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Messages - tricacotin

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Beginners Forum / Re: Scope setup for 300.00. Any ideas?
« on: February 09, 2018, 09:32:36 AM »
Well, the point of showing the 10" dob and the st80 togetheris to show how wildly different the views are, and that telescopes are not created equal. I also have several other scopes he can look thru as well; a 100ed, 6" f/5 reflector, and an 8" sct. Pretty good representation of scope types. Might be able to sway him from refractors; we'll see. Just trying to help someone enter the field in a good way. Great suggestions so far.


Just sell him your 8 inch SCT.. Nice scope, looks good in the living room, he's smart, he can figure out how to use it..  It's a clean scope he can be proud of...


Beginners Forum / Re: Sky Watcher EQ6 vs. Celestron CGEM
« on: February 09, 2018, 04:14:16 AM »
The Meade's are also very nice scopes. Though with one detail that puts the Edge's above them. The edges have the TEMPest fan retrofit. I cannot stress enough how valuable this is. Also the Meade's tend to be heavier. I like the color better on it though.  Optically they both do well though the Edge series is actually better because of the correction but on the flip side the Meade can get down to f/6.3 and even f/3.3 with the right focal reducer (with vignetting though) whereas the Edge only goes down to f/7

I was under the impression that the Edge can go to f/2 in the Fastar mode. Is that incorrect? I realize you are referring to using a focal reducer, but for AP use the Edge would seem to have the, um, excuse me . . . edge.    However you raise an interesting point--why will the Celestron not reduce to an f-stop as low as the Meade with a FR?

I've had a long relationship of around 12 years with my Pan 35mm so it would be difficult for me to everreplace.

But I do wonder which of the 2 eyepieces being discussed would cope better with inherent Field Curvature in the fast f/5.5 refractor optics you have...

I know that my Pan 35mm is not sharp at the edge (slightly out of focus) and does much better on my slower refractors (f/7.5) and worse on faster refractors (f/6). Same situation with my 100 degree AFOV Ethos 13mm. By the same token wouldn't the Pan 35mm be better than the Nagler 31mm in dealing with inherent Field Curvature especially towards the edge?

Beginners Forum / Re: First scope, dob?
« on: February 03, 2018, 02:14:31 AM »
Aperture is king but if the king is going to live in storage the closet because pulling it out is too much work it is of no use.  Only you can decide.

Ed nailed it. Bigger is better, unless it isn't.

I admit to be an anomaly - but I'm in the "small is beautiful" camp. At the moment, my largest instrument is a measly 4".

Two alternatives that may be a better fit and, based on accounts regarding the previous iterations of the Hubble prouduct line, a better quality of product would be the Sumerian Optics Alkaid and the Lite Scope. The Lite Scope is actually a backpack scope.Lite Scope is found here: and you would contact her directly.Sumerian is being sold by Telescope Express. Here is a link to the 12". There is, I believe, a 10" as well. http://www.teleskop-...n-Teleskop.htmlIn both cases subtract 20% from the price since US customers don't pay VAT.

Light Pollution Topics / Re: Church of the Perpetually Lit Parking Lot
« on: February 02, 2018, 09:30:46 PM »
Agree with the previous pair of posts. These guys aren't trying to create a problem. They think they're solving or preventing one. Patience, persistence, and education, all offered in as polite a manner as possible. If that doesn't work, you can try more insistent tactic, but if you start out by being confrontational, you've slammed the door on ever getting them to understand that there's a better way to light their property.
+1  Let's remember, the OP has not even addressed this LP to the people in charge of the church yet.

Collimation: get a good laser collimator and it will be easy.
aperture: 12" is a significant upgrade. I see a clear difference between my 8"and 12.5" Dobs. 14 will show slightly more, but at the expense of weight and size.

auto location and tracking: I have no clue how well it works or for how long, but I stick to the rule of paying for optics rather than gadgets.
thermal: fans help, especially if the air can move around the mirror and not just on the back, which the Synta units do not.
size: It's big, but IIRC it is a truss model and breaks into small pieces.

Geoff, I added a comment - I wonder if this is the same article Tonk linked to in another thread, as I was unable to see comments from that link, but it appears to be the identical article.

Sorry for the redundancy, it is the same article.  I should have checked other threads first.


Mounts Questions & Expirience / Re: Tak EM-11 TEMMA2Z
« on: January 31, 2018, 11:47:52 AM »
I'm looking for a portable, high build-quality and yet relatively simple GEM. My primary interest is visual for solar tracking but also solar imaging. My capacity demands are modest: mostly a TV76 equipped with H-alpha solar filters with binoviewer, or same scope with lightweight CCD camera. On occasion I would plan to use with a 105/610mm (just over 20lbs) with BV. I mostly want something robust, reliable and light enough to get me outside and set-up quickly. GOTO capability is not something I really need although it would be nice to know it is compatible with something like a Nexus DSC for those occasions when I might want to mess around at night with the 105mm.

The Tak EM-11 (or EM-10) seems to fit the bill nicely. I know it is expensive but I'm not against buying used and/or saving up my pennies. I currently don't have a GEM (in past I've owned a GM-8 and a Mach1GTO) and I miss not having one for visual hands-free tracking and I want to get back to doing some more serious solar imaging.

I've been reading about Tak mounts here and elsewhere and I'm not finding a whole lot out there on the EM-10 or EM-11 (and Tak's product info leaves a lot to be desired). I get it that, when considering cost of the mount, most might decide to pay a bit more to get a lot more capacity (e.g., EM-200). But, what I'm looking for is the smaller package with the same build quality. The mount isn't much good to me if I don't get over the activation energy required to use it.

So, I guess I'm trawling for some opinions from users of this mount and open to being talked into considering something else. Are there any downsides other than price? The lack of bells and whistles common to GOTO mounts is more of a plus to me in this instance. From a practical standpoint, what is the difference between the new TEMMA2z and the previous versions (TEMMA2, TEMMA 2Jr)?  Go with Tak wood tripod or metal? Anything else I might want to consider?

Thanks for any input !


Buy used if you buy Tak in the US, not new, as they drop like a rock on the secondary market.

The EM-11 is a nice, lightweight mount, but does not track nearly so smoothly as the EM-200. If you're imaging heavy it might be worth buying the bigger mount. If you do mostly visual, the EM-11 is a lot lighter and a lot easier to live with, especially if you're transporting it any distance.

How do you plan on controlling the mount? The Tak GOTO system requires either a PC or, using newer technologies, at least a mobile device or tablet for mount control. That's a bit of extra investment and set-up time compared to other mounts, including many cheaper ones, that feature self-contained control firmware and dedicated hand controllers.

I have the EM-200 and paid about $3500 for it, barely used. I've considered adding an EM-11 as a travel mount for small scopes (3-4" refractors; 6" MCT), and see merit in your favoring it over the better but less transport friendly EM-200. But you could also consider a GM-8 Gemini 2 with more capacity for less money than the EM-11. It's also a fairly lightweight mount.

- Jim

Beginners Forum / Re: Which scopes to complement each other?
« on: January 31, 2018, 09:20:43 AM »


I put the Mak there to be used mostly in the light polluted city on Moon and planets. I'm not sure the wide field refractor with lower magnifications would give pleasing views of the urban sky.

As for the larger dob I hear it's not recommended for the city and would only shine under dark skies.

Correct me if I am wrong please.


I too have heard these statements about what is best under light polluted skies. I am no authority on this, I can only give you my practical experience as an observer from light polluted skies with lots of ground light pollution.

I highly recommend computer assisted scopes for light polluted locations. I have entire parts of my sky that are blank, but I can still find my targets with computer assist, even when there is nothing to point the red dot finder at to star hop.

Find your location on the map. Tell us the color. I am in a dark white zone, second worst. can also express light pollution using the Bortle scale. Mine would be between a 7 and 8.
Don't know about the bortle scale but... place is in a light red zone (same color as city center for some odd reason, although it's a few miles outside of the city across the river to the west - not as much concrete here, we got parks and green areas, playgrounds etc... but still lots of apartment buildings).

My other place (parent's place) is another few miles southwest from my place (also across the river, outside of city center but in a dark red zone).

No matter where I am on a clear night I can see only a few stars with the naked eye, in the evenings between 9 and 11PM.

But one night, I was taking a walk near the river around my parent's place, between 1AM and 2AM and glanced at the sky and I could see what seemed to be thousands of stars. And that is a dark-red zone by shows both places (and the whole city even) as a white zone!? I don't know how that's possible based on what I saw that night... If this is impossible, then either the websites are showing the wrong color or I got the wrong estimation when I looked up (doh!). At least this area does not have any businesses lit up for the whole night - the only light source comes from street lights which are pointing down - so no light gets wasted upwards.

I sure hope my place has the same visibility that early in the morning. I just never bothered to look up at that time from the balconies. Whichever the case I have a really nice idea on how to make a cover with some metal poles stuck in the ground with dark fabric attached to them, surrounding the balcony and protecting from any possible stray lights and wind.
The difference may not have been the sky as much as your eyes. If you walk out of a lit house and look up you will not see much. Stand there for 10 minutes shaded from all light and stars will start to pop out from nowhere. Your eyes are adjusting to the dark.

If you were walking outside in a fairly dark area your pupils will open up and you will se more stars. I have done this so many times. Actually it is fun to see the stars appear as you stand there.

I have also noticed this in my binoculars and telescopes.  As I look at a part of the sky more and more stars appear. That is because I have so much ground light pollution. But when I am looking through the binoculars I usually have my eyes shielded and they can dark adapt while I am looking through them.

Reflectors Telescopes Forum / Re: Boundary layer fan working or not?
« on: January 31, 2018, 06:37:04 AM »
TG, Go to the Teeter Telescopes picture gallery and look up TT128. There a nearly a bazillion pictures (slight exaggeration)of the scope and especially the mirror box fan systems and rear end of the scope. I would turn off the rear blowing fan but always left the boundary layer two side fans on because the planets were just always sharper. I have experimented with tons of different fan setups including the central fan in the shadow of the secondary which seems to work pretty darn well, at least in some of our larger scopes in the28-32" range.

TG, That 12.5" SST was a terrific scope. I had forgotten about that one. I got that from a friend of mine who lives in California andhe was kind enough to ship it to me in the days when shipping did not cost two arms and one leg.Shoot, I have only owned about 60 Newts so they get a bit scrambled from time-to-time

Beginners Forum / Re: First Scope / Refractor Advice
« on: January 31, 2018, 05:07:45 AM »
Hi Olle251. As a long time birder going with a refractor will give you the best ergonomic fit and freedom to explore at will. You can always grab a Dob or SCT later. Also being a birder for a long time means you'll probably stick with astronomy for the long hall so going higher end comes is fine. I'm in a similar situation but the budget isn't growing as fast as I'd like but high on my list is theSVR102T. About $3500 all in with scope, mount, RDF finder and 3 x 82d EPs. A portable lifetime scope and great for terrestrial/birding photography and future AP. Plus SV HQ is close enough to you to be able to go there and check things out. Many good choices out there and the best advice anywhere right here at CN so you'll do good no matter what. All the best and clear skies.

Reflectors Telescopes Forum / Re: Zhumell Z10 (GSO) - First Light (brief)
« on: January 31, 2018, 02:44:00 AM »
I agree with the others that the collimation is likely suspect here. I have a 12" Lightbridge f/5 (also GSO) that is extremely sensitive to collimation. The difference of a millimeter to two millimeters off the center dot will cause just awful star tests. Literally the difference between usable and borderline unusable. One thing these GSO scopes are notorious for is misplaced center dots. You may want to get or make a mask yourself and check that the dot itself is centered.

General Astronomy & Observing / Re: Mosquito-repelling fan?
« on: January 31, 2018, 12:24:18 AM »
"In my experience mosquitos pretty much quit when it becomes fully dark"

Nope, they remain active here way after dark. They must have mini headlights!


The more surprising disappointment was M13 -- I thought I would be able to resolve stars in it, but it just looked like a galaxy-core type smudge in my FOV. I'm sort of wondering if I was mistaken in identifying what I saw as M13.

I can easily discern a dusty appearance in M13 even in my red zone backyard, and that's with 6" aperture

In...Messier 13? The Great Globular Cluster in Hercules?

Could be an experience thing. For the first few months after I started, I couldn't get a very good look at M13. It either seemed blurry from too little magnification, or blurry from too much. Part of the trick is learning to match telescope and eyepiece to sky conditions, and part of it is learning to see. I regularly get better views of M13 in 3" and 4" scopes now than I did in my 6" when I was starting out - but that's with eight years' more experience.

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