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Littleguy80

RACI Finder that takes an 1.25" eyepiece

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4 hours ago, Louis D said:

I have to plug @nicoscy's finder scope:

Boeg.jpg

That thing is drool-worthy.

Oooooh that is nice. Of anyone were to start an astronomer gear "show us your eye candy" thread this picture would make the cut!

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Another suggestion I've had is to use a SkyWatcher 72ED. It's going to be a bit heavier than the Altair and I'm not sure how I'd mount it on the dob. However, it's going to be a really good quality optics which would be suited to wide field and solar use. I do then wonder whether I'm trying to load the dob up too much though.

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What about the Altair 60mm EDF scope? Lighter and smaller than the skywatcher 72ed...works well for me. And a great grab and go scope in its own right and lovely 2 inch focuser.

BD23F116-7D1C-4A3F-843C-A202EEC46982.jpeg

Edited by GavStar
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9 minutes ago, GavStar said:

What about the Altair 60mm EDF scope? Lighter and smaller than the skywatcher 72ed...works well for me. And a great grab and go scope in its own right. 

BD23F116-7D1C-4A3F-843C-A202EEC46982.jpeg

I looked at the picture and thought that looks a bit big 😂 Looks a neat little scope. Half a kilo lighter than the 72ED too. Can it be mounted onto the finder shoe or do I need another way of mounting it?

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5 minutes ago, Littleguy80 said:

I looked at the picture and thought that looks a bit big 😂 Looks a neat little scope. Half a kilo lighter than the 72ED too. Can it be mounted onto the finder shoe or do I need another way of mounting it?

😀

I confess I haven’t tried to mount it to a finder shoe but the info on the website says the following which indicates that it should be able to be mounted with guide scope rings...

Hinged mounting ring and tube. The single tube ring allows the whole tube to rotate, and can be locked with the stainless steel thumbscrew. Loosen the thumscrew and the telescope can be dismounted from the hinged for use with Altair Guide Scope Rings. The "mounting foot" terminates in a small dovetail plate with a flat base. The base has a standard 3-in-line hole pattern allowing attachment to most mounting systems on the market or to a camera tripod using  M6 or 1/4" Photo Tripod Screws.

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28 minutes ago, GavStar said:

😀

I confess I haven’t tried to mount it to a finder shoe but the info on the website says the following which indicates that it should be able to be mounted with guide scope rings...

Hinged mounting ring and tube. The single tube ring allows the whole tube to rotate, and can be locked with the stainless steel thumbscrew. Loosen the thumscrew and the telescope can be dismounted from the hinged for use with Altair Guide Scope Rings. The "mounting foot" terminates in a small dovetail plate with a flat base. The base has a standard 3-in-line hole pattern allowing attachment to most mounting systems on the market or to a camera tripod using  M6 or 1/4" Photo Tripod Screws.

I think this would work:

https://www.rothervalleyoptics.co.uk/altair-lightwave-refractor-finderscope-bracket-rings.html

As far as I can tell it could work with existing shoe or I could replace that with the base that comes with it

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Neil or you could use one of these - https://www.amazon.co.uk/Orion-Finder-Scope-Mounting-Bracket/dp/B00D2LEHIU

I have this arrangement and it holds both my RDF and the 80mm Finderscope.

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Guys, I am also thinking of buying a bigger finder with 1.25" eyepiece compatibility. I currently use the GSO 8x50. My question with these 80mm or 60mm helical focusing systems, can every eyepiece focus? For example panoptic and nagler? Or just plossl? They say that the focusing distance is only about 17mm or something. 

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I have a couple of those 60mm finders, they seem to works OK with my eyepieces but forget using a diagonal......

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1 hour ago, planetman83 said:

Guys, I am also thinking of buying a bigger finder with 1.25" eyepiece compatibility. I currently use the GSO 8x50. My question with these 80mm or 60mm helical focusing systems, can every eyepiece focus? For example panoptic and nagler? Or just plossl? They say that the focusing distance is only about 17mm or something. 

I have this 80mm Finderscope although I bought it through Telescope House - https://www.altairastro.com/altair-80mm-maxi-finder-finder-scope-package.html - I also use this finderscope as a normal scope using various EPs. I can focus ok with my 24mm and 16mm ES68 EPs + my TeleVue 8-24 zoom. If I try to use my Baader 2.25x barlow I cannot get focus.

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This altair 80mm finder seems better. It is f/4.1 and it has a illuminated recticule eyepiece. Question: The illumination works with every eyepiece? 

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+1 for the Antares finders. I use one on my C11.

 

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9 minutes ago, planetman83 said:

 Question: The illumination works with every eyepiece? 

No - with this kit you receive a 23mm reticule eyepiece which has cross lines. The illuminator screws into this EP. This cannot be done with standard EPs.

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Mark, do you know the weight of the whole system eyepiece, bracket included etc?

 

The antares is the same as altair?

Edited by planetman83

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On 22/06/2018 at 14:48, Mark at Beaufort said:

Neil I am hoping to view some wide fields when astro darkness returns. I can tell that the Sun was great in white light using the TeleVue zoom. I also have a ES68 24mm EP and it works very well in this finderscope. I also bought these rings - http://www.opticstar.com/Run/Astronomy/Astro-Accessories-Telescopes-Opticstar.asp?p=0_10_5_1_8_111 - Future travel set up maybe 😀.

Hi Mark. I was thinking about this finder again. How do feel about it after a few months use? Is it good for widefield? Would it make an effective travel scope?

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Neil I am really pleased with this finderscope - it reaches so much deeper than a 50mm which is great for star hopping. The other night the 23mm reticule eyepiece was misting over from time to time so I was also using my ES 24mm and ES16mm 68 degree EPs in the finderscope. The 24mm was giving nearly 5 degree FOV whereas the 16mm was over 3 degrees.

I have used it as a white light solar scope with my TeleVue 8-24 zoom and the image quality is pretty good.

I did purchase some rings from Opticstar which would mount the finderscope better for travel. So to answer your last question - yes it would be ok as a travel scope. 

However, if I just wanted a travel scope this finderscope would not be my first choice.

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A very worthwhile upgrade. I have a Celestron travel scope (70mm) perched on my Dob. The diagonal and eyepieces were consigned to the bin. Works a treat now. A Telrad sits alongside to make getting things into the finder fov a doddle.

Paul 

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Make sure that you consider weight in your decision making.

Paul

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The other night I also used the 80mm Finderscope on my 6" Newt and that worked pretty well. However, as Paul stated you got to balance the system well. I use weights on the 12" Dob so balancing is not a problem even using the big 20mm 100 degree EP.

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I've been going over options for a travel setup that could be used for widefield and solar. I initially set a budget of around £1000 which would get me a nice ED80. The more I've thought about, the less I think this will be used in practice. I've enjoyed views through a 3" Tak at my local dark site but always returned happily to my dob feeling like I was getting the better views. 

What led me back to this finder, is that it's something I can use with my dob so it will get plenty of use. It'll work for solar. Would a Lunt Herschel Wedge be overkill for this? With a simple mount and photographic tripod, it'll give me a travel setup. I often wish that I'd had something more than my 10x50s when travelling. 

The things I'd really like to get from this are: 

  • Viewing the Veil in a single FOV. Getting detail isn't important as that's what I have the dob for. If I stick an OIII on do you think this is possible or am I asking too much?
  • This will be my first solar setup but I'm really keen to catch the Mercury transit in November (Please stay away clouds!!!)
  • A budget travel setup that will get me into the 100x mag region for those occasions that the dob won't fit into the car/suitcase

Any thoughts or suggestions greatly appreciated.

Edited by Littleguy80

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A wide field or rich field refractor set up alongside a medium size dobsonian, becomes a really nice combination Neil. I can understand when you say that you'd enjoyed the view through a 3" Tak, but happily returned to the dob, I kind of felt the same when comparing in a similar way my first 3" refractor. And yet I think that you will very quickly grow accustomed to and appreciate fully the many particular virtues that a small refractor can provide. Combining within dark sky sessions, creates diversity in TFOV, exit pupil / sky darkness, star fields look exquisite, large diffuse objects contained fully in the field of view, perhaps easier to track some dark nebulae. Image scale is interesting to, brighter galaxy groups make for a nice sharp defined presentation. Lunar, planetary, crisp and full of contrast many double stars are defined as pin points, I have never got into solar so cannot comment further. Also you can use each of your filters in a dark sky environment. So wide field in a 70-90mm configuration is a highly versatile instrument.  

Look out for a good used, my first had been a TV Pronto purchased off e-bay and shipped from France, followed by a TV76 (part exchanged for the Pronto) and currently TV85 each quite someway short of your £10000 budget. Each had been special, I particularly would have liked to have kept the Pronto, they occasionally come up for sale and can be bought at a very reasonable cost, I cannot remember exactly, I think I paid £300 or just a little over.  

Edited by scarp15
Amendment
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11 minutes ago, scarp15 said:

A wide field or rich field refractor set up alongside a medium size dobsonian, becomes a really nice combination Neil. I can understand when you say that you'd enjoyed the view through a 3" Tak, but happily returned to the dob, I kind of felt the same when comparing in a similar way my first 3" refractor. And yet I think that you will very quickly grow accustomed to and appreciate fully the many particular virtues that a small refractor can provide. Combining within dark sky sessions, creates diversity in TFOV, exit pupil / sky darkness, star fields look exquisite, large diffuse objects contained fully in the field of view, perhaps easier to track some dark nebulae. Image scale is interesting to, brighter galaxy groups make for a nice sharp defined presentation. Lunar, planetary, crisp and full of contrats many double stars are defined as pin points, I have never got into solar so cannot comment further. Also you can use each of your filters in a dark sky environment. So wide field in a 70-90mm configuration is a highly versatile instrument.  

Look out for a good used, my first had been a TV Pronto purchased off e-bay and shipped from France, followed by a TV76 (part exchanged for the Pronto) and currently TV85 each quite someway short of your £10000 budget. Each had been special, I particularly would have liked to have kept the Pronto, they occasionally come up for sale and can be bought at a very reasonable cost, I cannot remember exactly, I think I paid £300 or just a little over.  

Thanks Iain. Lots of food for thought there :) 

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Neil  I don't think that a Herschel Wedge will work with this finderscope. The Helical focuser is built into the diagonal so if you remove it you will not be able to focus. I think there is an additional adapter to allow straight through guiding.

I am trying to remember the focusing position with an O-III in place using the 24mm ES68. I don't think there was enough inward travel to get sharp focus. I will give it a go and report back.

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