Image of the day

Captured by
Jeffrey Crilly

M27 - 12 LX200R

My Account

New to Astromart?

Register an account...

Need Help?

Posts Made By: Hugh Bartlett

November 21, 2003 08:03 PM Forum: A Day in the Life of the Administrator

Meaning of Pink Ratings Background

Posted By Hugh Bartlett


I just noticed that my 5-star rating now has a pink background. What's up with that?

Hugh Bartlett
Oakland, CA

July 7, 2005 05:00 PM Forum: Eyepieces

Meade 8.8mm with loose retaining rings?

Posted By Hugh Bartlett

I've been comtemplating one of these for a while, and have an opportunity to get one at a decent price, but there's a catch. The seller tells me that he noticed that it has loose retaining rings that allow the optics to not seat properly. He claims its an easy fix, and that he had to do it to another Meade 8.8mm UWA he owned.

Anyone ever heard of this? Is it something you would attempt to fix yourself?

BTW, it's the Series 4000 UWA model.

Hugh Bartlett
Oakland, CA

October 25, 2005 03:13 PM Forum: A Day in the Life of the Administrator

Can users program an automatic counter-bid respons

Posted By Hugh Bartlett

I recently placed a bid in an auction, and at light speed before my finger left the clicker on my mouse, I got a message that I was outbid. It was the same bidder that I was trying to outbid, and his price was $0.50 higher than my bid. Is there a way to program in automatic response bids at the minimum increase above what someone bids after you bid? Somehow, this does not seem fair sad

January 27, 2006 10:16 AM Forum: Eyepieces

Help reassembling eyepiece

Posted By Hugh Bartlett

I got a used Meade 36mm QX eyepiece yesterday, and precipitated a disaster upon myself. I am hoping someone with experience can help me get my eyepiece back together.

When I held it up to the light and looked through the eye lens, I noticed a couple reflections that looked like chips in the glass. Looking inside the barrel, I saw what appeared to be a 5mm long scratch. I decided to take a closer look by unscrewing the barrel (BIG MISTAKE!)...

I tried to keep it horizontal in the upside down position, but I got it off level enough that the first two thick lenses from the bottom slipped sideways, and are jammed in the barrel in that position. I tried gently shaking them back into position, but that only made things worse. Now I see all sorts of black flakes all over the inside surfaces of the lenses.

The only hope for this eyepiece is to disassemble the lenses, clean them, and put it back together. The first lens comes out okay, but the second one in is still jammed in the barrel. I tried heating the barrel to get it to expand a little with a hair dryer and a coffee plate warmer. Although it got the barrel noticeably warm to the touch, nothing is moving.

I feel sick, like I just flushed the money down the toilet. Anybody have any suggestions?

March 17, 2006 12:13 PM Forum: Beginning Astronomy?

Re: Red Shift Theory

Posted By Hugh Bartlett

The short answer is spectroscopy. We can recognize the chemical signature of elements in the stars. When those spectral lines are shifted toward the red end of the visual spectrum, we know it is a "red shift" caused by the object receding from us.

Hugh Bartlett

June 4, 2006 12:28 PM Forum: Equipment Talk

Replacement Scope?

Posted By Hugh Bartlett

Here is a hypothetical question: Suppose you suddenly lost your entire collection of telescopes (e.g., in a fire). You know you had $10K invested in astro-equipment, but the insurance company would only give you $5,000. You decide to buy one quality replacement scope which would be able to give you several years of enjoyment. What would you get?

I know it depends on a lot of variables, but let's say you enjoy observing all types of objects, and have no physical limitations lifting, storing, or transporting your scope to a dark sky location. Three options came to mind for me (a 5" Apo, an 11" GPS SCT, and a 15" Truss Dob on a tracking platform), but I have no idea what I'd actually get if confronted with the decision. So just for fun, what would you do, and why?

Hugh Bartlett

July 29, 2006 09:03 AM Forum: Eyepieces

Reticle Wire Source?

Posted By Hugh Bartlett

One of my current projects is to make crosshairs for a 2" finder scope eyepiece. The thinnest electrical wire I could find (disassembled stranded wire from an electronic temperature probe) looks like a rope in the eyepiece and blocks out Jupiter!

Hence, I was wondering if anyone knows of a source for very thin wire that could be used for my project. Any ideas?

Hugh Bartlett

February 14, 2007 11:51 AM Forum: Astro Binoculars

Mira peaking now!

Posted By Hugh Bartlett

It finally stopped raining, so I was out last night checking some binocular targets, and was pleasantly surprised to find Mira (Omicron Cetus) at its maximum magnitude around 2.0!

To find it, follow the Messier Marathon path to M77, and go a bit farther. For the uninitiated, follow the "V" in Taurus straight down past 1&2 Tau to Menkar (Alpha Cetus), which, BTW, is an excellent, wide, gold-blue binocular double. Keep moving toward the horizon, and zig a little to the right to Gamma, then a little to the left to Delta. Retrace the line from Alpha to Delta and go the same distance to a bright yellow star - that's Mira!

It should be bright enough to shine through any haze lingering near the western horizon for a month or so before fading to magnitude 10 again, and then peaking again in 11 months.

Hugh Bartlett
Oakland, CA (37.8 deg. N.)

May 1, 2007 03:19 PM Forum: Equipment Talk

Re: street lights redux

Posted By Hugh Bartlett

Maybe you missed my reply in the original thread, but I have had success with a red laser:

Almost all public street lights are operated individually by north facing photosensors mounted on top of the light fixture.

Although mine is a bit of a special case, because the north-facing window in the "hat" on top of the light is aimed at a cooperative neighbor's house that is situated uphill from my house, I have been able to turn off the street light across from my house with a red laser pointer for an extended time period. It takes a direct hit to trigger the photosensor, and the cobra-head reflector can block your line of sight into that tiny window unless you have a way of gaining sufficient elevation to aim your laser pointer into the photosensor window.

Another consideration is that you have to leave your laser on it continuously, or the street light comes back on within a minute. I have a Howie Glatter laser pointer holder attached to a spare finder scope that fits on a photo tripod. The finder scope is helpful to aim the red light precisely into the photosensor window. Even then, I have to position my set-up on the flat roof of my neighbor's garage to get a clear view of the photosensor.

Hope that helps,
Hugh Bartlett

December 29, 2008 10:34 PM Forum: Global Warming - REAL or NOT

Short list of links for newbies to read from ...

Posted By Hugh Bartlett

Charles Genovese suggested condensing some of the recent pro and con links as an introduction to the arguments for and against the proposition that man's activities are causing dangerous global warming. Here are a few Anti Anthropogenic-Global-Warming (AGW) links from recent discussions, followed by a few from the Pro side:

Anti AGW Links

Pro AGW Links