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How many AP Travelers

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#26 ichdien

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Posted 28 January 2014 - 08:44 PM

Get out the hankies: $1900 in 1995.

#27 silverking

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Posted 28 January 2014 - 08:44 PM

Photoist asked "Anyone know why did AP stop making them?"


R.C. started making the 105mm Traveler at a time when apochromatic scopes of such a size were somewhat scarce, if not nonexistent.
The Traveler enjoyed increasing demand as a few competitors in its size range started to appear in the marketplace, although none of them hit all the numbers as well as the Traveler did, often falling just short in one or another of the important categories amateurs demanded, lack of color, overall length, etc.

Over time, and in increasing numbers, 4" apos originating in Asia started appearing in the marketplace at a price point far lower than the Traveler.
As well as the lower priced Asian scopes, competent high-end makers were increasingly putting out similar scopes to the Traveler.

All this caused R.C. to reevaluate the marketplace for scopes under 130mm, and he eventually choose cease production of the Traveler, as he felt the limited marketplace had become saturated with far lower priced scopes that competed directly with the Traveler.
Further, in the minds of many potential purchasers, the Asian scopes operating at 90% to the Travelers 100%, and doing so at 1/5th the price was deemed by increasing numbers of amateur astronomers as "good enough".

As well, one could posit that AP has to operate at an appropriate profit. It would appear that management felt the efforts of the company would be more productively and profitably served and advanced with scopes sized 130mm and above, presumably with more attractive margins for the work involved.
Although the demand for the Traveler was still there in spades, the margins apparently weren't.

The above is my "Coles Notes" version, and has some personal opinions inserted......but has been stated in as much by R.C. in the years since the Traveler was discontinued.

#28 Markab

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Posted 28 January 2014 - 11:08 PM

Photoist asked "Anyone know why did AP stop making them?"


R.C. started making the 105mm Traveler at a time when apochromatic scopes of such a size were somewhat scarce, if not nonexistent.
The Traveler enjoyed increasing demand as a few competitors in its size range started to appear in the marketplace, although none of them hit all the numbers as well as the Traveler did, often falling just short in one or another of the important categories amateurs demanded, lack of color, overall length, etc.

Over time, and in increasing numbers, 4" apos originating in Asia started appearing in the marketplace at a price point far lower than the Traveler.
As well as the lower priced Asian scopes, competent high-end makers were increasingly putting out similar scopes to the Traveler.

All this caused R.C. to reevaluate the marketplace for scopes under 130mm, and he eventually choose cease production of the Traveler, as he felt the limited marketplace had become saturated with far lower priced scopes that competed directly with the Traveler.
Further, in the minds of many potential purchasers, the Asian scopes operating at 90% to the Travelers 100%, and doing so at 1/5th the price was deemed by increasing numbers of amateur astronomers as "good enough".

As well, one could posit that AP has to operate at an appropriate profit. It would appear that management felt the efforts of the company would be more productively and profitably served and advanced with scopes sized 130mm and above, presumably with more attractive margins for the work involved.
Although the demand for the Traveler was still there in spades, the margins apparently weren't.

The above is my "Coles Notes" version, and has some personal opinions inserted......but has been stated in as much by R.C. in the years since the Traveler was discontinued.



I think you nailed it!

#29 Traveler

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Posted 29 January 2014 - 02:17 AM

RC not only stops making Travelers but he also stops producing small high quality mounts like the 400QMD/CNC and 400GTO.

Always wonder why A-P is selling a 130mm GT Apo because as the same reason, there are many alternatives out there which are at least on the same level.

My Traveler snr starts with 105EDF and then a number low in the 400's. I bought it in 1999 after a 5 months wait.

#30 M13 Observer

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Posted 29 January 2014 - 08:55 PM

RC not only stops making Travelers but he also stops producing small high quality mounts like the 400QMD/CNC and 400GTO.


Umm, ever heard of the Mach1GTO? A little more weight, a lot more capability.

Always wonder why A-P is selling a 130mm GT Apo because as the same reason, there are many alternatives out there which are at least on the same level.


Really? There is a take-down 130mm extremely high quality, both mechanically and optically, telescope "out there" other than the AP130GT. WHAT IS IT?!?

#31 Traveler

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Posted 30 January 2014 - 01:47 AM

Tec 140, TSA120, Toa130,CFF127, CFF140, Officina Stellare Hiper APO 130, APM-Lzos 123, APM-Lzos 130...
Enough?

Of course i know the Mach1. A little more weight? Yes. But the point is that this Mach1(in the field) is not as small as the AP 400 mounts were. Did you compare the two in the field?

#32 Starhawk

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Posted 30 January 2014 - 10:00 AM

AP lens sets only get serial numbers when all of the elements successfully come out of figuring. If Roland serialized them early, there would be random gaps throughout the serial number sequence, with about 15% to 20% missing, depending on the run. The point where they get serialized is where someone gets a call. Note, with the AP130 EDFGT at 468 after the last run, it's clear there are fairly substantial numbers of AP optics out there.

-Rich

#33 M13 Observer

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Posted 30 January 2014 - 09:13 PM

Tec 140, TSA120, Toa130,CFF127, CFF140, Officina Stellare Hiper APO 130, APM-Lzos 123, APM-Lzos 130...
Enough?

Of course i know the Mach1. A little more weight? Yes. But the point is that this Mach1(in the field) is not as small as the AP 400 mounts were. Did you compare the two in the field?


Not one of those telescopes you mention is a take-down optical tube - NOT ONE - and you left out the Zeiss APQ. It can't be taken down either by the way.

At to the AP400 and the Mach1GTO, yes, I have. As a matter of fact I have one, of each! To top it off, I have had them both out "in the field", side by side, many times. Have you? And, to bring this back on topic, the Traveler is perfect on the AP400. I really like the shiny anodized black of each.

#34 oldtimer

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Posted 30 January 2014 - 09:40 PM

Were not the Travelers made in two differnt focal lenghts. Early ones being F5 and later ones being like 5.8 or so?

#35 Traveler

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Posted 31 January 2014 - 02:49 AM

Pardon me, I missed your "take-down" point :foreheadslap: But besides that i stand by my point that there are several great alternatives for the AP 130GT scope like there are also great alternatives for the traveler.

Yes i did make also a field compare with the two mounts.

That is true: an A-P Traveler on the A-P 400 mount is a perfect match :cool: Even after almost 15 years i much enjoy these perfect pieces of equipment.

#36 RAKing

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Posted 31 January 2014 - 07:27 AM

Were not the Travelers made in two differnt focal lenghts. Early ones being F5 and later ones being like 5.8 or so?


You might have the Traveler confused with the 90mm Stowaway. It came in two focal lengths, f/5 and f/7.

My Traveler was one of the first 100 made and it's an f/5.81 (610mm focal length). The Astro-Physics website only mentions one focal length in their Traveler history.

As I mentioned in my earlier post, my Traveler is the best 4 inch scope I have ever owned or looked through. It can easily ride on my Gibraltar as well as the Mach 1 and delivers stunning views every night. :bow:

Cheers,

Ron

#37 M13 Observer

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Posted 31 January 2014 - 10:25 AM

Were not the Travelers made in two differnt focal lenghts. Early ones being F5 and later ones being like 5.8 or so?


You might have the Traveler confused with the 90mm Stowaway. It came in two focal lengths, f/5 and f/7.

My Traveler was one of the first 100 made and it's an f/5.81 (610mm focal length). The Astro-Physics website only mentions one focal length in their Traveler history.

As I mentioned in my earlier post, my Traveler is the best 4 inch scope I have ever owned or looked through. It can easily ride on my Gibraltar as well as the Mach 1 and delivers stunning views every night. :bow:

Cheers,

Ron


My "new to me" Traveler is also a very early model with an anodized finish and with a serial number less than 10. The one I sold is a late model pebble finish with a serial number in the high 400's. They are both in the f5.8 to f5.9 range. I like the black anodized finish better although it shows fingerprints exceptionally well. There is only one possible contender for a similar telescope in all respects and that is the TEC APO110FL.

#38 Paul G

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Posted 31 January 2014 - 11:03 AM

Were not the Travelers made in two differnt focal lenghts. Early ones being F5 and later ones being like 5.8 or so?


You might have the Traveler confused with the 90mm Stowaway. It came in two focal lengths, f/5 and f/7.

My Traveler was one of the first 100 made and it's an f/5.81 (610mm focal length). The Astro-Physics website only mentions one focal length in their Traveler history.

As I mentioned in my earlier post, my Traveler is the best 4 inch scope I have ever owned or looked through. It can easily ride on my Gibraltar as well as the Mach 1 and delivers stunning views every night. :bow:

Cheers,

Ron


My "new to me" Traveler is also a very early model with an anodized finish and with a serial number less than 10. The one I sold is a late model pebble finish with a serial number in the high 400's. They are both in the f5.8 to f5.9 range. I like the black anodized finish better although it shows fingerprints exceptionally well. There is only one possible contender for a similar telescope in all respects and that is the TEC APO110FL.


Company 7 had either SN 001 or 002 on display at their showroom (not sure if it was stolen in the burglary) and it was ~ f5.8. The early ones were anodized, then a shiny black paint was used, then the pebbly black paint. My first Traveler from the late 1990's had the shiny black paint and was produced just after they changed the designation from EDT to EDF. My SN started with EDF but the engraving on the focuser still said EDT and hadn't yet been changed. I now have a newer pebbly paint version. I wanted to upgrade to the dual speed greaseless focuser and rather than buying a new focuser it was cheaper (net cost nearly zero) to sell my old one and buy a newer one with the dual speed focuser already installed. I like the pebbly paint better than the shiny paint which showed fingerprints like crazy and was very slippery when wet with dew.

The TEC looks like a very nice scope. One difference is the Traveler is aspherized and the TEC is not.

#39 M13 Observer

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Posted 31 January 2014 - 11:43 AM


My "new to me" Traveler is also a very early model with an anodized finish and with a serial number less than 10. The one I sold is a late model pebble finish with a serial number in the high 400's. They are both in the f5.8 to f5.9 range. I like the black anodized finish better although it shows fingerprints exceptionally well. There is only one possible contender for a similar telescope in all respects and that is the TEC APO110FL.


Company 7 had either SN 001 or 002 on display at their showroom (not sure if it was stolen in the burglary) and it was ~ f5.8. The early ones were anodized, then a shiny black paint was used, then the pebbly black paint. My first Traveler from the late 1990's had the shiny black paint and was produced just after they changed the designation from EDT to EDF. My SN started with EDF but the engraving on the focuser still said EDT and hadn't yet been changed. I now have a newer pebbly paint version. I wanted to upgrade to the dual speed greaseless focuser and rather than buying a new focuser it was cheaper (net cost nearly zero) to sell my old one and buy a newer one with the dual speed focuser already installed. I like the pebbly paint better than the shiny paint which showed fingerprints like crazy and was very slippery when wet with dew.

The TEC looks like a very nice scope. One difference is the Traveler is aspherized and the TEC is not.


I'll have to check on the old focuser body when I get an opportunity; I don't know what it says. It was changed out for the greaseless FT model by the previous owner but the original focuser came with the scope when I purchased it. Mine is not serial number 01 or 02 but it does not carry any sort of EDF or EDT designation on the edge of the lens. Now that you mention the painted version, I just had a closer look at it. I can't tell if it is a heavily polished tube which has been deeply anodized or a tube which has been painted gloss black. In fact, there is a strong possibility that the tube has been refinished and powder coated! In any case, it works very well indeed. I sent it away to Astro-Physics to have it re-collimated and some other mechanical work done. I am very glad to have it back. I never thought about the slippery with dew aspect. Dew is something I don't often encounter - and unfortunately so is really excellent seeing. I have some extra lightweight 7" SB. I'll have to look into making a carrying "handle" for it using one of them.

#40 vahe

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Posted 31 January 2014 - 12:18 PM

The TEC looks like a very nice scope. One difference is the Traveler is aspherized and the TEC is not.



The difference between Traveler and TEC110FL is the ED element, Traveler employs FPL-53, TEC uses fluorite.

In an apo lens design when the speed is increased to near borderline, such as the Traveler the need for aspherization enters the picture, fluorite allows the design to go a bit further before the use of aspheric elements become necessary.

But do not take my word for this, here is what Roland had to say on this subject in a post on tec-ug (#9797):

“To make a fully color corrected triplet with oil space, where the color correction extends all the way to 400nm, the choices are threefold. You can use an FPL-53 aspheric oiled triplet design which makes production a bit slow and dependent on highly skilled opticians. You can use and FPL-53 airspace design with all spherical surfaces, which requires that all 6 surfaces be very smooth and accurate. You can use Calcium Fluorite oiled triplet with all spherical surfaces.”

Vahe

#41 Paul G

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Posted 31 January 2014 - 12:33 PM

Vahe,

Thanks for the info.

#42 RAKing

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Posted 31 January 2014 - 02:39 PM

There is only one possible contender for a similar telescope in all respects and that is the TEC APO110FL.


The TEC 110 is probably the closest thing to a Traveler, but I wouldn't dismiss the TeleVue NP-101, either. The Traveler and TEC are really hard to get; the NP-101 is a nice, easy to find substitute and the few that I have looked through had superb views. :)

Cheers,

Ron

#43 M13 Observer

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Posted 31 January 2014 - 05:24 PM

There is only one possible contender for a similar telescope in all respects and that is the TEC APO110FL.


The TEC 110 is probably the closest thing to a Traveler, but I wouldn't dismiss the TeleVue NP-101, either. The Traveler and TEC are really hard to get; the NP-101 is a nice, easy to find substitute and the few that I have looked through had superb views. :)

Cheers,

Ron


Nope, the TV101 won't do. "In ALL respects." It is immediately disqualified as it is around 26 inches long.

#44 Jayo

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Posted 01 February 2014 - 03:08 AM

The TEC110 fluorite is indeed a worthy, high quality successor to the legendary Traveller. And it's robust TEC-designed 3.2'' rotating focusser is a pleasure to use.

#45 Fomalhaut

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Posted 01 February 2014 - 05:15 AM

“To make a fully color corrected triplet with oil space, where the color correction extends all the way to 400nm, the choices are threefold. You can use an FPL-53 aspheric oiled triplet design which makes production a bit slow and dependent on highly skilled opticians. You can use and FPL-53 airspace design with all spherical surfaces, which requires that all 6 surfaces be very smooth and accurate. You can use Calcium Fluorite oiled triplet with all spherical surfaces.” (Roland Christen)

Vahe


There is a fourth way, which Roland obviously never dared (or was technically able to?) go: You can also use Calcium Fluorite air-spaced triplet design with all spherical surfaces.
Takahashi have gone this fourth (FCT-) way and are still going it for their big (200 - 300mm) top of the line apo-triplets. But their producer of those objectives (Canon Optron) seems to be the only one being able (and/or daring) to do it this way up to the present moment.
Two or three years ago their was a poll on "Uncensored Tak" (Yahoo) if there were at least 25 people interested in a new production run of at least 25 FCT-125. Obviously, they considered going that way again with smaller apertures. And as for me, whenever I'm using my by now 20 years old FCT-100, I'm still one of the happiest 4-inch observers out there...

Chris

#46 SteveC

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Posted 01 February 2014 - 04:39 PM

The TEC looks like a very nice scope. One difference is the Traveler is aspherized and the TEC is not.


Oh yeah, well...................my TEC110 is stupendisized, I don't need no stickin aspherizing. :smirk:






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