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Everything posted by H2IKXF

  1. Thanks everyone for posting responses to my query. Hopefully when others run across the concerns I raised this thread can help.
  2. I've experienced something odd with the Telrad I purchased. When it arrived I placed new batteries in it and began fussing with it to determine the best mounting position. During these experiments the Telrad functioned perfectly and I could plainly see the image (three circular rings) displayed on the glass view finder. I noticed something odd though. First, the dimmer switch lever had a rotational travel that is approximately 285 degrees. Second, in order to see the dimmest image I would need to advance the switch lever a minimum of 90 degrees. After two days of finding the right spot to mount the Telrad (and putting new batteries in) I now find that in order to see the dimmest image (whether mounted on my telescope or held by hand inside my hall closet) I must advance the switch lever a minimum of 185 degrees. Is/Has anyone else experienced this situation with their Telrad? Secondly, is it "normal" for the Telrad dimmer switch to have that much travel in it? I've encountered dimmer switches with 90, 180 and 359 degrees of travel but never one with 285 degrees.
  3. I've been reading Eric Chaisson's 'Cosmic Dawn: The Origins of Matter and Life'. Reading this book I have to struggle quite a bit. So much so that in writing about my experience I feel the urge to go hillbilly just to make things interesting. Okay, this feller knows his stuff. Pro'lly a good perfesser too. But whoooo--weee... the smell comin off'in his writing style jess leaves a person wantin something a biiitttt more on the personable side of things. Fossilized dino dung has more juice in it. I'm hoping that the next two books in his series will be better written. No, I'm not a glutten for punishment I just decided I was going to read this fellows trilogy on the subject matter and by golly I'm gonna 'git-er-done'.
  4. H2IKXF

    Finder Scopes

    I have just dealt with a similar complaint concerning the standard 6 x 30 finder scope Celestron provides with their OMNI series. I choose to go with a Telrad. You can read about my adventure here: http://stargazerslounge.com/equipment-discussion/99660-some-observations-installation-telrad.html
  5. Thoroughly disgusted with the stock 6 x 30 finder scope that came standard with my Celestron OMNI XLT 102 Refractor I decided to replace it with something else. There's plenty of choices out there in right angle finder scopes, reflex sights, laser pointers, etc... but I settled on a Telrad. Why the Telrad over anything else is a subject for another posting. For this posting I wish to provide some insights for the benefit of others in the mounting of the Telrad. One of my disgusts with this finder scope is the height between the telescope body and the center of the eye piece. Putting a crick in your neck when using it was going to be a recurring annoyance. The centre of the objective lense for the finder scope whilst seated in it's riser is 3 3/4" (9.525 cm) from the body of the telescope. Clearly I needed to get some more height. Researching the Telrad I learned that the distance between the telescope body and the glass viewing window of the Telrad is: 4" (10.16 cm). Hmmm... very close to the stock Celestron finder scope. Luckily Telrad has optional 2" (5.08 cm) and 4" (10.16 CM) risers available. BE FORWARNED. If you intend to use these risers you should know that their height has been mis-stated in the sales literature. I point this out not to quibble over it but simply to make people aware of it. The stated heights of 2" (5.08 cm) and 4" (10.16 CM) represents the height of the posts between the upper and lower mounting plates of the riser. Each plate (lower and upper) is an additional 3/16" or a total additional height of 3/8". Thus the ACTUAL height of the risers are 2 3/8" (6.03 cm) and 4 3/8" (11.11 CM). When you add the riser between the Telrad and it's mounting base the overall height from the telescope body to the centre of the looking glass would be 6 3/8" (16.19 cm) and 8 3/8" (21.27cm) respectively. On my telescope it has nearly doubled the height from the stock Celesctron finder scope. Some people have observed that they don't like the "look" of the Telrad mounted on a refractor as it appears to ungainly. HA! The overall difference in height when mounted is negligible on a 4" telescope on a 6" or 8" even less. The relative shape is a 2 x 2 profile on a riser. Even if you were to mount it on a 2" telescope it would not look ungainly since the relative sizes are similar. If it appeared as anything --relative to a 2" telescopes tube size -- it would be as a carrying handle or the handle grip on a rifle. One couldn't describe this as ungainly or aesthetically unpleasing. Now if I had purchased a 6 x 50 right angle finder scope and mounted that on my telescope THAT would look ungainly to the point of being ridiculously outlandish. So, if anyone has thought about using a Telrad on their refractor I say give it a go. The worst that could happen is you find yourself with a Telrad that you can use on your 10"+ reflector you already have or will be purchasing in future. Now on with the mounting of it. Some suggested mounting it as near the end of the OTA as possible. I found through experience this past week this is a bad idea. When you are seated and looking up the length of the tube toward the Telrad's glass view finder the farther the device is from your eye the larger the concentric rings become. So much so that the middle ring (of the three reticle rings) fills the glass view finder from edge to edge both vertically and horizontally. Moving the Telrad so that it's more centered in the length of the OTA ended up having the outermost ring filling the glass view finder edge to edge. Interestingly, placing the back-end of the Telrad's base up against the plate where the stock Celestron view finder was mounted (on top of the focuser housing) produced the best results. In that position the distance between the glass view finder and where my eye would be when I looked up from the telescope's eye piece in the star diagonal ended up being 7". The three reticle rings were centered within the Telrad's glass view finder with plenty of room on all sides. Now that I found where to mount the Telrad I had to decide how. Do I drill holes and mount the Telrad or do I use the sticky tape on the back of the Telrad's mounting base? Neither option thrilled me. The former would savage the resale value and looks should I (or the next owner) choose not to use the Telrad anymore. The latter would be a serious pain in one of two ways. In the best case scenario I would need to put new sticky tape on the Telrad's mounting bracket and the telescopes paint job would be marred. Worst case scenario, I would manage to snap the aged plastic of the Telrad's mounting base requiring the purchase of a new one and savage the paint job on the telescope. I decided to try the suggestion of another forum member to use velcro straps. The kind without the sticky-tape backing obviously. Viola! It worked like a charm. A word of caution though to those who also use this solution. The velcro will secure the Telrad to the telescope, however, if you should "bump" or "jar" the Telrad more than slightly it will move on you a bit. The movement isn't serious -- unless your "bump" is -- but it is there. It won't affect the Telrad's use to center on objects so you won't have to re-orient the Telrad's reticles in the glass view finder but it will shift it from where you had it on the telescopes body. I've only ONE complaint with my Telrad. Two days of use and the reticles brightness control knob is either off, at 75% brightness through to 100% brightness. Anything below 75%... zilch. I have to contact the seller and arrange for a return goods exchange. Isn't that something? You finally get it sorted and BOOM the thing goes south on you.
  6. I am thoroughly disgusted with the 6 x 30 finderscope that came with my Celestron Omni XLT 102mm refractor. I really like the Telrad's ease of use and cost however I am having a bit of difficulty with mounting it. I do not wish to drill holes in the telescope. Nor do I favor the idea of having to remove sticky-tape at some future date. I've been looking and looking to see if there exists a riser (which would slide into the pre-existing dovetail joint the 6 x 30 finderscope currently occupies) that I could mount the Telrad on. The trouble is I don't seem to be having any success in finding one. Perhaps my over-tiredness is causing me to miss something obvious on the Telrad site... I don't know. Does such a riser exist? If so, where can they be purchased?
  7. I haven't used the Celestron SkyMaster 15 x 70's however I do own the 20 x 80's and am extremely pleased with them.
  8. Please consider getting this telescope: FirstScope Telescope (item #21024) / FirstScope Telescope / Telescopes / Products / Celestron.com You will be FAR better off than with the one you're looking at.
  9. Yes, 'back in the good old days', etc... But the point being made to you thus far is why you are so mule-ish as to re-inventing the wheel rather than a more practical solution. This being pointed out (albeit more bluntly than others have) I could understand (even cheer) your position if it were because your real aim is to have fun experimenting with the 'what if's' of hacking something together. But, you see, it's not exactly clear to us whether this is the case or not so... By the way, I am looking forward to reading about what does end up happening and to seeing any photo's you come up with.
  10. I don't know how you've tested the problem as you don't write much about that. So at the risk of coming off sounding like a git have you tried narrowing down what piece of equipment is actually causing the trouble? For example, try using the ccd on the telescope without the auto-focuser on the telescope. If you can manually achieve focus then it's a problem with the auto-focuser. If you can't manually achieve focus then you're looking at mirror location or issues with the ccd itself. Have you gone to the QHYCCD forum to see if others are having similar issues? There could be some hack you can perform to get it working with your telescope found there. qhyccd.com - Index I guess what I'm trying to say is that before you choose one of your listed options you should try to narrow down what your problem really is. It could end up saving you money.
  11. Sure, but most libraries only allow you to renew the checked out item 1 or 2 times before requiring you to return the item.
  12. Same thing here. Spent 15 or so minutes setting up Nikon D3000 to do some moon shots the past several nights and just as it rises above the tree tops along comes these nice clouds for it to hide behind. Wait an hour then another then another.... finally I just had to say enough and go to bed.
  13. Try to focus on something a great deal bigger and closer. Say, the moon. Then move outward from there.
  14. Have you considered contacting the mfg of the object to which the screws belong for help in locating where replacement's can be found?
  15. Try this: Nexstar 5 :: CelestronLife.com Forum Read the last post in the thread.
  16. As a general rule of being a 'cheap so and so' I tend not to purchase books right off. Instead I like to go to my local library and see if a copy is available. I thumb through it to see if it holds any promise and if it does then I check it out and read it. The book the OP is talking about was SO GOOD that I immediately went online at amazon and purchased one so I wouldn't have to keep going back and forth to the library to look things up. Great book.
  17. During the past few weeks of cloudy skies I've been spending some of what would have been observing time learning how to use my Nikon D3000 DSLR. After many hours using the camera on the tripod I came to the definite conclusion I should get a 'Right Angle Viewer' for the viewfinder. I wasn't sure whether I should get the Nikon DR-6 Right Angle Viewfinder or some other brand that was anywhere between 1/3 to 1/2 the price. I phoned the local office of the national photographic chain and immediately after pressing the number to speak with a representative I knew things weren't going to turn out the way I had thought... you see, the 'on hold' music was... 100 bottles of beer on the wall.
  18. H2IKXF

    Aero, ergo sum?

    The curse was broken on 2010.03.03. See photo album for shot taken.
  19. You can also get the stuff at any auto supply store. You know, the stuff used to 'temporarily' repair that broken taillight. Be careful though it's sold as a tape and just cellophane w/no sticky-side to it. You want the non-sticky cellophane.
  20. An old trick used by many vehicle owners in North America to keep frost (and snow) off the windshield is to place a beach towel over it. When you come out to the car just lift the towel off and 'hey presto' no snow, ice or frost to scrape off. Try it with your telescope. WARNING: DO NOT USE PLASTIC If moisture gets between the plastic and metal or glass it will freeze the plastic to the metal or glass.
  21. I track the ISS using one of two methods. The first is the European Space Agency (ESA) website: http://esa.heavens-above.com/esa/iss_step1.asp?nored=1 The second is an open source program called 'gpredict' that tracks a whole oil tanker full of satelites providing you with more info on them than you'd care to know. Project homepage = http://gpredict.oz9aec.net/documents.php Download page = http://sourceforge.net/projects/gpredict/files/
  22. H2IKXF

    Earth's Moon

    Earth's Moon
  23. Actually at that point they can be either perpendicular or parallel depending on how people put them in the storage cases. I'm soooo terribly sorry I did forget about all those people who use Dob's (among others) where the eye piece is precisely parallel to the ground when attached to the tube. My refractor's eye pieces sit at a 90° angle to the tube. When pointing the OTA at an object in the sky the eye piece is then "at or very close to perpendicular to the ground". Not exactly or precisely just "at or very close to". But that wasn't the point of my statement. I was pointing out that the tech can't work on telescope objectives and mirrors due to the size involved and the angles. Gravity is too powerful for the amount of liquid (whether propelled/impelled by spinning or electrical current) to create a convex or concave shape and hold it. HOWEVER.... on smaller scales... like an eye piece it's possible for it to work. Don't tell me about how it won't work because it violates the laws of physics tell the inventors who've actually developed a working model and are now at the pre-production stages for incorporating this tech into the optics of camera's so people don't have to purchase so many different lenses.
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