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S&T Hobby Killers identified!

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#151 oldmanastro

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Posted 08 February 2020 - 10:30 PM

I was an eyes-only sky gazer till my 30s. If a scope is lousy, and someone quits because of that, they probably weren't all that interested. What about the scores of people who have saved and scrimped for their first scope, or spent months grinding their first mirror from mail order? A hobby of any sort starts with a keen curiosity, a bit of obsession and perseverance.

Cheap or small scopes are not the hobby killers. Anyone who is truly interested in astronomy will find a way.
Light pollution would have a far greater effect on the current generation. How can they develop an interest at all if they can't see?

This sentence says it all. Interest is the main driver and the reason why some of us that have been in this avocation for close to 55 years are still at it. A simple small telescope was not a hobby killer for us because our interest surpassed the shortcomings of the telescope. Obsession and perseverance ran high too. I remember waking up sometime near 4:00am to see Saturn for the first time in my life through the 60mm f/11 with .965" eyepieces. To me it was breathtaking. Later on at school I kept yawning all day but it was worth it. Most of us had similar experiences.


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#152 oldmanastro

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Posted 08 February 2020 - 10:36 PM

Here's a picture of Jupiter and Ganymede taken through a 50mm achromat, the Galileoscope. All of the detail seen here is visible to the eye, if a little darker. I would call that of some use.

Excellent image! I'll try it with my Galileoscope. That plastic telescope has pretty good optics and I can mount it piggyback in my Mak. The fact is that I remember Unitron 1.6" telescopes in their catalogs. A lot of people started with these scopes.



#153 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 08 February 2020 - 11:55 PM

I have never been able to get comfortable using an RACI optical finder. I’ve had several and sold them, they just don’t work well for me. If I’m going to use an optical finder it’s a straight-thru, although I do have a couple of correct image straight-thru optical finders that I like.

 

 

I used to only use straight through finders but about 6 years ago, I decided to make the switch to RACI finders. Part of the motivation was that with my big scopes, the finder and the main eyepiece could be side by side so it would be easier to work back and forth between them.

 

It took a while before I had it down, I was always moving the scope the wrong way. Today, i only use RACI finders. On my bigger scopes, there's always a Telrad. 

 

Having the finder and main eyepiece side by side works really well.

 

StellarVue finder on 22 inch.jpg
 
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#154 CHASLX200

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Posted 09 February 2020 - 07:37 AM

Neither have I. It has always been straight through finders with me. I tried a RACI finder once in a star party. It was a difficult thing. I need to see directly at the object with one eye and through the finder with the other eye. 

At some point finders in Towa telescope and others underwent a de-evolution. For example, my old 1965 altazimuth mounted 60mm f/11 Sears (Towa) has a 5X24 achromatic finder. It is pretty good. Later on this same telescope model came with a non-achromatic finder with a mask that reduced the aperture almost by a half. It was useless. A bad cost saving measure. The 6X30 finder in the Sears model 6305-A is a good one and so is the 12X40 (if I am not incorrect) of the Sears 76mm f/16. I am neither much of a fan when it comes to zero power laser finders. 

I also don't like RACI finders as i always move the scope the wrong way.



#155 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 09 February 2020 - 09:59 AM

I also don't like RACI finders as i always move the scope the wrong way.

 

Even old dogs can learn new tricks, I did. It probably took a year before I always moved the scope the right way. 

 

Jon



#156 Bonco2

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Posted 09 February 2020 - 05:19 PM

This old man is tired of new tricks...No RACI for me.lol.gif

Bill


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#157 Terra Nova

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Posted 09 February 2020 - 05:32 PM

 

I used to only use straight through finders but about 6 years ago, I decided to make the switch to RACI finders. Part of the motivation was that with my big scopes, the finder and the main eyepiece could be side by side so it would be easier to work back and forth between them.

 

It took a while before I had it down, I was always moving the scope the wrong way. Today, i only use RACI finders. On my bigger scopes, there's always a Telrad. 

 

Having the finder and main eyepiece side by side works really well.

 

 
 
Jon

 

Well it’s kind of cheating when you’re using it in conjunction with the Telrad. In that case, the Telrad is really the finder, you do the real work with it. The RACI is just a little correct image wide field telescope used to zoom in on the target for the bigger narrow field telescope. You did all the real pointing with the Telrad. 



#158 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 09 February 2020 - 05:38 PM

This old man is tired of new tricks...No RACI for me.lol.gif

Bill

 

I'm glad I made the change. It really simplifies star hopping and is much more comfortable, particularly when observing from a ladder.  The driving force was probably when I got the 25 inch F/5, less leaning off the ladder with an RACI finder. With a big scope, I find I spend a lot of time with the finder, objects are faint, the main scope has a narrow field, precise pointing is required.

 

We all do it our own way.

 

Jon


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#159 ccwemyss

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Posted 09 February 2020 - 07:18 PM

Are we now arguing about whether RACI is a hobby killer?

 

I would think that neck pain resulting from trying to find near-zenith objects with the straight finders on inexpensive refractors, most of which had fairly short tripods (or were unstable with their legs extended), would be more of a hobby killer. I certainly feel it the next day.

 

On my 9TE-5, I know that I hated the finder. The one on my 4.25" Edmund was much better. Even though it was straight, being at the front of the scope, it was far easier to access.

 

Chip W. 



#160 clamchip

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Posted 09 February 2020 - 08:12 PM

Having too many hobbies can be a hobby killer.

When I first became interested in astronomy mid sixties I was also interested in, radio/electronics

shortwave listening, fossils, rocks & minerals, insect collecting, stamp and coin collecting.

Once I got my first scope in 1966 and 'my space' was not just the backyard but the entire universe

it pretty much killed all my other hobbies.

It happened again around 2008, a co-worker's dad passed away and he was cleaning out

the basement and sold me all his dad's Edmund Scientific telescopes and parts.

I was interested in astronomy at the time but the Edmund treasure killed my interest in classic

motorcycles, model airplanes, antique hit & miss gas engines, now I spent all my available spare

time (and then some) on astronomy.

 

Robert


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#161 oldmanastro

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Posted 09 February 2020 - 09:51 PM

Talking about interest and perseverance, here is a little story. Back in November 12, 1966 there was a Solar eclipse. I could see it partially from here and I mean very partially but it was my first eclipse. I had to see it. One problem though. It was a Saturday and on every Saturday at that time I accompanied my dad in his business visits. He had a small clothing and linen business that he ran out of a 1964 Ford Cortina MKI and Saturdays were very busy days. I helped him out and, of course, I was not going to say no because I want to see an eclipse. Neither could I carry my 60mm f/11 with me. I was afraid to damage the scope. That little car was stuffed with the merchandise. So I took another telescope. That year I had save some $ to buy a little Tasco terrestrial telescope called Comet if I remember well. It was a small 30mm telescope with a leather case and a small tripod. What I did may sound crazy today but allowed me to see and record the eclipse during our stops. You all remember the maligned sun eyepiece filter? Well, I taped one to the eyepiece of the little tasco, took some paper with me and recorded what I could by placing the telescope on the car roof. It had small rubber inserts in the tripod legs that gave it some steadiness. Those Saturdays were long. We started at 7:00am and were still at it at 7:00pm. The record of that little partial eclipse was lost a long time ago but the telescope is still here. I remembered this eclipse sometime ago and searched for the date. It coincided with a Saturday so bingo because those were the days I went out with dad. Here is the Comet now missing the rubber inserts but still working for occasional terrestrial use. The case is undergoing TLC. This 30mm didn't kill the hobby either. No, I haven't placed that solar filter in the eyepiece again since then.

 

Sorry for the long writeup. It's such a nice memory that I get carried away.

 

Clear Skies!

 

Guido

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#162 oldmanastro

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Posted 09 February 2020 - 09:53 PM

Having too many hobbies can be a hobby killer.

When I first became interested in astronomy mid sixties I was also interested in, radio/electronics

shortwave listening, fossils, rocks & minerals, insect collecting, stamp and coin collecting.

Once I got my first scope in 1966 and 'my space' was not just the backyard but the entire universe

it pretty much killed all my other hobbies.

It happened again around 2008, a co-worker's dad passed away and he was cleaning out

the basement and sold me all his dad's Edmund Scientific telescopes and parts.

I was interested in astronomy at the time but the Edmund treasure killed my interest in classic

motorcycles, model airplanes, antique hit & miss gas engines, now I spent all my available spare

time (and then some) on astronomy.

 

Robert

Many of us are also shortwave radio enthusiasts and on cloudy nights you may find me doing some shortwave listening. 


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#163 Terra Nova

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Posted 09 February 2020 - 10:48 PM

Are we now arguing about whether RACI is a hobby killer?

 

I would think that neck pain resulting from trying to find near-zenith objects with the straight finders on inexpensive refractors, most of which had fairly short tripods (or were unstable with their legs extended), would be more of a hobby killer. I certainly feel it the next day.

 

On my 9TE-5, I know that I hated the finder. The one on my 4.25" Edmund was much better. Even though it was straight, being at the front of the scope, it was far easier to access.

 

Chip W. 

I don’t think so! If you go back to the first part of that part of this thread, we were discussing (not arguing) that the contortions we got ourselves into to find high objects were much easier when we were young (long telescopes and straight thru finders) and I said that could kill the hobby now (not being serious) and that nowadays a GLP worked much better for me. And then I remarked thar RACIFs never really did it for me.

 

See post 144 and 145.

 

Then the arc just veered into a discussion of the merits of different kinds of finders. It had nothing to do with any finders being hobby killers. :lol:


Edited by Terra Nova, 09 February 2020 - 10:52 PM.


#164 Senex Bibax

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Posted 10 February 2020 - 07:43 AM

Astronomy gives me a hobby for the five months of the year when it's too cold for classic two-wheelers - except when it's too cold to observe. That leaves music as my fall-back, when I'm not too busy overhauling scopes and mounts.

 

Having too many hobbies can be a hobby killer.

When I first became interested in astronomy mid sixties I was also interested in, radio/electronics

shortwave listening, fossils, rocks & minerals, insect collecting, stamp and coin collecting.

Once I got my first scope in 1966 and 'my space' was not just the backyard but the entire universe

it pretty much killed all my other hobbies.

It happened again around 2008, a co-worker's dad passed away and he was cleaning out

the basement and sold me all his dad's Edmund Scientific telescopes and parts.

I was interested in astronomy at the time but the Edmund treasure killed my interest in classic

motorcycles, model airplanes, antique hit & miss gas engines, now I spent all my available spare

time (and then some) on astronomy.

 

Robert



#165 CHASLX200

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Posted 10 February 2020 - 07:13 PM

I don’t think so! If you go back to the first part of that part of this thread, we were discussing (not arguing) that the contortions we got ourselves into to find high objects were much easier when we were young (long telescopes and straight thru finders) and I said that could kill the hobby now (not being serious) and that nowadays a GLP worked much better for me. And then I remarked thar RACIFs never really did it for me.

 

See post 144 and 145.

 

Then the arc just veered into a discussion of the merits of different kinds of finders. It had nothing to do with any finders being hobby killers. lol.gif

Some finders were sure neck killers.  I always found the little 5X24 on the older C5's a pain. So maybe some finders did help with killing the hobby for some peeps.


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#166 Terra Nova

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Posted 11 February 2020 - 11:15 AM

Some finders were sure neck killers.  I always found the little 5X24 on the older C5's a pain. So maybe some finders did help with killing the hobby for some peeps.

I think anyone with serious interest would work around it. Back in the day, we didn’t have a lot of choice. So we just stuck with it and allowed for the occasional stiff neck or charley-horse. Now, anyone can get a Telrad and mount it with the included two sided adhesive tape or with zip-ties. I always recommend Telrads to beginners, and for them to use it in conjunction with a pair of binoculars and a simple atlas. I think they are the absolute easiest finder there is to use and they really encourage the user to star hop and learn the sky. 



#167 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 11 February 2020 - 11:25 AM

Guido:

 

Love your story. It's stories like that make this forum extra special.

 

Jon


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#168 ldcarson

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Posted 11 February 2020 - 12:46 PM

I don't know if its a hobby killer but clouds and monsoon season sure is killing me and my desire to setup and shoot the southern hemisphere.    



#169 oldmanastro

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Posted 11 February 2020 - 09:45 PM

Guido:

 

Love your story. It's stories like that make this forum extra special.

 

Jon

Thanks Jon. This story brings back very nice memories of my beginnings in astronomy and those Saturdays with dad. I was 13 at that time.

 

Clear Skies!

 

Guido


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#170 Terra Nova

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Posted 11 February 2020 - 11:23 PM

Talking about interest and perseverance, here is a little story. Back in November 12, 1966 there was a Solar eclipse. I could see it partially from here and I mean very partially but it was my first eclipse. I had to see it. One problem though. It was a Saturday and on every Saturday at that time I accompanied my dad in his business visits. He had a small clothing and linen business that he ran out of a 1964 Ford Cortina MKI and Saturdays were very busy days. I helped him out and, of course, I was not going to say no because I want to see an eclipse. Neither could I carry my 60mm f/11 with me. I was afraid to damage the scope. That little car was stuffed with the merchandise. So I took another telescope. That year I had save some $ to buy a little Tasco terrestrial telescope called Comet if I remember well. It was a small 30mm telescope with a leather case and a small tripod. What I did may sound crazy today but allowed me to see and record the eclipse during our stops. You all remember the maligned sun eyepiece filter? Well, I taped one to the eyepiece of the little tasco, took some paper with me and recorded what I could by placing the telescope on the car roof. It had small rubber inserts in the tripod legs that gave it some steadiness. Those Saturdays were long. We started at 7:00am and were still at it at 7:00pm. The record of that little partial eclipse was lost a long time ago but the telescope is still here. I remembered this eclipse sometime ago and searched for the date. It coincided with a Saturday so bingo because those were the days I went out with dad. Here is the Comet now missing the rubber inserts but still working for occasional terrestrial use. The case is undergoing TLC. This 30mm didn't kill the hobby either. No, I haven't placed that solar filter in the eyepiece again since then.
 
Sorry for the long writeup. It's such a nice memory that I get carried away.
 
Clear Skies!
 
Guido


Great story! That little scope looks just like the one Beaver Cleaver had! Here it is in the Episode titled Beaver’s Tonsils (Season 4, episode 20 of Leave It To Beaver). This episode was first broadcast February 11, 1961 which is coincidentally 59 years ago today! I saw it first run. Gawd I feel old!!

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#171 oldmanastro

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Posted 12 February 2020 - 01:37 PM

Great story! That little scope looks just like the one Beaver Cleaver had! Here it is in the Episode titled Beaver’s Tonsils (Season 4, episode 20 of Leave It To Beaver). This episode was first broadcast February 11, 1961 which is coincidentally 59 years ago today! I saw it first run. Gawd I feel old!!

My wife and I love to watch reruns of Leave it to Beaver. One thing is for sure. The Beaver cannot focus that telescope without pulling out the rest of the focusing tubes. These Tasco 30mm came in two versions a 25X30 and a 30x30. They have very good optics and smooth sliding in the focusing telescopic tubes. The original case has a reddish velvet interior.

 

The report of that November 66 eclipse made its way to the Royal Astronomical Society of Stockton CA. A bunch of kids, some my age and some older, had formed this society. They asked for members in a small note in the Review of Popular Astronomy, I wrote them and they were thrilled of receiving a letter from so far away. I became a member and corresponded with some of them for some years. Later on I don't know what happened to the Society. I may have a group photo that they sent me.

 

Guido


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