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Alien Observatory (Pat)

History (where did you start astronomy from)

Seeing Halleys Comet from a very dark site in southern Utah back in 1987.  I remember reading a Sky and Telescope issue using only the starlight from the Milkyway that evening.  That put me on a course to purchase a Coutler 10″ Dob that I picked up in person (Idyllwild CA) and two Televue Widefield eyepieces.  First light was a full moon and it was so bright I could barely make out the craters.  My pride and joy for about 10 years till the LP overcame my ability to see anything of substance.   After experiencing a Total Eclipse while in Turkey, my wife bought me an EXT 70 with an Orion electric eyepiece that started my EAA journey.

Where did you hear about EAA?

When I retired early from Northrup Grumman in 2010, I purchased a Comet Hunter telescope, an AVX Mount, and an Orion CCD cam of which I do not remember the model.  Struggled to learn what was required to be successful, but my first quality image was of M81 and M82.  Then I saw something on CN (Video Astronomy, the forerunner of EAA), bought a Mallincam CCD, a used CPC 11, and a 0.63 FR, and a new world opened up to me.   I chased the Messier objects for 2 years and thought I was getting better at this Hobby and a very frequent poster on CN.  Then the EAA / Video disagreement started on CN and I just dropped out of the new EAA world after being criticized by some of the new CMOS users.  I rejoined the CN EAA forum when ZWO started to release affordable CMOS cams.

What are your expectations?

  Just to see whatever I can with the current LP in my local area.

What do you already have?

An older CPC 9.25, a couple of refractors I sold to finance the expensive Stellina.

How much is too much?

I am sure I have spent over $10K over the past 10 years or so chasing, upgrading, and testing various telescopes, cams, and accessories.  My basic budget was $1,500 per year.

OTA (advice)

A used 6 to 8 inch SCT telescope

Mount (advice)


Camera(s) and preferred targets and techniques.

Automated all in one Stellina, no fuss or muss, the ultimate KISS (push an “on” button and you are on the way for the evening).

What don’t you like about EAA?

Too much much discussion and poor advice on EAA Equipment and SW (Show us what you see, not what you have). Seems everyone has a favorite setup that is the best way, which of course is not true.  Quantity over Quality and miss the fascinating history of the universe, Over-cropping images as it takes the object out of context of the FOV of your setup.

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