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Posts Made By: David Colton

April 28, 2004 04:08 PM Forum: Equipment Talk

Viewing the Transit of Venus

Posted By David Colton

I thought I'd write a letter to our local newspaper to describe the transit of Venus. Since most readers will not have access to the appropriate viewing equipment does anyone know:
1. Of any websites that will show real time pictures of the transit;
2. Of any websites that describe how to view the Sun (e.g., filters, where to buy, precautions, etc.);
3. Of any websites that describe how to build devices for projecting the Sun's image.

April 28, 2004 04:28 PM Forum: Equipment Talk

Transporting SCT

Posted By David Colton

Ah, Spring has arrived and my treed yard is now sprouting a dense canopy which blocks out much of the sky. There is a a large field about four blocks from my house that I occassionally use with my smaller scope. I was thinking about taking my LX90 to that site and was wondering how others transport their SCTs, WITHOUT having to invest in an expensive case. For example, I was thinking of putting the OTA on a piece of foam on the front seat and using the seat belt to secure it; good or bad idea?

May 13, 2004 11:17 PM Forum: TeleVue

Sky Tour

Posted By David Colton

Is there any place on the Internet and/or Televue site where I could find a copy of the manual for the Sky Tour system? I plan to buy one later this summer, but I'd like to get acquainted with it by reading the manual first.

June 5, 2004 04:32 PM Forum: CCD Imaging and Processing/Solar System

Movie mode vs. webcam

Posted By David Colton

I'm curious. Does anyone use a digital camera's movie mode function in the same way you might use a web cam? For example, can you use the movie mode and then stack the individual frames in something like Registack?

June 26, 2004 11:29 PM Forum: Digital SLR AstroPhotography

Macro Setting

Posted By David Colton

I was reading a description of the Scopetronix Digi-T system and it mentioned setting the camera to macro-mode. In other words, it seems that the camera is taking a picture of the image that is projected on the eyepiece. Is that correct? Is that a setting that most folks use when shotting with a digital camera?

August 23, 2004 07:44 PM Forum: Equipment Talk

Chinese APO Refractors

Posted By David Colton

I was reading the recent thread comparing the Orion 80mm ED APO to a new one from Celestron. These discussions ALWAYS end up with someone remarking about the (lack of) quality control of Chinese manufactured APO refractors. My question is this: "Does anyone, anywhere, have any idea of (1)who is building these things and (2) what type of quality control they really have?"

As to the first part of my question, please don't reply that they're built by Synta because as far as I can tell no one has ever described who/what Synta is. So, first of all does anyone know anything about this manufacturer? For all we know, these scopes could be built by umpa-lumpas. Second, are we sure that Synta is making the Orion and Celestron scopes? So far, all we have is conjecture and opinions, but really no hard data about the manufacturer of these scopes.

Also, although there are frequent comments about QC, anecdotal responses about the Orion 80mm APO suggests that while there is some variation, QC may not be that bad. Is it possible that the standards and testing are good, but that the instruments do not hold up well during shipping, which would suggest improving the shipping process and not the build quality.

Finally, it's interesting that, considering the market share of Chinese built scopes, neither S&T nor Astronomy have addressed these issues. Bottom line is, do we have hard facts about the manufacturer of these scopes, or are we just limited to personal opinion?

August 24, 2004 04:38 PM Forum: Eyepieces

5mm Eyepiece

Posted By David Colton

I have been holding off buying a high power eyepiece (to be used with a TV102) because of the incredibly crummy weather here on the east coast. Even on sunny days the air is hazy making for poor to fair viewing conditions.

I'm torn between the 5mm University Optics HD Orthoscopic and the 5mm Vixen Lanthanum. From what I have read the Vixen provides much better eye relief while the UO provides greater contrast. If you had to chose, which one would you recommend?

September 10, 2004 08:46 PM Forum: Binoviewers

Binoviewer Comparison

Posted By David Colton

Has anyone constructed a table/matrix listing the features of the various binoviewer brands and models? It would certainly aid in comparing and contrasting them.

September 16, 2004 03:36 PM Forum: Equipment Talk

Lousy Weather

Posted By David Colton

This really isn't an equipment topic, except that with the exception of some solar viewing I haven't been able to use my scopes in over five months!

Hurricanes not withstanding, the weather here in central Virginia (Shenandoah Valley) has been rotten almost continually since April. Even so-called clear skies have been filled with upper atmospheric clouds that have created terrible viewing conditions. I was wondering if this has been the pattern for much of the east coast? It has held me back from making some astro-equipment purchases, such as eyepieces, because there's been no time that I could really try them out.

September 20, 2004 07:55 PM Forum: TeleVue

Feathertouch focuser for TV APO

Posted By David Colton

I saw an ad for a feather touch focuser which indicated that you could mount them on refractors. Since Televue advertises that its focusers are "buttery smooth" what advantage is there to replacing the focuser?

I'm not considering buying one, I'm just curious.