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Posts Made By: Doug Walton

September 13, 2005 08:58 AM Forum: Eyepieces

Quick Poll: Pentax 20mm XW vs. Radian 18mm

Posted By Doug Walton

Background Info:
I have an 8" f/5 high-end reflector
I'd like a moderately widefield EP with an 1.25" barrel.

Pentax 20mm XW gets me 51x, 70 deg. FOV.
TV Radian gets me 56x, 60 deg. FOV.
Eye relief is essentially the same (and I need the eye relief).
Radian is about $70 less.
Weight and build quality OK with me for both.

I've read some less-than-glowing reviews on the 20mm XW. Not sure what to do. I want to use an O-III and UHC with it.

Please vote: given the above, go with the Radian or the Pentax?

Thanks very much for your opinions!
Doug

September 19, 2005 10:51 AM Forum: Equipment Talk

Low-profile tripod platform for an 8" truss dob?

Posted By Doug Walton

I recently aquired a sweet little 8" Starbuckets truss dob. The one thing that I would like to do is to raise up the base of the scope perhaps 14"-18" or so off the ground so that it's a bit more convenient to use. I am thinking about a sturdy 3-legged platform of some kind that the current 3-point dob ground board would rest on. Nothing fancy really - but I can't figure out if there is something out there that I could buy to do this, or if I need to make one. Making one is an option, but I'm tool-challenged right now and would prefer to just buy something that would do the job.

Any ideas? Thanks!
Doug

November 11, 2005 08:56 AM Forum: Eyepieces

Paracorr and Pentax XW EPs

Posted By Doug Walton

What height setting on the Paracorr's tunable top would folks suggest for a 12.5" f/5 scope? I know where I've used it in the past for Radians - are the Pentax XWs different in this regard? Maybe wider FOV = higher Paracorr top setting?

Thanks!

November 13, 2005 07:19 AM Forum: Equipment Talk

Paracorr and Pentax XW EP's

Posted By Doug Walton

(posted in Eyepieces section too - I thought I'd post here as well to see if I get some responses...)

What height setting on the Paracorr's tunable top would folks suggest for a 12.5" f/5 scope? I know where I've used it in the past for Radians - are the Pentax XWs different in this regard? Maybe wider FOV = higher Paracorr top setting?

Thanks!

April 24, 2006 07:34 AM Forum: Pictures of Me and My Telescope and........

My 14.5" Starmaster

Posted By Doug Walton

Here's my scope - it has a 1/32-wave Antares secondary to go with the Zambuto primary, along with the usual nice upgrades offered by Rick. This is the best scope I've ever owned - the views are spectacular, the optics are really dialed in, the structure is solid and accurate, and the tracking is superb.

Doug

September 11, 2006 08:45 AM Forum: Pictures of Me and My Telescope and........

October 16, 2006 05:19 PM Forum: Equipment Talk

2" Barlowed Laser vs. 2" Laser/2" Autocollimator

Posted By Doug Walton

OK - I've used a 2" laser along with a 2" autocollimator now for a while, and I am getting consistenly excellent results with my 14.5" dob. Now that I know how to align my focuser accurately using a 2" sight tube, my laser always agrees exactly with my autocollimator, and as a result, I never even bother with using a Cheshire. My routine is: laser centered on the primary, laser return dot exactly in the center of the laser's slanted grid face, check with autocollimator, triangles stacked exactly.

So tell me - is using a 2" barlowed laser equally (or more) accurate as my current setup, and by nature, also a step simpler? And if so, is there a commercially-available 2" barlowed laser that I can just go and buy that works better than everything else?

Thanks,
Doug

October 21, 2006 03:53 AM Forum: Equipment Talk

Powermate, Pentax XW EPs, Paracorr

Posted By Doug Walton

Hi all - two quickies...

1. I'm probably gonna buy a 2" TV Powermate (likely a 2x) - are there any issues to be aware of when using it with Pentax XW EPs from 3.5mm up to 20mm?

2. Assume a 14.5" f/4.3 reflector - at what magnification would you generally say one can stop using a Paracorr and just go with an EP (or a Powermate+EP) in the focuser, and not see any appreciable distortion in the FOV? I know the answer for some would be "don't use a Paracorr at all", but I've chosen to use one with this scope. I'm just curious to hear where along the increasing magnification curve folks have decided that a Paracorr no longer offers any benefit.

Thanks!
Doug

November 8, 2006 06:53 AM Forum: Equipment Talk

Re: one scope only!!!!!

Posted By Doug Walton

I would get a lightly-used, structurally-tight dob in the 11" to 15" range with a really great primary mirror in it (Zambuto, Stevens, Swayze, etc.). f/4.3 to maybe f/5.5 or so. Transportable, good amount of aperture, sharp views. To keep the costs down, I'd either build or buy used a decent eq. table so that I could view without hand-tracking.

January 1, 2007 09:45 AM Forum: Equipment Talk

StarStructure scopes - how's it going?

Posted By Doug Walton

If you have a StarStructure scope (or have extensively used one, or have any other relevant info about them), and if you feel like sharing, please send me either an email or PM me and let me know how the scope is working out. I'd rather do this offline that risk starting any kind of hoo-ha here - thanks for any info you have to offer.

Doug