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Posts Made By: Mike Van Buskirk

October 30, 2002 01:38 AM Forum: Equipment Talk

What would you buy to start out?

Posted By Mike Van Buskirk

Hi everyone.

I am new here and have recently gotten the "bug" again for a telescope. It's been about 8 years since I last had the bug for one and although the scopes out there have changed a lot in terms of models, one thing still remains the same..price! This is an expensive hobby and it is frustrating for someone to choose their first scope with a myriad of opinions out there on the various types.
I am just doing research on them now since I won't be able to afford one for quite some time, so I am trying to get a feel for what I would want to buy when I do purchase one.
I use to really want the Celestron Ultima 11 back in 1994 when I was looking at the different types of telescopes and going to several star parties in the area getting a feel for the different types, brands, etc. It's hard to weigh all the options of portability, price and such and come to a conclusion on what fits the bill the best. I have recently been considering the Celestron CR150 mentioned in the other thread on this forum. It seems like a good way to go for the price but as I have read in every review of it, the mount is not good at all. It would be nice on a Losmandy G11 mount, but then you are talking about close to $2k for the mount alone which is steep for many of us.
I am debating between the CR150 refractor, or the Nexstar 8 or even the Nexstar 11 down the road. I am planning on using the telescope most often in my back yard which has quite a bit of light pollution here in the city (I am in the San Francisco bay area), so I thought the Celestron 6" refractor might be the best bet, considering the fairly low price in comparison to the Celestron SC's. It is quite big though and may be a lot more to handle than the Nexstar 8's smaller size which comes at about 3 times the price.
I do have a pair of Celestron Ultima 8x56 binoculars right now as my only means of viewing the sky.

What is the concensus of the veterans here on my questions?
I appreciate your feedback on what to look for.

Thanks

Mike

November 2, 2002 06:42 AM Forum: Deep Sky Observing

Polaris always visible?

Posted By Mike Van Buskirk

Rookie question here:

Isn't Polaris supposed to always be visible here in North America? According to my Starry Night Backyard computer program Polaris isn't even visible right now.

How do you polar align a telescope without Polaris being up?

Thanks

Mike

November 3, 2002 01:16 AM Forum: Equipment Talk

Poll: Astronomy Software

Posted By Mike Van Buskirk

I'm am curious as to what astronomy software you people feel is the best out there? I have Starry Night Backyard and it is very good, but I hear a lot of good things about 'TheSky' also. Any recommendations or comments?

Thanks

Mike

PS I'm not sure if this belongs in this forum or the 'Observing' forum but I guess astronomy software could be considered "equipment" as well.

November 4, 2002 05:44 AM Forum: CCD Imaging and Processing/Solar System

Konus CCD Cameras

Posted By Mike Van Buskirk

Does anyone have any experience with the Konus CCD cameras?
They are much cheaper than most brands and if they are anything like their telescopes I would imagine they are very good. Any opinions?

Here's a link to the ones that Digitec Optical sells:

http://www.mwetech.com/Merchant2/merchant.mv?Screen=CTGY&Store_Code=DO&Category_Code=CCD

Thanks

Mike

November 5, 2002 03:25 AM Forum: Equipment Talk

Orion SkyView Pro 8 and Konus 1793

Posted By Mike Van Buskirk

The Skyview Pro 8 was mentioned as a second scope for another poster and after looking at it at Orion's web site it looks suspiciously like the Konus 1793 200mm reflector.
Does anyone know if these are indeed the same scope?

Thanks

Mike

November 12, 2002 01:27 AM Forum: Film Astrophotography - Imaging and Processing

Question for Kevin Black

Posted By Mike Van Buskirk

Hi Kevin.

I really enjoy the pictures you put up on the forum and as someone who would like to get into astrophotography eventually someday I was curious as to how you go about developing your photos? Do you have a color enlarger and dark room at home or are you sending these out to someone?

Thanks

Mike

November 12, 2002 02:49 AM Forum: Equipment Talk

What's a Celestron Ultima 8 worth?

Posted By Mike Van Buskirk

I just saw a nice Ultima 8 sell on Ebay for $821.

Is that a good deal or are these worth less than I thought they were? Didn't they sell for around $1800 new back in the 90's?

Mike

November 15, 2002 04:15 AM Forum: Equipment Talk

Opinion of Celestron Ultima 11

Posted By Mike Van Buskirk

What are your opinions of the Celstron Ultima 11?

How are the optics?

Is it too big to be transportable by one person?

How is it for astrophotography? Would a G-11 be more solid?

Saw one for sale for $1500 and was wondering if that is the going price for these?

Thanks

Mike

November 16, 2002 01:38 AM Forum: CCD Imaging and Processing/Solar System

Question about the D60 camera

Posted By Mike Van Buskirk

I thought it interesting how well the photos were from this camera and then I looked up the price of one on the internet. Those things are expensive!
Why not just buy a CCD if you are going to spend $2k?

Mike

December 14, 2002 03:05 AM Forum: Off Topic Discussions

Anyone here ever taken a Speed reading course?

Posted By Mike Van Buskirk

I was wondering if any of you people have taken or read any books on speed reading? I am going through the 'Power Reading' book and CD by Rick Ostrov right now and it promises an average increase of doubling your reading speed.
He says the average reading speed of most people is about 225 words per minute.
Some of the other courses out there like the 'Photo Reading' program advertise a possibility of reading up to 25,000 words per minute which is absolute nonsense in my opinion. Any thoughts?

Thanks

Mike