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Olivier Biot
Amused
*****

Reged: 04/25/05

Loc: 51°N (Belgium)
The Lap Scope
      #3884170 - 06/24/10 05:30 PM

The Lap Scope

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rockethead26
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 10/21/09

Loc: Arizona, USA
Re: The Lap Scope new [Re: Olivier Biot]
      #3884345 - 06/24/10 07:12 PM

Now I want one! Thanks for the article.

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coopman
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 04/23/06

Loc: South Louisiana
Re: The Lap Scope new [Re: rockethead26]
      #3888179 - 06/26/10 11:08 PM

Nice article, Doug. This is pretty much the ultimate in simplistic telescopic observing. I'm concerned that I couldn't hold the scope steady enough. I have a 6" f/5 Newt. in the garage, so I'll be able to give it a try soon. Maybe if I rest the lower end of the tube on my thigh, I can steady it enough. Thanks for the inspiration to try something different.

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Denner
member
*****

Reged: 06/17/10

Loc: Maine
Re: The Lap Scope new [Re: coopman]
      #3888441 - 06/27/10 01:54 AM

Doug...great article and it looks like an interesting and fun way to survey the night sky! Thanks,

Mark


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Tom Mengel
member


Reged: 06/17/10

Loc: Centennial CO (S. Denver)
Re: The Lap Scope new [Re: Denner]
      #3943531 - 07/25/10 03:48 PM

I have a very old 6 inch F5 that I ground/polished (80% of the way) while in high school in the late '60s sitting in my basement and was wondering what to do with it (a divorce and move demand a "simpler" lifestyle). I will get rid of the homemade fork mount and try your Lap Mount". That and a green LASER finder sounds like a great way to have at it anywhere/any time.

Thanks for the the food for thought.

Tom


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TimD
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 02/16/05

Loc: CA USA
Re: The Lap Scope new [Re: Tom Mengel]
      #3943615 - 07/25/10 04:47 PM

Really neat scope.

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richard7
Not Quite
*****

Reged: 11/02/07

Loc: Sacramento
Re: The Lap Scope new [Re: TimD]
      #3943771 - 07/25/10 05:57 PM

Well. Looks like another project on the list.
Thanks for the article.


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J_D_Metzger
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 05/13/04

Loc: Tucson, AZ
Re: The Lap Scope new [Re: richard7]
      #3947467 - 07/27/10 01:16 PM

Nice article.

After reading it, I'd like to suggest a new title for Doug: "Mr. Metaphor"...


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Chich
newbie


Reged: 10/04/11

Loc: NWT
Re: The Lap Scope new [Re: J_D_Metzger]
      #4950073 - 12/04/11 06:04 PM

Just snooping around for ideas. Well notions really. You actually end up doing something with ideas

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..

chich


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mwedel
Works with Sauropods
*****

Reged: 12/16/07

Loc: Claremont, CA
Re: The Lap Scope new [Re: Chich]
      #5086579 - 02/22/12 11:59 PM

Oooh-ah, this is cool. Great idea, and a very inspiring write-up. I have a 5" f/5 Newt that is currently unmounted...I foresee some lap scope time in my future!

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Sarkikos
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 12/18/07

Loc: Scotophobe Maryland, USA
Re: The Lap Scope new [Re: Olivier Biot]
      #5086851 - 02/23/12 08:32 AM

Olivier,

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.

Mike


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RobbW
sage


Reged: 02/09/10

Loc: Elgin, IL
Re: The Lap Scope new [Re: Sarkikos]
      #5087008 - 02/23/12 10:26 AM

Hmm, now I'm eyeing that Newt in the back corner of my basement with renewed interest. Thanks for the article!

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mwedel
Works with Sauropods
*****

Reged: 12/16/07

Loc: Claremont, CA
Re: The Lap Scope new [Re: Sarkikos]
      #5088337 - 02/24/12 02:11 AM

Oh, I like that laser pointer idea a LOT.

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.


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Sarkikos
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 12/18/07

Loc: Scotophobe Maryland, USA
Re: The Lap Scope new [Re: mwedel]
      #5088419 - 02/24/12 06:54 AM

It goes without saying that a lap scope would be best for low-power, rich-field views and relatively easy-to-find objects. I wouldn't be trying to complete the Herschel 400 with a lap scope! When I was using mine, I concentrated on fairly big and bright objects whose locations I knew from memory, such as the Messiers or some wide doubles.

Mike


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Sarkikos
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 12/18/07

Loc: Scotophobe Maryland, USA
Re: The Lap Scope new [Re: Sarkikos]
      #5088801 - 02/24/12 12:18 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. How could you possibly use a Cat or refractor as a lap scope? The eyepiece is at the nether end of the OTA. Not gonna happen.


Mike


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mwedel
Works with Sauropods
*****

Reged: 12/16/07

Loc: Claremont, CA
Re: The Lap Scope new [Re: Sarkikos]
      #5089211 - 02/24/12 04:45 PM

Quote:

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!


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Sarkikos
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 12/18/07

Loc: Scotophobe Maryland, USA
Re: The Lap Scope new [Re: mwedel]
      #5089236 - 02/24/12 05:09 PM

The lap scope must be fitted to the observer, like a good suit!

Mike


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jrbarnett
Eyepiece Hooligan
*****

Reged: 02/28/06

Loc: Petaluma, CA
Re: The Lap Scope new [Re: Olivier Biot]
      #5089512 - 02/24/12 08:33 PM

Doug:

That is just plain clever. Thanks for sharing your ideas and experiences. Beats the heck out of oversized binos IMO.

Regards,

Jim


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JKoelman
professor emeritus


Reged: 05/16/11

Loc: Bangalore, India
Re: The Lap Scope new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5091640 - 02/26/12 08:34 AM

Great article. For those interested: the 6" f/5 Orion StarBlast works like a blast as lap scope. In the past I have also tried to use a binoviewer with such a lap scope setup. Unfortunately, that doesn't work very well ( too large distance from the tube, and difficulty in positioning both eyes accurately).

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mattyfatz
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 12/27/06

Loc: Boise Idaho
Re: The Lap Scope new [Re: JKoelman]
      #5091899 - 02/26/12 11:22 AM

I often use my Astroscan as a lap-scope. The ball rests nicely on a lap, especially sitting cross legged. I don't like hunching over so far though, maybe a little ATMing to an RFT 5 or 6" newt is in order!

Thanks for the great Article Doug!


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