What's new here?

We are proud to now offer a new line of very fast, very high-end 3D Printers. The fastest and largest 3D printers in the American commercial . The WASP Delta Turbo line:

3DOfferings

As said this line features some of the largest and fasted 3D printers in the USA. Three models are available, the small WASP Delta Turbo 2040, the mid-range WASP Delta Turbo 4070 and the largest unit: The WASP Delta Turbo 60100 . The 2040 and 4070 feature turbo printing features such as turbo speed (printing up to 600mm/s, 400mm/s for the 4070). ALl the models can print plastic at different temperatures. The printers have extreme accuracy and operate from the same 1.75mm plastic material used in most 3D printers.

6201

All the models feature the WASP “Resurrection System” where if power is lost, disconnected, or if the printer needs to be moved for some reason the printer will resume right where it left off when power is switched back on.

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The print volumes are large, with the 2040 haveing 12.5 liters, the 4070 84 liters, and the 60100 having 282 liters.

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All  WASP units come with software that operates with Mac, PC and Linux. The format recognized are stl, obj, & gcode. The WASP printers have USB and SD inputs

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The chasis and rails is an aluminum unibody, the rest of the unit is built with sturdy materials.

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These units are not small, the 60100 stands over 2.5 meters tall, the 4070 is just under 2 meters (199cm) and the 2040 stands 87cm tall.

Now, of course 3D printing is a bit tricky, so all the WASP  Turbo Delta models include 90 MINUTES OF VIRTUAL TRAINING.

This truly is the top of the line 3D printer available commercially. Choose your tool for the future of 3D printing!

Buy the WASP TURBO DELTA 2040 (Tier 1) 3D Printer

Buy the WASP TURBO DELTA 4070 (Tier 2) 3D Printer

Buy the WASP TURBO DELTA 60100 (Tier 3) 3D Printer

www.spectrum-scientifics.com

We got a sample product in house that got a lot of positive reation: We could have sold the sample a dozen times over, when it was worn it got a lot of notice.  It wasn’t an item we expected: It was a scarf made out as a colorful periodic table:

scarf-flat copy

It wore well, and looked quite nice. The reaction caught us off guard to be honest.

scarf-foldedsmall

The scarf is made of (polyester-based) Satin and was soft, comfortable, colorful, and especially nerdy!

scarf-wearingsmall

Thing is: We couldn’t just buy few of these like we do other items. We had to buy a *lot* of them for the order. How could we do this? It was alot of capital to invest and while we were sure we could sell a few of them, could we sell hundreds?

Rather than make a risky investment, we decided to turn to Kickstarter:

kickstarter

So you can help support bringing this product to our offerings. You can get one of the first ones as a reward (or a bunch if you  like!). If You don’t care for scarves or just don’t wear them you can still support us and get a reward!   The $12 reward will get you a dog tag with your fasvorite element on it (you get to choose!)

PeriodicDogTag

So support our little foray into fashion and back us on Kickstarter!

Our entry at Kickstarter

www.spectrum-scientifics.com

 

 

Every Smartphone has a camera, and those cameras have become almost ridiculously sophisticated. Once, phone cameras were novelties that could take VGA quality photos to send to buddies via text messages. Now they are multi-megapixel systems with sophisticated software that can simulate many features of a DSLR camera. Except that the lens is still a little thing and can only do so much.

So this why there have been the addition of attachable lenses for cameras. Previously such devices were phone specific, but now with the use of soft jaw clamps they are universal. This means no losing your optical toys when you upgrade phones.  We have already carried and reviewed the Smartphone Microscope, as well as the Macro and Fish Eye Lens sets, both useful additions for your phone camera. Now we have the Smartphone 8X Telescope Lens and are going to review it!

First, here are the pieces you get:

2016-01-19 10.28.11

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The world was shocked yesterday when it was announced that David Bowie, at age 69, has passed away after

a fight with cancer. Since David Bowie managed to keep his private life well away from his public one this surpised most people and Social Media, radio and TV were all covered with memories and tributes to the musician.

By now, you’ve probably seen plenty of stories, plenty of memories of concerts, plenty of Social Media memes about Bowie, and we didn’t want to just pile on more of the same. But David Bowie’s music was very important to the store: let me explain.

When I opened this store, one of the great features of the building we are in is that it has a great stereo system built in. Speakers were pre-built into the ceiling on both floors and all that was needed was a tuner and a CD player (later replaced with an iPort).

The issue I faced, however: was what to play over the stereo system? I wanted to evoke a ‘feel’ for the store when customers entered it. Early on I made decisions such as never wanting to play Christmas music in the store during the holidays as it would drive me nuts, let alone my employees. But I still had to build a library of music to play and had only my own collection and whatever I could aquire on short notice.

Early decision seemed easy: I added lots of what would be called ‘New Age’ music but actually was more space-y that that. Musicians such as Vangelis, Jean-Michelle Jarre, and Tangerine Dream all were in the early playlists, and a few other bits went in. I noticed that there was a problem.

The music was too ‘ethereal’. I was going for that mood but it was too much soft insutrmentations. I needed something to break it up, or me and my employees were going to be a musical haze after a couple of hours of this stuff. But I couldn’t just throw anything out there. Most of my rock collection was not appropriate (only 1 Pixies song fits the theme I was going for, for example). I could add a few oddball pieces here and there, but I needed to have something that was more recognizable to the average customer.

I could have gone with some more oldies stuff – geting some Beatles music or Rolling Stones but that didn’t work. They both had tones that just didn’t fit and got too ‘intrusive’, plus I didn’t want the store to sound like an oldies station. I also couldn’t pick a bunch of stuff that might be unpopular with customers.

So what worked? I had some of the more recent David Bowie compelations (Bowie released a lot of compilation albums). The music on them fit pefectly.

Bowie’s music, even at its harshest, still had an odd otherworldly quality to it (his late-90’s work such as ‘Outside’ notwithstanding), and it was unviersally recognized and appreciated without being outright nostalgia food. Honestly I can’t think of anyone who outright hates Bowie’s music. Maybe they didn’t like it but no-one actually hated it unlike earlier British invasion bands. Songs like ‘Man Who Sold the World’ , ‘Space Oddity’ and ‘Life on Mars’ all fit the theme of a science store selling telescopes, astronomy items and the like, the rest of his singles fit in well enough to break up the instrumental pieces without intruding into a customer’s head.

When describing the music I would play in the store I would give the elevator pitch of “New Age instrumental music, with some David Bowie thrown into to keep our brains from turning into mush”. This wasn’t perfectly accurate as I had  a few other pieces on there as well but none would be so familiar as Bowie’s music.

The epitome of the Bowie music in the store was summed up one day on a Sunday when some college students form St Joseph’s University walked into the store. They had arrived just as “Space Oddity” had come up in the music rotation so after walking in and being impressed with our displays of excellent science toys one of the male students noted that the music that was playing “Space Oddity, perfect!”. As the students continued into the store one of the female students stayedcloser to the door, looked up at the speakers, then over at me with a suspicious expression and asked “Is that song always playing?”

 

R.I.P David Bowie, you truly will be missed.

www.spectrum-scientifics.com

 

 

This is an updated repost of our popular new telescope owner Primer. We’ve added a few bits concnering new attitudes on computerized telescopes and a few other minor tweaks. Be sure ot pay attention when you first use your telescope. Locally, most folks probably haven’t since I don’t think we’ve had a clear night since the 25th.  Anyway, read-on and learn!

So you got a new telescope for the holidays: A Quick Primer for new telescope users.

Be it X-mas, Hannukah, Kwanza, Solstice or Giftmas this is the season for getting telescopes as gifts. Sadly, many of these scopes might be rushed into usage and some critical steps might be 016skipped. This can result in a frustrating experience for a budding young astronomer who may give up their new hobby prematurely. This can be avoided if you only take the time and a few precautions to make certain you get the baby steps out of the way without too much tripping and falling.

1) Do as much as you can during daytime first!

I can’t stress this too much. Many folks assume they can assemble their telescope right out of the box at their chosen viewing spot – in the dark. Suffice it to say this is not a good idea. Assembling out of the box at the viewing site might be an extreme example but you should certainly try working your scope and getting the ‘feel’ for it during the daytime as much as possible. Take your telescope outside during the daytime and point it at a nearby tree or other object (the object should be at least 1/4 mile away). Use this object to align the finder scope (see below) as well as test how the eyepiece focuses. Try changing your eyepieces between the low and high powered ones to see how that works as well. Move the telescope in large movements as well as using the slow motion controls as well. When you do these things in the daylight you can get a much better feel for how they should work than if you try them at night. Also if you drop an eyepiece or loosen a screw you have a decent chance to find it. Get your mistakes out of the way when the sun is up.

2) Assemble your telescope properly

This should go without saying, but it is amazing how many folks skip a few steps or don’t attach parts, or don’t read the instructions properly. We’ve seen telescopes in for “repairs” just after the holidays that were just put together wrong, or some critical final steps were ignored (slow motion controls not attached, counterweights not placed). Most of the time, there are very few non-critical elements of a telescope’s construction. So be sure to follow the assembly procedure carefully. Allow yourself a couple of hours as well (maybe three hours for certain models of dobsonian telescopes) for the assembly. Don’t assume you can just put it together a 1/2 hour before you plan to head out and view.

3) Align your finder scope. Align your finder scope! ALIGN YOUR FINDER SCOPE!

Get the point? Many folks ignore this step until the last minute and we can tell you that trying to work a telescope without an aligned finger is very,very, very hard. Even the lower 084magnifications on a short focal length telescope only see a little under 1 arc degree of the sky. This is a tiny portion of the sky so hoping to find an object with just the eyepiece is really hard to do. There is a reason why almost all telescopes come with a finder scope. So make sure to align it (During the daytime per suggestion #1) . If your telescope comes with a red-dot finder instead of an optical finder scope, be certain to carefully align that as well during the daytime – and don’t forget to switch it off! A dead battery in a red dot finder is nobody’s friend.

4) Did you get an Equatorial mount? Figure out how it moves!

An equatorial mount has some great advantages over a regular altazimuth (altitude-azimuth) mount. It can track, be motorized, and the larger ones can even be used with setting circles to locate objects in the night sky. But these are only true if you take advantage of the equatorial mount’s features and set it up properly. During the daytime (suggestion #1 again!) try a rudimentary set-up of the equatorial mount. This does not have to be super accurate as some telescope’s instruction manuals may require, just enough to get mostly accurate tracking for a little while. Perhaps more importantly, get a feel for how the telescope moves – you are used to moving things in an up/down left/right fashion. Now you need to get used to moving the telescope in declination and right ascension. Try moving the telescope from one target to another using the mount properly during the daytime to get a better sense of it. One thing to keep in mind is that the counterweight is there for a reason – it shouldn’t be pointing down all the time.

If you have a larger Equatorial mount keep in mind that you can use the setting circles to help find objects in the night sky with the help of a star atlas. But this means you have to learn to use it. Read your instruction manual carefully. You might also consider downloading a Sidereal Time app for you smartphone. You’ll see why once you figure out the details of using your Equatorial mount.

5) Choose your first targets wisely!

Many folks go out with their telescope and just point it at the brightest thing in the sky. This is fine if the brightest object is a planet or the Moon, as there is lots to see. But very often at this time of year the planets might not be out until very late and the brightest thing in the sky is the star Sirius. Problem is, Sirius is just a star and stars appear as just a point of light even when magnified through your telescope. This can be a very boring target and can be disappointing if it is the only bright object. So make certain before you go out for your first night’s viewing that you know what will be up! Most telescopes these days come with some rudimentary planetarium software that can show you what the sky will be like on any night. Failing that there are online websites that do the same thing (sometimes better). Planispheres can also be used, and if you have a Smartphone or pad you should download a planetarium app like Google Sky (its free). Depending on what time of the month it is, the Moon may not be up during evening hours. Since we suggest the Moon as a great first target for your telescope you might want to wait for it. Failing that, try to look for the brighter planets.

 

6) Got a computerized telescope? Take advantage of free smartphone apps to make it much easier to set up!

We’ve been kind of ‘meh’ about computerized telescopes in the past, and are still a bit wary of a telescope where 70% of the cost is in the computer andGoogleSky motors and not the optics. But we have softened a bit since they have become a bit easier to use – and not because they changed, but rather our phones did.

Computerized telescope makers kind of make it seem like a computer means your telescope will magically find things in the night sky. All you need to do is toss it into your yard and enjoy the viewing. But that is not how they work. To set up the telescope’s computer you need to point it at two named stars so it can calculate where everything else in the night sky is located. This used to mean that to set up the telescope you had to have good knowledge of the night sky to find those stars -which kind of defeated the purpose.

But now smartphones are ubiquitous these days and there are plenty of planetarium apps out there for free that will help you identify those stars. Smartphone planetarium apps are not super-accurate (they can be off by as much as an hour)  but they will help you spot and identify bright stars that you need to aim your telescope at to orient the computer.  This makes the computer orientation much easier to do than trying to learn to use a planisphere or star map on the fly.

 

7) Learn, learn learn!

There’s a host of information for astronomy newbies on the internet and in books. Amateur astronomers are very keen on sharing their knowledge and experience with you. Check out the major magazines online websites such as Sky & Telescope or Astronomy. There are a zillion astronomy websites with forums as well you might wish to peruse. Even on this blog we have a collection of Telescope Tips you should check out for helpful advice. Also consider joining or at least contacting your local astronomy club – you can find all kinds of help from them, as well as many other benefits from membership (such as loaner equipment).

If your first night with your telescope is a good one, then you’ll have a much better time with the hobby. But always remember a little planning goes a long way!

Happy New Year!

Interested in buying telescopes?

www.spectrum-scientifics.com

 

 

We’ve recently added the Orion StarSeeker IV 130 GoTo telescope to our offerings and since we needed a floor model to show customers we thoguht it would be nice to show the assembly of this telescope. Let’s look at how it appears once assembled first:

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New Metal Earth Models

We’ve added three new Metal Earth models to our offerings. Here’s what’s available:

Star Wars Imperial Star Destroyer

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