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Getting Started in Electronics
Getting Started in Electronics
by Forrest M. Mims III
Edition: Paperback
Price: $17.35
36 used & new from $5.19

4.0 out of 5 stars nice started but has some mistakes, July 3, 2014
I bought this book back in 1989 from a local Radio Shack store when I was in middle school. It is a great book but with some critical mistakes that can frustrate the reader. For example the circuits for the burglar alarm and moisture activated relay call for the use of an SPST relay when Mimms uses a schematic for an SPDT relay but labels it as an SPST. The two relays clearly have different wiring schematics. I had to google this to make sure first it wasn't me misrreading something.. This was in the 1989 version...hopefully it has been changed for the re-issue as Radio Shack is promoting the MAKE series.


BaoFeng UV-5R Plus Qualette Two way Radio (Flame Red)
BaoFeng UV-5R Plus Qualette Two way Radio (Flame Red)
Price: $35.89
8 used & new from $32.29

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great radio that doesn't break the bank!, September 7, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I was skeptical as to whether or not to purchase one of these little handhelds, but I went ahead and purchased the red one and went ahead and got a separate antenna and USB programming software cable/driver suggested by Amazon.

All I can say is, it's a great little handheld! Putting out 4 watts I was able to make a contact over 5 miles away (in my location--others may vary) on a simplex frequency and the other radio operator said I was full quieting on the band! I was sitting on my couch in the living room near a picture window as if I were talking on a cell phone. Yes, you are going to need to get a new antenna as the rubber duck antenna from the manufacturer isn't sufficient. Go ahead and get the USB programming cable and CHIRP software available free on the Internet. You're gonna need it! Navigating the menus is easy (in my opinion) but programming the channels is quantum physics!

A great way to break into the hobby at under $100 and not break the bank!


Star Trek: The Next Generation: The Stuff of Dreams
Star Trek: The Next Generation: The Stuff of Dreams
Offered by Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc
Price: $3.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Small Walk through the Nexus, August 22, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I really liked this novella. I know there are a lot of mixed reviews about "The Stuff of Dreams", and many would in a demeaning way disagree with me, but in reading this I could see the events happening throughout the story as if I were sitting in a theater watching a movie. This is attributed to the way the story is told simply without a lot of fluff and gets straight to the point. It comes across as being very real (to me). It's not deeply cerebral like some Trek novels try to be (it doesn't have time to be), it's not about an alternate reality of misfits in a non-Federation timeline as in the Gene DeWeese novel about the Nexus (those are getting old), or a Borg time travel repeat. It's a simple story but not poorly written like most fan-fiction. It was nice to see Picard tour the Nexus with the "echo" of Dr. Soran from "Generations" as well as he is searching for one of the antagonists in the Nexus. These "scenes" reminded me of an episode starring Malcom McDowell in the short-lived series, "Fantasy Island" as Soran (in a very different guise than the one we met in "Generations") says to Picard, "Don't judge him..." (in reference to one of the antagonist's reason for visiting the Nexus). In my opinion, and again, this is just my opinion...the story is written cinematically.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 4, 2013 8:10 PM PST


The Hatfield Photographic Lunar Atlas
The Hatfield Photographic Lunar Atlas
by Jeremy Cook
Edition: Hardcover
38 used & new from $8.61

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just what I was looking for!, December 30, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Being in amateur astronomy for many years, mainly observing deep sky objects, I've now turned my scope back to the moon and have begun sketching craters and other lunar features. From free sites online to iPhone apps of the lunar landscape, none of them compare to this atlas. Yes, like the other reviews say the photos are grainy and not entirely sharp, but come on, the pictures are MORE than clear enough. The pictures were taken with the authors 30cm (essentially 12 inches) reflector...so of course the pictures are not going to look like Clementine's photographs or something from Star Trek or the old Apollo 13 movie. I love how the atlas shows a photograph of different grids of the moon, then shows close up a legend of what's what drawn out exactly the same as the photo. What I especially love about the atlas is how it shows the moon pictures in its full phase where the light flattens out all the major features and a photo of the same area with shadow details from a phase where the sun is shining at almost 90 degrees casting side-lighting. In short, I would recommend this text to anyone in astronomy interested in a more detailed look at the moon. As a person like myself who sketches celestial objects...this atlas is, in my opinion, gold!


Explore Scientific 127mm f/6.5 Refractor OTA Doublet Air-Spaced Achromat Refractor, With Tube Rings.
Explore Scientific 127mm f/6.5 Refractor OTA Doublet Air-Spaced Achromat Refractor, With Tube Rings.
Offered by AgenaAstro
Price: $599.99
4 used & new from $599.99

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great scope but QC is questionable, December 24, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
First let me say that the scope in and of itself is great and I am impressed with the optical quality. I have been in amateur astronomy for over 20 years and know my scopes. The buyer of this scope will not be disappointed as long as they are aware of the comparisons/contrasts between getting a reflector vs. a refractor or SCT. I first pointed the scope at Jupiter using only a 24mm eyepiece and even at at level of magnification with no filters I was able to pinpoint fine quality cloud patterns that my 6" reflector--even when collimated properly--couldn't detect. Next, I turned the scope to the Orion Nebula (M42) and the Pleiades open cluster (M45)(using a 32mm eyepiece) and the pinpoints of light were fine and sharper than a starfield in a Star Trek movie. M42 looked great--nice contrast! The fine adjustment worked perfectly for focusing along with the standard coarse adjustment.

The only reason I didn't give this 5/5 stars is because of quality control. Explore Scientific guarantees in their website that their scopes are given rigorous QC tests, but this scope must have slipped through. The screws holding the finder scope were twisted off the "track" so that the screw's ridges were stripped out from being off. I had to use a power drill to unscrew the screws and set them properly. Other than that I would definitely buy this scope again and recommend it to a fellow observer.

Be aware though, this is not quite in my opinion an beginner's scope. It does NOT come with a manual (at least mine didn't) or eyepieces. It is assumed you know how to already operate and mount a scope on an existing tripod, and have a set of eyepieces.

Overall, for me, it is a great scope!
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 12, 2013 11:34 AM PST


Celestron SkyMaster Giant 15x70 Binoculars with Tripod Adapter
Celestron SkyMaster Giant 15x70 Binoculars with Tripod Adapter
Price: Click here to see our price
97 used & new from $50.47

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exactly what I needed!, December 2, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I have been an amateur astronomer for over 25 years. I am frequently traveling across my state to visit with my father-in-law who is also an amateur astronomer and the need for portability is a must. These binoculars not only offer great views of the sky but are easy to pack on-the-go while traveling. With the included tripod adapter, I can adapt it to a camera tripod for more stable viewing. The best thing to do is to search the Internet for plans on building a binocular tripod which I have done over Christmas 2011 with simple wood parts from Lowe's. This way I don't have to strain my neck while viewing. No, the binocs will never replace my Newtownian Reflector or my Schmidt-Cassegrain, or show me detailed views of Jupiter's cloud bands like in an 8" scope, but they're too big to lug around or motivate myself to pack on long trips. These are just perfect, for me anyway!


Celestron Collimation Eyepiece 1.25"
Celestron Collimation Eyepiece 1.25"
Price: $24.99
11 used & new from $20.62

15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great item! Instructions easy to follow!, October 13, 2011
Celestron did a great job with this item! The eyepiece showed that my collimation wasn't that far off from when I used the laser collimator (also by Celestron). The instructions were VERY EASY to follow if you read them close enough and carefully. I don't know what it is with publishers like Sky&Tel and die-hard amateurs...they have to explain how to use collimation equipment (and everything else) with wordy, techno-babble-filled descriptions that only confuse other amateurs (ahem...I've been an experienced amateur astronomer for over 25 years...so I know what I'm talking about). Maybe it's a way for the hot-shots to show off rather then be helpful. Save the techno-babble for another forum for those who really want to know. The instructions were written simple and to the point and only took up an index card's worth of explaining. I would definitely buy this item again and recommend it to beginners learning to collimate their reflectors.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 27, 2015 1:37 AM PDT


Celestron Omni 2X Barlow Lens
Celestron Omni 2X Barlow Lens
Price: $33.11
12 used & new from $28.97

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great little barlow!, October 4, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I've been an amateur astronomer for over 25 years. This is a great barlow and the first time I've used one. My wife and I used this in our 6" f5 Celestron Reflector (f/l 750mm). It provided great views with a 26mm lens inserted into the barrel of the Ring Nebula (M57), Andromeda Galaxy (M31), and several other deep sky objects. Even the moon looked great! With the 5mm lens, which was probably overkill, made us feel as if we were right on the moon itself. Of course, when jacking up the magnification this high the image quality isn't as great or as sharp (this is normal when using higher power). For the price, this is an awesome item! Can't wait to get the 3x version.


Kaito KA500BU 5-Way Powered Emergency AM/FM/SW Weather Alert Radio, Blue
Kaito KA500BU 5-Way Powered Emergency AM/FM/SW Weather Alert Radio, Blue
Price: $49.95
6 used & new from $42.08

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great radio for an amateur astronomer!, September 12, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I must say that after reading some of the negative reviews of this radio, I was skeptical and concerned, but took the risk of purchasing this radio anyway. I wanted something that was rugged, but didn't look UGLY! I also wanted something I could carry with me to my telescope as I am an amateur astronomer. This radio was perfect for my needs! Something I can carry in the field, not having to worry about batteries, and it has everything I ever wanted: Shortwave, AM/FM, and weather and NOAA alerts. I like to listen to music and news while sitting at the telescope, and the SW bands are nice for listening to WWV time signals to get UTC time when logging reports. Yes, the telescoping antenna is flimsy and seems like it'll break anytime, but to remedy this, I purchased a portable external clip-on antenna from Sangean to attach to the antenna when lowered to it's lowest point. I just hang the external antenna in a nearby tree (or just string it to the telescope). What I especially love is that there doesn't appear to be any signal drift on the SW bands commonly experienced with analog tuners. Tuning is tight and right on. Sound quality is great!

A note to users who said the crank broke easily: GO EASY ON IT! It's not a tank, it's not a hydroelectric power generator. Yes it's rugged, but you don't need to crank the thing at 100 MPH! A steady, gentle cranking for 1 minute gave me over 30 minutes of power for the radio.


Celestron Digital Microscope Imager 44421
Celestron Digital Microscope Imager 44421
Price: $43.99
18 used & new from $35.71

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great for the lab!, May 6, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This item works as described and yes, works great with Windows 7. The device is almost completely plug n' play. I use this with my netbook in the anatomy lab at the college I work at when tutoring students with histology (I transferred the installation drivers from the CD-ROM enclosed to a flash drive and it worked great!). The resolution isn't as sharp as say a microscope camera system with an adapter ranging $300-$500, but does the job with superb results. Give it about 10 minutes to warm up and the refresh gets better. It does appear to use a CCD chip, and from my astronomy days, I remember these requiring an optimal temperature range to get to working at peak. This is normal, and hey, Celestron also makes telescopes. Might want to use with PhotoShop or GIMP to enhance contrast on some images. Matches images similar to those taken in textbooks! I love this thing! Great for the field if using a netbook or laptop.


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