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Posts Made By: Ron Hranac

September 17, 2005 09:33 AM Forum: Equipment Talk

PST & C-80

Posted By Ron Hranac

Hi Chas,
You'll like the 60mm setup. I have a MaxScope 60, and fabricated a bracket for my GM-8 so I can mount the Coronado and a Tele Vue TV85 (with white light filter) side-by-side. Nice to be able to switch between H-alpha and white light views of the sun... 8)

Ron

December 5, 2005 08:02 PM Forum: Ham and Shortwave Radio

Archaic Code Requirment

Posted By Ron Hranac

The code requirement is still in place, for now. A few years ago the FCC dropped the 13 wpm and 20 wpm code tests, and made 5 wpm the code speed for all classes of licenses requiring code.

The FCC is now considering eliminating code altogether.

December 26, 2005 07:49 PM Forum: Eyepieces

Lumicon O-III vs. Other Brands

Posted By Ron Hranac

One of the major magazines--Astronomy or Sky and Telescope (I dont' recall which one right off hand)--did a nice comparision of various filters. I think the review appeared sometime during the last year.

Ron

January 3, 2006 01:28 PM Forum: Star Parties

Denver Astronomical Society January open house

Posted By Ron Hranac

Oops! That should have read "This Saturday the 7th the Denver Astronomical Society will host its January open house..."

My brain must still be on vacation. wink

Ron

January 10, 2006 12:13 PM Forum: Equipment Talk

best public star party scope

Posted By Ron Hranac

It's hard to define what constitutes the "best" scope for public star parties, but I'd argue that one should use a high quality scope!

I've been involved with the Denver Astronomical Society's monthly open houses for a few years now. These open houses allow members of the public to tour the historic Chamberlin Observatory and take a peek through the 20-inch Alvan Clark refractor, as well as look through any of several DAS members' scopes set up on the park lawn next to the observatory. We generally get anywhere from 70 or so to well over 200 folks attending our open houses each month.

For those of you unfamiliar with the Chamberlin Observatory, it's located in Observatory Park on the University of Denver campus. This puts the park smack in the middle of a major light-polluted city.

That said, each month DAS members have set up next to the observatory building anywhere from 25 to 40 or more scopes of all sorts, shapes, sizes and makes. This gives those who may be considering buying a telescope a chance to evaluate the views through and operation of a variety of telescopes. It also provides high school and college astronomy students a chance to observe through several types of scopes for school assignments. And of course, there are families who come to the open houses just to enjoy some stargazing.

The public's favorite visual targets include the moon (our open houses are held on the Saturday of each month that is closest to the first quarter moon), any visible planets (Saturn and Jupiter are consistent favorites), some of the prettier doubles (e.g., Albireo), and open clusters. The city lights and the moonlight tend to preclude decent views of most DSOs such as galaxies and globulars.

My own experience as a regular participant in the open houses is that most members of the public--perhaps with the exception of small children--really do appreciate those telescopes that provide quality views. I consistently get unsolicited comments about the quality of images in my Takahashi TOA-130.

Something else that goes over quite well at these events is binoviewers. They have a lot of "wow!" factor. 8O

Ron

May 2, 2006 09:27 AM Forum: Coronado-Lunt-DayStar Solar Filters

Logical up-grade ??

Posted By Ron Hranac

A couple options come to mind: One is to double-stack your PST. This will result in a significant improvement in visible detail.

A second option is Coronado's SolarMax 60 dedicated H-alpha scope. It will yield more detail, resolution and contrast than your stock PST, and costs less than the 90mm version.

Of the two--assuming you're interested in a dedicated scope--the former is the least costly and will provide lots of bang for the buck. The second Etalon screws right on the front of the PST, and tuning it is fairly easy to do.

The 60mm scope is more money than the second Etalon for your PST, but its performance as a stand-alone H-alpha scope is superb.

Ron

May 7, 2006 02:08 PM Forum: Refractors

Deep-Sky Observing with Refractors

Posted By Ron Hranac

Hi Herbert,
I have a Takahashi TOA-130, a 130mm (5 inch) diameter apochromat refractor. It's used almost exclusively for visual observing, including a lot of public outreach at Denver Astronomical Society monthly open houses (think mini star parties). The scope consistently gets unsolicited comments from members of the general public about how good its images are compared to other scopes.

While most folks who come to the monthly open houses are usually interested in the more popular observing targets--the moon and planets for the most part--the scope does get pointed at the occasional deep sky object and some of the prettier doubles. Even in the light polluted skies of Denver, it does as well as one might expect for a telescope of its aperture.

The Tak performs even better at dark sky sites, although to be fair, there is nothing like aperture when it comes to the dim fuzzies.

Still, in very informal comparisons with achromats of similar aperture at some of the open houses, even the achro owners have positive comments about the Tak's general image quality. smile

Ron

May 10, 2006 11:39 AM Forum: Refractors

Best Planetary 4" refractor?

Posted By Ron Hranac

Tele Vue's TV102 is f/8.6

Ron

May 18, 2006 12:27 PM Forum: Equipment Talk

Carry-on vs checking on airplane

Posted By Ron Hranac

I've taken my Tele Vue 85 as carry-on many times with no problem. The soft case with the scope and a few eyepieces fits easily under the seat in front, or in the overhead bin (make sure another passenger doesn't toss something on top of it). An accompanying Tele-Pod mount gets checked with my luggage, in a padded case. I've also taken a Coronado 60mm H-alpha scope as carry-on.

This combination is ideal for casual observing while traveling, and I've never had any problems with security--even on overseas trips.

Ron

September 9, 2006 12:39 PM Forum: Equipment Talk

8-inch Dob Transportation (wheels, carts, etc.)

Posted By Ron Hranac

My Dob equivalent is a 12.5 inch PortaBall. When I ordered it from Mag 1 Instruments, I also ordered the optional "field transportation unit"--a cart by any other name. wink This makes it much easier to move the scope around.

Ron
Equipment Forum co-moderator