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Posts Made By: Chuck Cunningham

May 21, 2009 11:03 AM Forum: Equipment Talk

The alt-az "sleeper"

Posted By Chuck Cunningham

I actually tried this for awhile, and found it workable. The biggest advantage was not having to flip the mount around and lose track of where your slo-mo controls are and having to rotate the scope to put the eyepiece in a convenient place. However, I gave it up as it became obvious that I did a lot more viewing close to zenith than I did close to Polaris -- and it's still just as heavy. Unfortunately, there does not seem to be an inexpensive alt-az mount for an f9 refractor that will take DSC.

May 27, 2009 09:04 AM Forum: Global Warming - REAL or NOT

Climate conference sex boom

Posted By Chuck Cunningham

I think that's one source of "global warming" that is going to be very hard to shut down. Cap and trade, anyone?

October 28, 2010 12:03 PM Forum: Politics

Vote to Recall?

Posted By Chuck Cunningham

Sounds great -- on the surface. I am originally from Oregon, one of the two states (along with Wisconsin) that came up with Initiative, Referendum, and Recall. I used to think that Recall and Initiative were really great ideas for restoring control of government to "the people". However, over the years, I have observed that they have had exactly the opposite effect: turning government over to well-funded single-issue special interests. Now that the Supreme Court has ruled that this is not only JUST FINE, but that these special interests should be allowed to remain anonymous and have no limits on their contributions, Recall and Initiative have become dangerous tools for anyone with sufficient funds to mount them, and can make the business of successfully operating a government – which requires negotiation and compromise -- impossible. It is simply too easy to keep a Governor pinned down under heavy fire if you have the funds. There are already mechanisms within government to address these problems. They may not always work as quickly as some people would like, and sometimes that is a good thing. And of course they may not work at all if special interests have been allowed to “buy” government; but ,then, like I said, Recall and Initiative can be bought just as easily.

January 7, 2011 01:02 PM Forum: Off Topic Discussions

The Odometer of the Beast

Posted By Chuck Cunningham

As a computer programmer, I have more than once been asked to make sure that 666 never appeared in an ID number. One place I worked had a rule - seriously - that no one could run any "on-request" jobs on Halloween I think something "bad" happend once. If you put every date that something "bad" happened in an IT shop off limits, then... This is 21st Century America? Of course I have known a number of programmers who I am sure "prayed" that their programs would work. From what I observed, they didn't seem to get much help.

February 1, 2011 02:48 PM Forum: Equipment Talk

c8 VS 6" achro

Posted By Chuck Cunningham

The views are not the whole story. I have a 4" achro, and, although I really like the extremely crisp views, it is probably the least-used of my scopes. The main reason is the inconvenience of the variation in eyepiece height as I move around the sky. It would take a very tall, heavy tripod to hold the scope steady far enough up so that I wouldn't have to practically be flat on the ground when viewing near zenith. And then it wouldn't be all thta easy to move it out of the house. I don't see this mentioned much when scopes of different kinds are compared, but it seems to be a pretty major factor to me. Just another example of how the "best" scope is the one you will actually use.

February 2, 2011 02:21 PM Forum: Deep Sky Observing

Area around Mirfak

Posted By Chuck Cunningham

It is usually referred to simply as the Alpha Persei Cluster, but I believe it is also designated as Melotte 20 or Collinder 39. Apparently it is a fairly new, close-by open cluster.

February 3, 2011 09:57 AM Forum: Refractors

15" Obsession VS 5" ED Refractor

Posted By Chuck Cunningham

I suspect that what you have is primarily more of a desire to buy another telescope than a desire to see the planets better. Nothing wrong with that; we all get those feelings from time to time. Your Obsession should be an excellent planetary scope, and should out-perform any 5" scope. Concentrate on having it extremely well collimated. That makes a big difference. I have also found that if you have tracking for your scope, you will be able to see a lot more details.

February 4, 2011 02:19 PM Forum: Politics

Chinese to build our military planes??!!

Posted By Chuck Cunningham

Keep your shorts on, Doug. The Chinese are already the only thing keeping the U.S. solvent, or hadn't you noticed?

February 9, 2011 09:48 AM Forum: Birding Optics and Photos

C90/C5

Posted By Chuck Cunningham

I use my C5 for birding occasionally. I put in a 45-degree upright image diagonal. I don't have the eyepieces to get down to really low power (I think around 45x is about as low as I go), so the field of view is not all that wide, but it sure gets you in close enough to count feathers! The views are a bit flat and the contrast is subdued, but I find it quite satisfactory. Very portable, too, on a tripod with a pan head. I don't do photography, but it should certainly be possible.

February 9, 2011 09:52 AM Forum: Wildlife Photography

Florida Crocodiles

Posted By Chuck Cunningham

Crocs making a comeback in Florida by being warmed by water from a nuclear reactor? Haven't we already seen that movie?