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TEC 140 first light

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So not exactly the ideal evening to do a first light with the moon so full, but I've had the TEC for a couple of weeks and was itching to have a go.

I focussed on one of my favourite objects M42. I've always found E and F stars tricky and never seen them clearly in my 4 inch refractors. In the TEC this evening and using my Leica zoom, no problem at all, E was very obvious and F was pretty distinct as well at magnifications 100x to 200x. Lots of nebulosityas well. I switched to binoviewers and E and F much less clear showing I guess the light reduction from splitting the light path. However nebulosity was even better in the binos. 

I then moved to the moon as it was there. I tend not to spend much time looking at the moon but the views tonight at 200x were clearer than I have seen before - the TEC was able to take higher magnifications than my other scopes. The binos in particular gave some lovely views.

Then a quick look at M35 which showed some wonderful pin point stars. No sign of colour as expected.

In terms of setting up, the TEC is quite compact and not too heavy so it was nearly as easy as with my 4 inchers. I found I did have to be much more careful putting it into the saddle and I needed to spend more time here but overall quite straightforward. I think I have hit my limits -I wouldn't want to set up bigger on my own.

Mechanically the TEC is fantastic, very well made with a 3.5 inch feather touch focuser which was extremely smooth and easy to use.

The T-Rex mount handled the TEC extremely well with very quick settling times (less than an second) and smooth slo mo with the long handles. I've also just got a baader sky surfer v which I was also very impressed with. The binoviewers came into focus fine for all the Gpc and eyepiece combos I have.

So I can clearly see the step up from the 4 inch TAK in terms of seeing fainter details/objects much easier. 

Im obviously biased, but in my opinion, this is the best set up I have by some margin both mechanically and the views. In addition the set up/take down is reasonably easy.  In summary, I think the TEC 140 is amazing.


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Excellent 1st light Gav :icon_biggrin:

The Tec 140 sounds like a belter !.

I know what you mean about hitting the limit though - I think the 130 APM / LZOS is that point for me :rolleyes2:

E & F Trapezium are good tests for a sub 6 inch scope I think. Good tests of the seeing conditions too.


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One other aspect I noticed last night was that if there were any issues with my eyepieces then this showed up very clearly  in the TEC which I haven't seen with any other scope. One eyepiece showed a slightly dark patch and required cleaning and another eyepiece showed a Jupiter sized white circle in the centre of the fov when observing the moon so is going back to be exchanged. This occurred when binoviewing so it was easy to compare with the other same eyepiece to prove it was an eyepiece issue. Not sure why the tec would show this more obviously.

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Hello very very nice set up you have there. Always hear good things about the TEC 140 and you are obviously satisfied with your purchase. And the TAK you have is no slouch in the visual department, so the TEC is obviously a cracker ?

I think a 140,or 150 is about the limit for a non permanent based scope in an observatory. As anything bigger and you are obviously putting yourself and the scope at risk of damage IMO ,  and it just gets a chore setting it up. So the TEC 140 is a great choice.

Your first light as you obviously state was a bit limited to targets to really push the TEC , so sounds like there is plenty more in the tank for the scope to give, and that you will be discovering a lot more about this wonderful scopes capabilities.

Cracking scope, wish I had one ?

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Sounds like a lovely instrument - I hope you get many years of pleasure from it.

I have an Esprit 150 and have to confess that I didn't risk installing it entirely on my own because of its weight and length and I would put it at the limit of one-person installation.

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I'm glad you're pleased with it and certainly not surprised. I first saw these instrumets nearly ten years ago when they were not much known in the UK. Two regular Dutch guests owned them, though, and I was persuaded by their results. I think it's a great instrument.


Edited by ollypenrice
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25 minutes ago, Chris Lock said:

Sounds wonderful Gavin, congratulations on a great scope :) Looks amazing on that mount too! I wonder how DSO's will fare on a Moonless night?

Thanks Chris. Yes The T-Rex looks good and works extremely well. I prefer Alt Az mounts with slo mo controls and I think for this size of scope the T-Rex is almost the only option with slo mo. It's a shame they are no longer available since the Japanese maker died last year.

Edited by Gavster
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  • 2 weeks later...

So second light this evening - without the moon this time. Having looked at Sigma Orionis with my tak a few days ago,  I decided to do a comparison in the TEC. The Tak showed the 4 stars comfortably but in the TEC they were significantly clearer. I also noticed that the TEC cooled down quickly - within 20 minutes or so it was giving great high power views. 

After that night with the Taks, Stu has really given me enthusiasm for open clusters. So I then went to M36, 37 and 38 - really pin point views - the dimmer stars in particular were stunning. Then cluster 37 which stood straight out. Final cluster was the double cluster where the stars really showed themselves a super sharp. It was the best view I've ever had of this object.

Ive always struggled with galaxies from my light polluted garden, but to end I thought I'd try M81 and M82. They took a bit of finding since it was awkward with the red dot finder (I'm going to give a raci a go for the near vertical targets). Once found though, the galaxies were very clear showing the good light gathering of the TEC. In fact I found the view of these galaxies together spectacular! 

Mechnically the TEC continues to impress and I'm getting more confident with the rebalancing using the tube rings (I moved the catches to be on the top rather than the bottom which makes it far easier to change). Set up and take down was also easy tonight. Even though i only had a relatively short time to view tonight, I had a good amount of time at the eyepiece and  it wasn't a chore to take down at the end.

I'm really looking forward to the planets later on this year. And I'm sure that soon I will do a side by side of FC100D against the TEC. On what I've seen so far, I'm anticipating some quite material differences in view (which id hope there would be given the extra size)

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Super second light Gavin :icon_biggrin:

I'm looking forward to doing similar comparisons between my TMB / LZOS 130 and my Tak 100 DL over the coming months too !

So far the 130 seems to emuluate the Tak qualities but with more resolution, more detail and brigher DSO's. Still absolutely no CA in sight :icon_biggrin:


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