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Posts Made By: Paul Atkinson

July 31, 2003 08:15 PM Forum: Solar System Observing

Mars Flare Observation and Confirmation 7-22-2003

Posted By Paul Atkinson

Mars Observation

Read down to bottom:

August 14, 2003 05:33 PM Forum: Equipment Talk

$429 Orion "true" APO? Maybe not, but...

Posted By Paul Atkinson

For those of us that already have a primary scope such as a larger SCT, Dob, Mak, or Newt this thing looks like a pretty decent little scope. Having a C14 with a fairly small FOV I always want a nice 80mm-100mm refractor nearby for the times when a wide field view is desired. However, I have always found the price of $1800+ for a "true" APO in this size range a bit extreme for the occassional views I would use it for. Now at $429 this certainly looks a whole lot more attractive. It sounds like it isn't quite top end, but not the bottom either. In the end, if it serves the purpose that I want at a reasonble price it will be a winner in my book. I think Orion will sell a bunch of these. As soon as I can figure out where to get the extra $450 and how to sneak it past my wife I am going to try one.

Paul Atkinson

August 16, 2003 03:01 PM Forum: Equipment Talk

A tale of good service vs. poor service.

Posted By Paul Atkinson

I'd like to share an experience I just had regarding two different products from two different manufactures. This is what I deem to be excellent customer service vs. poor customer service. I bought both items about the same time.


Recently, while checking over my "high" end binoviewer I noticed some sort of growth on a mirror inside the prism diagonal. I had bought them in early 2001. Taking exceptional care of my equipment I was surprised to find it, especially inside a closed environment. I called the company and they asked where I bought it, which I told them. They asked me if I had a receipt and I told them that I would try to find it but didn't know if I still had it. They said they would check their records also to see if they had it on file. A few hours later I had a message at my office giving me a confirmation return number. I assumed (I know the saying) that they had found what they needed so I packed it up and sent it on it's way. A few days later they contacted me and stated that they still needed my receipt. They started giving me a hassle because I couldn't produce a receipt on an item that was bought over 2 years ago, nor did they have my records?? As such, they offered to let me BUY a new prism diagonal or send me back my old one. I told them to go ahead and return it. Believe me this is clearly their product. It has the name written all over it. NOW I RECOGNIZE THAT I AM PARTLY RESPONSIBLE BECAUSE I DIDN'T HAVE MY RECEIPT. However, I ask you, how many of your sales receipts do you have from over 2 years ago? Needless to say I am not too happy about it.


About 2 weeks ago, I was viewing Mars at around 4 a.m. on a Friday morning when suddenly my Losmandy G11 quit tracking. To my surprise one of the Gemini motors had burned out for no apparent reason. I emailed Scott later that morning but did not hear back from him during the day. I also happened to be leaving town the next day so I decided to pack it up. I sent it back to Losmandy 2 day priority even though I hadn't talked to anyone. I wanted to have it fixed right away to continue my observations upon my return. I sent another email to Scott later that afternoon letting him know what had happended and that I had sent the motor to him. Upon my return I had an email from Scott that the motor had been shipped out for return to me and that it had been fixed. I got it a few days later, installed it, and am now back in business. NO QUESTIONS. NO HASSLES. NO RECEIPT. Just great customer service.

Now, I had been thinking about upgrading my mount to another "well known" brand. However, after the service I received from Losmandy I think I'll skip the "hassle" and get a Titan instead.

Paul Atkinson

August 16, 2003 11:55 PM Forum: Equipment Talk

Good Service vs. Bad... revisited

Posted By Paul Atkinson

The point of my earlier post was simply to say that there is good service and also poor service and to share an experience that I had with both. The reason I didn't post the name was not to protect the company, but rather because I didn't think it was relevant to the point I was trying to make. Perhaps others have had excellent service from this company so my post might adversely affect others decisions to use them. That wasn't my intention. I did choose to post Losmandy's name because I wanted to share my very positive experience with them. If that makes others potentially use them, then good for Losmandy. They have earned my continued business. That was the point to my post.

In the end, my post is my opinion only.

Paul Atkinson

August 18, 2003 10:25 PM Forum: Equipment Talk

New Astrozap Dewshield.... SWEET!

Posted By Paul Atkinson

I just got a new aluminum dewshield from Astrozap for my C14. It fits like a glove, is fully flocked, and is painted to match my OTA perfectly. If you haven't checked these out I suggest you do so as they are an Astromart vendor. I'd post a picture but my digital camera is MIA.

Paul Atkinson

August 18, 2003 11:43 PM Forum: Equipment Talk

Re: Free Will

Posted By Paul Atkinson

Pop Quiz.

Reading this post made me:

A. Want to go out and buy a set of bongo's, a peace shirt, and an incense (sp?) burner.

B. Want to ponder the fate of the universe while I sit on the toilet and take a good crap.

C. Want to call the 700 club and join right away.

D. All of thee above.

If you answered "B" you are correct.

August 25, 2003 05:18 PM Forum: Equipment Talk

Mars Filter questions? Here's your answer!

Posted By Paul Atkinson

I have seen many, many post on this topic lately. I figure I'll ad my 2 cents. Here are all the filters I have tried in the last couple of months on Mars:

Sirius Optics PC1
Sirius Optics Mars Filter
All Wrattten Color Filters
Televue A & B
AP Baader Skyglow/Moon Contrast
Lumicon UHC, OIII
Orion Ultrablock
Nuetral Density

I spent a lot of time with the same setup and EP's on each filter over many nights and hours. My conclusion? The AP/Baader provided the best overall enhancement of Mars bar none. In addition, it is considerably cheaper than several of the other "Mars" filters being sold right now.

Of course some might argue that filters will preform differently with different setups, but I found this to be true in my 14" SCT and my refractor.

Paul Atkinson

October 28, 2003 01:39 PM Forum: Equipment Talk

ST90's any Black Models?

Posted By Paul Atkinson

Does anyone know if any black models of the the ST90 (NOT ST80)were made?

Paul Atkinson

January 8, 2004 02:03 AM Forum: Equipment Talk

Re: Moisture Inside a SCT....????

Posted By Paul Atkinson

Steve, John, and others...

In addition the Shahin's fine product I also make a desiccant product called the Opti-Dry Unit. It is designed for post viewing problems exactly as some have stated here. It can be placed inside of corrector covers, refractor covers, EP boxes, Equipment boxes etc... It holds 7 grams of dessicant. I have also included a picture of them mounted inside the corrector cover or a C14. However, they fit almost anywhere. Please see my website for more information.

Paul Atkinson

January 8, 2004 02:14 AM Forum: Solar System Observing

Recent Photo of Saturn

Posted By Paul Atkinson

Here is a recent photo of Saturn I took through my C14 at f/27. Image is correct orientation and natural color vs. the over processed stuff being passed around.

Paul Atkinson