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During the Great Recession

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#26 mikey cee

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 10:28 PM

Hi Ed.....It's nice to see that you decided to stay on board around here. I think your perspective is dead on and therefore your contributions are not only entertaining but very pertinent to some of the younger ones coming on board. I too have had an income level that some would blow coffee up their noses over. But so far I'm having the last laugh....along with my bride of some 30 years.....we got married late. You've heard of the old cliche' "it's not what you make that counts...but what you keep". That applies to more than just money and things I might ad. Another very simple principle that I've always believed in is "that just because you have the means to buy any and everything you want doesn't mean that you can afford it". For those that don't understand or believe in this basic premise you're in for a real rude awakening ....hopefully sooner than later! :smirk: Mike

#27 Crayfordjon

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Posted 29 November 2012 - 03:13 AM

Re the comment about full thickness mirrors, back in the mid fifties when I wanted to make a twelve inch Newt, I tried a blank of 1 inch plate glass for the mirror, I made a test mirror which had a large chip on the edge, and was surprised how good it was, I certainly had no problem figuring it in the light of received advice from textbooks that such a thin mirror would be impossible to make. I was sold on thin mirrors and made em like that from there on. Didn't Bernhardt Schmidt make lenses from the bottoms of beer glasses as a "hobby", wonderful man.

#28 Jeff Morgan

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Posted 29 November 2012 - 09:51 AM

Didn't Bernhardt Schmidt make lenses from the bottoms of beer glasses as a "hobby", wonderful man.


Nourished only by brandy and cigars.

#29 Crayfordjon

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Posted 29 November 2012 - 10:32 AM

And he did it all single handed. :roflmao: :roflmao:

#30 ed_turco

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Posted 29 November 2012 - 01:01 PM

I am amazed and humbled by the posts that followed my opening post. I can't put a +1 next to all the posts so I'll put a +100 here and let it go.

I'm going to put something on here that may seem hokey, but this refers to our early telescope makers, some of whom are mentioned here: Here goes:

"Lives of great men all remind us,
We can make our lives sublime,
And departing, leave behind us,
Footprints on the sands of time.
Footprints that perhaps another,
Sailing o'er life's solemn main,
A forlorn and shipwrecked brother,
Seeing shall take heart again.
Then let us be up and doing,
With a heart for any fate!
Still achieving, still pursuing,
Learn to labor and to wait."

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Ed

#31 Jeff Morgan

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Posted 29 November 2012 - 10:20 PM

And he did it all single handed. :roflmao: :roflmao:


That thought didn't occur to me until you mentioned it :roflmao: :roflmao:

#32 Crayfordjon

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Posted 30 November 2012 - 03:21 AM

Yeah, for those not in the know, he blew his hand off making a gunpowder bomb as a kid. Imagine making all those mirrors using only one hand! phew, what a guy. :crazy: :crazy:

#33 highfnum

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Posted 30 November 2012 - 06:51 AM

I'd spent 35k on hobby
But that is over 40 years

#34 roscoe

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Posted 30 November 2012 - 08:06 AM

This thread is really gratifying to me, because I sometimes feel that I'm a kid playing with the big guys..... as a rural person with skills in carpentry and farming, neither of which pay well, I've always been limited to a hundred dollars or so a year for my hobby. I'm sort of envious of the folks who pay more for two eyepieces than I did for my best scope.... but it was I who chose a life in a low-income area, and chose low-income, physically demanding work, so I have only myself to blame for my situation. While I/we have no debts, we also have no retirement savings, and social security will help, but not provide comfort. I'll be working till I drop..... Fortunately for us, we have always lived an alternate, earlier sort of lifestyle, I'm seen as a back-to-the-land'er hippie, except that I never left the land, so have inherited the skills and mindset to live with a low income.
But, in the world of astronomy, I'm finally starting to build my new observatory (I'll be moving out of my converted chicken coop!!) and because I have a small sawmill and wood available on our farm, I'm able to build it for the cost of some concrete and roofing. A few days cutting a couple of trees and sawing all the lumber (which happened a year ago, so the boards are dry and ready to use) and a few more days building the structure, is in the end, the same as working somewhere else for a week and building it myself, or working a few of weeks and paying someone else to build it. Do I sometimes wish I'd finished college instead of dropping out to work on a framing crew and go hiking? Every day. My back, and my bank account, would both be in much better shape. Would I have mag 5 skies over my roof? Nope. Everything is a tradeoff.

Thanks, Ed, for getting some of us to think about the issue.

Russ

#35 Crayfordjon

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Posted 30 November 2012 - 10:15 AM

Your lifestyle aint so bad, at least you are not up to your ears in massive debt,and this is mostly due to the modern philosophy that "I must have it now" so out comes the ol credit card and spend spend spend till you drop, result, too many folk are up to £30,000 pounds in debt, just so they can keep up with everybody else, it is a national disease in this country. You buy what you can afford, husband your money carefully and if you cannot meet the price, you go without until you can. This old fashioned attitude is considered quaint in this consumer society, I bet you use cash too dont you, so do I. You enjoy your hard won scopes, because they are hard won, and you use them gratefully and enjoy them, and you see the stars. not many people see the stars these days, only capital.

#36 glennnnnnn

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Posted 30 November 2012 - 09:11 PM

Blame it on those useless people running ad campaigns. They seem to excell at convincing you that what you really need is what they're selling. Look at high-end telescope sales pitches and how they appeal to your ego. But they sell everything else that way too, and it takes a centered, intelligent person to see through this plan and save his money. (And not have a huge debt!)
-If you know what you're doing a fine optical instrument has never been so affordable!!

#37 mikey cee

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Posted 30 November 2012 - 10:33 PM

Don't blame it on Madison Ave. Blame it on irresponsibilty. We are all except for young 'uns and the retarded our own worst enemy when it comes to debt. Priorities gone astray lead to debt. Too much credit and too little insurance are just several reasons people are where they are in life. Many more reasons and excuses exist but these are just the bigger reasons. No easy answers but then nothing easy ever costs less in the long run. ;) Mike

#38 Crayfordjon

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Posted 01 December 2012 - 03:31 AM

High end scopes, yerse! we know what they are. Fashion has it that the apo triplet is the ultimate in must have, because others have it too, and of course it must be no bigger than a beer can. Result, a very costly OG using exotic fluoro glass. Having a long focus cheaper achro is out, why, it is no longer fashionable. Oh no! you will say, we are buying excellence, so? doesn't a good reflector give equal if better performance at higher apertures. Remember with a triplet you pay out a hefty wad for nothing more than a 3 to 4 inch scope! Oh by the way, don't trot out the old knee jerk reaction about central obstruction.

#39 Chucky

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Posted 01 December 2012 - 06:26 AM

<< Priorities gone astray lead to debt. >>

Cloudy skies lead to debt.

#40 ed_turco

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Posted 01 December 2012 - 11:00 AM

:bow: This has been very humbling to me. I never knew I had so many ATMs who agreed with me. Thank you. :bow:

#41 David Pavlich

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Posted 01 December 2012 - 11:17 AM

This has been a good thread. Let's back off a bit from the snarky remarks.

David

#42 droid

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Posted 02 December 2012 - 01:10 AM

Ed; Im not an ATM , but I agree with you on the no credit cards, never had one, never will.
I pinch pennys, roll em too, lol, do with out, and make do.

#43 mikey cee

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Posted 02 December 2012 - 01:58 AM

Andy your a blast. If everyone did it like you the US economy would be in another Great Depression! :waytogo: :lol: Mike

#44 Mark Harry

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Posted 02 December 2012 - 08:14 AM

There's another reason to be 'conservative' in order to save money/procure non-conventional items. Here's an example, a dialyte refractor crown meniscus I've been piddling with. 8" diameter, and a total oddball not available anywhere. Who knows- I may re-invent the wheel!
M.

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#45 Mark Harry

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Posted 02 December 2012 - 11:46 AM

Another:

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#46 Mark Harry

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Posted 02 December 2012 - 11:48 AM

And here's the focusing end: cobbed together out of a short focus achro, and 45* diagonal- sitting on top of a woodpile of scraps-

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#47 Mark Harry

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Posted 02 December 2012 - 12:04 PM

The only thing I haven't got, is a pic of the 'target'. it's a scrap steel guard, painted white, and has lines .025" ruled in 2 directions, black dots of various sizes from .050"-.005"~, a grid pattern of 1/8" dots, and a dollar bill glued on for detail. It's screwed to the barn around 30 yards away from the objective. At present, it's set up like Crayfordjohn's Hypo. And yes, it -DOES- work... though there is a very small central area within the fov that has relatively little color of note. I need to make at least 1 more negative flint lens to try to exploit a couple ideas for improvement. I estimate rez to be somewhere around a 70-80mm std achro as it sets now, with a heck of a lot more light throughput.
Call it a big refractor on a budget; during 'hard' times!

Lots of fun to tinker with. Only have one side of the objective (cx) smoothed to 1/4 wave or less error, so quite a bit more work to go. The concave side is dummy-shined, but not smoothed yet.
M.

#48 Crayfordjon

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 03:41 AM

Mark is right a hypo does work. I have been improving the technique of using Hypos as imaging scopes, with a lot of success. This image was taken with a totally chromatic set of lenses, IE no flints anywhere, the set up is an F:7 12 inch singlet OG and a six inch short focus singlet about half way along the focal length. I have totally broken away from the "ol rut" of doing everything only with lenses, and instead used a crude imaging lens set and processing in the computer. This is the way forward gentlemen. My mind set in optics has been formed by the axiom "Occams razor" a nescessity when trying to make sophisticated scopes just after the war in the UK, when nothing but ex gov junk was to be had.

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