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dave cooke

Ace cameras and testing, testing, testing

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A month ago to the day I posted a query on what should be observable with a 4 inch Apo after I had sent a scope back to the supplier after judgeing it to be underperforming. The original scope gave very poor views of the planets, no detail whatsoever on Mars, Saturn, to quote Galileo, had ears and the rock fall on the periphery of Plato could barely be seen. Curiously enough the instrument appeared to be in perfect collimation and the focuser was a joy to use (Don’t you just love an original turn of phrase) at the time I didn’t give any further details as I was still in discussions with the supplier.

The supplier was Ace cameras of Bristol and their manager Mike Stokes handled the situation brilliantly. The scope in question is a WO FLT 110.

I first phoned Ace on 22/12 after using the scope for about 8 weeks, I was advised that Ace would arrange to collect the scope at their expense but due to Christmas and the New Year they didn’t receive it until 3/1. I was advised by Mike that they had decided to return the scope to WO and to supply me with a completely new scope from the next consignment. I received it on 7/2.

During the recent good seeing conditions I have had sufficient time to judge the telescope and am absolutely delighted with it, it is a different instrument completely.

In my original post I suggested three targets which I believed a 4 inch Apo should reveal, I have already managed to tick one off the list. I have seen two craterlets in Plato and a collegue claims he could see three in a triangular pattern, what makes this more believable is the fact that he was not aware that there were craters in Plato but was able to describe their relative positions.

I can now begin to enjoy this telescope in the knowledge that it is performing to its full potential

Full marks to both WO and Ace cameras.

Now, what are 350ds going for, will it never end?

Also thanks for the replies I received from Jahmanson, Maccers, Vega and Kai Herb.

Dave Cooke, One very happy chappie

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Glad to hear you're sorted. Sounds like you have an excellent instrument,enjoy.

I know Mike well,a very nice guy and being an astronomer himself,always very helpful and has the customers interests at heart.



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Hi Dave,

I'm glad you are pleased with your replacement scope - it sounds a beauty :D

I'll be interested to know if you can pick out the E and F componants of the Trapezium with it - I find those a real challenge with my 8 inch newtonian.


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Hello John,

Regarding the e star in the trapezium I suspect that the window of opportunity is rapidly closing as Orion heads west but I will be trying and will let you know the result. Likewise any suitable close doubles. I have gone from being a guy with a big hole in the pit of my stomach to being very excited about this telescope. What I did not say in my original post is that I spent a considerable amount of time researching the relative merits/prices of the ZS 110, FLT110, Tak 102s and the Vixen 115s and feared that I had made a bad decision. Whilst I acknowledge that the Tak probably has better optics the WO setup offered a better alround package pricewise, bells and whistles don't seem to be in the Tak vocabulary. I am 62 and it is debatable whether my eyes could detect the difference between the two scopes.


Dave Cooke

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