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#101 turtle86

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Posted 02 August 2020 - 01:32 PM

The HD is very good but I'd like to know why you moved in that direction.

 

The Berlebach Planet is a fine tripod but for me the legs aren’t spread as widely as I’d like when set at the lower positions, where I usually prefer to have them.  I’m also considering a bigger rig in the near future, and the HD gives me more options with its huge capacity.  I find it just as portable and easy to set up as the Berlebach.


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#102 gnowellsct

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Posted 02 August 2020 - 02:46 PM

The Berlebach Planet is a fine tripod but for me the legs aren’t spread as widely as I’d like when set at the lower positions, where I usually prefer to have them.  I’m also considering a bigger rig in the near future, and the HD gives me more options with its huge capacity.  I find it just as portable and easy to set up as the Berlebach.

That would be a problem if you are not smushing the spiked points down into grass, I can see that.    My problem with HD is in cold weather it's pretty brutal.  And I always found where to stash the tripod head to be an annoying problem with no real solution.

 

Anyhow I still have my HDs.  They are frequently found at NEAF by vendors who want a good solid tripod to display something.  Of course OEMs sellling their own tripods use their own products.  But the HD is hard to beat.  HD also works nicely with an AP900 on top.  It looks a little thrown together but it's a very effective combo.

 

My friend bought a MyT and after about a week said this tripod is awful and he put the whole thing on an HD.  The Paramount ME has a nice tripod but apparently they blew it with the MyT.

 

Greg N



#103 turtle86

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Posted 02 August 2020 - 05:51 PM

That would be a problem if you are not smushing the spiked points down into grass, I can see that.    My problem with HD is in cold weather it's pretty brutal.  And I always found where to stash the tripod head to be an annoying problem with no real solution.

 

Anyhow I still have my HDs.  They are frequently found at NEAF by vendors who want a good solid tripod to display something.  Of course OEMs sellling their own tripods use their own products.  But the HD is hard to beat.  HD also works nicely with an AP900 on top.  It looks a little thrown together but it's a very effective combo.

 

My friend bought a MyT and after about a week said this tripod is awful and he put the whole thing on an HD.  The Paramount ME has a nice tripod but apparently they blew it with the MyT.

 

Greg N

 

I could definitely see the HD being brutal in cold weather.  In Florida, I only seldom have to observe in temps below 50 so cold weather is not usually an issue.  A used AP900 is actually one of the mounts I’m thinking about.  The Mach 2 sure looks great but the price is a little daunting.  



#104 jokrausdu

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Posted 03 August 2020 - 10:41 AM

I've got a pretty unique 5" F/11.4 Starfire that will probably go with me to my grave, or be donated to a worthy cause (Astro club or whatnot) before I pass away. I worked at AP from January of 1990 to October 1991 as a lens grinder fresh out of college. The scope was supposed to be a 6" F/9, but it had striae on the outer edge, so Roland could not sell it. He had two sets that were problems. He decided to make them into 5" f/11 scopes (after edging to size and regrinding to make them less thick), and he gave one to me, and one to another employee. I forget if I've got 51101 or 51102. 
 
I also had the luck of working at Company-7 in the 1993-1994 time frame when my wife and I were in Maryland. This was during the time when Marty was injured in a fire. Such an interesting time to be alive. I remember the comet Shoemaker-Levy hitting Jupiter well, and watching the scars appear on Jupiter after taking the 5" scope on a trip to the midwest. 
 
Around the year 2002?, I finally got a good Losmandy G11 mount for the scope. 
 
Anyway, I will post some pics if anyone wants.

I remembered that I've got a somewhat recent mediocre pic of it. I had an astro night at the college last Fall semester. 

 

50185184067_eb11d6d37f_b.jpg


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#105 gjanke

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Posted 03 August 2020 - 11:32 AM

I remembered that I've got a somewhat recent mediocre pic of it. I had an astro night at the college last Fall semester. 

 

That is a freaking planet killer! I love out reach pictures. People are always so amazed at viewing the planets with their own eyes.

 

Hey were you still in Maryland in 99"?


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#106 RussD

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Posted 04 August 2020 - 05:53 PM

I love seeing all these great pics of beautiful AP scopes.  I have had the opportunity to own a few. I only own one now and it is my all around favorite. An old 178 pre-ED starfire with an updated focuser and snazzy powdercoat paint job!

 

smallAP178.jpg

 

Russ

 


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#107 gjanke

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Posted 04 August 2020 - 08:00 PM

I love seeing all these great pics of beautiful AP scopes.  I have had the opportunity to own a few. I only own one now and it is my all around favorite. An old 178 pre-ED starfire with an updated focuser and snazzy powdercoat paint job!

 

attachicon.gifsmallAP178.jpg

 

Russ

Please don't take offense but....yard cannon. Wow that is huge! Now that's a planet killer. Okay I am gonna lend you my Stowaway as the finder. Just Beautiful!



#108 jokrausdu

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Posted 04 August 2020 - 11:00 PM

That is a freaking planet killer! I love out reach pictures. People are always so amazed at viewing the planets with their own eyes.

 

Hey were you still in Maryland in 99"?

My wife and I left the DC area in January of 1998 to head to Colorado. We were in Maryland 91-95, and NoVA 95-early 1998.



#109 dec12252

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Posted 04 August 2020 - 11:18 PM

Here are my two AP scopes - an AP130 f/6 on a 600E mount and an AP155 f/7 on a 900 mount.  I have had a lot of fun with these two scopes over the past 20 years.  Hope to enjoy them for many years to come.  Will never part with either of these gems.

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#110 Paul G

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Posted 05 August 2020 - 08:15 AM

Here are my two AP scopes - an AP130 f/6 on a 600E mount and an AP155 f/7 on a 900 mount.  I have had a lot of fun with these two scopes over the past 20 years.  Hope to enjoy them for many years to come.  Will never part with either of these gems.

Nice combo of scopes and mounts.


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#111 RussD

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Posted 05 August 2020 - 10:36 PM

Please don't take offense but....yard cannon. Wow that is huge! Now that's a planet killer. Okay I am gonna lend you my Stowaway as the finder. Just Beautiful!

None taken. I dont have a good picture of me using it.  You are about right. It is a bit of a cannon.  But I think it is a pretty scope.  The neatest feature is how lightweight these big scopes are but pretty front heavy even with the feather touch.  The views are really nice even though this one is getting close to 30 years old.  Mine is an oil spaced version but there were some air spaced versions made just before the ED glass came into use.

 

Russ


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#112 gjanke

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Posted 01 October 2020 - 06:53 PM

So I got a new, very portable mount for the Stowaway. I removed the tak finder and replaced it with a regal finder. Im finding it much easier to balance. I might put this into the grab and go category but I am going to have to want till tomorrow night for that. At the very least the mount and scope together make a dynamic pairing.

 

 

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#113 Tyson M

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Posted 02 October 2020 - 12:01 AM

So I got a new, very portable mount for the Stowaway. I removed the tak finder and replaced it with a regal finder. Im finding it much easier to balance. I might put this into the grab and go category but I am going to have to want till tomorrow night for that. At the very least the mount and scope together make a dynamic pairing.

I really love this set up. Beautiful scope and mount.


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#114 peleuba

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Posted 02 October 2020 - 08:09 AM

So I got a new, very portable mount for the Stowaway. I removed the tak finder and replaced it with a regal finder. Im finding it much easier to balance. I might put this into the grab and go category but I am going to have to want till tomorrow night for that. At the very least the mount and scope together make a dynamic pairing.

 

Gerald, is that a Berlebech Report?  I have one and use it with the TV76.  I like the Uni for the Stowaway.

 

Either case, its a nice and portable setup.    



#115 gjanke

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Posted 03 October 2020 - 02:57 PM

Good Afternoon Paul,

 

Yes it is the 212 in fact. I was able to get out with it last night and I was very pleased with the performance of the mount. The two worked well together. The dampening was very reasonable and the setup was very portable. 

 

I would imagine the 76 is pretty rock solid on the mount. 

 

Tonights shaping up for another good night for planetary viewing with the stowaway. I have the 31mm Nagler in the scope last night as had both Mars and the Moon in the small field of view. Its really amazing the amount of detail the AP can pull of Mars at this point. 

 

I was really lucky to come by the stowaway its a perfect fit and size for viewing planets and a good number of DSO's. I thought I would never get rid of my C8 but at this point I think I am going straight refractors from here on out.


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#116 peleuba

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Posted 03 October 2020 - 07:16 PM

I would imagine the 76 is pretty rock solid on the mount. 

 

I am out with my Stowaway and Vixen GP right now.  Just came in to get a drink then back out to wait for Mars.

 

Nice night here in Maryland.  


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#117 gjanke

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Posted 03 October 2020 - 08:58 PM

We are of like minds. I knocked out Jupiter,  Saturn, M13, M92, M31, M57, Alberio and I am just waiting for Mars to clear the the trees.  I have been getting some truly amazing detail of Mars surface with the Stowaway. The more I use this scope the more I love it. I dig the TV85 for its work horse design but the Stowaway is just a great scope. 

 

I have a 6 Delos that I have found to be a great all purpose eyepiece for the scope. I also have using a 22mm Nagler and the weight and balance is perfect for the setup. I have the ethos 6mm and 21mm but the weight of the 21 is a huge penalty for balancing on the 212 and I don't like dealing with the skirt with the 6mm ethos. 

 

The final eyepiece I have been using is the 3-6mm Nagler zoom. I have such a love hate relationship with that eyepiece. Its really one of the best zoom eyepiece made but on a "push to" the drift through the field of view is pretty quick. This is where I use the 3.7 and 4.7 mm ethos but then I get overwhelmed with managing too many eyepieces so I just defer to the Nagler zoom. 

 

Anyway Mars should be over the trees by now. Enjoy your viewing looks to be a good rest of the night.

 

Clear Skies

 

- Gerald


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#118 Scott99

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Posted 04 October 2020 - 11:32 AM

We are of like minds. I knocked out Jupiter,  Saturn, M13, M92, M31, M57, Alberio and I am just waiting for Mars to clear the the trees.  I have been getting some truly amazing detail of Mars surface with the Stowaway. 

lucky you!  You must be far from here, I've had like 5-6 runs at Mars in the last couple weeks with everything 92mm to 6-inch apo and had poor seeing every time, like 3/10.  Gotta keep trying!  It has to break sooner or later.  

 

We've been in a drought all summer, the jet stream is hovering overhead pushing storms out to sea but it looks like a fine veil or curtain has been draped over the planets.  The disk oscillates & jumps around in the FOV confused1.gif confused1.gif


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#119 Jeff Gardner

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Posted 04 October 2020 - 12:26 PM

Here is my Traveler and Stowaway getting photo bombed by my TV-85. All great scopes to enjoy!

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#120 gjanke

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Posted 04 October 2020 - 05:53 PM

Here is my Traveler and Stowaway getting photo bombed by my TV-85. All great scopes to enjoy!

Jeff,

 

That picture has peaked my curiosity to a fever pitch. You just created my newest goal in this hobby. Acquire a traveler! 


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#121 DeanS

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Posted 04 October 2020 - 06:17 PM

Not sure how I missed this thread when it started months ago.  So here is my belated AP **** wink.gif  

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#122 jouster

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Posted 06 October 2020 - 06:36 AM

Here's the first light report I wrote for my observing log in early August. I don't have access to pics so will add them later. Since I wrote it I have managed to purchase a Rigel finder and have begun documenting the Lunar 100 and the AL Lunar 1. I'm substituting the Stowaway for binoculars for some observations as my eyes just don't like my small 8x30s.

 

"After an anxious weekend thanks to UPS and a major tropical storm, the Stowaway arrived safely. I was keen to get it under the stars, but we lost power for a few days, so astronomy had to wait. My hometown has a park with a proper observing platform: a solid concrete plinth with a wooden surround, so with power restored I headed there last night. Unfortunately, so did a few million mosquitos.

 

I use small refractors because my New England skies are often poor, so I prefer scopes I can easily transport including by air--at least in theory! I have a 130GT, which is airline portable but was bigger and heavier than I expected. The Stowaway will give me flexibility. My favorite targets are the Moon, the planets, and double stars. For the Moon adding aperture doesn't necessarily add image quality under my soupy skies. I have an eclectic collection of eyepieces and had started with an old 50mm Parks Plossl. It produces lovely wide-field views, but suffers a bit on bright stars and planets. I had to use it because I have lost my red dot finder. I hate sighting along the tube, and am bad at it, but had no option. The Plossl at least helped me center my targets. After that, I moved between a Televue 8-24mm zoom--a terrific and often-used eyepiece--and a very sharp but tiny 6mm University Optics Orthoscopic.

 

My wife accompanied me for the first time, so I chose some easy targets. I planned to visit Vega then hop around Lyra, but Jupiter was the first to show through the haze. In moments of decent seeing, I counted six distinct bands in beige, pink, and white. All four Galilean moons were hard bright little dots. Unfortunately there were no shadow transits, though Io is obliging tonight. The Great Red spot and its accompanying whorls were visible, but their colors didn't pop against the planetary background.

 

Saturn was next, and he got a strong reaction from my wife. Titan and the Cassini Division were easily visible; the subtle banding on the planet less so. I had a bonus there, of which more later. After Saturn, I hopped from Vega (I don't do star tests) to Epsilon Lyrae, gradually increasing magnification and asking her what she saw. At first, she didn't see the splits but at about 75x noticed the separation. I hadn't given her any clues! Then to Mizar, after which she'd had enough--the skeeters were getting worse.

 

After she left, I roamed the milky way for a while. Faint fuzzies on a 92mm scope in murky skies are what you'd expect: pretty faint and pretty fuzzy. I had planned to check out the Double Cluster but it was behind some tall trees--not ideal for an observing platform. So, I went back to Saturn and noticed that with averted vision there was something between the planet and Titan. In moments of clarity, it was plainly  visible. My (first gen!) iPad suggested it was my "bonus moon" Rhea, which seemed reasonable given its magnitude of about 10. This was a first for me, and I am excited at the prospect of seeing other Saturnian moons in better conditions.

 

Last was the Moon. It didn't rise till after 11:00 and everything was soaking by then. Well--nearly everything. Amazingly, the objective was bone dry, despite having only the dew shield as protection. I'm planning to use the Stowaway to do the Lunar 100 and the AL programs so was very keen to see how it performed. The skies were boiling, and I was by now being eaten alive, but early indications were good. Posidonius and Theophilus were on the terminator and their sun-facing crater walls were brilliant crescents against the earthlit side. Finally, I crater-hopped from Plinius to the area of the Apollo 17 landing site.

 

And that was all I could take of the bugs. Mars was close to the Moon, but I had a fair idea of what I'd get with him so low in the sky. The Red Planet can wait for another night. Packing up was a slippery mess but it had been a fun night. It will take a few sessions to learn the scope fully. For example, I wasn't able to put my hand on the focuser without looking away from the eyepiece. Similarly for changing eyepieces, but I was doing that much more often than I will have to once I purchase a new finder. There's every sign that Astro-Physics has produced another wonderful telescope that will get me out under the heavens much more than I was last year. The only problem I don't know how to solve is the bugs. I guess I'll leave that for winter.


Edited by jouster, 06 October 2020 - 07:20 AM.

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#123 Scott99

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Posted 06 October 2020 - 10:33 AM

good report!  nice reminder of how nice it is to have the bugs gone for the year.  So relaxing to observe in the fall.  Finally got a good view of Mars in the Stowaway last night- seeing still wavering but with glimpses of much greater detail this time.  When the image steadied I could see the disk criss-crossed with a network of linear features & darker areas, along with the ice cap. 

 

So far the 90mm Prima Luce Vixen plate is working fine btw - seems just as stable as the AP 8-inch bar for visual use.   I appreciate the lighter feel of the scope with the short plate & knobs removed.  Feels more like handling the small Taks I've been using the last few years.


Edited by Scott99, 06 October 2020 - 10:34 AM.

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#124 Tyson M

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Posted 06 November 2020 - 10:11 PM

I can confirm with Gerald that Takitis can lead to something much more severe...

 

The Takahashi will have to find another home to make room for the new arrival.

 

20201106_190151.jpg

 

20201106_192440.jpg


Edited by Tyson M, 06 November 2020 - 10:12 PM.

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#125 gjanke

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Posted 07 November 2020 - 03:54 AM

It truly is a marvel of engineering how tiny the AP GT is in relationship to the TOA 130. It is one of the most portal airline telescopes made in the 130 mm range.

 

Its a beautiful telescope Tyson; Congratulations ! For visual observing I found this to be one of the most satisfying scopes to look through. 
 

Train it on M13 or M57 and pump up the magnification and you’ll be shocked the detail that 5” inch can pull out of those two Messier objects. 
 

I wish you many clear starry nights ahead. You still have a couple of months left before Mars fades you should most certainly enjoy the views.

 

- Gerald


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