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New A-P Stowaway First-lights, Reviews, and Shootouts

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#1126 Moondust


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Posted 08 November 2019 - 10:31 AM

Not exactly.  The dew cap flange is so shallow that it will come off by pushing on just one side of the cap.  The majority of drops are because you bump the cap on one side and it falls off.  If the flange were deeper then pushing on one side would just crimp the cap against dew shield.


For that reason, the felt they’re shipping will only make it slightly better by increasing the friction.  IMHO, the only correct solution is to have a deep enough flange that it can only go on and off if it is properly aligned.

Not sure if you misread or understood everything I wrote or if my description was just plain poor, but I think we agree. If the black retaining ring on the end of the dew shield were flush with the dew shield instead of protruding out as it does, or if the retaining ring were prutruding out as is but much deeper, then a deeper flange on the cap would work. As far as a solution to the present design perhaps Roland has something up his sleeve we are unaware of. The felt he sent out to those complaining may be just a temporary fix. Don't underestimate Roland, these are his babies as much as ours. 

#1127 jay.i



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Posted 08 November 2019 - 10:41 AM

All this fuss about the lens cap makes me think about the commotion about the green lens coatings and China accusations rather fondly... smirk.gif glad we are back to nitpicking the little things.

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#1128 Moondust


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Posted 08 November 2019 - 11:08 AM

All this fuss about the lens cap makes me think about the commotion about the green lens coatings and China accusations rather fondly... smirk.gif glad we are back to nitpicking the little things.

Ya, finally some action smile.gif.   Nitpicking is what's separates something merely adequate to something really special!   

Edited by Moondust, 08 November 2019 - 11:09 AM.

#1129 stevenwav


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Posted 08 November 2019 - 11:14 AM

It's a tribute to the quality of the scope optically if all we do is discuss the mechanics. I'll take one!

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#1130 jeremiah2229


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Posted 08 November 2019 - 11:17 AM

LOL... since we're nitpicking I'll throw mine in. The powder coat paint, that is so slick in my old dry hands that I feel like I'm trying to hang onto a flopping bluegill to throw him in the bucket. And the cap is so tight on my example that I pull the dew shield out when I go to remove it. Surely, won't be keeping because of these, how could I?   ;)


Bottom line is this thing is dumping ALL the light into the airy disc. Best optic to ever be in my hands and even with the slickery paint and the too tight cap, I think it is staying right here.  waytogo.gif




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#1131 Fibble


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Posted 10 November 2019 - 02:55 PM

Looking for advice/confirmation:


I want to get an adaptor to add my ZWO ASI1600MM Pro (actually to my ZWO EFW which is then connected to my camera), to my  AP92 Stowaway with the 0.8x telecompressor.  I need 64.1 mm of backspace according to A-P website.  I'm going to order a custom part to make up that space, so just wanted to make sure my thinking is correct.


0.8x Telecompressor --> 37.6 mm effective length adaptor (excludes threads from length of adaptor) --> ZWO EFW (20 mm) ---> ASI1600MM Pro (distance to sensor from front of camera (6.5 mm)).  This would total (37.6+20+6.5) = 64.1 mm.  

**Edit *** looks like i should add 1mm more to take into account optical distance of filters....


I'm sure others have adapted this camera, or have gone through the same calculations, so any help is greatly appreciated.


Edited by Fibble, 11 November 2019 - 08:33 AM.

#1132 Zoomit


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Posted 11 November 2019 - 03:25 PM

Stowaway #249 first light was this morning's Mercury solar transit.  I had been waiting to get an appropriate mount but after briefly viewing the transit with my 80mm, f/7.5 achro and white light filter, I decided to try it out.  I was using a Manfrotto 055MF3 with 701RC2 head, which I normally use with 15x70s but it works ok with 80mm achro for terrestrial.  I moved the mount shoe to the Stowaway dovetail and determined that, with care, I could safely use the Stowaway on the 055MF3/701 combo.


The focuser was a little stiff but I got my Ethos focused on a bush on a ridgeline 5 miles away and knew this was going to be a different experience than with my other small telescopes.  I dropped in the Nagler Zoom and cranked it up to 3mm (204x) and was seeing limited at the low elevation but could resolve branches and groups of leaves.  


After adding the white light filter, I watched the hole punch move across the sun for the next hour.  Seeing was remarkably steady, which allowed me to use powers that I never expected.  The mount was the obvious limitation, but I was able to learn the altitude sag pretty quickly and follow the sun at 100-200x fairly well.  This is not a setup I'd recommend, but it worked ok given the rarity of the Mercury transit.  


My first impression opening the box was that the Stowaway is a very small telescope.  It's like my 130GT shrunk down by 50%.  The views of the transit at 200x defied what I thought a small telescope was capable of.  Admittedly, though, most of my smaller telescope experience has been with various achromats.  The Stowaway image held up to all the atmosphere could yield, which was a solid black pea on the face of the sun at 150-200x.  I dropped in my 2" 1.6x Antares Barlow and watched Mercury and the sun race across the FOV at the 4 and 3mm Nagler Zoom settings (245x and 326x; 68x/in and 90x/in, respectfully).  At 326x, the view was obviously darker and the 0.28mm exit pupil was noticeable.  That power was beyond what the atmosphere could handle and didn't add to the experience.  The best views were between 150-250x.  I never thought I'd see such a steady view of Mercury, as it's always so low in the sky at dusk or dawn.  So here I was with a steady sky and a small aperture and perfectly maxing out both.  The sky steadiness was limiting above 245x, which is right were the Stowaway exit pupil gets too tiny (0.38mm). 


I need to give credit to the small aperture, and it's portability, for some of the "steady skies".  My initial views were across asphalt, which I realized was giving off heat.  I picked up my setup and easily moved it to the edge of the pavement.  This definitely helped.  I also know that using larger aperture would be looking through a wider column of air.  So my "steady skies" capable of 250x were in part due to the 92mm column of air I was looking through.


The Nagler Zoom deserves another mention, as it appears to be an outstanding companion to the Stowaway on a manually guided mount.  The ability to zoom out to 100x and then back in to 200x helps tremendously with finding and guiding at the eyepiece.  Manually tracking was a little frustrating on this overtasked mount but it would have been a much worse experience without the Nagler Zoom. 


Another shout-out to the 2" 1.6x Antares barlow.  I really like it.  It's gentle on the light cone and relatively short and lightweight.


So I really enjoyed using the Stowaway this morning viewing the transit.  It easily showed me everything the sky could give in a compact package that I can't wait to use at night.  I don't expect to see Mercury so well resolved again until the next transit in 2032.  I expect I'll use the Stowaway again for that one.

Edited by Zoomit, 11 November 2019 - 07:14 PM.

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#1133 Bill Barlow

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Posted 11 November 2019 - 03:48 PM

Thanks for the report.  But you will have to go to Europe or Africa to see it.  It won't be visible in North America.



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#1134 areyoukiddingme



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Posted 11 November 2019 - 04:11 PM

Thanks for the report x2.


I woke just before 7 this morn to be greeted by thick fog. Your report was exactly what I was hoping to do (but on a Stellarview MC2, which is working out great).

#1135 k5apl



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Posted 12 November 2019 - 09:32 AM

I put my solar filter on and it rained.  Clear day before yesterday, clear today.  Oh well.

#1136 moshen



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Posted 12 November 2019 - 02:33 PM

I really enjoyed the Mercury transit through my Stowaway and Daystar Quark Ha filter. The Stowaway performed excellent and the form factor and case was very convenient as I had to carry everything to a location with the best view.

I captured a minute of real time video of the transit through the Stowaway:



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#1137 gwlee


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Posted 12 November 2019 - 07:33 PM

Just received a message from Paige McDonald at AP saying they have a field installable fix for the loose dust cap that they will ship to me. Suspect that someone at AP monitors CN and spotted my blue tape fix on their $4K scope and barfed :-)

The new shims for the Stowaway cover arrived from AP today. Will try to install them tomorrow and report. 

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Edited by gwlee, 12 November 2019 - 07:50 PM.

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#1138 ron scarboro

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Posted 12 November 2019 - 08:54 PM

I put 4 felt “shims” and it made it pretty tight.  I don’t think it is a permanent solution though.  If AP doesn’t permanently solve the problem, I’ll buy a soft cover.

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