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Psi-less
2003-Jun-10, 05:34 PM
Sorry, but I'm excited!! Our new telescope finally arrived! I feel like a kid who just got the present they most wanted for their birthday. I've already ripped the box apart and am going to carry things downstairs and put it together. I think I'll be waiting 'til Mike gets home to help carry down the tube...it's kind of big! :lol: :lol: :o :lol: :lol:

Psi-less {Wow! look at all the neat bits!}

pmcolt
2003-Jun-10, 05:57 PM
Cool. :) I hope you enjoy it. As soon as the inevitable clouds pass by. What sort of scope is it?

dgruss23
2003-Jun-10, 06:00 PM
Good luck Psi-less. You can pretty much count on 3 weeks of unusually bad weather for your area any time a new telescope arrives! (Ok, so I'm exaggerating). :D

Pluto is a planet
2003-Jun-10, 06:18 PM
You can look into the Sun if you want to. Won't hurt ya :roll:

Russ
2003-Jun-10, 07:47 PM
Dear Psi-less:

Someone has CLEARLY not told you the rules about getting any new astronomical equipment. Allow me: :D

1) If you mention any of your equipment anywhere on the BABB, you SHALL include a description. Make, Model, Aperture, Focal length, etc. This is so we can make a proper fuss over your neat stuff and be properly envious.

2) If you purchase/trade for any new stuff, you SHALL obey conditions in item one.

3) You SHALL return to the BABB to whine about the fact that as soon as the (whatever) was delivered, the weather clouded up and rained for two weeks.

4) If someone else gets something, you SHALL make a proper fuss over their stuff and be proberly envious.

Now that you know the rules....WHAT DID YOU GET????

(edit to add salutation)

gethen
2003-Jun-10, 09:34 PM
Hey Psi-less, imagine this: The new scope comes one entire month before Christmas, and I am not allowed to open it because it's a Christmas present. Believe me, I engaged in some world class whining to convince the official giver that it should be "carefully inspected" immediately to ensure that all parts were operational and as ordered.
Enjoy. Your life will never be the same. You are going to get so much less sleep, and you will begrudge any hours spent sleeping when the sky is clear. :)

Psi-less
2003-Jun-11, 03:07 AM
Sorry about the post and run, but I had to start putting it together! And then when I came back, I was having problems getting on the board (I kept getting a "The document is empty" response!) It's an Orion XT10 10" Dobsonian. We didn't go for any additional EP's or finder scopes yet. We both thought it'd be better to see how the standard equipment works first and then decide what we can't live without (like a Barlow and a....and a....and a....). It came with a 9x50 finder scope, a 25mm and a 10mm Sirius Plossel EP's. The base is done, Mike just got home, so I've got another strong back to take the tube out of the boxes. I was scared to death I'd lose my grip on it trying to get it out!! I will be more than happy to drool over other folk's aquisitions and applaud their finds. And more than happy to whine over the weather (beautiful two days ago, overcast and drizzly most of today, but the cloud cover is starting to break!). Gethen was the whine successful? How did you survive?? Russ, the RULES are firmly committed to memory and Pluto, hate to disappoint you but they even print the box with "Do not look at the sun without proper solar filters." Maybe they could spread the word to Nancy?

Psi-less {edited to fix misattribution}

Dickenmeyer
2003-Jun-11, 04:37 AM
Good luck Psi-less. You can pretty much count on 3 weeks of unusually bad weather for your area any time a new telescope arrives! (Ok, so I'm exaggerating). :D
You aren't exaggerating. When my scope arrived in February it was a solid two weeks before the weather cleared enough to take it out for half an hour, and let's not even talk about the temperature. Congratulations Psi-less, a big ten-incher huh? (Fights back the onset of aperture fever---- 8 inches is a perfectly good size for a scope....no light grasp envy here)

Psi-less
2003-Jun-11, 12:26 PM
It works!! Got to see the Moon very briefly last night before the clouds moved back in. I think we're going to need a moon filter, though, because even at 25mm, it was waaaayyy bright! I didn't get a chance to get into "The Sky" software that came with it, but it'll have to wait until I get back from volunteering. sigh Having a decent telescope is really a dream come true to both of us, so thanks very much for the good wishes. And Dickenmeyer, our little 8 and 10 inch jobs are nothing - Sky & Telescope or Astronomy last month showed an astronomy clubs homemade, erector set style (rather than tube) Dob with a 42" aperature!! It was HUGE!

Psi-less (It was even still collimated correctly...life is good)

Bella Cheval
2003-Jun-11, 01:42 PM
Congrats on the new scope, Psi-less!

Hubby's got a itty bitty scope in storage somewhere that we're going to dig out and set up some clear night and stare at the stars thru. I'd love to have the excess $$ to buy him a nice big 'un, but that not be a-happening right now. Perhaps when next year's income tax refund comes thru.... :-?

gethen
2003-Jun-11, 02:32 PM
Yes, I whine very effectively and got to at least admire and drool over the scope before Christmas. by Christmas of course, around here, the cloudy nights outnumber the clear ones by a factor of about 10. And I agree, 8" is adequate aperture (repeat last four words as mantra as needed.) Aperture envy is a dangerous psychological condition. :wink:

SkyEyeGuy
2003-Jun-11, 05:09 PM
Psi-less,

Aaaarrggh! I am overwhlemed with envy. A 10" Orion Dobbs -- wow! :lol:

I know you'll enjoy it.

I am, for the record, building an 8" F6 Newt at this very moment. I've finished the main mirror cell, and the secondary is nearly done too. It will sport a Dobs mount, built-in dew heaters, a fan for the primary, a Rigel Quickfinder spotting scope, and anything else I can hang off of it.

My first scope, completed last week, is a 4.5" rich field F4. I've got a variety of eyepieces, including my current favorite, a 20mm Orion with a 60 degree FOV.

My place in in the midst of some great dark-sky country, so I'm really looking forward to getting the big scope finished.

Oh, and Psi-less, the gang at my amateur astronomer's board quotes a law concerning new gear -- for every $40 spent, expect a week of bad weather.

ToSeek
2003-Jun-11, 05:47 PM
Oh, and Psi-less, the gang at my amateur astronomer's board quotes a law concerning new gear -- for every $40 spent, expect a week of bad weather.

Somebody in the DC area must have bought a heck of a scope back in April. ;)

Psi-less
2003-Jun-11, 09:43 PM
SkyEyeGuy, how's the build going? We'd thought about a Dob kit (there was a group around here that sold kits and had a "let's all put our telescopes together as a group" meeting, but they seem to have dropped off the face of the earth. And according to the old price sheet we had from them, it wouldn't have cost much less than the Orion, plus we would have had to buy EP's and a finder scope. How hard is it to build a scope from scratch? It seems like getting the mirror angles right would be hard...is it?

Gethen, whining when faced with that great a temptation is perfectly acceptable, if not necessary just to save your sanity!

Psi-less {edited to add last paragraph}

SkyEyeGuy
2003-Jun-12, 04:28 PM
Actually, Psi-less, the build isn't really too bad.

Keep in mind, though, that I am NOT grinding my own mirrors. No way. Looked into it, broke into a cold sweat, put the book carefully back on the shelf and ran away.

I'm also fortunate in that I have access to a woodworking shop. Drill press, table saw, router, scroll saw, you name it. Can't imagine trying to get by with less.

That said, I completed one scope just a couple of weeks ago. It's the 4.25" F4 I mentioned (I *think* I mentioned it, anyway). I got the mirrors (primary and matching secondary) for $54 US, from Hands On Optics. Essentially, I have an Edmund Astroscan.

But I went nuts, used solid oak for the tube and mount, brass fittings everywhere -- I wound up spending enough to buy two or three Astroscans and probably still have enough left for an eyepiece. I have the self restraint of a manic crow when it comes to gadgets and shiny things. The focuser is a solid metal 2" monster -- on a wee little 4 inch Newt!

Lining the mirrors up, placing the secondary, getting all the distances between various doo-dads and thingamabobs -- none of it was as tough as I'd imagined. The optics worked with only minor tweaking; getting the tube balanced and the mount actions smooth and steady was the real trick.

I bought a laser collimator from Orion when they went on sale for $49 earlier in the year. That saved me a lot of time. Too, it's a gadget, and thus is undeniably cool.

The scope looks pretty odd -- think Jules Vern loose in Home Depot --but it does work. Again, I could've bought a bigger scope for the same money, or less. Saddened by that fact, I vowed to never again build a telescope.

But no sooner had I finished the little Newt than I found myself shopping for mirrors again!

I figure the total cost of the 8" will break down something like this:

1) Primary mirror, 8" F6, 1/10 wave or better, from Hands On Optics (they have 'em, though they're not listed on the website -- call and they'll fix you up) $185.

2) Matching secondary, $30.

3) Primary mirror mount -- used various wood scraps, $9 in bolts and springs and washers.

4) Secondary ('spider') mount -- 1.25" poplar dowel scraps, $6 in threaded bolts, brass wood inserts, etc.

5) 10: Sonotube (concrete form) tube -- $10. Or so. I haven't bought this yet.

6) Focuser: $25 1.25 el cheapo special from Orion.

7) Dobs mount and rocker box: All from available scrap (Did I mention I'm a packrat?). Assorted bolts, teflon-tipped furniture coasters, chassis mounted particle beam weapons, cup holders, probably another $20.

8) My extensive but utterly necessary dew heater and mirror fan assemblies (it's HUMID here): another $30 (12V batteries, a handful of resistors, an old 12VDC CPU fan, odds and ends of switches and wires).

9) Finder -- A Rigel Quickfinder that I already own, swapped between the 4 incher and the new 8 incher by means of the two mounting plates provided by Rigel Systems. So no cost there.

10) Eyepieces. I own a bunch already -- a 20 mm Orion Expanse wide FOV, a 6 mm Orion Plossl, 4mm and 12 mm no-name surplus specials (glass optics, not too bad, really, from Hands On at $10 each). So no cost there for this project.

11) Big German Shepherd Dog, Maggie, who hangs out in the shop with me, performs all the tricky calculations, and listens intently as I mutter to myself about focal lengths and where's that blasted drill gotten off to: priceless.

What does all that add up too?

Uh -- $630. Ouch. And that's without the inevitable over-runs and impulse purchases of brass do-dads.

Geez. I really *am* nuts. I could get a 10" for what -- about the same? Maybe $559?

But I've already built the main mirror cell and the secondary. I'll probably go on as planned; heck, it's fun. I won't be done until October or November, probably, but by then I'll have saved enough to buy the mirrors.

One last word -- you can find 8" mirrors (and secondaries thrown in free) all over the net for around $70. Don't do it -- they're 1/4 wave at best, and hardly worth installing.

I do blather on. Sorry. And I'm by no means an expert -- I just stumbled into all this in the last few months.

And at least when I'm posting here or working on my scope, I'm not cringing at the posts on Doglike Eruptions!

logicboy
2003-Jun-12, 05:28 PM
You guys should move to Phoenix(broiler) Arizona, half the people here don't even know what clouds are, sometimes a couple days go by without seeing a cloud in the sky. It's very clear and dry most of the time oh! and this time of the year it's starting to get really really hot!!

We desert people pray for rain and crappy weather so when I buy a telescope I will welcome the rain. I can't imagine weeks of rain? I better spend a lot of money on it then.

pmcolt
2003-Jun-12, 07:59 PM
I have the self restraint of a manic crow when it comes to gadgets and shiny things.

I think I have a new favorite quote of the day.

It's interesting to hear about your scopebuilding experiences. On occasion, I've thought it'd be neat to try to build one myself. But I lack the patience, skill, woodworking tools, and money to do it. Plus my big german shepherd dog would probably get bored and decide to claim the base I build as his own personal territory.

Charlie in Dayton
2003-Jun-12, 08:54 PM
Psi-less {edited to fix misattribution}

...edited to fix WHAT?...oh...never mind...I have got to get new glasses...:oops:

Ya might wanna check out ebay for one of those Celestron anniversary eyepiece deals...comes with lotza eyepieces, a barlow, colored and moon filters, and a cute aluminum carrying case...got mine for less than two bills...there's one on ebay right now...The Celestron Eyepiece set (http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=2932906675&category=29954)...

Okay...www.surplusshed.com...and do a keyword search for 'eyepiece'...ready to go, build your own, cheapos, not too bads, a name brand here and there...and believe me, they fall under the category 'inexpensive'...Plossl-style 1 1/4" eyepieces in varying focal lengths for less than $30 each...how about a name brand 4 1/2" primary mirror, the appropriately sized secondary, and a 5x24 finder for $30...you MUST check out items M1499 ('The Amateur Scientist' on CD-ROM) and M1542 ('The Amateur Astronomer' on CD-ROM)...both of these are reprints from Scientific American from 1928 to 1999. Read the blurbs on these on the website. I have them, and it is money VERY well spent.

I have no connection with Surplus Shed other than as a satisfied customer. This is not intended as an advertisement, but as notice of where to get some good stuff (applicable to the hobby/science of astronomy) that may not be available anywhere else. There is no intent to violate the spirit of this board regarding commercial announcements.

Please, Mr Boss Phil, I tried to be good...don't throw me in the brier patch...

aurorae
2003-Jun-12, 09:10 PM
We desert people pray for rain and crappy weather so when I buy a telescope I will welcome the rain. I can't imagine weeks of rain? I better spend a lot of money on it then.

Around here, when there is a forest fire, we schedule a huge star party and all the amateur astronomers in a 3 state area show up and set there scopes up on a nearby hill. Within half a day it's pouring rain.

The Forest Service should pay us.

Charlie in Dayton
2003-Jun-12, 09:23 PM
I have the self restraint of a manic crow when it comes to gadgets and shiny things.

I think I have a new favorite quote of the day.

It's interesting to hear about your scopebuilding experiences. On occasion, I've thought it'd be neat to try to build one myself. But I lack the patience, skill, woodworking tools, and money to do it. Plus my big german shepherd dog would probably get bored and decide to claim the base I build as his own personal territory.

Just for a giggle, I'm sortakinda considering picking up a glass blank available in the Surplus Shed catalog. It's plenty thick to grind, and it's 4"+ square...can ya see it? A square-tubed Newt...cool... 8)

Russ
2003-Jun-13, 04:52 PM
Sorry about the post and run, but I had to start putting it together! And then when I came back, I was having problems getting on the board (I kept getting a "The document is empty" response!) It's an Orion XT10 10" Dobsonian.
Droooooool. Eyes glase over. Ummmmm. Love Light Bucket!


We didn't go for any additional EP's or finder scopes yet. We both thought it'd be better to see how the standard equipment works first and then decide what we can't live without (like a Barlow and a....and a....and a....).
You can't live without a Barlow. It's a long prooven fact. Ya might as well stick a crowbar in your wallet and get it now. I cannot recall an observing session that I have not used mine. I view it like gas for your car. You can do without it and you may get the car to move but without it, it's a lot harder to get where you want to go. ;)
snip

And more than happy to whine over the weather (beautiful two days ago, overcast and drizzly most of today, but the cloud cover is starting to break!)
It's just teasing you. It'll cloud back up about the time ya get the scope int the back yard.


Russ, the RULES are firmly committed to memory "snip"
["Quick Draw Mac Graw voice]And Doooooooon't you forget 'em![/Quick Draw Mac Graw voice] Have a good time with your new toy and keep us posted. :) :D

RichField
2003-Jun-14, 12:51 AM
<snip> and it's 4"+ square...can ya see it? A square-tubed Newt...cool... 8)
Actually, I have seen these before. Only the tube is square, not the mirror. It's a wooden truss design on a mixing bowl mount. That's right, it uses a coffee can and a mixing bowl as the alt-az bearings. Its counterweight is another coffee can filled with cement. The only picture (http://www.asnh.org/gallery/graphics/EleanorAndujar/bobca_ea_f.html) I have found so far doesn't show the mount, but does show the tube, with appropriate solar filter. It is very stable and well balanced. I believe the one in the photo is a 6".

Psi-less: Enjoy that scope.

Psi-less
2003-Jun-14, 02:07 AM
Got to get a good 1.5 hour look at the moon, but then clouds again. And today it's raining. WAHHHHH!!! :cry: :cry: :x :cry: :cry: But with the assistance of a moon map from the library, I was able to figure out what the huge crater near Tycho was...Schickard! Watch yerself there, Charlie! I don't think I'm up to building one yet, but someday... And I think I'll be leaving the optic grinding to the experts. I can facet gemstones, but somehow I don't think I'm ready for that yet.

Psi-less {who, with her able husband, has now figured out the collimation process and fine-tuned things in case the goofy weather ever clears up!!!!}