Old 06-11-2010, 10:57 PM
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Davekyn (David)
Loves Staring Into Space!

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M33 & M31 15X70 AOE Binos

Rather cool for this time of year.
Light pollution minimal as 10km from the edge of town...twilight present as M31 boarding just above or around the 30 degree mark and M33 about sitting around 40-45 degrees.

It's been a while since I've been observing and had to rely on my iPhone Star Map program...I first had to make out the outlines of the constellation under Jupiter and follow my way down it through Andromeda which I really had no idea about...I seem to work better by zooming in once identifying the bright stars of the PICTURED constellations and match up the triangular pattern of stars within the field, hopping from one pattern to the other...look at map, then binos, back to map then finally binos, only to move on when I confirm a match and so on...in this way...I actually found M33 without to much trouble at all.

The first thing I thought about M33 other than it was a smudge...was how big it is...it seemed to take up a large portion...all be it to one side within the bent recutangular outline I pictured it to be within. Although dim, I was very pleased with the resulting shape and shear size of the galaxy...after all I was only using 15X70 binos and found it quite easily by star hopping...I was very pleased I had made the effort to drive out and have a look.

M31...WOW...best I have seen it...on par with my 12" dob...perhaps its been to long since I have sold it but I was extremely please with how bright and the resulting core image was very evident to say the least.

Because I only have my 15X70 binoculars left...it seems I have adopted a whole new level of enjoyment and still have many challenges ahead.

I look forward to giving more reports as I take on the challenges of binocular astronomy
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Old 07-11-2010, 09:34 AM
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Nice going Dave,

Good to see your still into astronomy and getting out there under the stars.

I remember my first look at the Andromeda galaxy through binos quite spectacular.

Cheers Orestis
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Old 07-11-2010, 09:31 PM
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Paddy (Patrick)
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Nice report Dave. You have nicely described the process of star hopping that a lot of us use - identifying triangles! And a nice reminder of what a great time can be had with a pair of binoculars.
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Old 08-11-2010, 10:37 AM
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Hi Dave, sounds like you had a great time and proved that a simple pair of binos can bring about so much enjoyment. I am a big fan of them too and will often prefer to use them over a scope. I could never explain properly and I don't really know why, but there is something magical about the simplicity (and ease!) of the objects binos show us. When I was at a star party last weekend, I had my 10" dob with me, but half the time was used just using my binos or my own eyes. There is an awesomeness of just scanning that whole sky in big sweeps and seeing what "pops" up.
Looks like we're on the same page here Dave.
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Old 08-11-2010, 10:59 AM
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astroron (Ron)
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Hi Dave Long time since we chatted on this forum
good to see you are still doing Astronomy
Nice report
I too like to spend time under the stars just with the Bino's,it gives you a different perspective on things and it is also so easy to get carried away into the galaxy
Do you use a tripod for the Bino's as 15x70 are a fair size
I hope we hear more from you in the future
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Old 10-11-2010, 10:21 PM
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Davekyn (David)
Loves Staring Into Space!

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Thank you all for your encouragement & kind words. Good to hear from you all again as well. I do have a little work coming soon, & there may be a little left over to invest in something a little more powerful to replace a little of what I had sold earlier…I hope so anyways.

Yep…star hoping is great fun!!! I love it…best part using my 12” Dob was the challenge using the Bino’s to find the targets.

No Ron…No Tripod or Mount-“as of yet”. I like to think I am very good at using my hands with those 15X70s, however I do agree, to really get the most out of them, a tripod is needed. I do use a portable camping lounging chair, as well the lying on the ground method. I use two neck braces on the one set of Bino’s in question, that I sling through each arm (like a rifleman but with two arms instead of one) to act as a harness for more stability. Combining some of these methods allowed me to line up Jupiter’s moon only just last night. It was my best attempt using the double neck brace method lying down and looking backwards over my lounging chair. Jupiter itself appeared as a crisp and bright large dot, with two moons two it’s left side and one to its right. The image was very sharp and looked as if it was part of a clock with the hour hand pointing at the 10 with the minute hand pointing at the 4. Off course I could not hold it that steady for more than a few seconds at a time, but for those moments I could get it that steady…it was a rewarding achievement!

My Next goal is to “maybe” pick out some doubles and see if I can tease out whatever, using the same methods that gave such a good result on Jupiter last night, not to mention learn the constellations all over again.

If I may just go on a little more…My next purchase is a toss-up…a bit hard to decide. I am really wrapped and excited about using binoculars…particularly with my new fond activities of Hiking and so on…I wish to dedicate a large portion of my Back Pack and attach amount of some kind to the outside of my pack. I have been looking at Garret for mounts…I think I will be going for a parallelogram attachment, however am unsure of its folding capacity to attach to the outside of a large Backpack alongside mount. The counterweight and weight overall is not as a greater concern as is the packing size!

The 15X70 binos I have fit inside my pack very well & I am figuring on getting myself a set of 20X80 Triplet set for the complete setup & using a pair of 8X42 mounted on top of pack or even off my hip…to use during the day and for star hopping while the 20X80s are mounted by night.

BIG DREAMS at this stage and more research needed on feasibility, however I’m working my way up to carrying a 25kg Pack over 12km…so far I have done a couple of 11.5km hikes with an 18kg pack quite easily…My NEW ultralight “GCI Sling Chair” only weighs 1kg and does an awesome job for bino viewing considering what it is. I can slide into all kinds of positions with this little chair

I’ll go light on a lot of other things as well and will happily share over half the weight for my night time observations.

Only other option I’ve considered is a short tube refractor…still a lot to consider on that one, with the 8X40s. Food for thought.
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Old 11-11-2010, 12:26 PM
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mental4astro (Alexander)

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Hi Dave,

Good to see you exploiting the binos! I'm wanting to get to do a bit more binocular observing done too, and sketch with them too, if only the clouds would co-operate.

Thinking compact, have a look at this series of compact dobs from 4.5" to 8". The 4.5" weighs less than 1.8kg.


One of those modest little 114's at f/4.5 would be a nice candidate.

Mmmm, I've been looking for one of those too...
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Old 11-11-2010, 02:28 PM
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Davekyn (David)
Loves Staring Into Space!

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That is by far the BEST travel scope for my needs! I have been looking for a while since my previous post on the topic of something big to take hiking.
I think I will be contacting that person...Thanks a bunch for the Link mental4astro...I could not better that out of all the searching I have been trying...I know there are a lot of other options, but for a backpack...that is more than doable.

I think mods could be made if needed to keep the mirror in better nick for longer...but I would have no idea where to start on such a project...

If only people would sell things like this...still though...I'm up for the project...looks like I wont be topping that one...

Thanks again!!!
Edit...I'll take this into the ATM section now...its great finding travel scope designs...but it sure is hard finding actual detailed plans or a complete dummy's guide...:

Last edited by Davekyn; 11-11-2010 at 08:28 PM.
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