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Accessories Archives

Celestron Collimation Eyepiece

Mar 13 2005 07:28 AM | Neale Monks in Accessories

As most of the readers of these pages will know, collimation is the secret to getting good performance from a Newtonian telescope. The Celestron Collimation Eyepiece is a tool which allows the amateur to collimate a telescope quickly and accurately, and in my experience, markedly better than collimating by eye alone or with a sighting tube.

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Author name: Neale Monks
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Sirius Optics Variable Filter System (VFS)

Mar 29 2005 03:33 AM | Sol Robbins in Astronomical Filters

This is one nice little piece of equipment. It has a simple and elegant design. It is anodized aluminum with a flat black finish. This housing has 1.25" in-out barrels and can only be used with 1.25" eyepieces. It feels like it weighs about half a pound. There is also a really nice red engraved plate. Fortunately, it is a lot easier to use than it is to describe. As you can see in the photo, a portion of the filter protrudes from the housing. The filter's diameter is about 3". The wheel's edge that protrudes from the housing is numbered for use as a reference. The filter spins around using your finger at this location. Just rotate the wheel and watch the filter vary the renditions on a given object seen at the eyepiece. I simply rotated the filter wheel without regard to the numerical scale, as I was interested in all the possibilities that the VFS has. Since the wheel rotates so smoothly, it was easily to go back and forth while observing.

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Author name: Sol Robbins
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Baader Planeterium Moon & Skyglow Filter

Mar 29 2005 03:34 AM | Dave Novoselsky in Astronomical Filters

Markus just sent me a rather interesting item on the basis of, "test it, and if you like it, keep it and send me a check. If you don't like it, send it back to me." The sheet that accompanied the small box says this is a "BAADER PLANETARIUM MOON & SKYGLOW FILTER." The literature says that it is a 1.25" filter designed to thread into a standard 1.25" eyepiece and "not a simple colored filter" but a "selective contrast filter" intended to block "in the visual spectral ranges" light from sky and street lighting. It is also said to increase contrast on lunar and planetary observing but preserve "bright-dark contrast." Markus said that, unlike most color filters, this filter is optical glass, not simple colored glass, and has "flat-parallel polished surfaces."

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Author name: David A. Novoselsky
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My Experiences in Buying a Binoviewer

Mar 13 2005 05:14 AM | Guest in Binoviewers

Binoviewers may need no introduction to some of you but for those in the market for a binocular viewer for their telescope, I hope to discuss the reasons I chose the Tele Vue Bino Vue rather than some of the more inexpensive models.

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Author name: Jim Nadeau
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Gary Russell Optics (GRO) Mirror Binoviewer

Mar 13 2005 05:16 AM | Guest in Binoviewers

I finally got to try my binoviewer with my 12.5" f/4.8 dobsonian. I was at my clubs (The Pontchartrain Astronomy Society) dark sky site. I tried the BV in several different configurations, using 30mm and 18mm pairs of Celestron Ultima Plossl's.

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Author name: Jim Nadeau
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Tele Vue Diagonals: Old and New

Mar 12 2005 12:27 PM | Guest in Star Diagonals

The new Tele Vue diagonal is one of those things that you "must" have. Why? Because it's got a "dielectric" coating covering the aluminum on the pyrex mirror. The coating, which Tele Vue calls, "Everbright" is the latest incarnation of a coating applied to other diagonals such as Astro-Physic's "Maxbright" unit.

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Author name: Richard Anderson
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Comcon 45-deg Binoviewer

Mar 13 2005 07:31 AM | Guest in Binoviewers

The Binoviewer arrived from Allister at cloudy nights with 2 19mm Plossl eyepieces. The plossls seemed to be homemade but quite useable. They did have too little eye relief for my taste though. I am not sure if these are supplied with the binoviewer or if Allister sent them along in case whoever may be testing the units didn't have eyepiece "sets". The unit is tough looking and feels quite sturdy. The adjustment for interpupilary distance is just like a set of binoculars. Focus did not change when adjusting interpupilary distance. I found it easy to "merge" the images using them, so the collimation must have been fine. (

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Author name: Jim Nadeau
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Miyauchi UHC Filter Review

Mar 15 2005 11:57 AM | Guest in Astronomical Filters

I received the UHC nebula filters last week after a 6-month back-order wait from Anacortes, and I had a chance to test them last night under good observing conditions.

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Author name: Mike Barrs
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