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My new StarStructure/Lockwood 20" dob

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#51 Doug McIntosh

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Posted 16 November 2018 - 07:08 PM

Enjoy your scope, it looks fantastic.  Just got back from New Mexico with my Star Structure Horizon.  You guys want a really dark sky try the Gila Cliff Dwellings out of Silver City.


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#52 Bob S.

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Posted 16 November 2018 - 08:15 PM

Enjoy your scope, it looks fantastic.  Just got back from New Mexico with my Star Structure Horizon.  You guys want a really dark sky try the Gila Cliff Dwellings out of Silver City.

Doug, Congrats on your SST Horizon as well. Picked up a used  28" Webster at Casitas de Gila Guesthouses couple of years back. Beautiful skies and uber dry.


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#53 starzonesteve

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Posted 17 November 2018 - 07:49 AM

Enjoy your scope, it looks fantastic.  Just got back from New Mexico with my Star Structure Horizon.  You guys want a really dark sky try the Gila Cliff Dwellings out of Silver City.

Hey Doug I'm betting you were the 24" that was being created along with my 20"? At any rate, congrats. I had my 100mm APM Apo binoscope out at Three Rivers Petroglyph in New Mexico on a clear moonless night a couple of years ago. It was so dark Venus' light was annoying me before it set. Can't imagine what your scope did under those skies!



#54 stubeeef

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Posted 23 November 2018 - 07:35 PM

Once I get up and running you and the possums are both welcome to come on down to the party. In the meantime, first light is for me! Stay tuned...laugh.gif

Dear Vice Admiral Chuckle Head Steve, I'm starting to get blue buddies waiting for more pictures and that first night out. YOU'RE KILLING US.........flowerred.gif



#55 starzonesteve

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Posted 24 November 2018 - 07:45 AM

You and me both brother! Thanksgiving was a wonderful visit but the Bortle 9 skies it took place in were rather thank less for giving me much opportunity for stargazing. Between a scheduled visit from BYO and Santa perhaps the wait won’t be long now.laugh.gif



#56 starzonesteve

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Posted 03 December 2018 - 01:48 AM

Not sure if it is possible to hijack one's own thread, but ultimately this post is just a small detour on my way to the promised land.

 

Today my daughter and I transported the scope out to my dark sky site. I will say once again that this is not a tiny or lightweight scope and requires some pretty serious consideration of logistics before committing to regular transportation. Of course, those that are old hands with large dogs know the ins and outs of this already. For me, who has only used a 14.5" StarMaster previously, this is a pretty serious upgrade in heft. At any rate, we comfortably moved the scope into our large SUV. I had the mirror out of the scope and moved the rocker box and mirror box together. The two of us lifted the unit into the vehicle. We then drove to the dark sky site where the scope will shortly be living here:

 

thumbnail_IMG_1685.jpg

 

Yes, the slab has been poured and BYO will be out to build my Roll Off Roof Dobservatory next week. It will be a busy month but I have a week off just after Christmas and nowhere to go but where the skies are dark. With a little help from the weatherman me and my dream scope will be in seventh heaven together before the year is done.

 

In the meantime, tonight was a fantastic observing night. Temperatures were in the 50s under clear skies with 4/5 transparency and 3/5 seeing. It being a school night we needed to keep the festivities short, so I brought along my APM 120 binoscope for a quick look.

 

thumbnail_IMG_1689.jpg

 

The night turned out to be short but very sweet. Dark skies seem to trump everything else. I used a phone app to measure sky darkness and got figures ranging from 21.2 to 21.6. I do know that the Milky Way was blazing. We scanned it at low power (27x) and there were just oceans of stars. I bumped into several nice open clusters without knowing which ones they were. It was fun to see M45, which was framed wonderfully at low power, reveal some nebulosity. We did a quick alignment to help us steer. M31 was as nice as I have ever seen it. It was huge! It filled up the entire FOV even at that low power. I upped the power to about 73x and went poking around some more. M15 was great. It was particularly satisfying to hear my daughter describing seeing the globular resolving into stars.

 

We finished our little observing session trying to imagine what 20" of premium aperture would reveal under these skies given the treat that viewing through 120mm binos was.

 

Hopefully we won't have to wait too long to find out...

 

Steve


Edited by starzonesteve, 03 December 2018 - 02:06 AM.

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#57 stubeeef

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Posted 05 December 2018 - 07:32 PM

I want to make sure I have this right Steve, you pack up a world class DOB and take it to a dark sky sight then look at the sky with some binoculars? Ok they are really nice binoculars, but its even sadder that you admit this to all of us. I'm going to drown my dreams in some cheap red wine.....flowerred.gif


Edited by stubeeef, 05 December 2018 - 09:27 PM.

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#58 starzonesteve

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Posted 06 December 2018 - 06:29 AM

I want to make sure I have this right Steve, you pack up a world class DOB and take it to a dark sky sight then look at the sky with some binoculars? Ok they are really nice binoculars, but its even sadder that you admit this to all of us. I'm going to drown my dreams in some cheap red wine.....flowerred.gif

 

Listen big guy, I don't care how much locker room trash talk you throw at me, I'm still going to have a proper courtship with my honey. We are getting to know one another and plan on consummating the relationship with first light when the time is right for both of us.heart.png


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#59 stubeeef

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Posted 06 December 2018 - 09:28 AM

I can hear a humming from you scope, sounds like this..

 

https://youtu.be/mCrviJtqcsA

 

flowerred.gif lol.gif


Edited by stubeeef, 06 December 2018 - 09:28 AM.

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#60 starzonesteve

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Posted 19 December 2018 - 09:13 AM

Moving right along...

 

Scott Horstman and Co over at BYO completed my Dobservatory as night descended at my site yesterday. They were great to work with - efficient, competent, and extremely personable. I highly recommend them. 

 

I have to slog through one more long holiday work week. If the weather cooperates after Christmas I will be in business. I'm very excited to have a home in which to house my baby:

 

thumbnail_IMG_20181218_175029137.jpg


Edited by starzonesteve, 19 December 2018 - 09:14 AM.

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#61 stubeeef

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Posted 19 December 2018 - 07:06 PM

Got a wet bar in there?



#62 starzonesteve

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Posted 19 December 2018 - 08:02 PM

Got a wet bar in there?

No telling whether or not I'm going to be able to maintain control of bodily functions once I start seeing jaw dropping views of the heavens. shocked.gif


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#63 Allan Wade

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Posted 19 December 2018 - 09:10 PM

Looking very nice Steve. You will have to install a drool bucket.


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#64 starzonesteve

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Posted 20 December 2018 - 08:37 AM

Thanks, Allan. I plan on doing all I can to add whatever creature comforts that may help ward off viewing impediments.

 

I’ll go shopping on line today for a nice compass so that I can accurately set the scope down to make alignment quick and easy with the installed Nexus dsc.


Edited by starzonesteve, 20 December 2018 - 08:37 AM.


#65 stubeeef

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Posted 20 December 2018 - 08:44 AM

You can mark permanently spots to put your “Gal” after finding Polaris the first time
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#66 starzonesteve

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Posted 02 January 2019 - 11:45 PM

Update:

 

I am beneath the mother of all weather fronts, stalled directly overhead. I can't seem to get out from under the clouds and rain. I worked like a dog through the day after Christmas while the weather was gorgeous, and then began what was to be eight unencumbered days of blissful observing and getting to know my 20" Lockwood/StarStructure up close and personal. The day I got off the clouds came. I am due back at work in less than 48 hours. The next day the weather is forecast to clear...bawling.gif

 

I have used some of my free time tinkering around in one of my avocations - that of theoretical astrometeorology. I have come up with an equation that describes the likelihood of experiencing the week plus weather shutdown that has been my lot:

 

1 - 1/($ x (flp) x (love minus zero/no limit(size of cosmos))) = probability of weather delay

 

where,

$ = amount of dollar spent on project

flp = first light planning (in hours)

love = the feeling experienced under clear dark skies (a user defined variable)

 

I humbly await freedom from the bondage of my own enthusiasm...


Edited by starzonesteve, 02 January 2019 - 11:46 PM.

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#67 stubeeef

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Posted 03 January 2019 - 06:52 PM

This is where I have my lot for retirement home, SW of Asheville, Brevard NC.....

 

aaaa.png

 

 

]I don't know if they're hiring but this might be of interest....LOL

 

 

https://www.wanttokn...warfare_weapons


Edited by stubeeef, 03 January 2019 - 07:01 PM.


#68 starzonesteve

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Posted 03 January 2019 - 07:46 PM

Yeah, maybe they need a guy to do weekends...

 

That retirement home abuts a large area of super dark skies. Lots of potential... as long as it doesn't become a lake!



#69 stubeeef

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Posted 03 January 2019 - 07:51 PM

This will be less than 30min door to door from my home....

 

http://www.pari.edu

 

Now, is Lucille (DOB) in place and ready? powered, wet bar stocked, chair in place, bed for the dog, pictures on the wall, have you "marked" the lot?

Got the wifi linked up with an iPad? How ya gonna drive it-guess iPad wifi....?

 

{Lucille is referenced because she is your "GAL" and it reminded me of George Kennedy in Coolhand Luke.     https://youtu.be/wnY_Jb9bmCg }


Edited by stubeeef, 03 January 2019 - 07:53 PM.


#70 phonehome

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Posted 03 January 2019 - 09:09 PM

I am beneath the mother of all weather fronts, stalled directly overhead. I can't seem to get out from under the clouds and rain. 

 

Perhaps a sacrifice to the weather gods is called for.  A small refractor might do it  grin.gif


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#71 starzonesteve

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Posted 03 January 2019 - 11:58 PM

This will be less than 30min door to door from my home....

 

http://www.pari.edu

 

Now, is Lucille (DOB) in place and ready? powered, wet bar stocked, chair in place, bed for the dog, pictures on the wall, have you "marked" the lot?

Got the wifi linked up with an iPad? How ya gonna drive it-guess iPad wifi....?

 

{Lucille is referenced because she is your "GAL" and it reminded me of George Kennedy in Coolhand Luke.     https://youtu.be/wnY_Jb9bmCg }

She is under wraps safe and dry at the moment, although I sorta feel like she is doing to me what Lucille was doing to George Kennedy in Coolhand Luke... what a great flick!

 

That is going to be a great place to be. Very cool - something to give a fella a reason the make it through the work day.



#72 starzonesteve

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Posted 04 January 2019 - 12:00 AM

Perhaps a sacrifice to the weather gods is called for.  A small refractor might do it  grin.gif

An excellent suggestion! Maybe just a little something to coax away the overhead central obstruction...cool.gif



#73 stubeeef

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Posted 04 January 2019 - 12:26 AM

If you decide to buy some gear for nephology I assure you the skies will clear.



#74 starzonesteve

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Posted 04 January 2019 - 01:37 AM

If you decide to buy some gear for nephology I assure you the skies will clear.

 

I'll do you one better. It is pouring outside as I type this on my final night off. A could front is coming through and skies are supposed to be clearing tomorrow as I head back into work. Apparently all I need to do is strap on the ball and chain.crazy.gif


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#75 JHGIII

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Posted 06 January 2019 - 09:21 AM

Ahhh but last night was GREAT in central Alabama until about 1:30 am when
The fog started to roll in.
I think it is the first time weather, work and the moon have cooperated since Nebraska
Star Party.
Steve, I hope you had a chance to look up.


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