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Posts Made By: Lee Spain

July 31, 2005 03:30 PM Forum: Beginning Astronomy?

Help me accessorize! $50 at a time...

Posted By Lee Spain

I'm excited to have an Orion Observer 70 alt-az refractor coming my way. It will have 25mm and 10mm Explorer II eyepieces. I'll be initially doing planetary and lunar observing in a light polluted urban location (Atlanta) with occasional excursions to the country.

My question: where should I spend my next $50 in accessories?

I've been considering a barlow or a 6 to 7mm eyepiece or some filters. I've also been wondering how Apogee's close out Plossls ($15) would work. Any suggestions...


August 26, 2005 02:59 AM Forum: Beginning Astronomy?

Improving the $59 telescope

Posted By Lee Spain

Due to persistent clouds, light pollution, and the possibility of another hurricane in the Southeast, it's time to start a meandering thread.

Here is the question: What if you owned a cheap 60mm refractor (like the Celestron PowerSeeker 60)? What would you do to improve it?

The rules:
1) Setting aside $25 a month for a new telescope (i.e. a Takahashi in 2011) is right out.
2) Paying over $60 for any accessory is right out.
3) Paying more than $240 for all the accessories is right out.
4) Fabricating accessories is o.k. but only using commonly found hand tools (i.e. no welding, no machine shop stuff, and no truck load of carpenters willing to work from free like they do on HGTV).

September 9, 2005 02:38 PM Forum: Beginning Astronomy?

Wide Angle Eyepieces on f/10 refractor?

Posted By Lee Spain

Do wide-angle eyepieces that advertise 66-degree and 70-degree fields of view work on scopes with longer focal lengths? Or are they specifically for wide-field scopes?
My telescope is a 70mm refractor with 700mm f.l.

October 22, 2005 02:18 PM Forum: Politics

Re: Andy Rooney is RIGHT ON!

Posted By Lee Spain

FREEZE! 8) All of you stay by your computers. Do not move your hands from your keyboards. Many of you are engaging in a conversation that illuminates differences based upon race, ethnicity, religion, and/or national origin. shocked According to all Fortune 500 corporate training videos, this is a doubleplus ungood conversation. >sad Incorrect opinions have been expressed. >sad It can lead to nothing but increased animosity between amateur astronomers. :S Your real names are known and logged. 8O Again, stay at your keyboards. The Diversity Police are on their way! 8) When they arrive at your house they will address you and instruct you in over 180 different languages. Please be patient. They will eventually cuff you and take you before the Diversity Court. For the good of the Republic, you must be re-educated. 8)

October 25, 2005 10:42 PM Forum: Pictures of Me and My Telescope and........

Re: Ugliest Scope Contest!

Posted By Lee Spain

Here is my Tasco Terminator 606 on a custom made tabletop Dobsonian mount. Notice my super-deluxe GOTO navigation system! grin

It would look nice except -
1. I didn't have a real jigsaw so I had trouble making my curves.
2. I used a rickety TV tray as a workbench.
3. The laminate shelf that I used bulges and breaks near all the screws.

On the plus side, it actually works fairly well!

November 20, 2005 04:31 PM Forum: Politics

Let's sing Kumbaya everyone!

Posted By Lee Spain

I really hate to see our country divided by debate in the middle of a war. I hate to see a massive conflict between cultures trivialized into Republicans versus Democrats. We need to look at the much bigger picture. Would you rather be Carthage or Rome? Aztec or Spaniard? Think carefully. Within a decade, we will probably be involved in a much bigger conflict with much higher stakes. We can either unite now or something very bad will happen to unite us later.

Gee, this is an interesting website:
( )

Hmmm.....I wonder if this guy was serious?

CNN October 27, 2005

Ahmadinejad quoted a remark from Iran's Ayatollah Khomeini, the founder of Iran's Islamic revolution, who said that Israel "must be wiped out from the map of the world."

The president then said: "And God willing, with the force of God behind it, we shall soon experience a world without the United States and Zionism," according to a quote published by IRNA.

Make sure your kids do well in P.E.
Don't let them play with the playstation too much.
Enjoy your weekend! smile
Have a nice day!

November 21, 2005 06:48 PM Forum: Beginning Astronomy?

7x35 Binoculars: Useful for Astronomy?

Posted By Lee Spain

I had a chance to use some 7x35 rental binoculars in an indoor arena over the weekend. I particularly liked their compact size. It could see tucking a small pair of binoculars in a jacket pocket and using them to scan the skies for targets for my 70mm telescope. Would 7x35 binoculars be suitable for this purpose or should I stick to my bulkier 10x50s?

December 6, 2005 04:25 PM Forum: Eyepieces

Easy Eyepiece tests?

Posted By Lee Spain

Can anyone describe some fairly easy tests that the average person can do at home or in the field to determine the quality of an eyepiece?

January 12, 2006 03:18 PM Forum: Equipment Talk

Celestron Powerseeker 127 ?

Posted By Lee Spain

The Celestron Powerseeker 127 Reflector on a Equatorial mount seems to offer a lot of aperture (5" shocked ) for very little money. The main drawbacks that I can see might be inexpensive eyepieces and finder. If those are the main ones, I would think they would be very easy to overcome.

Is this reflector a good choice for observers on a budget?

January 14, 2006 03:11 PM Forum: Reflectors

Are Shorty Reflectors worthwhile?

Posted By Lee Spain

I've seen a lot of short reflectors with built in "corrector lenses" in the tube that provide a longer focal length in a shorter package (e.g. Meade 114EQ-AST, Firstscope 114 4.5" reflector Short EQ) and some with corrector lenses built into the focuser (e.g. Orion Short Tube 4.5 EQ).

Enquiring minds want to know: Do these things work well? How do the images from these short tube reflectors compare to the images produced from traditional full length models? Do they work better and put less of a burden on their EQ mounts?
Are they much easier to handle/store?