Search found 106 matches

by mikemarotta
Tue Oct 19, 2021 12:18 pm
Forum: Telescopes and instruments
Topic: DIY: Homemade Vixen Mount (all thumbs)
Replies: 2
Views: 30

Re: DIY: Homemade Vixen Mount (all thumbs)

When people ask about a good first telescope, we never tell them about picking a good first mount and tripod. But the mount is everything. It is like Excalibur and its sheath. In this case, the 70-mm achromatic refractor from National Geographic is all right as far as it goes. Many active amateurs s...
by mikemarotta
Mon Oct 18, 2021 10:12 pm
Forum: Telescopes and instruments
Topic: DIY: Homemade Vixen Mount (all thumbs)
Replies: 2
Views: 30

DIY: Homemade Vixen Mount (all thumbs)

I am not a fabricator. I have very few tools here. Four years ago, I bought a National Geographic 70-mm refractor used and abused from some kids down the street. Between Christmas and August they lost the eyepieces, center tray, guide handle, and cellphone attachment, and the dew shield was on backw...
by mikemarotta
Mon Oct 11, 2021 10:34 am
Forum: Telescopes and instruments
Topic: Celestron AVX Mount and Tripod
Replies: 17
Views: 434

Re: Celestron AVX Mount and Tripod

I don't know about other manufacturers but there is no way to tell the computerized motors about the size and shape of the load they are carrying. The mount will drive the telescope into the tripod. You have to watch it and cover the Off switch. With that caveat, I went out for one more four-night s...
by mikemarotta
Sun Oct 10, 2021 4:01 pm
Forum: Observing
Topic: Forthcoming - Moon & Venus Saturday 9th Oct 2021
Replies: 17
Views: 226

Re: Forthcoming - Moon & Venus Saturday 9th Oct 2021

Astronomers Without Borders asked us to take snapshots. Unfortunately, the very small file limitations here prevent sharing. However: https://necessaryfacts.blogspot.com/2021/10/moon-venus-antares-conjunction.html And I posted at AWB with others who had some sky last night. I took about a dozen snap...
by mikemarotta
Fri Oct 08, 2021 7:03 pm
Forum: General chat
Topic: Academic Astronomy Not Yet Endangered
Replies: 1
Views: 54

Academic Astronomy Not Yet Endangered

I am currently writing textbooks for a series of classes in factory and automation maintenance. This is for our local community college, an American system after high school and sometimes but not necessarily leading to university. Often, they train technicians in a wide range of fields including hea...
by mikemarotta
Sun Sep 19, 2021 7:42 pm
Forum: Observing
Topic: R Scuti
Replies: 7
Views: 136

Re: R Scuti

Interesting!
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/R_Scuti
Burnham notes much else also to be seen the neighborhood.

Thanks.
by mikemarotta
Sun Sep 19, 2021 7:34 pm
Forum: Computers and astronomy
Topic: Softwares for Your (my) Sky Tonight
Replies: 5
Views: 270

Re: Softwares for Your (my) Sky Tonight

I just uninstalled Stellarium. I found this site https://theskylive.com The Sky Live, which has a Planetarium tab that looks a lot like Stellarium and it probably an installation of user mods to Stellarium. However, it is much better behaved and responsive. Mostly, I am back to paper charts and books.
by mikemarotta
Sun Sep 19, 2021 7:24 pm
Forum: Gallery
Topic: Star Clouds in Sagittarius
Replies: 3
Views: 159

Re: Star Clouds in Sagittarius

RMSteele wrote: Fri Sep 10, 2021 3:01 pm I don’t know quite how this will come out on our forum page. It’s an image taken on a hand held Iphone II by David Clark, location Dino Hill, Winton, Queensland, Australia on 2021 September 08.
Very nice! Thanks for sharing.
by mikemarotta
Sun Sep 19, 2021 7:20 pm
Forum: Observing
Topic: Fomalhaut , alpha Piscis Austrini
Replies: 4
Views: 124

Re: Fomalhaut , alpha Piscis Austrini

Brian wrote: Thu Sep 16, 2021 6:04 pm I managed to find Fomalhaut low in the south last evening using 8x21 Practika binoculars.
Congratulaitons. For me, it is easy, as far below the Moon as the Moon is below Pegasus, the Moon being about midway up. On the other hand, the Bears, Auriga, Cameleopardis, and Draco are difficult targets.
by mikemarotta
Sun Sep 19, 2021 7:03 pm
Forum: Telescopes and instruments
Topic: Celestron AVX Mount and Tripod
Replies: 17
Views: 434

Re: Celestron AVX Mount and Tripod

It is easy to crash the software. Working indoors without an instrument mounted, I attempted to run a simple two-star alignment. I missed the second star in the menu, pressed Back too long, and found myself at Select First Star again. So, as I was already pretty close to Vega, I pressed Enter and Al...
by mikemarotta
Sun Sep 12, 2021 6:29 pm
Forum: Telescopes and instruments
Topic: Celestron AVX Mount and Tripod
Replies: 17
Views: 434

Re: Celestron AVX Mount and Tripod

I'd also have a look at the manufacturer's website and see how often they release new firmware. If new versions are turning up regularly, then be suspicious. Why do they need to correct something that should have worked when they released the 'scope? I registered the product with Celestron on their...
by mikemarotta
Sun Sep 12, 2021 5:39 pm
Forum: Telescopes and instruments
Topic: Celestron AVX Mount and Tripod
Replies: 17
Views: 434

Re: Celestron AVX Mount and Tripod

So far, after four nights, I am lukewarm, something less than sanguine. The smart drive mount works well enough, given some problems noted above I have about 20 more pages of user manual to understand. But at the first go, the Celestron AVX go-to mount did the job after some angst and uncertainty. T...
by mikemarotta
Sun Sep 12, 2021 4:58 pm
Forum: Telescopes and instruments
Topic: Celestron AVX Mount and Tripod
Replies: 17
Views: 434

Re: Celestron AVX Mount and Tripod

11 September 2021 2013 hours - Set up. 2050 - Aligned on Antares ad Arcturus. No problems. Added Deneb and Nunki (now that I know which one is Nunki). 2051 - Choose Deep Space. Select Messier. Enter 013. 2055 - M 13 observed with 14mm and 2x Barlow for 94x (This was one I have been wanting to see fo...
by mikemarotta
Sun Sep 12, 2021 4:51 pm
Forum: Telescopes and instruments
Topic: Celestron AVX Mount and Tripod
Replies: 17
Views: 434

Re: Celestron AVX Mount and Tripod

How are the lat/long and date/time entered? Manually or automatically? When I initialized, i set the Lat and Long from my cellphone to HH MM SS. It also has a City Database and put my coordinates in to within 43 seconds, the distance from my home to the Texas Star atop the State Capitol Building. (...
by mikemarotta
Sat Sep 11, 2021 3:16 pm
Forum: Absolute beginners
Topic: Books on Go-To Scopes?
Replies: 0
Views: 257

Books on Go-To Scopes?

If you know the comedy-horror movie Lake Placid, you heard the line, "It's the kind of information they hide in books." I have books -- Harrington's Star Ware 4th ed 2007, the RASC Handbook , Pepin's Care of Astronomical Telescopes and Acessories -- but none on the most recent technology. ...