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Posts Made By: Barry Fernelius

October 22, 2004 08:14 AM Forum: Equipment Talk

No More Nexstar GPS Scopes!!

Posted By Barry Fernelius

Anacortes still has 'em listed on their website, FWIW.

February 3, 2005 09:23 AM Forum: Equipment Talk

Inexpensive scopes with upgraded optics?

Posted By Barry Fernelius

Joe Bruessow said:
I see that DBA Astronomy Products is offering Hardin Optical Deep Space Hunter dobs with upgraded optics from the likes of Steve Swayze and Woden Optics. He is calling them "DBA Enhanced" scopes. Seems like these scopes would scream on planets and deep space...

Prices start at $999 for a 10" and roughly $1499 for a 12". Does this sound like a good deal? It seems like a very nice price for what is really a very respectable scope... am I missing something? ...

Should I get one or do you have another direction I should look in this size class?

There are not a lot of mid-priced options, so this looks interesting, but I'd ask a few questions first.

What is DBA doing that you couldn't do just as easily yourself? What would keep you from buying a Hardin Dob and having a good mirror maker refigure the mirror? What other mods are done by DBA? How much, both in terms of time and money, would it cost you to do the equivalent job?

In other words, does DBA add enough value that you're willing to pay what they're charging? (Different people will come up with different answers to that question for different reasons.) If so, go for it. If not, consider doing it yourself.

March 4, 2005 02:44 PM Forum: Eyepieces

suggestions for 25 mm EP

Posted By Barry Fernelius

24mm Panoptic. You can't go wrong.

March 8, 2005 08:36 AM Forum: Equipment Talk

New take on this topic stated more clearly I hope.

Posted By Barry Fernelius

OK, Floyd, here's my take on it.

I purchased a 12.5" telescope with a really nice Zambuto mirror. I take good care of my instrument, I am obsessive about collimating it, and I have fancy eyepieces to go with my telescope. It's finely tuned to be the best visual observing machine that I could afford, and it ended up being fairly expensive. But was it worth it?

In observing terms, it's a mixed bag. On nights where the seeing is terrible, I know that a cheap 10" Orion dob would provide images that are as good as my 12.5" scope. But I enjoy KNOWING that if the images aren't good, I can't blame my telescope. And on those nights of great seeing, I've had views of both planets and deep sky objects that awed and inspired me. For me, the views that I've shared through my premium telescope are worth what I paid for it, and I don't feel a need to justify it to anyone.

In financial terms, I believe that a premium scope is actually CHEAPER than an inexpensive scope in the long run. Because my scope is no longer the source of any of my observing problems, I quit 'thrashing.' I quit searching for the next trendy telescope. Instead, I spend my time enjoying observing instead of chasing after equipment.

Of course, your mileage may vary. I've come to the conclusion that there are a large number of folks in this hobby who really enjoy the continual pursuit of equipment. My hat's off to them, and I enjoy watching them chase after equipment.

March 9, 2005 12:10 PM Forum: Equipment Talk

Did you have a DREAM telescope as a kid?

Posted By Barry Fernelius

My dream scope: a 7" Questar, as seen in their wonderful Scientific American ads during my childhood. I finally got to see one a few years ago at S&S Optika in Denver. What memories!