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Posts Made By: Alex McConahay

July 15, 2004 06:17 AM Forum: Off Topic Discussions

"Same Time" in Tour de France

Posted By Alex McConahay

In reading the results from the Tour de France I see many listed as "Same Time." I look up to see what time they are the same as, and generally the only time listed is the first place finisher.

How could all these bikers finish at the same time?

I also noted the other day that if there is a crash involving lots of bikers less than a kilometer from the end, they are all given the same time as the first place guy.

It would seem that if everybody gets the "same time" it would be hard to separate out who is ahead.

Can somebody shed some light on this scoring?


July 19, 2004 08:26 AM Forum: Beginning Astronomy?

Re: Red Lights

Posted By Alex McConahay

At your local bookstore you can find battery powered book reading lights.

Then go down to your local electronics supply house (not Radio Shack, but a real supply house) and get a flashlight-based LED bulb. (It is an LED with a base that fits into a flashlight.)

Put one in the other, and you have what you want.

Another Solution: Go to Radio Shack, and get one of their six power (or so) illuminated magnifying glasses. Change the bulb to a red LED, or just use red tape (available at Pep Boys and such for taping over broken taillights).

By the way--red lights used in astronomy should be dim. A bright red light affects your night vision, even though it is red. For this reason, I generally do not think the table lamp modification is a good idea.


July 23, 2004 10:26 PM Forum: Equipment Talk

Re: focal lenght or focal ratio

Posted By Alex McConahay

Asking that question is amost the same as asking which is better on a camera--a wide angle lens or a telephoto.

The answer is that it depends on what you are taking a picture of, something that is large or small.

And remember, you can have both focal length and wide focal ratio. Witness a 22 inch F 4.5 scope.

In a wide aperture scope, you have to have a low f ratio or a very long tube. This may be okay in a folded optic (like an SCT). But how big a ladder do you want in a sixteen inch DOb? You would need a fifteen footer if your sixteen inch dob was an F 10. So, on a 16 inch dob, you want a low f#. You will also have lots of focal length.


July 29, 2004 03:22 PM Forum: CCD Imaging and Processing/Solar System

How often does SCT Mirror Flop

Posted By Alex McConahay

I have a Celestron 9.25. It has no mirror lock down, and as far as I can tell no way to rig one.

I have thought of getting a secondary focuser, and I prefer guiding using a separate guide scope. However, it would seem that mirror flop would make problems for both these setups.

Just how bad is mirror flop? As long as I end my main mirror focusing in one direction (counterclockwise, right?), and don't cross the meridian while an exposure is running, will the mirror stay where it was set? I just don't have enough experience in this area.

Incidentally, I do a lot of film astrophotography, where the exposures are much longer. How does this affect your answer?


August 11, 2004 12:35 PM Forum: Star Parties

Re: Astrofest or Disneyland?

Posted By Alex McConahay


If this stuff is getting in the way of the star party, then I can see what you mean.

But, it is quite possible to have all these things and a great star party. All you have to do is pay attention to the schedule and location. And have a place big enough to accommodate it all.

And don't forget, many of us have children and others in the family. If the only thing to do for a weekend is wait till the sun goes down, and go look at stars, then the chances of us getting away are significantly reduced. If, however, the kids and the others are having a good time also, we can make it to a lot more of these things.

And then there is the factor of--how do you get a kid interested in astronomy. The way my dad got me interested was by having me do kids stuff (while he did some grown up stuff).


October 4, 2004 08:30 AM Forum: Equipment Talk

Star GPS-LX 90 Compatability

Posted By Alex McConahay

Hi all,

I have a Star GPS system I have used on my LXD-55. A prospective buyer wants to know if it can be used on an LX-90 system.

Can it?


October 4, 2004 08:54 AM Forum: Equipment Talk

LXD 55 at tracking moon

Posted By Alex McConahay

I'd like to take some matched photos of the upcoming lunar eclipse.

Anybody know how to get the Autostar 497/LXD-55 track on the moon at lunar rate. (I also have Autostar Suite with LPI--but would like to have lunar rate if possible).


October 4, 2004 10:40 AM Forum: CCD Imaging and Processing/Solar System

Nikon 5400 Camera COntrol Software

Posted By Alex McConahay

Anybody have any experience with software that can be used to focus, shoot, and download a Nikon Coolpix 5400?


October 6, 2004 11:31 AM Forum: Politics

Source on Immoral War quotes

Posted By Alex McConahay

The other night I was watching the news--The Daily Show--and Desmond Tutu was on. It was said "Both the Pope and the Archbishop of Canterbury have declared the American action in Iraq an immoral war." (I forget whether John Stewart or the Bishop said it.)

I must have missed those declarations when they happened. Have these two dignitaries (the pope and archbishop--not John Stewart and Desmond Tutu) weighed in on the issue? Where can I find a source document or news report to verify this?


November 8, 2004 07:50 AM Forum: Equipment Talk

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

Posted By Alex McConahay


Get yourself a new challenge. How about plotting asteroid light curves. You have the equipment to do so. You can actually add to the science.

But the question you are asking is not an astronomy question. It is a life question.

And, by the way--there is a reason that the Equipment Forum is more trafficked than any of the other forums in Astromart....This hobby is not about what we see in the telescopes, but the fondling of the equipment.