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Rainmaker

Advanced Members
  • Content Count

    180
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  • Last visited

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About Rainmaker

  • Rank
    Star Forming

Profile Information

  • Gender
    Male
  • Interests
    Cross country skiing, alpine skiing, mountain biking, road cycling
  • Location
    Australia
  1. Rainmaker

    Who Makes The Best Binoculars?

    I finally managed to convince a friend to sell his TSA102S to me, they are performing really nicely, I am using the Tak LE and Abbe eyepieces as well as my favourite bino-pair, the superb Pentax XF8,5mm.
  2. Rainmaker

    Show Us Your Dob.....

    Thanks, I am indeed very fortunate that my understanding wife allows the scope to live in the lounge room..... though she does insist I clean the kangaroo droppings off the tyres before bringing it inside....
  3. Rainmaker

    Show us your Frac

    Hi John, Took me quite a few weeks to convince a friend to part with his pristine TSA102S to pair up with mine. I had to give him my excellent FS102NSV as a sweetener.... The TSA120 binoscope was just a bit too heavy and bulky so I sold the two 120s and ordered a new cradle to be made for these baby-TSAs. I am not allowed to buy any more scopes (at least this year). Roll on 2019....
  4. Rainmaker

    Show us your Frac

    My TSA 102S and Friend:
  5. The Mewlon 210 is an excellent scope and whilst planetary performance is not very different from a very good 5" apochromatic refractor, on DSOs the Mewlon 210 will leave the 5" well behind. Yes, it does need to be allowed to cool to ambient, but what doesn't, it certainly takes no longer than an 8" SCT. As for the collimation, the worst thing you can do is replace the collimation screws with Bob's Knobs etc, the standard screws will hold collimation without any issues. Collimation is best tweaked with an actual star if it is necessary, though the Tak collimation scope gets things close. There is another procedure outlined by Fred G. at Tak America that worked for me. Once set, I never needed to adjust it. I too have a gap in that range that I will soon try to address (60mm - 102mmBino - X? - 457mm)
  6. Tak TSA102S and FS102NSV optics comparison setup...
  7. Rainmaker

    Show us your Frac

    I am suffering a bout of 'Reverse Aperture Fever' at the moment: Takahashi FOA60 F8.8 with Baader Zeiss T2 Prism on a SW AZ-GTi / Manfrotto MT055CXPro3 combination Total weight 7.1Kg Grab&Go Nirvana, gives beautiful views of doubles ....
  8. Rainmaker

    Show Us Your Dob.....

    Thanks, The blue things are anodised aluminium computer cooling system clamps that go around the linear bearings that are at each end of the two 90º s/s wire slings. The carbon/kevlar sheet was made for me by ProTech in USA, the truss poles are JTW100 paddle shafts from ExelComposites and the focuser board is 3mm sheet from China, cut and drilled my me. Here is a picture of the linear bearings being assembled: The linear bearings first have heat shrink tubing over them, then the clamps which hold swaged 2mm pre stretched stainless steel wire. There is a 10mm polished stainless shaft in the four corners of the mirror cell and the two slings run from diagonally opposite corners, crossing under the mirror. The slings run between two strips of self adhesive velcro at 19.5mm from the back of the mirror (at the COG). I also fitted heat shrink tubing over the wires where they contact the mirror.
  9. Rainmaker

    Show Us Your Dob.....

    My previous Dob was an 18" F5.6 which meant climbing a ladder for the views at least 50% of the time. This time I wanted a sit down scope so that I can study objects at length. Yes, we are lucky that we have the best part of the night sky directly overhead here, Omega Cent is an easy naked eye sight and at the moment the planets are also almost directly overhead. I recently spent a few hours with my friend's 32" F3.3 so have to temper my expectations with the 18" but still it is going to be a great joy for years to come. I will be taking it to the Mount Stromlo Observatory each month for our outreach. Last month we had 1800 visitors for the evening....
  10. Rainmaker

    Show Us Your Dob.....

    Thanks Mark, I finished the Dob build a week ago when the Nexus DSC arrived, Lots of planning and lots of work but I am really pleased with the end result. I can sit down to view even at zenith, the scope is an 18" F3.54 so a focal length of 1618mm or 63.7" (Effective focal length with the SIPS in place is 1860mm) The brass scope has travelled a lot in its lifetime, it began life in London (probably at Watson & Sons) but is labelled Berry&Mackay Aberdeen) and perhaps belongs in a museum back in Scotland. Berry and Mackay, was a business in Marichal St Aberdeen and this scope dates from c1890...
  11. Rainmaker

    Who Makes The Best Binoculars?

    Takahashi 180x120:
  12. Rainmaker

    Show Us Your Dob.....

    My new DSO hunter, "Excalibur"
  13. Rainmaker

    Show Us Your Binoculars.

    We found that a single OTA of 150mm aperture with binoviewers splitting the light was quite noticeably dimmer than the 120mm binoscope. Having said that, there are still advantages to binoviewers if your targets are sufficiently bright. Remember that an actual measurement would not show is as it is the 'binocular summation' that our brain is responsible for that makes the perceived brightness so much more, there is also a perception of an increase in the image scale that comes with binocular viewing. The comfort factor of viewing with both eyes means I can sit at the eyepieces for a couple of hours without eye strain rather than a few minutes if using a mono-mode setup.
  14. Rainmaker

    Show Us Your Binoculars.

    Hello Stu, we have been testing a bit, here is a post that I made on another site, copied here: After 4 hours of swapping between the Bino-TSA120 and TOA150 (with and without Baader MkV binoviewers) the results were very interesting and very close to the mathematical calculations.... We looked mainly at M42, M44, M45, NGC104, NGC3372, NGC4755. This is not meant to start any wars between the binoscope/binoviewer/monoscope aficionados and is by no means a technical/theoretical or mathematical comparison, just Phil and I enjoying some scopes under the nice skies at his bush property... In short: We compared separately with similar magnifications, similar exit pupils, and similar True Fields ( as best we could given our selection of eyepieces- Panoptic 24s, Tak Abbe18s, Tak LE24s, Nagler16, Nagler 26). High magnification comparisons were not on the table due to our eyepiece focal lengths..... we will try to remedy that next time.... ..............The Bino-TSA has the light gathering of a "TOA160"+2"BBHS with single eyepiece. (160 is intentional) ..............TOA150 retains (as expected) its advantage in limiting magnitude (in mono mode) of faint stars (the Bino-TSA optically is subject to the same Limiting Magnitude as a single TSA) . ..............The Bino-TSA shows a slightly higher contrast view than a mono TOA150, (a definite plus of viewing with both eyes) ..............The Bino-TSA had a definite 3D quality to the view compared to a very flat view in TOA in mono mode. ..............Adding the Baader MkV binoviewers and Panoptic 24s to the TOA150 enhanced the 'depth' in the view but dimmed the view way below the Bino-TSA , the image brightness in the TOA+MkV was now similar to a TSA120 in mono mode. When did a star count of very faint stars around Eta Carinae, the TOA was able to resolve 11 stars to the Bino-TSA with 9 stars , so those two stars were below the LM of the 120mm objective but at the same time the Homunculus Nebula around Eta Carinae was more visible in the Bino-TSA. Viewing the Trapezium stars and 'wings' nebulosity of M42 showed a marked 3D effect in that the 'wings' seemed to reach toward us. This effect was not shown by the binoviewers. Lastly, looking at the core of NGC104 (47Tucanae), the Bino-TSA with Tak Abbe 18s which gave an Exit Pupil of 2.4mm easily resolved stars in the core of the GC whereas the TOA in mono mode with Nagler 22 and an Exit Pupil of 2.38 could not resolve the core. Changing to the Tak LE24 in the TOA brought the result much closer. (this is more of an indication of the benefit of less glass is better if the glass is of high quality) Knowing what I know now about binoscopes, I would love to look through a binoscope made out of a pair of TOA150s.... The real Positive for me is that the floaters in my eyes do not show up at all when using the binoscope.
  15. Rainmaker

    Show Us Your Binoculars.

    My new binoculars in preparation for this year's planet viewing, especially for Mars
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