The Lap Scope
Posted 26 June 2010 - 10:08 PM
Posted 27 June 2010 - 12:54 AM
Posted 25 July 2010 - 02:48 PM
Thanks for the the food for thought.
Posted 25 July 2010 - 04:57 PM
Thanks for the article.
Posted 27 July 2010 - 12:16 PM
After reading it, I'd like to suggest a new title for Doug: "Mr. Metaphor"...
Posted 04 December 2011 - 06:04 PM
I might give something like this a shot in the future. Would be a bit of all right to have something you could just sit down and use..
Posted 22 February 2012 - 11:59 PM
Posted 23 February 2012 - 08:32 AM
Great article and a neat little telescope.
I have a 4.5" ball scope that has served me as a lap scope from time to time. Mounting the laser pointer makes it easier to position objects in the field of view. Just click on the laser and point. Carefully look in the eyepiece without moving the scope and you have your object. Years ago, my first view of M78 - Casper the Friendly Ghost - was through my lap scope.
But yes, you do have to control your breathing if you want a nonpulsating image. And I'm afraid the lap scope is pretty much limited to warm weather viewing. I've yet to find a green laser pointer that will continue to work below about 40 degrees F.
Posted 23 February 2012 - 10:26 AM
Posted 24 February 2012 - 02:11 AM
I hauled out my 5" f/5 OTA and spent about 20 minutes lap scoping. It was a pretty darned interesting experience. The views were surprisingly good. I had thought the scope would be all over the place and hard to steady, but I found that by sort of gently pulling down into my lap I could hold it as steady or steadier than my 70mm binocular. With a 32mm Plossl the view was sort of like a binocular on steroids (albeit with just one eye).
Navigating was confusing. I had a *very* hard time reconciling the motions of the scope and the FOV. I've been using dobs since day one so I didn't expect that, but somehow going handheld changed the game. I have an image-erector somewhere that came with my second-hand Astroscan--I will dig that out and see if the workings are any more intuitive with an erect image.
Oddly enough, the navigating confusion didn't make the experience any less enjoyable. In fact, it was kinda cool to be lost in the sky again, just panning around and seeing what I could find. I liked it enough to want to try it again, image erector or no. One more tool in my observing toolkit, and for that I am grateful.
I am out fairly frequently with people who haven't stargazed before. I like the idea of parking someone with the scope and the Milky Way and just having them go nuts.
Posted 24 February 2012 - 06:54 AM
Posted 24 February 2012 - 12:18 PM
Posted 24 February 2012 - 04:45 PM
It also goes without saying - but I'll say it anyway! - that a lap scope pretty much has got to be a short-tube Newt.
Quite! And the Newt in question needs to be appropriately sized for the observer. I've seen ads in which people use an Astroscan as a lap scope, but I'm 6'2". If I set the Astroscan in my lap it is hard to get my collarbones to the eyepiece, let alone my eyes!
Posted 24 February 2012 - 05:09 PM
Posted 24 February 2012 - 08:33 PM
That is just plain clever. Thanks for sharing your ideas and experiences. Beats the heck out of oversized binos IMO.
Posted 26 February 2012 - 08:34 AM
Posted 26 February 2012 - 11:22 AM
Thanks for the great Article Doug!
Posted 26 February 2012 - 12:32 PM
Posted 26 February 2012 - 12:57 PM
Posted 26 February 2012 - 11:36 PM
Posted 27 February 2012 - 06:55 AM
I especially like the way you captured the wonder of visually observing. The comparison to great art is a good analogy.