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The Warthog

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Posts posted by The Warthog

  1. HI. I just dropped in to this topic as I may need my own advice after nearly 10 years away from the hobby.  My health and energy levels have not been stellar,  especially after the MI in 20112 that left me with a quad bypass and combined with 54 years of T1 diabetes, arthritis an circulatory problems, as well as being old. I'm 71 now and temporarily unable to drive. Bummer! Anyway, I've hunted up my collection of eyepieces and find the ones I have still fit the bill. I tried to  look up Jupiter and Saturn a couple of nights ago, but was successful only with my 32mm ep, and with a focal length of 1000mm didn't give me much of a view. My higher mag eps wouldn't focus, but in the daylight I corrcted a sim[le problem and am ready to try again.  Saturn and Jupiter have not been this close together for about 20 years, so it's a great opportunity, and in summer too, so I don't have to freeze my, er, toes off seeing them.  Clear skies, everyone!

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  2. Well, Sonny Boy, Laudroph did a good job of explaining how to adjust the binocs to suit each eye. I would add only that it may be the other ep that has the separate focus. I've just bought a pair of Nikon Aculons, now the best binocs I have ever owned, and the most expensive at $CDN170. My previous ones were a pair I bought for $US30 at a drug store in Wall, SD. They had all the hallmarks of cheap binoculars, but still served me well for almost 10 years, until a prism fell out of place. Generally, the best equipment for you is the best you can afford, given a bare minimum quality. If you can't afford a Nagler, you can probably afford a Meade Plossl that will do yeoman service for you until you win the lotto.

    As for an 'entry level' telescope, don't buy one. Most low priced department store scopes will give you poor service on almost all fronts, and are a major cause of newbies giving up on the hobby. I would suggest a reflector of at least 150mm diameter on either a Dobsonian mount or an equatorial mount. Or a catadioptric of the same diameter. If you are going for a refractor, I would suggest a 100mm scope or slightly larger, depending on your budget. There is a bit of a learning curve with good scopes, but  they will richly reward the effort to learn them. If you can't afford a scope in this range, keep the binocs for now, and save a little longer. The same stars will be there once you have saved the money.

    Best of luck with your decision. Hope this helps.


    • Like 1
  3. I think you should be able to see them, especially with the Plough being so high at present. They are easy to find in a decent sky, and I find them a delight to look at. I can't see them at all in my city skies, with a limiting magnitude of about 2, at least not in my 6" reflector.

  4. On 2017-04-10 at 12:58, JOC said:

     one of these will probably come off leaving a circular gap of about 3" (the other won't!)

    BION, that lid that won't come off has a purpose. When you take the  lid off the hole in the dust cap, you can put the lid on that second "cap" to keep you from losing it in the grass. It took me about six months to realize this at first.

    (Edit) I see someone already beat me to this explanation. D'oh!

    • Like 1
  5. Not a big deal, but I am glad to be back. I probably have a bit of a learning curve, as I've been away from astronomy for so long, but with that big asteroid sailing by, and a solar eclipse this year (that's a day and a half drive away) I can get back into the hobby fairly quickly, I think.  The sky in my town is dreadful, but I can get nice views of the Moon and planets. When I can get outside of town, particularly to some of the dark areas in Central Ontario, I get some very good views indeed. Anyway, this is me, back. Hoping to reconnect with all of you.


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  6. Glad you are back in the saddle warthog. I cannot remember how many people I have recommended your guide to.

    That's very generous of you, Damian. We got whacked by snow and cold in late January and February, and went 46 days without going above zero, with temperatures sometimes as low as -25, so what with the constant cloud I've hardly been outside except to take the dog for a pee. However, we are being promised the start of above zero temps, and once the 40cm of snow in my back yard melts, I'll think about putting my scopes on the lawn. After all this time, I have some refurbishing to do. The sky in my location allows only for planets, and things like double stars and brighter clusters, but I will try to get away to some better locations, which we have aplenty in Canada.

  7. I'm a fan of cryptic crosswords, and have started doing the Toronto Globe and Mail one again, after a long hiatus.

    ""Moon Starers" has long been a favorite clue for ASTRONOMERS, but this week they came up with a new and disturbing one - "No more stars."

    Thought some of you might like that.

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  8. I've been away for a very long time, and to be honest haven't had my scopes out very often since my second heart attack (and quadruple bypass) three years ago. I hope to do better this spring, as my health has gotten a lot better although I still can't go out on the -10 nights we've been having. I noticed a very nice crescent moon last night, and would have liked to get my refractor out, but it's just too damn cold.

    I really appreciate all the kind comments I've seen in response to my post. It seems to have done what I wanted to do, which is to give a reasonable and simple way to create a usable and versatile set of eyepieces that can grow as you save your pounds.

    I'll try to hang about here more often. This was my favorite of all the astronomy forums I visited, and the longest lasting by now.

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  9. The eyepiece and telescope is a system, and its performance depends on the strength of the weakest link. That being said, the best view of Jupiter I have everhad came through a Skywatcher 6" f/8 dob with a Pentax eyepiece. I am sure it was the quality of the ep that gave it the amazing clarity of view that I had that night, It you can afford the ep it will work better than a cheap ep,and you can hold on ot it hwen you get a better scope.

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  10. Mars is difficult at any time. Even at its historic closest some years ago I was able to make out very little detail in my then 4.5" scope. I could see a reddish disk with a little white button at the poles, and with long observing managed a couple of surface features. It makes a great difference how close it is. Jupiter and Saturn can yield some detail at almost any time you can see them, but are best when they are closest, naturally. It takes good skies, good eyepieces, and patience to tease out detail in these planets. You can see Uranus and Neptune with your scope, but they will appear as a bluish or greenish star, not much more.

  11. Get a comfortable, adjustable chair, and position the eyepiece so it is in a position where you don't have to bend your neck too much. This may mean rotating the tube in its rings for a Newt, or turning the diagonal in a frac or SCT. If you are using a frac and don't have a diagonal, get one. With a refractor you may want to consider getting a taller tripod than those usually supplied with the scopes. I built a 5' tall tripod for my 1000mm long refractor. This allows me to view the zenith while sitting on a low stool, rather than lying on the ground. A right angle finder also helps, as you don't have to twist into impossible contortions to see through it, especially when viewing things at high altitudes.

    Taking a few Tylenol helps with the pain, too.

  12. Great post.

    I got a second hand WO 102 doublet f7 came with a prism and one eyepiece a 15mm plossl. I'm on a budget and have been searching for info. on what would be the best eyepieces for me too get.

    Your post has made things clearer at what ep's I should be looking.

    Thank you


    Sent from my LT30p using Tapatalk

    Off the top of my head (which is only 70" up) I would say a 5mm, a8 or 9mm, and a 25mm, and keep the 15 as it fills the gap neatly.Get the best quality you can afford, and remember you don't have to buy them all the same day.

  13. Often, when I am out in the field I am looking for a good place to put my charts and books where they are easy to get at, at a height that won't break my back, and easily portable. I came up with this design after seeing a plan for a construction blueprint field table, that I subsequently lost. So, the plan for this was in my head. My biggest problem was figuring out the configuration for the back legs. I don't know if this solution is the same as the original, but it works well. I made it a bit higher than my waist height so I don't have to bend too far.

    I started with the table top, at the size I wanted, then measured the legs and stretchers from there. The wood is nominal 2x2 spruce, varnished. The construction is entirely glue and dowel, avoiding awkward screw angles, and making a very solid frame. The tabletop sits on four dowels. The dowels are ½" hardwood throughout, and the holes in the bottom of the tabletop are 5/8", to give a little wiggle room while putting the top on.

    The pictures show just about everything you need. Just put a bungee cord around it and toss it into the truck, you're ready to go.


    • Like 3
  14. The last time I was here I mentined that I haven't been in the best of health. Although I am steadily improving, the stamina for late night, cold sessions doesn't seem to have come back, so although my newt is sitting fully assembled in my shed, It hasn't seen many stars or planets in the last couple of years. I promise to try harder.

    I had made a few attempts to sign on over the past few months, and failed the password test each time. Today I tried an obscure little password that was lurking in the back of my memory, and it worked. I thought I had tried it before, but I suppose I may have  made a tpyo putting it in.

    OK. Best wishes for a happy and cloud free New Year!

    • Like 2
  15. I went out last night, warmly clad in a Canadian made parka and laid back on my reclining chair. My first foray was at 9.00, (0100 UT) and I had a 40º hole in the clouds about Jupiter which closed up after about 20 Minutes. I went back ouside at 11.00 PM (0300 UT) and watched for an hour and a quarter. In that time I saw seven meteors despit the Rubbish LP we have around here.The sky was completely clear, and the transparency and seeing as good as it gets. The first two meteors were short and slow, about 25 º west of the radiant, the third was a very long path without a significant trail that covered about !5º, again to the west of the radiant. Number four was similar to 1 and 2. Five and 6 were short, quick meteors abbout 30º w of the radiant, and were a double, the sixth startin almost immediately after the first and close together. I haven't seen a double in 45 years. Then everything went quiet for about 50 minutes and my last one came almost directly out of the radiant. just beside Castor, and was very short and brief. Had I not been looking right there, I would have missed it. This is now my most successful meteor observing night, considering the skies and my eyesight. At -2 it takes something special to get me out there for that long.

  16. Just my two cents; If you were at one of the 'edges' of the visible moon, say in Mare Crisium a few hours after sunset, and having only a 'crescent Earth' to contend with, and given a clear visor, you should be able to see lots and lots of stars. None of the Moon landings were in such a position. I'm a little surprised Collins didn't see any stars on the nightside, though.

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