Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

Quasi-observing report

Expand Messages
  • Tony White <twhite@digitania.net>
    Took the 152 out to our club star party tonight, and wanted to share a few things with the group. We were fortunate enough tonight to enjoy some of the best
    Message 1 of 9 , Feb 1, 2003
    • 0 Attachment
      Took the 152 out to our club star party tonight, and wanted to share
      a few things with the group.

      We were fortunate enough tonight to enjoy some of the best seeing
      we've had in the Tulsa area for some time - though it sure didn't
      look as though it was going to be that good starting out. I arrived
      at our club's observatory site about 30 minutes before sunset, but
      the entire western sky was obscured by clouds that were being blown
      to the north. We didn't hold out a lot of hope, but we set up
      anyway and waited. The southern sky wasn't too bad, so I went ahead
      and pointed the scope at M42 with my Nikon binoviewer and 19
      Panoptics for the visitors and kids who would leave early. I also
      wanted to see if the Feathertouch retrofit to the 152 was as
      successful as I'd hoped it would be (more on that later). It turned
      out that the view was enjoyed more by the club members than the
      visitors - and every one of them said that it was the best view of
      M42 they'd ever had out of any telescope. Using both eyes with the
      binoviewer and allowing the image to develop while observing let
      everyone see more detail in the nebula and the dust lanes. I
      thought I caught a glimpse of the E component in the Trapezium with
      averted vision, but maybe not.

      Of course, the kids wanted to see planets, so I obliged them.
      Saturn was spectacular. With the 5mm Pentax Ortho at 240x, we were
      easily able to discern both Cassini's and Encke's divisions as well
      as several planetary bands. The kids (and their parents) oohed and
      aahed over that for quite a while. Later Jupiter came up enough to
      get out of the turbulence (though the skies actually got more steady
      as the night wore on) and we observed that as well. Both Io and
      Europa transited the planetary disk, and it was well observed with
      my 5.2mm Pentax XL (which actually provided more contrast and
      surface detail than the 5mm Ortho). The point at which Io was
      ending its transit and Europa was entering it was quite spectacular -
      both moons were discernible against the disk of Jupiter, and one
      could still see shadows projected on the disk. It was quite
      stunning, and enjoyed by everyone who was still there.

      Another club member who was working on his Double Stars asked if we
      could find a couple of doubles for him to log that he wasn't able to
      split in his scope. One was 38 Lyncis, a pair with only 2.7" of
      separation with components of 3.8 and 6.5 (iirc). Easy split with
      the 7mm Pentax XL. I've never observed that one before, so it was
      gratifying to observe.

      All of this was, to me, enhanced by the Feathertouch focuser that I
      fitted with the adapter Detlef made for the TMB. The amount of fine
      control it added to focusing made both binoviewing and cyclops-
      viewing a *joy*. I had *no* problems whatsoever focusing the
      binoviewer - even with the OTA pointed near the zenith while
      initially observing Saturn. The brake held the focuser in place
      with the load of the bino and the 19 Pans easily. Of course,
      cyclops mode was simply stunning. There were several folks who were
      at the star party last month when I gave the 152 first "public"
      light and had seen the image of M42 in the bino, but they all said
      that having the Feathertouch made a real difference in achieving
      critical focus (seeing was better tonight, but not so much so that
      it was a major factor). Even the seasoned observers in the club
      were stunned - there were several "oh wows" and other stronger
      exclamations from those more experienced viewers. :) Several of
      the kids (ages were probably 6-10) were fascinated with it and
      observed for several minutes (most gratifying to me - it makes it
      all worthwhile to have the kids look for more than 10-15 seconds).
      Bottom line - I would *highly* recommend anyone with a TMB consider
      adding a Feathertouch to their scope. It really made it easy to
      snap to focus on planets. I saw more detail viewable in Saturn at
      240x tonight than I've ever seen - even with better seeing
      conditions - and I attribute that to being able to achieve better
      focus. I tried both (stock focuser and Feathertouch) and there is
      no question in my mind that the Feathertouch is much easier and more
      satisfying to use and worth every penny spent.

      The wind picked up about 11PM and made it a bit unpleasant, so we
      had to pack up earlier than we would have liked. Hopefully tomorrow
      night will be as good as tonight (but warmer, as forecasted) and
      we'll go back out for another evening.

      regards,

      twhite
    • Donald Rosenfield
      Mr. White, Can you please provide a URL of a source that illustrates (and prices?) the Feathertouch? I ve seen it noted here and there on this board but
      Message 2 of 9 , Feb 1, 2003
      • 0 Attachment
        Mr. White,

        Can you please provide a URL of a source that illustrates (and prices?) the
        Feathertouch? I've seen it noted here and there on this board but otherwise
        am unfamiliar with it. I use the JMI 2" Crayford focuser on my 10"f4
        NewtFork. Is the Feathertouch comparable? Better?

        Thanks,
        Donald Rosenfield


        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • phbjr@aol.com
        In a message dated 2/1/03 3:08:42 AM Eastern Standard Time, twhite@digitania.net writes:
        Message 3 of 9 , Feb 1, 2003
        • 0 Attachment
          In a message dated 2/1/03 3:08:42 AM Eastern Standard Time,
          twhite@... writes:

          << Bottom line - I would *highly* recommend anyone with a TMB consider adding
          a Feathertouch to their scope.  It really made it easy to snap to focus on
          planets.  I saw more detail viewable in Saturn at 240x tonight than I've ever
          seen - even with better seeing conditions - and I attribute that to being
          able to achieve better focus.  I tried both (stock focuser and Feathertouch)
          and there is no question in my mind that the Feathertouch is much easier and
          more satisfying to use and worth every penny spent.

          I can second everything Tony said. The combination of Thomas's superb
          optics with a Feather Touch focuser places my TMB 100/800 LW far above any 4"
          aperture telescope I've ever used (and that includes three A-P 4" f/8
          StarFires). IMHO the Feather Touch is simply the best focuser you can buy,
          period.

          PaulB




          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • Tony White <twhite@digitania.net>
          ... prices?) the ... otherwise ... 10 f4 ... Donald, See: http://www.astrofieds.com/docs/feathertouch.htm The Feathertouch is IMO the best focuser available
          Message 4 of 9 , Feb 1, 2003
          • 0 Attachment
            > Can you please provide a URL of a source that illustrates (and
            prices?) the
            > Feathertouch? I've seen it noted here and there on this board but
            otherwise
            > am unfamiliar with it. I use the JMI 2" Crayford focuser on my
            10"f4
            > NewtFork. Is the Feathertouch comparable? Better?

            Donald,

            See: http://www.astrofieds.com/docs/feathertouch.htm

            The Feathertouch is IMO the best focuser available anywhere. It is
            patented as well (a message from Paul Bock from a few days ago
            refers to the USPO database for it). I had a JMI Crayford some time
            ago which was a horrible disappointment to me - mechanical fit was
            terrible, and JMI wouldn't fix it. The Feathertouch is a work of
            mechanical art, as well as being a joy to use - the motion is
            incredibly smooth and stable as well as accurate. One of the major
            reasons for that is the fact that the drawtube has bearings whose
            races are actually cut into the drawtube for superior stability -
            that focuser can hold the weight of my 2" diagonal, binoviewer and
            eyepieces or my 2" diagonal and 31T5 Nagler with absolutely NO shift
            of any kind whatsoever.

            Also, there is a picture in the files section of this board which
            shows a picture of Tim Povlick's 152 with the Feathertouch
            retrofit. Looks just like mine. I would also refer you to several
            reviews on CloudyNights - specifically Motti Pikelny's review of his
            Vixen-tubed TMB that he had Detlef Schmidt (owner of Starlight
            Instruments and the designer/manufacturer of the Feathertouch)
            retrofit to his tube. I think you'll find his comments compelling.

            regards,

            twhite
          • John Erickson
            I enjoyed your post. I also have the 152 and am considering changing the focuser. What cost was involved in changing out to a feathertouch focuser? What is
            Message 5 of 9 , Feb 1, 2003
            • 0 Attachment
              I enjoyed your post. I also have the 152 and am considering changing
              the focuser. What cost was involved in changing out to a feathertouch
              focuser? What is needed? Can a real amateur make the change or is
              professional help needed?

              I regularly see both E and F components through my 152 when I haul it to
              my friends house in Boulder City, Nevada.

              -----Original Message-----
              From: Tony White <twhite@...> [mailto:twhite@...]
              Sent: Saturday, February 01, 2003 12:08 AM
              To: tmboptical@yahoogroups.com
              Subject: [tmboptical] Quasi-observing report

              Took the 152 out to our club star party tonight, and wanted to share
              a few things with the group.

              We were fortunate enough tonight to enjoy some of the best seeing
              we've had in the Tulsa area for some time - though it sure didn't
              look as though it was going to be that good starting out. I arrived
              at our club's observatory site about 30 minutes before sunset, but
              the entire western sky was obscured by clouds that were being blown
              to the north. We didn't hold out a lot of hope, but we set up
              anyway and waited. The southern sky wasn't too bad, so I went ahead
              and pointed the scope at M42 with my Nikon binoviewer and 19
              Panoptics for the visitors and kids who would leave early. I also
              wanted to see if the Feathertouch retrofit to the 152 was as
              successful as I'd hoped it would be (more on that later). It turned
              out that the view was enjoyed more by the club members than the
              visitors - and every one of them said that it was the best view of
              M42 they'd ever had out of any telescope. Using both eyes with the
              binoviewer and allowing the image to develop while observing let
              everyone see more detail in the nebula and the dust lanes. I
              thought I caught a glimpse of the E component in the Trapezium with
              averted vision, but maybe not.

              Of course, the kids wanted to see planets, so I obliged them.
              Saturn was spectacular. With the 5mm Pentax Ortho at 240x, we were
              easily able to discern both Cassini's and Encke's divisions as well
              as several planetary bands. The kids (and their parents) oohed and
              aahed over that for quite a while. Later Jupiter came up enough to
              get out of the turbulence (though the skies actually got more steady
              as the night wore on) and we observed that as well. Both Io and
              Europa transited the planetary disk, and it was well observed with
              my 5.2mm Pentax XL (which actually provided more contrast and
              surface detail than the 5mm Ortho). The point at which Io was
              ending its transit and Europa was entering it was quite spectacular -
              both moons were discernible against the disk of Jupiter, and one
              could still see shadows projected on the disk. It was quite
              stunning, and enjoyed by everyone who was still there.

              Another club member who was working on his Double Stars asked if we
              could find a couple of doubles for him to log that he wasn't able to
              split in his scope. One was 38 Lyncis, a pair with only 2.7" of
              separation with components of 3.8 and 6.5 (iirc). Easy split with
              the 7mm Pentax XL. I've never observed that one before, so it was
              gratifying to observe.

              All of this was, to me, enhanced by the Feathertouch focuser that I
              fitted with the adapter Detlef made for the TMB. The amount of fine
              control it added to focusing made both binoviewing and cyclops-
              viewing a *joy*. I had *no* problems whatsoever focusing the
              binoviewer - even with the OTA pointed near the zenith while
              initially observing Saturn. The brake held the focuser in place
              with the load of the bino and the 19 Pans easily. Of course,
              cyclops mode was simply stunning. There were several folks who were
              at the star party last month when I gave the 152 first "public"
              light and had seen the image of M42 in the bino, but they all said
              that having the Feathertouch made a real difference in achieving
              critical focus (seeing was better tonight, but not so much so that
              it was a major factor). Even the seasoned observers in the club
              were stunned - there were several "oh wows" and other stronger
              exclamations from those more experienced viewers. :) Several of
              the kids (ages were probably 6-10) were fascinated with it and
              observed for several minutes (most gratifying to me - it makes it
              all worthwhile to have the kids look for more than 10-15 seconds).
              Bottom line - I would *highly* recommend anyone with a TMB consider
              adding a Feathertouch to their scope. It really made it easy to
              snap to focus on planets. I saw more detail viewable in Saturn at
              240x tonight than I've ever seen - even with better seeing
              conditions - and I attribute that to being able to achieve better
              focus. I tried both (stock focuser and Feathertouch) and there is
              no question in my mind that the Feathertouch is much easier and more
              satisfying to use and worth every penny spent.

              The wind picked up about 11PM and made it a bit unpleasant, so we
              had to pack up earlier than we would have liked. Hopefully tomorrow
              night will be as good as tonight (but warmer, as forecasted) and
              we'll go back out for another evening.

              regards,

              twhite




              To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
              tmboptical-unsubscribe@egroups.com



              Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to
              http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
            • Tony White <twhite@digitania.net>
              John, Thanks for your comments. Nothing needs to be changed to adapt the Feathertouch to the TMB focuser. Starlight Instruments makes an adapter plate that
              Message 6 of 9 , Feb 1, 2003
              • 0 Attachment
                John,

                Thanks for your comments.

                Nothing needs to be "changed" to adapt the Feathertouch to the TMB
                focuser. Starlight Instruments makes an adapter plate that threads
                into the end of the 4" focuser. All you need to do is thread that
                adapter into the end of your focuser tube and then attach the
                Feathertouch (it slots into a machined hole in the adapter and is
                secured with three set screws). A real amateur can make the change
                in a matter of minutes.

                Having both is nice simply because one can achieve rough focus with
                the TMB focuser and fine focus with the Feathertouch - which is
                really nice when you have a number of people who want to view
                through the same scope and all need slightly different focus. The
                TMB focuser just doesn't have the range of tension it needs to make
                this easy - especially with a binoviewer load and pointed near
                zenith. I had problems with mine wanting to rack out immediately
                upon loosening of the focuser tension screw. The Feathertouch has a
                shaft brake which, instead of locking against the focuser drawtube
                itself, pushes a flat piece of metal against the shaft tensioned
                with a screw - which gives a lot of control over the amount of
                tension on the focuser shaft while not allowing the focuser to rack
                back out.

                If there is enough interest, I can take and post photos of the
                focuser and adapter plate seperately and together and the end result
                on my tube.

                regards,

                twhite

                --- In tmboptical@yahoogroups.com, "John Erickson" <jerickson@w...>
                wrote:
                > I enjoyed your post. I also have the 152 and am considering
                changing
                > the focuser. What cost was involved in changing out to a
                feathertouch
                > focuser? What is needed? Can a real amateur make the change or is
                > professional help needed?
                >
                > I regularly see both E and F components through my 152 when I haul
                it to
                > my friends house in Boulder City, Nevada.
                >
                > -----Original Message-----
                > From: Tony White <twhite@d...> [mailto:twhite@d...]
                > Sent: Saturday, February 01, 2003 12:08 AM
                > To: tmboptical@yahoogroups.com
                > Subject: [tmboptical] Quasi-observing report
                >
                > Took the 152 out to our club star party tonight, and wanted to
                share
                > a few things with the group.
                >
                > We were fortunate enough tonight to enjoy some of the best seeing
                > we've had in the Tulsa area for some time - though it sure didn't
                > look as though it was going to be that good starting out. I
                arrived
                > at our club's observatory site about 30 minutes before sunset, but
                > the entire western sky was obscured by clouds that were being
                blown
                > to the north. We didn't hold out a lot of hope, but we set up
                > anyway and waited. The southern sky wasn't too bad, so I went
                ahead
                > and pointed the scope at M42 with my Nikon binoviewer and 19
                > Panoptics for the visitors and kids who would leave early. I also
                > wanted to see if the Feathertouch retrofit to the 152 was as
                > successful as I'd hoped it would be (more on that later). It
                turned
                > out that the view was enjoyed more by the club members than the
                > visitors - and every one of them said that it was the best view of
                > M42 they'd ever had out of any telescope. Using both eyes with
                the
                > binoviewer and allowing the image to develop while observing let
                > everyone see more detail in the nebula and the dust lanes. I
                > thought I caught a glimpse of the E component in the Trapezium
                with
                > averted vision, but maybe not.
                >
                > Of course, the kids wanted to see planets, so I obliged them.
                > Saturn was spectacular. With the 5mm Pentax Ortho at 240x, we
                were
                > easily able to discern both Cassini's and Encke's divisions as
                well
                > as several planetary bands. The kids (and their parents) oohed
                and
                > aahed over that for quite a while. Later Jupiter came up enough
                to
                > get out of the turbulence (though the skies actually got more
                steady
                > as the night wore on) and we observed that as well. Both Io and
                > Europa transited the planetary disk, and it was well observed with
                > my 5.2mm Pentax XL (which actually provided more contrast and
                > surface detail than the 5mm Ortho). The point at which Io was
                > ending its transit and Europa was entering it was quite
                spectacular -
                > both moons were discernible against the disk of Jupiter, and one
                > could still see shadows projected on the disk. It was quite
                > stunning, and enjoyed by everyone who was still there.
                >
                > Another club member who was working on his Double Stars asked if
                we
                > could find a couple of doubles for him to log that he wasn't able
                to
                > split in his scope. One was 38 Lyncis, a pair with only 2.7" of
                > separation with components of 3.8 and 6.5 (iirc). Easy split with
                > the 7mm Pentax XL. I've never observed that one before, so it was
                > gratifying to observe.
                >
                > All of this was, to me, enhanced by the Feathertouch focuser that
                I
                > fitted with the adapter Detlef made for the TMB. The amount of
                fine
                > control it added to focusing made both binoviewing and cyclops-
                > viewing a *joy*. I had *no* problems whatsoever focusing the
                > binoviewer - even with the OTA pointed near the zenith while
                > initially observing Saturn. The brake held the focuser in place
                > with the load of the bino and the 19 Pans easily. Of course,
                > cyclops mode was simply stunning. There were several folks who
                were
                > at the star party last month when I gave the 152 first "public"
                > light and had seen the image of M42 in the bino, but they all said
                > that having the Feathertouch made a real difference in achieving
                > critical focus (seeing was better tonight, but not so much so that
                > it was a major factor). Even the seasoned observers in the club
                > were stunned - there were several "oh wows" and other stronger
                > exclamations from those more experienced viewers. :) Several of
                > the kids (ages were probably 6-10) were fascinated with it and
                > observed for several minutes (most gratifying to me - it makes it
                > all worthwhile to have the kids look for more than 10-15
                seconds).
                > Bottom line - I would *highly* recommend anyone with a TMB
                consider
                > adding a Feathertouch to their scope. It really made it easy to
                > snap to focus on planets. I saw more detail viewable in Saturn at
                > 240x tonight than I've ever seen - even with better seeing
                > conditions - and I attribute that to being able to achieve better
                > focus. I tried both (stock focuser and Feathertouch) and there is
                > no question in my mind that the Feathertouch is much easier and
                more
                > satisfying to use and worth every penny spent.
                >
                > The wind picked up about 11PM and made it a bit unpleasant, so we
                > had to pack up earlier than we would have liked. Hopefully
                tomorrow
                > night will be as good as tonight (but warmer, as forecasted) and
                > we'll go back out for another evening.
                >
                > regards,
                >
                > twhite
                >
                >
                >
                >
                > To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
                > tmboptical-unsubscribe@egroups.com
                >
                >
                >
                > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to
                > http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
              • Eric W. Baumgartner
                Tony: I m about to order a Feathertouch focuser and adapter for the 3 in. focuser of my TMB 130. I spoke at length with Detlef Schmidt yesterday, and he was
                Message 7 of 9 , Feb 2, 2003
                • 0 Attachment
                  Tony:

                  I'm about to order a Feathertouch focuser and adapter for the 3 in. focuser of my TMB 130. I spoke at length with Detlef Schmidt yesterday, and he was very helpful and patient in answering my questions. Still, it would be a tremendous help to see photos of your focuser and adapter plate in pieces and assembled.

                  Thanks in advance,

                  Eric Baumgartner


                  ----- Original Message -----
                  From: Tony White <twhite@...>
                  To: tmboptical@yahoogroups.com
                  Sent: Saturday, February 01, 2003 4:59 PM
                  Subject: [tmboptical] Re: Quasi-observing report


                  John,

                  Thanks for your comments.

                  Nothing needs to be "changed" to adapt the Feathertouch to the TMB
                  focuser. Starlight Instruments makes an adapter plate that threads
                  into the end of the 4" focuser. All you need to do is thread that
                  adapter into the end of your focuser tube and then attach the
                  Feathertouch (it slots into a machined hole in the adapter and is
                  secured with three set screws). A real amateur can make the change
                  in a matter of minutes.

                  Having both is nice simply because one can achieve rough focus with
                  the TMB focuser and fine focus with the Feathertouch - which is
                  really nice when you have a number of people who want to view
                  through the same scope and all need slightly different focus. The
                  TMB focuser just doesn't have the range of tension it needs to make
                  this easy - especially with a binoviewer load and pointed near
                  zenith. I had problems with mine wanting to rack out immediately
                  upon loosening of the focuser tension screw. The Feathertouch has a
                  shaft brake which, instead of locking against the focuser drawtube
                  itself, pushes a flat piece of metal against the shaft tensioned
                  with a screw - which gives a lot of control over the amount of
                  tension on the focuser shaft while not allowing the focuser to rack
                  back out.

                  If there is enough interest, I can take and post photos of the
                  focuser and adapter plate seperately and together and the end result
                  on my tube.

                  regards,

                  twhite

                  --- In tmboptical@yahoogroups.com, "John Erickson" <jerickson@w...>
                  wrote:
                  > I enjoyed your post. I also have the 152 and am considering
                  changing
                  > the focuser. What cost was involved in changing out to a
                  feathertouch
                  > focuser? What is needed? Can a real amateur make the change or is
                  > professional help needed?
                  >
                  > I regularly see both E and F components through my 152 when I haul
                  it to
                  > my friends house in Boulder City, Nevada.
                  >
                  > -----Original Message-----
                  > From: Tony White <twhite@d...> [mailto:twhite@d...]
                  > Sent: Saturday, February 01, 2003 12:08 AM
                  > To: tmboptical@yahoogroups.com
                  > Subject: [tmboptical] Quasi-observing report
                  >
                  > Took the 152 out to our club star party tonight, and wanted to
                  share
                  > a few things with the group.
                  >
                  > We were fortunate enough tonight to enjoy some of the best seeing
                  > we've had in the Tulsa area for some time - though it sure didn't
                  > look as though it was going to be that good starting out. I
                  arrived
                  > at our club's observatory site about 30 minutes before sunset, but
                  > the entire western sky was obscured by clouds that were being
                  blown
                  > to the north. We didn't hold out a lot of hope, but we set up
                  > anyway and waited. The southern sky wasn't too bad, so I went
                  ahead
                  > and pointed the scope at M42 with my Nikon binoviewer and 19
                  > Panoptics for the visitors and kids who would leave early. I also
                  > wanted to see if the Feathertouch retrofit to the 152 was as
                  > successful as I'd hoped it would be (more on that later). It
                  turned
                  > out that the view was enjoyed more by the club members than the
                  > visitors - and every one of them said that it was the best view of
                  > M42 they'd ever had out of any telescope. Using both eyes with
                  the
                  > binoviewer and allowing the image to develop while observing let
                  > everyone see more detail in the nebula and the dust lanes. I
                  > thought I caught a glimpse of the E component in the Trapezium
                  with
                  > averted vision, but maybe not.
                  >
                  > Of course, the kids wanted to see planets, so I obliged them.
                  > Saturn was spectacular. With the 5mm Pentax Ortho at 240x, we
                  were
                  > easily able to discern both Cassini's and Encke's divisions as
                  well
                  > as several planetary bands. The kids (and their parents) oohed
                  and
                  > aahed over that for quite a while. Later Jupiter came up enough
                  to
                  > get out of the turbulence (though the skies actually got more
                  steady
                  > as the night wore on) and we observed that as well. Both Io and
                  > Europa transited the planetary disk, and it was well observed with
                  > my 5.2mm Pentax XL (which actually provided more contrast and
                  > surface detail than the 5mm Ortho). The point at which Io was
                  > ending its transit and Europa was entering it was quite
                  spectacular -
                  > both moons were discernible against the disk of Jupiter, and one
                  > could still see shadows projected on the disk. It was quite
                  > stunning, and enjoyed by everyone who was still there.
                  >
                  > Another club member who was working on his Double Stars asked if
                  we
                  > could find a couple of doubles for him to log that he wasn't able
                  to
                  > split in his scope. One was 38 Lyncis, a pair with only 2.7" of
                  > separation with components of 3.8 and 6.5 (iirc). Easy split with
                  > the 7mm Pentax XL. I've never observed that one before, so it was
                  > gratifying to observe.
                  >
                  > All of this was, to me, enhanced by the Feathertouch focuser that
                  I
                  > fitted with the adapter Detlef made for the TMB. The amount of
                  fine
                  > control it added to focusing made both binoviewing and cyclops-
                  > viewing a *joy*. I had *no* problems whatsoever focusing the
                  > binoviewer - even with the OTA pointed near the zenith while
                  > initially observing Saturn. The brake held the focuser in place
                  > with the load of the bino and the 19 Pans easily. Of course,
                  > cyclops mode was simply stunning. There were several folks who
                  were
                  > at the star party last month when I gave the 152 first "public"
                  > light and had seen the image of M42 in the bino, but they all said
                  > that having the Feathertouch made a real difference in achieving
                  > critical focus (seeing was better tonight, but not so much so that
                  > it was a major factor). Even the seasoned observers in the club
                  > were stunned - there were several "oh wows" and other stronger
                  > exclamations from those more experienced viewers. :) Several of
                  > the kids (ages were probably 6-10) were fascinated with it and
                  > observed for several minutes (most gratifying to me - it makes it
                  > all worthwhile to have the kids look for more than 10-15
                  seconds).
                  > Bottom line - I would *highly* recommend anyone with a TMB
                  consider
                  > adding a Feathertouch to their scope. It really made it easy to
                  > snap to focus on planets. I saw more detail viewable in Saturn at
                  > 240x tonight than I've ever seen - even with better seeing
                  > conditions - and I attribute that to being able to achieve better
                  > focus. I tried both (stock focuser and Feathertouch) and there is
                  > no question in my mind that the Feathertouch is much easier and
                  more
                  > satisfying to use and worth every penny spent.
                  >
                  > The wind picked up about 11PM and made it a bit unpleasant, so we
                  > had to pack up earlier than we would have liked. Hopefully
                  tomorrow
                  > night will be as good as tonight (but warmer, as forecasted) and
                  > we'll go back out for another evening.
                  >
                  > regards,
                  >
                  > twhite
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
                  > tmboptical-unsubscribe@egroups.com
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to
                  > http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/


                  To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
                  tmboptical-unsubscribe@egroups.com



                  Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to the Yahoo! Terms of Service.



                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                • jimhp29401us <thefamily90@hotmail.com>
                  Hi Tony, What a great evening observing. Congratulations! I drove up to my farm yesterday to observe. I learned of the Columbia disaster on the way and thought
                  Message 8 of 9 , Feb 2, 2003
                  • 0 Attachment
                    Hi Tony,
                    What a great evening observing. Congratulations! I drove up to my
                    farm yesterday to observe. I learned of the Columbia disaster on the
                    way and thought twice about obsaerving last night. I went ahead,
                    thinking about the seven astronauts as I observed. The TMB 8" F/9 is
                    a superb telescope as is your 152. My eyes are not as keene as yours,
                    Cleve's and Erics but the views were Very nice. Saturn was
                    magnificent and Jupiter later in the evening as well. The GRS
                    transited about 10:50 and I enjoyed watching it and the knotted ropes
                    of white cloud (ala Clevis) following behind. The color of the GRS is
                    a Salmon-orange, and fairly prominent to me. Sad evening but good to
                    be out, under the stars.

                    Jim


                    <twhite@d...> wrote:
                    > Took the 152 out to our club star party tonight, and wanted to
                    share
                    > a few things with the group.
                    >
                    > We were fortunate enough tonight to enjoy some of the best seeing
                    > we've had in the Tulsa area for some time - though it sure didn't
                    > look as though it was going to be that good starting out. I
                    arrived
                    > at our club's observatory site about 30 minutes before sunset, but
                    > the entire western sky was obscured by clouds that were being blown
                    > to the north. We didn't hold out a lot of hope, but we set up
                    > anyway and waited. The southern sky wasn't too bad, so I went
                    ahead
                    > and pointed the scope at M42 with my Nikon binoviewer and 19
                    > Panoptics for the visitors and kids who would leave early. I also
                    > wanted to see if the Feathertouch retrofit to the 152 was as
                    > successful as I'd hoped it would be (more on that later). It
                    turned
                    > out that the view was enjoyed more by the club members than the
                    > visitors - and every one of them said that it was the best view of
                    > M42 they'd ever had out of any telescope. Using both eyes with the
                    > binoviewer and allowing the image to develop while observing let
                    > everyone see more detail in the nebula and the dust lanes. I
                    > thought I caught a glimpse of the E component in the Trapezium with
                    > averted vision, but maybe not.
                    >
                    > Of course, the kids wanted to see planets, so I obliged them.
                    > Saturn was spectacular. With the 5mm Pentax Ortho at 240x, we were
                    > easily able to discern both Cassini's and Encke's divisions as well
                    > as several planetary bands. The kids (and their parents) oohed and
                    > aahed over that for quite a while. Later Jupiter came up enough to
                    > get out of the turbulence (though the skies actually got more
                    steady
                    > as the night wore on) and we observed that as well. Both Io and
                    > Europa transited the planetary disk, and it was well observed with
                    > my 5.2mm Pentax XL (which actually provided more contrast and
                    > surface detail than the 5mm Ortho). The point at which Io was
                    > ending its transit and Europa was entering it was quite
                    spectacular -
                    > both moons were discernible against the disk of Jupiter, and one
                    > could still see shadows projected on the disk. It was quite
                    > stunning, and enjoyed by everyone who was still there.
                    >
                    > Another club member who was working on his Double Stars asked if we
                    > could find a couple of doubles for him to log that he wasn't able
                    to
                    > split in his scope. One was 38 Lyncis, a pair with only 2.7" of
                    > separation with components of 3.8 and 6.5 (iirc). Easy split with
                    > the 7mm Pentax XL. I've never observed that one before, so it was
                    > gratifying to observe.
                    >
                    > All of this was, to me, enhanced by the Feathertouch focuser that I
                    > fitted with the adapter Detlef made for the TMB. The amount of
                    fine
                    > control it added to focusing made both binoviewing and cyclops-
                    > viewing a *joy*. I had *no* problems whatsoever focusing the
                    > binoviewer - even with the OTA pointed near the zenith while
                    > initially observing Saturn. The brake held the focuser in place
                    > with the load of the bino and the 19 Pans easily. Of course,
                    > cyclops mode was simply stunning. There were several folks who
                    were
                    > at the star party last month when I gave the 152 first "public"
                    > light and had seen the image of M42 in the bino, but they all said
                    > that having the Feathertouch made a real difference in achieving
                    > critical focus (seeing was better tonight, but not so much so that
                    > it was a major factor). Even the seasoned observers in the club
                    > were stunned - there were several "oh wows" and other stronger
                    > exclamations from those more experienced viewers. :) Several of
                    > the kids (ages were probably 6-10) were fascinated with it and
                    > observed for several minutes (most gratifying to me - it makes it
                    > all worthwhile to have the kids look for more than 10-15 seconds).
                    > Bottom line - I would *highly* recommend anyone with a TMB consider
                    > adding a Feathertouch to their scope. It really made it easy to
                    > snap to focus on planets. I saw more detail viewable in Saturn at
                    > 240x tonight than I've ever seen - even with better seeing
                    > conditions - and I attribute that to being able to achieve better
                    > focus. I tried both (stock focuser and Feathertouch) and there is
                    > no question in my mind that the Feathertouch is much easier and
                    more
                    > satisfying to use and worth every penny spent.
                    >
                    > The wind picked up about 11PM and made it a bit unpleasant, so we
                    > had to pack up earlier than we would have liked. Hopefully
                    tomorrow
                    > night will be as good as tonight (but warmer, as forecasted) and
                    > we'll go back out for another evening.
                    >
                    > regards,
                    >
                    > twhite
                  • Tony White <twhite@digitania.net>
                    Eric, Sorry for the delay in responding; I ve been on the road again. I ll take and post detailed photos this evening. I ll post a follow- up message when
                    Message 9 of 9 , Feb 5, 2003
                    • 0 Attachment
                      Eric,

                      Sorry for the delay in responding; I've been on the road again.

                      I'll take and post detailed photos this evening. I'll post a follow-
                      up message when I've done so.

                      regards,

                      twhite

                      --- In tmboptical@yahoogroups.com, "Eric W. Baumgartner"
                      <malkasten@o...> wrote:
                      > Tony:
                      >
                      > I'm about to order a Feathertouch focuser and adapter for the 3
                      in. focuser of my TMB 130. I spoke at length with Detlef Schmidt
                      yesterday, and he was very helpful and patient in answering my
                      questions. Still, it would be a tremendous help to see photos of
                      your focuser and adapter plate in pieces and assembled.
                    Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.