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Equipment Discussions >> Equipment

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csrlice12
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Reged: 05/22/12

Loc: Denver, CO
Re: You want cheaper equipment? Another perspective. new [Re: korborh]
      #5645705 - 01/27/13 09:56 AM

Quote:

Quote:

Outreach is not for everyone. Some folks have really hectic lives and time at the eyepiece is precious. Others simply prefer solitude, quiet, and time to reflect for themselves. I don't know of any other hobby that demands outreach as a condition of participation. Why does astronomy but not woodworking, gardening, butterfly collecting, fishing or any other liesure time activity?
dan




Well said. For me, Astronomy is very personal and I like to image/observe alone. Outreach is not my thing.




When fishing, outreach to the fish is kind of the idea...never was much good convincing them to bite the hook though..... Buy yea, I agree. I'm not a real social person, even outside of astronomy. I do most of my viewing alone as I prefer it; however, I do enjoy the occasional Dark Sky weekend though. Oddly enough, I see some of the same people I see at that scope shop...kinda like a scene out of Close Encounters....


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CounterWeight
Postmaster
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Reged: 10/05/08

Loc: Palo alto, CA.
Re: You want cheaper equipment? Another perspective. new [Re: Astrojensen]
      #5645864 - 01/27/13 11:23 AM

If the question is, does outreach increase scope sales... difficult question. The US economy went reeling after finding out that money was something real, and we still have not recovered from the 'casino economy', and I'm unsure about what if any lessons learned. Basing on prior 20-30 years may be faulty as I think most of that was abstract credit dollars and not something folks saved real $ to buy. Maybe actual sales with real money are better reflected in the last 2 to 3 years (this includes the 'used' market).

On the other aspect, education... well we are struggling there mightily and I think it does require a certain minimum education for astronomy and other sciences to be seen as important and not abstract or elitist, and the leasure time for curiousity to be indulged. We've become a country dominated by cheap things, not inexpensive quality things - this I see as a huge paradigm shift in my lifetime. As for me I'd love to see inexpensive of a reasonable minimum quality.

So in a reverse way I'd postulate that the years prior to 2008 (specifically mid 90's to ~2009) were the unreliable numbers and the recent few the more accurate.

With respect to the infomation age I think owning and using a scope is the odd 'better off' person, as it was long ago. Many feel it sufficient to mouse click their way to whatever it is, watch a TV program, electronic media is changing a lot of things. The last few outreaches I did in the city, most were busy factoid checking everything on their smartphones and viewing through the ep was 'interesting' more in the sense of what it could do in reality, but this was more a 'vs.' what the emedia had - and what it had was a lot more in ways.

There is a thread in the stellar media forum about hardcopy books vs digital version where it's postulated that books wil disappear eventually because of the digital information and media, perhaps telescope sales are being impacted in a similar way?

I grew up reading books and looking through the eyepiece. The images from satellites... Pioneer to Hubble and others, I can see far more intimate detail in those images (and it obsoleted all previous earth based imagery I had)- though in a different way. But the reality is it is information and is not abstract as it's based on direct experience in a way. In a large way, I think that may have an impact, and perhaps the notion because telescopes are not being used to access visual information there is less interest - may be misguided on our part?

Just throwing all this out there.


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Lorence
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 09/15/08

Re: You want cheaper equipment? Another perspective. new [Re: JayinUT]
      #5646707 - 01/27/13 07:00 PM

Quote:

So do I think the future is hopeful? I don't think the hobby will die, but it is going to change. The days of pure visual observing are slowly fading as technology brings in new aspects of doing the hobby. If prices can be lowered the hobby will continue to move to imaging as light pollution continues to grow with the population. That means higher costs to get to dark sites or on outlays of equipment. That will mean income is needed and most adults starting out in life do not have the extra income. In the end it's just a guess and time will tell.




What counts as pure visual observing? An eyepiece? What of an electronic eyepiece?

I observe exclusively with cameras. Depending on the brightness of the object I am either viewing live video, integrated video or CCD exposures ranging from two thousandths of a second to two minutes. Other than the live stacking of a series of exposures I don't do any image processing. The stacking procedure is live. I see the individual images as they come from the camera and watch as they build up a cleaner stacked image. Stacking filters out the electronic noise made by the camera just like a Light Pollution filter filters out the visual noise made by all the lights.

Nobody will ever convince me that the image in an eyepiece is any purer than what I see on a screen. To my way of thinking the camera simply amplifies the the visual signal to help me see better, just as a hearing aid amplifies sound to help some hear better.

Would anyone suggest to a person that is hard of hearing not to use a hearing aid because the sound is not pure, it has been amplified and therefor is not really the original sound?

Of course not, but many eyepiece observers would swear that my kind of observing is not really observing. As a matter of fact some will go out of their way to discourage my kind of observing.

The irony is the video cameras I use work every well in light polluted areas. People can see more with a video camera in their light polluted back yard than they can see if they took their telescope to a dark sight and used an eyepiece.

Why on earth would anyone interested in astronomy discourage electronic viewing? I have no ides, but I have seen it happen many times. Bring up the topic of electronic viewing on a visual forum and watch the fur fly.

The future is in electronics. It will take some time though. As for cost, cameras are expensive now but then look at how much one can spend on eyepieces.

When enough cameras are being sold to attract the interest of the major manufactures the prices of cameras will drop substantially. I can see the price of cameras being lower than eyepieces eventually.


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StarStuff1
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Reged: 04/01/07

Loc: South of the Mason-Dixon Line
Re: You want cheaper equipment? Another perspective. new [Re: Lorence]
      #5646793 - 01/27/13 07:49 PM

Yo Lorence,

This is the reason that most of my observing is done with my IIE (Image Intensifier Eyepiece) and various filters. I can see stuff from ny surburban yard that are near to invisible from a dark, pristine site hours away. Not everyone enjoys it. Complaints about "green sprinkles" when using a photographic Ha filter. But, I learned the hard way that IIE viewing is not for kids. Since I do a fair amount of outreach I do use a video camera quite often. Everyone with some vision can see a monitor.

Agreed, electronics will rule the future of our beloved hobby.


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jrbarnett
Eyepiece Hooligan
*****

Reged: 02/28/06

Loc: Petaluma, CA
Re: You want cheaper equipment? Another perspective. new [Re: starrancher]
      #5646798 - 01/27/13 07:50 PM

They are remaking Cosmos. I wonder why. It's Fox, even, doing the remake. PBS did the original. How's that for contrast?

I doubt that they'd bother unless they felt that there would be an audience for it, and they could make a buck. I also applaud them for finally branching out into non-fiction. A first for Fox, I'm pretty sure.

- Jim

Edited by jrbarnett (01/27/13 07:58 PM)


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starrancher
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 06/09/09

Loc: Northern Arizona
Re: You want cheaper equipment? Another perspective. new [Re: Lorence]
      #5646956 - 01/27/13 09:13 PM

Quote:

Quote:

So do I think the future is hopeful? I don't think the hobby will die, but it is going to change. The days of pure visual observing are slowly fading as technology brings in new aspects of doing the hobby. If prices can be lowered the hobby will continue to move to imaging as light pollution continues to grow with the population. That means higher costs to get to dark sites or on outlays of equipment. That will mean income is needed and most adults starting out in life do not have the extra income. In the end it's just a guess and time will tell.




What counts as pure visual observing? An eyepiece? What of an electronic eyepiece?

I observe exclusively with cameras. Depending on the brightness of the object I am either viewing live video, integrated video or CCD exposures ranging from two thousandths of a second to two minutes. Other than the live stacking of a series of exposures I don't do any image processing. The stacking procedure is live. I see the individual images as they come from the camera and watch as they build up a cleaner stacked image. Stacking filters out the electronic noise made by the camera just like a Light Pollution filter filters out the visual noise made by all the lights.

Nobody will ever convince me that the image in an eyepiece is any purer than what I see on a screen. To my way of thinking the camera simply amplifies the the visual signal to help me see better, just as a hearing aid amplifies sound to help some hear better.

Would anyone suggest to a person that is hard of hearing not to use a hearing aid because the sound is not pure, it has been amplified and therefor is not really the original sound?

Of course not, but many eyepiece observers would swear that my kind of observing is not really observing. As a matter of fact some will go out of their way to discourage my kind of observing.

The irony is the video cameras I use work every well in light polluted areas. People can see more with a video camera in their light polluted back yard than they can see if they took their telescope to a dark sight and used an eyepiece.

Why on earth would anyone interested in astronomy discourage electronic viewing? I have no ides, but I have seen it happen many times. Bring up the topic of electronic viewing on a visual forum and watch the fur fly.

The future is in electronics. It will take some time though. As for cost, cameras are expensive now but then look at how much one can spend on eyepieces.V

When enough cameras are being sold to attract the interest of the major manufactures the prices of cameras will drop substantially. I can see the price of cameras being lower than eyepieces eventually.




That camera discussion is old long ago .

Edited by tecmage (01/28/13 12:40 AM)


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mikey cee
Postmaster
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Reged: 01/18/07

Loc: bellevue ne.
Re: You want cheaper equipment? Another perspective. new [Re: starrancher]
      #5647250 - 01/28/13 12:30 AM



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Tom Polakis
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 12/20/04

Loc: Tempe, Arizona
Re: You want cheaper equipment? Another perspective. new [Re: Lorence]
      #5647286 - 01/28/13 01:01 AM

Quote:



The future is in electronics. It will take some time though. As for cost, cameras are expensive now but then look at how much one can spend on eyepieces.

When enough cameras are being sold to attract the interest of the major manufactures the prices of cameras will drop substantially. I can see the price of cameras being lower than eyepieces eventually.






Video astronomy may indeed be the future, which will ensure that people spend even more of their waking hours staring at glowing rectangles.

Tom


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Dan Watt
professor emeritus
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Reged: 10/13/09

Loc: Oceanside, Calfornia.
Re: You want cheaper equipment? Another perspective. new [Re: Tom Polakis]
      #5647309 - 01/28/13 01:26 AM

I'm 26 and I've been in this hobby for a little over three or four years now. I'm party of two of the local astro clubs and while I have seen people my age or younger on occasion, I've never seen them more than once. And I'm out there at least twice a month.

From time to time I have asked plenty of friends if they would like to come with, and most of the time there is a complete lack of interest. Friends range from, for lack of a better word, nerds, all the way to friends of mine in punk or metal bands. Even the people that own Cosmos on DVD, constantly post astro news on their Facebook and know plenty about astronomy express little interest in actually going out to observe (to contrast, the one person that usually likes to go was the singer to a party themed grindcore band).

Why? It isn't time. I've seen them spend a whole weekend playing videogames or hiking or whatever. I don't think its money either, while telescopes aren't exactly dirt cheap a simple dob or set of binos isn't going to break the bank. The interest is there too.

So what is missing? I really don't have a clue. You could say that their attention span is too low. But mine is too! Or at least was but this hobby (and especially astrophotography) has taught me a good deal of patience over the years, but I still got hooked.

I just asked my girlfriend who is 24 what she thinks. "Fuzzy blobs aren't very stimulating".

Maybe thats just it. I mean, I don't accept that at all for a second myself but maybe that is all there is to the general disinterest exhibited by my peers.


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Raginar
Post Laureate
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Reged: 10/19/10

Loc: Rapid CIty, SD
Re: You want cheaper equipment? Another perspective. new [Re: Dan Watt]
      #5647543 - 01/28/13 08:06 AM

Dan,

Not a lot of 'kids' around your age can afford the hobby. Or, they're too busy huntng/hiking/traveling/fishing/doing manly pursuits. At least, that's what I get out of the community I'm apart of.


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csrlice12
Postmaster
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Reged: 05/22/12

Loc: Denver, CO
Re: You want cheaper equipment? Another perspective. new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5647556 - 01/28/13 08:12 AM

Quote:

They are remaking Cosmos. I wonder why. It's Fox, even, doing the remake. PBS did the original. How's that for contrast?

I doubt that they'd bother unless they felt that there would be an audience for it, and they could make a buck. I also applaud them for finally branching out into non-fiction. A first for Fox, I'm pretty sure.

- Jim




Billions and Billions of stars.....all under 6,000 years old......Just ask Fred and Dino!


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Phil Sherman
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 12/07/10

Loc: Cleveland, Ohio
Re: You want cheaper equipment? Another perspective. new [Re: csrlice12]
      #5648171 - 01/28/13 01:24 PM

One of the biggest problems I've encountered is the lack of a place to observe from near home. I live in an inner ring suburb that's famous for its tree lined streets. Unfortunately, city regulations prohibit use of any parks or school grounds after dark. Both of these areas have open fields and one park is completely shaded from the nearby street lights and even has restrooms.

I'm currently visiting my daughter and grandchildren. Last week, I did an astronomy program for a preschool class and ended up spending over three hours letting over a hundred kids up through 5th grade view sunspots through my filtered 80mm guidescope, set up on its own tabletop mount. I'm hoping for good weather tomorrow to do the same for a K-1 class for my other grandchild.

Phil


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dan_h
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 12/10/07

Re: You want cheaper equipment? Another perspective. new [Re: Raginar]
      #5648245 - 01/28/13 01:51 PM

Quote:

Dan,

Not a lot of 'kids' around your age can afford the hobby.........




Kids have more disposable income than most adults. Have you seen the price of concert tickets lately? (Not to mention the cost of appropriate fashion.)

dan


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Lorence
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 09/15/08

Re: You want cheaper equipment? Another perspective. new [Re: starrancher]
      #5648266 - 01/28/13 01:59 PM

Quote:

Quote:

Nobody will ever convince me that the image in an eyepiece is any purer than what I see on a screen. To my way of thinking the camera simply amplifies the the visual signal to help me see better, just as a hearing aid amplifies sound to help some hear better.

Would anyone suggest to a person that is hard of hearing not to use a hearing aid because the sound is not pure, it has been amplified and therefor is not really the original sound?

Of course not, but many eyepiece observers would swear that my kind of observing is not really observing. As a matter of fact some will go out of their way to discourage my kind of observing.




That camera discussion is old long ago .




Yes it is, and it's obvious you didn't mind going out of your way to mention that fact.

Remember this quote of yours from another thread?

"I'll take the color free image through the eyepiece and leave the abominated images behind with a bit of money for the fuel tank if needed ."

Somewhat prejudiced?

I wanted to make a point, thanks for helping.


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Lorence
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 09/15/08

Re: You want cheaper equipment? Another perspective. new [Re: Tom Polakis]
      #5648383 - 01/28/13 02:43 PM

Quote:

Video astronomy may indeed be the future, which will ensure that people spend even more of their waking hours staring at glowing rectangles.

Tom




Here's one of my glowing rectangle abominations. I wasted two minutes of my life waiting for it to go from the camera to the screen. To make matters worse I wasted even more time looking at it.

It's a 1.7 meg image. No processing.

http://www.mts.net/~lmlod/Photo/M42%20Full%20Res%202%20min.jpg

My apologies for showing this image again but it's the only one I have of an object bright enough for most eyepiece users to see clearly. I save very few images. The rest are of objects too faint.


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starrancher
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 06/09/09

Loc: Northern Arizona
Re: You want cheaper equipment? Another perspective. new [Re: Lorence]
      #5648403 - 01/28/13 02:53 PM

Quote:

Quote:

Quote:

Nobody will ever convince me that the image in an eyepiece is any purer than what I see on a screen. To my way of thinking the camera simply amplifies the the visual signal to help me see better, just as a hearing aid amplifies sound to help some hear better.

Would anyone suggest to a person that is hard of hearing not to use a hearing aid because the sound is not pure, it has been amplified and therefor is not really the original sound?

Of course not, but many eyepiece observers would swear that my kind of observing is not really observing. As a matter of fact some will go out of their way to discourage my kind of observing.




That camera discussion is old long ago .




Yes it is, and it's obvious you didn't mind going out of your way to mention that fact.

Remember this quote of yours from another thread?

"I'll take the color free image through the eyepiece and leave the abominated images behind with a bit of money for the fuel tank if needed ."

Somewhat prejudiced?

I wanted to make a point, thanks for helping.




What point ? I dont see it .
What your saying is liken to saying that seeing a Hockey game on a TV screen is the same as being there . Or the Rose parade . Is viewing it on a monitor the same as sitting on the sidewalk as it goes by ?
There is indeed an intimacy in the view through an eyepiece that just can't be had in any other way . If one cannot fathom that this difference is tangible , I would think something might be missing . If viewing in this manner is personal preference , fine and dandy , but attempting to convey that watching a football game on TV is as live as sitting on the fifty yard line is misleadingly false and it seem this is what you are attempting to do . No criticism on the part of your preference , . Just not my preference . And no need to get nasty about it , it makes you seem like an intolerant being . Every one has their own way of enjoying the hobby , so expressing ones point of view doesn't need to be taken head in with strong rebuttle . You see it your way , I see it mine , but Im not gonna dig up old posted quotes of yours in an attemp to make a spectacle of things . I'm just an old fashioned guy that's gonna view the old fashioned way , and sorry if that doesn't suit your fancy .


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cn register 5
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 12/26/12

Re: You want cheaper equipment? Another perspective. new [Re: starrancher]
      #5648499 - 01/28/13 03:31 PM

Be nice.

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Lorence
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 09/15/08

Re: You want cheaper equipment? Another perspective. new [Re: StarStuff1]
      #5648527 - 01/28/13 03:43 PM

Quote:

Yo Lorence,

This is the reason that most of my observing is done with my IIE (Image Intensifier Eyepiece) and various filters. I can see stuff from ny surburban yard that are near to invisible from a dark, pristine site hours away. Not everyone enjoys it. Complaints about "green sprinkles" when using a photographic Ha filter. But, I learned the hard way that IIE viewing is not for kids. Since I do a fair amount of outreach I do use a video camera quite often. Everyone with some vision can see a monitor.

Agreed, electronics will rule the future of our beloved hobby.




I always enjoy seeing your images. They offer another way of looking at the sky. There can't be too many ways to see if every way is in some way unique. That some don't like your images is their loss.

Seems to me that if someone could make a camera that combined the characteristics of Image Intensifiers, Mallincams, Infrared and a few other spectrums we would have something very interesting.


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Dan Watt
professor emeritus
*****

Reged: 10/13/09

Loc: Oceanside, Calfornia.
Re: You want cheaper equipment? Another perspective. new [Re: Raginar]
      #5648561 - 01/28/13 04:00 PM

Quote:

Dan,

Not a lot of 'kids' around your age can afford the hobby. Or, they're too busy huntng/hiking/traveling/fishing/doing manly pursuits. At least, that's what I get out of the community I'm apart of.




Maybe, although I live in South Orange County... I see 16 year old kids driving BMWs more often than Hondas.


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Tom Polakis
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 12/20/04

Loc: Tempe, Arizona
Re: You want cheaper equipment? Another perspective. new [Re: Lorence]
      #5648631 - 01/28/13 04:27 PM

Quote:

Quote:

Video astronomy may indeed be the future, which will ensure that people spend even more of their waking hours staring at glowing rectangles.

Tom




Here's one of my glowing rectangle abominations. I wasted two minutes of my life waiting for it to go from the camera to the screen. To make matters worse I wasted even more time looking at it.

It's a 1.7 meg image. No processing.

http://www.mts.net/~lmlod/Photo/M42%20Full%20Res%202%20min.jpg

My apologies for showing this image again but it's the only one I have of an object bright enough for most eyepiece users to see clearly. I save very few images. The rest are of objects too faint.




I really don't want to perpetuate a discussion that appears to be your hobby horse, but I sure am happy to be able to see both the Trapezium and the surrounding nebula visually through my 70mm Pronto.

Note that I have actually been an advocate of our astronomy club getting a Mallincam for outreach. People wait in line under an urban sky to get into the dome, and a small scope/Mallincam would be perfect. Again, just like CCD imaging, this bears no resemblance to visual observing, but it can augment it.

Tom


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