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Laser Pointer vs Telrad ?

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19 replies to this topic

#1 Glenn Patrick

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Posted 23 February 2021 - 12:13 PM

My Telrad red circle has become so bad I cant site through the circle anymore. it looks like its become brittle and is flaking apart. the cost to replace the small circle decal is about $7.00 and with the added shipping cost of about $8.00 I don't know if its worth the effort to repair it ? Also there is a long delay in shipping with uncertain shipping date!

I was wondering if any one is using a Laser pointer mounted on the telescopes and not using the Telrad ?

 

Clear Skies,

Glenn



#2 mikerepp

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Posted 23 February 2021 - 12:17 PM

Do a search, lots of people using both.  I don't own a Telrad but I have 3 GLP's (green laser pointers).  They work very well and you don't have to strain to look thru them just point at the object.  Be prepared for all the nay sayers about lasers.   There is always one or two who will say the world will end if you use a laser. lol.gif


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#3 JMW

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Posted 23 February 2021 - 12:18 PM

The Telrad has the advantage of multiple circles that can matched to sky charts. The Telrad has no impact on others nearby or restrictions regarding use near planes.

Some star parties don't permit the use of laser pointers.

 

I use laser points for public outreach but you must be aware of where you are pointing and what my be flying into the path of the laser pointer. They are not toys and should be used with caution.


Edited by JMW, 23 February 2021 - 12:36 PM.

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#4 eyeoftexas

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Posted 23 February 2021 - 12:18 PM

New Telrads are only ~$45.  Might be worth just getting a new one.

 

I have used both.  The laser I find is easier because you do not need to bend over to see through it.  But, it is limited because you can't use it in many areas.  The Telrad circles are set sizes so you can move the scope based on the circles.  Lasers are single points.


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#5 Jim Waters

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Posted 23 February 2021 - 12:26 PM

Get a new Telrad finder - about $45.  Many people hate lasers because they interrupt viewing for others including myself.  Also astrophotographer's absolutely hate them...


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#6 Jeff Morgan

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Posted 23 February 2021 - 12:47 PM

I am a laser user, but only for initial star alignment on my DSC's.

 

As much as I like the ergonomics of the laser (Telrad is quite literally a pain in the neck), I would be reluctant to use it for regular star hopping.

 

OTOH, since I would not own a mount without DSC's, I don't star hop grin.gif

 

Don't know your location, but a good low-temp green laser and bracket will set you back more than a new Telrad. Perhaps $80?

 

You can get the cheapie laser, but they are a crap shoot on quality (not what you want to discover at the dark site) and they don't like cold.



#7 Zubenelgenubi17

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Posted 23 February 2021 - 12:51 PM

One thing to keep in mind with lasers is that you'll annoy the astrophotographers at star parties. The one I go to only allows them on the public viewing night.

#8 wrvond

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Posted 23 February 2021 - 01:02 PM

I have, and use, both. In fact, I have a RACI, Telrad, and a laser mounted on my C8 because no single finder does it all under all conditions. Each device has it's time and place for best use.

Here is an inexpensive laser pointer that works well at low temperatures, is easily aligned with the scope, and work reliably. I have them mounted on everything but the smallest of binoculars.

 

https://smile.amazon...,aps,178&sr=8-2


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#9 astrochoker1

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Posted 23 February 2021 - 01:05 PM

I like using the laser to point out objects in the sky to groups (where appropriate) but for my telescope I prefer the Telrad to search for objects.



#10 SteveG

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Posted 23 February 2021 - 01:43 PM

While the Telrad is the best reflex finder, I rarely use mine anymore. Lasers are the way for me.


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#11 Sky_LO

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Posted 23 February 2021 - 04:38 PM

Fix or replace the telrad, but use both !   Yes, I am a laser fan.   

 

I was observing with and right next to a premier astro-photographer in our club.

He said laser was no problem and never even shows in his frames. 

 

My brother, a big "laser wary" observer,

finally tried a laser, and now likes them much! 

 

-Lauren   



#12 brentknight

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Posted 23 February 2021 - 09:53 PM

Especially if you observe from your home in less than pristine skies, laser's are great. Be cognizant of others when around others...

#13 telesonic

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Posted 23 February 2021 - 10:38 PM

While the Telrad is the best reflex finder, I rarely use mine anymore. Lasers are the way for me.

Yep, me too, Steve!

 

 

------------------------------------

 

Back when I started this journey in 2016, one of my biggest upgrades was the Telrad, and a few star charts with the clear laminate overlays. I learned to use them pretty effectively to find things, by manually star hopping. For awhile, I dinked around with Red Dot Finders, straight throughs, and all manner of them.... eventually coming to my own solution, my own way.

 

I now use a laser (the same one from post #8) and a home built finder that is all integrated to the same mounting rings, and have been doing so for a year or two. The laser is used for quick alignment, then turned off. From there, the magnifying finder takes over (or the go-to mount) and it's great.

 

That is my setup - yours may be different.

 

 

IMHO:

Fix your Telrad - the reticle insert can be found online - very inexpensive.

Buy a Laser - yes, the Pinty one is excellent!

 

Test, and figure out which one you like the best...  while this stuff mostly comes down to personal preference, don't be scared of lasers when properly used for this sort of thing. I used to be worried about it, but now I'm not, just be responsible... and you will be alright. cool.gif

 

Cheers,

T


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#14 SonnyE

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Posted 24 February 2021 - 01:39 AM

I had a Red Dot sight for a number of years. And I had a laser so if anyone asked (Grandkids) I could send them right into the sky.

Last year I got a Z bolt laser and liked it so much, I've removed the Red Dot sight.

The green laser is so much easier to work with. But I, too, only use mine during alignments.

Oh, occasionally I will use it momentarily to estimate how close an imaging session is getting to neighbors trees, or the like.

Never have had it mess with my imaging, and I don't go to star parties.

I almost went to one once. But found out my 10 pound dog was not welcome.

You don't want my little buddy, you don't want me either, buddy. Take your rules and shove them.

I've never had any issues because I don't interfere with any of the aircraft invading my airspace. I just wait a few seconds and they pass.

Most of my exposures are 300 seconds, so I don't even see aircraft in my imaging.

So most of the Anti-Laser BS is a non-issue to me.

 

I liked the Green Laser so much, I got one in Blue and mounted it with my Binoculars. Works great for aligning those.

 

I ordered a Telrad once, and returned it. Not really fond of plastic.


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#15 Redbetter

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Posted 24 February 2021 - 04:07 AM

Telrads run about $45.  The reticle runs about $7-8.  This is a no-brainer.  When you find one in stock, order the reticle.   If you piggy back it onto something else you want/need so the shipping will be free.

 

I have a GLP that I won at GSSP.  It makes a great cat toy.  I have never tried to get a bracket for it for astro.  Too many aircraft flying low in town, and I don't like GLP's at dark sites.



#16 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 24 February 2021 - 04:17 AM

As others have said, you can purchase a new reticule for your Telrad. Astronomics has them, AgenaAstro has them.

 

I use Telrads in conjunction with RACI finders.  I'm a star hopper and I find the calibrated reticule useful.

 

I dislike lighting up the sky with a green laser, it just disturbs the visual silence. And as small as they are (5mw), I find it incongruous that as an astronomer interested in reducing light pollution, I would choose to pollute the sky with a bright beam when other viable methods exist.  It's not a good example to set.

 

Jon


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#17 Jeff Morgan

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Posted 24 February 2021 - 06:58 AM

 

I use Telrads in conjunction with RACI finders.  I'm a star hopper and I find the calibrated reticule useful.

 

I’m surprised the RACI finders are not getting more love in this thread. More ergonomic than a Telrad. They generally have a 5 degree true field which I always found close enough to get things started. And the magnitude reach is a pretty good match to the Tirion charts. 



#18 Richie2shoes

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Posted 24 February 2021 - 08:10 AM

I have, and use, both. In fact, I have a RACI, Telrad, and a laser mounted on my C8 because no single finder does it all under all conditions. Each device has it's time and place for best use.

Here is an inexpensive laser pointer that works well at low temperatures, is easily aligned with the scope, and work reliably. I have them mounted on everything but the smallest of binoculars.

 

https://smile.amazon...,aps,178&sr=8-2

I also use all three, plus manual setting circles.  I had to replace my circle decal last year and I had the same thoughts about a $7 piece of plastic, but better than $45 for a replacement and no longer being annoyed by the mess I saw when I looked through it!


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#19 Redbetter

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Posted 24 February 2021 - 03:57 PM

I’m surprised the RACI finders are not getting more love in this thread. More ergonomic than a Telrad. They generally have a 5 degree true field which I always found close enough to get things started. And the magnitude reach is a pretty good match to the Tirion charts. 

Because RACI finders are not really stand alone finders.  I use RACI's but they are used in conjunction with a Telrad or RDF.  



#20 RobertMaples

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Posted 24 February 2021 - 07:30 PM

...

Don't know your location, but a good low-temp green laser and bracket will set you back more than a new Telrad. Perhaps $80?..

I got a Pitny Laser pointer for about $25 and a picatinny rail to mount it to for about $10.  I haven't used it in sub zero weather (and have no desire to) but I have used it in below freezing without issue.


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