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Messages - Carl Hanks

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Beginners Forum / Re: telescope information for beginners
« on: February 09, 2018, 06:49:00 AM »
my advice is simple though perhaps not the definitive answer you seem to want: you learn as you go.

on the one hand, there are so many manufacturers of astronomical tools, each offering so many products, that the choice between product A and product B often comes down to niggling details.

eyepieces, especially, are a world of mischievious advice in that regard.

on the other hand, the telescope is only part of a system: either a visual system, with endpoint in your visual consciousness, or a photographic system, with endpoint in a finished image, or some other final destination. advice you get from people working with one endpoint won't necessarily be useful if your endpoint is something else.

here's the real problem, though. you don't really know what your endpoint will be five years from now (assuming you stick with the hobby that long), so you don't really know what direction you're headed.

what's the solution? well, start with where you are, and just pick something that sounds not bad.

what will happen? if my perception of the experience of other people on CN is any guide, you will soon (a year or two at most) realize that the scope you have is not the scope you want, so you'll get a new scope. or eyepiece. or mount.

you learn as you go.

the point isn't to start at the finish line. it's to start at the starting line.

yes, but what should i buy?

buy whatever you want. within any fixed budget, all equipment is pretty much the same. (most of it, for example, is manufactured in china, no matter who sells it in the USA.) and one purchase leads to another. that's just how it goes.

the unpredictable part of this equation is ... you. you will discover your interests, develop your skills, understand the problems of using astronomical equipment, as you acquire experience.

experience will show you that your interests are different. developed skills will show you where you need better or different equipment. but you can't get experience and skills until you have a telescope.

are you the kind of person who, in the past, has "fried" yourself making a decision? astronomy is a great psychological test to reveal your characteristics as a human being.

don't let who you are get in the way of where you are going. buy a scope, and get started taking advantage of those fine dark nights where you now live.

Beginners Forum / Re: First ever upgrade, what telescope should I buy?
« on: February 09, 2018, 01:59:52 AM »
I assume that the dslr would need to be mounted basically directly above the mount's axis?

Mounts Questions & Expirience / Re: SkyWatcher Star Adventurer
« on: February 04, 2018, 02:35:59 PM »
I can keep exposures under 30sec but without seeing Polaris I don't think it is possible to have much accuracy just by pointing the mount roughly to the north. Is there something else that I can do?
If you're talking about the VX, you can do an AllStar polar alignment.

Yeah,  it's 'Bortle Class' -1  Only kidding, Eric.

Beginners Forum / Re: Astronomical Binoculars
« on: February 02, 2018, 10:57:27 PM »
How well does your son handle the binoculars, such as focusing them for both eyes? If he does that well, here is a suggestion that might appeal to him - zoom binoculars. Zooming in and out is quite an enjoyable activity when you find something that piques your interest. Nikon has a 10-22x, 50mm aperture binocular. I have the pair, and enjoy using them very much.
Only issue I have with them is when fully zoomed at 22x, you either need to be seated, or have them mounted on a tripod in order to keep the image displayed stable, but that is the case for anything above 12x magnification.


I have been strongly and repeatedly warned away from zoom binoculars. The basic issue is that the two sides eventually go out of sync and the binoculars are useless with no way to fix them.

I have never had or used zooms but this is the advice I have received.

Whenever someone drops into the Binoculars Forum and asks about zoom binoculars, we will link to an excellent article by Kevin Busarow of Big Binoculars/Oberwerk.

Just Say No to Zoom Binoculars
a.k.a. Friends Don't Let Friends Buy Zoom Binoculars

by Kevin Busarow

So, take heed.

Slightly OT, because I've had my 15mm DeLite for a while now but I figured it was a good time to post a few obervations about my perceptions of it. I have not noticed any of the "issues" that some have posted here with this eyepiece. In my refractors, the field is pretty much perfect, excepting a slightly out of focus field stop. Well, I guess some might call this an issue. The eyepiece is sharp.The stars are nicely presented with good color contrast against a very dark sky. The field of view is evenly illuminated with no apparent EOFB.For me, it is very comfortable to use, even with the eyecup down. Of course I do all of my observing seated. Magnitudes easier to hold the exit pupil and much less tiresome that way.While the field is "only" 62º. itpresents anicely wide field in my refractors. The eyepiece is fairly light overall. Yes, overall. That is theword that describes my viewing experience with this eyepiece. Overall, I get a very satisfying viewing experience.

The out of focus field stop is easy to fix. Simply adjust it in or out until it's sharp. I did this to 5mm an 9mm and the field stops are now razor sharp.

General Astronomy & Observing / Re: Are young amateur astronomers rare?
« on: February 02, 2018, 04:58:11 PM »
My view. I have a friend who at 17 was observing with me at dark sites and still comes out about 4 to 6 times a year. He is now 26, has finished a bachelor's, master's and is moving into a PhD in bioengineering or something like that. He dates, he works, he researches, he writes, visits with his family etc. My point is he loves astronomy, loves observing but he just doesn't get the time for it right now because of his stage of life.

I use to run an astronomy program at a school I taught at for kids 12 to 18. I had a core group of about 20 at one time and 6 have stuck with it. They got an Orion XT6, two eyepieces, a solar filter and a red dot EZ Finder and finderscope for their XT6. The 6 who have stuck with it get out when they can, usually in the summer, a couple more year round when they have time. They are now 19 to 22 and working on getting a bachelor (all of the 6 are in college), dating, doing things with friends, studying of course, some working. They enjoy the hobby but on their terms and their conditions. It is not consuming like it is for some of us older people. It's something they do when the urge hits them. I think a lot of the younger generation is like that. None of the 6 or my friend above belong to a club. They just don't see the need. Their club is the group of friends that are with them when they look through their telescope when they set it up.

No, I think this is an evolving hobby, dominated by those 50 and older because they have the time, and often the income to spend in getting the equipment. Life is settled more for them, not for all, but for many and it is a stage where they are interested. My Dad got me interested in the hobby as a kid, back in the early 1970's as he fed different types of interest to me. He taught me how to fish also, how to target shoot, how to work on a car (you could back then) read a variety of genres, build our own remote controlled airplanes, photography and he just exposed me to a lot of different things. His was the renaissance approach to learning. The result is I have several hobbies that I enjoy, have left some, picked up new ones, and enjoy all of them.

My own kids are almost 24 and 23, and they love to read, love to play games like Warhammer etc. and video games and use technology a whole lot. I tried to expose them to many things and they will go on a drive and a hike in nature to do photography with me, they don't fish, they read, my son will target shoot with me, but those are things I invite them to do, not something they do unless they do it with their small group of friends. My point is young people are different today than they were 30, 40, 50 years ago and more. The world is different and to be honest, this has never been a super big hobby to begin with (look at retail reports) and it will continue to shrink as time goes by. Sure some young people will get involved and some middle age people will drift in, but like with hobbies in general, most will fade away and be replaced by something we haven't thought of. Most jobs for kids in middle schools today haven't been invented yet, so I dare say that the hobbies that survive will be those that have some technological changes that allow more people to generally get involved in it on a casual level. Feel free to disagree, it's my small take on things as is often the case, I am missing a lot of things I am sure and not considering enough viewpoints probably. That's okay as others will fill it in.

Eyepieces Questions & Recommendations / Re: Celestron 82° Luminos eyeieces
« on: February 02, 2018, 01:44:28 PM »
Longer eye relief is the only certain difference.  The 19mm Luminos has 20mm of eye relief and the 15mm has 17mm of eye relief -- but the 7mm actually has a little less than the Axiom.


An 82* EP with 20mm eye relief--sounds pretty interesting! Though I have read your reports about the 19mm not really all that clean in the outer 30%. Too bad these don't pop up on the used market at all, or else I would definitely give it a try.

ATM, Optics and DIY Forum / Re: Twyman-Green LUPI interferometer
« on: January 31, 2018, 01:10:59 PM »

Does anyone have plans of building a TG interferometer? I have a HeNe laser and a precision concave spherical mirror. I know that also a precision flat can be used but I do not have a 1/20 wave flat;I also need info about the GRIN lens and the spatial filter that I need to use. I have built a Bath IF but I'd like to play with this one too.



Join the interferometer group on Yahoo groups.Lots of data on TG or rather LUPI layouts that uses a small concave mirror to one side,no flat as in a TG setup. TG and Lupi can be confused for the newbie...
I've been with the IF group for a while.There are people here that built this type of IF and they have already provided valuable info.Sometimes is easier to get instructions right away rather than "shuffle" through e-mails.
I'm still looking for a suitable laser diode for my Bath after testing tens of them.. Most of them have an elliptical spot then it is 1mW,3mW,5mW, 10mW?..:)I just experiment with everything .

Double set for 9900 euros, so 4950 euros for one set. Barlow new now is 425 euros, so its 1131 euros for one ZAO II.
Thats crazy too high price!

(9900-425) / 8 = 1184
I agree it's crazy.
I got mine (unopened) from a member in Oregon. I was only asked what he paid for them.

Light Pollution Topics / Re: Resisting wasteful lighting
« on: January 31, 2018, 09:50:58 AM »
I think many have you are reading too deep into this.
characterized by peculiar or unexpected traits.
Spending ones retirement, and a large sum of money, away from the city and in a community filled exclusively with people who share your hobby is outside the norm, peculiar or unexpected.
It's not a bad thing, it does not denote a lack of respect. It's not even uncommon, look at those communities built around a private community runway; or many who look at moving to some remote lake in their retirement.
The author seemed to want to convey this community is outside the norm, which it obviously is. Nowhere is it implied, by using quirky, that this is a bad thing.

$850.00 total

Light Pollution Topics / Re: Mostly Clear vs Clear
« on: January 31, 2018, 08:22:28 AM »

Is this seriously what you do all day going around telling people that there are more stars with more clouds???????
Now where did I say anything even remotely like that?

Beginners Forum / Re: Which scopes to complement each other?
« on: January 31, 2018, 06:14:54 AM »
I am in dark orange.Phil

ATM, Optics and DIY Forum / Re: Newport Glassworks
« on: January 31, 2018, 05:53:23 AM »
It's too bad because they've obviously missed out on business if there is a forum discussion where people are saying "I thought they went out of business years ago." Persistence hasn't worked for me the last few months and I've spent money elsewhere instead. Plus, as I said on the other Newport thread, if I have profound hearing loss and can't understand most people on the phone, I should be able to use email like the rest of the 21st century world.


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