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Posts Made By: Thomas Holst

January 5, 2007 07:43 AM Forum: Equipment Talk

Noisy C8 A/C motors

Posted By Thomas Holst

Hi All,

I've been asked to "tune up" an old fork mount orange tube C8 (its manual is dated Jan. '80) for a local non-profit educational organization. This is the mount which has two 110-VAC clock drive motors with integral sealed reduction gear boxes, which drive the scope in RA only.

I've cleaned/lubed the polar axis bronze bushing and spur drive gears and it works fine in the warmth of my garage, but it gets noisy when subjected to freezing temperatures outside.

Has anyone come up with a way to lube the sealed gear boxes to quiet them down? Can I heat them enough to get the grease inside to flow? Drill a hole in the side of the gearboxes to inject grease?

Any tips or tricks would be appreciated.

Randy Holst
Boise, Idaho

July 17, 2007 01:04 PM Forum: AstroMart FAQ

Astromart profile photo update

Posted By Thomas Holst

My daughter finally took a decent picture of me at a star party last weekend, so I decided to update my Astromart profile and photo. It let me update the text, but I can't seem to get the new picture (JPEG) to stick. What am I doing wrong?

Randy Holst
Boise, Idaho

August 29, 2007 02:15 PM Forum: Insects - Flowers and Other Small Stuff - Photos

Re: Wasp Party

Posted By Thomas Holst

Scott Mortimer said:

did some searching...these guys are Bald-Faced hornets. They eat other bugs, mostly flies. I'm glad I stayed 10 feet away and used the zoom lens, some of the web pages said they usually attack anyone that comes within 3 feet of the hive!

Yep, they're Bald Faced Hornets. I've been finding a few of them in my back yard here in Idaho lately, hanging around the area where I've got several Yellow Jacket traps. The hornets won't go in the traps, so I've been whacking them with a fly swatter. They're bigger and fly a lot slower than Yellow Jackets and are easy to knock out of the air.

I got nailed again by a Yellow Jacket earlier early in the summer while mowing the lawn and have been at war with the dang things ever since.

September 2, 2008 11:31 PM Forum: Coronado-Lunt-DayStar Solar Filters

Any problems dealing with Meade/Coronado?

Posted By Thomas Holst

At our astro club board meeting tonight, I had a conversation with one member who was getting really frustrated in trying to get his PST repaired by Meade/Coronado. He says he's sent it in twice and twice it was returned with the problem uncorrected. The turn around time is also very slow as Meade says it has to be sent to Mexico for repair.

Anyone else been having any problems or complaints with Meade's service on the Coronado PST or have any idea what's going on?

October 15, 2008 09:07 PM Forum: Politics

Women like Obama; Men like McCain?

Posted By Thomas Holst

After watching tonight's presidential candidate debate, I made one observation which I found interesting but somewhat puzzling.

Most of the debate, as broadcast by CNN, showed both the candidates in a split screen format, so you could see the reactions of one, while the other was talking. At the bottom of the screen was a moving graph, controlled by a "dial group" of uncommitted Ohio voters. The real time graph, showed two lines (Green for men, Orange for women) and the lines would track up or down (plus or minus) depending on how the dial group felt about what was being said by each candidate at that moment.

The moving graph was interesting to watch as the lines moved up and down depending on the dial group's reactions to what was said, then I noticed something about the reactions and started following them throughout the debate. Whenever Obama was talking, the orange line (women) rose above the green line (men) and stayed there. When it was McCain's turn to speak, the lines reversed position, with the green line (men) staying consistently above the orange line (women). As I watched the debate, this relationship stayed consistent about 98% of the time.

Does this mean women like Obama better and men like McCain better?

November 11, 2008 08:55 AM Forum: Off Topic Discussions

Veterans Day

Posted By Thomas Holst


Every year at this time, friends email me heartwarming stories of the greetings and hospitality received by our US Troops while in transit, to and from the Middle East war zones. Although things were a bit different when I was in that situation 40 years ago, I did have one experience that will stay with me always.

Having just turned 19, I had been in the Marines for about 6 months in early 1969, when I found myself at Dulles International Airport (Washington, D.C.), waiting for a flight to take me home to California for two weeks leave before heading to Viet Nam. All I had was my uniform, my sea bag, a standby ticket and about $4 in my pocket. I found that the next available flight was in the late afternoon on the next day, so I was going to have to spend the night in the airport with little to eat.

A United Airlines manager in a suit recognized my plight, and when his work day was over he insisted upon taking me to his big fancy house in Maryland, fed me supper and provided me with a nice big bed in one of several extra bedrooms to sleep in. (The kind of bedroom that looked like "Washington slept here".) The next day he fixed breakfast for me, drove me to Baltimore Friendship Airport, took my standby ticket and gave me a first class seat on a morning non-stop United flight to L. A.

I will never forget what a complete stranger did for me and I take every opportunity to repay the favor in kind. If you've never been there, you have no idea how much a little consideration means to our men and women in uniform.

Randy Holst
Semper Fi

November 16, 2008 07:30 PM Forum: Equipment Talk

Need some Cave info

Posted By Thomas Holst

My astro club finds itself with another donated Cave 8" Newt with EQ mount. (We re-donated the last one to a local public observatory.) Since no one in the club needs another project scope, we're planning on selling this one.

It looks like most other 8" Cave Newtonian scopes and appears to be complete, but this one has the following info hand engraved on the bottom on the primary mirror:
"Refigured by Thomas R. Cave - 1952". Since Tom Cave didn't go into production on these scopes until late 1950/early 1951, I was wondering if this particularly early version might have above average value. Any guesses out there?

The scope is pretty dusty and needs to be disassembled and rebuilt, but there's no corrosion, the morror looks good and it appears that it would restore quite well. If anyone knows any more about these early Cave scopes, I'd like to hear about it.

January 19, 2009 10:28 AM Forum: Politics

Three Ring Circus

Posted By Thomas Holst

With all the hoopla reported on CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, etc. over the past couple days leading up to tomorrow's inauguration, it appears that Washington is preparing for the second coming of Christ. I fully expected Obama to finish up his speech at the Lincoln Memorial yesterday by walking the length of the reflecting pool without getting his socks wet.

I realize that the election of the first black president is historically significant, but this is getting ridiculous. No one could possibly live up to such apparent expectations.

Although I didn't vote for Obama, I would truly like to see him succeed, but I'm not holding my breath. I still have a real problem with fixing the economy by throwing prodigious amounts of money at it. I also have a big problem with electing a Commander in Chief with absolutely no military experience, followed by an identically inexperienced Joe Biden, and (God forbid) Nancy Pelosi.

Am I the only one bothered by this three ring circus? (BTW, where the Hell are the Beach Boys?)

February 10, 2009 05:55 PM Forum: Politics

A sign...

Posted By Thomas Holst

...of things to come?

(see attached photo)

March 29, 2009 03:14 PM Forum: AstroMart FAQ


Posted By Thomas Holst

What happened to the Astromart Polls? Did I miss some discussion on this?