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Just ordered an Astrotech AT80ED!

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#1 James1996

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Posted 12 February 2021 - 06:45 PM

So yeah I just rushed to order an AT80ED while it was in stock. I'm waiting for the accessories I need to go with it to come back in stock. Now that I've ordered my new Grab n Go scope I'm trying to decide on the accessories to go with it I'm open to suggestions!

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Edited by James1996, 12 February 2021 - 06:56 PM.

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#2 2112_Mike

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Posted 12 February 2021 - 07:06 PM

Well one of the things I did with mine which is probably a little bit unconventional. Is that I went to the astronomics site and ordered a white 50 mm finder body they are selling as close out for $45. Then I went to the agena site and ordered a 70 mm finder bracket also for $45. Then while I was at the agena site I ordered a 25mm eyepiece for $30. And this is what I use for my finderscope on my AT80.

I really like this finderscope setup I think that the finder scope body from astronomics is an exceptional value for $45. They also sell a bracket for it at astronomics but I didn't like it very well because I don't like the one screw used to secure the bracket to the body of the focuser on the telescope. But I don't also believe that the 50mm finderscope is too large for the 80mm refractor, total different focal lengths. The 25mm eyepiece does not have a crosshair but for what I use my AT80 for I don't believe I need a cross hair eyepiece I just needed an eyepiece that I could use to center the object in the field of view of the viewfinder. So for $120 you can have a very nice finder setup for your telescope if you want to go that direction. I really like that finder setup and in fact I bought another set up just like that for my AT130


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#3 ravenhawk82

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Posted 13 February 2021 - 02:04 AM

I second a 50mm finder with it, it's not overkill at all. I have a 10 year old 50mm Zhumell finder that I throw on whichever scope I'm using that night, and it fits this one just as perfectly as everything else. Either a 50mm finder or a telrad would pair great with this. The telrad might look a little goofy on top but it'd be easy to balance on the mount.

 

Enjoy the scope! I've only had one clear night to try mine out so far but the view of Orion and Andromeda through it was beautiful. Visually it's clear of color fringing that I could notice, and when I took some 30 second exposures through it I only saw a slight purple tint around brighter stars. It's a hell of a deal.



#4 stevew

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Posted 13 February 2021 - 02:46 AM

I'd say just a good quality red dot finder and your 24 mm wide field eyepiece that will give you almost a 3 degree field of view is all you need.



#5 Bomber Bob

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Posted 13 February 2021 - 09:35 AM

Based on my experience with an AT102ED:

 

- GSO 2" dielectric diagonal.  Prism diagonals can add color defects to the views.

- Quality 50mm Right Angle Finder (vintage Nihon-Seiko, Mizar, & Vixen models pop up, branded by Celestron & Meade).  If you want to keep it light, GSO's model is OK, though I modified the bracket to make the alignment stick between uses.

- Quality Barlow.  I use 1.25" format vs. 2" size -- when I zoom in, I'm more concerned about optical quality than field of view.

- Tele Vue eyepieces for high power observing.  I buy used Naglers & Radians. [I need to invest in better quality new 2" wide-field eyepieces for low to medium power myself.]

 

Nice to haves...

 

- Binoviewer!  Nothing like sweeping along the Milky Way with both eyes!

- Rotary Eyepiece Holder.  I don't like zoom eyepieces.  I bought a NOS vintage C(V) SCT 4-slot turret, removed the thread-on stuff, and adapted it to standard 1.25" barrels.  Fully loaded, it makes these grab & go fracs a true portable observatory -- no accessory cases in tow when I move around my back yard.


Edited by Bomber Bob, 13 February 2021 - 09:36 AM.


#6 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 13 February 2021 - 09:54 AM

I'd say just a good quality red dot finder and your 24 mm wide field eyepiece that will give you almost a 3 degree field of view is all you need.

 

With my 80 mm F/7 and similar short focal length refractors I rarely use anything more than a wide field eyepieces and a red dot finder for backup.

 

But the 50 mm AT RACI finder is a nice RFT in its own right and I've been using one as a stand alone scope.  I even saw the Veil Thursday morning with an O-lll filter.

 

The advantage of an RACI finder on a scope like the AT-80ED is that you don't have swap eyepieces so often when star hopping. If I'm looking at a number of doubles, I have swap eyepieces to find the next one. With an RACI finder, I might leave a 5 mm eyepiece in the focuser and star hop with the finder.

 

Jon


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#7 aeajr

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Posted 13 February 2021 - 10:39 AM

So yeah I just rushed to order an AT80ED while it was in stock. I'm waiting for the accessories I need to go with it to come back in stock. Now that I've ordered my new Grab n Go scope I'm trying to decide on the accessories to go with it I'm open to suggestions!

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James,

 

Congratulations on your new scope.  It will make an excellent companion to your XT8.

 

 

Mount

 

What mount will you use?   My AT 102ED, on order, will go on an Explore Scientific TW1.   Astronomics offers the similar Voyager 2 mount which should work well for this scope.

 

 

Diagonal

 

You will need a diagonal.   1.25" or 2" as your focuser will take either.  Astronomics has recommendations on the product page with the scope.

 

Based on the eyepieces you have now and the short FL of this scope, a 1.25" diagonal should be fine.

 

Your 24 mm 68 degree will give you 23X and about 2.9 degrees.   Nice wide view.  That is almost large enough to take in all of the Andromeda Galaxy.  Will frame the Pleiades nicely.

 

If you want to go wider you will need a 2" diagonal.   Then you can go real low and real wide.  

 

A 2" 30 mm 82 degree would give you a 4.3 degree FOV.  Wide enough to nicely frame the Andromeda Galaxy or take in all of the North America Nebula. And it would make a reasonable daytime spotting scope if you don't mind the left/right switch.

 

 

Eyepieces

 

You have a nice set  of eyepieces: 24mm & 16mm ES68, 11mm & 6.7mm ES82

 

Do you have a Barlow Lens?  The 6.7 will take you to 83X.  You could add the ES 82 4.7 for 119X. 

 

A 1.5X/2X Barlow might be nice to have.  GSO has one for about $35.

 

Have you considered a zoom eyepiece?   

 

I have three zooms.  My Baader Hyperion 8-24 is my favorite eyepiece and would work nicely in this scope, combined with a 1.5/2X Barlow or the Baader Hyperion Zoom 2.25X Barlow.   

 

I originally purchased my BH Zoom for my XT8i and now use it in my Apertura AD12.  In the XT8i I used it with a 1.5X Barlow for 75X to 225X. It will get a lot of use in my AT 102ED, when it arrives.   Matched with the same 1.5X Barlow it will give me 45X to 134X without changing eyepieces. 

 

At 24 mm, the zoom would give you 23.3X and zoom to 70X with no eyepiece changes.  With the BH Zoom 2.25X Barlow it would give you 52X and zoom to 155X, about the limit of this scope.  And you would always have your 68 nd 82 degree eyepieces to use when you wanted more drift time in the eyepiece. 

 

 

Finder

 

With a scope of this focal length and the wide field of view possible at the eyepiece, you really don't need a magnifying finder.  A Red Dot Finder, RDF, would be fine.   

 

I have an AT102ED on order.  I have a 2" Diagonal for it and I have a 38 mm/70 degree that will give me a 3.6 degree FOV, so I don't need a magnifying finder.  I will likely get a Rigel QuickFinder.  This might be a good choice for you. Smaller and lighter than a Telrad, it can be used in a similar fashion.

https://www.astronom...eye-finder.html

 

 

AltAz Finding Method - Angle Finder

 

I use the AltAz method to find my targets.  I first used this with my XT8i.  It is now my main method for all of my non-computerized scopes, but I am in a Bortle 8 location.  Star Hopping here is tough.   You might want to consider adding an angle gauge to use this method or to augment your star hopping.  It is quick and easy.

 

I have this one but there are many. This one is not backlit.  Others are.

https://www.harborfr...auge-63615.html


Edited by aeajr, 13 February 2021 - 10:55 AM.

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#8 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 13 February 2021 - 11:11 AM

Based on the eyepieces you have now and the short FL of this scope, a 1.25" diagonal should be fine.

 

 

In my opinion, a big reason to own a scope like this is because it's capable of those big wide fields of view.. A 2 inch diagonal let's spread it's wings and fly. 

 

And with a 2 inch diagonal and 40 mm SWA, it's capable of a 4.7 degree field of view, it's a super-finder, a super sweeper.. it's more like binoculars, you find just find neat stiff.

 

Scopes like this teach a different way of observing.

 

Jon


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#9 Mitrovarr

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Posted 13 February 2021 - 11:48 AM

You'll want to buy a finder shoe. It doesn't come with one. Astronomics has one but it's out of stock, I think Agena has the same thing and is not out of stock.

 

The scope does kind of work as a finder itself, but it's hard to sight down so you'll want a zero power finder at the least.

 

Other than that, I really like my new one. I took it out to dark skies and I was fairly amazed at how much it could see. And the huge fields of view! It feels subjectively much larger than the field of my ST120.



#10 Echolight

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Posted 13 February 2021 - 11:51 AM

Definitely a 2 inch diagonal and a widefield 2 inch eyepiece. I'd skip the finderscope with this setup that typically have a 4 degree or better true field of view on their own. $100 to $150 for a decent dielectric diagonal. And $200 to $260 for a good 30-70 or 28-82. About $100 for the lesser SWA's.

I use a Meade 28mm PWA 82 degree and love it. A real bargain in this class of eyepiece at $259. But kinda portly and 28 ounces.

An APM 30 UFF is smaller, lighter, and cheaper. And might crossover to your dob better, though with a smaller true field of view.

Picture below is shown with an APM HDC HWA 20mm 100 degree eyepiece. About 3.5 degrees true field of view with your AT80ED. $275. Very nice, but I prefer something brighter, approaching a 4mm exit pupil for a widest field eyepiece though. This would give just under 3mm in your scope. The 28 PWA would be 4mm exit pupil.

 

Keeping with the $1000 budget of your other post;

 

About $200-300 for an astro mount. I use a $75 pawn shop Bogen 3050 (new retail about $500). These and similar heavy duty photo mounts are fairly common on Craigslist in the $100 range. But telescope specific mounts have smoother movements than the three way heads.

I see a lot of people on here use a fluid head or ball mount photo tripod. But I haven't tried one yet. They are typically a little pricier on the used market for a good one that's heavy duty enough for the longer moment arm of a scope vs camera.

The capacities of the photo mounts are deceiving. My Bogen 3050 is rated for 26 pounds, but my SW Evostar 80ED is probably about max load at about 7 or 8 pounds all up.

The elevating column and push button leg adjustments on the 3050 are real convenient. Eyepiece height can be almost static no matter the scope angle with this mount. I believe this model is now marketed as a Manfrotto 028B, or something like that.

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The chair was from a garage sale, cheap. 

 

 

 


Edited by Echolight, 13 February 2021 - 12:03 PM.


#11 duck2k

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Posted 13 February 2021 - 12:36 PM

I use a TV 27 Pan. I did explore with a 6.5 Morph for high power; use the fine focus, views were great!

 

CS smile.gif

 

 

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#12 James1996

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Posted 14 February 2021 - 05:45 PM

Say how long does it normally take for Astronomics to have an order delivered? I checked their website and it just says my order is processing I don't know what they mean by that though, what do they mean by that? Just curious. grin.gif


Edited by James1996, 14 February 2021 - 05:54 PM.


#13 Jeff L

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Posted 14 February 2021 - 06:13 PM

I ordered mine on a Tuesday and got it the following Sunday 

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Edited by Jeff L, 14 February 2021 - 06:13 PM.

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#14 duck2k

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Posted 14 February 2021 - 06:47 PM

It was roughly five business days for me. That was fast! Great turnaround time, and you get a delivery alert from Ken when it shipped.:)
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#15 72Nova

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Posted 14 February 2021 - 06:52 PM

My new AT80ED came a couple of weeks ago and I’m thrilled with it. I mount mine on an AZGTi

This is my first refractor but I ended up buying a 2” diagonal and a $16 shoe mount to hold a red dot finder (I’m curious about using 50mm raci).

After seeing the wide angle views with my 30mm APM I’m looking to try out even lower powers.
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#16 James1996

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Posted 14 February 2021 - 06:55 PM

That's great to know thanks guys. grin.gif


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#17 Mitrovarr

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Posted 14 February 2021 - 07:02 PM

Now to figure out where I can get a AZ-GTi...

#18 Jeff L

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Posted 14 February 2021 - 07:25 PM

Now to figure out where I can get a AZ-GTi...

B&H have them in stock



#19 Mitrovarr

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Posted 14 February 2021 - 07:27 PM

It shows up as backordered to me.

#20 mrsjeff

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Posted 14 February 2021 - 07:39 PM

It shows up as backordered to me.

yeah, it looks like the AZ-GTe is in stock, but that is not quite the same...



#21 tone_s

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Posted 15 February 2021 - 05:25 PM

I ordered mine on a Tuesday and got it the following Sunday 

Jeff, Just recieved my AT80ED yesterday. Thanks for posting a picture. May I ask how you attached the finder mount bracket to the focuser? I don't want to remove any screws I shouldn't . All my other tubes came with the shoe mount attached. This did not. Thanks



#22 duck2k

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Posted 15 February 2021 - 05:42 PM

Jeff, Just recieved my AT80ED yesterday. Thanks for posting a picture. May I ask how you attached the finder mount bracket to the focuser? I don't want to remove any screws I shouldn't . All my other tubes came with the shoe mount attached. This did not. Thanks

I hope this helps. I used the screws in the focuser. You may have to do the same.

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#23 tone_s

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Posted 15 February 2021 - 05:46 PM

I hope this helps. I used the screws in the focuser. You may have to do the same.

Thank you! that's what I was thinking, just wanted to run it by others that have the same scope. 


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#24 James1996

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Posted 15 February 2021 - 07:19 PM

I hope this helps. I used the screws in the focuser. You may have to do the same.

What eyepiece is that? Just curious.


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#25 duck2k

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Posted 15 February 2021 - 07:52 PM

What eyepiece is that? Just curious.

Hi James,

 

The eyepiece is a Televue 27mm Panoptic. It is a wonderful low power eyepiece. It is fantastic!

 

For my high power eyepiece, I am trying out the Televue Nagler Zoom (3-6mm), per recommendations from a couple CN members. It is a supposed planet killer.

 

My "sweet spot" viewing (through all my fracs) is between 21 to 86x.

 

Clear Skies!smile.gif


Edited by duck2k, 15 February 2021 - 07:53 PM.

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