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Discussion Starter #1
Hi gang,
I really don't feel like doing work this morning...so, here's my 2 cents...
I've bought a few telescopes and enjoyed astronomy for the past few years...the Ody is the ideal family vehicle - probably not too many batchelors went out to scoop up these babe magnets...anyway, for a family outing, the Ody would be the perfect astronomy base - set up the scope outside, use the Ody for a power source (and heat/hot chocolate holder) and you'll have a great time with the family. Many telescopes are very cheap (don't go too cheap or you'll be miserable). I've had several computer controlled scopes (very fun/cool) which take your learning curve down to nearly nothing. If you use your ody for camping, or getting away with the family, astronomy can be a good adjunct. imagine the convenience if you have a moonroof installed - now that would be neat (air temperatures may not be equalized though)
ok, now to work!
clear skies,
Gary
 

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Great idea! I am an amateur astronomer with a three week old Odyssey. I have always had to fit my telescope (Meade 10" LX-200, large computer controlled scope) into the car along with all the assorted equipment like tripod, accessory box, chair, table, etc. It was always a hard fit, especially if I used the box to carry the telescope itself.

I am so much looking forward to using the Odyssey to take the equipment out to the observing site.

Here's an interesting astronomy mod for the Odyssey: Another person with a van out at the observing site painted his cargo light cover red so that he could use the interior light to see his equipment while preserving his night vision adaptation. I would like to buy a second cargo area lamp cover so that I could paint one of them and snap in the original when not observing.
Does anyone know if it is easy to remove and substitute these covers, and a source to buy a cover?



------------------

2001 EX-NAVI, SS
1997 Accord EX-L, Forest Green
Previous Hondas:
1992 Accord EX, White
1982 Accord DX, Silver
 

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Discussion Starter #3
that's a great idea - i hadn't considered it - bear in mind if you're at a site with other astronomers and any of your white-lights go on, well, you know the drill...particularly with a fine piece of equipment like an lx-200 - 10" to boot - that thing must weight what, about 125 pounds?
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Gary:
Hi gang,
I really don't feel like doing work this morning...so, here's my 2 cents...
I've bought a few telescopes and enjoyed astronomy for the past few years...the Ody is the ideal family vehicle - probably not too many batchelors went out to scoop up these babe magnets...anyway, for a family outing, the Ody would be the perfect astronomy base - set up the scope outside, use the Ody for a power source (and heat/hot chocolate holder) and you'll have a great time with the family. Many telescopes are very cheap (don't go too cheap or you'll be miserable). I've had several computer controlled scopes (very fun/cool) which take your learning curve down to nearly nothing. If you use your ody for camping, or getting away with the family, astronomy can be a good adjunct. imagine the convenience if you have a moonroof installed - now that would be neat (air temperatures may not be equalized though)
ok, now to work!
clear skies,
Gary
</font>
 

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Gary:
that's a great idea - i hadn't considered it - bear in mind if you're at a site with other astronomers and any of your white-lights go on, well, you know the drill...particularly with a fine piece of equipment like an lx-200 - 10" to boot - that thing must weight what, about 125 pounds? </font>
Good point about all the lights going on. Even the light override switch on the dash may not help me, as then the cargo light (painted red) would not go on. Plus, all lights go out after a few minutes anyway when a door is open. So after thinking about it, hwo could I manage to keep the cargo light on for a longer time period? Hmmm....have to think about this.

The LX-200 main optical tube weighs about 55 pounds. The tripod is about 40 I think.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
maybe just a cheapie plug in light that goes to the lighter plug, with a red plastic or painted cover - should do the trick, just don't forget it when you pack up or you'll eventually drain your battery....
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Steve Pert:
Good point about all the lights going on. Even the light override switch on the dash may not help me, as then the cargo light (painted red) would not go on. Plus, all lights go out after a few minutes anyway when a door is open. So after thinking about it, hwo could I manage to keep the cargo light on for a longer time period? Hmmm....have to think about this.

The LX-200 main optical tube weighs about 55 pounds. The tripod is about 40 I think.
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Just can't seem to find the time...Dark skies await only an hour to the west, but somehow we never seem to go. My short tube 80 (Celestron with auto-find) has been waiting to actually see something besides the moon, planets and doubles. Andromeda is high now, and should be nice with the wide field, if only we can make the trip one of these days:)

Great idea!
 

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I know EXACTLY what you mean - i bought my NexStar 8 (about 2 grand) because i thought my new house would have dark skies - plus i thought it was neat - well, the skies were actually worse than my prior location, and i was getting up between 4:30 and 5:30 a.m. for work - meaning going to bed when the skies were not yet dark anyway - well, that sure put a damper on star gazing - sold the scope, and bought a cheapie meade etx 70 - something like $300 - i have a nice portable case for it, and i'll eventually crack it out - i think the ody is the ultimate family vehicle, and i think star gazing would be a great adjunct to the stereotypical trips to the amusement parks...
cheers,
gary

<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by caviller:
Just can't seem to find the time...Dark skies await only an hour to the west, but somehow we never seem to go. My short tube 80 (Celestron with auto-find) has been waiting to actually see something besides the moon, planets and doubles. Andromeda is high now, and should be nice with the wide field, if only we can make the trip one of these days:)

Great idea!
</font>
 

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We're thinking of picking up a telescope for our family.

I saw a large sized, computer controlled telescope at Costco, but everything I've read on the net says not to buy one from a big box/department store.

Any advice on buying a first telescope for a beginner with kids?
 

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Holy 'searched and re-opened' Threads, Batman! 5 years and 2 months! Moderators, is that a record?!? :D

That is awesome, Stargazer...

On the side, post related, I don't know much about telescopes, but anything to get out with family is a good idea in my book. :)
 

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Reinhold said:
Holy 'searched and re-opened' Threads, Batman! 5 years and 2 months! Moderators, is that a record?!? :D
Ha, ha--I almost made a new post but thought, what the heck... why not give that search button a little whirl :).

My eight-year old has been asking for a telescope and I thought it might a neat thing for all of us to learn about. The thing is, the computerized one at Costco was probably the most "major" telescope I've ever seen, but I actually want to get something usable and not just a "toy."
 

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Stargazer said:
Ha, ha--I almost made a new post but thought, what the heck... why not give that search button a little whirl :).

Awesome! Now THAT'S what I call a veteran forum guy. Newbs (and some old ones alike) should
follow Stargazer's thoughts.
SEARCH!!! :) :D :p
And I think this IS a record. Almost goes back to the start of Odyclub !
 

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Well, I guess I'm not into delayed gratification... thank goodness for late night holiday shopping hours :D!!!

I went to a dedicated telescope store and picked up this 10" Dobsonian last night


 

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Cool buy, SG. Last summer we went to a place in New Mexico called Casitas De Gila (http://www.casitasdegila.com/). The owners are astronomy buffs, and we got to look through a huge Dobsonian like your new one...saw Jupiter and the moons lined up, saw Saturn, saw the moon so close it was startling. A completely perfect dark-sky place (although the forest fires burning then put a damper on some of it), where lots of astronomy clubs go to do their thing. My son and I got the bug to do what you are doing, but being a computer geek I want to be able to drive it with a laptop and take some astrophotography so the Dobsonian is out for us. Trying to shake loose a couple grand to get a nice Schmidt_Cass. or something similar, maybe even put a tiny observatory at the back of our property...thanks for bringing this up, reminds me I need to sell a vehicle or two and get some spending money :).
 

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Nice buy!!

I have a 8" Dobsonion - it was 4 or $500 and has done well. Would be nice to get a tracking scope.

I put it out on the driveway this Halloween, pointing at the moon. Word got out and it's cool having kids crawling over your scope wanting a look. Tracking would be great for that because the moon would drift out of view and I wouldn't always know, so some kids left wondering what all the excitement was about! Anyway well worth doing again.

The rule on buying is ignore the magnification, you want the widest you can get. 10" will be brilliant!

You don't need much magnification because the objects you're looking at are HUGE. They are dim though, so plenty of light capturing is what your scope needs to be doing.

I imagine an Odyssey would make a great mobile observatory!

I was wondering how to switch off all the lighting so the door lights didn't come on - there's probably a fuse to pull.
 

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Thanks for the info--it's good to know. I'm still waiting for the skies to clear to try it out. Right now I have the spotting scope pointed at our neighbor's Christmas lights across the street (so the kids can see something) but I'm worried about our neighbors scratching their heads if they see that "cannon" pointed at them :stupid:.

As for the interior lights, on our Ody there's a convenient switch on the dash that turns off all the interior lights--very handy when the kids start playing with the map light switches :). It will turn off the hatch door light, but I don't know about the sides (do we have lights on the front doors?).
 

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Yes, the front doors have pool lights underneath. They will spoil dark-adjusted eyesight and so if you go where there are serious astronomers then covering them with red or disabling them would be polite.
 

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The skies finally cleared this afternoon so I was able to try out the telescope on our front porch (through the blazing glare of Christmas lights ;).)

I took this picture through the eyepiece trying to hold the camera as steady as possible.

The moon on December 27, 2006:

 
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