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Posts Made By: Paul Atkinson

December 19, 2002 09:28 AM Forum: Equipment Talk

Video Monitors Screens

Posted By Paul Atkinson


I know you are trying to keep your screen small. However, Toshiba makes an excellent CCTV monitor that is used in conjunction with security cameras. It has 800 lines of resolution which is a far higher image quality then you will ever get with a small LCD screen. They make one model in 10" and it runs about $140 on the internet.

Just a suggestion.

Paul Atkinson

December 19, 2002 09:37 AM Forum: Equipment Talk

Telescopes for School

Posted By Paul Atkinson


Don't know if anybody already mentioned this but a non-goto Dob requires some general knowledge of where to find things in the sky, not to mention the aspect of pointing them and keeping objects centered. Most beginners aren't going to know the sky that well and it may be frustrating for many to use this type of scope.

I suggest a good SCT with Goto. Maybe a Meade LX90 or Celestron Nexstar 8". They are fairly reasonably priced for what you are getting. This will allow very accurate pointing and keep objects centered for each student while they are viewing.

As far as refractors there a hundred you could choose for simple widefield views.

Paul Atkinson

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

Nagler 20mm T2 V.S. Nagler 22mm T4

Posted By Paul Atkinson

I feel just the opposite of Kevin. I find that the 20T2 produces less kidney beaning and has a flatter field of view. I use it in my C14 as a medium power ep and love it. It had a 22T4 but got rid of it because I was using the 20mm more often. Of course this is all subjective and each user may experience different results.

Paul Atkinson

May 6, 2003 11:24 AM Forum: Equipment Talk

Celestron vs. Meade SCT's... your opinions?

Posted By Paul Atkinson

This question seems to come up every other day. I agree with Dave Hurst. I too have owned both products (and still do) and am very happy with both. Brand loyalist will try to sway you one way or the other (many not actually having used the other's product), but the truth is that if you get a good scope from either company you will be very pleased. Look at what you want and what each offers. Then make a choice. Worse case senario is you sell it on Astromart for a little less than you paid and get something esle! Herb likes that and so will you!

May 6, 2003 12:16 PM Forum: Deep Sky Observing

Spring the Season of galaxies. Boring...

Posted By Paul Atkinson


Quite the contrary. I find it slightly humorous that we can look at another galaxy millions of light years away and be bored. I wonder if people looking back at us from those galaxies are bored when they see the Milky Way?

I used to feel as you do but you have to learn the subtleties of what you are looking at. Of couse the galaxies are not typically as spectacular as Opens, Globs, or bright nebula's but they do have their points. Eventually you will see all those objects too and they will start to get "old" in their own right. Here are a few pointers that might make it a little more interesting.

1. Galaxy watching takes work. What I mean by that is sometimes you have to milk some of the features out of them. Don't just rush to it, see a smudge, and move on. Stop. Look at it. Move the scope around and see if you notice any additional details. Sometimes this will help with subtle mottling or other structure.

2. Think about what you are looking at. When you view a galaxy do you know about it or are you just selecting a random NGC number? Many times having an understanding of how far away, what constellation, and any interesting facts make that object seem more spectacular. If I know that I am viewing a galaxy 300 million light years away that has a black hole in the core is more impressive too me.

3. Look for peculiar galaxies. Look at the Antennae in Corvus for example. It is a very evident galaxy collision taking place that you can see right in your scope! There are dozens like it that can be seen in a 10" scope.

4. Look for groups or clusters. Some of the neatest viewing to me is finding a MGFOV, my term for Multiple Galaxy Field of View. Here you can see three, four, five or more galaxies all in the same field of view. Stephen's Quintet is a perfect example. Many fields in Hercules, Virgo, and Coma will show several at a time. Others will show galaxies one after the other as you slowly pan around in one spot.

This is just a basic sampling of tips. Try it out. Over time I bet you'll find that there is more there then just another smudge.

May 7, 2003 07:57 AM Forum: Celestron

Mounting a Televue STARBEAM on a C-14 OTA

Posted By Paul Atkinson


I use a TV Starbeam on my scope. However, I found that the easiest setup for me was the little adapter it came with. If you find a better mounting setup let me know.

Paul Atkinson
AstroPro Products

May 12, 2003 12:14 PM Forum: Equipment Talk

Wifes & equipment budget

Posted By Paul Atkinson

It's called a slush fund! smile On top of that I act like whatever I am messing with is something I have had a long time. It also helps to accumulate as much astronomy stuff as you can. Me, I have so many EP's, Cases, books, software, filtes, telescopes and other junk now, that she has finally lost the ability to track if it is new or not. The only time she gets suspicious is large items that she can clearly recoginize as different like a new telescope.

Paul Atkinson
AstroPro Products

May 14, 2003 06:46 AM Forum: Equipment Talk

What do you guys think of the Celestron CGE scopes

Posted By Paul Atkinson

I think that Celestron makes some of the best commercial grade SCT optics that are available. I have owned several Meade SCT's (2080B, 2120B, 10" and 12" LX200) and Celestron's (C8, C14). The Celestron optics are better. However, the Meades I owned were pre-UHTC so I can't speak for a direct comparison on the new Meade optics. The problem with Celestron has typically been their mounts. The old CI700 was alright for the smaller scopes like the C8, C9.25, and C11. However, the C14 was way to much for it. It also had some inherent problems with the clutches, etc... It looks like Celestron has truly tried to make some improvements and the CGE mount looks very attractive. A goto equitorial can be quirky to begin with. However, the CGE line is an unknown commodity right now. I am sure that there are still some bugs to be worked out, as every brand experiences when introducing a new model. It still appears that the C14 will be overmatched on the mount vs. the other size models. If it turns out to work nicely, then it will possibly be a cheaper alternative to the G11 with Gemini giving astronomers an even more economical means of obtaining a decent goto equitorial.

Just my 2 cents.

Paul Atkinson
AstroPro Products

May 20, 2003 11:20 AM Forum: Equipment Talk

NEAF 2003 Part II

Posted By Paul Atkinson

Dave, for those of us that are vendors, can you tell us what the turnout was? This will help some of us determine if we should attend next year.

May 20, 2003 03:09 PM Forum: Equipment Talk

How to put your optics away

Posted By Paul Atkinson


Please see my website for information on my Opti-Dry product. It was designed specifically for the conditions you mention. It can be used with EP's, correctors, and all scopes and corrector plates.

Paul Atkinson
AstroPro Products