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Telrad Use

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#1 Blackbelt76


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Posted 01 June 2020 - 12:36 PM

Just curious if anyone else has relegated their Telrad sight to the dust bin?


When I had a alt/az mount I saw the use.

Now that I have a EQ mount with very accurate GoTo's, I see no need for it.

Am I missing something?

#2 scottmm2012


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Posted 01 June 2020 - 12:39 PM

Telrads are for star hoppers.

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#3 havasman


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Posted 01 June 2020 - 12:42 PM

I'm a dedicated Nexus DSC user but keep my Telrads mounted and ready because every mechanical device will fail some time, or the operator will by, for instance, failing to charge the electronic finder system. The Telrad's handy when I'm in a session and lose power to the Nexus DSC.

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#4 johnoelliott


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Posted 01 June 2020 - 01:05 PM

I keep mine ready just in case my starsense fails

#5 Blackbelt76


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Posted 01 June 2020 - 01:16 PM

Agree with keeping mine on standby, but I don't even bother to mount it.

As far as star hopping, my hand controller is more than up to the task.

If my mount fails or I lose power; I'm out of the game anyway since I can't track anything.

#6 markb


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Posted 01 June 2020 - 01:32 PM

They can be handy if you do a grab and go with a go to mount, and just want to plop it down without much effort in finding north and level, shoot a one star alignment, and then let it drive reasonably well at sidereal rate, but are left with go tos outside your widest FOV ep.


Not that I would do that.


I keep a Rigel (mini Telrad style) finder and pistol 40mm green dot finder handy, but usually mount a green pistol laser. Microadjusters put me on target every time, and the Rigel is almost as good.


I live under Bortle 9 'skies' with 100-200 ? or so naked eye stars, so this is a workable plan for quick planet, moon, or easily located target viewing. Besides not being a memorize star patterns guy, it's hard to star hop if you can't see most of the stars.


Is it really that bad? Perhaps the easiest way to explain it is that the Milky Way was never been visible from my home, even in 1962 when all the guide books assumed young me that everybody could at least see a little hint of the MW.


Warn your kids now to start pushing for dark skies legislation.

#7 Chucke


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Posted 01 June 2020 - 03:35 PM

I still keep a Telrad on my 22" even though it is on a Goto EQ mount.  It comes in really handy for those rare occasions when the scope loses track of where it is and I don't have a camera attached to do an all sky plate solve.

#8 Szumi


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Posted 01 June 2020 - 05:01 PM

My goto mount is sitting in the garage, I can open the roll up door and see to the south.  Since it isn't polar aligned goto gets me somewhere.  Last night I was getting frustrated with using the finder scope as my dslr was in the way.  I remembered that I bought a telrad and I earlier noticed that when off the base the legs on it are vee blocks.  I grabbed it and tore off the protective foam that is still on my C8 edge and laid it on the tube.  It was a bit off but it told me my C8 was way off.  I got it on Jupiter, got the C8 centered and made an slight adjustment to the telrad.  I think that thing is awesome.  I may hold off on mounting it. It worked fine holding it against the tube.

#9 Arthur NY

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Posted 01 June 2020 - 05:34 PM

I recently got one and it rides on my 80mm as the only finder. For whatever reason, there are too many nights when the goto's just aren't good. Telrad saves me. Regardless, it makes the initial alignment really easy as well.

#10 Jim in PA

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Posted 01 June 2020 - 07:04 PM

I'm probably not alone in that I rarely use the goto functions on my equatorial mounts.  I hate fussing around with hand controllers.  I'll usually just loosen each axis and turn the scope to whatever I want to look at.  I use a Telrad to do it, I don't even have a finder scope on any of my scopes as I never use 'em and it's just added weight.


Once I'm looking at something, I generally keep the hand controller in one hand, focus motor control in the other...to make small corrections as needed.


I basically just use the mount motors for photography or (Edit:EAA), or to track in RA once I have a target in the eyepiece.  Or when using laptop control when it's cold out.

Edited by Jim in PA, 01 June 2020 - 07:06 PM.

#11 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 01 June 2020 - 07:09 PM

I'm a star hopper type so Telrads are just part of life.


But for someone with GOTO or DSCs, it can help with alignment and serve as a backup.


Another reason to keep the Telrad, so you know where the scope is actually pointing. Sure you're on the object but where in the sky it it?  That's why I'd want a Telrad..


In same vein, if someone else wants to know where the object you're looking at is, a look through the Telrad and they have a good idea and if they have a Telrad, they can probably point close enough to find it.



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#12 Lew Chilton

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Posted 24 June 2020 - 02:12 PM

Back in the 1980s or 1990s, there was an astronomy program on PBS. It showed an astronomer (Bill Kunkel) standing under the mirror cell of the 158-inch reflector at Cerro Tololo Interamerican Observatory in Chile. Right above his head attached to the edge of the mirror cell was a Telrad! That telescope was computer controlled and didn't need a finderscope, but it must have been nice to be able to see precisely where in the sky that telescope was pointed.


The same idea applies to our go-to telescopes of today. It's nice to be able to see where that object in the eyepiece is located on the celestial dome above our heads!

#13 airbleeder


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Posted 24 June 2020 - 03:53 PM

  I wish I'd had a Telrad when I had the GEM goto mount. Soon after I'd  converted to a dob but before I sold the SVP goto, I took a 8" f6 sonotube reflector to my brother. We were going to build a dob mount for it the next day, but I was anxious to show him the views through it.

   I mounted it on the GEM without the goto, but the rings wouldn't close completely around the tube, so alignment was flaky. I somehow managed to zero in on M42 which was positioned to the west, but Jupiter was rising high enough to view in the east. We had drank a few cocktails with dinner and after, so I won't completely blame the GEM, but I never could bring Jupiter into the FOV. A Telrad  would have been handy.

#14 Lister85


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Posted 25 June 2020 - 01:57 PM

I own exclusively Push-To Dobs. I use my Telrad (and my Rigel) every time I observe.

#15 MellonLake


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Posted 25 June 2020 - 02:49 PM

Because my dark sky sites are in the middle of nowhere and nobody is generally around to bother, I use my green laser pointer a lot!  The Telrad has been getting a little dusty.  The laser is just way too easy to use!  Telrad gets used if someone else is around.  

#16 sunrag


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Posted 25 June 2020 - 02:50 PM

Two of my scopes have Red Dot finders. All others have Telrad bases. When i am using RDF, i wish i had Telrad instead.
Even with GoTo you need a finder for the initial star alignment, and nothing is as good as Telrad. The RDF alignment screws are horrible and impossible to get precise alignment.

#17 DSOGabe


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Posted 25 June 2020 - 02:52 PM

Not all celestial items are in the go-to mounts database. I still use the Telrad to navigate to those.

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