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Posts Made By: Stephen Nolin

July 8, 2011 03:06 PM Forum: Equipment Talk

The Latest from Orion Telescopes

Posted By Stephen Nolin

I have an older version of the Medium Orion Deluxe Accessory Case, and the foam is starting to lose it's integrity, so I emailed Orion to find out how to order a new foam insert. Here is the response I got this afternoon:


Thank you for your email to Orion.

We used to sell just the foam for # 05984. I regret to inform you we do not sell this item individually anymore.

We do sell the full units.

I hope this helps with your choices. Please contact us if you any other questions.

Happy Viewing,
Shane' Mann
Orion Customer Service

I guess Orion figured out that they could make a lot more money selling a brand new $40 EP case rather than selling a $20 foam replacement to their prior customers. Just thought I'd pass this little tidbit of information along... :S

November 21, 2004 01:38 PM Forum: Mounts

SkyView Deluxe Mount Question

Posted By Stephen Nolin

This is a pic of the other side of the mount.

January 15, 2005 09:09 AM Forum: Beginning Astronomy?

Novice reseaching for first scope

Posted By Stephen Nolin

I have an older SkyQuest XT8 dob and it is my most used telescope of the four that I own. I keep it in my garage and have it sitting on a 28" x 28" sheet of 3/4" birch plywood with heavy-duty castors attached to the bottom so I can roll my scope out onto the driveway for those impromptu viewing sessions. It's a nice setup, because I just roll my scope around the driveway or sidewalk to re-position it if the house is in the way of my intended target, instead of having to pick it up and carry it.

Here's something to consider; a telescope may have the best optics in the world, but if you have crappy eyepieces, then the views through the EP are going to be crappy. On the other hand, a really nice set of EPs can make the views in a decent telescope look really good. As a rule of thumb, you should spend at least 1/3 of the cost of your telescope on a set of EPs. So, for a $1000 telescope, the minimum spent on your EPs should be about $334.

Obviously, with a budget of $1500, if you bought either an XT8 or XT10 IntelliScope w/Object Locator for $689.40(shipped) and $872.90(shipped)repsectively, that would leave you $810.60 and $627.10 for EPs, a padded telescope carrying case, and other accessories like Telrad or Rigel zero-magnifaction, reflection viewfinders.

IMHO, a 10-inch dob is the largest telescope that a novice should start with. The best telescope is the one that gets used the most and sets up with the least amount of time and hastle. Starting with a telescope of modest aperature will allow you to properly accessorize now and provide you with the opportunity to enjoy the hobby from the very beginning, then, if you come down with a severe case of "Aperature Fever", you can look at upgrading in the future.

I hope I've been able to help and look forward to finding out what you finally decide to do. Clear skies.

January 15, 2005 01:34 PM Forum: After Dark

Shipping Problems Using USPS Global Priority

Posted By Stephen Nolin


They are so incompetant that they couldn't get a package delivered using Priority Mail w/Delivery Confirmation from Florida to Louisiana. After two weeks, the package still hadn't arrived, so I went to the PO to see what happened to the package, and I was told I would have to wait at least 90 days before the Inspector General would start an inquiry about my missing package. Finally, six weeks after I mailed the package, it shows up on my doorstep, with the return address and shipping address perfectly legible, and yet, the box was stamped several times with "Un-Deliverable". When I went to the post office and requested a refund from a PO supervisor, I was basically told to "pound sand" and that if I didn't like the job the USPS did, there was always UPS & FedEX.


June 12, 2005 08:24 AM Forum: Eyepieces

Meade electric eyepiece

Posted By Stephen Nolin

I bought one about a year ago. I've mostly used it when the neighbors come over while I'm doing some moon observing, and a very limited amount of time using it on Satrun and Jupiter. I've tried DSOs, but the CMOS chip just doesn't have the sensitvity to pick up such small amounts of light. You would be better advised to get a Meade LPI for about $100 here on Astromart for the solar system stuff. There are a few DSO imagers out there for less than $500, so good luck and clear skies.

September 18, 2005 02:24 PM Forum: Coronado-Lunt-DayStar Solar Filters

Solar Photography Failure

Posted By Stephen Nolin


I have a Canon A95 that I use for lunar and solar photography. I put my camera on the "Manual" setting, which allows me to adjust the ISO, White Balance, Shutter Speed, and Aperature. For the Sun and Moon, I've found that a 100 ISO is a good speed, and I set the white balance to the "custom" setting (allows your camera to set specifically for the object in the viewfinder). You'll have to play with the aperature and shutter speeds based on your personal preferences.

I took this solar pic on the 13th of Sep using 100 ISO, Custom White Balance, 1/160 Shutter Speed, and F2.8 Aperature. It's a little darker than I wanted it to be, but this is the raw, unprocessed image, and I was able to lighten and sharpen it using a basic photo processing software.

September 18, 2005 02:40 PM Forum: Coronado-Lunt-DayStar Solar Filters

Solar Photography Failure

Posted By Stephen Nolin


Here is a raw, unprocessed pic of the Moon, using Custom White Balance, 200 ISO, 1/60 Shutter Speed, and F2.8 Aperature. Also, your camera may have AiF (Auto-image Focus) and that can sometimes get confused when placed up to the eyepiece. After I've focused my telescope, I like to optically zoom onto a surface feature, and then use the camera's manual focus to fine tune. Once I'm in focus, I back the zoom all the way off and take my picture. I hope this helps and the only other thing I can suggest is that you get out there as much as you can and experiment with differents settings until you find out what satisfies you. Good luck and clear skies.


September 18, 2005 02:58 PM Forum: Coronado-Lunt-DayStar Solar Filters

Solar Photography Failure

Posted By Stephen Nolin


Here is a 3x optically zoomed pic of the Moon: Custom White Balance, 400 ISO, 1/60 Shutter Speed, and F8.0 Aperature. This pic is quite dark, and yet, the LCD display on my camera shows a nice bright image, so you might want to increase shutter speed or aperature to compensate for the misleading brightness on the camera's LCD. BTW, all three of these pics were taken on an Orion 90mm Mak-Cas (1250mm F.L.) and an Orion 25mm Plossl EP. Clear skies.


October 8, 2005 08:39 AM Forum: Landscape Photography

Grand Canyon In July

Posted By Stephen Nolin

I used a Canon A95 on the auto setting and mounted to a mono-pod for stability. I processed the pic slightly (color correction) using Photo Play 2 software. Here's another from the same location, but looking into Bright Angel Canyon.

May 10, 2008 09:06 PM Forum: LUNATICS

Quick and dirty moon photo

Posted By Stephen Nolin

September 29, 2007 @ 11:03pm EST in central Florida. Image taken using an Orion StarMax 90 Mak-Cas, a TV 25mm EP, and a Canon A95 (.4 second exposure @ F2.8). You've got the right idea, but you're exposure is too long and your aperature is probably not open enough. Try using the above settings, and then you can customize as your images get better. Hope this helps. Clear skies.