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joenap

Hello from across the pond.

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Hi everyone,

I live outside of Los Angeles (far enough for darker skies) and liked your Stargazers Lounge enough to join. Hope you don't mind a an Italian yank on board. Look forward to participating. I use a very modified 12" Meade Lightbridge and am partial to observing deep sky objects and nebulas. Until later,

Joe Napolitano

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Hi Warthog,

I've changed all collimation screws to knobs, changed collimation springs to much heavier ones from Farpoint Astronomical, ones that hold collimation. To get the best contrast possible, I blacked out around all interior surfaces where they were white and added an Astrozap shroud and light shield. I added Farpoint counterweights, and the one I'm most proud of: I covered the trusses with black heat shrink tubing which feels like a hard rubber coating, very nice. I added a handle to guide the scope easier and turned the focuser 45 degrees which is more natural to most viewing positions. I added a a Telrad but have since been using a green laser mounted which I'm finding to be a much better setup with this scope. I'll be adding some cork to the area where the trusses attach to keep them from shifting after collimation (something I just read about on another forum). I'm using a Hotec laser to collimate these days and have found that with this size truss dob a good collimation is real important.

I'm planning more in the future, I just got this scope in December.

Do you have a Lightbridge?

cheers, Joe

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Hi Joe

Greetings to you across the pond and a warm welcome to SGL, hope you enjoy the forum.

John.

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Do you have a Lightbridge?

cheers, Joe

No, but I'm about to embark on making a 11.75" Dob. Thanks for the heads-up on Farpoint, as I am looking for that kind of spring. You are obviously a creative worker. You should go to the Equipment forum and post some pics.

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Mick, Very nice scope. What did you use on your trusses?

Joe

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Good luck on the new dob. BTW the guys at Farpoint are truly great. My scope had a newer version of collimation screws which were a different size than what they were selling as an upgrade. I called them to discuss it and they ended up sending me their tool dye to re bore my screw holes to be able to use the upgrade (at no charge). Which I actually never had to do, because once we found out that Meade changed the specs and are making different sized bolts - you guessed it, Farpoint is making me a set the right size and it will become one of their products. All that and they make quality stuff. Can't say enough about them. James and Cary are the guys there.

Clear Skies,

Joe

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Hi Joe - welcome to SGl and top tip on the mods for your LB. I'm about to sign up to the 16" version and like yours, it's modified in many ways - and based on the Meade LB group on Yahoo, will be adding a few more.

I understand that the 16" version has springs that are "strong enough" to hold collimation irrespective of the position of the tube, but the 12" needed stronger springs. Hope that's true.

Will also be looking @ the counterweight system you mentioned

Anyhow, nice to have you on board. You will notice that there are some seriously helpful people here in SGL and it's a great place to rest until the skies clear

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Hi Joe. Do you ever get up to Mount Wilson? Is there a public facility there for visits etc? I love the history of astronomy, especially the American scene in the first half of the 20th century.

Olly

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Thanks also for the warm welcome and let me know if you need any help or assistance once you get your Lightbridge. Also, I haven't seen any talk about Explore Scientific. I'm not sure if they are even distributing over there yet. It's a new company here that sells scopes and are just releasing a new eyepiece that I got to use a few weeks back. It was a prototype. 100 degree fov and 14mm. It was pretty amazing. Heard of it?

Joe

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Olly,

Yes Mt Wilson is tricky though, you have to book it so far in advance it's never a guarantee with weather. Here's info if you want to check it out: http://www.mtwilson.edu/60-inch/60inVisitorPackage.pdf

There's another place we go to a lot with much darker skies - Mt Pinos, about an hour out of Los Angeles. A large parking lot at the top of the mountain, great on a clear night. One of my favorites is still Joshua Tree, where you can camp out. About 1 1/2 hrs from Los Angeles. And yes same place as the U2 album. A special place.

Clear Skies,

Joe

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