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What I learned on Cloudy Nights after 10,000 Posts

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#1 hfjacinto

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Posted 09 April 2013 - 11:36 AM

I do these what I learned every couple of months/years, today I celebrate my 10,000 post. I have learned a lot on cloudy nights, here is my updated “What have I learned on Cloudy Nights after a lot of posts”
The Good:
1) This is still the #1 rule: Don’t buy anything before you discuss it on cloudy nights. Someone probably brought it and used it already.
2) I really like 100* EPs. If you want the best widefield get yourself either the ES or Ethos, you will not be disappointed.
3) Without goto I would not stayed in the hobby. Goto works for me, if it doesn’t for you that is still good, but in no way am I less an Amateur Astronomer because I use it.
4) Every AA should try and complete the Messier list, getting the certificate from the Astronomical league was a highlight for me.
5) The best scope is the one you use.
6) The more I post, I realize that I don’t agree with certain posters and even more with certain recommendations (like a DOB is a best first scope, it is if you like DOB’s, if you like APO’s on high end mounts a DOB isn’t for you) . So for the beginner, read every post and remember to value each recommendation with it cost you $0.00
7) People on cloudy nights really like abbreviations like EP (eyepiece) ED (extra low dispersion glass), APO (really expensive small scope), DOB (light bucket)
8) Most astro gear products are made in Asia and most are excellent, no matter what you want to believe or are told.
9) I like taking pictures of DSO (deep sky objects), but it was hard and took time to produce something that I liked.
10) If you wear glasses 20 MM eye relief is very good, but you can get away with shorter in UWA’s
11) Stars do have color (well I learned this on my own, but I only noticed it after looking at the pictures on cloudy nights.)
12) Get the BackYard Astronomers Guide before you spend any money on a telescope. No other book is better. Still the best recommendation I can make.
13) Even though the best type of telescope is (pick one: reflector, refractor, catadioptric) do some research and make sure that the best is right for you. Or do I like do, get one of each, they all have merits. You can always sell them, if you don’t like them.
14) Any telescope you buy must have WAF or HAF (wife or husband acceptance factor) if you are married. This is why I have an 80 EON and 120MM EON and not an F7 100MM, the EON has serious WAF with shiny black. She loved the look.
15) Most astronomy shops have discounts use them.
16) There are some seriously SMART people on Cloudy Nights.
17) Binoculars are the best first telescope, I really like the Canon IS ones, to me there are no better.
18) I really like Televue EPs, but I also like MEADE, AXIOM, TMB….. (well I like all  )
19) A Lunt Solar Scope with pressure tuner is worth the wait. It really is.
20) A 17MM T4 is a very nice introduction to Televue eyepieces
21) APO scopes are really nice, they have no diffraction spikes and have great images. Bigger APOs= NICER
22) But so are CATS and Reflectors, each has merits.
23) MoonLite and Feather Touch focusers help out a lot.
24) A beefy robust GEM is nice, but it is heavy
25) People complain a lot about Meade, but everything I purchased by Meade has exceeded my expectation. It works well and has a lot of value (eg.. Meade 5000 UWA, LXD75 Mount, SN6)
26) Small independent shops sell very good items (ADM and Moonlite for example)
27) Amateur Astronomers are a great bunch of people, always willing to help and provide assistance. You can make friends on here, if you find someone you don’t like, just don’t become there friend and if you ever encounter each other out on the field, don’t let them look through your scope, but most likely you will find they are great and are just @$$e$ on CN.

The Bad (some of the below, may not be true, you will have to decide for yourself):

1) TeleVue, AstroPhysics, Questars, etc.. makes the best (pick one: Eyepiece, Scope, Diagonal, etc,.) everything else is junk . This doesn’t change, but these companies do make the best, but it costs a lot.
2) The best type of scope is (pick one: reflector, refractor, catadioptric), believe me people are REALLY sensitive about the scope type, almost as bad as eyepiece type
3) I can’t believe the double cluster is not an M object.
4) The best is always the most expensive
5) Fast scopes eat eyepieces for lunch
6) Ethos are better than sliced bread.
7) Whatever scope you own is what you generally recommend.
8) NJ has very bad light pollution
9) Celestron fixes what is broken, but it takes a long time.
10) I have purchased a lot of items but almost all are worth it.
11) AP is an expensive hobby but if you are good at it WOW!!
12) For some the following are annoying:
• APO (in all caps)
• Calling the Caldwell list a catalog
• Daring to say that a certain scope is better than whatever they own (eg a Cat is better than a reflector, a Refractor is better than a Cat)
13) An ED Doublet is not an APO (I disagree, but this poster won’t be allowed to look through my scope so who cares)
14) While not the most expensive hobby, good stuff costs money.
15) Even though I am on the Astro Physics wait list, I was told by the man himself that I probably won’t get one. But life is too short to worry about that, so I will use what I have and really like it.
16) Being out in -6 degrees is really cold, but seeing how great your images or views are makes all worthwhile.
17) No matter how much you paid for your 80MM, a mass produced 8” DOB will gather more light and show you more details. This scales up.

The golden rules:

1) No matter what you buy, the day a new piece of astro gear comes to your house, you will not be able to use it, pick your reason: clouds, rain, snow, full moon, wife won’t let you, asteroid crashes into earth, Wikileaks publishes a manifesto against it.
2) No matter how much you spent as your astronomy hobby, after showing one of your neighbors the heavens and they declaring how awesome it is, is priceless.
3) For some electronic tools (go to, IS, video astronomy, etc) are a hindrance for others they are great, use what you like, don’t care what others think.
4) Aperture rules most times, but when the viewing sucks or the optics are poor or temperature equilibrium is an issue, or the scope is too heavy.. it doesn't rule.
5) No matter what you own, someone will own better, does that make him/her a better astronomer, no it just means they spent more.

#2 hfjacinto

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Posted 09 April 2013 - 11:38 AM

Ok, I only had 9,999 posts :)

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#3 csa/montana

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Posted 09 April 2013 - 12:01 PM

Well, since your 10,000 post was only your 9,999 post; then it is invalid! :poke:

Congratulations on reaching 10,000 posts; great post, BTW!

#4 rdandrea

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Posted 09 April 2013 - 12:08 PM

Good summary. It should become an "answers to FAQ" sticky.

#5 csrlice12

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Posted 09 April 2013 - 12:18 PM

Uh oh, now all your counters will be reset to "0"!!!!

#6 herrointment

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Posted 09 April 2013 - 12:35 PM

Congratulations on number 10,000!

Many of your posts and opinions here have been very helpful to me and some are even entertaining on occasion.

Appreciated!

#7 HowardK

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Posted 09 April 2013 - 01:57 PM

Made me chuckle..

APO = very expensive small scope.....lol

#8 buddyjesus

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Posted 09 April 2013 - 02:34 PM

very humorous and informative post. thanks

#9 GOLGO13

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Posted 09 April 2013 - 02:55 PM

I agree on the people being too opinionated or biased on scope type. I think it's something that needs to be a bit tempered. Each type of scope have their pluses and minuses.

Also agree that a dob shouldn't be the default answer for a beginner. I've tried to make that point often.

I'd like to add another one. Just because you looked through one sample of a telescope doesn't mean the whole line of those are bad. For instance, I see a lot of: I looked through an 8 inch (insert company) Schmidt Cassegrain and it was terrible. There are many factors that could have contributed to this and looking through a sample of one doesn't make a good analysis.

#10 REC

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Posted 09 April 2013 - 02:56 PM

That's a LOT of clicking :roflmao:

Congrats's and nice post on your observations!

#11 Ed Holland

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Posted 09 April 2013 - 03:37 PM

I think that sums up CN rather well :)

The best bit? Some very fine minds & enterprising folks sharing good ideas, or giving us an insight into great skills and ambitious projects.

#12 YetAnotherHobby

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Posted 09 April 2013 - 07:36 PM

You sir can look through my scope any time. Bravo!

:)

Geoff

#13 hfjacinto

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Posted 09 April 2013 - 07:45 PM

You sir can look through my scope any time. Bravo!

:)

Geoff


:like:

#14 Mike B

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Posted 09 April 2013 - 08:03 PM

Even thinkin' about 10,000 posts makes my mouse tired.
X-p

Either that, or consider the length of fence that 10,000 posts would create!
:ubetcha:

Congrats, and thanks for the fun perspective. :grin:

#15 diggitye

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Posted 09 April 2013 - 09:38 PM

Awesome post! Being new here, this post was fascinating to me. I'm pretty excited about exploring the sky (don't even have a scope yet) and this forum has been a great help so far. Looking forward to tapping your expertise in the future.

Congrats on 10,000 posts! :bow:

#16 Maverick199

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Posted 10 April 2013 - 05:40 AM

Congratulations and what a meaningful way to celebrate. :D

#17 droid

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Posted 10 April 2013 - 06:17 AM

That's roughly like 196 posts per month lol, wow, congradulations on reaching 10000 posts. :bow:

#18 thomas68

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Posted 10 April 2013 - 07:53 AM

Congratulations on 10,000 post!

Tom

#19 skyquest25

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Posted 10 April 2013 - 10:58 AM

Truly I think there is an unbelievable amount of info on cloudy nights, but in the end, YOU spend way to much time on cloudy nights ! :smash:

#20 WesC

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Posted 10 April 2013 - 12:39 PM

That was a good read. Thanks and congrats on being so prolific! ;)

#21 GOLGO13

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Posted 10 April 2013 - 12:40 PM

Yeah...seems like it would be hard to do 10,000 in 4 years. I've been on here since 05...took a little break in between there during having my 2 kids. Still, I'm only at 1600ish. Wow.

#22 hfjacinto

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Posted 10 April 2013 - 12:48 PM

I was also an Moderator for several forums, that really adds to your count. For example I was a moderator on Refractors that was a lot of comments/posts. I did the calculation and I did something like 7 posts a day.

#23 amicus sidera

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Posted 10 April 2013 - 01:13 PM

1) TeleVue, AstroPhysics, Questars, etc.. makes the best (pick one: Eyepiece, Scope, Diagonal, etc,.) everything else is junk.


Junk... really?

Perhaps I'm misunderstanding your context.

#24 GOLGO13

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Posted 10 April 2013 - 01:22 PM

I was also an Moderator for several forums, that really adds to your count. For example I was a moderator on Refractors that was a lot of comments/posts. I did the calculation and I did something like 7 posts a day.


ahh...yes. That would make a big difference.

#25 hfjacinto

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Posted 10 April 2013 - 01:24 PM

1) TeleVue, AstroPhysics, Questars, etc.. makes the best (pick one: Eyepiece, Scope, Diagonal, etc,.) everything else is junk.


Junk... really?

Perhaps I'm misunderstanding your context.


That was in Bad:

"The Bad (some of the below, may not be true, you will have to decide for yourself): "

Of course its not true, but some people actually posted that.

I've heard everything from an AP refractor will show more than a 16" Reflector, to only TeleVue eyepieces are good.






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