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The Eagle Nebula from the Copernicus Observatory in SW Utah

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Posts Made By: Mark Jordan

September 5, 2007 05:50 PM Forum: Reflectors

Orion Optics of UK, Experiences?

Posted By Mark Jordan


And thanks in advance for any input! I have been considering a possible OTA upgrade from my humble Orion SVP 8" Newtonian. Not really even an aperture increase, just a little better optics in the tube. I have been looking at the Orion Optics of UK TS Photo Newtonian, the descriptions sound promising, as well as the light weight of the OTA. Anyone have any experience or knowledge with this series of Newtonian OTA? They are not the same as the regular Orion USA SVP series Newtonian offered here in the U.S., seem to be quite superior from appearances and descriptions.

Mark Jordan

May 12, 2010 04:12 PM Forum: AstroMart FAQ

Paypal Support

Posted By Mark Jordan

So I send $100.00 for a brown level supporter yesterday via Paypal:

"Your payment for $100.00 USD to [email protected] has been sent."

How soon do I show as being a supporter in my profile?


December 20, 2010 03:02 PM Forum: Off Topic Discussions

Putting things in perspective! ;^)

Posted By Mark Jordan

I debated for a short time just which discussion title to post this in as it would actually be a good fit or at least point up in the Politics, I Like To Complain About Everything, Religion, or No Holds Barred discussions. I guess it could go in a few, anyhow just thought I'd drop it in here somewhere to give folks a little nudge towards our "reality" & where things fall in a cosmic scale.

Many of you may have already seen this or one similar, but I personally thing we should all see it more than once and at least once a year. It is a reading by the late Carl Sagan from his book "Pale Blue Dot" set in a you tube video, I think one of the better ones of the hundreds posted there. Enjoy it or pick it apart, but here it is anyhow & yes the music doe get overpowering towards the end... My rant about this video!

Mark Jordan

The Star Deck Observatory

February 9, 2012 03:01 PM Forum: Reflectors

Collimation issue:

Posted By Mark Jordan


I have a quirk in my 8" that has me somewhat stumped. I took the primary out to give it the first cleaning in the nearly 4 years since putting it in the OTA. Side note, used the Photonics Cleaning solution, worked fantastic & the basic kit has enough in it to do 4 such 8" primary mirrors.... plenty in the basic started kit! Well I finally decided to place a center marker on the primary While I had it out, I've been using a Cheshire Eye for collimation for years, works even without a center marker. As you likely know it's all about the visual picture you see not a laser dot to the marker thing.

Well, here's the problem! When the OTA is properly collimated by the use of the Cheshire Eye the laser collimator dot always hits the upper left of the marker ring. The laser shows the Primary as true from that spot and this of coarse is confirmed by use of the Cheshire. I have triple checked the marker on the primary & it is dead center of the primary. I checked the focuser again, it is dead on the mark in the tube across from it. I have triple checked the secondary & spider and this too shows as being properly centered. There does not seem to be any shift of the primary in the cell, seems to be seated properly. Any input on possible causes of a fix? So far I am just ignoring the "new" center mark & checking the collimation the old fashion way with the cheshire. Star testing shows the OTA to be perfectly collimated with this method.

Used 2 different laser collimators with the same quirk. An Orion lasermate & a Hotech collimator. I may try rotating the primary cell in the OTA tube to see if maybe it's the tube causing the laser misalignment. The collimation with the Cheshire confirms the same findings, when visually collimated with Cheshire the marker ring appears to be in the same slightly off situation. Any ideals? Other than the possibility the mirror is shifted slightly out of center of the tube by the mirror cell position in the tube I'm stumped. :S



December 10, 2012 05:48 PM Forum: A Day in the Life of the Administrator

Astromart Support

Posted By Mark Jordan

Thought Astromart took PayPal at one time for support payments? Any chance of paying for a years support this way?


Mark Jordan

December 17, 2012 03:38 PM Forum: CCD Imaging and Processing/Deep Sky

narrowband imaging questions

Posted By Mark Jordan

Lo all,

I am considering doing some narrowband imaging with a monochrome camera (atik 314L plus) and would like to start out doing more "true to rgb color" rather than the HST style. Main reason for the shift is increasing LP in my area. I have researched about some & see the Ha, OIII, OIII method as seeming to produce the closest match to a more traditional RGB format. My question is this, in simulating the Blue channel with the Ha, OIII combination where does one turn if they do not have or want to shell out for PhotoShop to put together the simulated blue or green channel? I sometimes use GIMP at the 2.8 level, but GIMP still has the limitation on color bit. Can the simulation be handled in the actual stacking & combining of the subframes?

My plan is to go ahead and buy a full Ha, OIII, SII filter set & move into the various filteer palettes later, but for now I just want to reproduce more traditional LRGB DSO images. Thank you in advance for any input!

Mark Jordan
Greenfield, IN

March 8, 2013 09:00 PM Forum: Home Observatories

Finally Broke down & built a "new" Obs Puter!

Posted By Mark Jordan

No biggy, just out testing out everything, looks like I might even get a cllear sky tonight for the first time in weeks! Hey just had to show it off somewhere! Basically used some parts from the old Win XP Pro 32 bit set up, upgraded the MB, processor, memory & PS, got a little less than $300.00 in the parts + the Win 7 Pro 64 bit upgrade. Win 8 you say, Ohhhh no, no, no, not to run my equipment out here!

Sorry, just had to boast it up somewhere, I know nobody cares..... ;^) but just gota shout it out at least once!

May 27, 2013 02:42 PM Forum: Off Topic Discussions

It's Here....!

Posted By Mark Jordan

It's Here!

Well Floyd, I finally got the trike! Actually I received it on the 16th, but there have been some problems and bad luck! It had to go the local dealer here who only special orders the ICE trikes for repair before it was even assembled! The left side brake caliper mount somehow warped when it was welded to the kingpin, bad jig or loose in the jig, at any rate the wheel could not be mounted to the trike until the kingpin was replaced! The bike mechanic checked it out to find the mount point was 15 degrees out of square. ICE expressed the replacement kingpin & I finally managed to have it all setup & picked it up on the morning of the 25th.

I finally got to turn the pedals on it on the 25th, but not very much as I have been having a bad bout of the influenza! I'm feeling a bit better today & should be up to par in a couple more days, hazard of my profession! One gets a lot of exposure in the EMS business, and every once & a while you get zapped regardless of how much BSI you take. Doesn't matter whether I'm on the Engine or the transporting medic, as the ALS provider I still have a lot of direct patient contact! Anyhow She's a beauty & I kind of feel like it has been pre-disastered a bit with all of the delays in getting to ride it. She sits out in the garage now mocking me!! wink

The little time I spent on it checking it out, it was a lot of fun even though I danged near hacked up a lung after the ride! I really like the setup on the Sprint 26 fits me OK, but I don't think I could be another inch wider! Eager to get it out on the road when I am feeling better!


January 20, 2014 02:44 AM Forum: Reflectors

Baffles vs Flocking?

Posted By Mark Jordan

Lo all,

Got a question for anyone with a little more knowledge than myself on the matter. I have the Orion 10" F3.9 'Astrograph' OTA. I am in the process of making a few upgrades to it and have had the primary and secondary out for the mounting of a new Moonlite Focuser assembly & placement of a CatsEye center spot. While having the mirrors & mirror cell out I reached in and did some inspections of the "baffle system" Orion has in the tube. This is what I found, there are 13 baffles all .5" with a 2" separation spacer that is part of the baffle. There is no sizing difference from the first baffle to the last they are all .5", really that is all that can be the baffle size as the tube is only 11.25" ID with the tube ends off. Using about any Newtonian configurator this setup comes back as "design does not allow for baffling" as the required front opening for what is considered to be proper for baffling would be about 12.25".

So here is where my questions come in. I pulled three of the "baffles" out from the rear of the tube, how I got the measurements, each one of the 13 weighs in @ .375 Lbs. each. This means the 13 baffles add nearly 5 lbs. to the weight of the OTA, I'm sure they are having some positive effects in maybe stopping down the OTA a little and helping to improve contrast in this fast Newt with a 31% secondary obstruction. My question is, do you think pulling the 13 small identical baffles and replacing them by flocking the tube would do the same as the current series of 13 .5" baffles 2" apart from the primary up? Just thinking about it as a possible way to fairly easily shave 5 Lbs. off the OTA without damaging the performance of the OTA. By everything I've managed to find on baffling a Newtonian OTA the 13 identical size baffles just don't seem like they would be doing a great deal of baffling & being plain plastic might even cause some possible thermal balance issues with the metal tube. It seems kind of like having a 26" long plastic inner liner about .063" sitting inside the tube against the metal wall of the tube, I can imagine that might cause some internal tube thermal problems. Maybe not. But I was just wondering if the flocking would be a better choice while reducing the tube weight some. Any thoughts or input would be welcome. Over all the OTA has given a pretty fair performance for a $650.00 ten inch fast Newt, just wondering if doing the flock vs 'baffles' change couldn't possibly increase the over all performance, given the smaller I.D. of the steel tube.

Thanks & CS!

Mark Jordan

November 30, 2014 03:54 AM Forum: Off Topic Discussions

Caught this Sy-fi, fact, & fantasy sort video toda

Posted By Mark Jordan

Lo all,

Caught this today on the net, thought it was a very well done short primarily CGI video of the local solar system laced with the hopes & dreams of wanton astronomers & travelers!

I thought the depictions & scenes were quite beautiful, with a mix of hopes, dreams, & some science within the depictions along with a lot of fantasy & distant future hopes. Kind of a cool little short 'movie'! 8)