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Messages - Sean McDonald

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very nice.  good job Jonathan!

Hi Ray,
 Don’t use that spray air, optical glass will be hazed by the propellant.  There’s a lot of good cleaning info on YouTube, basically blow off the big chunks with a bulb squeeze blower to get the big stuff off, then drag a dry cotton ball with no pressure across the glass to get the medium stuff off, then utilize lint-free cotton wipes lightly dipped in 99% pure alcohol to get the tiniest stuff off, never use the cotton ball for more than one wipe across the glass, go through a lot of cotton balls yes  sometimes I finish with distilled water on cotton ball.  Pita yes, but you cannot unscratch your optics

Raymond, you are a wild man.   I applaud your enthusiasm
 It seems to me you would need a small hole on the roof itself, and maybe a 6 inch hole on the ceiling creating a cone affect towards the small hole.  The light coming through the small hole on top would not be blocked by the surface below it, that’s probably how they worked around it in thick stone as well
  Tom Hanks did it in that movie ??? Castaway??  So you can do it too.
 Keep us posted please 👌

Hi Joel,
I'm open to assisting...
give me a call
(941) 373-5611

Hello Allen,
 I'm a bit late seeing this thread - anyway, the address for the observing field is 16405 Myakka Rd
Go East on Fruitville to the end, hang a right. It swerves around and the entrance is on the left side.  There is a log sign with a yellow sign. Not well marked.  If you cross a bridge, then you just went past it.
Gate may be locked. combo is 1974.  shut gate behind you, and drape the lock & chain to look locked while you are in there.
Be sure to lock it up when you leave, and leave no debris.

I may add, once you drive across the cattle tracks, hang a right. you will see an open field with a short power pole surrounded by concrete pads. That's the spot.  Drive on the grass. Park by the pads, avoid driving on the pads please. 

There's a restroom at the building within sight (the learning center) if needed.

Call me if you get turned around... 
Clear skies.
(941) 373-5611

Equipment for Sale/Trade / Re: FREE large case
« on: July 25, 2019, 07:49:48 PM »
Hi Dave, Naz did not get back to claim it. 

I still have it, and am ready to hand it to the first person who wants it...

Is that person you?
First caller gets it.
Sean (941) 373-5611

Equipment for Sale/Trade / FREE large case (ENDED)
« on: July 14, 2019, 04:41:55 PM »
I am hoping to find a new home for this rather large telescope case.  It housed a forked C-11, note the shape of the foam cut-out inside.  The foam can be removed or modified to fit your needs. Perhaps someone will find a use for this well made case.   It has wheels, all the handles and clasps work fine.  There is a dent on the one side which doesn't affect the closing. It's big. 36" x 18" x 24"

Call Sean (941) 373-5611  to make arrangements for you to pick it up.

Hello Dave Newbie Smith,
   Lots and lots of people love astronomy,  but only a small percentage of them take it to the next level and purchase aTelescope. So you  are now in an Elite group of people who want to discover the cosmos and see it for themselves.
  This hobby requires that you progress your knowledge, you have to learn certain things before you can move on to bigger and better equipment  all the while chasing the wow factor      For a first Telescope, the 4SE is a good choice because the nexstar SE series is fairly easy to learn and those scopes are very accurate   My buddies George and Ron both have 8SE scopes (along with other scopes LOL) and they love them.
  Youre six  amp hour battery is fine, better than using a bunch of D cell batteries, but if you stick with this you’ll want a bigger battery, something along 12 or 14 AH.
 This zoom lens is fun, I recommend that you use it to figure out  at what power of magnification you enjoy the most, and purchase an Eyepiece, with a field of view  somewhere around 68 to 82° is preferred.  Eyepieces are brighter than zoom lenses for some reason, and more brightness equals better seeing.
  Once you master the set up and can sleuth to any object you desire, then you’ll find out that you want more aperture, to help you see more of these faint distant objects,  if you have trouble getting started post another rip reply asking for help but I’m sure some of us will jump right in Dave!

Equipment Wanted / Re: bino viewer in mind
« on: July 28, 2018, 03:31:46 PM »
BTW... the bio-viewer is pretty darn good on Jupiter, Saturn, Venus, and the Moon!  Looking at DSO in them is not any better than a single eyepiece, and a bit dimmer.  It's comfortable since you don't have to squint one eye.  The views could be described as "3 dimensional", to some degree. 
 I'm using it on my Dobsonian reflector, so I had to put a barlow on the front of the bino in order to reach in-focus.  Without the barlow lens, I could not run the focuser in far enough to reach focus.  The up-side of that is that the views in the bino, with the 13mm eyepieces in it, and a barlow lens, are comparable to using a 6mm eyepiece!!  Nothing like looking at planets and the moon with some hefty power.

I usually bring them to the sidewalk events, and they get used when all we can see is the moon...

Hello John, welcome to the group!  There has been a flyer circulating on the LGDSO Facebook page, and it has the location address. Try that. 
  If you are going to set up, get there an hour before the event starts and quite possibly you can get some assistance from one or more of us.  It's not a good time to get a lot of help due to the large crowd of people that will attend... nobody can leave their scope to come help. Lots of us struggle with our gear. Hey, also, consider this...  there will most likely be some folks that aren't even in the club that will be able to give assistance because there are some savvy guests that come to these things. 
  The Crowley folks are feeding us before the event.   :D
  Looking forward to meeting you, I definitely might be able to help you for a bit...

Just a reminder about the Local Group of Deep Sky Observers’ DARK SKY SITE:

We schedule observing at the Crowley Nature Center on two Saturdays each month. (The Saturdays closest to Last Quarter and New Moon).

The night sky from Crowley is DARK, so not only are far more stars (and the Milky Way!) visible to the naked eye, virtually every object seen through our telescopes and binoculars is significantly better and brighter when observed from Crowley rather than the light-polluted skies closer to town. For astrophotographers, the dark skies permit much longer time exposures...and thus much better photos of deep sky objects like star-fields, galaxies, and nebulae.

LGDSO members are welcome to bring guests... even kids! Please though, leave the pets and “adult beverages” for another time and place.

There are a few other guidelines, mostly involving lighting restrictions when attending a dark sky event at Crowley: Use of a ‘regular’ flashlight is off-limits; red lights are the norm. Also, if observers are on the field when coming or going, your car’s headlights should be turned off and parking lights only should be used

The LGDSO Forum (at is the place for members to check to see whether or not an event is a “go”. (Cloudy skies can cancel a Crowley event, but heavy rains leading up to a scheduled event can make the observing field unusable even if the skies are perfect.)

If you would like to participate in our Crowley events, join our club and monitor the Forum! More than likely, your favorite astronomy memories are going to come from a special night at a dark site like this one.  When was the last time you saw the Milky Way from horizon to horizon, and fireflies too?

Here's a shot of the Andromeda Galaxy M31, along with two other galaxies... M110, and M32 taken from our dark site.

Equipment Wanted / Re: bino viewer in mind
« on: May 19, 2017, 08:58:52 PM »
Okay, well, I guess nobody has any experience with them - so after a fair bit of fighting with myself,  I've settled for a less expensive bino from Orion. Sort of a 'tester' set.   If I reallllly love the whole "bino-wiewing' way of viewing, larger sums of $ will be spent on finer product down the road.  Much larger sums :'(  But that goes with the territory.

They should be here next week. Looking forward to 'first light'.

Equipment Wanted / bino viewer in mind
« on: May 14, 2017, 07:38:14 PM »
With two of the best observable planets in season, I'm curious to see what the views of Jupiter and Saturn through a pair of binoviewers would be like.  The posts on the web are almost all positive, and some folks are ecstatic with the views. 

Does anyone out there have a pair that I could look through?  Or if you've had any expirence with some (preferably with a Newtonian)... what was that like for you?

Just checking,

and a couple more....

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