VIC-20 Real Time Clock in VICE

The beauty of this is that you could program a BBS to use this. The internal RTC gets messed up when either the tape or disk storage units are accessed - so using the D12C887 provides a separate, accurate clock with which to tag things like messages and files. Obviously, it does not worry about dates - but that could easily be accommodated by a subsystem. [More]

Hires Image of Pluto!

New Horizons successfully flew by Pluto and returned some stunning images. Of all of them, this hires image is absolutely amazing - click on it and wait for it down download, and then zoom in to 1:1. Bask in the detail and incredible beauty of our system's noble outpost! [More]

Telescope Reviews: Meade 2120 LX-6

This scope has been out of production for years and has been superceded by the LX-200 series. However, my friend Chris owns a pristine example of the 2120 on the LX-6 mount. His scope has integrated digital setting circles, both RA and Dec motors and a hand controller. He also has the Meade focal reducer, a bunch of eyepieces and a Meade Dew Shield. I've had the opportunity to use his scope on many occasions over the years, but just recently he asked me to run a quick star test on it and share what I thought. [More]

Telescope Review: Guan Sheng GS-600 8 inch f/4 EQ

I traded in my Orion StarMax for this scope just a few months ago. The deal involved just swapping the OTA's, so my test sample doesn't have the 8x50 finder (I have a custom made 12x60 finder instead) and I don't have the 10mm eyepiece, although I did use my 13mm NexStar Plossl with it. The scope is now my primary unit, designed to deliver the deep sky views that the StarMax 127 simply couldn't. [More]

Telescope Review: NewStar 70mm f/10 Refractor

This was a piece together project that included a NewStar (Synta) 70mm f/10 OTA with a Skywatcher red dot finder, an Orion 25mm Sirius Plossl and a Guen Sheng EQ-2 mount and tripod. The tripod featured telescoping aluminum legs and a solid accessory tray that also served to steady the mount. The EQ head was a bit odd - similar to the Orion EQ-2 but the goose neck was missing. The tripod was very solid and the dual slow motion controls were smooth, although the Dec control was a spring loaded affair that had to be "reset" every once in a while. [More]

Telescope Review: Orion StarMax 127

I picked up this super compact scope to replace my bulky 10 inch Dob. The StarMax comes on a sturdy EQ-3 mount. I actually purchased the Apex 127 - which is without a mount. I first mounted to an EQ-2, but that proved too weak, so I later upgraded it to an EQ-4. My review will deal with it's performance on the EQ-4 mount. The scope also came with a decent 25mm Sirius Plossl eyepiece, and I augmented it with the addition of a 17mm and 32mm Sirius Plossls. I rounded out the eyepiece setup with an Antares 2x APO Barlow. [More]

Telescope Review: Meade 10 inch Starfinder Dob

I traded in my ETX for this big Dob in the fall of 2001. The 10 inch Dob was my only scope at the time, and served very well as a general purpose scope. I transported the scope to a dark sky location in my Grand Am. The scope took up all the available space except for the driver's seat! I used the scope for about 1 year before trading it in for something more portable (an Orion Starmax 127). [More]