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Challenges of star gazing for the elderly... and *more* about the hobby Login/Join 
always with a hat or sunscreen
Picture of bald1
posted
Aside from the obvious issues with light pollution, age has impacted my being able to enjoy this hobby. Eek

I no longer can manhandle my SkyWatcher EQ6 SkyScan mount's 80 pounds. And even moving a lighter and less sophisticated EQ4 mount takes multiple trips. Frown

So recently we did two things.

First I moved my MN56 Maksutov-Newtonian from the SkyScan EQ6 (with Karry Hanna saddle adapter, Robin Casady tip-in saddle, and Losmady 13.5" DUP dovetail) to my Spectiva EQ4 equatorial mount with NatureWatch wooden legs.

Second, one of my sons setup my vintage Criterion RV6 6" Newtonian in the backyard where it will be left. A BBQ cover is being used to protect it. This will allow me to enjoy the skies without the burden of hauling and setting up a scope and mount. Oh I'll still want to take the MN56 out at times too, but this now gives me the option of a much less strenuous path. Wink





And I have this StarSeat to provide relief from having to always stand to use the telescope. Great for these old bones! Big Grin

This message has been edited. Last edited by: bald1,



Certifiable member of the gun toting, septuagenarian, bucket list workin', crazed retiree, bald is beautiful club!
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Posts: 11469 | Location: Black Hills of South Dakota | Registered: June 20, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Shaman
Picture of ScreamingCockatoo
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I wish I had more time with mine.





He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster.
 
Posts: 38774 | Location: Atop the cockatoo tree | Registered: July 27, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
always with a hat or sunscreen
Picture of bald1
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quote:
Originally posted by ScreamingCockatoo:
I wish I had more time with mine.


Retirement 13+ years ago solved that for me. Big Grin



Certifiable member of the gun toting, septuagenarian, bucket list workin', crazed retiree, bald is beautiful club!
USN (RET), COTEP #192
 
Posts: 11469 | Location: Black Hills of South Dakota | Registered: June 20, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
always with a hat or sunscreen
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Things were looking really good for tonight to check out how well dialed in the collimation (mirror alignment) is on that vintage scope in the backyard, what with the forecast for mild temperatures, transparency (low atmospheric water vapor), no cloud cover, darkness from 8pm to 4am (no moon), seeing (atmospheric turbulence, but this morning there is a high probability that smoke from the west coast fires will intrude.

Well the haze is here at dinner time and predicted to last most of the upcoming week. Oh well....


http://www.cleardarksky.com/c/HddnVlyObSDkey.html?1
https://www.cleardarksky.com/a...n+Valley+Observatory




Certifiable member of the gun toting, septuagenarian, bucket list workin', crazed retiree, bald is beautiful club!
USN (RET), COTEP #192
 
Posts: 11469 | Location: Black Hills of South Dakota | Registered: June 20, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of Beancooker
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I had planned for the last two weeks to take Mia to the top of Mingus Mountain. No moon, ideally no clouds, and no light pollution. Plus we would be at 7815 feet. So less atmosphere between us and the stars.

Damned California and the fires. Screwing up the plans.




quote:
Balzé Halzé:
now I see that you're about as bright as a black hole, and twice as dense. Good lord.
The “lol” thread
 
Posts: 2193 | Location: Staring down at you with disdain, from the spooky mountaintop castle.  | Registered: November 20, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Little ray
of sunshine
Picture of jhe888
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Those chairs are great. Sometimes you get the eyepiece is a place that is hard to look into without standing your head without one.




The fish is mute, expressionless. The fish doesn't think because the fish knows everything.
 
Posts: 49041 | Location: Texas | Registered: February 10, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
always with a hat or sunscreen
Picture of bald1
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quote:
Originally posted by jhe888:
Those chairs are great. Sometimes you get the eyepiece is a place that is hard to look into without standing your head without one.


Agreed! Mine is an updated version with a cup holder. Big Grin



The astronomers curse continues. Get new equipment, want to observe a cosmic event, plan an star watching outing with friends and family, and the heavens DON'T COOPERATE! Frown Frown Frown

These conditions have persisted since the vintage RV6 reflector was set up in the backyard on the 11th. Argh!




Certifiable member of the gun toting, septuagenarian, bucket list workin', crazed retiree, bald is beautiful club!
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Posts: 11469 | Location: Black Hills of South Dakota | Registered: June 20, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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That chair is built like a tank.
Not understand how it works though.

I don't see wheels,
If it's stationary and 98% of the stuff way up high is moving,

How does one follow it across the sky?

Maybe I should YouTube it, and stop asking silly questions.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: bendable,





Safety, Situational Awareness and proficiency.



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Posts: 50967 | Location: Henry County , Il | Registered: February 10, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
always with a hat or sunscreen
Picture of bald1
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quote:
Originally posted by bendable:
That chair is built like a tank.
Not understand how it works though.


Adjustable seat and leg position for viewing comfort. Folds up for storage. Mine was made back in February 2008 by Dave D. aka "Manny Myles" of Illinois. His version of the "Star Seat" design is discussed in this thread (start with post #16).
https://www.cloudynights.com/topic/146110-best-chair/

Mine is the one shown here on the top left with the beverage holder. The photo on the right is from "Manny" of a model without cup holder in the foot support.

This is a slightly different version called the Cat's Perch from another maker being used by someone with a huge dobsonian. I prefer the foot support on my chair. Big Grin


https://pwsoderman.wordpress.c...new-observing-chair/
https://www.planetguide.net/astronomy-chair/

This message has been edited. Last edited by: bald1,



Certifiable member of the gun toting, septuagenarian, bucket list workin', crazed retiree, bald is beautiful club!
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Posts: 11469 | Location: Black Hills of South Dakota | Registered: June 20, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of just1tym
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Searching the heavens! Now thats a cool idea. Beautiful setup. In thinking about your chair, with my balance issues being so skewed it's likely that I'd get carried away in viewing and unknowingly fall out or over in the chair. I'd love to take a peek with that setup though Smile


Regards, Will G.
 
Posts: 9012 | Location: 140 mi to Margaritaville, FL | Registered: January 02, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I I u.c,
The seat is great as it keeps you from standing , the whole time.

But, you have to get off the seat every three minutes to move the scope
And
The seat ,as well ,
If you want to keep watching the same celestial target.

You are not going to watch the same 4 degrees if sky all night and hope something crosses in to it .

Right ?





Safety, Situational Awareness and proficiency.



Neck Ties, Hats and ammo brass, Never ,ever touch'em w/o asking first
 
Posts: 50967 | Location: Henry County , Il | Registered: February 10, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
always with a hat or sunscreen
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Bendable, you don't have to adjust the seat as frequently as you think.



Certifiable member of the gun toting, septuagenarian, bucket list workin', crazed retiree, bald is beautiful club!
USN (RET), COTEP #192
 
Posts: 11469 | Location: Black Hills of South Dakota | Registered: June 20, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
always with a hat or sunscreen
Picture of bald1
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Many of you may not know what telescope dew shields are all about. Simply put they ward off moisture from condensing on the telescope front lens as well as deflecting any neighboring light from intruding on the scope. There are aftermarket ones available (e.g. AstroZap, etc.) but the DIY route is more fun. Smile

Got ambitious given the continuing poor viewing due to the fire calamities on the west coast.

First I did one for my 3.5" Celestron C90. This is a current version (90 x 1250mm f/13.6) marketed as a spotting scope which I picked up in 2011 and converted with a star diagonal to astro use. 2mm black foam sheet and some industrial Velcro strips for the win. Wink



Then I turned to my 5" Intes-Micro MN56. This is a Maksutov-Newtonian design with superb optics (127 x 762mm f/6) I bought new in 2000. Should have long ago replaced the heavy factory metal screw on dew shield, but....

I used two layers of reflectix (commonly also used to insulate scopes to reduce normally required outdoor cool down periods needed before images aren't affected by internal air currents) with the outer one extending over the OTA (optical tube assembly) up to the Moonlight focuser. The inner one is recessed so that it and the 2mm black foam sheet butt up against the corrector lens surround.

Snug, extremely light-weight, and effective.





The "before" configuration. That metal job must weigh 4 lbs. Eek Like the inside of the OTA, the metal screw on factory dew shield has internal baffles.




Don't need a dew shield on that classic 50+ year old Criterion RV6 (152.4 x 1270mm f/8.3) Newtonian I acquired in 2008 that is pictured in my opening post set up and left outside as it doesn't have any front corrector lens to worry about being a classic Newtonian design.



Certifiable member of the gun toting, septuagenarian, bucket list workin', crazed retiree, bald is beautiful club!
USN (RET), COTEP #192
 
Posts: 11469 | Location: Black Hills of South Dakota | Registered: June 20, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I thought it was going to be a humorous thread with "staying awake" as one of the challenges, but this has been an interesting and informative thread! Thanks for sharing your hobby with us!
 
Posts: 1145 | Registered: April 24, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
always with a hat or sunscreen
Picture of bald1
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quote:
Originally posted by Legal Beagle:
I thought it was going to be a humorous thread with "staying awake" as one of the challenges, but this has been an interesting and informative thread! Thanks for sharing your hobby with us!


Thank you for this feedback. I'm glad to hear some members are enjoying this thread!



Certifiable member of the gun toting, septuagenarian, bucket list workin', crazed retiree, bald is beautiful club!
USN (RET), COTEP #192
 
Posts: 11469 | Location: Black Hills of South Dakota | Registered: June 20, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
always with a hat or sunscreen
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Folks have asked in the past what eyepieces I have and use. Years ago I sold off a set of highly regarded University Optics abbe plossls because the eye relief was too short for my aging eyes. I also sold off some nice high power eyepieces that my cherished 5 - 8mm high power zoom overlapped with.

Yes there are much more expensive and highly touted lines out there (Teleview, APM, Pentax, Baader, Takahashi, Explore Scientific, etc.) but I'm quite happy with what I have (mostly wide angle designs with generous eye relief). Big Grin

As an aside to determine the magnification a given eyepiece will give, you divide the focal length of the telescope by the focal length of the eyepiece. My three telescopes have focal lengths of 762mm, 1270mm, and 1250mm, with apertures (the bigger the better light gathering capabilities) of 5", 6" and 3.5" respectively.

Here is what I use with a graph showing the focal length spread without factoring the use of either a Televue 2.5X Barlow lens or a Mogg filter mounted 0.6X focal reducer (the Red focal lengths are 2" eyepieces. Black, including the two zooms, are 1.25"):




Speers-Waler Series I SWA 5-8 / 10 / 24.7mm; SVbony SV135 7-21mm; Russell 2" SWA 13 / 19mm; Agena 2" SWA 32mm; TV PowerMate 2.5x; Mogg 0.6X filter mounted focal reducer

This message has been edited. Last edited by: bald1,



Certifiable member of the gun toting, septuagenarian, bucket list workin', crazed retiree, bald is beautiful club!
USN (RET), COTEP #192
 
Posts: 11469 | Location: Black Hills of South Dakota | Registered: June 20, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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