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Posts Made By: Ron Hranac

June 8, 2004 01:02 PM Forum: Coronado-Lunt-DayStar Solar Filters

Transit - Richmond, VA

Posted By Ron Hranac

Overcast and foggy in Raleigh-Durham. I'm out here from Denver on a business trip, and brought my MaxScope 60 in hopes of seeing the transit. Unfortunately, Mother Nature didn't cooperate this morning. Visibility at Raleigh-Durham airport was 1/4 to 1/2 mile at 6:00 a.m. EDT.

August 11, 2004 03:38 AM Forum: Coronado-Lunt-DayStar Solar Filters

Cemax Eyepiece Set

Posted By Ron Hranac

I have the full set of Coronado eyepieces and barlow. They do a fine job!

September 13, 2004 07:43 PM Forum: A Day in the Life of the Administrator

Why is Astromart so slow on AOL

Posted By Ron Hranac

Depending on where I am, I use either high-speed or dial-up. I've had no problems getting into Astromart--certainly not the painfully slow log-on you mention--with AOL via dial-up. When I do use AOL (v 9.0, Win 98SE and XP Pro, depending on PC being used), I use Internet Explorer as my browser rather than AOL's browser. I don't have it set up to remember who I am, so I manually enter my user ID and password. Based on my experience, Astromart log-in speed via dial-up has been a function of the data rate I get, which is typically in the 45~48 kbps range, and it certainly doesn't take 3 to 5 minutes. Of course, high-speed Internet access is the way to go, and puts dial-up in general to shame.

September 23, 2004 02:37 PM Forum: Takahashi

Takahashi Questions and Opinions

Posted By Ron Hranac

Regarding your questions #5 and #6:

I've not tried any of the Tak LE eyepieces, but a good friend who owns a 5mm LE has very positive comments about it, and she is VERY discriminating about quality optics (she's an astrophysics major and works at a local telescope dealer). I plan to try one of them in the near future in my Tak TOA-130, which takes me to your last question.

The TOA has, as you know, an air-spaced triplet objective design, which does require some cool-down time for optimum performance. But it's not what I would consider excessive or even inconvenient. 30 to 45 minutes seems to be adequate. During observing sessions here in Colorado I first set up the Losmandy G11 mount and install the Tak optical tube assembly (OTA) on the mount, usually around sundown. From there I install various accessories on the OTA: the 2.7 in.-to-2 in. adapter, diagonal (TV 2" Everbrite), eyepiece, Tak finderscope and Telrad. Next is connection of the various cables, hand controller and 12 VDC battery to the G11. When that's done I set up a small table with eyepieces and other observing accessories, then visit with a few friends until it's dark enough to observe. By then the scope has cooled down just fine.

Colorado's high elevation means rapid temperature drops once the sun sets, and it's not unusual to see a 30 or 40 degree F swing from daytime highs to overnight lows. After the Tak has cooled down for 30~45 minutes I've not seen any problems with its performance.

For what it's worth, the TOA always gets unsolicited comments from members of the public at Denver Astronomical Society open houses regarding how sharp the views are, and how the scope has the best images of any set up at the open houses.


October 4, 2004 02:27 AM Forum: TeleVue

Powermate does it require an extension?

Posted By Ron Hranac

I have 2.5x and 5x Tele Vue Powermates (1.25 in) that do just fine in a TV85 without the need to use an extension. Their use is a simple matter of placing the Powermate between the eyepiece and diagonal, and refocusing as required. But an extension is not necessary to achieve focus.

November 13, 2004 10:28 PM Forum: Ham and Shortwave Radio

radio (solar) astronomy

Posted By Ron Hranac

It's been many years since I tried it, but under the right conditions one can listen to radio emission from Jupiter with an HF rig. It's best described as a swishing sound, and can be heard in the upper part of the HF spectrum--that is, above about 15m.

December 7, 2004 03:58 PM Forum: Ham and Shortwave Radio

Code Requirement Eliminated?

Posted By Ron Hranac

As far as I know the FCC still has a 5 wpm requirement for all classes through Extra that required code (the 13 wpm requirement for General and Advanced, and 20 wpm requirement for Extra were scaled back to 5 wpm a few years ago). International treaties that mandated code for operation below 30 MHz are no more, and it's now up to national jurisdictions equivalent to the FCC to decide whether or not to retain a code requirement in the amateur licensing process. Indeed, some countries have eliminated code altogether as a requirement to get a ham ticket. A few proposals have been or are being floated here in the US, but I don't believe any action to eliminate code has been taken yet.

Ron, N0IVN

December 7, 2004 10:13 PM Forum: Takahashi

Are they worth it?

Posted By Ron Hranac

I'm a member of Denver Astronomical Sociey, and participate in the club's monthly open houses. These events are open to the public, and provide an opportunity to look at objects through a variety of telescopes that members have set up. My Takahashi TOA-130 (a 5-inch apochromatic refractor) consistently gets unsolicited comments from folks along the lines of "this telescope has the image of any telescope here."

Get in touch with a local astronomy club, and if they have public viewing events, star parties, or similar, spend an evening looking through several different scopes. If you have a chance to look through a high-end scope such as an Astro-Physics, Tele Vue, Takahashi, etc., do a comparison to some of the more mainstream scopes. The odds are pretty good that you'll notice a difference.

December 14, 2004 11:36 PM Forum: Takahashi

High power eyepieces for TOA-130

Posted By Ron Hranac

3.5mm Nagler, 7mm Nagler, 11mm Nagler all seem to do a fine job in my TOA-130. Seeing conditions need to be good enough to support the 3.5mm or similar focal length eyepieces, of course.

December 20, 2004 03:02 AM Forum: Takahashi

FS-128 clamshell/adaptor

Posted By Ron Hranac

BT Technologies has a custom-designed Takahashi dovetail plate for Losmandy and compatible mounts. It's sold direct and by a handful of dealers. I have one, and it works just fine supporting my Tak TOA-130.