Last updated: 4 August 2005
Subject: Viewing Report: DSX90 / PST / BinoViewers Sent: Wednesday, August 3, 2005 15:47:00 From: WarpedCorp (firstname.lastname@example.org) I normally would not post this but thought the report on the Bino's would be of interest. Also the DSX90 is doing double duty as the guide scope on my AR5 / LXD75 mount combo. the LXD75 holds the AR5 / DSX90 and PST - pictures will be posted shortly. Just returned from vacation on the Gulf and thought I'd share some viewing experiences with the group. This is being cross-posted on several groups so I apologize in advance if you are having to look at this more than once. First off... let me say that all of us should recognize what a testament it is to the human spirit for those who went through Hurricane Ivan last September. The devastation that is still evident is simply undescribable without actually seeing it. My best wishes and good hope to all of those who are making a comeback. Now... on to the report.... We were in a second floor condo with a nice sturdy balcony about 600 feet from the shore and facing due south. The week's weather was clear but heavy humidity (visible under the lights at night) limited good seeing to three nights. All three nights were preceeded with a brief thunderstorm and cooler breezes which cleared the air. All in all the weather was perfect for vacation. I recently purchased a Meade DSX-90 (same as ETX90 with a one-arm 21xx series goto mount with AutoStar 497) to be used as a quick grab and go / vacation scope. It served it's purpose well. I fabricated a piggyback mount for it to hold my Coronado PST scope for some portable solar viewing. An Orion 9x50 RACI finder, fitted Identiview white light solar filers (same as Orion's) for the 90mm OTA and the Orion finder,Star GPS system and a Meade 1244 electric focuser completed the setup. The StarGPS system is a really nice plug and play option for the AutoStar - especially if you are moving from one site to another or taking your setup on vacation like I did. It initiallizes the AutoStar and automatically sets the exact location, time and date. A great accessory! I also had a brand new pair of the new Seibert Bino-Viewers with the matched 20mm WA ep's which I took along for their first light. I had three days of good solar viewing with ability to switch between whitelight views and HA views in the PST. The PST as usual never fails to delight and satisfy with good surface grain visible along with several good size flares. The proms were also there with good detail and visibility. The tracking of the 21xx mount kept the sun in the FOV for several hours with only minor corrections needed from time to time. Each day the line of "guest" observers grew longer which was fun - but cut into my personal observing time. Targets for the night were Mars, the Moon and Jupiter. The little 90mm scope did a great job on all three but now I finally realize what I was missing.....Bino-Viewing!!! I've read hundreds of reports on binos and the ong-oing arguments as to why they do or do not improve the views. I do not know why they work but I will say that I saw were simply the BEST views of the lunar surface and of Jupiter that I had ever seen... PERIOD. Mars was low on the horizon and showed some detail with well defined polar cap. Due to the lateness of the hour - Mars viewing was short but sweet. Even if all you do is Lunar viewing - go to your favorite dealer site and order a pair NOW. At $200.00 (included a free matched pair of 20mm wa ep's) it is well worth the money. I purchased the Burgess branded model but you can get them through other dealers such as Stellarvue and others. They work just fine WITHOUT any adapters on the ETX90 and the views of the Lunar surface were of the caliber that you just step back - rub your eyes - take a deep breath and whisper to yourself - "unbelievable". I don't know (or care)if it was the use of two eyes worth of info vs. one, I won't say it was brighter but the detail within craters along the terminator, the subtle differences in gray shades on the surface and the comfort were amazing. The ability to keep both eyes open and just gaze at the details was amazing - I spent over an hour just staring at the lunar details. I them attached the 1.6x optical corrector I purchased from Siebert. This corrector is needed with some refractors which do not have enough backfocus to accomodate the binos. It is NOT needed with the ETX90 but the additional magnification now filled the FOV of the binos with the Lunar surface. I attached a combo stacked configuration of the Baader Fringe Killer / Moon-skyglow filter and the views just kept getting better and better. For over an hour, I used the autostar to pan slowly over the lunar surface with no eye fatigue whatsover - it is a very natural view - just like looking at a photograph - only now you are almost inside of the craters. You can shift your eyes up - down - side to side to see the entire "picture" - simply amazing! The next night, I focused my attention on Jupiter. Again, I don't know if it is added info, or the slightly improved depth perception - but the comfort level for viewing allowed me to linger for hours - noting festoons and details within the individual bands while the four primary moons seemed to linger in a more 3D like visual. As I said earlier, the BinoViewer will work with no additional adapters in the ETX90 and I would also assume the other ETX models. For refractors, you may need the OCA (Optical Corrector Adapter) which is available from Burgess ($29.00) as a 2x model and from Seibet ($79.00) as a 1.6x model. Seibert also makes an adapter for the PST - although I did not have a chance to try it out yet. In summary - you owe it to yourself to view through one of these bino's. It will take your breath away. I found that the the views through the 1.6x adapter from Seibert blew away the views using a Celestron 2x Ultima barlow. It took a little fiddling the first time I used them to get the spacing of the ep's correct so that the image properly merged into one "stereo" image. Once done and you know what to "look for" the next time the adjustment is simple. The binos have dual helical focusers which makes it a snap to fine focus for your individual visual conditions. My only complaint is that the three relatively tiny nylon screws that hold each ep in place are very easy to loose as they have to be almost completely screwed out to switch ep's. It would be nice if the bino's had a compression ring fitting or if these three retaining screws could somehow be made "captive". ------------------- Follow-up Note: I noticed today that Williams Optics is releasing their version of these same binos - with the added "benefit" of compression ring fittings in the ep holders. This interested me and I called Burgess (talked with Bill) to find out if there was going to be a compression ring fitting "upgrade" for current owners. His reply - "Definately Not". He went on to explain that he had originally tried compression ring and single screw fittings and switched to the three screw method as the current three screw fitting acts also as a collimation tool to align and properly center different ep's. A compression ring or single screw fitting will shift the ep to one side or the other and degrade the viewing experience, according to him. It all made sense to me in the way he described it. He also said he will have some add on accessories that will definately improve the bino experience. (BTW - check out the re-vamped Burgess site). He also said his bino's will definately support higher power viewing than any of the competitors - including some more expensive models. ----------- Also, if you are using the Meade 8x25 right angle finder, it will have to be removed to allow clearance for the bino's. I mounted an accessory shoe on the right side of the focus tube to hold and auxillary Orion Right Angle finder. You can see pictures of the set up in my photos folder. Other than that one small complaint - this ETX90 and bino setup is going to make one heck of a lightweight grab and go combo! I'll be posting pictures of the setup in my photo folder in the group. If you own an ETX scope, You owe it to yourself to try out a pair of binos. Feel free to email me with questions or comments.... Clear skies..... Warp
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