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Age Related Difficulty Using Binoviewers

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#1 RMay

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Posted 02 September 2019 - 04:59 PM

I am almost 65 and have been observing for well over 50 years. I bought an Arcturus binoviewer for my Questar 3.5 and am having difficulty establishing a single bino view. I see doubles of almost everything except when using the Barlow function on my Q. As such, I am waiting for the moon to get a bit bigger to see how they work with a larger single light source and not pinpoints of light.

 

Has anyone else in this age group (or younger or older) experienced this? I am wondering if I can use vision training to strengthen my eye muscles; or, am I SOL? Thoughts?

 

Thanks,

 

Ron



#2 happylimpet

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Posted 02 September 2019 - 05:07 PM

Are you sure the binoviewers arent out of collimation?



#3 ngc7319_20

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Posted 02 September 2019 - 05:09 PM

Yup, seeing some similar effects as I age.  Getting more challenging to merge the bino images. There seems to be more difficulty merging a small object like a star vs. a scene with mutliple objects.  So that would predict you do better with the moon.  It's not that the binos are out of collimation -- the eyes just can seem to find the merge.  For something small like a star, the eyes swim past the "merged" image and keep going -- no longer lock on to the single image.

 

Not sure what the physiology is.  Haven't tried to mitigate it in any way, other than tweaking the bino collimation.  Maybe eye muscles less responsive?  Or maybe the signal processing is slowing down somewhere.  I should probably try explaining it to the eye doctor, but I'm sure they already think I'm nuts.


Edited by ngc7319_20, 02 September 2019 - 05:14 PM.

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#4 johnpeter2

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Posted 02 September 2019 - 05:16 PM

When I see double (I have an Arcturus, too) I rotate one of the eyepieces a little bit.  They usually merge after that, though sometimes I have to rotate it a few times before it works.

 

John


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#5 Richard O'Neill

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Posted 02 September 2019 - 05:27 PM

Do you experience the same problem with binoculars? If not I'd try other eyepiece pairs and or see if anyone else has this problem using your binoviewer. If they don't perhaps practice would help.



#6 RMay

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Posted 02 September 2019 - 05:55 PM

All good comments, and thanks. I have not experienced this degree of difficulty with a pair of 7 x 50 binoculars that I’ve had for many years, but will do a side-by-side comparison as the moon gets larger over the next couple of days.

Thanks,

Ron

#7 vkhastro1

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Posted 02 September 2019 - 06:35 PM

Your Arcturus binoviewer uses a compression ring.

Let assume the binoviewer is in collimation.

Once you tighten the compression ring to “lock” the eyepieces in place you will loose your ability to “tweek” the eyepieces into a fully collimated position.

 

First, put the eyepieces in the collets but not tightening the compression rings.

Try moving the one or both eyepieces until you get a merged image.

This will indicate that you achieve a merged image.

You maybe able to tighten the compression rings in the correct position.

 

If not, as mentioned CN johnpeter2 in Post # 4, try rotating the eyepieces (loosen the compression ring very slightly to allow the rotation) to achieve a merged position.

I am not a fan of the compression style eyepiece collets. I prefer the Baader style helical style collets with 3 set screws. It 

makes it extremely easy to achieve a merged image.


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#8 ngc7319_20

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Posted 02 September 2019 - 07:38 PM

All good comments, and thanks. I have not experienced this degree of difficulty with a pair of 7 x 50 binoculars that I’ve had for many years, but will do a side-by-side comparison as the moon gets larger over the next couple of days.
 

Along the same lines, I merge fine with binoculars where there are lots of objects in the field.  The issues arise where there is a single small object in the field, like a star or small planet in the binoviewer.  Maybe the visual / "mental" image processing tries to merge broad scenes, while filtering out single bright spikes as false artifacts?  It manages to get lost if there is only a single star in the field?


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#9 doug mc

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Posted 03 September 2019 - 12:44 AM

Use the lowest power eyepieces you have and use a barlow or magnifying ocs to gain higher powers. The longer the focal length eyepieces you use the easier it is to merge the view. I am 67 with a similar problem as yours. I found the above method works well.



#10 Joe1950

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Posted 03 September 2019 - 02:08 AM

I believe, as in post 7, it is more of an alignment issue than age related. 

 

Binoviewer experts say the major difference between a budget binoviewer and a top end model is not as much optical as it is mechanical. The budget models have eyepiece holders and grippers that do not lend themselves to easy object merger at all times.

 

And, as with a true binocular, mis alignment or mis collimation affects small or point objects much more than larger extended objects.

 

Here is what has helped me with the Arcturus and similar type binoviewers...

 

If possible, use eyepieces with no undercuts. The undercuts add to the difficulty of getting the eyepieces aligned and objects merged. Even if you add some layers of tape to the eyepiece barrel, it helps.

 

The thing that worked the best for me is to put the eyepieces in the eyepiece tubes, again preferably without undercuts, and slowly tighten the collets until they just touch the eyepiece barrels, and no more. Really, just touch the barrel. 

 

This will center the eyepieces and align them. It is the lateral pressure from tightening the collets that is the issue and throws the EP alignment off. This did wonders for me using the Arcturus. 

 

Also so I wouldn’t use huge, heavy eyepieces. And you don’t want to position the scope so that the binoviewer is angled greatly in reference to the horizon. A line drawn from the center of one EP to the center of the other should be horizontal. This is easy to do and maintain with an alt-az mount, but requires re-adjustment with an equatorial as you move from object to object.

 

Be careful at certain positions the eyepieces don’t fall out. Unfortunately the loose eyepiece method works best, at least for me, to get easily merged images... even of single point stars. Give it a try.

 

 

j

 

 

Added: To see the effect of mis-aligned eyepieces and how having them tight affects alignment and merger, you might also give this a try:

 

With the eyepieces in their holders go a little past just touching to very slightly tightened.  Look at a planet or bright star. Grab the top of the right eyepiece only and slightly twist it left or right. You will see the two non-merged images getting further apart or closer - even close enough to merge.

 

But, the loose just touching method is still better yet and should work. The eyepieces are essentially sitting loose in the holders but the collets adjusted so they don’t move around. Gravity is actually allowing the EPs to sit on the ring stop down the tube and thus be centered and on axis.

 

The binoviewers are factory collimated and the prisms glued into place. They likely have good collimation. Believe me, most problems are with the insufficient mechanics of the eyepiece holders!


Edited by Joe1950, 03 September 2019 - 02:27 AM.

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#11 Mike McShan

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Posted 03 September 2019 - 08:42 AM

Really good information, Joe. So far, I’ve just used the EP that came with the Arcturus binoviewers and haven’t removed them yet. They seem to be in pretty good alignment from the dealer. However, I plan to add additional pairs of EP so it’s good to know how to go about getting them aligned for viewing. 

 

BTW, I am 66 and haven’t had a problem with viewing through the binoviewers. Yet... smile.gif

 

Clear skies, Mike


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#12 Joe1950

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Posted 03 September 2019 - 09:16 AM

Thanks, Mike!

I’ll be 70 next year. I need glasses for distance and close, but I really have no difficulty with the binoviewer. From everything I’ve learned from binoviewer experts, any difficulty in most cases, comes from the eyepiece holder mechanics. It’s often confused with the overall collimation of the binoviewer or eye issues, however.

 

Enjoy!

 

joe


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#13 RMay

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Posted 03 September 2019 - 10:27 AM

All: I really appreciate your comments and insight/input...

I’ll keep noodling with them and see if I can get things to finally come into (no, don’t do it!!!)... focus.

😂😂😂


Ron
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#14 noisejammer

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Posted 03 September 2019 - 05:13 PM

I dug up this thread on the Questar Barlows - it seems there's a fair bit of variation in the effective magnification. (TL; DR : 1.6x to 2.2x). It's not clear how much magnification you're using.

 

I've noticed that merging of high magnification views is really dependent on perfect collimation of the optical paths (presumably our eyes need to be in line too.) I think this is because our brains have a limited ability to force our eyes to align things.

 

I've also noticed that it's easier with bright objects, so maybe the moon will click into place however if my binoviewers are misaligned, having my eyes compensate makes me feel queasy.

 

If there' space in the collet, you could try putting a small piece of thin tape on one side of each eyepiece. Rotating the eyepieces might allow you to bring things into alignment.


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#15 RMay

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Posted 03 September 2019 - 10:09 PM

Quick update: after loosening up the eyepieces and then lightly finger tightening them, with clear skies, and with a near first-quarter moon, everything snapped into focus.

At standard magnification with the included eyepieces, and then with the internal Barlow, I had a solid single view, and it was quite stunning. I may only be able to use these for lunar observing, but given its price, it’s an excellent add-on for those times when viewing with them works well.

Thanks for all of your thoughts and suggestions,

Ron
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#16 Joe1950

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Posted 03 September 2019 - 10:43 PM

Great to hear, Ron!

Give Jupiter or Saturn a try. You may be surprised it will work on them also. Tight to just touching, works wonders with these BVs!


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#17 REC

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Posted 04 September 2019 - 01:57 PM

I'm 70 and I don't have any problems merging my WO BV with the 20mm pair that came with it. I di not use glasses with them. I do notice that I may have a problem if I drink too much wine with dinner :)

 

I'm using it with my C102 fract and my 8" SCT.  Maybe check with your eye doctor?


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#18 RMay

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Posted 04 September 2019 - 05:16 PM

Wine! Crap! I forgot to stop drinking! 🤦‍♂️

Next time I’m in to see her, I’ll have my eyes checked for all usual - and new - suspects. Trying Jupiter tonight...

👍👍👍

Ron
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#19 doug mc

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Posted 04 September 2019 - 05:56 PM

The first thing to start failing after drinking alcohol is eye stability. Continue drinking and it crashes. Ever watched the ceiling in your bedroom roll over after a few to many?



#20 Jeff B

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Posted 06 September 2019 - 08:58 AM

A few tricks I've learned:

 

1. Many eyepieces are not precisely concentric and I sometimes need to rotate one or the other to get good, quick merging of the images.

 

2. Merging stellar images, especially those stars more towards the edge of the FOV, is more difficult for me than say the planets or the moon

 

3. Precise focus in each eye really makes for an astonishing view.  But it's funny how sharp the image can still be even if one of the eyepieces is not quite focused.

 

4. Related to 3, as I've gotten older, the focus between my two eyes has subtly changed so I focus individually for each eye, much like a binocular, except I find I need to approach focus in each eye from the same starting point, either outside of focus or inside of focus.  I typically prefer from slightly outside of focus.

 

The only time I revert to cyclops viewing is with 2" eyepieces. 

 

Enjoy the experience!!

 

Jeff 


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#21 TG

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Posted 08 September 2019 - 02:11 PM

If you have a collimation laser or even just a laser pointer, shoot it through the "telescope end" of the BV and measure the distance between the twin spots on a far wall. It should be exactly the distance between the centers of the eyepiece holders if the BV is in collimation.
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#22 Joe1950

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Posted 08 September 2019 - 03:45 PM

Didn’t know that. Good one TG!




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