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The Magnificent Ortho-Apocromatic TOA

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#26 Tyson M

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Posted 26 September 2020 - 08:21 PM

Do you think you will have trouble with the scope hitting the legs if you remove the extension?

It will be close for zenith viewing.  Only one way to find out. I might not need it, and it might improve stability. 


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#27 Tyson M

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Posted 12 October 2020 - 03:04 PM

Got my TOA out last night to view mars and some clusters in Auriga last night from my red/white zone light pollution backyard.
 
Seeing was listed again as below average 2/5, transparency above average, minus 1C.
 
I brought my scope out of the warm house at 0130am. I went out at 02:45 to 03:00am and on brighter stars, heat plumes were still visible.  On fainter stars, it was not.
 
To be more precise, stars in M45 where showing heat plumes at times. At about 03:30 they went away. 
 
The scope was still usable during that time,  and I was having fantastic views on the Auriga clusters with the 30UFF, 24UFF, 17.5 morpheus and 12.5 Noblex eyepieces.  No heat plumes visible and perfect little stars peppered the view everywhere.  M37 was probably my favorite, with the 24UFF or 17.5 morpheus.  M38 and M36 looking best with the 17.5mm morpheus and 12.5mm Noblex.
 
I also had a look at Mars, but was getting some faint transparency issues south direction after 0415am.  I tried with the 3.4HR but seeing was not having any of it. 
 
The 12.5mm Noblex was best here.  Again this is why I love this eyepiece.  It is typically usable in the worst conditions. Always available to shine, always ready to perform for me (eyepieces in the 10-13mm range get a lot of use).
 
I could clearly see continent details, bisecting the planet.  This was clear and wonderful to see.  Mare Tyrrhenum and Mare Cimmerium, with Hesperia splitting them apart. 50-75% of the time with the seeing.
 
I could see Syrtis Major on the lower left that would fade in and out of the seeing as well. Visible maybe 25% of the time.  Appeared that cloud details were possibly shown upper portion of planet but it was subtle and cant confirm. 
 
I got my gf out and she was extremely impressed with the views of the clusters and mars (she was drunk but hey at least she came out to see).  Once I told her about the Mares visible she could see them as well. She loved the morpheus eyepiece in the scope when viewing the Auriga clusters.
 
mars topography 4.jpg
 
I am still loving the Tak. I now use the counterweight ring and leave it on (I am too lazy to take it on and off each session), and have done away with the DM6 mount extension.  This rearward weight is to have the OTA shift up towards the sky when balancing and clear the tripod legs for zenith viewing without the mount extension.  The mount extension made it a lot harder for me to load it into the saddle due to the weight and height I have to lift it.
 
I can easily lift the scope into the saddle now and loading it and unloading it is a lot less sketchy for me.  
 
I am very happy with this current scope + mount set up.  Extremely stable.  Still waiting for some good seeing conditions.
 
Some images of last night...
 
20201012_040300.jpg
 
20201012_040137.jpg
 
Thanks for reading and clear skies!

Edited by Tyson M, 12 October 2020 - 04:04 PM.

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#28 Deadlake

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Posted 13 October 2020 - 08:49 AM

Got my TOA out last night to view mars and some clusters in Auriga last night from my red/white zone light pollution backyard.
 
Seeing was listed again as below average 2/5, transparency above average, minus 1C.
 
I brought my scope out of the warm house at 0130am. I went out at 02:45 to 03:00am and on brighter stars, heat plumes were still visible.  On fainter stars, it was not.
 
To be more precise, stars in M45 where showing heat plumes at times. At about 03:30 they went away. 
 
The scope was still usable during that time,  and I was having fantastic views on the Auriga clusters with the 30UFF, 24UFF, 17.5 morpheus and 12.5 Noblex eyepieces.  No heat plumes visible and perfect little stars peppered the view everywhere.  M37 was probably my favorite, with the 24UFF or 17.5 morpheus.  M38 and M36 looking best with the 17.5mm morpheus and 12.5mm Noblex.
 
I also had a look at Mars, but was getting some faint transparency issues south direction after 0415am.  I tried with the 3.4HR but seeing was not having any of it. 
 
The 12.5mm Noblex was best here.  Again this is why I love this eyepiece.  It is typically usable in the worst conditions. Always available to shine, always ready to perform for me (eyepieces in the 10-13mm range get a lot of use).
 
I could clearly see continent details, bisecting the planet.  This was clear and wonderful to see.  Mare Tyrrhenum and Mare Cimmerium, with Hesperia splitting them apart. 50-75% of the time with the seeing.
 
I could see Syrtis Major on the lower left that would fade in and out of the seeing as well. Visible maybe 25% of the time.  Appeared that cloud details were possibly shown upper portion of planet but it was subtle and cant confirm. 
 
I got my gf out and she was extremely impressed with the views of the clusters and mars (she was drunk but hey at least she came out to see).  Once I told her about the Mares visible she could see them as well. She loved the morpheus eyepiece in the scope when viewing the Auriga clusters.
 
attachicon.gifmars topography 4.jpg
 
I am still loving the Tak. I now use the counterweight ring and leave it on (I am too lazy to take it on and off each session), and have done away with the DM6 mount extension.  This rearward weight is to have the OTA shift up towards the sky when balancing and clear the tripod legs for zenith viewing without the mount extension.  The mount extension made it a lot harder for me to load it into the saddle due to the weight and height I have to lift it.
 
I can easily lift the scope into the saddle now and loading it and unloading it is a lot less sketchy for me.  
 
I am very happy with this current scope + mount set up.  Extremely stable.  Still waiting for some good seeing conditions.
 
Some images of last night...
 
attachicon.gif20201012_040300.jpg
 
attachicon.gif20201012_040137.jpg
 
Thanks for reading and clear skies!

I'm tempted by the TOA-130 to step up from a 100 mm APO. However reading on this site the TOA-130 has longer acclimation times then what I'm used too.  I've tried searching but could not find any metrics on scopes acclimation times say for 130 mm scopes.

Would you be tempted by other scopes if the cool down time was faster as to me one of the attraction of a refractor is that you don't have to wait all nigh to be able to use the it? 



#29 bobhen

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Posted 13 October 2020 - 09:16 AM

I'm tempted by the TOA-130 to step up from a 100 mm APO. However reading on this site the TOA-130 has longer acclimation times then what I'm used too.  I've tried searching but could not find any metrics on scopes acclimation times say for 130 mm scopes.

Would you be tempted by other scopes if the cool down time was faster as to me one of the attraction of a refractor is that you don't have to wait all nigh to be able to use the it? 

If you are looking for a larger refractor that will cool quicker than an air-spaced triplet, consider a new or used oil-spaced triplet from TEC, CFF or Astro-Physics.

 

Here is one example. Below is what Astronomy Magazine had to say when they reviewed the AP 155 F7 oil-spaced triplet…

 

“Optical performance of the 155 was impressive. It produced nary a trace of false color even on Venus. Equally impressive, this scope provided superb images as soon as it was set outside. Even in sub-freezing temperatures, image quality, though not perfect at first, was surprisingly sharp from the start. In cold weather, after a modest settle-down time of 30 minutes, in-focus star images were textbook Airy disks with a well-defined first diffraction ring and a trace of a second outer ring. There was no sign of spherical aberration, lens figure changes, heat plumes, or distorted Airy disks due to tube turbulence."

 

Bob


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#30 Deadlake

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Posted 13 October 2020 - 09:28 AM

If you are looking for a larger refractor that will cool quicker than an air-spaced triplet, consider a new or used oil-spaced triplet from TEC, CFF or Astro-Physics.

 

Here is one example. Below is what Astronomy Magazine had to say when they reviewed the AP 155 F7 oil-spaced triplet…

 

“Optical performance of the 155 was impressive. It produced nary a trace of false color even on Venus. Equally impressive, this scope provided superb images as soon as it was set outside. Even in sub-freezing temperatures, image quality, though not perfect at first, was surprisingly sharp from the start. In cold weather, after a modest settle-down time of 30 minutes, in-focus star images were textbook Airy disks with a well-defined first diffraction ring and a trace of a second outer ring. There was no sign of spherical aberration, lens figure changes, heat plumes, or distorted Airy disks due to tube turbulence."

 

Bob

Thanks. What about LZOS based lens, or needs to be a doublet or oil-spaced triplet? 



#31 bobhen

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Posted 13 October 2020 - 10:10 AM

Thanks. What about LZOS based lens, or needs to be a doublet or oil-spaced triplet? 

They are air-spaced triplets so they will take a little longer to acclimate. They are killer sharp optics though, as are the Tak triplets. I've owned both.

 

I also owned an AP oil-spaced 155 F7 triplet and generally agree with the statement from Astronomy Magazine.

 

Bob


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#32 25585

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Posted 13 October 2020 - 01:12 PM

Takitis flaring up again. But I need a beefier mount, a Rowan AZ100 or APM Maxload could take a TOA I assume.

 

Interesting to know that the DM6 has stiction with lighter scopes....



#33 Tyson M

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Posted 13 October 2020 - 02:54 PM

Takitis flaring up again. But I need a beefier mount, a Rowan AZ100 or APM Maxload could take a TOA I assume.

 

Interesting to know that the DM6 has stiction with lighter scopes....

Both mounts likely can take it, for sure the APM Maxload / Losmandy HD tripod will.

 

Still no cure for Takitis though im afraid.



#34 Tyson M

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Posted 13 October 2020 - 03:05 PM

I'm tempted by the TOA-130 to step up from a 100 mm APO. However reading on this site the TOA-130 has longer acclimation times then what I'm used too.  I've tried searching but could not find any metrics on scopes acclimation times say for 130 mm scopes.

Would you be tempted by other scopes if the cool down time was faster as to me one of the attraction of a refractor is that you don't have to wait all nigh to be able to use the it? 

I would not choose a TOA if you're worried about cooldown times. You chose it for other reasons.

 

Lzos can have robust lens cells and OTAs, so they can take a long time too also being air spaced.

 

I would look at oil spaced options if that important to you.  AP, CFF, TEC, ect.



#35 noisejammer

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Posted 17 October 2020 - 04:16 AM

I would not choose a TOA if you're worried about cooldown times. You chose it for other reasons.

 

Lzos can have robust lens cells and OTAs, so they can take a long time too also being air spaced. ...

I own a TOA150 and an LZOS 115/805. Both are air-spaced triplets. I've carried and used each from winter in Northern Ontario (night minimums of -25C & 10C swings) to the deserts of Southern Africa (daytime peaks of 40C & 20-22 C daily swing.)

 

In 12 years with the Tak and 4.5 with the LZOS, cool down has never been an issue. Any wierdness was totally dominated by atmospheric turbulence, atmospheric dispersion and ground seeing.

 

Nevertheless, if you are still concerned, SCT & Mak users have a cure for tube currents. Wrap your scope & dew shield in Reflectix. If you can't find that locally, you can cut up car windshield shades (which seem to be made of similar stuff.)


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#36 Tyson M

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Posted 17 October 2020 - 12:59 PM

I own a TOA150 and an LZOS 115/805. Both are air-spaced triplets. I've carried and used each from winter in Northern Ontario (night minimums of -25C & 10C swings) to the deserts of Southern Africa (daytime peaks of 40C & 20-22 C daily swing.)
 
In 12 years with the Tak and 4.5 with the LZOS, cool down has never been an issue. Any wierdness was totally dominated by atmospheric turbulence, atmospheric dispersion and ground seeing.
 
Nevertheless, if you are still concerned, SCT & Mak users have a cure for tube currents. Wrap your scope & dew shield in Reflectix. If you can't find that locally, you can cut up car windshield shades (which seem to be made of similar stuff.)


Reflectix does work wonders. It basically solved prolonged tube currents with an 8" mak cass I had.

Edited by Tyson M, 17 October 2020 - 01:00 PM.


#37 aa6ww

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Posted 19 October 2020 - 12:12 PM

I had a TOA-130 for about 9 years. It has excellent optics for a 5" refractor. All new 5" refractors  have excellent optics now.

 

 

...Ralph



#38 25585

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Posted 20 October 2020 - 09:14 AM

I had a TOA-130 for about 9 years. It has excellent optics for a 5" refractor. All new 5" refractors  have excellent optics now.

 

 

...Ralph

What made you sell it? I remember your glowing reviews.



#39 ron scarboro

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Posted 20 October 2020 - 05:01 PM

I had a TOA130 for about 6 years waiting on my AP lotto ticket to come in.  After getting my AP130, I owned both scopes for a couple of years before selling the Tak.

 

I never considered cooldown an issue with the Tak until I got the AP.  Setting them up side by side it became apparent that the TOA took much longer (generally twice as long) to perform at the AP level.  When it did, it was every bit the match of the AP, but what I always attributed to seeing was the Tak cooling down.  Only having the two scopes with such similar performance capabilities back to back revealed the difference.

 

Clear skies,

 

Ron


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