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Equipment Discussions >> Refractors

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mmalik
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FSQ-106EDXIII F5 Astrograph for Imaging
      #5600277 - 01/01/13 08:28 PM

A lot seems to have transpired with the big little scope from Takahashi, FSQ-106EDX. I thought it will be worthwhile to have a dedicated discussion around ordering/adapting/using/enhancing this scope for imaging, especially DSLR imaging.

ED Models:
•FSQ-106ED........................(Old)
•FSQ-106ED New “Q”............[with ‘Captain’s Wheel’]
FSQ-106EDX (I, II, III)......[without ‘Captain’s Wheel’]

Note: Discussion is more about FSQ-106EDXIII; also would like to know more about I, II, III specs and other details/differences. Pictures of your imaging setup & experience with adapting the ‘III’ to your needs are welcome!

Pictures Links:
Comparison of old FSQ and New "Q"...
FSQ-106EDXIII...

Here is a relevant quote from OPT... “Remember, the "EDX" version of the FSQ-106ED is the same as the "New Q", but comes with different adapters so that you can attach a camera rotator out of the box. This adapter cuts out 25mm of back focus (178mm vs 153mm) making the EDX much more suitable to photographic use. Adapters for visual use are available.”

Relevant Specs of 106EDX:
•Modified Four Element Double ED Petzval
•‘Reduced’ 153mm back-focus
•88mm image circle
•Accepts new F3.6 focal reducer
•Built-in camera adjuster capable of lifting up to 11 pounds
•4” rack and pinion focuser
•NO ‘Captain’s Wheel’
•530mm FL, f/5


To kick off the discussion, following are some relevant quotes from the DSLR forum....

Quote:

Quote:

Few questions:

@hytham, what’s the difference between FSQ-106EDX and FSQ-106ED?




The EDX is modified for imaging purposes.

The EDX comes with a built in CAA which reduces the amount of back-focus from 178mm to 153mm allowing you to attach a variety of adapters to suit your imaging needs, but does not have the captain's wheel or visual accessories associated with the FSQ-106ED. The purpose was to eliminate any potential flexure in the imaging train with the new casting design and increase the maximum supported weight.




Quote:

Quote:

Thanks for the info; couple more questions:

1. Is there any difference between EDXIII & EDX?
2. Is CC/FF still needed with EDX?
3. How good is the focuser on EDX; can/should it be upgraded to Feather Touch, if yes which one exactly?

If you can post a pic of your EDX, especially the back-end setup, that will be great. Thx




To answer your questions:

1) Yes. Heavier casting design for larger imaging trains. The ED, EDX(I,II,III) can all be used visually, but the progression (again from research and what I have been told) from I - III is the support of larger imaging trains. The III can support 5kg (11 lbs). They're all the same cost, so why not go with the EDX III imaging system instead of the ED was my thought.

2) From the images I have seen produced with it. No. The optics from the ED to the EDXIII are still the same. The quadruplet is supposed to eliminate coma and creates an impeccable flat field right out to the edge of the viewing/imaging area - it's crazy sharp. After using it at a friend’s house to try it out for myself, I was amazed by the beautiful quality of the optics and how clean it was. That is what convinced me to get one. The quality of glass and engineering.

3) No need, IMO. It comes with a 10:1 focusing system that is very smooth with great precision. Those that do upgrade it, want to motorize with the Starizona system whereas the Robofocus can also provide you with the necessary precision with the stock focuser. IMO, it's a matter of subjectivity.

Here are some photos of another individual's set up which is going to be very close to what I will have. Mine is in transit (should be here this week) and don't have all the necessary gear - still deciding on CCD and need to buy the right parts to connect the DSLR.

Link...




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mikeschuster
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Re: FSQ-106EDXIII F5 Astrograph for Imaging new [Re: mmalik]
      #5600612 - 01/02/13 12:58 AM

I love my FSQ, but nothing is perfect. A bahtinov mask is a nice tool for checking FSQ image quality. Spend a night slewing the tube across the sky and use the mask to check for collimation, focuser draw tube flexure and defocus as the night cools. Poorly collimated FSQ's may need a trip to the factory. Draw tube flexure can be a problem with heavy loads. Temperature dependent focus is an issue for long narrowband exposures.
Mike


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mmalik
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Re: FSQ-106EDXIII F5 Astrograph for Imaging new [Re: mikeschuster]
      #5600634 - 01/02/13 01:19 AM

Mike, can you confirm your model? I presume it is NOT 'Q' or, the focus of this discussion, 'X', correct? Thx

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mikeschuster
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Re: FSQ-106EDXIII F5 Astrograph for Imaging new [Re: mmalik]
      #5600639 - 01/02/13 01:25 AM

It's a FSQ-106EDXIII. A pic: http://mschuster.zenfolio.com/img/s2/v72/p1360108636.png

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mmalik
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Re: FSQ-106EDXIII F5 Astrograph for Imaging new [Re: mikeschuster]
      #5600669 - 01/02/13 02:04 AM

Thanks Mike; I am not an owner of 106EDXIII, hence the curiosity to know more about ‘em. I am a bit puzzled to hear about flexure & collimation if that’s the case since that goes counter to the very reason for the new design of 106EDXIII in my opinion. Please elaborate if you like, i.e., your experiences. Regards

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tomcody
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Re: FSQ-106EDXIII F5 Astrograph for Imaging new [Re: mmalik]
      #5600992 - 01/02/13 10:44 AM

Quote:

Thanks Mike; I am not an owner of 106EDXIII, hence the curiosity to know more about ‘em. I am a bit puzzled to hear about flexure & collimation if that’s the case since that goes counter to the very reason for the new design of 106EDXIII in my opinion. Please elaborate if you like, i.e., your experiences. Regards



Which model do you own? and what are you trying to learn about the FSQ 106 with this thread?

One correction, the first FSQ 106 was know as "FSQ106" (with a fixed dew shield), followed by the FSQ106N (with a sliding dew shield), both of those models featured florite lenes unlike the newer ED models and both original models featured the same 4" focuser as on the TOA 130 and 150.
In an effort to add additional available in focus, the newer FSQ ED's featured a new smaller focuser (which as you can read has been the topic of many threads regarding focuser problems) In my opinion, Takahashi took a step in the wrong direction with the new focuser, just to add more in focus to the scope and for dubious value as the original FSQ will accommodate the largest FLI camera/filter wheel and Atlas focuser, so all that was gained was the ability to use bino viewers at lower magnification on the New Q, ( I can use binos on my FSQ106N with a barlow or GPC just fine).

Any of the versions of the FSQ will work well with the weight of a DSLR, some people are hanging over 18lbs of camera/filter wheel/focuser on FSQ's and that's where the focuser problems come in, not from light DSLR's.
If you get (don't already have one?) a FSQ, you will need a T adapter for the DSLR and an adapter to mate it with the scope ( the system charts can help you with that) also as the DSLR only uses about 55mm of back focus, you may want a spacer to eat up some of the extra back focus, (Tak has both threaded and slip fit adapters in 72mm or 2" both about 2" long.
Rex

Edited by tomcody (01/03/13 01:37 PM)


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hytham
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Re: FSQ-106EDXIII F5 Astrograph for Imaging new [Re: tomcody]
      #5601092 - 01/02/13 11:32 AM

The only issues I have heard of flexure is when individuals exceeded the weight limitation as stated by the manufacturer OR using an older model FSQ.

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hytham
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Re: FSQ-106EDXIII F5 Astrograph for Imaging new [Re: hytham]
      #5601094 - 01/02/13 11:33 AM

Ok I lied ... here's one on the EDX III

http://www.cloudynights.com/ubbthreads/showflat.php/Cat/0/Number/5352668/Main...


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mikeschuster
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Re: FSQ-106EDXIII F5 Astrograph for Imaging new [Re: mmalik]
      #5601209 - 01/02/13 12:52 PM

Quote:

Thanks Mike; I am not an owner of 106EDXIII, hence the curiosity to know more about ‘em. I am a bit puzzled to hear about flexure & collimation if that’s the case since that goes counter to the very reason for the new design of 106EDXIII in my opinion. Please elaborate if you like, i.e., your experiences. Regards




The four lenses in the FSQ function as one unit, each doublet compensates for the aberrations of the other. This compensation gives high image quality, but it makes the system very sensitive to lens spacing, decentering and tilt. My newly purchased FSQ arrived decollimated, it was replaced with a new tube. Good service from TNR! The new one has much better collimation, absolutely fine for imaging, but not perfect. Star testing my 20 year old Genesis gives rounder airy rings.

With my 3 pound camera load, focuser flexure is minimal. I sometimes see a small focus shift after a slew and flip across the meridian. The focuser draw tube, lock and CAA all can be tightened if flexure is a problem. I may eventually replace the focuser entirely with a fixed tube and an FLI Atlas. Electronic focusing and the increase in stiffness will be nice to have.

Mike

Edited by mikeschuster (01/02/13 12:55 PM)


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alocky
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Reged: 02/19/11

Re: FSQ-106EDXIII F5 Astrograph for Imaging new [Re: mikeschuster]
      #5601829 - 01/02/13 07:47 PM

Hi guys - I'll chime in on the temperature compensation front. Out here in the desert of Western Australia we get a large temperature change during the night, and I find that I need to refocus every 20 minutes. I attached a robofocus system to my FSQ and timed it to compensate for temp every 10 minutes (in between subs), and have not had a problem since.
I use a bahtinov mask to set focus, then start the compensation.
As for collimating - I draw the line at a doublet. Fortunately during one of the 'deliberate' subs I took with the bahtinov still in place I got a chance to see how flat the field on a full frame chip actually is.
Cheers,
Andrew.


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mikeschuster
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Re: FSQ-106EDXIII F5 Astrograph for Imaging new [Re: alocky]
      #5601919 - 01/02/13 08:38 PM

Andrew, thanks for the info. I have gotten good at predicting how much focus changes during my 40 minute Ha subs. So I split the change by purposely defocusing by half the expected change at the start of each sub. My goal is to get perfect focus to happen at the middle of the sub. Of course I can't predict the change with great accuracy, sometimes temp changes in strange and abrupt ways, up or down, but this hack helps in my opinion. With the Atlas I hope to be able to change focus during the sub, by monitoring a probe attached to the tube, or by monitoring camera cooler power, which seems to track temp also.
Mike


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hytham
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Re: FSQ-106EDXIII F5 Astrograph for Imaging new [Re: mikeschuster]
      #5602143 - 01/02/13 11:19 PM

I'm curious ... Is it at all possible to remove the stock focuser entirely and replace it with another or are you limited to stacking a secondary focuser on to the stock one?

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mmalik
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Re: FSQ-106EDXIII F5 Astrograph for Imaging new [Re: mikeschuster]
      #5602154 - 01/02/13 11:25 PM

Quote:

@mikeschuster: Spend a night slewing the tube across the sky and use the mask to check for collimation, focuser draw tube flexure...




Quote:

@tomcody: Which model do you own? And what are you trying to learn about the FSQ 106 with this thread?

...the newer FSQ ED's featured a new smaller focuser (which as you can read has been the topic of many threads regarding focuser problems) In my opinion, Takahashi took a step in the wrong direction with the new focuser, just to add more in focus to the scope and for dubious value...




Quote:

@hytham: The only issues I have heard of flexure is when individuals exceeded the weight limitation as stated by the manufacturer OR using an older model FSQ.




Quote:

@hytham: Ok I lied ... here's one on the EDX III

http://www.cloudynights.com/ubbthreads/showflat.php/Cat/0/Number/5352668/Main...




Quote:

@mikeschuster: My newly purchased FSQ arrived de-collimated; it was replaced with a new tube. Good service from TNR! The new one has much better collimation, absolutely fine for imaging, but not perfect…
With my 3 pound camera load, focuser flexure is minimal. I sometimes see a small focus shift after a slew and flip across the meridian.




Thanks everyone for your feedback!

I was mainly looking to know specifically EDXIII little better so maybe I could look into investing in one for wide angle DSLR astro imaging. To tell you the truth, I had high hopes to hear praises for the new EDXIII design but those hopes have plateaued a bit after listening to you folks.

It wouldn’t be wrong to presume focuser is weak; with that said, what are the alternatives? Is there a Feather Touch focuser that could be adapted to EDXIII? Although one would hate to do that on $5K+ scope. I wonder if Jesse... resolved his flexure problem, will send him an IM? My encounters with other Taks... have not been pleasing to say the least in flexure domain, like others'....

About collimation, how prevalent is that problem in EDXIII? Yikes!

Also would like to know what are good vendors besides OPT for EDXIII? What is TNR?


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mmalik
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Re: FSQ-106EDXIII F5 Astrograph for Imaging new [Re: tomcody]
      #5602167 - 01/02/13 11:31 PM

Quote:

One correction, the first FSQ 106 was known as "FSQ106" (with a fixed dew shield), followed by the FSQ106N (with a sliding dew shield), both of those models featured fluorite lenses unlike the newer ED models and both original models featured the same 4" focuser as on the TOA 130 and 150.




Rex, I have updated my first post to reflect ONLY 'ED' line-up; does it look good now? Thx


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hytham
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Re: FSQ-106EDXIII F5 Astrograph for Imaging [Re: mmalik]
      #5602189 - 01/02/13 11:49 PM

TNR = Texas Nautical Repair

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tomcody
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Re: FSQ-106EDXIII F5 Astrograph for Imaging [Re: mmalik]
      #5602680 - 01/03/13 10:23 AM

Quote:


I was mainly looking to know specifically EDXIII little better so maybe I could look into investing in one for wide angle DSLR astro imaging. To tell you the truth, I had high hopes to hear praises for the new EDXIII design but those hopes have plateaued a bit after listening to you folks.

It wouldn’t be wrong to presume focuser is weak; with that said, what are the alternatives? Is there a Feather Touch focuser that could be adapted to EDXIII? Although one would hate to do that on $5K+ scope.
About collimation, how prevalent is that problem in EDXIII? Yikes!

Also would like to know what are good vendors besides OPT for EDXIII? What is TNR?



For your needs i.e. DSLR imaging, the FSQ106ED (with captain's wheel) would be fine. I doubt that the focuser would ever give you any problems with that little weight on it and the captain's wheel gives you the option of full 178mm in focus for bino viewers ( and it is a great! scope for viewing with), if you want to use the scope visually. The FSQ106EDXIII is over kill for your needs and would just add weight to the imaging package.
One thing to know regarding quality ( namely focuser shift and collimination) is that the scope (if bought new) carries a five year warrantee by TNR, BUT only to the original purchaser. So if quality concerns you? buy new and have five years of coverage!
Rex
P.S. TNR is the US distributor for Takahashi and does all the warrantee work on them.
Also Astronomics is a good Takahashi dealer and the sponsor of the forum you are reading!

Edited by tomcody (01/03/13 01:37 PM)


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Bowmoreman
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Re: FSQ-106EDXIII F5 Astrograph for Imaging [Re: tomcody]
      #5602889 - 01/03/13 12:21 PM

I've had NO issues with the stock (4") focuser on my 2 year old FSQ106ED... it's load is a QSI583WS with loaded filter wheel...

No sag, no miscollimation, no nuthin... in fact, I haven't even had the camera OFF the scope, nor done anything other than minor tweaking of focus (I use Robofocus for remote, motorized focusing) during that entire time.

I've never once noticed any miscollimation, or anything other than perfectly flat, seeing-limited, stars...

BTW: my TOA130 has the same 4" focuser, and there's no sag when using it visually, even when loaded out with my Denkmeir II's and power switch - a heavy and long "moment arm"... again, no issues.

The solidity of the Tak's is one of the reason I chose them.


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hytham
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Re: FSQ-106EDXIII F5 Astrograph for Imaging [Re: Bowmoreman]
      #5603184 - 01/03/13 03:04 PM

Quote:

I've had NO issues with the stock (4") focuser on my 2 year old FSQ106ED... it's load is a QSI583WS with loaded filter wheel...

No sag, no miscollimation, no nuthin... in fact, I haven't even had the camera OFF the scope, nor done anything other than minor tweaking of focus (I use Robofocus for remote, motorized focusing) during that entire time.

I've never once noticed any miscollimation, or anything other than perfectly flat, seeing-limited, stars...

BTW: my TOA130 has the same 4" focuser, and there's no sag when using it visually, even when loaded out with my Denkmeir II's and power switch - a heavy and long "moment arm"... again, no issues.

The solidity of the Tak's is one of the reason I chose them.




This.

Though the only experience I have had directly with them is whilst using my close friend's unit, all of the issues I have seen/heard have been very limited to older units and very, very few new units. I question their set up and the factors that could have lead to it (heavy imaging trains ... etc), but I never rule out a small number of units that may have been missed by QA.

I'm thankfully using a very light set up (ATIK 460EX [400g], and an ATIK EFW2 with 1.25" filter [500g], and a DSLR) so sag is not a concern for me as the overall weight will not exceed 2.5lbs on the stock focuser.

My beef is that the warranty is non-transferable. That really ticks me off because it should be granted if we can prove how the item was shipped and adhered to their 2-day air transport.


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Denimsky
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Re: FSQ-106EDXIII F5 Astrograph for Imaging [Re: Bowmoreman]
      #5603242 - 01/03/13 03:32 PM

Quote:

I've had NO issues with the stock (4") focuser on my 2 year old FSQ106ED... it's load is a QSI583WS with loaded filter wheel...

No sag, no miscollimation, no nuthin... in fact, I haven't even had the camera OFF the scope, nor done anything other than minor tweaking of focus (I use Robofocus for remote, motorized focusing) during that entire time.

I've never once noticed any miscollimation, or anything other than perfectly flat, seeing-limited, stars...

BTW: my TOA130 has the same 4" focuser, and there's no sag when using it visually, even when loaded out with my Denkmeir II's and power switch - a heavy and long "moment arm"... again, no issues.

The solidity of the Tak's is one of the reason I chose them.




Problem is that not everybody is lucky like you. I think that it is matter of consistency. Many people had problems with Tak focusers as you see from the other thread that I started.


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bilgebay
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Re: FSQ-106EDXIII F5 Astrograph for Imaging [Re: Denimsky]
      #5603340 - 01/03/13 04:39 PM

I am one of the lucky ones and I am sorry to hear about your problem. I wouldn't expect the Tak QC to be that inconsistent

Compared to my FT focusers, my FSQ's stock focuser is not buttery smooth when I move it with the large knob but it has almost the same FT feel on the smaller knob. I am not aware of any draw tube sagging so far. I had the opportunity to use both a friend's Captain Wheel version and my own EDXIII at the same time and make comparisons. Neither of the scopes exhibited any problems regarding the focuser.



Hires photo



Hires photo



Hires photo



Hires photo

Some guys are real lucky, huh ?

The above photos show the scopes configured to be coupled to Canon DSLRs.

The heaviest equipment I have tested on them so far is the QSI683WSG-8 which is approx 1.6 kilos. Therefore I cannot speak for heavier equipment owners.

Hope this helps


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