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About Mike37N113W

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    Southwestern Utah, USA
  1. I bit the bullet and ordered a Unihedron Sky Quality meter. It sounds easy to use, but if anyone has had experience with one I would appreciate any tips or cautions. Thanks.
  2. The St. George Astronomy Group (https://sites.google.com/site/stgeorgeastronomygroup/home) is planning to conduct night sky surveys in 2014 to seek International Dark-Sky Association certification in a couple of communities in SW Utah. We need two pieces of equipment: A Unihedron Sky Quality Meter and a fish-eye 180 degree lens that will fit a Nikon D80 DSLR camera (or could we use your camera). Please contact me if you have either of these items and are willing to share them in early 2014, or better yet, participate in the survey. Thank you. Mike Scott (mike37n113w@gmail.com)
  3. Vic Maris at Stellarvue was very responsive when I asked him about the alignment problem. I'm really impressed with his finder in spite of the alignment issue and also very impressed with his customer service. He gave me the following information about the rotating problem: "This is an issue with this design. To keep the price in line and to keep the weight minimal, there is no lens cell and since it is extremely short in focal length and there is some necessary play in each component, this crosshair issue arises." "This includes the tolerance of the eyepiece insert tube, the centerin
  4. Michael - your solution to my "zenith neck" problem is outstanding. I wish you had not shown it to me! I thought I was at the end of the journey - now you show me I have a few more miles to travel. Mike
  5. I like the finderscope Meade includes on the LX200, but my neck and back disagree. Not only disagree, they finally rebelled a couple weeks ago while I was zeroing in on the Pleiades almost directly above my head. So I ordered the Stellarvue F50-2 9x50mm Deluxe Finder scope from Oceanside Photo & Telescope (OPT) because it has a diagonal with a rotating back, so you can easily look through the eyepiece, whether your telescope is aimed at objects near the horizon or straight up, simply by loosening the rotator locking screw to adjust the eyepiece to the angle you want. All that stops i
  6. I love the sound of those words! Thanks. Yesterday I swore I was done with dealing with this - I've spend more time on this problem than I've spent behind the eyepiece. But you give me encouragement. I will go for it one more time. I feel kind of like a crack addict who can't shake his addiction.
  7. Thanks - are you running windows 7 Professional? And have you torn all your hair out like I have?
  8. This is a follow-up to my post a couple of weeks ago. I was having problems connecting my HP notebook to my Meade LX200 so I could run AstroPlanner and SkyX Professional software. Well... not really a "problem".... more than a problem... it just wasn't working. I won't repeat all the steps I took to try to find a solution (they are described in my last post. Since the last post, I received the Keyspan USB serial adapter. It works fine on my old computer running Windows XP. But the new adapter doesn't help my problem with my Windows 7 Professional notebook. Three adapters (Keyspan, Meade, Gigaw
  9. Thank you everyone for taking the time to help me solve my problem. Thanks to you I have a solution. It was suggested that either Windows 7 was the problem, or my Meade USB/Serial adapter was the problem, or both. (Note: If the Meade adapter is the problem, I also had a problem with a Gigaware adapter previously.) I never thought to use an old computer I have that runs Windows XP and does have a serial port. So I set up AstroPlanner on it and hooked it up to my telescope and it works perfectly. Sometimes you can’t see the stars for the sun. I don’t want to use that old computer for astronomy,
  10. Michael - first off, it's nice having someone to bounce ideas off of - so thank you. I don;t know any other amateur astronomers in my area so having you and others here to talk to is great. Yes, someone recommended the KeySpan adapter. I just ordered it 30 minutes ago - here by 12/28 so I'll either have success with it or i will be the proud owner of 3 adapters (meade, gigaware, and now keyspan) my computer picks a com port number )7, 8, or 9) - all of the software defaults to a lower number - com3 i think - but you can click an update button on the software and it looks for the right port - a
  11. Thanks again Michael - I think i originally copy/pasted wrong info from bisque site - the cable i got from them does only fit into the rs232 port on the telescope - it is too big to fit into the hand controller or the port on the scope for the hand controller --- this is what i meant to say i bought from bisque = Software Bisque
  12. Thanks Michael - sorry - I should have mentioned the com port - yes I am telling AstroPlanner (and the other software I've tried) what com port my computer assigned. My computer picks a comm port number of 7, 8, or 9 - nothing lower. I'm wondering if that's a problem? no idea if it means anything. someone suggested i try a Keystone usb/serial adapter - so i ordered it today. i'm wondering if the rs232 port on the telescope is bad (i've tried both of them with no success) - but no idea how to test for that. oh well -
  13. Thanks for helping. The telescope listed in astroPlanner I selected is LX200 GPS 10" -- that's my scope. I have tried to connect to the scope using AstroPlanner, Meade's software, and SkyX Professional --- not working for any of them.
  14. I hope you can help – I’m going crazy. I have a Meade LX200ACF 10” (bought new 2 years ago) and I have never been able to hook it up to my computer. I tried when I bought it and gave up in frustration. I’m trying again – and have been for 2 weeks now. I’m totally missing something but don’t know what. First – cables: I bought: (#1) the Meade USB/RS232 adapter cable; (#2) A female RJ11 to female DB9 end adaptor for Autostar and compatible devices (from SoftwareBisque); (#3) A 15-foot, four-conductor telephone-type cable terminated with a male RJ11 modular plug on one end ("telephone-type" plug)
  15. Thanks for the feedback Damian. The author explains how to balance the scope, but that's one thing I'm still having some trouble doing right, even though it should be really easy for me since I use it in alt/az mode - no wedge.
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