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Posts Made By: David Simons

June 27, 2003 11:56 PM Forum: Equipment Talk

What could I see with a 33" ?

Posted By David Simons

I just noticed a 33" Dob for sale, and have only looked through a 20" a few times before. I currently use a 16" scope. Would a 33" make a huge visual differance? I realize it's about a 2X larger area. Would detail in Galaxies be obervable? Any impressions from the Big Dob owners out there?

David Simons

August 15, 2003 12:48 AM Forum: Telescope Making

Gluing felt to rings

Posted By David Simons

I have a set of rings from Orion that are a slightly larger diameter than what I need. I have some 1/8" thick felt I'd like to glue on the inside of the rings. Any thoughts here? I was thinking of using contact cement.


David Simons

August 26, 2003 07:14 PM Forum: Equipment Talk

Astro Trailer

Posted By David Simons

I was looking at some enclosed trailers at Home Depot last weekend, and was thinking how handy it would be to just roll a big dob in there, hook it up to the car and go.

Any reports from folks who use these things? Are some brands much better than others, Is there an ideal size? Do I need an 8 cylinder vehicle to pull it ??

David Simons

August 31, 2003 05:10 AM Forum: Astro-Physics


Posted By David Simons

To any AP GTO mount owners out there. I am just getting my new 900GTO up and running, and have not had any success getting the mount to "GOTO" anything. I have entered my location and time information, and done a reasonably accurate polar alignment using the polar scope, but I may be doing the intial star alignment wrong. The comments in the manual about setting the scope in the east (east of the meridian?) and align to a star in the west, are not completely clear to me. After I do what I think is a correct alignment, virtually anything I call up is "below the horizon " on the controller. One picture would really go a long way here. Does anybody have any web links to a more clearer explanantion, or suggestions until the -aha- moment comes ??

For what it's worth, I have used Celestron's U2000 and Nexstar goto's, Meades LX200 classic and GPS, and have used the 900QMD before but the AP GTO system is putting up a lot of resistance.

Thanks in advance !!


David Simons

November 26, 2003 06:41 PM Forum: Deep Sky Observing

Observing Log Techniques

Posted By David Simons

Since I have moved to semi-dark skies skies here in northern California, I have been doing more deep sky observing this last year, than in the previous 10 years when I had to drive to state parks to get an equivalent view. I have been trying to complete the Messier list, and have observed almost all of them, but most of my notes end up in a star atlas scribbled next to the object. This works OK for when I want a rough description of something, but does not leave room for the sky conditions, time, date etc.

Are there any tricks of the trade on keeping a clean observing log, such as spiral bound, vs. bound book style, loose leaf? Small size vs. 8.5x11" ? Preprinted forms ? Electronic spreadsheet, voice recording etc. Also what kind of red lights for writing etc.

Thanks for any input !

David Simons

December 9, 2003 07:24 AM Forum: Chinese Optics Imports

I'm throwing in the towel...on the 1278

Posted By David Simons

I'm throwing in the towel...on the 1278.
Posted by Brent Elliott on 12/8/2003 4:43:26 PM

>>>I ordered mine back in Feb. I was told it would be
ready by april or may. This is Dec!! and no scope in
sight ..... >snip< ...I thing something went wrong. I'm throwing in the towel.

Brent <<<

Hi Brent,

Like you I ordered my scope many months ago (10?) and it just arrived last friday. I had a brief chance to use it on Sunday, and the long wait was (almost) worth it. Very sharp views. Stars focused to pinpoints, edge of the moon was crisp at 160X with a slight violet fringe, much better than my old Vixen 4" f10 achro. The moon could have taken much more power, but I only had the scope mounted to a light duty tripod. Subtle banding on Saturn was a joy, and the Cassini division was clear. Many small pinprick stars were visible that night, even with the almost full moon. Let's just say I carried the OTA back in the house a little more carefully then when I first brought it out that night. Although I also have a 5" APO refractor, the Burgess will be the quick grab and go, as it is so much lighter. I hope to do a side by side test later.

The picture shows the scope packed in the inner box, a larger outer box is not shown, and it is filled with packing peanuts to cushion the inner one. Somewhat makeshift packaging, but it works well.

David Simons

January 31, 2004 06:43 AM Forum: Equipment Talk

New Forum for Beginners

Posted By David Simons

Let's try to be civil down there folks : )

David Simons

February 18, 2004 08:13 PM Forum: Chinese Optics Imports

Rings for the 1278

Posted By David Simons

I discovered the Meade Rings from the AR5 refractor fit the Burgess 1278 perfectly. If anybody is looking for sturdier rings these seem to work. And of course they will fit the LXD55 dovetail.

I feel the supplied rings are a bit too fragile.

David Simons

February 19, 2004 08:38 AM Forum: Deep Sky Observing

M101 tries to hide

Posted By David Simons

First clear night here in Santa Rosa, CA in the last two weeks. I noticed it's starting to look like Galaxy Season will be starting soon. After visiting some clusters around Gemini, I started looking for Galaxies in Leo, but got clouded out, then jumped over to Ursa Major, as that part of the sky was still clear. M81,82 looking gorgeous as usual. Could make out some detail in both galaxies.

Went looking for M101, near the handle and had to search a while. I forgot how big dim and fuzzy this thing is. It looks to be at the apex of a nice equilateral triangle between the handle stars Alkaid and Mizar. I must have looked "through" it a few times, as it didn't really jump out clearly until I wiggled the scope a bit. The thin clouds moving in were not helping either. I could not get any detail since the sky was starting to brighten with the thin clouds.

Here is a shot from Desktop Universe. It is very similar to what I saw, without so many stars. The circled area was roughly my FOV.

David Simons

February 19, 2004 09:06 AM Forum: Deep Sky Observing

Orion's missing arrow

Posted By David Simons

After looking at several clusters in Gemini I keep running across an arrow head shaped asterism near Mu Gemini. Now that Saturn is in the same area, I think it is even more noticeable. It is better seen with low powers. Does anyone else also see this shape? I have tried to outline it below in Desktop Universe.

David Simons