but I know that usually after 6 months or so they seem to get a little bit of a combined dust and salt air film on them. I have always found the views slightly improved after cleaning. I think contrast is improved possibly due to reduced scatter and brightness is slightly improved. You don't really notice the views deteriorate after cleaning as the mirror gets a bit dirtier each time, but I can definitely see a slight improvement after cleaning from the previous use. It isn't a lot but detectable to my eye. That having been said I don't clean the mirrors regularly to improve the views at all,I do it to try and prolong the life expectancy of the coatings. In addition with bi annual cleaning you don't have to remove any baked on particulate. A lot of it will just "float" off when you soak the mirror in a dish detergent solution for an hour with "warm" water. Tilting the mirror under water as you remove the mirror from the water will see most of this stuff just fall off.

What I have learnt after a lot of mirror cleanings ( more than 50 ) is that the coatings are a lot more durable than you might think. The critical thing is to use the right materials and to ensure that every single piece, or chemical is 100% free of contaminants of any description. Distilled water won't hurt the mirror or the coatings.Isopropyl Alcohol won't hurt the mirror or the coatings. Mild PH neutral non scented dish detergent won't hurt the mirror or the coatings. Soft natural cotton cloth won't hurt the mirror or the coatings. What will hurt the coatings is water contaminated with small particulate, or cloth that has small pieces of grit or dust on it.The thing that very regular cleaning ensures is that you don't get too much build up of hard to remove material on the surface of the mirror. Wiping this across the face of the mirror will surely scratch the coatings.

My method (I haven't scratched a mirror yet) is to soak the mirror in a big tub full of warm tap water with a good bit of dish detergent added for about an hour.I then tilt and wobble the mirror every 10 minutes or so under water so anything that has come loose falls to the bottom of the tub. I then take the mirror out and sit it on a towel. I tip that water away and re fill the tub with clean tap water (no detergent). I put the mirror back under the water and wipe the face from center to edge with a piece of soft thick cotton cloth folded into a pad about 2.5" x 2.5". I rinse the pad and inspect it after each wipe to ensure it hasn't picked up a piece of dust or grit. I then re fold the pad to expose an unused piece of cloth and wipe again basically going around the clock repeating the process until I have wiped the entire face of the mirror from center to edge, being careful to not re use the same piece of cloth and making sure its clean before it touches the mirror.If you run out of clean pad faces get another piece of cloth.I take the mirror out of the water and inspect it to make sure it's clean. I re do any areas (back under the water) which require a bit more attention. Once I am happy that it is clean I give the mirror a final rinse under tap water. I then use distilled water with 50ml of isopropyl alcohol added to 2 litres of distilled water; as the final rinse. The addition of isopropyl alcohol to the distilled water helps the mirror dry free ofany streaks or spots. I then stand the mirror on a folded towel resting at about a 60 degree angle. I use a hair dryer blowing cool air to push the water drops down the face of the mirror into the towel below until they are all gone. It takes a little while but you end up with a really good job and an undamaged mirror. I have done mirrors up to 25" in this manner but it isn't that easy finding a tub that you can fit a 25" mirror in. 18" and under mirrors are easy. Unfortunately as you get older a 25" x 2" think mirror gets heavier every year


ATM, Optics and DIY Forum / Re: Aluminum Tube Thickness for 12" OD Tube
« on: February 02, 2018, 08:16:21 PM »
The phone would likely be the better way to find what you are looking for......2 calls vs 16 emails. Matter of fact the 1st guy who recommended the 2nd guy was intrigued by the fact that it was for a telescope build and said if the recommended shop didn't come thru to call him back and we would find a way to get it done

It wasn't a waste of time for me as I have a future build planned where I would needsome largerthan 12" myself......and now I have a reasonablylocalsource.

Update: on a whim I decided to see if I could narrow it down to even closer to me..... So I did the same search using Athens Ga as the locality.....since its only about 10 min away as opposed to Norcross in Atlanta which is an hour. The 1st call netted a positive.....drawback was they were nearly twice as much as the one in Norcross. Definitely not an option but they certainly were not hard to find.

I did also find that UGA (University of GA) here in Athenshas a fabrication shop that serves the campus research community and also takes on smallprojects for businesses and localresidents but the folks I would need to speak with had already left for the day......They wont be back until Monday but based on the conversation I suspect the costwill be somewhere between the Hastings 12" and the folks I found in Norcross for 13 or 14".....

I've suspected that slight overcorrection during cooldown is because the edge loses heat and contracts faster, creating a broad TDE.
It's generally not a smooth overcorrection as seen in a good star test.

So does a cell that insulates the edge gain us anything?


Eyepieces Questions & Recommendations / Re: Lunt / Televue Ethos
« on: January 31, 2018, 08:03:49 AM »
I was looking at the Lunt and WO 5mm 110 offers and given the choice I would rather NOT have a rotate up and down eyeguard. Looking at the Lunt at the Farpoint site, does this eyeguard roll/fold down or is it to stiff for that? Thanks

Light Pollution Topics / Re: Awful article
« on: January 31, 2018, 07:54:14 AM »
Ultimately, there are a lot of people who simply have a different set of values and things that make them happy. I have friends who I have gone camping with, and while I am basking under the stars and listening to the crickets, they are moaning about the humidity and trying to get service on their phone. Are they wrong? No. There is nothing "awful" about it. Different people enjoy different things. I don't begrudge the writer of the article her love of artificial light. But, I do think that people who enjoy the natural world and/or dark skies should have their desires accommodated - which means limiting the effects of urban light pollution so that we can get to reasonably dark places within a reasonable drive.

Thanks for doing this moab360. I'm strictly using the main web site. Any chance we will see a mobile version for the other 52% of us?

Oh, you can definitely see orion from a dark site - but not from downtown (or the little village area, which isn't any different). The suburbs you can see it, but not much. You really need to get out about an hour to an hour and a half out of the city before you can get an enjoyable view.
i figured i was going to have to go to a dark site to fully get the whole effect. do you use a LPR? if you do does it make a difference in the city?
I don't use a LPR.  Maybe it would help - but I doubt it would change it too much.  In the suburbs (think, like, 30 minutes outside the city) you can only just begin to see the brightest areas, in my experience.   
my brother tells me about starved rock state park he goes camping there but i've never been i would love to take the scope when i get it, out there

Eyepieces Questions & Recommendations / Re: Barlow or Zoom
« on: January 31, 2018, 05:26:17 AM »
You have(all ES) 28 mm 18mm 11mm 6.7mm. you don't say if these are 62s, 68s or 82s but I presume the 28 is a 2" 68 degree and the rest are 82s.  A 2X barlow would give you 9 mm, 5.5 mm and 3.4 mm all in 82 degree.  9 and 5.5 would be very useful. 3.4 might be good on the moon but other than that you would only use that under extraordinary conditions. But still 3 new mag for the price of a barlow?  Lots of bang for the buck.
The 18mm is a 2" eyepiece, so unless you are recommending a 2" Barlow it will not cover the 9mm gap, unfortunately. That is why I held off on recommending a Barlow as the budget option.
After that I go to the Baader Hyperion Zoom for everything shorter than 20 mm. In my scope that gives me 50 to 150X in one smooth continues span. Then I barlow this for 100 to 300X.  It is very rare that I can get over 240X based on sky conditions.

I have ES 82 8.8, 6.7 and Meade 82 5.5 and HD60 4.5.  These sit in the eyepiece case most of the time now and I stay with the BHZ or BHZ and barlow.

Despite generally poor/mediocre seeing myson seems to be happy with the 4.7 for 266x in the Z10 on mostnights, evenwhen I wouldmore oftenuse the 6.7 for 188x. But on good nights I have used 357x on Jupiter toexcellent effect in this scope (even a brief foray to 417x while the seeing was supporting it.) The 5.5 is a potential gap filler forthe Z10,since itwould provide 227x, amagnification level thathas happened to be perhaps the most ubiquitous high powerfor me over the years in the 8" SCT (9mm Nagler) and in the20" Dob (11mm Nagler). And getting back to the OP's scope, in better seeing I used 290x and 278x frequently with those scopes, where a 5.5 would provide a very comparable273x in his 12".

Reflectors Telescopes Forum / Re: Anyone know what's up with Protostar?
« on: January 31, 2018, 03:46:55 AM »
The Spacing Guild and Landsraad tried that with disastrous result.

has the market cornered on flockboard - or do they not? It would be nice if someone else would be able to get that going as a competitor.

Dune fan here as well...

Not sure anyone else will get the reference...

Rollo made a good point about people not willing to stay up past midnight
to take advantage of better conditions. In my case I find it difficult to enjoy
doing anything after about three hours straight. Often that limit comes
around midnight. Later in the summer of course. The three hour limit seems
to hold true for any activity, not just astronomy.

If I take a time-out break that still doesn't refresh me enough to want to
extend my observing sessions through the night. On those rare exceptional
nights where conditions are near perfect, I try to push myself longer.

In summery, after I get my initial rush satisfied I feel the night has been a
success and I feel happy. Extending the observing past three hours then
seems to grow steadily more tedious for me mentally.

Light Pollution Topics / Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia
« on: January 31, 2018, 01:36:49 AM »
Thanks, Carol. I kind of figured. I wondered if there was a directing link to hot subjects that would guide folks to this thread as a lead in for more info, but, oh well. I have left questions for the Lehigh Valley Amateur Astronomy Society and the Rittenhouse Science Center, as well as the Franklin Institute. The fb pages made it easy to leave a post. The Franklin Institute took my posted question down.
Thanks, Tom



and, finally, the main group of Audubon for the area is
this is the group working with the artist.

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