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Posts Made By: Ron Hranac

October 15, 2006 12:05 PM Forum: Refractors

Indoor "star" test?

Posted By Ron Hranac

Yes. A Denver area astro dealer does this to check--and adjust, if required--collimation on telescopes. The scope under test is set up on a bench, and the light source (precision laser drilled peep hole that is a few microns diameter, as I recall) used as an artificial star.

Ron
Equipment Forum co-moderator

November 9, 2006 07:30 PM Forum: CCD Imaging and Processing/Solar System

Mercury transit question

Posted By Ron Hranac

Here are numbers I got from Starry Night Pro Plus, v5:

Distance from Earth to Sun during transit: .9906 AU (92.08 million miles)

Distance from Earth to Mercury during transit: .6752 AU (62.76 million miles)

Distance from Mercury to Sun during transit: .3154 AU (29.32 million miles)

Ron
Equipment Forum co-moderator


November 23, 2006 09:56 AM Forum: Refractors

Reccomendations for a visual APO 4"-5"

Posted By Ron Hranac

Hi Gregg,
The Denver Astronomical Society's monthly open houses feature a variety of telescopes of all shapes and sizes set up by members on the park lawn next to Chamberlin Observatory. Several APOs in the aperture range you discuss are among the scopes set up each month.

The most common ones are usually Tele Vue's TV102, TV101 and even some of the earlier 4-inch TVs. Of course, a couple members set up the newer NP101 & NP127, but the earlier models seem to be more common.

I also see a number of Stellarvue scopes, and a handful of Takahashis, including the TOA-130. One can usually find a couple Astro-Physics APOs, too. A good friend almost always has his TEC140 set up at the open houses, too. Nice scope!!

Any of the previously mentioned APOs are superb visual scopes. Check the Astromart classifieds, since 4~5 inch APOs show up fairly often. Don't forget a sturdy mount!

Ron
Equipment Forum co-moderator

December 13, 2006 06:27 PM Forum: Takahashi

Takahashi accesories...a must or optional??

Posted By Ron Hranac

Yes, there are some non-Tak accessories that work just fine with Takahashi scopes. For instance, you can use just about any quality diagonal (Tele Vue, Astro-Physics, etc.). If you don't like conventional finders (Tak's finders are VERY nice), try one of the unity finders like the Rigel or Telrad. You should be able to find aftermarket rings, too, but the cost may well be equivalent to Tak's if you have to go the custom route.

December 17, 2006 08:17 PM Forum: Equipment Talk

I hate the Jet Stream!

Posted By Ron Hranac

I'd say welcome to Colorado, too... wink You certainly have my sysmpathy, Floyd.

The jet stream has been overhead here for the past week or two, limiting observing to lower magnifications--when it's been clear. >sad

Once a few months ago when the jet stream was directly overhead, seeing was so bad one could not even make out craters on the moon. 8O Thankfully, it's not like that all the time.

Ron
Equipment Forum co-moderator

January 28, 2007 10:02 AM Forum: Equipment Talk

does paracorr require in or outfocus?

Posted By Ron Hranac

The Paracorr requires more back-focus (inward travel toward the secondary).

I found that I was unable to use one on my 12.5-inch Portaball, even with the low profile Feathertouch focuser. The Portaball simply does not have enough back focus for use with the Paracorr, and raising the primary mirror is not a trivial task because of the design of the ball and mirror support structure. I was not interested in shortening the truss poles, so I opted for the Baader coma corrector and adaptors.

Ron
Equipment Forum co-moderator

January 28, 2007 06:11 PM Forum: Equipment Talk

Celestron SkyScout - over 17,000 sold!

Posted By Ron Hranac

I got one for use in public outreach. Members of the public that attend star parties and similar events are fascinated with the SkyScout, especially since it can be used to let them do the "hands-on" location or identification of an object in the night sky.

Ron
Equipment Forum co-moderator

March 25, 2007 11:25 AM Forum: Equipment Talk

Binoviewing

Posted By Ron Hranac

I think you'll be pleased with the views that a binoviewer & your 6-inch refractor will provide. I have Tele Vue's binoviewer, and use it with a Takahashi TOA-130 (5-inch refractor). Eyepieces include a pair of TV 32mm Plossls, 24mm Panoptics, and 14mm Radians. I occasionally set up the binoviewer at Denver Astronomical Society open houses, and the usual reaction from members of the public is "wow!" 8O

A friend has the Denkmeier & powerswitch setup, and it provides great views and a lot of flexibility with regard to magnification.

Ron
Equipment Forum co-moderator

March 28, 2007 06:51 PM Forum: Equipment Talk

Pete Smitka closes up after 15 years

Posted By Ron Hranac

If you haven't yet done so, you might take a look at the thread about this in the Astromart reflector forum.

Ron
Equipment Forum co-moderator

April 22, 2007 07:38 PM Forum: Equipment Talk

What should I look for in a refractor Diagonal?

Posted By Ron Hranac

I suggest that you consider a quality 2-inch dielectric diagonal, if it will fit in your scope's focuser. Several makes are available (Astro-Physics, Tele Vue and others), and the dielectric coatings are quite durable--especially when it comes to the occasional need for cleaning.

Ron
Equipment Forum co-moderator