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TEC APO160FL -> APO180FL?

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#1 rexowner

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Posted 23 September 2020 - 09:30 PM

Recently had a TEC 140APOFL on order, but will be receiving a TV NP-127is.

IMO, these scopes seemed "too close" to have both.  Therefore,  upgraded

the order to the APO160FL.

 

As you probably know, all of the TEC scopes are on backorder, and the

TEC folks are good to deal with wrt changes/upgrades.

 

Considering upgrading further to the APO180FL as perhaps my last

"portable" Apochromatic scope.  <40 pounds; I can handle that.

 

If it goes well, am considering an observatory TEC.

 

Initially visual.  I have a DM-6, which i was told by someone knowledgeable

can handle the APO180FL.  Later, AP and automation.

 

Do you think going from 160 -> 180 makes sense?


Edited by rexowner, 23 September 2020 - 09:31 PM.

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#2 Tyson M

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Posted 23 September 2020 - 09:48 PM

I wont comment on the apo move but I will say my DM6 comfortable limit is 130-140mm. That is, if youre using the DM6 with extension. The scope is at face height so holding a scope with dovetail into the saddle is a bit of work.

 

If you can do it, more power to you. I am 5'7 - 5'8 so YMMV. I use a small step ladder to help load the scope into the saddle horizontally, as I like viewing with the mount extension.

 

Just something to consider.


Edited by Tyson M, 23 September 2020 - 09:52 PM.

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#3 rexowner

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Posted 23 September 2020 - 09:54 PM

I wont comment on the apo move but I will say my DM6 comfortable limit is 130-140mm. That is, if youre using the DM6 with extension. The scope is at face height so holding a scope with dovetail into the saddle is a bit of work.

 

If you can do it, more power to you. I am 5'7 - 5'8 so YMMV. I use a small step ladder to help as I like viewing wirh the mount extension.

 

Just something to consider.

Good point.  I'm actually not sure if the gentleman who told me about his APO180 had an extension on the DM-6.  Definitely

would make a difference.  I'll ask him.



#4 Tyson M

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Posted 23 September 2020 - 09:58 PM

The NP127IS with that mount will be absolutely wonderful though. People online here say the TEC160 is the comfortable limit for their DM6, others the 140mm. 

 

IMO 180m is pushing it, need a beefy tripod and perfect balance, level ground ect. 


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#5 StarAlert

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Posted 23 September 2020 - 10:00 PM

That's some serious aperture creep. But, hey, if you have the space and the $$, then why not? Go big or go home. 


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#6 rexowner

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Posted 23 September 2020 - 10:02 PM

The NP127IS with that mount will be absolutely wonderful though. People online here say the TEC160 is the comfortable limit for their DM6, others the 140mm. 

 

IMO 180m is pushing it, need a beefy tripod and perfect balance, level ground ect. 

 

It's on a Berlebach Planet, and I think I am going to use a chair, and will not extend the legs.

 

Appreciate your perspective.



#7 snommisbor

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Posted 23 September 2020 - 10:09 PM

I had a 160ED that I put on my DM6 and it did great. It was as long as the 180 because it was f8. I have the extension as well. I am now in the market for a 180 myself and I plan on using it on my DM6 when I do visual. Of course I’m 6’4” so I never had a problem mounting my 160. 


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#8 Esso2112

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Posted 23 September 2020 - 10:39 PM

I have a Tak FS-152 and a a TMB 175. Going from the 160 to the 180 will be a noticeable difference. A 7” APO is really in a different league of visual viewing in my opinion. I use the Tak on the DM6, which is a nice combo. The TMB 175 is around 50lbs and Is about my limit for putting on a mount (AP1200). 


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#9 donadani

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Posted 24 September 2020 - 02:44 AM

I use the 180FL on a DM6 with extension on a Berlebach Planet as one of my most used balcony-setups. Easy and fast to set everything up and down for one person - I´m only in visual.

 

It´s of course not "rock-solid" but it works very good if you are a bit experienced - to use some dampers beyond the tripod legs is a good idea too. It´s stable enough to view the planets at 400-500x but I strongly recomend a good ADC for more then 300x ;)

 

Reg. aperture difference... of course 180 shows more then 160 what shows more then 140 and so on and so on... if it is worth for you only you can decide.

 

cs

Chris


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#10 bobhen

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Posted 24 September 2020 - 06:08 AM

I guess this all depends on what your observing goals and current versus future needs are.

 

A TV 127 is a powerful refractor with wide field, high power and imaging capability. Although I selected a Tak 120 over the TV 127, the 127 was high on my list when I was looking for a 120 -130 mm refractor.

 

When you build that observatory, I would want to pair up the 127 with something larger than 180mm, maybe something like a Mewlon 250 or Mewlon 300 or C14.

 

When you build that observatory, and if you want to “stay in the refractor family”, then the TEC 180 would be the choice. And although with the 160 there will be a difference compared to the 127, the 180 will be just that much more. Get a good mount like one from AP and you will have excellent imaging and observing capability.

 

In the mean time, you might just want to wait until you are sure about that observatory and just use the 127.

 

If you do not want to wait and you order a TEC 180 and want to use it on a DM6, I would consider getting a Losmandy, heavy-duty (35 pounds) folding tripod. Many years ago I had an AP 152mm F9 triplet refractor on a Losmandy GM100 mount with the Losmandy tripod and it was rock solid.

 

Have fun selecting and using.

 

Bob


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#11 3 i Guy

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Posted 24 September 2020 - 06:19 AM

Tom Peters, the inventor of Discmounts, uses a Tec 180 on his DM6 so that’s a pretty solid endorsement. For what it’s worth, I use a Tec 140 with 2 extensions; both the Losmandy and Discmounts, and the DM6 doesn’t break a sweat but I use a Losmandy HD tripod.

 

I say go for it if you have the coin or you’ll always have that doubt in the back of your mind. Tom’s a really nice, approachable guy if you want his advice.

 

mark

 

 

DM6 gallery


Edited by 3 i Guy, 24 September 2020 - 06:23 AM.

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#12 gnowellsct

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Posted 24 September 2020 - 07:01 AM

I wont comment on the apo move but I will say my DM6 comfortable limit is 130-140mm. That is, if youre using the DM6 with extension. The scope is at face height so holding a scope with dovetail into the saddle is a bit of work.

I agree with this and in the deep sky observing section posted a picture of the rig I was using which I considered to be a bit excessive for my DM6. It was a 130 mm with a 92 mm mounted on top except on the DM6 the top is on the side. nothing bad happened but I wasn't completely comfortable with the stability.

130 mm for the DM6 seems about right to me. The owner of the company seemed to think I should have gotten the DM4 for the 130 millimeter. My standards for stability have been set by the two decades of using the Losmandy G11. So the truth is I'm happiest using a 92 mm on my DM6.

All of this with the extension for extra height.

The configurations I use on the DM6 are stable but I don't really like having all that weight on one side. All it would take is an accidental lean or bump if the scope was in the wrong position for the system to lose its balance. This is particularly true if the shock in the opposite direction of an extended leg.

If you're observing on grassy surface and you have the surveyor points on your tripod, which are an option both with the tpod and with the berlbach then the stability would be much greater. I would consider 160 mm in that case but I wouldn't be happy about it.

The owner of the company has much more optimistic views about the maximum capacity of his mounts.

The other thing to remember is that as the scope gets bigger the balance gets to be more critical. The moment arm on that 31 mm nagler will be much greater on a 180 mm telescope than on a 92 mm telescope. The result of this is that you may have to operate them out with higher tension on the clutch which makes for less smooth and more jerky manipulation of the telescope.

I will say that in general alt az mounts have been disappointing in my personal experience and that the DM6 is the best I've seen. So I'm not sorry that I have it. The value returned for the money spent is good. It does provide a quick setup which is what I wanted it for and it is stable with the scopes I use it on. But I wouldn't mount a C14 on it sideways and by the same logic I certainly wouldn't mount a 180 mm refractor that cost four times more.

Edited by gnowellsct, 24 September 2020 - 07:05 AM.


#13 Gavster

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Posted 24 September 2020 - 04:55 PM

I have a 160fl which I use with a panther TTS-160, a great combination. I really like the top loading of the panther compared with the side loading I had with my t-Rex mount. It’s feels much more secure. I have had a scope come out of a side mounted mount which has put me off them. In terms of portability I can set up my 160 quickly from scratch but I don’t think I’d want anything bigger. I had fantastic view of Mars at 375x this week, and am very satisfied I got close to the best views I could with a scope given my seeing conditions. I have a friend who has a 180mm apo and he rarely uses it since it’s hard for him to setup. I’m happy to max out at a 160mm refractor!
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#14 Alan French

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Posted 24 September 2020 - 06:06 PM

I have a DM6 and find it is great with an AP130 GT and, obviously, smaller apochromats. While a TEC 180 will work on the DM6, I felt, at several WSPs, that it really needed at least a DM8. 

 

Actually, I regret not buying a DM6 several years earlier. I prefer equatorial mounts, especially for lunar and planetary viewing, but sometimes simpler is good. 

 

In reality, since our basement is on the same floor as the garage and driveway, I can put Sue's 15-inch Obsession out very quickly - once I back the car out of the garage. It's less work than most of the smaller scopes. But cool down can be an issue or, in the summer, warm up - moving from an air conditioned house to a hotter outside. Dewing can be a concern and planning ahead is necessary. An intermediate stop in the garage can be helpful. (The same is true of refractor objectives.) 

 

Clear skies, Alan


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#15 NikhilJoshi

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Posted 24 September 2020 - 06:56 PM

I've used a friend's TEC-180 on a DM-6, but it was on the Astro-Physics portable pier. Stable and smooth for tracking. I don't remember settling time bothering me and I'm rather picky about that. I think the pier made all the difference. 



#16 DeanS

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Posted 24 September 2020 - 07:04 PM

I had a GM8 tripod with my DM6 and extension when I first got it.  Used a TEC140 with it and was not happy with the stability.  Upgraded to a Losmandy HD tripod and a world of difference.  Now use a TEC160 and it is also rock solid.   A quality tripod would be a must for the 180 but should work fine.


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#17 Jeff B

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Posted 24 September 2020 - 07:18 PM

Boy, that's a tough call, but for me, I'd grab the 180 and let the mount follow.

 

Like Kurt said above, there is a certain something, a line or threshold crossed if you will, about upsizing to the 7" aperture in a great APO.  The difference for me is much more dramatic than the one inch increase in aperture would suggest.  

 

So, I would grab a 180 and if you find it necessary, go up to a bigger mount.   Besides, it's always easier to down size in aperture during an APO trade with someone than it is to upsize since there is always someone who desires the larger aperture.

 

Jeff


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#18 k5apl

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Posted 24 September 2020 - 07:32 PM

I had a TEC160FL on a DM-6 on a home-made extension on a Meade Giant Field Tripod.  Worked great. I found it better for my use to add C/W bar and C/W.  I am sure the TEC180FL would work fine too.  Yes, if your budget allows, get the 180FL.  Comparing my 160 to my friend's 180, his scope always showed a little more.  A noticeable difference.  I went from a TEC140ED to the 160FL, and there was a more noticeable difference between those two scopes.  I am not sure if the Berlebach tripod is sturdy enough for the 180FL.  If you decide on the 180FL, don't undermount it with a weak tripod.


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#19 stevenwav

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Posted 24 September 2020 - 10:53 PM

I had my TEC180 on a DM6 with the HD Tripod and extension as well. Perfect for my purposes, loading  the scope to a side mount was less harrowing then lifting it up over my shoulders. I’ve also had the 140 and 160 - get the 180 if you can swing it (pun intended). I am on the record stating that if you can have only telescope - the 180 is it. The 160 seemed small compared to it - but... after a certain age is reached, going down it a 160 has many advantages. In my area’s seeing, 160 is really an optimum size when it comes to reaching its full potential up against the seeing coupled with the ease of use. YMMV but that’s my experience.   


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#20 peleuba

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Posted 25 September 2020 - 10:06 AM

I have a DM6 and find it is great with an AP130 GT and, obviously, smaller apochromats. While a TEC 180 will work on the DM6, I felt, at several WSPs, that it really needed at least a DM8. 

 

Agree with this.  The TEC180 is way too much telescope for a DM6.  Every time I see Tom Peter's own DM6/TEC180 combination I shake my head.

 

I've kept quiet on this (DM6/180 combo) for years as I think I may be in the minority.  I was glad to be able to finally unchain my true feelings after seeing your comment.  

 

Yes, you can mount a large scope on a small mount, but it does not mean you should.  


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#21 peleuba

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Posted 25 September 2020 - 10:07 AM

Boy, that's a tough call, but for me, I'd grab the 180 and let the mount follow.

 

 

True.  Let the telescope dictate the mount, not the mount dictate the telescope!


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#22 donadani

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Posted 25 September 2020 - 12:44 PM

keep it light and use it often... wink.gif

 


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#23 Paul G

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Posted 25 September 2020 - 02:16 PM

Boy, that's a tough call, but for me, I'd grab the 180 and let the mount follow.

 

Jeff

Same here. Biggest mistake I've ever made in astronomy was to pass on the opportunity to purchase a 180 refractor because my mount wasn't sufficient. Once I finally got off my duff and moved to a better mount the 180 was no longer in production and a used one cost ~ 6x as much as its price new, and was out of my range.



#24 BWAZ

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Posted 25 September 2020 - 02:29 PM

I did the exact switch a decade ago and upgraded the mounting system to a much beefier one accordingly. A substantial movement both financially and physically. Noticeable improvements could be observed but also I soon developed an even wilder aperture fever. So I guess this is indeed a dangerous path to be sucked in.

 

An 180mm APO is hardly portable when we take into account the mounting system as well, but luckily I had a permenent setup and was never worried about the setup time. Now since I moved to a place where a much larger obstructed aperture can do its trick often times, I'm no longer into the big cannon game but instead have fun with Celestron edgeHD SCTs. 

 

I guess eventually people will stick to something that work best for their situations.



#25 fate187

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Posted 25 September 2020 - 03:11 PM

180Fl...do it. A stable tripod is essential. I see this with my AZ-EQ6. A flimsy skywatcher tripod and it works, but not has stability issues. A losmandy HD tripod solves any stability problems.




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