Can't find anything for reviews of AT 10" f/4 carbon fiber truss-tube imaging Newtonian. Has any used this or know anything about it?
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Posted 15 February 2017 - 09:16 PM
This telescope promises to address many of the issues that make imaging with other commercially available Newtonian's difficult. The response can be best characterized as "crickets".
Posted 16 February 2017 - 02:45 AM
Thanks Peter10, I noticed the lack of reply's to the post. You would think someone has bought one by now. I just got a reply from Nick from Altair on Google users group. He has given me some information on it and it sounds very good. Still like to see some photos taken with it.
Here is post he sent on the scope, as I said sounds very good:
Hi Greg Nick here from Altair. I've been testing this scope and I've posted some images on Facebook which show the optics are very good. However the focusers they came with, while OK for visual and maybe fast-stack CMOS imaging say around 30s, (and an improvement on previous ones), aren't rigid enough for serious long exposure imaging. I didn't really expect them to be, so we are working on a better focuser setup which will be ready soon. You could of course also fit your own 3rd party focuser with flat mounting plate, by removing the existing focuser, and drilling corresponding holes in the mounting plate as needed if you're feeling handy. The truss tube design is very rigid and hence the plate the focuser rests on is too. I'm used to imaging with traditional closed tube Newtonians such as Skywatcher, etc. But this is in a different league.
In a different post he said this also which is very interesting for customer care and support:
Hi Greg, these are the same scopes but we do a little tuning up to get them ready. If you buy in the USA, you will need to do some work and possibly remount the secondary. Ours come with a dust shroud and dew heater on the secondary and will come with an optional special focuser. The CEM60 will handle it.
This all I got from him today, so I am really interested. My main concern is dust, as I live AZ in the high desert in area of 2 to 5 acre horse properties out of town. Keeping the mirrors clean will be a big concern. The positive is it's pretty dark out here, bad dirt roads and it's windy here a lot.
Thanks for the reply, Shotgun
Posted 16 February 2017 - 08:21 PM
The claim is that the focuser is "probably" the cause of poor long exposure performance - but how do you know? Quality imaging with a Newtonian is difficult. It is unwise to conclude that poor performance is caused by a specific component unless you have replaced that component and verified that the problem was corrected. I just want to caution you that these problems are often complex and may be related to more than one component. If the truss tube itself is generally sound, the telescope can be made to work well. Without the benefit of a properly designed telescope tube (or truss) the telescope will be compromised. If the truss tube is really good, I would pay the $1,700.00 for the structure without the optics. IMO, if this system worked as expected - it would be one of the premiere imaging platforms on these pages as well as Astrobin. I hope my suspicions are unwarranted.
Edited by Peter10, 16 February 2017 - 08:25 PM.
Posted 17 February 2017 - 03:24 PM
From what I can tell from Nicks response it the sounds like the weight of the imaging devices such as a full frame sensor is too much for the focuser's to keep in the same place for critical focus. (weight pushing the focus's column down?) Need to upgrade to a Feather Touch or a Moonlight? Like I said I would like to see some images taken with it. This is about $8,000.00 cheaper than some of the custom ones I seen adverted on the web. If you click on the very large images of it, it looks very industrial made.
I just notice this yesterday, I didn't see this before or it may have just dropped. Defiantly out of my price range as I will be spending a lot of money on a good mount and something like this puts out of my monetary budget .
The 12" is interesting as it about $400.00 more, but the weight is getting up there now for what type of mount it needs, pretty much out of my range now. Also the weight is going to be a factor also for portability, probably more of a permanent set up.
A lot to think about, going back and forth between this bad boy and a good refactor.
Posted 17 February 2017 - 03:32 PM
I just did a quick search on AstroBin for images from it. I didn't find any, I might have done a wrong search parameters for it though. I am just starting to using that site and probably not up to speed how to use it yet.
Posted 18 February 2017 - 04:08 AM
Posted 18 February 2017 - 05:31 AM
Yes I have an AT10INTT....had it about 6 mo now.....But I do " live imaging" EAA type short exposures 1-3 min....
I replaced my C11hd with this scope,as I wanted to get below F5 for fast live imaging...and with larger sensors like the ZWO 1600.
For what I do the stock focuser works ok..But I did reinforce the secondary mount ring with carbon fiber sleaves...There are 3 8mm rods
and the solid focuser plate that secure the front part of the scope to the rest of the trust mounted parts..I added a 13mm sleave over each of the
3 round 8 mm rods for added support..Seams to work well for me,and focus stays for a long weekend with no problems for my setup..(zwo 1600 +mpcc)
A few short exposures from my 2 scope stup...no flats,darks,or photo shop..The pics with star spikes are from the at10intt and 1600..
the others are the at80edt and infinity with an alt az mount.
Edited by mega256, 18 February 2017 - 06:35 AM.
Posted 18 February 2017 - 05:47 AM
This is from the AT10INTT and zwo 1600cc...just a fast live pic done with shapcap only..no processing.
Edited by mega256, 18 February 2017 - 06:45 AM.
Posted 18 February 2017 - 05:49 AM
Posted 18 February 2017 - 01:27 PM
Thanks Surveyor 1 for the reply: I figured the focuser wasn't great from my reading on the forums from the last few months. Everything from overseas, if my take is right if you are going to image that you need to upgrade to a Feather Touch or a Moonlight with a motorized focuser.
Posted 18 February 2017 - 01:30 PM
Yesterday, I spent a fair amount of time on the net trying different search parameters for looking for info on it and photos taken by it and it was a bust.
Posted 18 February 2017 - 01:43 PM
Thanks for the photos and link to your page about it. Very nice work. So is it your opinion the secondary tube assembly needs to be stiffed up with carbon fiber rods? Or was that a precautionary step by you? What is your overall impression about the scope? I think I mentioned in the above post, the photos make it look very industrial strength. So is it your opinion the scope is pretty robust that an individual can pack it up and take it to really dark sites for imaging and hold up? If I get one, I will definitely be getting a wheeled case for it for transporting it. Problem is I been search and getting a custom military grade case with custom insert is pretty expensive. About $700.00 and on up.
Posted 18 February 2017 - 01:48 PM
Do you have the trusted RC? So from your reply it seems like you are happy with the AT and is it giving you good images?
Posted 19 February 2017 - 10:19 AM
I was informed that the early units had a problem with secondary flex under heavy loads....and the early photos of the scope had
the spider with just a treaded rod......but later they had a block on each of the 4 vanes of the secondary....mine is the later version..I looked at the setup and as a precautionary step...I added the 13mm sleaves over the 3 rods..
I use this scope in my portable setup and keep it in a padded plastic large tote box.. Thus I pick it up all the time by the front
and back plates,,,,it just looked like a good idea and only cost $12 for the fiber carbon rods,,,and 1 hours work...
If you look at the 8-12 K$ ones they have a befee setup...on the secondary..
I never had a problem with the setup and it does hold collimation well.
But I don't use this set up for LONG exposures.....over 5-6 min...for hours...Its just not what I do,but the scope may be ok
for that...it works very well for me with my 1-3 min subs for 20 min or so.
I like the scope and am happy with it...I gave up my new C11HD for it and glad that I did,I use the MPCC with it and
have not used it for visual ...yet..
OPT had them in stock,,,I think I may have one of the first (new types) around. TPO AT10INTT
The optics seam to be very good,,,as most of the optics these days...
I think its a value for the price...imho....
I was tired of trying to get a flat image of 30mm or so from my cats at less that F5....(with out hyperstar)..
And being from Florida....the truss (open) ability to get to the primary for cleaning is a must..i just don't like
taking the primary out of the scope for cleaning.
Posted 19 February 2017 - 02:36 PM
The 13mm tube upgrade you are talking about, is it these tubes in the photo with the arrow pointing to them? Also did you up grade the the secondary collimation screws to nobs for easier adjustment for the secondary?
AT TN.tiff 466.95KB 52 downloads
Edited by shotgun, 19 February 2017 - 02:47 PM.
Posted 19 February 2017 - 02:57 PM
Apollo I have another question as I never seen one in the wild, in this clipped photo is it your opinion the base for the focuser sits on is beefy enough. If I get one, I am thinking about upgrading the focuser to a Feather Touch or a Moonlight. Do you think the that plate and the side of the circular truss will take the heavy set up of of a full frame DSLR and coma corrector till I can up grade to a CCD set up?
AT TN 2.tiff 221KB 37 downloads
Posted 19 February 2017 - 03:55 PM
Yes those are the rods...they are 8mm dia threaded.....I found a 13mm outside with 8 mm hole inside on ebay...about <$20 delivered........
This way I did not have to drill or modify anything (still under warrenty for 1.5 years more lol)...I very carffully cut and sanded the rods to the same length...was not hard to do,but watch out for carbon dust!..wet it down!...I used a digital micrometer to measure...and of course the side by side visual to get the right length.
Then I replaced the inter and outer rods back on the scope...very eazy to do...This fix gave me from 8mm dia to 13mm dia support (X3) so I added 5mm...over 50% more support to the secondary plate..
I just thought it was a good simple idea...knowing I would be picking it up using the front plate...
I felt more confident on this set up...allthought it might be over kill....but I like it....and it was so very simple to do.
Yes the focus plate is well built and beeffy like the rest of the scope....
BTW both shrouds are metal and float..(move freely)....and for the front one I put RTV on it so the opening for the focuser would not slip and cover the focuser moutting hole...using good grade RTC silicon wont
effect the carbon temp idea... I found that the shroud moved a bit freely and would sometime cover the focuser hole....works great for me.....I put the rtv between of the focuser plate to the shroud..
You may want to try the stock focuser first...for my needs it works...but a nice motorized one would be super.
In the pics on the altar site you can see a good one of the front and the rods...there is just a little extra space in the mounting to use the 13mm dia fix,The fist pic you have...the back plate has just enough
to make it work.. I had to use shinny carbon rods but would of like the flat finish better...but mine work ok..so far.
look at the front of the scope then you can see the rod attachement on the back plate
Yes I put Bobs knobs on...but I did not need to...doing it over again its not needed..I don't adjust it much screws were fine.but for safety
It might be a good idea...no screw driver to drop on optics?
Edited by mega256, 19 February 2017 - 05:09 PM.
Posted 19 February 2017 - 04:23 PM
Thanks Bob ((mega):
Sorry about not using your handle on the posts. I didn't realize that black tube spun, thought it is attached to the flat front and rear frame plates, how odd. So if the focuser tube is drawn up, you saying the tube could spin and block the focus hole? Does the interior tube need to be flocked or is it black enough to stop any reflected light. Can read what light shroud you are using in your photo, work pretty good?
Thanks again Shotgun
Posted 19 February 2017 - 04:34 PM
Keep forgetting other questions I have till after I post it. Did you put Bobs knobs on the back correcter plate as well, doesn't look like it from your photos? Any problems if you do that, I am thinking of that doing it with the scope. Seems like it would speed of the process of collimation instead of trying to use a screw driver or a allen key and buggering up the screws ends.
Posted 19 February 2017 - 04:51 PM
The flat paint is ok...so far......The frame (shoruds) spin as to not bother the themals of the carbon fiber..
And yes when I recived my scope the focuser would hit the turned metal shroud...(I was upset until I figured it out..lol) I just had to move turn it by hand..
But the rtv has fixed that...
I'm using the Astrozap shroud....the one for the 10" rc...its ok...but could be better..but works.. This scope is different then the rc but the length of shroud is correct.
All in all its a way far away $$ from the big boys...it does a good job for me..Im satisfied at about $2k (with mpcc) its one of my best imaging scopes..
A good refractor is a great scope!....but 10" gets more faint stuff and F4 is what I wanted.
BTW I did not use any ir filters B4,but do now with better results and smaller stars.. In fact I just bought a filter wheel ,,but have not used it yet.
No knobs on the back...not needed....keeps it flat too. Only thing after the original set up is the front adjustments so far that were needed..
If I drop the allen...no problem...lol..they are very secure..imho.
Also ther are screw holes to move the mounting plates around...so you can point the focuser downward on the mount...very nice ..
Oh ya one more thing...Walmarts has a large black rubbery tote box that will fit the scope with its 14" wide plates...just add padding...its not the best,,,but works well and <$30..
Edited by mega256, 19 February 2017 - 05:05 PM.
Posted 19 February 2017 - 10:08 PM
Thanks that was very informative. So have you noticed when you have set your collimation and you pack it up to go to dark sites does the collimation change on the scope. It seems from your post the primary stays in collimation and you only have to worry about the secondary? If that is the case it does indeed sound like a very good scope for the price. I take it the Astrozap shroud is the only game in town and no one is making one for this specific scope?
Posted 19 February 2017 - 10:28 PM
The Altair shroud for their RC is better than the astrozap one. They will probably have a custom one. Personally I would go for an ONTC from TS until a replacement focuser becomes available. The TS should have most of the advantages plus a better mirror and primary mirror cell.
Posted 20 February 2017 - 02:39 PM
Thanks for the heads-up on the ONTC from TS, I will check it out. How much better is their optics, is it big or just a step up?
Edited by shotgun, 20 February 2017 - 02:40 PM.
Posted 20 February 2017 - 02:50 PM
I looked at the photos of your scope you posted, by the way that was a great help to me in seeing one up close so to say. I see the dust cap on the primary mirror, what do you do to keep the secondary clean? There is no cap for the top assembly from what I can see, what do you do about the bottom of the tube shroud to keep dust from going up from the bottom? This is not a normal solid one piece design where the top end cap takes care of the problem, this a big concern for me living in the high desert.
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