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Posts Made By: Steve Hollenbach

November 5, 2009 01:17 PM Forum: Eyepieces

Does an Ethos EP enhance galaxy details?

Posted By Steve Hollenbach

It depends on what galaxy. The short answer is yes, compared to most EPs, but it's specialty is wide field views. On star clusters and a few galaxies, I found the 13mm Ethos slightly supirior to the old 12mm Nagler.

For contrast on Jupiter it was not as good as a Takahashi 10mm LE. So on a galaxy that doesn't need the huge TFOV, the TAK is a good choice. For overall utility the Ethos will see more use.

An eyepiece alone is no substitute for aperture.

That and $3.75 will get you a cup of coffee. ;-)

November 9, 2009 02:29 PM Forum: Eyepieces

Cheaper 2" Eyepieces?

Posted By Steve Hollenbach

I think you're there, and with excellent equipment.

December 4, 2009 09:01 PM Forum: Home Observatories

Cost for a modest Home Observatory

Posted By Steve Hollenbach

Hi Dave,
I have an Exploradome but haven't got it mounted yet. It looks pretty good. Please keep in mind just the dome and hardware cost me about $1977.00. I was lucky as most of that cost was in trade for scopes I parted with.

If you're on a tight budget and can work with basic tools, several styles of roll-off sheds can be done pretty reasonably. Five years ago I built a 6x12 foot garden shed for about $300. The concrete was already there.

One idea I had was a shed on wheels with a big door. You place your pier in concrete. The shed is built around it and protects the scope. At sunset you just open the door pull up two pins and roll the little shed away from the pier. It can sit ten feet away or be kept close. To cut down on electrical costs, just get a heavy duty extension cord and put a laptop on a little folding shelf.

The lower the budget you need to stay within, the more you have to consider pure functionality.

That's my two cents!
Clear Skies!

December 17, 2009 10:22 PM Forum: Maksutovs

where do we go from here?

Posted By Steve Hollenbach

Hi All,
Got the Intes Micro M10/10 Maksutov. Now, if you ever want rain in Arizona, just buy a telescope!
It survived Southwest Airlines and is ready for first light with its third owner. As everyone here has been so helpful, I'll be sure to let you know how it shapes up.

Thanks once again,

December 19, 2009 03:01 AM Forum: Maksutovs

Gregorian Maksutov ?

Posted By Steve Hollenbach

Hi Bruce,
Nice flying wing by the way...

The Meade 7" MAK is Gregorian. The Intes Micro is Rumak. Hope I'm spelling those right. Anyway that 7" scope is about as big as I've seen them.

Meade did manage to keep the size of the secondary under control, but it has some technical oddities to cope with. One being: if you do have to collimate the scope, you must move the whole meniscus assembly.

There's also a very slight cool-down advantage to the Rumak.


December 28, 2009 03:44 PM Forum: Religion

Re: A question for Floyd

Posted By Steve Hollenbach

Hi All,
Took a vacation, but I'm back.

Good question, I agree with most that very little in my life would change. Living as social animals we had to evolve some respect for each other to ensure our own well being. On the other hand that concept being limited to a tribe or clan did lend itself to mistrust of outsiders, and that eveolved into exclusion when popular religions came along.

Religion and belief are two different but related things. And the variety is wide spread. Organised religion is one of the greatest detractors of enlightened belief. They want you to toe the line.

I think everything and every event is a part of God. I do think there is an afterlife albiet not necessarily what we might expect, but do not believe hell exists. After all why would an infinite being put us here just to fail?

As far as how we live, it's all a matter of participation. Sort of like the line from the first modern Olympic games; "Not for victory or defeat, but for participation". I'm sure I misquoted that.

Nope, I'd still be me and still help out when I could. But the proof would have to be exceptional.

How would you live if you won $200 million in the lottery?

Become a Raiders fan? Out of the question!

January 5, 2010 11:43 PM Forum: Equipment Talk

Advice on Quesar Telescope Wanted

Posted By Steve Hollenbach

The little Questars are very good, but have been improved over the years. So the age of the scope and the age of the technology are against you. They are somewhat collectable. If everything's there and in good shape, I think you could ask $2000 and make a sale. I'd start there and back down if necessary. List everything, the Brandon eyepieces are also very good.

However... it is so very portable... Pick up a copy of Astronomy or Sky & Telescope for this month's star chart. Drive out to a dark site. Look up and you might like just it.

Keeping that scope might not get you any cash, but you'd have about the best starter scope around, and it takes up less space than most carry on bags.

There's my two cents, wink

January 7, 2010 01:25 PM Forum: Equipment Talk

Broken CI-700

Posted By Steve Hollenbach

Hi Sonya,
What exactly are the symptoms? I have a CI-700 and had a problem with RA.

The motor ran just fine, that's easy to check by feeling the gears move. Safety tip: don't get your finger or chothing snagged in the gears. If they're moving, your motor and electronics are fine, and it's more likely to be the little O-ring that acts like a clutch. Take off the knob and clean it out.

There's my two cents,

January 28, 2010 07:31 PM Forum: Home Observatories

Some more progress

Posted By Steve Hollenbach

Here's a photo showing the detail on the inside of the ring. I used 18 eyebolts about 4 1/2 inches long and set them all at about the same length protruding into the building. the nut on the outside can be turned to tighten up a spot, effectively pulling that part of the ring inward. I was able to get the ring to within 1/8 inch of a true circle the first try. It's a long slow process, but not very difficult.

You can also see a few of the 300 pan-head screws holding the masonite in place. Why so many? If the masonite gets wet or if the wind really kicks up, they will resist pulling through. I've hung massonite peg boards with drywall screws and had the whole thing come crashing down.

I already had a big scare with high wind. This will be built to take it and more. Already it feels more solid than the house. Hmmm....
More news later!

February 19, 2010 01:59 PM Forum: Religion

Multiple legal systems

Posted By Steve Hollenbach

Hi Mark,
This looks like a follow up to my "Needs of an Open Society" thread.

The state should stay out of church law, during and after any divorce proceeding. Also more of a legal point, if the state grants a divorce, that state cannot then restrict a marriage.

My reason for the other thread was our society in general showing a shift towards intollerance.

I could see cases like human or even animal sacrifice being restricted by a government. However there are a few gray areas.

It's been nearly twenty years now, but back in Missouri a fourteen year old girl was badly injured in a car accident. She was a minor and in need of immediate medical attention. However at that point in time her injuries were not overwhelming.

Her family did not believe in doctors, and gently placed her on a beat up matress in the back of a pickup truck, then drove her home where she died the next day. Strange that they believed in pickup trucks.

At that point in Missouri's history the police were powerless to insist she be taken to a hospital. This brought up two questions.

One, should the state be our keeper? In other words; to what degree should society protect a minor from the actions, beliefs and traditions of her parents?

Two, Is this a case of the state bowing to religious law? In so doing we failed to protect a minor where the immediate care of qualified medical proffessionals could very likely have saved her life.

Just food for thought...