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New Tak FC76-DCU with Q1.7 Extender Observing Report

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#1 SandyHouTex

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Posted 24 July 2021 - 11:20 PM

So last night it finally cleared up here south of Houston.  So about 10PM I took the scope out to test it and see how it was.  After it warmed up, it was about 83 deg. F outside, I looked at Luna with my ZAO I 10 mm in the focuser.  I was totally amazed at the detail, even though the moon was full with no shadows.  Saturn looked great as well, although small (90X). So then I thought I would do a star test on Spica.  Oh crap!  The intra-focal Airy disk was slightly elongated vertically, and when I went through focus, the extra-focal disk was elongated a little bit horizontally.  Astigmatism!  So I put my ZAO I 6mm in and the disks were perfectly round on both sides.  ????

 

I spent all day today thinking what to do to test it tonight.  So I took it out tonight about the same time, and let it warm up.  This time I used my Tak Ortho 9mm.  I did the Spica star test, and both the extra and intra focal disks were perfectly round.  My conclusion is that the highly vaunted ZAO I 10mm that I paid $650 for has astigmatism.  I’ll have to take it apart and fix it.  Premium eyepiece my behind.

 

After the Spica star test, I looked at Saturn and Luna, and both looked very detailed.  So I went for broke, and brought out my new TOE 4mm.  Now cruising along at 80X/per inch.  Oh my!  I have never seen so much detail on Saturn’s disk and rings, and it was so big.  Turning to the moon was just as good.  It was huge, there was so much detail, and it seemed like I was in orbit around it.

 

Finally the focuser.  Smooth as butter.  This is one fine scope, and some great eyepieces too.  The TOE with its larger eye relief, made high power very comfortable to use.

 


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#2 GUS.K

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Posted 24 July 2021 - 11:35 PM

Thanks for sharing your report Sandy, I have the FC76DC and use the 1.6x extender ( the one that fits the focuser end. These are great little scopes that deliver some outstanding Lunar and planetary views. 


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#3 JamesMStephens

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Posted 24 July 2021 - 11:46 PM

Hi Sandy,

 

Sounds like a terrific scope!  Is it brand new or pre-owned?  Aren't you tempted to try that star test with the ZAO and rotate the e/p?

 

Jim



#4 M44

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Posted 25 July 2021 - 12:05 AM

 

 My conclusion is that the highly vaunted ZAO I 10mm that I paid $650 for has astigmatism.  I’ll have to take it apart and fix it.  Premium eyepiece my behind.

 

After the Spica star test, I looked at Saturn and Luna, and both looked very detailed.  So I went for broke, and brought out my new TOE 4mm.  Now cruising along at 80X/per inch.  Oh my!  I have never seen so much detail on Saturn’s disk and rings, and it was so big.  Turning to the moon was just as good.  It was huge, there was so much detail, and it seemed like I was in orbit around it.

 

Finally the focuser.  Smooth as butter.  This is one fine scope, and some great eyepieces too.  The TOE with its larger eye relief, made high power very comfortable to use.

Looks like finest 3 inch scope. 

 

It is possible that you may be the first one to use this ZAO I 10mm and not realized by previous owners due to lack of use and kept in box. 


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#5 SandyHouTex

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Posted 25 July 2021 - 11:56 AM

Hi Sandy,

 

Sounds like a terrific scope!  Is it brand new or pre-owned?  Aren't you tempted to try that star test with the ZAO and rotate the e/p?

 

Jim

I bought it new from Tak America.  I even drove up and picked it up so no shipping company would have the opportunity to drop it or kick it around.  One of the nice touches with Tak America is before they ship out a new Tak, they always check the collimation.

 

I did actually rotate the ZAO.  The astigmatism rotated with it.  When I stuck the TOE in the focuser, there was some unfocused dirt or something when looking at the moon.  When I rotated it, the dirt or whatever didn’t go with it.  So it’s either the diagonal or my eye.  Probably my eye.


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#6 Bill Barlow

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Posted 25 July 2021 - 11:56 AM

I don’t own the 1.7X extender for it, but use a 2.9mm starsplitter for 197X and a 2.5mm nagler for 228X and get very sharp views of the moon and brighter planets.  This scope is made more for planets, lunar and double star observing, not so much for deep sky objects as they are typically dim in 3” or aperture.  
 

Bill



#7 SandyHouTex

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Posted 25 July 2021 - 11:57 AM

Looks like finest 3 inch scope. 

 

It is possible that you may be the first one to use this ZAO I 10mm and not realized by previous owners due to lack of use and kept in box. 

We’ll see.  At some point I’ll take it apart and take a look.


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#8 GOLGO13

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Posted 25 July 2021 - 12:18 PM

Feeling good about my recent order for the exact same scope. Coming soon.
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#9 tbundy614

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Posted 25 July 2021 - 03:25 PM

Feeling good about my recent order for the exact same scope. Coming soo

Me too...mine is meant to be in shortly, and after reading all of the great reports on it, I'm very much looking forward to it arriving!

 

@Sandy - I take it your happy with the TOE 4mm so far?


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#10 barbie

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Posted 25 July 2021 - 04:57 PM

The FC76dcu with or without the extender is a seriously splendid scope for lunar, planets and double stars!! It does pretty well on the brighter DSO's too!!


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#11 SandyHouTex

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Posted 25 July 2021 - 05:31 PM

Me too...mine is meant to be in shortly, and after reading all of the great reports on it, I'm very much looking forward to it arriving!

 

@Sandy - I take it your happy with the TOE 4mm so far?

Very happy.  The extended eye relief at high power is sweet.


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#12 Tyson M

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Posted 25 July 2021 - 05:40 PM

This is one tak I hope to own one day.  I just love how small and light it is with the optional extenders.


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#13 desertlens

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Posted 25 July 2021 - 11:12 PM

Those folks who are waiting for delivery of an FC-76DCU are in for a treat. This one is semi-permanently mated to a CQ-1.7x extender and is used primarily for solar system objects ( the 2020 Mars opposition was amazing). It is perhaps overkill, but I also acquired an FC-76DS so that I had simultaneous access to both focal lengths without having to swap tube segments in the dark. I doubt you will find a better three inch instrument (doublet or triplet) than the FC-76 for visual use.

 

FC76DCUd.jpg


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#14 SandyHouTex

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Posted 11 September 2021 - 09:25 PM

I took mine out last night (Friday), and was just blown away at level of detail on Jupiter.  Using a Tak Abbe Ortho 9mm at roughly 100X, it looked like a Hubble photo.  Even the minor belts were visible across the face of Jupiter.  I could also see the colors on Jupiter’s surface.  The visible moons were perfect Airy disks with a very, very faint first diffraction ring.  This scope is perfect.

 

Saturn was also very sharp and detailed.  It was the first night this summer south of Houston, with fairly low humidity.  In the summer, I usually have excellent seeing, but poor transparency due to all of the water in the atmosphere.

 

This is a really amazing scope with the Q extender.  The 9mm Tak Abbe was perfect too.  Sharp from edge to edge and perfect in the center.

 

I had to go in pretty quickly because of the “skeeters”.  I’ll turn my Blue Rhino “skeeter vac” on the night before my next outing.


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#15 tbundy614

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Posted 11 September 2021 - 10:46 PM

I took mine out last night (Friday), and was just blown away at level of detail on Jupiter.  Using a Tak Abbe Ortho 9mm at roughly 100X, it looked like a Hubble photo.  Even the minor belts were visible across the face of Jupiter.  I could also see the colors on Jupiter’s surface.  The visible moons were perfect Airy disks with a very, very faint first diffraction ring.  This scope is perfect.

 

Saturn was also very sharp and detailed.  It was the first night this summer south of Houston, with fairly low humidity.  In the summer, I usually have excellent seeing, but poor transparency due to all of the water in the atmosphere.

 

This is a really amazing scope with the Q extender.  The 9mm Tak Abbe was perfect too.  Sharp from edge to edge and perfect in the center.

 

I had to go in pretty quickly because of the “skeeters”.  I’ll turn my Blue Rhino “skeeter vac” on the night before my next outing.

I had my DCU out with Saturn and Jupiter this evening as well, and even without the Q extender, they were both amazing. Jupiter and its moons were exactly as you described...I'm really enjoying this scope, as I'm getting out much more often due to its compact size.  


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#16 Kevin Barker

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Posted 11 September 2021 - 11:17 PM

I took mine out last night (Friday), and was just blown away at level of detail on Jupiter.  Using a Tak Abbe Ortho 9mm at roughly 100X, it looked like a Hubble photo.  Even the minor belts were visible across the face of Jupiter.  I could also see the colors on Jupiter’s surface.  The visible moons were perfect Airy disks with a very, very faint first diffraction ring.  This scope is perfect.

 

Saturn was also very sharp and detailed.  It was the first night this summer south of Houston, with fairly low humidity.  In the summer, I usually have excellent seeing, but poor transparency due to all of the water in the atmosphere.

 

 

I had to go in pretty quickly because of the “skeeters”.  I’ll turn my Blue Rhino “skeeter vac” on the night before my next outing.

My fc-100DZ is basically the same but scaled up. The images I have been getting are top notch. Sensational in fact.

 

I laughed when I heard about your skeeters (we call them mossies) They are starting to wake up in my neck of the woods as well. I have to cover most skin and sacrifice my hands to the blighters...... 


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#17 GOLGO13

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Posted 11 September 2021 - 11:23 PM

I have been very impressed with the Tak 76 DCU both in F12.6 and F7.5. While it's limited in aperture, it's certainly squeezing out all it can with that aperture.

 

I haven't had a chance to do much lunar viewing in F12.6, but I figure that's going to be the main use of the Q extender. Otherwise I plan to use it for wide fields unless I'm using it for travel.

 

I also have a similarly good Vixen 103s, but I am very impressed by what the Tak can do even with fairly small aperture.

 

Not to mention it's just plain pretty.

 

20210806 145726

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#18 25585

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Posted 12 September 2021 - 05:40 AM

My fc-100DZ is basically the same but scaled up. The images I have been getting are top notch. Sensational in fact.

 

I laughed when I heard about your skeeters (we call them mossies) They are starting to wake up in my neck of the woods as well. I have to cover most skin and sacrifice my hands to the blighters...... 

My DL with its Q1.6x extender making it F14.4 is quite superb. 


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#19 Astrojedi

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Posted 12 September 2021 - 10:04 AM

Yes, the EP for sure. The 76DCU is one of the sharpest refractors I have ever used. I still regret selling it. 


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#20 Astrojedi

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Posted 12 September 2021 - 10:06 AM

I took mine out last night (Friday), and was just blown away at level of detail on Jupiter.  Using a Tak Abbe Ortho 9mm at roughly 100X, it looked like a Hubble photo.  Even the minor belts were visible across the face of Jupiter.  I could also see the colors on Jupiter’s surface.  The visible moons were perfect Airy disks with a very, very faint first diffraction ring.  This scope is perfect.

 

Saturn was also very sharp and detailed.  It was the first night this summer south of Houston, with fairly low humidity.  In the summer, I usually have excellent seeing, but poor transparency due to all of the water in the atmosphere.

 

This is a really amazing scope with the Q extender.  The 9mm Tak Abbe was perfect too.  Sharp from edge to edge and perfect in the center.

 

I had to go in pretty quickly because of the “skeeters”.  I’ll turn my Blue Rhino “skeeter vac” on the night before my next outing.

I had a similar wow experience with the last Mars opposition. The contrast was incredible and I was amazed at the details it revealed.


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#21 SandyHouTex

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Posted 12 September 2021 - 12:18 PM

It’s a keeper for sure.


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#22 Lagrange

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Posted 12 September 2021 - 05:31 PM

I have been very impressed with the Tak 76 DCU both in F12.6 and F7.5. While it's limited in aperture, it's certainly squeezing out all it can with that aperture.

 

I haven't had a chance to do much lunar viewing in F12.6, but I figure that's going to be the main use of the Q extender. Otherwise I plan to use it for wide fields unless I'm using it for travel.

 

I also have a similarly good Vixen 103s, but I am very impressed by what the Tak can do even with fairly small aperture.

 

Not to mention it's just plain pretty.

 

That's what a telescope should look like!

 

I'd not heard of Takahashi until I saw an advert for them in an astronomy magazine in 1990 and the pictures of those wonderful scopes immediately caught my eye and made me want one. Of course they were very expensive back then (relatively more costly than now) and I was still a kid so there was no way it was happening. It was a real pleasure to finally fulfil that dream of owning one 31 years later.

 

I've used my FS-60CB with 1.7x Extender and 76mm objective unit in all four configurations and they all provide superb views and make great scopes in their own right. I think I'll probably end up using it more in FC-76DCU mode than FC-76Q mode when I've got the objective unit fitted simply because it tends to be quite windy round here and the longer tube with the extender catches the breeze a bit more. On top of that the view it provides at F7.5 are already so good that I don't find myself wanting to improve them.


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#23 teashea

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Posted 12 September 2021 - 08:34 PM

Those folks who are waiting for delivery of an FC-76DCU are in for a treat. This one is semi-permanently mated to a CQ-1.7x extender and is used primarily for solar system objects ( the 2020 Mars opposition was amazing). It is perhaps overkill, but I also acquired an FC-76DS so that I had simultaneous access to both focal lengths without having to swap tube segments in the dark. I doubt you will find a better three inch instrument (doublet or triplet) than the FC-76 for visual use.

 

attachicon.gifFC76DCUd.jpg

Since the tubes and threads are aluminum, it is wise to avoid screwing and unscrewing the extender very often.  Each time, the threads are damaged a small amount.


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#24 Lagrange

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Posted 13 September 2021 - 08:07 AM

Since the tubes and threads are aluminum, it is wise to avoid screwing and unscrewing the extender very often.  Each time, the threads are damaged a small amount.

A small amount of grease on the threads should help keep them from wearing. Obviously keep it well away from the optics!


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#25 SandyHouTex

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Posted 13 September 2021 - 09:53 AM

Since the tubes and threads are aluminum, it is wise to avoid screwing and unscrewing the extender very often.  Each time, the threads are damaged a small amount.

I don’t think they’re damaged every time you screw the Q on and off.   I don’t believe Tak would design something like that.  I had an old ETX-125 with the screw on front cover, and now have a 1967 Questar and Lunt 60mm solar scope with screw on covers and can’t see any damage to the threads from repeated removal and replacement.

 

You can check though.  Since the threads are black anodized (if Aluminum), or blackened (if Stainless Steel), just look at the threads when you unscrew it.  The coating isn’t very thick.  If damage occurs, it will be visible with a magnifier because the underlying material will be a bright metallic color.


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