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Posts Made By: Tom Lacovik

October 7, 2002 06:55 PM Forum: Deep Sky Observing

Q: best 5 objects to view right now?

Posted By Tom Lacovik

Hi. I live in Portland, OR (45* N, 122 W) and was wondering if you could recommend your top 5 night time objects to view right now (i know the winter stuff is up at 5am, but we're talking 9 or 10 oclock here)? Subjective opinions desired.


P.S. With the moon "off" for a while, I can see quite a lot even from portland, which is not that bright for a small city anyway. I have a 8" dob if that influences your suggestions. Thanks.

October 12, 2002 08:43 PM Forum: Equipment Talk

Where to get a nice eyepatch?

Posted By Tom Lacovik

no message, just the question itself i guess. black would be nice. could double as a halloween costume.

October 15, 2002 08:27 AM Forum: Telescope Making

EQ Platform Plans? Resoruces?

Posted By Tom Lacovik

Searching for a good resource, plan, or group where people are building equatorial platforms for their dobs. Maybe it's too small a topic for a group all it's own and perhaps discussion just goes on in a place like this.

But I would like to build one for a small dob. Found some instructions (pretty complicated instructions) and just wondered if anyone had done it or is doing it, if we could help each other out along the way. Thanks for any pointers!

If you have plans from something you've built or otherwise, could you email them to me? Thanks!


October 18, 2002 07:37 AM Forum: Deep Sky Observing

How to see the GRS?

Posted By Tom Lacovik

I *REALLY* want to see the GRS. I'm sure i've looked at it before, but not sure I've ever really SEEN it. I think partly it's due to me having an 8" dob as opposed to a mak-newt or refractor that I have trouble spotting it. Over on the equipment board I just heard someone say, "Total beginners have no problems seeing the GRS in the MN56" and that pressed my buttons. I've been observing only a year and can get a good shot at Jupiter in the mornings from 45N 122W. My "starry night" program shows when it's in sight, but any other tips?

p.s. i do know that the image is reversed and flipped so i know to look in what appears to be the north eq band which is really the south eq band, but beyond that...i never seem to truly spot it....yet....

orion xt8 dob
tv 2.5x barlow
celestron ultima 30mm
celestron 6mm plossl
orion 9 & 25 mm plossl

October 18, 2002 08:02 AM Forum: Equipment Talk

UO Orthos: filling a EP gap on a budget

Posted By Tom Lacovik

I have a chance to buy 12.5, 9, and/or 6mm UO Orthos locally and each are $35.

I'm still a beginner but I understand these are really good on planets for some reason.

I am DYING to see the GRS which I haven't been able to truly say I have yet, or maybe I have, but didn't really know it, even though I do concentrate on looking for it each time I see Jupiter.

Part of that is surely that a dob isn't as good on planets as a refractor, but's my equipment list with some comments.

I have: Orion XT8 (love it), Celestron Ultima 30mm (REALLY enjoy looking into this clear and crisp EP -- wonder if I should just get more and more ultimas over time and forget other orthos/plossls altogether), Stock orion sirius 25 and 9mm plossl (25 is fine, 9 is so so) and Celestron silver type Plossl 6mm (pretty good..tolerable relief, i think clearer than the orion 9, but not as clear/crisp as the ultima) and on top of all this i have a TV 2.5x barlow (very nice, but can't really use it with the 6 now can I?!)

Since I already have a 9 and 6mm plossl I was thinking about the 12.5 (the orion 9 is not too hot, the celestron 6 is actually okay but only gives me 200 power and can't really be 2.5x with my TV barlow as 500x is really not usable) and barlowing it to get me to 240x (more power than the 6mm, and possibly better contrast and eye relief). I'm wondering if this will be best for planets and or if I should replace one of the two plossls of the same f/l 6 or 9 with the 6 or 9 ortho instead?

my XT8 focal length is currently i get:
ultima 30: 40 and 100x
sirius 25: 48 and 120x
[uo ortho 12.5? 96 and 240x]
sirius 9: 133 and 333x
celestron plossl 6: 200 (and 500x -- not)

so, should I get just the 12.5? or another F/L? I'm on a budget, but I also want some great planetary views this winter (and for mars next year)...what to do? one or two?

thanks for any opinions!!

October 25, 2002 08:23 AM Forum: Equipment Talk

ep cases: kmart? lowes? where?

Posted By Tom Lacovik

where do people get their inexpensive garden variety aluminum or plastic faux pelican or camera cases for their eps and know the cutout foam design your own type? looking for the best price on no-name varieties.


October 28, 2002 10:01 AM Forum: Equipment Talk

Skywatcher 6" refractor, same as Celestron CR150?

Posted By Tom Lacovik

It is supposed to be identical (same factory) to the Celestron CR-150 HD 6”. Is that true?

In any case, I know it's not an APO, it's not a Tak, but is it as good as a Achromat is going to get at that price? Or should I say, what price is a good price for it and is it worth adding as a second scope to my great bang for the buck Orion XT8? The XT8 I have is actually a Guan Sheng direct scope (no orion sticker on it) as many of you know they made the xt8 and xt10 for years (all the years that those scopes won all the s&t shootouts) then synta started making the xt8 for orion and g.s. still did the xt10, now orion has completely moved to synta. So i know my scope is one and the SAME as the old school XT8, but is the sykwatcher 150 the same as the Celestron CR-150 HD 6” refractor?

Is it good? Strengths/weaknesses? How is the mount? WHAT is this mount?


November 2, 2002 09:14 AM Forum: Equipment Talk

Differences betwn 3 meade 8" SCTs

Posted By Tom Lacovik

Things have slowed down here a bit lately, and although I am happy with my XT8 dob, (the decision that obsessed me about a year ago to the day), I can't help but occasionally wonder if I should have got an 8" SCT so I could track planets at high power and maybe dabble in photography (not trying to get published in S&T with a < $1500 setup, just get some nice pics here and there).

So, If I *WERE* to do it again, or if i *WERE* to buy an SCT on a budget (or not)...which would be the better VALUE (ie, not the cheapest price, nor the best scope, but best scope for the money)...

of these Meade 8" SCTs.

LX200 8"
LX90 8" (same ota? i don't care about gps, thats for sure)
and the LXD55 8" SCT (can that mount handle the 8" SCT? people have knocked it in combo with the 10" Newt, but is the 8" SCT better suited to it...or is the LXD55 with anything, just plain junky?)

I don't know all the differences in these 3...I wonder if they are the exact same OTA, in which case, one could compare price/value/features of the mounts only?

But which is best for the money and/or what is the diff?


November 3, 2002 08:25 AM Forum: Equipment Talk

Please post a pic of your accessory case

Posted By Tom Lacovik

Hi all.
Last week I asked about accessory tool cases and where to get a generic heavy duty tool case. The concensus was Lowe's. Well, I bought one there for only $25, and it looks great. I currently have:

3 high power UO Orthos
30mm ultima (want to add a mid length ultima at some point)
25, 9, 6, mm Sirius plossls
2.5x TV Barlow
Orion Colimation tool
Telrad (like to take it off the scope and store it when traveling)
Orion 6x30 finder (don't like it on the scope at all most nights)
A few odds and ends (eye patch, flashlights, batteries, compass)

Before I cut the foam (tips by the way? eps up and down or lying on their sides?) I'd like to see how other people here have done please post your pics, neat or messy, I don't care, I just need some ideas...

should be interesting for others too...let's see what's in your tool case!


November 4, 2002 07:50 PM Forum: Equipment Talk

Where to get those Eyepiece Cases/Bolts?

Posted By Tom Lacovik

Seem to be about $5-$7 ea!? Come on they are just glorified film canisters (value .20). I'm sure if you just plonked down $200 on a premium EP, that seems fine, but I've got 10 or so, low cost EPS, and that seems kind of a senseless pricing to me (maybe not to all, but hey, I like to be innovative with household and/or hardware stuff...err, okay, i'm cheap smile

So...has anybody thought of some household product or something like that that doubles as one of these...I was just trying to think of what would fit, but can't exactly think of anything. Or, if there is a good (cheap) source for these things, then yeah, I'll order 10. Anybody? Anyone?