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Posts Made By: John Cassella

February 13, 2004 01:47 PM Forum: Equipment Talk

Cloudy Nights

Posted By John Cassella

Greetings all,

Anybody notice Cloudynights is becoming a pay site. I certainly understand the cost of operating the site, but I thought all the sponsors would be able to cover the cost.

Oh well. Don't know that I am going to want to pay for the information, but I do hope they do well.

I also hope people continue to post their comparisons and equipment assessments somewhere where amateurs don't have to pay to get access.

Take care,
john

February 17, 2004 05:08 AM Forum: Equipment Talk

February 17, 2004 07:41 AM Forum: Equipment Talk

Best View w/ Lens Cap On

Posted By John Cassella

I find that refractors give a much sharper view with the lens cap on. However, my large newtonian gives a brighter view with the lens/mirror cover on. Of course the seeing can really affect my views while using my lens cap. What is your most memorable view with the lens cap on? What was your least favorite view with the lens caps on? Can you remember your first view with the lens cap on? Do feel the quality of lens caps has diminished since you got in the hobby? At what price-point do you feel you reach the "law of diminshing returns" when purchasing your lens cap?

February 23, 2004 11:38 AM Forum: Equipment Talk

Pentax XW's

Posted By John Cassella

Still doesn't seem like there is much out there on these eyepieces. In particular I am interested in the 5mm. Some say Pentax uses more consistent and higher glass quality than other premium eyepieces.

Does anyone know anything about the glass in these eyepieces relative to others, like a Nagler? Has anyone had the chance to compare the performance of a Nagler T6 to a Pentax XW?

Please, as far as the comparison goes, I would prefer actual experience, not just opinion.

Thanks much,
john

March 13, 2004 06:05 PM Forum: Equipment Talk

Polars Mount Tracking

Posted By John Cassella

Greetings all,

I have a somewhat unusual situation. I recently bought a Polaris mount from a local dealer. He had a brand new SD-1 RA motor for it as well. When I tried it last night it didn't seem to be tracking well.

After several thoughts, I realized the motor was tracking in reverse i.e., setting the tracking for South fixed the problem. So I then compared the direction of motor rotation on the SP to my CG4 and, sure enough, the SD-1 motor was tracking in reverse.

Today I went back to the dealer who had two other SD-1 motors, all tracked in reverse. The CG4 motor rotates clockwise for the North setting, but the SD-1 tracks counter clockwise in North.

Anyone else encounter this issue? Anyone know what's going on here?

By the way, this SP is mint and what a wonderfully made instrument (except for reverse tracking). The build quality is in another league. To bad Vixen didn't continue to make this smaller version of the Super Polaris/Great Polaris mount.

Thanks,
john

April 1, 2004 06:17 AM Forum: Equipment Talk

Cloudynights Hat Review

Posted By John Cassella

Great comparative review on Cloudynights between a Televue hat and an AP hat.

Nice to see the site developing, particularly in the no pay area.

I think it's time to delete that link from my favorites.

And yes, I know it's a joke.

Take care all,
john

August 8, 2004 05:51 PM Forum: Telescope Making

Non-Wooden Homemade Dob

Posted By John Cassella

Greetings everyone,

I have been contemplating the purchase or construction of a new dob for deep-sky observing - something in the 16"-20" range. However, I am not all that enthralled with the designs I see. I was wondering if anyone has PLANS for an ultralight made out of carbon or aluminum? Not just pictures, but actual plans.

Any info would be greatly appreciated.

Take care all,
john

August 25, 2004 08:54 AM Forum: Equipment Talk

Ready For the Main Course

Posted By John Cassella

Greetings all,

Well, this has the makings of a another run on, go nowhere thread. So, I'm out. Please no tears. I guess I just think a little differently, and some things just do not add up for me. Often I think people lose the subtlety of a point, even some that are not so subtle.

So I will blend back in with the unwashed masses.

But I hope all will indulge me should I wish to rise from the muck and participate in another thread at a later date.

Take care all,
john

September 14, 2004 07:43 AM Forum: Equipment Talk

Beating a Dead Horse

Posted By John Cassella

Greetings all,

As I am sure, many of you are unaware of a debate that has been going on for a few weeks now on the Yahoo Groups. It involves issues of mirror quality between Zambuto and Torus and has spilled into an Obsession vs. Starmaster debate. As expected, these debates can become quite heated, although I think this one one has actually remained relatively calm.

First let me say that I recently purchased a 14.5" Starmaster that is suppose to ship today. I actually had decided not to get a Starmaster because of the premium price, but upon further research changed my mind.

Some things in the debate have bothered me very much. I tried posting something to the Obsession group, but it was apparently censured. My questions are the following:

1)If someone makes a quality product, why would they create a website that denigrates the products of others instead of simply emphasizing the qualities of their own product?

When shopping for a telescope I was taken aback by how much Obsession slammed, in a not so veiled way, other manufacturers. It actually was a factor in my deciding not to purchase an Obsession.

2) Ed Ting did a review of the 20" Obsession. He noted that it did not hold collimation during use. In fact, I think he stated that you would become a "collimation expert" by the end of the night. Obsession has since used the review on their website, BUT, they have editted out the section on collimation. Can anyone tell me why a manufacturer would post such a review and edit out only certain information? Hmmmmm. What does this tell us about the company and its owner?

Personally, I think there are many fine choices for individuals looking for medium to large dobsonians - including Obsession. We all benefit from this. But, as with most things in life, there are qualitative differences in the way in which certain companies, and people, conduct themeselves. While this is, as they say, life, it saddens me when individuals feel the need slam others to make themselves feel better.

In this case I think it is clear that there is a certain desperation and envy that provides the impetus for such conduct. It is the American way. When someone is very successful we attack them, not because they warrant such an assault, but because their success brings "our" own inadequacies into stark relief. That is to say, it is more about "us" then them.

Take care,
john


October 18, 2004 08:40 PM Forum: Telescope Making

Ebony Star

Posted By John Cassella

Greetings all,

Does anybody have a piece of Ebony Star approximately 2'X2' for sale?

Thanks,
john