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Is anyone else tired of the hassle?

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#151 Sarkikos

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Posted 18 October 2021 - 08:00 AM

Ugh, setting circles.  The setting circles on my CG-5 are crap and I never learned how to use them.  I had someone tell me one time that they were more ornamental than functional!  Unfortunately, I've never really learned to use a star atlas either, which is probably why I have such a hard time finding objects with the Alt-Az mount today.

 

I like my manual CG-5 so much because it makes finding DSOs simple.  The RA knob moves the OTA 10 Minutes RA per turn and the Dec knob moves the OTA 2.5 degrees Declination per turn.  So I just line up on a nearby star with a known address, turn the knobs the right number of rotations to compensate for the address change, and I'm looking at the new target.  For example, to target the NGC 6939 cluster, I would first center Vega in the eyepiece then jump to NGC6939 with 11-1/2 RA knob turns going east and 8-3/4 Dec knob turns going north. Very easy as long as I know the starting and ending coordinates. I keep a long list of DSO and star addresses.   

 

Creating my DSO list with addresses when I started in the late 1990's took some time, but was easy enough.  My main challenge was identifying stars near the target at night.  A planisphere and dim little red light helped with that.  The phone apps today can easily identify the stars and provide their coordinates, but I don't like using the phone because the screen messes with my dark adapted eyesight. I even glued 2 extra red filters over my red flashlight to keep it super dim.   

 

Gary

Yes, I've heard that many setting circles on mounts are too small to be useful in the field.  But even if they were much larger, I would still not like them.  Too much math and futzing around for my taste, especially in the dark.  

 

Your method of locating objects is unusual, maybe unique.  I don't think I've heard of anyone else doing it this way.  It sounds something like carrying around a telephone book to keep track of people's addresses ... except you would write the telephone book yourself in advance.  It would work, but maybe not the most efficient technique since GPS is built into our phones now.  

 

Nowadays we can have a good chart system downloaded to our phones.  SkySafari Pro is probably the best.  Most of the time I use SSP on my iPhone.  I can easily switch to all red on the phone, and set the display brightness to the dimmest level.  This is good enough for most objects.  Try it.  You don't need the absolute deepest level of dark adaptation for maybe 95% of the objects up there. (I've observed about 2000 DSO.)  I think many amateur astronomers have some sort of fetish about achieving perfect dark adaptation.  

 

If I want to observe really dim fuzzies, I place a piece of Xtra Dark Cling filter on the phone.  AFAIK, this is the best filter for display devices in astronomy.  Too bad they don't sell it anymore.  ohmy.gif

 

Mike


Edited by Sarkikos, 18 October 2021 - 08:09 AM.

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#152 Rick-T137

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Posted 18 October 2021 - 09:23 AM

Yes, I've heard that many setting circles on mounts are too small to be useful in the field.  But even if they were much larger, I would still not like them.  Too much math and futzing around for my taste, especially in the dark.  

 

Your method of locating objects is unusual, maybe unique.  I don't think I've heard of anyone else doing it this way.  It sounds something like carrying around a telephone book to keep track of people's addresses ... except you would write the telephone book yourself in advance.  It would work, but maybe not the most efficient technique since GPS is built into our phones now.  

 

Nowadays we can have a good chart system downloaded to our phones.  SkySafari Pro is probably the best.  Most of the time I use SSP on my iPhone.  I can easily switch to all red on the phone, and set the display brightness to the dimmest level.  This is good enough for most objects.  Try it.  You don't need the absolute deepest level of dark adaptation for maybe 95% of the objects up there. (I've observed about 2000 DSO.)  I think many amateur astronomers have some sort of fetish about achieving perfect dark adaptation.  

 

If I want to observe really dim fuzzies, I place a piece of Xtra Dark Cling filter on the phone.  AFAIK, this is the best filter for display devices in astronomy.  Too bad they don't sell it anymore.  ohmy.gif

 

Mike

I'm in the crowd that just likes to use regular paper star atlases. Most of the time I use my Sky Jumbo Pocket Sky Atlas (which my youngest thought was hilarious... "They expect you to put THAT in your pocket? How big is your pocket supposed to be?!"). I've run the gamut of different methods - I've had a GOTO mount linked directly to my PC and used electronic eyepieces to view things on my laptop screen, I've had a tablet hooked up to my PC with a digital read out for more of a PUSH-TO solution, I've used a cell phone with a digital sky atlas on it.

 

I eventually found all those methods to be a hassle. The laptop or phone needs to be properly charged, and if it gets cold (which happens frequently where I live) then battery life becomes a problem. Extra cords, and tables and set up, etc.

 

So, now I prefer to just have a few atlases in my bag and I can pull them out as required. Usually its the Jumbo Pocket Atlas. If I need to go deeper, it's the Uranometria Deep Sky atlas. Or maybe just a Telrad atlas (I have a few of those). It does add some hassle in that paper atlases occupy a lot more space than a cell phone does - but they don't cause me grief when I try to use them at 2AM.

 

I am even finding having to power my SCT is becoming a hassle. I honestly think my happiest observing days where when I had an f/4.5 10" Dob and a stool. That was it. I did a Messier marathon with that scope, and it showed me many spectacular wonders of the sky.

 

With the more crazy life is getting with electronics and IoT, the more a simple un-electronic way of doing things appeals to me more and more.

 

But maybe that's just me. shrug.gif

 

Clear skies!

Rick


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#153 CHASLX200

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Posted 18 October 2021 - 09:29 AM

Eyes so bad?  How so?  Presbyopia?  I have presbyopia, myopia and astigmatism.  My eyeglasses correct for all those badnesses. I keep my eyeglasses on most of the time when I'm doing astronomy.  I only take them off when the eye relief on an eyepiece is too short.  When I say "eye relief is too short," I mean less than about 10mm. grin.gif

 

Mike

I just can't see up close anymore. So reading is too much work. I gotta have normal glasses, computer and reading glasses.

 My eyes are fine in the scope since it can focus.

 

I have a big 27" monitor for the computer and don't want a smart phone since i can't see a tiny screen. I had my own way to find deep sky objects and was very good at it until the LX200 ruined me. Now i can't find anything or even try anymore other than the few show case objects i look at all the time. That is around 6 deep sky objects per season.  Mag 5 skies on my best nites are not worth fooling with as most nites are mag 3 so i stick to planets.  The LX200's showed me all i needed to see since most objects are just seen and not much to look at.  Now if i had mag 7 skies i would enjoy deep sky. Kinda like driving a Vette at 30mph looking at deep sky in the city kitty.

 

I saw some nice dark skies going offshore Friday morning and once we were 20 miles or more offshore the sky came alive.


Edited by CHASLX200, 18 October 2021 - 09:35 AM.


#154 Terra Nova

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Posted 18 October 2021 - 09:44 AM

I've been thinking about getting image intensifiers for the last ten years.  I'm still thinking about it.  

 

Mike

They are just way too expensive still as far as I’m concerned when one can do EAA on the cheap. For me, EAA is and was what used to be synonymous with what we called ‘video astronomy’ twenty years ago, that being real time or near real time (short integrated stack) display of images on a monitor, (going directly from the imager to the monitor), not long period data collection and subsequent image processing with a computer. I’m not into AP. I have zero interest in it. I have, however dabbled in video astronomy for years. Some of us remember a company in upstate New York called Adirondack Video Astronomy. That’s really where I got my start. Well there, and a Texas-based internet superstore specializing in closed circuit video called Super-Circuits. When the hyper-sensitive Sony chips came out with onboard stacking like the AVA Stellacam, things really took off. SBIG came out with a similar product around the same time. Then came Mallincam. These products allowed real time video astronomy to go from bright solar system objects to faint fuzzies and in the case of galaxies they did a better job than NV. In today’s world, a person can get a complete turnkey system, the Revolution Imager for around three hundred bucks that will show everything an NV tube based system will show, and in some cases like galaxies, more for less than 1/10th the cost and more than one person can look at a time. At some point, the price of NV may come down but right now, and for the past few years, the US government has had its thumb in the pie and it’s foot in the door and that’s kept prices sky-high. Too high for me!


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#155 bobhen

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Posted 18 October 2021 - 10:01 AM

Image intensifiers are intriguing. I’ve never looked through one but have always been interested in them. I remember when the Collins i3 came out around twenty years ago. It seems I remember they were around two grand then? Today it seems that they cost as much as a new Questar or Stowaway and I can’t justify that for myself.

Terra and Mike…

 

Intensifiers are not cheap. Of course neither is a Questar, a set of Ethos eyepieces or any number of telescopes, and they won't show you what the intensifier will.

 

If deep sky observing is something you enjoy and especially if you live in mild to heavy light pollution, then an intensifier and an inexpensive refractor and alt/az mount or inexpensive Dobsonian (you don’t need high quality optics) and you will see a lot more and without traveling to a dark sky. Many targets that are considered imaging targets can be seen visually with an intensifier. The Horsehead Nebula is an "easy target" in my 120mm refractor on any clear night from my Bortle 8-9 sky.

 

In my 45-years of observing, I consider one of my best astro purchases “ever” and "by far" was getting the intensifier. Read some observing reports over in the Night Vision forum for some insight. HERE is one report from an observer using just camera lenses.

 

Bob 


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#156 Terra Nova

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Posted 18 October 2021 - 10:45 AM

Terra and Mike…

 

Intensifiers are not cheap. Of course neither is a Questar, a set of Ethos eyepieces or any number of telescopes, and they won't show you what the intensifier will.

 

If deep sky observing is something you enjoy and especially if you live in mild to heavy light pollution, then an intensifier and an inexpensive refractor and alt/az mount or inexpensive Dobsonian (you don’t need high quality optics) and you will see a lot more and without traveling to a dark sky. Many targets that are considered imaging targets can be seen visually with an intensifier. The Horsehead Nebula is an "easy target" in my 120mm refractor on any clear night from my Bortle 8-9 sky.

 

In my 45-years of observing, I consider one of my best astro purchases “ever” and "by far" was getting the intensifier. Read some observing reports over in the Night Vision forum for some insight. HERE is one report from an observer using just camera lenses.

 

Bob 

I do understand that Bob, it’s a great technology but I deam the price too high for me. Going to a good DSO dark site with my TVGenesis SDF is a short 45 minute drive so it’s not like I’m deprived and most of the Messier objects are visible in my backyard. I’m happy with my 3” and 4” apos and my TV Nagler and Panoptic eyepieces and I have no desire for a set of Ethos. And I’ve sold the Questar. I’ve downsized and consolidated my gear and am not interested in making  any more big investments. I’d rather use what I have. And for faint fuzzies from my own backyard, I don’t think I would see that much more than I do with a sensitive integrating video camera. I know it’s not ‘looking through the eyepiece’ but really, with NV you’re looking through the eyepiece at a tiny magnified phosphor screen. How is that much different than looking through the eyepiece your eyes at a bigger LCD screen?


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#157 clamchip

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Posted 18 October 2021 - 11:02 AM

Pierre is my optician and likes working on scopes but prefers armchair astronomy to

observing. I'd love inviting him to be my mount monkey on my long newts, I'm afraid

he might be offended by such a undignified position. I still might pop the question, at

least he will get some fresh air.

Robert

 

post-50896-0-01101300-1469665579_thumb.jpg

post-50896-0-84050300-1581804948.jpg


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#158 Sarkikos

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Posted 18 October 2021 - 11:15 AM

I'm in the crowd that just likes to use regular paper star atlases. Most of the time I use my Sky Jumbo Pocket Sky Atlas (which my youngest thought was hilarious... "They expect you to put THAT in your pocket? How big is your pocket supposed to be?!"). I've run the gamut of different methods - I've had a GOTO mount linked directly to my PC and used electronic eyepieces to view things on my laptop screen, I've had a tablet hooked up to my PC with a digital read out for more of a PUSH-TO solution, I've used a cell phone with a digital sky atlas on it.

 

I eventually found all those methods to be a hassle. The laptop or phone needs to be properly charged, and if it gets cold (which happens frequently where I live) then battery life becomes a problem. Extra cords, and tables and set up, etc.

 

So, now I prefer to just have a few atlases in my bag and I can pull them out as required. Usually its the Jumbo Pocket Atlas. If I need to go deeper, it's the Uranometria Deep Sky atlas. Or maybe just a Telrad atlas (I have a few of those). It does add some hassle in that paper atlases occupy a lot more space than a cell phone does - but they don't cause me grief when I try to use them at 2AM.

 

I am even finding having to power my SCT is becoming a hassle. I honestly think my happiest observing days where when I had an f/4.5 10" Dob and a stool. That was it. I did a Messier marathon with that scope, and it showed me many spectacular wonders of the sky.

 

With the more crazy life is getting with electronics and IoT, the more a simple un-electronic way of doing things appeals to me more and more.

 

But maybe that's just me. shrug.gif

 

Clear skies!

Rick

I don't think you are in a very big crowd!  grin.gif  I bet a majority of amateur astronomers have gone electric:  goto, pushto, or star hop with apps on a phone or tablet.

 

I've tried the goto.  Goto just got in my way.  It actually slowed me down!  I could star hop faster.  

 

I don't see power as a problem.  If I'm going to be in a dewy area all night, then I will hook up warming strips on the finders and the focuser, and power them with small portable supplies I attach to the mount, or even to the OTA.  Power lasts all night.  I don't use goto.  I don't do imaging.  So I don't have to worry about power for those gizmos.  Also, I've never had a problem with my iPhone or tablet going dead before the observing session is over.  Loss of power is just not a thing for me.

 

Before I started using SkySafari Pro on iPhone or tablet, I star hopped from printed star atlases and a red light.  For me, the printed atlases were much more of a hassle.  They're bulky to hold at the eyepiece, where I like them.  I don't like consulting an atlas on a table.  Printed atlases are prone to dew.  Holding or rigging a red light to read them by is a hassle. 

 

Holding a little iPhone with SkySafari Pro is not a hassle at all.  I can immediately compare what I see on SSP with what I see in a finder or the eyepiece.  And I don't have to hold or rig up a red light.  This makes for an easy star hop.

 

Mike


Edited by Sarkikos, 18 October 2021 - 11:16 AM.

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#159 GGK

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Posted 18 October 2021 - 11:22 AM

Yes, I've heard that many setting circles on mounts are too small to be useful in the field.  But even if they were much larger, I would still not like them.  Too much math and futzing around for my taste, especially in the dark.  

 

Your method of locating objects is unusual, maybe unique.  I don't think I've heard of anyone else doing it this way.  It sounds something like carrying around a telephone book to keep track of people's addresses ... except you would write the telephone book yourself in advance.  It would work, but maybe not the most efficient technique since GPS is built into our phones now.  

 

Nowadays we can have a good chart system downloaded to our phones.  SkySafari Pro is probably the best.  Most of the time I use SSP on my iPhone.  I can easily switch to all red on the phone, and set the display brightness to the dimmest level.  This is good enough for most objects.  Try it.  You don't need the absolute deepest level of dark adaptation for maybe 95% of the objects up there. (I've observed about 2000 DSO.)  I think many amateur astronomers have some sort of fetish about achieving perfect dark adaptation.  

 

If I want to observe really dim fuzzies, I place a piece of Xtra Dark Cling filter on the phone.  AFAIK, this is the best filter for display devices in astronomy.  Too bad they don't sell it anymore.  ohmy.gif

 

Mike

I used the CG-5 GEM this way for 23 years and it's probably why I was so successful finding DOSs with my C8's narrow view.  It's only since joining CN this year that I realized few other people use the GEM this way.  It's a simple process and I always find the target, so it's good for me.  Although whether or not I recognize the target when I get there can bring a laugh or two.

 

I do use a paper "phone book" of DSOs, but only because it gets me to the target faster.  I've tried several apps including SkySafari and find them all quite good.  I've been using SkyView recently to map out new viewing sites.  I don't usually take the whole DSO list along when viewing away from home. I just print the pages of DSOs that will be visible during my viewing time.

 

Since I built my own DSO list, It has exactly what I need and want for speed and convenience. First, I wear glasses to read, but don't wear them for observing, so the paper list is in print big enough that I don't need to put my glasses back on. (Unfortunately I need my glasses to read my phone, but have considered hanging a big magnifying glass on my tripod).  2nd, I list RA and Dec coordinates in decimal Hours and decimal Degrees so I can do the knob-turn calculation math quickly in my head.  The Apps and computer programs give Hours/Minutes/Seconds and Degrees/Minutes/Seconds which makes subtracting one RA address from another and multiplying by 6 too hard. 3rd, I only include DSOs that should be visible in my telescopes.  And 4th, I keep lists sorted by RA groups and Dec groups, so when viewing, I just scan the list to see what's nearby.  I include DSO type, size, magnitude, and basic comments from past observations including the preferred eyepiece and a "Wow" rating. 

 

My process isn't the best and won't work for everyone, but it works good for me and my equipment.  I also like to read what others are doing and have incorporated some of their comments into my routine.

 

Thanks for the cling filter tip.  I'm going to try that on my phone. Regarding the phone, it's not really dark adaptation that's the problem.  I tend to get spots in my eyesight for a few minutes after looking at the screen even on the dimmest red App setting. No idea why, but it is what it is.

 

Gary


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#160 Sarkikos

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Posted 18 October 2021 - 11:22 AM

I just can't see up close anymore. So reading is too much work. I gotta have normal glasses, computer and reading glasses.

 My eyes are fine in the scope since it can focus.

 

I have a big 27" monitor for the computer and don't want a smart phone since i can't see a tiny screen. I had my own way to find deep sky objects and was very good at it until the LX200 ruined me. Now i can't find anything or even try anymore other than the few show case objects i look at all the time. That is around 6 deep sky objects per season.  Mag 5 skies on my best nites are not worth fooling with as most nites are mag 3 so i stick to planets.  The LX200's showed me all i needed to see since most objects are just seen and not much to look at.  Now if i had mag 7 skies i would enjoy deep sky. Kinda like driving a Vette at 30mph looking at deep sky in the city kitty.

 

I saw some nice dark skies going offshore Friday morning and once we were 20 miles or more offshore the sky came alive.

A guy I used to work with had presbyopia.  He told me his doctor said he didn't need to wear glasses.  I showed him a book and asked him, "Can you read this now?"  He said, "No."  I told him, "Then you need to wear glasses."  I should have asked for a copay.  grin.gif

 

This is a literate society.  I don't understand how people can walk around and not be able to read whenever needed, without having to carry cheaters in their pocket.  I guess it's because otherwise their eyes are OK, and they don't develop presbyopia ("old person's eyes") until they are well into their middle years or older.  By that time, they're so used to not wearing glasses, they don't want to wear them.

 

I think, though, it would just be so convenient to wear progressive eyeglasses with an upper section that is plain glass if no correction for distance is needed, a middle section to correct for middle distance (computers and such), and a lower section that corrects for closeup.  And wear them all the time.  Just my penny.gif penny.gif .

 

Mike


Edited by Sarkikos, 18 October 2021 - 11:33 AM.

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#161 Rick-T137

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Posted 18 October 2021 - 12:02 PM

A guy I used to work with had presbyopia.  He told me his doctor said he didn't need to wear glasses.  I showed him a book and asked him, "Can you read this now?"  He said, "No."  I told him, "Then you need to wear glasses."  I should have asked for a copay.  grin.gif

 

This is a literate society.  I don't understand how people can walk around and not be able to read whenever needed, without having to carry cheaters in their pocket.  I guess it's because otherwise their eyes are OK, and they don't develop presbyopia ("old person's eyes") until they are well into their middle years or older.  By that time, they're so used to not wearing glasses, they don't want to wear them.

 

I think, though, it would just be so convenient to wear progressive eyeglasses with an upper section that is plain glass if no correction for distance is needed, a middle section to correct for middle distance (computers and such), and a lower section that corrects for closeup.  And wear them all the time.  Just my penny.gif penny.gif .

 

Mike

+1000 for progressives. Mind you, they aren't for everyone. My wife tried them and they made her feel queasy. But I have been using them for years and I love them. They have a 3 zone setup as you describe Mike - upper for distance, middle for computer, bottom for reading close up. They work great - and I even use them occasionally while observing with larger exit pupils due to astigmatism in my observing eye (I've been trying to train myself on the other eye... but some old dogs have trouble with new tricks).

 

Clear skies!

 

Rick


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#162 LDW47

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Posted 18 October 2021 - 01:27 PM

HAPPY BIRTHDAY !  From up here in getting cold but not old, Ontario, Canada.


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#163 bobhen

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Posted 18 October 2021 - 04:05 PM

I do understand that Bob, it’s a great technology but I deam the price too high for me. Going to a good DSO dark site with my TVGenesis SDF is a short 45 minute drive so it’s not like I’m deprived and most of the Messier objects are visible in my backyard. I’m happy with my 3” and 4” apos and my TV Nagler and Panoptic eyepieces and I have no desire for a set of Ethos. And I’ve sold the Questar. I’ve downsized and consolidated my gear and am not interested in making  any more big investments. I’d rather use what I have. And for faint fuzzies from my own backyard, I don’t think I would see that much more than I do with a sensitive integrating video camera. I know it’s not ‘looking through the eyepiece’ but really, with NV you’re looking through the eyepiece at a tiny magnified phosphor screen. How is that much different than looking through the eyepiece your eyes at a bigger LCD screen?

First, Happy Birthday.

 

If you haven’t used an intensifier, my words won’t make much of a difference.

 

But an intensifier from your home will show you more/better than you will ever see visually. And you can certainly take an intensifier to an even darker sky location to see even more objects/details. The TV Genesis would be an excellent scope to use. Also interesting to note that Tele Vue now sells intensifiers. Even Al was impressed. 

 

With today’s intensifiers that use gain control, one can get a view that is pretty close to the purity of an eyepiece so the experience is really not at all like looking at a computer screen. And when at the scope, the ergonomics of Night Vision are also exactly like visual and not like imaging or EAA.

 

Starting back in 2000 I did astro-video/EAA for 15-years using a Stellacam camera and it certainly has some advantages. But if you are looking for less or “minimum hassle” observing, as the title of the thread states, but that still packs a powerful punch, you won’t do better than an intensifier and alt/az mount combination.

 

I’ve done Visual, Imaging, EAA and Night Vision and they all have some advantages. But of the above, the deep-sky-penetration/simplicity-of-use combination trophy goes to Night Vision.

 

I don’t want this thread to go off the rails, so for more info or questions anyone can just ask over in the Night Vision forum.

 

Bob


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#164 Terra Nova

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Posted 18 October 2021 - 04:08 PM

Thank you Bob. If they ever come down to $1000 or so, I’ll give it a whirl, (so long as I’m still able to whirl that is :lol: ).


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#165 Sarkikos

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Posted 18 October 2021 - 04:15 PM

From what I've read here on CN, it's easy to put $10,000 into an NVD system if you want binocular vision with good specimens of the latest generation tubes.   That despite - or because? - of the fact that it's still pretty much DIY gear.  Deep pockets and a steep learning curve.

 

And that's why I'm still thinking about it after 10 years.

 

You'd think by now there would be many turn-key, off-the-shelf systems available, not just the limited offering by TeleVue.

 

Mike


Edited by Sarkikos, 18 October 2021 - 04:19 PM.

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#166 CHASLX200

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Posted 18 October 2021 - 06:04 PM

A guy I used to work with had presbyopia.  He told me his doctor said he didn't need to wear glasses.  I showed him a book and asked him, "Can you read this now?"  He said, "No."  I told him, "Then you need to wear glasses."  I should have asked for a copay.  grin.gif

 

This is a literate society.  I don't understand how people can walk around and not be able to read whenever needed, without having to carry cheaters in their pocket.  I guess it's because otherwise their eyes are OK, and they don't develop presbyopia ("old person's eyes") until they are well into their middle years or older.  By that time, they're so used to not wearing glasses, they don't want to wear them.

 

I think, though, it would just be so convenient to wear progressive eyeglasses with an upper section that is plain glass if no correction for distance is needed, a middle section to correct for middle distance (computers and such), and a lower section that corrects for closeup.  And wear them all the time.  Just my penny.gif penny.gif .

 

Mike

I can read street signs fine as wine and stuff like that. It is small print up close like a new paper or tiny fonts.  I have to blow up my screen on my 27" Monitor to read fourms and such with computer glasses. I can't wear progressive glasses as i tried years ago and drove me crazy.  As for finding deep sky objects. Meade was a world changer and my dreams of a telescope like the LX200 came true and set the world on fire. I dreamed of such a scope in the 1970's.

 

But after having around 8 LX200's and seeing all i could it got old.  Now i don't care anymore unless i was in mag 7 skies.


Edited by CHASLX200, 18 October 2021 - 06:07 PM.


#167 RichA

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Posted 18 October 2021 - 06:45 PM

Sometimes for sure. Last night I thought about grabbing a classic for a quick look at the Moon, Jupiter & Saturn with the neighbors but chose the TeleVue 85 on a Stellarvue M2 alt/az mount instead. Alt/az mounts and short tube OTAs may lack some of the panache but are just less work when you're in a hurry. Or tired. Or irritated.

 

I do enjoy the old-school aesthetics but I've always been an alt/az fan for visual.

One downside;  someone who knows nothing about scopes taking forever to look through the thing, by the time they see the field, the object is gone.  Alt-az problem.  This is where a driven scope comes in very handy.


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#168 bjkaras

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Posted 18 October 2021 - 06:47 PM

I still like my GEMs. Sure my 10” on the 1.5” shaft mount is a beast and a PITA to move and then set up, but once it’s up and running it’s great. I like to not have to touch anything while I’m observing, so I can just focus on the object. I do sone imaging but really just prefer observing with my own eyes. That’s what it comes down to for me. If you do a careful polar alignment and have good tracking then you’re all set.


Edited by bjkaras, 18 October 2021 - 06:49 PM.

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#169 Sarkikos

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Posted 18 October 2021 - 08:27 PM

One downside;  someone who knows nothing about scopes taking forever to look through the thing, by the time they see the field, the object is gone.  Alt-az problem.  This is where a driven scope comes in very handy.

That's why if I have the neighbors look through a scope, I put in 100 degree eyepieces and set the object just inside the edge of the field.  Then I tell them, "Look to the right / left."  They can observe the object as it drifts across the field.  And I always take a quick look between observers so I can reposition the scope.  Not a problem.  It also limits how long any one person can look at the object.  No hogging!

 

Mike


Edited by Sarkikos, 18 October 2021 - 09:21 PM.

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#170 Sarkikos

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Posted 18 October 2021 - 08:30 PM

I can read street signs fine as wine and stuff like that. It is small print up close like a new paper or tiny fonts.  I have to blow up my screen on my 27" Monitor to read fourms and such with computer glasses. I can't wear progressive glasses as i tried years ago and drove me crazy.  As for finding deep sky objects. Meade was a world changer and my dreams of a telescope like the LX200 came true and set the world on fire. I dreamed of such a scope in the 1970's.

 

But after having around 8 LX200's and seeing all i could it got old.  Now i don't care anymore unless i was in mag 7 skies.

I don't get how progressives could drive anyone crazy.  I've been wearing them for 30 years and I'm not crazy yet!  crazyeyes.gif

 

Mike 


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#171 CHASLX200

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Posted 19 October 2021 - 05:47 AM

I don't get how progressives could drive anyone crazy.  I've been wearing them for 30 years and I'm not crazy yet!  crazyeyes.gif

 

Mike 

It's like FC in a fast fract. I get a bending of vision as i move my head. Same for glasses with a line in them. I can use them to read but not for normal vision.



#172 bobhen

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Posted 19 October 2021 - 06:05 AM

From what I've read here on CN, it's easy to put $10,000 into an NVD system if you want binocular vision with good specimens of the latest generation tubes.   That despite - or because? - of the fact that it's still pretty much DIY gear.  Deep pockets and a steep learning curve.

 

And that's why I'm still thinking about it after 10 years.

 

You'd think by now there would be many turn-key, off-the-shelf systems available, not just the limited offering by TeleVue.

 

Mike

 Mike,

 

You don’t need a NV binocular. Just like with eyepieces, a monocular is all you need to get the full benefit of night vision.

 

There is no learning curve. You unscrew the lens on the intensifier. You screw on the adapter. You screw on a filter. You turn on the intensifier. You put the intensifier in the telescope just like an eyepiece. It's less complicated than changing the time on the digital clock in my car.   

 

And one doesn’t need a turnkey system. A Mod 3 intensifier with a $25 C-mount to 1.25” adapter and two filters are all you need. The system offered by Tele Vue is nice but it is not the only game in town.

 

And just like with telescopes, one also doesn’t need the absolute top of the line NV intensifier tube to get most of the NV experience. 

 

For deep sky observing, an Obsession 15” F4.5 Standard (no extras) Dobsonian will run $6,000, with extras it will cost more. And one will need wide field eyepieces and filters, etc. And that scope will need a reasonably dark sky to deliver its best. With the same budget, one could get a Mod 3 intensifier, the extras needed and a 10” Orion Dobsonian. The 10” with the intensifier will show things (like the Horsehead Nebula, etc.) that are just not seen in mild to heavy light pollution and you won’t have to travel to a dark sky and that system will also go deeper and show more details in many objects under a black sky.

 

I wouldn’t recommend an intensifier for someone starting out. Then again, I wouldn’t recommend a 15” Obsession either.

 

But for the experienced observer who likes the "visual experience" and wants to see more, an intensifier is a very strong consideration over getting a larger mirror, and it can actually be a less expensive proposition.

 

Or for those getting up in age and need to downsize but don’t want to give up the light gathering capability of larger aperture, again an intensifier can be a very strong consideration with the added benefit that you will actually see “more” and with "less hassle" in a “smaller telescope” using an intensifier. I think that qualifies as a win/win.

 

Bob 


Edited by bobhen, 19 October 2021 - 06:14 AM.

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#173 bremms

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Posted 19 October 2021 - 06:29 AM

I understand what you are saying for a grab and go, but I still prefer to have a GEM and a drive most of the time especially looking at planets or trying to find a fainter DSO. You can always mount a GEM semi permanently and put a cover over the mount when not in use. That being said, there something nice about a simple alt-az mount.


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#174 steve t

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Posted 19 October 2021 - 06:59 AM

Last night while observing Jupiter it was nice to just lock the Dec axis and just nudge the polar axis to keep it centered in the eyepiece.

 

There is a lot of neat technology out there, but I still prefer to observing like it's 1960lol.gif


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#175 Terra Nova

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Posted 19 October 2021 - 07:13 AM

One downside;  someone who knows nothing about scopes taking forever to look through the thing, by the time they see the field, the object is gone.  Alt-az problem.  This is where a driven scope comes in very handy.

That’s very true. It’s definitely not the job for an Orthoscopic eyepiece and a long refractor or Cat. On the other hand, Nagler T6s with their 82° field really help with that. The 4” TeleVue refractors on the Gibralter mount and Naglers and Pans are made for each other. It’s amazing how well it all works together as a system.


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