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Posts Made By: Michael Broder

September 24, 2002 05:46 PM Forum: Home Observatories

Help Florida Building Code Nightmare!

Posted By Michael Broder

HI all,
I was considering putting up either a home dome or one of the new Pre Fab clamshell from Astralnomicon. To my surprise my city told me that the observatory or dome must conform to the Florida building code. Every accessory building must be permitted here. That means that the structure or dome must be able to withstand a 3 second 130MPH gust of wind without damage. THis is NUTS. I don't think such a thing exists! The new code went into effect here in March. My understanding is that the code for MIAMI is 140MPH. I can understand that they would want things to stay together in a hurricane but I think this is ridiculous for an accessory BLDG. Anyone else in Florida have this problem any lawyers out there with advice?

February 24, 2003 08:11 AM Forum: CCD Imaging and Processing/Solar System

Double Images

Posted By Michael Broder

HI everyone,
I'm going nuts. I can't figure out why I'm getting double images with my ST-xe. I have an LX200GPS, it is perfecly balanced but the RA drive seems to be skipping or binding. I can't take an exposure longer than a minute or so. I took the cover off the bottom, everything looks just fine. The tilt plate has enough (but not too much play. Can anyone offer any ideas or suggestions. I am usein the st-XE with CFW and AO-7 attached but I'm not doing any autoguiding those feature are turned off. WHen I turn the AO-7 on I get squiggly lines instead of stars. I attached a very raw 1 minute exposure(light) the doubling is more evident on the darker edges but is also there in the central portion.
Thanks in advance

June 4, 2003 03:43 PM Forum: Home Observatories

Anyone out there Have a Sirius Observatory?

Posted By Michael Broder

After doing a lot of research, I've come to the conclusion that the Sirius 3.5m Observatory will meet my needs. It is made in Australia and well built with robotic options.
They will also certify it for my wind code here in Florida for $750. It must be able to withstand a 3-4 second 140mph gust of wind. Anyone out there have one of these?
Thanks Mike

March 3, 2004 09:46 AM Forum: Deep Sky Observing

Request input on potential new dark sky site

Posted By Michael Broder

Hello everyone,
Like most of us I am frustrated by the light pollution around my home. Yes, I can observe from this small town location but there is nothing like a nice dark sky. I recently came across an opportunity to acquire a dark sky site that is different from the ones in Arizona and New Mexico. It has potential, and I'm thinking of using it as a sub tropical dark sky bed and breakfast. It will be located on a Carabbean island. The skies would not be quite as dark as the western US sites, but more like the site in Chiefland Florida. The diffenence would be tolerable sun and a beach on the property, with the opportunity for local snorkelling, scuba diving, and fishing if you get tired of staying up all night observing or taking photos. There is easy access with an airport nearby and daily scheduled airline service.
Would anyone out there be willing to pay to stay at a site like that? If so, what do you think is reasonable,and how often would you go there? Local hotels and inns range from about $120/night without meals and telescope. I would probably have a couple of telescopes set up for use. You bring your own camera and laptop(for now).
If I do this, I must be able to break even on my costs. I wouldn't stay on the site except for a few weeks a year but there would be management staff there. I would say the lodging will be able to accomodate at least a dozen people at a time very comfortably. There are over 4000 sq.ft of living space and multiple bathrooms.
I look forward to all of your invluable input.
Dr. Michael Broder
Punta Gorda, FL

May 15, 2005 08:10 AM Forum: Equipment Talk

Observatory Pier Support Question

Posted By Michael Broder

Hello group,
I am in the process of speaking with a contractor to add a room to my house which will have a 3rd Floor observatory using a 10 foot Pro-Dome. We have come up with preliminary drawings. The contractor however, is not familiar with observatory theory and design. I am no expert either. Being that the Pier support needs to be isolated from the observatory floor, I proposed a 20 foot steel I Beam spanning the width of the structure to support the pier. The beam would be in between the ceiling of the 2nd floor ceiling and 3rd floor observatory floor floating in between these 2 structures. I am not sure if this is a good thing to do. I am concerned with vibration of the I Beam and sagging of the beam from the weight of the scope. Right now the scope will be a 14" LX-200GPS. I may decide to re mount it later on an AP-1200.
Can anyone point me in the direction of somone that would be knowledgeable about observatory design an engineering.
One last thing this being Florida, and having had hurricane Charley pass right over our house last year eyewall and all, the entire structure must be able to withstand a 140MPH 3 second gust.(We sustained 155MPH constant. Also the building code here mandates the inside ceiling height me a minimum of 7'8", that would make for a very tall pier!
Mike Broder
Punta Gorda FL

June 13, 2007 09:09 AM Forum: Equipment Talk

Wide Field CCD finder??

Posted By Michael Broder

I'll finally be setting up my observatory and mounting my scope in it within a few weeks. I plan to run remotely everything from the office inside my house and will be doing ccd imaging. I've done this in the past but would bring the scope in afterwards. Anyway, I was thinking that I'd like to have a second wide field real time ccd image to help me see the "bigger picture" and to have a backup to see how the guiding is going with the second real time image. Has anyone tried this? I've been thinking of using something like a DSI coupled to a 7x50 finderscope. A Mallincam would be kind of expensive. I know the field size of the image would be limited by the small size of the ccd chip. Has anyone tried this or have any suggestions? I'd be using a separtate computer and montior for this. I would actually split the screen on the second monitor between the finder ccd and a separate low light camera that would be trained on the telescope in case of a runaway or other problem where I could kill the power from my office in such an event.
Thanks in advance,

December 1, 2008 09:29 AM Forum: AstroMart FAQ

What happened to Rosenberg(Mikhail)?

Posted By Michael Broder

It's been really quiet on that front. No new prototypes? Herb, have you heard from him? Is your scope on the way.
Looks like he caught the attention of our Australian friends too.


December 18, 2017 06:47 AM Forum: Equipment Talk

Has anyone worked on an SBIG STL Camera?

Posted By Michael Broder

I have an STL-11000 camera with a defective CCD Chip. All the corners are light. I got the camera like that. I found a replacement 11002 chip that I would like to install myself. Has anyone out there pulled one of these cameras apart. Aside from getting dust on the Chip is there anything else I should be concerned with?


April 10, 2020 07:41 PM Forum: ASTRONOMY

Barlow lens and contrast

Posted By Michael Broder

Ok, here goes.  A barlow lens increases magnification by making the apparent F ratio of the telescope higher.  Being a minus lens it makes the primary mirror, or objective lens appear farther away.  Wondering if it does anything for contrast.  It is well known that higher F rations give objects better contrast.  Wondering if the apparent F ratio increase with a barlow lens can do the same? Reason for question is I'm leaning towards a low F ratio OTA for photography but, it would be used on occasion for visual observing, hence a barlow in the focal path for contrast, if that works.

May 12, 2020 11:40 PM Forum: ASTRONOMY

Flat Field of a 14" LX-600

Posted By Michael Broder

I'm wondering if anyone out there has any idea for the diameter of the flat field for one of these scopes.  My LX-200 GPS had a very small one.  You could see the field curvature at the eges on a KAI 2020 ccd chip. I was told the flat field on the LX 600 is much wider.
Any input would be appreciated.