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Posts Made By: Jon Isaacs

November 25, 2005 06:19 AM Forum: Equipment Talk

Re: Dsx90AT or Skyquest XT6?

Posted By Jon Isaacs

Hi Conjee:

I agree with the others, the XT=6 is a much better choice. The DS-90AT has a marginal GOTO mount made with a great deal of plastic and something that is not likely to last 5 years.

The XT-6 is a simple scope but a decent scope that is capable of providing some very nice views and something that is good enough to keep a serious observer occupied for many years.


November 26, 2005 02:38 AM Forum: Chinese Optics Imports

BO 102F6 on AM, Alert...

Posted By Jon Isaacs

Hi Guys and Gals:

So, here is the ad... Some of you might recognize the seller.

In case anyone happens upon this group who is considering this scope.... These scopes were sold "as is" for $150 because of bad optics. A promise was made to provide a decent objective but that promise was never kept. I found a used Orion Objective and upgraded my BO 102F6 into quite a nice scope, the Orion/Synta Optics are quite good, the double-double is pretty routine and clean at 67x.

Anyone purchasing this scope should ask for a guaranty that it will at least pass some sort of a minimal optical test, given that the claim was made that the optics are superior to Orion/Synta, I would think the double-double at 67x would be reasonable.

I can't believe anyone has the gall to ask $450 for a scope that went for $150 (plus $50 for the case) and the 2 inch diagonal isn't even included.

Jon Isaacs

December 5, 2005 01:17 PM Forum: Telescope Making


Posted By Jon Isaacs

>>>>Could not resist, from that OTHER site.

I guess you found me out... It works, I swear it does... 8)


January 4, 2006 04:33 PM Forum: Beginning Astronomy?

10 Favorite Targets in the January Sky

Posted By Jon Isaacs

Hi: Just thought it might be interesting to see what targets everyone is enjoying these days. Lots of stuff to look at, especially from a dark location but for us urban backyard observers, still plenty to see. Here are 10 targets I enjoy:

1. Venus, nearly gone but at its crescent best right now, low in the SW at dusk.

2. M42-M43, what can I say, got to look every night.

3. Rigel, something about Rigel's companion that I just love.

4. M36 and NGC 1931. Open clusters are the bread and butter of the urban observer, M36 is a nice bright cluster, NGC1931 is rather faint with an apparently nebulous triple star, quite faint.

5. M37 an open cluster that thinks it's a globular

6. M38 and NGC-1907 M38 is another one of Auriga's open clusters and slightly south is NGC-1907 with two brighter stars and a faint path that is an open cluster. Auriga also has some nice bright collections for the widefield scope.

7. M76. Just one of my favorites, pretty faint so it can be a challenge just finding it from Mag 4 skies. Last night I could see it with direct vision in my 4 inch Achro. As the moon gets brighter it becomes more of a challenge.

8. The double cluster in Perseus. Another "What can I say." It's just beautiful in any scope.

9. Castor. It's about 4 arc-second split with two equal brightness stars.

10. "Beta-mons" A nice triple on a direct line between Betelgeuse and Sirius.

So, these are some of mine, how about some of yours...


January 11, 2006 09:31 AM Forum: Beginning Astronomy?

Re: Deciding on a new telescope

Posted By Jon Isaacs


All are nice, a 4 inch refractor or a larger DOB or a MAK-Newt. I don't know what your budget is but Mak-Newts are quite expensive and more importantly, seem to be quite massive and heavy for their aperture.

The refractor will provide you hassle free viewing and widefield views but otherwise your MK-66 will do better probably on DSOs and planets.

The 10 inch F5 DOBs are certainly attractive, I like mine and it gives amazing views once cooled. If you are not happy with one of these and your budget allows, you might consider a DBA with a mirror refigured by Swayze and a nice birch base. It's around a grand and would give you a significant increase in performance without being incredibly large.

Another option would be one of the Meade Lightbridge 10 or even 12 inch Truss DOBs, these should be reasonably lightweight and if the optics were not up to your standards you could have the mirror refigured.

Just some thoughts


January 27, 2006 05:54 PM Forum: Beginning Astronomy?

Venus before Sunrise

Posted By Jon Isaacs

If you happen to be up early, take a look in the southeastern sky. From San Diego, Venus is rising about an hour and 40 minute before the sun and is showing a beautiful crescent.

Venus is one of my favorites, this fall I spent much more time viewing Venus than Mars. Right now it is bright and it should be possible to follow it past sun rise.


February 22, 2006 04:17 AM Forum: Beginning Astronomy?

Mercury Tonite

Posted By Jon Isaacs


Just a reminder to check on Mercury this evening, it is low in the western sky(just south of due west) in the evening twilight. Tonight is the best in terms of elevation, I have been watching it the past week, seeing has not been good so the phase is barely visable.

It should be still visable for the next week or so.


March 5, 2006 05:36 AM Forum: Equipment Talk

Re: Tasco Focuser

Posted By Jon Isaacs


Sounds like decent quality hybrid diagonal might be the way to go if the focuser has enough inward travel...


March 10, 2006 02:58 AM Forum: Beginning Astronomy?

Re: one eyepiece

Posted By Jon Isaacs

>>>im trying to avoid spending money needlessly on eyepieces. so here's my question. if you could only have one eyepiece for an 8" sct what would it be? and why?

Hello Don:

Eyepieces are like the gears in your car. So asking if I could have only one eyepiece is like asking if you could have only one gear in your car, what gear would that be?

No matter what single gear you chose, it would severely limit your ability to use the car efficiently. If you chose high gear, you couldn't start out or go up hills. If you chose low gear, you be stuck driving along at 20mph all day...

So, it is really necessary to have a few eyepieces that cover the range of possible magnifications from the lowest, widest possible field to the highest reasonable magnification. Otherwise, you are severly limiting your ability to use your telescope effectively.

The key to getting the most for your eyepiece dollar is not to choose a single eyepiece but rather carefully choose a few decent eyepieces that cover the range without unnecessary duplication.

For an 8 inch SCT, Plossls are great eyepieces. A 32mm will provide you with the maximum field of view and a 10mm will put you at 200x, some nights this will not be enough but barlow will take care of that. Add a couple in between and you are set.


March 12, 2006 05:43 PM Forum: Beginning Astronomy?

Barlows and Beginners

Posted By Jon Isaacs

Hello to all...

As a moderator of this forum, I try to read every post on every thread. I think it is important that when we post here, we keep in mind the original question and make sure that our response addresses and/or clarifies the original question in terms and concepts that a first time scope owner can understand.

The current thread regarding barlows seems to have gotten out of hand rather badly and while it is interesting to me, I am quite sure that it is not something that is relevent to a beginners situation.

It is true that sometime fine points must be addressed. But when one does this, it must be explained in terms that a beginner can understand and always in the back of the mind one should be remembering what the original question was and why it is important to make this fine point.

So, if you want to post anything further on this topic or any other topic in this forum, please keep it simple and directly applicable...