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Seriously Considering a TEC APO160FL F/7

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#1 MarMax

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Posted 21 October 2020 - 11:50 AM

As a new observer with very little experience it's hard to ask for feedback when there are so many of you with a life-long passion for astronomy and literally thousands of hours of experience. And the refractor forum seems to be a place of high intensity discussion. As a technical person I've always tended to over analyze and over research everything.

 

I'm certain that I will buy a new APO and probably place an order sometime before the end of the year. Based on reading many posts on refractors in the 4-6" size class I've centered in on the upper end of this class and specifically the TEC 160. At 61 I'm getting a bit tired of the 60# C11 top assembly and feel that something on the order of 30# per component will be doable for many years ahead.

 

There will not be any AP in my future as I'm just not interested in it. I do love to take pictures with my smartphone but I do not consider it to be AP in the traditional sense. For this reason I'm considering the Losmandy G11G with the HD tripod as the mount. I know from my reading that it all starts with the mount. I'll probably buy the mount first and soon and defork the C11 and put it on the G11G.

 

With the above background information I'd like feedback on the use and portability of a 6" size class refractor, the adequacy of a G11G for such, and any "must haves" in the way of accessories.

 

As a secondary consideration I'd like feedback on the potential of the TEC 160 to replace the C11. The best answer is to compare them both side by side but this would not be an option for quite some time, so any thoughts on this as well would be helpful. And yes, the deforked C11 will weigh in at less than my 30# limit so keeping both is an option but I'd still like replacement feedback.



#2 t.r.

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Posted 21 October 2020 - 12:09 PM

IMHO the C11 and 160 TEC are more alike than dissimilar. I own a C11 and an AP 140. (Which is mounted in a 160 tube assembly with 4inch focuser so weighs the same as TEC and length is the same). If you want an apo refractor to have an apo refractor I get it! But the two are so close in performance that comparing or deciding between them is, well, meh. Keeping both is redundant. You will gain nothing in ease of set up going to the TEC. But apo views are worth the price of admission for some. You could just defork the C11 and mount it on a CGEM...much less expensive and lighter components to set up. Then buy a 5” short focus apo to use on the same mount in a complimentary role to your C11. All bases would be covered then at much less expense. An AP 130 f6 or a TAK 120 would be a perfect fit! This particular size apo gives you a good taste of apo refractor goodness and resolution without the mount requirements of the next size class up (160 TEC). When you already have a C11 you already have a lot of bang for the buck that will be hard to beat. Where do you observe from? Location and seeing factor into the equation too.

Edited by t.r., 21 October 2020 - 12:26 PM.

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#3 MikiSJ

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Posted 21 October 2020 - 01:02 PM

You would be starting well up the APOitis list, so go for it.

 

About 13 years ago, when I had a C14, I had the opportunity to look through a TEC 140 at the Trapezium - WOW - the were 7 stars in the eyepiece.

 

TEC 140s were on serious backorder so I sold the C14, bought a TAK FS 128.

 

Then I looked through a friends TAK FS 152 and sold the 128 and bought the 152.

 

THEN, we had a mini shoot out with our little group of APO owners and one of the the group brought his APM/TM 152/1200. One look through that APO and I made him an offer which he accepted because he had an APM/TMB 180/1260 on order. I sold the TAK.

 

I really, really wish I still had the kit below:

 

APM-TMB 152 400px-2.JPG

 


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#4 RAKing

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Posted 21 October 2020 - 01:21 PM

Wow!  All I can say is - if you can afford it and carry it, then get it!

 

The only thing better than the G11, IMHO, is an A-P mount.  The hand paddle of the A-P mounts is still the best around.  My "little" Mach 1 has been chugging along for a dozen years now, with over 800 sessions under its belt and nary a glitch.  In fact, I don't even use finder scopes any more.  With the A-P RAPAS (polar scope) and iPhone app, my polar alignments are so good that the mount always finds my targets.

 

Side note -- it was "t.r." (post #2 above) who convinced me to go for the A-P mount all those years ago and I will never forget that good advice.

 

I owned a TEC 140 for 10 years and it is still a wonderful scope - the 160 is definitely, "More Better".

 

Finally, I think after you have tried the TEC 160 for a few sessions, the star "blobs" in your C-11 will not be so much fun anymore and you will dump the C-11 SCT - just as I did.  cool.gif

 

Cheers,

 

Ron


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#5 bobhen

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Posted 21 October 2020 - 01:39 PM

I owned a C11 and an Astro-Physics 155 F7 triplet refractor together for around 15 years. Both scopes rode on a Losmandy G11 standard.

 

The G11 did fine for visual with both scopes. I did a lot of EAA, astro video imaging, (both scopes were reduced when imaging) and the G11 did fine unguided for 10 to 120 seconds for that as well.

 

Weight, ease of mounting and set up time are about equal between both scopes.

 

Here in PA I have more issues with scope acclimation and the refractor was a dream compared to the C11 when it came to cooling and dealing with falling temperatures, etc. The refractor seemed to remain sharper in average seeing more so than the C11 as well.

The refractor could usually take more magnification that the C11 and remain sharper. The C11 while always brighter usually got a little softer before the refractor.

 

The C11 went deeper on deep sky objects, especially those of high contrast like clusters. The refractor held its own on objects that were low in contrast like some nebula.

 

I liked both scopes a lot and for the performance the C11 is the bargain and delivers a lot for the money. The refractor was better optically, sharper, had better contrast and had much better thermal chaicteristics.

 

It’s a tough call between these two scopes and it really depends on how you intend to use them and if there is a specific class of object that you are more interested in or a specific job that you want to accomplish.

 

If I were forced to choose between a C11 and my AP 155 for general visual observing from “my location” I would choose the AP 155. It killed on the moon and planets, worked great for solar observing and I don’t think there was one deep sky object that I observed in the C11 that was not seen in the AP 155. The much better thermal properties and performance of the big refractor in average seeing was really beneficial as well.

 

I agree with T. R., adding a smaller apo to the C11 is also a strong consideration. Anything from a high quality producer (Tak, APM, CFF AP-used) in the 120 to 130mm class would be complementary and a nice addition to a C11. Put the smaller apo on an alt/az mount for a quick set up or solar session and use the C11 on a GEM for longer sessions.

 

Big apo or C11 and smaller apo are both viable choices. Nice problem to have. Hope this was a help.

 

Bob


Edited by bobhen, 22 October 2020 - 11:21 AM.

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#6 gnowellsct

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Posted 21 October 2020 - 01:46 PM

As a new observer with very little experience it's hard to ask for feedback when there are so many of you with a life-long passion for astronomy and literally thousands of hours of experience. And the refractor forum seems to be a place of high intensity discussion. As a technical person I've always tended to over analyze and over research everything.

 

 

Really?  confused1.gif

 

If you have the means to buy a TEC 160 IMO you should just go ahead and do it.  If you decide it is not for you, you can recover the outlay with maybe a 15 to 20% mark down.    I wouldn't sit around waiting for our opinions.  It is not a wrong decision.  It is definitely a premium market decision.  

 

You should definitely budget new/used a top line of eyepieces such as XWs or Delos and an AP Max Bright diagonal and of course a mount.  I'm agnostic between Losmandy and AP (I own and use both).  Plus a Tak 7x50 illuminated finder if Yuri is not including a finder with the scope.   

 

You might also take a look at the CFF options (I own a CFF 92mm).  But I would be at a loss to recommend one over the other.

 

Greg N



#7 gnowellsct

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Posted 21 October 2020 - 02:01 PM

object that I observed in the C11 that was not seen in the AP 155. The much better thermal characterizes and performance of the big refractor in average seeing was really beneficial as well.

 

I agree with T. R., adding a smaller apo to the C11 is also a strong consideration. Anything from a high quality producer (Tak, APM, CFF AP-used) in the 120 to 130mm class would be complementary and a nice addition to a C11. Put the smaller apo on an alt/az mount for a quick set up or solar session and use the C11 on a GEM for longer sessions.

 

Big apo or C11 and smaller apo are both viable choices. Nice problem to have. Hope this was a help.

 

Bob

Yeah like this (below)

 

But of course you can get a C11 or c14 and a 92 or 102mm refractor after you get the 160.    Maybe you'll want all three. I wouldn't get a 160 apo because I have a 130 apo and I actually consider the C14 a bit easier to transport and set up than a big apo.  This has to do with the specifics of moving my gear around in a Honda Accord that has to also transport my wife and the corgi.   The big apo basically lies across the back seat and takes up two spots.  The C14 is like a fat person and gets buckled into one seat and occupies only one spot.

 

I have never really had epic issues with cool down on the C14.  By the time I get it set up it's performing very well. A C14 plus a 92mm CFF will run about half the cost of a TEC 160.  But if you get the TEC 160 you will have everything you need to get operate a C14 plust 92mm CFF (in terms of mount etc).  And you will have the funds to buy the C14 plus 92mm triplet if you resell the 160.  But it is quite possible you will find that you are one of those people who really only wants a first class refractor out of life.  If you decide the aperture isn't enough and you don't want an SCT you can get a New Moon dob. 

 

I really like refractors but I am not one of those who wants to observe with only a refractor.  

 

 

C14+CFF at Chimney mountain 6-20.jpg


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#8 MarMax

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Posted 21 October 2020 - 05:06 PM

Thanks for the feedback so far. I've read through all of it a couple times.

 

t.r. - I have a small refractor that can be mounted on the C11 or separately on an EQ mount, mainly for wide field views; I mostly observe from home in SoCal with 3-4 dark site trips annually

 

bobhen - great information on your experiences!; and edited to add that I'll probably be in average seeing most of the time at home.

 

Greg - I'm fairly well on the way with TV EPs; the C11 is not going anywhere soon, even after I get an APO; putting the ED80 on the C11 has been a relatively new thing, probably what got me thinking about going bigger; interesting that you find the C14 easier to transport and setup than a big APO, can you elaborate?

Also, I'll bet the C14 OTA is probably a tad easier to manage than the C11 w/ Alt-Az assembly.

 

For me the decision to keep or not keep the C11 would be based on usability and how it and the TEC 160 would compare visually. If it turns out that I'm not seeing any advantage to using the C11 then I'd probably sell it. But it will be interesting to see how using the C11 OTA on a G11G goes. It should be much easier than using the Alt-Az mount.

 

I did not see any feedback about the TEC 160 being difficult to setup and handle so it must be reasonably portable. I'd definitely want to take it on our dark sky trips instead of the C11. The C11 on the Alt-Az mount plus the other support equipment takes up 3/4 of the space in a mid-size car. Hopefully the same trip with a TEC 160 can be done with fewer cubic feet of space needed.


Edited by MarMax, 21 October 2020 - 06:49 PM.


#9 Passerine

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Posted 21 October 2020 - 09:00 PM

Beautiful observing spot, Greg!  Where is that?

 

Dave

 

PS. Nevermind.  I see the photo is named "Chimney Mountain," which I see is in the Adirondacks, NY.


Edited by Passerine, 21 October 2020 - 10:03 PM.

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#10 k5apl

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Posted 21 October 2020 - 09:47 PM

I have owned a TEC160 on a G11 mount and it worked great.  Only thing better would be a TEC180 on a Mach 2

mount.  Depends on your disposable income.

I have looked through the TEC180 many times and compared it to my TEC160.  The 180 showed me more, but not worth the difference in cost expenditure IMO (new mount).  The TEC160FL is a great scope, and light enough to work on a Losmandy mount.


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#11 mikeinlehigh

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Posted 21 October 2020 - 10:15 PM

Marmax,  I owned a C8, C11 and a C14. I spent years with the C11 and C14. The C14 was a fantastic planetary imaging scope. My good friend owned a TEC160FL. I spent many nights behind an eyepiece of that magnificent instrument. So with a vast amount of hands on experience I can say that a C11 doesn't even come close to a TEC160 in visual quality. Yes the C11 has a greater amount of light gathering ability and the C14 even more. Yes as a planetary imaging setup the C14 will easily out perform the 160. But for the visual experience including pinpoint stars, velvety background, sharpness, contrast and depth, there's no contest. We put stupid amounts of magnification to that scope and it always was perfect. Never any hint of false color even at high magnification trying to see the pup around Sirius. A TEC160FL is a dream scope. Anyone says different has no experience with it or doesn't have the $12,500 to buy it. That's not counting the mount to hold it well. He had an AP900. Yes he took it in the field but not very portable. If you can afford the scope and a proper mount, you'll never look back. BTW, I can't afford it and that's the only reason I don't own one. I have a 130mm APO and an appropriate mount. I'll never own an SCT again. Did I mention the constant battle with dew on the SCT? Never happened once with the refractors smile.gif.

 

Edit: We live in Southwest Florida and can see Omega Centauri. Looking at that enormous globular cluster through a TEC160FL is something every astronomer should get to experience. 

A SCT is an assembly line mass produced telescope. Ordering one is a crap shoot. You pray the mirrors and corrector are somewhat matched and aligned. The TEC is a hand assembled optical instrument. Just the feel of it exudes quality and craftsmanship.


Edited by mikeinlehigh, 21 October 2020 - 10:53 PM.

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#12 DeanD

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Posted 22 October 2020 - 12:19 AM

All of the above! wink.gif

 

My 10c worth: I have always found the SCT's to be just that bit "soft" compared to a quality refractor. I love the tight stars of a refractor view, and as a primary visual observer I would go for the TEC160 over a C11 any time. There is no doubt in my mind that you will see slightly deeper at the same magnification with the C11, simply because it is double the aperture: but you wont see "better"...

 

FWIW I have had the pleasure of jumping from a Zambuto 18" and even a Zambuto 24" (both of which are fantastic instruments!) back to my "baby" TSA102, and have almost always been happy with the refractor, especially with a Deep Sky filter on emission objects. It has been a lot of fun trying to see the same objects with the little refractor, and I have rarely been disappointed. I will always go back to the big dobs for more though. However, when I have gone from a C11 or a C14 back to the refractor I have rarely been tempted to go back again: mainly because of the "soft" views.

 

Mind you, I did have a (way too brief) play with an AP 180 one day: and I wasn't tempted to go back to the Zambuto 18"... (yes Mike: Omega Centauri does blow you away in the big refractor, not to mention 47Tuc!!!). 

 

My vote is definitely for the TEC160 (or a 180 :) )!

 

Have fun,

 

Dean


Edited by DeanD, 22 October 2020 - 12:22 AM.

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#13 MarMax

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Posted 22 October 2020 - 01:22 AM

k5apl, Mike and Dean . . . thanks for the comments, much appreciated. Since I've never looked through a high-end APO I can only imagine what the views are like to understand how the C11 is "soft" in comparison. My only visual experience is with the C11 and the ED80, and I don't even know if my C11 is a good one, an average one or a crappy one.

 

The C11 has shown me so many amazing things the past five months that I'm going to thank it tomorrow morning for putting me on a path to the TEC 160. The best part of this evening, however, was that I got the final thumbs up from the CFO (aka my wife) on the TEC 160. And that was a full disclosure of the scope, accessories, and mount.


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#14 noisejammer

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Posted 22 October 2020 - 03:20 AM

Among others, I have a Meade 12" (one of the original LX200's) and a TOA150. I live about a mile high and am far away from the jet streams so the seeing is usually quite good. In winter it can be excellent.

 

My experience is that it is far easier to move my TOA + AP 900 around than it is to move the Meade. This is mostly because the SCT has not been deforked. If it was, I think the difficulty would be similar. On the other hand, set-up of my AP mount is a lot slower (partly because I don't have a view of sigma Octantis and Polaris is obstructed by several thousand kilometers of Earth...) The time difference is compensated by the cool-down time of a SCT. Call that awash.

 

For completeness, I've also worked with a strutted 12.5" RCOS - mounting or moving the RCOS is really a 2 person effort.

 

There's no doubt in my mind that the image quality presented by a 6" apo is superb but let's not get carried away. A 12" scope gathers about 3x as much light so you will see about 1 magnitude deeper. This translates to 3x as many stars. On planetary detail, my 12" is similar but it's much brighter. On the moon, I'd say the refractor wins - but this is because the moon is a very high contrast object and the optical transfer function works in your favour.

 

On mounts - rather than the G11, can I suggest you bite the bullet and get an AP 900 or 1100. I realise you don't want to image but these mounts are really stiff, they dismantle into lighter pieces, they are easy to maintain and they are easy to use. This translates to keeping the scope stable in a gentle breeze which ultimately means you get more observing nights.


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#15 gnowellsct

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Posted 22 October 2020 - 07:09 AM

Greg - I'm fairly well on the way with TV EPs; the C11 is not going anywhere soon, even after I get an APO; putting the ED80 on the C11 has been a relatively new thing, probably what got me thinking about going bigger; interesting that you find the C14 easier to transport and setup than a big APO, can you elaborate?
Also, I'll bet the C14 OTA is probably a tad easier to manage than the C11 w/ Alt-Az assembly.
 

https://youtu.be/IwVg1M6bURI

As I indicated it only takes up one passenger space. Plus it's an SCT if it gets scratched in use no biggie and no need to invest in bulky protective carrier.

If you like fainter galaxies and open clusters, aperture wins.

The mechanics of loading a scope are much about moment arm and not so much weight. I find the GT130 is roughly as much hassle to set up and transport particularly since it involves a hoist to saddle and the c14 does not. Put it into a protective case and the whole thing is bigger.

In terms of putting it all into a car SCTs are one of the easiest configurations out there.

But as I indicated it's such an extraordinary opportunity to own and use a 160 mm refractor that you should just go ahead and do that.

I also own a C8 and given the things said here about SCT's You would think it would be no contest between the C8 and the GT130. It is the refractor group after all. But in my personal use I find that the C8 with a 92 mm Apo on top excels as a general purpose visual instrument. I do use the GT 130. But I'm just saying the c8's performance on planets and deep sky is better than one would think reading about it here. And the advantages of the extra 3 inches of aperture show even against a triplet 130 mm Apo.

But it's not your grandpa's C8 it certainly is better than the one that replaced.

To repeat I think owning a 160 mm tec would be in its own category of experience much to gain and very little to lose aside from the substantial layout. But if you have the funds I don't see what you're waiting for.

 

Edit:  My comments are all based on SCT + GEM.  SCTs on forks are impossible.  In fact I briefly had in my house a fork mounted Meade 10" and I really was unable to move it by myself.  I was surprised at this given that I do know people who do that.  I'm not THAT feeble.  Let's just say that a C14 that rides on a GEM (whether Losmandy or AP) is MUCH easier to pack into the car then a fork mounted SCT.  I'm surprised anyone buys the fork mounts at all.


Edited by gnowellsct, 22 October 2020 - 12:31 PM.

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#16 Daniel Mounsey

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Posted 22 October 2020 - 09:32 AM

As a new observer with very little experience it's hard to ask for feedback when there are so many of you with a life-long passion for astronomy and literally thousands of hours of experience. And the refractor forum seems to be a place of high intensity discussion. As a technical person I've always tended to over analyze and over research everything.

 

I'm certain that I will buy a new APO and probably place an order sometime before the end of the year. Based on reading many posts on refractors in the 4-6" size class I've centered in on the upper end of this class and specifically the TEC 160. At 61 I'm getting a bit tired of the 60# C11 top assembly and feel that something on the order of 30# per component will be doable for many years ahead.

 

There will not be any AP in my future as I'm just not interested in it. I do love to take pictures with my smartphone but I do not consider it to be AP in the traditional sense. For this reason I'm considering the Losmandy G11G with the HD tripod as the mount. I know from my reading that it all starts with the mount. I'll probably buy the mount first and soon and defork the C11 and put it on the G11G.

 

With the above background information I'd like feedback on the use and portability of a 6" size class refractor, the adequacy of a G11G for such, and any "must haves" in the way of accessories.

 

As a secondary consideration I'd like feedback on the potential of the TEC 160 to replace the C11. The best answer is to compare them both side by side but this would not be an option for quite some time, so any thoughts on this as well would be helpful. And yes, the deforked C11 will weigh in at less than my 30# limit so keeping both is an option but I'd still like replacement feedback.

 

 

I understand your thoughts setting up an 11" with a fork mount. I've had all the TEC's from a 110, 140, 160 and 200 in my yard.  Be careful, the 160 is very heavy to lift and trying to saddle it can be pretty awkward, especially since it's front heavy. The TEC140 is the best all around weight and performance and is easier to mount. The first thing you will notice comparing bigger fracs to your larger SCT is the quality and color of stars are perceived more beautiful and accurately. The images do not look like they're scintillating as much or processed and appear as organic as seen with the naked eye. It's like you are not even aware you are looking through a telescope. TEC's are amazing scopes. For city observing a large frac is the most consistent way to go. Then when you take them to dark skies and pop in a corrected widefield like a 35 Panoptic, star clouds are jaw dropping like a mural of stars. Absolutely world class, beautiful views.

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#17 Jsquared

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Posted 22 October 2020 - 11:23 AM

I actually ran a thread last year titled Tec 140 vrs 160. The opinions there were helpful. I eventually settled on a Tec 140 which is still on order. The 140 was the perfect scope size. It’s lighter, less expensive and much more portable.

My plans are to have my Tac 76dcu for portability, a Tec 140 and a new moon 16” F4 with a Zambuto mirror. I think this is the best three scope trio possible. Baby bear, mamma bear and big pappy with no step ladders to use. My next acquisition is a televue night vision device.

Whatever you choose you can’t go wrong but remember you aren’t getting younger and I think that 160 will eventually get heavy. Also don’t forget the moment arm of the longer 160. It is substantially less portable

Edited by Jsquared, 22 October 2020 - 11:30 AM.

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#18 coopman

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Posted 22 October 2020 - 11:29 AM

You'd better get to the gym and start building up those muscles.  A 160mm refractor is going to be a bit of a challenge to handle.


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#19 MarMax

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Posted 22 October 2020 - 12:52 PM

So there is some consensus on the 160 being a bit difficult to handle. So noted on this possibility. Hopefully at 30# and less than half of what I'm hoisting now, it will be significantly easier to handle and mount.

 

Great feedback so thank you all!!



#20 gnowellsct

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Posted 22 October 2020 - 01:03 PM

Mounsey's picture of the 160 sort of makes my point.  I have graduated from a Toyota Corolla to a Honda Accord and the darling kid in the picture is now a lunk of a junior in college, but this CN article will help with the visuals.  You might be thinking well you'll retract the dew shield on that 160 and it won't be so long, which is true.  But when you put it into some kind of protective case you will get that length back.  And you will be doubling or tripling the total displaced volume.

 

So it's a significant transportation problem even though the weight isn't too bad.   If you have a van not such a big deal.

 

There are people out there who treat their SCTs with kid gloves and would put them into a travel case, but I think that sort of misses the point.  I've had my C14 since 2002, it shows the wear tear of several hundred trips (300?  400?) and I haven't wasted much time worrying about how pristine the paint is.    This telescope at total outlay of ~$250/year (and falling as time goes on) owes me nothing and even with chipped paint would probably sell for $2k.  

 

Mosquitoes like to land on the black rear casting.  I squish them.

 

No one really worries about SCTs.  A TEC 160 on the other hand, if you get so much as a bird **** on the OTA you're going running to clean it off before it permanently discolors the paint.  

 

It's the fate of the apo owner to worry about the cosmetics.  



#21 R_Huntzberry

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Posted 22 October 2020 - 01:36 PM

I'll be the one to go against the grain here...

 

I don't feel the TEC 160 is all that difficult to handle. I routinely transported my TEC 160ED (F/8 not F/7) and currently transport my CFF 185 APO on a regular basis.

They are nose heavy but very easy to mount and un-mount using a method like shown on this YouTube video.

 

https://www.youtube....h?v=IwVg1M6bURI

 

This is the way I mount my 185 and my C14. Very easy!

 

Best regards,

 

Richard


Edited by R_Huntzberry, 22 October 2020 - 01:37 PM.

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#22 MarMax

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Posted 22 October 2020 - 01:38 PM

Good points Greg . . and Daniel's picture is quite telling. I'm thinking about putting a 19" dovetail on the bottom with a 12" on top with a handle. This will hopefully make mounting a bit less precarious and the 19" on the bottom may allow for more sliding room. I'm thinking that starting with the heavy end to get it into the saddle and slide it forward.

 

Edited to say that even though I don't see a case for the 160 on the TEC website, I'd imagine that the length is probably going to be at least 44" so it will definitely take up some space lengthwise. I'm used to hauling my guitars all over the place and their cases are in the 42-45" long range. Just saying that I have been thinking about the logistics of transport.


Edited by MarMax, 22 October 2020 - 01:48 PM.


#23 bobhen

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Posted 22 October 2020 - 02:07 PM


My plans are to have my Tac 76dcu for portability, a Tec 140 and a new moon 16” F4 with a Zambuto mirror. I think this is the best three scope trio possible. Baby bear, mamma bear and big pappy with no step ladders to use. My next acquisition is a televue night vision device.
 

After you use an Image Intensifier you might reevaluate future telescope purchases.

 

The 140 TEC with an image intensifier (nice combination BTW) will show you more objects and in light polluted skies than the 16” Dobsonian will when used with regular eyepieces. And the Dob will need a dark sky to perform at its best. 

 

Of course a 16" Dobsonian with an intensifier would be mighty powerful but after you use the intensifier you might find that something else would fit your needs better and be less expensive.

 

Bob



#24 EricCCD

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Posted 22 October 2020 - 03:25 PM

You would be starting well up the APOitis list, so go for it.

 

About 13 years ago, when I had a C14, I had the opportunity to look through a TEC 140 at the Trapezium - WOW - the were 7 stars in the eyepiece.

 

TEC 140s were on serious backorder so I sold the C14, bought a TAK FS 128.

 

Then I looked through a friends TAK FS 152 and sold the 128 and bought the 152.

 

THEN, we had a mini shoot out with our little group of APO owners and one of the the group brought his APM/TM 152/1200. One look through that APO and I made him an offer which he accepted because he had an APM/TMB 180/1260 on order. I sold the TAK.

 

I really, really wish I still had the kit below:

 

attachicon.gifAPM-TMB 152 400px-2.JPG

Miki, your post made my day because I didn't go through various iterations of 6" APO's and went straight to a TMB-152 (JeffB's old TMB-152 at that :)).

 

I have a C11EdgeHD that was SBS in my OBS with an AP130. The AP130 at first, then the C11, both went into storage when the big TMB showed up. I specifically set up the TMB for planetary season this year, and between those and double-star observing I've been a happy camper.

 

Every now and then I ponder whether it's worth selling the C11Edge or hanging on to, but from my Red zone backyard globulars are hardly worth looking at with the TMB (big SCT's are really glob busters), so the C11 will hang around for now. One of these days it's going back.

 

To the OP, I've never had the pleasure of using a TEC160, but the TMB is close enough (nose-heavy triplet) that the dynamics of carrying it are probably very similar. One approach that I've seen Roland Christen of Astro-Physics do (which helps) is to hoist the OTA on my shoulder like a (big-barrelled) rifle. I haven't used either scope in a portable manner, so heaving them around has not been an issue. But with regards to fork-mounted SCT's, I had an 8" Meade LX200 Classic, and yeah hauling that around got old. I can only imagine a fork-mounted C11!

 

HTH,

Eric


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#25 RAKing

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Posted 22 October 2020 - 03:39 PM

Good points Greg . . and Daniel's picture is quite telling. I'm thinking about putting a 19" dovetail on the bottom with a 12" on top with a handle. This will hopefully make mounting a bit less precarious and the 19" on the bottom may allow for more sliding room. I'm thinking that starting with the heavy end to get it into the saddle and slide it forward.

 

Edited to say that even though I don't see a case for the 160 on the TEC website, I'd imagine that the length is probably going to be at least 44" so it will definitely take up some space lengthwise. I'm used to hauling my guitars all over the place and their cases are in the 42-45" long range. Just saying that I have been thinking about the logistics of transport.

 

Please also note that Daniel's picture is of the older 160ED.  It's an f/8 scope, like Richard's (post #21), not the f/7 fluorite version.  I have not owned a 160FL, but I have lifted a couple and I didn't think they were terribly difficult to handle.

 

Also, I don't remember the length, but I am sure that a Lightware Cargo 50 case can handle it.  That is the same case I use for my FS-128 - an f/8 scope with a fixed dew shield.

 

Cheers,

 

Ron


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