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Posts Made By: David Colton

October 6, 2006 03:46 PM Forum: Equipment Talk

Does anyone still make a reasonably priced 5" ED?

Posted By David Colton

The TEC 140 is probably the most reasonably priced large APO refractor that you can get without a long backorder time (I've never, ever read a bad review of this scope) and I believe there is a new TMB 130 for less than $4,000.

While not of the build quality of a TV, Tak, or TMB, from what I have read, people seem to be pleased with the Orion 80mm APO, so the 120mm might be expected to perform as well.

October 18, 2006 07:57 PM Forum: Equipment Talk

News On Sky Scout?

Posted By David Colton

My hope was that the Sky Scout could be used in lieu of digital setting circles. It appears that the technology could be used for that purpose, but we'll have to wait for someone other than Celestron to develop it. As it stands, it appears to be a useful but pricey, non-essential item. Unless Celestron offers a considerable price drop they may find they have a white-elephant on their hands.

November 3, 2006 05:38 PM Forum: Refractors

WO 66 SD, a beautiful bargain...

Posted By David Colton

Ivan, your post helps to answer my earlier question about a good portable refractor. What do you realistically think is the maximum power you can use with this scope before things start to break down?

November 26, 2006 05:37 PM Forum: Equipment Talk

Agena Astro Products

Posted By David Colton

I bought some binocular solar filters a year or so ago and got a call from the owner to tell me that the only thing he had in stock had a slight flaw; was I still interested? The flaw turned out to be a small mold parting line. How many vendors call you directly to check your ordering preference? Great service - highly recommended.

February 16, 2007 12:49 AM Forum: Equipment Talk

Advice for shipping a SCT back to Celestron?

Posted By David Colton

Plenty of good advice here. S&T also had an article last month about packing scopes for shipping.

To reassure you, I sold my LX90 to a gentleman in Australia last year. I sent it by way of the U.S. Postal Service. It arrived safe and sound, although it took 12 weeks (and there is no way to track a USPS package once it leaves the country)!

March 27, 2007 08:15 PM Forum: Equipment Talk

Astronomy Magazine VS. Sky and Telescope

Posted By David Colton

I wasn't aware that O'Meara had switched shops; perhaps he's writing for both as he is a freelance journalist.

NightSky used a number of features from S&T, so hopefully they'll be folded back into the parent magazine.

While I like the scientific papers that S&T publishes, some tend to be at a level beyond my comprehension; I wish they would revise them on par with articles in Scientific American. I think that would enhance readership.

Sorry, but I can't join in the chorus of complaints, all in all I enjoy S&T.

April 8, 2007 04:19 PM Forum: Equipment Talk

Meade mySky Announcement

Posted By David Colton

I think we're seeing first generation hand held pointing devices. It's not what these can do, but what the next generation will do to facilitate our viewing. I was originally interested in the SkyScout as a reasonably priced alternative to digital setting circles, which typically cost more. However I read that metal telescope tubes and mounts disrupt the electronics, so it can't be used that way. It will be interesting to see if the MySky has the same problem.

April 26, 2007 09:04 PM Forum: Equipment Talk

Meade UHTC vs Aperture

Posted By David Colton

When Meade first came out with UHTC there was a lot of discussion about how well it improved performance. It was generally agreed that it made virtually no difference for purely visual observation and only a minor difference for astrophotography. You may want to check the Astromart forums. I think there was also a S&T review that pretty much came to the same conclusion. On the other hand, a 2" increase in optics can make a significant difference.

May 4, 2007 09:17 PM Forum: Refractors

Are We Keeping Our Optics Clean?

Posted By David Colton

Acetone is an extremely powerful solvent. It is a component of model airplane glue and works by melting the plastic and when it evaporates the plastic is fused together. So I can't help but wonder what it might be doing to optical coatings. I prefer distilled water. The fumes are also dangerous.

May 28, 2007 11:39 PM Forum: Refractors

Who built this scope

Posted By David Colton

This is a photo of the "plaque' on the drawtube.