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Old 28-10-2019, 11:15 AM
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The Observologist

ngcles is offline
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Billimari, NSW Central West
Posts: 1,627
Yes, I know I'm blessed

Hi Patrick,

Originally Posted by gaseous View Post
All I can say is, his 63.5cm scope must be a beast. ...

That being said, the rest of the night was awesome. The Horsehead was directly visible, if not particularly sharp. I'd only ever seen it once before, and that was with averted imagination. I've never seen Orion with such brightness, detail and clarity around the sweeping edges between light and dark - an oiii filter didn't seem to make a major difference. Picked up two moons on Uranus and one on Neptune. 47 Tuc through my 3D Denkmeier Binoviewers was astounding.
Glad to hear you had such a great session.

Must be a beast? Yes, it is. I count myself very fortunate to both own and use it. That acquisition 14 months ago was due to a number of curious opportunities and a highly cooperative and gentlemanly vendor that all "aligned" nicely to my advantage -- just at the right time.

I bought it second hand off Cloudy Nights. With 'scopes of this bulk, nearly all vendors refuse point blank to ship it at all -- period. Any distance. "If you want it, come pick it up".

I was prepared either for a two year wait to find a vendor who would consider shipping it to Australia or travelling to the U.S myself to take delivery and ship it myself. I found that ultra co-operative person at the very first attempt -- that's almost miracle territory.

In fact the vendor nearly bent over backwards to send it to me. After shopping around for about 10 days (and carting the 'scope to three different shipping firms) to find the best deal on shipping, he rang me telling me he was upset about how much it was going to cost (me) to air freight it half-way 'round the world and offered me my money back. I refused -- so instead he offered to absorb about 1/3rd of the shipping cost because he "felt guilty". I told him he should sober up and talk to his wife first and refused that offer too initially but he insisted and returned via Paypal about $1200 USD to me. He told me he thought the 'scope was simply destined to come to me and didn't want to stand in the way.

The second factor was it was practically brand new despite being eleven years old. The person who purchased it new unfortunately suffered a major health event while awaiting delivery and as a consequence never unpacked it or assembled -- let alone used it in the eight years of his ownership.

His widow sold it to the guy I bought it from (a family friend) just over three years ago (I've had it 14 months now) and he used it only five times. He loved it, but living in an urban environment had to transport it an hour's drive to observe and grew sick of that pretty quickly. He used the proceeds of the sale to me to put a deposit on a 24" ultralite-like f/3.2. So in the end it really was an absolute bargain. The optics are by John Hudek at Galaxy with a Strehl ratio of 0.94 and 1/28th wave RMS -- very good on paper without being outstanding, but I can't fault them based on the eyepiece view.

The brutal fact is, that while a 20" 'scope is very large by anyone's definition and gives fantastic views, 25" is nearly 2/3rds more light at the focal plane than a 20". In the old parlance: there's no substitute for cubic inches -- and it makes a significant difference. I don't think I have "super-eyes" -- they're good but not significantly better than most people. I am also fortunate that just a few months ago I had cataract surgery on both eyes and my vision is now much improved compared to earlier this year -- both in focus and transparent eye-lenses. Particularly the right eye.

I still use my 18" quite a lot, particularly when away from home because Brontes is not genuinely portable, is very difficult and tiresome to assemble and break down as a one man operation. Luckily my neighbour is also an amateur and helps when it becomes necessary.

I am similarly, very fortunate to live in very high quality observing conditions. Both 'scopes live fully assembled in a dedicated shed 80m from the house and roll just 8m out to a near pristine sky with the "worst" horizon being the north-northeast -- it is a 10 degree horizon and conveniently hides the distant light-dome from Orange (70km away). The balance of the horizons are less than 3 degrees (except behind the shed in the W). I'm not writing this with the deliberate purpose of making others jealous. I am simply blessed, (kissed on the whats-it by a fairy etc) lucky and very, very fortunate -- and I know that.



Last edited by ngcles; 28-10-2019 at 01:31 PM.
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