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Posts Made By: Barry Young

February 4, 2021 06:37 PM Forum: Beginning Astronomy?

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

Posted By Barry Young

Hey:

First post on Astromart.

We are moving to our new to us retirement home in SE Missouri. This place has awesome seeing. The nearest town is 23 miles away with a population below 300. The nearest neighbor is more than half a mile away. I mean it is in the middle of nowhere just left of in back of beyond. The expectation is to have the most wonderful clear skies ever experienced. 

The intention is to try to do world class amateur astrophotography on a retirement budget.  We will build an observatory with a concrete pier. We have a complete machine shop that is moving with us. Not sure whether to purchase or build a GEM. If anyone has scratch-built a heavy mount We would love to hear from them. Why do people build steel piers when steel embedded in concrete is more rigid?

For an OTA, we are thinking a C14, or something along those lines. Need advice on that. We loved our Meade ETX90, but that is the largest telescope we have owned or used. We see lots of advice about jumping up in small increments. But that would not satisfy our desire to do astrophotography of planets and deep sky objects. We can only afford to do this once rather than trading up over and over. Perhaps a refractor would be better? There is an older gray colored C14 OTA only for sale from a friend at $2K. We would like to help our friend, but do not want to buy the wrong telescope. We get one chance only and need your help. 

Thank you

Barry

February 4, 2021 07:50 PM Forum: Beginning Astronomy?

Way Overboard... and tackled everything wrong.

Posted By Barry Young

Originally Posted by Thomas Dey
Hi Matthew et al, I've been an obsessive avocational astronomer my whole life and fortunate to also work in Aerospace optics...so the combo is ideal. The community seems to be populated by dreamers, buyers, builders and observers. A good approach is to only reward yourself with equipment after USING what you have to its capability and beyond. And to spend at least HALF your time observing if you are an otherwise obsessive builder. I've seen the whole spectrum of obsession in friends and myself. One lens designer spent DECADES designing his ideal giant refractor and ... Never built, bought or used ANYTHING! Other friends built ambitions observatories and scopes and then rarely used them! So my default is "When in doubt - OBSERVE." The hero/mentor in this would be John Dobson, who built scopes from 6 to 24 inches from the cheapest materials using hand tools and then used the hell out of them for his own pleasure and as outreach to hundreds of thousands adults and kids. Image-capture seems all the craze now (been there, done that, burned out), but there is nothing more satisfying than looking at the photons, up close and personal.  Enjoy the Universe and don't feel obliged to continually outdo yourself and others. This is just as much a reminder to myself as to others!  Tom Dey
Thank you Mr. Dey. You just saved me thousands and thousands of dollars and time.

Barry

February 4, 2021 07:56 PM Forum: Beginning Astronomy?

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

Posted By Barry Young

Originally Posted by Greg Shaffer
You are likely to be frustrated with jumping in to imaging with a C14 and trying to do long focus planetary work out of the gate. The forums here at AM are not very active as well. This is the best place to buy and sell but you might consider joining the Cloudy Nights site for input/info on imaging advice.

That said the C14 is a great choice for planetary imaging but doing long focus imaging requires knowledge and experience....Not what you want to hear but you might be better served by starting out with some deep sky stuff at shorter focal lengths with say a small refractor while you learn.
Hi Greg:


I appreciate your answer very much. What I want to hear is what people who know more than I do think of what I am thinking. 

When people like me ask a question, it is to learn, not to validate decisions we have already made. If I had already decided there would be no point in asking what others think. 

Thank you very much for your reply. 

Barry

February 4, 2021 08:10 PM Forum: Beginning Astronomy?

Thread Seizing (Binding) Woes

Posted By Barry Young

Hello Charles:
I recommend a tiny amount of Rig Universal Gun Grease on mating aluminum threads. I have never had galling and resultant seizure when using this very sparingly. More is definitely not better. 

You can get it at midwayusa.com. It is cheap and great for everything. 

Barry

February 4, 2021 11:35 PM Forum: Beginning Astronomy?

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

Posted By Barry Young

Originally Posted by Greg Shaffer


LOL.....so the implication is that I dont know more than you about imaging and the process involved? Really? I guess all those years I spent learning, building my own scopes and astro imaging count for nothing. 

You asked for thoughts on jumping straight to imaging with a long focus instrument such as a C14, I tried to point you down a less frustrating path.....Best of luck to you though.

Now assuming you didnt intend to convey the meaning I got from your response I will offer you one more bit of advice. Accurate tracking is essential to good imaging and the need for accuracy goes up exponentially as you increase the focal length used (such as for planetary imaging). I wouldnt consider attempting to build a mount and attain the accuracy required if you have not done so before.


Hello Greg:

You might have inferred that you are one of the people I referred to as "the people who know more than I do". Which is exactly what I meant. Did you even notice when I told you how much I appreciated your answer? 

I will take your excellent advice and purchase my first mount. For most people, a precision mount might be a daunting task. I have made inertial guidance systems for smart bombs, Microwave guidance systems for submarines, docking rings for the International Space Station, and the rotors for the rotoblator (a device that goes up into your arteries to chop out the plaque). I have designed and built cameras from scratch, parts for microscopes, military, medical, aerospace, bicycles, Machine Tools, and many other things for customers and for sale in many fields. There is no way you could know that from what I wrote, but I am very capable. Despite that experience, I am going to take your advice and purchase a mount because I respect the opinion of those who know more about this than I do. You are one of those people. 

Sorry if you got the wrong impression.

Barry

February 5, 2021 11:41 AM Forum: Beginning Astronomy?

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

Posted By Barry Young

Greg, Rod and Joseph:

This is wonderful advice. Thank you very much. 

Barry

February 8, 2021 12:25 AM Forum: Equipment Talk

Is there an easy way to run my 220v 50hz mount on110v 60hz current?

Posted By Barry Young

Hello:

I have an old Carl Zeiss telescope drive that runs on 220VAC 50 hz. I only have 110VAC 60 hz. I am thinking the difference in frequency will make my drive run too fast. The voltage I can figure out. Any ideas are helpful. Hopefully I can use an adapter and just plug er in. 

Thank you

Big Louie

February 8, 2021 12:25 AM Forum: Equipment Talk

Is there an easy way to run my 220v 50hz mount on110v 60hz current?

Posted By Barry Young

Hello:

I have an old Carl Zeiss TM telescope drive that runs on 220VAC 50 hz. I only have 110VAC 60 hz. I am thinking the difference in frequency will make my drive run too fast. The voltage I can figure out. Any ideas are helpful. Hopefully I can use an adapter and just plug er in. If anybody can provide a link to an adapter I would be most appreciative.

Thank you

Big Louie

February 11, 2021 01:50 PM Forum: Telescope Making

Need info on machinery

Posted By Barry Young

Originally Posted by James McSheehy
Bill,<br><br>I went that route 15 years ago (Enco lathe & manual mill) and found that the results were more instructional than useful. Other than some simple turned parts it is not possible to do precision, repeatable metal work with these low-cost machines. And buying the machine itself is just the start. Even minimal tooling for a $499 lathe can cost as much as the machine. IMO you would be better off taking your ideas to a real machine shop. It will certainly cost you less and the quality of the parts will be far better.<br><br>If that isn't possible or practical, look for used machines that include the tooling and spares. Also consider that basement stairs and 1600-pound chunks of cast iron are not made for each other. 8)  <br><br>There is nothing wrong with owning a drill press, hand tools, band saw, etc., as these can be used for many other tasks. But if you need to turn precision threads for a custom eyepiece barrel, that Grizzly mini-lathe or Shop Smith 3-in-1 wiz-bang is probably not going to do a very good job of it.
James,,,,that is some of the very best advice I have ever heard anyone give regarding purchasing machinery. I would like to add to what you have said. If someone came into my fully equipped shop that has a host of professional grade machines, unless they have at minimum several years of experience, they are not going to produce close tolerance work. Folks, it is not the machines that matter as much as the Machinist. A good Machinist will make good parts on a less than ideal machine but a non-Machinist will not be able to make precision parts on the best machines ever produced. There is a misconception that all that is required is precise machines to produce precise parts. That notion is false. That is why Machining is a skilled trade not just a job. 

Barry Young
Young Camera Company

February 11, 2021 02:24 PM Forum: Telescope Making

What Do Amateurs Do For a Living?

Posted By Barry Young

I don't know if all Y'all are still reading this thread or not. There were some very technically oriented folks who have given their bio's listed above. Here's mine.

I was a dedicated amateur, semi-pro, professional, semi-pro, somewhat dedicated amateur photographer in that order. Then came the pawnbroker stage. I thought I could get better deals on photo gear if I was a pawnbroker. After pawnbroking for ten years, I took four years training while working as a Machinist. I moved around a lot working in many shops while working for a company that provides Machinist's to industry on a temporary basis from 2 weeks to a year at a time. I also had a couple long term positions including the Space Center at Boeing where I worked on ISS docking rings and lots of interesting defense items. Total 26 shops I have been paid to work in. After a pretty major back injury I had to find work that required less standing. This lead to a position as a Professor in a 2 year trade college. I designed and built a new program called CNC Machinist which was very successful. I retired in the Fall of 2020. I am now going to build and sell cameras I have been designing since 1977. 

Now I am moving my wife and I, our fully equipped machine shop, our woodworking shop, our pro darkroom, our foundry, quilting and sewing craft room, a full microscopy room with measuring, petrographic, stereo and research grade optical transmission microscopes, microtome and microtome knife sharpener, plus all the junk a family normally has from Tacoma WA to Patterson MO, where the air is not only very clear as in no smog, we are 27 miles from the nearest town, population 285 so there is virtually NO light pollution. Now is the time to get into astronomy, a lifelong dream I have never pursued. 

All of my life I have been fascinated by mechanical things that extend my ability to see. I have always loved microscopes. Telescopes have always been part of my stuff, from Leupold products for another of my hobbies, to a Meade ETX90 which I enjoyed but hated setting up and tearing down and hauling back and forth to the desert. Now I am planning an observatory with a cast concrete pier smack in the center of some of the least polluted skies in the USA. That is as far as it has gotten, planning the pier. Eventually, I am hoping for a large diameter cat like a C14 for planetary astrophotography, and a medium sized APO refractor for nebulae.

Thanks to everyone for letting us glimpse them. 

Barry Young aka "Big Louie"
Young Camera Company