Back with a Bino Bang!

For those who observe with two eyes.

Re: Back with a Bino Bang!

Postby silentrunning » Thu Jun 09, 2016 11:49 am

Well I made the way up North and collected these from my brothers place. Spent a couple of days up there and managed to get them set up. They are astonishingly well made and thought out, the engineering is top notch and all the tube connection threads, mirror securing and collimation bolts have no loose parts so nothing can fall off. All adjustment screws have knurled nobs so no messing with alum keys and the like. It took me about 5 minutes to have the thing assembled.

Once the tubes are connected the structure is top heavy and the top can be carefully lowered to rest on the ground. This puts it in a perfect position for loading the mirror cells on the rear of the scope. The mechanism by which the mirror cells connects to the scope is ingenious and the collimation bolts if not already should be patented! No pairs of bolts for in/out/locking just a beautifully engineered mechanism that incorporates an internal spring that moves the mirror in/out via cw/ccw twists. I'm no engineer so it's hard to describe it but it works brilliantly and has a really solid but lightweight feel about it. It can be done by a single person but I got my brother to twist the knobs as I kept an eye on things through the eyepiece, saved me going back and forth. When both mirrors are loaded the structure is perfectly balanced and is ready for collimation/alignment.

My biggest fear was that these would be near impossible to align and would come out of alignment very easily and possibly just by changing the pointing direction but my fears were completely unjustified. Not having a laser or Cheshire with me I performed a very quick visual collimation of each scope. I placed the pair of Meade 40mm 3000 plosslsI that came with the binos into the holders. On this scope they give a magnification of about 36x which is very low but provide a lovely wide field. I then waited patiently for a star to appear. I was amazed how just 2 degrees of latitude made such a difference to the duration of twilight so it never actually got dark by the time I packed up at about midnight! Nevertheless Jupiter although low in the sky, was available.

I located the planet by sighting along one of the struts of the truss, wiggling around a bit and getting my brother to crawl around on the floor and re sight if necessary! Once found I focused one of the scopes and was amazed at the sharpness and clarity of the image even through twilight nothing else but Jupiter being visible at this point. The satellites were pinpoint and the equatorial belts and GRS showed detail even at just 36x. It was clear at this point that the optics were not going to disappoint either. Uncovering the other eyepiece led to the same quality image from the other scope.

With both eyes open the two images where about a 1/4 of a FOV apart but it was clear even at this point that the final experience was going to be something very special. I got my brother to alternate twisting the main mirror collimation screws so as to bring the images closer together and then something rather strange happened. As the images got closer together the brain seemed to overlay them long before they were coincident! The brain most have interpreted the input from both eyes as the same object and adjusted the eyes automatically to bring them together. Very strange and almost impossible to consciously undo. Only by alternating the view by opening and closing one eye could you see that the two images were still separated. I persevered however and managed to get them pretty much perfectly aligned, by pushing one image slightly out of focus the brain seems to give up on merging them so they can be properly brought together. The whole process took about 2 minutes although it would take possibly 10 minutes going back and forth if I was setting up on my own.

The combined image, no matter how it came about, was absolutely stunning. There most be all sorts of factors that contribute to the 'binocular effect' but with such large mirrors the effect was there in bucket loads. Also as this is a true binocular and not a split field of view from a single scope the light gathering power was equivalent to a 17" mirror.

As a few stars began to appear I located Mizar and as the sky got somewhat darker it was a truly lovely sight - as my main pursuit has been imaging I had almost forgotten what true points of light look like.

Having got them back home I managed to grab a view of the crescent moon last night very low down and still deep in twilight. This was the best view of the moon I have ever seen. As a few stars came out I had a quick sweep across the sky taking in Arcturus, burning beautifully orange and Vega in amazing contrast as colorful as I've ever seen it. The double double epsilon Lyra though not resolvable at just 36x looked wonderful and I saw lots of beautiful double stars as I swept through that area of the sky. The ring nebula M57 although small stould out fantastically even with the sky still being very bright.

In summary I am blown away by this bit of kit and feel privileged to own such a unique instrument.

I can't wait for the sky to become properly dark.

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Last edited by silentrunning on Thu Jun 09, 2016 6:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Back with a Bino Bang!

Postby julianr » Thu Jun 09, 2016 12:36 pm

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Re: Back with a Bino Bang!

Postby Dave Smith » Thu Jun 09, 2016 4:19 pm

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Re: Back with a Bino Bang!

Postby galileo » Fri Jun 10, 2016 9:10 am

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Re: Back with a Bino Bang!

Postby galileo » Fri Jun 10, 2016 9:13 am

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Re: Back with a Bino Bang!

Postby silentrunning » Fri Jun 10, 2016 9:45 am

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Re: Back with a Bino Bang!

Postby Wide-Field » Fri Jun 10, 2016 2:04 pm

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