Hi, I’m Kevin, and this is my story…
Many years ago, I was the proud child recipient of a wobbly tripod bushnell refractor (“Price Club special”). Growing up in San Diego offered many clear nights – complete with light pollution, so I was able to take this cheapo refractor out. The only guide I had was an old DOS program called ‘SkyGlobe’. (Amazingly, you can still find copies of it floating around). Despite all the wobbles and shoddy 0.965″ eyepieces, I was fortunate enough to come across one of the skies most beautiful treats: Saturn.
It’s hard to explain how exciting that was, since unless you go through the same experience, it probably won’t be. When I show my children Saturn – or any other exciting night sky thing, they are mostly underwhelmed. Spectacular Hubble and satellite images have spoiled people rotten! Ironically the June 2010 Astronomy magazine has a column addressing this: Underwhelm people so when they do see something, they will be excited!
Remembering those those childhood memories lured me back in with a 12 inch Meade LX 200. Massive weight, clunky controls and an incredibly short power cord led to a few nights of untracked gazing. Generally exciting, but nothing too jolly. Mostly this scope just sat around for years. Eventually I gave it away to a co-worker after being harassed by family members about it’s unsightly appearance as a doorstop.
Around 2008 I got the bug again and decided to get a smaller, lighter scope. Enter the CPC 800. This scope was so incredibly easy to use with GPS, GOTO, and great tracking that I was completely amazed all over again! I quickly moved up to the CPC 1100 with aperture fever and then of course into astrophotography (because you can do that during the daytime). I added a NexStar 102 SLT refractor for the kids to play with (they never do), and in April 2010 added a Televue NP101is on a CGEM. More recently, in November 2010, I added an AstroTech AT10RCF and a CGE Pro mount.
While the books and internet have certainly been helpful in education, sometimes just “doing it” is the best educational experience of them all. So this site is dedicated to those trials and tribulations which I have (and will) go through trying to make things “just right”. Hopefully you wil enjoy reading about it as much as I enjoy going through it.
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