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Equipment Discussions >> Equipment

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jrbarnett
Eyepiece Hooligan
*****

Reged: 02/28/06

Loc: Petaluma, CA
Re: Green Laser Pointer new [Re: george golitzin]
      #6041909 - 08/23/13 01:40 PM

As a counterpoint, when sharing the sky with the general populace rather than a group of fellow crotchety curmudgeon astronomers, I'd say the GLP is the most significant tool in the last two decades to be introduced into the hobby. I think it comes down to context and purpose. GLP finders are far less destructive of a dark sky experience than the light generated by a laptop or two, yet I don't see vehemence directed at imagers.

- Jim


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Mike B
Starstruck
*****

Reged: 04/06/05

Loc: shake, rattle, & roll, CA
Re: Green Laser Pointer new [Re: SteveG]
      #6041914 - 08/23/13 01:45 PM

Quote:

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.



Well stated. So it's merely an issue of responsible & sensitive use.

Far more intrusive, IMHO, is *sound* trespass, where folks play their music so it's audible all over the place... or jabber away in loud voice like they're on-stage! Unlike a laser, which is invisible from anywhere a few feet off-axis, sound permeates & travels EVERYwhere, indiscriminately! This a matter far more worthy of general ire.

Plus the fact that "green" is so totally cool, but some types of music are annoying.

As for temps- this may vary quite a bit by quality of build & type? My Z-Bolt works quite well down into the 40's F... gettin' weak if below that. My handheld, if kept in the case or a pocket, is fine for "cold". Mine are still on their original battery, tho i pack spares, so juice is not really a concern... at least hasn't been for me & mine.

When i'm with a small group, i'll usually inquire about GLP use before lasing the sky, or if A/P friends are present, will ask if they're shooting at the moment, and/or *where*. They always tell me "don't worry 'bout it", as they'll easily edit out stray stuff- like aircraft, lasers, UFO's.

This strikes me as a non-issue, mostly, where reasonable responsibility is employed. Like a Meade mount "coffee-grinding" its way to the next target, some will chuckle, some will grumble, some will ignore it. In the final analysis, it's just personal choice of hardware.


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John Bordelon
newbie


Reged: 08/31/11

Loc: Marietta, GA
Re: Green Laser Pointer new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #6041921 - 08/23/13 01:49 PM

For those interested in getting a GLP, they stop working on cool nights unless of higher quality. I tried a pair of them that I purchased cheaply at a computer store. They were great until winter arrived. So I got one that had electronic regulation, and that solved the problem. As an aid to pointing a scope, it is really easy to boresight the GLP with scope. Just look through the scope and adjust till the green beam ends in the center of the field of view. They may spook the neighbors, of course. Wonderful for teaching children about objects in the sky.

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starrancher
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 06/09/09

Loc: Northern Arizona
Re: Green Laser Pointer new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #6041922 - 08/23/13 01:50 PM

Quote:

As a counterpoint, when sharing the sky with the general populace rather than a group of fellow crotchety curmudgeon astronomers, I'd say the GLP is the most significant tool in the last two decades to be introduced into the hobby. I think it comes down to context and purpose. GLP finders are far less destructive of a dark sky experience than the light generated by a laptop or two, yet I don't see vehemence directed at imagers.

- Jim




That's where the star party "Hierarchy" comes in . And why I don't bother with that function any longer .
I've never been able to understand why someone who wants to do serious imaging , would want to do it at a star party .
Have star parties now become an activity where rules are set in place to favor only one aspect of the hobby ?
The hierarchy that looks down their noses at the hobbiests whom enjoy the simplicity of the visual aspect and another example of "do as I say , not as I do " .


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Jeff Morgan
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 09/28/03

Loc: Prescott, AZ
Re: Green Laser Pointer new [Re: WarmWeatherGuy]
      #6041923 - 08/23/13 01:52 PM

Quote:

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.




Do think that if you keep repeating this dry air/no pollution nonsense long enough it will somehow become true?

You are flat out wrong, my GLP works fine from 7500' MSL mountain tops in northern Arizona. You'd have to go to Antarctica to find cleaner and drier air! I'm sure that there are many other GLP owners west of the Rockies getting usable results.

Quote:

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.




I haven't crossed the cold weather bridge yet, but I do have several dew straps that have been looking for work since I left the humid midwest. Perhaps I'm the one wrong this time but I am not seeing this as an insurmountable issue.

Cool or sexy is in the eye of the beholder. The appeal for me was eliminating 12-20 ounces of weight in the upper end of a truss tube scope, the worst place to have excess weight. And like you, I have a reliable GOTO system so the finder is useless dead weight. After two star alignment the GLP becomes the back-up system - one I hope to never need.


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Jeff Morgan
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 09/28/03

Loc: Prescott, AZ
Re: Green Laser Pointer new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #6041931 - 08/23/13 01:56 PM

Quote:

GLP finders are far less destructive of a dark sky experience than the light generated by a laptop or two, yet I don't see vehemence directed at imagers.

- Jim





And they bring along enough screens and electrical generators to run a small television station


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csa/montana
Den Mama
*****

Reged: 05/14/05

Loc: montana
Re: Green Laser Pointer new [Re: WarmWeatherGuy]
      #6041933 - 08/23/13 01:57 PM

Quote:

The green laser won't work if the air is dry and not polluted.




The air here is very dry, and little, if any pollution, unless there are wildfires around (which halts all viewing). My 5mW works flawlessly in these conditions.


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wags1
member
*****

Reged: 05/23/13

Loc: PA, USA
Re: Green Laser Pointer new [Re: starrancher]
      #6041939 - 08/23/13 02:04 PM

Quote:

Quote:

As a counterpoint, when sharing the sky with the general populace rather than a group of fellow crotchety curmudgeon astronomers, I'd say the GLP is the most significant tool in the last two decades to be introduced into the hobby. I think it comes down to context and purpose. GLP finders are far less destructive of a dark sky experience than the light generated by a laptop or two, yet I don't see vehemence directed at imagers.

- Jim




That's where the star party "Hierarchy" comes in . And why I don't bother with that function any longer .
I've never been able to understand why someone who wants to do serious imaging , would want to do it at a star party .
Have star parties now become an activity where rules are set in place to favor only one aspect of the hobby ?
The hierarchy that looks down their noses at the hobbiests whom enjoy the simplicity of the visual aspect and another example of "do as I say , not as I do " .




That's why I stopped going to larger public star parties. For some reason they seem to attract the wanabe dictator types. So now my "star parties" involve getting together with some of my friends. Ends up being a much more enjoyable event.


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Mike B
Starstruck
*****

Reged: 04/06/05

Loc: shake, rattle, & roll, CA
Re: Green Laser Pointer new [Re: Jeff Morgan]
      #6041971 - 08/23/13 02:27 PM

Yeah, hadn't considered the light thrown up by laptop screens. Good point!

Quote:

And they bring along enough screens and electrical generators to run a small television station




Yeah, this last trip out my A/P buddies brought, in addition to their "lappies" & power-hungry rigs, a gas-engine "jenny". So the latter could be added to the sound-trespass list. Fortunately it ran for limited times, and then not for long durations. And having some juice handy isn't all bad, either.

Live-and-let-live.


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WarmWeatherGuy
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 08/27/11

Loc: Orlando, FL 28° N, 81° W
Re: Green Laser Pointer new [Re: Jeff Morgan]
      #6041989 - 08/23/13 02:37 PM

Quote:

Quote:

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.




Do think that if you keep repeating this dry air/no pollution nonsense long enough it will somehow become true?

You are flat out wrong, my GLP works fine from 7500' MSL mountain tops in northern Arizona. You'd have to go to Antarctica to find cleaner and drier air! I'm sure that there are many other GLP owners west of the Rockies getting usable results.




I took what you said earlier into consideration and that is why I added "AND you have street lights all around you keeping your pupils small." Obviously we don't see the light as it travels past us. We only see the parts of it that reflect off of particles in the air (moisture, dust, etc.) If there are fewer particles then there will be less light available for us to see. The beam really shows up when you're in the fog. It won't be as bright when the air is dry and clear. I remember not being able to see the laser when it was dry and clear. After reading your comment that you can still see the beam in very dry conditions I accepted that. I thought back to my experience and realized it was in my driveway. I now hope that we can both agree on this:

  1. Humidity will make the beam brighter.
  2. We can see the beam in very dry and clear conditions if we are dark adapted at a dark site.
  3. It is possible that you won't see the beam in very dry/clear conditions if you have street lights all around.


The question then becomes a matter of how dark it must be.


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BSJ
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 12/22/08

Loc: Grand Isle, VT
Re: Green Laser Pointer new [Re: WarmWeatherGuy]
      #6042016 - 08/23/13 02:56 PM

Does FL ever have "dry" air? I mean like in the teens or lower...

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WarmWeatherGuy
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 08/27/11

Loc: Orlando, FL 28° N, 81° W
Re: Green Laser Pointer new [Re: BSJ]
      #6042020 - 08/23/13 02:59 PM

Quote:

Does FL ever have "dry" air? I mean like in the teens or lower...




It happened once, and it caused the Space Shuttle to blow up.


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BSJ
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 12/22/08

Loc: Grand Isle, VT
Re: Green Laser Pointer new [Re: WarmWeatherGuy]
      #6042044 - 08/23/13 03:09 PM

That was cold temps. Not precent of humidity...

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nevy
professor emeritus
*****

Reged: 02/07/12

Loc: UK
Re: Green Laser Pointer new [Re: BSJ]
      #6042052 - 08/23/13 03:18 PM

Mine works below freezing, you can stick mine in a freeza for 30 minutes and it still works , the beam is a bit spread out for a second or two but once the ice crystals are burnt off of the laser outer lense it's back to to normall thin beam , you gets what ya pay for.

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WarmWeatherGuy
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 08/27/11

Loc: Orlando, FL 28° N, 81° W
Re: Green Laser Pointer new [Re: BSJ]
      #6042058 - 08/23/13 03:20 PM

Quote:

That was cold temps. Not precent of humidity...




Ah, you're right. I saw the word teens and thought you were talking temps (I thought YOU had confused the two when it was ME). Humidity is usually 99 to 100% here. On an extremely dry day it might go down to 50%, usually in the Winter. If it ever goes below 50% then Florida catches on fire.

I lived in Las Vegas for a few years. I bought a cheap "leather" strap to wrap around my steering wheel in my car that had no air conditioning. Over the years I guess it had absorbed a lot of palm sweat. I drove my car to St. Pete. to visit my parents and my steering wheel covering instantly turned to putty and had to be thrown away.

It really sucks here in Florida as far as astronomy is concerned. I am working on moving to Arizona or New Mexico.


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Qwickdraw
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 03/03/12

Loc: Ann Arbor, MI
Re: Green Laser Pointer new [Re: starrancher]
      #6042184 - 08/23/13 04:37 PM

Quote:

Quote:

As a counterpoint, when sharing the sky with the general populace rather than a group of fellow crotchety curmudgeon astronomers, I'd say the GLP is the most significant tool in the last two decades to be introduced into the hobby. I think it comes down to context and purpose. GLP finders are far less destructive of a dark sky experience than the light generated by a laptop or two, yet I don't see vehemence directed at imagers.

- Jim




That's where the star party "Hierarchy" comes in . And why I don't bother with that function any longer .
I've never been able to understand why someone who wants to do serious imaging , would want to do it at a star party .
Have star parties now become an activity where rules are set in place to favor only one aspect of the hobby ?
The hierarchy that looks down their noses at the hobbiests whom enjoy the simplicity of the visual aspect and another example of "do as I say , not as I do " .




I don't know that it is necessarily that as much as having dozens of people around all waving lasers is a recipe for an accident.


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Mike B
Starstruck
*****

Reged: 04/06/05

Loc: shake, rattle, & roll, CA
Re: Green Laser Pointer new [Re: WarmWeatherGuy]
      #6042236 - 08/23/13 04:59 PM

Yes, lasers certainly "light-up" notably more in foggy/dusty conditions, for the reasons stated, but the ones i've had the pleasure to use still work just fine in dry, clear air.

Quote:

I thought back to my experience and realized it was in my driveway.



Moonlight will also make the laser's beam hard to see- especially when aimed near Luna. 'Tis an interesting exercise, to be sure- using a GLP as your scope's primary pointer, and then trying to guide it to the Moon! You almost have to "leap" that last 15 degrees, by intuition.


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Wmacky
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 11/24/07

Loc: Florida
Re: Green Laser Pointer new [Re: nevy]
      #6042636 - 08/23/13 10:45 PM

Quote:

Mine works below freezing, you can stick mine in a freeza for 30 minutes and it still works , the beam is a bit spread out for a second or two but once the ice crystals are burnt off of the laser outer lense it's back to to normall thin beam , you gets what ya pay for.




Which brand / model is that?


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nevy
professor emeritus
*****

Reged: 02/07/12

Loc: UK
Re: Green Laser Pointer new [Re: Wmacky]
      #6043253 - 08/24/13 09:50 AM

Quote:

Quote:

Mine works below freezing, you can stick mine in a freeza for 30 minutes and it still works , the beam is a bit spread out for a second or two but once the ice crystals are burnt off of the laser outer lense it's back to to normall thin beam , you gets what ya pay for.




Which brand / model is that?




I bought them from howie glatter.


Edited by nevy (08/24/13 09:52 AM)


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hottr6
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 06/28/09

Loc: 7,500', Magdalena Mtns, NM
Re: Green Laser Pointer new [Re: nevy]
      #6043331 - 08/24/13 10:40 AM Attachment (5 downloads)

Quote:

Quote:

Quote:

Mine works below freezing, you can stick mine in a freeza for 30 minutes and it still works , the beam is a bit spread out for a second or two but once the ice crystals are burnt off of the laser outer lense it's back to to normall thin beam , you gets what ya pay for.




Which brand / model is that?




I bought them from howie glatter.




That's interesting. If this is Glatter's "SkyPointer", it is powered by AAA batteries and no way will AAA deliver electrons when it gets cold (below 50F). Are you referring to another unit? I'd like to know what powers it, because even Li-ion chemistries fail when water starts to thicken.

The other explanation is that many British refrigerators are made by Lucas, "Prince of Darkness", inventor of the 3-position switch (on, off and flicker), so it is unlikely that your freezer works.


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