Image of the day

From the
ATWB Customer Gallery

NGC 2170

My Account

New to Astromart?

Register an account...

Need Help?

Posts Made By: Tom Hole

January 1, 2003 08:39 PM Forum: TeleVue

Genesis SDF

Posted By Tom Hole

I searched all of Astromart and the web and couldn't locate the info I needed. I was wondering what a fair price for a Genesis SDF with all of the original equipment would be. I am looking at getting one, but want to be educated before making any offers.

Thanks,

Tom

January 28, 2003 04:33 AM Forum: Equipment Talk

Avoid EZTelescope.com

Posted By Tom Hole

Everyone,

I purchased a 1.25" EZCollimator from EZTelescope 3 weeks ago. I have not received the EZCollimator and Chad has sent me two emails. One that I could not comprehend (it was written in bad business double speak) and one to say his wife was in the hospital and that was why he hadn't responded. I gave him the benefit of the doubt. A week later, he still won't answer the phone or return my emails.

My advice to everyone is avoid EZTelescope. I think they might make a good product, but how would I know? He won't send it to me.

Tom

February 8, 2003 01:14 PM Forum: Equipment Talk

New Equatorial Platform Group on Yahoo

Posted By Tom Hole

Hello everyone,

A new group has been started on Yahoo for those that are interested in equatorial platforms.

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/eqplatforms/

Lots of good info and experienced eq platform folks.

Tom


February 14, 2003 06:35 AM Forum: TeleVue

32mm Widefield

Posted By Tom Hole

Hello everyone,

I am looking to get a 30-32mm widefield ep for my 10" f/4.7 dob and came across the Televue Widefield. What is everyone's experience with this ep in a fast scope? Other condidates are the University Konig 2" 32mm and Siebert 32mm 2" Ultra Plus.

Thanks,

Tom


February 14, 2003 05:50 PM Forum: Equipment Talk

Modified Denver Chair complete

Posted By Tom Hole

I finished up the observing chair today. It is a modified denver chair. I modified it becasue I wasn't happy that, when folded, the thing was 24" x 34". The brace at the bottom of the front foot was 2 ft across. I thought about making it shorter, but that would sacrafice stability. I thought about making it fold, but again, stability would suffer. Then I got to thinking about what folks put
their 30 lbs OTAs on and started developing a tripod denver chair. One guy I had read about actually took a leg off of an old tripod and made a denver chair out of it. I didn't have an old tripod, so I had to come up with something else.

Here's what I came up with:

http://home.earthlink.net/~tomhole/dchairfront.jpg

http://home.earthlink.net/~tomhole/dchairside.jpg

http://home.earthlink.net/~tomhole/dchairback.jpg

http://home.earthlink.net/~tomhole/dchairfolded.jpg

http://home.earthlink.net/~tomhole/dchairtop.jpg

http://home.earthlink.net/~tomhole/dchairinside.jpg

I had to add the brace to the front leg becasue of torsion, so my single slab of plywood with a hole in it for a seat idea was a non-starter. I just used the denver chair plans for the seat. It works like a champ and folds to 10" x 34". The front "leg" is 2 poplar 2x2's glued together. The back legs are 1x1 oak. Total cost for
the legs was $15 at Lowes. I made the 45* block at the top out of 2x4 red oak. This needed to be strong. The tops of the back legs are angled at the top 45* and set against the outside of the top block. This takes much of the load off of the hinges and keeps the back legs in place without needing aluminium bars at the bottom between the legs. The brass table leg spreader thingy keeps the back legs from splaying out. The pressure at the top of the legs
keeps them from splaying back.

The whole thing cost $20 (I had some oak plywood left over from the eq platform.) If you had no wood to start, add $15 for hardwood or $5-$10 for pine. I highly recommend hardwood for everything.

I modified the 2x4 under the seat. I made it 9" long instead of 3 1/2. I also beveled the back edge to match the angle of the front leg. This puts a lot more wood in contact with the non-skid and makes it rock solid.

At first, I was scared to sit on it because it just didn't look right. But it is rock solid. No creaking or moaning. I am 6 ft, 225 lbs. I stood on it at it's max height and jumped on it. It held up without a moan. Like all denver chairs, it tips over if the seat is in the bottom 1/3 of travel. I will probably add a 4x4" block to the front of the front leg brace to counter this. This will just blend in with the folded seat when the chair is folded.
I'm also going to add a cousion to the seat. I still have to round some corners and finish it, but it's functional now.

Anyway, for 6 hours work and $20, I'm tickeled pink. Of course, we have a blizzard on the way, but I guess I can still sit in my chair.

Clear skies,

Tom

February 28, 2003 11:28 PM Forum: Equipment Talk

Barlowed Laser Collimation

Posted By Tom Hole

I am a new convert to the barlowed laser method of aligning the primary on my 10" f/4.7 dob. It has worked so well, I wanted to make sure I shared it with everyone that will listen. Sky and Telescope has a great article by Nils Olof Carlin, Sky and Telescope, January 2003, p. 121-124 (they have it in their archives for download for $$. I'm pretty sure it's not legal to post it here.

It is great fun putting the barlowed laser in and moving the laser and focuser all over the place while the shadow of the center spot never moves at all. As accurate as a cheshire (maybe more in my case) and incredibly easy to use. If you have a fast Newt, you should be aligning it with a barlowed laser.

Tom

March 6, 2003 11:42 AM Forum: Equipment Talk

1.25" or 2" Ultrablock?

Posted By Tom Hole

I am going to get an Ultrablock for my XT10 but can't figure out which to get.

I currently have a 32mm UO Konig II as my only 2" EP and do not plan to buy any other 2" EP. I do plan to get a 24mm Panoptic in the near future, which would give me a good widefield ep at 1.25" (1.3 deg in the XT10).

So, 1.25" or 2"?

Thanks,

Tom

April 2, 2003 05:14 PM Forum: Equipment Talk

Good Star Party EPs

Posted By Tom Hole

Last week, we had a cul-de-sac party and when it got dark, I pulled the XT10 out for everyone to have a look at the money shots. I am a rookie astronomer and this was my first "star party". Best views were the Pentax XL 10.5mm with the TV 2.5x powermate (eq platform made this a cinch). Everyone oohed and awed and I was very proud of my rig. I packed everything up as usual and had our first good night of wether tonight. Pulled out the Pentax 10.5 and had a peek at Saturn. First look was way out of focus and their were these horrible virus looking bugs floating all over the place. Pulled out the Pentax and it looked like someone had licked it and let it dry. Oh my. Took about a half hour of very careful cleaning with distilled water to get the dried up gunk off and return the Pentax to service.

Anyway, I have learned a newbie lesson: don't use premium ep's for star parties.

So, is there an ep that is easy to use for non-astronomers that I can use at star parties? I figure 2 ep's, 25mm and 10mm, would work very nice. I can use my 2x, 2.5x and 5x powermates as they won't risk getting goo on them. Something with good eye relief and forgiving of eye placement would be nice. FOV isn't a big issue as I have the tracking platform. Something that can hold up to cleaning would be nice also. I have an Orion Epic ED-2 25mm that will do for my 25mm ep. I also have an Orion Expanse 9mm, but I have a hard time seeing through it due to blackouts, so I'm sure other folks will have a hard time as well. Maybe the Orion Epic ED-2 9.5mm.

Another thing I would consider is the Orion Ultra Zoom (on sale for $149) or the GTO zoom that is always a reasonable $54.

Thanks for the help,

Tom

April 24, 2003 08:15 AM Forum: Deep Sky Observing

Viewing report with binoculars at 45,000 ft

Posted By Tom Hole

Well, I finally remembered to bring my 10x50 binoculars up for a night hop. It was clear and seeing was good. But it didn't work out. The canopy on my trusty F/A-18 caused enough refraction to give double images of everything. The vibrations from the engines prevented any steady viewing as well. When I viewed Saturn, there were 2 of them bouncing all over the place.

Limiting naked eye magnitude was only 6.5. This is fairly consistent mostly due to urban lighting from below limiting my dark adaptation. I'm going to head out over the Atlantic next time and see if that improves the LNEM.

The view on night vision goggles is still amazing. Limiting magnitude with them is 9.3ish. There are a lot of stars up there.

Clear skies,

Tom

May 24, 2003 08:50 PM Forum: Binoviewers

It Cleared up Tonight

Posted By Tom Hole

Despite the best efforts of all the forecasters, the skies were clear for about 1 hour tonight. Coincidentally, I had a dinner party for 4 couples and our 9 SHU's (Small Human Units). So, I pulled the XT10 out with the binos and showed off Jupiter. At 168x with the binos, 25mm ep's and 2x barlow (3.5x), we could see great detail and the transit of one of the moons (haven't looked to see which one yet). The kids ranged from 4 to 9 and all had a great time looking at Jupiter thorugh the binos. "What are those 3 white dots next to it" was the most common question. All of them viewed through the binos and did not seem to have any trouble with the view. All of the adults had a look as well, without difficulty.

I am so happy that I was able to get out and look at something. It has since clouded up, but that was so much fun. I am still interested in the mechanics of an OCS, but not so much.

I did a quick comparison with cyclops at 171x (14mm Meade UWA in the 2x barlow) and there was absolutely no comparison. The detail and comfort with the binos was exquisite. It was a 3 of 10 for seeing, yet the NEB, SEB, moon transit and both poler regions were clearly evident. My neighbor, who has only looked through my telescope twice, asked what the black dot was in the middle of Jupiter without any coaching. I told him what it was and then asked him to take a look in cyclops mode at the same power. He said he couldn't find it. Remarkable. He remarked that the binoview was much better than the cyclops view.

So, viewing has eased my relentless quest for understanding the OCS. Nothing like a moon transit on Jupiter to recage the brain housing group.

The only question left unanswered is why doesn't everyone have these things? Truely, utterly, remarkable.

Clear skies,

Tom