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Retirement Refractor?

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#1 BillP

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Posted 17 August 2014 - 09:10 PM

So what would you build for your "Retirement Refractor" setup?  Been thinking about this for obvious reasons lately.  :grin:

 

For me, an ideal setup would be:

 

TEC 180 APO.  I feel this would have more than sufficient aperture.  Truth be told 152mm is more than enough based on my observations.  But this is a dream setup so I will splurge a little!

 

I would mount it alt-az.  Reason is that I enjoy it more when I have to travel around and find my way.  When I use an automated setup I feel like it is like traveling on airlines...no real sensation of traveling around and more like transporting.  Half the fun is in getting to the destination for me.

 

I would equip it with Baader Zeiss 2" and 1.25" Zeiss prism diagonals.  Reason is that I want the scope to be all refractive...and no mirrors of any sort in the train. :dancey:   That way the scatter is at an absolute minimum and also no issues with longevity as prisms have stood the test of time. :ubetcha:

 

Eyepieces would be my set of Pentax XWs from 40mm to 3.5mm. :yay:   Never feel wanting with these and like having the consistent look and feel at all focal lengths.  I would also keep my 4mm Supermono, 5mm XO, 6mm ZAO-II and 8mm AP-SPL for mono planetary.  As long as my eye can still see the difference with these top shelf minimum glass arrangements I figure makes no sense to settle for planetary.  Would also keep a bino setup with my 20mm Meade RG Wide Fields until I can find another pair that does better on planetary.

 

Would also have a pair of Nikon AE Binoculars in 7x35 for wider fields of view and 12x50's for hunting down targets.

 

Finally, would make sure to have a white light solar filter as I much prefer solar viewing in white light to Hydrogen, and with binoviewer even better.

 

Now this is a BIG scope...so of course would need something smaller around for when that is advantageous.  While I have an 80mm it is just a little too small.  And I have a 102 and it is just a little too big for this task.  So am thinking either a TMB 92SS or a AT-90EDT.  So a little more umph than an 80 but not so large as something like my TSA-102 f/8.

So that would be it...one big, one small, and all refractive from end to end for the most enjoyable views to be had. :woot:

 

What would be your setup with accessories? :question:


Edited by BillP, 18 August 2014 - 07:17 AM.


#2 Neptune

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Posted 17 August 2014 - 09:26 PM

Bill, I like your thinking!  The TEC180 should be a great performer. Maybe the only way to improve this would be an AP206EDF or TEC 200FL. With your eyepiece choices, who could ask for more!

 

David



#3 LewisM

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Posted 17 August 2014 - 09:26 PM

TEC or AP...TEC or AP... Hmmm.... TEC :)

 

Though... http://www.landseask...&products_id=38


Edited by LewisM, 17 August 2014 - 09:28 PM.


#4 jrbarnett

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Posted 17 August 2014 - 09:35 PM

Bill, I think you need an off-the-grid, solar powered dome under dark western skies, an AP 3600 mount and a fine 12" APM-LZOS triplet.

 

That wee little TEC 180 on an alt-az could be your grab & go.  :grin:

 

Regards,

 

Jim


Edited by jrbarnett, 17 August 2014 - 09:36 PM.


#5 Sarkikos

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Posted 17 August 2014 - 09:37 PM

 I would also keep my 4mm Supermono, 5mm XW, 6mm ZAO-II and 8mm AP-SPL for mono planetary.  As long as my eye can still see the difference with these top shelf minimum glass arrangements I figure makes no sense to settle for planetary.  

 

No XO's in that lineup? Soon after I looked through my XO 5.1 at planets and doubles, I said goodbye to the XW 5.

 

Mike


Edited by Sarkikos, 17 August 2014 - 09:38 PM.


#6 schang

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Posted 17 August 2014 - 10:41 PM

Retirement refractor?  Sound like a wish list.  For me, it is C102AZ, no wanting, no analytical thinking or reasoning... and it was an after thought because the AZ mount it sit on is what I need for my C90 Mak for G&G scope with slo-mo control.   All these happened AFTER I have retired, so I guess that it is my retirement refractor, competing against C90 Mak for the privilege of seeing the night sky. Got a few set of binoculars for the wide field viewing, if you count them as "refractor".  Not a "purist" but they suit me just fine. :cool:    


Edited by schang, 18 August 2014 - 06:32 AM.


#7 Derek Wong

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Posted 17 August 2014 - 11:21 PM

So what would you build for your "Retirement Refractor" setup?  Been thinking about this for obvious reasons lately.  :grin:

 

For me setup includes making things easy to access, especially as we age.  Regardless of the choice of equipment, a roll off roof or dome is ideal and the cost can be reasonable.  You can always remove the scope or have a smaller one for transport.

 

A 7-8" refractor for semi permanent mounting, a 10" Dob and 80-100mm binoculars for dark skies, and a grab and go 3-4" refractor is ideal, not far from what you said.  If I were at a dark site, I would substitute a larger Dob and put it in the observatory as well.

 

Derek



#8 Lew Chilton

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Posted 17 August 2014 - 11:30 PM

If you're an apartment dweller in a big city, as I am, and have to take your scope 80 or more miles to find dark skies, then you'll think twice about owning a big, heavy scope and mount. I just downsized to a Tak TSA-120. I certainly do miss the larger aperture and brighter images, but I must obey my old, arthritic back. I just came back from a great star party early this morning. Perfect weather and decent seeing - what more could I ask for?!

Attached Files


Edited by Lew Chilton, 17 August 2014 - 11:33 PM.


#9 BillP

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Posted 18 August 2014 - 07:18 AM

 

No XO's in that lineup? Soon after I looked through my XO 5.1 at planets and doubles, I said goodbye to the XW 5.

 

Mike

 

 

That was a typo...I corrected...was supposed to say 5XO :waytogo:



#10 tomcody

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Posted 18 August 2014 - 07:33 AM

Bill,

The only option I would suggest for your proposed system would be a Losmandy GEM G11 with digital drive and DSC's. That way you can push it to the target and have tracking ( and have DSC's available if you want to use them).

 

For me, I have my retirement system, Takahashi FS128 & FSQ106N on a Losmandy GM8  digital drive with DSC's. And I plan to add a Tak FS60Q with a Teegul Space Boy GEM for fun!

PS Eyepieces: Leica ASPH zoom & Leica 1.8 extender, Nagler 2-4 zoom, Panoptic 24 and a few Tak LE's for fun.

Rex


Edited by tomcody, 18 August 2014 - 07:52 AM.


#11 andydj5xp

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Posted 18 August 2014 - 09:18 AM

So what would you build for your "Retirement Refractor" setup?  Been thinking about this for obvious reasons lately.  :grin:

 

For me, an ideal setup would be:

 

TEC 180 APO.  I feel this would have more than sufficient aperture.  Truth be told 152mm is more than enough based on my observations.  But this is a dream setup so I will splurge a little!

 

I would mount it alt-az.  Reason is that I enjoy it more when I have to travel around and find my way.  When I use an automated setup I feel like it is like traveling on airlines...no real sensation of traveling around and more like transporting.  Half the fun is in getting to the destination for me.

 

I would equip it with Baader Zeiss 2" and 1.25" Zeiss prism diagonals.  Reason is that I want the scope to be all refractive...and no mirrors of any sort in the train. :dancey:   That way the scatter is at an absolute minimum and also no issues with longevity as prisms have stood the test of time. :ubetcha:

 

Eyepieces would be my set of Pentax XWs from 40mm to 3.5mm. :yay:   Never feel wanting with these and like having the consistent look and feel at all focal lengths.  I would also keep my 4mm Supermono, 5mm XO, 6mm ZAO-II and 8mm AP-SPL for mono planetary.  As long as my eye can still see the difference with these top shelf minimum glass arrangements I figure makes no sense to settle for planetary.  Would also keep a bino setup with my 20mm Meade RG Wide Fields until I can find another pair that does better on planetary.

 

Would also have a pair of Nikon AE Binoculars in 7x35 for wider fields of view and 12x50's for hunting down targets.

 

Finally, would make sure to have a white light solar filter as I much prefer solar viewing in white light to Hydrogen, and with binoviewer even better.

 

Now this is a BIG scope...so of course would need something smaller around for when that is advantageous.  While I have an 80mm it is just a little too small.  And I have a 102 and it is just a little too big for this task.  So am thinking either a TMB 92SS or a AT-90EDT.  So a little more umph than an 80 but not so large as something like my TSA-102 f/8.

So that would be it...one big, one small, and all refractive from end to end for the most enjoyable views to be had. :woot:

 

What would be your setup with accessories? :question:

 

I'd seriously also consider the TEC160FL. Not much less reach as compared to the 180 but substantially easier to handle.

 

For solar viewing the Baader 2" Herschel Wedge. Nothing better out there.

 

Andreas

 

P.S.: I'm NOT suggesting the Leica ASPH :) :) . You've had one for testing and know for yourself how to judge it!



#12 BillP

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Posted 18 August 2014 - 09:50 AM

 

For solar viewing the Baader 2" Herschel Wedge. Nothing better out there.

 

Andreas

 

 

Has anyone ever taken a temp reading of the objective to see how hot it actually gets when pointed at the sun for a long time and using the Herschel?  I know it should not get any hotter than anything else just sitting in the sun...maybe less so since transparent...but I would expect the glass could get to 120 degrees F or so?  I never consider a Herschel Wedge just because I don't feel comfortable letting the main objective get that hot...especially if oiled.



#13 pga7602

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Posted 18 August 2014 - 09:51 AM

Bill, may I ask which 152mm f8 you are using currently? Is it the FS152?


Edited by pga7602, 18 August 2014 - 09:53 AM.


#14 jrbarnett

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Posted 18 August 2014 - 09:59 AM

Bill, may I ask which 152mm f8 you are using currently? Is it the FS152?

I think Bill has the 152mm Lunt ED doublet currently.

 

He did a review recently on CN.

 

- Jim



#15 SteveC

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Posted 18 August 2014 - 10:03 AM

Bill,

 

You're experiencing exactly the same feelings i felt about 5 years ago. I talked it over with my wife and started saving up for my dream setup - TEC180fl and an AP mount. Then I decided, I'm done, TEC140 is good enough for me.............................though,  if I sold off my scopes,  a bunch of eyepieces, my mounts.............I might be close moneywise for a DM-6 and TEC180.

 

No, I'm done. Good luck in your journey.



#16 Scott99

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Posted 18 August 2014 - 10:04 AM

TEC180 sounds like a great plan to me!  There are some people using them on the DM6 setups, that would be a good start for me but I'd want an equatorial for tracking at some point.  That scope is going to love high power and the tracking makes a huge difference at 200x-350x.   You don't have to use goto with an equatorial, they work great in push-to mode also.

 

I already have my retirement scope, AP160, because I can't lift a heavier instrument.  If i could get a permanent mount situation I would try for a 7 or 8 inch refractor though.   I'm glad to see that a few months with a 6-inch apo has you thinking of ditching the mirror scopes!  The same thing happened to me.

 

Does Zeiss/Baader make a true 2-inch prism diagonal?  I thought the only prism they had was the smaller one that has some vignetting with 2-inch eyepieces.  Would love to see a link if this item is available.  I know they make a premium 2-inch Amici prism, was not aware of a regular one.


Edited by Scott99, 18 August 2014 - 10:05 AM.


#17 pga7602

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Posted 18 August 2014 - 10:07 AM

 

Bill, may I ask which 152mm f8 you are using currently? Is it the FS152?

I think Bill has the 152mm Lunt ED doublet currently.

 

He did a review recently on CN.

 

- Jim

 

Thank you Jim.



#18 GJJim

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Posted 18 August 2014 - 10:10 AM

 

 

For solar viewing the Baader 2" Herschel Wedge. Nothing better out there.

 

Andreas

 

 

Has anyone ever taken a temp reading of the objective to see how hot it actually gets when pointed at the sun for a long time and using the Herschel?  I know it should not get any hotter than anything else just sitting in the sun...maybe less so since transparent...but I would expect the glass could get to 120 degrees F or so?  I never consider a Herschel Wedge just because I don't feel comfortable letting the main objective get that hot...especially if oiled.

 

 

A 7" objective in full, direct sun is exposed to ~25W of solar energy. If it absorbs even 1% (doubtful), that's only 0.25W of heat. Not much to worry about in terms of the affect on a rather heavy set of glass elements. The real problems with daytime observing are black or dark parts of the OTA. These heat significantly and parts made of plastic or cheaper grades of CF can warp and distort due to the heating.


Edited by GJJim, 18 August 2014 - 10:12 AM.

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#19 andydj5xp

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Posted 18 August 2014 - 10:16 AM

 

 

For solar viewing the Baader 2" Herschel Wedge. Nothing better out there.

 

Andreas

 

 

Has anyone ever taken a temp reading of the objective to see how hot it actually gets when pointed at the sun for a long time and using the Herschel?  I know it should not get any hotter than anything else just sitting in the sun...maybe less so since transparent...but I would expect the glass could get to 120 degrees F or so?  I never consider a Herschel Wedge just because I don't feel comfortable letting the main objective get that hot...especially if oiled.

 

 

Well Bill, I'll cite an old post from a discussion in 2006 about using the TEC140 for solar viewing with a Herschel Wedge. I've transformed it into a pdf-file which is included.

 

The result in short: the radiation intensity of the sun at earth level is by far not large enough to warm up the objective, be it oiled or air spaced. The only problem might arise if the solar light is allowed to permanently be concentrated onto the (not any more used) plastic collet of the FT focuser WITHOUT having an eyepiece inserted.

 

Bottom line: the solar wedge is as safe as it gets.

 

Andreas

 

Edited the PDF with an introducing comment

 

Attached File  TEC-Yahoo_20060713_Herschel_safety1.pdf   38.56KB   23 downloads


Edited by andydj5xp, 18 August 2014 - 11:10 AM.


#20 tomcody

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Posted 18 August 2014 - 10:38 AM

TEC180 sounds like a great plan to me!  There are some people using them on the DM6 setups, that would be a good start for me but I'd want an equatorial for tracking at some point.  That scope is going to love high power and the tracking makes a huge difference at 200x-350x.   You don't have to use goto with an equatorial, they work great in push-to mode also.

 

I already have my retirement scope, AP160, because I can't lift a heavier instrument.  If i could get a permanent mount situation I would try for a 7 or 8 inch refractor though.   I'm glad to see that a few months with a 6-inch apo has you thinking of ditching the mirror scopes!  The same thing happened to me.

 

Does Zeiss/Baader make a true 2-inch prism diagonal?  I thought the only prism they had was the smaller one that has some vignetting with 2-inch eyepieces.  Would love to see a link if this item is available.  I know they make a premium 2-inch Amici prism, was not aware of a regular one.

Baader makes a 2" Zeiss prism diagonal, see Alpine Astro.com , part #PRISM-2

Rex

PS These are showing as "in stock" and are usually hard to get!


Edited by tomcody, 18 August 2014 - 10:41 AM.


#21 BillP

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Posted 18 August 2014 - 11:09 AM

 

Bill, may I ask which 152mm f8 you are using currently? Is it the FS152?

I think Bill has the 152mm Lunt ED doublet currently.

 

He did a review recently on CN.

 

- Jim

 

 

 

Yup..Lunt 152.  This will be my retirement scope I'm sure...I am exceedingly satisfied with it :grin:   I do need to get an upgraded mount though.  Pretty much set on all else except the 2" Zeiss Prism.  Will get that when I sell off my 12mm and 10mm AP-SPLs.  As far as the TEC180...it's always nice to dream :lol:



#22 russell23

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Posted 18 August 2014 - 11:16 AM

Assuming money is a consideration I would have to go with a 170-200mm achromat rather than an apochromat, but something in that aperture range is what I would like to have someday.  Refractor of course.

 

Dave



#23 mgwhittle

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Posted 18 August 2014 - 12:03 PM

I am retired at the nice young age of 46.  Change  your TEC 180 to an AP 175 and Pentax XWs to Tele Vue Ethos and you just described my "retirement" set up.  Refractors in this size range are large enough to keep you busy for years on a myriad of targets and small enough to be able to be handled by one person if they need to travel and don't requre any "fiddling" to get them to peak performance.



#24 BillP

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Posted 18 August 2014 - 01:03 PM

I am retired at the nice young age of 46.  Change  your TEC 180 to an AP 175 and Pentax XWs to Tele Vue Ethos and you just described my "retirement" set up.  Refractors in this size range are large enough to keep you busy for years on a myriad of targets and small enough to be able to be handled by one person if they need to travel and don't requre any "fiddling" to get them to peak performance.

 

 

:waytogo:  :waytogo:



#25 Scott99

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Posted 18 August 2014 - 03:18 PM


 

 

>>>Yup..Lunt 152.  This will be my retirement scope I'm sure...I am exceedingly satisfied with it :grin:   I do need to get an upgraded mount though.  Pretty much set on all else except the 2" Zeiss Prism.  Will get that when I sell off my 12mm and 10mm AP-SPLs.  As far as the TEC180...it's always nice to dream :lol:

 

You can wait for an old Astro-Physics 7" blue-tube Starfire to come up - much cheaper than TEC, that would be my 1st choice for an observatory scope.   Would be fun in alt-az mode too.   

 

For years I thought an 8" f/12 D&G would be the dream, but I do like the smaller movement range of the apo, don't have to get out of my chair.

 

thanks for the tip on the Zeiss diagonal Tom, going to check it out.


Edited by Scott99, 18 August 2014 - 03:19 PM.







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