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General Astronomy >> General Observing and Astronomy

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cheapersleeper
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Reged: 01/22/10

Loc: Sachse TX
Re: I may have been happier before Cloudy Nights new [Re: JayinUT]
      #5524945 - 11/17/12 07:28 PM

Don, and all nighter once a month would be way more than I manage. I bet I get 4 or 5 a year and no expectation of getting much more for the near future. That is part of why I get frustrated. Anything that is not working optimally is a big deal when time is so limited and frankly, I forget how to observe in between overnight trips. And thinking about it, since I have a young son, even some of the times that I make it to the club dark site, I don't end up observing or do so for a very short time due to the constraints of taking care of the boy.

B


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Pinbout
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Loc: nj
Re: I may have been happier before Cloudy Nights new [Re: killdabuddha]
      #5524968 - 11/17/12 07:40 PM

Quote:

Looks like a bino.




its really a kit for two. she sits, I stand. she drives, I tell her where. but it gets confusing cause I'm upside down and backwards, she's just backwards.


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droid
rocketman
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Reged: 08/29/04

Loc: Conneaut, Ohio
Re: I may have been happier before Cloudy Nights new [Re: Starman1]
      #5525637 - 11/18/12 07:52 AM

Don; its also possible that you've trained your eye to really see.
We have several members in the 60mm telescope ,who see more than I do in a 60mm than I see in four inch refractor, lol.
Of course at 56 my eyes are not what they used to be, lol.


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csa/montana
Den Mama
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Reged: 05/14/05

Loc: montana
Re: I may have been happier before Cloudy Nights new [Re: csrlice12]
      #5525662 - 11/18/12 08:20 AM

Quote:

Quote:

Quote:

now I cannot seem to locate the exit.




Sorry; CN keeps all exits locked.




Welcome to the Hotel Astronomics
Such a lovely place, such a lovely place
Renting a Star at the Hotel Astronomics
Anytime of year, you can find it here
Renting a Star at the Hotel Astronomics
You can check out anytime you like, but you can never leave.




Hotel California has nothing on us!






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Starman1
Vendor (EyepiecesEtc.com)
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Reged: 06/24/03

Loc: Los Angeles
Re: I may have been happier before Cloudy Nights new [Re: droid]
      #5525809 - 11/18/12 10:22 AM

Quote:

Don; its also possible that you've trained your eye to really see.
We have several members in the 60mm telescope ,who see more than I do in a 60mm than I see in four inch refractor, lol.
Of course at 56 my eyes are not what they used to be, lol.



Well, that's the point. Forced to keep with small scopes, I learned to see stuff right at the limit of my vision.

I had a customer once who spent the first year observing looking at the Messier objects and keeping notes. His notes said "faint", "dim", "small", "Hard to see". He told me that a couple years later, after looking at a bunch of NGC objects, he went back to look at the Messier objects, only this time his notes were full of "really bright", "huge!", and "near some faint companions".

Obviously he wasn't blind when he started out--he had just learned to see.
It's because no other activity that I know teaches you to see details in faint things near the limit of your vision except looking through a telescope. I often tell newbies that they will never see LESS than they do when they first look through a telescope. The longer you live, if you keep doing it, the more you'll see and be able to see.

I hear you about the eyes. The good news about that is that I think experience trumps vision unless you have some form of degenerative problem in the eye.

I've been on Cloudy Nights ten years, and I've seen a lot of posters on the site undergo that same evolution. It's encouraging for the future, even if proliferation of outdoor lighting isn't.


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droid
rocketman
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Reged: 08/29/04

Loc: Conneaut, Ohio
Re: I may have been happier before Cloudy Nights new [Re: csa/montana]
      #5526280 - 11/18/12 02:50 PM

Hotel California....aint we dating ourselves? loved the Eagles

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csrlice12
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Reged: 05/22/12

Loc: Denver, CO
Re: I may have been happier before Cloudy Nights new [Re: droid]
      #5526294 - 11/18/12 02:59 PM

Hey, we all gotta be born sometime; some just a little sooner then others.....

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Glen A W
professor emeritus


Reged: 07/04/08

Loc: USA
Re: I may have been happier before Cloudy Nights new [Re: csrlice12]
      #5526355 - 11/18/12 03:40 PM

I think maybe with the economy down the consumerism has slowed a bit, too. It seems to me that some marketers have studied telescopes and they know exactly what it is that we like about them. I am sorry to say that these must be very cynical people who are in the business. But, I am surprised sometimes what apparently intelligent people will fall for. I have at least tripped and stumbled myself on this issue, though, so I am not running anybody down. The savvy of these marketers is incredible.

I have tried many scopes and owned many. The ones I have liked best were a Chinese 4" achro and a couple old reflectors. I have not seen another scope any sharper or more contrasty than my old Meade 8" f/6 Newtonian which I sold for little. I have a scope which cost $8,000 sitting in my living room and that was mostly a waste because I would rather have my $1200 Chinese 10" cg-5 Newt which I use most of the time now.

I have mentioned on the forum before that when I only had a 60mm, I thought it was a fine galaxy scope. It is true that more aperture is desirable, but these ideas about superlative quality in some designer scopes have to be taken with suspicion. They may be of higher quality, but how much does it matter, most of the time? Shine a flashlight down my 10" and it looks like they polished the mirror with 100 grit sandpaper, yet it is a great scope, all around. GW


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SubaruB4
member


Reged: 11/14/12

Loc: Greenwich, CT
Re: I may have been happier before Cloudy Nights new [Re: Starman1]
      #5526547 - 11/18/12 06:11 PM

Well said! I'm glad I found this site I totally agree with the driving to a dark site, I got half way to my site and I pulled over on the side of the road and turned off my headlights and stuck my head out and I said wow out loud it was so wonderful looking at the sky. only thing I wished I did is get a scope when I was younger.. still in my 20's but two more years until 3-0

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coopman
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Reged: 04/23/06

Loc: South Louisiana
Re: I may have been happier before Cloudy Nights new [Re: SubaruB4]
      #5526938 - 11/18/12 10:02 PM

I have enjoyed CN a lot, and my equipment choices would not have been so informed if not for the great advice learned from others here.

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GeneT
Ely Kid
*****

Reged: 11/07/08

Loc: South Texas
Re: I may have been happier before Cloudy Nights new [Re: cheapersleeper]
      #5527139 - 11/19/12 12:23 AM

Quote:

I am no longer ever satisfied with the equipment that I have now after decades of enjoying whatever equipment that I had.




You have a 12 inch Dob. That is a good place to be. Enjoy your equipment. You will have to bump to an 18 incher to significantly improve your views. (18 inches would double your the amount of light compared to a 12 incher.)You could replace your current optics by some made by a premier maker. But, my main advice is to settle down and enjoy your current telescope. My first telescope was a 4 inch Dynascope. I later moved up to an 8 inch. Years later I bought a 20 incher and sold it--too much hassle. My 12.5 inch Portaball has been my main telescope for 17 years. You are in a good place!


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Tony Flanders
Postmaster
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Reged: 05/18/06

Loc: Cambridge, MA, USA
Re: I may have been happier before Cloudy Nights new [Re: cheapersleeper]
      #5527332 - 11/19/12 04:47 AM

Quote:

Don, and all nighter once a month would be way more than I manage. I bet I get 4 or 5 a year and no expectation of getting much more for the near future. That is part of why I get frustrated. Anything that is not working optimally is a big deal ...




Lack of time is a huge problem. But when the urge to spend strikes you, just remember that spending money will make things worse, not better.

If time is limited, the key to happiness is simplicity. Minimize your equipment and learn to use what you have until it's secondary nature.


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cheapersleeper
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Reged: 01/22/10

Loc: Sachse TX
Re: I may have been happier before Cloudy Nights new [Re: Tony Flanders]
      #5527358 - 11/19/12 05:40 AM

Quote:

Quote:

Don, and all nighter once a month would be way more than I manage. I bet I get 4 or 5 a year and no expectation of getting much more for the near future. That is part of why I get frustrated. Anything that is not working optimally is a big deal ...




Lack of time is a huge problem. But when the urge to spend strikes you, just remember that spending money will make things worse, not better.

If time is limited, the key to happiness is simplicity. Minimize your equipment and learn to use what you have until it's secondary nature.




Wonderful pun, Mr. Flanders, and I agree with the sentiment.

I am glad that such a wonderful and constructive discussion developed from my initial griping. Many good points have been made and while the discussion went on I have been able to pinpoint a lot more of what is bugging me. I guess the main thing that I can take away from this analysis is that I am rarely frustrated after time at a dark(er) site regardless of equipment. Over the last few years I have gone from 8, to 10, to 12" dobs as my primary instruments and all have made me pretty happy from the dark. My back yard observing is limited mostly to planets, which are always going to be the least forgiving of equipment and is the kind of observing that may well make premium optics worthwhile. It is planetary observing, and the little bit of Jupiter imaging that whetted my appetite for "more better gooder."


Hopefully I will find a way to do more observing and in better conditions so that I can avoid some of the frustration.

I guess I also have to add that for me, since I do so much ATM, most equipment problems are totally my fault. It's a double whammy to have problems while observing that nag and having responsibility not only to fix the problems, but also certainty that I caused them in the first place...

B


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Jon Isaacs
Postmaster
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Reged: 06/16/04

Loc: San Diego and Boulevard, CA
Re: I may have been happier before Cloudy Nights new [Re: cheapersleeper]
      #5527418 - 11/19/12 07:38 AM

Quote:

My back yard observing is limited mostly to planets, which are always going to be the least forgiving of equipment and is the kind of observing that may well make premium optics worthwhile. It is planetary observing, and the little bit of Jupiter imaging that whetted my appetite for "more better gooder."


Hopefully I will find a way to do more observing and in better conditions so that I can avoid some of the frustration.

I guess I also have to add that for me, since I do so much ATM, most equipment problems are totally my fault. It's a double whammy to have problems while observing that nag and having responsibility not only to fix the problems, but also certainty that I caused them in the first place...

B




Brad:

Glad things are looking better... A couple of thoughts...

- In my experience planetary viewing is about equipment preparation and seeing...

- I view equipment difficulties as an opportunity to be creative, they inspire me to think out of the box and devise new and different solutions... The balky azimuth action on my 16 inch Dob resulted in an adjustable center bearing with a compression spring with an adjustable preload. It's the same idea as the milk-jug washers but it is adjustable and even it one of the boards is slightly warped, it still works just fine.

Jon


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Pinbout
Postmaster
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Reged: 02/22/10

Loc: nj
Re: I may have been happier before Cloudy Nights new [Re: cheapersleeper]
      #5529962 - 11/20/12 11:56 AM

Hey Brad,

you can still test your optics Mr. ATM'er. I posted this over in the cats and dog forum.



Dick Parker's testing optics eludes to KE testing from a star.

I always like KE test, you can see a lot about the surface instead of trying to interpret rings from a defocused star, although there is all the info there in a star test it's not very intuitive.

but instead of a Knife Edge you can cover half the focuser with a piece of tape, the last time I did it I use white artist tape and the white "color" didn't interfere with the test at all. and something you would like is it's very very cheap.


from this page


Quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Star Spot test



The Spherical Spot test is wonderfully sensitive because it is a null test. This means that when you do the test every part of the mirror is (supposed to be) at the same zone. Any part of the mirror which is at a different zone stands right out. You can get the same results from a complete telescope by using a real star as the light source.

Assemble your telescope, wait for some great seeing, and point to a star. You will need a sturdy mount for your telescope. Keep the star centered and remove the eyepiece (dob users usually prefer Polaris). You can start with a knife edge cutting in the cone of light, move the focuser to find the focal point of the telescope. This is a 1D null test and it is very sensitive. Many people have done this before. Now merely replace the knife edge with a very small spot. Since the star is a true point source, you will be able to use a spot as small as 0.001" for greater sensitivity.

Bring the spot to the focal point (keep the star centered). There is a null point there which will show you the quality of the wavefront exiting the telescope in graphic detail. But be aware, this test is severe. It tests the entire optical system. Not just the mirrors and/or lenses, but also the air the light travels through. It might even be as brutal as the regular star test (with an eyepiece; it shows the change in the diffraction pattern due to image aberrations). Certainly they should be used together. The star test can tell if you have errors, the Star Spot test will show you most of those errors directly.





--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


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Dave Mitsky
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Reged: 04/08/02

Loc: PA, USA, Planet Earth
Re: I may have been happier before Cloudy Nights new [Re: cheapersleeper]
      #5530377 - 11/20/12 03:00 PM

Another case of "How 'Ya Gonna Keep 'Em Down on the Farm?" (After They've Seen Paree)?

Dave Mitsky


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cheapersleeper
Post Laureate
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Reged: 01/22/10

Loc: Sachse TX
Re: I may have been happier before Cloudy Nights new [Re: Dave Mitsky]
      #5530533 - 11/20/12 04:07 PM

Quote:

Another case of "How 'Ya Gonna Keep 'Em Down on the Farm?" (After They've Seen Paree)?

Dave Mitsky




Absolutely, sir.

B


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csrlice12
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Reged: 05/22/12

Loc: Denver, CO
Re: I may have been happier before Cloudy Nights new [Re: cheapersleeper]
      #5530569 - 11/20/12 04:24 PM

"How 'Ya Gonna Keep 'Em Down on the Farm?" (After They've Seen Paree)?

Easy, get'em a scope. The farm has darker skies!


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droid
rocketman
*****

Reged: 08/29/04

Loc: Conneaut, Ohio
Re: I may have been happier before Cloudy Nights new [Re: cheapersleeper]
      #5531580 - 11/21/12 06:46 AM

Quote:

In the mid seventies I had a little Sears refractor and I enjoyed using it. In the mid eighties, I had a 6" f5 reflector that I put together using commercial mirrors. My pocketful of Erfles brought me great joy. Late nineties I had the ubiquitous 8" f6 dob, scraped together money to buy a few plossls and in the limited time I had to observe, was fairly satisfied.

Then came Cloudy Nights. I joined my local astro club, sold the 8" dob, got a 10" dob, started ATMing again, built a this and that and a 12" dob and now have a couple of cases of collimation tools and eyepieces. I recently wandered into the Solar system imaging forum and have poked my nose into that a little bit.

So what's the problem?

I am no longer ever satisfied with the equipment that I have now after decades of enjoying whatever equipment that I had. Reading planetary observers rave about seeing "much more detail than I could take in" and endless descriptions of "minute pinpricks on a background of black velvet," not to mention dust lanes, faint planetaries, solar flares, Airy discs and the moons of Jupiter as perfect discs.

I am now painfully aware of the limitations of my equipment and of myself as an observer. Reading the forums, it would appear that the gear is out there to do what I want. Of course, it is an order of magnitude more expensive than what I already have. Still, I seriously consider throwing money at this hobby in hopes of enjoying it more. The nagging doubt remains, though, as to whether I had more fun when my own scope, whatever it was, was the best scope in the universe.

Regards,
Brad





Brad; some times it helps to go backwards , as has already been mentioned simple scopes and simpler observing is not a bad thing, I own several telescopes, but standing by the door ,always, is my trusty 60x700 Widger scope and I get tons of viewing with this little scope.yeah I have larger scopes, but after a day in the foundry, Im often far to tired to lug ,set up etc.
Im pretty sure that little scope keeps me in the game and looking up.
Hope anything youve read in this thread helps.


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cheapersleeper
Post Laureate
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Reged: 01/22/10

Loc: Sachse TX
Re: I may have been happier before Cloudy Nights new [Re: droid]
      #5531601 - 11/21/12 07:07 AM

Quote:

Quote:

In the mid seventies I had a little Sears refractor and I enjoyed using it. In the mid eighties, I had a 6" f5 reflector that I put together using commercial mirrors. My pocketful of Erfles brought me great joy. Late nineties I had the ubiquitous 8" f6 dob, scraped together money to buy a few plossls and in the limited time I had to observe, was fairly satisfied.

Then came Cloudy Nights. I joined my local astro club, sold the 8" dob, got a 10" dob, started ATMing again, built a this and that and a 12" dob and now have a couple of cases of collimation tools and eyepieces. I recently wandered into the Solar system imaging forum and have poked my nose into that a little bit.

So what's the problem?

I am no longer ever satisfied with the equipment that I have now after decades of enjoying whatever equipment that I had. Reading planetary observers rave about seeing "much more detail than I could take in" and endless descriptions of "minute pinpricks on a background of black velvet," not to mention dust lanes, faint planetaries, solar flares, Airy discs and the moons of Jupiter as perfect discs.

I am now painfully aware of the limitations of my equipment and of myself as an observer. Reading the forums, it would appear that the gear is out there to do what I want. Of course, it is an order of magnitude more expensive than what I already have. Still, I seriously consider throwing money at this hobby in hopes of enjoying it more. The nagging doubt remains, though, as to whether I had more fun when my own scope, whatever it was, was the best scope in the universe.

Regards,
Brad





Brad; some times it helps to go backwards , as has already been mentioned simple scopes and simpler observing is not a bad thing, I own several telescopes, but standing by the door ,always, is my trusty 60x700 Widger scope and I get tons of viewing with this little scope.yeah I have larger scopes, but after a day in the foundry, Im often far to tired to lug ,set up etc.
Im pretty sure that little scope keeps me in the game and looking up.
Hope anything youve read in this thread helps.




Andy,

I does help, and it doesn't help... Perfectionism is a hard way to live. Part of your advice, though, I am acting on. Still working on a 6" f5 newt for my son that I imagine I will want to use as well. That's enough aperture to see stuff and a crazy big field to make it easy and relaxing. Also, less chance of herniation.

Regards,
Brad


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