What scope do you prefer for outreach?
Posted 27 August 2012 - 06:21 PM
Posted 27 August 2012 - 10:40 PM
The XT10 I mentioned above has a new observing buddy. I just added an Orion XT4.5 piggyback. It's pictured in the Reflectors forum (Messing Around...) and in my equipment photos in the galleries at the bottom of the forums page. I will be able to put the digital EP in one focuser and let the humans look in the other one at the same time.
So THAT'S how yer gonna use it?
Brilliant. Whatever the case, it's sure to attract a lotta attention. I'd certainly cross the street for that.
Posted 30 August 2012 - 12:34 AM
Also pictured: mylar-filtered camcorder, PST with Meade electronic EP running a TC/VCR for crowd viewing and recording.
Posted 30 August 2012 - 07:12 PM
Brilliant. And yes. Think we're gonna start providing donuts as I am electronically challenged. Very nice.
Posted 03 October 2012 - 08:49 PM
Posted 06 October 2012 - 09:37 AM
It's size and construction also serves as an example to the public that anyone with some effort can build a telescope just as good as mine.
(Went to yer blog...Yer 6" Cherry Dob is SO beautiful, but yeah, I see what you mean about yer 10." Simple and elegant, and so compact! I would definitely be inspired to believe that even I could have a telescope. Congrats on yer blog, BTW. I've bookmarked it. Thanks.)
So much great stuff in this thread...
Posted 07 October 2012 - 10:53 AM
Posted 08 October 2012 - 10:57 AM
I usually take my 18", just because, it's generally the largest scope present (and quite frankly, the easiest scope for me to transport/setup), and gives folks the best chance to see some faint fuzzies in a little more detail. It's
a little more 'hands on', since I have to track manually, but the responses I get are worth the extra effort.
Now, if the Moon is well past first quarter, perhaps not the greatest viewing site... I'll take my SCT and focus on lunar/planetary targets. When on the Moon, I offer up my hand controller, let kids 'pan' across the surface. They get a real kick out of that.
NOW... if I'm running late, I'll sometimes grab my 8" Cave OTA and attach it to a Dob base I retrofitted it to.
By the way, I'm not one of these people who pulls out the cheap eyepieces for the public star party. The general public appreciates the views through the expensive glass, just as much as I do. Eye lash/finger smudges are easy enough to clean off.
Posted 10 October 2012 - 07:37 AM
Posted 10 October 2012 - 09:39 PM
Oooo... I'd love to see an 18" at our outreach events!
Here's my granddaughter Karina using my 18" at the Grand Canyon Star Party, where it is often the smallest among the dozen or so at that end of the lot. Luckily, Paul Lorenz set up his 16" behind mine so mine wouldn't feel so tiny among the eight or ten 22-24"
Posted 23 October 2012 - 03:09 PM
Posted 02 November 2012 - 10:12 PM
K W TONG
C8+CG5 GT, TSA102+HEQ5 PRO, MK67+Voyager, NexStar 6SE, C5+Mizar K, WO ZS80FD+Kenko NES, Megrez 72FD+Kenko KDS, Mini Borg 50, PST
Posted 03 November 2012 - 09:10 AM
Posted 03 November 2012 - 09:33 PM
The platform is made up from a few pieces of wood that I have lying around. In fact it can be just a single piece of wood of about 5 feet long of cross section of about 3” x 4” which should be strong enough to support the weight of the eq. mount, ota, and counterweight at one end and the balance weight at the other end without undue vibration when in use.
The tripod is from a Celestron CG5-GT eq. mount with 2” stainless steel legs.
The wood beam is bolted onto the top plate of the tripod.
The eq. mount is fixed at one end of the beam through a hole with a long M10 bolt (10 mm metric size). In my case, 2 pc. 11 lb weight is placed at the other for balance. The eq. mount is to be placed adjacent to two legs and the balance weight is "on top" of the single leg at the other end. With this orientation the wheelchair is able to go under the wood beam without colliding with the two tripod legs when viewing the sky object.
At night time, I place small LED light at the lower part of each of the two tripod legs so that the person in wheelchair can avoid colliding with the two tripod legs.
Some of those on wheel chair have very restricted body movements and for which, besides rotating the diagonal, I use long extension tubes in front of the eyepiece to bring the eyepiece closer to their eye. For ota, I use SCT or MAK with 4” or 5” aperture.
Posted 03 November 2012 - 09:35 PM
Posted 15 November 2012 - 04:32 PM
Posted 30 December 2012 - 08:02 PM
I made a dobstaff 10" f4.5 so I didn't have to have kids on the trapeze, but found it killed the knees on some elderly observers. Went to a 10" f7, great views, needed a stepladder but has worked well for all but the littlest.
I've used 6" newts and 4" refractors on a half-hitch mount. And now a 4" Vixen fluorite on a Giro III. I'm in the process of building an 8" f6 Strock-style folding dob for my bicycle astronomy project. That, I hope, is a good happy medium.
Tracking or no tracking, I don't mind, though I do appreciate DSCs. Sometimes M81 and M82 decide to be difficult, but only when I have people standing waiting! The DSCs also allow me to effortlessly find planets like Uranus and Neptune, which people get a kick out of seeing. I do too.
For me the biggest issue isn't aperture or optical quality or tracking or not, but ergonomics. What can people most comfortably look through. There is no one size fits all unfortunately.
A two-step folding ladder and a Starmaster observing chair, which is more like a portable railinged platform, are good to have around.
Posted 30 December 2012 - 10:10 PM
My Celestron NexStar 6se is a real croud pleaser.
The Go-To works well and the optics are very good, actually AMAZINGLY good when you think of the cost of the scope.
I usually bring 2-3 scopes with a friend or 2
Bringing my old Celestron C8 and showing what can be bought on the used market for $395.00.- $500.00 is a great way to
get people started
So is the old RV6 which can be found for as little as $200.00!