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A miracle called Spectron

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#1 Jef De Wit

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Posted 20 June 2010 - 08:57 AM

Some weeks ago I bought a 6 cm toy-telescope for only 3 euro on a second hand market. The original idea was to throw away the "plastic" telescope and keep the wooden tripod.
At home I looked at the web for the brand of the telescope (Spectron) and the only EP (20 mm WIDE FIELD ;) from Tele-Science). Both were on a dutch astrowebsite on the list "DON'T BY THIS" :(.
I cleaned the optics and gave it a try on the house of the neighbours (not bad), the clouds (not bad) and passing aeroplanes (still not bad). So I tried it at night and guess what?
Stars were sharp for 95% of the EP and color problems with bright stars were very acceptable (not worse than in my old ETX-70). So why not trying some DSO? M13 was no problem at all. M57 was just visible as a some bigger star (than all other points in the EP). The FOV is around 1°. I have no idea about the magnification, because I don't know the focal length of the Spectron. I guess it must be something like x25.
Because most people don't believe in miracles I made two sketches as proof. I already asked at the Spectron on my knees forgiveness for the idea of putting him with the rubbish. I think he forgave me, because the next day I tried the Moon and the image was... excellent! :yay:

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#2 Jef De Wit

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Posted 20 June 2010 - 08:59 AM

M13, Hove, 17/06/2010, 0.10 UT, SQM 19.25, Spectron 6cm toy-telescope, FOV +/- 1°, magnification x25?

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#3 Jef De Wit

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Posted 20 June 2010 - 09:00 AM

M57 (in the middle), Hove, 17/06/2010, 0.30 UT, SQM 19.25, Spectron 6cm toy-telescope, FOV +/- 1°, magnification x25?

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#4 Sol Robbins

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Posted 20 June 2010 - 10:39 AM

Congratulations on the telescope. Wonderful sketches too!

#5 frank5817

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Posted 20 June 2010 - 02:48 PM

Jef,

You can never have too many telescopes.
Very nice sketching with the little one. :bow: :cool:

Frank :)

#6 richard7

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Posted 20 June 2010 - 05:41 PM

Congrats on your find.
How about updating your equipment list?

#7 Jef De Wit

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Posted 21 June 2010 - 10:19 AM

Sol, Frank and Richard :thanx:

@ Richard: good idea about the equipment list.

#8 CarlosEH

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Posted 22 June 2010 - 05:03 AM

Jef,

Cogratulations of finding a small telescope treasure in the Spectron 6-cm refractor. I am very impressed with the observations of M13 (Great Hercules Globular Cluster) and M57 (Ring Nebula) that you made using this fine instrument. I think that it is also the quality of the observer at the end of the telescope that is able to make these observations. I hope that you have fun in the future with this fine refractor.

Carlos

#9 ericj

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Posted 22 June 2010 - 06:41 AM

Hi Jef,

Congratulations on your new scope, and thanks for posting your nice sketches. The photo of it reminds me of the first 6-cm refractor I bought in the early 1970's. It was made for terrestrial viewing and only gave powers up to 60x. It had terrible secondary color on bright objects, and the alt-az mount was not very stable. But, it showed me the main cloud belts on Jupiter, and I watched its four Galilean satellites as they changed position night after night. The fact I could see this on a planet that was over 480 million miles away really was amazing to me. Add to that the fact that I could see craters on the moon and I was hooked! It was with this telescope that I first began making sketches at the eyepiece of astronomical objects, which has come to be a lifelong interest for me.

Later I purchased another 60mm achromatic refractor, and the lens was an air-spaced doublet, not a cemented doublet like the first one, and the telescope came with slow motions controls on both axes, as well as a star diagonal which made it much easier to observe objects overhead. Best of all, it could be used at higher magnifications and give clean, crisp, and contrasty images. It was with the scope that I first observed and made a sketch of M13, and your sketch reminds me of what I saw.

Clear Skies,

Eric Jamison

#10 Jef De Wit

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Posted 22 June 2010 - 03:01 PM

Eric
It's funny. Most people start with a cheap (plastic) telescope. I buy one as my fourth telescope...

#11 phxbird

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Posted 23 June 2010 - 10:44 PM

I recently bought a Meade 60mm and was loaned one to try out. Thay are both good scopes. Especially when you put on a 1.25 focuser (10 bucks!) and use a better Alt/AZ mount. Little false color and very clear images. My views of M13 and M57 were about the same but I did see the hole in M57 with a 6mm TMB!

#12 Jef De Wit

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Posted 24 June 2010 - 12:55 PM

Phxbird
The EP on the Spectron is smaller than 1.25", so I can't use my other EP. So I'm stucked on the little magnification. On the other hand I haven't to worry about changing EP! In a certain way, a relax way of observing.

#13 ladip63

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Posted 24 June 2010 - 04:01 PM

Congrats Jef:D
Hope you have fun with it. So much for the dutch astrowebsite saying not to buy this. :D LOL
Congrats :hamsterdance:

#14 FJA

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Posted 24 June 2010 - 04:55 PM

It's funny how a cheap plastic telescope can sometimes unexpectedly turn out to be a treasure. Just as well you didn't put him in the rubbish!

#15 markseibold

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Posted 24 June 2010 - 05:57 PM

Jef

Nice to see that you are getting such good images from a small refractor. :bow: :bow: :bow:

I don’t remember if I ever related my early stories but your story conjures up my early beginnings of my first telescope, a new Tasco 60mm refractor that I bought at age 14 with my berry picking money [*see our local Oregonian news article] > http://markseibold.s...pace.com/about/

I saw allot with it and I can say it changed my life, but after exhausting the images that wiggled and jiggled every time I touched the focus knobs and that I could no longer see in that old Tasco, I later purchased a new Coulter Odyssey 10.1” Dobsonian when I was age 33. I thought after a couple years of observing I had seen everything possible in relatively dark suburban skies on the edge of town that I never saw with that old 60mm Tasco. My wife and I had also moved to darker skies residing near the Columbia River Gorge, much darker than my old childhood neighborhood.

Until one day, a co-worker asked me if I would look at an old 60mm refractor telescope he was given in an old wood box. He asked that I check the optics and clean it up for him; so I took it home. I noticed it had a label on it; Goto, and it was a longer focal ratio than my old Tasco; the Goto being about 950mm; the Tasco was only 750mm. When I focused onto Jupiter one night through still air and a thin high fog in the late autumn sky, I had never seen such detail in the Jovian cloud belts at around 150 X, even with those little .9/10th’s eyepiece barrels. Obviously the Goto had much finer optics than my old Tasco. [I still have the old Tasco in the original box, kept as a sentimental keepsake.]

It is amazing what we take for granted in equipment size, when observing. I'd like to take a look through that Spectron.

Mark
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My CN Gallery

#16 phxbird

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Posted 24 June 2010 - 11:53 PM

Telescope warehouse has 1.25 focusers for 9.95. I had to drill and tap a couple of holes in the focuser but that was pretty easy! You can find TW on Ebay. Well worth the money!You can also search around for .965 eyepieces as well. The Telescope warehouse has some of those as well. Or you can just enjoy the thing without changing it!

#17 Jef De Wit

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Posted 25 June 2010 - 09:43 AM

@ Mark. Funny. Most people buy a 6 cm refractor when they are young... I buy one at the age of 38!

@ Phxbird. Thanks for the information, but I think I keep the Spectron like he is (with one cheap EP). I have a good 8 cm refractor for the better work.






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