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Show us your Frac


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This was my "frac" for 6+ years - an Explore Scientific ED-102 APO triplet. It was fantastic, but I had gone from a 10" SCT down to this as my primary scope. As much as I loved the "Snap!" of the focus and the beautiful star colours, I gave up way too much aperture. So, after a lot of soul searching, I sold it and bought a mint 1982 vintage Meade 2080 8" SCT (f/10). I don't regret that decision (I also outfitted myself with additional gear like a set of Tele Vue Plössls), I do miss the old girl. She was a great observing companion. In a perfect world, I would have them both! But funds and other priorities dictate I keep my astro-gear a bit minimalist.

Clear skies!

Rick

ED102-01.JPG

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2 hours ago, Dude_with_the_tube said:

...I assume you still havent made up your mind on how to mount your TMB?

I'm going to try a few different options out. I find until I actually try something, I can't really determine whether it will really suit me. Fortunately we still have a pretty active used equipment market in the UK :icon_biggrin:

I've used the TMB / LZOS a few times on the Giro II and it's useable but I'd like a bit more stability at high powers.

I'll lookforward to reading any thoughts you have on the Meade 178ED. Having seen these in Telescope House in London back in the early 1990's and having read an interesting variety of views on them since, I've always wondered what they are really like.

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2 hours ago, Dude_with_the_tube said:

for visual Az mount is hard to beat,specially on those long fracs.I think Stu followed my advise for his Vixen Atlux (befre he sold it sadly) and got Skywatcher Az-EQ6GT and was happy with it.I have been using mine now for 2 years and have no complains(bought it second hand).Az-EQ6gt mount actually holds meade 178 with a laugh in Az mode.Had meade on my mount whole day today as i was adjusting baffles and few other things before i can star test that beast.

I assume you still havent made up your mind on how to mount your TMB?

The AZ-EQ6 is a great mount for the job, you are right Gaidis. The benefit of having a stable mount with tracking so you don't have to touch the scope so often is really noticeable in reduced vibrations, and of course the eyepiece orientation stays the same unlike an EQ. I had a SteelDrive on my Vixen too which again helped reduce vibrations.

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4 minutes ago, John said:

I'm going to try a few different options out. I find until I actually try something, I can't really determine whether it will really suit me.

Are you coming to SGLXII, John? If so you are welcome to try it on my AZ-EQ6 and Ercole :wink:

 

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Same considerations here regarding mount for the big Istar. The Sabre is just adequate, but not my long term solution if I keep the scope.

I like the simplicity of the manual AZ-mounts, and as I see it, only the AOKswiss Ayomaster is up to the job. And I am 95% sure that I will get one at the end of the year. Then I could also have some fun using it with my two smaller Istars simultaneously:icon_biggrin:

 The LZOS 130mm f/9 only weighs 10 kilos with rings (as far as I have found out) - I would think the AOK Ayodigi 2 would be fine for the job. That was their recommendation for my 127mm F/12 Istar based scope (the FRT127) that is 13 kilo´s with rings, diagonal, dovetail and Delos EP.

Best Regards,

Anders

 

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30 minutes ago, John said:

I'll lookforward to reading any thoughts you have on the Meade 178ED. Having seen these in Telescope House in London back in the early 1990's and having read an interesting variety of views on them since, I've always wondered what they are really like.

Thats the whole idea why this instrument is in my house now.I personally think that meade 178 is very under-rated telescope and i tend to prove it.Well i hope i will ... 

I will only open a few cards on this one yet.Lens was reworked by Es Reid and despite lens is the second run and collimatable with push-pull and sideral,Es installed additional 3 collimation screws to hold negative element more firm in cell and centered to positive element. Additional tape was added to both glass elements to press against cell walls and 2 days tests by Es confirmed that he cant dis-collimate lens by tapping on cell or  by any other means.Wavefront of both elements is smooth with no astigmatism and color correction is good. What is great.I have spend 2 days on insides of OTA by adjusting and replacing baffles.Original focuser is a piece of junk and has a slop and moves around ,so there is work involved to get this one up to expectations.Still have to do star test too but weather isnt cooperating.

there we are.

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Very interesting stuff !

What Meade did not get right, others can sort out in due course :icon_biggrin:

The Meade 178ED is listed at £7K (mounted) in my 2000 BC&F brochure. I'd have been a bit annoyed if I'd forked that out back then and found that it had the sort of issues that you mention although I guess it was cheap for a 7" APO compared to the likes of Astro Physics.

Maybe thats why they were underrated ?

Look forward to reading your reports on the scope :icon_biggrin:

 

Edited by John
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1 hour ago, Anderscn said:

Same considerations here regarding mount for the big Istar. The Sabre is just adequate, but not my long term solution if I keep the scope.

I like the simplicity of the manual AZ-mounts, and as I see it, only the AOKswiss Ayomaster is up to the job. And I am 95% sure that I will get one at the end of the year. Then I could also have some fun using it with my two smaller Istars simultaneously:icon_biggrin:

 The LZOS 130mm f/9 only weighs 10 kilos with rings (as far as I have found out) - I would think the AOK Ayodigi 2 would be fine for the job. That was their recommendation for my 127mm F/12 Istar based scope (the FRT127) that is 13 kilo´s with rings, diagonal, dovetail and Delos EP.

Best Regards,

Anders

 

Thanks for the suggestion Anders :icon_biggrin:

My LZOS 130 F/9.2 is the LW version - 8kg with the rings plus a little more with the finder and 2" diagonal.

Having been through the process of trying to find a mount for a 6" F/12 Istar for nearly a year my suggestion would be to try things before you buy, if at all possible. Despite trying a Bray Tablet Alt-az mount and also an EQ6 head on the massive Meade LXD750 3" tripod I was still not happy with the scopes stability.

At that time I did not have the budget for an Ayomaster or an APM Maxload both of which might have done the job plus I was reluctant to spend more on the mount than I had on the scope, which was a bit naive with hindsight.

Good luck !

 

Edited by John
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Heres my frac, its an Ostara 102mm ED on a Skytee. Its a nice scope that's been discussed and reviewed favourably here before. It came in a foam lined flight case, with all the accessories you can see, apart from the diagonal, as mine came with a 45 degree 2" erect image diagonal, which is a nice quality CnC machined one but not quite as good as the WO. These scopes don't seem to be available now?

 

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I recently acquired a Tal100RS, I had an explore scientific AR152 achromat but that was too heavy. The person who I bought the scope from told me that this is the version with the upgraded optical coatings for better colour correction, views of Saturn are amazing especially with the 8mm radian from Televue. Just waiting for another dedicated astro camera to use with my 6" RC for deep sky... in the mean time I can observe, looking forward to Jupiter soon. 

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I've joined the dark side. Nothing to set the 'fracternity' (see what I did?) on fire but I know it's a slippery slope from here.

Bagged it with an as new EQ3 for next to nothing too. Do I still suffer a Cloud penalty given that it's old and didn't cost much? 

It'll do me for solar & grab and go for a while, it's less bulky than the 130 newt.

IMG_1836.JPG

Edited by johnfosteruk
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Hello folks, thought it is my turn to show of my refractor. Here it is

 WP_20160829_20_03_49_Pro.jpg

WP_20160829_20_04_03_Pro.jpg

 

Its a Helios Evostar 120mm F8.33 Refracting Telescope , Baader/Zeiss 2" Prism diagonal, Baader Hyperion zoom mk3, matching Baader 2.25x Barlow, Baader Semi Apo filter, Skyscan 2001 3-2 EQ mount, Skywatcher EQ5 Steel Tripod. 

Attachments_2016829.zip

Edited by Dave1
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Here is my APM / TMB / LZOS 130mm F/9.2 triplet apo on it's new (to me) Celestron AVX mount. This mount is does a great job with this scope I've found :icon_biggrin:

The 3rd pic shows my lovely little Vixen 102mm ED F/6.5 having an outing as well.

Simple polar alignment through the RA axis has delivered accurate tracking straight off at up to 300x this evening. I'm not using the GOTO facilities but that may come in useful some day :icon_biggrin:

Split Lambda Cygni with the 130mm set up tonight - nice ! :cool2:

 

 

 

 

tmb01.JPG

tmb02.JPG

tmbvix01.JPG

Edited by John
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Very nice John, yes I was out viewing tonight with my tele. I set my latitude and then used a compass to get me pointing in north direction roughly. Looked mainly at stars, used Arcturus to align my finder scope to my main tele.

I have a new to me classic refractor, I will be posting a photo here soon. Topic (Towa 339) 80mm F15. Mainly complete, bit of a doer upper.

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1 hour ago, John said:

tmb01.JPG

 

 

 

John, if this thread was titled "Show me your patio table" you and I would post exactly the same picture :lol:

Edited by DRT
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The APM 130 and AVX combo looks really nice, John :) I've owned an AVX and really liked mine. try a two star allignment John, this should be enough to get objects in the eyepiece and is really quick and easy to do :)

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