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Posts Made By: Louis Busby

August 19, 2008 07:37 PM Forum: AstroMart FAQ

End Of Service?

Posted By Louis Busby

My DSL service will end 30 September and I will have to change ISPs and will have a new email address. I know I will have to re-register with my new email address which is no problem, but will I also lose my Astromart ratings and feedback? What about my ratings and feedback left for other A-Marters? My support ends in Mar 09. Will that go away as well? Just checking before I switch.

August 30, 2008 08:08 AM Forum: Pictures of Me and My Telescope and........

My Toys and I

Posted By Louis Busby

Here's one of my usual field units. Image shows the main scope which is a Takahashi TOA130. A Tak FS78 rides atop the TOA on a TAK TGM2. The mount is a Losmandy G-11 equipped with Gemini. Plenty of Robin Casady stuff and a Stellarvue F50 finder also, all riding atop a Binoviewer folding tripod.

Photo was taken 2 Aug 2008 at Westmoreland State Park in Virginia.

November 6, 2008 06:35 PM Forum: Takahashi

TAK Top Plate ID

Posted By Louis Busby

Can someone identify this top plate on the TOA130 rings. I need one, but can't find it anywhere.


February 23, 2009 06:09 PM Forum: Takahashi

Forum Silence

Posted By Louis Busby

It seems that a severe lack of Tak owner participation in this forum is a sure sign that Tak users are generally content with their equipment and busy whiling away the evening hours behind their instruments rather than posting. I worry that the Tak forum risks shutdown by brother Herb and Tak discussions being relegated to the refractor forum unceremoniously.

March 12, 2009 04:53 AM Forum: Meteorites & Meteors


Posted By Louis Busby

What is the best way to remove rust and prevent it from reoccuring? I have several slices of Brenham pallasites, a muonionlusta, and a Seymchan that are showning oxidation. I would like to remove the rust and protect the samples from further degradation.


March 23, 2009 08:35 PM Forum: Binoviewers

Wow Factor

Posted By Louis Busby

I've had a Denk binoviewer for some time now. It has become one of those accessories relegated to a shelf in the garage. The biggest reason for that is not being able to bring the darn thing to focus with either my Tak TOA130 or my Mewlon 250. Last night at a star party I decided to do whatever it takes to get the darn thing to work. Firstly, I was never able to bring it to focus with a diagonal on my Mewlon. Finally, I tried it without the diagonal and was able to bring it to focus on M13. All I can say is wow. That thing is a jewel. Now I need to do it with a diagonal because straight through viewing leave my neck in a wrench. I know I need some accessory to allow focusing, but I don't know what it is. There just doesn't seem to be enough infocus with the TOA130 or the Mewlon. What the heck do I need to make this thing work with a diagonal?

April 18, 2009 11:21 AM Forum: CCD Imaging and Processing/Solar System

Saturn 4-18-09

Posted By Louis Busby

It's been some time since imaging. Finally, a little free time and some much needed good weather allowed me a rendition of Saturn.

Scope: Takahashi TOA130 w/5X converter
Mount: Takahashi EM400 Temma 2
Camera: Philips ToUcam 840
914 of 1200 stacked in K3CCDTools
Processing: PS CS2


April 19, 2009 09:22 AM Forum: Takahashi

EM400 Temma 2 - First Impressions (Long)

Posted By Louis Busby

This year I moved from a Losmandy G11 Gemini L4 to a Takahashi EM400 Temma 2 as my primary mount. It is intended to carry my TOA130/FS78 and Mewlon 250S with assorted accessories and astrophotography equipment in various combinations. My perspective is from a portability aspect as I do not have a permanent observatory. Also, I've not used the EM400 for deep space astrophotography yet since I want to be fully comfortable before I engage the pixels.

There are some things I like about the EM400 and some things I do not like about it. My first blush comparison between the G-11 and the EM400 will forego any fit and finish discussions since most of us are aware of the workmanship that goes into the production of both mounts. I also will not address or compare the specifications of the mounts since I believe they are not even in the same class with one another.

The first thing is weight and stability. My G-11 was beginning to strain under the load I was putting on it and for that reason the EM400 or an AP900 was my objective. The EM400 won out only because of its availability and the fact that I got a good deal on Astromart at a time when I actually had money available. The EM400 is a tank and will easily exceed my equipment weight requirement for years to come. However, with capacity and stability come the physical weight of the mount itself and the issue of portability. The EM400 has almost exceeded my capacity to move it around. I'm 57 years old and my stud days are way behind me. So, I'm physically challenged when it comes to packing this thing up, loading into my truck, and setting it up at a field location. The EM400 is one heavy babushka. The mount head alone weighs in at 49 lbs and it is awkward to pickup and carry. I keep the mount head unit and the base unit together for storage and movement so with the base unit attached the total weight comes to 60 lbs. If my back ever goes out I'll be done.

The second thing is setup and polar aligning. With the G-11, I just site in on Polaris and position the mount so that I get three stars to match marked position on graphics visible through the polar alignment scope. The longest exposure I've been able to achieve without an auto-guider is about 240 seconds. The EM400 polar alignment method uses a circular time and date scale to position Polaris at the appropriate place arriving at around 2 arc minutes of the celestial pole. I've yet to use a deep space camera with the EM400, but I was able to keep a guide star centered on a 12mm reticled EP for almost ten minutes before I discerned any drift. I did try a webcam on Saturn my first time out with the EM400 and in three hours of imaging, I never had to adjust the mount to keep Saturn centered on the little webcam's chip.

The third and final comments I will share is go-to functionality. The G-11 two star alignment is straight forward and simple. After a good polar alignment, instructions on the handset walk you through the alignment procedure by prompting you to seek any one of many bright stars in its database. As the night progresses, you can perform alignments on each object you view to achieve a good pointing model. Go-to function is exceptional and places each object to view dead-on center of the EP or CCD chip. The EM400 doesn't use a handset for go-to, but rather depends on a laptop interface and astro software. The learning curve here is a little steep. I use the Sky 6 as my software program. Here's where directions become very vague and confusing. There doesn't seem to be any published step-by-step procedures for synchronizing the computer software with where the scope is pointing. With a little persistence, I was able to achieve synchronization by driving the scope reticle using combinations of manual adjustment and software slew control. Using Arcturus as a target I would center the star in the eyepiece by manually moving the R.A. and Dec axis of the mount. I would then select Arcturus with the cursor arrow on the laptop and slew the scope. Of course it would start wandering around looking for Arcturus not knowing it was already there. When slewing stopped, I would again manually adjust R.A. and Dec to bring Arcturus back to center. After a few episodes of doing this, I would eventually get the software/scope reticle to align with Arcturus on the skymap with Arcturus centered in the EP. I would again, via software select another object and invoke the mount to slew to the new target. So far, I've been able to consistently retain synchronization of the EM400 and the Sky 6 software with go-to being spot on. The amount of time it takes to do this is directly proportional to the number of people standing around asking questions and waiting to look through your telescope. Meanwhile, Joe Dob nearby has already centered Saturn and the impatient crowd slowly filters away to the little Dob wondering why someone would spend so much money on something that takes an hour to setup vs. a little 10 inch Dob that's already on target.

In conclusion, I'll say that so far the EM400 is awesome. As I get to know it better, I'm quite sure it will meet all of my expectations. Meanwhile, the trusty and faithful G-11 has become my "grab and go" mount for public outreach events and impromptu star parties.

May 12, 2009 03:11 AM Forum: After Dark

Re: star like object seen breaking up

Posted By Louis Busby

I have seen the very same thing on two occassions - once with a telescope. It was a weather balloon. Both times it was in the same area of the sky you describe and the same time of day.

November 11, 2009 09:41 AM Forum: Takahashi

Tak Double Holder for 11X70 Finder (TVF1172)

Posted By Louis Busby

I recent acquired the subject double holder that I intend on using with an FS60. The adjusting screws for the holder do not have any mar resistant tips. Since I want to protect my FS60 OTA paint from being marred, is there a solution for the metal screw tips? I thought maybe a double layer of electrical tape on the OTA where the screws contact might work, but it looks kinda funky.