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Posts Made By: Theodore Smith

September 27, 2002 01:30 AM Forum: Telescope Making

Mirror Cells

Posted By Theodore Smith

Discovery Telescopes in Oceanside, CA; also try Parks Optical Company (manufacturer of Parks telescopes)

September 27, 2002 01:48 AM Forum: Home Observatories

Help Florida Building Code Nightmare!

Posted By Theodore Smith

Welcome to reality....My advice to you, speaking as a professional in the construction industry, is to comply with the Code; don't try to dodge around it because your local Building Official will take that kind of personally and will delay your permit for construction and Certificate of Occupancy forever, or if you do get the thing successfully constructed behind his back, will require you to demo it at your expense (complete with civil penalties) if you cannot demonstrate that it meets Code requirements. And in the event that the Building Code Official asks for that documentation, it will be much more difficult than if you had complied with the law in advance of bootlegging the structure. Furthermore, as another poster has pointed out, you will have problems with your insurance company in the event of a loss to your equipment or damage to someone else's property in the event that your non-permitted dome goes visiting adjoining property. Or in the event that somebody cracks their head on some part of the dome structure and decides to take you to court over it. So quit whining and comply with the law, just like the rest of us have to.

January 7, 2003 01:00 AM Forum: Equipment Talk

Laser Vision Correction & Astronomy

Posted By Theodore Smith

IF IT AINT BROKE, DON'T FIX IT! Seriously, I had cataract surgery, but during the lead up to this I had lots of discussion about LASIK etc. The area of the cornea which is formed to correct your vision is roughly 3.5 mm in diameter. The transition zone from the corrected area to the uncorrected area forms a ring around the corrected area of the cornea. When the pupil dilates to larger than the corrected area you get haloes, starbursts and other interesting and unwanted visual effects. The normal pupil dilates to 5 to 7 mm; thus you will get haloes and starbursts around bright lights like Jupiter, Sirius, Venus, the moon, tail lights, traffic control signals, head lights, street lights and so on. This is less noticeable around comparatively dim objects; double stars for instance. YMMV. This is like jumping off a cliff: once you do this you aren't going back. If you do this and it gets screwed up you will have the entire rest of your life to regret it: act in haste and repent at leisure.

January 13, 2003 11:28 AM Forum: Equipment Talk

#884 Deluxe Field Tripod for ETX

Posted By Theodore Smith

Get a portable pier: better stability and less interference with the optical tube when pointing up to the zenith.

January 19, 2003 12:04 AM Forum: Equipment Talk

Perfect City Scope?

Posted By Theodore Smith

How 'bout a Celestron C5 SCT in one of its permutations such as a Nexstar, or the C5 on a small German equatorial mount, or for the ultimate in portability, perhaps the C5 on a Bogen Mini Geared head on a camera tripod. You get good optics, reasonable light grasp, a well constructed and highly respected optical tube, and an item which is highly transportable.

February 6, 2003 05:20 PM Forum: Equipment Talk

Where to find EQ "Head" only

Posted By Theodore Smith

They come up on Astromart ocassionally, but personally I would gt the whole thing including the tripod; the head is easy to remove from the tripod.

Don't leave the thing out on the pier; they can walk away fairly easily, and I don't think you want to leave this fairly high precision device out exposed to the weather.

As far as planting the post, you will want to put in a footing for stability. If you provide a footing with anchor bolts to bolt down the pier you will be able to level the pier and expect it to stay level.

February 15, 2003 01:12 PM Forum: Equipment Talk

Assistance appreciated

Posted By Theodore Smith

Go for the 130ST; it has the most aperture, no gimmicks such as GoTo; will take magnification pretty well and will also, because of its short focal length, do well on deep sky objects like the Orion Nebula, Andromeda galaxy or the Double Cluster in Perseus. It also comes off pretty well when looked at by reviewers; check out "The Backyard Astronomers Guide" by Dickinson (the new edition). Ted

February 15, 2003 01:27 PM Forum: Deep Sky Observing

Darn floaters in the eye

Posted By Theodore Smith

You should see the aftereffects of a botched cataract surgery.....then you wouldn't be so upset about floaters. Enjoy what you have. Ted

February 18, 2003 05:08 PM Forum: Equipment Talk

Vixen GP - SkyView PRO

Posted By Theodore Smith

That's just advertising hype; there are significant differences in accuracy of machining which make noticeable differences in smoothness of operation under load and amount of backlash in the gear train. To a certain extent you are going to get what you pay for.

March 2, 2003 05:21 PM Forum: Equipment Talk

AstroMart deal gone bad, Part II

Posted By Theodore Smith

OK, so you might consider whether this might be called mail fraud and if so, file that claim with the USPS; if this guy really did commit fraud the Feds will be after him.