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Seriously Considering a TEC APO160FL F/7

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#26 MarMax

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Posted 22 October 2020 - 04:15 PM

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

Noted on the f/8 160 in the photo and probably at least 6" longer than the f/7. It also looks to be on a planet wood tripod with an extension. Makes me wonder if at 6'-2" tall I'll need an extension with the G11G.



#27 MikiSJ

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Posted 22 October 2020 - 07:42 PM

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 smile.gif).

 

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.

Eric, I am in a 6+ Bortle zone here in south San Jose and I gave up looking through a telescope for any reason other than to find an initial star for mount modeling. With the C11EdgeHD, M13 is a ghost and any nebula is something I can only wish I could visualize.

 

But, the APM/TMB satisfied every need I had for imaging. The camera I used (shown in my image) was a QSI532 with a set of Don's LRGBHα filters. With the Paramount I got up to 10+ minute subs guided and 3 minutes unguided. I am just getting to know my C11EdgeHD/CGX/ASI294 kit so I hope it performs, image-wise, as good as the APM/TMB!

 

Like I said, I really wish I had that kit again. But things happen and we have to live with what we got - right!



#28 Daniel Mounsey

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Posted 22 October 2020 - 07:46 PM

TEC has the FL listed at 24 lbs and the ED at 26 lbs.



#29 DeanD

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Posted 23 October 2020 - 01:33 AM

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

I am always intrigued when someone mentions using an image intensifier. As a (friendly!) "alien" (read "Aussie") I guess I'll never know what it is like... See this quote from the Televue site (my bold). 

 

Export of Night Vision Equipment or related accessories (such as manuals) is strictly regulated by the US Department of State in accordance with the guidelines of the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR). It is a major crime to ship or carry US manufactured Gen3 night vision devices outside the borders of the United States, punishable by fines and prison sentences. Ignorance of these regulations will not hold up in court. By purchasing night vision equipment from Tele Vue Optics, you attest that you will not attempt to export or carry this night vision equipment outside the borders of the United States. Also, it is illegal to allow a non-US Citizen to look through US Gen3 Night Vision Devices, even on US soil. Again, this is a crime punishable by fines and prison sentences.

 

So if I ever visit you you had better not even let me look though one: and don't even think of visiting me in hostile alien Australia with one in your luggage!  gaah.gif

 

Somehow I don't think that the real potential enemies of the US will be deterred by this though...

 

I find it a bit sad actually.


Edited by DeanD, 23 October 2020 - 01:36 AM.

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#30 Suavi

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Posted 23 October 2020 - 02:18 AM

It is very sad indeed.



#31 noisejammer

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Posted 23 October 2020 - 02:53 AM

Like many things that are regulated under ITAR, Gen3 intensifiers can be exported. The trick is to apply for and receive a 'license' from the State Department.  This will limit ownership and you'll need to agree to terms regarding its safe transport and storage. It's a lot easier if you live in a friendly country - Canada is easy but Aus & NZ are probably very similar.

 

It helps if you have a very clear non-military application.

 

My employer is an exploration firm - we have a lot of controlled items (mostly magnetometers.) If you stick to the rules and you agree to the occasional inspection visit from embassy security, it's no big deal.


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#32 ichdien

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Posted 23 October 2020 - 03:44 AM

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

I agree.  I don't have a TEC 160, but I don't find my AP 155 f7, which I believe is similar in length and weight, difficult to mount.   A little less portable than the 140 I used to own, but still very manageable.  To put this in perspective, I'm around 5' 8" and reasonably fit.


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#33 Daniel Mounsey

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Posted 23 October 2020 - 08:27 AM

The only thing is one doesn’t need a high quality optic like a TEC for EAA. I think EAA is fine. I’m just saying I wouldn’t remotely spend this kind of money to use use night-vision. 


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#34 Paul G

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Posted 23 October 2020 - 12:03 PM

I'd get the TEC 160FL. It's a world class scope, not a lot of them around.

 

I had a C11 on a G11, then bought an Astro-Physics 155 f7 EDFS. My C11 was a good one for the time, a Company 7 scope, purchased a little before enhanced coatings became available for the C11. I compared them for a couple of years, had an emotional attachment to the C11, but there was NEVER a time when the C11 showed me a view as good as the 155. Part of that is certainly cool down issues, the SCT never kept up with changing temps, no matter how long I was out. It wasn't significantly brighter, either (light throughput was a little over 60% taking into account loss at each surface, absorbed by the corrector, and blocked by the central obstruction), would be a little better with today's coatings. I love(d) the sharp views through the 155, never saw anything with that crisp look through the C11.

 

My G11 was the stepper motor version, predated their servo motors, and it set up a resonance with my 155 and I could see the continuous vibrations through the eyepiece. And the slightest of wind would cause movement, the moment arm was greater than that of the compact C11. I upgraded to an AP 900GTO and it was the best move I made. Someone posted a photo of a G11 and a 900GTO, there is a massive difference you can see, makes the G11 look spindly in comparison. Used 900's are a great bargain right now. And it was easier for me to set up than the G11, the mount easily separates into two parts. I'm 67 and have debilitating back and neck problems, and the 900 is an easy setup for me. The 155 is lightweight as well, no problems handling it, mounting it in the dark.

 

The newer version of the G11 should be more stable, but I'd still go for a used 900GTO instead, a bigger, better mount.

 

Jeff B posted a photo of the two mounts along with the 1100 and the Titan in this thread on CN, a picture is worth a thousand words:

 

https://www.cloudyni...losmandy-titan/


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#35 MarMax

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Posted 23 October 2020 - 12:04 PM

Edited to correct my lack of understanding of the subject (thanks for the clarification bobhen). What I should have said below is NV astronomy, not EAA.

 

I have not considered NV astronomy [EAA] but it's intriguing. I've read quite a few of the Eddgie comments and peek at the forum occasionally. Maybe down the road a bit for consideration. And though you may not need a TEC to use it, would it not be splendid in such an instrument?


Edited by MarMax, 23 October 2020 - 01:05 PM.


#36 weis14

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Posted 23 October 2020 - 12:29 PM

I just acquired a used 160FL last week.  It is a big scope, especially when it is in its Scopeguard case.  As for the comparison with a C11, I had a CPC1100 that I sold earlier this year because it was too heavy.  Based on my limited experience to date, the 160FL is much easier to manage than the CPC1100 due to weight alone.  While mounting the 160FL is challenging, my CPC1100 was no picnic either.  The fork and OTA assembly weighed roughly twice as much as the 160FL and I always worried about dropping it while I was rotating it to find the correct orientation on the tripod.

 

Many people don't use a case for the CPC1100, but I did.  The case was a gigantic wheeled Pelican case that barely fit the fork assembly in it.  When fully loaded, the case plus CPC1100 weighed close to 100lbs.  The last time I used this scope at a dark site, the loaded case almost got away from me when I was wheeling it up the ramps into my SUV.  In contrast, the 160FL in its case probably weights 40-50 lbs.  Obviously it is still more than I would want to lift and carry for any significant distance, but I won't need ramps to load it in the car.

 

I don't have much to offer on the mount options.  I am going to make my GM811 work for this scope for now.  I've mounted the scope and it seems adequate for visual or EAA.  I would definitely need something heavier for long-exposure astrophotography and probably will upgrade to a Mach 2 or something similar in coming years. The scope is well within the GM811's stated weight capacity of 50lbs, but I am concerned about the moment arm and the undersized declination axis this mount has as compared to the G11.  That said, many people use AP Mach 1 mounts for this scope, which were originally were rated for 45lbs (since increased by AP to 65lbs without any apparent changes to the mount itself).  

 

Of course, it has rained every day since I got the scope with no end in sight.  It might be some time before I get a proper first light report and a real evaluation of the effectiveness of the mount.

 

I have not considered EAA but it's intriguing. I've read quite a few of the Eddgie comments and peek at the forum occasionally. Maybe down the road a bit for consideration. And though you may not need a TEC to use it, would it not be splendid in such an instrument?

 

I dabble in EAA with my Stowaway, so I am definitely going to use the 160FL for this as well.  One advantage of EAA is that the shorter exposures are much less demanding on the mount.  


Edited by weis14, 23 October 2020 - 12:30 PM.

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#37 bobhen

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Posted 23 October 2020 - 12:43 PM

I have not considered EAA but it's intriguing. I've read quite a few of the Eddgie comments and peek at the forum occasionally. Maybe down the road a bit for consideration. And though you may not need a TEC to use it, would it not be splendid in such an instrument?

EAA (Electronically Assisted Astronomy) using a camera and Night Vision Astronomy using an image intensifier are two different forms of electronically assisted observing.

 

You don’t need superb optics when using an image intensifier (of course better is always better) but because an intensifier is no bigger than a TV Delite eyepiece, you can easily pull the intensifier out of the diagonal and plop in an eyepiece for visual observing of the moon and planets or deep sky objects. So having a superb telescope like a TEC to use visually is, of course, a bonus.

 

There are a few night vision observers who use image intensifiers with TEC 140s and C11s with excellent results. I use one with a Tak TSA 120 and a C8.

 

If you get a fine apo refactor and later add an intensifier you’ll have the best of both worlds, great deep sky views of hard to observe objects like the Horsehead Nebula along with great, high power lunar/planetary views.

 

You could get a TEC 140 and an image intensifier for the same price as a TEC 160.

 

You can see the intensifier in the diagonal of my TSA 120: small, portable, as easy to use as an eyepiece. 

 

Bob

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Edited by bobhen, 23 October 2020 - 12:48 PM.

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#38 MarMax

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Posted 23 October 2020 - 12:56 PM

I don't have much to offer on the mount options.  I am going to make my GM811 work for this scope for now.  I've mounted the scope and it seems adequate for visual or EAA.  I would definitely need something heavier for long-exposure astrophotography and probably will upgrade to a Mach 2 or something similar in coming years. The scope is well within the GM811's stated weight capacity of 50lbs, but I am concerned about the moment arm and the undersized declination axis this mount has as compared to the G11.  That said, many people use AP Mach 1 mounts for this scope, which were originally were rated for 45lbs (since increased by AP to 65lbs without any apparent changes to the mount itself).  

For the most part I'm trying to keep all the components in the 30# range and yes the scope in the case is going be more like 50-60# but that is still less than just the CPC 1100 Alt-Az assembly. The G11G is rated at 60# and the most weight I'll have mounted is probably going to be 40# or a bit less. Many comments have suggested to step up the mount a size but at 60% of the rated capacity I'm going to stick with the G11G.

 

Worst case is I'd end up selling the G11G for maybe 3/4 of what I paid and then get the next larger mount. Or, perhaps I end up keeping the C11 and putting it on the G11G and putting the TEC on the larger mount. Or maybe I'll find that the G11G is just right.



#39 MarMax

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Posted 23 October 2020 - 01:00 PM

EAA (Electronically Assisted Astronomy) using a camera and Night Vision Astronomy using an image intensifier are two different forms of electronically assisted observing.

Thanks for the clarification Bob. I clearly don't know much about either since I did not use the EAA reference correctly. It's probably NV that I would consider since cameras and the like are not something I'm interested in pursuing. Hopefully I've got it straight now and please correct me if not.

 

I'll edit the above comment accordingly.


Edited by MarMax, 23 October 2020 - 01:01 PM.


#40 gnowellsct

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Posted 23 October 2020 - 01:02 PM

Noted on the f/8 160 in the photo and probably at least 6" longer than the f/7. It also looks to be on a planet wood tripod with an extension. Makes me wonder if at 6'-2" tall I'll need an extension with the G11G.

 

I think you will need an extension for a long refractor.  I didn't use one for the FS128 but it was getting to be at the practical limit.   In the pic visualize pulling the tube to the east side and then pulling the whole thing down to look at zenith.  It made for a low crouch.  Doable, but low.  A few more inches below that and you'll be out of the comfort zone.

 

FS128 and G11 in snow cloudynights size.JPG


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#41 MarMax

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Posted 23 October 2020 - 01:10 PM

I think you will need an extension for a long refractor.  I didn't use one for the FS128 but it was getting to be at the practical limit.

Thanks for the picture and I'd much prefer a step up on a step ladder than a crouch or kneel position. I have to kneel with the ED80 sometimes and don't like it.

 

I'll be sure and add a 12" extension to the mount order.



#42 Scott99

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Posted 23 October 2020 - 02:11 PM

According to the specs, the tube length of the TEC160FL is 39.4 inches with dewshield retracted.  You could probably squeeze it into the Lightware Flip 8 case - it's 1.4" too short but it would go in.  

 

Personally I would not want to use a height extension with an EQ mount.  For best stability you should get a tripod that's tall enough.    And it won't have to be that tall.  

 

I used longer 6-inch apos on a Mach1 and stock Planet tripod and I never had to extend the legs all the way out.  btw a Mach1 would be another good mount for this scope.  An older AP 600 mount might even be able to handle it on a solid tripod.  



#43 Yu Gu

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Posted 23 October 2020 - 02:27 PM

I use both a C11 and a TEC160FL regularly. They are about similar in weight and mounting is a little easier with C11 because it's shorter. The TEC is a good visual planetary and deep sky astrophotography scope. The C11 is a good planetary astrophotography scope. They serve very different purposes.

Clear skies,

Gu


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#44 RAKing

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Posted 23 October 2020 - 02:56 PM

 That said, many people use AP Mach 1 mounts for this scope, which were originally were rated for 45lbs (since increased by AP to 65lbs without any apparent changes to the mount itself).  

 

FWIW - Roland used to rate the capacity of his mounts for imaging which as we know is much lower than the mount's overall capacity.  I think he just finally got tired of people thinking his mounts were wimpy and moved things up to where we were loading them.

 

My Mach 1 can easily carry 60 - 70 pounds for visual observing.  I used to a have a picture of my Mach 1 next to a G-11 and the G-11 looked tiny.  The Mach 1 is also lighter than the G-11.  It costs a lot more, but I thought it was worth it when I put my name on the waiting list 13 years ago.

 

Either mount can handle a TEC 160ED or FL.  I just liked the lighter weight of the Mach 1 when it came time to haul stuff out to the car.  lol.gif

 

Cheers,

 

Ron



#45 Paul G

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Posted 23 October 2020 - 03:01 PM

I used longer 6-inch apos on a Mach1 and stock Planet tripod and I never had to extend the legs all the way out.  btw a Mach1 would be another good mount for this scope.  An older AP 600 mount might even be able to handle it on a solid tripod.  

The Mach1 would carry it without breaking a sweat. In a pinch the AP400GTO can handle my 155 for visual use. All good choices.

 

Edit: FWIW, I don't keep my scopes in their cases when I transport them for observing, the cases take up way too much room. I just wrap the scope in a blanket and seat belt it in.


Edited by Paul G, 23 October 2020 - 03:05 PM.


#46 weis14

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Posted 23 October 2020 - 04:56 PM

FWIW - Roland used to rate the capacity of his mounts for imaging which as we know is much lower than the mount's overall capacity. I think he just finally got tired of people thinking his mounts were wimpy and moved things up to where we were loading them.

My Mach 1 can easily carry 60 - 70 pounds for visual observing. I used to a have a picture of my Mach 1 next to a G-11 and the G-11 looked tiny. The Mach 1 is also lighter than the G-11. It costs a lot more, but I thought it was worth it when I put my name on the waiting list 13 years ago.

Either mount can handle a TEC 160ED or FL. I just liked the lighter weight of the Mach 1 when it came time to haul stuff out to the car. lol.gif

Cheers,

Ron


I agree with all of this. I'm on the Mach 2 list, but I need to make my existing mount work in the meantime.
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#47 Cotts

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Posted 23 October 2020 - 05:58 PM

"Also, it is illegal to allow a non-US Citizen to look through US Gen3 Night Vision Devices, even on US soil. Again, this is a crime punishable by fines and prison sentences."

 

  I committed  this heinous act of international crime at the Winter Star Party 2020.  Al Nagler was standing right beside me.

 

 Dave


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#48 Jeff B

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Posted 24 October 2020 - 12:05 AM

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 smile.gif).

 

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

Hey Eric, my TEC 160ED wants to know if your TMB 152 wants to come out and play.

 

Jeff


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#49 Jeff B

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Posted 24 October 2020 - 12:27 AM

So here is a shot of my TEC 160ED with it's favorite ride, my Losmandy G11.  They are a perfect match for each other for visual use.  Note the balance point of the OTA as I have it configured.  That, coupled with the pier extension for the Losmandy HD tripod keeps the eyepiece height when pointed at zenith between 30" and 32" off of the ground depending on how much I extend the tripod legs.  This gives lets me use the full range of my observing chair without problems.  Note the 33 pounds of counterweights which is well within the G11's capability, at least my sample anyway.  Vibration damping from a nudge on the viewer is less than a second.  Importantly, I can easily focus at high magnification without difficulty due to vibration.  

 

One thing about the OTA as you see it configured is that it's a very balanced load for me to lift, making it actually a lot easier to lift and place into the rings than the bare OTA despite the extra weight.

 

Jeff

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#50 Gavster

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Posted 25 October 2020 - 10:06 AM

I am always intrigued when someone mentions using an image intensifier. As a (friendly!) "alien" (read "Aussie") I guess I'll never know what it is like... See this quote from the Televue site (my bold). 

 

Export of Night Vision Equipment or related accessories (such as manuals) is strictly regulated by the US Department of State in accordance with the guidelines of the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR). It is a major crime to ship or carry US manufactured Gen3 night vision devices outside the borders of the United States, punishable by fines and prison sentences. Ignorance of these regulations will not hold up in court. By purchasing night vision equipment from Tele Vue Optics, you attest that you will not attempt to export or carry this night vision equipment outside the borders of the United States. Also, it is illegal to allow a non-US Citizen to look through US Gen3 Night Vision Devices, even on US soil. Again, this is a crime punishable by fines and prison sentences.

 

So if I ever visit you you had better not even let me look though one: and don't even think of visiting me in hostile alien Australia with one in your luggage!  gaah.gif

 

Somehow I don't think that the real potential enemies of the US will be deterred by this though...

 

I find it a bit sad actually.

For info, top quality gen 3 European night vision monoculars are easy to purchase outside of the USA (I’m from the Uk but I know a few Aussie astronomers use gen 3 units).

Here is a link to a company that will export them to Australia- I have an ovni-m arriving next week which I will use with Televue eyepieces in the standard afocal approach.

https://www.ovni-nig...ent/11--ovni-m-

 

And here is a blog I wrote for Televue on night vision astronomy in the UK

https://televue.com/...t/#.X5WS6iXfX6U
 

In respect to the OPs question I have both a tec 160fl (and previously had a tec140ed) and a c11 (Edge and standard version). I find these scopes easy to mount on a panther TTS-160. For lunar and planetary the Tec160fl is tops for me. For Dsos I use the c11 with a reducer and my night vision monoculars, the extra aperture of the c11 gives it the edge for these objects for me as per the report below

 

https://www.cloudyni...d-night-vision/


Edited by Gavster, 25 October 2020 - 12:03 PM.

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