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Messages - calbeyrefrows

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I received the scope and mount so I can share a few first impressions.

for the money (on sale) I think it is a pretty nice package.

the Twilight Nano mount is small and light but works quite well with the small newt. the Altitude Axis was very tight out of the box, but once i loosened up the lock nut it is much better. the friction isn't perfectly uniform throughout its range but it adequate for the relatively low magnifications available in this scope. the azimuth is nice and smooth and easy to adjust with the tension knob underneath on the fly.

the red dot finder is pretty cheap and has quite a bit of play, but is sufficient for pointing the scope with a 2+ degree field.

the focuser is plastic, but works well enough. it handled my heavy ES 24 68 and Morpheus to give me a good focus up to ~80x without slipping. out of the box it is adjusted on to be pretty stiff, but I haven't tried to make any adjustments yet. I imagine it would be difficult to get critical focus beyond 100x.

collimation adjustments are ok. 2ndary is adjusted with Philips head screws. primary has three thumb screws and 3 Philips lock screws. There are no collimation tools with the scope. since the primary isn't center spotted, I just eyeballed the 2ndary adjustment with a thin beam laser then adjusted the primary on the stars to get the coma all pointing toward the center of the field. I plan to center spot the mirror to make this easier to adjust, then I will fine tune it with the laser and either barlowed laser or Cheshire for the biggest complaint with the scope is the working aperture. it looks to me like the 2ndary is undersized at about 1.3 inches. With the focal plane being close to 5 inches outside the tube I would estimate the scope is only using 85-90mm of the mirror. this is a bit of a disappointment when purchasing a scope listed as 114mm aperture.

I didn't get to critically evaluate the optics, but they appear OK. for the $90 on sale and discount I'm pretty happy overall. if I had spent the $150 list price I think I would be disappointed.

it will be a fun little scope to use for quick grab and go sessions.


I'd love to see a picture of your new setup with an ES 68° 24mm and also one with a Morpheus eyepiece if you've already taken one, of course.


Many years ago I realized there were two sides to amateur observational astronomy: the aesthetic, and the cerebral.
The first is definitely an artistic side. Shapes, colors, learning to see details, and even the enjoyment of the night as a time to pursue the experience.
But, for me, it would be impoverished without its cerebral side.
That side says you need and want to understand what it is you are seeing; to understand the underlying physics, to know how it was created and how it will evolve over time.

I find both sides necessary. I cannot understand what I am seeing without knowing about the astrophysics, and I cannot appreciate the beauty of what I see without the artistic/aesthetic side.

AND, there is the gadgetry with which we pursue the hobby that satisfies the mechanic tinkerer in me.

In other words, amateur astronomy is a gesamptkunstwerk.

Now, you can take it farther and do scientific research, and some do. It's only one step beyond researching and reading about the astrophysics, but, like astrophotography, I know it is not for me.
It is not what I need the hobby of astronomy to be to make it rewarding to me.

There are others who eschew the study of the science, or who understand very little about the tools of the hobby. That's OK. As a hobby, one can stick a toe in the children's pool
or jump off a cliff into the ocean. I do wish there were a few more of us who enjoyed the cerebral and scientific sides, though.

I think you're falling victim to artificial (and erroneous) taxonomy that definitionally divorces "aesthetics" and "cerebral", when in fact the two terms are happy companions.

The analogy of the children's pool and the ocean plunge further underscores an enslavement by artificial and erroneous taxonomic constructs.

Understanding the math and science of optics or cosmology is rote. Approaching learning through empiricism (which is really nothing more than a method that has self-inflated to a philosophy) is no less dipping a toe in the kiddy pool than is learning through induction, intuition and instantaneous knowledge (that is knowledge out of nothing measurable or even definable).

In fact, I think historically you'll find that most if not all of the intellectual cliff divers of the last thousand years or so made their great discoveries based on intuition and not taking measurements and analyzing data. The number crunching in fact is the tail trying to wag the dog. The big brain *knows* something and then the little brains scurry around for the next few generations crunching the numbers validating and verifying the arcane knowledge.


Sorry, don't agree.
Intuition, without empirical data, usually leads to erroneous conclusions.
Intuition, WITH empirical data, usually leads to better conclusions--conclusions which can be predictive of new data; conclusions which illuminate pathways to further research and understanding;
conclusions which are closer to the ultimate goal: the Truth.[/quote]
Argue away:

"The greatest scientists are artists as well."

"When I examine myself and my methods of thought, I come close to the conclusion that the gift of imagination has meant more to me than any talent for absorbing absolute knowledge. All great achievements of science must start from intuitive knowledge. I believe in intuition and inspiration.... At times I feel certain I am right while not knowing the reason."

"If what is seen and experienced is portrayed in the language of logic, then it is science. If it is communicated through forms whose constructions are not accessible to the conscious mind but are recognized intuitively, then it is art."

"I have no doubt that our thinking goes on for the most part without the use of symbols, and, furthermore, largely unconsciously."

That's what a Big Brain says on the topic. Nary a slide rule in sight.

You'll note one thing in common among the uncommonly intelligent - they do not dwell in the minutiae but instead have the vision to put all of the various, often apparently disparate pieces together into the Big Picture. Common intelligence instead narrows its focus down to small tasks and proclaims victory in achieving the facile and trivial.


Reminds me of listening to John Dobson describe the Universe--"nary a slide rule in sight", but really crackpot ideas.
That an unconscious leap in understanding takes place, I don't doubt. But it is based on synthesizing something, and what it is is theoretical deduction based on empirical observation.
Without the empirical observation, you have only faith. With the empirical observation, you have proof.

I'm also considering using a 20" Kaydon "Reali-Slim" bearing on the UTA so I can easily rotate it while maintaining alignment.

Presumably you realise that this isn't as easy as it looks? You will have to ensure that your optical and mechanical alignments coincide, which is hard, otherwise the rotation means you lose collimation as well as alignment.
A simpler alternative may be to rotate the entire tube. This means relocating the bearing to the centre section, or making your own, which is what I would do.

Mounts Questions & Expirience / Re: Should I rebuild my AVX?
« on: February 08, 2018, 01:10:26 AM »
An update to all on how it's been going with my new mount and scope since I got it: either I have been working long hours at work or it is cloudy/rainy outside or both. I am really looking forward to this weekend. The scope is ready to be brought outside (the weight of the 8" SCT on the AVX is still manageable, so I can just grab the entire thing and carry it out the back door).

What kills the hobby?

Not starting out right; among other things, focusing on equipment and not the firmament, and believing it possible to buy one's way into it (you can't).

What keeps it going?

Those same feelings of awe and discovery, admixed with the joy they bring and tempered somewhat by time, familiarity and increased knowledge, that starting out right produces.

General Astronomy & Observing / Re: Messier 1 Sensitive to LP?
« on: February 03, 2018, 12:48:14 PM »

To me, total brightness about the same, center less bright.

I might dig out my old trash scope and have another look.

Light Pollution Topics / Re: Aaargh! Starhopping with light pollution
« on: February 03, 2018, 11:55:48 AM »
After awhile, you'll get to know where a lot of these objects are in relation to the brightest stars. I can find M44 pretty easily now by aiming for an empty spot about half way between Pollux and Regulus. Finding an object in binoculars first helps with the brighter objects. With the dimmer ones, you just have to remember what the local field stars look like, using a star chart to refresh your memory if needbe.

The more you observe, the more familiar the star patterns you see in the viewfinder/eyepiece become, and the easier it will be to find stuff. When you do find something, take some time to look at the patterns the field stars through your viewfinder, and where the object is in relation to those stars even if you can't see it with the viewfinder. This will help you find the object next time. For dimmer objects, I'll point the viewfinder at an empty space about where I think the object is based on the last time I viewed it. This works more often than not. Because I do all my observing from the city, if/when I ever get to a dark site I'll probably be lost.

Beginners Forum / Re: My first real viewing
« on: February 03, 2018, 06:58:59 AM »
That is a pretty popular opinion My 2 Stars. I tend to agree with it. I am not nearly as interested with a GOTO as much as feel it would be nice to have tracking. That said when I do buy my 8" or 10" dob it more than likely will not have the intelli on it. But if I found a decent MAK or ACH scope with tracking on it for a decent price I wouldn't say no.

Beginners Forum / Re: Hello ....
« on: February 03, 2018, 03:43:02 AM »
Hey Alan, that's a nice photo of the ships maiden! If I ever get my 10" finished, I want to get a shot like that!

Best regards!


Beginners Forum / Re: Which Telescope to get for Christmas
« on: February 02, 2018, 08:51:38 PM »
I know it's getting late. But, if I were you, I'de do a little more research before buying anything.
I think the Orion 80ED and Sirius EQ mount might be a good starter set up. It's good for both AP and visual, and you'll just need a few accessories, T-ring, and 2" tube, to attach your camera. It's versatile, and you can add lots of things to it.


Google Jerry Lodriguss, "Catching the Light". His website is full of helpful information. He also has several books on the subject including one for beginners on a budget. I believe he's also a member of this forum.

Happy Holidays

General Astronomy & Observing / Re: Armed (LEGALLY) While Observing
« on: February 02, 2018, 08:09:39 PM »
I live in Arizona, where anyone can carry or carry concealed without a permit. Before my observatory, when I was observing outside, I always carried a handgun. We've got lots of wild creatures out at night, elk, deer fox, coyote, skunk, raccoon, and one of my favorites, javelina. I did have an encounter with a large male, late evening, near dark. He was super protective for his mate. Our face-off, neither of us moving,lasted about 2 minutes before he slowly eased backwards slightly and held his ground while his mate slowly eased away. He then followed her whilst watching me over his shoulder.

This might be him, game camera picture about a year later early in the morning.


I would recommend the following option:

Nexstar Evolution 8: $1699   Why: Super portable, GOTO, Tracking, aperture enough to see a lot. Dont have to mess with collimation much. Can control with an iPad for the techies
Harbor Freight stool: $20
GSO 99% reflectivity 1.25 Diagonal: $60 *because the standard one is just crap
Harbor Freight 3in1 Jump starter: $50
Astro-Zap Flexi Heat Dew Shield: $80
Astro Zap Dew Controller: $105
Total: $2014 but ask for 5% off the package and most dealers would do that making the pkg around $1900

With this pkg you almost have enough to get a couple Agena Starguider or Astro-Tech Paradigm eyepieces. Maybe the 15mm and the 25mm might be good pickups

With where i've been in the hobby I cannot recommend a manual option at this point. At minimum I would want DSC's on a dob like the Orion XT8i Intelliscope and make sure one gets a basic laser collimator. After being the equipment loan coordinator for our club messing with Newtonians (which being an SCT guy its kinda like working with someone you don't really like working with  ), buti'm no longer scared of collimation with the trusty laser collimator!


Mounts Questions & Expirience / Re: AZ-EQ6 vs EQ6-R Which is Better for AP?
« on: February 02, 2018, 03:01:48 PM »
For anyone just starting out, I think the differences are small relative to the similarities. Either is a fine choice.

My kind of decision, it's hard to make a big mistake. Personal choice.

I agree with Bob, either is a fine choice.

I would also bet that the inner workings of the two mounts are probably exactly the same with regard to motors, worms, gears and board. The only obvious difference is the method of altitude adjustment.

They both have the same weight capacity, so that should not be a consideration.

The actual performance of either mount probably fall within the same (large?) standard deviation.

My personal opinion is... you should save the $400 or so and use that for other things that you will certainly be needing. But if the $400 is not an issue, then certainly go with the AZ/EQ-G, it will save you some headaches when it comes to polar alignment as the altitude adjustment is far superior..

ATM, Optics and DIY Forum / Re: Construction new dobson 24inch
« on: February 02, 2018, 02:27:54 PM »
But how do they move with the mirror as it is collimated.

My thoughts exactly. I'm not sure how to keep the support points at the CG with this kind of mirror cell.

Reflectors Telescopes Forum / Re: Paracorr in dewing conditions?
« on: January 31, 2018, 12:52:20 PM »
If the Paracorr's bottom lens dews up, it is an indication it is exposed to the sky and it also is an indication you aren't running a fan.
1) add a light shield opposite the focuser long enough that seeing the bottom of the Paracorr is so oblique an angle it essentially isn't exposed to the sky.
This will also improve contrast in your scope.
2) run your fan all night while you observe. The movement of air out of the scope will likely, all by itself, prevent dew from forming on the secondary mirror and the Paracorr.
Dew forms only with great difficulty in moving air.

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