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Hat Monster
2002-Apr-09, 07:37 PM
It's here. I spent today working it out, then aligned the finder using terrestrial targets. Overall, I'm quite pleased. Seems Tasco have used the expertise they obtained when they aquired Celestron quite well. They sure needed it.

The last five nights have been glorious. I've been seeing stars down to 6.4 (my record) near zenith using averted vision and I think I may have caught a glimpse of M33 on the same night. The night of April 4th. I even noted the Coma Berenices cluster on the same night. All this with no optical aid at all.

I anticipated tonight with some excitement.
"Verily, I shall smite thee mightily. Let there be cloud."
Outside, now, it's 100% overcast. Satellite imaging from Meteosat (http://www.nottingham.ac.uk/meteosat/D2.JPG) doesn't raise my hopes. That front you see over eastern England moved over at about 3pm with only light wind.

There seems to be not enough lunar radiation to clear the clouds, as we all know that clear skies can only happen around the time of the full moon...

_________________
"We want a few mad people now. See where the sane ones have landed us!" - George Bernard Shaw

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Hat Monster on 2002-04-09 15:49 ]</font>

Hale_Bopp
2002-Apr-10, 12:25 PM
It is a well known fact that telescopes attract clouds and rain. If you put one person with a telescope per square kilometer in the Sahara, you would have a rain forest /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif

Rob

JimB
2002-Apr-11, 12:39 AM
Be sure to look at Jupiter and Saturn!
When it first gets dark Saturn is near Alderberan and Jupiter is up high between Gemini and Orion.

Clear Skys

Hat Monster
2002-Apr-11, 08:58 PM
I already got 'em.
Here's my record:
<blockquote>
10 April 8pm to 9:15pm
Comditions
Seeing: Fair to Reasonable
In twilight.

Venus: Scintillating like mad, just barely saw it's phase. Sky was still quite light. 4mm and 12.5mm. 12.5mm with 3x Barlow. Naked eye: Very bright.
Saturn: Cassini division not shown well. Titan seen. 12.5mm with 3x Barlow. Naked eye: Bright.
Jupiter: Easily seen, two dark bands, all four moons. Naked eye: Very bright.
Mizar: Alcor in field, Mizar A and B easily resolved. 12.5mm. Naked eye: Bright star.
Extras: Orion's belt all three stars, M45 attempted, failed due to cloud. Vega and Arcturus used for finder verification. Band of cloud moved in from west, was covering half the sky when we decided to give up.
</blockquote>

ljbrs
2002-Apr-12, 12:32 AM
My first telescope was a large Tasco which I bought at the number one department store in my city at the time. It was not very good, actually, but who was I to know? The telescope seemed huge, and my husband and I fought over who could use it (practically all of the time). It was set up in our High Rise (Mies Van der Rohe) apartment. Venus turned out green! It was a beautiful green, so what the heck...

I now own (in my old age) a Questar 3-1/2 in. (I like to think of it as 89 mm!) I have a Questar Tristand (as well as a tripod for it, purchased through Questar, which I no longer use). I have all of the Questar eyepieces and all of the Questar filters. Questars are great for planets. I use it around my apartment building. When I want deep-sky viewing, I look through the huge telescopes belonging to the guys in my wonderful astronomy club or through the very large club telescopes inside the observatory.

I have also had Zeiss (10 x 40 mm) binoculars for years and a smaller pair of Bausch & Lomb binoculars for moon and stuff. So, I have a lot of stuff, plus a host of other astronomy toys.

But that Tasco was a lot of fun, even if I did not know what a stupid purchase it actually was at the time.

ljbrs /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_biggrin.gif /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_wink.gif /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_rolleyes.gif

Hale_Bopp
2002-Apr-12, 12:47 AM
My first telescope was a 60mm, think it was a Jason (wonder if they still exist?) Typical REAL cheap telescope, but it was wonderous to me.

The mount was so unsteady, I rigged up a little brace out of erector set parts. Drilling a hole through the alt az mount, rigged up a little contraption that could adjust the altitude by turning a screw and hold it much steadier.

Rob

GrapesOfWrath
2002-Apr-12, 07:57 AM
On 2002-04-11 20:32, ljbrs wrote:
But that Tasco was a lot of fun, even if I did not know what a stupid purchase it actually was at the time.

Not so stupid, then! And it brought you to this, how about that? I remember seeing the Questar ads in Scientific American thirty-five years ago, wondering how I'd be able to afford it. I still can't, I had to settle for a questar-wannabe, a Meade ETX. But it works great.

SiriMurthy
2002-Apr-13, 01:23 AM
I still can't, I had to settle for a questar-wannabe, a Meade ETX. But it works great.


Huh, Meade ETX, eh? I recently bought a Meade ETX (90) myself and I am quite pleased with it. Light, portable and I get to see crystal clear images using 25mm eyepiece. Not so great with 9mm eyepiece.

I always wanted to have Maksutov-Cassegrain and for now this is all I can afford. Maybe some day I will upgrade my scope. I should try astrophotography with this scope.

The only problem is that I live smack in the middle of a big city and too much light pollution /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_frown.gif

GrapesOfWrath
2002-Apr-13, 09:46 AM
Have you seen Weasner's Mighty ETX site (http://www.weasner.com/etx/menu.html)?

Kaptain K
2002-Apr-13, 10:04 AM
Seems Tasco have used the expertise they obtained when they aquired Celestron quite well. They sure needed it.
Time out
When did this happen? /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_confused.gif
While I am (fairly) sure this is a good thing for Tasco, I am not at all sure that is a good thing for Celestron and their fans. /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_evil.gif

JimB
2002-Apr-13, 11:47 AM
A couple years ago. So far the Celestron product line still has some high quality scopes.

Roy Batty
2002-Apr-13, 12:43 PM
On 2002-04-13 06:04, Kaptain K wrote:
Time out
When did this happen? /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_confused.gif
While I am (fairly) sure this is a good thing for Tasco, I am not at all sure that is a good thing for Celestron and their fans. /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_evil.gif

June 98 apparently. It seems they decided not to meddle too much though:
http://www.perkins-observatory.org/tasco-celestron.prezletter.txt

My Tasco Binocs have stood me well over the years... apart from falling apart occasionally /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_biggrin.gif

Hat Monster
2002-Apr-13, 04:04 PM
It showed Comet Ikeya-Zhang quite well at 72x last night (23:14BST), it was low in the North, right where the glow of nearby towns takes visual limiting magnitude down to 3/4. It was extremely difficult by eye, but looked like a defocussed globular in the scope. At lower magnification (45x) a very slight tail was apparent.

One thing I've found about the scope. The finder is absolutely useless. Unless a star is in the centre of the field, it's blurred. Led to a LOT of swearing when I was hunting some deep sky objects, and especially that comet.

Kaptain K
2002-Apr-13, 07:23 PM
One thing I've found about the scope. The finder is absolutely useless.
You have hit on my pet peeve about low to mid priced 'scopes. You can buy a pair of 7x50 binoculars with coated optics and fairly good performance for under $50. But, buy a 'scope for under $1000 (or more) and you get a cheesy "6x30" finder that is internally stopped down to around 20mm on a flimsy mount that is impossible to align. The finder on one 'scope I had (long ago) was so bad, that stars were actually fainter through the finder than they were naked eye. How are you supposed to "find" anything with that?

So, any MFRs lurking about. Newbies to this hobby have enough to deal with without the hassle of trying to cope with an "unfinder". Spring for the few extra bucks and give us a real, usable finder on a sturdy adjustable mount. Is that too much to ask? /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_confused.gif

_________________
When all is said and done - sit down and shut up!

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Kaptain K on 2002-04-13 15:26 ]</font>

Hat Monster
2002-Apr-13, 09:45 PM
You hit it on the head.
The alignment is an oversized barrel and three screws. Stability is abysmal.
It's 7x24, IIRC, and absolutely hopeless. The binocs I have, with chipped flamin' prisms, and only one side working blow it clean out of the water. And they're Tasco too, a 1987 model 16x50.

Can this thing be replaced, is the mount any standard or can be replaced? A fscking riflescope can be had cheaply, would that fit?

JimB
2002-Apr-14, 02:03 AM
Wow, if it's that bad, put anything on instead.
Yes, there are options although low-end manufacturers rarely build the bracket good enough to take a better finderscope.

1 - Find a club or active amateur and see if they have a 6x30 (or better yet an 8x50) they replaced with something better. You'll probably need the bracket, too. People are always upgrading and have spare odds and ends. (Sorry, I already gave my medium quality one to a new guy.)

2 - Buy a better one. Orion Telescope and Binocular has a nice variety that all work well. The 6x30 with right angle eyepiece (easier to look thru) are about $60 (with bracket and adapter plate).

3 - Get a reflex finder like a Rigel Quickfinder or a TelRad (about $45 in USA). These project a set of circles on a glass plate and can be lined up with the scope. It works like a WWII gun sight. The circles are a known size and make finding objects in constellations super easy. Just about everyone here has one of these along with a finderscope.


Clear Skys

amstrad
2002-Apr-14, 02:46 AM
On 2002-04-13 22:03, JimB wrote:3 - Get a reflex finder like a Rigel Quickfinder or a TelRad (about $45 in USA). These project a set of circles on a glass plate and can be lined up with the scope. It works like a WWII gun sight. The circles are a known size and make finding objects in constellations super easy. Just about everyone here has one of these along with a finderscope.


I second this.

My Meade starfinder came with a POS 6x30 which I HAD to replace. I has had my doubts about how useful a 1x finder would be until I bought a telerad (http://www.e-scopes.cc/index.html?catalog5_0.html). These things are fantastic. Very acurate and quite easy to get used to (plus its right-side up to compare to star charts).

Since I live in light polluted Houston and naked eye stars aren't always naked eye, I also bought an Anteres 8x50 right-angle (http://www.e-scopes.cc/index.html?catalog4_0.html) (useful for newtonian style scopes) finder -- also right side up, and also a good purchase. I've looked through Meade's own 8x50 and was not impressed.

Hat Monster
2002-Apr-14, 03:46 PM
Can the bracket be replaced too?
No point in replacing the finder if I still have to deal with these damn three screws. Is there a better way?
Pictures describe better.
http://sushi.dbestern.net/forumstuff/finder1.jpg
http://sushi.dbestern.net/forumstuff/finder2.jpg
http://sushi.dbestern.net/forumstuff/finder3.jpg
http://sushi.dbestern.net/forumstuff/finder4.jpg

JimB
2002-Apr-14, 04:55 PM
Sure, replace the bracket. I prefer the older style with 6 screws, I've had the O-ring three screw models drop the finderscope.

Here's the Orion Tel & Bino I was describing:
http://www.telescope.com/cgi-bin/OrionTel.storefront/3cb9cc9300171c64271bc0a80a6506c9/Product/View/F564

It's got only 2 screws and a spring-pin, but does work pretty well.

Telrads and Rigels require no screws to install; you "stick" them on with double sided adhesive tape.

Russ
2002-Apr-14, 09:43 PM
On 2002-04-09 15:37, Hat Monster wrote:
It's here. I spent today working it out, then aligned the finder using terrestrial targets. Overall, I'm quite pleased.
<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Hat Monster on 2002-04-09 15:49 ]</font>


So, Hat, you have your new scope. Is it a military secret what it is? Or are you deliberately teasing us?

Please answer the following:

1) Make:
2) Model:
3) Aperture:
4) Focal Lgth:
5) Mount:
6) Eye pieces:
7) Other goodies:

I know I may have missed earlier posts because I have been away alot lately. I do not intend to be rude but...TELL ME WHAT YOU'VE GOT! /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif

Hat Monster
2002-Apr-15, 02:11 PM
Make: Tasco (but it shares much more in common with a Celestron than any previous Tasco model)
Model: Luminova [insert stupidly big number here]
Arpeture: 114mm (4.5in)
Focal: 900mm
Mount: Equatorial
Eyepieces: 20mm, 12.5mm, 4mm
Goodies: ****ty finder, 3x barlow, "moon filter", CD-ROM

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Hat Monster on 2002-04-15 10:14 ]</font>

ACM
2002-Apr-16, 03:22 AM
I have you all beat! Who needs a cassegrain when you have a 3 inch reflector...on a wooden tripod! woo!

*looks around and leaves nervously*

amstrad
2002-Apr-16, 11:17 AM
The best telescope in the world is one that you actually use - whether it be your eyes, binoculars, dobsonian or Keck (http://www2.keck.hawaii.edu:3636/).

Russ
2002-Apr-18, 12:34 AM
On 2002-04-15 10:11, Hat Monster wrote:
Make: Tasco (but it shares much more in common with a Celestron than any previous Tasco model)
Model: Luminova [insert stupidly big number here]
Arpeture: 114mm (4.5in)
Focal: 900mm
Mount: Equatorial
Eyepieces: 20mm, 12.5mm, 4mm
Goodies: ****ty finder, 3x barlow, "moon filter", CD-ROM
<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Hat Monster on 2002-04-15 10:14 ]</font>


Thank you for the response. Sounds like you have a beautiful instrument that will bring you years of enjoyment. Do not ever buy another scope without telling us all about it. I don't want to have to warn you again. /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_wink.gif

A warning to others...If you buy a scope you are required to tell us about your new baby...or else! The penalty will be 30 lashes with a wet, five day old, riggatoni. /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_lol.gif

_________________
Lighten up! I'm here for the fun of it.

(edit to correct typo)

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Russ on 2002-04-17 20:36 ]</font>