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Posts Made By: Domenic Quadrini

August 26, 2006 01:49 AM Forum: Refractors

What a difference a dark site makes

Posted By Domenic Quadrini

Nice report, Nick. I had a similar experience while camping in western Maine (Flagstaff Lake) last week. The Milky Way was so bright I felt I could reach up and grab it. The North American and Pelican Nebulae were easy with direct vision in 8X42 binoculars. I was also struck by how well defined the Milky Way appeared through Perseus and Cassiopeia.

All I had for a telescope was a 60 mm f/11.7 Vixen that I took along for spotting wildlife along the lake shore. My view of M31 was better than I ever remember seeing at home (mag 5.5--used to be mag 6--skies). I hadn't planned on doing any observing, so I didn't have an atlas with me. But I spent about 2 hours looking at familiar objects. M57 was perfectly defined at 100X (7 mm ortho) and I could see the 13th magnitude star just outside the periphery of the ring. At home I need at least a 4" refractor on the best nights to see it. M13 was nicely resolved, not to the core, but stars at the outer edge were easily seen.

With averted vision, I could see three or four stars within the bowl of the little dipper. When I got back home I checked my S&T Pocket Sky Atlas and discovered that the dimmest of these are about 7th magnitude.

As a check on my "newly developed" observation skills, I made the following calculation. Assuming that I could see 1.5 magnitudes deeper (7-5.5), I was seeing objects that were 2.52^1.5 = 4.0 times dimmer. This is equivalent to doubling the aperture. So my 2.4" at Flagstaff Lake was performing like a 4.8" at home. Next year I'll take my old 4.1" Jaegers and hope for clear moonless skies.

As she obsreved the milky Way with her binoculars and I was describing to her what she was seeing, my wife exclaimed, "Let's move here!"

Blieve me. I was tempted.

Dom Q.

February 23, 2007 06:16 AM Forum: Telescope Making

A Diamond In The Rough??

Posted By Domenic Quadrini

Hello, Bill. I have one of the straight through versions -- Meade 9X60. Has a helical focuser and takes .965 eyepieces (interchangeable).

The finder had a 3.5-degree field of view, which is rather small for a finder. I recently modified it by adding a Celestron wide field Kellner. However, the new eyepiece would not come to focus, so I cut the tube and reattached the focuser with three screws.

The finder is now a 12X60 with a 4.3-degree field of view. Optics are very sharp. Gamma Andromedae is an easy split.

The dew cap on mine does screw into the lens cell. Once removed you can get to the threaded ring that holds the objective in the cell. On mine there are no slots for a spanner wrench, so removing the objective retainer might prove difficult. On the other hand, it is a cemented objective, so both surfaces can be cleaned without removing it from its cell. Good luck on refurbishing your right angle version.

Dom Q.

March 11, 2007 03:32 AM Forum: Pictures of Me and My Telescope and........

Throwback

Posted By Domenic Quadrini

Hi James. Beautiful scope. I have one of those that I'll be posting soon. My lens is made in USA. Did you assemble the scope yourself from parts or is it a package deal? What brand(s) of components did you use?

Dom Q.

July 17, 2007 03:55 AM Forum: Equipment Talk

Re: Need a dingus thingamabob....

Posted By Domenic Quadrini

Greg, could you rig two fish scales in parallel?

Dom Q.

July 17, 2007 04:25 AM Forum: Equipment Talk

Re: Need a dingus thingamabob....

Posted By Domenic Quadrini

Greg,

Once you figure out how to measure the force (I'm not sure why you chose 200 pounds) you then need to decide where to apply it. From one of your previous posts you seemed to indicate that the wind could topple the scope. Try to insure that one of the legs is downwind, that is pointing in the direction toward which the wind is blowing.

it seems that the greatest resistance to the wind is the scope itself, so that the moment of the force about the feet of the tripod is greatest there. So apply the force somewhere at the scope itself. Tie a band around the scope just above the mount head and apply the force by pulling in the direction that is opposite the "downwind" leg. (This is a worst case situation. Pulling in the same direction as the downwind leg should require more force to topple the rig.) Have someone standing by to catch the scope in case you pull too hard.

Another alternative to a scale is to rig up a pully on a stand or makeshift tripod so that the pulley is at the same height of the point of application of the force. Tie a line from the scope passing over the pulley and tie weights to the end of the line. Keep adding weights until the scope is about to topple. Training weights would be ideal. Or borrow some counterweights. You could rig up several pulleys to reduce the amount of weight required, but this technique is already approaching Rube Goldberg territory with just one.

Good luck with your project.

Dom Q.

January 10, 2008 05:42 PM Forum: Refractors

APO Help Needed

Posted By Domenic Quadrini

I certainly would not replace the 6" f/9 Starfire with a 5" f/9 APO of any make. I have a 6" f/9 Starfire and with the photovisual telecompressor it works at about f/6.5. Yhe mount is substantial and it is not what I consider portable. If you are considering a smaller scope, I hope it is because of portability or mount capability, rather than any expected appreciable gain in imaging performance. i.e. go for a 5" f/6 or f/7, given these reasons for changing scopes.

Dom Q.

February 3, 2008 02:40 PM Forum: Equipment Talk

Losmandy G-100

Posted By Domenic Quadrini

Charlie, I own the last G-100 that was sold. It is anodized black, not blue. Shortly after I purchased it, the G-11 was introduced for almost $500 less. I called Scott and asked if I could return the GM-100 and buy a G-11 instead, since the two mounts looked similar in almost every way.

He said of course, but there are some differences between the two mounts.
He told me that the bearings in the GM-100 are larger, the declination shaft of the Gm-100 is 1.5" threaded stainless, vs. the 1.25" smooth shaft of the G-11, the saddle plate has two securing bolts and is longer. The GM-100 is rated for 75 pounds vs. 60 for the G-11.

However, the GM-100 has a tangent arm declination drive, so it can not be converted to GOTO. I decided to keep the GM-100 and I am very happy with my decision. I found that it easily handled a C-14. It now hosts a D&G 5" f/15 refractor.

No instructions came with the mount.

Dom Q.

April 2, 2008 05:54 PM Forum: Astro-Physics

Waiting list for 160 mm refractor

Posted By Domenic Quadrini

Well, I've been on the list since September of 2000, Guess my notification, not the scope, is about a year away. Never thought it would take this long.

Dom Q.

May 10, 2008 02:14 AM Forum: Equipment Talk

Too long dewshield?

Posted By Domenic Quadrini

Bob,

Look through the tube from the eyepiece end without an eyepiece. Be sure the end of the focuser is at the focus position. If you can see the end of the dew shield as you move your eye placement, then the shield is blocking some light. Probably only a problem with wide field eyepieces.

Dom Q.

March 4, 2009 03:14 AM Forum: Astro-Physics

Re: AP130 Gran Turismo Notification

Posted By Domenic Quadrini

Thanks, William, Ivan.

Ivan, although it is on wheely bars, I do not consider it portable. That HGM 200 equatorial head, without the counterweights, weighs 90 pounds.

Dom Q.