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Topics - Jonathan Sabin

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Equipment for Sale/Trade / FREE Observatory!
« on: May 03, 2022, 03:44:39 PM »
Yes.... FREE!

Jason Mocherman, the head of Riverview High School's planetarium, has alerted me that the Sarasota Military Academy is looking for (hopefully!) a Local Group member who would be interested in acquiring their observatory dome. (Pictured)

It measures 6' in height, and the base is 9' x 12'.

The ONLY catch is that if you want it, you'll have to go get it yourself... or make arrangements to have it delivered to you.

If you're interested, please contact Jason via e-mail at

Equipment for Sale/Trade / Meade Super Wedge for Sale
« on: March 14, 2022, 07:56:10 PM »
Meade Super Wedge for Sale

It will be listed on Cloudy Nights for $250... if an LGDSO member doesn't snap it up first for $150.

For all inquiries, please contact
Chris Mugrage
or e-mail:

The article I mentioned here a couple of months ago has finally been published!

It is not in the East County Observer (as I'd thought), but it's in the current issue of LWR (Lakewood Ranch) Life Magazine... and not only that - - it's the COVER story, as well as the topic of the Editor's welcome page.

I picked up a couple of copies of the East County Observer today (I'd heard that the magazine would be inside, but the two copies I grabbed didn't have it.) Now that you know what to look for, you might be able to score a copy somewhere in LWR. It's a quarterly publication, so copies should be out there for a while.

Meanwhile, I've scanned the pages pertinent to us, and you can see them here in PDF format. (The entire publication is available on line, but the PDF is around 70MB, so it's a bit much for posting to our forum!

Oh... and yes, there are a handful of facts that got *totally* lost in translation. Don't let yourself get too worked up about that. The writers are not the experts - - we are - - so if we tell them that a beam of light will cross a room in a few nanoseconds, and they say it takes a full second, they have no clue that clipping out the prefix 'nano' sorta changes the meaning of the statement. By like a billion times!  ;-)   

This scope was purchased as a birthday gift a year ago and has never seen 'first light.'

It was a "mistake" birthday gift, but that mistake will be someone's gain.

Brand new, it cost $1200.

Still brand new, the seller is asking $700   NOW $200. (Photos attached)

If interested or if you have any questions, please contact the seller directly:
Van Bell (727) 698-3579

Equipment for Sale/Trade / iOptron IEQ45 Mount/Tripod <complete>
« on: February 15, 2021, 02:57:12 PM »
iOptron IEQ45 Mount/Tripod

Passing along information regarding this really nice mount, not quite 8 years old, with a replacement cost in the neighborhood of $3,000.

The weight capacity of this particular mount is 45 pounds.

The seller (who will be joining as a member soon) is more interested in quickly getting this into the hands of an LGDSO member who will be able to get a lot of good use out of it, rather than getting a ton of money for it.

Therefore, *any* offer will be considered.

For more information, or to make your offer, please contact him directly:

Warren Sullivan

Equipment for Sale/Trade / Tiltall Model 4602 Tripod
« on: October 27, 2020, 06:19:53 PM »
Tiltall Model 4602 Tripod - $85

With some reluctance, I am selling my vintage Tiltall model 4602 tripod.

This is a well-designed aluminum workhorse that has been with me on countless nights in dark sky locations as far ranging as the Florida Keys to rural Nebraska --and on two occasions, I brought it with me all the way Down Under to the Australian Outback!

But I've decided to go with something a wee-bit lighter and slightly more compact.

With all three legs fully extended, the head of this tripod sits approximately 71" above the ground. Completely collapsed, it is just over 29" in length. It weighs in at 5 lbs 8 oz.

Everything works very well... a few years ago, I disassembled, cleaned, and greased every knob, screw, etc. Plus, I replaced the 1/4-20 screw in the head, as well as the flexible pad on the head (that surrounds the screw.)
The only part that is 'aged' are the 3 rubber feet, which are all intact, but they're probably a bit 'harder' than they were when new.

They are still selling the latest version of this very model, brand-new for just under $190.00:

Or, you can get my well-cared for original for just $85.
It should go without saying that the Nikon DSLR shown in the full-length photo is NOT included in the purchase price!

If interested, or for more info, call me at 941-518-8695.

I have sent this out to everyone via e-mail, but to make sure that no one misses the message, please note the following:

March 14th Starry Night Fundraiser at Crowley postponed to Saturday, April 25th

Out of an abundance of caution concerning the fact that the World Health Organization has, as of today, officially declared "pandemic" status on the Coronavirus/Covid-19 situation, we are postponing the Starry Night event that had been scheduled for this Saturday, March 14th.

The very nature of this event--with a large number of people gathered in close proximity to one another, placing their faces against telescope eyepieces, and partaking in an open "refreshment" buffet--is simply too likely to put people at risk.

At this point in time, not enough is understood about the disease, but it does seem that the potential to expose hundreds of people is simply not worth the risk.

This is not, however, an outright cancellation. Please note that we are tentatively re-scheduling Starry Night for Saturday, April 25, 2020, assuming that the conditions regarding this Coronavirus outbreak have changed for the better by that time.

We will of course, keep everyone posted.

Assuming that the event will be held on that date, please note that the time of the event will shift slightly later due to the later sunset (8:00 p.m.) six weeks from now. The observing that evening would take place from 8:30 until 11:00 p.m., the gates will open to the public starting at 7:15 p.m.

It's not that often that I get to post a "go" more than a few hours in advance--let alone 30!

But my confidence level is high that tomorrow night's Sidewalk Astronomy at the Celery Fields will feature some amazing clear skies.

That said... it'll probably be a good night to dig out your hats, gloves and long underwear! It's going to be CHILLY out there!  :-O

See you then!


I really hate canceling events, but I tried to put it off as long as I possibly could. The screen shot is the cloud-cover forecast for tonight at around 8:00 p.m.

Some weather models were showing a possibility of some clearing, but most of the forecasts are indicating that it won't clear up until closer to midnight tonight.

Plus, one typically reliable model is showing a brief period of light showers right in the middle of the evening while we'd be set up. Not the best conditions for observing. :(

Because of the way the lunar phases worked out this year... we actually have another Sidewalk Astronomy event slated this month!

Keep your fingers crossed for clear skies on Saturday, February 29th, when we're scheduled to have our next event at the Celery Fields!

Maybe.... maybe not!

Hey all...

As long as there's still the possibility for an unexpected change in the forecast, I'm not anxious to call off tomorrow night's (Saturday, Feb 1) Sidewalk Astronomy at Riverview.

That said, it doesn't look promising!

As of right now, the scenario for tomorrow evening appears to be total overcast until around 8:00 p.m., dropping to 50% cloud coverage by around 10:00.

The real clear skies aren't expected until 11:00 or later.

I'll make the final call as early tomorrow afternoon as I can. It really depends on how 'stable' the current forecast remains.

Equipment for Sale/Trade / Celestron 127 MAK
« on: January 27, 2020, 07:15:14 PM »
Celestron 127 MAK for sale. Only $250!

Barely-used 6" Celestron 127 MAK Computerized Telescope

Accessories include iPhone bracket for photography, eyepieces.

Paid approximately $600 in mid-2019.

Asking only $250.

For more information or questions, please direct all inquiries to:

Mitch Leon

Equipment for Sale/Trade / CRAZY-GOOD DEAL on an 8" SCT!
« on: January 26, 2020, 12:45:23 PM »

Celestron CPC 800 GPS XLT plus accessories

Former LGDSO member Marc Ellis has found himself in a "must move quickly" situation, and is giving up his very lightly used Celestron CPC 800 GPS XLT scope, along with a couple of eyepieces and a Celestron Powertank.

Photos are attached, it's all in great shape, and you likely won't find a better price without going into a telescope store wearing a pair of pantyhose on your head!  ;D

Replacement cost for all of this stuff is just about $2000.

First person to bring Marc $500 gets it all!

As always, please contact the seller directly with questions, etc.

Marc M. Ellis


I am calling tonight's Sidewalk Astronomy at Robinson Preserve a "NO GO" due to the weather forecast.

It's rarely an easy decision because of our incredibly fickle weather, but the following seemed pretty likely:

The last of today's showers would potentially extend up until around the time most of us would either be heading out and/or setting up our equipment.

The odds of it being mostly overcast at least until 8:30 - 9:30 p.m. are fairly high.

Once the skies do start to clear up nicely (which likely won't happen until almost 10:00 p.m.), there is a good chance that we'd be subject to unacceptably-windy conditions. I saw that there could be sustained 23 mph winds from the NW out there in the latter part of the evening.


I am calling this event a "go" with an enormous caveat:

There is very little chance that the sky will be anything close to excellent.
The best case scenario I see is that from the time we've set up the scopes around 5:30,
we'll have a little bit of clear skies--and we may end up clouded out by around 8:00 p.m.

If you're planning to attend this one, it would be better to go earlier than later.

I could be wrong, and we might get unexpectedly lucky,
but the odds favor this event starting to shut down
a couple of hours prior to the "scheduled" end time of 10 PM.


Equipment for Sale/Trade / *RARE* Kern Aarau Binoculars for Sale
« on: December 02, 2019, 02:45:38 PM »
Kern Aarau Focalpin 10 Binoculars for Sale  -  $250

I have not seen these in person, but I've come to discover that the Swiss-made Kern Aarau binoculars are pretty highly sought-after and quite valuable.
Posting these as a courtesy for the seller... if you have any questions about the them, please direct them to her (e-mail and phone number below).
  - Jonathan

I would like to sell these to an appreciative buyer. 
From what I have researched, these do not come along very often as they were made in the 50s-70s in Switzerland. 
They have been in my family, kept in the case mostly and not used often. 

Everything is original except the leather strap on the case which was quite worn so I replaced it with a leather one put on by a shoe shop.

I live in Venice FL so can show in person if near. 
I think a fair price for these collectible and rare binoculars and case is $250.

I do not do online sales but feel that I would get this or higher on a site.

Thank you. 

Beverly Polk
(859) 421-4424 

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