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Tak 76 upgrades and modules


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Always looking for that 0.1% improvement I was just wondering what other Tak users think of the fine focus parts, particularly Mef-3, More Blue and FT pinion focus “upgrades”?

Additionally, have any of the 1.7Q extender module owners had more chance to use it in its f12.75 configuration?

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I use MEF3 on several of my Taks. They do help with fine focus for most (but not needed for long fl like the FOA 60Q)

The Ex Q 1.7 transforms my FS60. It’s marginal on my FC76DCU.

I also like the 1.5 or 1.6 extender on my FC100 orTSA120

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I have either a FeatherTouch FTF2025BCR or the equivalent LW version on my FS60C and FC76DCU. I’ve never really got on with Tak focusers, just don’t like the feel so have always switched to FTs whenever possible.

I ordered the FTF LW which was on an extended lead time and was eventually told it probably wouldn’t appear, so I cancelled it and ordered a More Blue Precision focuser upgrade, only to have the FTF LW suddenly appear in stock so I switched back to that.

I’ve not done many comparisons between the DCU and Q configuration (ie with the CQ Extender fitted), but this report I posted indicates that I still found there to be benefits (over and above just the mag increase) in using the Q. Most people say it has most effect on the FS60C and I’m sure that’s true, but to my mind still useful in the 76DCU, plus it looks fabulous 😀

 

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My FC-76DCU has had the FT Pinion fine focuser fitted for over a year now… I really like the improved focus feel this gives, but also retains a “Takahashi” look. I also have the MEF-3 fitted on my FS-60CB and FC-100DZ, and they work really well too.

I also fitted the CQ Extender earlier this year and it’s stayed put… it flattens the field and gives a more useful range of magnifications using my Pentax XW eyepiece set (20mm to 3.5mm) 

This scope is my grab and go scope and the most used and as @Stu says, it looks lovely too in extended configuration 😀

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Edited by HollyHound
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I must say it does look really nice in the Q configuration,  but I worry it’d make my higher mag EPs redundant for planetary viewing except on nights of perfect seeing. I do think the Q module would make it a fabulous double star scope though.

I think I would like fine focus for my observing, I have one on the 8” dob and I love it, particularly as I’m mainly planetary too. 

I’ve read that the MEF-3 can feel “spongy” which I guess means reduces it being fine focus, but unsure if that’s something to do with the installation of it. Would the 1/7th v 1/12th focus of the MEF-3 v the more blue noticeable? I prefer the aesthetics of the FT micropinion but not sure they are still available.

The FT 2” focusers look amazing but for its cost and adaptor I could get a Ha solar scope!

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38 minutes ago, IB20 said:

I must say it does look really nice in the Q configuration,  but I worry it’d make my higher mag EPs redundant for planetary viewing except on nights of perfect seeing. I do think the Q module would make it a fabulous double star scope though.

I think I would like fine focus for my observing, I have one on the 8” dob and I love it, particularly as I’m mainly planetary too. 

I’ve read that the MEF-3 can feel “spongy” which I guess means reduces it being fine focus, but unsure if that’s something to do with the installation of it. Would the 1/7th v 1/12th focus of the MEF-3 v the more blue noticeable? I prefer the aesthetics of the FT micropinion but not sure they are still available.

The FT 2” focusers look amazing but for its cost and adaptor I could get a Ha solar scope!

Some relevant discussion in this thread. Personally I think I would prefer the 12:1 rather than 7:1 reduction, although I think the More Blue version sticks out a little further than the MEF-3.

 

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2 hours ago, IB20 said:

I must say it does look really nice in the Q configuration,  but I worry it’d make my higher mag EPs redundant for planetary viewing except on nights of perfect seeing. I do think the Q module would make it a fabulous double star scope though.

I think I would like fine focus for my observing, I have one on the 8” dob and I love it, particularly as I’m mainly planetary too. 

I’ve read that the MEF-3 can feel “spongy” which I guess means reduces it being fine focus, but unsure if that’s something to do with the installation of it. Would the 1/7th v 1/12th focus of the MEF-3 v the more blue noticeable? I prefer the aesthetics of the FT micropinion but not sure they are still available.

The FT 2” focusers look amazing but for its cost and adaptor I could get a Ha solar scope!

If you do decide to go with the Q module, you may not actually need a fine focuser thereby saving yourself a few £.

The thread on the Q is quite fine and takes some care in putting on/taking off, so you might well end up leaving it on, especially if you like planets and doubles.

There is a guy on CN who uses 2 Extender Qs in tandem 😊

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1 hour ago, JeremyS said:

If you do decide to go with the Q module, you may not actually need a fine focuser thereby saving yourself a few £.

The thread on the Q is quite fine and takes some care in putting on/taking off, so you might well end up leaving it on, especially if you like planets and doubles.

There is a guy on CN who uses 2 Extender Qs in tandem 😊

I love my TOEs too much to leave the module on, the 4mm in the Tak 76 is a match made in heaven. 

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The Q makes the 76 look even better. Enough of a reason in itself to get one :) It also allows you to use longer focal length eyepieces for the same magnification which can be slightly easier on the eyes, though the TOEs are really easy to use. I also like just being able to use the 76 in a different configuration. There is something indefinably nice too about long refractors :)

I researched the MEF a while back. I did read some reports of it being spongy but I seem to remember someone saying he cured the spongyness with some small adjustment. In the end I got used to the stock focuser and love the snap to focus. Not sure whether you would still get that with a fine focuser or not. I'd definitely go with the MEF just to keep the scope pure Tak, though I appreciate that's probably the least good reason for going with it :)

If you're looking to spend some money for the Tak, have you considered Binoviewers? They really can provide a wow difference, though not everybody gets on with them.

Malcolm 

 

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On 17/09/2022 at 12:46, JeremyS said:

The thread on the Q is quite fine and takes some care in putting on/taking off, so you might well end up leaving it on, especially if you like planets and doubles.

Exactly where I am… since popping the CQ Extender on mine, it hasn’t been removed and likely won’t be, as I just love the FC-76 in this configuration 👍

In fact, I use this scope a lot more than any other scope, and it’s almost rendered the FOA-60Q redundant (although this is still a cute and fun little scope 😀)

On 17/09/2022 at 12:46, JeremyS said:

If you do decide to go with the Q module, you may not actually need a fine focuser thereby saving yourself a few £.

I agree… the FT Pinion focuser fine focus capability is required less I’m this configuration, but I love the feel of this focuser and no way I’m removing it now 🤣

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On 17/09/2022 at 18:03, MalcolmM said:

The Q makes the 76 look even better. Enough of a reason in itself to get one :) It also allows you to use longer focal length eyepieces for the same magnification which can be slightly easier on the eyes, though the TOEs are really easy to use. I also like just being able to use the 76 in a different configuration. There is something indefinably nice too about long refractors :)

I researched the MEF a while back. I did read some reports of it being spongy but I seem to remember someone saying he cured the spongyness with some small adjustment. In the end I got used to the stock focuser and love the snap to focus. Not sure whether you would still get that with a fine focuser or not. I'd definitely go with the MEF just to keep the scope pure Tak, though I appreciate that's probably the least good reason for going with it :)

If you're looking to spend some money for the Tak, have you considered Binoviewers? They really can provide a wow difference, though not everybody gets on with them.

Malcolm 

 

I do have a pair of Revelation BVs but can’t get them to focus with the 76. Can’t remember if I needed to lengthen or shorten the light path but something needs to change for it to focus. Getting them to work is on my list but thought this topic was easier to do than work out what adapters etc I need! I’ll revive that thread at some point. 😃

Edited by IB20
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1 hour ago, IB20 said:

I do have a pair of Revelation BVs but can’t get them to focus with the 76. Can’t remember if I needed to lengthen or shorten the light path but something needs to change for it to focus. Getting them to work is on my list but thought this topic was easier to do than work out what adapters etc I need! I’ll revive that thread at some point. 😃

It's a bit of a black art 🙂 It took me a good bit of time and effort (and a bit of expense) to get mine (the Williams Optics ones) to focus.

I don't think I have used them on the 76 yet, but have for the 60CB and the 100DC.

Basically it will probably involve using a Glass Path Corrector (and possibly shortening the light path as well).

Anyway - sounds like a problem for another day for you. I'll be glad to try to help if and when the time comes 🙂

I would be very interested in hearing about the MEF3 if you decide to go for that. Good luck!

Malcolm

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So I went with the More Blue retrofit microfocuser as my first upgrade and I’m really impressed with the quality and feel of the focuser. Although it comes with no instructions, the installation really is extremely simple; there’s a quick video guide available and the most difficult part I found was getting the little two prong screw out of the housing of the focusing axle. I’d read reports that the mounting bar felt flimsy, not sure if this has been changed but I don’t have a problem with it and it feels very solidly attached. 
Didn’t realise how plasticky the original focus wheels were until I removed one, they never seemed to feel like that when I used them.

Time for testing; Jupiter and Saturn were nicely positioned so put the scope out for 5 mins. Initially the upgraded focuser felt a bit lumpy, but playing with the tightness of the grub screw soon ironed any issues out. The coarse focus has retained that “snap to” ability which I really like and the 12:1 fine focus wheel is a joy to use. I’m very pleased with the upgrade and I know it’s going to improve my observing. I only went out for a quick test but 90 mins disappeared on observing Jupiter, Saturn and Neptune. 😆

 

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