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Messages - tanktositsoft

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Beginners Forum / Re: Why do Maks have such a bad rep?
« on: February 09, 2018, 07:38:54 AM »
I think the general thought pattern with some people is that you really cannot see dim enough objects well enough until you get to at least a six inch scope, maybe even an eight inch. I do not know if the objection to smaller scopes is directed at any particular type. Personally, I think it has more to do with what objects you are interested in seeing and what aspects of astronomy an individual enjoys. I have never owned a MAK of any kind, but the few I have looked through have been very nice. The people who own them really seem to have a good time and that is what really matters.

Beginners Forum / Re: Reasonably-priced quality EPs
« on: February 09, 2018, 05:48:48 AM »
The Orion Expanse/AA Starguider series performs best with telescopes of longer focal-length; the longer the better, like 2032mm for instance. They don't play well with fast telescopes.

The rubber eye-cup can always be ripped off and replaced with a new one.

The Orion Expanse is not the same line as the Agena Starguider and Astrotech Paradigm lines. Orion also sells the Starguider/Pardigm line but at a much larger cost.

This is the Agena "Enhanced wide angle" eyepiece line which is the same as the Orion Expanse:

Here is the Agena Starguider line: symptom of inexpensive eyepiece linesis that they are not sharp to the edge in a fast scope. That comes with the territory of "reasonably priced" eyepieces. If you want sharp to the edge in a fast scope you have to get something more expensive or stick the inexpensive eyepiece into a quality barlow.

An eyepiece that is not sharp to the edge is not a bad eyepiece. We could say instead that in order to play well with most eyepieces a telescope needs to be long focal ratio.


Beginners Forum / Re: really bummed observing mars at its closest...
« on: February 08, 2018, 09:07:40 PM »
Try to view Mars when it is highest in the sky. That means staying up later. Also, the seeing conditions are better sometimes after midnite, when the Earth has cooled down more.

High quality optics are important in all Planetary viewing,,,, BUT seeing conditions are 90% of the story for any scope.

I am just lucky I live where seeing conditions tend to be good for planets, really everything.

Clear Skies and keep viewing !!


I have a 16" F4.5 Telekit dob and I'd like to start using it more for observing more at home. My skies aren't the best but I can still do a lot, planets, double stars etc. I have a M703, and while it is a great scope, almost every time I get it out I'm always thinking, this would look so much better in my dob. Plus it isn't exactly a quick setup with the tripod mount etc. I'm hoping that if I can easily wheel my dob out when I get home from work, I'll observe more this winter. I can leave my dob setup in my basement but I need to make a 90 degree turn when going out the door, and to make the turn I need the altitude at just the right angle. I've seen one guy drilled a hole in the bearing into the base so he could put a nail in there to lock it in place. Curious if anyone has any other ideas?

I know I can always just take the upper cage off, but often my problem is motivation or lack of time. I want to observe more, the easier and quicker it is to do the more often I'll do it.


Beginners Forum / Re: Deciding between a laser collimator or a light filter
« on: February 03, 2018, 12:03:31 PM »
From what I read, the secondary and primary are set at the factory and likely will arrive in collimation. The first step is not to move anything but to check things.

The secondary typically does not move and does not have to be reset. It is the primary that may need a tweak here and there and, as noted above, mine rarely ever needs adjustment.

What keeps it going: For me it's doing it--the wonder of each time out, and, like many have suggested, binoculars in my chair on the deck when I am too tired for a scope.

What tends to kill it: Bad weather that keeps getting worse, at least around here.

Do not yield; stand your ground!

Dark skies


Here's a short article on urban astronomy that I put together a couple of years ago:Stargazing from light-polluted locales can be quite challenging.  However, a fair number of celestial objects can be successfully observed from cities.  The Moon, the bright planets, bright binary stars, bright open and globular clusters, bright nebulae, and bright galaxies are all possible targets.A number of articles on the subject appear at http://www.astronomy...spx?c=ss&amp;id=152Tips on city observing are posted at the following sites:http://www.astroleag...n/urbantip.htmlhttp://www.skyandtel...cs/3303991.htmlhttp://www.astronomy.../Setup is ke...Urban astronomy is also discussed at these sites: on the subject include <em class="bbc">Urban Astronomy by Denis Berthier and <em class="bbc">The Urban Astronomer's Guide: A Walking Tour of the Cosmos for City Sky Watchers (Patrick Moore's Practical Astronomy Series) by Rod Mollise. of deep-sky objects that are visible from urban areas can be found at the following URLs:http://mysite.verizo...55p46/id10.html de...Dave Mitsky

Interesting that alot of posters inquiring about what scope/mount to get list astrophotography as a prerequisite. Seems kinda like going directly to the NFL, bypassing pee wee, high school, and college football.

Reflectors Telescopes Forum / Re: GSO Dobs Mirror accuracy
« on: February 02, 2018, 03:38:36 PM »
I just replaced my 8 year old GSO mirror. It also had some astigmatism, but it showed pretty good views at low &amp; medium powers.

I decided to get a new GSO, and was prepared to return it if it showed a bad star test.
After receiving,I tested it, and it looks to be very good, with nearly identical patterns on either side of focus (no astigmatism at all)!

Agreed about dark adaptation.

Sometimes in the middle of the night, I wake from sleep and stumble through our dark house, and head outside.
I have "super eyes" I can see so many more stars. After a few minutes my super eyes diminish. I think what is
going on is that suburban sky glow is too bright for full dark adaptation.

I'm looking into either using an eye patch, or sunglasses, while
I am adjusting/slewing the scope.

"I wear my sun glasses at night ... corey heart moment"
When I am ready to observe, cover my head with a towel, and remove the glasses/patch.
(could be on a lanyard)

General Astronomy & Observing / Re: Why is Takahashi overly expensive?
« on: January 31, 2018, 11:25:48 AM »
I am curious about the APO hype. I would love to do some side-by-side comparisons someday, but not for $6300. I've looked through every kind of telescope at this point, except for an APO. I must say, so far the only thing that has ever really moved the needle for me is sky conditions. The differences between telescopes all seem pretty subtle to me. Being generous, I suspect it would take a well-trained eye to tease out the differences between an APO and an "equivalent" scope. You may need to know exactly what to look for to see any difference.

However I am also aware of a phenomenon in the audiophile community, where people buy gold-plated audio cables for hundreds of dollars and swear that it sounds so much better and they're worth every penny. So I approach "premium" products with a grain of salt.

I think you would have little trouble seeing the differences.  In some ways they are subtle but mostly they are staring you in the face. Now whether you would see the differences between a decent ED/apo like the Orion 120mm Eon and a similar aperture Takahashi refractor, that's a different issue..

A request:

Until you have looked through a good quality ED/apo, it seems to me using the term "APO hype" is inappropriate. For the same reason, any comparison to the audiophile community is uncalled for..

I can tell you that very pragmatic observers like myself and "Uncle" Rod Mollise appreciate and enjoy the views of a good ED/apo refractory. Just the other day, Rod, the stalwart of the SCT community and author of two books and numerous articles on the SCT commented that his 120 ED was the reason his 8 inch Celestron Edge was going unused.

The thing about apochromats is that they just work.. They are at their best nearly all the time and they take advantage of the sky conditions in ways a larger but less efficient scope may not. Now I do not own a Takahashi, I do have a TeleVue NP-101 which is arguable the best short focal length 4 inch apo for visual one can buy.. The Takahashi equivalent is the FSQ 106 which is more of an astrograph.

No, I am not going to suggest it goes deeper than my 22 inch Starsplitter.. But I will say that it provides as perfect a view as I have seen..

To this guy, telescopes are tools.  A fine tool is a pleasure to use.  You will not find a finer quality tool than an apochromat.

Mounts Questions & Expirience / Re: WO EZ Touch mount with big Refractors
« on: January 31, 2018, 05:52:35 AM »
Some pics as promised.. still waiting for first light though. I have to say first impressions of the mount are very good!

Attached Thumbnails

General Astronomy & Observing / Re: Footwear for Winter Observing
« on: January 31, 2018, 04:20:04 AM »
I've owned a pair of Sorel winter boots since ~1989 and finally replaced the liners last year. I've had to sew a couple of places where the stitches finally wore through, but they've been real champs during the cold weather. Very durable outers, although I'll admit I'd like to have a new pair. They're getting to look kinda beat (even if they work fine).

General Astronomy & Observing / Re: What is your worst observing site?
« on: January 31, 2018, 03:16:54 AM »
I would be happy if I could observe from Iceland or Vegas.... they are perfect sites compared to Lima.

You are in the Southern Hemisphere. There is more to see from there than from Vegas and especially from Iceland. Just pick a better spot nearby.

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