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#201 Scott99

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Posted 25 November 2020 - 01:42 PM

The 130EDT 8.35 was one of the last EDT´s and has FPL53 for the ED element as far as I know.

 

But I had an early EDT with FPL52 too (now sold) and reg. color correction there was not much a difference. The coatings on the 8.35 are a bit improved but not by much either. 

 

Chris

nice picture!  OK I get it, so the f/8.35 was the final 5-inch EDT and therefore highly desirable.

 

So some of the earlier f/9's featured FPL52 with a mating element that did not require ashperization, when it went away AP had to start doing some aspherization to the FPL53 oiled triplets.

 

I love the ability to go back in time afforded by these well-made apo refractors!  It reminds me of my favorite bands except apos are better, they don't have many moving parts and enable one to go back in time and basically see Led Zeppelin live in 1969!   lol.gif  I can't do that but I can use my AP Star155ED, 1993 vintage.  For my tastes the early 90's AP's are the most desirable laugh.gif

 

For some reason I vastly prefer f/9 for my 6-inch apo, now that I have it I can hardly believe I went all those years using f/7.  And I love the lightweight feel of the old aluminum irrigation tubing, it feels like a big water heater tank, I never have to worry about flexure from hanging a camera on the back so it's perfect for me.


Edited by Scott99, 25 November 2020 - 01:46 PM.

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#202 Tyson M

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Posted 02 December 2020 - 12:42 AM

20201201_215149.jpg

 

Dec 1, 2020, full moon, backyard white/red zone light pollution. 

 

It was supposed to be average seeing with average transparency.  But the transparency was below average for the first half of the night, as thin cloud was more or less across the entire sky.

 

It did finally get clear though for about an hour for me while I was out.

 

Moon was near full, so the plan was to look at that and Mars.

 

Mars just did not look great for awhile, only at the very end of my couple hour session was I able to focus it perfectly (bad transparency remember).  I was able to clearly see and identify Mare Erythraeum continent details clearly, even more pronounced with the Lumicon deep red filter.

 

With the moon, I primary stuck with the 17.5 morpheus and Lumicon light blue filter, 80A.  It looked so sharp and contrasty, I liked this filter even better than my usual fav filter the lumicon orange for its naturally looking view.  It was enchanting.  Also spent some time with the 80A and the 12.5 Noblex.

 

No filter views, the 30UFF actually did quite well here. Normally it doesnt look great in it, but the moon was up higher which is essential, as I feel that looking through more atmosphere wrecks havoc on the 30UFF.  I also observed with the 32 brandon, which is now only used for low power lunar viewing.

 

There was 4 large craters along the edge of the moon that particularly drew my attention most of the time.  These were Stevinus with its central peak, Snellius with a larger crater inside it, Wrottesley with its central peak and Pentavius B with a crater inside it.  Also spent some time looking at Copernicus and Keplar while doing the full disk.

 

With my 10x42L Canons and zero gravity chair, I enjoyed picking out Mare Crisium, Plato, Copernicus, Keplar and Grimaldi.

 

Tomorrow I will have clear skies all day and night, and amazingly, 5 out of 5 perfect seeing during the day.

 

I plan to pull out the scope again for some white light viewing with the lunt herschel wedge and baader solar continuum filter, getting up so close up views of the nice active regions going on.

 

At night, I will hit up Mars and the moon again, and some double stars with my seeing staying at good 4/5, transparency 5 out of 5, and completely clear 5 out of 5.

 

As these conditions are unheard of for me, and I am on days off, I will make sure I have a preplanned list to hit more targets.

 

Thanks for reading and clear skies! 


Edited by Tyson M, 02 December 2020 - 02:55 PM.

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#203 gjanke

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Posted 02 December 2020 - 09:23 AM

Great report Tyson.

 

I always enjoy your summaries of your time spent observing. The idea of snow seems truly foreign to me at this point as we haven't even had a inkling of snow here in Maryland yet, so when I have seen your past few pictures with snow on the ground I have to remind myself we are now fully into the fall and soon winter timeframe.

 

It might be to early answer this question yet, you might need a few more sessions with the scope, When you feel you have reached that point I would love to hear you thoughts on the how this scope and the TSA120 compare.

 

- Gerald


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#204 Panotaker

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Posted 02 December 2020 - 09:25 AM

I posted this same picture on the Takitis thread. An FS-60C on top of my AP-130 F/6. All mounted on a Software Bisque MX, and a super rare Rob Miller Tripod.171250348.jpg


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#205 25585

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Posted 02 December 2020 - 09:59 AM

Great report Tyson.

 

I always enjoy your summaries of your time spent observing. The idea of snow seems truly foreign to me at this point as we haven't even had a inkling of snow here in Maryland yet, so when I have seen your past few pictures with snow on the ground I have to remind myself we are now fully into the fall and soon winter timeframe.

 

It might be to early answer this question yet, you might need a few more sessions with the scope, When you feel you have reached that point I would love to hear you thoughts on the how this scope and the TSA120 compare.

 

- Gerald

Me too!


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#206 Tyson M

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Posted 02 December 2020 - 02:33 PM

Great report Tyson.

 

I always enjoy your summaries of your time spent observing. The idea of snow seems truly foreign to me at this point as we haven't even had a inkling of snow here in Maryland yet, so when I have seen your past few pictures with snow on the ground I have to remind myself we are now fully into the fall and soon winter timeframe.

 

It might be to early answer this question yet, you might need a few more sessions with the scope, When you feel you have reached that point I would love to hear you thoughts on the how this scope and the TSA120 compare.

 

- Gerald

 

Me too!

Yea it is too hard to comment on that yet from an optics point of view.  I will say, the TSA120 was probably the most favorite scope I have owned and sold to date.  I, like many other refractor freaks, have done the upgrades up to 150mm and back down.  

 

For all purpose grab and go observing, the 120 (or lighter 130) is my favorite size. I got incredible seeing when I owned the TSA scope, and was able to pull in fleeting details in Venus last season. This was a first for me. I possibly had hints of it with a previous 105 traveller, but the larger Tak was confirmed it.  Also, the moon has never looked better in the TSA120. 

 

What conclusions can we draw with these statements? Well, nothing major with respects to your specific question compared to the 130GT.  Only that the bar was set very high.

 

From a practical usability standpoint, I loved the size and weight on the TSA120.  I maintain that it can be picky about ALT AZ mounts...too much for a DM4 and good but overmounted on the DM6.  I havent tried the AZ8 but with another scope counterweighted, it likely is very good for it.  If you get vibrations you can upgrade the tripod to an HD one for the AZ8 and be happy.

 

If you use EQ mounts, less of a problem.  It rides happy on an HE5 I would assume, or for sure an EQ6.  

 

Now for the GT.  In using it so far, the scope continually surprises me that it is a 5" scope, like it did last night.  It looks identical to the size of the TSA120.  Again, this is incredible as it is 10mm more aperture.

 

The moon last night gave a view very similar to the TSA120, both used the Lumicon 80A for brighter phases near full, providing breathtaking views. My conditions were pretty good (re:average) at the end of the session.

 

With a faster scope, focus is more finicky in the GT, especially in subpar conditions.  The TSA120 seemed to be able to nail it better. Although, bad conditions were hard on the TSA120 as well.  I think this feeling relates to the longer focal length coming into play.

 

Cooldown, about the same for both scopes.  I dont have conclusive data on what is faster or not.  I will test the GT on this at a later time, with a digital laser infrared reader.

 

When using the GT, it instills a pride of ownership, just with how beautiful it is.  

 

It is insane that I am using a scope costs as much as a small preowned car.  But for grab and go purposes, I can think of no better design than the 130GT.  That, alone, makes it worth it to me.

 

It reminds me of a NP127, which I also loved.  For some reason, that one felt heavier (especially in its hard Tele Vue case)but the stats say they are comparable. 

 

Views between premium scopes are more similar than different, but their designs and build quality vary greatly. That is what you pay for.

 

The GT being the size that it is, usually always means I wont hesitate to take it outside.  The TSA120 did that too, whereas I was making excuses with myself on the TOA130 after a few nights of setting up for nothing due to waiting or changing conditions.  I am a young guy and physically strong enough to handle the TOA, but for refractors, they excel at no nonsense grab and go.  Ready to use at a moments notice. Everyone has their own ideas on that.  If you have an observatory, this is the reason why you pay all of that money for it.  This is why I am planning one.

 

Using your scope is by far the most important thing.


Edited by Tyson M, 02 December 2020 - 02:38 PM.

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#207 Haydon

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Posted 02 December 2020 - 04:07 PM

Just thought I'd post this for the heck of it.

 

I own one of the newer Stowaways and a TEC 140FL and will do a quick comparison between the two, mostly as the comparison relates to build features.  First off, I will mention that both scopes have the best build quality out of any telescopes I've owned.  Also, I'll point out upfront that the differences between the TEC's and AP's build quality are subtle, subtle, subtle.  I can't speak to the 130 as I've never seen one in person but maybe some of the attributes of the Stowaway apply.   Below are my observations:

 

Paint

I prefer the paint on the Stowaway - It has more of a thicker splatter paint feel whereas the TEC has more of a thinner powder coat feel.  Again, both very nice and better than any others I've owned.

 

Dewshield

The dewshield on the Stowaway seems to be manufactured out of one piece of metal - very cool.  It does however use a locking thumbscrew.  The TEC dewshield is not all one piece but is very well fitted.  It is every bit as smooth as the AP with a bonus of not using a thumbscrew.  I prefer the dewshield cap on the TEC which has a simple locking mechanism.  The front end of the dewshield has a curved lip on it which allows for the ability for the type of dewshield cap it has as well reducing any sort of risk of chipping the paint that is present in many dewshields.  Overall I prefer the dewshield on the TEC from a functional standpoint.

 

Baffling

The Stowaway's baffling is not attached to the tube but is carved out of the tube.  Hard to beat that.

 

Weight

Weight per aperature, the AP seems heavier for its size than the TEC and probably is.  The TEC's weight for its size is hard to beat.  It is also well-balanced.  

 

Optics

Both have excellent optics.  To my eyes rings look identical inside and outside of focus both when using a green filter and without.  The rings are evenly spaced with consistent thickness brightness and smooth outer ring.  Neither show color either in focus or out of focus. I also don't notice any obvious zones .  The TEC is from this year's April batch where Yuri posted the Strehl ratios which were all high.  The results are not surprising for either scope.  I will say that when viewing through the TEC, the glass becomes completely invisible unlike any refractor I've viewed through.  It gives an impression that there is nothing in between myself and the object I'm viewing. 

 

Focusers

This one's not related to either scopes as both use FT.  But strictly as a side note, I've used a fair amount of FT focusers and the one on the Stowaway is the most butter smooth FT focuser I've ever used.  One thing apart form the focuser itself, the Stowaway's optical tube to focuser connection is absolutely seamless.  

 

Cumulatively, excluding the focuser itself,  I'd say the Stowaway has the slight (and I mean slight) edge in overall build quality feel while the TEC has the edge functionally. 

 

Edit:  I forgot to mention cases.  Both cases are very nice.  I prefer the TEC case vs. the Stowaway's Pelican case.  The liner in the Pelican case has a slightly rough feel where it almost seems the OTA could be chaffed.  Probably not, but none the less I've set a piece of the plastic rapping that the telescope is shipped in, inside the case that the OTA lays on.  Finally, possibly because I have a handle on the TEC but the TEC seems easier to take out of the case and put back in.  Both have good amount of extra storage.


Edited by Haydon, 02 December 2020 - 06:26 PM.

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#208 Tyson M

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Posted 02 December 2020 - 06:16 PM

20201202_134622.jpg

 

20201202_132801.jpg

 

12 02 2020.png

 

12/02/2020 Solar report  clear skies, 4/5 seeing, transparency 4/5 - 30 to 45 min session

 

AP130GT, 2" Lunt Herschel Wedge with 2" Baader Solar Continuum filter

 

I am sure glad I had the foresight to leave everything in the garage last night after my observing session.  The seeing was supposed to be 5 out of 5 starting at 10am.

 

Thin cloud cover, transparency issues were abundant in the morning. It was listed at average 3/5, but I would argue 2/5.  So much for my lengthy observing.

 

Because everything was set up, that is the mount was and the scope was in the garage, I pulled out the gear and began observing right away. 

 

Boy is it a joy to see activity in white light viewing!  Up until this point, it has been so long, it seemed all I had to look forward to was some faculae, and razor sharp granulation cells across the disk.

 

As you can see with the solarmonitor.org photo, plenty of active regions today.  

 

AR2785 I could see faculae around it, as the faculae by AR2788, and on the right side of the disk, AR2790.  This was a nice treat.  It popped out best with the 17.5 Morpheus with stupid good contrast, but the 12.5 Noblex was equally good due to the seeing. Faculae and granulation looked stunning at mid power.

 

The main feature that drew my gaze was the largest sunspot, in AR2786.  This is a monster.  I could clearly see the jagged edge on the periphery of the umbra.  The pneumbra was vivid and full of details.  I was able to bump of the magnification to the 3.5 delos for a whopping 234x magnification!  That is unheard of.  Naturally, the seeing was variable at this magnification, as it was in the 6.5 morpheus.  Sharp details would phase in and out of the seeing.  Best viewed with no seeing variability in the pristine views were with the 12.5 noblex, which still provided a full disk.

 

AR2786's pneumbra was irregular, in that it had a large feature extending away from it, almost like a foot, when viewed sideways. Incredibly, I could see tiny little black dots, minisunspots of sorts called pores inside the length of the "foot".

 

There was a chain of smaller pores leading away from the umbra of 2786 at approx 4 oclock.

 

chmi_06173_ar_12785_20201202_194630.png

 

Away from the major sunspot, I could see the pores for AR2788, which were very small indeed. 

 

Moving over to the right side for AR2790(left in solarmonitor image), the faculae looked quite nice.  I could clearly see what looks like 3 more sunspots trying to form.  I would call them pores. Jumping up to the 6.5 morpheus at 126x, I could clearly see that it was 4 areas, as confirmed with the above image.  One of which looked like it was trying to form a pneumbra.

 

As for AR2785, it looked like your stereotypical sunspot.  Detail in the pneumbra and jagged eges of the umbra were visible.  Faculae around here was visible as well.

 

I havent seen this much action in white light in for ever!  It was nice to get good seeing as well, as typically I am maxed out comfortably at 17mm, with my best days being around 15mm.  Today comfortably using 12.5 Noblex was outstanding.  Having to chase focus around with higher powers using smaller focal length eyepieces, it was sure nice to use the precision cut focuser knobs.  I love the feel of the large focuser knob on the GT.  Of course, small moves to dial in everything were a breeze with the fine focus knob.

 

I have the SUV loaded up and ready to head out to the dark site later tonight, although with the moon being as bright as it is, only double stars, Mars, moon and maybe a couple planetary nebula are on the list today.

 

Thanks for reading and clear skies!


Edited by Tyson M, 02 December 2020 - 06:32 PM.

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#209 25585

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Posted 02 December 2020 - 11:41 PM

Yea it is too hard to comment on that yet from an optics point of view.  I will say, the TSA120 was probably the most favorite scope I have owned and sold to date.  I, like many other refractor freaks, have done the upgrades up to 150mm and back down.  

 

For all purpose grab and go observing, the 120 (or lighter 130) is my favorite size. I got incredible seeing when I owned the TSA scope, and was able to pull in fleeting details in Venus last season. This was a first for me. I possibly had hints of it with a previous 105 traveller, but the larger Tak was confirmed it.  Also, the moon has never looked better in the TSA120. 

 

What conclusions can we draw with these statements? Well, nothing major with respects to your specific question compared to the 130GT.  Only that the bar was set very high.

 

From a practical usability standpoint, I loved the size and weight on the TSA120.  I maintain that it can be picky about ALT AZ mounts...too much for a DM4 and good but overmounted on the DM6.  I havent tried the AZ8 but with another scope counterweighted, it likely is very good for it.  If you get vibrations you can upgrade the tripod to an HD one for the AZ8 and be happy.

 

If you use EQ mounts, less of a problem.  It rides happy on an HE5 I would assume, or for sure an EQ6.  

 

Now for the GT.  In using it so far, the scope continually surprises me that it is a 5" scope, like it did last night.  It looks identical to the size of the TSA120.  Again, this is incredible as it is 10mm more aperture.

 

The moon last night gave a view very similar to the TSA120, both used the Lumicon 80A for brighter phases near full, providing breathtaking views. My conditions were pretty good (re:average) at the end of the session.

 

With a faster scope, focus is more finicky in the GT, especially in subpar conditions.  The TSA120 seemed to be able to nail it better. Although, bad conditions were hard on the TSA120 as well.  I think this feeling relates to the longer focal length coming into play.

 

Cooldown, about the same for both scopes.  I dont have conclusive data on what is faster or not.  I will test the GT on this at a later time, with a digital laser infrared reader.

 

When using the GT, it instills a pride of ownership, just with how beautiful it is.  

 

It is insane that I am using a scope costs as much as a small preowned car.  But for grab and go purposes, I can think of no better design than the 130GT.  That, alone, makes it worth it to me.

 

It reminds me of a NP127, which I also loved.  For some reason, that one felt heavier (especially in its hard Tele Vue case)but the stats say they are comparable. 

 

Views between premium scopes are more similar than different, but their designs and build quality vary greatly. That is what you pay for.

 

The GT being the size that it is, usually always means I wont hesitate to take it outside.  The TSA120 did that too, whereas I was making excuses with myself on the TOA130 after a few nights of setting up for nothing due to waiting or changing conditions.  I am a young guy and physically strong enough to handle the TOA, but for refractors, they excel at no nonsense grab and go.  Ready to use at a moments notice. Everyone has their own ideas on that.  If you have an observatory, this is the reason why you pay all of that money for it.  This is why I am planning one.

 

Using your scope is by far the most important thing.

Many thanks Tyson. It seems like optically, the TSA 120 would equal an AP 120 triplet, if one were made. I am hoping a Rowan AZ100 on EQ6 tripod, would be ideal for my TSA, Santa list. 

 

How do you find the DM6 with your AP 130, does the lighter weight cause stiction? 


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#210 Tyson M

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Posted 03 December 2020 - 12:01 AM

Many thanks Tyson. It seems like optically, the TSA 120 would equal an AP 120 triplet, if one were made. I am hoping a Rowan AZ100 on EQ6 tripod, would be ideal for my TSA, Santa list. 

 

How do you find the DM6 with your AP 130, does the lighter weight cause stiction? 

You know what...that is a great question. I haven't noticed it as bad. But I also made some changes. I got rid of the Vixen HR eyepieces even tho they were amazing, and replaced it with a 3.5 Delos for more fov so less moving the mount. Also, my tripod got a major upgrade, so perhaps I misidentified some stiction as subtle vibration.  Great question, and I remember it being annoying with the TSA120.  Now, the problem seems to have been mitigated as I don't notice it at all, just seems super smooth with this scope, when the reality is that they are very similar in size and weight.


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#211 Tyson M

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Posted 03 December 2020 - 05:22 PM

20201202_204636.jpg

 

20201202_204654.jpg

 

Dec 2, 2020 Night observing

 

AP130GT, yellow zone dark site, clear skies, transparency average, seeing average to below average, 92% illuminated moon, 2.5hours at approx -5C with a bit of a wind.

 

Well, Clear sky chart lied about my excellent seeing carrying on until the night.  I had it for solar on my previous report, which I was glad to have received.  I have never been able to use a 6.5 eyepiece or even a 3.5 delos to some success, so that was a first.

 

As for the night time, I noticed quite a bit of twinkling of the brightest stars, so my hope of high power mars and moon viewing and double stars were a bit dashed.

 

I did however, make the most of my clear skies and bagged two objects I am fairly proud about.

 

First, I didnt spend much time with the moon or mars.  Seeing was waving a bit with even the 30UFF so I didnt both with the moon.  Mars could barely handle the 3.5 delos when I looked at it, more like the 6.5 morpheus.  Same continent details barely visible again as last session.

 

I did use the "tonight's best" feature on SS6 pro.  I found Tau Ceti, which is the 19 closest star system to us, at approx 11.9 light years away.  Of the stars within 12 light years, it is the 5th brighest.  Brilliant bright yellow.

 

I moved to a notoriously difficult double star which I have never tracked down, Alrischa or Alpha Piscium.  They are very similar in brightness but very close together, looking like an oblong star.  I am not sure if you can ever call this one split, maybe with larger apertures or better conditions but they were right up against each other and bright @ 4 and 5th magnitudes.  At times, I could see the blue companion's airy disk against the white primary, "jump" into focus inside the first diffraction ring of the primary periodically.  Awesome sight!

 

Even more challenging, was me trying to find this month's challenging object, NGC 1360.  It is a 9th magnitude planetary nebula in Fornax, the furnace.

 

To compound my issues were that I do not use a finder scope.  I will want to buy one for the GT at some point, thinking about the baader varo finder.

 

I spent half the time, that is one hour, trying to starhop to this.  I could only see a single star (Zaurak or Gamma Eri) in the area of interest, starhopping along the river of Eridanus.

 

I almost gave up, but I committed myself and tried to scan out patterns of stars with the Canon 10x42L. I finally found the two stars I needed, HR 1082 (with its box of about 5 fainter stars around it) and HD 22333 that marked where the planetary nebula was below and in between.

 

I got a glimpse of it with the 6.5 morpheus, but after changing to the 3.5 delos, I missed it with focus and/or changed the position of my mount and lost it.  At this point, I already say the bluish color for a brief moment and called it a success.  Well, something that will have to be confirmed but assumed to be successful.

 

This starhop was by far the hardest one I have done, with no finder, with a bright moon, and low at 10 deg above the horizon! 

 

I will revisit both of these objects, I encourage you to find them yourselves! 

 

Clear skies! 


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#212 Tyson M

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Posted 04 December 2020 - 01:34 AM

20201203_202726.jpg

 

Dec 3, 2020  AP 130GT night session from 1830 to 22:30

 

-3C, 4 hour session with 3 breaks inside, white/red zone backyard light pollution with 85% moon, seeing 4/5 above average transitioning to average, transparency was initially below average, which cleared up for a while and then clouded over. CSC says average transparency but that is debatable.

 

I was not going to go outside today as I had my fill of astronomy lately.  But I am on days off, and its clear....and when I looked outside my living room window at Mars it looked impossibly perfect, beckoning me to go out. Suspiciously like some good seeing.

 

So I did go out. The prospect of good seeing is too good to pass up.  It is intoxicating like a drug, after your first hit you are chasing that high afterwards.

 

I placed the scope cooling outside for 30min before setting up about another 15 mins and getting to observing.

 

The stars were barely twinkling.  My suspicions were correct.  I tried right away to observe Mars, but thin transparency issues were still plaguing me.  Nonetheless, I could clearly see continent details which were Mare Erythraeum and its "foot" like protrusion into Terra Sirenum. 

 

Once the transparency issues went away, I was treated to some above average seeing with just a slightest undulation of the atmosphere in the 3.5mm Delos.  I really spent some time with Mars, trying to see as much as I could but besides that dark continent line bisecting the planet, there wasnt much more that it was giving up.  I tried using the Lumicon #23A light red filter to bring out the most details.

 

Even at lower power, in the 12.5mm Noblex, Mars was framed incredibly well with the bright stars in the constellation Pisces.  All in all, it might have been my best Mars session to date though, for its stability at such a large image scale.  The majority of my evening was looking at Mars tonight.

 

I split Gamma Aries again. Mesarthim looked like twin white suns, with a dimmer third star that kicked out east in the eyepiece (west in reality). Good seeing really makes double stars shine in the eyepiece.

 

I enjoyed Cr 69 with the 30 UFF and 17.5 Morpheus as it came up over my house.  I split Meissa in Orion, its faint blue companion easily detectable at low power with the 12.5mm Noblex @ 65x due to the conditions.  Looked stunning in the 6.5 morpheus, not bad in the 3.5 delos.

 

I did check out the Auriga clusters although they were quite muted with the near by moon. I split Castor, whitish  with a hint of yellow almost with the 6.5 Morpheus and 3.5 delos.

 

I did notice I still had a bit of stiction issues with this scope and high power eyepiece at 234x, as the DM6 might just work a bit better with a heavier scope (around 25-35 lbs might be the sweet spot?).  But the fact I use wide fov now means less moving the mount.

 

I had a look at M45, no nebulousity seen - but Alcyone's Braid always a treat.

 

I did take a break on the zero gravity chair and the Canon 10x42L.  Dialed them in nice and really enjoyed Hyades and the Davis's Dog asterism above it, which are one of my fav binocular sights.  Also swept up M45, Melotte 20, M31...the latter very muted given the near by moon and light pollution.

 

EDIT: I am now kicking myself on that I didn't try to look at Alrischa or Alpha Piscium again!    Doh!  foreheadslap.gif  tonofbricks.gif

 

I had a look at the moon, still climbing high but seeing was taking a dive back to average and it was lowish still, could have been higher so not the best.  Looking over houses as well doesnt help.

 

I tried to go after the trap, saw four members but really it was too low to scrutinize Orion.  Same goes for Sigma Orionis, had trouble with the 4th faintest member.

 

Went back at Mars for a bit before packing up due to the return of ugly transparency ending the night.

 

A few thoughts over this session crept up over me.  I am really starting to love this scope.  It really just might be perfect. 

 

From the sound of you breaking the vacuum each time you pull out the 2" eyepiece due to the snug fit.

 

For its no less than 12 knife edge baffles in the focuser draw tube alone.

 

To the feel of the textured paint as you slide the dew shield up and securely, without the need for a locking screw.

 

From the laser precision cut focuser knobs and knobs for the tube rings.  Each time you feel them, you feel quality.

 

For its ease of use and set up and relatively quick cool down times.  No hernia's here.

 

It doesnt give up anything to the TOA130, which is amazing since its near half the size yet same aperture.  Stars are impossibly small pin pricks everywhere.  Surfing around Auriga, Pisces, ect. I notice very little curvature, practically none with all my eyepieces., even the 17.5 morpheus.  

 

I still havent caught good seeing on the moon fully yet.  So I will still be going out to check that out.

 

Also it would be nice to be at the dark site with no moon and above average transparency.  

 

I'll just have to keep going out in the mean time.

 

Thanks for reading and clear skies.


Edited by Tyson M, 04 December 2020 - 01:49 AM.

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#213 25585

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Posted 04 December 2020 - 07:22 AM

A finder scope will add some useful weight. Its possible the cold weather is adding to your mount's stiction too. 



#214 Tyson M

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Posted 05 December 2020 - 01:46 AM

20201204_221940.jpg

 

Dec 4, 2020- brief session

 

It looked clear, so I set the scope out cooling.  1 hour and ready to rock and roll no cooldown issues observed at all.

 

Problem was, the dreaded transparency issues came around again.  It is this time of year....oh well.

 

Anyways, I did get sucker hole viewing...and even through some thin transparency issues, I could still see wider doubles well with the 6.5 morpheus and 12.5 Noblex.

 

I split Polaris.

 

I tried to split Alpha Piscium again, no luck.

 

I split 1 Camelopardalis, awesome pair, white and whitish secondary I think. Not sure if I ever viewed this before, I might start a paper log for my observations with the GT.

 

I tried for Theta Aurigae, and I will say I observed it within the first diffraction ring occasionally coming into focus with the spotty transparency and seeing, and for sure its blue color.  Was not a nice split by any stretch and need to revist it, just like Alpha Piscium. I can see the color, and occasionally the secondary will pop into focus for a brief moment and disappear again. 

 

Conditions look promising tomorrow.  If they hold, I will definitely be going to the dark site. 

 

Thanks for reading and clear skies


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#215 flyingcougar

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Posted 05 December 2020 - 06:29 PM

92 Stowaway riding on top of a 160.

 

AP 160 & Stowaway.jpg


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#216 Tyson M

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Posted 06 December 2020 - 01:12 PM

Well, dark site was a success with the 130GT.

 

Clear sky chart and Atmospheric were wrong by the timeline, by about 3 hours!  Wind speed must have slowed down or something from their predictions.

 

Luckily I was able to wait inside and visit with relatives until clear.

 

Once clear, I observed for a total of 2.75 hours, with the first 1.5 hours was observing 21:00 to 22:30, and without the moon being completely up @ 67% illuminated.

 

After a 30 min break inside to warm up, I observed until just after midnight, about 00:15.

 

Seeing was below average, transparency was average to above average in spots.

 

I spent the majority of the night in Auriga, seeing many targets I haven't seen before.

 

I did see the reflection nebula in M45. 

 

The 3 grand open clusters of of M36, M37, M38 Auriga were stunning.  Love this trio.

 

I was able to see the reflection nebula of NGC 1931, a subtle soft glow in between M36 and IC 417 (which I was not definitively able to see).

 

I found NGC 1907, NGC 1893, both open clusters. Another obscure faint clusters I hunted down was King 8, Basal 4.

 

I made my way down into Gemini.  Of course M35 stole the show. But I also scrutinized NGC 2158 right beside it, and IC 2157.

 

I observed Bochum 1, Collinder 89, NGC 2129.  

 

I did check out all of Orion M42 and M43 and the clusters above and below.  I really hunted for the horsehead and flame, with and without OIII and UHC filters. No luck.

 

I found M41 under Sirius.

 

After a decent haul, all found by starhopping, my fingers and toes were getting cold and I called it a night (even though it was still clear).

 

My run of clear skies is over before having to head back to work.  I could go out again tonight one last time, but I promised the gf a movie night and I had my fill.

 

Thanks for reading and clear skies!


Edited by Tyson M, 06 December 2020 - 02:24 PM.

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#217 k5apl

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Posted 12 December 2020 - 11:09 AM

I took the little Stowaway out of town into the Countryside for a night of observing.  At the end of the night I was pondering the views through only a 92mm objective.

Mount in a canvas tool bag, scope in its case.  Easy set-up and take-down.  Its fun.

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#218 25585

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Posted 20 January 2021 - 01:21 PM

https://youtu.be/QX91KAAgFew


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#219 Jeff Gardner

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Posted 20 January 2021 - 07:00 PM

Stowaway # 06 mounted on a Manfrotto 475B tripod with a Televue Telepod head. The ultimate grab and go setup!

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#220 PowerM3

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Posted 21 January 2021 - 01:54 PM

I just got my first AP! 130GT! So I have had/have a number of premium APO's including the TEC 140, FSQ-106, LOMO 80mm & 102mm, FS-128 but the 130 GT is certainly something else! Overall I have only had the scope out about 3 times but super pleased with it so far.

 

Some observations impressions:

-The mechanics of the scope are just totally crazy in how it comes apart into 3 pieces but then all fits back together into a single unit that you would never figure is not one solid piece.

-Star test is the best I have seen on a scope(surprise? lol). 

-Have not pushed the magnification too much due to seeing/haze but so far color correction is about as good as I have seen. A step above the TEC 140 and perhaps on par with the LOMO's. 

-Even in below average seeing 6 stars in m42's trapezium at 100x.

-Half moon the other night looked pretty good with the Baader zoom/2.25x barlow up to about 10mm witch is about 185x. I then went and got out the binotron with a pair of 10mm BCO's. Holy smokes, this combo is totally killer! Its the most razor sharp best view I have had of the moon ever. The previous best was on a night of excellent seeing with my Meade 12" ACF(that has killer optics). 

-Love how the scope looks astatically with the dew shield retracted. When its open, not a fan of the look.

-focuser is not quite as nice as the 3.5" FT on the TEC 140 but actually very nice!

 

Here is a youtube video I hade of my first impressions: https://youtu.be/-7SFCeWrXBA

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#221 Scott in NC

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Posted 23 January 2021 - 10:58 AM

Nice! :waytogo:



#222 SkyETC

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Posted 27 January 2021 - 10:51 AM

My traveler on the SVP mount and the 155 (F7) on the G11

image.jpeg image.jpeg


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#223 Defenderslideguitar

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Posted 29 January 2021 - 05:14 PM

The Ap 130's have quite a following       I have always liked the AP 6 inch refractors  of the late 80's and 90s

hard to find


Edited by Defenderslideguitar, 29 January 2021 - 05:19 PM.

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#224 SkyETC

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Posted 29 January 2021 - 05:20 PM

My father purchased both of these, brand new, from Company 7.

Always liked the AP 6 inch refractors  of the 90s

hard to find


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#225 Paul G

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Posted 30 January 2021 - 03:59 PM

My father purchased both of these, brand new, from Company 7.

That's where I bought mine, too.


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