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The joy of a good, small refractor

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#176 teashea

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Posted 22 February 2021 - 12:44 PM

Purchased that "handle" for my Porta Mount last year and it works great with all of my refractors.

From Agana Astro:  Kokusai Kohki Guide Handle for Vixen Porta / Porta II and Explore Scientific Twilight I / II Mounts.  $70 is a reasonable price for such a robust control arm.

 

Here is the Tak FC-76DCU mounted on it.   Nice balance and good control.

Is a "must have" for those alt az mounts, in my opinion.

You do not need the ugly dovetail.  The tubeholder will bolt directly to the mount.  Just remove the dovetail holder from the Porta II.  See the photos of mine right above.  


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#177 ttc359

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Posted 22 February 2021 - 05:00 PM

Small stuff for joyful solar system observing:

 

attachicon.gifFOA60Qm.jpg

Takahashi FOA-60Q

thats an interesting mount, never seen that before.   Looks like a Vamo, but better looking and it looks like slow motion controls.  



#178 desertlens

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Posted 22 February 2021 - 05:23 PM

thats an interesting mount, never seen that before.   Looks like a Vamo, but better looking and it looks like slow motion controls.  

The mount is a Scopetech Zero from Japan, available from Astro Hutech and yes, slo-mo controls. It comes without the knobs which came from ADM.


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#179 aa6ww

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Posted 24 February 2021 - 10:18 AM

I use my AT-92 for a visual grab and go. Its excellent for easy back yard visual fun. I may mount it on a Skywatcher AZ-GTI this year, just to be a lazy visual astronomer.

It also works extremely well with a 2" TV Big Barlow in front of the diagonal for 3x the focal length.

 

 

...Ralph

 

Anybody use an AT92 for visual DSOs?

 

I have an ST80 and ST120 and although a 100mm would split the difference, I'm really intrigued by the 92.


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#180 Illinois

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Posted 25 February 2021 - 07:42 AM

I enjoy my Orion 80ED. Great for grab and go telescope and get up early morning for last minutes clear sky and grab my 80ED without worry about cooling time. I like ES24 82 deg eyepiece for 25 power and it’s little over 3 degrees of view. I do higher power to look at double stars, moon and planet.  Great view of Jupiter and Saturn in one view in Dec 20 and 22nd 2020. I painted shiny black to look nice because it’s 10 years old to look like new! 

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#181 duck2k

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Posted 25 February 2021 - 10:02 AM

Fun little scope for sweeping the night skies.smile.gif

 

 

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#182 James1996

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Posted 25 February 2021 - 10:31 AM

duck2k what model of scope is that? It's tiny!


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#183 duck2k

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Posted 25 February 2021 - 10:45 AM

duck2k what model of scope is that? It's tiny!

Hello James,

 

The scope is a William Optics Zenithstar 61II. Great for visual, but more astro photography. It does pack a powerful punch, but because of it's limited back focus, a 2in optical train is recommended.  That part does not bother me, because I like 2 in trains anyway.:)


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#184 Rich V.

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Posted 25 February 2021 - 11:58 AM

SV80S waiting for a look at the Dec. conjunction.  It's never disappointed me; great little scope that's an overachiever.

 

Rich

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#185 starmason

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Posted 25 February 2021 - 09:06 PM

You do not need the ugly dovetail.  The tubeholder will bolt directly to the mount.  Just remove the dovetail holder from the Porta II.  See the photos of mine right above.  

The reason for the "ugly dovetail" is so I can mount that fine telescope on various mounts with that dovetail in place - and I mount various OTA's on that Porta Mount.  Yours looks great mounted directly on the Porta, though....like it belongs there!

Enjoy!

Geo


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#186 JerryX

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Posted 25 February 2021 - 09:30 PM

My first refractor was a 60mm alt-az from Sears. I opened the package on Christmas eve 1968 and immediately wanted to take it outside to see if I could see Apollo 8, which was orbiting the moon at the time. I was too young to know that was impossible.


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#187 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 25 February 2021 - 09:42 PM

The only complaint I've heard is they interfere with getting to the RHS focuser knob. How do you deal/feel about that?

It can happen but looking at the AT-80ED, it seems like there should be enough room.  You can always shorten the dovetail. 

 

Another option is to swap the two speed so it's on the left rather than the right, I don't know if this is possible with the AT-80ED, I do it regularly with Crayfords.. 

 

Jon


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#188 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 25 February 2021 - 09:47 PM

The joy of a good, small refractor(or any scope for that matter) is that if you have an arthritic back, it will thank you for not lifting a heavy scope!!!

:waytogo:

 

It's clear outside, my back is bothering me and I am needing a little inspiration to go outside and do some observing.  I have been thinking of my WO 80mm and decided this thread would provide that inspiration..  You have done it... 

 

Now the only question is should I take the 80mm F/7FD or the 60mm F/15 Carton (COC)?  

 

Jon


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#189 starmason

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Posted 26 February 2021 - 09:13 AM

The "both sides of the Veil" small aperture views, OIII or otherwise, haven't impressed me.  I mean yeah they impress in the sense you get to see the whole KABLOOIE that happened out there once upon a time.  But the level of resolution/detail in the nebula itself is pretty poor.  In the C14 you can only see a fraction of one side of the veil but you can cruise along it using the hand paddle and get totally immersed in the thick ropelike textures.  The "Matrix nebula" (I think that's called NGC 6995) is all by itself one of the most amazingly intricate and bedazzling objects in the sky.  You need aperture to bring it out.  No doubt a 14" f/4.5 would bring out the textures as well or better than my C14 with 2 and a half times the field of view....but there would be an exit pupil loss, which there is not at the 100x views I get in my C14.  The 14" Newt could of course also do 100x.   I raise the issue because at very wide exit pupils you might get "brightening up" rather than "dimming out" as you raise magnification from a 7 or 8 mm exit pupil to a 4 mm exit pupil (trending towards 100% use of your aperture as your exit pupil matches your eyeball pupil).  I should post a question about that somewhere.

 

In any event these technicalities aside I guess I learned to enjoy the Veil back in the days when I didn't have apos and my preference has stuck with me.  I enjoy the refractor views but the big aperture views are preferred for me.

 

It is not that way with all objects, I might add.  I think I enjoy the views of the Ring Nebula at 16x more than I enjoy it "up close and personal" at 250x in the C14.  M71, M56--I get most delight from these in a very dark sky in a small aperture.  M76, I'll take the C8 or C14 thank you very much.

 

Greg N

Well, this just about sums it up about the reasons most amateur astronomers observe with various apertures and types of telescopes.  I also enjoy my wide field/low power Hinode Hutec bino for observing entire constellations in the skies over Winchester Virginia....as our Bortle (poor) viewing just about allows for seeing Canis Major outline.  That wide field light gathering  Galilean optics bino is very helpful to me and very enjoyable for scanning the skies as if I were under less light polluted skies.  Sometimes we just need more light and low power to enjoy the starry night above.


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#190 starmason

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Posted 26 February 2021 - 09:28 AM

 

waytogo.gif

 

It's clear outside, my back is bothering me and I am needing a little inspiration to go outside and do some observing.  I have been thinking of my WO 80mm and decided this thread would provide that inspiration..  You have done it... 

 

Now the only question is should I take the 80mm F/7FD or the 60mm F/15 Carton (COC)?  

 

Jon

Now THAT is a tough decision!

Why not both?

One should never waste a calm, clear night under a canopy of stars...

The other night I set up my Tak FC-60C (mono) and AT-102ED (with bino viewer installed) on alt az mounts and enjoyed comparing the views in each.  Each offers stunning views within their aperture/doublet configurations.  Always amazes me how much one can enjoy observing with good quality small refractors (when the weather finally clears).


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#191 Astrojensen

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Posted 26 February 2021 - 09:43 AM

 Always amazes me how much one can enjoy observing with good quality small refractors (when the weather finally clears).

waytogo.gif  

 

 

Clear skies!

Thomas, Denmark


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#192 barbie

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Posted 26 February 2021 - 10:52 AM

A good quality, small refractor(or any other type of small scope for that matter) is a wonderful alternative to not observing at all!! Just because a scope is small doesn't diminish the enjoyment of a quick observing session of an hour or two. I'd rather have brief observing sessions with a small scope than fewer observing sessions with a large and unwieldy instrument that just sits and collects dust!! In other words, I USE my small scopes and use them as often as my local sky conditions permit. Also, after having had large instruments and seeing what they can show, there is something almost magical about seeing those same objects with an instrument about equivalent(as far as aperture is concerned) to what great observational astronomers of the past like Messier and Huygens used and derived much enjoyment from not to mention the discoveries they made with small apertures!! We are very fortunate today to have high quality, small aperture scopes available to enjoy God's wonderful universe!!
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#193 teashea

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Posted 26 February 2021 - 10:55 AM

The reason for the "ugly dovetail" is so I can mount that fine telescope on various mounts with that dovetail in place - and I mount various OTA's on that Porta Mount.  Yours looks great mounted directly on the Porta, though....like it belongs there!

Enjoy!

Geo

That makes sense.  Good viewing to you.



#194 jcj380

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Posted 26 February 2021 - 11:40 AM

A good quality, small refractor [...] is a wonderful alternative to not observing at all!! [...] I'd rather have brief observing sessions with a small scope than fewer observing sessions with a large and unwieldy instrument that just sits and collects dust!! 

waytogo.gif   Well said, Barbie.  That's why I keep my ST80 sitting by the back door.  Its quality isn't divine, but if it can get me even a few minutes of wandering random starfields, I'm happy.


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#195 LDW47

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Posted 26 February 2021 - 02:31 PM

Absolutely.  They are so excellent.  I purchased one for each of my Porta II's.  They make it so easy and smooth to move the position.  

I just installed two handles on my Porta II’s, they are a great accessory ! I will get a third one come spring for the Porta at my camp. 


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#196 ttc359

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Posted 14 March 2021 - 11:29 AM

I haven't used a scope in over a year, with a bad back the C8 wasn't getting any love.   Not just the weight, but the hassle of the alignment, dewshield, heater strip, cables, battery, etc.   Just sold everything, looking for a small frac (prob AT80 or 102ed) on alt-az.   Reverse aperture fever is real.  


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#197 mikeDnight

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Posted 14 March 2021 - 12:04 PM

My Equinox 80ED with a barlowed binoviewer showed surprisingly good detail on Jupiter. Shadow transits were as black as Indian ink, and when viewing the Moon I'd find myself transfixed for an hour or more. 

 

post-41880-0-24225900-1429118983.jpg


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#198 mikeDnight

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Posted 14 March 2021 - 12:23 PM

In 1980 it was a 60mm Prinz Astral ( a tiny scope) that ignited flames of enthusiasm that are still burning strong 41 yeas later. Ive always had a real love for smaller telescopes, partly because they always seem to show more than might seem possible, and partly because when using large scopes, its nearly always an anticlimax and I come away somewhat disappointed. 

 

Me and my 60mm Prinz Astral 1980.

2012984373_2016-10-2512_30_32.jpg.2dc479d97378854fcea54a55c0156ce8.jpg

 

Me and my FC100DC standing on the same spot 35 years later. 

2016-12-20 22.56.49.jpg

 

And today, two paces to my left, my FC100DZ on its mount in my observatory. 

IMG_5971.JPG

 

So not much has changed in that 41 years, other than becoming follicaly challenged, and increasing my aperture to a whopping 100mm. Still got that refractor smile of contentment though!

 

 


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#199 Lappe Lad

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Posted 14 March 2021 - 05:28 PM

The smaller the scope, the more modest my expectations. When it surpasses my expectations, as it always seems too, the joy is profound!

 

Last night I attempted to re-live my stargazing youth scanning the north skies for galaxies with my father’s old 50mm spotting scope, but now under slightly darker skies yet. The “good scope” stayed in its case, for once. To sweep up the old, familiar, cottony wisps of M81/M82 in the old, familiar scope with just the merest hint of a light dome above the boreal forest, was a moment to settle in as comfortably as conditions permitted and savor.

Robert


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#200 Passerine

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Posted 14 March 2021 - 05:44 PM

In 1980 it was a 60mm Prinz Astral ( a tiny scope) that ignited flames of enthusiasm that are still burning strong 41 yeas later. Ive always had a real love for smaller telescopes, partly because they always seem to show more than might seem possible, and partly because when using large scopes, its nearly always an anticlimax and I come away somewhat disappointed. 

 

Me and my 60mm Prinz Astral 1980.

attachicon.gif2012984373_2016-10-2512_30_32.jpg.2dc479d97378854fcea54a55c0156ce8.jpg

 

Me and my FC100DC standing on the same spot 35 years later. 

attachicon.gif2016-12-20 22.56.49.jpg

 

And today, two paces to my left, my FC100DZ on its mount in my observatory. 

attachicon.gifIMG_5971.JPG

 

So not much has changed in that 41 years, other than becoming follicaly challenged, and increasing my aperture to a whopping 100mm. Still got that refractor smile of contentment though!

That black & white picture looks older than 1980 somehow.  Yup, you still look equally happy.  Still wearing sweaters. Thanks for sharing.

 

Dave


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