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Posts Made By: James DellaPenna

November 27, 2012 08:37 PM Forum: AstroMart FAQ

Misc & Other Astronomy Classifieds

Posted By James DellaPenna

Anybody notice how few ads are showing up in this category? Might it be because advertisers think the numerous sponsor announcements clutter up that category so much that it might discourage people from perusing it? Could they be right? Just saying. wink

February 11, 2013 04:12 PM Forum: Equipment Talk

Adaptor search

Posted By James DellaPenna

I am trying to convert the rear cell of a 130mm Maksutov to accept a standard 1.25" SCT visual back. Agena sells an adaptor for this purpose but it's for Maksutov's that have a 44mm male thread. I need one for the smaller 35mm male thread found on many Maks. Anybody know a source?

November 7, 2013 05:07 PM Forum: AstroMart FAQ

What constitues a flipper on AM?

Posted By James DellaPenna

The subject of flipping came up on a prior thread on this forum that I think merits discussion. How does one define a flipper?

I presume it means somebody who trades repeatedly simply for the sake of making a profit. I don't know how much of that actually takes place but do think some us merely addicted to buying and selling may be suspected as flippers. I count myself in that category (the addicted) although it has come in spurts.

Ever since joining AM I have experimented with a number of scopes trying to find what is right for me as well as for public observing events, along with significant upgrades at times. I can't tell you how many eyepieces and scopes I have experimented with. At the moment I've settled on my 14.5" Starmaster for personal use, mostly Tele Vue EP's, plus a recently acquired C8 for public viewing. I've also disposed of a couple complete SCT and refractor set-ups for both a friend and a relative who passed away where the executors had no clue how to market these items for the estates.

Often, I have purchased a complete rig just to acquire 1-2 items of interest and sold the remainder. Also, the frequent change between different types of scopes for myself have required the selling of accessories I no longer had use for and later repurchased for yet further changes. I admit some of my activity seems silly in hindsight but it has added to my experience with different types of gear. The C8 I now have was purchased locally thru Craigslist and included a CG-5GT mount plus several accessories that I had no use for (already have an identical mount); all I really needed was the OTA and reselling the unneeded parts allowed me to pick up a dew shield, solar filter, heater cable, and desired WO focuser, some of which was acquired on AM.

I have not been trying to make a profit on these trades just for the sake of profit although some people may suspect that. I keep telling myself to stop doing this and be happy with the equipment I have but who knows what notion will enter my head next. Like I say, it's an addiction. Anyway, I would caution those quick to judge someone as a flipper when it may really be just an affliction to astronomy gear.

I'm curious how others feel about this subject.

March 29, 2014 02:10 PM Forum: AstroMart FAQ

Emoticons where they don't belong?

Posted By James DellaPenna

I just placed an ad for DVDs in the books and magazines classifieds. I included a listing of all the lectures and numbered them. Twice I had to use the numeral "8" by itself and in both cases they look fine on my edit version but come out as a smiley face on the published version. What's up with that?

July 4, 2014 03:44 PM Forum: SCI-FI

Under the Dome

Posted By James DellaPenna

Under the Dome was originally written by Stephen King. Near the end of last Monday's episode how many folks noticed a very familiar but silent bit actor sitting at the lunch counter? Sort of like Clive Cussler appearing in each of his novels!

December 20, 2014 03:19 AM Forum: Celestron

Mating scope and mount

Posted By James DellaPenna

I have a C9.25 mounted on an Advanced CG-5GT mount which is used only at public viewing events. The mount takes a fair amount of time to set up and do both polar and star alignments plus calibration stars. The problem with that is that public viewing events often begin even before we can see Polaris! I know Celestron never mated the 9.25 to the Nexstar SE series mounts but I'm curious what your opinions would be. Would a 23-lb load (including accessories) be too much for the gears in the SE mount?

March 30, 2015 01:56 PM Forum: Celestron

Celestron Evolution

Posted By James DellaPenna

Any reviews or comments on the Evolution mounts? Anywhere?

September 7, 2015 03:15 PM Forum: Equipment Talk

Celestron Losmandy style dovetail inquiry

Posted By James DellaPenna

Some time ago I bought a C9.25 equipped with the Celestron orange "D" Losmandy style dovetail and had to make a conversion to a Vixen style dovetail to fit my CG-5GT mount. Eventually, I may sell the Losmandy style dovetail. It measures 17.25" in length to accommodate the long body of the 9.25 scope. Does anybody know if this dovetail also fits the C11 bodies? I would like to advertise it as such but first need to know if it's true. Thanks

January 15, 2016 04:24 PM Forum: Off Topic Discussions

Assault weapon rational?

Posted By James DellaPenna

No matter what your personal views may be on assault weapon ownership, have you ever wondered about the real likely reason anybody would want to own an assault weapon? Yes, the owners or prospective owners of such weapons will quote their constitutional right to gun ownership and their right to defend themselves in general but I think there is an elephant in room that nobody wants to talk about.
As amateur astronomers, most of us are fully aware that a coronal mass ejection on a scale that occurred in the 1800 hundreds aimed directly at us would today literally shut down our electrical grid for 2-4 years, depending upon how long it took to replace the super sized transformers that would be inevitably blown out. There are any number of other possible scenarios that might lead to a dystopian society of haves and have-nots struggling simply to survive. The former TV series "Revolution" might not be such a far cry from reality if we lost all power for several years. One can not diminish the effect a total loss of power would have on our society. When reduced to survival mode the worst in us will rise to the surface.
In this scenario many of the "haves" will be the ultra-conservative assault weapon carrying bully survivors and the "have-nots" will include just about anyone who is not prepared to impose their will on others with the appropriate firepower. It's sad to admit this but it's human nature. I personally think this dystopian fear is the driving force behind assault weapon ownership but that the ones who feel this way are generally too embarrassed to admit it. Let's face it. How many assault weapon owners want to admit to their neighbors that they are expendable if push comes to shove?
The point I'm trying to make is that while discussing the pros and cons of assault weapons, how about incorporating just plain honesty. Is that so hard to do?
So, what should we do in preparation for dystopia?
1. Settle for the have weapon-vs-not have weapon imbalance and live with the results.
2. Provide everybody with assault weapons and live with the results.
3. Eliminate assault weapons and live with the results.

March 7, 2003 09:10 PM Forum: Eyepieces

Orion Lanthanum Super Wides?

Posted By James DellaPenna

Just a note to say "thank you" to Robert Hart, Chris Nicholl, Lee Zager, & Rod Kaufman for your input on this subject. I have just ordered a new Pentax XL-10.5, which will be the strongest eyepiece so far for my C9.25 scope. I'll let you know how it works out.