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Posts Made By: Dan D DuBal

March 18, 2003 04:16 PM Forum: Zeiss

Zeiss 15X60 versus Fujinon 16X70

Posted By Dan D DuBal

Hi Kev.

How about a more "strict" side-by-side comparison? --both pairs of binoculars: one eye using one of the Zeiss barrels, the other eye using one of the Fuji barrels. Barrel alignment would be essential, of course (and perhaps quite tricky, given their structure/bulk), but simple back-and-forth eye blinking should do the trick. If the comparison yields uncertainty, switch the barrels/eyes. If still in doubt, call it a draw.

Of course, I'd be happy enough to simply have the opportunity to take those big boys for a drive. :-)

Best wishes.

By the way -- the Denver region is currently being pummeled by a blizzard. My neighborhood is buried under ~20cm of dense, "wet" snow, and yet another ~20-25cm may accumulate over the next 24-36 hours. It's windy, too, so the snow is drifting in many open/exposed locales. Folks in some areas are seeing (or will see) even more snowfall.
Not quite the same down under, eh? ;^)

March 19, 2003 05:47 AM Forum: Birding Optics and Photos

First post

Posted By Dan D DuBal

...and a fine one, indeed, Kurt!

I don't recall a wealth of good close-ups of roadrunners, out there, so they're always nice to see. Not too many up here in Colorado, but I spent my childhood in south Texas, where roadrunners are an every-day standard (at least in the boonies).

Of course, even if there *were* roadrunners in my neighborhood, I sure as heck would be able to see them today. There's 22 inches of snow on the ground (in my yard), and it's still coming down. A snowplow managed to sweep down my street yesterday afternoon, but another 8-10 inches of this cement has since buried/erased the asphalt.

Still, I can hear and see the occasional robin, magpie, and/or starling, out there in the trees and shrubs.

Thanks for sharing.

March 19, 2003 06:32 PM Forum: Off Topic Discussions

Colorado Blizzard of 2003

Posted By Dan D DuBal

Looks familiar, Jared. Where you at?
I'm in n.e. Thornton. I measured 24 inches of snowpack on my yard, this morning. I'm guessing another 4-6 inches melted since Monday night, so I figure the total snowfall at my house was ~30 inches.

I hear the "water content" was in the 12-15% range. I'm going to fill a pail and let it melt in the garage, just to see how much water it yields.

No plow, today. I'm taking a break from shovelling. I'll get back out there around 8pm.

Take care.

March 22, 2003 12:06 AM Forum: Solar System Observing

Question re Jupiter moons

Posted By Dan D DuBal

Hi, Gregory.
Ganymede was the lone satellite you saw opposite Io, Europa (two innermost), and Callisto. Jupiter's "lesser" moons are much, much smaller and fainter -- unfortunately beyond the grasp of most visual telescopes. Amalthea is an oblong moon (rocky asteroid-like body), less than 300km along its major axis. Its separation from Jupiter is only ~1 second of arc, so it is *extremely* difficult to see (and rarely seen). Barnard found it in 1902, using the 36-inch Lick refractor.

Not sure which star you saw between Io and Europa, but I'm hopeful that someone will be able to verify that info for you.

Did you enjoy a wider view of both Jupiter and M44 (the Beehive cluster) as well? Binoculars, with their lower magnifications and wide fields, should provide a splendid view of the big cluster and the giant planet. Jupiter will continue to nudge "closer" to M44 over the next few weeks and will remain within ~2 degrees of the cluster through the month of April.

Best wishes.

March 25, 2003 07:56 PM Forum: Off Topic Discussions

Left-leaning academic departments...why?

Posted By Dan D DuBal

I don't find them any more *or* less "left leaning" than any other social segment of the populace.


March 26, 2003 10:24 AM Forum: Equipment Talk

Source for porroprisms

Posted By Dan D DuBal

Tele Vue's porro prism assembly includes a brass compression ring and can be purchased from any Tele Vue dealer -- including Anacortes.

Astro-Physics also has a porro assembly (which may be identical to the TV unit).

Not sure if Vixen is still making their porro assembly (perhaps the TV and A-P units are sourced from Vixen -- I know they *used* to be). Orion B&T may actually still have a few -- you might give them a call.

Porro prism assemblies in the 1.25-inch format are indeed becoming less common and harder to find. They can still be found on the 2nd-hand market, for sure -- most of these being Vixen-made.

Best wishes.

March 28, 2003 10:35 AM Forum: Equipment Talk

Beginner looking for a telescope

Posted By Dan D DuBal

I myself would have been ecstatic, if my first telescope was an Astroview 100 EQ.

It's not perfect, of course, but it will show a LOT of celestial goodies and do so without very much hassle/frustration.

To be honest, I'd probably have been equally ecstatic if my first scope was an XT6.

At 60x, Mars (near opposition), Jupiter, and Saturn will appear to be similar in size to the head of a push-pin when viewed from about 3.5- to 4-feet away. Saturn's and Mars's discs will appear smaller than Jupiter's.

Right now, Mars is quite small and will yield minimal detail in small-to-moderate apertures. It probably appears about the size of that same pushpin when viewed from about 10 feet away.

(Those distances are just ballpark/top-of-my-head estimates, mind you.)

I recommend nabbing a good barlow to supplement your scope (whichever one you get). The Orion Shorty-Plus is excellent.

Best wishes and luck.

March 29, 2003 08:06 AM Forum: Equipment Talk

2" or 1.25" barlow?

Posted By Dan D DuBal

While 2-inch barlows do not come with 1.25-inch adapters, any 1.25-inch adapter can be used in that 2-inch barlow (or any such standard 2-inch accessory).

The key question is: do you think you'll find yourself *needing* to barlow that big 35-40mm widefield eyepiece?

If that answer is yes, and you *do* want a single barlow/magnifier to handle both 1.25- and 2-inch accessories, then I myself would save up the extra $$ and get the 2-inch 2X Powermate. It won't dramatically shift your focal point (as a big standard barlow can), and it's a superb optic.

However, when I'm viewing at ~100x (which is what you'll have, when 2x barlowing a 40mm eyepiece) -- especially with an equatorially mounted f/10 scope -- I wouldn't feel the need for a wide field of view, anyway. The more economical option might be to simply purchase something like an 18mm Superwide or a 20mm Konig (both 1.25-inchers).

Best wishes.

March 30, 2003 08:37 AM Forum: Solar System Observing

Great Beige Spot?

Posted By Dan D DuBal

Hi, Darren.

Based on your brief descriptions of the images you obtained of both Jupiter and Saturn, I get the following impressions:
-your reflector is doing pretty darned well
-you're a good observer

No, the GRS aint much red, these days, but it sounds like you're seeing detail which suggests good performance for a 4.5-inch reflector. Keep staring at that big monster Jupiter -- more details along the belts and zones (and *within* them) might just reveal themselves. Are you able to see irregularities along the SEB and/or NEB (other than that GRS "hollow" you reported? Perhaps the edges of the belts are somewhat wavy or ragged, along some sections.

Once you get a good view of a shadow transit, I'd like to hear your impressions of it.

Tan, cream, grey, and maybe some grey-blue. That's par for the course, in a good 3- to 6-inch scope. Again, it sounds like the Bushnell is doing a good job.

As you view Saturn more and more, keep note of its rings -- their colors, which are brighter. And check out Saturn's polar region, too. I'd enjoy reading your impressions of the views. It's always a real kick when I hear about folks having success and doing well with infamous "cheap department store" scopes. It's good to know that there *are* good ones out there, Bushnells and Tascos and the like, which have good primaries and objectives, and which prove to be quite enjoyable and satisfying in use.

Best wishes and continued grins and success.

April 1, 2003 02:31 PM Forum: Equipment Talk

TV 12mm Radian v. U.O. 12mm Konig II

Posted By Dan D DuBal

If the choice were my own, and if a 5-inch SCT were the intended scope, I'd get the Konig.

Of course, eye relief is *not* a major concern for me.

I'd expect to see minimal/subtle (at most) differences in the images these two eyepieces yield, in an f/10 scope. Both would satisfy me just fine.

That B my take.

Best wishes.