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Posts Made By: Andy Sedlacek

September 17, 2013 01:36 AM Forum: Eyepieces

The big, green "Circle R" thing

Posted By Andy Sedlacek

A very knowledgeable A-marter kindly advised me that (R) on the TeleVue was nothing more than the registered stamp, and that it really isn't special to notate when posting a TeleVue product for sale. While I FULLY agree with him (and I did have my suspicions beforehand that this really was what (R) meant), IS IT TRUE that the earliest TeleVue plossls show the (R) stamp? Many profess it is. I do know that I have TeleVue plossls and early Nagers that do not use the (R) at all. What is even more intriguing; (R) and (NJ) do not seem to appear together on the black body of the eyepiece.

I thought the earliest of all TeleVue eyepieces had "Japan" stamped in green rather than having "Japan" punched on the eyepiece's black barrel (and looking rather inconspicuous). Any thoughts my friends? My ears (or more appropriately) my eyes are WIDE open on this one.

On a short, final note, I have EXTREME difficulty in discovering the true answer to this topic. The internet is POLLUTED with unverified information. Cloudy Nights sometimes drives me up the creek because everyone's opinion appears to "be correct".

Always the best to my astro-buddies.

October 12, 2013 04:20 AM Forum: Beginning Astronomy?

Re: what started it for me

Posted By Andy Sedlacek

Back in 1988 (yeah, I'm a young-onion!) mommy took me to Frontier Park (Pierce County Fair Grounds, WA) and all I can remember is we looked through an orange C8 at Sirius, the Moon, and Juptier. That was amazing, and it kinda sparked a flame of astronomical interest in my naughty, juvenile mind. But the true impact did not hit me until I received my very first telescope; a Jason 454, that stargazing interest emerged as more than a Nintendo-game passing fancy.

Even to this day, I remember nearly getting my rear reddened because i woke-up my mom and sister at 9:30pm on a school night (yes, I jumped out my bedroom window with the Jason) because I was certain I found Armstrong's foot print. What I was really seeing was a WAY overpowered and majorly out-of-focus image of the Moon projecting my eyelashes; as is notorious in Huygens oculars.

The name of that Jason was "Blacky" and I had him until sometime in 2002. It was actually a great telescope (NOT THE MOUNT!) when the ol Meade 5-element super plossls were put into it. If I can find a photo of Blacky, I'll have to upload it here.

October 14, 2013 08:21 PM Forum: Celestron


Posted By Andy Sedlacek

Okee-dokee....I think I may have finally found my "Special" Orange C8 who will ultimately team-up with my "Special" C5. Here's the only issue. I also found those darn hard-to-find Vixen dovetail mounting shoes (it mount to the underside of the C8 ota so it can glide on the Vixen dovetail bar). CAN THIS VIXEN SHOE SAFELY MOUNT TO AN ORANGE C8?

I ask this because I am pretty sure that no orange C8(s) were ever sold on the SP mount. I have only seen them on fork tines. And I would hate to DISGRACE a vintage tube by drilling extra holes or running a screw too deep into the primary assembly. So yeah, HELP THIS LUNATIC PLEASE!

Always the best friends

December 8, 2013 09:41 PM Forum: Eyepieces

Re: HELP, experience with Meade 4000, yellow and w

Posted By Andy Sedlacek

Pretty good ad.

As a huge fan of the legendary Series 4000, there are differences with each:

1) the non-rubber ringed plossls are school bus yellow lettering with "Japan" inscribed on the anodized body. These are the valuable 5-element designs equal to TV plossls.

2) the rubber-ring, next gen plossls are still school bus yellow lettered, but Japan now appears inscribed on the chrome barrel. These are 4-element plossls that are very sharp, but NOT as well color corrected.

3) by the very late '90s, "Taiwan" was inscribed on the chrome barrel, but all other items remain unchanged including optical quality.

4) The first series of 4000s made in China have no markings anywhere on the eyepiece itself, except on the box, that they came from China. HOWEVER, the lettering is now only light yellow; like poor-quality Heliodor. The eyepiece also feels lighter when picked-up.

5) today's 4000s are almost pure white to my eyes. Again, no marking on the chrome barrel. Color correction is not as good as the Taiwan derived model.

Hope this helps friend.

All the best

December 15, 2013 05:40 AM Forum: Antique/Classic/Vintage Optical Instruments

No Baby Blues with this Brandon!

Posted By Andy Sedlacek

Ah HA! Finally! I finally got to use my long-in-search late '80s Brandon 94mm triplet.

So as the photo shows, this is how the finder SHOULD be mounted...Up by the dew shield! The focuser (especially accommodated by old-boy Tele-Vue glass) is heavy and throws balance off very fast on my GP mount. It is a real match made in heaven and only 30% the weight of my GP-D Tak setup, which is reserved for only the very best nights of the year.
To those unfamiliar with the B-94, they are DENSE and the GP mount would be a minimal mount. Given I still have an allowance of an additional 5 pounds after a big eyepiece is on-board.
The original seller (from ebay) had been using this on the Meade 4500 mount!! He was lucky this didn't go crashing down! Aack!

The last time I saw a Brandon 94 in person was at Tacoma Astronomical Society's public night in 1997. It was always fun to see the wide sweep of M45. It was the only telescope (in a choice mass of 15 available) that could do this. So looking through it earlier tonight with my wife, Jill, was a real time travel for me. We didn't try to look at M45 though, the Moon was "dog-guarding" it!

The night here had a break in the fog and temperatures plummeted 10 degrees in 40 minutes; so seeing teeter-tottered A LOT in the 50 minutes I got to play with it. The 40mm TeleVue Wide Field was able to corral the entire sword of Orion and almost got a hint of Saiph in the corner. Then we put the Ultima 80mm eyepiece (it had almost 1 FOOT of eye relief!) in the diagonal and we got the sword and nearly all of the belt in one view! WOW! Pinpoint stars in the Ultima. The Wide Field got ever so slightly soft in the last 5-8 degrees on the rim; to be expected from this top-shelf classic.

Interestingly enough, the Meade 8.8mm UWA and the 9mm Nagler WILL NOT come to focus. I can barely get the Vixen LVW-5 to work. I have just the itty-bit right amount of in-focuse travel to resolve with him. Luckily Brandons (at least this one) have that exact "snap focus" effect like many of my Takahashis; so reaching focus is in an extremely small window. It is either dead on or completely fuzzy.
The best view of the night was awarded to the 20mm Nagler T2 (Japan); pinpoint all the way to...What edge? I can't find it!

On a final note and an important one: I was very concerned that the very beautiful and smooth deluxe focuser WOULD NOT hold eyepieces like the 40mm Wide Field or the 20mm Nagler (both well over 2-pounds when combined with the 2-inch diagonal). It held! It held all night and I didn't have to rack the set screw all the way down for the compression clamp to engage. Since I am pretty much strictly a visual dude, I guess I'm in the clear and this Brandon has proven its worth to be a family member.

Any other 94 owners out there? What's your favorite experience?

All the best my friends!

December 24, 2013 03:25 AM Forum: Eyepieces

Education from University Optics please...

Posted By Andy Sedlacek

Many of you know I am a very rabid ocular hoarder. So I finally landed a rare one, and he's in stellar condition; a UO "flat top" 16mm Konig. Haven't yet had time to test it in the Takahashis (I know the Brandon and Juno will reject it) and so while I wait for good skies, I have a few questions for the UO experts...

1) What is the age difference between the flat top 16 with the model numbers and the ones without? Mine has the additional numbers as seen in the photos.

2) How far back do these go? I have the later (early '90s) 16mm Konig, which is volcano-top style.

3) Is the leather pouch original to the eyepiece? I have, in the past, come across eyepieces (and camera parts) that were accompanied by leather pouches. The eyepiece is a perfect fit inside it, but the pouch has no label.

Thanks for the education boost... I'll need it in order to get my diploma at UO!!

December 29, 2013 04:19 AM Forum: Antique/Classic/Vintage Optical Instruments

Re: oldies but goodies

Posted By Andy Sedlacek

My top favorite "oldie" scopes I've owned; "1" being the finest.....

1...Criterion RV-6 "CRITTER" (very early '60s)
2...Celestron (orange) C5 "ORANGE COOLIUS"
3...Celestron C80 (1980s)
4...Celestron C90 rubberized
5...Cave 6" f/6 "WANDA" 1979

I didn't list the Cave above the RV-6 because the mirror was originally received with 1/6th wave optics; if I remember right. I found this pretty disappointing knowing the reputation of nearly any Cave was a remarkable one. Of course after the primary was re-figured and given the best coatings at OWL, it was a worthy contender on the field.

To date, out of the box (used loosely), Critter is the best "needed-no-attention" mirror I have ever, EVER seen; one of the reasons I chose to give the scope such an over-the-top restoration. Many telescopes of similar size (and considerable larger price tags) will fail next to it optically, but will probably trump it mechanically. If the mount were not so sensitive to being perfectly balanced on the declination axis, it would be THE BEST EVER reflector I have ever owned size-for-size.

One scope that should not be left out is the Bausch and Lomb Legacy 80/800 sct. It sounds funny, but that was my first cat and it was my travel companion through my entire high school years. It was also a noteworthy telephoto lens for my AE-1 and provided me with great close-ups of squirrels, owls, and foxes.

All the best

January 5, 2014 01:57 AM Forum: Celestron

C5 advice please!

Posted By Andy Sedlacek

Okay, so I have two goals I need to meet with my orange C5 "Orange Coolius" and I need a friend to help me....

1) How do I mount to a Vixen GP? It has the original "photographic foot" adapter, but I see no way to mount a dovetail bar (kind of want to stay clear of driving screws into this lovely ota). Are there Vixen rings that would fit this size of tube?

2) Did Celestron ever make the original gray hard-shell dew shields for these C5s?

Thanks all for the advice!

January 19, 2014 11:16 PM Forum: Equipment Talk

Re: hybrid diagonal

Posted By Andy Sedlacek

The very best constructed hybrid diagonal I have ever used is/was the one by Parks Optical. VERY thickly constructed and a good grind on the mirror. If it is a prism, however, the image should be brighter. But only very modestly so.

All the best

April 9, 2014 01:06 AM Forum: Eyepieces

Brandon eyepieces to be used on???

Posted By Andy Sedlacek

Out of extreme curiosity, I have wondered what model of telescope the Brandon eyepiece line is aimed at. Are they for the Brandon refractors (130, 94, and 62) or the Questar 3.5 and 7. I know that most Questars use threaded oculars.

I did have a 30mm Vernon Scope ocular that was very commendable in my Vixen 102ED and I'd like to try a 48mm when I get the chance...Especially for the bigger dobs.

All the best