Catadioptric Fanciers, that is....


Your friendly moderator "Uncle" Rod Mollise with his favorite variety of telescope...

He's also often seen with this...


SCT-USER Mailing List Home Page


 SCT-USER is a mailing list for fans and users of commercial Schmidt Cassegrain telescopes. Got a Meade? You're welcome! Doesn't even have to be an 'Advanced Product'--I still like those old 2080s! Celestron fanatic? Come on down! Doesn't matter if it's a brand new LX200R or CPC or just an Orange Tube warhorse, we know your scope and are anxious to talk about it with you! You like those CATs that are almost SCTs, the Mak-Cassegrains? Come and join us--and I mean you ETX freaks too!


To subscribe 'Manually,' just send the following :


To subscribe on the web and for for lots of good info (including LIST ARCHIVES) and other extras, go here:




General List Guidelines for sct-user


I’m not big on rules, but I do have three suggestions to make which will, I think, ensure sct-user’s continued health.

1. Be Excellent to One Another. This is not a big problem as far as I’m concerned. Amateurs have a reputation for being polite and overlooking each-others’ foibles. Let’s save the flames for Usenet. I know that some folks actually enjoy the fiery side of net life, but try to look on this list and other astro lists as a respite from that. I don’t worry too much in this regard. I spend a lot of time on the newsgroup sci.astro.amateur, and I really have to laugh when someone there comments on how ‘rough’ s.a.a. is—compared to other net venues, it’s about as rough as a convent!

One BIG RULE that I do enforce on sct-user? NO PERSONAL ATTACKS! Period. Personal attacks directed at any person, list memeber or not, will not be tolerated. Healthy debate is fine, but when it strays into this realm it's time to stop and THINK! Violating this rule is one thing that--for sure--will get you in dutch with old Rod!

2. Keep the ball rollin’. I really used to like the celestronuser mailing list. But traffic was so infrequent that the list went into decline and slowly faded away. If you see the traffic-flow ebb on sct-user, chime in with a comment or a question. It is VERY important that new subscribers see messages right away when they join!

3. Strive, as best you can, to keep on topic. The world of SCTs and CATs is a broad one, relatively speaking anyway. I consider ‘on topic’ any message which relates to CATs even in broad terms. ‘Observing experiences,’ ‘equipment talk,’ ‘photography,’ ‘good/bad dealers,’ etc. Are all on topic. What do I consider off topic and to be avoided? Those hoary old net trolls like, ‘Creationism is right, Science doesn’t know anything,’ ‘I have a new theory which disproves the big bang.’ What about that most dreaded of SCT threads, “Meade vs. Celestron?” I consider this one on topic, but I would hope that we all have enough sense to steer clear of this most of the time. If you’ve seen this thread come around on s.a.a. (as it has, countless times), you’ll know that it’s basically a waste of time. Nothing is ever resolved. I don’t say stay completely clear of this topic, since a reasoned outline of the differences between the two makers’ scopes can help beginners, and it is a question which will CERTAINLY be asked by them. “X type of telescope is better than SCTs.” Participate in threads like this if you choose, but it, like M vs. C, is never going to be settled and usually only leads to hurt feelings .

What kind of control do I exercise on the list? Very little. Ideally a mailing list should be self -supporting. I will step in when necessary to enforce rules of civil conduct to ensure the continuing health of the list, however. I further reserve the right to enforce penalties for misconduct up to and including permanent banning. I have never had to exercise that option, and, with your help, I hope I never will have to.

If you have a comment or question about the list, please feel free to email me directly at RMOLLISE@bellsouth.net (or if you just wanna talk scopes and observing…I’m always happy to chat with fellow amateurs). 

Me? I (Rod) know many of you from either star parties or from being online a lot. But if you’re curious about your host….

I’m a Test Engineer for Northrop Grumman when it comes to day jobs...but I do plenty of astro-moonlightin'! I also teach my local University’s (University of South Alabama) evening astronomy labs for the Physics Department. My dear wife, Dorothy and I share a big old Victorian house in Mobile, Alabama’s historic district with 2 cats (the four-footed kind) and 11 telescopes (at last count). In addition to our mutual interest in astronomy and science, Dorothy and I enjoy reading science fiction (the archives at Chaos Manor South hold just about everything done by Asimov, Heinlein and Clarke--especially the latter two, with Dorothy being a Heinlein fanatic and me a Clarke stalwart). We also enjoy traveling, and try to combine interests by attending as many star parties as possible, given our busy schedules.

I’ve been an SCT lover since that first orange tube C8 I bought in ’76. I’ve owned a succession of CATs over the years, but my most used C8 today is a 1995 Ultima C8 OTA mounted on one of Celestron's goto CG5 mounts. I occasionally use a C14 when I can convince myself to set it up. My current prime scope is a Celestron Nexstar 11, and there are several other C8s and small CATs lurkin' as well.

My most recent project is a book on urban deep sky observing, The Urban Astronomer's Guide. There's a link to the book's Amazon.com page on my website.  I've just completed the manuscript for a follow-up to Choosing and Using, tentatively titled Choosing and Using a 21st Century Schmidt Cassegrain Telescope. It should be available by the end of 2008.

I also contributed to Sky Publishing's Night Sky Magazine on a fairly regular basis. I'm not a stranger to the other astromags, either, including the hallowed Sky and Telescope, Amateur Astronomy Magazine, The Practical Observer, The Reflector, Astronomy Technology Today, and others. Only major U.S. pub  I've never sold to is Astronomy, but...you never can tell.

And I edit (and write a lot of ) a semi-quarterly astronomy newsletter, Skywatch, which has gone from a mimeographed club publication to a web-based general interest periodical read by several thousand amateurs during the time each issue is current.

What else? I serve as Vice President of my local astronomy club, the Mobile Astronomical Society. 

Naturally, I observe every chance I get, do astrophotography, and CCD imaging. 

No, I NEVER sleep! :-)"

Your Assistant Moderator is Mr. Joe Hartley, who's as knowledgable about CATs as he is about computers...that is VERY knowledgable and a great resource in these days of techno-SCTs!



Joe hard at work...!



Uncle Rod's Guide to Used SCTs!

The Definitive FREE guide to choosing and buying Used CATs! .pdf format.




Some Links....


Anacortes Telescope and Wild Bird

AstroDesigns (Accessories and Designs for the LX-200)


Chris Everaert's MX5C and Quikcam Home Page

Compustar Fan Page

Disassemble Your C8 (ouch!)

Ed's Nexstar 11 Site

Frostydrew Observatory (LX-200 16")

Jerry Pool's Astro Page

Meade Instruments

Mike Cunningham's LX-50 Page

The Nexstar Resource Site




Tom's Homebrew SCT Cooler

The Unofficial C5+ Page

The Unofficial C8 Home Page

Weasner's ETX Page




Faqs 'n Files...


 Jeff Rader's Excel  Eyepiece Spreadsheet. Don't ask, just download  it! (.zip compressed)

 SCT Collimation Doc ( Adobe .pdf format)

 Celestar Review

 SCT Drift alignment Doc

 SCT Drift alignment Doc in Abobe Acrobat (.pdf) format

 LX-10 Review

 Dew Heater Schematic Contributed by Michael  McNeil (.jpg)



Support for No-longer-produced CATS...

Click on Mr. Kitty for THE CAT PROJECT!





Click on the Possum, Return to the Rod's Astro Land...



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