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Dane layer

What type of hobbies do you have?

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Actaeon    101

I have a number of hobbies, some would probably say I have more hobbies than sense.

​You're quite the renaissance nerd! ;-) A collection of hobbies that diverse probably *enhances* your sense rather than calls it into question. One of my first childhood obsessions was entomology; I wound up donating my insect collection to a local school but still have all my books and some of my gear, including several butterflies still in paper triangles. Astronomy is another of my interests; I've been saving up for a *good* telescope, but something always seems to get in the way. How much do you know about eclipse videography? I have a digital camera that shoots HD video, but I'm worried about burning out the CCD.

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egoldstein    37

​You're quite the renaissance nerd! ;-) A collection of hobbies that diverse probably *enhances* your sense rather than calls it into question. One of my first childhood obsessions was entomology; I wound up donating my insect collection to a local school but still have all my books and some of my gear, including several butterflies still in paper triangles. Astronomy is another of my interests; I've been saving up for a *good* telescope, but something always seems to get in the way. How much do you know about eclipse videography? I have a digital camera that shoots HD video, but I'm worried about burning out the CCD.

​I would be very hessitant to expose the camera directly, if you have a bit of mylar, that would likely do the trick as it's what's often used for solar filters. If you DIY, you're taking some risks, but do look at the commercial mylar filters, they're pretty cheap. There may or may not be any difference between the two, I haven't really looked into it much. I had a little 4" casegrain with a solar filter, but I never got any real use out of it and eventually sold it with the scope since I had a nice 8" reflector at the time. Failing that, perhaps some #14 welding glass. Just as with the eye, that's a lot of heat and intensity without any magnification and when you focus all that on a tiny spot, things get bad, fast.

 

Speaking of telescopes, for a large investment of learning and labor, one can build an amazing quality reflector for a few hundred dollars that easily performs as well as ones that are 5x that price, but no exaggeration, it's a *lot* of work. For those who are looking for something much more easily attainable; I highly recommend Celestron's Astro Master 70AZ (under $100) and Astromaster 90AZ (under $200) as great starter scopes. For the money, they're absolutely astounding telescopes and fully capable of delivering great views of the Moon, Jupiter and it's moons, Saturn's rings, and numerous deep-sky objects. I've bought several of them over the years and given them away, I should probably buy another. They're not much use for photography, except for very bright objects like the Moon and Jupiter, but for astrophotography it's more about getting a solid, high quality mount with a good drive for tracking, which is anything but cheap. Sometimes if you're lucky, you'll find a usable mount for sale by someone who's upgrading to bigger and better, that's how I got my EQ-4 with drive.

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Actaeon    101

Thanks for the advice & recommendations. I've been leaning towards a reflector or compound scope for portability: any suggestions on good starter scopes of those types?

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egoldstein    37

Thanks for the advice & recommendations. I've been leaning towards a reflector or compound scope for portability: any suggestions on good starter scopes of those types?

​Not in the same price range, no. At the small end of the scale (under 6"), reflectors are a little hampered by the secondary mirror's size and are usually paired with an equatorial mount, which tends to make them more expensive or of cheaper build. A lot of relatively good reflectors are ruined IMO by being paired with a cheap, wobbly EQ mount. I love dobsonians as reflectors, but they're usually 6" and up and not typically what one would consider portable.

For portabiliy, a spotting scope or binoculars are handiest. I have used my 8x50 finder scope more often than the 12" reflector it's supposed to be mounted on. For a telescope, an ALT-AZ mount (altitude / azimuth (up down/side to side)) is going to be the lightest and most portable as the counterweights on an equatorial are always going to make it significantly heavier and more expensive. For the most part, Celestron and Orion are reliable brands, but some of the no-name telescopes are fair. With most of the cheap scopes, the weakest link is almost always the mount, which is one of the things I really like with the Celestron Astro Master as the mount isn't a cheap afterthought. Second to suffer from cutting corners are the eyepieces, which is a shame because it greatly affects the viewing.

For anyone interested enough to seek out something better than the Celestrons I mentioned, I can't recommend the forums at www.cloudynights.com highly enough. This is really one of those areas that if you intend to spend more than a couple hundred dollars or have specific goals in mind (I'm looking at you, astrophotography) that time spent researching will save enormous amounts of money and frustration.

I feel like I'm hijacking this, so anyone with further interest should PM me or better yet, create an astronomy thread where I can babble on without derailing. :)

 

Speaking of derailing, we're in the Dog Days of Summer right now. Did you know that the Dog Days begin when the star Sirius, the dog star, starts rising before the Sun? It was believed that it contributed to the heat of summer and caused all sorts of issues. Crazy, eh?  :P

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Actaeon    101

Thanks for the info, EG, I'll check out those forums before I make my decision. I hate it when there isn't one clear choice: no matter what I decide, I'm always worried I could have chosen better. :-)

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ikanon    10

Yet another photographer and night telescope guy. My telescope is a portable refractor, because I live in a harsh climate where a mirror system would not last long. Also love to do microscopy, and work in my wild garden.

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DingoJay    16

I have too many hobbies and not enough time. I've had a Ham Radio license since I was a kid, but I'm not too active there lately.  I love any kind of old machinery and other old tech.  Hydroelectric power, big, small, antique or modern fascinates me!  I would have a barn full of old tractors and hit-'n-miss, one-lunger engines if I had a barn... 

 I do collect guns, especially Cold War relics and WWII stuff.  The prices on anything interesting have gone crazy the past few years, though.

  I dabble in photography and have a fair amount of my work online.  Paranoia precludes me from sharing the location here, unfortunately.

 I build computers for fun and used to build them for others, until those panicked calls started coming at 2 AM, "Help!! I have a term paper due at 8 and I'm getting blue screens!"  Not fun.

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zootrashcan    11

I build and wear fursuits. Lots of fun to be had with that! My best/fave suit so far is a large breed dog.

Art is a hobby for me, and one that I do make money with. I've posted some of my zoo-centered work to other zoo forums before. I specialize in furry art and have started dabbling more seriously in anatomical illustration. I've also just started to get back into writing, working on short spooky stories and drafting for a larger project.

I'm trying to get into obedience training. Currently I'm at a very beginner level and my dog and I can't go to any classes yet due to his behavior issues.

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Andrew-R    4

I just tend to spend a lot of time with (behind) my computers ...Sometimes it even can be helpful for others, because I run Linux (Slackware) and usually report encountered bugs, and try to help in  fixing them....

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silverwolf1    192
7 hours ago, Andrew-R said:

I just tend to spend a lot of time with (behind) my computers ...Sometimes it even can be helpful for others, because I run Linux (Slackware) and usually report encountered bugs, and try to help in  fixing them....

You have something in common with a few folks here. I'll leave it up to them to introduce themselves. I will however welcome you to the forum.

silverwolf

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