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Please help us!!! . Moving to a new place with great skies. Time to unleash our desire to do astrophotography.

Started by Big Louie, 02/04/2021 06:37PM
Posted 02/23/2021 04:47PM #10
Originally Posted by Ed Blankenship


Hello Barry and welcome to AstroMart !!!

Much of what Greg says makes sense to me. It is a HUGE step from an ETX-90 Mak to a C-14 SCT. I have read and re-read you post several times. I understand the situation about helping your friend and obtaining the gray C-14 at the very favorable price of $2k, (which assumes the optics are great).

I have a friend who has a C-14 that has been "upgraded' from the Celestron fork mount to a much sturdier Mathis 500 fork mount. He's even considering a mount upgrade beyond that 500 lb (edit-make that 120 lb) payload rating. He is considering the upgrade because his mount is old and needs a modernization of motor controls. Modern mounts have computer controls that make GOTO happen "seamlessly" in the background. The C-14 also needs a DOME or a Roll-off-Roof enclosure to protect it from the weather in SE Missouri. What are your plans for housing the mount that would "properly" carry a C-14 ?

Respectfully,

Ed Blankenship (aka eblanken in both places: AstroMart and Cloudy Nights)

Hello Ed:

Thank you for welcoming me to Astromart. 

I took Greg's advice and passed on purchasing the C14. Nothing is worse than people who ask your advice, then do what they were going to do before they asked. Greg saved me from a long, expensive and frustrating battle trying to find a mount that I can afford that would even move that C14. I am deep in the move now and will not be making a decision on what to buy for several months. 

As to housing the telescope, the plan is to build a push off roof observatory with a cast concrete pier. That seems to be the biggest bang for the buck. What do you use?

Thank you all. 

Barry



Posted 02/23/2021 07:27PM #11
Hi again Barry,

I was impressed with your experience base. You have worked on some "cool stuff" which I can relate to (40+ years in high tec & BS Physics). I am employed as a Radio Interference Expert (IEEE EMC member with 12 published papers).

It sounds like common sense and "stepping back to see the bigger picture" has prevailed. I am a strictly visual observer that travels 100 miles to dark skies. I do some observing from my backyard, but the "sky glow" from nearby Portland Oregon washes out many objects, so I don't have any permanent setup at my house.

I wish you all-the-best in your relocation. I find that between AstroMart (for buying and selling) and Cloudy Nights (for the better forum paticipation these days) I can stay up-to-date with happenings in the astronomy hobby community. I also mentioned my friend who has two domes and much bigger scopes than my 8 inch SCTs and 6 inch refractors.

Very Best Regards,

Edward A. "Ed" (aka eblanken) Blankenship
Posted 02/24/2021 11:11AM #12
Originally Posted by Ed Blankenship
Hi again Barry,

I was impressed with your experience base. You have worked on some "cool stuff" which I can relate to (40+ years in high tec & BS Physics). I am employed as a Radio Interference Expert (IEEE EMC member with 12 published papers).

It sounds like common sense and "stepping back to see the bigger picture" has prevailed. I am a strictly visual observer that travels 100 miles to dark skies. I do some observing from my backyard, but the "sky glow" from nearby Portland Oregon washes out many objects, so I don't have any permanent setup at my house.

I wish you all-the-best in your relocation. I find that between AstroMart (for buying and selling) and Cloudy Nights (for the better forum paticipation these days) I can stay up-to-date with happenings in the astronomy hobby community. I also mentioned my friend who has two domes and much bigger scopes than my 8 inch SCTs and 6 inch refractors.

Very Best Regards,

Edward A. "Ed" (aka eblanken) Blankenship

Hello again Mr. Blankenship:

Thank you for your kind words. I knew people associated with telescopy and astronomy would be well versed in technical subjects. That was no surprise. What was a surprise was how willing and even eager they are to give advice to noobs like me. Thank you for that Astromart and Cloudy Nights. 

Tacoma is no better than Portland for viewing. We usually drive to Wild Horses National Monument in the Columbia River valley if we want to see anything. We both have a 100 mile drive to reasonably clear skies, my oh my. It will be nice to have an observatory set up in a place with very little light pollution. The biggest obstacle to seeing where I am moving to is the methane escaping from the neighbors cows. There is not even as much as a barn for half a mile. Here in Tacoma, one neighbor got a deal on three super high output street lamps from some roadway crew when they were replaced. He is well lit. Light pollution is terrible here. But here is temporary. I will have everything moved by mid April. It is a huge job. Complete Machine Shop with Bridgeport, 14 inch metal lathe, CNC mill, Surface Grinder, Hone, Presses and all the rest, plus a complete cabinetmaking shop, complete pro photo lab, sewing/craft room, huge pantry, very advanced hand loading area with 5 presses and two gun safes, a microscopy room, plus a home office, and all the other things most people have. I am moving it all by myself and I am 62 years old and fat with back issues. 

We purchased a moving van, and that is going in the shop today for kingpin replacement. I put tires on it and noticed much to my chagrin that everything for a 35 foot long truck is more expensive than everything for my Toyota Prius. Still, mankind thrives on adventure according to Zachary Ittimangnaq in the movie Never Cry Wolf. So adventure it is! 

Once all of our stuff is safely moved and half put where it is to live until the estate sale, I will immediately put in a garden, and then start on the observatory. There will have to be some decisions made before construction begins. At this moment I would like to have two concrete piers in one observatory. One for a 4-5 inch refractor for deep sky objects, and one for a larger cat for planetary work. I don't like the idea of buying telescopes over and over to get where I want to be. I did that with machine tools and it cost me a lot more money than if I had simply bought what I knew I would be needing in the first place. I do however take advice when I ask for it and when it is good. Got some good advice here I think. It would be better to take some time and learn if this is even going to work the way I think it will before blowing a bunch of money on a hobby I may tire of. Surely I am not the only guy who buys used optical instruments?

Barry