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Posts Made By: Andy Sedlacek

April 15, 2014 12:31 AM Forum: After Dark

The Rusty Moon

Posted By Andy Sedlacek

Anyone else get to watch the lunar eclipse tonight (now morning)? Clouds were increasing all night here in the Spokane, WA vicinity, but Jill and I were able to see it reach total darkness before it became solid overcast.
I was going to sit outside all night and watch, now too cloudy. Oh well; it was a good show while it lasted.

May 10, 2014 05:44 PM Forum: Equipment Talk

Mystery bolt

Posted By Andy Sedlacek

I was rummaging through my spare parts bin and I found this on the bottom; had it for about 5 years now. It came with a whole bunch of reflector items...I'm thinking the past owner was trying to build a scope of his own.

Anyway, anyone know what this is? I know for a fact that the teflon square goes with it.

Best all!

May 30, 2014 11:37 AM Forum: AstroMart FAQ


Posted By Andy Sedlacek

Last night (early am today) I bought 3 auctions and posted my Unitron 160 head with a reserve price...I also wanted to start the bidding at $5.

When I got up today to see my auction, I see that my friend Jon King is high bidder at $1.00 and that no where does it say "Reserve Not Met". I then checked to see how many reserve auctions I have left and it says "2". I DESPERATELY need to relist this auction or I will be ruined if it goes for a #1 with a Pepsi price.

I need to cancel this auction without selling it for the actual dollar. What do I do? Awaiting council from the masters....

June 18, 2014 11:52 PM Forum: Eyepieces

Interesting results!!

Posted By Andy Sedlacek

So tonight I FINALLY got to haul-out my Galaxy Optics 18" f/4.5 aluminum dob and I cannot tell any of you how astounded I was by image contrast and sharpness wagered by what oculars I chose. For the first time in many years, complex TeleVue eyepieces simply walked all over my vintage collection; wasn't expecting this at all.

I went out with my choice defaults first; the ones I'd be playing with in the Borg, Taks, Vernonscopes, ect... Started off with a 40mm Parks plossl from the 1970s. Sharp, but it started to lose that pinpoint definition within 25 degrees of the center! So I put in my 1992 Axiom 40mm. BIG difference! The stars now focused to true "snap" pinpoints and the resolved edge was great until right around 10-degrees. So then I put in the big heavy, a 40mm Widefield circa 1988. Almost as sharp as the Axiom, but the feeling of a "flat" backdrop was readily apparent.

We're looking at the M13 and M57 back-and-forth by the way, in case yer wonderin'. Upping the power, I switched to a TV Widefield 24.5mm. Same flatness, but the resolved edges were reduced somewhat. So then I took a breath and very carefully slid the Delos 17.3mm into the Moonlite...WOW! Very "black" contrast and very "white" stars that were pinpoint for 60 of the 72 degrees offered. Absolutely whooped the Widefield. I could stare right at the ring and see definition even in my suburbia 4.2 mag skies. Same thing with M13, I could stare at it directly and see sharp points and black space. What a view.
Skies were not very steady though, so I did an ultimate test; an Ethos 13. The stars held up very sharply, but I could tell all those elements were taking a tiny toll on brightness. This, of course, was completely lost as I was wowed by the "Where's the edge of fov!" effect. Threading an OIII to the Ethos, M57 looked like Krispy Kreme donut that had sat in a dust storm....I mean, hey, the donut is gray; I'm not eating it like this, but it still looks COOL!

To finish off the night, I ended a few sights (other than these two objects of prime interest) with a look through the death weight 20mm Nag II, which aside from the Delos, gave the MOST impressively sharp view. And then for a goof off, I inserted the Ultima 80, which gave me something like 60mm eye relief and made M57 look like a star more than a planetary neb.

Good, fun. Can't wait to go south 24 miles where it is 5.7 mag skies and really test the oculars. I just couldn't believe it though. Mainly being an apochromat priss, I walked into this maiden 18 voyage with the concept that plossls and orthos would still dominate. And in truth, they now won't have a home in the big dob.

July 26, 2014 02:29 AM Forum: Antique/Classic/Vintage Optical Instruments

what a FIND!

Posted By Andy Sedlacek

Found this in a local pawn shop 5 miles away. Took it home, did a good 3 1/2 hour deep clean on it (feared the worst was under the dust layers) only to discover this 1977 C5 not only complete, but in showroom condition! Had it out for a few hours tonight and love it. I never, ever get tired of having a happy, orange C5 sitting in the office or in the yard.

All the best

August 19, 2014 01:22 AM Forum: ASTRONOMY

Re: back to your roots

Posted By Andy Sedlacek


I'm not ever going to go back to the scope that started it all; HEAVENS NO!! My very first telescope was a $89.99 Jason 60/800. I called him "Blacky" for years because it was an all black tube on an all black wood tripod with red lettering. This silly little refractor showed me Jupiter, Mars, the Moon (countless times), and even hikers on Mount Rainier from 40 miles away for the first time.

Funny because here I am responding to you (LOL, we are strong, long-known astro-buddies!) in my near middle age. I'll be 35 and I've played with a good 250 telescopes and probably three times as many eyepieces...And a good 140 mounts. The best views ever were with the heaviest, most expensive, nearly the rarest, and largest ever. BUT they are mostly gone now and gone for good. Astronomy is AT LEAST 60% of my life. The rest (not including strong human bonds [we are talking about possessions here]) is a mix between insect and arachnid study and handling, art, writing, making show cars out of imports, hiking, and above all EATING fine food and hunting down reserve Merlot with high points.

When speaking of telescopes (and here I must admit fine Japanese refractors in particular!), I bond longest with apertures in the 3 to 5-inch range. I have a monster 18-inch dob. It is clear outside. Will I go use the monster Galaxy Optics dob and get lost in Stephan's Quintet? No! I will go outside with my good, old (but very bristol!) C5 and use 35 year old orthos from Vixen. Maybe the C5 is too big. Ok. I'll go use my C90. Oh, the planets are out! Okay, I'll pull out the Tak FC-N assembly.
But Andy, you have that huge telescope! It'll smash these puners to stardust! I DON'T CARE!
The little scopes are so much fun to use because they are so easy to use, carry, move, and dinker with.

One thing I am guilty of is going true Japanese on all my vintage setups. What do you mean by that? It means my refractor HAS TO HAVE a guide scope and a finder for the guide scope...And a finder for the main scope! Oh, now we need a balance weight because the smaller scope is using the Ultima 42. So I've made a 4-inch apochromat weigh 100-pounds. Same goes with the silly orange Celestron Cs. They have to have the whistle or the bell won't look right. Even if it is just me using it...must be my compulsiveness.
But whatever, in the end of it all, it is the smaller, simpler instruments that will forever captivate my strongest interests.

Other tiny scopes that absolutely win my heart and ARE NOT an arm in price are the little Cometron 60s on the cast aluminum mini piers, the sexy and must-be-respected C4.5, WE CANNOT forget the Vixen Firstscope C80, Bausch and Lomb 3.1 schmidt, and to top it off, Meade ETX-105 and 2045.
Someday I will hunt down the Coulter CT-100 and I do miss my Sears 76.

And Billy, my good friend, I did revert many years ago back to my second ever refractor. When I was 17, I worked for 10 months to afford a showroom Jason 313 Discoverer. Well, I sold him in 2000 at TMSP (along with other collections) in order to obtain a Compustar 8. In 2008, I was reacquainted with another Jason 313 after years of searching for a prime example. My wife got it for me on my birthday. It still sits in the secondary office on full display. And there are times when only it gets to go outside and receive my complete attention under the stars.

August 21, 2014 02:11 AM Forum: Antique/Classic/Vintage Optical Instruments

My new insane Cave project

Posted By Andy Sedlacek

I've been chasing 8-inch Caves for awhile, but I never expected this! 8-inch f/4.5; maybe 5. Definitely not an f/6.

The motor tracks like a champ and the everything is VERY nicely balanced and smooth. But the mount is not pretty. I see about 30 hours of work here. I may have the Meade 50 guider body and the 50 finder body sent off to be powder coated (just the white part of the tube body!). The fiberglass is in pretty darn good condition and I may leave it be. Luckily ALL the mirrors and lenses are prime.

I notice it has a declination assembly, but it appears to be incomplete.

Should be a fun winter project when Spokane spends nearly 100 days in solid frost.

Best all

March 25, 2015 11:47 PM Forum: Refractors

The C90 fluorite mystery

Posted By Andy Sedlacek

So here's something interesting that will be in my collection soon...

After a LONG search (decade + years) I have found and will be picking-up a mint conditioned 1985 Celestron Super Polaris C-90 Fluorite. This will have all the original whistles and goodies; even a like new and vintage MD-3 stepper motor drive set (like the ones on my SP-DX, but black).

Here's the mystery folks:

In my 1985 Orion catalog, it says the C90 is a "high-precision triplet fluorite system." Uhh..Errr..What?! I though ALL Vixen fluorite scopes were doublets; a Canon-Optron fluorite in the rear and a (German-sourced) crown flint front.

Is this a typo on Orion's part or is the black-tubed C90 fluorite a true triplet system?

The 400 mile drive to get the SP-C90F commences the 2nd week of April.

Best all!

March 30, 2015 01:44 PM Forum: Solar System Observing

Sun is crazy active!

Posted By Andy Sedlacek

Aim your H-alpha scope at the Sun today; I haven't seen it this littered in prominence loops for quite a while! Maybe we'll get another crack at the aurora.

Best all!

April 19, 2015 11:35 AM Forum: Refractors

Super Polaris-90F

Posted By Andy Sedlacek

Well, the LONG drive was worth it. Nestled deep in the alpine forest of MT was sitting unused and completely preserved this SP-90F. Complete with MD-3 drives, manuals, and all accessories ever offered to the SP between 1985-88. This is the most beautiful black-tubed Celestron refractor I have ever come across. The previous owner must have used a felt bio suit when handling it.
All that needed to be done is a slight adjustment of the focuser tensioner and some new gear oil.

When the snow season hits in November, I'm shipping it off to Tex Naut for a full cleaning and report.

Jupiter was astoundingly clear. I did all I could to get false color out of this 90mm and couldn't even with a fully-coated Tani Kellner; attesting to the sheer quality of the Optron fluorite element as well as the perfect collimation. With a 7mm RG ortho, the zonal belts showed their classic cream and Himalayan-salt hues; exactly what I was looking for in this aperture. Interesting that the 1985 Special Coatings C90 was creeping-up on the fluorite at steady pace till after I hit around 88x. It was then becoming evident at a geometric rate that somebody had a central obstruction (oh dear!).

The SP mount is ever bit as smooth as my NJP and far easier to handle than the SP-DX in the other room. Usually I wind-up with a nice SP mount, but that it needs 4-7 new parts (Don Rothman is my hero in these situations), and usually the legs need to be re-stained and re-trained due to moisture over the years; not this SP. It acts like I just bought it from Orion yesterday!

I think I'd like to entertain a 2" diagonal in the future and perhaps on of those black Celestron/Vixen SS80 refractors from the mid '90s that came with or without the LV ocular. I remember the optics in those being better than my Master Birder!

Yelp; hopefully the photo files are of proper size...Here we go!

Best all!!