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Posts Made By: Chuck Burton

February 19, 2006 02:46 AM Forum: Equipment Talk

Laser Pointers

Posted By Chuck Burton

I'm sure this is a controversial subject in and of itself. However, my intended use is at evening star gazing sessions, usually held at schools and parks, where mine is the only scope and I have a small audience. Don't worry, I wouldn't THINK of using it at a star party!

That said, does anyone here have a recommendation about which ones work best for astronomy? Green? Red? How bright does it need to be? Seems like there are a lot of choices out there. TIA for any advice! - Chuck


March 4, 2006 04:46 AM Forum: Eyepieces

How Does the Nagler 11mm T6 Compare to the Old Typ

Posted By Chuck Burton

Has anyone directly compared the subject eyepieces? Should I try to find an older 11 or go for the new Type 6? TIA for any advice! - Chuck

March 5, 2006 11:12 PM Forum: Eyepieces

Lowest Power and FOV in a C-14

Posted By Chuck Burton

Having covered my high power needs with shorter efl EPs, I'm wondering what "rig" would work best with the C-14 to get the widest possible views on extended deep-sky objects without vignetting and light loss? I've read that the lowest usable power in a C-14 is about 56X. This would require something like a 70mm EP. I suppose there may be a few narrow-field Plossls in this range, but I really don't care for narrow AFOVs when observing wide field objects. What about using a 35 Panoptic and a focal reducer? Would the field illumination suffer as a result? To make a long story short, what would be the maximum TFOV that I could achieve and what eyepieces or combination of eyepiece and reducer, would you recommend to get there? Thanks! - Chuck

March 10, 2006 05:15 AM Forum: Eyepieces

Barlow a 31mm Nagler?

Posted By Chuck Burton

Still in search of the holy grail of eyepieces for my C-14. So, anyone here ever run a 2X Barlow with the 31 Nagler? Does it work well - other than being a blunt force trauma weapon? Assuming that the image quality is good, what happens to the eye relief? Ever compare the view between a Barlowed 31mm Nagler and a Nagler 16 or 17? TIA for any info! - Chuck

March 22, 2006 06:44 AM Forum: Equipment Talk

Illuminated X-Hair Finderscope

Posted By Chuck Burton

Hi - is anybody here hacked off about the dearth of quality finderscopes that come with illuminated reticle eyepieces? Meade and Orion used to have some nice 9X60 models, but all the new stuff has no illumination. Maybe they're trying to force us all into GOTO scopes . . .

I've decided to take matters into my own hands. I purchased a 12 X 80 Antares finderscope, had Siebert Optics make me a nice 26mm illuminated reticle EP for it, and now I just need to install some sort of focusing mechanism on the finderscope to make things easier.

I'd really rather not do a full R&P setup since I'd have to cut off the tube asembly - and I'd like to keep the weight down. (this is going on a C-14). Any one here done something like this before? I'd be fine with a decent slip tube as long as I can lock it down. Thanks for any advice.

March 23, 2006 01:31 AM Forum: Equipment Talk

Re: Accessory case choices

Posted By Chuck Burton

Mike:

This may be too "low brow" for ya, but I just picked up a great aluminum tool case at Lowe's - same build quality as the Celestron/Meade cases you see floating around, but larger. Cost: $25. Inside is 17 X 12 X 5. If your eyepiece case doubles as a wheel chock for your 4X4, then this case isn't for you. But, with reasonable care, this box should last a long time. I'm trusting my 31mm Nagler to it - laying down, of course.

The Lowe's case comes with the pluck foam and padded comparment dividers. You pick which way you want to configure it. You could also purchase some HD closed-cell foam and custom cut to fit YOUR eyepieces. (That's what I'm gonna do!) Floyd Blue posted a real nice pic of his custom-cut foam case on the Eyepiece forum a few weeks ago. That's where I got the idea - Just a thought . . . PM me if you need more info. - Chuck

April 4, 2006 02:11 AM Forum: Eyepieces

Nagler 20mm T2 vs. Nagler 20mmT5

Posted By Chuck Burton

Anyone got a preference one over the other? Eye relief, "kidney-bean," contrast, brightness? TIA for any info!

- Chuck

April 8, 2006 12:06 AM Forum: Eyepieces

Nagler T1 9mm vs. Meade 4K UWA 8.8mm

Posted By Chuck Burton

I was thinking of getting one or the other. Any experience with these you can share would be appreciated! - Chuck

April 15, 2006 09:05 PM Forum: Eyepieces

Comparing Performance On Naglers - For You, Floyd!

Posted By Chuck Burton

Hi Floyd: [written April 9th]

Thanks again for letting me keep your 22mm a couple of extra days. Went out to Brantley Lake last night to make some comparative observations between your 22mm, the 17mm, and my newly-acquired 20mm. I intended to do a lot more observing but the moon hung in until 4 a.m., hampering my views of deep-sky objects. I had a little over an hour to work between the eyepieces. To make a long story short, if money was no object, I'd keep both the 17mm and the 22mm. Each eyepiece seems to have its own "character" beyond what can be explained by varying focal lengths. For example, M27 in the 22mm was just breathtaking. The view had an almost 3D appeal to it as if the nebula was floating in the foreground, against a backdrop of stars. The views of M27 were great in the 17mm and the 20mm also, but that "3D" effect was definitely not as pronounced. Other objects, such as M11 and M57 were more suitable for the 20mm. In fact, the best view of M57 was had with my Nagler 12mm T4. I also looked at the Veil Nebula, Omega Centauri, M17, M20, and M8 before retiring for the night.

The 17mm and 22mm T4 Naglers are just amazing. They are very comfortable to look through, excellent eye relief, bright, contrasty images, and sharp across the entire FOV. Kidney beaning and blackouts were easy to induce, especially in the 22mm - HOWEVER! pulling out the click stops on the Insta-Just a couple of notches solved this problem entirely.

I regard the 20mm T5 Nagler as an improvement over the T2 from the standpoint of eye relief, brightness, and contrast. However, the 20mm T5 doesn't have the same "immersive" space walk view that you get with the 20mm T2. This is a highly subjective thing of course. YMMV. Barlowed, my 20mm Nagler outperforms the 9mm T1 Nagler in nearly all departments - brightness, contrast, eye relief, and sharpness, while yielding almost the same magnification. So, I can sell my excellent 9mm Nagler with a clear conscience. BTW, I was using the 2" TeleVue Big Barlow. But, for aesthetic reasons, I think the 17mm and 22mm Naglers are both better performers than the 20mm T5.

You're right about the Meade Series 4000 14mm - very nice EP. However, I think the 12mm Nagler T4 gave a brighter - as well as larger - image and with better contrast than the Meade - no small feat considering the larger image offered by the 12mm. The Meade was a bit more forgiving than the Naglers when it came to eye placement. Much less subject to kidney beans and blackouts. I may eventually sell the Meade 14mm just because it's so close to the Nagler 12mm, but for now, I'll keep it - at least until Al makes a 14mm Nagler! Certainly the Meade 14mm UWA fits nicely into my spread which now looks like this:

Nagler 31 T5
Nagler 20 T5
Meade UWA 14
Nagler 12
Barlowed 20mm (replaces 9mm Nagler)


April 23, 2006 04:46 PM Forum: Astro Binoculars

Apogee 20 X 100 Binocs with Nebula Filters

Posted By Chuck Burton

Hi - Does anyone have any information on the optical and/or build quality of these binocs? They seem an unusually good deal at $299 including an aluminum carrying case. For me, the included "flick-in/flick-out" nebula filters are a nice touch, but not absolutely necessary. I'd be interested in your comments. TIA! - Chuck