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Posts Made By: Chuck Burton

April 23, 2006 04:48 PM Forum: Astro Binoculars

Binocular Mounts

Posted By Chuck Burton

Looking for advice on binocular mounts - what type do you use, what do you like? Personally, I find a regular camera tripod a bit awkward to use with my 11X80s. TIA for any advice! - Chuck

May 1, 2006 06:19 AM Forum: Eyepieces

Eyepieces for Binoviewer

Posted By Chuck Burton

Awhile back, I bought this "AM Special," a Nikon binoviewer originally manufactured for a microscope, but modified by the owner for use in a telescope. It goes into a 2" focuser, and takes 1.25" eyepieces. The guy I bought it from said he had trouble fusing the images sometimes. I bought a couple of cheap Owl 17mm WA eyepieces to try it out with and finally got around to using it last night in my C-14. Holy Toledo!! This was my first rodeo with a binoviewer. The moon was spectacular, and the star fields of M46 and Omega Centauri just blew me away! I did notice that the throughput was a bit less on nebulae - the little planetary nebula superimposed on M46 was much easier to see in my Nagler 20mm. Still, it's hard to argue the aesthetics. And this will probably sound dumb, but the immersive feeling of looking through that binoviewer with a couple of cheap wide angle eyepiece is an experience that rivals the one-eyed "Nagler" view of space. [YMMV of course!]

Anyway, thanks for indulging me on that. My question is, does anyone have any experience with the Antares 26mm WA eyepieces? I was thinking of picking up a pair of those for lower-power viewing through the binoviewer. The Owl 17mm eyepiece performs right up there with the older Meade 18mm SWA at least in my f/11 C-14.


May 6, 2006 05:36 PM Forum: Eyepieces

SCT + Lumicon Giant Easy Guider/Focal Reducer

Posted By Chuck Burton

Six months ago, I left the fine widefield deep-sky performance of a 16" f/4.5 Newt. and moved to a C-14. It didn't take long to find that I really missed the wide angle DSO views of the faster Newt. Recently, I purchased a used Lumicon Giant Easy Guider and have been using it visually with the C-14. The GEG has a large (80mm) reducing lens that can be moved forward and back to yield varying reductions in focal length.

Using a 31mm Nagler, I was never able to frame the trio of galaxies in Leo (M65, M66, and NGC 3628) in a single view. But, after installing the GEG, the entire galaxy trio fits in the FOV. I expected to see some vignetting, but if there was any, it must have been very slight. I'm not sure how the more commonly-available focal reducers perform, but I had heard that vignetting was a problem with those when using 2" EPs and/or EPs with long focal lengths. Anyway, thought I'd chime in on this for anyone else out there that likes those extra wide fields of view! The GEG rocks!

I'm looking forward to the arrival of the Summer Milky Way and the return of Orion so I can check out some of the larger DSOs.

- Chuck

May 6, 2006 08:48 PM Forum: Eyepieces

Your Opinion: Sky Instrucments?Antares Mer 32 & 40

Posted By Chuck Burton

Has anyone tried the Sky Instruments - Antares ER40 or MER32 Erfle eyepieces? I'll be working at f/10. Sorry - can't afford a pair of Panoptics! Thanks for any information - Chuck

September 9, 2006 08:09 PM Forum: Telescope Making

Clutch Material for a GEM Polar Axis Drive

Posted By Chuck Burton

Hi -

I recently acquired an old Schaefer mount in need of some TLC. This mount has the mass of the drive gear on the FRONT end of the polar axis, making for a very stable scope platform. A disk of teflon is used between the RA drive gear and the polar housing face. This allows the gear to slip freely as it's driven along. I'm looking for a "clutch disk" to go between the gear and the disk of the Declination housing. Some friction is needed at this interface for keeping the scope moving with the RA gear. I've heard of cork and other resilient materials being used for drive gear clutches, but I think that would need frequent replacement. Any other ideas out there? Thanks! - Chuck

September 9, 2006 08:23 PM Forum: Mounts

Clutch Material for RA Axis - German Equatorial

Posted By Chuck Burton

Hi -

I recently acquired an old Schaefer mount in need of some TLC. This mount has the mass of the drive gear on the FRONT end of the polar axis, making for a very stable scope platform. A disk of teflon is used between the RA drive gear and the polar housing face. This allows the gear to slip freely as it's driven along. I'm looking for a "clutch disk" to go between the gear and the disk of the Declination housing. Some friction is needed at this interface for keeping the scope moving with the RA gear. I've heard of cork and other resilient materials being used for drive gear clutches, but I think that would need frequent replacement. Any other ideas out there? Thanks! - Chuck

December 28, 2006 03:50 AM Forum: Eyepieces

SCTs and the 41mm Panoptic

Posted By Chuck Burton

Hi - Does anyone here have any experience with the 41mm Pan coupled to a 10" or larger SCT? I am contemplating the purchase of a 41mm Pan, but would like to hear of others' experiences with the EP first. I had 27mm and 35mm Pans in the past. They were very sharp and comfortable to look through, but the pincushion distortion really bothered me, so I sold them. Has anyone evaluated pincushion distortion in the 41mm Panoptic? Is it better, worse, or about the same as other long EFL eyepieces in the Panoptic line? Thanks in advance for any advice! - Chuck

March 18, 2007 04:13 AM Forum: Eyepieces

Anyone Have Experience w/ the New Celestron Axiom

Posted By Chuck Burton

Looks like Celestron is joining Meade in going after the Nagler market with their competing Axiom LX and Ultima LX eyepieces. Has anyone looked though these and compared them to their Meade and Nagler counterparts? The Axiom LXs DO look a lot like the Meade 5000. Same optics with a different label perhaps? Thanks - Chuck

March 27, 2007 11:59 PM Forum: Eyepieces

Meade 4000 Superwides vs. Celestron Axioms

Posted By Chuck Burton

If I lived near a decent-sized town, I could probably find an astro club and do my own comparisons. But since I don't, maybe y'all can help me. I've purchased a few eyepieces from days gone by off AM. I have a half-built collection of Meade 4000 Superwides and a half-built collection of Celestron Axioms. I'd like to build out one set or the other. So, I'm soliciting your opinions on the performance of Meade 4000 SWAs and Axioms. For example, would a Meade SWA 40mm beat out an Axiom 40mm? Then, I'll try and trade my way into a complete set. Thanks in advance for your thoughts! - Chuck

June 6, 2007 02:08 AM Forum: Eyepieces

Nagler 9mm Type 1 vs. Nagler 9mm Type 6

Posted By Chuck Burton

Hi! I have an older Nagler 9mm Type 1 [Japanese] and was wondering if anyone here has compared the Type 1 to the Type 6? I have noticed with some of my other Naglers (Type 5) that the eye relief is much better but some of the "spacewalk" feeling is gone. Perhaps the additional eye relief has removed the "immersive" feeling of the earlier models. (How's that for a subjective reference?? ) Anyway, I've been considering trading off my Type 1 for a Type 6, but want to get some info about the trade-offs in doing so. Thanks for any information or advice! - Chuck