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  • Fairhavens II

    Oct 31 2021 01:02 PM by Gork

    My last article was an overview of Fairhavens, my first dedicated observatory, along with its untimely demise. It is now five years later and I am ready to try again. Being a rental home I could not build a permanent structure (I couldn’t afford one anyway). So, I started looking for a temporary structure that would protect my gear from the elements and still leave room to move about.

  • Who’s Afraid of a Phantom: Istar Phantom 140mm F/6.5, that is?

    Oct 31 2021 12:43 PM by ABQJeff

    The Istar Phantom 140mm f/6.5 is a new entry in the large (5”+) triplet APO world. For the price to performance it is an excellent option. The vendor is already implementing upgrades (eg 80mm removable section from OTA tube) and recognizes need to make further improvements in its mechanics (eg 2” twist tight clamp). The optics are superb and are even better than the advertised 0.9 Strehl minimum guarantee. If you are interested in a super high performing 5+” triplet APO, that is much less than comparative peers, don’t be scared, I highly recommend you take a look at a Phantom!

  • SHARPSTAR 94EDPH APOCHROMATIC REFRACTOR

    Oct 01 2021 08:30 AM by Larry Carlino

    The Sharpstar 94EDPH turns out to be a competent instrument and a good value for its $1495 asking price. It's a very good deep-sky telescope, is airline portable, and is, in all probability, a good choice for imagers, the 0.8 focal reducer yielding a fast optical system. As to the consistency of the optics and quality control, a sample of one has little statistical validity. My particular scope might be better than average (or worse), and the QC checklist from Sharpstar failed to catch the balky focuser and sagging dew cap.


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Happy Thanksgiving!

25 Nov 2021
For all my fellow CN’ers in the U.S. who celebrate Thanksgiving today, hope you have a great one!  And for those outside the U.S. who may not formally celebrate this holiday, I’m sure you still have a lot to be thankful for, and so I wish you... Full topic ›

Classifieds "Wanted" category being phased out

18 Oct 2021
Notice:   We are phasing out the "Wanted" category in the CN Classifieds. It's redundant and confusing since wanted ads can be placed in any category.   For now, ads that are existing in that category will stay, however new ads cannot be... Full topic ›

User Reviews

  • Who’s Afraid of a Phantom: Istar Phantom 140mm F/6.5, that is?

    Oct 31 2021 12:43 PM by ABQJeff

    The Istar Phantom 140mm f/6.5 is a new entry in the large (5”+) triplet APO world. For the price to performance it is an excellent option. The vendor is already implementing upgrades (eg 80mm removable section from OTA tube) and recognizes need to make further improvements in its mechanics (eg 2” twist tight clamp). The optics are superb and are even better than the advertised 0.9 Strehl minimum guarantee. If you are interested in a super high performing 5+” triplet APO, that is much less than comparative peers, don’t be scared, I highly recommend you take a look at a Phantom!

  • SHARPSTAR 94EDPH APOCHROMATIC REFRACTOR

    Oct 01 2021 08:30 AM by Larry Carlino

    The Sharpstar 94EDPH turns out to be a competent instrument and a good value for its $1495 asking price. It's a very good deep-sky telescope, is airline portable, and is, in all probability, a good choice for imagers, the 0.8 focal reducer yielding a fast optical system. As to the consistency of the optics and quality control, a sample of one has little statistical validity. My particular scope might be better than average (or worse), and the QC checklist from Sharpstar failed to catch the balky focuser and sagging dew cap.

  • My Losmandy G11T review

    Sep 26 2021 11:32 AM by jeffmarston

    In general I really like my G11T. It is well built, should last for decades from what other owners of Losmandy mounts say. It seems to work really well with auto guiding. It is very stable even with my C14. It is very different from my Celestron mounts and to be fair It took a while for me to learn how to use those mounts also.

  • FIELD TEST: THE NOH CT-20 ALT-AZ MOUNT

    Oct 15 2021 12:14 PM by wapaolini

    After several weeks of field use of the NoH CT-20 mount for general astronomical observing with both my TSA-102 and APM-152 refractors, I found the operation and use of this mount to be highly intuitive in the field. The axis friction knobs are conveniently located and are tactile-distinctive from the saddle plate knobs that hold the telescope on the mount, so there was never any question in the dark as to which knob-type I was operating. Operation of the mount was also smooth and precise throughout the testing and general field observing sessions. At no time did I ever find that the CT-20 mount was anything but superlatively capable to handle even my large 6-inch f/8 refractor.

  • SkyTee-2 Alt/Az Mount Review

    Jul 27 2021 09:42 AM by ScrewLoose

    Overall, I think that this mount is good value for money and a good choice for my purposes. I'm confident that the mount will be more than adequate for my needs.

  • SharpStar Askar ACL200 200-mm f/4 astrographic telephoto lens

    Jun 29 2021 08:35 AM by covington

    I strongly recommend the ACL200 for wide-field astrophotography. It also has some uses for (fully manual) nature and landscape photography. The optical performance is exceptional, and the physical construction is unusually well suited for astronomical use.

  • A review of the Unistellar EVscope

    May 31 2021 01:48 PM by bmwscopeguy

    Well here is another product that has received a lot of hype and press, but without divulging much useful information about the telescope itself. Well needless to say, the hype worked on me….and I took delivery of my (used) Unistellar EVscope today.

  • Astrotrac 360 tracking platform – first impression

    Jan 31 2021 12:33 PM by Magnar W.

    After some waiting my Astrotrac 360 arrived, and the drive looks great straight out of the box. Beautifully machined, light weight, and compact. Just what I was asking for, after moving to a city, leaving my fully equipped small observatory behind me at the countryside.

  • FIELD TEST: CARL ZEISS APOCHROMATIC & SHARPEST (CZAS) BINOVIEWER

    Jan 24 2021 01:12 PM by wapaolini

    This astronomical binoviewer is offered by Denis Levatić of Croatia (denis0007dl@gmail.com) as an after-market modification of new Zeiss binoviewer bodies. Mr. Levatić's value-added modifications to these Zeiss binoviewer bodies are then offered under the moniker of "The Carl Zeiss Apochromatic & Sharpest Binoviewer".

  • Omegon 32mm 70º SWA eyepiece review

    Jan 24 2021 12:29 PM by Tiago Ferreira

    There is no review of this eyepiece on internet and i bought it and found interesting to make a video about it.

  • Review of iPolar hardware and software for polar alignment

    Dec 05 2020 01:41 PM by stephen.kennedy

    iOptron’s iPolar upgrade, which replaces the optical scope on the iOptron SkyGuider Pro, does not accurately provide polar alignment when compared to results measured using identical equipment operating Sharpcap Pro and the specified guide camera and scope. Data was collected while simultaneously running both the iPolar alignment software and SharcapPro on the same equipment. The deficiency is consistent with an issue in the iPolar system’s calculation of altitude parameters in polar alignment after plate solving.

  • Review of the Hubble Optics 14 inch, f/4.6 Premium Ultra Light Dobsonian Telescope

    Sep 29 2020 12:35 PM by Chris Westland

    I looked at HO telescopes for some time before purchasing mine. On paper, the design is elegant, and takes advantage of the 6063-T6 aluminum alloy used in all of the telescope’s components. The sandwich mirror is innovative. The upper cage looks more rigid than a flat ring, but without being too heavy. In general the HO telescopes are unique and affordable. I am a previous owner of an Obsession Classic 20", and Dave Kriege’s scope set a standard for what I was expecting from a Dobsonian telescope.




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