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Louis D

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About Louis D

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    Red Dwarf

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    Texas, USA
  1. Some guys in Kentucky were arrested back in April for buying up all the hand sanitizer in Kentucky in early March. They had somewhere around 20,000 bottles of it bought from dollar stores and other places. They were trying to sell them for $10 or more a bottle on Amazon, ebay, Facebook marketplace, etc. People were buying them during the panic even at that price. What got them arrested was that those bottles were deemed essential items during for a declared emergency. My point is, if you can convince the authorities that astronomy gear is an essential item during this emergency, you could then get them arrested for price gouging.
  2. One of the rarest since that focal length was dropped for the NLV and SLV lines. Double check that it doesn't have a 45 degree field of view. 9mm was the lowest focal length with a 50 degree view to the best of my recollection.
  3. Answer: (c) for me at least. I have 8 eyepiece cases at last count: A-team, B-team, binoviewer setup, Z-team, big oddball eyepieces, camping case, HD-60 case, Paradigm (Starguider) case.
  4. The pistol grip style tripod heads get recommended a lot for binocular usage on either monopods or tripods:
  5. I injured my 52 year old shoulder a couple of years ago in a work fall, and it is still not 100%, so you're not alone. Give it another year or two, it does get a bit better each year. My 34 year old back was injured in an auto accident 20 years ago, and it never recovered to 100%. I had to quit using my 15" Dob as a result of that one. As Bill Clinton said in 1992, "I feel your pain".
  6. With a Barlow/GPC/OCS/OCA, you can reach focus even in a Newtonian with a binoviewer. I'd start with an entry level binoviewer and see if the GPC(s) it ships with work for your setup. The ones that came with my Arcturus unit were terrible, so I found a vintage Meade 140 APO 2x Barlow based on online recommendations. The nose piece with the optics is threaded such that it can be screwed onto the end of the binoviewer nose piece just like a filter. It yields 3x in this usage. Thus, 15mm to 26mm eyepieces work well for planetary work. I also tried a recently acquired Parks Gold Series 2x Barlow (same as Celestron Ultima and Orion Shorty-Plus), and it worked just as well by inserting the binoviewer directly into it.
  7. That, and it's in stock. I'd jump on it ASAP if you want it for Christmas! Most dealers don't realistically expect new stock until February 2021.
  8. I found I was getting the most detail on the planets this year using my binoviewers with a pair of microscope eyepieces and a Meade 140 Barlow nose piece. The planets were so bright that I couldn't really see good details without having to filter them down. This was completely unnecessary with two eyes viewing at once. That, and my brain was able to pick out finer details using two eyes, especially if I bumped my scope and allowed my brain's motion detection circuitry to kick in while it settled.
  9. You might also want to check collimation on that Newtonian with a cheshire. This is assuming it has the ability to be collimated. I'd start with some Revelation/GSO Plossls or similar. Perhaps 32mm and 12mm to start with. Eye relief will be a bit tight on the 12mm. If the view still looks terrible, it's the scope or seeing conditions and not the eyepieces.
  10. Yes, but you weren't very specific about "a poor fpl53 design before it was outperformed by a fpl51 scope". Had you said "a poor fpl53 doublet/triplet before it was outperformed by a fpl51 doublet/triplet", then I wouldn't have made my point. I brought it up because of the expense of FPL-53 has caused a lot of ED/APO designs to use FPL-51 triplets instead of FPL-53 doublets. So, in that sense, it is a like for like comparison price-wise.
  11. Some of the FPL-51 triplets rival FPL-53 doublets.
  12. Tracking is possible with Dobsonians with either a goto drive or an equatorial platform. Both options are outside of your budget, and neither is ideal for imaging.
  13. I wouldn't read too much into the absolute brightness of each eyepiece taken in isolation. The camera was on auto exposure for each eyepiece, and the brightness of the room may have also changed as more or less light streamed in the nearby windows as the day wore on during testing. What's more relevant is light falloff center to edge within each exposure for each eyepiece. Notice how the RKE gets dim near the edge? Notice how the Aspheric fuzzes out near the edge? These are the relevant sorts of things to look for within each eyepiece's image. The Meade HD-60s are purported to have 6 elements each. Four in the upper, positive section, much like a 1-2-1 Konig and two in the lower, negative section, much like a Barlow or Smyth lens. So, most likely 6 elements in 4 groups. I can't find any definitive diagrams for you, though. The 24mm APM UFF has 8 elements in 5 groups as seen below: The Panoptic uses 6 elements in 4 groups as seen below: The Aspheric is three elements as seen below:
  14. The Hyperion would yield a significantly wider apparent and true FOV relative to the Meade Plossl. It might even perform fairly well in your f/10 scope. Unlike the rest of the Hyperion line, though, it does not perform very well in faster scopes below f/8 or so because it is basically an Erfle variation. I would get a 24mm APM Ultra Flat Field or one of the other rebrandings (Altair, Meade, Celestron, Orion) out there instead. It is well corrected even in faster scopes should you ever decide to buy one. Zooms are very narrow at the long end of their range. Most affordable zooms tend to have a 35 to 45 degree apparent FOV, so actually less than an equivalent Plossl at that focal length. They do get decently wide (50 to 70 degrees) at the short end of their range. The Vixen SLVs are very sharp, well corrected, consistent long eye relief, and have excellent stray light control. They tend to perform more like premium wide field eyepieces, minus the wide field. I would only recommend that at 12mm and below because there are better options at longer focal lengths.
  15. Eyepiece tip-tilt is still a concern with the OVL style collets because they're not that deep. I have the Arcturus version, and eyepieces without undercuts work much better than those with them. I have to jam eyepieces with undercuts into the holders while tightening them to prevent them from tilting. At first, I thought my binoviewers were out of collimation until I realized I could rotate the diopter adjuster and bring them back into closer collimation. I then noticed that the eyepieces weren't seated all the way into their holders.
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