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Thread: Astronomical League's Binocular Deep Sky Program

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    Default Astronomical League's Binocular Deep Sky Program



    Just thought I would put some bits here as a mater of general principle. I have started the Astronomical League's Binocular Deep Sky Program. They recommend 80mm Binoculars and dark sky, but I have my 15X70mm set that I used for the Binocular Messier and Double Star Program. I am not sure if I can get all of them from my back yard (Bortle 6 or thereabouts) but I am going to try.

    In order to make this one possible, I finally broke down and purchased a parallelogram mount for my binos on eBay. If you look, I believe these are continuously on sale. They are hand made by a gentleman in the United States. My cost, delivered to my house, was about $126. I decided I needed to mount the binos on the under side of the parallelogram and use a zero gravity chair (not cat to take it away from me). I emailed and asked if I could turn the end bar upside down and put the binoculars on the bottom. I was told I could, but before I got around to making the change, I received a double ended piece that would allow fittings to be moved from top to bottom as needed without having to take the end bar off and maybe get bushings messed up.

    My first observations were on Nov 23rd with NGC 129 and 457. I even did the drawings (at least made an attempt at them) which is exhausting for me and limits my session time.

    On November 27th, I did NGC 663 and CR 463, with drawings. The Moon got in my way until December 7th, when I added NGC 752 to the collection.

    On December 11th, with some corroboration of what I had done the next night, included Stock 2, then back upward to the double cluster (NGC 869 and 884) which counts as two objects, even though I am recording them as one observation.

    I have skipped over NGC 253, which has not been in a favorable position due to houses and light pollution. I suspect I will need to travel to a friends house to get this one.

    This program has sixty object, that are well know (I suspect) to many of you. None of them are Messier objects, which have been deliberately excluded, and no double stars. The significant majority of them are star clusters, though there are representatives of most types of deep sky objects.

    So far, this activity has been fun in a somewhat demanding way. With Mark 6, Mel 15 coming up next, I am realizing that with my LP and instrument, this is definitely not a beginner program.
    Bill Steen
    Sky Hunters' Haven Observatory, Broken Arrow, Oklahoma
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    Default Re: Astronomical League's Binocular Deep Sky Program

    Wow, Bill, nice observations with the 15x70's! Sounds like a very rewarding program to follow! I need to upgrade my binoculars and have a go.

    Can you share a link to the ebay mount, if possible?
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    Bryan

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    Default Re: Astronomical League's Binocular Deep Sky Program

    Something I did not do because I did not see the button was the ability to specify either a standard lead weight or an attachment that allows you to use regular barbell type weights. I emailed him and ordered one of those attachements, then went to Dick's Sporting Goods and bought five 2.5 lb weights. Four of them seem to handle my Lumicon 25X100 Binoculars. The maximum counterweight is 15 lb.

    I am attaching the mount to my Infinity 80 tripod and mount, but it is actually designed to go on a camera tripod....I think.

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/Parallelogr...0AAOSwMmBVr5xa
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    Bill Steen
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    Default Re: Astronomical League's Binocular Deep Sky Program

    Quote Originally Posted by MistrBadgr View Post
    Something I did not do because I did not see the button was the ability to specify either a standard lead weight or an attachment that allows you to use regular barbell type weights. I emailed him and ordered one of those attachements, then went to Dick's Sporting Goods and bought five 2.5 lb weights. Four of them seem to handle my Lumicon 25X100 Binoculars. The maximum counterweight is 15 lb.

    I am attaching the mount to my Infinity 80 tripod and mount, but it is actually designed to go on a camera tripod....I think.

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/Parallelogr...0AAOSwMmBVr5xa
    Thank you very much, Bill!
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    Bryan

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    Binoculars: Pentax PCF WP II 10×50, Bresser Corvette 10×50, Bresser Hunter 16×50 and 8×40, Garrett
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    Default Re: Astronomical League's Binocular Deep Sky Program

    Nice report, Bill! Really appreciate the input of that AL program.

    Like Bryan I keep thinking about upgrading my Bino's but never get to pulling the trigger!!

    Dave
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    Default Re: Astronomical League's Binocular Deep Sky Program

    Something around 70mm is nice, but it does need support (at least for me) to keep if from wobbling all around. I did manage to do the Binocular Messiers and Double Stars with a home-made pole support, but it still wobbled around. I could not justify $300+ for a parallelogram mount, but that one at $125-6 delivered was within bounds for me. The difference in the view is like daylight to dark for stability. With the binos mounted underneath, there is a little more wiggle, but not bad. I have no idea how this rig compares to one manufactured by the big boys, but it is certainly good enough for me and what I am doing.

    I will really put the rig to the test when I do the Binocular Advanced Program. They actually recommend 25x100 binos for that one, which I suspect is probably about the limit for the rig.

    The Astronomy League now has 9 binocular related programs. One is truly Southern Hemisphere. There is a master's pin for doing eight of the programs. I am not really a binoculars person, but doing this is making me a better observer for everything, I think.
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    Bill Steen
    Sky Hunters' Haven Observatory, Broken Arrow, Oklahoma
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    Default Re: Astronomical League's Binocular Deep Sky Program

    Went out tonight and picked up three more objects in this AL Binocular Deep Sky List. Mark 6 and Mel 15 are both SW of Stock 2 roughly 5-6 degrees. Mark 6 showed up as a little fuzzy bright spot, with a couple stars showing maybe,on the NW edge of the Heart and Soul Nebula, which I could see part of. Mel 15 is inside that nebula about a degree NNW or Mark 6. Mel 15 shows bigger and brighter than Mark 6. I could see maybe five stars...tough call on what was really visible. Wrote things down and made an attempt at a drawing.

    Trumpler 2 was a tiny fuzzy spot with a couple stars definitely shining bright enough to be definitely visible, with a light fuzzy area around it. Really small in my field. Eta Persei (tip of the star triangle that I think of as Perseus's Hat) was in the right side of the field with Trumpler 2 roughly in the middle. Wrote it up, made a drawing and called it at 2050 CST. Starting to get a bit of haze and the cool light wind was starting to sink in.

    I think I need to put a blanket down on the zero gravity chair. This thing is made to try and get you cool in hot weather and not warm when it is cool or cold! Had a good time, but three is enough for me to remember for making corrections inside for my crude drawings outside. I need to study images of the next ones, I think, like I did for these before the next session.
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    Bill Steen
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    Default Re: Astronomical League's Binocular Deep Sky Program

    Hi Bill, thanks for sharing. Sounds like a great program that I should try someday. I did the Binocular Messier, but no other program with binos. My current ones are 12x63, used them mostly on photo tripod or monopod. I bought an Orion parallelogram mount, but found it so awkward that I sent it back. Wonder if I would like yours better..
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    Default Re: Astronomical League's Binocular Deep Sky Program

    I am starting to learn its ways, but there is a lot of fiddling to get it in exactly the right spot for a close study of something without having to hold the binos and get the image still. Getting out from behind the eyepieces to put a dot or two on a piece of paper and then go back to the eyepieces is a bit of a trial, more than with the binos on top. However, I was getting some serious hurt from a continuous crick in my neck from looking up that much. With the business end underneath, I can rest my head on the chair cushion and the crick has gone away. The extra hassle is worth the decrease in all day discomfort.

    With this mount, I have to point the binos up higher than the object, tighten the knob, and let the binos settle down a bit. I am thinking this bit of slack is actually with the tripod and its mount mostly, rather than the parallelogram. I probably need to adjust the counterweight a little. Since I have not used anything but this one, I have no idea how it compares to what you experienced before.
    Bill Steen
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    Default Re: Astronomical League's Binocular Deep Sky Program

    Good progress Bill! Good luck with your AL bino program.

 

 
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