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Equipment Discussions >> Refractors

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Phil Hosey
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 10/29/08

Loc: LaGrange, GA
Why am I having trouble finding a refractor that
      #5816888 - 04/23/13 06:49 AM

I am happy with? I just sent back the Meade 130 because I really didn't want to spend the money to upgrade the focuser as I felt the scope was already overpriced. To replace it, I went with an FLT-110, which seems a little better optically (nearly identical to the AT111 I used to have), but much more expensive. Maybe I'm asking too much of a scope for around 2k. What would you do if you were looking for a refractor for imaging only? I prefer new these days, I've had a bit of a run of back luck buying used. I gotta get off this merry-go-round.

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starbob1
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 03/11/07

Loc: IN
Re: Why am I having trouble finding a refractor that new [Re: Phil Hosey]
      #5816901 - 04/23/13 07:06 AM

Well I was am int he same boat. Had the AT111 also plus the TAK tsa FS 102 Fsq 106 Edge 9.25.

Their really are not alot of APO's out their one can get right now. I found the new iOPTRON 108 ED to be the best value and at F6 pefect for imaging. So far I have just look though it and the optics seem fine. The focuser is decent for DSLR cameras. Great looking scope also. They also make a FF for it. Bob


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Jason B
Proud father of 5!!
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Reged: 06/21/04

Loc: Mid-Michigan
Re: Why am I having trouble finding a refractor that new [Re: starbob1]
      #5816936 - 04/23/13 07:44 AM

The AT111 and AT2FF have been a very good imaging combo for me, though I am in the aperture mode right now so my AT10 is getting the most use.

Then again, this weather in Michigan of late has not allowed any photons to hit the camera in many months!


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JoeM101
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 04/09/12

Loc: 45.66086, -73.54702
Re: Why am I having trouble finding a refractor that new [Re: Jason B]
      #5817043 - 04/23/13 09:12 AM

Have been looking for the same for some time now... Have you considered the Skywatcher 120ed Schott although it is a doublet, it is an APO... the the crown element is Schott glass and second is flourite fpl53... Amazing views, no color and priced to keep 1600 new! Great reviews all around

Here's a thread Skywatcher 120


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Starhawk
Space Ranger
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Reged: 09/16/08

Loc: Tucson, Arizona
Re: Why am I having trouble finding a refractor that new [Re: JoeM101]
      #5817091 - 04/23/13 09:59 AM

The FSQ 85ED or 106 ED would appear to be off the shelf winners. The problem you have is you really need to look at focal length and f/#. The scopes you have been disappointed with had the same prescription at f/7. The 120 ED at f/7.5 is going to be similar. Another option would be the NP-127, which has a longer focal length with a faster prescription.

-Rich


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snommisbor
professor emeritus
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Reged: 06/15/09

Loc: Cedar Park, TX
Re: Why am I having trouble finding a refractor that new [Re: starbob1]
      #5817122 - 04/23/13 10:16 AM

Quote:

Well I was am int he same boat. Had the AT111 also plus the TAK tsa FS 102 Fsq 106 Edge 9.25.

Their really are not alot of APO's out their one can get right now. I found the new iOPTRON 108 ED to be the best value and at F6 pefect for imaging. So far I have just look though it and the optics seem fine. The focuser is decent for DSLR cameras. Great looking scope also. They also make a FF for it. Bob




I cant believe you were not happy with the FSQ 106. That is one of the finest scopes for AP out there. What did you not like about it? As far as the 2K range the NP101 or even a TV101 could be had on the used market. You wouldnt take the hit of the initial depreciation of a new scope. I had one and it was great for imaging.


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jrcrillyAdministrator
Refractor wienie no more
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Reged: 04/30/03

Loc: NE Ohio
Re: Why am I having trouble finding a refractor that new [Re: snommisbor]
      #5817132 - 04/23/13 10:24 AM

Quote:

I cant believe you were not happy with the FSQ 106. That is one of the finest scopes for AP out there. What did you not like about it?




It's a terrific imaging platform, but it's a lot of money to tie up in a focal length that is suitable for only a small range of targets. I buy one, use it for a while, get tired of looking at it on the shelf once I go back to smaller targets, sell it, and then miss it and get another. I'm on my third FSQ-106 now (actually, it was my second one, too; I bought it back).


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JJK
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 04/28/08

Re: Why am I having trouble finding a refractor that new [Re: jrcrilly]
      #5817183 - 04/23/13 10:55 AM

Quote:

Quote:

I cant believe you were not happy with the FSQ 106. That is one of the finest scopes for AP out there. What did you not like about it?




It's a terrific imaging platform, but it's a lot of money to tie up in a focal length that is suitable for only a small range of targets. I buy one, use it for a while, get tired of looking at it on the shelf once I go back to smaller targets, sell it, and then miss it and get another. I'm on my third FSQ-106 now (actually, it was my second one, too; I bought it back).




What CCD chip are you using with the FSQ106? I'm thinking about getting one (or a TeleVue 127) to complement the range defined by a 10" Mak-Cass through a Ceravolo 300. The Ceravolo 300 will soon get a 16803-based camera, which should play nicely with the FSQ106 too.


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terry59
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Reged: 07/18/11

Loc: Colorado, USA
Re: Why am I having trouble finding a refractor that new [Re: jrcrilly]
      #5817199 - 04/23/13 11:02 AM

Quote:

Quote:

I cant believe you were not happy with the FSQ 106. That is one of the finest scopes for AP out there. What did you not like about it?




It's a terrific imaging platform, but it's a lot of money to tie up in a focal length that is suitable for only a small range of targets. I buy one, use it for a while, get tired of looking at it on the shelf once I go back to smaller targets, sell it, and then miss it and get another. I'm on my third FSQ-106 now (actually, it was my second one, too; I bought it back).




I fail to understand this perspective. I think a good scope and two cameras with different size chips would be a good option


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jrcrillyAdministrator
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Loc: NE Ohio
Re: Why am I having trouble finding a refractor that new [Re: JJK]
      #5817202 - 04/23/13 11:03 AM

Quote:

What CCD chip are you using with the FSQ106?




I bought my first FSQ when I had the STL-11000. I never learned to love the interline 11000 chip so I went back to full frame chips with an ST-10 (which REALLY didn't need an FSQ) and then to 8300-based cameras (which don't much need it either). I have a 6303-based camera in the project pile which would benefit from the FSQ. The 16803 demands an FSQ!


p.s. I took a look at the new QSI 16803 camera last weekend - nice!

Edited by jrcrilly (04/23/13 11:16 AM)


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jrcrillyAdministrator
Refractor wienie no more
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Reged: 04/30/03

Loc: NE Ohio
Re: Why am I having trouble finding a refractor that new [Re: terry59]
      #5817231 - 04/23/13 11:21 AM

Quote:

I think a good scope and two cameras with different size chips would be a good option




The numbers get away from you pretty fast. If there were a chip 5 times the size of the one I use now (to make up the 5X difference in focal length of the FSQ) it would be astonishingly expensive - and my RC would never be able to illuminate it anyway. It's much more practical to switch telescopes.


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terry59
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Reged: 07/18/11

Loc: Colorado, USA
Re: Why am I having trouble finding a refractor that new [Re: jrcrilly]
      #5817267 - 04/23/13 11:34 AM

Quote:

Quote:

I think a good scope and two cameras with different size chips would be a good option




The numbers get away from you pretty fast. If there were a chip 5 times the size of the one I use now (to make up the 5X difference in focal length of the FSQ) it would be astonishingly expensive - and my RC would never be able to illuminate it anyway. It's much more practical to switch telescopes.




I understand your response given that you have a large scope to begin with, which I did not know. I was referring to having a single scope such as the FSQ-106 and two cameras, say one with a Kodak chip and one with a Sony chip as opposed to having multiple size scopes and one camera. It seems to me both approaches can provide satisfactory images in mot cases.


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buckeyestargazer
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 01/12/08

Loc: IN, USA
Re: Why am I having trouble finding a refractor that new [Re: terry59]
      #5817290 - 04/23/13 11:45 AM

Quote:

Quote:

Quote:

I think a good scope and two cameras with different size chips would be a good option




The numbers get away from you pretty fast. If there were a chip 5 times the size of the one I use now (to make up the 5X difference in focal length of the FSQ) it would be astonishingly expensive - and my RC would never be able to illuminate it anyway. It's much more practical to switch telescopes.




I understand your response given that you have a large scope to begin with, which I did not know. I was referring to having a single scope such as the FSQ-106 and two cameras, say one with a Kodak chip and one with a Sony chip as opposed to having multiple size scopes and one camera. It seems to me both approaches can provide satisfactory images in mot cases.




I see what you are saying Terry. I image with an APM115 f/7 and Atik 383L (KAF-8300). But I would love to have a smaller chip camera such as the newer Sony based ICX694. I'm sure that this is not the correct way to think about this based on image scale, mathematics etc, but the smaller more sensitive chip will give a narrower field of view with my 115mm. I'm especially thinking about this now that we are in galaxy season and there's not a whole lot of options out there with my current focal length and CCD. Having a smaller chip camera might make those smaller galaxies seem more manageable with my same telescope. But again, I don't really know what I'm talking about.


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jrcrillyAdministrator
Refractor wienie no more
*****

Reged: 04/30/03

Loc: NE Ohio
Re: Why am I having trouble finding a refractor that new [Re: buckeyestargazer]
      #5817307 - 04/23/13 11:56 AM

Quote:

I see what you are saying Terry. I image with an APM115 f/7 and Atik 383L (KAF-8300). But I would love to have a smaller chip camera such as the newer Sony based ICX694. I'm sure that this is not the correct way to think about this based on image scale, mathematics etc, but the smaller more sensitive chip will give a narrower field of view with my 115mm.




I see where he's coming from, too. You wouldn't really gain any detail or resolution, though - the Sony chip has pixels nearly as large as those of your 8300. You could just crop to get a smaller field.


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terry59
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Reged: 07/18/11

Loc: Colorado, USA
Re: Why am I having trouble finding a refractor that new [Re: buckeyestargazer]
      #5817315 - 04/23/13 12:04 PM

Quote:

Quote:

Quote:

Quote:

I think a good scope and two cameras with different size chips would be a good option




The numbers get away from you pretty fast. If there were a chip 5 times the size of the one I use now (to make up the 5X difference in focal length of the FSQ) it would be astonishingly expensive - and my RC would never be able to illuminate it anyway. It's much more practical to switch telescopes.




I understand your response given that you have a large scope to begin with, which I did not know. I was referring to having a single scope such as the FSQ-106 and two cameras, say one with a Kodak chip and one with a Sony chip as opposed to having multiple size scopes and one camera. It seems to me both approaches can provide satisfactory images in mot cases.




I see what you are saying Terry. I image with an APM115 f/7 and Atik 383L (KAF-8300). But I would love to have a smaller chip camera such as the newer Sony based ICX694. I'm sure that this is not the correct way to think about this based on image scale, mathematics etc, but the smaller more sensitive chip will give a narrower field of view with my 115mm. I'm especially thinking about this now that we are in galaxy season and there's not a whole lot of options out there with my current focal length and CCD. Having a smaller chip camera might make those smaller galaxies seem more manageable with my same telescope. But again, I don't really know what I'm talking about.




Hi Joel - This is something I've given lots of thought to and have played with various scenarios using CCDCalc and a personal goal of getting 1" to 3" of resolution. I'm hoping that someone with more experience can validate my thinking or explain why it won't work.


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terry59
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Loc: Colorado, USA
Re: Why am I having trouble finding a refractor that new [Re: jrcrilly]
      #5817323 - 04/23/13 12:08 PM

Quote:

Quote:

I see what you are saying Terry. I image with an APM115 f/7 and Atik 383L (KAF-8300). But I would love to have a smaller chip camera such as the newer Sony based ICX694. I'm sure that this is not the correct way to think about this based on image scale, mathematics etc, but the smaller more sensitive chip will give a narrower field of view with my 115mm.




I see where he's coming from, too. You wouldn't really gain any detail or resolution, though - the Sony chip has pixels nearly as large as those of your 8300. You could just crop to get a smaller field.




Hmmm...the newer Sony chips have much smaller pixels.

Edit: My apologies, perhaps I should have started a different thread

Edited by terry59 (04/23/13 12:18 PM)


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bilgebay
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Reged: 11/06/08

Loc: Türkiye - Istanbul and Marmar...
Re: Why am I having trouble finding a refractor that new [Re: Phil Hosey]
      #5817363 - 04/23/13 12:31 PM

I know why... And I told you this before. Hyperstar is haunting you.

Once you get used to f/2 speed nothing else will satisfy you.

I have an FSQ106 even that is too slow for me. That's why I have ordered a C8 Hyperstar lens the moment I ordered my new C8 Edge when I was downsizing from C11 Edge + Hyperstar.


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Phil Hosey
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 10/29/08

Loc: LaGrange, GA
Re: Why am I having trouble finding a refractor that new [Re: bilgebay]
      #5817481 - 04/23/13 01:25 PM

Quote:

I know why... And I told you this before. Hyperstar is haunting you.

Once you get used to f/2 speed nothing else will satisfy you.

I have an FSQ106 even that is too slow for me. That's why I have ordered a C8 Hyperstar lens the moment I ordered my new C8 Edge when I was downsizing from C11 Edge + Hyperstar.




Perhaps. My C11 and Hyperstar are currrently at Starizona getting setup. I love the simplicity of a refractor for imaging, but I'm also extrememly sensitive to cost vs performance and I feel like that I made a mistake selling my AT111 and I'm having a hard time finding something comparable at the same price.


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Jon Isaacs
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Reged: 06/16/04

Loc: San Diego and Boulevard, CA
Re: Why am I having trouble finding a refractor that new [Re: jrcrilly]
      #5817754 - 04/23/13 03:11 PM

Quote:

Quote:

I cant believe you were not happy with the FSQ 106. That is one of the finest scopes for AP out there. What did you not like about it?




It's a terrific imaging platform, but it's a lot of money to tie up in a focal length that is suitable for only a small range of targets. I buy one, use it for a while, get tired of looking at it on the shelf once I go back to smaller targets, sell it, and then miss it and get another. I'm on my third FSQ-106 now (actually, it was my second one, too; I bought it back).




John:

I can see the money issue but it does seem that a photographer needs a wide range of lenses. On a trip one might want to image a bird on a wire a quarter of a mile away and later that day image the vastness of the Grand Canyon...

Jon


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jrcrillyAdministrator
Refractor wienie no more
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Reged: 04/30/03

Loc: NE Ohio
Re: Why am I having trouble finding a refractor that new [Re: Jon Isaacs]
      #5817771 - 04/23/13 03:19 PM

Quote:

I can see the money issue but it does seem that a photographer needs a wide range of lenses. On a trip one might want to image a bird on a wire a quarter of a mile away and later that day image the vastness of the Grand Canyon...

Jon




No argument here. I did replace the FSQ with a lesser instrument of similar focal length so I'd still have access to the same targets. Wasn't the same, though...

Since the TOA left I have quite a hole in the lineup; jumps from 530mm to 2400mm. Dunno what will fill it yet.


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starbob1
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 03/11/07

Loc: IN
Re: Why am I having trouble finding a refractor that new [Re: snommisbor]
      #5817837 - 04/23/13 03:47 PM

Where did I say I did not like the FSQ.Hell yes I like it. Amazing scope for wider field objects and visual. But I did that for a year and wanted aperture on my pier in the observatory. The Edge scopes just came out and I wanted the 11in Edge and sold the FSQ and got the Edge. Since I am not rich I had to sell the FSQ. I wish I could keep all of the scopes I have own but money is tight. This iOptron 108mm f6 could be a really nice imaging scope for the money, Yes it can never be a super APO but I do imaging for fun not to impress others. Bob

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Starhawk
Space Ranger
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Reged: 09/16/08

Loc: Tucson, Arizona
Re: Why am I having trouble finding a refractor that new [Re: jrcrilly]
      #5817844 - 04/23/13 03:49 PM

This is why I have never sold a telescope. If I move on, I know I won't completely abandon the line of thought which got me to use the previous scope. Of course, that means I have 10 telescopes, now.

And I now see Sedat is trying to make me feel guilty about Hyperstar.

-Rich


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bilgebay
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Re: Why am I having trouble finding a refractor that new [Re: Starhawk]
      #5817875 - 04/23/13 04:04 PM

Not at all Rich. I cannot thank you enough for introducing the Hyperstar idea to me.

I cannot wait for the weekend to try out the C8 Edge - Hyperstar Duo. Hope weather gives me a break for that.


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Starhawk
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Reged: 09/16/08

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Re: Why am I having trouble finding a refractor that new [Re: bilgebay]
      #5817882 - 04/23/13 04:09 PM

Sedat,

You embarrass me. You are welcome for any help I have given such an advanced observer.

What camera are you using? I have a C8 OTA which was always better than my C11 I've been curious about trying this out with.

-Rich


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bilgebay
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Re: Why am I having trouble finding a refractor that new [Re: Starhawk]
      #5817897 - 04/23/13 04:18 PM

I will be using Atik 460 EX mono and SXVR-M25C OSC.

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Adam S
scholastic sledgehammer
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Reged: 12/21/05

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Re: Why am I having trouble finding a refractor that new [Re: Phil Hosey]
      #5818527 - 04/23/13 07:44 PM

Here's what I'd do:

http://www.cloudynights.com/ubbthreads/showflat.php/Cat/0/Number/5773014/page...


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Phil Hosey
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 10/29/08

Loc: LaGrange, GA
Re: Why am I having trouble finding a refractor that new [Re: Adam S]
      #5818607 - 04/23/13 08:42 PM

Quote:

Here's what I'd do:

http://www.cloudynights.com/ubbthreads/showflat.php/Cat/0/Number/5773014/page...




Oh wow I thought he had sold it..I PM'd him but it's been 10 days since the last post, I hope he still has it...that's the kind of thing I've been looking for.


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mmalik
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Re: Why am I having trouble finding a refractor that new [Re: bilgebay]
      #5818862 - 04/23/13 11:02 PM

Quote:

I know why... And I told you this before. Hyperstar is haunting you.

Once you get used to f/2 speed nothing else will satisfy you.




This may be true but OP needs to wean himself from Hyperstar which in my opinion is a crude platform, for the lack of the better word and without getting into whole another discussion of how light gets converged onto the unit area of a sensor (a figment of fast or slow).

To OP, you could get AT65EDQ... for the interim, and save more money for later when your mind is made up and may be have a better budget to widen your options. Regards


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Phil Hosey
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 10/29/08

Loc: LaGrange, GA
Re: Why am I having trouble finding a refractor that new [Re: mmalik]
      #5818890 - 04/23/13 11:13 PM

Quote:

Quote:

I know why... And I told you this before. Hyperstar is haunting you.

Once you get used to f/2 speed nothing else will satisfy you.




This may be true but OP needs to wean himself from Hyperstar which in my opinion is a crude platform, for the lack of the better word and without getting into whole another discussion of how light gets converged onto the unit area of a sensor (a figment of fast or slow).

To OP, you could get AT65EDQ... for the interim, and save more money for later when your mind is made up and may be have a better budget to widen your options. Regards




AT65EDQ is a nice scope and would be great if I were going for wide fields, but this time of year I'm looking toward longer focal lengths.

I am curious about your thoughts regarding Hyperstar, but since this forum is for refractors, I should probably start the thread somewhere else. I think I'll start it in the Cats forum.


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Phil Hosey
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 10/29/08

Loc: LaGrange, GA
Re: Why am I having trouble finding a refractor that new [Re: starbob1]
      #5819326 - 04/24/13 09:06 AM

Whoohoo! Refractor problem solved! I bought RAKing's TMB130SS.

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bilgebay
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Loc: Türkiye - Istanbul and Marmar...
Re: Why am I having trouble finding a refractor that new [Re: Phil Hosey]
      #5819332 - 04/24/13 09:12 AM

Wow! So quick!

Congratulations!

I love my TMB92SS. Hope this scope finally brings happiness to you


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Phil Hosey
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 10/29/08

Loc: LaGrange, GA
Re: Why am I having trouble finding a refractor that new [Re: bilgebay]
      #5819461 - 04/24/13 10:35 AM

Quote:

:) Wow! So quick!

Congratulations!

I love my TMB92SS. Hope this scope finally brings happiness to you




Thanks Sedat. Yes, I have been waiting for a deal like this to come along. The Meade 6000 130 was pretty nice optically but by the time I upgraded the focuser it would have cost the same as the TMB130, and since the TMB has a better reputation, well, I just had to do it. Now my Hyperstar should also be on the way back so we'll see how that goes as well.


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jrcrillyAdministrator
Refractor wienie no more
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Loc: NE Ohio
Re: Why am I having trouble finding a refractor that new [Re: Phil Hosey]
      #5819472 - 04/24/13 10:40 AM

Quote:

Whoohoo! Refractor problem solved! I bought RAKing's TMB130SS.




Nice instrument. That's gonna be a notch or two above the Meade!


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Jason B
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Reged: 06/21/04

Loc: Mid-Michigan
Re: Why am I having trouble finding a refractor that new [Re: jrcrilly]
      #5819538 - 04/24/13 11:12 AM

Congrats!

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snommisbor
professor emeritus
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Reged: 06/15/09

Loc: Cedar Park, TX
Re: Why am I having trouble finding a refractor that new [Re: Jason B]
      #5819544 - 04/24/13 11:17 AM

Nice

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RAKing
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Reged: 12/28/07

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Re: Why am I having trouble finding a refractor that new [Re: Phil Hosey]
      #5819677 - 04/24/13 12:27 PM

Phil,

Thanks a lot. This has been a great scope for me and I was reluctant to let it go. But it just got "squished" in the numbers game and I realized that it needed a new home.

That ad has been running since the first of April and even though there were hundreds of lookers, no one seemed to want it. I was prepared to keep it and had even told the wife that it was staying. Then all of a sudden I get three PMs overnight. Thanks again!

I hope you enjoy it as much as I have.

Cheers,

Ron


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Scott BeithAdministrator
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Re: Why am I having trouble finding a refractor that new [Re: Phil Hosey]
      #5819706 - 04/24/13 12:39 PM

Quote:

Whoohoo! Refractor problem solved! I bought RAKing's TMB130SS.




Excellent choice!


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NHRob
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Reged: 08/27/04

Loc: New Hampshire
Re: Why am I having trouble finding a refractor that new [Re: Scott Beith]
      #5819941 - 04/24/13 02:38 PM

You have chosen ....... wisely!

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Adam S
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Reged: 12/21/05

Loc: Gunnison, Colorado
Re: Why am I having trouble finding a refractor that new [Re: Phil Hosey]
      #5821029 - 04/24/13 11:04 PM

Congratulations, I think that's the best no compromise value in amateur astronomy. Looking forward to your opinions and comparisons with other refractors you've had.

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mmalik
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Reged: 01/13/12

Loc: USA
Re: Why am I having trouble finding a refractor that new [Re: Phil Hosey]
      #5821070 - 04/24/13 11:23 PM

Quote:

Whoohoo! Refractor problem solved! I bought RAKing's TMB130SS.




Congrats; this should do it for you.


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JoeM101
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Reged: 04/09/12

Loc: 45.66086, -73.54702
Re: Why am I having trouble finding a refractor that new [Re: mmalik]
      #5821080 - 04/24/13 11:30 PM

awesome! i'm looking at one myself.. getting the itch!

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