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AP third production run of the 92mm F6.65 Stowaways

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#326 chakel

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Posted 12 September 2020 - 01:00 AM

Some nights, you win, some nights you don’t. Good thing we’re an optimistic cohort by nature. 


Edited by chakel, 12 September 2020 - 11:55 AM.

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#327 gnowellsct

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Posted 12 September 2020 - 03:27 PM

Some nights, you win, some nights you don’t. Good thing we’re an optimistic cohort by nature. 

It's not optimism.  It's just better to be out there with friends than inside with my own gloomy thoughts.  We do a good job of social distancing.

 

I miss the sharing-of-views at the eyepiece, which we've pretty much given up for the duration.

 

  GN



#328 etsleds

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Posted 16 September 2020 - 12:48 AM

Oy, the internet....

#329 wavelandscott

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Posted 18 September 2020 - 10:00 PM

I am happy to report that I had my new scope out this past week and they are as good as advertised.  It used the most magnification that I could muster with my gear that was with me and it could have taken more.  The only downside was the realization that I should have used my better mount for my maiden first light.

 

i will admit that I was a little skeptical about the quality of this scope...I was wrong.  It is all of that and a bag of chips.


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#330 gnowellsct

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Posted 19 September 2020 - 02:03 PM

I had a good night with the 92 Stowaway last night it performed admirably atop the C8 and performed well at 0.5 mm exit pupil (2x per mm, 184x), but the seeing didn't really support that for very long and most observing was at 120x on planets and then general Messier cruising for the rest of the night.

 

There was a glitch during solar in the afternoon, the focuser is not able to support the weight that the CFF does.  This is not a CFF vs AP issue, it is a FT vs FT issue, solution may be as simple as changing screws.  I'll check it out next week with Starlight.

 

Here is a video showing the issue (on youtube)

 

I'm going to post this link in one of hte astrophotography sections as I think this is probably something that people have seen before.

 

Greg N



#331 gnowellsct

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Posted 19 September 2020 - 04:34 PM

I had a good night with the 92 Stowaway last night it performed admirably atop the C8 and performed well at 0.5 mm exit pupil (2x per mm, 184x), but the seeing didn't really support that for very long and most observing was at 120x on planets and then general Messier cruising for the rest of the night.

 

There was a glitch during solar in the afternoon, the focuser is not able to support the weight that the CFF does.  This is not a CFF vs AP issue, it is a FT vs FT issue, solution may be as simple as changing screws.  I'll check it out next week with Starlight.

 

Here is a video showing the issue (on youtube)

 

I'm going to post this link in one of hte astrophotography sections as I think this is probably something that people have seen before.

 

Greg N

Hmmm...further investigation.  The black screws on the CFF are just anodized aluminum.  As with the Stowaway they are nylon tipped.  It would appear that the Stowaway is over-greased.  Both focusers have grease but the Stoway much more so.  

 

So it looks like disassemble and de-grease followed by very small amounts of new grease.

 

Greg N



#332 Traveler

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Posted 20 September 2020 - 12:59 AM

Hi Greg, i would send it back to RC. This is not what you would expect or if you wat, accept for an A-P with primary astrophotography as the design goal (=heavy;loads)....but that is maybe what i would do when in your shoes. 

 

I wonder if de-greasing will fix this issue by the way..

 

Anyhow: good luck with your new toy!



#333 gnowellsct

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Posted 20 September 2020 - 01:01 AM

Hi Greg, i would send it back to RC. This is not what you would expect or if you wat, accept for an A-P with primary astrophotography as the design goal (=heavy;loads)....but that is maybe what i would do when in your shoes. 

 

I wonder if de-greasing will fix this issue by the way..

 

Anyhow: good luck with your new toy!

I put in a note to Starlight Instruments.  So I'll see what they say.  I'm not anxious to send it back to Astro-physics.

 

thanks for your reply,

Greg N



#334 BillP

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Posted 20 September 2020 - 09:46 AM

My internet query of " buying telescope brings bad weather" turned up exactly zero returns.

I do not doubt that.  It is what happens when you search for the incorrect phrasing.  Try searching for: New Telescope Curse -or- New Equipment Curse -or- New Gear Curse.  You will get hits.  This curse affects more than just astronomy gear btw as you find it mentioned in all sorts of communities like audio/video studios, dirt biking, etc.  It is so prevalent that the concept has even made it into video gaming.

 

IMO, the curse is actually real.  Not that it is an actual curse, but simply reflective of the fact that any item is only ready for field operation once it has been prepared and tested for field use.  When items come out of their production facility, there will always be some level of mistakes because humans instead of robots assembled them.  So if you immediately take them out into the field without preparation and confirmation that they are operating to design spec, then you will inevitably have an issue.  Similarly, the issues can also resolve around inexperience of the operator with the new equipment as well.  And then there are the misunderstanding of exceptions for field operations as well.  For example, in the U.S. the average for sunny days, is 205 for the year.  Not all sunny days are cloudless and not all are followed by perfectly clear nights, so the chance that the evening will be clear of any given day one receives new equipment is probably less than 50-50.  All these factors lead to the impression of there being a mystical curse of some sort.  Not a mystical curse though, but a curse of unrealistic expectations for untested and unprepared gear.


Edited by BillP, 20 September 2020 - 10:00 AM.

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#335 areyoukiddingme

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Posted 20 September 2020 - 07:05 PM

Finally got my Stowaway out under properly dark skies (as opposed to mostly light polluted local skies).

 

Also got to using it with a Astro-devices DSC, and had fun re-visiting Messiers, and trying to eek out views of some dim NGCs. I remember finding one of Stephan's quintet, but will have to double check, as this would appear to be at the limit of the scope, and my memory was that that one was actually quite easy.

 

In any case, I'm a very happy camper. The scope gave fantastic views, and really punches above its weight. M33 was nice and easy to get some structure, for example. 

 

The view that stood out was a quick peek at the double cluster before finally packing up. The view in a 12.5mm docter was a dark, dark background with what seemed like 3x the number of stars I'm used to seeing from my balcony at home.

 

And I'm extremely happy that I decided to pair it up with the Nexus DSC. It was very intuitive to use, and quick to set up. 

 

Now I just have to figure out a proper finder. I use a laser from home which is a no-no at a star party. 

 

What do people prefer? I'm thinking some kind of red dot finder that will fit in a Vixen (I think) finder shoe. I'll have to drill another hole to fit the weird spacing on the focuser.


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#336 turtle86

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Posted 20 September 2020 - 07:31 PM

Finally got my Stowaway out under properly dark skies (as opposed to mostly light polluted local skies).

 

Also got to using it with a Astro-devices DSC, and had fun re-visiting Messiers, and trying to eek out views of some dim NGCs. I remember finding one of Stephan's quintet, but will have to double check, as this would appear to be at the limit of the scope, and my memory was that that one was actually quite easy.

 

In any case, I'm a very happy camper. The scope gave fantastic views, and really punches above its weight. M33 was nice and easy to get some structure, for example. 

 

The view that stood out was a quick peek at the double cluster before finally packing up. The view in a 12.5mm docter was a dark, dark background with what seemed like 3x the number of stars I'm used to seeing from my balcony at home.

 

And I'm extremely happy that I decided to pair it up with the Nexus DSC. It was very intuitive to use, and quick to set up. 

 

Now I just have to figure out a proper finder. I use a laser from home which is a no-no at a star party. 

 

What do people prefer? I'm thinking some kind of red dot finder that will fit in a Vixen (I think) finder shoe. I'll have to drill another hole to fit the weird spacing on the focuser.

 

I like the TV Starbeam.  It’s a little pricey but works well and would good on the scope.


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#337 areyoukiddingme

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Posted 20 September 2020 - 07:46 PM

I like the TV Starbeam.  It’s a little pricey but works well and would good on the scope.

One of the cheap plastic finders would seem a tad incongruous (and from experience, unreliable). . . I'll look into the Starbeam . . . 


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#338 gnowellsct

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Posted 20 September 2020 - 09:13 PM

 

 

What do people prefer? I'm thinking some kind of red dot finder that will fit in a Vixen (I think) finder shoe. I'll have to drill another hole to fit the weird spacing on the focuser.

I own three triplet apos and my view has always been that a triplet apo deserves a Tak finder.    But I'm making do with two Tak finders.   When the 92 mm scopes are on top of an SCT they don't need a finder because it's on the SCT.  

 

I have a Meade for the c8.

A Vixen for the C14.  

 

Greg N



#339 gnowellsct

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Posted 20 September 2020 - 09:22 PM

Hi Greg, i would send it back to RC. This is not what you would expect or if you wat, accept for an A-P with primary astrophotography as the design goal (=heavy;loads)....but that is maybe what i would do when in your shoes. 

 

I wonder if de-greasing will fix this issue by the way..

 

Anyhow: good luck with your new toy!

SI has offered to send me some no-nylon-tip screws for a brute force solution.

 

Tonight I took the focuser out of the flange, removed the screws and put them into a dish-soapy solution to soak.  While they were soaking I used q-tips with some solvent to clean out all the grease in the threads.  

 

Then I used solvent to clean the race along the flange, and then cleaned the solvent off with more dish-soap.  

 

Thoroughly dried everything and put it back together.

 

The solar gear has been holding now, at a difficult angle, for about two hours.  This is a huge improvement.  It was difficult to get it all to work though.  The first three times I tried to get it all set up it was still rotating, but slower.  Now it seems to be static.  

 

This isn't really an AP thing because the flange and screws are identical to those on the CFF.  I think SI wants to make the screws "buttery smooth" and put a dab of grease in there.  But if any of that grease makes it down into the groove and on to the tips of the screws you have a problem.  

 

Right now I'm running the system greaseless.  Some day I might be inclined to raise the flange screws up 50% and dab a tiny amount of lubricant on the top half.  But you don't want any excess making its way down to the bottom.

 

You've all heard of mainland China's grease-glue which causes stuff to come to a halt.  Starlight Instrument's grease is the opposite.  Super smooth and hard to stop!

 

Greg N


Edited by gnowellsct, 20 September 2020 - 10:02 PM.

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#340 areyoukiddingme

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Posted 20 September 2020 - 09:42 PM

I own three triplet apos and my view has always been that a triplet apo deserves a Tak finder.    But I'm making do with two Tak finders.   When the 92 mm scopes are on top of an SCT they don't need a finder because it's on the SCT.  

 

I have a Meade for the c8.

A Vixen for the C14.  

 

Greg N

I've sold off most all of my visual finders. Just can't get on with them for some reason.

 

My usual process is to pair up a Rigel finder with a 30mm wide field on my reflectors. But I can't bring myself to stick a Rigel onto the Stowaway. Hmm, maybe there's an adapter for a Vixen shoe . . . 

 

Hah!! ScopeStuff to the rescue, this looks like a good way to go for me:

 

http://www.scopestuff.com/ss_rqf2.htm

 

I decided to be wildly decadent, and now have two Rigel finders, one dedicated to my 8" and one to my 12.5" so I don't have to adjust each time.


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#341 gnowellsct

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Posted 20 September 2020 - 10:00 PM

I've sold off most all of my visual finders. Just can't get on with them for some reason.

 

My usual process is to pair up a Rigel finder with a 30mm wide field on my reflectors. But I can't bring myself to stick a Rigel onto the Stowaway. Hmm, maybe there's an adapter for a Vixen shoe . . . 

 

Hah!! ScopeStuff to the rescue, this looks like a good way to go for me:

 

http://www.scopestuff.com/ss_rqf2.htm

 

I decided to be wildly decadent, and now have two Rigel finders, one dedicated to my 8" and one to my 12.5" so I don't have to adjust each time.

I had a rigel finder it was like an allergic reaction or something I just DID NOT get along with that finder system.  I couldn't even get the light to show in the right place.  

 

I basically use the visual finders to find ten stars/objects to get the Argo Navis model fired up.  After that I use them only very occasionally: when the angle doesn't break my neck, and I want to swing to something obvious.  Sometimes I get curious and look at a Messier through the finder.  The finders do a good job.

 

The Meade finder at $60 is a good deal with its rear focus and heavy black lines that you can see even in the dark.  You do have to watch out for the cross hair module popping out on the inside.  (You can pop it back in and either jam it in with some aluminum around it or glue it if you're feeling ambitious).  

 

That sounds really trashy, and it is, but actually optically I like the Meade.

 

Greg N

 

p.s. and you can tell people it is a Tak finder.  But people in the know won't be fooled.  It has no hole for an illumination light and the Tak crosshairs are totally different (designed, basically, for an illuminator).


Edited by gnowellsct, 20 September 2020 - 10:01 PM.


#342 turtle86

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Posted 20 September 2020 - 10:10 PM

I've sold off most all of my visual finders. Just can't get on with them for some reason.

 

My usual process is to pair up a Rigel finder with a 30mm wide field on my reflectors. But I can't bring myself to stick a Rigel onto the Stowaway. Hmm, maybe there's an adapter for a Vixen shoe . . . 

 

Hah!! ScopeStuff to the rescue, this looks like a good way to go for me:

 

http://www.scopestuff.com/ss_rqf2.htm

 

I decided to be wildly decadent, and now have two Rigel finders, one dedicated to my 8" and one to my 12.5" so I don't have to adjust each time.

 

Visual finders don’t work for me either, even the RACI ones.  Earlier this year I picked up a Tak Sky 90 that came with a Tak finder.  I quickly sold it off.  I usually use a Rigel with it though last time out I used an Orion EZ Finder.  It got the job done but it just didn’t look right on the scope. lol.gif


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#343 areyoukiddingme

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Posted 20 September 2020 - 10:14 PM

The Rigel can actually throw up an odd reflection of the reticle way off from where it's supposed to be--happened this weekend. I thought it was dewed up or on the fritz for a second.

 

And it can be a little difficult to find the circle until you get used to placing your head correctly. It's not intuitive.

 

So much so, that every time I have invited a friend to take control of a scope, and say "and look from back here", every-single-time, people try to put their eye right up to the finder. Which I suppose would be par for the course, but I've got this behavior out of a bunch of PhDs (and not the kind with humanities degrees).

 

But once use to it . . . it's nice and light weight, easy to use, and the height is about the same as the Telrad. The batteries last a good long while, and I always keep a spare in my junk bag.



#344 areyoukiddingme

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Posted 20 September 2020 - 10:17 PM

Visual finders don’t work for me either, even the RACI ones.  Earlier this year I picked up a Tak Sky 90 that came with a Tak finder.  I quickly sold it off.  I usually use a Rigel with it though last time out I used an Orion EZ Finder.  It got the job done but it just didn’t look right on the scope. lol.gif

Yep, I had some nice RACIs, and even then much prefer to triangul0te an objects position using the Rigel or a Telad from nearby stars, and then randomly blather about until I hit on the object in a wide field. Then I zoom in for detail. None of this hopping malarkey for me!



#345 Paul G

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Posted 21 September 2020 - 09:12 AM

You've all heard of mainland China's grease-glue which causes stuff to come to a halt.  Starlight Instrument's grease is the opposite.  Super smooth and hard to stop!

 

Greg N

Can you tell if the grease served any damping purpose?




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