Sunshine Coast Centre RASC

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Purchasing Astronomy Gear

PST Mounted

PST Mounted

Members

I was offering some links to one of our members and thought I would share the info as other may benefit. Its has some links and advice on buying and selling astro gear!

If you buy from the US make sure they ship by USPS (United States Postal Service) and not by Courier. When shipping by courier the courier will charge a brokerage fee for the service and will assess duty and taxes owed and you will be charged accordingly. Not to mention you never know where your parcel will delivered to… how about Gibsons, Alabama! When shipped by the USPS there is no brokerage fee often no taxes or duty charged and the parcel often arrives.

Here are some online sources for astronomy gear that I have used:

This one is in the US and has reasonable prices and shipping charges
http://agenaastro.com/

This one is in Quebec
http://www.lirelanature.com/modules.php?name=ProductList&op=BrowseItem&ItemID=5043
you have to call or email them to get the updated price and the shipping charges but sometimes there prices are better than others in Canada!

Canadian telescopes is located in vancouver and offers free shipping on every item http://www.canadiantelescopes.com/ I find there website easy to navigate and informative

Vancouver Telescope Centre in Vancouver  doesnt currently offer online sales. They appear to specialize in astro consignments and microscopes. They also carry a mixed bag of accessories and miscellaneous “stuff”. Its worth checking out if you are in the area but if you are looking for something in particular you might want to look elsewhere.

Here is the canadian used astro buy and sell site http://www.astrobuysell.com/

Here is the biggest and busiest buy and sell on the net… its American and is called astro-mart. It cost $15 to join  but you can still check out the ads here http://www.astromart.com/classifieds/
its like a mini astro stock market… hundreds of items a day are listed and sold here. Some of my best deals have come from here. I sometimes sell here too.

This is another US buy and sell and its free
http://www.cloudynights.com/classifieds/

I often buy used. You often get items in like new condition at a good discount. In most cases you need a paypal account. Sellers are rated and the number of transactions they have done are listed. Its usually pretty easy to spot a scam but as always its Buyer Beware!

Last but not least dont forget good old EBAY! http://www.ebay.ca/ I use Ebay a lot with over 300 transactions on my profile. I find ebay easy to use as a buyer and a little difficult to use as a seller. Paypal account is mandatory here… if you have never checked out ebay check it out! You dont have to join to look.

“Now go get that new (or used) telescope”

Neil Sandy
member-rasc sunshine coast centre

Telescope Mounting Accessories

I had my camera out at the observing shack the other day and took a few pics to pass along. This is further to my last message about mounting accessories on telescopes and telescope mounts. Its a bit of a jungle as there is no standardization in the industry not to mention the overlap between telescopes and cameras. Here is my blow
by blow description of the photos which are all numbered and are low res so as not to take up any valuable space on your computers hard drive. This info would be helpful to anyone wanting to attach accessories to there mount or telescope.

1, 2 and 3 all show the astro tech dovetail adapter and how its screw holes match up to the PST solar telescope which is popular with club members. If you have an equatorial mount its real nice to be able to just clamp the PST on for some daytime solar observing and enjoy the advantage of having tracking via the EQ mount. The mounting bar on the telescope is a “Vixen” style bar as opposed to the “Losmandy D” style bar which is much more substantial but usually much heavier and expensive. As you can see in the photo you can slide the PST solar scope anywhere along the bar for balance and viewing comfort.

4 and 5 show a dual mode dovetail adapter that fits both the Vixen style and the Losmandy D style dovetails. The advantages here are obvious in that you can attach this to either size of bar. As for the holes lining up with the PST on this adapter, I have not checked it.

6 and 7 show a camera mount used for piggy back shots while mounted on the back of a telescope. I attach this camera mount, to the dual mode adapter seen in the previous photo, and take short time exposures with my DSLR ( digital single lens reflex camera). Pic 7 shows where I had to add a threaded insert into the base of the camera mount so that it would mate with the bolts used in the dovetail adapter… another example of lack of standardization. I might have some more of these around the shop if anyone finds themselves in a similar situation.

8 shows the camera mount and dovetail adapter mounted on my scopes “Losmandy D” style dovetail. Using your telescopes dovetail can save you adding another dovetail to your tube assembly.

9 shows 2 things. Of interest to every observer is the dew strap that you can see wrapped around the eyepiece. You can buy these for a reasonable cost and run them off a battery. Think how nice it would be to be able to walk away from your scope for five minutes and find your eyepiece unaffected by dewing when you return.

2nd thing here is the focuser that I have attached to the back of my C11 (celestron 11″ tube assembly). This really is only of interest to members who have a similar style of telescope ie Schmidt Cassegrain… did I spell that right? My spell checker says not. The advantage here is that by using an auxiliary focuser you avoid the inevitable mirror shift that plagues this design. Also you have the advantage of having a 2 speed focuser and the slow speed focus works real nice on a solidly mounted scope. The disadvantage here is that you cant use a focal reducer for visual use, only for imaging.

I hope this helps some of you looking to accessorize your scopes and mounts.

Let me know if any questions!

Neil Sandy
Sunshine Coast Centre RASC member

PST Dovetail Adapter

PST Dovetail Adapter

PST Dovetail Adapter 2

PST Dovetail Adapter 2

PST Mounted

PST Mounted

Dual Dovetail Adapter

Dual Dovetail Adapter

Dual Dovetail Adapter 2

Dual Dovetail Adapter 2

Camera Mount

Camera Mount

Camera Mount Insert

Camera Mount Insert

Camera Mount Mounted

Camera Mount Mounted

Camera Mount

Camera Mount

Camera Mount Alternate

Camera Mount Alternate

Focuser and Dew Control

Focuser and Dew Control