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Posts Made By: Barry Fernelius

May 26, 2003 08:12 PM Forum: Equipment Talk

Zambuto Mirrors?

Posted By Barry Fernelius

I have both 8" and a 12.5" Portaballs, both with Carl Zambuto mirrors. My experiences have been very similar to those described by others; the Zambuto mirrors offer beautiful, contrasty views due to the fine figuring and smoothness that Carl is justifiably famous for. On clear nights with steady seeing, I've had near religious experiences with my Zambuto mirrors.

If you spend a significant amount of time looking at the skies through telescopes equipped with these mirrors, you'll become spoiled. This is NOT a bad thing!

June 1, 2003 07:57 AM Forum: Equipment Talk

The Faithful Star Party (Conclusion)

Posted By Barry Fernelius

Hey Ron,

Did any of the dobs have high quality optics? Were any equipped with Royce, Swazye, or Zambuto mirrors?

-Barry Fernelius

June 3, 2003 01:05 PM Forum: Equipment Talk

What Size?

Posted By Barry Fernelius

I chose a 12.5" f5. (I used to use an 8" f6.)

June 3, 2003 01:09 PM Forum: Telescope Making

What size is going to show me the wonders?

Posted By Barry Fernelius

My vote is for a 12.5" f5. Plenty of light grasp, not too much weight, yet you're still able to observe with your feet on the ground.

June 10, 2003 11:09 AM Forum: Equipment Talk

Who cares?

Posted By Barry Fernelius

My telescopes now have nylon set screws. Set screw marks? I see no set screw marks here.

June 28, 2003 04:35 PM Forum: Equipment Talk

Let's talk 8" Newtonians

Posted By Barry Fernelius

Teleport 7" or Portaball 8".

July 14, 2003 12:46 PM Forum: Equipment Talk


Posted By Barry Fernelius

I am also puzzled by all of the emotion that is being poured into the collimation issue. I have a couple of truss-tube Newtonians. Every time I assemble my telescopes, I have to collimate them. With the proper knowledge, tools, and experience, this is no more onerous a task than brushing my teeth.

August 7, 2003 02:34 PM Forum: Equipment Talk

Planetary scopes

Posted By Barry Fernelius

Jay Reynolds Freeman says, "Aperature wins."

As an owner of a 12.5" f5 Portaball with a Zambuto mirror, I'd ammend that slightly and say, "High quality aperature wins."

But when the flame wars come (and they surely will), I promise not to say anything more.

August 13, 2003 10:10 AM Forum: Equipment Talk

Reformed Equipment Junkie

Posted By Barry Fernelius

I think that after a while, almost everyone begins to realize that EVERY telescope represents a compromise, a set of trade-offs. Based on what I want from a telescope and my constraints, I ended up with the following:

Telescope: 12.5" f5 Mag1 Portaball

Eyepieces: 35mm Panoptic, 24mm Panoptic, 19mm Panoptic, 13mm Nagler Type 6, 9mm Nagler Type 6, 7mm Nagler Type 6

Other: Celestron 8x56 binoculars

Since I've settled into this set-up, I've spent a lot more time observing than fretting over equipment. But even with this nice set-up, I'm still looking for ways to make improvements.

The next improvements are likely to be:

1. A tracking platform
2. Upgrade to a curved spider
3. Large binoculars on a mount for widefield viewing
4. Evaluation of a few more eyepieces

It's all a question of BALANCE.

August 23, 2003 07:54 AM Forum: Eyepieces

Eyepiece rec's for a F/5 Portaball?

Posted By Barry Fernelius


I have a 12.5" f5 Portaball. My current eyepiece set is as follows:

35mm Tele Vue Panoptic
32mm Tele Vue Plossl
19mm Tele Vue Panoptic
13mm Tele Vue Nagler
9mm Tele Vue Nagler
3-6mm Tele Vue Nagler Zoom

Based on these eyepieces and all other eyepieces that I've tried with this telescope, I've found the 13mm Nagler to be the one that I reach for most often. It has a wide enough field to frame many objects nicely, and enough magnification to see lots of fine detail in many deep space objects. Of course, YMMV.