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Old 30-10-2016, 07:06 PM
NoTan2 (Paul)
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Red face Rookie errors

It's been cloudy every night since I've assembled my new scope. I hadn't bothered fitting the finder scope, so I thought I might as well do so.
The manual said to aim at an object 500 yards away to align it. So I fitted the 25mm eyepiece for the first time and aimed at some trees in the distance. Hmmm.. just a blur right throughout the focusser's travel.

Don't panic yet. Collimation errors probably won't cause that. What else?
I've extended the tube until it clicked and nipped up the three locking screws. Wait a minute - why are the trusses not at their stops? Loosen the lock screws and tug a bit harder. Nobody told me there were two clicks.

Back to the eyepiece. Now I can see stuff. Good fun looking at an Indian Myna hanging upside down from a branch.

OK, let's align the finder on that distant tree. Hmmm again... it only focusses on close objects.

So I've got the eyepiece fitted to the 1.25" adapter which is fitted to the 2" adapter which is fitted to the focusser. That's the way it's supposed to work, isn't it?

Gave me a good laugh anyway. A belated google shows that I'm not the first.

But it begs the obvious question - why has Skywatcher given me two clicks on the trusses? Perhaps to allow prime focus on a DSLR?

The one real positive outcome from my comedy of errors is that now I've removed the 2" adapter from the chain, the view through the cheshire/sight tube looks more like it is supposed to. I can now see the the primary mirror's three clips which were not visible before. I can also see the concentric circles of the secondary mirror and the end of the sight tube.

Now if only the clouds would go away.
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Old 30-10-2016, 10:05 PM
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silv (Annette)
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Thanks for sharing

Hope you keep us updated with new funny mistakes, too.
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Old 30-10-2016, 10:08 PM
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silv (Annette)
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Quote:
Good fun looking at an Indian Myna hanging upside down from a branch.
That's a well known but rarely observed Myna fetish!

I feel embarrassed for the myna - she doesn't even know that her eccentric behaviour was seen and reported and caused amused grins.
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Old 31-10-2016, 08:48 AM
NoTan2 (Paul)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by silv View Post
That's a well known but rarely observed Myna fetish.
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Old 31-10-2016, 09:00 AM
NoTan2 (Paul)
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Another discovery concerns my seating position. I was sitting on an old adjustable office chair and, even on the lowest setting, my back was a bit sore after hunching over with the OTA close to horizontal. At the other extreme, I don't think the topmost setting would be high enough if it were pointed at the zenith.

So it looks like I'll be making a seat out of timber with a sufficient range of adjustment. Plenty of ideas online.
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Old 31-10-2016, 06:07 PM
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vlazg (George)
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Just another myna problem, at least you're not upside down
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Old 01-11-2016, 08:20 AM
NoTan2 (Paul)
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You're right, George, it's nothing to crow about.

The clouds finally went away for the first time yesterday. Since I haven't finished my scope-moving trolley yet, I just pointed the scope out through the garage door.

There wasn't too much to see with the naked eye (at least until my eyes adapted after an hour or so) but through the eyepiece there were stars everywhere I pointed it. I'm impressed. Only a tiny portion of the sky was available but so much to see.

I tried the 25mm and 10mm eyepieces and, as I've read, I found the view through the 25mm to be the most pleasing. The stars were nice and crisp and I could see groupings quite easily.

I think I'll bring Stellarium with me next time and see if I can identify something.
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Old 01-11-2016, 09:15 AM
glend (Glen)
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Paul the next few nights should be good in your area. Try to get the scope outside if you can. Use your wider field of view eyepiece (the 25mm) to browse and then switch to the 10mm for getting close into a target object. What part of the sky do you have easy access to? Venus is very bright in the early evening to the south west. If you have any sirt of Android device, or even an Apple product, you can download Sky Safari Pro to give you excellence planetarium app at the scope. If your phone or tabket is position/directional enabled you can use it as a basic scope pointing device. Have fun.
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Old 01-11-2016, 10:04 AM
NoTan2 (Paul)
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Hi Glen,
Clouds are back tonight but then quite a few clear nights with a bit of luck.

My daughter has kindly offered to help me carry the scope outside in the short term so I will be able to see slightly more than half the sky - from the North around to the East and South. Rigel Kent is about as far to the South West as I can see from that side of the house so Venus won't be available. There's a bright street light on the western side of the house but perhaps that mightn't be too much of a problem when observing something bright like Venus?

I've loaded Stellarium onto a notebook so that's easy. But how do people avoid losing night vision when using a notebook/tablet - perhaps cover your observing eye when looking at the screen?
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Old 01-11-2016, 10:23 AM
glend (Glen)
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Paul most planetarium programs have a red screen night vision mode. If not you can download BackYard EOS RED, which will run on any laptop and all it does is give you an adjustable Red screen. It is free to download.

You really need to get along to one of the Central Coast night gatherings at the Pony Club (Somerby), or elsewhere to meet the rest of the locals and you will learn alot quickly.
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Old 01-11-2016, 07:02 PM
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silv (Annette)
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And yes:
people do wear a pirate's eye patch over the observing eye.
I mean - they push it up while observing....
(known rookie error not to )

But flap it back down just before they want to fumble around to find something "terrestrial", so to speak, thus preserving the dark adaption.
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Old 02-11-2016, 02:44 PM
mikeyjames (Mick)
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Hi Paul
My effort yesterday should make you feel better.

My southerly view is blocked so since I picked up my scope last Monday I have been practising setting up with a compass, spirit level, and angle measurer. I'm on leave from work until next week so have been setting up, trying to get my goto to point at the sun (with Baader ND 5.0), then packing up, and repeat several times per day. I've had some luck, where it points at the sun and tracks it for an hour or so. I then I repeat and have no luck and it baffles me.

Yesterday, I set up, asked the goto to find the sun, and I saw nothing. I was baffled and frustrated by this completely blank and dark view. After a few minutes of checking, I then told the scope to park and checked that I was exactly on my marks for home positon and started again. Another blank view - highly frustrating.

I then remembered it was actually daytime and a black view was unusual, I should be seeing blue sky. I then remembered I had put the end cap on the scope when I had a break for lunch. Without thinking I reached around to pull it off and instantly felt intense heat on my cheek and in an instant realised what I had done - I was very very lucky I wasn't still looking through the eyepiece or I would be down to one eye today.

So basically I was looking for something with the end cap still on (if it was night I wonder how long I would have take me to figure it out) and then risked blinding myself because the brain was focussed on my frustration rather than the task at hand.

Cheers
Mick
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Old 02-11-2016, 03:59 PM
NoTan2 (Paul)
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Glen,
Stellarium has a "night" mode which turns everything red (ctrl-N) - thanks for the tip.

Annette,
I went for a regular eye checkup this morning and was chatting to the optometrist about my new telescope. She was quite interested as she also has a long standing interest in things astronomical (and an excellent knowledge about vision, naturally). So we talked about eyepatches, dark adapted vision, averted vision and so on. She was pleased to talk technical with someone who had a reason to try to understand the issues. Most informative.
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Old 02-11-2016, 04:04 PM
NoTan2 (Paul)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikeyjames View Post
because the brain was focussed on my frustration rather than the task at hand.Mick
Mick, you're talking to a believer. I know exactly where you're coming from.

I'm always very careful and methodical around things that have the potential to be hazardous but it's always that half a second of distraction that can catch you out. I'm thinking about a close encounter I had with a model aircraft propellor a few years back.

Glad you resolved the issue safely.
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Old 03-11-2016, 02:49 AM
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silv (Annette)
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oh, that's just wonderfully funny
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Old 03-11-2016, 09:06 AM
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jenchris (Jennifer)
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I avoid looking at the sun for just that reason.
If I do look sunwards I go into a double check routine.
Much as I used to do with loaded firearms and for the same reason
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Old 05-11-2016, 07:30 PM
StephenRH (Stephen)
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Ophthalmologist Visit

Following up on Paul's comment, when I had my eyes lasered (for Posterior Capsular Opacification), I had a big talk with the Surgeon about eyes and we discussed similar things to you, Paul. I also think he was pleased with someone who knew something about it. He used a Nd:YAG laser and we talked about neodymium and yttrium which were part of the laser crystal.

If anyone needs PCO treatment, go for it (it refers to a gradual clouding over of the lens covering after cataract surgery). It has improved my vision at the telescope, and of course in life in general!


Annette,
I went for a regular eye checkup this morning and was chatting to the optometrist about my new telescope. She was quite interested as she also has a long standing interest in things astronomical (and an excellent knowledge about vision, naturally). So we talked about eyepatches, dark adapted vision, averted vision and so on. She was pleased to talk technical with someone who had a reason to try to understand the issues. Most informative.[/QUOTE]
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Old 05-11-2016, 08:38 PM
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silv (Annette)
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I don't have a story to add to the eye doctor's category.

My story is from an audiologist I went to while living in Ireland.
His office was decorated with photos depicting the space walk of an ISS astronaut. And one showed the astronaut holding a pen and writing something with it.
Intrigued, I asked my fellow-space-enthusiast audiologist what the story behind his office decoration was.

Turns out, the astronaut was his son-in-law.
And the pen he wrote something with (what he wrote I have long forgotten. Something like a postcard to his in-laws in Ireland, I believe),
the pen - would I maybe want to touch it?



I so did want to touch it!
And he gave the pen to me to hold for a time while we were discussing my new hearing aids.
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Old 05-11-2016, 08:46 PM
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silv (Annette)
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An intriguing economic fact should be added:
I got my new hearing aids in Wellington NZ a few months later - and not from the Irish father-in-law of an ISS astronaut.
Why?
Because I had to pay for them in full - in Ireland and in NZ, too.
(In Germany, I would have gotten a pair for almost no payment from out of my own pocket. But I hadn't lived in Germany since 2004 and didn't plan to live in Germany for many years to come, if ever again.)

But the price was odd:
it was the same amount in € as it was in NZ$, only the currency sign exchanged.
Something like 7.000 NZ$ I paid in Welli. And in Cork it would have been 7.000€.

The difference paid for my plane ticket, so to say.

Odd, isn't it? The very same device being sold by the manufacturer (and the audiologist) for a "random number" instead of for a distinct price/value.
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