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Everything posted by jamieren

  1. That is exactly what I'm saying. I'll try the way you suggested and see if I may have missed that configuration though. Thanks!
  2. Okay, I've tried fiddling now and have come to no positive conclusion. I've attempted to orient the lenses in different configurations, but the same event occurs. I get an upside - down image that comes into focus with about 3" distance between the assembly for the eye side containing two lenses and the other convex lens. No matter which way I orient the eye side lenses, this happens. I've looked at various things and cannot see any evidence of magnification either. The length of the finder scope is about 7" and I have found no way to make it focus at that distance. The best guess I can offer is that it is Keplerian in design, but has an extra lens?? I'm feeling a bit lost here, and I'm dying to hear the solutions you pros have to offer Here's a link to the Keplerian pic: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Refracting_telescope
  3. Well, I decided to take a chance and picked up a second hand 6" reflector (after selling my ridiculously heavy 12") and already I'm revelling in discovery I never would have even attempted with an expensive scope. To be more precise, I went to align the scope with the finder and realized I couldn't see through the finder scope. I tried focusing it and even taking it off the mount and walking towards an object, but I can't get the slightest view through it. I've now taken it apart and cleaned the very dirty lenses, and it's got me thinking perhaps they have been assembled incorrectly, either from the factory or from a well intentioned user (there was a fingerprint in there...). This is what I have: Starting from the 'eye side' is the small lens, convex on one side and flat on the other - convex side to the eye. Next is a larger lens also convex / flat and oriented the same way (convex toward the eye). At the far 'light gathering' end is another large lens convex on both sides, which I suspect can go in either way. Can anyone make sense of this? A few 'exploded view' pictures would be great. I suppose I could just fiddle with it, but there's another piece that fits down inside that will be a pain to reassemble so I'd rather just do this once...
  4. This might help, here's a link to the ad... REFLECTOR TELESCOPE - Edmonton Hobbies & Crafts for Sale - Kijiji Edmonton
  5. Hiya fellas! It's been a while since I was on this site, perhaps you all missed me? Anyway I sold my 12" dob (it was just too big and awkward to use) and I happened to find a 6" reflector on a local classifed site. It is a Sears brand (shudder?) but I'm thinking 6" must be one of the best they have to offer. It's $100 asking price is negotiable, the guy even offered to barter with me so it could cost nothing. I just wanted to know if anyone has any info on these? The mount looks solid and the scope itself looks to be in great shape. After some searching I found a bit of info on lesser scopes (4" reflectors) by the same manufacturer and it looks like it accepts 1.25" eyepieces at least. Now I know some of you will say to avoid this as it's department store rubbish, but how bad can a 6" scope be?
  6. Eek! I've already ordered them. I figured there's no way they could be worse than the ones I have. The price with shipping ended up at $50 cdn, so unless they turn out to be ruby coated or something exceptionally cheap like that I'll be happy. I see you have a set of Pentax binos, those must have cost a pretty penny! By the way, how much must one spend in order to achieve good quality?
  7. I am looking for a new pair of these. I like the idea of 8x56 but the price terrifies me. At the moment my "local" astronomy shop has Celestron up close 10x50s on sale for about $30. Seems like a good deal to me, and I won't even notice that amount of money leaving my pocket. I currently have a set of 7x50s which are out of collimation (the reason for this purchase) and some 10x25 celestrons, they've worked very well as a sidekick to the telescope. Any opinions?
  8. I much appreciate the opinions. A star test soon will give the final say on whether the problem is truly fixed.
  9. Okay, I see your 'point'. In my experience (I own two cheap ebay pointers) they seem to work just fine. At the same time, I would like to gather some information without exaggeration (wouldn't we all?). When you say "lethal" this is obviously not a literal use of the word. I'm guessing these inferior pointers you speak of emit I-red light more than just forward in the actual beam? I suppose one could say they "leak" the radiation? This would mean over a long period of time with repeated exposure (not direct blasts in the eye, but reminiscent of second hand smoke) it could adversely affect your vision, right? Second, how would one find out if and how much infrared light is being emitted? Third, (this one's for you, Jarndyce) if you're interested in them, the model I bought was from ebay seller 'hottestdealever'. He's got some currently available - item # 390055321678 the description is "Guaranteed Brightest True 5mw Green Laser Pointer J05". As I said previously, I've got two of them and they've performed without flaw (other than some aversion to the cold you're familiar with). As for infrared radiation I am unaware, but it's worth finding out. I will take solace in the fact there is no biohazard symbol printed on the box (yeah, I'm prodding you a bit calibos -in good fun, I hope). Conclusion? I love the bonus the pointers give for pointing things out to rookies (myself included), and they're indispensable for lining up your dob- just shine it through the finderscope and it'll tell you within a few degrees where you're pointed. Sure beats laying on the ground trying to sight down the tube! Ebay makes it affordable ($20 versus $80) and astronomy can be an adventure rather than a guided tour (my two bits on goto). Jamie. P.S. Calibos, do get back to me on the second thing, I am interested in ruling out the possibility of I-red radiation. I'll even quit bugging you and plugging for ebay if the result is positive.
  10. Uh, guys? None of you tech savvy telescopers have the explanation for this? Where's Rus on this one?!
  11. I was helping a friend collimate his 10" celestron and we were having a real tough time getting it to respond. After going through all the steps a couple of times we noticed that the set screws for the primary mirror would bottom out and still not quite reach the backing plate. After thinking about this we first tried putting shims so the screws would make contact, but the view it gave was "ghosted", there would be a main image with a couple of more transparent images flanking it. I was ready to give up at that point when he suggested we back the set screws way off and tighten the adjustment screws a couple of turns, causing the mirror to come closer to the backing plate, and 'extending' the focal length. After doing so and re - collimating the view was far sharper ( it was dusk and cloudy so all we could test it on was a tree). Here's the question: why would a difference of 5 mm in the focal length of the scope cause such a major malfunction? -Keep in mind we still have to star test it, but from what I saw it was as good as I've seen in my scope. Anyone have an explanation?
  12. A friend was telling me about a certain occurrance taking place this fall. He had no other details except whatever it is will likely not take place again during our lifetime (he was a little shy on the details). Could this be a transit of Venus across the sun or something? Any ideas?
  13. Definitely I agree with Brianb, M13 in Hercules' keystone is one of the best clusters. There are also two clusters in Perseus that are nice (there's a trick to using two stars in Cassiopeia's W to find them - they point practically right at the clusters) -perhaps it's a little early for them yet? Arcturus is one of my favorite stars as well, one of the few sights that contain color.
  14. Although I've been off the astronomy warpath lately (winter is cold at latitude 55°N!) this is one thing I did try one night when it was not too frosty. With my son in tow we took out our newly acquired 5mw (green) laser pointer and set forth to identify some new constellations. Worked exactly like you explained Martin. It's so much simpler than trying to describe which star I'm talking about whilst pointing aimlessly upwards. These things are like having a mile long pointer, and if you've got someone along to point things out to, I can't recommend one enough! Also at the price tag of around $20-$50 it's a pretty minor investment for astronomy, and if we're all responsible (by not pointing them at planes etc.) we might even be able to continue enjoying their benefits.
  15. First, I'm glad to be back. It's been so blumming cold here in western Canada one would die of hypothermia before getting a telescope set up, I haven't wasted any time even thinking about it! lately it's been between -25°C and -35°C. On that note I can't help but wonder about the eyepieces that are sitting out in my unheated garage. The glue used to cement the lenses in, could it be susceptible to that extreme cold? I've wanted to leave it all outside so I don't have to wait 1/2hr for the condensation to clear up before I can use them if it does happen to top -10, but I haven't had that happen yet unless it's accompanied with plenty of cloud cover. Anyone have experience with this issue?
  16. Well, I recently pestered many on this site with this dilemma and here's my experience... I did all kinds of research, posting, pricing and discussing. I went from considering a Celestron "starter" set to Meade 5000 super plossls to baader hyperions, I even considered dropping $400 - $600 on a single ethos. There were supporters for all of these. Eventually, after much deliberation and thanks in part to the wisdom of the members of this site (Rus, Astrophethean and Steve to name a few) I settled on going for used. I "ordered" a 24mm Televue panoptic and a 14mm pentax XW for a little over $500. I was still questioning the decision when my copy of "The Backyard Astronomer's Guide" arrived at my door. A read through the section on eyepieces told me I should not be disappointed, and have not. According to the authors, if you choose only one 'premium' eyepiece it is the 24mm pan. Later stated was that the XWs are hard to beat in the higher mags. I found mine to be very sharp. Do I regret spending the money? No, but I'll admit it was earmarked for that purpose and it was waiting to be spent on something anyway. At the same time, now I find myself looking for more variety like the GSO revelation plossls. The whole set can be had for less than the cost of one of my EPs! Not only that, then I wouldn't worry nearly as much about my kids fingerprinting them. The downside? Well, lets just look at it like telling people you drive a Volkswagen as opposed to a Lexus, with which you can expect 1/3 high price, 1/3 status symbol, but also 1/3 quality. Make sense? One other thing: I think seeing conditions far outweigh eyepiece "quality". I was seriously unimpressed with my 9mm speers-WALER until I happened upon a moment of clear seeing under relatively dark skies. What a difference!! Not only that, but the 32mm GSO plossl that came with my scope was a favorite (until I got the 24mm pan with the same fov & higher mag) so that says something. As for a barlow, I was given a freebie $30 2x antares barlow when I spent a bunch of cash on my scope. It's very handy even despite the low cost (& probably accompanying quality). I think they are a very affordable way of extending your EP collection, even if not used frequently. Good luck. Your decision is not an easy one! Disclaimer: My opinions do not necessarily reflect reality or even sanity for that matter...
  17. Great idea Danny! I'll make a point of trying that if it ever arrives...
  18. It may also have been a satellite. Sometimes the solar panels catch the sunlight at just the right angle and reflect it directly at you for a split second, not unlike someone at a distance using a mirror to attract attention (we've all seen that in the movies, I'm sure). There's been a couple I've seen in such a fashion, but then was unable to see afterwards.
  19. I found this very interesting site that will tell you what your exact latitude and longitude is. I found it useful in selecting a planisphere, but now I see the potential (for me) of looking "down" at most people! :withstupid: http://www.satsig.net/maps/lat-long-finder.htm
  20. There's one drawback to being an amateur astronomer. When something of this magnitude happens, everyone asks "did you see that?". Mind you, I suppose even some non-astro types have heard that question. It's been pretty big news & has been a good launching pad for discussion on my favorite topic. In talking with my mother (of all people?!) she said a group (RASC?) in Edmonton (Alberta), made the claim that it was 1-2 meters in diameter on the news.
  21. Um, it says in "Nightwatch" that it's photographic in the star charts, leading me to believe chances are beyond remote for seeing it in real time. On the other hand, I can't even see the NA nebula, so I wouldn't listen to me. :?
  22. I think you guys are over-thinking this. All you have to do is come on over to my place and meet my two year old. He will dispel every myth these astrophysicists have imposed upon us as to where the center of the universe is. :crybaby: :whip2:
  23. Any ideas on what the difference is when it comes to output? I see by far the most common are 5 mw (milliwatt?). But there are also others in larger denominations (10mw, 40mw etc.). I'm hoping you don't need a high output unit to see the trail (since I'm in the process of purchasing a 5mw!), and that higher output mostly means "higher battery consumption".
  24. Oy, I know the reply to this is probably going to end with "first light optics", but are there any particularly suited for the above prescribed purpose, or could you get one just anywhere? Being from Canada (eh?®) can have its disadvantages when posting on this site... *edit* ebay looks like it could be useful after all! Someone should tell the guys @ first light to get a whack of 'em from Hong Kong with combined shipping... what a deal that could be!
  25. Sky at night looks like a great deal with the book! Unfortunately for those of us on this side of the pond the price increases substantially and the book is absent from the deal. Might I suggest skynews (.ca)? You'll be laughing once you're finished converting to Canadian dollars, and it is geared toward the northern hemisphere which could be beneficial.
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