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Posts Made By: James C Chandler Jr

October 1, 2008 10:25 PM Forum: Eyepieces

Axiom LX

Posted By James C Chandler Jr

Am ignorant of astronomy equipment, but nevertheless here are some newb user opinions on Axiom LX 15mm and 10mm.

Apologies for 'too much information' biographical info, but this 'mini-review' is perhaps best judged considering my limited experience and specific application.

Test scopes include an F6.5 C102mm achro refractor w/2" dielectric diagonal, F3.75 SV 80mm achro finder (modified with a 1.25" mirror diagonal & homemade focuser), F4 50mm Antares finder (modified with a Borg focusing 1.25" astro prism), and CPC 1100 SCT w/AP visual back and dielectric diagonal.

Have become fond of small fast refractors for wide sky views. Since the CPC 1100 is really nice up to about 1 degree FOV, the idea was to piggyback a couple of small scopes to supplement simultaneous views in 2-to-4 degree FOV, and 4-to-8 degree FOV.

For really wide views, excessive aperture is supposedly 'wasted' with too-large exit pupils, so it seems logical/economical to get wide views from relatively small fast scopes with relatively short eyepieces, rather than a bigger scope using some 40mm monster heavy eyepiece. At such low magnification, haven't noticed excessive visual achro color from the fast inexpensive refractors. Initial experimentation with inexpensive scopes, makes me suspect that the typical inexpensive fast achromat might be 'pretty good' nowadays. Or maybe my eye isn't good enough. Take yer pick.

Anyway, started out experimenting with various inexpensive eyepieces. The nicest inexpensive EPs I tried included Expanse and Q70, though those have some edge fuzziness on fast refractors.

The first two premium EPs tried, were 24mm Pan and 13mm Nagler T6. Pan 24mm seems 'almost perfect' in the fast refractors and it works great in the F6.5 and F10 scopes too. Pan 24 has comfortable non-eyeglass eye relief for me.

The 13mm NT6 works great too, but eye relief seems a little tight. Maybe my eye is too deep in the socket, or eyelashes too long, but the most comfortable eye-placement for the 13mm T6 is far enough back that the visible Apparent Field is about the same as the AFOV of the Pan 24. Which is fine, because that is 'wide enough' fer me. If I get close enough to the 13mmT6, to see the field stop, my eyelashes smear grease all over the eyelens. It is probably a personal eye anatomy issue, because many users don't report that problem.

I wanted additional 'premium' choices in the mid-focal length. Selection criteria:

1. EP not incredibly heavy.
2. EP not ridiculously long.
3. Eye Relief preferably greater than 12mm.
4. Good edge correction.
5. Preferably a 1.25" eyepiece.

Those restrictions seemed to rule out 16mm Nagler T5, 17mm Nagler T4, or most Speers-walers. Pentax XW or Vixen/Stratus/Hyperion are somewhat physically large and/or not available in desired focal lengths.

WO 16mm UWAN seemed possibly worth a try, but WO doesn't sell a 'parfocal' UWAN in the 10mm ballpark.

Axiom LX reviews are somewhat scarce, but the few reviews found are positive re optical performance. Axiom LX are not ridiculously heavy or long, and nominally parfocal, though the 'pregnant guppy' physical appearance doesn't immediately look like a strong marketing asset.


Anyway, after several nights testing, am pleased with the Axiom LX 15mm and 10mm. They work good in the CPC 1100 (F10) and C102 (F6.5).

The Axiom LX 15mm and 10mm in the tiny fast refractors, seem about equally well-corrected with the Pan 24 and Nagler 13mm T6. On wide views, on all four EP's, the view is crisp except at extremes of the FOV. On extremes of the FOV on the F3.75 SV F80, stars are rounder than perfect points, but remain well-focused as far as my eye can tell. No 'comet-like' smearing of the stars anywhere in the FOV.

By comparison, the Expanse 20mm and 9mm get noticeably more fuzzy at the edges, and the Expanse AFOV is noticeably narrower, though they perform pretty well considering the cost.

In another comparison, the Antares finder EP and the SV 23mm finder EP, have much narrower nominal 50-ish AFOV, and stars are noticably large blobs past halfway out from the narrow AFOV. So an Expanse seems much better than a typical Finder EP, and the Pan, Nagler, or Axiom LX seem much wider and crisper than the Expanses.

The Axiom LX eye relief seems somewhat better than the Nagler 13mm T6. Adjusting the eye position to avoid eyelash-smearing the eyelens, the AFOV looks somewhat wider than the Nagler 13mm T6 to my eye anatomy.

The Axiom LX seem about as bright, with similar contrast, as the Nagler T6 and Pan 24mm. The Expanses look 'perceptibly' dimmer than the Televue and Axiom LX EP's, though the Expanses work awfully well considering their price.

The fat-wide 'pregnant guppy' configuration of the Axiom LX isn't as un-ergonomic as I expected. In fact, it works pretty well. By adjusting the eyeguard just high enough to keep eyelashes off the eyelens, I can lightly rest the bridge of nose on the wide eyeguard and reliable keep the eye in the 'sweet spot'.

Axiom LX seems to work pretty well overall. Was impressed enough to order a 7mm Axiom LX.

They seem to work quite well on fast small refractors, but haven't the foggiest idea if they would give similar performance on a fast newt. Fast big newts might be an entirely different ballgame than small fast refractors or 'big' SCT. Dunno.

October 3, 2008 11:37 PM Forum: Eyepieces

70-ish mm Bolt Case?

Posted By James C Chandler Jr

The 18mm Meade 5000 UW is an odd size.

The Meade 18mm 5K UW is a few mm too fat to fit in a 65mm ID plastic bolt case, but the 80mm bolt case is at least 10mm too large for this eyepiece.

An 80mm ID bolt case is ridiculous overkill for the Meade 18mm 5K UW. It might as well be rattling around inside a coffee can or paint bucket (grin).

The common inside diameter of bolt cases seems to be 42mm, 52mm, 65mm, and 80mm.

Does anyone sell a 70 or 72mm plastic bolt case?


An additional curiosity question-- Are these bolt cases specifically manufactured for eyepieces? Or are they repurposed from a larger-market application?


October 7, 2008 12:23 PM Forum: Politics

Re: Infinite Depth of the Fed Pocket

Posted By James C Chandler Jr

October 8, 2008 12:15 PM Forum: Politics

Catherine Austin Fitts - Tapeworm Economy

Posted By James C Chandler Jr

She has interesting ideas, though some of it borders on 'black helicopter' incredibility. Or maybe not? Am ignorant.

She slams Bush 1 & pals, Clinton & pals, and Bush 2 and pals, so at least is an equal-opportunity offendor.

October 8, 2008 04:38 PM Forum: Pet Pics

Cat Surveillance

Posted By James C Chandler Jr

Cat Surveillance Patrol

October 13, 2008 08:32 AM Forum: Politics

Shades of Orwell's Ministry of Truth

Posted By James C Chandler Jr

Have often thought about changing web references as possibly similar to the Rectification of History by Orwell's Ministry of Truth. If properly regulated, the web would make a Ministry of Truth so much more efficient and bulletproof.

Have noticed such changing history on official political websites. Of both parties. And of course wikipedia is quite plastic just depending on who decides to 'enhance and correct' a topic.

As we become more internet-dependent for information, this is an issue which possibly requires future planning, regarding audit trails and such. Regardless of what politician is in power, it would be desirable to develop a plan to keep the internet from becoming a Ministry of Truth.

Here is an interesting developing example:

If you do a google for "social policy" "Case Study: Chicago- The Barack Obama Campaign"

Click the found link (, and then click the little 'cache' link at the bottom of that google hit.

Since this issue has already hit the infosphere, perhaps you will get different results than I do, and perhaps readers tomorrow or next week will get yet different results.

This just ain't no reliable way to document history (grin).

October 18, 2008 10:12 AM Forum: Politics

Re: Why Ayn Rand?

Posted By James C Chandler Jr

Rand had some interesting ideas, but she was usually a dull read for me. Not enough spaceships and ray guns. But Rand was certainly not as dull a read as the likes of Henry James. Your reports of her personal life gives me new respect (grin).

Many influential people have been rather quirky. Not certain if the quirks are suitable to impeach the 'influential' ideas or actions. Maybe ideas/actions should stand of their own merit, regardles of personal oddities?

Freud ended life as a cocaine addict. Freud was mostly BS, but he did spark a lot of further thought. A pioneer.

Ole Andrew Carnegie took joy in completely crushing competitors, then gave away all the marbles to build a zillion libraries. Shades of Bill Gates?


There are 1 dimensional political vectors. The left-right Liberal/Conservative vector, with a certain set of attributes assigned to each end of the vector.

A personal freedom vector with Anarchy on one end, and Communism/Fascism on the other end. This vector purported to demonstrate that 'left' communism and 'right' fascism are actually the same thing.

There are perhaps multiple vector coordinate systems that have been cooked up by political scientists with nothing better to do. Am ignorant.

A common two-dimensional coordinate system has been around awhile. Folks here have probably already seen this, but if not, here is a link--

World's Smallest Political Quiz

I score nearly radical libertarian, with the only failing to the party line, serious doubts about free trade and immigration. I believed Perot's "giant sucking sound", and do not believe in open borders. But maybe I'm wrong about that one, dunno.

In some previous versions of the grid, the 'Statist Big Government' quadrant was also decorated with the label 'Authoritarian'.

Perhaps that decoration was removed, because folks in any quadrant can be authoritarian. Politics seems to attract authoritarians like flies to dog poop.

Maybe 'authoritarian' would make a decent third vector in the coordinate system. Guess the number of dimensions could be infinitely expanded, so I suppose it is wise to be as economical as possible doling them out (grin).

October 22, 2008 01:02 AM Forum: Pet Pics

Re: Silly Critter Pictures

Posted By James C Chandler Jr

Julia, those are fabulous pictures! I especially like the Sheep-Jumper and the Confident Cat. Did you take all those? Great talent.

The Confident Cat looks like a violation of all known laws of nature. Incredible that dogs could be well-trained enough to let the cat get away with that.

The Sheep-Jumper almost looks photoshopped, but have seen similar brave dawg jumping. Awfully difficult to trigger the shutter at just the right moment. Did the dog use fore-feet to launch off the sheep's backside, or is that just his flying posture after a clean leap?

Years ago when they were young, my big Lab Retriever would run full-speed straight-line after a ball, and the little Australian Shepherd could pace her, repeatedly jumping entirely over the Lab from one side to the other. A FAST little Aussie. That was such an improbable feat, it is hard for me to believe it ever happened. They did it routinely till they got old and started slowing down. Was too dumb to take photos.

October 23, 2008 12:55 PM Forum: Pet Pics

Re: Heaven

Posted By James C Chandler Jr

Hi Julie

That is the same story as one of my favorite Twilight Zone episodes. Perhaps the story predated the show.

This wikipedia link-- At the bottom of the page there is a link to a CBS page where you can watch the entire episode. It is a real tear-jerker. I had to reload the CBS page a couple of times before it would play.

October 30, 2008 05:55 PM Forum: Telescope Making

Homebrew Reticle Illuminator

Posted By James C Chandler Jr

A very simple DIY project, Reticle illuminator.

Here it is attached to a StellarVue 23mm Reticle eyepiece.