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Accessory recommendations for Travelscope 70


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I need the following advice for my TS70 for which I only have the standard, supplied accessories for...I understand they are not very good and are just 'the basics".

1) Good low-power eyepiece with wide field of view
2) Is the supplied diagonal acceptable or should I source another?
3) Will this connect straightaway to a AZ-GTi mount or do I need another dovetail bar or mechanism?
4) A smartphone adapter (just want to take a few basic pics to test some things out for myself)

I'm confidently guessing the diagonal and EP are 1.25" here.  Lastly, the finderscope is really annoying and I'm thinking about removing it totally...the placement of it is such that the diagonal and eyepiece get in the way when trying to view through the finderscope and it's really more of an obstruction so not sure if anyone has any tips there.

Thanks a ton...from a newbie.

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I don't have any experience of that specific model of 'scope, or the accessories which come with it, but if the supplied diagonal is a 45 degree one, it will be awkward for viewing objects high in the sky, so would probably be best replaced.

I have an Orion ST80 , a similar little 'scope with an 80mm aperture, and have a few small light (and cheap !) eyepieces I keep with it to make a compact portable kit a skywatcher 25mm (not a plossl)  which came with one of my other 'scopes, a 17mm skywatcher plossl , and a 12.5mm  skywatcher plossl . They work pretty well. As a low cost upgrade a plossl or two of a reputable make would  be hard to beat.

I've not added a 32mm plossl ( the lowest magnification eyepiece for visual use on a 1.25" focuser ) because in my 400mm focal length ST80,  a 32mm eyepiece would give me just 12.5x magnification, a range very close to the one my binoculars already cover very well. I'm happy with the 25mm, which gives a magnification of 16x

The very small straight through , optical viewfinders are fairly useless , so if that is what you are struggling with, a simple red dot finder might suit you better : again, I use one on my ST80 which came bundled with another 'scope , so it was essentially free to me. Quite often I don't even switch it  on,  just line the 'scope up though, so if I were you, I'd experiment and see if you really need a finder at all ... this sort of small refractor sometimes gets used itself as a finder on a far bigger telescope !

You might find this thread useful:

Heather

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34 minutes ago, Tiny Clanger said:

I don't have any experience of that specific model of 'scope, or the accessories which come with it, but if the supplied diagonal is a 45 degree one, it will be awkward for viewing objects high in the sky, so would probably be best replaced.

I have an Orion ST80 , a similar little 'scope with an 80mm aperture, and have a few small light (and cheap !) eyepieces I keep with it to make a compact portable kit a skywatcher 25mm (not a plossl)  which came with one of my other 'scopes, a 17mm skywatcher plossl , and a 12.5mm  skywatcher plossl . They work pretty well. As a low cost upgrade a plossl or two of a reputable make would  be hard to beat.

I've not added a 32mm plossl ( the lowest magnification eyepiece for visual use on a 1.25" focuser ) because in my 400mm focal length ST80,  a 32mm eyepiece would give me just 12.5x magnification, a range very close to the one my binoculars already cover very well. I'm happy with the 25mm, which gives a magnification of 16x

The very small straight through , optical viewfinders are fairly useless , so if that is what you are struggling with, a simple red dot finder might suit you better : again, I use one on my ST80 which came bundled with another 'scope , so it was essentially free to me. Quite often I don't even switch it  on,  just line the 'scope up though, so if I were you, I'd experiment and see if you really need a finder at all ... this sort of small refractor sometimes gets used itself as a finder on a far bigger telescope !

You might find this thread useful:

Heather

Great thread thanks!  So, what it comes with is a 20mm ep, a 10mm ep (how do I tell if something is a Plossl or something else?) and a diagonal (not sure of specs).  It is a 400mm scope like yours.

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The dovetail bar on my Travelscope 70 fits several of my Skywatcher/Celestron mounts and has a 1/4" -20 UNC internal thread for use with much better photographic tripods (than the one supplied).

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1 minute ago, Maideneer said:

Great thread thanks!  So, what it comes with is a 20mm ep, a 10mm ep (how do I tell if something is a Plossl or something else?) and a diagonal (not sure of specs).  It is a 400mm scope like yours.

Check the advert : if the eyepieces it came with are plossls, it will announce the fact, they are a good selling point ! However, if Celestron 'scopes are equipped like skywatcher ones are, they probably bundled the cheapest possible eyepieces in with it, see if there is anything marked on the eyepiece : if it says 'MA' or 'long eye relief' (LER) or 'K' or 'R'  it isn't a plossl . This is a good explanation :

http://swindonstargazers.com/beginners/eyepieces.htm

Plossl is a type rather than a trade name , they all have a field of view of 52 degrees, to get wider field of view than that means bigger glass, bigger heavier eyepiece, much bigger cost !

A handy tool is https://astronomy.tools/calculators/field_of_view/

if your 'scope is not listed, just input the 400mm focal  length, 70mm aperture, find any manufacturers' plossl in the eyepiece dropdown menu, choose a target, click on add to view, and the  tool shows you a photo of that target with a circle around it showing the boundary that eyepiece will give you in that telescope. You can add various eyepieces' circles to the same image for comparison

Heather

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8 minutes ago, Tiny Clanger said:

Check the advert : if the eyepieces it came with are plossls, it will announce the fact, they are a good selling point ! However, if Celestron 'scopes are equipped like skywatcher ones are, they probably bundled the cheapest possible eyepieces in with it, see if there is anything marked on the eyepiece : if it says 'MA' or 'long eye relief' (LER) or 'K' or 'R'  it isn't a plossl . This is a good explanation :

http://swindonstargazers.com/beginners/eyepieces.htm

Plossl is a type rather than a trade name , they all have a field of view of 52 degrees, to get wider field of view than that means bigger glass, bigger heavier eyepiece, much bigger cost !

A handy tool is https://astronomy.tools/calculators/field_of_view/

if your 'scope is not listed, just input the 400mm focal  length, 70mm aperture, find any manufacturers' plossl in the eyepiece dropdown menu, choose a target, click on add to view, and the  tool shows you a photo of that target with a circle around it showing the boundary that eyepiece will give you in that telescope. You can add various eyepieces' circles to the same image for comparison

Heather

Oh my, what a wealth of knowledge you just handed over.  I can't thank you enough!

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1 minute ago, Maideneer said:

Oh my, what a wealth of knowledge you just handed over.  I can't thank you enough!

🙂 I may not know much, but I do know where to find stuff out 🙂

That's a good site for nice clear explanations, which helped me a lot.

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Just now, Tiny Clanger said:

I may not know much, but I do know where to find stuff out

Samuel Johnson:

“The next best thing to knowing something is knowing where to find it.”

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1 hour ago, Geoff Lister said:

Mine came with 20mm, 10mm & 4mm eyepieces. I tend to use a 32mm Plossl and 7-21mm zoom.

Geoff

I just picked up a 32mm ep, a 8-24 zoom and a 2.3 mm ep in addition to a smartphone adapter and a neutral density filter.  All good to learn on and will be helpful when I finally pick up an EdgeHD sometime in the future when things are back in stock again.  Thanks again!

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Hi @Maideneer

I have this same scope, I think you may have seen from another thread. Sorry if I bamboozled you at all with my explanation, I hadn't realised that you were just starting out so I may not have been totally clear!

I found that all the accessories supplied with my Travelscope were pretty poor, but once I put half decent accessories with it, the actual scope itself was really quite good. 

1) The eyepieces that come with are indeed Super MA and pretty basic. They will be okay to start but you should consider upgrading them one at a time, finances allowing. The BST Starguiders linked above are extremely good value for money and would represent a significant upgrade for the cost. This scope works best at medium to low power views so the 25mm Starguider is a good shout, as is a Plössl as mentioned. Worth mentioning, I have a 17mm 76° eyepiece that gives great views through this scope, and I imagine the 18mm Starguider will also work well, albeit with a slightly narrower field of view.


2) Regarding the diagonal: I would consider this a candidate for replacing quite quickly once you can afford it. The one that comes with it is very poorly made and mine was not even a completely flat mirror, which leads to distortions in the image. I've replaced mine with one very similar to this: https://www.firstlightoptics.com/diagonals/stellamira-1-25-90-di-electric-diagonal.html

Although this may be out of your budget, it would represent a good investment in the longer term as it can be used in other scopes and is good quality. See if you might be able to pick up something like it second hand to allow your budget to go further. 


3) You don't need any other attachments or anything to use this with a AZ-GTi, and it works very well, although once you get a better diagonal and eyepiece in there you may find it difficult to balance - i.e. Getting the weight evenly distributed from the front to the back of the scope. Balancing is less important with this scope in the AZ-GTi motorised mount as it is so lightweight even with attached accessories, but you should try to get it as close as possible to make sure the mount does not have to work harder and potentially shorten its lifespan in the long term. I'll see if there is a good tutorial or article on balancing.

Hopefully you saw my picture in the other thread, but basically the small dovetail will work perfectly well in the 'saddle' - the bit on the mount that the scope attaches to. 


4) I can't really help with the smartphone adaptor, but I'm sure other will have some ideas. 

5) Ditch the rubbish finder, it's completely useless. As already mentioned, once you have a lower power eyepiece in you may not need one at all, especially if you are using the AZ-GTi goto function. 

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5 minutes ago, badhex said:

Hi @Maideneer

I have this same scope, I think you may have seen from another thread. Sorry if I bamboozled you at all with my explanation, I hadn't realised that you were just starting out so I may not have been totally clear!

I found that all the accessories supplied with my Travelscope were pretty poor, but once I put half decent accessories with it, the actual scope itself was really quite good. 

1) The eyepieces that come with are indeed Super MA and pretty basic. They will be okay to start but you should consider upgrading them one at a time, finances allowing. The BST Starguiders linked above are extremely good value for money and would represent a significant upgrade for the cost. This scope works best at medium to low power views so the 25mm Starguider is a good shout, as is a Plössl as mentioned. Worth mentioning, I have a 17mm 76° eyepiece that gives great views through this scope, and I imagine the 18mm Starguider will also work well, albeit with a slightly narrower field of view.


2) Regarding the diagonal: I would consider this a candidate for replacing quite quickly once you can afford it. The one that comes with it is very poorly made and mine was not even a completely flat mirror, which leads to distortions in the image. I've replaced mine with one very similar to this: https://www.firstlightoptics.com/diagonals/stellamira-1-25-90-di-electric-diagonal.html

Although this may be out of your budget, it would represent a good investment in the longer term as it can be used in other scopes and is good quality. See if you might be able to pick up something like it second hand to allow your budget to go further. 


3) You don't need any other attachments or anything to use this with a AZ-GTi, and it works very well, although once you get a better diagonal and eyepiece in there you may find it difficult to balance - i.e. Getting the weight evenly distributed from the front to the back of the scope. Balancing is less important with this scope in the AZ-GTi motorised mount as it is so lightweight even with attached accessories, but you should try to get it as close as possible to make sure the mount does not have to work harder and potentially shorten its lifespan in the long term. I'll see if there is a good tutorial or article on balancing.

Hopefully you saw my picture in the other thread, but basically the small dovetail will work perfectly well in the 'saddle' - the bit on the mount that the scope attaches to. 


4) I can't really help with the smartphone adaptor, but I'm sure other will have some ideas. 

5) Ditch the rubbish finder, it's completely useless. As already mentioned, once you have a lower power eyepiece in you may not need one at all, especially if you are using the AZ-GTi goto function. 

You sir are amazing.  And no worries about the other thread, I just felt like I was bothering you and I didn't want to seem annoying.  Your information is here is great, I read through it all and will apply accordingly!

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No worries,. There are plenty of folks more knowledgable than me who have already replied with great advice, but I hope the scope specific info is useful. I've used this scope a lot since I got it as it is very compact and quick to set up, and surprised at its performance given how inexpensive it is.

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I also bought the Travelscope 70 a few years ago to show my students something at school and it's a telescope that I don't mind. The tripod needs to be changed, I already had a good photographic tripod bought for 20X80 binoculars; even wanting to keep the two eyepieces and the 45 diagonal provided by Celestron to start, I think a 4 mm eyepiece would be fine to have those 100X to see the Moon and planets (even if it is more of a telescope for deep sky and panoramas ) and a nice sunscreen. I had found a solar filter sold at half price (35 euros) which is good for 70mm and 80mm lens refractors that I use either with the Travelscope or with an 80/400 refractor (the Konus Vista 80).

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What I cannot seem to find for this scope is a solar filter.  Celestron apparently discontinued the 70mm filter and absolutely nobody has it in stock.  Ideas anyone?

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10 minutes ago, Maideneer said:

What I cannot seem to find for this scope is a solar filter.  Celestron apparently discontinued the 70mm filter and absolutely nobody has it in stock.  Ideas anyone?

 

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1 hour ago, Maideneer said:

What I cannot seem to find for this scope is a solar filter.  Celestron apparently discontinued the 70mm filter and absolutely nobody has it in stock.  Ideas anyone?

I've got a Baader pre-made solar filter for me ED80 which I recall will also fit 70mm scopes I'm hoping to use that but haven't got so far as checking just yet - will report back when I have a look in the next couple of days. 

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I used the main objective dust-cap, supplied with the TS70 kit, and part of an A4 sheet of solar film. The main cap has a smaller secondary cap, and if this is removed, it reveals a nice hole, just right for a solar film sandwich. I made up 2 rings of cereal-packet cardboard, and using sticky film made up a solar film sandwich. I then used a bit more sticky film to mount this inside the TS70's cap.

1881387769_insideview(R).jpg.e0b283edee3bc114474bf9cf4de6540d.jpg

1475812584_outsideview(R).jpg.a67cec246c0fdaf8f10956771fb61571.jpg

1991223320_sideview(R).jpg.8af6d7479e4e55e6dd3b5f16eefccc3f.jpg

I used a bit more of the card and some PVC electrical tape, to lengthen the sides of the cap, so it would not blow off.

Geoff

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On 25/5/2021 at 19:18, Maideneer said:

Quello che non riesco a trovare per questo scopo è un filtro solare. Celestron apparentemente ha interrotto la produzione del filtro da 70 mm e assolutamente nessuno lo ha in magazzino. Idee qualcuno?

The glass solar filter I bought is from Orion and goes well with telescopes of 7 - 8 cm lens, you might see if you can find a filter from some other brand that works for the Travelscope 70, it doesn't necessarily have to necessarily be Celestron.

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