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Posts Made By: Pat Plunkett

June 14, 2004 08:06 AM Forum: Equipment Talk

Dob ease-of-use?

Posted By Pat Plunkett

The only time I've really missed the tracking is when I'm at a star party and have to keep jumping in to adjust for the kids looking through the 'scope (I've got a 12.5" truss-Dob). On the other hand, it's kinda nice to be able to actually LOOK once in a while! BTW, I (fairly) routinely go to about 300X. It's not a big deal - you just have to "lead" what you're looking for and let it drift across. In some ways it's actually a little better as movement seems to bring out contrast (at least for me). The only real drawback is not being able to do photography, but my Digital Rebel won't come to focus without double-barlowing anyway! I really don't think you'll be disappointed in a Dob - the convenience outweighs the tracking, in my opinion.

Pat

June 16, 2004 01:12 PM Forum: Refractors

I need opinions on a possible trade.

Posted By Pat Plunkett

Joe:

Money-wise it'd probably be a wash, but I guarantee you'd regret it for a LONG time. I'd recommend saving up for a while to buy another 'scope outright...

Pat

September 7, 2004 05:45 AM Forum: Equipment Talk

Software

Posted By Pat Plunkett

Ron:

You didn't mention your operating system, but in Linux there are 2 VERY nice programs. XEphem and KStars are both superb. It'd be worth making a PC dual-booting just to be able to use them. (Or, you could, like I did, make the switch to Linux!)...

Pat

September 8, 2004 05:25 AM Forum: Refractors

Reaching prime focus (Help)!

Posted By Pat Plunkett

All you need is something called an "extension tube". Don't know if the 102 has one available, but probably just about any would fit, since the focuser is fairly standard. You'd just have to make sure the threads match. I have one for my TV Genesis and my son has one for his Orion ST-80, so I'm sure they're widely available...

Pat

September 9, 2004 07:39 AM Forum: Reflectors

reflector vs. refractor

Posted By Pat Plunkett

Hi:

You say you have an 8" SCT? Do you mean 8" Dob? Anyway, short focal-length reflectors will almost always perform as you describe. There's not only the coma introduced by the short FL, but also the large (percentage-wise) secondary obstruction. I used to have a Discovery 10" f/6 (I now have a Starbuckets 12.5 f/5). The f/6 makes a HUGE difference for all kinds of reasons - probably the Disco mirror was better than average, too. My current 'scope has a Royce mirror and high-end secondary, so the f/5 doesn't seem to be a problem. You ask about collimation as well - this is absolutely critical when using any system as fast as yours.

Pat

October 2, 2004 09:13 AM Forum: Equipment Talk

Planetarium Program for Mac

Posted By Pat Plunkett

XEphem runs great under X-Windows on a Mac (I use it on my iBook).

Pat

October 2, 2004 07:33 PM Forum: Equipment Talk

Using a Pronto @ F23?

Posted By Pat Plunkett

I used to have a Pronto and seem to remember using 2 barlows a few times. Optics weren't the problem, the mount was. As I recall, the combination worked out to 196X, so I'm sure you can pump it up as you describe...

October 21, 2004 07:41 AM Forum: Equipment Talk

Discovery 8" Premium DHQ Dob

Posted By Pat Plunkett

I had the 10" version and it was fantastic. I've never heard of quality control issues from Discovery, but HAVE heard lots of late delivery complaints (including mine). If they say one month, assume two and if they say two months, assume four...

Pat

December 28, 2004 04:06 PM Forum: CCD Imaging and Processing/Solar System

M-42 and Satellite

Posted By Pat Plunkett

That's wild! I had the same thing a couple of weeks ago! It was even in the same area...

Pat

December 31, 2004 06:16 AM Forum: Equipment Talk

Sky software for Mac

Posted By Pat Plunkett

I run "XEphem" under X-Windows on my iBook - it's nice and it's free.

Pat