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  1. #1
    Gx8ES102's Avatar
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    Default What did you learn about you and your hobby this year?



    2018 was a new beginning for me. I switched from purely visual to EAA after two years of only using my binoc's about 10 times during that period. I learned that I still love astronomy to the point of really wanting to do it each clear night. But at 69 I had to make some decisions and changes. I learned here, one night when I was missing viewing, about EAA and got involved with my club and a few folks who were interested in EAA. While I still plan on going to a few multi-day star parties for visual, I don't like to drive at night or when I am tired now, safety issue. But setting up my scopes and seeing the images of things I couldn't see through my scopes even at a dark site with scopes I can handle easily on a mount that is a joy to use through ASCOM, has given this hobby new life for me. While I've recognized my physical limitations and how to address them, I've also learned that controlling how I view from my yard with it's light pollution (Bortel 6) skies is for me as meaningful as visual viewing.



    While I spent a few thousand total, I could have done the same thing with my SLT setup and C90/ST80 combination for just an additional $350. It was really not about the equipment, it's about technique and willingness to try a new way of viewing - and I am now ready for another decade or two of viewing from yard and enjoying this great hobby.



    What did you learn about you and your hobby this year?
    AbbN, kingclinton, Bigzmey and 4 others like this.
    C90 (USA Rubberized, 1996), C8 (2000), ES 102ED (2018), Orion ST 80 w/2" GSO focuser (2018), Starmaster 20 x 80 (2015), Eagle Optic Rangers 10 x 50 (2004), Sirius AZ-EQ G PRO (2018), LXD75 (2" legs, 2007), SLT (2008), Manfrotto 055 CF (2007) , ZWO224, Panasonic Gx8 (8 second live view, 4 shot stacking in camera)
    I tend to keep my Astro stuff Forever
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    Lots of software and other "Stuff".....

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    CamelHat's Avatar
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    Default Re: What did you learn about you and your hobby this year?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gx8ES102 View Post
    2018 was a new beginning for me. I switched from purely visual to EAA after two years of only using my binoc's about 10 times during that period. I learned that I still love astronomy to the point of really wanting to do it each clear night. But at 69 I had to make some decisions and changes. I learned here, one night when I was missing viewing, about EAA and got involved with my club and a few folks who were interested in EAA. While I still plan on going to a few multi-day star parties for visual, I don't like to drive at night or when I am tired now, safety issue. But setting up my scopes and seeing the images of things I couldn't see through my scopes even at a dark site with scopes I can handle easily on a mount that is a joy to use through ASCOM, has given this hobby new life for me. While I've recognized my physical limitations and how to address them, I've also learned that controlling how I view from my yard with it's light pollution (Bortel 6) skies is for me as meaningful as visual viewing.



    While I spent a few thousand total, I could have done the same thing with my SLT setup and C90/ST80 combination for just an additional $350. It was really not about the equipment, it's about technique and willingness to try a new way of viewing - and I am now ready for another decade or two of viewing from yard and enjoying this great hobby.



    What did you learn about you and your hobby this year?
    I learned that the rabbit hole is deeper than I thought. I got tempted into buying an 80 mm Apo first, then a Mak-Newt and now a G11. I see imaging sensors and a dual mounted dual sensor setup that will cost thousands in the future.

    From going to a dark site at 10000 feet I learned that imaging under such conditions is incredibly more fun than from my light polluted ddiveway, and I will gladly drive a long way to get there though the cold is a limiting factor at years end. The camping experience is also fun.

    I finally learned how to get the most out of my AVX and wanted to push my limits beyond it especially for my ES 127 mm that was a bit too heavy for it. The Losmandy G11 seems like a great fit, it is actually not that heavy to transport. I am now taming the beast, learning how to adjust the worm gear for optimal use.

    I have been perfecting my DSLR based polar alignment method and can now state that it is indeed a great way to get a quick accurate polar alignment without having to use a computer.

    Altogether this has been a year of growth for me though I'm not actually out that often. I want it to be pleasant and not be a burden, so I go out when I feel like it. Here in CA the weather is dry enough to afford that attitude.
    AbbN, kingclinton, Juno16 and 3 others like this.
    ... Henk. Telescopes: 6" Mak-Newt (Comet Hunter), ES ED127CF, ES ED80, Zhumell Z12, Coulter Odyssey 10, AT6RC, Venture RX-7, Celestron Skymaster 20x80, Mounts and tripod: Losmandy G11S, AVX, LXD55, Tiltall, Cameras: Fuji X-a1, Canon SX40, Xt, XSi, T6, ELPH 100HS, DIY: Dob and camera barndoor trackers, afocal adapter, Dob with foldable base and Az/Alt setting circles, Accessories: SSAG, Plossls, Barlows, Telrad, laser collimators (Seben LK1, Z12, Howie Glatter), Cheshire, 2 Orion RACIs 8x50, Software: DSS, ImageMagick, PHD, Nebulosity, Photo Gallery, Gimp, CHDK

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    Default Re: What did you learn about you and your hobby this year?

    I learned to push myself and my equipment a little more.
    I had some decent in depth sessions where I achieved goals I never thought I could when I first started out, especially with my visual pursuits.

    I also learned that patience is a virtue when it comes to clear nights, I made peace with cloudy nights and retained some form of sanity, it also makes those clear nights more precious and enjoyable.
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    Some people don't understand why I love astronomy so much! I cannot understand why they don't!

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    Default Re: What did you learn about you and your hobby this year?

    I learned I wasn't satisfied with just five scopes so I made it an even half dozen on my birthday last summer with the addition of the Orion 102 Mak as well as a new tripod for it ( a Celestron heavy-duty tripod )

    Abb
    Telescopes: Celestron Omni XLT 120, Explore Scientific AR102, Orion ST80 Refractors; 8" Skywatcher Dob; Orion Apex 102 Mak; Coronado PST. EP's: ES 4.7, 6.7, 11, 18 and 30mm 82° EPs; Baader 24mm 68°; Luminos 15mm 82°; Meade 8-24mm Zoom. Other: CG4+16" Orion Pier Extension; Celestron 15x70 binos etc;

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    The Bible tells us God created the Universe; Science tells us how He did it; And through my telescopes I marvel at His handiwork

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    Default Re: What did you learn about you and your hobby this year?

    I got interested in the hobby in about October 2017 so most of what I learnt so far was done in 2018 and although I am pleased with the amount of stuff I leant in 2018 at the age of 57, I also learnt that I am just scraping the surface! Most important: how to pilot a Dobson without goto and to appreciate a big Dobson.
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    One year of astronomy and totally hooked!
    Equipment : 15" Obsession F4.5 Classic, Tele Vue 1.25" 7&13mm Nagler, Tele Vue 2" 27mm Panoptic, Tele Vue Big
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    Default Re: What did you learn about you and your hobby this year?

    I learned that the new blue-white LEDs my town installed for street lights might be bad for humans and animals, they are great for AP. I've gotten my entire AP chain working together - software and hardware and it doesn't take me more than about 30 minutes to set up. I learned of some great deep sky objects to photo and that people I show the photos to are blown away by the ability of a simple telescope to obtain pictures that they only thought Hubble could take. I know I've inspired others to go down the rabbit hole - or at least wish they could. I have literally fallen out of my chair at some of the results. Looking at a single sub you'd think there was nothing there, but the ability of software to extract the faintest of signals is amazing.

    Doing as much outreach as I do I've become jaded to the whole "space" thing - you know, the "Ah Ha" moment I call it when people see Jupiter or Saturn and suddenly realize that we are on a tiny blue ball in a vast cosmos. Now with my AP improving dramatically I've regained that wonder and I look forward to every clear night (about a 12% probability for any given night). My poor wife has become an AP widow. I am so thankful that she puts up with me and this wonderful hobby. She refuses to even contemplate moving out west where clear skies reign... I wonder why???
    "To be good is not enough when you dream of being great"


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    Default Re: What did you learn about you and your hobby this year?

    I learned that a pair of 15x70 binoculars can match my 120mm f/8 refractor on DSO at a dark site.
    AbbN, kingclinton, Ozman13 and 3 others like this.

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    Default Re: What did you learn about you and your hobby this year?

    I learned that a tremendous amount of patience with the weather is required.
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    Scopes: Orion 130mm APO Triplet, Orion 8" f4 astrograph, 10" RC Mount: Celestron CGX-L Guiding: Orion 60mm f4 scope, Starlight Loadstar, PHD2 software - Cams: Planetary: ASI120mc, DSO:Atik 383L+, SGPsoftware Processing : Regisax, Deep Sky Stacker, Star Tools, Pixinsight Assistant: One very large cat
    ~ Put your money where your mount is ~


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    Default Re: What did you learn about you and your hobby this year?

    Quote Originally Posted by UlteriorModem View Post
    I learned that a tremendous amount of patience with the weather is required.
    And when the patience runs out then a lot of swearing takes over and sorta helps me out

    Abb
    Telescopes: Celestron Omni XLT 120, Explore Scientific AR102, Orion ST80 Refractors; 8" Skywatcher Dob; Orion Apex 102 Mak; Coronado PST. EP's: ES 4.7, 6.7, 11, 18 and 30mm 82° EPs; Baader 24mm 68°; Luminos 15mm 82°; Meade 8-24mm Zoom. Other: CG4+16" Orion Pier Extension; Celestron 15x70 binos etc;

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    The Bible tells us God created the Universe; Science tells us how He did it; And through my telescopes I marvel at His handiwork

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    Default Re: What did you learn about you and your hobby this year?

    Well i have learned that dithering is a very very good thing when doing AP.
    Took just a year to realise that.
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    Mikael
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