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Piero

Tak FC-100 - a few questions :)

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The dovetail has just arrived from Astromarket, Belgium! I didn't know this shop before. They sent me a very fine Vixen dovetail for Tak FSQ85 / FSQ106 / FS60 rather quickly. They also included a small packet of Haribo Goldbären sweeties. :) 

 

Dovetail: 

 

Edited by Piero
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I wonder if Haribo are doing free Tak accessories with bulk orders of their sweeties :icon_scratch:

Sounds like good and rapid service :icon_salut:

Edited by John
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As it is cloudy outside, I was just contemplating the beauty of the Tak.. :wub:  It's really an outstanding piece of engineering, quality, and elegance. And I still have to observe through it! Am I biased already? Of course, I am! How couldn't I? 

I was playing with my current equipment to see how it fits. The new 2" Baader BBHS mirror diagonal also arrived; another superb design to use and admire. I heard a lot of very positive comments about this diagonal in the last year or so, that I decided to reserve an entry for it in my wish list. I opted for the 2" model because I know I won't go into binoviewing and didn't want to be limited by 33mm field stop. The ES34 68, which will likely replace my current ES30 82, will show 3 degrees of sky with a good exit pupil of 4.6mm: a nice tool for extended nebulae using the Lumicon OIII or DGM NPB filters. The Baader diagonal looks lovely on this Tak. It's big, but I have to say that it really surprised me how light is. 

Hopefully this weekend this Tak will see some real light for the first time. Luckily, Saturn is still visible! :smile:

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They are lovely looking scopes -  the F/9 is even lovelier of course ! :lol:

I initally used my Astro Physics Maxbright 2" diagonal on mine but went for the T2 Baader / Zeiss prism having read the reviews. Frankly I still can't see any performance difference between the two but there you go !. The Baader T2 is quite a bit lighter and more compact than the AP, which suits the scope better I feel.

Hope you get clear skies soon !

Edited by John
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Mount collected from Chris ( @Lockie ) this morninig! Thanks Chris and nice to meet you! :) 

I tested the Tak on it indoor and it works reasonably well! Very happy with this! 

Hopefully the sky will clear up a bit for a first solar observation..!

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40 minutes ago, Piero said:

Mount collected from Chris ( @Lockie ) this morninig! Thanks Chris and nice to meet you! :) 

I tested the Tak on it indoor and it works reasonably well! Very happy with this! 

Hopefully the sky will clear up a bit for a first solar observation..!

Hey Piero, great to meet you too :) I would have happily carried on chatting scopes and eyepieces if it wasn't for the partial obstruction I'd created with my car :rolleyes: I'm glad you got back ok with it all, and the mounts up to the job. Hope you get first light soon, looking forward to your thoughts!    

I've not read this thread, so I'll go rectify this :) 

Edited by Lockie
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I had my first solar observation! :blob8:

Here some pics too! :smile:

20170805_164106.thumb.jpg.be9af191aa2ff32af4c180eaa59952b7.jpg20170805_164117.thumb.jpg.c8e98d2ddbfd4330f29df7689e3c399d.jpg

Mount.

The mount does the job fine. I only need a bit of practice, that's all. It is a good mount and the tripod is surely solid enough for this telescope. Thanks Chris again! :thumbsup:

Tak - solar obs.

The seeing was okay-ish, with some wind, but the sky is clear. I know it is early to say this, but it has already exceeded my expectations. I mostly used my 24 Pan, Vixen SLV 9mm, 5mm, and HR 2.4mm. At low-medium power, granulation was very clear throughout the solar surface. It was rich and interesting to observer it. At high power (308x), granulation appeared like well defined nice blocks of different sizes all over the surface. At lower-medium power, the medium size sunspot showed irregularities on the perimeter of the spot itself, and its surrounding penumbra region. At high magnification (308x), the outer and inner borders of the penumbra region were just incredible, very irregular but still very crisp. I've never seen it like that. Also, this penumbra region did not appear homogeneous in colour, but to my eye appeared with different shades of brightness from the outer to the inner borders. Really interesting. The black spot was certainly not a spot, but a surface with defined zig-zag perimenter. It reminded me of the shape of an insect. Eylashes were really intriguing too at every magnification, and at high power. At least for the Sun and to my eye, there was no image breakdown with the couple Tak+HR (0.3mm e.p.). Beautiful. Really beautiful. :headbang2:

Edited by Piero
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An additional note. Of course, while observing with this Tak, I couldn't help comparing the views with those I have with my TV-60. Aside from the obvious difference in aperture (and therefore resolution), what made me think quite a lot was the following observation.

At higher magnification than 70-80x, the TV-60 becomes much more seeing-dependent. Eyepieces like the Zeiss zoom and the Vixen HR still allow to `open up` the image noticeably despite the seeing, but for eyepieces like SLV, Delos, Naglers, it can be tough if the seeing does not cooperate. It's a bit tricky to explain. It's as if the Zeiss / vixen HR somehow allowed to push that threshold further ahead, and therefore to show an image which is still in a good shape. Of course, when the seeing was excellent, the SLV, Delos, and Naglers allowed a bit more, but so the Zeiss /Vixen HR did.

With this Tak, I kind of have the impression that the optics allow to push the magnification more before reaching this decline. As an example, I preferred the view of this 5mm using the Tak 100 than the 5mm using the TV60. I am not talking about details here, but image preservation. The image seemed a bit clearer, despite the shorter exit pupil (f7.4 vs f6). 

A bit of food for thoughts..

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Sound so like you are going to have a lot of fun with your scope Piero :) 

I agree about sustaining higher powers. I often use x200 ish which is as high as I can get with my binoviewers and the views are amazing. Granulation and the detail in active regions in white light at high power is incredible isn't it? :) 

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Just now, Stu said:

Sound so like you are going to have a lot of fun with your scope Piero :) 

I agree about sustaining higher powers. I often use x200 ish which is as high as I can get with my binoviewers and the views are amazing. Granulation and the detail in active regions in white light at high power is incredible isn't it? :) 

Indeed! :thumbsup: It the sky remains clear, I will observe Saturn later this evening. :thumbright: 

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Superb! Sounds like a dream machine, Piero, really pleased for you :) The Moon is rising, any chance of training the dream machine on it if it's still clear in Cambridge? 

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4 minutes ago, Lockie said:

Superb! Sounds like a dream machine, Piero, really pleased for you :) The Moon is rising, any chance of training the dream machine on it if it's still clear in Cambridge? 

Thanks Chris. The sky is very clear and the air is steady here at the moment! :icon_biggrin: How is the sky over there? 

I have tall trees at East, so for some hours it will be not visible. It's 97% though! 

Edited by Piero
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12 minutes ago, Piero said:

Thanks Chris. The sky is very clear and the air is steady here at the moment! :icon_biggrin: How is the sky over there? 

I have tall trees at East, so for some hours it will be not visible. It's 97% though! 

Yeah the tall trees and 97% isn't ideal I must admit. Really clear hear too! Fingers crossed I'll be out with the little Dob later blinding myself with a bright low contrast full Moon :glasses9:

Trailing the Moons terminator with the Tak might have to wait, but good luck with Saturn later :) Saturn's behind the trees for me....cry cry. 

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Piero, i am so pleased for you that you have this lovely Tak, i look forward to reading your ongoing reports.........

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1 minute ago, nightfisher said:

Piero, i am so pleased for you that you have this lovely Tak, i look forward to reading your ongoing reports.........

Thanks Jules! I am keeping my fingers crossed for later! :icon_biggrin:

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2 hours ago, Piero said:

I had my first solar observation! :blob8:

Here some pics too! :smile:

20170805_164106.thumb.jpg.be9af191aa2ff32af4c180eaa59952b7.jpg20170805_164117.thumb.jpg.c8e98d2ddbfd4330f29df7689e3c399d.jpg

Mount.

The mount does the job fine. I only need a bit of practice, that's all. It is a good mount and the tripod is surely solid enough for this telescope. Thanks Chris again! :thumbsup:

Tak - solar obs.

The seeing was okay-ish, with some wind, but the sky is clear. I know it is early to say this, but it has already exceeded my expectations. I mostly used my 24 Pan, Vixen SLV 9mm, 5mm, and HR 2.4mm. At low-medium power, granulation was very clear throughout the solar surface. It was rich and interesting to observer it. At high power (308x), granulation appeared like well defined nice blocks of different sizes all over the surface. At lower-medium power, the medium size sunspot showed irregularities on the perimeter of the spot itself, and its surrounding penumbra region. At high magnification (308x), the outer and inner borders of the penumbra region were just incredible, very irregular but still very crisp. I've never seen it like that. Also, this penumbra region did not appear homogeneous in colour, but to my eye appeared with different shades of brightness from the outer to the inner borders. Really interesting. The black spot was certainly not a spot, but a surface with defined zig-zag perimenter. It reminded me of the shape of an insect. Eylashes were really intriguing too at every magnification, and at high power. At least for the Sun and to my eye, there was no image breakdown with the couple Tak+HR (0.3mm e.p.). Beautiful. Really beautiful. :headbang2:

Damn, I have never observed the sun through a solar wedge. Sounds like a very worthwhile investment. 

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16 minutes ago, jabeoo1 said:

Damn, I have never observed the sun through a solar wedge. Sounds like a very worthwhile investment. 

Binoviewing through a solar wedge is at least 5x more remarkable by my reckoning :) 

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Congrats Piero, super looking scope! 

Clear here tonight, but of course the moon is bright for another two weeks, you might still get some good views of the interesting objects in Sagittarius. Will look out for your first light report.

Chris

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Saturn. The Cassini division was visible throughout the rings. During the late civil twilight, the shadow of the planet was perfectly drawn on the back side of the rings. The equatorial belt was also well represented with a rather marked colour. As far as moons concern, Titan, Dione, Rhea, and Tethys were visible. (p.s. I didn't check the position of Iapetus).

Because our Moon was out (97%), having a nice DSO session was not practical. Therefore I had a more casual observation of the double cluster, Mizar/Arcor, Cygnus (neck & belly), and the Moon. Despite the glare, all these targets were very pretty and well defined. An informal star test using Deneb revealed very accurate and symmetrical concentric rings when in-/out- focus using the same distance from on-focus.

Edited by Piero
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Some really encouraging reports Piero :smiley:

I'm not a regular observer of the Sun but I've used my Tak FC 100 with the Lunt HW a couple of times and had similar experiences to yours. Outstanding resolution and detail :smiley:

They do seem to handle high power with some aplomb as well by night and day :smiley:

In the year I've owned mine I have developed the feeling that I'm unlikely to look through a better 4" aperture telescope.

 

Edited by John
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I forgot to report the dragon fly cluster in Cassiopeia. Really beautiful Concord-like shape with numerous little stars within. Star colours were excellent. The target took the full range of the Zeiss zoom very well, up to 6.7mm (top mag with no VIP). So at 0.9mm e.p. the stars were still perfect pin-points. This wasn't a tough test of course but just an indication of the performance using medium powers.

 

Other comments:

Focuser.

The DF focuser handles my 2" diagonal (450g) plus Zeiss zoom (500g) very well in my opinion. While spanning Cygnus with this combo at the bottom of the OTA, I only had to play a very minor focus adjustment just once (the focuser was left unlocked). The focuser is a bit stiff for my taste but not something I cannot deal with. I could focus Saturn and the Sun at high power without major issues. I will see how it goes for a while, and maybe get the microfocuser at some point.

OTA balancing.

This is required and needs some practice, but is nothing to be afraid of. It only takes a bit of care before swapping eyepieces or before a substantial change in altitude. As stated by other members earlier in this thread, I also find the Tak clamshell an excellent tool for balancing the OTA. Really neat, quick and safe. :thumbsup:

Sitting while observing.

For me this is something to get used to. I belong to the small club of people who prefer standing while observing (and prefer straight through finders too! LOL!). Hopefully, with time this will become a bit more comfortable and natural. :)

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2 hours ago, Piero said:

Sitting while observing.

For me this is something to get used to. I belong to the small club of people who prefer standing while observing ...

I'm a member of that club as well. Things might have to change though, my knees are getting old ! :rolleyes2:

My focuser was a little stiff as well when I 1st got the scope. It does ease a little so it's worth giving it some time. I found that I could adjust the tension using the two tiny grub screws on the top of the focuser but I needed to (carefully) remove the glue that they stick over them during manufacture. I used a wooden cocktail stick to do that. I think that was mikeDnight's idea - it worked :smiley:

Edited by John
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1 hour ago, John said:

I'm a member of that club as well. Things might have to change though, my knees are getting old ! :rolleyes2:

My focuser was a little stiff as well when I 1st got the scope. It does ease a little so it's worth giving it some time. I found that I could adjust the tension using the two tiny grub screws on the top of the focuser but I needed to (carefully) remove the glue that they stick over them during manufacture. I used a wooden cocktail stick to do that. I think that was mikeDnight's idea - it worked :smiley:

Thanks for the clue, John! :) I agree that it's worth giving it some time. My Zeiss zoom was the same when I bought it and now is just firm (..or maybe I got used to it! :icon_biggrin:). 

Do you observe standing or sitting with your refractors?

I guess the best solution is an adjustable chair. I've found a couple of stools here in my house, one taller, the other shorter than a normal chair. The tall one seems to work reasonably well from ~30 to ~75 deg, whereas the short one from ~75 to ~90 deg. Sitting still makes me feel unnatural, but this solution works much better than using a normal chair (to me at least).

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I had a second solar observation.. Crikey! The Tak really takes high magnification!

I revisited the sunspot 12670. At 308x (and well above!), a few interesting details of the black spot were distinct. To the left side (refractor view), an nearly horizontal cut was visible. This first headed to the centre and then vertically down for a bit. At 308x only the horizontal segment was visible, whereas the vertical segment appeared as an unclear brighter dot. The two didn't appear connected. Above 308x during those minutes when the wind ceased completely, this vertical cut emerged like a short channel about as large as 1/4 of the horizontal cut. They both had similar lengths. Lines on the penumbra region and granulation were visible at 308x and higher mags, easily.  

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3 hours ago, Piero said:

Thanks for the clue, John! :) I agree that it's worth giving it some time. My Zeiss zoom was the same when I bought it and now is just firm (..or maybe I got used to it! :icon_biggrin:). 

Do you observe standing or sitting with your refractors?

I guess the best solution is an adjustable chair. I've found a couple of stools here in my house, one taller, the other shorter than a normal chair. The tall one seems to work reasonably well from ~30 to ~75 deg, whereas the short one from ~75 to ~90 deg. Sitting still makes me feel unnatural, but this solution works much better than using a normal chair (to me at least).

At present I use all my scopes standing. I have some early onset arthritis in my knees though so I can see, in due course, that I will need to adapt, especially for longer sessions.

I'm probably going to try an observing chair or some sort with an adjutable height seat.

 

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