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~150mm f/8 binoscope?

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#1 CounterWeight

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Posted 21 May 2019 - 08:14 PM

Now that the SW150ed and APM150ed optics are out, is anyone thinking of using them to make a binoscope?  I ask as I was thinking to make my FS-128's into a bino scope sometime after my daughter graduates from College.  That is now hopefully going to happen so i can think about it a little more seriously.

 

Yes, yes, I know this (proposed 150mm binoscope) would be quite a piece of work to field! and other considerations in that respect to doing same with the FS-128's. In either case I have a friend that can help make a mount so I'm no too concerned there.

 

Considering what anything close to this would have cost 6 years ago is mind boggling.  Not that it's inexpensive, just way, way less expensive for the relative quality.  It is something I was waiting to see if might swing my own aspirations, and though the SW is new to me with very little saddle time, I'm impressed enough to think it just might.

 

Has anyone else thought about this?


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#2 hfjacinto

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Posted 21 May 2019 - 08:57 PM

I actually have the 152 out today and it’s a large scope. The thought of doubling it gives me the jitters. Unless you have an observatory, it’s not even remotely portable. So to me the answer is no, I have not thought about a 152mm bino scope.
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#3 Tamiji Homma

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Posted 21 May 2019 - 09:52 PM

I thought about 6" f/8 binoscope but I came to a conclusion that  it is tad too long and heavy for my daily use.

 

I settled with TEC-140ED binoscope on O'Connor 2560 fluid heads/Berlebach Planet tripod with K70 geared center column.

The binoscope weights about 40lb.

 

I can set it up in backyard, two trips in a few minutes.  

Drop-in top loading made a huge difference in utilization of the setup.  Well, only when marine layers don't cover night sky.

 

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Tammy


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#4 TOMDEY

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Posted 21 May 2019 - 10:29 PM

Why not just buy the APM 150mm 45ED APO Binos and just immediately use it? They take two-inch eyepieces and ready to roll.    TOM


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#5 Allan Wade

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Posted 22 May 2019 - 12:41 AM

As Tom says, have a think about the APM 150 binoscope. A high performing unit that is ready to use. I compared my APM 120 bino to Matt’s Tak TSA 120 bino, and the APM handled itself very well. I certainly wasn’t disappointed to have the APM bino, though the Tak setup was obviously as good as it gets.

 

I keep thinking about a 180 size, observatory binoscope for my astro property. Then I wake up and come to my senses. I figure if I’m going to spend that much money, I might as well put it towards a bigger dob.


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#6 Wouter1981

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Posted 22 May 2019 - 02:40 AM

2 skywatchers 150mm ed, matsumoto EMS, custom mount and a good tripod will cost quite a bit more than the APM150. So unless you do it for the building experience also, I dont see much point building one. But if you like building stuff it would be a rather impressive and powerfull piece of equipment! I have been thinking about building a 100mm f5 binocular, upgraded my plan to a 150mm f8 achromatic binoscope. Build a mock up out of pvc pipes and decided it was WAY to big. Down graded to a 120mm f5 and now shelved the idea because collimation of the 2 tubes is not that easy and outside of my skill at the moment.

 

Try the mockup with the pvc tubes. It's easy and cheap to build and you can weight the tubes down with some sandbags. It will give you a good idea how big and heavy it is.


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#7 Spikey131

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Posted 22 May 2019 - 05:55 AM

I joked about making a binoscope out of 2 TEC 200 FL scopes.  Yuri replied that they already had an order...

 

https://www.cloudyni...ased/?p=8571181


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#8 salico

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Posted 22 May 2019 - 05:57 AM

APM also offers ED 152 and 140 binoscopes. Quite expensive. But surely a step above similar sized binoculars. I use Binoptic Lomo 80 and ED 120 binoscopes. There are a few points to consider, like good collimation of the whole system.


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#9 CHASLX200

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Posted 22 May 2019 - 06:06 AM

Gonna need a big mount.



#10 25585

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Posted 22 May 2019 - 06:46 AM

What would be a dream binoscope for me, would be from twin TV NP101s. Heavy, sure, but not too long and wiiiide field. 


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#11 hfjacinto

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Posted 22 May 2019 - 08:59 AM

Jim, are you sure you want to binoscope a 152? This is my son checking out the scope. He is 5'7"

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#12 RadioAstronomer

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Posted 22 May 2019 - 10:47 AM

I thought about 6" f/8 binoscope but I came to a conclusion that  it is tad too long and heavy for my daily use.

 

I settled with TEC-140ED binoscope on O'Connor 2560 fluid heads/Berlebach Planet tripod with K70 geared center column.

The binoscope weights about 40lb.

 

I can set it up in backyard, two trips in a few minutes.  

Drop-in top loading made a huge difference in utilization of the setup.  Well, only when marine layers don't cover night sky.

 

large.jpg

 

large.jpg

 

Tammy

That is a serious tripod head. Probably the biggest one I have seen under a telescope.



#13 CounterWeight

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Posted 22 May 2019 - 12:05 PM

Tammy, yes I was following that when you posted about your amazing TEC 140 binoscope a while back - bravo! 

 

The SW 150 OTA is relatively light (imo) at ~ 20+ lbs., and just over 50" length, though that will change for some tube shortening. So it's possible I could keep weight to in the 40lbs region, and I'm not saying that is light weight by any means other than if comparing to same with a triplet design.

 

Yes, I've thought about it for some time, and I tried to indicate I am not underestimating the task.  I don't really need a mockup as I already have one SW 150 so I can work from a specimen.  Also, yes I've been following the APM and that other company release of 150 ed binoviewers though they are shorter focal length, I've read all I can about such a project (there have been some great threads on this site over the years) for years and always fascinated by it.

 

Having a permanent mount for it would be great, no question about that, but I don't see it as a show stopper at this time.  The mount being designed would be portable and have a drop in U type head as of this time.



#14 Eddgie

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Posted 22 May 2019 - 12:12 PM

Not here to rain on your parade, just to tell you the challenges. 

 

To make the binoscopes, many telescopes will require either a 3" focuser or a shortened tube (or both).  The Bino units for a 150mm telescope are going to have a light path of about 150mm  so this means that most tubes will require shortening, and this also means that most 2" focuser tubes will not be big enough (when moved closer to the objective) to pass the full light cone. 

 

In fact, many 4" telescopes do not have sufficient in-focus to work with EMS Binoback. (There is also EZM now, so some competition but they do not offer a solution for scopes larger than 4").

 

The cost of these bino backs is also quite high (around $2000 or more if you want to use 2" eyepieces) and by the time you add a good mount and rings, the cost of just getting it mounted, you are looking at maybe $$4000 to $5000. 

 

Total investment then is in the $8000 to $10000 range. 

 

And again, the scopes will almost for sure require modification and larger focusers or custom mounting flanges so make sure to included that.

 

But hey, that is not a lot of money to a lot of people (I spent $8000 on an image intensified binocular) so if you think you want a 75 lb binocular and have another $6K to burn,  I am really eager to hear the glowing reviews.  I am sure it will be enjoyable to use. 


Edited by Eddgie, 22 May 2019 - 12:17 PM.

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#15 t.r.

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Posted 22 May 2019 - 12:42 PM

Every time I get the itch I simply remind myself that a larger scope with binoviewers will show more at the same price.
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#16 starman876

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Posted 22 May 2019 - 01:12 PM

I have a pair of FS102's that are going to be a binoscope.   I have a couple of 120mm binoculars, but my dream is a high quality binoscope that I can do some serious power with,  Of course we all know, the  higher the power the better the alignment needs to be.  There are companies that sell the cradles for people making their own binoscope.  


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#17 Eddgie

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Posted 22 May 2019 - 04:15 PM

Both the EMS and EZM provide pollination by tilting a mirror on one of the barrels, so fine alignment is not an issue.

On smaller scopes, IPD is usually set by using two platforms that are moved apart by screws. For bigger OTAs, they are usally fixed in separation and small extension collars on each unit are shortened or lengthened to change IPD.


This is why the EMS units cost a couple of thousand dollars.

Edited by Eddgie, 22 May 2019 - 04:18 PM.

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#18 TOMDEY

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Posted 22 May 2019 - 06:10 PM

Not here to rain on your parade, just to tell you the challenges. 

To make the binoscopes, many telescopes will require either a 3" focuser or a shortened tube (or both).  The Bino units for a 150mm telescope are going to have a light path of about 150mm  so this means that most tubes will require shortening, and this also means that most 2" focuser tubes will not be big enough (when moved closer to the objective) to pass the full light cone. 

In fact, many 4" telescopes do not have sufficient in-focus to work with EMS Binoback. (There is also EZM now, so some competition but they do not offer a solution for scopes larger than 4").

The cost of these bino backs is also quite high (around $2000 or more if you want to use 2" eyepieces) and by the time you add a good mount and rings, the cost of just getting it mounted, you are looking at maybe $$4000 to $5000. 

Total investment then is in the $8000 to $10000 range

And again, the scopes will almost for sure require modification and larger focusers or custom mounting flanges so make sure to included that.

But hey, that is not a lot of money to a lot of people (I spent $8000 on an image intensified binocular) so if you think you want a 75 lb binocular and have another $6K to burn,  I am really eager to hear the glowing reviews.  I am sure it will be enjoyable to use. 

That's why some consider the off-the-shelf APM 150mm ED APO Binos, last I checked was $8K and takes 2-inch eyepieces.

Nother consideration is the co-alignment (also called binocular ~collimation~) that gets more and more challenging as the size and mag goes up.

Ummm... I know this is ~refractors~ here, but on the big custom bino coat-tails... I'm happily using the JMI (customized/upgrades) 406 / 1829 APO catoptric Night Vision binos. >>>    Tom

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#19 CounterWeight

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Posted 22 May 2019 - 08:08 PM

Those JMI are sick, I mean that in the sense of amazing!  Adding the night vision I cannot imagine, but that must be quite the observing platform!

I've been considering them (JMI) for years but it just seems so weird to me the looking over my shoulder backwards (I already have enough issues after my strokes and my brains ability to deal with spatial relationships of things I cannot see directly or maintain at interval), but then I have never tried it.  I've read some amazing reviews from respected folks - this why to me the desire to binoscope instead of bino view. 

 

Yes I have bino viewed but to me that is a compromise optically over bino scope or true traditional binocular.  Entirely personal choice there on my part.  I have not nixed the APM or other 150's, just my engineering sense of what I am after says there are just part way there...

 

All just in the thinking stages at this time.  But this in my life the first time optics of this quality at this price, and doublet at that, make the proposition more encouraging.



#20 Kunama

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Posted 22 May 2019 - 08:17 PM

I have a pair of FS102's that are going to be a binoscope.   I have a couple of 120mm binoculars, but my dream is a high quality binoscope that I can do some serious power with,  Of course we all know, the  higher the power the better the alignment needs to be.  There are companies that sell the cradles for people making their own binoscope.  

The EMS units will deal with a reasonable amount of movement for collimation as you know, as long as the cradle is reasonably well made.

 

I am now considering another more major astro project which may mean sacrificing the ownership of my TSA binoculars..... your FS102s will make for superb binoculars up to 200x



#21 starman876

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Posted 22 May 2019 - 10:24 PM

The EMS units will deal with a reasonable amount of movement for collimation as you know, as long as the cradle is reasonably well made.

 

I am now considering another more major astro project which may mean sacrificing the ownership of my TSA binoculars..... your FS102s will make for superb binoculars up to 200x

You have all the fun waytogo.gif



#22 CounterWeight

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Posted 22 May 2019 - 10:52 PM

In my reckoning there has always been a few toggles about the project.  Never considered 'inexpensive'.

 

The Matsumoto EMS have always been a given.  Engineering wise I can't think of a more elegant solution. Going at todays exchange rate we are just above $4k usd for the large pair with bells and whistles?  Only toggle there is size, and that affects overall cost all depending which scopes I use.

 

Another toggle is ability to use stock scope focuser(s), and OTA's including dew shield(s).

 

Then the OTA / optics cost which in my case here is a big toggle after looking through the optic as I like to see for myself.  The main reason I can rationalize is that there is a benefit to using higher magnification yet still below typical seeing limit, with a reasonably large exit pupil (for a refractor under 8").  An example here is that neither my 128 or my 150 will can function at highest mag's possible my seeing here. On my scope spreadsheets, I have a column I call experimental telescope working function. It's an odd sort of formula based in the scopes eyepiece mag(with a given ep focal length)/per inch aperture divided by quantity 'exit pupil div by scope tFOV (at given ep parameters)'.  In any scope the higher this number the harder the overall optic working wrt its own design and the atmosphere or seeing. Another way to express is the obvious the better the seeing the higher the power or twf limit.

 

Translating the above, typical better seeing here might support a 5mm eyepiece, rarely anything shorter.  With the SW 150 that put's me at 0.625 exit pupil with a 5mm eyepiece, so I'm not in the sub 0.5 exit pupil dropoff.  A 6mm eyepiece gives a 0.725 exit pupil.  And it just gets better as the eyepiece focal length increases.  With a 6mm eyepiece I am operation below the 200x sky mag OR 50x/inch caution zone and then everything (atm or optical) nowhere near it's design edge (that includes my typical atmospherics). To me the scope working function a sort of triple check against unrealistic expectations.

 

This keeps my OTA costs under $4.5k usd for what I consider very acceptable viewing quality at the aperture.  The additional light grasp (though compared to mirrors per cost) is still 'small potato's' but the added near inch per OTA to me is meaningful.

 

Then the cost of mounting.  I'm making my own with some help, and no idea what cost will be until it's completed, and if I include RA 'tracking'. Overall weight I hope to keep at, near, or under 50 lbs. I know mounting not free so add more $ here.

 

There is also additional cost in needing eyepiece pairs, this like the EMS more a constant or given as far as additional $$$.

 

Just wanting to cover all the bases.

 

"How to go from one 150mm f/8 doublet scope to equivalent binoscope for $10k or less."


Edited by CounterWeight, 22 May 2019 - 10:54 PM.


#23 garret

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Posted 23 May 2019 - 12:57 PM

 

Now that the SW150ed and APM150ed optics are out, is anyone thinking of using them to make a binoscope?

Yes thinking: 2x 152mm F7.9 APM refractors, EMS UL silver coated...

Mount: what I want  doesn't exist: huge 'video head' + tripod with optional drive,  because I don't to have gears if I want star hop/ sweep  the sky @54x/ 1.5 degree field, but I could use a drive at 300x!

Eyepieces: something like 5mm Delite, 6.5mm Morpheus, 9mm Delite, 12mm Delos, 17.5mm Morpheus, 22mm Vixen LVW, 22mm Nagler... and a Hypothetical 26mm, 2" Morpheus: 46x, 3.3mm exit pupil size, 1.65 degree field.

 

Do not know if you must cut the 152mm APM tube for more backfocus.


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#24 starman876

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Posted 23 May 2019 - 01:57 PM

Yes thinking: 2x 152mm F7.9 APM refractors, EMS UL silver coated...

Mount: what I want  doesn't exist: huge 'video head' + tripod with optional drive,  because I don't to have gears if I want star hop/ sweep  the sky @54x/ 1.5 degree field, but I could use a drive at 300x!

Eyepieces: something like 5mm Delite, 6.5mm Morpheus, 9mm Delite, 12mm Delos, 17.5mm Morpheus, 22mm Vixen LVW, 22mm Nagler... and a Hypothetical 26mm, 2" Morpheus: 46x, 3.3mm exit pupil size, 1.65 degree field.

 

Do not know if you must cut the 152mm APM tube for more backfocus.

We can use my saw when you need to do it.



#25 Tyson M

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Posted 23 May 2019 - 03:01 PM

I have to agreed with others, I would go with the easy route and get the large APM's.  Support the vendor providing these amazing instruments to customers.

 

Unless you like to spend a lot of time and money tinkering with a home built project....which is half the fun for some people so I get it.

 

Your money, spend it as you see fit.




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