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Posts Made By: Judson Mitchell

March 8, 2007 07:12 PM Forum: AstroMart FAQ

New Old Member!!

Posted By Judson Mitchell

OK, in a week my current e-mail will expire since I am retiring. I would like to re-up so to speak which means to the best of my knowledge a $12 fee will be required, but I would like to maintain my identity. What do I have to do?

March 13, 2007 06:07 AM Forum: Solar System Observing

Ready to Retire -Sharing the Wealth

Posted By Judson Mitchell

Well, I set my telescope up in the parking lot at work this morning (will retire on Thursday) to share a little with my coworkers. They were surprised that you could still look at Jupiter even though the sun was already up. Trick was to find it while you could still see it then keep it in the finder even after it disappeared naked eye.

Boy, they sure come in late. Was there nearly an hour and a half before even half of them showed up!

Biggest problem with retirement is the adjustment my wife is going to have to make since she is still working. Housework and cooking will have to come into my agenda if I am ever going to keep her placated. Be lucky to break even on this one.

March 17, 2007 05:37 AM Forum: Solar System Observing

Messier Marathon - M30?

Posted By Judson Mitchell

Our group is going to attempt the Messier Marathon this evening. One of my concerns is M30. This object seems to be the potential nemesis of the list. Any recommendations short of hustling down to Key West?

March 21, 2007 06:23 PM Forum: Equipment Talk

Close Cell Foam-How to Cut?

Posted By Judson Mitchell

I know this has been discussed before, but tis easier this way. I just received my "slab" of dark, closed-cell foam. My plan is to place most EPs on their side typically like Floyd has shown in the past. My question is, what is the best way to dissect the foam. Do you cut all the way through then wafer the foam for the bottom. Or are there other ways to make a profiled cut. Also, what are the best tools? My problem is that you really only get one chance at a hole and it would be nice to get it right the first time. Also the plan is to mount a few of the smaller 1.25 EPs vertical to save space. My fabricated hole cutter from a serated film tube seems to work well as does the serated cap from an "Edge" shaving foam can. Hear tell that hole cutting saws are also OK. Any help will be appreciated.

March 23, 2007 05:18 PM Forum: AstroMart FAQ

Multiple Site Listings - TOCs

Posted By Judson Mitchell

Is there something in our TOCs about listing simultaneously on Astromart and another auction site? Seems I have seen other discussions about this not being kosher. (Ref #490653)

May 3, 2007 07:18 AM Forum: Equipment Talk

Upright Image-What Does it Mean?

Posted By Judson Mitchell

Recently I bought a 12X70 right angle finder scope that was advertised as an "upright image". Unfortunately, according the the vendor and a close personal friend, this implies a "mirror image". First, my curiosity causes me to ask; how many of you aficionados out there knew this; how many of you were unaware; and how many of you would have assumed as I did that this was a "correct image"?

According to the vendor, direct quote "you (I) are he very 1st person I have met in the 10 years I have been making these that did not knwo the difference".

Unfortunately I could not confirm this information in any of my reading or Astronomy text books. In my opinion, we have at least accepted a poor choice of words to describe an erect mirror image finder/scope.

Secondly the vendor said "As for what is stated in the ad....I have literally sold hundreds and hundreds of these finders and get no complaints at all, in fact....MOST people comment on how well they work and wonder how I can sell them so cheap when the parts alone are worth more than I sell the finder for".

Has anyone else out there bought a mirror image finder and decided they were not so deligted as quoted above after learning of the type of image it produced?

Interestingly a few days ago I looked through an old Meade cassegrain 100 mm scope and for the first time witnessed the mirror image view and wondered why we would ever accept such a design. Simple yes, confusing, yes, difficult to use, yes; particularly as a finder scope for star hopping.

The way I see it, I would have to print all my star charts in mirror image in order for my brain to make the transformation and re-practice all my star hopping patterns. Not an inviting task.

So if you are interested in a larger finder for your scope, at least be advised to confirm what sort of image you will be seeing and whether that is going to be suitable for your use.

May 5, 2007 08:03 PM Forum: Eyepieces

Eyepiece Confessional

Posted By Judson Mitchell

Considering the hiatus between when I started observing in the 50s with my RV6 and my return to the hobby after a dry period of over 40 years, you may as well call me a newbee who started a little over 2 years ago. In that short time I have owned at least 27 EPs; 15 of which I still have and consider at least keepers (no Naglers yet). For the other 12, they were so bad that I could not bring myself to sell them except for 2 which were requested on Astromart.

Unfortunately I first tried them out in an F/6 8" dob, but am now using a faster F/5 12" dob. Cheap widfield EPs in a fast dob (to quote a fellow astromarter) don't play well together. Most didn't improve much when barlowed.

Unfortunately it took me way to long to learn and heed the advice of others. Price was an initial bane, and for some people I know, still a problem. Also, the opportunity to use other astronomers EPs and scopes was insufficient to provide me with adequate experience to make reasonable decisions. How about a few war stories.

Would you sage owners of Naglers, Pentax, etc., care to share your first trials with lesser mortal EPs so that others may learn from your misfortunes. Although, two years ago I probably would not have listened anyway.

May 14, 2007 04:50 AM Forum: Pictures of Me and My Telescope and........

Well, I'm Not Really In the Picture, But!

Posted By Judson Mitchell

Talk about being cautious about your equipment. Here is a group of 8th graders trying to view through "my precious" 20X100s. Yeah, there were some fingerprints on the lenses, but something much more valuable transpired here. This is one of my daughter's science classes in Ottawa Illinois during a long-range outreach from South Carolina.

At public sessions at the Observatory/Planetarium in Greenville SC, I will commonly have young viewers tug the Dob around so that they will find it is not that difficult. I believe hands-on is one of the best ways to learn. And somehow I always use my good EPs, rather than worry about all that "damage" that might occur.

June 7, 2007 08:18 PM Forum: Eyepieces

Finder FOV & Power

Posted By Judson Mitchell

Checked my modified Russell 70mm finder scope using stars in the vicinity of M51. With my 24mm TV Widefield I got a FOV of 5.15 degrees at 11.8X. That was more than I hoped for. With the 25 TV Plossl, the FOV is 4.34 degrees. Still quite nice and much better focus on the edges. The modification involved cutting off the fabricated barrel, retaping the set screw for holding the diagonal and fitting it with an amici prism for correct view images.

June 25, 2007 11:25 AM Forum: Eyepieces

Stratus Hyperion Knockoffs-First Sighting!

Posted By Judson Mitchell

Well, some Stratus/Hyperion knockoffs apparently have appeared on that internet auction site. No identifying markings were apparent and the EP lacked the step edge allowing insertion in a 2" focusser/barlow. So if I have my story right this is now a knock-off of a knock-off. No doubt they have been around for a while, but tis my first actual sighting.