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General Astronomy >> General Observing and Astronomy

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Jon Isaacs
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 06/16/04

Loc: San Diego and Boulevard, CA
Re: Some things I wish I had known years ago.... new [Re: Feidb]
      #6480931 - 04/22/14 10:41 AM

Quote:

I completely disagree on the ergonomics issue. I learned long ago aperture rules. I made it work. My entirely home-made (including the mirror) 16-inch f/6.4 is over 9 feet long. It weighs in at over 250 lbs. I have wheels for the mount, wheelbarrow handles that detach and ramps to get it in my truck plus a 9 foot ladder. It was worth every bit of effort. However, my wife was concerned about my back, and justly so since it is getting bad. So, she let me get a commercial 16-inch f/4.5 truss scope which breaks down into much more manageable pieces. Five minute setup.




I think you have provided solid support that ergonomics is more important than optics. As you testified, the important differences between your 16 inch F/4.5 and your 16 inch F/6.4 are indeed ergonomic and not optical. The choice was made on the basis of ergonomics.

But in general, I was thinking more about the different types of telescopes, the reasons people prefer one scope type over another are primarily ergonomic and not optical. For example, the differences between a 14 inch SCT and 14 inch Dobsonian, for most objects the views will be very similar but the experience of observing will be quite different because your relationship with the telescope is quite different. The reason I like Dobsonians is primarily ergonomic..

Here's another "rule" or two to consider:

Two telescopes are better than one. Properly chosen, they compliment each other, a 4 inch F/6 refractor and a 14 inch SCT or Dob make great companions.. 30 minutes in the backyard or enjoying the large scale features of the Milky Way, the refractor is the winner.. Looking at faint galaxies, globular clusters, the planets when there is time for the scope to cool.. the big scope is the one.

Myself, I am not an Aperture Rules kind of guy.. Telescopes are tools and it's question of the right tool for the situation, for the job. I have a lot of fun with my 25 inch F/5 Dob (now that I have the ergonomics straightened out) but I have a lot of fun with all my scopes, be it 12.5 inches or 80mm.. the magic is there.

- If it's clear and night has come, there is something to look at..

Jon


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Tom Polakis
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 12/20/04

Loc: Tempe, Arizona
Re: Some things I wish I had known years ago.... new [Re: Feidb]
      #6480938 - 04/22/14 10:46 AM

Quote:

I completely disagree on the ergonomics issue. I learned long ago aperture rules. I made it work. My entirely home-made (including the mirror) 16-inch f/6.4 is over 9 feet long. It weighs in at over 250 lbs. I have wheels for the mount, wheelbarrow handles that detach and ramps to get it in my truck plus a 9 foot ladder. It was worth every bit of effort. However, my wife was concerned about my back, and justly so since it is getting bad. So, she let me get a commercial 16-inch f/4.5 truss scope which breaks down into much more manageable pieces. Five minute setup.

Aperture still rules. I have a bad back and still have no issues with either transport in my truck or setting up.





You wisely made the change from a telescope with 102 inches to 72 inches of focal length, the latter being more manageable. It sounds like ergonomics is important to you as well.

Edit: Jon beat me to the punch.

Tom

Edited by Tom Polakis (04/22/14 10:47 AM)


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Feidb
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 10/09/09

Loc: Nevada
Re: Some things I wish I had known years ago.... new [Re: Tom Polakis]
      #6481480 - 04/22/14 03:29 PM

Okay, maybe I said it wrong. You're right in that English Rose (it used to be the Barney Scope but that's a long story) is a beast to move around versus my commercial Dob, but to many people, even my commercial Dob would be an unwieldy beast. Way too big.

I understand the multiple scope outlook also but I just use an aperture mask to get refractor-like images. As for those huge wide-angle views of a smaller scope, I'm not really into that, so I'm personally not missing anything there.

Yeah, I DID change the ergonomics though without sacrificing aperture. Shorter ladder, also! English Rose sits in my shed out back, ready to go if need be.


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Philler
sage


Reged: 07/15/13

Loc: Kansas, USA
Re: Some things I wish I had known years ago.... new [Re: Feidb]
      #6481525 - 04/22/14 03:54 PM

For a DSS, make a list of items to bring including bottled water, thermos of coffee or hot beverage, snacks, toilet paper, and a cell phone just in case.
Along with charts, make a list of more than you will observe, list info on each type object, RA and Dec, size, mag, and rehearse a system of locating them.

Edited by Philler (04/22/14 03:55 PM)


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csrlice12
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 05/22/12

Loc: Denver, CO
Re: Some things I wish I had known years ago.... new [Re: Philler]
      #6481575 - 04/22/14 04:19 PM

Man is just a food source to mosquitos and other creatures.....

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GeneT
Ely Kid
*****

Reged: 11/07/08

Loc: South Texas
Re: Some things I wish I had known years ago.... new [Re: Michael Rapp]
      #6481585 - 04/22/14 04:25 PM

Quote:

-- Getting a bigger telescope does not make one a better observer.




Getting a bigger telescope increases the hassle factor in proportion to the increase, which often decreases the amount of time the larger telescope is used.


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GeneT
Ely Kid
*****

Reged: 11/07/08

Loc: South Texas
Re: Some things I wish I had known years ago.... new [Re: Ed Holland]
      #6481587 - 04/22/14 04:27 PM

Quote:


You really only need 3 eyepieces.




Need? I am a minimalist user of eyepieces. I found I need a 21, 13, 10, 8, and 6 mm eyepiece for a 12.5 inch, F5 Dob.


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combatdad
professor emeritus


Reged: 12/28/12

Loc: Culpeper, VA
Re: Some things I wish I had known years ago.... new [Re: Feidb]
      #6481648 - 04/22/14 04:59 PM

I learned these long ago because I'm old...

- prioritize because there are more objects to see than time left to see them

- share the view in your eyepiece with someone

- seeing the face of a child who has just viewed some object for the first time is priceless

- keep your equipment simple, functional, fit for purpose

- never give up trying to locate that object on your to do list

Dave


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Kevdog
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 07/11/12

Loc: Desert Hills, AZ
Re: Some things I wish I had known years ago.... [Re: WesC]
      #6481718 - 04/22/14 05:36 PM

Quote:

Trying to save money rather than getting what you know you want is ultimately unsatisfying and wasteful.




+1 on this.

When I started I was looking at a 12-14" scope and was "talked into" an 8" SCT by my local telescope shop. I think in the end he misread me as a "typical family scope" guy who would mainly look at the planets (my 6 year old son and wife were with me at the time).

So I bought the 8" SCT and then sold it 3 months later to buy a C11 and later got an 18" Obsession.

I have 4 eyepieces, ES82 30mm, 18mm, 11mm, 6.7mm and I don't want/need any more


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tedbnh
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 11/14/07

Loc: New Hampshire
Re: Some things I wish I had known years ago.... new [Re: Kevdog]
      #6481764 - 04/22/14 06:09 PM

Joining an astronomy club gains you knowledge, friends, teachers and mentors all at the same time.

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herrointment
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 03/12/11

Loc: North of Hwy. 64
Re: Some things I wish I had known years ago.... new [Re: tedbnh]
      #6481796 - 04/22/14 06:30 PM

Don't run from the cops....

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csrlice12
Postmaster
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Reged: 05/22/12

Loc: Denver, CO
Re: Some things I wish I had known years ago.... new [Re: herrointment]
      #6481807 - 04/22/14 06:34 PM

Quote:

Don't run from the cops....




Don't run towards them. Either...


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bumm
sage


Reged: 01/07/11

Loc: Iowa
Re: Some things I wish I had known years ago.... new [Re: csrlice12]
      #6481837 - 04/22/14 06:47 PM

Keep a log! You don't have to make it "sciencey" and serious. Write down the pleasant small things you remember too... animals that visited, a storm on the horizon, how cold your hands got, how happy you were to find something. Years later, you'll look back...
Marty


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herrointment
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 03/12/11

Loc: North of Hwy. 64
Re: Some things I wish I had known years ago.... new [Re: bumm]
      #6481948 - 04/22/14 07:56 PM

Regarding logs......I kept a fishing diary for years. One day while I was attempting to re-read parts of one I decided to chuck them all into the woodstove and have not kept a log since.

I have my memories and I hope like the dickens I can keep them. Just not on paper....not for me.

I can say this....writing those things down strengthened the memory. That's a big plus.


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kfiscus
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 07/09/12

Loc: Albert Lea, MN, USA
Re: Some things I wish I had known years ago.... new [Re: herrointment]
      #6481981 - 04/22/14 08:17 PM

Good nebula filters are worth every penny. I stargazed for years thinking filters were all flim-flam. Man, was I wrong!!!

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csrlice12
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 05/22/12

Loc: Denver, CO
Re: Some things I wish I had known years ago.... new [Re: kfiscus]
      #6482741 - 04/23/14 08:19 AM

As I get older, gravity gets stronger. Things weigh more.

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obin robinson
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 10/25/12

Loc: League City, TX
Re: Some things I wish I had known years ago.... new [Re: Michael Rapp]
      #6483053 - 04/23/14 10:55 AM

I have learned:

- Dual speed crayford focusers are worth the price even if the scope only cost you $40 used.

- Whatever an expensive eyepiece can't see... an inexpensive camera can.

obin


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mich_al
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 05/10/09

Loc: Rural central lower Michigan ...
Re: Some things I wish I had known years ago.... new [Re: csrlice12]
      #6483184 - 04/23/14 11:51 AM

Quote:

Quote:

Don't run from the cops....




Don't run towards them. Either...




Best avoided in nearly all situations. When you're a hammer everyone looks like a nail.


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Tony Flanders
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 05/18/06

Loc: Cambridge, MA, USA
Re: Some things I wish I had known years ago.... new [Re: csrlice12]
      #6483268 - 04/23/14 12:34 PM

Quote:

As I get older, gravity gets stronger. Things weigh more.




Ah, that explains it ... I've always wondered.

And I suppose the fact that my old pants don't fit is due to the expansion of the universe?


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penguinx64
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 11/12/13

Loc: Holland
Re: Some things I wish I had known years ago.... new [Re: Tony Flanders]
      #6483936 - 04/23/14 05:54 PM

When I was a kid, the 3 stars in Orion's belt were in a perfectly straight line. Now they sag in the middle, just like my belt.

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