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Posts Made By: Dan D DuBal

October 3, 2002 09:47 PM Forum: Equipment Talk

Meade $99 EP's on Astromart.

Posted By Dan D DuBal

Nobody's buying these sets for "only $99." Buyers are spending an additional $500 (or more) for the requisite scope included with this Meade offer.

If I were in the market for an entire set of new Meade Super Plossls, I'd gladly pay $350 for it. The set may have *cost* the original owner an additional $99, but that doesn't mean the set is *worth* that same $99.

Another perspective: anyone spending $350 for a new set is *saving* almost $300.

Best wishes.

October 4, 2002 02:20 PM Forum: Off Topic Discussions

So how much oil is there in "lake" terms

Posted By Dan D DuBal

If the total volume of the world's total known petroleum reserves was multiplied about 85 times, the result would be roughly equivalent to the volume of water in Lake Superior.

Another *very* rough equivalent: about 9 or 10 Lake Powells' worth.


October 13, 2002 05:50 PM Forum: Equipment Talk


Posted By Dan D DuBal

Avoid the NexStar 4.

Best wishes.

October 31, 2002 07:21 PM Forum: Deep Sky Observing

Inclement Weather

Posted By Dan D DuBal

Ditto from Colorado -- except a wee bit cooler (overnight 'teens since Tuesday with yet more snow falling as I type this). Saturday should warm up above freezing.

Perfect time to take a week off from work, eh? What the hay -- we need the snowpack *far* more than a I need a few hours' worth of Saturn & Jupiter watching.

Hang in there, and I'll do the same.

November 7, 2002 11:00 PM Forum: Telescope Making

Nikon Binoviewer light path length?

Posted By Dan D DuBal

Hi Richard.

Depends on the particular binocular head and its body structure/configuration, but I'd figure the optical path (from seat/base of head to top of eyepiece collars) is likely about 5 inches. That's usually a reasonable "starting point" for most modern microscope bino heads.

Is your Nikon a Siedentopf design (true binocular-style hinged head), or is it an older "flat" design?

If you have (or have access to) a refractor with which the head *can* reach focus with a given eyepiece, you can focus that head/eyepiece combo, note that focus position on the drawtube (where it meets the rear of the focuser housing -- use pencil or a bit of masking tape), then remove the head from the configuration and re-focus that same eyepiece, straight through and note *that* focus point on the drawtube (remember to focus on the same target, or at infinity, in each case). The distance between those two marks on the drawtube will be equivalent to the length of the head's optical path.

Hope that helps a bit.

Best wishes and luck.

November 14, 2002 07:58 AM Forum: Equipment Talk

Dealer Drops LXD55

Posted By Dan D DuBal

I don't see anything necessarily "bold" in it and dare not presume/assume that ProAstronomer is doing this because of big bad Meade. Maybe Meade is doing this because of ProAstronomer.

That's just a possibility -- I've heard no rumours supporting it.

On the other hand, I've heard very little negative feedback regarding any LXD55 quality issues, either. My impression, to date, is that the vast majority of owners have been very pleased.

Obviously, we don't have the full story and can only speculate, but a couple points regarding ProAstronomer's on-line advertising copy did catch my eye:

1) they mention three contributing factors to their decision to take no further orders:
-availability (duh -- the LXD55 is Meade's hottest-selling product line since the debut of the ETX90; demand is extreme; supply may not be)
-quality issues (?? news to me)
-transportation problems (I have no idea what that might mean; perhaps distribution problems -- related to availability...?)

2) And where did ProAstronomer's alleged MSRPs come from? Their *way* out of line with Meade's own suggested mail-order retail prices. Meade's suggested mail-order retail price for the LSD55 SC-8 is $1195. ProAstronomer's MSRP is $2200.

Anyone know what ProAstronomer's GPS+ synchronization software package is/was?

Just looking at the other side of the "possibilities" coin.

Best wishes.

November 14, 2002 11:44 PM Forum: Equipment Talk

Opinion of Celestron Ultima 11

Posted By Dan D DuBal

A friend of mine has often set up and taken down a C11/G-11 combo.

She's about 5'1 and has grey hair.

Once assembled, however, the scope stays right where it is. (She's a tough cookie, but she aint crazy!)

I'd go with the G-11, myself, but many prefer the fork.

Both C11 *and* G-11 for $1500? Sounds plenty fair to me.

Best wishes.

November 15, 2002 08:29 PM Forum: Equipment Talk

LOMO Astele 180 review

Posted By Dan D DuBal

Hi Darren.

I read your article earlier today (must have been soon after it uploaded). Nice job, sir. Many thanks for sharing it with the rest of us.

As you noted, it's good to know we have several options from which to choose, when it comes to high-fidelity Maksutovs.

I suspect my MK67 just might end up with a big brother, some distant day. Perhaps an 8- or 10-incher; be it TEC, Intes, Lomo, Intes-Micro, or even some as-yet-unborn species.

Love those Maks.

Cheers and best wishes.

November 17, 2002 09:22 PM Forum: Off Topic Discussions


Posted By Dan D DuBal

I remember running across at least one forum. You might check Yahoo! Groups (though I don't think that's where I saw it).

My cursory/less-than-extensive-knowledge-based advice:
If you can afford to do so, stick with the big four: Zeiss, Leitz/Leica, Olympus, or Nikon.

All of the above makers have good microscope info available at their own websites. Check 'em out. --And don't forget your drool cup :-)

Best wishes and luck.

November 23, 2002 02:49 PM Forum: Equipment Talk

36mm Silvertop AFOV

Posted By Dan D DuBal

Not sure of the exact number, Dave, but it should be right around 45 degrees.

As on pushes beyond 32mm focal length in the 1.25-inch format, the maximum apparent field is limited by the format itself. I believe the discontinued 42mm Celestron Ultima, for example, had a 36- or 38-degree apparent field.

Best wishes.