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csa/montana
Den Mama
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Reged: 05/14/05

Loc: montana
Re: Should I Get Rid of the Telrad? new [Re: Sarkikos]
      #5649958 - 01/29/13 10:03 AM

There are many Telrad charts, many very detailed. I have the Messier bound Telrad charts, and don't use them at all, because they aren't detailed enough. The programs I use "MegaStars" & CdC, also can put the Telrad circle on your charts to print out. This can be detailed as much as you wish.

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Sarkikos
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Reged: 12/18/07

Loc: Suburban Maryland, USA
Re: Should I Get Rid of the Telrad? new [Re: csa/montana]
      #5649964 - 01/29/13 10:09 AM

Yes, Sky Safari has the option to display the Telrad rings, as well as various size FOV rings. But I seldom set Sky Safari to show any of these rings when I'm star hopping. For me, they mostly get in the way. I just get a feel for the image scale, look for asterisms and such, and start hopping.

Mike


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ckwastro
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 11/23/05

Loc: Tempe, AZ
Re: Should I Get Rid of the Telrad? new [Re: csa/montana]
      #5649992 - 01/29/13 10:23 AM

Quote:

It's on from the moment I start observing, & is the last thing I turn off!




Same here Carol. I think it's all in what we get used to using.

I will agree that the Telrad is not perfect. Its footprint is larger than necessary and it is close to the scope without a riser. However I prefer it over the Rigel as it's much easier to sight. I use a Rigel on my smaller scopes because of the weight, but even after several years of using the Rigel I still have to hunt for the reticle, while I have no problems with the Telrad. I also prefer the extra circle on the Telrad.

While some say they find it useless for star-hopping, I've found it to be very easy and invaluable for that task, especially when I can combine its use with an optical finder. Bottom line is there is no right or wrong answer here; we all use what works best for us.


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Starman1
Vendor (EyepiecesEtc.com)
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Reged: 06/24/03

Loc: Los Angeles
Re: Should I Get Rid of the Telrad? new [Re: Sarkikos]
      #5650019 - 01/29/13 10:43 AM

Quote:

Here is another 50mm finder mount. It looks sturdier and maybe higher than the one from ScopeStuff. But at $116, it's over twice as expensive. From the look of it, I'm not sure if it's compatible with the standard Synta shoe, though the description does say "fits Vixen Style, Synta and Celestron Dovetails."

Baader Planetarium Multipurpose Quick Release Finder Bracket

Mike




That looks nice! Lumicon offers a nice CNC-machined 50mm finder bracket, but I don't know if the new company has them in stock or not. A call would find out.

By the way, my previous reference to a flat focuser board was referring to the way finders are usually mounted on wooden truss-tubed dob UTAs. There is a thin, flat, wooden strip to which the finder is mounted. The focuser is mounted to a similar board only wider, usually.

By the way, how do you get such a long life from illuminator batteries? Even at a low setting, I've never had an illuminator last an entire night if left on. Those SR44 batteries seem to last maybe 6 hours, tops. Batteries in the Telrad last years! I've even accidentally left the Telrad turned on for an entire month a few times and I'm still on the same batteries.


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Sarkikos
Postmaster
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Reged: 12/18/07

Loc: Suburban Maryland, USA
Re: Should I Get Rid of the Telrad? new [Re: Starman1]
      #5650041 - 01/29/13 10:55 AM

The Baader mount looks nice, but I don't know if it's worth $116 vs the ScopeStuff mount for $49. $116 is might pricey for a 50mm finder mount. I'm not even sure it's any taller than the ScopeStuff one. I don't like throwing more money at something in hopes that it's a better item. That rationale doesn't always work.

I notice, though, that the Synta and SCT finder shoes from ScopeStuff are somewhat overpriced. I'd get a better deal from Agena or HPS.

Mike


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Sarkikos
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Reged: 12/18/07

Loc: Suburban Maryland, USA
Re: Should I Get Rid of the Telrad? new [Re: Starman1]
      #5650054 - 01/29/13 11:01 AM

Don,

Quote:

By the way, how do you get such a long life from illuminator batteries? Even at a low setting, I've never had an illuminator last an entire night if left on. Those SR44 batteries seem to last maybe 6 hours, tops. Batteries in the Telrad last years! I've even accidentally left the Telrad turned on for an entire month a few times and I'm still on the same batteries.




AFAIK, those are the batteries I'm using. I turn the reticle on for my Orion 20mm illuminated eyepiece in the 15x70 and leave it on for five or six hours. I seldom have to change it, maybe only once or twice a year. I do keep it on low, though. I don't remember them ever burning out over the course of one night. That sounds more like a GLP!

Mike


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csa/montana
Den Mama
*****

Reged: 05/14/05

Loc: montana
Re: Should I Get Rid of the Telrad? new [Re: ckwastro]
      #5650074 - 01/29/13 11:13 AM

Quote:

Bottom line is there is no right or wrong answer here; we all use what works best for us.




Kerry, exactly right!


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Mike B
Starstruck
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Reged: 04/06/05

Loc: shake, rattle, & roll, CA
Re: Should I Get Rid of the Telrad? new [Re: Sarkikos]
      #5650140 - 01/29/13 11:50 AM

Quote:

That sounds more like a GLP!




Oh really? My GLP, running a single CR123A, has been on the same battery for a lonnnnng time. But it's use is intermittent, at most.

YMOV


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okieav8r
I'd rather be flying!
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Reged: 03/01/09

Loc: Oklahoma!
Re: Should I Get Rid of the Telrad? new [Re: Sarkikos]
      #5650205 - 01/29/13 12:28 PM

Quote:

Rex,

You're getting the same treatment as Jon:

So you are not using a finder eyepiece in the focuser? And you are doing all this from memory? No printed maps, goto, DSC, SkySafari or SkyTools?

Very impressive!


Mike




Sure, I do a lot of it from memory. After all, I've been doing astronomy for over 30 years, so I've had plenty of time to get a lot targets down to memory. Not all of all of them mind you, nor even a majority, but a lot. Yes, I do use a finder eyepiece, but as often as not, the target is in the field of view when I look, and if it isn't, a nudge usually gets it there. I also use charts and Skytools3 for those objects that I haven't developed a good memory for and to plan/manage the evenings agenda.

For the ones I'm not that familiar with, I feel like I'm pretty good at looking at a chart, then mentally projecting that picture over to the Telrad to find the target. Anyhow, I just haven't felt a need to mount a RACI finder on my telescope. I do own one though. It's gathering dust in a closet.


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HenryV1598
member


Reged: 09/01/10

Loc: Houston
Re: Should I Get Rid of the Telrad? new [Re: Sarkikos]
      #5650217 - 01/29/13 12:33 PM

I fully acknowledge that Telrad's aren't perfect. However, some of us get a lot of use from them. I have an 8" SCT. I piggyback an 80mm Refractor (its the Vernonscope/University Optics 11x80mm). I use that more for guiding and imaging, but if I happen to need a finder, it works. I have a 50mm right-angle finder, but I haven't bothered to actually attach it in ages. I mostly use the Telrad and the scope itself. The telrad helps me hit the alignment stars for my GoTo fast, and if not using GoTo, gets me in the general vicinity of the object I'm looking for. Usually getting it pretty close to the view through my 40mm eyepiece.

As with most things, I think it comes down to personal preference. Pot-a-to/pot-ah-to. If it helps you observe, then use it. If not, ditch it. If you don't want yours, feel free to send it to me! ;-)


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Sarkikos
Postmaster
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Reged: 12/18/07

Loc: Suburban Maryland, USA
Re: Should I Get Rid of the Telrad? [Re: Mike B]
      #5650239 - 01/29/13 12:46 PM

Quote:

Quote:

That sounds more like a GLP!




Oh really? My GLP, running a single CR123A, has been on the same battery for a lonnnnng time. But it's use is intermittent, at most.

YMOV




... in California!


Mike


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Jon Isaacs
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Reged: 06/16/04

Loc: San Diego and Boulevard, CA
Re: Should I Get Rid of the Telrad? new [Re: Sarkikos]
      #5650279 - 01/29/13 01:05 PM

Quote:

Yes, Sky Safari has the option to display the Telrad rings, as well as various size FOV rings. But I seldom set Sky Safari to show any of these rings when I'm star hopping. For me, they mostly get in the way. I just get a feel for the image scale, look for asterisms and such, and start hopping.

Mike




Mike:

You have convinced me you should get rid of your Telrad.

The Telrad is a powerful tool, particularly if used with a program like Sky Safari which can show the Telrad circles against the starfield. But you do not inclined towards using it the way it was meant to be used so yeah, it only takes up space on your scope.

I am not parting with mine however.

Jon


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csa/montana
Den Mama
*****

Reged: 05/14/05

Loc: montana
Re: Should I Get Rid of the Telrad? new [Re: Jon Isaacs]
      #5650305 - 01/29/13 01:18 PM

Quote:

Quote:

Yes, Sky Safari has the option to display the Telrad rings, as well as various size FOV rings. But I seldom set Sky Safari to show any of these rings when I'm star hopping. For me, they mostly get in the way. I just get a feel for the image scale, look for asterisms and such, and start hopping.

Mike




Mike:

You have convinced me you should get rid of your Telrad.

The Telrad is a powerful tool, particularly if used with a program like Sky Safari which can show the Telrad circles against the starfield. But you do not inclined towards using it the way it was meant to be used so yeah, it only takes up space on your scope.

I am not parting with mine however.

Jon




Agreed, and I'm also never parting with mine, either!


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Sarkikos
Postmaster
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Reged: 12/18/07

Loc: Suburban Maryland, USA
Re: Should I Get Rid of the Telrad? new [Re: Jon Isaacs]
      #5650316 - 01/29/13 01:21 PM

Jon,

I'm not sure that all the ways that the Telrad is used by observers agree with how it was "meant to be used," whatever that means. But does that matter? However I or anyone else use it is up to us.

IME & IMO, once I'm at a star or asterism from which I can star hop, the Telrad has served its purpose, no matter how anyone says that it was "meant to be used." A good optical finder does a much better job of guiding the telescope to the intended object. Obviously I can see dimmer stars and more of them in the optical finder than I could naked eye.

I have a suspicion that many observers who speak of using a "finder eyepiece" perhaps rely too heavily on the Telrad. Instead of a "finder eyepiece," I use an optical finder. Either way, the observer goes to something else when the Telrad has done all it can. I guess the Telrad can't do it all.

Mike


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Jon Isaacs
Postmaster
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Reged: 06/16/04

Loc: San Diego and Boulevard, CA
Re: Should I Get Rid of the Telrad? new [Re: Sarkikos]
      #5650385 - 01/29/13 01:54 PM

Quote:


IME & IMO, once I'm at a star or asterism from which I can star hop, the Telrad has served its purpose, no matter how anyone says that it was "meant to be used." A good optical finder does a much better job of guiding the telescope to the intended object. Obviously I can see dimmer stars and more of them in the optical finder than I could naked eye.




Like I said, I think you should get rid of your Telrad.

I have both optical finders and Telrad on my 4 Dobsonians. As far as how the Telrad was "meant to be used", I can say that one can use a Telrad to do far more accurate pointing than just finding the first guide star or pointing to an asterism. You apparently are not interested taking advantage of this most important capability so yeah it makes perfect sense to part with it.

You don't need to argue about whether an Optical finder is better than a Telrad, you know what works for you, you know how you like to observe. Just get rid of it.

Myself, the Telrad is the first line, if I can't find it with the Telrad, then comes the magnifying finder...

Jon


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ckwastro
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 11/23/05

Loc: Tempe, AZ
Re: Should I Get Rid of the Telrad? new [Re: Jon Isaacs]
      #5650410 - 01/29/13 02:06 PM

Quote:

As far as how the Telrad was "meant to be used", I can say that one can use a Telrad to do far more accurate pointing than just finding the first guide star or pointing to an asterism...........Myself, the Telrad is the first line...




+1

I concur, if it's not going to be used in this way, and it just doesn't work for Mike's needs, then by all means he needs to dump it.

Edited by ckwastro (01/29/13 02:08 PM)


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Sarkikos
Postmaster
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Reged: 12/18/07

Loc: Suburban Maryland, USA
Re: Should I Get Rid of the Telrad? new [Re: Jon Isaacs]
      #5650462 - 01/29/13 02:34 PM

Jon,

Quote:

As far as how the Telrad was "meant to be used", I can say that one can use a Telrad to do far more accurate pointing than just finding the first guide star or pointing to an asterism.




But often not as accurate as a good optical finder. Certainly, a Telrad is all that's needed for many of the Messier objects, large and bright star clusters, brighter double stars and the like. But for small faint DSO, especially ones in a rich star field, an optical finder or "finder eyepiece" is a much more accurate tool. How could they not be more accurate than the naked eye? For such objects the Telrad is only the beginning.

In general, when I use the Telrad, the "first guide star" I point it to is the last naked eye star that is close to the location of the intended object. Otherwise, I might use geometrical triangulation. In either case, I then go to the optical finder. This makes the most sense. Why star hop when there are no more stars to see?

Quote:

Myself, the Telrad is the first line, if I can't find it with the Telrad, then comes the magnifying finder...




Up to now, at least, the Telrad has been the first line, also, and sometimes is all that is required. But lately since I've been looking for mostly small or dim objects toward the LM of my telescope, the Telrad alone is not enough. I'm sure there are many "easy" objects that I could locate with the Telrad alone, but I'd get tired of looking at them over and over.

Mike


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David Knisely
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Reged: 04/19/04

Loc: southeastern Nebraska
Re: Should I Get Rid of the Telrad? new [Re: Sarkikos]
      #5650468 - 01/29/13 02:39 PM

Sarkikos posted:

Quote:

I don't see a Telrad alone leading anyone to a dim stellar planetary, a faint galaxy in a galaxy cluster or a tiny loosely-scattered OC in the midst of a Milky Way star field. There are many objects up there that need the additional help of a printed star chart, Sky Safari, optical finder and/or a finder eyepiece to locate.




Well Mike, for ID-ing a single galaxy in a galaxy cluster, the Telrad alone might or might not be enough. In any case, the Telrad will definitely get the scope more than close enough to the target to allow it to be well within the field of a low to moderate power eyepiece. I remember the first time I saw a Telrad used properly on a "serious" telescope when one of our club members had one of the first 20 inch f/5 Obsession Dobs at our observing site (ZLM 6.0 to 6.6 typically). I was kind of shocked to see that the only finder he had on that monster was a Telrad! I had some serious doubts about the Telrad and what he could find with it, but in point of fact, he was running rings around me with my scope on its German equatorial mount and its 8x50 straight-through finderscope. He was finding faint galaxies and galaxy clusters with ease. He even shamed me a little by quickly showing me the stellar dot of the quasar 3C-273, again only using his Telrad on the big scope. I then started paying a little more attention to what he was doing. I noted his little 3-ringed clear plastic home-made Telrad overlays that he used with his atlases and then started to understand exactly how he was finding things by matching the patterns of the faint stars in and around the reticle of the Telrad itself to his atlas overlays as they sat on his charts. I soon purchased a Telrad of my own and began to fully understand that this is no "red-dot" finder, but a very useful tool which can make things easier for some people. Indeed, I often rely on the Telrad alone for finding the Perseus Galaxy Cluster (Abell 426), Abell 262 in southeastern Andromeda, the Coma Berenices Galaxy Cluster (Abell 1656), and the Hercules Galaxy Cluster (Abell 2151). Indeed, there are a number of nearly stellar planetaries that I can get near the center of the field of view using only the Telrad (Campbell's Hydrogen Star for one example).

Nobody said the Telrad can "do it all", but in the hands of one who understands how to properly use it, it can definitely be a very very useful tool. Clear skies to you.


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Sarkikos
Postmaster
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Reged: 12/18/07

Loc: Suburban Maryland, USA
Re: Should I Get Rid of the Telrad? new [Re: David Knisely]
      #5650479 - 01/29/13 02:49 PM

David,

Quote:

Well Mike, for ID-ing a single galaxy in a galaxy cluster, the Telrad alone might or might not be enough. However, the same could be said for some optical finders.




Yes, this is true. But for me the important point is to position the location of the object in the main telescope's eyepiece. To do that, I don't need to see the object itself in the Telrad or the optical finder. The optical finder, however, will show me the location more accurately and allow me to position that location more precisely in the eyepiece.

Quote:

In any case, the Telrad will definitely get the scope more than close enough to the target to allow it to be well within the field of a low to moderate power eyepiece.




This is true, also. But if use my 15x70 optical finder in tandem with Sky Safari, I can easily get close enough to the target that I can see it toward the center of field of a moderately high power eyepiece. Often I don't even need a "finder eyepiece."

Mike


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Starman1
Vendor (EyepiecesEtc.com)
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Reged: 06/24/03

Loc: Los Angeles
Re: Should I Get Rid of the Telrad? new [Re: Sarkikos]
      #5650506 - 01/29/13 03:00 PM

Quote:

David,

Quote:

Well Mike, for ID-ing a single galaxy in a galaxy cluster, the Telrad alone might or might not be enough. However, the same could be said for some optical finders.




Yes, this is true. But for me the important point is to position the location of the object in the main telescope's eyepiece. To do that, I don't need to see the object itself in the Telrad or the optical finder. The optical finder, however, will show me the location more accurately and allow me to position that location more precisely in the eyepiece.

Mike




You aren't looking for faint targets, then. Most of the objects I've been viewing recently aren't visible in a 50mm finder either, because they're too faint or too small. I'd need a 100mm finder just to begin to see the faint spots and even then that might not be enough.

It's the reason I don't rely on finders at all but use my Sky Commander to find nearly everything. I don't use it for the really bright stuff--familiarity with locations make using the Telrad sufficient. But for the various NGC, UGC, MCG, ESO, and PGC objects, the Sky Commander beats any finder.
And then the eyepiece becomes the optical finder once you're there.

My main use for the Telrad is to find the bright stuff, and to pinpoint the object I'm looking at for the guy with the neighboring scope to use his Telrad to find it.

I grant you, though, that a lot of objects ARE visible, and centerable, in a 50mm finder.


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