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Posts Made By: Pat Plunkett

August 10, 2002 06:54 AM Forum: Equipment Talk

Premium Dob or Not?

Posted By Pat Plunkett

I own a Discovery PDHQ 10"... I've looked through (and owned) a LOT of telescopes and have not found one with better optics. I know this is saying a lot, but it's true. One thing I do every time I view is get a good collimation, so this could be a (big) factor. I also like the f/6 due to the lower coma and better resolution on planets. It IS a bit bulky, but I find it easy to move around and even move the entire thing (mount and 'scope) after I get it outside (as long as it's not too far). Good luck in your hunt!

August 22, 2002 05:35 PM Forum: Deep Sky Observing


Posted By Pat Plunkett

I find the 5th to be a little tough in my 10" Disco PDHQ, but you're right - full moon is a good time for Plato...


August 25, 2002 02:52 PM Forum: Equipment Talk

6 inch f/5 problems

Posted By Pat Plunkett

My suggestion: loosen the mirror lock-downs. It sounds like you may have an astigmatism induced by the little flanges that hold down the mirror. I had similar problems to yours in a 16" reflector and cured it doing the above. You SHOULD be able to "just" feel the mirror move around in its cell...

Pat Plunkett

September 23, 2002 07:09 AM Forum: Deep Sky Observing

Satellite transit on the moon

Posted By Pat Plunkett

Saw the same thing last year (minus the square section). I assumed it was a weather ballloon...

It was REAL cool, though!


November 21, 2002 08:14 PM Forum: Equipment Talk

advice on software programs...

Posted By Pat Plunkett


Do NOT listen to anyone that advises ripping off software companies! There are lots of cheap (or free) products that work nearly as well as the more expensive ones. For instance, "The Sky" is one of the standards (and rightly so). It comes in a myriad of "flavors", including a student version that is included in the back of some textbooks. The best free product I use is XEphem, but it is only for Linux machines (I think). It is as good (or better) than many of the $100+ products out there. I would suggest that you go to a freeware/shareware site and download a couple to see what you like.


December 24, 2002 06:23 AM Forum: Equipment Talk

6" refractor resolving power.

Posted By Pat Plunkett


Why are you getting rid of something that does what you like best? Neither of the scopes you're looking at will be as good as what you have (for globulars, anyway). If you want better globular performance, you need to move up in aperture. True, a high quality refractor (the Synta isn't) will do (slightly) better, but the image will be "dimmer". I sold a C-8 that I'd had for 20 years to get a nice 120mm refractor and was pleased with planetary performance, but you will lose on globulars and deep sky with a smaller aperture. If you go to the "fast" reflector, you'll lose the definition you have at f/10.



December 31, 2002 11:27 AM Forum: Equipment Talk

Need advice on which dob to get.

Posted By Pat Plunkett


I'd advise you to get the 10" now... Once you get the big 'un, you will find times when you just don't feel like dragging it out (say on a marginal night). The 10" is perfect for that.. The 13.1 is probably jsut as much hassle as the 18, so you wouldn't end up keeping it (probably) and miss a lot of viewing 'cause of the portability factors...

Oh yeah - the 10" IS significantly cheaper, as you noted (but if you can afford an 18" Obsession, why do you care?).

By two cents...


January 3, 2003 11:21 AM Forum: Equipment Talk

Recommendation for portable, novice scope

Posted By Pat Plunkett

I always used to recommend the ST80, but then I bought my son (then 11 years old) an Orion XT-6. Great 'scope, superb optics (embarassingly so), and easy to move around. You can pick them up used here for about $250. Good luck!


January 10, 2003 06:34 AM Forum: Deep Sky Observing

What does it take to view the Veil nebula?

Posted By Pat Plunkett

I've seen the entire "loop" in 15 X 80 binoculars (in a dark sky site at a star party)...


January 22, 2003 04:36 AM Forum: Equipment Talk

Secondary mirror obstruction

Posted By Pat Plunkett

If you raise the secondary, you have to move the focus in. this will probably mean that the focuser will impinge on the light path. All this assumes that the proper size secondary was installed in the first place...