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Chinese 114mm Reflector

Reflector
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#1 stevenk

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Posted 16 May 2021 - 06:35 AM

I am always on the lookout for the perfect grab and go. 

I  have been swapping between my old 60mm Towa I have had since I was a kid, to a Meade 125 ETX- Both are great scopes for the purpose,  and fortunately and luckily, both have excellent to outstanding optics, but each has it limitations. 

  

Recently however I was fortunate to get a hold of a Chinese 114mm x 900mm Reflector made by a company called HiOptic Military optics. The scope does seem a little old given some of the weathering of the metal parts but no idea how old.      

Apart from the finder bracket and focus knobs which are plastic - everything else is metal- The metal tubed 30mm finder with a helical focus, would have to be one of the best I have experienced. The 1.25 inch focuser is again metal and smooth. The mount is very nice and rigid and again smooth, and the whole scope is rather attractive- I love the hammered green motif paint schema. And as I was to find out, the scope's optics are, for want of a better expletive..incredible !

  

This scopes mirror is a parabola. Ronchi testing of the mirror is amazing. Visual in and out of focus star testing seems perfect - Star images, moon and planetary detail -unbelievable - and wide angle views of nebulae and clusters in the sky above Melbourne at this time of year are breathtaking. 

I can see detail with this scope that easily betters my 4 inch refractor and certainly exceeds my near perfect classic but heavy Royal Astro Optical 100mm f10 LN4e 

 

The entire setup is around 16kg and is an easy  lift and shift job  

 

So far it has proven to be an amazing grab and go and this may be the perfect size and the perfect scope

 

Does anyone else own one of these?    

hioptic2.jpg


Edited by stevenk, 16 May 2021 - 07:54 AM.

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#2 BarabinoSr

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Posted 16 May 2021 - 06:58 AM

Good morning Stevenk!

 Post a few pics of the telescope and accessories. Gary



#3 stevenk

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Posted 16 May 2021 - 07:05 AM

Hi Gary - I have posted a pic


Edited by stevenk, 16 May 2021 - 07:23 PM.


#4 BarabinoSr

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Posted 16 May 2021 - 07:37 AM

The scope looks to be in great condition. Nice!



#5 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 16 May 2021 - 10:19 PM

Looks nice. How are the views?

 

114 mm F/8s are underrated.  

 

Jon



#6 stevenk

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Posted 17 May 2021 - 06:59 AM

Jon the views are great 

I cannot believe how good the views are and the optics are first rate - unbelievably great

Saturn's Casini  - not a problem and everything just snaps into focus 

And Jupiters Belts - I didnt think I would see that much detail 

 

I love looking at Omega centauri and while I cannot replicate the views I get from a larger scope - this one does pretty well 

The Magelanic clouds are just wonderful and Scorpio clusters are just magnificent but the jewel box in the Southern cross - this scope really does pull its weight and the views are so wide   

 

I agree - these are completely underrated and when I picked it up I thought I would just use it for parts - thankfully and after deciding to collimate it for fun - boy !


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#7 lphilpot

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Posted 17 May 2021 - 10:24 AM

My first scope was a Cometron (i.s., Celestron down-tier from their primary line) CO-114 f/8 Newtonian on a standard Polaris mount. It had what appeared to be possibly (?) a refractor .965" focuser with an adapter for use on a Newt. Focal point was about 7" (!) above the outside of the OTA and at that height, the outer ~1/3 of the primary was vignetted. It wasn't until I fixed the vignetting that I understood what the collimation books were talking about when they referenced seeing the primary clips. What clips?? smile.gif  The "finder" had a 5x24 single lens stopped down to about 5/16". The secondary was polished on both sides, silvered on one. I couldn't split a 4" double with it as it was. But it was my first scope and I was clueless. Fortunately, I was hooked and persistent!

 

Despite the abysmal start, I ended up with a fine little scope. I added an extension to the OTA on the primary end to pull the focal point down. I replaced the focuser with a University Optics 1.25" rack and pinion, I made an 8x50 ST finder from surplus optics and the remnants of the original focuser, mounted in a set of Chicago Optical rings. I sent the primary and secondary to Richard Fagin in Florida -- The primary wasn't too bad actually, but the secondary was 2 waves concave on the coated side (the uncoated side was actually flatter). He touched up the primary, recoated it and sold me a new secondary. I painted the OTA white with a flat black area around the focuser / finder. It looked just like those beautiful scopes in the Parks catalog (sorta)!

 

I was astounded at the huge improvement. Zeta Bootis (just a touch under 1" at the time, as I recall) would elongate and clearly dimple with good seeing. Stars were pinpoints, not crosses. Of course, I soon built a 10" f/5.5 and sold the 4.5" shortly thereafter.  laugh.gif   

 

I wrote all that to say, it was only later that I realized just how good that little scope had become. A 114mm f/8 can be a great little instrument and it sounds like you have a good one. Enjoy!


Edited by lphilpot, 17 May 2021 - 10:24 AM.


#8 stevenk

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Posted 18 May 2021 - 08:53 AM

Len  I love hearing about these types of experiences  -  I still get a kick out of my first scope just like I did as a kid.  

Yep agree these 114 scopes seem to be pretty good


Edited by stevenk, 19 May 2021 - 08:07 AM.



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