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frebieAdministrator
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Astro-Tech 12" truss tube RC production starting
      #6137143 - 10/14/13 02:15 PM Attachment (531 downloads)

Attached is an image of the Astro-Tech 12" truss tube Ritchey-Chrétien. Production is due to start this month, with shipments from our stock expected to start before the end of the year. Anticipated price is expected to be about $4495. An AT12RCT product page will be available shortly to allow pre-orders.

The first production model 16" Astro-Tech truss tube RC is expected to be completed around the end of this month, with full production expected to start next month. Availability expected to be by the end of the year or shortly thereafter.


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frebieAdministrator
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Re: Astro-Tech 12" truss tube RC new [Re: frebie]
      #6137146 - 10/14/13 02:16 PM Attachment (467 downloads)

Here's the rear cell of the Astro-Tech 12" truss tube RC.

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skyward_eyes
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Re: Astro-Tech 12" truss tube RC new [Re: frebie]
      #6137218 - 10/14/13 02:48 PM

Thats awesome!

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frebieAdministrator
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Re: Astro-Tech 12" truss tube RC new [Re: skyward_eyes]
      #6137553 - 10/14/13 05:46 PM Attachment (325 downloads)

Here's the front cell of the 12" Astro-Tech carbon fiber truss tube RC.

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zjc26138
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Re: Astro-Tech 12" truss tube RC new [Re: frebie]
      #6137770 - 10/14/13 08:10 PM

I want one! Looks like I'm going to need a bigger mount.

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gavinm
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Re: Astro-Tech 12" truss tube RC new [Re: zjc26138]
      #6137822 - 10/14/13 08:44 PM

How does that compare price-wise and weight-wise to the normal aluminium tube 12" OTA? Will that still be available?

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AstronomicsAdministrator
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Re: Astro-Tech 12" truss tube RC new [Re: gavinm]
      #6138060 - 10/14/13 11:13 PM

Current model is $3995. No clue on the weight yet.

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Sunspot
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Re: Astro-Tech 12" truss tube RC production starting new [Re: frebie]
      #6138833 - 10/15/13 11:25 AM

That really looks sweet! Sure wish someone would offer a high quality planetary DK or Classical Cass in that price range. (Just thinking out loud)

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Jason B
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Re: Astro-Tech 12" truss tube RC production starting new [Re: Sunspot]
      #6138883 - 10/15/13 11:57 AM

Is there going to be a 10"?

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MikeBOKC
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Re: Astro-Tech 12" truss tube RC production starting new [Re: Jason B]
      #6140473 - 10/16/13 09:14 AM

Any mount recommendations? And how would these scopes perform visually? Looks like an ideal big aperture acquisition for permanent setup in a club observatory . . .

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AstronomicsAdministrator
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Re: Astro-Tech 12" truss tube RC production starting new [Re: MikeBOKC]
      #6140834 - 10/16/13 12:42 PM

Sunspot - The DK been talked about as it would be super simple since the mirror production is already there, but the demand is very limited so I don't think I would put that into production.

JasonB - I have asked for an 8" and a 10".

MikeBOKC - Not sure on the mount yet. I would suspect a G11 class would work well, but you know how you nutty astro-photographers can get. lol


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MikeBOKC
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Re: Astro-Tech 12" truss tube RC production starting new [Re: Astronomics]
      #6141016 - 10/16/13 02:15 PM

Hey I am not so nutty as to get into AP!

How would these scopes perform for visual use?


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AstronomicsAdministrator
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Re: Astro-Tech 12" truss tube RC production starting new [Re: MikeBOKC]
      #6141036 - 10/16/13 02:28 PM

It comes down to a personal opinion after viewing it. Technically it should be "OK" visually, however due to the large secondary obstruction you would assume contrast would take a hit. However, there have been plenty of people on CN that have used our RCs visually and have been amazed by the results. I know this is a vague answer, but it is the best I have from the user base.

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Mary B
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Re: Astro-Tech 12" truss tube RC production starting new [Re: Astronomics]
      #6143225 - 10/17/13 03:53 PM

I have used my 6 inch RC visually on Jupiter with good results, contrast was okay compared to my Z10 dob. Image was sharper in the RC, but I think I have a mirror issue in the dob.

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Jussi Koponen
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Re: Astro-Tech 12" truss tube RC production starting new [Re: Mary B]
      #6160225 - 10/27/13 05:09 AM

Hi

I just bought GSO 12" Carbon RC and found that attaching the focuser directly to main mirror is a design flaw. that kind of design makes too much stress for main mirror, perhaps not for DSLR but a CCD and a filterwheel is too much.

Im not sure, but does this one has same design?


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_k8jb_
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Re: Astro-Tech 12" truss tube RC production starting new [Re: frebie]
      #6177859 - 11/05/13 05:16 PM

Couple of questions. How long are the dove-tails, they look a lot shorter than on my AT10RCF. I'm guessing maybe 15" max? Does that give enough length for balancing weights when you swap a heavy camera for a light one or do you have to move the OTA itself on the mount?

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frebieAdministrator
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Re: Astro-Tech 12" truss tube RC production starting new [Re: _k8jb_]
      #6178945 - 11/06/13 10:32 AM

They are 14" long. As for balancing, that depends on the length of the dovetail slot on the mount (16" on a Paramount MX, for example, versus 8" on a CGE Pro) and how much leeway that gives you for adding weights versus moving the OTA, as well as how much of a weight change you are contemplating.

P.S. New images and specs are up here: https://www.astronomics.com/12-f8-truss-tube-ritchey-chrtien-optical-tube_p20...


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mclewis1
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Re: Astro-Tech 12" truss tube RC production starting new [Re: frebie]
      #6179183 - 11/06/13 12:43 PM

The weight is interesting ...

AT12RC steel tube with no focuser - 49.3 lbs
AT12RCT truss tube with 2" focuser - 52 lbs

Clearly weight won't be a reason to choose the truss model.

So assuming I'm reading the specs correctly for the additional $500 it appears you get a very unique looking scope, a 2" crayford focuser, less temperature induced focus change, and perhaps somewhat better cool down characteristics ... anything else?


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AstronomicsAdministrator
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Re: Astro-Tech 12" truss tube RC production starting new [Re: mclewis1]
      #6181340 - 11/07/13 03:51 PM

I would say the cooling will be much better then somewhat. The open tube should allow a much more efficient cooling time when combined with the Quartz optics.

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Relativist
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Re: Astro-Tech 12" truss tube RC production starting new [Re: Astronomics]
      #6181826 - 11/07/13 08:49 PM

Interesting question, because I've wondered the same thing about carbon tubed reflectors. When I asked people,that purchased such OTAs they mainly indicate the focus issue as the motivator. Understandable for those imaging for long periods of time I think.

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Phil Cowell
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Re: Astro-Tech 12" truss tube RC production starting new [Re: Astronomics]
      #6186117 - 11/10/13 09:03 AM

Observatory gets completed in Spring. The 16" looks like its going to have a home in it.

Phil

Quote:

I would say the cooling will be much better then somewhat. The open tube should allow a much more efficient cooling time when combined with the Quartz optics.




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AstronomicsAdministrator
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Re: Astro-Tech 12" truss tube RC production starting new [Re: Phil Cowell]
      #6187752 - 11/10/13 10:58 PM

Get ready for this, we have a 20" coming out as well.

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Joe C
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Re: Astro-Tech 12" truss tube RC production starting new [Re: Astronomics]
      #6187942 - 11/11/13 02:40 AM

I have a Paramount ME and a STL-11000M if you need any of them tested or demo'd at the 2014 WSP

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Phil Cowell
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Re: Astro-Tech 12" truss tube RC production starting new [Re: Astronomics]
      #6188523 - 11/11/13 12:33 PM

Hi Mike,
You have any details, cost availability. Def interested in a 20" for home.
Phil


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AstronomicsAdministrator
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Re: Astro-Tech 12" truss tube RC production starting new [Re: Phil Cowell]
      #6188653 - 11/11/13 01:37 PM

Around $12K, hopefully lower. I would say in the next 6 months. The polishing machines are ready, but they may not start the project until they move into their new $6,000,000 facility.

We will also have the 10" in a truss shortly and I asked about making an 8" truss.


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Phil Cowell
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Re: Astro-Tech 12" truss tube RC production starting new [Re: Astronomics]
      #6188704 - 11/11/13 01:58 PM

Hi Mike,
Let me know when things start and sign me up for one. Usual contact info.
Phil


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AstronomicsAdministrator
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Re: Astro-Tech 12" truss tube RC production starting new [Re: Phil Cowell]
      #6188816 - 11/11/13 03:01 PM

I can put you on the list for the first one if you wish. No commitment needed.

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Phil Cowell
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Re: Astro-Tech 12" truss tube RC production starting new [Re: Astronomics]
      #6188895 - 11/11/13 03:49 PM

Hi Mike,
Works for me.
Thanks
Phil


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gr0uch0
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Re: Astro-Tech 12" truss tube RC production starting new [Re: Phil Cowell]
      #6195518 - 11/14/13 09:13 PM

Will this model have the same (I'm sorry, but) inexplicably silly design of having the focuser attached to the mirror cell? Based on what some (now previous) owners have told me that would not support the imaging train I use, no matter how appealing it is otherwise. Has anything thought been given to NOT doing it this way? I know 3 folks that sold their AT RC's because of this shortcoming.

Along those lines, what about the capacity of the focuser itself? I'm really not trying to be harsh here, but the crayford-style focuser in the photo doesn't inspire a lot of confidence.

Mark

Edited by gr0uch0 (11/14/13 09:15 PM)


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Jussi Koponen
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Re: Astro-Tech 12" truss tube RC production starting new [Re: gr0uch0]
      #6195599 - 11/14/13 09:59 PM

I earlier tried to ask same thing as gr0uch0. Can we have an answer for is there this same design flaw in these new scopes?

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AstronomicsAdministrator
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Re: Astro-Tech 12" truss tube RC production starting new [Re: Jussi Koponen]
      #6195611 - 11/14/13 10:08 PM

I know we have sold thousands of the scopes and people are using them just fine with various imaging trains. The ones we have out for research purposes have never reported a problem over a 4 year period. I don't have an answer for what seems to be an extremely small sample size. If they all came back defective then I would say the design is quite flawed, however that has not been the case.

The focuser ends up being a stop gap for most folks as they already have a focuser they prefer to use like a Feather Touch, Moonlight, or something super exotic that has remote capabilities.


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gr0uch0
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Re: Astro-Tech 12" truss tube RC production starting new [Re: Astronomics]
      #6195696 - 11/14/13 11:11 PM

Fair enough. Seems odd that 3 imagers of the relatively few that I know had issues with sagging with cameras, filter wheels and rotators. Sweet scope otherwise, but this design option still seems like a bit of a head scratcher.

Edited by gr0uch0 (11/14/13 11:13 PM)


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AstronomicsAdministrator
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Re: Astro-Tech 12" truss tube RC production starting new [Re: gr0uch0]
      #6195736 - 11/14/13 11:37 PM

I can only assume the designer believed it was the best way to keep the rear cell and camera aligned. I sounds like the some of the collimation screws weren't tightened down. I mean since the entire system is one piece it would only sag if something wasn't tight. At least that is what my non engineer brain tells me. I might guess they had the 6" scopes and that sounds like a ton of weight on the back of the scope. But like I said in another thread, we have had people with 15 pounds on the back and didn't have an issue. They of course had an insane focuser to support that much weight. And I would assume a heck of an insurance policy. lol

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gr0uch0
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Re: Astro-Tech 12" truss tube RC production starting new [Re: Astronomics]
      #6196408 - 11/15/13 11:43 AM

I can only go with what I was told anecdotally, but these were the 10" versions. Not sure what two were replaced with, but the one was replaced with the DSI RC10C where the focuser and mirror cell are decidedly separate.

Are you going to recommend a particular focuser for heavier imaging trains? Do you happen to know what focusers are being used in these 15lb imaging trains?

To that end, what will the backfocus be?

Thanks Michael,
Mark

Edited by gr0uch0 (11/15/13 01:55 PM)


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JoseBorrero
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Re: Astro-Tech 12" truss tube RC production starting new [Re: gr0uch0]
      #6199629 - 11/17/13 10:27 AM

not to sour any soup here but the 12RC is out in china already http://www.astroshop.com.cn/product_detail-1257.htm

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mattflastro
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Re: Astro-Tech 12" truss tube RC production starting new [Re: JoseBorrero]
      #6200067 - 11/17/13 02:41 PM

Quote:

not to sour any soup here but the 12RC is out in china already http://www.astroshop.com.cn/product_detail-1257.htm




don't need to go to China, it's available in Europe too:
http://www.teleskop-express.de/shop/product_info.php/language/en/info/p6512_G...


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frebieAdministrator
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Re: Astro-Tech 12" truss tube RC production starting new [Re: mattflastro]
      #6200376 - 11/17/13 05:46 PM

I suspect that while the ads may be out in China and Europe, it is doubtful that any actual scopes are available there yet since the first production run only started last week, The China ad shows a quantity of zero sold and the European ad says "Ask for delivery time." That doesn't sound like the scope is actually available in either place.

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mattflastro
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Re: Astro-Tech 12" truss tube RC production starting new [Re: frebie]
      #6200974 - 11/18/13 12:53 AM

Quote:

I suspect that while the ads may be out in China and Europe, it is doubtful that any actual scopes are available there yet since the first production run only started last week, The China ad shows a quantity of zero sold and the European ad says "Ask for delivery time." That doesn't sound like the scope is actually available in either place.



I only posted the European ad link to show that it's not just an isolated dealer who's making promises, it's basically the most important GSO dealers in USA, Europe and China who are gearing up to sell this scope. OF course being in the USA I'd buy from our USA dealer .
The European price is way higher so that's a non starter . The Chinese price is the same as from Astronomics but after adding shipping and duty plus the risk of damage in transit and lack of local support (should someone buy from China instead of Astronomics) it's definitely not an option . These ads are just a good indicator that the scope is real and coming soon. Looks very promising.


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JoseBorrero
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Re: Astro-Tech 12" truss tube RC production starting new [Re: frebie]
      #6202449 - 11/18/13 08:14 PM

good point! thanks
Quote:

I suspect that while the ads may be out in China and Europe, it is doubtful that any actual scopes are available there yet since the first production run only started last week, The China ad shows a quantity of zero sold and the European ad says "Ask for delivery time." That doesn't sound like the scope is actually available in either place.




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Theaetetus
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Reged: 05/19/13

Re: Astro-Tech 12" truss tube RC production starting new [Re: frebie]
      #6231936 - 12/03/13 06:34 PM

These scopes should be an amazing value. However, from my perspective the major problem with these scopes is the lack of a dedicated field flattener. It is well known that RCs suffer from significant field curvature, and this is evident with my Astro-Tech 8” RC even with a medium sized 15.15mm x 15.15mm CCD chip. Are there plans to offer a field flattener for these scopes?

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MikeBOKC
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Re: Astro-Tech 12" truss tube RC production starting new [Re: Theaetetus]
      #6232265 - 12/03/13 09:35 PM

There is a lengthy thread up in Cats and Casses where Astronomics says yes flatteners are being designed for each size scope, to be threaded to the rear cell.

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Jason B
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Re: Astro-Tech 12" truss tube RC production starting new [Re: Theaetetus]
      #6242547 - 12/09/13 12:27 PM

Quote:

These scopes should be an amazing value. However, from my perspective the major problem with these scopes is the lack of a dedicated field flattener. It is well known that RCs suffer from significant field curvature, and this is evident with my Astro-Tech 8” RC even with a medium sized 15.15mm x 15.15mm CCD chip. Are there plans to offer a field flattener for these scopes?




Astro-Tech's AT2FF works great for me with a Canon DSLR and a 8" RC. It also works just fine on the 12" as well. It is not a reducer but is a very effective field flattener.


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mattflastro
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Re: Astro-Tech 12" truss tube RC production starting new [Re: Jason B]
      #6246862 - 12/11/13 11:43 AM

IS the 12" in stock now?
Your webpage still shows it pre-order and a price of $4495 .
Other vendors claim to have it in stock and at a price of $3995 . I might be interested in one and trying to decide .


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AstronomicsAdministrator
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Re: Astro-Tech 12" truss tube RC production starting new [Re: mattflastro]
      #6247095 - 12/11/13 01:41 PM

I looked around at a few dealers and saw a price of $5,000, but they weren't in stock. What dealers are you talking about?

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mclewis1
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Re: Astro-Tech 12" truss tube RC production starting new [Re: Astronomics]
      #6247313 - 12/11/13 03:31 PM

Mallincam

Rock's VRC12T is being advertised at Intro Price: $3999.99 US funds plus shipping (from the Ottawa area). He says he's received his first units.


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Re: Astro-Tech 12" truss tube RC production starting new [Re: mclewis1]
      #6247397 - 12/11/13 04:11 PM

They have started to ship the units out around the world. When I was there they were prepping 250 units.

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astronomer2002
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Re: Astro-Tech 12" truss tube RC production starting new [Re: Theaetetus]
      #6289422 - 01/03/14 11:26 AM

I am in the market for a 12 inch RC, and primarily a decently priced truss version, but haven't jumped in due to concerns over the mirror cell issues alluded to in this thread. I am not overly concerned that the focusser is attached to the cell as the mirror itself should float in the cell so any miniscule flexure induced in the cell by the imaging train would show up as a shift in collimation rather than astigmatism - unless, of course, the mirror is very tightly fixed in the cell.

My understanding is that other manufacturers who use the GSO mirror set in the GSO cell have had issues with astigmatism. This is either down to poor optics or poor mirror support.

I don't like the sound of a mirror fixed so solid it doesn't move. That to me says 'astigmatism'. I have built many telescopes over the years and learnt early on how easy it was to induce astigmatism in a 12 inch mirror by either clamping it too tightly or only giving it 3 points of contact at the 70% zone. I then tried two rings of Silicone (a new idea in the 70's) with mirror held from moving about horizontally by three close fitting posts around the peripheral, but this also induced astigmatism. When I made a 9 point cell my astigmatism issues vanished. I concluded that Silicone alone may work on smaller mirrors but it is not suitable as the main support medium for larger ones.

Can someone here tell me if the main mirror rests on 9 point suspension (at least) and that the mirror is not clamped so tight as to allow no movement?

Thanks in advance

Ian B


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gr0uch0
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Re: Astro-Tech 12" truss tube RC production starting new [Re: astronomer2002]
      #6335631 - 01/25/14 08:59 PM

It really is a shame as this is an otherwise promising line of scopes. The designers seem to be of the opinion that DSLR's are where it's at these days. Very 2001 thinking on their part, but I have no doubt whatsoever that when I put a MMOAG, rotator, large format CCD+filter wheel, this thing is gonna flex like a bamboo in the wind.

It's amazing to me that this has not been addressed. The only thing that amazes me more is the denial of the issue in the first place. "We haven't heard about this" isn't much of an answer. I know 3 people myself who had this issue and it's not like I know that many people in the first place. Actually, the only person I know who didn't have this issue is a guy who uses an color CCD.

DSI scopes with built-in focuser, fans and secondary heaters is still a better bargain, despite the higher "cost". I have zero connection with DSI other than wanting one really, really badly.


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AstronomicsAdministrator
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Re: Astro-Tech 12" truss tube RC production starting new [Re: gr0uch0]
      #6336626 - 01/26/14 12:49 PM

People put plenty of gear on the back of the RCs for the better part of 5 years. As far as the other scopes go, I am sure they are very nice instruments, but I have no doubt in ability to image with the instruments. We have thousands of satisfied customers that feel the same way. I open up the mags monthly and see our RCs credited with the photography and the users generally have large amounts of gear on the back.

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gr0uch0
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Re: Astro-Tech 12" truss tube RC production starting new [Re: Astronomics]
      #6361694 - 02/07/14 11:16 AM

What's your return policy? I admit that I am very interested in one of the scopes, but until I see for myself that flexing isn't an issue with my setup, I'm wary. The CAA+Takometer, MMOAG and STL-11000M is quite heavy.
What focusers are you guys recommending?


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Re: Astro-Tech 12" truss tube RC production starting new [Re: gr0uch0]
      #6364115 - 02/08/14 01:47 PM

How much does your current train weigh? As far a focusers go you are looking at a Moonlight or Feather Touch 3" or 3.5", so tack on another 3 pounds with the adapters.

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Re: Astro-Tech 12" truss tube RC production starting new [Re: Astronomics]
      #6364121 - 02/08/14 01:48 PM

Also I am unsure how the CAA and Takometer would attach to the 117x1 metric thread on the rear of the RC.

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Re: Astro-Tech 12" truss tube RC production starting new [Re: Astronomics]
      #6367371 - 02/09/14 11:04 PM

Hmm... well I have this scope with a FT 3.5" focuser, SB MX mount, and a pretty heavy image train. If the weather ever clears up I will post some graphs. I am happy with the scope's build quality, but there were a couple of finger prints on the secondary I would rather were not there

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melvy
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Re: Astro-Tech 12" truss tube RC production starting new [Re: astronomer2002]
      #6533579 - 05/19/14 03:36 AM

The mirror is not clamped so tight as to allow no movement.

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MNS01
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Re: Astro-Tech 12" truss tube RC production starting new [Re: melvy]
      #6613974 - 07/02/14 11:10 PM Attachment (23 downloads)

I have one and the mirror has been glued into the primary holder with a silicon like substance - photogrephic tests show classic signs of pinched optics. Similar posts in other forums also point to this problem. Even cutting out the silicon has not fixed it.

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Re: Astro-Tech 12" truss tube RC production starting new [Re: MNS01]
      #6615844 - 07/04/14 02:25 AM

Some of the sag reports I saw dealt with the stock 2 inch focuser which is not up to a heavy imaging train. Okay for a dslr or smaller ccd but start adding beyond that or use large size imaging chips and a better focuser is a must. I have zero issues with my AT6RC with a cannon 450 d and at2ff hanging off the back.

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