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DavidOpticsmart
Vendor (Opticsmart.com)


Reged: 08/15/11

Loc: Alabama
Re: **NEW PRODUCT INTRODUCTION** - Check out the HALO! new [Re: tinrinnie]
      #5530176 - 11/20/12 01:30 PM

Quote:

David, you have found your niche...and I have found HALO!

After getting my Zhumell Z10 and having fun pushing around the sky, I soon realized I'd never be able to find what I wanted to find unless I learned how to read the sky. So I've patiently spent the last year completing the AL Binocular Messier list, a terrific way to learn how to star hop, right? Well, only if you're never going to use a telescope! As soon as I returned to my Z10, there I was scanning the sky again, hoping to find something I could recognize and then looking it up to make sure.

I found this thread nearly in tears , upset that I might never be able to find a DSO on purpose, spending all my days, I mean nights, stumbling upon objects. And then when I found HALO, I nearly cried again, this time from joy .

HALO is part of the answer. The other is the altitude, which I seem especially bad at. What do you think about this product, the Husky digital level? http://tinyurl.com/c69vk5q I plan to test it out over Thanksgiving.

Sooo glad to have found your product. Going to order it now.




I'm also glad you found the HALO tinrinnie! I think you will really enjoy being able to easily zero in on those tough-to-find objects. Some people enjoy hunting for objects on their own, but it sounds like the HALO will take a lot of stress out of astronomy for you.

I haven't seen that Husky digital level in person, so I can't say for sure how well it will work. Just by looking at the description/specs, it looks like it should do the job. But if you want to get a product that has been proven to work well by many astronomers, then you might want to go with either the Wixey WR300 or the Sears Torpedo Level.

Anyway, before we ship out your HALO, we just need to verify whether your Zhumell base has the newer/flatter rubber bumper, or the older/rounder rubber bumper around the perimeter of your groundboard, so that we send you a HALO that fits properly.

Here are some photos of both types, which will hopefully help you (and other customers) determine which bumper-style you have.

These first three photos show the groundboards standing on their edge so that you can see the shape of the bumpers:














And in these two photos, the groundboards are flat on the floor, showing the thickness of the bumpers:














So please take a close look at the bumper on your Zhumell (and measure the thickness of it), and let me know which version you have. Thanks for your order tinrinnie, and I look forward to hearing how you like your new HALO!


David Giles
Opticsmart.com

Edited by DavidOpticsmart (11/20/12 01:33 PM)


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Gastrol
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 11/04/11

Loc: los angeles
Re: **NEW PRODUCT INTRODUCTION** - Check out the HALO! new [Re: tinrinnie]
      #5530247 - 11/20/12 01:58 PM

Quote:

What do you think about this product, the Husky digital level? http://tinyurl.com/c69vk5q




One thing you need to consider is the weight of some of these torpedo levels. Some can be as heavy as a very large 2" eye piece and can cause balance issues depending on where you mount it. Wixeys are relatively small and weigh almost next to nothing.


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beatlejuice
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 04/05/11

Loc: Hamilton, ON,Canada
Re: **NEW PRODUCT INTRODUCTION** - Check out the HALO! new [Re: DavidOpticsmart]
      #5530681 - 11/20/12 05:35 PM

Quote:

Anyway, before we ship out your HALO, we just need to verify whether your Zhumell base has the newer/flatter rubber bumper, or the older/rounder rubber bumper around the perimeter of your groundboard




Just wondering David if anyone has tried yet to fit the older/rounder Orion groundboard to a Halo.

Eric


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DavidOpticsmart
Vendor (Opticsmart.com)


Reged: 08/15/11

Loc: Alabama
Re: **NEW PRODUCT INTRODUCTION** - Check out the HALO! new [Re: beatlejuice]
      #5531708 - 11/21/12 08:46 AM

Quote:

Just wondering David if anyone has tried yet to fit the older/rounder Orion groundboard to a Halo.

Eric




Hey Eric. An XT8 owner who has one of the older Orion bases with the round groundboard did contact us to ask about this, and his groundboard was over 1/2" smaller in diameter than the inside diameter of the HALO for 8" GSO-made scopes, so unfortunately it wouldn't be a very good fit.

David Giles
Opticsmart.com


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Gastrol
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 11/04/11

Loc: los angeles
Re: **NEW PRODUCT INTRODUCTION** - Check out the HALO! new [Re: DavidOpticsmart]
      #5532152 - 11/21/12 12:23 PM

That's really a bummer with the different ground board specs. There are so many other users out there that can benefit from the use of the Halo. There has got to be a more practical solution out there to deal with this.
I know this has been discussed before but at least with the smaller dob bases perhaps a slightly larger than stock replacement Halo ground board is the only "simple" solution I can think of. One size can accommodate a variety of different diameter bases within a certain size range.



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rboeAdministrator

*****

Reged: 03/16/02

Loc: Phx, AZ
Re: **NEW PRODUCT INTRODUCTION** - Check out the HALO! new [Re: Gastrol]
      #5532488 - 11/21/12 03:28 PM

Just thinking out loud here, may be a crack pot idea but maybe it'll give someone else a good idea.

For certain sizes (perhaps a family of four) the HALO is shipped complete except the center is solid. A center hole with pivot is include along with a scrap of hardboard attached to the pivot.

The user is expected to attach their router to the hardboard and route out the center to fit their scope using the scrap hardboard as a cheap circle jig.

Since the center is about the hardest thing to do, if Opticsmart had already done this it would make success at home easier to come by.

At the very least a center hole would be provided to pivot the user supplied circle jig (with plans on how to make your own if you don't have a commercial jig - after all, it's about the easiest jig to make!).


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rboeAdministrator

*****

Reged: 03/16/02

Loc: Phx, AZ
Re: **NEW PRODUCT INTRODUCTION** - Check out the HALO! new [Re: rboe]
      #5532490 - 11/21/12 03:28 PM

In fact, just a dimple to mark center would be good enough too.

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Gastrol
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 11/04/11

Loc: los angeles
Re: **NEW PRODUCT INTRODUCTION** - Check out the HALO! new [Re: rboe]
      #5532537 - 11/21/12 03:52 PM

My thinking on that is if the user already owns a router, might as well build a clone Halo from scratch.

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Mary B
Vendor - Echo Astronomy and Electronics
*****

Reged: 05/21/10

Loc: Minnesota
Re: **NEW PRODUCT INTRODUCTION** - Check out the HALO! new [Re: Gastrol]
      #5532642 - 11/21/12 04:57 PM

Or just substitute it for their current ground board. Wouldn't be hard to use the old one to lay out the screw holes etc.

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rboeAdministrator

*****

Reged: 03/16/02

Loc: Phx, AZ
Re: **NEW PRODUCT INTRODUCTION** - Check out the HALO! new [Re: Mary B]
      #5532689 - 11/21/12 05:22 PM

True, but the HALO has that very nice printed waterproof numbered ring and the levelers all made in that very nice water proof material. So it is not without its' advantages. Pricing would determine if it was worth it to the buyer.

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Gastrol
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 11/04/11

Loc: los angeles
Re: **NEW PRODUCT INTRODUCTION** - Check out the HALO! new [Re: rboe]
      #5532702 - 11/21/12 05:29 PM

Quote:

True, but the HALO has that very nice printed waterproof numbered ring and the levelers all made in that very nice water proof material. So it is not without its' advantages. Pricing would determine if it was worth it to the buyer.


Good points. Now, only if the numbered laminate rings were available separately...

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audioaficionado
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 05/24/12

Loc: Medford, Orygun, USA
Re: **NEW PRODUCT INTRODUCTION** - Check out the HALO! new [Re: DavidOpticsmart]
      #5543062 - 11/27/12 11:23 PM

I'd think some steel or hardened aluminum backing would give me more confidence in the long term composite durability of the rather thin looking Apertura versions. Could there be more meat left on the inside edge/shelf lip? Perhaps don't hollow it out at all except just the feet cutouts.

It looks real nice though. Definitely will consider one when I order my future AD10 dob.


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rboeAdministrator

*****

Reged: 03/16/02

Loc: Phx, AZ
Re: **NEW PRODUCT INTRODUCTION** - Check out the HALO! new [Re: audioaficionado]
      #5543459 - 11/28/12 09:27 AM

Perhaps you could convince Mr. Giles to post another photo showing the thickness with something for scale. I got to see these in person in Tucson and they are thicker in person that what I assumed from viewing the pictures here.

These are quite beefy units; in looking at them, while there may be design tweaks I'd consider; making them stronger is not one of them. They are over built for a 16" dob, for anything smaller; well they are silly strong.


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DavidOpticsmart
Vendor (Opticsmart.com)


Reged: 08/15/11

Loc: Alabama
Re: **NEW PRODUCT INTRODUCTION** - Check out the HALO! new [Re: audioaficionado]
      #5543692 - 11/28/12 11:39 AM

Quote:

I'd think some steel or hardened aluminum backing would give me more confidence in the long term composite durability of the rather thin looking Apertura versions. Could there be more meat left on the inside edge/shelf lip? Perhaps don't hollow it out at all except just the feet cutouts.

It looks real nice though. Definitely will consider one when I order my future AD10 dob.




Hey Steve,

We could certainly add aluminum or steel backing, but it would significantly (and in my opinion, unnecessarily) increase the cost of the HALO. And keep in mind that the HALO is made from 1.25" thick material which is pretty darn thick.

We've tested the HALO in various ways. We've dropped it flat on its feet onto a concrete floor from a height of seven feet (which is an EXTREME test for ANY piece of astronomy gear) with absolutely no damage whatsoever. And we've set the groundboard for an AD12 in its matching HALO and had TWO grown men stand on the groundboard at the same time (a little over 400 pounds!) with no damage whatsoever. Naturally the groundboard and the HALO flexed a fair amount with that much weight on them, but neither cracked or broke. And 400 pounds is obviously WAY beyond the HALO's design limit.

In another test, I jumped up and down on the AD12 groundboard in the HALO several times without failure. I continued jumping higher and higher until eventually the HALO did break. BUT it was taking a very serious beating at that point, and TWO of the 5/16"-18 legs were severly bent in the process, which shows how much stress was being put on the system when it finally failed. And if you jump up and down as hard as you can on your Dob base (or just about any other piece of astronomy gear) you're probably going to have to replace it as well.

And in regard to weatherability, we've soaked HALOs under a sprinkler for over half an hour and left them out to dry in the sun, with no change in appearance, strength, or functionality.

So although the HALO is certainly not indestructible (and neither is any of your other astronomy equipment), in my humble opinion, the HALO is more than durable enough for its intended use.

But I suspect that the only thing that is really going to give people confidence in the HALO's durability is widespread use of them in the field over the long term. The 3/4" thick MDF used for Dob bases has already gone through that period, so naturally people have a level of confidence in its durability. I wish we could send people through time into the future, so that they could actually see how the HALOs held up over the long term, but unfortunately we haven't developed the time machine yet.

David Giles
Opticsmart.com


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audioaficionado
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 05/24/12

Loc: Medford, Orygun, USA
Re: **NEW PRODUCT INTRODUCTION** - Check out the HALO! new [Re: DavidOpticsmart]
      #5544071 - 11/28/12 03:20 PM

It sounds like it will work as is. I can always retrofit metal reinforcement by any perceived weak areas in the future as needed.

I like the product lines you are offering. They look like good value for the investment.


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DavidOpticsmart
Vendor (Opticsmart.com)


Reged: 08/15/11

Loc: Alabama
Re: **NEW PRODUCT INTRODUCTION** - Check out the HALO! new [Re: audioaficionado]
      #5544172 - 11/28/12 04:20 PM

Quote:

It sounds like it will work as is. I can always retrofit metal reinforcement by any perceived weak areas in the future as needed.

I like the product lines you are offering. They look like good value for the investment.




Yeah you can definitely add any reinforcement that you feel is necessary. But once you hold the HALO in your hands, and use it for awhile, I think you might get comfortable with it and decide that reinforcement isn't necessary.

Anyway, thanks for the compliments Steve, and I look forward to hearing how you like your your Apertura dob and your HALO!

David Giles


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Mary B
Vendor - Echo Astronomy and Electronics
*****

Reged: 05/21/10

Loc: Minnesota
Re: **NEW PRODUCT INTRODUCTION** - Check out the HALO! new [Re: DavidOpticsmart]
      #5544325 - 11/28/12 06:10 PM

Okay how about this for those of us who like to tinker. Make an option without the center cut out so we can adapt it to our current scope as a new ground board. Think on my Z10 all it would need is the insert for the center tension bolt. Less to carry when setting up.

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DavidOpticsmart
Vendor (Opticsmart.com)


Reged: 08/15/11

Loc: Alabama
Re: **NEW PRODUCT INTRODUCTION** - Check out the HALO! new [Re: Mary B]
      #5544429 - 11/28/12 07:32 PM

Quote:

Okay how about this for those of us who like to tinker. Make an option without the center cut out so we can adapt it to our current scope as a new ground board. Think on my Z10 all it would need is the insert for the center tension bolt. Less to carry when setting up.




Thanks for the suggestion Mary! We're definitely considering a groundboard-replacement style HALO for the future. But we would use 3/4" thick material for that design, because a solid groundboard made from 1.25" thick Extira with no center-cutout would be WAY too heavy (and most people complain about their bases being too heavy already). I'll definitely let you know when we do have that type of HALO ready to go, but it may be awhile because we still have some other projects that need to get done first.

David Giles
Opticsmart.com


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JamesL
member


Reged: 10/19/12

Loc: Pacific,MO
Re: **NEW PRODUCT INTRODUCTION** - Check out the HALO! new [Re: aznights]
      #5544859 - 11/29/12 12:16 AM

composite wood product???

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DavidOpticsmart
Vendor (Opticsmart.com)


Reged: 08/15/11

Loc: Alabama
Re: **NEW PRODUCT INTRODUCTION** - Check out the HALO! new [Re: JamesL]
      #5545002 - 11/29/12 06:16 AM

Quote:

composite wood product???




Not sure if you're asking about the HALO, or the Dobsonian bases that it supports, but either way the answer is yes. The main difference is that the HALO is made from a thicker, higher grade composite wood product that is virtually waterproof.

David Giles
Opticsmart.com


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