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 Amateur Telescope Making (ATM)

"Dew Shield" Eyepiece Case
[How To | 04/17/03 | by Matt Heere
I have discovered that three things are universally true about astronomical observing: 1. The farther you travel to get to your observing site, the mor. . .

A Handy Excel Eyepiece Graph
[How To | 01/17/05 | by Aaron McNeely
Each type of telescope provides a unique set of magnifications for its eyepieces. In this article, I will describe a technique for displaying these magnifi. . .

A Homemade Dew Shield For the 10
[How To | 04/17/03 | by John R. Duchek
I have been an amateur astronomer for the last 5 years or so. I owned a Celestron 9.25" as my first SCT, and made a "flexible dew shield" for it. I was nev. . .

A Homemade Sliding Refractor Dewcap
[How To | 04/17/03 | by Terry Alford
A dewcap is usually a pretty easy item to construct. You can fashion one from almost any lightweight material that is round or can be made round. If this m. . .

A New Simple Layout For A Large Refractive Astronomical Binocular
[Article | 06/18/10 | by Bill Zmek
As we all know, the main layout problem to solve for binoculars having objectives larger in diameter than the observer’s interpupillary spacing is how to b. . .

A Polarization Sundial
[How To | 01/24/11 | by Marty Moyer
This simple sundial works very well and is the model Schafer described using a shallow pool of water in the bottom for the polarization reflection.. . .

A Simple And Stable Alt-Az Mount For Short, Lightweight Refractors
[Article | 07/11/10 | by Ed De Mateo
The mount and tripod exceeded my expectations. It is great for small scopes under three pounds weight, such as an Orion ST80, Celestron Travel Scope, etc. . . .

A Simple Compact Portable Power Pack
[Article | 08/06/10 | by Jim McAfee
My travel to Easter Island to photograph the July 2010 total eclipse prompted me to assemble a compact light weight battery pack to power my AstroTrac TT32. . .

A Simple Cone Error Correction Procedure
[How To | 09/15/10 | by Ian Thompson
Most of the procedures I have read utilise Polaris as a reference star and the method cannot be generalised Also, such procedures are not applicable to the. . .

A Simple Do It Yourself Sun Finder for Under $20
[How To | 10/10/10 | by Ian Thompson
This simple finder is accurate enough to centre the sun in a 60’ field of view eyepiece. It takes only 30 minutes to make and fits easily over the end of a. . .

A Strong, Economical Eyepiece/Accessory Case
[How To | 04/17/03 | by Terry Alford
Every amateur astronomer knows he/she must have an eyepiece case. Over the years I have used all of the following: coat pockets, re-sealable plastic bags, . . .

About Refractive Objectives
[How To | 04/17/03 | by Mike Palermiti
The Achromatic objective typically uses two different glass types to cause the red and blue ends of the spectrum to converge towards a single focal point. . . .

Adding an Anti-Slide Ring To a Newtonian
[How To | 02/27/05 | by Robert Meunier
For a while, I have had a simple telescope problem that needed a simple solution. I own an Orion 8-inch Skyview Pro equatorially mounted Newtonian. It’s a . . .

An Easy to Make, Inexpensive “EL” Mount
[How To | 10/14/03 | by Terry Alford
“You may eventually make something much fancier, but for a starter there is no better telescope mount than the turn-on-threads variety made of pipe fitting. . .

An Introduction to Planetary Drawing
[How To | 04/17/03 | by Eric Jamison
I hadn't expected to see the feature on Jupiter that night. I had recently purchased a used Edmund 4-1/4" f/10 equatorial reflector (for $60, which was a l. . .

An Introduction to Planetary Drawing
[How To | 04/17/03 | by Eric Jamison
I hadn't expected to see the feature on Jupiter that night. I had recently purchased a used Edmund 4-1/4" f/10 equatorial reflector (for $60, which was a l. . .

An Underhanded Introduction To Astronomy
[How To | 04/17/03 | by Mark A. Fox
The following is a fairly rambling and disorganized discussion of a set of problems that seem to plague anyone who has to balance a particularly strong ast. . .

Astronomy and My Marriage(s)
[How To | 04/17/03 | by Terry Alford
As a youngster in the early 1950s I delighted in reading tales about the "future". Isaac Isamov talked about robots. Arthur Clarke wrote about space statio. . .

Astrosystems Telekit
[How To | 09/27/03 | by Stacey Thater
If you are like me, you are always purchasing different telescopes in the vain hope of finding THE one telescope that can fulfill all of your observing nee. . .

Binoculars, Astronomy, and Exit Pupils
[How To | 04/17/03 | by Bill Greer
Binoculars are commonly described by their magnification and objective diameters. A pair of 7x50 binoculars have a magnification of 7 and objectives that a. . .

Broke Back Solutions #2: How to make big heavy scopes easy to move
[How To | 04/19/12 | by Tom Harrison
Here is my solution for a one trip, everything at once, no heavy lifting, already set-up to go, scope.. . .

Building a Cheap Effective Light Shield
[How To | 04/17/03 | by John R. Duchek
Like many amateur astronomers, I suffer from a light polluted neighborhood environment. We have a street lamp to the southeast, all night spots on houses t. . .

Building a Cheap Effective Light Shield
[How To | 04/17/03 | by John R. Duchek
Like many amateur astronomers, I suffer from a light polluted neighborhood environment. We have a street lamp to the southeast, all night spots on houses t. . .

C8 Anywhere Project
[How To | 09/22/03 | by So King Yan Oldfield
After some careful design, the setup is rather portable. I can take it to walk quite a long way, say up to 30 minutes to even one hour of walk. However, it. . .

Celestron CG-5 Tripod Leg Replacement
[How To | 11/04/04 | by Shawn Carrigan
I'm only offering this article as information on how I fixed what I thought to be a shortcoming on my tripod. I have made sure that this information is acc. . .

Cheap and Easy fix for EQ 3/4/5 Mounts
[How To | 04/17/03 | by PJ Violin
First the head assembly. Nice piece of metal but assembled quite poorly. Lets take the whole thing apart. You will need a wrench/spanner 11/16 or 17mm depe. . .

Cheapo LX-90 (or similar SCT case)
[How To | 09/28/03 | by Donald Scott
So you want a case for your LX-90...well I was in the same place not too long ago and had done a little research, but noticed how expensive telescope cases. . .

Cleaning and Modifying the C11 Beast - Part 1: Removing the Corrector Plate
[How To | 11/28/10 | by Joe Guzman
This article is part 1 in the How-To series “C11 Cleaning & Modification”.. . .

Cleaning and Modifying the C11 Beast - Part 2: Installing a Rail Carry Handle
[How To | 11/28/10 | by Joe Guzman
This article is part 2 in the How-To series “C11 Cleaning & Modification”.. . .

Cleaning and Modifying the C11 Beast - Part 3: Removing the Primary Mirror
[How To | 11/28/10 | by Joe Guzman
This article is part 3 in the How-To series “C11 Cleaning & Modification”.. . .

Cleaning and Modifying the C11 Beast - Part 4: Flocking the Interior
[How To | 11/28/10 | by Joe Guzman
This article is part 4 in the How-To series “C11 Cleaning & Modification”.. . .

Cleaning and Modifying the C11 Beast - Part 5: More Grab and control handles
[How To | 11/28/10 | by Joe Guzman
This article is part 5 in the How-To series “C11 Cleaning & Modification”.. . .

Cleaning and Modifying the C11 Beast - Part 6: Installing side control rails
[How To | 11/28/10 | by Joe Guzman
This article is part 6 in the How-To series “C11 Cleaning & Modification”.. . .

Cleaning and Modifying the C11 Beast - Part 7: Cleaning the optical surfaces - Primary Mirror
[How To | 11/28/10 | by Joe Guzman
This article is part 7 in the How-To series “C11 Cleaning & Modification”.. . .

Cleaning and Modifying the C11 Beast - Part 8: Cleaning the Corrector Plate
[How To | 11/28/10 | by Joe Guzman
This article is part 8 in the How-To series “C11 Cleaning & Modification”.. . .

Cleaning and Modifying the C11 Beast - Part 9: Installing the Corrector Plate and Closing the Tube
[How To | 11/28/10 | by Joe Guzman
This article is part 9 in the How-To series “C11 Cleaning & Modification”.. . .

Cleaning Eyepieces
[How To | 03/01/04 | by Rich Warp
Cleaning eyepieces is an easy and essential step to getting the most out of your viewing. Eyepieces, if dirty, will provide degraded images. While care sho. . .

Cleaning your Newtonian's optics and keeping them that way
[How To | 04/17/03 | by Aries N. Fisher
It was another December Saturday night, about 1:00am. I went on my roof (currently my observing site, since I live near the the center of Athens, Greece, w. . .

Closing a Can of Worms: Eliminating Periodic Error
[How To | 04/21/12 | by Stephen Ruhl
Converting your telescope's RA drive from an open control system to a closed control system can eliminate the need for PEC.. . .

Collimating the Newtonian with the South Cave Collimator
[Article | 07/08/10 | by Peter Clark
Correcting or aligning Newtonian telescopes is said to have become more difficult as focal lengths and ratios have shortened and enhanced optics appeared. . . .

Collimation And The Newtonian Telescope V.4
[How To | 09/20/11 | by Don Pensack
What follows is a description of how to collimate accurately to a level where collimation errors no longer influence the image quality.. . .

Collimation Using a Web Cam
[How To | 07/27/07 | by Scott Tannehill
Web Cam-Based Newtonian Collimation using a Barlowed Laser Collimator. . .

Collodion Optics Cleaning
[Article | 12/19/05 | by Joe Cipriano
Cleaning the optics of our telescopes is something most of us dread . . .

Communication is the key
[How To | 04/17/03 | by Blaise Serpas
I am the type of person to become obsessed with interests that I have. The astronomy bug hit me one night while surfing the internet. I have always been in. . .

Complete Collimation of the Meade Schmidt Newtonian
[Article | 05/12/08 | by Peter Kennett
Other than seeing conditions, nothing will improve the optical performance of a telescope than accurate collimation - the act of ensuring that all optical . . .

Connecting RoboFocus to CCD Soft
[Article | 12/08/09 | by Leonard Marek
I have had the frustrations in connecting RoboFocus with CCD Soft in the setup. Even though CCD Soft does have RoboFocuser in its pull-down menu, the user . . .

Constructing a Galilean Refractor
[Article | 09/10/08 | by Chris Lord
Constructing a Galilean refractor based on "Old Discoverer. . .

Convert Any Flashlight to a Night Vision Ready Red
[Article | 12/17/09 | by Jordan McCullough
As many astronomy gazers might discover, dark adaption is the utmost priority in viewing the night sky. And, unless you're . . .

Creating a Split Tube Meade 16” Starfinder Dob
[How To | 12/10/04 | by Erik Wilcox
I purchased this scope because of its incredible value and tremendous light gathering capabilities. The Meade Starfinder dobsonians are well known for thei. . .

Curved Spider Vanes
[How To | 05/27/03 | by Daniel Mounsey
I have been a lunar & planetary observer for over ten years and have tested curved spiders extensively. Curved spiders are nothing new and have been around. . .

Dr. Clay's Supercharging Service
[Article | 02/02/06 | by Bill Diamond
The moon, the moon, came the cry from the back of my car one night. . .

ETX90ec RA Gearbox Repair
[How To | 11/25/11 | by Brad Myers
I hope this helps reduce the time of repairs for those of you that want to resurrect your own ETX scope. This base is certainly the weak link of the whole . . .

Eyepiece Review Pitfalls
[How To | 06/15/01 | by Bill Brady
If you have been reading eyepiece reviews you may have noticed that different reviewers give different results for the same eyepiece. Reviewers contradict . . .

Filter cell for Baader Astro Solar Material
[How To | 04/17/03 | by Joseph Donahue
This cell holds the material without any adhesives. I can swap the various materials in seconds. There is no stress on the filter material: it can expand a. . .

Fix Problems in a CG4 Equatorial Mount
[How To | 07/25/10 | by Ian Thompson
Last year I procured a pre-owned CELESTRON C102 HD refractor on a CG4 GEM mount. Previously, the mount had seen considerable use and neglect, and was suffe. . .

Fixing the Giro Mount
[User Review]  | 09/19/03 | by So King Yan Oldfield
In my telescope@home project, it consists of a C8 OTA, a Giro mount, and the Giro Drive. I suppose the more fragile part is the C8 OTA, and the next would . . .

Flocking a Newtonian
[How To | 04/06/04 | by Carlos Andrade
Flocking a Newtonian ReflectorLet me begin by saying that I'm pretty much a newbie to Astronomy, having started with a 60mm department store scope in march. . .

Fluorite in Sub Zero Weather
[How To | 04/17/03 | by Roland Christen
Crystalline Flourite, and to a lesser extent ED glass, is sensitive to thermal shock, but only under certain circumstances. You could take a 6" disc of Flu. . .

Forum Faq V4
[Article | 03/24/05 | by Tom Trusock
Problems logging in or creating an account in our forums? You may want to read this FAQ. . .

Glarebuster Review
[How To | 04/18/05 | by Daniel W. Rickey, Ph.D.
A full cutoff light fixture. . .

Globular Clusters For Binoculars
[How To | 08/15/01 | by Terry Alford
One of my favorite ways to spend time is to cruise a dark, starry sky with binoculars. It seems so relaxing to gaze at wide swaths of sky and often have se. . .

Hanging Binocular Mounts
[How To | 06/18/04 | by Tom Benjamin
Binocular viewing is a total system involving the optics, the mounting, and the kinesiology of the viewer. The human neck is very versatile and can be rota. . .

Heavenly Life-Planner
[How To | 11/15/01 | by Wing Eng
All of us want to live a long, productive and enjoyable life! For those involved in amateur astronomy, looking forward to that next exciting eclipse, occul. . .

Hitchhiker's Guide To Astronomy
[How To | 08/06/03 | by Burton Wright
These days you can't just grind your own mirror in the basement, buy some Kellners and enjoy the night-sky from your back yard. Astronomy has been improved. . .

Home made Binoviewer
[Article | 06/21/10 | by Frank Skeen
I enjoy using this homemade unit, it is much easier for my eyes and my family and friends. It's really great on most objects I have looked at with them.. . .

Homemade Sun Finder
[How To | 04/17/03 | by Matt Mills
Watching sunspots grow and fade as they cross the surface of the sun has been allot of fun for me. I’ll haul out my dob for a quick peak sun when the surfa. . .

How to Adapt the Vixen SkySensor to the G11
[User Review]  | 04/17/03 | by Antonio Zanardo
Some time ago I had the opportunity to buy a secondhand Losmandy G11 mount. The previous owner purchased it to use it on the field, but soon he realized th. . .

How To Build a Portable Astronomy Hutch
[How To | 04/04/07 | by Dennis Simmons
This article describes how I designed and built a portable, collapsible observing hutch. . .

How To Build A Telescope And Retain Your Sanity
[How To | 04/17/03 | by Jeff Verona
Like many amateur astronomers, I rediscovered my love for the stars in midlife. I owned a ubiquitous department-store refractor in my youth, and I followed. . .

How to Build an Economical "Double-Stack" Finder
[Article | 12/17/09 | by Tristan Schwartz
As many astronomers know, no single type of finderscope can be considered the end-all and be-all of sighting equipment. Many observers have multiple sighti. . .

How to Calculate the Focal Length of an SCT
[Article | 03/19/10 | by Ed Zarenski
This question comes up fairly often, particularly when people are interested in knowing the actual magnification they are using while viewing with an SCT. . . .

How to Construct a Portable Power Supply
[How To | 01/07/06 | by Bob Kerner
More Power Scotty!. . .

How To Cut Holes in Camera Case Foam
[How To | 04/17/03 | by Eric Roel
After reading Dane Courney clever way of cutting foam, I thought that my method of doing the same would complement his. I think that Dane's way is perfect . . .

How to dehumidify a Telescope
[Article | 08/09/08 | by Dan Kuchta
How To Remove Humidity from the INSIDE of your SCT. . .

How to get eyepiece focal length and other useful data from indoors
[How To | 01/25/11 | by Samuel de Roa
Two methods for calculating the focal length and other data of an eyepiece. An Excel sheet is provided for computing different parameters.. . .

How to Improve the C102-HD
[How To | 11/08/03 | by Chuck Zdeb
I bought my Celestron C102-HD because I wanted a moderate aperture quick-look scope. My primary scope is a TEC 8” Mak on a Losmandy G11 mount, which is a w. . .

How To Make a Solar Finder
[How To | 04/17/03 | by Eric Roel
For Solar observing and imaging, I use an 6" f/12 that has a 4" f/9 refractor piggybacked and several finder scopes. To center the sun I point the telescop. . .

How to Make a Tripod Dollie
[How To | 04/17/03 | by Matt Mills
Wouldn’t it be nice if my large aperture telescope could also be my "quick peek" telescope. The weight of my vintage Celestron Ultima 8" SCT was preventing. . .

How to make Custom Case Foam Inserts for Cheap Accessory Cases
[How To | 08/30/03 | by Donald Scott
I’ll start off with why. I HATE pick & pluck foam. I’m scared it’ll hold moisture, I’m scared it’ll outgas, and I’m scared it’s not sturdy enough. I prefer. . .

How To Measure TFOV Of Binoculars
[How To | 04/17/03 | by Ed Zarenski
TFOV is how much an area of sky you can see at once. FOV is measured in degrees. From horizon to horizon is 180 degrees. Human eyes can take in about 50° t. . .

How to Ship Items Safely
[Article | 09/15/06 | by Dave Bonandrini
In a past life, I used to design shipping packaging for electronic testing equipment. . . .

How To Write a Product Review
[How To | 04/17/03 | by David Knisely
One of the best ways a person can get information about an astronomical product they are interested in is via a well-written review by someone who actually. . .

How-to Collimate a Laser Collimator
[How To | 04/17/03 | by Hugh Bartlett
The best images come from the best optics, and the most effective way of improving ones optics is to get them aligned properly. The most significant advanc. . .

How-to Cut Camera Case Foam
[How To | 03/15/01 | by Dane Courney
I was looking at some of articals in CloudyNights on eyepiece case construction. I noted something in common ... cutting the foam. I ran into this probl. . .

How-to cut Eyepiece Foam
[How To | 04/17/03 | by Ronald D. Sherman
An easy way to cut soft to semi-rigid foam rubber for vertical mounting of 1.25" eyepieces is to use a 35mm plastic film can as a cutting tool. This will a. . .

How-to Deal with the Tele Vue Instadjust Eyeguard
[How To | 03/26/01 | by Dane Courney
I recently purchased a 5mm Radian eyepiece. First impression indicates it works quite well. Sharp, high contrast image all the way to the edge of the field. . .

How-to Grind and Polish a 6
[How To | 04/17/03 | by Bob Midiri
The best way to solve a problem is to admit there is one. Well, I admit it! I am addicted, hooked, can't get it out of my system, and worst of all, I am ge. . .

How-to Make a Hartmann Mask
[How To | 09/14/04 | by Jason Hissong
In this article, I hope to explain how to make a very inexpensive Hartmann mask to aid you in focusing your telescope for imaging.. . .

How-to Make an Alt-az Pipe Mount
[How To | 02/20/09 | by Ging-Li Wang
Why make an alt-az pipe mount?. . .

How-to Make an Astonomical Eyepiece out of Microscope Eyepieces
[How To | 04/17/03 | by Dane Courney
One of the best eyepieces I have in my collection for astronomical use is a Zeiss E-PL 10x/25 highpoint microscope eyepiece ( Zeiss # 44 42 36 ). This eyep. . .

How-to make Lumicon's Giant Guider and JMI's Motofocuser Interchangeable on 10
[How To | 04/17/03 | by Joseph Donahue
Through the years I discovered that taking the time to prepare an observing list makes for a more enjoyable and efficient observing session. More recently . . .

How-to Optimize YourSkyView Pro Mount
[How To | 12/07/07 | by David Rosenthal
SkyView Pro German Equatorial Mount (GEM) made by Orion is a nice light weight, portable and stable mount . . .

How-to start an introductory eyepiece collection on $50.00
[How To | 04/17/03 | by Allister St. Claire
What follows is one method for starting a quality eyepiece collection for $50. As in most things in life there are many paths to reach the same goal. Adher. . .

How-to tweak the GiroDrive
[How To | 04/17/03 | by So King Yan Oldfield
Disclaimer: I will not be responsible for any damages due to the modifications mentioned below. It includes, even if you have followed the instruction exac. . .

How-to tweak the GiroDrive
[How To | 04/17/03 | by So King Yan Oldfield
Disclaimer: I will not be responsible for any damages due to the modifications mentioned below. It includes, even if you have followed the instruction exac. . .

How-to with an Extender-Q
[How To | 04/17/03 | by Rob Flye
Here is what to do with your Extender-Q, which will miraculously turn your f/5.6 super-portable Sky 90 into an f/8ish by extending it as long as one, and, . . .

Igloo Cooler Eyepiece Case
[How To | 05/20/04 | by James Goggin
Having carried my eyepieces for the last year in a cigar box, I had decided that it was time to upgrade this piece of equipment. I had looked at the commer. . .

Improving contrast by flocking the tube interior of reflector telescopes
[How To | 02/13/05 | by Bill Faatz
I recently purchased an Orion 8 inch f/4.9 reflector OTA. The main use for this scope is wide angle views of the Milky Way starfields with particular empha. . .

Improving the Celestron CG-5 Mount
[How To | 04/17/03 | by Mike McIsaac
Those of you who lurk on the science.astro.amateur newsgroup and Astromart Equipment Talk Forum are familiar with the multitude of postings concerning prob. . .

In Search of an Eyepiece Case
[How To | 04/17/03 | by Rob Schell
As my collection of eyepieces grows ever larger, I encounter the ongoing dilemma of how to safely store and transport them. Naturally, I don't need to keep. . .

Indoor Artificial Star and Null Test
[Article | 03/20/07 | by Darren Drake
Have you ever received a new prized telescope only to have cloudy skies for what seems to be weeks at a time?. . .

Inexpensive 2” housing for 1.25” eyepieces with SurPlus Shed Item L3890D
[How To | 06/17/10 | by Jack Thomas
Here's a way to inexpensively and semi-permanently house 1¼” eyepieces in two inch housings that can be sourced from Surplus Shed.. . .

Inexpensive Observing Chair
[How To | 08/03/05 | by Michael Morris
The new seat was constructed with strips of scrap plywood glued to the underside of the seat to act both as strengtheners and as a wedge that raises the . . .

Intes-Micro Mak-Newt Collimation Procedures
[How To | 04/17/03 | by Paul G. Hyndman
People are sometimes intimidated at the prospect of aligning or tweaking these scopes, but should not be. The collimation process is relatively straight-fo. . .

Learning to Measure Double Stars
[Article | 10/04/05 | by Ian Coster
When I first started observing I spent many hours seeking ‘faint fuzzies’ and this proved to be exceptionally frustrating. Fortunately I do not give up e. . .

Machining a Dob
[Article | 06/16/04 | by Mark Michaels
First of all I have never made a telescope, and never owned one apart from having been given a department store refractor. My wife and I are both avid camp. . .

Making a Corrugated or Sine Spider
[Article | 10/12/05 | by Ed Jones
I noticed that if you bend a flat piece of metal (spider vane) into a large radius it can be straightened easily just by installing it into a telescope . . .

Making a Sturdy Wood Tripod
[How To | 12/20/05 | by Chauveau Mathieu
Making a sturdy wood tripod out of a flimsy aluminium tripod.. . .

Mark Harry 8" F6 Mirror
[How To | 04/17/03 | by Richard Beasley
Well, I rediscovered the excellent performance of a classic Newtonian reflector. I promised myself no more buying, and selling telescopes, but that did not. . .

Mars HOW-TO
[How To | 10/03/05 | by Ron B[ee]
The compilation of on-line resources by my Light Cup on things you want to know about observing the Red Planet, Mars. . . .

Measuring Double Stars with a Micrometer
[Article | 10/17/05 | by Jeff Beish
The observation and measurement of visual double stars is an important area of study in astronomy and astrophysics. This type of observing is an area of . . .

Modification of the Meade LXD55/75 Polar Finder
[How To | 02/12/09 | by Norman Lloyd
Modification of Meade Polar Finder. . .

Modifying a Mirror Cell to Support a Royce Conical Newtonian Mirror
[Article | 08/06/09 | by Danny Lunsford
The Royce conical mirrors represent a great advance in Newtonian mirror technology. . .

Modifying the DMD3/DMD2/DD1 controllers with an ST4 guiding port
[How To | 09/17/11 | by Vlad Dumitrescu
I have put a standard ST-4 port on my DMD3 controller in about one hour and it works very fine. I tried to keep it as low as possible on the outside , the . . .

My Comet Couch Updated - October 2010
[Article | 10/12/10 | by Eugene Artemyeff
Over the years that I have enjoyed using my CC, I have had but one dissatisfaction. Mainly the fact that there were too many weights to carry, install, sto. . .

Notes on Eyepiece Evaluation
[How To | 08/29/01 | by Michael Hosea
Here are some notes on evaluating eyepieces. I chose to list the aberrations that we can more or less easily detect visually and then briefly discuss the p. . .

Observing Saturn's Ring System
[How To | 11/14/01 | by Daniel Mounsey
Saturn has countless rings bunched up into three major groups known as rings A, B and C, visible in amateur telescopes. Although there are more groups like. . .

Obsession 25” f/5 – Rebuilding a Classic
[Article | 07/08/10 | by Dave Bonandrini
Two years ago, the scope in this article was picked up new from Obsession. The owner loves it, but wanted to be able to assemble it by himself without ca. . .

Open Source, Easy "HDR"
[How To | 09/21/11 | by Dave Hensley
The HDR is in quotes because it's not real HDR; I don't think there's any stacking of info into an expanded color depth in what I'm about to describe.. . .

Opinions on Some used Widefield Eyepieces
[Article | 12/29/03 | by John Crilly
I am a big fan of what Al Nagler referred to as the “spacewalk” experience. I like widefield eyepieces and huge eyelenses. Although the latest Nagler line . . .

Opticlean
[How To | 04/17/03 | by Roger Newman
Editors Note: Neither Cloudy Nights nor the author takes responsibility for any problems that may occur from the cleaning articles posted here. If in doubt. . .

Packing a C14, Refractor, and Camping Gear into a Corolla
[Article | 01/17/11 | by Greg Nowell
In this pictorial essay, a Toyota Corolla is loaded with camping gear and appropriate astronomy gear.. . .

Passive Tool Collimation and the Newtonian
[Article | 08/25/09 | by Don Pensack
Collimation is the alignment of the optical parts of a telescope. Though lining up the secondary under the focuser is essential for uniform illumination of. . .

Pentax XL eyepiece protection.
[How To | 04/17/03 | by Tim Bouman
The Pentax XL line is a nice line of eyepieces: high quality, easy to use because of their generous eye-relief, very sharp, large field, and para-focal. Si. . .

Pier Design Fundamentals
[How To | 12/05/05 | by Dennis Persyk
Telescope piers can be designed and built to meet predetermined specifications. This paper treats the specification of pier deflection. . .

Plotting Deep Sky Objects
[How To | 04/17/03 | by Ed Zarenski
Many people have telescopes that are not Go To or computer driven and it is up to them to learn the sky and find objects on their own. Personally, this is . . .

Plotting Summer Objects
[How To | 04/17/03 | by Ed Zarenski
In my previous "Plotting" article (see Cas-Per Area), I mentioned why I like to mark up my charts like this. It's my way of learning the sky. It prepares m. . .

Polar alignment where Polaris is not visible
[How To | 09/22/11 | by Tom Clark
If you intend to make long time-exposures, drift alignment will still be required, but the above method of using the Sun to find true North and South shoul. . .

Portable Power Primer
[How To | 09/13/03 | by John Crilly
Between imaging equipment, laptops, dew heaters, and com­puterized telescopes there's a growing demand for field power for amateur astronomers. Coincidenta. . .

Poster Board Dew Shields for Any Telescope
[How To | 04/17/03 | by Jay Michaels
Every amateur astronomer has likely dealt with dew at one time or another. The formation of moisture on surfaces that cool below the ambient air temperatur. . .

Project Box - Battery Holder for Celestron CG5 Controller
[Article | 12/22/09 | by Rick Laws
The battery holder that comes with the telescope mount is a light plastic bag which contains a four-battery holder and some wire that are only lightly atta. . .

Rainy Weather and the Brand New Telescope
[How To | 04/17/03 | by Greg Nowell
Contrary to popular opinion, the best thing that can happen is to have your new telescope arrive when it's raining. There's a lot you can do from inside a . . .

Refractor Collimation Issues
[How To | 04/17/03 | by PJ Violin
First remove the focuser and housing. The draw tube will be loose and adjusting the allen screws only adjust the tube down and alignment could be worse. Ge. . .

Rethinking Kriege & Berry - The Double Truss
[How To | 12/27/10 | by Jeff Morgan
It has been nearly twenty years since Wisconsin dentist Dave Kriege gave us the Obsession telescope model, followed by his book with Richard Berry.. . .

Schmidt-Cassegrain Collimation Issues
[How To | 04/17/03 | by PJ Violin
Hey fellow Schmidt-Cassegrain owners. I have done much research on all types of telescopes and own refractors and Schmidt-Cassegrains. I have seen many col. . .

Scribbling in the Dark
[Article | 05/21/07 | by Thomas Watson
Thoughts on How and Why to Record Observations. . .

Scrubbing the Light Cup's Optical Chimney for Santa
[Article | 12/23/06 | by Ron B[ee]
If you're hesitant, afraid, or paralyzed with fear about clean the objective lens of your refractor, read what Chicken B[ee] has done.. . .

Seeing Double
[How To | 04/17/03 | by Stacy Jo McDermott
Double, or binary, stars are some of the most fun and interesting objects to look at in the nighttime sky. Due to almost unlimited objects of this type, bi. . .

Short Eye Relief Eyepieces Usable with Glasses
[How To | 04/17/03 | by Ed Zarenski
I was out viewing a fairly close double star, Rasalgethi - a Her (3.0-5.4/4.6") recording the view in various eyepieces, looking for the upper and lower li. . .

Short notes on Asymmetric Binocular Telescopes
[How To | 06/19/10 | by Alex Choy
The refractive binocular telescopes brings a different dimension of enjoyment to star observing due to its great image clarity and contrast. The asymmetric. . .

Some Thoughts On 'Portable' Multi-Use Refractors
[How To | 04/17/03 | by David A. Novoselsky
One thing that is often overlooked in telescopes is what I call the 'portability' or 'usability' factor. A telescope that can be quickly and easily used wi. . .

Stabilizing the Takahashi TeeGull Altaz Mount
[How To | 04/09/04 | by Richard A. Lapides
In searching for the perfectly stable light-weight altaz mount, I had just about given up. I previously owned a Takahashi TeeGull but sold it because it wa. . .

Star Testing Tips
[How To | 04/17/03 | by PJ Violin
Cloudy Nights ask me to explain what the spherical aberrations undercorrected and overcorrected mean and how to tell what you have as you almost always hav. . .

Tele Vue Parfocal 1.25" Eyepieces
[How To | 07/23/02 | by Wing Eng
My 1 ¼ inch Tele Vue eyepiece collection was recently upgraded as I visited Scope City in San Francisco's Marina District. I was warmly greeted by Sam, the. . .

Testing optical flats - The Raleigh Water test
[How To | 11/28/10 | by Ed Jones
The Raleigh water test for testing optical flats. . .

Testing Optics
[How To | 04/17/03 | by PJ Violin
We all know that various errors are likely to be present in mass-produced telescopes from Synta, Meade, and Celestron. Higher end scope makers do not have . . .

The Atmosphere and Observing - A guide to Astronomical seeing.
[How To | 07/19/02 | by Damian Peach
An observer, be they at a mountain top observatory, or in their own back yard must, at all times contend with the Earth’s atmosphere. It is a notoriously u. . .

The Couch Potato Telescope (bino viewing chair)
[How To | 09/27/03 | by Vincent Bert
I have always loved viewing the night sky through binoculars and I wanted to use them with a full motion chair that did not require a second home mortgage,. . .

The FOVs of the SCT and Dob
[How To | 04/17/03 | by Greg Nowell
While observing with a dob-owning friend recently both of us were somewhat surprised to note that my C14 SCT (schmidt-cassegrain) often had a wider field o. . .

The Hardware Store Dewshield/Glareshield
[How To | 04/17/03 | by John Ford
As many other amateur astronomers, I have searched in vain for a good value in dewshields. Most of the manufacturer's shields seem to be disproportionately. . .

The Ubiquitous Eyepiece Box
[Article | 02/28/06 | by John Mills
Look anywhere at a star party and there it is, in myriad renditions, that trove containing our beloved optical gems - the eyepiece box!. . .

Tips for Keeping both your Significant Other and your Astronomy Hobby
[How To | 04/17/03 | by Meredith Fane
From the perspective of one who is betrothed to an astronomy aficionado, here's my advice on keeping the seas of your relationship calmer than Tranquilitat. . .

Tips on Sharing the Sky with Children (of all ages)
[How To | 04/17/03 | by Tom Trusock
I have an advantage, I admit it. I work with kids in my job. I am the Director of Technology for a public school system. I have been doing astronomy for mo. . .

Trashing My C11 - How I Solved My Dewshield Dilema
[Article | 10/19/05 | by Mark Estes
Dew frustrates me! Growing up on a tobacco farm, harvesting was an early morning event with dew as heavy as a mild rainstorm. This brings us to dew shields. . .

Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star.....How the Stars do Sparkle....Evaluating Seeing Conditions
[How To | 04/17/03 | by Jack Schmidling
These words bring sighs to the romantic but, to the astronomer, they can mean a lost night of useful work. Contrary to popular belief, crisp, clear Winter . . .

Unlocking The Mysteries of The Focault Test
[How To | 04/17/03 | by Bob Midiri
Most amateur astronomers seem to fall in one of the four following categories The satisfied amateur who has purchased commercially made optics. They are. . .

Upgrading a C11 to a Carbon Fiber Tube
[How To | 03/24/07 | by Jerry Wise
I've always liked the look and feel of Carbon Fiber OTAs.. . .

Upgrading SkyWatcher EQ-4 Dual Axis Motor Drives
[How To | 09/11/03 | by Denis Grey
For owners of Great Polaris and similar CG-5 and EQ-4 mounts there is a key economic decision that must be made. Do you buy the cheap Chinese motor drives . . .

Useful Magnification Ranges for Visual Observimg
[How To | 04/17/03 | by David Knisely
Useful for finding objects and for observing ones of large angular size like open clusters, large faint nebulae, or some larger galaxies. For lunar work, i. . .

Using a Multiple Aperture Mask
[How To | 08/02/03 | by Terry Alford
If you own a reflecting telescope it most likely has a spider and diagonal mirror hanging in the light path. You have probably considered making an off-axi. . .

Wal-Mart Special Eyepiece Case
[How To | 02/28/01 | by Chris Stein
Back in the summer of 1998, I had been back in the hobby for a year and was accumulating eyepieces, cool little tools, collimators, and "stuff" faster than. . .

What is the Best Planetary Telescope
[How To | 04/17/03 | by Roland Christen
You will get dozens of different opinions on what is best, but I will tell you that for any given type of scope configuration, be it Newtonian, Cassegrain . . .

What's the best 35mm SLR camera for astrophotography
[How To | 04/17/03 | by Al Canarelli
"What's the best 35mm camera for astrophotography", is a question I've heard asked hundreds of times over the years. The answer is that almost any 35mm SLR. . .

Writing For Your Club's Newsletter
[Article | 10/26/06 | by John Crilly
Like most amateur astronomy organizations, your club probably publishes a newsletter. They are generally used to distribute useful information to the mem. . .

Zero Cost Super Observing Chair
[Article | by Jerry Wise
Over many years of casual observing it seems getting comfortable while at the scope was impossible. You can get reasonably comfortable on a stool for awhil. . .

Zero-Halliburton Type Eyepiece Case
[How To | 04/17/03 | by Danny Cobb
Through good fortune, I was able to obtain all the materials I needed for my astro cases for a mere $10. This included four used Zero-Halliburton type case. . .

Zhumell 12" Dobsonian Altitude Bearing Modification
[How To | 07/27/10 | by Andrew De Luca
The tube still moves like butter but now the bearing clutch grabs and holds. The tube stays erect when applying pressure or moving the scope out of the gar. . .

“Collimating” Binoculars
[How To | 04/17/03 | by Ed Zarenski
Cloudy Nights has been my primary conduit for sharing astronomical information. I am pleased to be a member of the Cloudy Nights community in that they hav. . .

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