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User Reviews


Wireless Telescope Control for Celestron (and Compatible) Scopes

May 28 2016 11:45 AM | tom_fowler in User Reviews

Wireless control of telescopes is quite handy as it frees the observer from being tethered to the scope mount by a wire. In fact it is clear that this is the wave of the future. Astronomy equipment tends to lag behind the technology curve—Celestron’s hand controllers are about 20 years out of date in terms of display, wireless capability, and other areas. (Vixen’s StarBook controllers are an example of a more modern design but they are not wireless). Fortunately it is possible to not only add wireless capability, but do so with equipment that most astronomers already have (smartphones, tablets) and that can handle observing lists, display planetarium views, give detailed information on objects observed, and even in some cases speak object descriptions. In this review I want to compare briefly the two major ways to implement wireless control of Celestron telescopes: (1) WiFi, using the Celestron SkyPortal (#93973) and (2) Bluetooth, using a serial Bluetooth adapter.

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A Review of Teeter STS18

May 04 2016 06:43 PM | Mr. Marbles in User Reviews

For the better part of four years, I have called STS18 my own. To reiterate, it is the most gratifying astronomy-based purchase I have made yet. In this hobby, each purchase calls for careful deliberation and is circumscribed by a different set of financial thresholds. Every night, after wrapping up an observing session at Landis Arboretum, as I wend my star-sated self home while the world sleeps, my toes invariably thawing, I reflect on the night and the views. Most poignantly, I reflect on the friends with whom I share the stars and the gear which has bound us together and furnished our friendships. While our hobby is not cheap, its most important parts could never be priced.

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MesuMount 200 Review

Mar 20 2016 07:53 PM | Laperuz in User Reviews

All these years the MesuMount200 served me very well. I’m yet to see any problem requiring a service. As a matter of fact I am yet to see a single frame that was lost due to the Mount. I think it nicely fits the niche of a midsize observatory or even a large field mount. It is priced very competitively. If you get one I’m sure you won’t regret making that decision.

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First Light with the Prototype 8x42 Space WalkerTM 3D Binoculars

Mar 06 2016 07:16 PM | BillP in User Reviews

The Space Walker 3D Binoculars were a complete joy to use and as effortless as any binocular. There was no adjusting needed for the 3D effects as it is built into the product with no adjustment capability for the user. As a result, these 3D binoculars were intuitive and effortless, providing bright, sharp, and nicely contrasted astronomical views with very pronounced levels of depth.

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INTERSTELLARUM DEEP-SKY ATLAS (FIELD EDITION) REVIEW

Feb 16 2016 08:57 AM | KidOrion in User Reviews

Stoyan and Schurig have produced an atlas that, while not perfect, may be the most user-friendly field atlas available to amateur astronomers with moderate-sized telescopes—an atlas that might stand as the apotheosis of the printed atlas in a day and age dominated by astronomy apps and planetarium programs.

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THE BAADER BBHS-SITALL SILVER DIAGONAL

Feb 15 2016 04:14 PM | BillP in User Reviews

The Baader BBHS dielectric protected silver diagonal distinguished itself by pulling in fainter stars, showing minimal scatter, and presenting colorful stars and planetary features more richly colored, with its silver technology besting the defacto standard for high performance dielectric diagonals. Its Clicklock mechanism provided a level of ergonomic ease far surpassing other locking technologies I have used. It clearly demonstrated low levels of perceived scatter, the ability to bring into view the dimmer of stars in clusters than the other diagonals, the ability to make more authoritative double star splits, and the ability to show the faintest extents of nebula. All these attributes were highly welcomed and they clearly enhanced my observations. Most surprising however, was how brightly and vividly the BBHS technology portrayed the colors of stars and of planetary features, showing colors more richly saturated and more beautifully bright than even the best dielectric technology diagonal could muster. The views through the BBHS of brightly colored stars accentuated in familiar clusters, and of a richly colored GRS coursing its way across Jupiter were nothing less than truly memorable.

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Explore Scientific AR 102

Feb 09 2016 10:02 AM | phxbird in User Reviews

My overall impression is outstanding! It is a great deal for the money, even at the non-sale price of $399. At the current sale price of $299 it is almost a steal! The optics are very good, the fit and finish are outstanding and it is light and portable. Overall, it is a real bargain.

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Review: davejlec's Paralellogram Mount

Feb 08 2016 11:13 AM | H-D Moose in User Reviews

CN member davejlec designed and built an excellent product. His price was extremely reasonable (especially compared to the commercially available options for 10lb. capacity parallelograms), and he went above and beyond to support me – the buyer.

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Annals of the Deep Sky, Volumes One and Two

Feb 08 2016 09:59 AM | desertstars in User Reviews

This past summer (2015) saw the release of the first two volumes of an ambitious new astronomy series written by Jeff Kanipe and Dennis Webb, the authors of the well-received book, The Arp Atlas of Peculiar Galaxies: A Chronicle and Observer's Guide. The series carries the lofty title of Annals of the Deep Sky, and has already been compared favorably to the much-loved Burnham’s Celestial Handbook.

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Discovery 17.5” Split Tube Dobsonian Telescope

Feb 07 2016 09:16 AM | clay1022 in User Reviews

I love this scope, I knew it was what I wanted the moment I saw it. Not a bunch of poles to put together, collimation holds, no stray light in the optical path, dew is not an issue, and it is just a base and two pieces, 3 minutes and I'm together, another 2 minutes tops and Im collimated.

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