Our Recent Acquisitions
Our Telescope Library has had a great deal of traffic this year, and it is not over yet. Our peak season is summer, naturally, and activity is up over last year. Please note that we already have telescope reservations that go on into the winter, and we serve the membership year round. Recently, we reached something of a milestone: 40 telescope or binocular packages are now available for reservation via the website. The library may continue to grew slightly, but 40 is a good target. As new telescopes are introduced, we will be examining our collection much more critically, and retiring older instruments. Changes now will be toward newer gear, and more diversity.
There are two ways we have increased the number of packages we can offer. One is that we have been acquiring new gear via donation. Between a third and half of all our equipment has been donated in the last 18 to 24 months. Some items that have been here for a while have been unused because they were incomplete. There were missing finder scopes, visual backs, diagonal eyepiece holders, and few people want to borrow an incomplete package, these telescopes or often unusable. By organizing our spare parts collection, many of the "lost" items could once again be matched up, forming packages again. This has helped us to the number 40, even as we retired several older scopes.
What's next? We have a bit of catching up to do, and this winter is a good chance to do it. We are short of storage space, so we are trying to make the best use of what we have. We will deeply at least one collapsible telescope at OMSI, replacing a bulky old Dobsonian. If borrowers tell us that's a good instrument, we may do more of that. We'll have more binoculars at OMSI as well, they pack a lot of observing ability into a small size, and you can expect to see more Refractors, in the 4 to 6 inch class. Again, the emphasis will be on portability and compactness. We will maximize the efficiency of the space we have, and give you more choices.
Until recently, we've offered 4 pars of binoculars at OMSI. Now a 5th pair joins the collection, and this one is special. Lots of people have borrowed binoculars without a tripod, and we try to make sure they have one, since you need them for anything over about 12 power.
With these new binoculars, the tripod and mount are part of the package. We are not giving you a choice, because of the size and weight. These binoculars have 4 inch objectives, and it weighs 28 pounds. It has 4 sets of paired eyepieces, and loans out with its own roller case. Each optical system focuses independently, which takes a bit longer, but compensates for differences in vision from one eye to the other. It also has its own finder scope.
These are not the binoculars you grew up with, be prepared for something quite different. Planets and open clusters really come at you with these; you can see a surprising amount of detail detail. With the light gathering ability of a 6" Newtonian, you get great binocular views of the moon, planets, and many open clusters, nebula, and star fields. This is an easy to use instrument, despite its size.
This is just one of our new acquisitions, next month, we'll spotlight another.