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Equipment Discussions >> Equipment

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brianb11213
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Reged: 02/25/09

Loc: 55.215N 6.554W
Re: Green Laser Pointer new [Re: george golitzin]
      #6041256 - 08/23/13 05:31 AM

Quote:

Quote:

What are the positives and negatives of laser pointer finders?




They're all negatives if you ask me. Laser users are throwing light at the sky, however focused or narrow: it's like drawing a mustache on the Mona Lisa. You're getting in other people's faces with LIGHT at a dark site--I just don't get how someone in this hobby would think that's okay. About the only situation where I can imagine it would be acceptable would be if you were running a star party for a group and wanted to teach them about the sky--except that then you'd be giving newbies the impression that it's okay to shine brilliant lights in the direction of the sky. Or possibly it would be acceptable if you're all by yourself in a lonely place where you're sure that you're not disturbing someone else's appreciation of the night sky...but that's hard to know for sure, since it's dark out, and you might not know who else is in the neighborhood, looking up. I've been very disturbed at dark sites by people who thought they were on their own, shooting that ugly green light into the sky all over the place. It's utterly reprehensible, particularly coming from people in this hobby.

Sorry for the rant, but lasers should not be used as finders. It's just not necessary, and it's really vexing to others.



Agree entirely. Laser pointers in a planetarium are fine. Outdoors, no need, bad example.


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nicknacknock
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Reged: 02/20/12

Loc: In a galaxy far far away...
Re: Green Laser Pointer new [Re: brianb11213]
      #6041290 - 08/23/13 06:30 AM

I use mine only for outreach events and very carefully, checking first for air planes and that it is even pointed the right side up (accidents can happen).

For star hopping purposes, a Telrad or RDF is the "polite" way to go when observing in the presence of others.

However as pointed out above, if the astro club rules permit it, then the club should also have rules as to its use when it organises events.

So, they do have their usefulness, people should be both careful and considerate when using them and always follow the rules of the astro club.


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Qwickdraw
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Reged: 03/03/12

Loc: Ann Arbor, MI
Re: Green Laser Pointer new [Re: WarmWeatherGuy]
      #6041296 - 08/23/13 06:36 AM

Quote:

Quote:

I see he carrys blue Lasers. Thoughts on that?




I found a violet one for something like $5 somewhere. The green is way better at lighting up the air particles than red or purple lasers.




I believe you will pay a premium for anything other than red or green. Sometimes a large premium. Green with its wavelength is also one of the easiest to see.


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Qwickdraw
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Reged: 03/03/12

Loc: Ann Arbor, MI
Re: Green Laser Pointer new [Re: starrancher]
      #6041300 - 08/23/13 06:39 AM

Quote:

I can't remember if it was Z-Bolt or Wicked Lasers that used to have a really cool kit that included the laser , a mounting bracket , a thumb pressure cord for remote off -on and the option of a battery charger . These kits offered a variety of different lasers . Some larger in diameter than the common type seen and advertised for cold weather performance etc.
I just checked both companies web sites and it sure seems that both companies have downsized their sites and no longer offer these cool astronomy kits . What happened to these ?




You may be thinking of this one from hotech


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Qwickdraw
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Reged: 03/03/12

Loc: Ann Arbor, MI
Re: Green Laser Pointer new [Re: Qwickdraw]
      #6041302 - 08/23/13 06:42 AM

Whatever you do, do not order from laserpointerpro.com

Its a Chinese scam site with totally inferior and misrepresented product.


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Qwickdraw
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Reged: 03/03/12

Loc: Ann Arbor, MI
Re: Green Laser Pointer new [Re: george golitzin]
      #6041320 - 08/23/13 07:01 AM

Quote:

Quote:

What are the positives and negatives of laser pointer finders?




They're all negatives if you ask me. Laser users are throwing light at the sky, however focused or narrow: it's like drawing a mustache on the Mona Lisa. You're getting in other people's faces with LIGHT at a dark site--I just don't get how someone in this hobby would think that's okay. About the only situation where I can imagine it would be acceptable would be if you were running a star party for a group and wanted to teach them about the sky--except that then you'd be giving newbies the impression that it's okay to shine brilliant lights in the direction of the sky. Or possibly it would be acceptable if you're all by yourself in a lonely place where you're sure that you're not disturbing someone else's appreciation of the night sky...but that's hard to know for sure, since it's dark out, and you might not know who else is in the neighborhood, looking up. I've been very disturbed at dark sites by people who thought they were on their own, shooting that ugly green light into the sky all over the place. It's utterly reprehensible, particularly coming from people in this hobby.

Sorry for the rant, but lasers should not be used as finders. It's just not necessary, and it's really vexing to others.




George,

They have cut my alignment time in half. Maybe you have a permanent observatory setup or something but I don't. The laser has alleviated the need to peek through a finder back and forth until first your scope is aligned with your finder and then secondly for a two star alignment procedure.

As far as throwing light up into the sky, it is only 5MW which is roughly equivalent to 4 fireflies ! and you typically cannot even see the beam unless you are more or less in the line of site. Unless you are using a overpowered laser, nobody outside of your yard is going to see anything.


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hottr6
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Reged: 06/28/09

Loc: 7,500', Magdalena Mtns, NM
Re: Green Laser Pointer new [Re: Bruce N]
      #6041418 - 08/23/13 08:39 AM Attachment (6 downloads)

It must be summer time. Lots of threads about GLPs. Ever notice the utter lack of GLP threads in the winter? Yup, the damned things are as useless as [..... insert own expletive here.....].

It does not matter what brand you use... premium such as Z-Bolt or Jasper, or cheap. GLPs are terrific, but they quit when the going gets cold.... about 55F with Li-ion battery chemistries. If you keep them warm in your pocket, you'll have no problems. Mount them on your OTA, they'll quit. I have a resistive ladder wrapped around mine that keeps it running even when the temperature falls below freezing.


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Jon Isaacs
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Reged: 06/16/04

Loc: San Diego and Boulevard, CA
Re: Green Laser Pointer new [Re: Qwickdraw]
      #6041421 - 08/23/13 08:41 AM

Quote:

George,

They have cut my alignment time in half. Maybe you have a permanent observatory setup or something but I don't. The laser has alleviated the need to peek through a finder back and forth until first your scope is aligned with your finder and then secondly for a two star alignment procedure.

As far as throwing light up into the sky, it is only 5MW which is roughly equivalent to 4 fireflies ! and you typically cannot even see the beam unless you are more or less in the line of site. Unless you are using a overpowered laser, nobody outside of your yard is going to see anything.




I have no permanent observatory. In fact, a green laser might save me several trips up and down the ladder over the the course of an evening but that is a small price to pay for keeping the sky free of that bright beam.. (BTW: Firefly's do not produce coherent light)

Maybe if the skies are seriously light polluted already... but for dark, clear skies... a green laser is a door slamming unnecessarily in the pristine silence of a dark night.

I prefer to close the door gently so as not to disturb the moment.

Jon


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Qwickdraw
Pooh-Bah
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Reged: 03/03/12

Loc: Ann Arbor, MI
Re: Green Laser Pointer new [Re: Jon Isaacs]
      #6041480 - 08/23/13 09:20 AM

Well jon, it is obvious lasers disturb some more than others. Mine is on for maybe 5 min or so during initial alignment and then gets turned off. I would never use it at a star party or if it disturbed somebody else so really, it is just a personal preference.

I don't observe the pristine silence of a dark night. So really 5mw for 5 minutes isn't going to amount anything in my red/yellow zone.


yes, I was able to determine the equivalent MW of fireflies so it would be safe to assume I know a fireflies' light is not coherent. It is possible that 4 fireflies can have a higher value of luminous flux than a 5mw green laser.

In any event, ill stick with my green laser but I appreciate and will always be cognizant of my fellow astronomers concerns as well.


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Jarad
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Reged: 04/28/03

Loc: Atlanta, GA
Re: Green Laser Pointer new [Re: Jon Isaacs]
      #6041482 - 08/23/13 09:22 AM

Everyone is entitled to their personal preferences.

Also, keep in mind that having the right to do something doesn't necessarily make it the right thing to do.

GLP's have a place in astronomy. They are fantastic outreach tools. They can be used as finders, but if you do that you should do it in a manner that is considerate of your fellow observers, especially imagers. Yes, you may technically have the right to point it at any part of the sky that is free from planes, but if it is annoying your observing buddies they have the right to exclude you from their property (star parties), or from being invited next time they go out if they are using public property. Having the right to do something doesn't mean it is free from consequences.

There is room for those who want to use them to do it responsibly and considerately. Those who want to do otherwise will find themselves unwelcome in many settings, including CN.

Jarad


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Qwickdraw
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Reged: 03/03/12

Loc: Ann Arbor, MI
Re: Green Laser Pointer new [Re: Jarad]
      #6041500 - 08/23/13 09:34 AM

I agree 100% jarad, there is no reason to condemn others responsible use and preferences to use them and by the same token I can fully respect ones choice to not pollute an otherwise pristine sky with a green beam. Mine happens to save me time and gives me more time at the EP. That is important to me. Besides, its way cool

edit: For the record, I don't believe any condemnation was expressed by anybody, just personal preferences.


Edited by Qwickdraw (08/23/13 09:45 AM)


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REC
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Reged: 10/20/10

Loc: NC
Re: Green Laser Pointer new [Re: Qwickdraw]
      #6041513 - 08/23/13 09:45 AM

Well, I see that Orion just came out with a dual dovetail mount for finders. I think I may get one and mount the 8x50 on one side and the laser on the other.

I'm thinking that for a fast point to the general target area with the laser and then follow up tweaking the object in the 8x50 cross hairs would be pretty good?

Am I missing anything with this finder solution for my Dob?


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Qwickdraw
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Reged: 03/03/12

Loc: Ann Arbor, MI
Re: Green Laser Pointer new [Re: hottr6]
      #6041516 - 08/23/13 09:48 AM

Quote:

It must be summer time. Lots of threads about GLPs. Ever notice the utter lack of GLP threads in the winter? Yup, the damned things are as useless as [..... insert own expletive here.....].

It does not matter what brand you use... premium such as Z-Bolt or Jasper, or cheap. GLPs are terrific, but they quit when the going gets cold.... about 55F with Li-ion battery chemistries. If you keep them warm in your pocket, you'll have no problems. Mount them on your OTA, they'll quit. I have a resistive ladder wrapped around mine that keeps it running even when the temperature falls below freezing.




I have read that but have not had experience with them in the winter. I mostly don't observe in the cold Michigan winters anyways unless there is an unusual astronomical event. Would a EP dew heater run along the length of the laser work well to resolve this issue?


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Qwickdraw
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Re: Green Laser Pointer new [Re: REC]
      #6041522 - 08/23/13 09:50 AM

Quote:

Well, I see that Orion just came out with a dual dovetail mount for finders. I think I may get one and mount the 8x50 on one side and the laser on the other.

I'm thinking that for a fast point to the general target area with the laser and then follow up tweaking the object in the 8x50 cross hairs would be pretty good?

Am I missing anything with this finder solution for my Dob?




I don't know, I am thinking maybe you are just creating twice as much work for the same outcome. I would suggest going with one or the other.

Of course if you still plan on doing any star hoping, the finder is pretty much essential and the way to go.


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WarmWeatherGuy
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Reged: 08/27/11

Loc: Orlando, FL 28° N, 81° W
Re: Green Laser Pointer new [Re: Qwickdraw]
      #6041567 - 08/23/13 10:15 AM

Quote:

Quote:

Well, I see that Orion just came out with a dual dovetail mount for finders. I think I may get one and mount the 8x50 on one side and the laser on the other.

I'm thinking that for a fast point to the general target area with the laser and then follow up tweaking the object in the 8x50 cross hairs would be pretty good?

Am I missing anything with this finder solution for my Dob?




I don't know, I am thinking maybe you are just creating twice as much work for the same outcome. I would suggest going with one or the other.

Of course if you still plan on doing any star hoping, the finder is pretty much essential and the way to go.




I have used the GLP for over a year now and am ready to give it up. If you use the GLP it would be nice to have a backup for when the GLP won't work. The GLP won't work when it gets cold. It also won't work when the air is dry, there is no pollution, AND you have street lights all around you keeping your pupils small. You just can't see the beam. So if it gets cold you would have NO FINDER unless you had a backup. I can't align my telescope without a finder.

The GLP, red dot finder, or Telrad should be accurate enough for most applications so you won't need the 8x50 finder. I have a 9x50 finder that I must use for finding planets with my webcam which has a very small field of view but otherwise the red dot finder has always worked for me.

The main thing I will miss about the GLP is when I do all star polar align. In that procedure I need to move my EQ mount in alt and az to point my telescope at a star. It is really nice not to have to hold my eye up to the finder scope when doing this.

The frustration of having the GLP stop when it gets cold is enough for me to stop using it. Having no finder is not cool or sexy. The GLP is most cool when there is lots of fog.


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Jim Romanski
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Re: Green Laser Pointer new [Re: Bruce N]
      #6041609 - 08/23/13 10:39 AM

One negative that I don't see mentioned that applies to the green laser and red dot finders. They rely on batteries. If your batteries die and you don't have replacements you have no finder.

I use a green laser but I also have an small optical finder. Another advantage for the optical finder is that you can see dim stars that you won't see naked eye. You'll need this capability for finding some objects in the sky that are not near brighter stars.


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WarmWeatherGuy
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Reged: 08/27/11

Loc: Orlando, FL 28° N, 81° W
Re: Green Laser Pointer new [Re: Jim Romanski]
      #6041621 - 08/23/13 10:44 AM

Quote:

One negative that I don't see mentioned that applies to the green laser and red dot finders. They rely on batteries. If your batteries die and you don't have replacements you have no finder.

I use a green laser but I also have an small optical finder. Another advantage for the optical finder is that you can see dim stars that you won't see naked eye. You'll need this capability for finding some objects in the sky that are not near brighter stars.




This is a good point. I should also mention that I use a goto scope and don't do star hopping. I mainly use the finder for initial alignment which involves finding stars like Vega.


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Qwickdraw
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Reged: 03/03/12

Loc: Ann Arbor, MI
Re: Green Laser Pointer new [Re: WarmWeatherGuy]
      #6041769 - 08/23/13 12:08 PM

Quote:

Quote:

One negative that I don't see mentioned that applies to the green laser and red dot finders. They rely on batteries. If your batteries die and you don't have replacements you have no finder.

I use a green laser but I also have an small optical finder. Another advantage for the optical finder is that you can see dim stars that you won't see naked eye. You'll need this capability for finding some objects in the sky that are not near brighter stars.




This is a good point. I should also mention that I use a goto scope and don't do star hopping. I mainly use the finder for initial alignment which involves finding stars like Vega.




Same here Steve, no star hopping these days as my eyes just are not up to the task anymore. The closest thing I do to star hopping these days is pick out what is what in my FOV compared to my Sky Safari map on a Galaxy note 8. I just don't see it as essential anymore.
The laser is used for initial alignment to get two stars centered in my EP and that is it, shut off the rest of the night.


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SteveG
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Reged: 09/27/06

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Re: Green Laser Pointer new [Re: hottr6]
      #6041839 - 08/23/13 12:53 PM

Quote:

It must be summer time. Lots of threads about GLPs. Ever notice the utter lack of GLP threads in the winter? Yup, the damned things are as useless as [..... insert own expletive here.....].

It does not matter what brand you use... premium such as Z-Bolt or Jasper, or cheap. GLPs are terrific, but they quit when the going gets cold.... about 55F with Li-ion battery chemistries. If you keep them warm in your pocket, you'll have no problems. Mount them on your OTA, they'll quit. I have a resistive ladder wrapped around mine that keeps it running even when the temperature falls below freezing.




My Jasper Always works excellent in winter, going on about 4 years now. I've replaced the battery once. Mine throws a visible beam down to freezing (below that and I don't observe), and I leave it in the Orion bracket. YMMV


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jerwin
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Reged: 05/17/12

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Re: Green Laser Pointer [Re: Wmacky]
      #6041898 - 08/23/13 01:30 PM

Quote:

I see he carrys blue Lasers. Thoughts on that?




I absolutely love my blue laser. Not everyones eyes can see the blue, but cold weather does not effect mine at all. I have a little $10 cheap one I found on amazon mounted in a mount I got from scopestuff.

http://scopestuff.com/ss_sfind.htm

Actually I have it on a telrad bracket, so when I remove it during travel my alignment is near spot on.

I've done some testing with someone that images and from 15 to 20 feet away he couldn't detect the blue light, but the green easily ruined one of his images.

The blue in general is fainter than the green, but if it's mounted to a dob and your within a few feet of the dob it's bright enough I can see the line.

But again, I'll say that some peoples eyes can't see the beam, so for them it's useless, for me it's priceless.

Jim


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