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General Astronomy >> General Observing and Astronomy

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csrlice12
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Reged: 05/22/12

Loc: Denver, CO
Re: Are you an observing perfectionist? new [Re: kenrenard]
      #5675905 - 02/12/13 01:50 PM

If collimating your scope makes you a perfectionist, what does driving 1+ hours to a dark site do?????

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Feidb
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 10/09/09

Loc: Nevada
Re: Are you an observing perfectionist? new [Re: csrlice12]
      #5676107 - 02/12/13 03:40 PM

Since I break down my telescope because it is a truss tube design, I pretty much have to check it each time. If I'm able to set up with enough light, I use a $3 plastic cap I picked up at an Okie-Tex in the 90's. Tweak the mirror and that's it. Since I have to take my finder and GLP off each time, I of course, have to recheck them too, but tutherwise, that's it for the night. I don't bother with it again unless I see really wonky stars later in the evening then I know something is going on.

That's not perfectionism. That's just keeping a usable image. However, I've seen just the type people you may be alluding to. They seem to spend more time tweaking than viewing. If I were to watch them, I'd go crazy. Lucky I'm too busy actually accomplishing something!


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Carol L

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Reged: 07/05/04

Loc: Tomahawk, WI 45N//89W
Re: Are you an observing perfectionist? new [Re: MikeBOKC]
      #5676462 - 02/12/13 07:28 PM

Quote:

. . . can we get bogged down in observing perfectionism to the point where all that fiddling with equipment gets in the way of an enjoyable night?




Our time is our own, and what we do with it is simply a matter of personal choice.


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dennyhenke
super member


Reged: 09/07/12

Loc: Fredericktown, MO
Re: Are you an observing perfectionist? new [Re: Carol L]
      #5676658 - 02/12/13 09:53 PM

I do a star test. I'm only moving my scope 10 feet but have had to collimate a few times. Only takes a minute so no problem. I'd much rather check it and fix it and have the best view possible. I've invested over $1,000 in my scope and EPs and do my best to use it. If it's clear I'm out viewing and usually for several hours, no reason to not take a few minutes to set it up right.

As for choice of EPs, I do the same thing for every object. Start with the 26mm, then the 18mm and finally the 11mm. Sometimes the 5mm depending on the object and the seeing conditions. I enjoy seeing the difference between each of them and it only takes a second to switch them out.


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FirstSight
Duke of Deneb
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Reged: 12/26/05

Loc: Raleigh, NC
Re: Are you an observing perfectionist? new [Re: Jon Isaacs]
      #5676872 - 02/13/13 12:26 AM Attachment (11 downloads)

Quote:

Quote:

I am not sure that I would label collimatinga scopeasanattempt at perfectionism.




Exactly. Collimating a scope is standard operating procedure. Perfectionism is something else.

Jon




Below is a good test of whether, for you, collimation is merely "standard operating procedure" or else whether it crosses over a bit into OCD-perfectionism. Assume you have the Catseye collimation tools, and the below picture shows the view of how your red triangle center spot appears when viewed in the Catseye Blackcat (i.e. cheshire tool). Here's the test question: Is the primary collimation shown comfortably good- enough for your tastes to consider it "done", and start observing? Or would that tiny sliver of black above the top vertex of the triangle make you itchy to continue tweaking collimation some more? "Remember, this is for posterity, so be honest" (line from "Princess Bride").


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Dennis_S253
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 11/22/11

Loc: West Central Florida
Re: Are you an observing perfectionist? [Re: FirstSight]
      #5676922 - 02/13/13 01:21 AM

Looks off to me.

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GeneT
Ely Kid
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Reged: 11/07/08

Loc: South Texas
Re: Are you an observing perfectionist? new [Re: Dave74]
      #5678088 - 02/13/13 05:55 PM

Quote:

I'm hardly a perfectionist. I like the routine of checking the collimation prior to viewing. Puts me in the mood.




Me too!


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jeff heck
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Reged: 01/16/06

Loc: stl,mo.
Re: Are you an observing perfectionist? new [Re: GeneT]
      #5678353 - 02/13/13 09:00 PM

Observing for me IS perfection!

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kansas skies
sage


Reged: 12/02/12

Loc: Kansas, USA
Re: Are you an observing perfectionist? new [Re: jeff heck]
      #5678879 - 02/14/13 07:18 AM

My scopes don't tend to go out of collimation easily (refractors and cats), so I don't spend much time these days on collimation. I went through a period with each where collimation was necessary, but they've long since settled down. That being said, I'm still very aware of the effects of poor collimation, so it's always on my mind at some level. If during the course of an observing session, I see a need for collimation, I usually fight the urge and wait to see if some other factor might be the culprit (thermal equilibrium, atmospheric conditions, my eyes, etc...). More often than not, something else is responsible. If not, then I either collimate at that time, or make plans to do so in the near future.

So, to answer your question, I would have to consider myself a patient perfectionist in regards to collimation.

Bill


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csrlice12
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Reged: 05/22/12

Loc: Denver, CO
Re: Are you an observing perfectionist? new [Re: kansas skies]
      #5679153 - 02/14/13 10:47 AM

Uh, guilty, I'd tweek it--and why not, you've already went to the problem of checking it...the hard part's done!

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Madratter
Postmaster


Reged: 01/14/13

Re: Are you an observing perfectionist? new [Re: csrlice12]
      #5679179 - 02/14/13 11:00 AM

I've noticed in a lot of my hobbies there are gear hounds and people for whom the gear is just a means to the end. For a gear hound, playing with the equipment IS their enjoyment. For those to whom it is a means to the end, dealing with the gear can be rather annoying. They just want to observe/make music/take pictures/etc.

There are of course people who enjoy both aspects. I'm one of those people. But I'm probably somewhat more oriented towards the observing side of things.

Oh, and I'm with Carol on this. I'm not against the gear hounds. And I'm certainly not against the observers.

Edited by Madratter (02/14/13 11:02 AM)


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Madratter
Postmaster


Reged: 01/14/13

Re: Are you an observing perfectionist? new [Re: FirstSight]
      #5679193 - 02/14/13 11:07 AM

Quote:



Below is a good test of whether, for you, collimation is merely "standard operating procedure" or else whether it crosses over a bit into OCD-perfectionism. Assume you have the Catseye collimation tools, and the below picture shows the view of how your red triangle center spot appears when viewed in the Catseye Blackcat (i.e. cheshire tool). Here's the test question: Is the primary collimation shown comfortably good- enough for your tastes to consider it "done", and start observing? Or would that tiny sliver of black above the top vertex of the triangle make you itchy to continue tweaking collimation some more? "Remember, this is for posterity, so be honest" (line from "Princess Bride").




If it was after I just setup the scope, I would probably tweak it, but it would depend on my experience with my equipment if that amount of deviation actually mattered.

If I had gotten here while observing, I would be tweaking it. Because the only reason I would be checking collimation while observing was because I had noticed a difference that was big enough to effect the view.

I'm a pragmatist. If in my equipment it matters, I deal with it. Otherwise, I don't go looking for trouble.


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Madratter
Postmaster


Reged: 01/14/13

Re: Are you an observing perfectionist? new [Re: Madratter]
      #5679210 - 02/14/13 11:13 AM

Let me give an illustration of the above. When I got my 20" mirror, made by a premium maker, I found the views lacking. Star tests weren't right, but more importantly, the view through the eyepiece wasn't as good as it should have been. I found a guy who could test the mirror, and I found, unsurprisingly, that it was way out of spec. I called the guys who figured the mirror and they made me a new mirror, as "good as they could make it". I got that mirror, and have had some incredible views with it. The best planetary views I have ever had were with the new mirror. I have never had it tested to find out whether it is 1/8th wave, 1/10th wave, or whatever. All I care about it the pragmatic, "it gives me great views."

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Tom Polakis
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Reged: 12/20/04

Loc: Tempe, Arizona
Re: Are you an observing perfectionist? new [Re: FirstSight]
      #5679410 - 02/14/13 12:59 PM

Regarding the slightly off orange triangle in the circle, I would proceed to look at a star at 300x. If there is no detectable flaring, then it's good enough. As others have said, it comes down to how things look through the eyepiece, and not necessarily what the test apparatus reveals.

Regarding perfectionism, I have become spoiled about tracking, and don't even want to look through my scope if the tracking fails. I'm only slightly less anal about polar alignment. If the object drifts a couple arcminutes in 15 minutes of observing it, then I inevitably start nudging the platform to correct it.

Tom


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coutleef
Post Laureate
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Reged: 02/21/08

Loc: Saint-Donat, Quebec, Canada
Re: Are you an observing perfectionist? new [Re: FirstSight]
      #5680980 - 02/15/13 09:33 AM

Quote:

Quote:

Quote:

I am not sure that I would label collimatinga scopeasanattempt at perfectionism.




Exactly. Collimating a scope is standard operating procedure. Perfectionism is something else.

Jon




Below is a good test of whether, for you, collimation is merely "standard operating procedure" or else whether it crosses over a bit into OCD-perfectionism. Assume you have the Catseye collimation tools, and the below picture shows the view of how your red triangle center spot appears when viewed in the Catseye Blackcat (i.e. cheshire tool). Here's the test question: Is the primary collimation shown comfortably good- enough for your tastes to consider it "done", and start observing? Or would that tiny sliver of black above the top vertex of the triangle make you itchy to continue tweaking collimation some more? "Remember, this is for posterity, so be honest" (line from "Princess Bride").




nice question

if i am looking for splitting double stars, planets or the moon, i will fix it. looking at DSOs, i will not loose one second and will start using the scope.

i usually use my dob below 150 x at my dark site. maybe i am plain wrong and should adjust it all the time, but i have fun with my scope so why should i overobsess with collimation???


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csrlice12
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Reged: 05/22/12

Loc: Denver, CO
Re: Are you an observing perfectionist? new [Re: coutleef]
      #5681421 - 02/15/13 12:57 PM

Just me, but if I've went through the process of checking it, I'll tweek it. What's it take, another 10-15 seconds tops?

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Jon Isaacs
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Reged: 06/16/04

Loc: San Diego and Boulevard, CA
Re: Are you an observing perfectionist? new [Re: coutleef]
      #5682862 - 02/16/13 05:58 AM

Quote:

nice question

if i am looking for splitting double stars, planets or the moon, i will fix it. looking at DSOs, i will not loose one second and will start using the scope.

i usually use my dob below 150 x at my dark site. maybe i am plain wrong and should adjust it all the time, but i have fun with my scope so why should i overobsess with collimation???




No matter what scope(s) I am using, no matter how dark or how bright the sky is, no matter how turbulent the seeing is, I will always look at the big planets, split a few doubles and catch some DSOs...

Collimation, I set the scope out before sunset. If I am traveling to a dark site, I plan on arriving before it's time to observe. I just always collimate. Just carrying a solid tube in from the yard to the house and back can mess up the collimation.

And too, some DSOs only reveal their secrets at high magnifications. Seeing the details in a small planetary nebula, that might be best done at 500x-700x depending on the size of your scope.

Jon


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astro_baby
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 06/17/08

Loc: United Kingdom
Re: Are you an observing perfectionist? new [Re: kenrenard]
      #5682888 - 02/16/13 07:07 AM

I ose I am a perfectionist in a lot of things. Observing I always get a good polar alignment using either the setting circles or the clock position. I take some time to get the mount level and polar aligned, balancce the scope, get a good finder to main optics alignment do a solid star alignment and then check collimation is ok on a star. Give it a tweakif needed.

Doing the set up well doesnt take very long and I can have the scope out the car and fully se up in not much more than 20 minutes working at a leisurely pace...the scope likes those 20 minutes to get to ambient amd sometimes its left with its fan running while other work is in progress.

The secret to getting it all done quickly and accurately is just practice really and being organised.........the five 'P's ......practice and preparation prevents poor performance. Some times its six 'P's as theres a rude word that can be added

I dont see getting it right a waste of time anymore than I'd say skipping cockpit checks in a plane is a waste of time. Its part of the order of things. I find a sort of comfort in having a process which calms me prior to observing so that I am properly receptive to the view later on. The scope needs to cool down and I need to calm down.

A quick star test takes not much time and a collimation tweak is not a lot of effort once your familiar with the process.

Once up and running I change EPs to get the best view to my eyes for any given object. For instance I might star Orion on a 30mm widefield and have a look and then change up to say a 14mm and go in a bit and then maybe change to a 5mm for close up views and maybe back off to 9mm if the sky wont supprt the 5mm. With each view I will spend a bit of time looking around at the long view or slowly cruising the scope along te edies of the nebula at higher magnification.

The perfectionism is jus t make sure I get the best view, the colimation process gives me assurance the scope is operating at optimum and the good polar alignment means I am not constantly distratcted by having to 'bump' the scope. When your communing with the infinite ( which is how I tend to think of observing ) you dont want to be constantly having to mess about....it would be a bit like sitting in a theater where other patrons are constantly asking you to move so they can buy some more popcorn

Maybe that makes me a perfectionist observer..I dont know.


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Ed D
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 04/30/10

Loc: Sunny South Florida
Re: Are you an observing perfectionist? new [Re: astro_baby]
      #5682902 - 02/16/13 07:36 AM

Almost all of my observing is done with my 6" f/8. After several years of using the same scope I know all its little quirks, and also know it stays adjusted really well. If I feel it may not be up to par a simple star test and/or visual check is easy enough. Most of the time it's the conditions, not the scope.

Ed D


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coutleef
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Reged: 02/21/08

Loc: Saint-Donat, Quebec, Canada
Re: Are you an observing perfectionist? new [Re: Jon Isaacs]
      #5683029 - 02/16/13 09:24 AM

Quote:

Quote:

nice question

if i am looking for splitting double stars, planets or the moon, i will fix it. looking at DSOs, i will not loose one second and will start using the scope.

i usually use my dob below 150 x at my dark site. maybe i am plain wrong and should adjust it all the time, but i have fun with my scope so why should i overobsess with collimation???




No matter what scope(s) I am using, no matter how dark or how bright the sky is, no matter how turbulent the seeing is, I will always look at the big planets, split a few doubles and catch some DSOs...

Collimation, I set the scope out before sunset. If I am traveling to a dark site, I plan on arriving before it's time to observe. I just always collimate. Just carrying a solid tube in from the yard to the house and back can mess up the collimation.

And too, some DSOs only reveal their secrets at high magnifications. Seeing the details in a small planetary nebula, that might be best done at 500x-700x depending on the size of your scope.

Jon




Unfortunately at my dark site in the mountains, seeing is almost always below average, going beyond 150x is rare. But transparency can be very good and LP is at a minimum.

In the city seeing is often excellent, so i obsess over collimation. But my sct keeps very well collimation which i have not tweeked for two years


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