Well, they simply were not 80mm f11 scopes.
Which is a very optically friendly, capable scope.
The comparison was made at the center of the field, where differences of f-ratio are minimized.
At f4, plossl's, ortho's, and RKE's each behave a little differently.
Ortho's are the general winner to my eye.
RKE's are in last place.
Again, the comparison was made at the center of the field, where differences of f-ratio are minimized.
The felt pads were felt pads, to hold the scope on target.
They were always supposed to stick a bit.
Cleaning the ball helps.
The peeps sights do align.
Or you align them.
All table top scopes work better on a stable mount.
Best on a platform top tripod.
So they can be used either way.
I did lots of ball cleaning, and the felt did more than stick a bit. At 16x it didn't matter much. At 30x it started to matter. As for the peep site, mine had the plier marks to prove I aligned them. My complaint with the mount was that the attachment point was not stable. You could buy another tripod attachment gizmo, but I never tried that, as it was fairly expensive.
I think it would be good to compare the Astroscan with current, relatively non-cute compact Newtonians. There is the Astronomers without Borders One Sky (also sold under the Skywatcher label outside the U.S.). It comes with a good finder and a Dob. mount. Even better, the scope connects to the mount by means of a standard Vixen dovetail bar. It also collapses for easier packing and storage. That's good design. If Edmund resurrects the Astroscan, this is the kind of scope it will compete against. I know which one I would recommend.
I was able to use Edmunds attachment gizmo back in the day.
Perhaps there was some application where it was useful, but observing on a tripod was not the one. IMHO
The only tripod set up worth a toot with the Astroscan, IME, was a raised platform for the ball base to sit on(or in).
On the order of what folks build nowadays for their Star Blasts, where they are keeping the one arm dob mount.
Regarding the Astroscan itself:
Most of the other scopes that have replaced it's niche, like the AWB you mention, and the scopes mentioned by Mitrovarr,
simply weren't around at the end of the '70's when the Astroscan came out.
In my experience, a 6" f5 newt is a way way more better scope.
And apples to oranges in comparison to the Astroscan also.
From the for what it's worth department...
I pulled a vintage '79 one out of storage the other morning to peek at Jove, because of this thread.
About 5am, 26 F degrees, though an opening in the trees, over a roof, from on a car hood, about 10 min cool down.
3.9mm Siebert SS, Baader Neo filter, approx 114x.
Jove was just outside the ep fov in the peep site, as I expected, and was good, because I'd just brought out that ep.
Ganymede, Io and Callisto were out doing their thing, Europa was not.
A bit of differing apparent size and hue to them, but none of them sharp in focus.
I identified them by position, after the fact on http://www.shallowsky.com/jupiter/
Jove showed the common layered cake appearance you can get with lower planetary magnifications.
EZ, NEB, SEB, diminishing away to a belt and zone or two more above and below, but not well defined at all.
It was impossible to determine any structure in the EZ.
After 5 minutes or so, packed up and went back in side.
I was not dressed for the temp, the car was covered with frost which meant the scope would be too.
In another 15 minutes Jove would be in the trees.
And the image was just not that revealing.
4" on Jupiter is lots more fun, with fine focus adjustment, higher magnification, a stable mount(cars wiggle), a chair...
... and honestly more than 4" of aperture.
Edited by izar187, 03 January 2017 - 02:19 AM.