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I've been looking for a cheapo solution to attach the cheap and ubiquitous red-dot finder to my Celestron 20x80 but didn't like the official clip thing that Celestron sells. Bad reviews complaining of it easily snapping, and to me, overpriced.
After much research and counting of pennies, I went for this all steel, no-snap solution, costing a whopping £6.90 (with free shipping). From the top:
1 x 20mm Dovetail to 11mm Rail adapter. £2.69 with free shipping.
1 x Picatinny/Weaver 20mm Rail Base Adapter (used to attach scopes to rifle barrels) . £5.11 with free shipping
1 x bit of thick plastic to act as a shim. Anything will do.
I bought this second hand, but it was almost untouched, and a relative bargain to boot. New it costs 1199 EUR from TS (approx. £1035 as of 08/03/2019 but who has any idea how this might fluctuate).
Apo air-spaced triplet with FPL53 Multiple focus positions thanks to removable tube segments 2.5” rack and pinion focuser, rotatable, dual speed controls, 6kg payload, with printed scale CNC tube rings and dovetail supplied Retractable dew shield
It’s a really nice box. Whilst it’s described as a ‘transport case’ the supplied storage box is sturdy and well made. Inside, the foam fit is precise bordering on tight. It’s actually mildly difficult to get the scope out of the box. Things get a little easier if you loosen the tube rights slightly, allowing for some tube rotation, and a longer term fix will be some straps to aid lifting the scope out vertically.
The scope itself feels very well made, and is what I’m choosing to refer to as ‘reassuringly weighty’. At just over 4kg (without diagonal, eyepiece, or finder) there are definitely lighter options available, but it’s hardly a heavyweight. The finish is powered coat white, which looks and feels very nice.
The focuser is very smooth (compared to my SW ED80) and feels pleasingly solid. I’m not going to be testing the stated 6kg payload any time soon, but I can easily believe it will be able to handle it.
The dew shield is held in position with a single thumbscrew, and whilst it’s retractable credentials are clearly warranted, it only seems to extend a couple of centimetres. As it happens, this takes the overall length down to 450mm which was the very top end of my acceptable range in order to meet my ‘travel’ requirement. The focuser body also incorporates a finder shoe, but if you wanna finder then you have to supply your own as there’s nothing included.
The idea of having additional tube segments is that you don’t have to rack out the focuser so far, and so improves stability. This also allows for multiple reducer/flattener options for imaging use. The TS website details the specific configurations using their recommended equipment which provide a faster f/4.9 option for sensors up to 36mm, or a full frame flat image at the standard f/6.6. I might be exploring these options later, but for now, this is going to be for visual use.
OK - this barely counts, but I was impatient. Predictably enough, first evening with a new telescope and it’s raining. But I did manage a pretty decent look at my neighbours TV aerial and chimney stack. They need some re-pointing.
The following evening (9th March 2019) was less rainy, but much the same for cloud, all but for about 30 minutes of relatively clear sky, interrupted regularly by patchy cloud. So still not great. However, my ambitious setup to allow for cooling paid off and I did manage a few minutes of actual use with a SW 28mm eyepiece. The Baader Zoom I also treated myself to for my travel use is frustratingly still not dispatched. And when I say set-up, I mean just carrying everything outside. I’m using this on the SW AZ-Gti mount, and a Manfrotto tripod I had already, so it’s very easy to pick up and take outside.
I was using the scope with one of the two removable sections in place (this is how it is stored in the supplied case) and was able to achieve focus with a 2" diagonal without having to rack out excessively.
Sirius was an obvious target to the south, and an easy hit. Brilliantly bright, as expected, and a blue-ish white colour. The upper half (the rest was below my sightline from home) of Canis Major was easy to see, with several of the background stars also visible. Despite the less than great seeing, the view was impressive. Stars were tight and there was no obvious chromatic aberration. Moving up to Betelgeuse, it’s orange-red brilliance was very pleasing, and again I was able to make out some of the fainter surrounding stars.
Overall the view was very impressive, and bright. My only real comparison is with my SW80, and of course I now have over 25% more light, so that’s to be expected. But still, it makes an obvious difference. I wasn’t able to note any CA or distortion, and a quick full visible spectrum (no filters) star test reflected spot on collimation and no apparent astigmatism.
Alas, the break in the patchy clouds did not last long, and I was soon packing up for the night and heading out for a beer. I’m looking forward to getting some more quality time with this kit, and who knows, I might even align the AZ-Gti next time and write a brief review for that too.
By BATUHAN DERELI
I am physics student in Turkey . I have used telescopes but they were manual mount because of that I do not have any experiences with GO TO mounts . I upload photos and I pressed alignment button before finding 3 or 2 stars . Still ı did not find any stars from catalog . I really watched many videos but I did not do it well my process still not continue . 12 photos I upload , first photo teleskop , last photo is the my last step , which button should I have press?
Having had difficulty in aligning and never actually managing to get my AVX to track to the standard I know it can, is the Celestron StarSense gadget the answer?
I know I can align my scope accurately if I put the effort in and having moved last year I’ve been unable to have my mount fixed on a pier so I’m seriously considering this piece of kit as an easier way to align and to motivate me to get out more often.
Please share your thoughts.....
Hi, newbie at using a telescope.
I have recently got a Celestron astromaster 130eq. I finally got chance to use it last week viewing the moon, I got some brilliant views and images. Using the 20mm erecting eyepiece and 10mm eyepiece that came with the telescope. (Pictures below to show that all was fine)
I also have a 6mm plossl eyepiece, 15m Kellner eyepiece, 2x Barlow, and red, blue and moon filters.
This morning with it been clear and Jupiter and Venus is clear view I Set up my telescope as normal, got the planets into view on my telescope used the 20mm eyepiece to clarify it was In view and it was just the a small white dot which I expected. So I started to reduce down the eyepieces to get a closer view and as I was slowly trying to focus all I could see was the secondary mirror in the lense. I tried a range of my different lenses to try and get it into focus even starting at the 20mm and working my way down and I just couldn’t see anything without the secondary mirror housing in view.
at one point I could see something behind the secondary mirror image however I couldn’t make out what it was despite trying to focus slowly in and out. Looking at forums and advice could it be that I’ve actually locked on to a star which is further away hence why I can’t focus. Please help.