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Posts Made By: Randy Roy

October 27, 2004 03:24 AM Forum: Equipment Talk

General Motors and Meade

Posted By Randy Roy

This news release was posted on the PST group. I think the first line says it all smile

Telescope maker moves to buy local company for $2.5 million
By Thomas Stauffer

Meade Instruments, the General Motors of the telescope industry, has
penned an agreement to buy Tucson-based Coronado Technology Group

The sale of Coronado, the world's leading manufacturer of solar
telescopes and filters, should be finalized no later than Nov. 30,
said Brent Christensen, chief finanical officer for Meade, which is
headquartered in Irvine, Calif.

Meade will put up about $2.5 million in cash, plus incentives tied to
the financial performance of the company through the next calendar
year that could eclipse the initial payment, said Gerry Hogan,
majority shareholder in Coronado.

Coronado, which currently employs 25 people at its plant near South
Pantano Road and East 22nd Street, makes solar telescopes and filter
systems ranging in price from $500 to $32,000, said general manager
and part owner Jordan Frazier.

The company will remain headquartered in Tucson, and will continue to
be known as Coronado, Hogan said.

"The change that the public will see is the ability to get more
product out," she said. "They are not going to see a change in our
customer service or a change in our quality."

As the world's largest and only publicly-owned telescope company,
Meade has marketing muscle and 30 years of expertise with scopes,
Frazier said.

"We know how to build the filter systems really well, but they know
how to build telescopes better than we do," he said. "This is a good
thing for Coronado and its employees."

November 5, 2004 01:29 PM Forum: Equipment Talk

Venus and Jupiter!

Posted By Randy Roy

Wow! Did anyone else get up at 4:30 this morning to check out Venus and Jupiter? They are about 1/2° apart. What a beautiful sight! It reminded my why its nice to have a small refractor on an alt az mount for wide fields and quick peeks. I was set up in about 5 minutes and my FS78 was cooled down in about 20 minutes. With a 7mm T6 you could just get both planets in the same field. It was great to see Jupiter and the gibbous Venus again.

Saturn was high overhead and spectacular as usual. Having Saturn, the Moon, Jupiter and Venus overhead provided a great light show.

This would have made a great binocular view as well.


November 8, 2004 01:32 AM Forum: Equipment Talk

Re: Your Thoughts:

Posted By Randy Roy


If you are into imaging, you may find the refractor undermounted. If you are only interested in visual, there are many other larger aperture, lighter weight options that are more portable than a 12" LX200GPS. Two that come to mind are Celestron's Nexstar 8 GPS (ergonically excellent) and Meade's LX-90 (has to be one of the best values ever).

I have a Mewlon 210 that sits atop an EM10 mount. It's pricey, but gives 8.3" of aperture that is very portable and easy to mount.


November 8, 2004 05:42 PM Forum: Equipment Talk

Re: I Guess I'm Being Insincere...

Posted By Randy Roy

Is there a dog track near you. I've never been to any dog races or bet on anything for that matter, but it seems like the kind of thing that might interest someone burned out on astronomy.

Best wishes,


November 21, 2004 02:38 AM Forum: Equipment Talk

Re: Are the Coronado Cemax eyepieces necessary

Posted By Randy Roy

Necessary? No. If you do not have good plossls to use, the CEMAX eps are hard to beat for solar viewing. But, I occasionally use even my TV Zoom with excellent results. I've used both Meade and Celestron plossls as well and they work very well. Even the old SMAs and MAs work quite well.


November 23, 2004 05:20 AM Forum: Equipment Talk

LX-90 on Sale

Posted By Randy Roy

I noticed Anacortes just listed the LX-90 w/UHTC and LPI for $1395. I've been accused of bashing Meade here and there, but this is quite a deal. I recently spent a good bit of time at the ep of a friend's LX-90 and found it to be an excellent scope. I thought it was one of the best values out there before this sale.

No interest in Meade, Anacortes, etc. I just wanted to point out what I think is a really good deal.


November 24, 2004 04:02 AM Forum: Equipment Talk


Posted By Randy Roy


I never bashed green lasers. I have no problem with others using GLPs as finders on their solar scopes.

I was at a star party recently where a young man who was old enough to know better, tossed a paper wad into a rather large dob. It must have been an 18 or 20 incher, because he made a big deal out of doing a slam-dunk.

The gentleman who owned the scope was also in his late sixties. He took the kid out with a quick "one-two". I'm serious, he knocked the kid out.

This has nothing to do with green lasers, but I thought it was more interesting than the rest of this thread.


November 30, 2004 12:52 AM Forum: Equipment Talk

Re: Want a good laugh?

Posted By Randy Roy


I took typing and Fortran back in the sixties just so I would have something to fall back on if necessary. Looks like now is the time.


February 5, 2005 10:51 PM Forum: Equipment Talk

Re: APO cooling down - UPDATE

Posted By Randy Roy


Well it just so happens that I've been paying close attention to cool down times for my new FS128 (air spaced doublet). Here it is:

70°-31° about 40 minutes
70°-42° about 28 minutes
70°-51° about 20 minutes

Times and temps are approximate with the temps being taken at the end of the cool down period. Also, I didn't measure the beginning temp. 70° is the temp setting of my house's thermostat. So this isn't scientific, but close enough for your purposes, I believe.

BTW--When I set up for observing, I take the OTA out first and open the case. By the time I set up the mount, polar align and align my Temma controller, the scope is well on its way to being cooled. A smaller APO's faster cooldown is an advantage when using an alt az mount or wheeley bars (e.g., rolling an eq mount out of a heated garage). However, if you have to set up from scratch and especially if you are imaging, the advantage disappears. I am speaking from experience on this one.

Hot dog! The skies are clear. Looks like I'll get to add another data point this evening!


February 13, 2005 02:33 AM Forum: Equipment Talk

Just Got Bluetooth Going on my EM200

Posted By Randy Roy

I just got a Socket Bluetooth Serial adapter, hooked it up to my EM200 serial port and now control my EM200 Temma 2 mount wirelessly with an IPAQ 2415 running Pocket Sky via a bluetooth link. The whole thing was easy to setup.

The Pocket Sky can be used to control a variety of mounts (and DSCs) and with the proliferation of Bluetooth, wireless is becoming quite easy to implement. I paid about $170 for my Bluetooth adapter, but there are companies selling other models for about 1/2 that cost or less.

Anyone else out there bit by the Bluetooth bug, yet?