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TEC 140 New Arrival!

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#1 10gauge

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Posted 16 March 2013 - 08:41 AM

PHOTOS: http://www.flickr.co...s/94098724@N03/

After a 13 month wait, I finally received my new TEC 140 directly from Yuri. I was initially supposed to receive the scope in 6 months. The scope arrived in excellent condition. Before placing the order, I didn't own a single piece of astro gear as I started into the hobby from scratch. In the meantime, I collectively received great advice from CN about many topics. Had I previously owned a mount, EPs, BV over the years (a big chunk of the budget), I would've ordered the TEC 160FL. But, the unit cost is $2,000/in. of aperture for the fluorite, whereas the TEC 140 apo is $1000/in. Margin of diminishing returns is a reality. I believe that the TEC 140 is THE ideal refractor for optics, construction, focuser, weight, value, aperture, resale, and support - all made in the U.S. Yuri answers the phone with every call.

After ensuring that this hobby will be an enduring one, I didn't want to suffer from "upgraditis" by constantly feeling the need to upgrade equipment. I don't have the time nor inclination to constantly buy/sell equipment. It was a 2 year decision to finally go with a decent aperture premium refractor.

I have yet to order the GEM and alt-az mount before Spring thaw. I am leaning towards the Atlas Pro AZ. I will post a review once I am able to mount the scope and really examine the optics closely. So far I love the TEC 140!

Having seen an FT, my main concern before order was the new TEC vs the FT focuser. Upon close inspection, the TEC focuser has resolved any initial concerns. The locking collect offers "all wheel drive" traction for 10lbs+ capacity over the FT. Both are smooth, but the TEC has a slighitly heavier action, whereas the FT is a tad lighter.

All my accessories fit in a Pelican 1520 ($125) case, with pluck out foam:
Finder: Baader VarioFinder 10x60
EP: 3.5XW, 5XW, 8Ethos, 13Ethos, 24PO (2) for BV
BV: Baader MkV Binoviewer, 1.25x, 1.7x GPC
Barlow: AP BaradV 2.5x
Filters: Lumicon UHC, OIII, Orion Polarizer
Orion 2" Filter wheel

After examining so many cases, I decided upon a custom case to store the TEC 140 + AP Maxbright Diagonal. Case Technology offers the best value and quality - $318 delivered with 3 handles. The density of foam and latches are better than ScopeGuard and much less expensive. I am very impressed with the quality and the custom silver gray color.

I am indebted to the generosity and knowledge shared by so many on CN. I want to thank many CN members for the great advice I have received during the past 3 years: Bowmoreman, Scott99, jrbarnett, gnowellsct, Tamiji Homma, BKBrown, Starman, GlennLeDrew, Jan Owen, hiro, nofxrx, David Pavlich, Eddgie, Midnight Dan, RAKing, andydj5xp, Daniel Mounsey, blueman, CounterWeight, mark8888, EFT, and others... This new found hobby wouldn't rich fruition without the CN community. :bow:

Even through Gallery, I still can't figure out how to post photos directly into CN. I hope you don't mind clicking to the Flickr link instead.

PHOTOS: http://www.flickr.co...s/94098724@N03/

#2 Kent10

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Posted 16 March 2013 - 08:53 AM

Congratulations! It looks like you went through the same careful process I did when purchasing my equipment. And I also love this forum and all its members. It is amazing the help you can get here. I started with very little and with the help of the forum I almost feel like an expert now. Of course I have tons more to learn and that is what makes this hobby so great. A lifetime of fun! Congrats again.

#3 t.r.

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Posted 16 March 2013 - 08:55 AM

If you just started the hobby with a TEC140...it will be hard to impress you in the future with anything else! ;)

#4 zjc26138

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Posted 16 March 2013 - 08:59 AM

Congrats on a beautiful scope!

#5 JMW

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Posted 16 March 2013 - 09:07 AM

My used TEC 140 was my 4th visual refractor. You saved a bunch of money not going the multiple upgrade route. I hope you have a chance to get your scope out to a rural dark site soon so you can really appreciate your wonderful scope. You are a very patient person to have this scope in hand and not to have purchased a mount already.

#6 Ebyl

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Posted 16 March 2013 - 09:19 AM

Those pictures are borderline amateur astronomy pornography. :bigshock:

#7 smallscopefanLeo

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Posted 16 March 2013 - 09:21 AM

Nice Dream scope!! :drool5:

(But what I REALLY want is that well-stocked bar! :jawdrop: )

#8 Paul G

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Posted 16 March 2013 - 09:49 AM

Great scope choice. You have some very nice accessories to use with it.

To link a picture using IE, pull it up in a separate tab, right click on the image, left click on Properties, highlight the URL of the image, then Ctrl C (or right click then pick Copy). In Chrome right click the image and left click Copy image URL. Then in the Instant UBB Code box below your message in CN pick Image, then paste in the link to the image. You can place multiple images in one post.

#9 jrbarnett

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Posted 16 March 2013 - 09:54 AM

"You have chosen... wisely."

On the mount front, I started with mine on a standard Atlas EQ-G. No dice.

Posted Image

Posted Image

That sent me scurrying for something with more capacity. I ended up with a Celestron CGE. Proper.

Posted Image

The new Atlas AZ Pro might have enough extra mojo compared to the standard Atlas to handle the longish, front-heavy TEC, so you're thinking along the right lines for sure. The CGEM DX, currently on sale for $1799, might be another option (Atlas EQ-G equivalent head on a massive CGE Pro tripod). Other options might be a used Takahashi EM-200 or a G-11, though having owned Losmandy mounts I am not much of a fan.

Enjoy the scope, and hurry up and get a mount! Thaw, schmaw (easily said from California where an overnight low of 38 causes us to huddle in seal skins and bear skins in the field).

Oh, and one additional virtue I'd add is that the relatively lightweight 140mm f/7 is just about the biggest refractor you can consider to be truly portable. While it prefers a G-11/CGE class mount, an Atlas class mount will do in a pinch. As a result, it travels well but offers just enough aperture to suffice as an "only scope" at a dark sky retreat. Any smaller refractor, for me, becomes an "also scope", companion to something bigger with mirrors.

- Jim

#10 Scott in NC

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Posted 16 March 2013 - 10:38 AM

Congrats--you sure picked an awesome setup to start with! Once you get a proper mount for it, be sure to let us know how your first light experience goes. :grin:

#11 mark8888

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Posted 16 March 2013 - 11:01 AM

CONGRATULATIONS!!! So glad you finally got it. Amazing pics!!!!!
You're gonna love using the scope with that binoviewer. I see you already have a pair of 24 pans for it, awesome. :grin:

#12 etsleds

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Posted 16 March 2013 - 11:36 AM

Agreed with Jim, worth getting a stable mount for this scope, it performs so well at high power. Balance is ok vs larger triplets because the focuser is relatively massive vs the lens, but it's still a substantial scope.

Middling performance on my GM8 on Berlebach tripod, very solid and a beautiful combo on the EM200.

Enjoy the new family heirloom!

#13 niteskystargazer

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Posted 16 March 2013 - 01:20 PM

10gauge,

CONGRATULATIONS!!! on your New TEC 140 :).

CS,KLU,

:thanx:,

Tom

#14 johnnyha

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Posted 16 March 2013 - 01:45 PM

Congrats! If you don't need goto there is a fantastic deal on a G11 head on the other site today...

#15 Rich_W

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Posted 16 March 2013 - 04:00 PM

Congratulations! My TEC 140 arrived from Yuri in fall 2006. It was my "dream scope" then and it still is today.

I mount mine on a Unistar Deluxe on a G11 tripod, very strong and stable set-up, very simple.

Wishing you many years of enjoyment!

#16 dr.m

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Posted 16 March 2013 - 04:05 PM

Congratulations on the tec 140,though I would rather toast you you with a single malt at that find bar of yours.I have been thinking about talking to Yuri about one. If you don't mind , I was curious what were the shipping charges to the northeast? From what I heard ,Yuri likes to send his scopes first class with a two drink minimum. Again I wish you many years of enjoyment with such a fine scope.

Dave

#17 andydj5xp

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Posted 16 March 2013 - 04:12 PM

After ensuring that this hobby will be an enduring one, I didn't want to suffer from "upgraditis" by constantly feeling the need to upgrade equipment. I don't have the time nor inclination to constantly buy/sell equipment. It was a 2 year decision to finally go with a decent aperture premium refractor.


Congratulations on your new toy. :waytogo:

Very well done! The TEC140 will never disappoint you.

Andreas

#18 la200o

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Posted 16 March 2013 - 04:22 PM

Very beautiful scope!

Bill

#19 Tom and Beth

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Posted 16 March 2013 - 05:00 PM

And just in time for Saturn! I've never used the 3.5XW but if it provides an image like the Ethos 3.7, you will be floored.

Best advice I can give you? Don't wear socks the first clear and steady night. You'll never find them.

#20 blueman

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Posted 16 March 2013 - 05:36 PM

You made a very good choice for a first refractor. You will get a lifetime of use from it.
Blueman

#21 10gauge

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Posted 16 March 2013 - 05:56 PM

Thank you kent10, t.r., zjc26138, JMW, Ebyl, Jim, smallscopefanLeo, Paul, Scott, Mark, etsleds, Tom, Johnny, Rich, Dave, Andreas, Bill, Tom and Beth, blueman for the wonderful comments and sage advice!

Indeed, the mount will be 'paramount' (no pun intended). I've been very patiently looking at mounts - difficult task to look at the TEC in the box, and not see it on a mount. I just don't want to be under-mounted. I'd like to leave enough capacity for a C11 or C14 (for visual only) way down the road. The CGEM-DX is 108 lbs., 35 lbs. more than the Atlas Pro. It might be too heavy to lug around. I will be taking my setup to Cape Cod often, 75 miles from Boston, so I don't want to exceed the limits of portability.

Jim, why didn't the G11 appeal to you? Was it the Gemini module?

The Atlas Pro is out of stock again until 4/11/13. If I go with the Atlas Pro, I'll use it with the TPI Spreader for stability. I am not sure if it will approach the DX mount in stability?...

I don't know about you guys, but I love alt-az mounts! It's like sailboats vs motor boats. They're elegant, simple, and quick. There are times when you don't want the hassle of DC power, noise, alignment, weight, CW balances, slow panning, software glitches, cables, longer setup time, etc. Alt-az is the answer! So, I contacted Ed and just ordered the T-Rex with quick slew handle, slow mo flex handles, and SkyCommander. Just curious, how one mounts an EQ-6 base mount on a CGEM-DX tripod if I went that way?

Paul Gus, thank you for the protocol for uploading photos on CN.

You're all invited for a drink at the bar - it's too much alcohol for one person. By the end of the conversation, we'll all be seeing double stars! :drinkspit:

#22 Paul G

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Posted 16 March 2013 - 06:06 PM

I'd think the G11 would be a fine choice. I used a 130mm refractor, a 155mm refractor and a C11 on mine (pre-Gemini) and was very happy with it for visual use.

#23 RAKing

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Posted 16 March 2013 - 06:32 PM

WOW!!! Congrats on the new scope. You picked a great one, IMHO! :waytogo: :waytogo:

I wish you many years of crystal clear nights!


Mounts? I use A-P and Losmandy. There is something about quality machine work that floats my boat. Plus, like your TEC, these two mounts are made stateside, so help is a phone call away. Some people don't like the Gemini system. I had no problems with it, but I got spoiled by the A-P hand paddle. Your alt-az idea is great and should work fine.

Cheers,

Ron

#24 BKBrown

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Posted 16 March 2013 - 07:10 PM

Hot dang amigo, congratulations! :hamsterdance:
That is one fine scope and I am very pleased for you. I remember your research phase and I'm glad we were all able to help you to where you want to be...now we need to get a mount for that beast.
Here is my take on the Atlas Pro AZ: It will do the job if you do something to address the tripod, the Atlas' traditional weak link. My initial solution was to build a 3/4" plywood stabilizing tray to stiffen the mount and it worked well enough for me to effectively use a C11 for visual and imaging work. But I still wasn't completely satisfied. So, I ended up getting an Atlas-to-Losmandy adapter from Optical Supports and mounting the Atlas on a Losmandy HD tripod. Problem solved - period. That rig is rock steady and vibrations are virtually non-existent, even in a fair breeze. My observations with the new Atlas so far suggest this combo works even better. I had no trouble focusing and using everything down to the 3mm setting on my TV 3-6 zoom last weekend with no issues whatsoever while observing Saturn. Based on past and current experience, I can recommend this rig with no reservations of any kind. Eventually I would like to follow Ron and pick up an AP Mach 1, but truth be told I am not in any big hurry.
Hope this helps, now get out and have some fun ASAP :grin:

Clear Skies,
Brian :waytogo:

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#25 jrbarnett

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Posted 16 March 2013 - 08:03 PM

No. I had the vintage Losmandys from about 8 years ago. They block design housing the worms would shift in ordinary use allowing backlash to creep into the axial gear trains. I found myself using a C-clamp to readjust the blocks every 3-6 months. I suppose I could've shimmed the blocks to fine tune it, and maybe the design has been updated since then, but it left a bad taste in my mouth from which I've not recovered entirely. Neither of mine were Gemini mounts.

The non-Gemini G-11 is tempting on a price/capacity basis, and if they've changed the way the blocks and worm are designed, I could be tempted again. Gemini II sounds like it's being beta tested by customers, though. Of all the options, if I was buying new today, I'd probably lean toward the Orion Atlas AZ Pro, too. BKBrown posted a picture of his in alt-az mode with his TEC 140 mounted up. The TEC is not a small scope and the Atlas AZ Pro looks to be a lot beefier than the standard Atlas to my eye, having mounted a TEC on a standard Atlas.

Regards,

Jim






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