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Are asrto-physics scopes worth the wait?

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#1 Guest_**DONOTDELETE**_*

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Posted 21 October 2003 - 07:40 PM

As a professional photographer I have become interested in astrophotography and planetary observation; and decided on the 130mm starfire EDT. Is it worth the wait or is their another refractor of equal quality. I know the waiting list is long ( at least a year or may not even get one )and that all the accessories that I need will cost as much as and even more than the scope. It will give me time to learn the field; I am assuming astronomy has a long learning curve and wondering if I should buy a less expensive scope to learn the field first. Any suggestions are welcome. Also, is there too much light pollution in southeastern PA suburbs? Any help would be appreciated ( books and clubs welcome )

#2 Guest_**DONOTDELETE**_*

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Posted 21 October 2003 - 11:16 PM

It's like this, basically: you put your name on the list(s) and then forget it. Simply go on with your life, buy some other scope(s) and use them, enjoy them. Then one day you'll get The Notification (time to put half the money on the table). For me, that was nearly three years. Then another nine month wait for the scope to be finished and shipped (155 EDFS.)

Since I didn't sit around waiting, no time was lost. Was it worth it? You bet.

#3 Mike Sandy

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Posted 22 October 2003 - 01:04 AM

In a word Mark - Yes, they are worth the wait! Doesn't mean you should just wait however. If you put your name on a list today, My guess is you'd be waiting more than five years, given the increase in the number of people that are signing up. Put your name in......then start looking. Recent production 130's show up on Astromart fairly often. There are other wonderful scopes that will do the job also....TMB 130, the TOA 130 from Tak, TEC 140. Any of these will be more than adequate - and they are available in a shorter timeframe new or you can also find them on Astromart. In fact there is near new a TOA 130 for sale right now. As David suggested, don't wait, buy something and start learning....the curve is long and steep - but a wonderfully fulfilling trip.

You also need a great mount, and camera....all big ticket items, so budget accordingly. Light pollution.....I'm in the SF Bay Area - and you don't get much worse than that. The CCD does help undercome the background light....and there are some great LPR filters available. You do fine.

#4 Guest_**DONOTDELETE**_*

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Posted 22 October 2003 - 07:49 AM

Thanks for the information guys ( Dave and Mike . I have my name on the list but in the meantime time to start looking for a scope and learning the field.

#5 Tom T

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Posted 22 October 2003 - 09:01 AM

If you are looking at the AP130, I'd suggest the TEC140, NP127, TAO130 or the TMB130 f6. Depending on your application, you may find that there is no need to wait for (or even acquire) an AP - these alternatives aren't exactly chopped liver.

I'm on the wait list for a traveler, and am currently whiling my time away with a TV102 and Genesis SDF. I'm also considering the TMB 105 f6.2 LW (the only real alternative I've found for a traveler). I honestly don't know if I'll take the traveler when it comes up - Or if I'll be able to justify the price (increased as I'm sure it will be by that point).

FWIW, they say the wait time is up to 50 months on a traveler.

Tom T.

#6 poorman

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Posted 22 October 2003 - 10:09 AM

Hello all, I currently am on the AP list, as is the rest of the world. I was just wondering if any of you who currently own an AP scope use alt/az mounts, or EQ only? I'm partial to alt/az and am looking to purchase one before my 155 arrives, to use with my current scope as well, NP101. Any ideas? Thanks

#7 Mike Sandy

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Posted 22 October 2003 - 10:41 AM

Well I'm strictly using EQ for imaging, but I have heard of some new alt/az designs that are available or about to be. The 155 is a beast for most existing alt/az mount - to big for the Teegul. The first option might be to just make one. The model that David reviewed here is what I'm thinking of (there was even one for sale on Astromart a few weeks ago - don't know if it sold). http://www.cloudynig...s/homebuilt.htm

As far as new designs - here is what I've heard about - the first is a unit called DiscMount ( http://www.discmounts.com/ ). Tom Trusock did a review on one on Cloudy Nights just this month http://www.cloudynig...2/discmount.htm . I've also heard that Particle Wave Technologies ( http://www.pwtec.com/) is designing one. You have to contact them directly to find out where the design stands. One other option would be to find an Light Speed Wagon ( http://www.cloudynig.../lightspeed.htm ) on astromart.

Seems light Cloudy Nights has reviews on all the designs that I have heard anything about except the PWT (a fact that I realize until you asked the question). I keep being amazed at what a nice resource this site is! :jump:

#8 Tom T

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Posted 22 October 2003 - 10:43 AM

I *highly* recommend the Discmount by Tom Peters. As you can see in the review, I am extremely enamored with it. I wish I could keep the review sample. It's a goregous piece of work.

Tom T.

#9 poorman

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Posted 22 October 2003 - 11:17 AM

I have contacted Tom about his mount. I am a bit hesitant because he said he has not used the 155 on his mount yet. Actually I'm not too concerned whether or not the mount can handle the weight, my concern is whether or not the mount rings can handle the weight, since the scope will be held at such an angle to the mount. In other words, all the weight of the scope will be held by the side of the rings and not the base where the design would indicate the weight should be concentrated.
Thanks for the help.

#10 Guest_**DONOTDELETE**_*

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Posted 22 October 2003 - 11:31 AM

Actually I'm not too concerned whether or not the mount can handle the weight, my concern is whether or not the mount rings can handle the weight, since the scope will be held at such an angle to the mount. In other words, all the weight of the scope will be held by the side of the rings and not the base where the design would indicate the weight should be concentrated.


Shouldn't be a problem, it's no different than hanging horizontally in a EQ mount.

#11 Tom T

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Posted 22 October 2003 - 11:53 AM

I wouldn't think it would be a problem - as snuffy said, it would hang from the side in an EQ mount quite frequently anyway....

Tom

#12 poorman

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Posted 22 October 2003 - 04:02 PM

Thanks for the input.

#13 Guest_**DONOTDELETE**_*

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Posted 22 October 2003 - 07:33 PM

Tom T:
I don't know where you are on "The List" but this may give you an idea of how much longer you have to wait.
I've been on the Traveler list since July 1999 and I had a call from Astro-Physics last month letting me know I could have one for Dec. 03 delivery.
It seems they make extra objectives for each production run in case some don't pass muster. The un-needed ones are put into tubes and sold to those at the top of the list for the next run.
So it appears the next run will open sometime after the first of the year. Get your astro money ready. ;)

#14 Tom T

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Posted 23 October 2003 - 09:31 AM

Snuffy,

Thanks for the info. I'm a couple of years down the line, only been waiting about 13 months so far. I think have a little while yet. :)

Be sure to let us know what you think of your traveler, eh?

Tom T.


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