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Altair Astro 60EDF


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Hello All

New to the forum but by no means new to astronomy (been playing with telescopes for almost 30 years now off an on, and still learning every day).

So today I took delivery of an Altair Astro 60EDF. I was looking for something to get wide-field images with my ASI533 and settled on this scope. FPL53 glass and 360mm focal length, so ticks the right boxes for me and will allow me to image the larger targets on my list.

I couldn't find too much info on this scope when I was weighing up the competition, so thought I'd post this to help others who may also be considering this scope. I'll update this thread as and when the usage and pictures start rolling in, though predictably....you guessed it.

So a few pics for starters (oh, and excuse the lion - it's there to give a sense of scale to some family members - this thing's tiny! And maybe he'll be called Leo? 😁)

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Edited by Neil_104
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Glad to join it, 101 later 😀

If you can suggest what low magnification eyepieces work well for it in your experience, I'd be grateful - looking forward to some relaxed, wide field observing with this thing.

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45 minutes ago, Neil_104 said:

Glad to join it, 101 later 😀

If you can suggest what low magnification eyepieces work well for it in your experience, I'd be grateful - looking forward to some relaxed, wide field observing with this thing.

Depends on whether you want to use 2" eyepieces or not. I only use 1.25" now and a minimalist number at that. Basically a 19mm Tele Vue Panoptic for rich field, a TV 2x Barlow and usually a 6mm EP. At the moment I'm using a 6mm SvB (below).

fAA2KqB.jpg

This gives me a 1mm exit pupil and 0.5mm when used with the Barlow.

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Also, the Panoptic really Barlows well in the TV 2x basically transforming it into a 9.5mm Panoptic (1.5mm exit pupil). What impressed me the most was that the 60 EDF is really good for planetary for such a titchy scope. Galilean transit shadows are quite easily detected. I think the telescope is manufactured by Kunming United Optics.

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22 hours ago, Highburymark said:

Very nice! They are very capable little scopes in my view - CA control is excellent for an F/6 - inevitable field curvature however. 

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Nice setup - fully intending on using my WO bino viewers with it to put the "relax" in some relaxing wide-field views :) 

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So a couple of observations I have so far of the Titchy Sixty from looking at it (but not through it yet unfortunately).

Firstly, the felt used for the inside of the dust cap is truly terrible. It leaves small fibres all over the lens! I noticed the fibres when I first took the cap off, thought "oh dear" and proceeded to very carefully remove them. Put the cap back on, then took it off some time later (had to see the lens again)....and all the fibres were back! It was at this point I released they were coming from the felt on the inside that gives a good fit to the dew shield. I've since removed the felt and replaced it with some sticky-backed pads. Problem solved. Really not sure what they were thinking with this. Anyone else had this issue?

Secondly, I can't get over how heavy this thing is. I mean, it's not really heavy at all of course and is probably just a case of it being small, sorry, titchy. Kind of like an optical illusion (but not at all) as in you're not expecting something so small to have much weight to it. Ever had that experience where you take delivery of something heavy in a big box, and by the time you've un-packed it down to the smallest box inside it seems much heavier? Kinda like that.

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36 minutes ago, Neil_104 said:

So a couple of observations I have so far of the Titchy Sixty from looking at it (but not through it yet unfortunately).

Firstly, the felt used for the inside of the dust cap is truly terrible. It leaves small fibres all over the lens! I noticed the fibres when I first took the cap off, thought "oh dear" and proceeded to very carefully remove them. Put the cap back on, then took it off some time later (had to see the lens again)....and all the fibres were back! It was at this point I released they were coming from the felt on the inside that gives a good fit to the dew shield. I've since removed the felt and replaced it with some sticky-backed pads. Problem solved. Really not sure what they were thinking with this. Anyone else had this issue?

Secondly, I can't get over how heavy this thing is. I mean, it's not really heavy at all of course and is probably just a case of it being small, sorry, titchy. Kind of like an optical illusion (but not at all) as in you're not expecting something so small to have much weight to it. Ever had that experience where you take delivery of something heavy in a big box, and by the time you've un-packed it down to the smallest box inside it seems much heavier? Kinda like that.

 

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I've not had any problems with the lens cap. But mine is a V2 and has the original tube ring/dovetail design.

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I bought the red X-rings separately as they weren't originally available.

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Unfortunately they shifted the centre of gravity. It's the focuser that makes these scopes rear heavy as it is a rack and pinion. I was about to pull the trigger on a 60mm Takahashi but the retailer ran out of stock. I'm not overkeen on Takahashi focusers anyway. So I went for the Titchy instead. I prefer the focuser but it is aimed at AP. Eventually I used the dovetail from the X-rings combined with the original tube ring.

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This made it super portable and if I stick to small 1.25" accessories it balances on the AZ5 mount (more or less).

 

Edited by Zeta Reticulan
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Clear skies atm so finally got a chance to try the scope out. Have been looking at Saturn and was immediately impressed by the sharpness - I've been spending too long in the world of SCTs 🤩 Even though the planet is tiny at 36x through my Baader 10mm ortho, I spent a good amount of time gazing at it. I kinda like that "just a bit better than 10x50 binoculars" view - just on the edge of seeing detail. Through my 6mm TMB Planetary (60x) I can just make out the ring passing in front of the disc during moments of good seeing (which isn't often given the altitude).

Going wait now til Jupiter clears the neighbour's house, but yeah, enjoying the scope so far. And when setting up I realised I finally have the correct mount to telescope size ratio for when I image with it 😂

 

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Edited by Neil_104
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Jupiter was very good, or rather, the moons were - I've not seen Ganymede resolved as a definite disc for a few years now (again, due to having used SCTs for quite some time). The size difference of the moons was very obvious. Io had just come out from behind the planet and the GRS was disappearing off the edge. I could just make it out with the 6mm (60x). Overall I'm actually quite impressed with what the 60mm aperture of this scope can show at reasonable magnifications. M2 and M15 were clearly visible, even though it was just past a full Moon. Really looking forward to observing some open clusters in darker skies.

In terms of using the scope itself, the slow motion focus control is very nice indeed (I've never got round to improving the focuser of my SCTs, so have always settled with the stock focus knob and my own "feather touch").

The scope stayed dew free up until I came in around midnight, though I may look to create a larger dew shield than the in-built one.

Next step is to do some imaging with this thing, just need the Moon to exit the scene and to hope that the North America nebula hasn't gone behind the tree just yet...

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I've one too, also used with an ASI533 camera. I use it for travelling on an Ioptron IEQ30PRO. First image below, though I havent used if for a while as I'm going on a trip taking an Atik428 mono camera and filters. I also use a flattener or focal reducer depending on the focal length I want. Though I have a smallish ccd which isn't badly affected by field curvature.

Balance can be an issue but I use a long vixen dovetail with the focuser upside down so it can be mounted further forward. Wouldn't work if you wanted a finder though. I use a focus motor which can get in the way otherwise.

Enjoy your new scope.

Anne

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Nice image Anne, not a target I've imaged before but I think I should - the dark dust lane really adds to the scene. Was this taken using a reducer or corrector? I'm hoping to get away with not needing one considering the relatively small size of the 533.

Edited by Neil_104
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Managed to grab some imaging time on NGC7000 last night before the clouds came over. I'm certainly enjoying the wider field of view compared to my C6. It needs more time (this is only 60 minutes with an L-eNhance filter), and ideally without my neighbours' garden light on......correction, night sun on.......😠  I stayed up til about 12:45am hoping for the clouds to go but decided to call it a night as I'd caught enough data to at least check out how my camera performs with the telescope.

Checking the data it looks like I ideally need the flattener as there is some curvature around the edges. It's not too bad though and could be corrected out easy enough using StarTools as I have done with this image.

Focuser is nice to use and I think it held focus pretty well but I don't have a Bahtinov mask yet so hard to tell for certain. Given the wide field of view there's no need for a finder scope in addition to the guide scope - it was easy enough to find Polaris for polar alignment (after a bit of searching).

Think I'll aim for another 2 hours on this target at least to try to get the noise down, but for only 60 mins I'm pretty pleased with this so far.

 

 

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Edited by Neil_104
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  • 1 month later...

I now have the 1x flattener for the 60EDF. I tried it out on IC1396 the other night and it looks to have done the job. I've included a couple of shots - one of NGC7000 without the flattener and IC1396 with the flattener. The only trouble is it's highlighted the camera tilt all the more! Need to get that sorted at some stage but I'll just correct as best I can in post atm.

One thing to note is that although the stated back focus is 55mm, it confused me at first because the correct spacing is 55mm from the end of the supplied spacer, not from the flattener itself. I had everything set up at 55mm from the flattener itself, took a test shot and the resulting image clearly showed the spacing was off. So I set about frantically digging out any old spacers I could find to adjust the distance and try again (after having spent some considerable time framing the object 😠). An extra 16.5mm spacer nailed it for a total back focus of 71.5mm from the flattener itself. Checking the Altair website again, the diagram shows 72mm from the flattener so I should have followed this rather than the description, but anyways, I got it working in the end thankfully.

 

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