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To All of Southern California: I'm sorry...

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#1 OldManSky

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Posted 14 June 2019 - 02:31 PM

Father's Day gift two days early: a TPO 6" f/4 imaging Newt from OPT.

I'll be mounting it on my CEM25P and using an ASI183MM Pro, for 0.81" per pixel and a field of 1.24 x 0.83 degrees.

If the clouds this is sure to bring to the region ever clear, that is.

 

Bonus:  instead of the normal TPO "dark gray texture" dovetail, it came with a red anodized one to match my WO Z61 and ASI camera! :)

 

Oh, and the coma corrector arrives early next week...

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#2 Vondragonnoggin

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Posted 14 June 2019 - 02:33 PM

At this point, the curse has been in effect so long maybe a new scope will give us a few clear nights.

 

Congrats on the new scope.

 

smile.gif


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#3 Peregrinatum

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Posted 14 June 2019 - 02:33 PM

Looks awesome, congrats!



#4 psandelle

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Posted 14 June 2019 - 02:47 PM

At this point, the curse has been in effect so long maybe a new scope will give us a few clear nights.

 

Congrats on the new scope.

 

smile.gif

Fingers crossed, because it's been a horrible 12 months or so.

 

Great scope!!! Much fun for you! (And I had ADM put some red knobs on my latest saddle to match my forthcoming Sharpstar -- you can't be too stylish!)

 

Paul


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#5 OldManSky

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Posted 14 June 2019 - 02:54 PM

Thanks, all!

It appears really solid and well-made.  I won't be using the finder scope (I've gone totally plate-solving) other than perhaps some visual tonight (if possible).  I've got two more longer dovetails coming, I'll mount the guidescope towards the back and hope I can get good balance with all the camera gear up front.  Total loaded (camera, guidescope, coma corrector, etc.) weight will be 17 pounds on the little CEM25P, but I'm confident it will handle it just fine.

 

You can see the little WO Z61 that's been my only scope for a while in the background of the image above, in its case.  This gives me 90mm more in aperture, f/4 instead of f/5.9, and...diffraction spikes!

 

Oh, and Paul -- yep, can't be too stylish.  I even got red-braided USB cables to make things pretty...:)



#6 Alex McConahay

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Posted 14 June 2019 - 06:57 PM

Just get it out tonight, or tomorrow, or the next day. The moon is not real good for the rest of us anyway.

 

Alex


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#7 Vondragonnoggin

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Posted 14 June 2019 - 07:09 PM

Orange County Coastal - Clouds, Clouds, and more Clouds

 

OCCCCC



#8 Joe G

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Posted 14 June 2019 - 08:04 PM

Yeah, thanks...

 

It was drizzling this morning, kinda like Seattle.


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#9 elmiko

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Posted 14 June 2019 - 08:09 PM

Sweet looking scope! Have fun with it. Post your images.

Mike


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#10 MDWingsFan

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Posted 14 June 2019 - 08:35 PM

I've got that same setup... I found that I needed to cover the mirror cell in back otherwise I was getting an LP gradient from the back.  Also, be advised, it will only balance with the camera at 12 o'clock.  The scope is too short with the 25P to get it at 6pm.  Otherwise, I love it.  Great scope for the price, and it produces good images at the 600mm fl.  Enjoy, now maybe us east coast types will get rid of the clouds while they visit SoCal.



#11 OldManSky

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Posted 14 June 2019 - 09:11 PM

I've got that same setup... I found that I needed to cover the mirror cell in back otherwise I was getting an LP gradient from the back.  Also, be advised, it will only balance with the camera at 12 o'clock.  The scope is too short with the 25P to get it at 6pm.  Otherwise, I love it.  Great scope for the price, and it produces good images at the 600mm fl.  Enjoy, now maybe us east coast types will get rid of the clouds while they visit SoCal.

Thanks for the tips.

I noticed light leaking around the back of the mirror cell just a bit ago when I was checking collimation, so a cover seems to be in order!

 

I also figured the 12 o'clock position would be the only one that works.  But I do have a longer dovetail coming smile.gif

All in all, though, it's darn nice for a $299 scope.

 

Looking forward to doing some f/4 imaging at a longer focal length!  And I do hope our clouds mean clear skies back east...


Edited by OldManSky, 14 June 2019 - 09:13 PM.

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#12 NMCN

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Posted 14 June 2019 - 09:18 PM

And I do hope our clouds mean clear skies back east...

Well, its clear tonight in SC.  Tomorrow night is iffy, but I'll take what I can get.  Thanks for the clear night and I hope you get to enjoy your new scope soon!



#13 OldManSky

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Posted 14 June 2019 - 11:24 PM

Amazingly, it was clear.  Until just after 9PM, when the marine layer started rolling in.

I got the new scope up on the mount -- it just barely balances in RA (I have another counterweight coming, too!). DEC was no problem, without the imaging train.

 

Visual views of the moon and Jupiter were very pleasing.  I had checked the collimation with my laser earlier, and it looked awfully good.  One little tweak to the primary.  Not bad after all the shipping it went through.  The moon with a 9mm Plossl showed nice detail, but I could tell the softness due to coma was visible as you moved out.  After about 30 minutes on the mount, I swung over to Jupiter...3 nice moons all lined up, belts visible.  Popped in a 4mm Lanthanum eyepiece, and that was a bit much for Jupiter's low altitude and the tube currents I could see (this scope in warm weather is going to need more than 30 minutes cool-down).  But still was able to get a reasonably sharp image, and see detail on Jupiter.

 

So I quickly tossed on the T3i, and took a couple of quick moon shots:  ISO 400, 1/800th sec f/4.  With a camera at prime-focus the non-flat field is obvious, but still plenty of detail.  One (non-stacked) shot below.

 

It's been some time since I observed visually at all, and even longer since I did so through anything bigger than 61mm.  This was fun!  Can't wait to get all the extra goodies (coma corrector, counterweights, dovetails) to get it fully set up for imaging!

 

 

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#14 gundark

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Posted 15 June 2019 - 01:42 AM

Congratulations from a fellow SoCal resident. Your new scope really does look perdy! I’ve been looking at those, too.

But please tell me your cinder block pier is well secured. I’d hate to see your Father’s Day gift come crashing down.

Kind regards,

Glenn

#15 james7ca

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Posted 15 June 2019 - 02:20 AM

Congratulations on the new scope.

 

It terms of the clouds, that ALWAYS happens at night along the southern California coast in May and June and even sometimes into July and August. In fact, even in mid-summer the only relief usually happens with a Santa Ann wind condition and when that happens there goes the seeing (along with the fires). The San Diego coast may be the worst, because of the so-called Channel Island eddy that circulates in a counter-clockwise direction pushing more clouds into the San Diego area (at night).

 

That said, the thirty minutes to one hour of clear skies that you sometimes get immediately after sundown can often provide some pretty good seeing conditions. This is one of the reasons why Palomar Mountain was chosen for the 200" Hale telescope, the marine layer that covers coastal San Diego with clouds often gives Palomar good seeing and at six thousand feet they are above the low clouds from the ocean.


Edited by james7ca, 15 June 2019 - 07:12 AM.


#16 Waterobert

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Posted 15 June 2019 - 06:57 AM

I do wander how your cinder block pier is made?



#17 OldManSky

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Posted 15 June 2019 - 08:42 AM

Glenn and waterobert -- no worries about the pier.  It's been up for months, and is well-grounded and extremely stable.

Here's the build thread:

 

https://www.cloudyni...k-pier-planted/

 

James, that's Palomar mountain in the background of the on-the-pier photo.  I'm at about 2K feet, just below it.  About half of the time during May gray/June gloom, the marine layer stays under me, and I benefit from the same conditions that make Palomar so nice for seeing.  The other half of the time, not so much :)

 

Thanks for looking and commenting, all!


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#18 Tom K

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Posted 15 June 2019 - 09:29 AM

Nice scope Paul - I look forward to seeing how that pans out for you.  Hard to beat the price for sure!

 

This time of year is always frustrating due to the dang marine layer - especially since I am over a thousand feet lower and several miles west of you.  I wonder if I could get my wife to move up to the top of Palomar - that would solve this problem for sure!




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