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Everything posted by johninderby

  1. The Meade triplets are good, but the TS FPL-53s are in a different class and are surprisingly close to a TMB optically. The TS prices are very good on the smaller FPL-53 triplets but their 130mm is quite a bit more expensive. TS also does their own versions of the Meade FPL-51 equivalent triplets and they will therefore be similar performance wise. John
  2. With a £300.00 limit then a second hand 80ED doublet looks like a good bet. Although the standard focuser is not too bad, you would be able to get the scope and upgrade to a decent dual speed crayford and still stay within budget. The Megrez 72 is also a very nice scope, and has better optics than the Zenithstar 70 or IKI70. John
  3. What price range did you have in mind? Without knowing just what your "budget" limit is it can difficult to make suitable recommendations. John
  4. The "linear power" type of crayford focusers that give problems (such as the DDG abominations!) are the ones that have just the the linear ballrace without any guide rollers that run on the top/sides of the drawtube. However if you have one of the "linear power" type with the guide rollers they do work very well. The drawtube on the DDG focuser that I got rid of (replaced with a FT R&P) would twist about 5mm from side to side with just light hand pressure, what a piece of rubbish. John
  5. In a word... Quality. Better built, better optics and simply in a different class. The Helios Apollo bins are actually very close to their stated aperture whereas the Quantum 4s are closer to 60mm actual aperture. The Apollo bins are surprisingly close optically to the very top brands such as Fujinon, but are a fraction of the price, so you could consider them as a bit of a bargain really. John
  6. It would be more cost effective to sell the 66 and get something like a Megrez 72 with a proper 2" focuser or perhaps a IKI 70. John
  7. Unfortunately Celestron uses a screw on focuser whereas just about everyone else uses a bolt on type focuser so you will need an adaptor to fit a standard focuser such as the one from Scopes'n'Skies / Pulsar Optical to the C80. Agena Astro is the only place that makes the correct adaptor so you will have to get one of these adaptors first. Fortunately they're not that expensive. http://agenaastro.com/agena-crayford-focuser-adapter-celestron-c80ed-refractor.html Moonlite makes a direct replacement focuser but they're not exactly cheap. John
  8. While I've not seen the GOTO the Auto tracking dob also has this white foam and it's essential that it is left in place as it keeps the dirt etc. out of the motor / bearing assembly. Here's a photo of a damaged 250PX Auto base that shows the white foam ring quite clearly. John
  9. You can fit a 2" filter to the bottom of the 1.25" to 2" adaptor so yes you can use a 2" filter with a 1.25" eyepiece. That is of course if you are using a 2" focuser with the 1.25" eyepiece adaptor. John
  10. The higher power (low focal length number eg: 5mm, 9mm etc.)eyepieces are 1.25" and the lower power wide field eyepieces (25mm, 35mm etc.) are usually 2" so to have a usable range of eyepieces you would want both 1.25" and 2" eyepieces. I have mostly 1.25" eyepieces and a couple of 2" eyepieces for low power use. John
  11. Hi I just double checked the TS 80/480 bare OTA weight. I have replaced the standard focuser that was damaged with a Baader Steeltrack. The Baader focuser is 145 g heavier than the standard focuser so I'm giving the total weights for both focusers. With standard focuser: With the lens cover - 2.385 Kg. Without the lens cover - 2.335 Kg Without the lens cover and 1.25" to 2" eyepiece adaptor - 2.255 Kg With Baader focuser With the lens cover - 2.53 Kg. Without the lens cover - 2.48 Kg Without the lens cover and 1.25" to 2" eyepiece adaptor - 2.40 Kg So it appears that the CF OTA is actually a l
  12. When dealing with goods purchased from an auction site such as eBay there can be certain exclusions that can affect your rights compared to buying from a regular Internet shop. Any distance seller can also put conditions in the "contract" that can affect your rights. A lot of people forget that while the Distance Selling Regulations give the consumer certain rights they also give the sellers rights as well so sometimes things aren't as clear cut as they may first appear. In particular be aware that in certain situations even if a seller has refunded your money they may still be entitled to com
  13. The TS ED APO 100/600 f/6 is also sold by Telescope House under their Revelation brand name. http://www.telescopehouse.com/acatalog/info_S600_E.html I had one (since replaced by an FLT98) and it is a nice FPL-51 doublet with well controlled CA. Compact and light weight and with a great focuser. However it's totally outclassed by the FLT98 which is in a different league all-together. I have also used the WO 110 triplet, and while it's a nice scope, the FLT98 has far better Russian made optics. The TS FPL-53 triplets are superb scopes though. I have one of the little 80mm triplets (about the sa
  14. With all these new mounts coming out is 2011 going to be officially declared as "The Year of the Mount" then? John
  15. The "Premium" eyepiece is actually the old original version. The clones were introduced afterwards and so could be regarded as the "New" version and are identical optically but seem to have more consistent quality control. John
  16. The Orion wasn't available and I didn't need a diagonal so the TS was the better buy for me anyway. I will be interested to see if SCS Astro can confirm the actual weight of the CF OTA without diagonal. John
  17. Hi I don't think that there's any downside to the CF tube except that the quoted weight for the Orion ED80T CF OTA is 2.72KG and I weighed the TS 80 OTA (no diagonal) at 2.4 Kg so it appears that the TS 80 is actually lighter than the CF. The weight given on the Telescope service website is incorrect and I think that the weight shown may actually be for the OTA and case. It might be worth calling SCS Astro and asking them to double check the OTA weight quoted for the CF (is it the bare OTA weight). John
  18. It's identical to the Telescope Service FPL-53 80/480 Triplet except for the carbon tube. http://www.teleskop-express.de/shop/product_info.php/language/en/info/p3881_TS- Triplet-FPL53-Apo-80-480mm---f-6---no-colour-fringes.html I have the TS 80/480 and it is a cracking little scope that's a step above the Meade 80mm triplet (which has FPL-51 equivalent glass) and doublets such as the Equinox 80, and very, very close to the TMB in performance. http://stargazerslounge.com/equipment-discussion/108870-ts-triplet-fpl-53-apo-80-480-arived-today.html#post1544334 John
  19. The Baader Neodymium filter is the only one I use on Jupiter now. Also excellent on Saturn and Mars. John
  20. The TMB type eyepieces seem to work well in pretty well anything over f/5 and are still decent at f4.5. They used to be considered a great buy when they were selling at around £60.00 so at the price of £36.00 they are definitely a real bargain. John
  21. Alan at Skies the Limit sells them and he is also a great seller to deal with. First class service as well and plenty of SGL members have bought these eyepieces from him. http://shop.ebay.co.uk/skies_unlimited/m.html?_nkw=tmb&_sacat=0&_odkw=&_osacat=0&_trksid=p3911.c0.m270.l1313 John
  22. OO did a survey last year where they fitted a scope with 0.5mm thick vanes and then with 5mm thick vanes and took images of an artificial star and asked people if they could tell the difference in a "blind" test. The results were split 50 : 50 so it appears that the thickness of the vanes has less impact on the diffraction spikes than expected. Something to think about John
  23. Orion Optics UK does them to order but be aware that the curved vanes are far more sensitive than the straight vanes to any errors in the fitting causing distortion in the vanes, and if they're not just right they can cause severe diffraction problems. Worth a chat with Barry or John at OO for their expert opinion on the subject though. John
  24. As Orion buys in a lot of equipment from Synta I had assumed that Synta had something to do with the new triplets. It now appears that Orion is buying them in from the same manufacturer that is making the triplets for TS and putting the Orion name on them. It will be a pity if SkyWatcher doesn't do a comparable FPL-53 triplet. I wonder if SkyWatcher will drop the price of the Equinox 80 as it's a bit too close in price to the triplet at the moment. A £399.00 Equinox 80 however wouldn't be competing with the triplet. John
  25. As I've mentioned previously I had been looking at a small travel scope like the Megrez 72, but then I came across the TS80 which was the same weight and only an inch longer, but much more capable. Just to give you a better idea of the size of the scope here's a photo of it with a pair of 15x70 bins. John
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