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Question on a used Televue NP-101

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#1 chaoscosmos

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 03:43 PM

Hey folks...
I've been offered a used Televue NP-101 in excellent condition. Apparently this 2009 version has a rack and pinion focuser but it's not dual speed as on the current model. Before I go check it out, I wonder if anyone could say if this is a difference of any significant consequence from the dual speed. As long as it's solid and smooth I wouldn't think it would be. Or, do some here find a dual speed focuser to be an important feature? Price on the scope is $2500, with everything that came original plus a red dot finder..

I don't plan on using the scope for imaging, just viewing.

Thanks...

#2 la200o

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 03:52 PM

I have an NP101 made about the same time as yours: It has the one-speed focuser. Now and then I think about replacing it with the FT 10:1, but haven't done it. If the scope looks good, buy it; you can always replace the focuser later if you feel the need. It's nice, but not essential to have the two-speed focuser.

Bill

#3 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 04:35 PM

Apparently this 2009 version has a rack and pinion focuser but it's not dual speed as on the current model. Before I go check it out, I wonder if anyone could say if this is a difference of any significant consequence from the dual speed.



All TeleVue refractors came with a Rack and Pinion focuser. My NP-101 has the older Chrome drawtube focuser, the previous owner had upgraded with the Feathertouch micro-focuser, its around $275.

The NP-101 is F/5.4 so a two speed focuser is pretty darn nice for focusing at higher magnifications.

Jon

#4 neptun2

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 04:36 PM

I came from single speed rack and pinion focuser on my newtonian to dual speed crayford on the refractor and for photography i now find it much easier to focus with the dual speed. For visual i think that you will be ok with the single speed focuser.

#5 KerryR

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 04:52 PM

I've always found T.V.'s stock focuser very functional, solid and smooth.

Doesn't T.V. offer a dual speed retrofit?

#6 la200o

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 05:37 PM

I've always found T.V.'s stock focuser very functional, solid and smooth.

Doesn't T.V. offer a dual speed retrofit?


Yes.
Bill

#7 City Kid

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 08:24 PM

The single speed rack and pinion focuser on the NP101 is a nice focuser. I do have to say though that I would love to have a two speed and I've thought many times about getting one and I've been close to pulling the trigger on a Feathertouch more than once. But it always comes down to the fact that the only time I wish I had a two speed is when I'm observing at higher powers and I mostly use the NP101 for widefield, low to medium power viewing. Usually if I want to do any high power viewing I use my reflectors. I wouldn't let the single speed focuser stop you from buying the scope if you want it. You can always upgrade if you feel the need. I guess for me it's always been more of a want than a need so I haven't upgraded.....yet.

#8 Rich_W

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 08:42 PM

My NP-101 is the older, chrome drawtube version. While the original single speed worked fine, I too prefer a two-speed. I chose to upgrade to a Moonlite two-speed and have been very happy with it.

#9 mountain monk

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 08:44 PM

I got along with the old one for several years and finally upgraded last summer. The upgrade is simple and you can do it anytime---$300 bucks and ten minutes. I would get the scope, enjoy it, and make the decision later.

Dark skies.

Jack

#10 FirstSight

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 10:12 PM

One important caveat about purchasing a used TV NP-101 is how good the current state of its collimation is. Although the probabilities are in your favor that its collimation is still in a very good state, it doesn't have to be off very much for you to not get the famous pinpoint-sharp views for which it is famous, particularly above about 100x.

If the scope is in need of collimation, the good news is that it can be recollimated back to perfect condition. The bad news is that unless you are capable of undertaking this yourself (doable, but much, much easier if you build a simple jig to assist you, which fellow CN member Jon Isaacs can provide easily understood instructions for making)...you'll need to send it to Televue to have them do it for you. Televue will gladly, promptly oblige, but it will cost you over $300 for this service, plus $45 shipping each way. How do I know all this? Let's just say I know...first hand.

And yes you will be wanting to upgrade that single-speed focuser to a double-speed e.g. Feathertouch; even though the original single speed rack & pinion is about as high-quality as a single-speed ever could be, it's still too coarse for a scope as fast as f/5.4 with such a narrow focal zone.

Other than those caveats, I would HIGHLY recommend the scope. I plan on having mine for a lifetime, and not a week goes by that I'm not out with it at least a couple of times, barring persistent cloudy or bitter-cold weather.

#11 chaoscosmos

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 10:49 PM

I'm glad you reminded me of the collimation. I'll see if the shop that has the scope can check to see if it's aligned. I saw the thread on Jon's jig and will keep it in mind if I need some guidance.

Thanks for the great advice from everyone..

#12 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 21 February 2013 - 06:19 AM

I'm glad you reminded me of the collimation. I'll see if the shop that has the scope can check to see if it's aligned. I saw the thread on Jon's jig and will keep it in mind if I need some guidance.

Thanks for the great advice from everyone..


Since this scope is being sold by a shop and not a private party, they should guaranty that it is in collimation. If the store in question, happens to be the one that is a ways south of Mission Viejo, they stand behind their used stuff and would take it back if there were any issues...

Jon

#13 Sean Puett

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Posted 21 February 2013 - 07:57 AM

The stock focuser is nice. The feathertouch upgrade is wonderful. Buy the scope and consider upgrading later. It is a great upgrade that is worth every penny and Starlight instruments is a great company to deal with.

#14 Starhawk

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Posted 21 February 2013 - 09:43 AM

The NP-101 I got through work at the end of 2011 came with the dual speed focuser- this isn't just a nice to have- it is very enabling, especially if you want to do high magnifications or photography. My AP 130 EDFGT came with a two speed feathertouch, and it has been a dream to use. I would recommend it without hesitation. The price you are quoting is OK, especially for a shop. There is one here in Tucson, whose name I won't use, who charges so much, I simply don't know how they stay in business.

As Jon says, it should be issue free, so press them on it and see if they have really checked it out. Otherwise, they really are optically fantastic. I just wish there was an upgraded OTA assembly with machined baffles, full collimating adjustment/securing, and a 2.7" focuser. Well, sort of mechanics as though AP had designed the metal parts.

-Rich

#15 Jim Romanski

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Posted 21 February 2013 - 04:34 PM

You can also retrofit an NP-101 that has a single speed focuser to the new Feathertouch/Televue 10:1 focuser that comes standard on the NP-101 and NP-127.

I called Televue and it's not being offered by vendors yet but you can buy it from them directly. It's not listed on their website but they told me that the part number is PIN-20FT and they sell it for $325 plus shipping.

I think it basically works as nicely as the Feathertouch replacement dual speed focuser but with the Televue knobs. I'm going to order one for my NP-127 which is an older model.

#16 KWB

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Posted 21 February 2013 - 04:41 PM

That's good info,Jim. Thanks for sharing it. :cool:

#17 chaoscosmos

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Posted 21 February 2013 - 04:50 PM

Just got home with the scope. The NP-101 is bigger than I thought it would be, much larger than the TV85. I'm not convinced on the Gibraltor mount (especially since it doesn't seem to allow the tube to go fully to zenith) but they had a used one and I took it too. I can try it and return if I don't like it or if I find a mount I like better. I'm looking forward to a dark sky tonight although at the moment we've got clouds and some sprinkles. The NP-101 is quite an impressive looking scope to me, coming from a 62mm Cometron. Going to set it up now...

#18 la200o

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Posted 21 February 2013 - 06:38 PM

The Gibraltar works fine with the NP101; are there better mounts? Yep. But the Gibraltar will do the job.

Bill

#19 Calypte

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Posted 21 February 2013 - 07:25 PM

Just got home with the scope. The NP-101 is bigger than I thought it would be, much larger than the TV85.

Interesting. I own a TV-85 and an NP101is. I made a comment similar to yours in another thread about a month ago, and I was told, essentially, that I was full of @#$%!

#20 Calypte

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Posted 21 February 2013 - 07:28 PM

I've always found T.V.'s stock focuser very functional, solid and smooth.

Doesn't T.V. offer a dual speed retrofit?

The older stock focuser was OK for visual, not so good for automated focusing for imaging. After months of trying to get it to work with FocusMax, I gave up and bought a Feathertouch and Starizona's Microtouch system, and everything worked perfectly the first evening I used it.

#21 chaoscosmos

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Posted 21 February 2013 - 11:08 PM

Well, not having much to compare it to other than a short focal length 60mm refractor on a photo tripod..... With the little bit of playing with the scope I've done so far it seems the mount could be less shaky while focusing. That's probably in part due to the focuser not being FT, hands not being as steady as they used to be, and maybe also the mount along with the inexperience I have with it.
Movement toward the zenith might not be such a big deal with the Gibraltar. I can get the scope pretty close to vertical.

I don't have any top eyepieces yet. I can see 4 bands on Jupiter with a Meade 7mm Ortho, and I've got a 25mm Celestron Kellner, and a 15mm Televue Plossl. I guess I need to invest in a couple of good 2" eyepieces to be able to see what the scope can really do.

#22 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 21 February 2013 - 11:49 PM

I guess I need to invest in a couple of good 2" eyepieces to be able to see what the scope can really do.



:ubetcha:

With the right eyepieces, this telescope (with the exception of the 106 FSQ Astrograph) does things visually no other short focal length refractor can...

My favorite for this scope is the 31mm Nagler.

Jon

#23 chaoscosmos

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Posted 22 February 2013 - 12:16 AM

Yes.
Still, fantastic views even with the 15 Plossl in suburban backyard...!

#24 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 22 February 2013 - 12:28 AM

Yes.
Still, fantastic views even with the 15 Plossl in suburban backyard...!


:ubetcha:

Jon

#25 wolfman_4_ever

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Posted 22 February 2013 - 12:50 AM

:)






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