Joe Carr
Telescope Accessories
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Accessories for telescopes are endless...a good thing for a gadget freak such as myself!  All this neat stuff to drool over, and sometimes I even buy it.

Eyepieces

bulletNagler 9mm & 13mm (Type 6) - these are my everyday eyepieces that get used more than any others.  These eyepieces are expensive, however the represent the best in optics and user comfort.
bulletPanoptic 15mm & 24mm - used mainly in my binoviewer (see below), however they also make great monocular eyepieces to deliver that space walk effect so often talked about with premium wide angle eyepieces. 
bulletMeade Series 4000 Plossls - 6.4mm, 9.7mm, 15mm, 20mm, 26mm, and 32mm.  I don't use these eyepieces much anymore, however the 9.7, 20 and 32 are the sweetest of the bunch.  The 6.4mm eyepiece is good to have when I need to collimate the telescope, but the 313x power is just too much for most conditions I normally use the scope in.
bullet9.7mm Antares Plossl illuminated reticle - I use this eyepiece when sighting stars during the Autostar setup with my LX-90.  The reticle can also be used to keep a star aligned during a manually-guided piggybacked camera astrophoto session.
bulletTele Vue 2.5x Powermate 1.25" - equipped with a T-adapter; suitable for visual and a-focal photography

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Filters

bulletLumicon Deep Sky - a light pollution filter which darkens the sky behind most emission nebulae
bulletLumicon OIII - a more aggressive light pollution filter which darkens the sky behind emission nebulae, and greatly benefits visual observation of a half dozen celestial objects.
bulletAntares NPC-1 - a specialized filter used mainly on achromatic refractors, which reduces the violet fringe apparent on brighter objects.  I found this filter to also be very useful for observing Mars through my LX-90 in the Summer of 2003.  It seemed to cut down the glare from Mars just enough to enhance the planetary detail, without altering the colour of the planet like coloured filters do.
bulletAntares Light Red - the traditional filter used for enhancing contrast and planetary detail, especially for Mars.  The filter certainly performs as advertised, but I dislike the deep red colour cast.
bulletIDAS LPR - I use this light pollution filter when taking astrophotographs, especially when I'm at my light polluted home base.  Refer to the Hutech website for graphs and discussion on how this filter is so effective in reducing the effects of light pollution when taking astrophotographs.

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Binoviewers

Denkmeier binoviewers on my LX-90 telescopeAt first glance, using binocular viewers on a telescope which only has a single optical tube may seem pointless.  Nothing could be further from the truth!  Using a binoviewer with a set of two eyepieces yields incredible views of celestial objects, especially planets, the moon, and star clusters.  The photo at right shows the Denkmeir Standard Binoviewers attached to my LX200R telescope, which I no longer own. The binoviewers also attach to my Tele Vue TV-76 aprochromatic refractor or my Borg 101ED with the SR adapter mounted inside an Everbrite 2" diagonal.

The following parts of the Denkmeir kit increase the flexibility of the binoviewers:

bulletStarSweeper™ 0.5x Focal Reducer fits on the 2" nosepiece of the binoviewers and when used in combination with the Panoptic 24mm eyepieces yields expansive 1° views of the night sky.
bullet2x Multiplier - essentially a custom designed Barlow or Powermate for the binoviewers, giving maximum magnification for those nights of exceptional seeing.
bulletThe 2" nosepiece can also be used alone, yielding more magnification and about a 15' field of view.

Using the Binoviewers brings new excitement to observing the Moon, even for experienced observers.  It is like you are in a space capsule orbiting the moon, looking down on it to see endless detail on the lunar surface.  Using the StarSweeper™ gives a full disk view of the Moon, and removing the StarSweeper™ gives the impression you are in a Lunar Lander, and you are on final approach to a landing on the surface.

Binoviewer viewing is so comfortable that most observers tend to gaze at celestial objects for very much longer than they otherwise would when compared with monocular viewing.  The human brain is designed to use two eyes, so the observer's brain is much happier with the binocular view, and often ends up seeing more detail.  This, despite the light being split between the two oculars, resulting in each eye only getting half the light they would otherwise see through a monocular view.

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Cases

Lugging all my astronomy gear around can be a chore, and it can cause back or shoulder problems if not done right. Another big issue is forgetting to bring something along when going out in the field.  If flying or traveling a long distance is involved, having everything you need with you will mean the difference between success (and some joy) and failure (and frustration).  To this end, I decided to get the biggest toolbox I could handle, and put as much stuff in it as I would need for virtually any occasion.

Plano Pro Contractor toolbox

bulletwheels and retractable handle
bullettwo removable top access trays - contain small, easily lost items such as nuts, bolts, washers, Allen keys, small filters & conversion rings, tiny screw drivers
bullettwo lift-out trays
bullet1 shallow - mount controller cables & handset, SQM meter, red dot finders, small cables & electricals, red LED flashlights
bullet1 deep - the pick-n-plug foam floor is reconfigurable for optical gear - diagonals, Powermate, eyepieces, Denkmeir binoviewers kit, focal reducers
bulletdeep box - machined mount parts, extension tubes, AC/DC conversion kits, Kendrick dew control kit, CCD camera, books & charts

 

 
Ready to roll
 

Shallow lift-out tray

Deep lift-out tray

Deep box

  

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Revised: January 06, 2014

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