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Takahashi TSA 120 unboxing

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#1 GOLGO13

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Posted 22 September 2021 - 08:48 PM

Oh my bigshock.gif Telescope.gif thewave.gif  ... I feel like a segment from an old news program in St. Louis..."You paid for it!". What a beautiful scope. During my unboxing it was storming like crazy, so no first light tonight. Par for the course with big telescope deliveries.

 

The stock focuser seems pretty good and the MEF3 works much better than I expected. I don't see a need to upgrade the focuser at this point. I did try to adjust it, but with a heavy eyepiece it was probably where it should be. Let me know if you have an idea for the use of the two extension tubes. As far as I can tell they will not be needed for visual with either diagonal. They don't seem to want to thread together easily, but one of them does work when attached by itself. I didn't want to try and force them to play with each other. Those don't appear to be part of the fit guide so must be an alternative extension setup?

 

I really like the function of the tube rings. Makes it easy to get the tube in and out. My plan is to set the rings and dovetail in the saddle and then plop the tube in there. That worked very well and will ensure I don't make any mistakes inserting the dovetail (which can happen if not careful). While I do wish they were a more subtle color, I don't mind the look. But for this situation, I rather have a very solid connection and they seem extremely well made as well as the dovetail which is awesome. I even was able to install 4 safety screws, 2 on each side. Why both sides? This puppy is front heavy and I could see it swinging downward if not careful. Not a likely scenario, but when you have a scope like this you don't want to take any chances.

 

Because it has a sliding dew shield, it actually fit in the case I use for the 103s (more easily than the 103s). 

 

It feels like a heavy scope and I suppose it kind of is. I didn't weigh anything yet, but just holding the OTA you can tell it's a bit heavier than normal. Similar to my 150mm F5 which probably weighs about the same. And similarly front heavy, but certainly not bad and easily balanced with the rings. 

 

Takahashi America is pretty darn good, and man. That triple boxing is killer. Honestly the box felt like there was a scope and mount in it! Of course that would have been nice. Even putting the box in the attic empty I was surprised how heavy it is.

 

I think I have decided to keep the 103s as I can see using it in situations such as if it's really cold out, going to a star get together where I don't want to have such an expensive scope (I have not been to one of these in 5 years), or situations where I want to setup something more lightweight (the 103s is the max for my Vixen AP mount, and that mount is awesome grab and go EQ mount). 

 

Open boxing below. I didn't see many of these on here so thought it would be a nice treat for you guys jawdrop.gif drool5.gif

 

8817EEE1 475A 4A13 BA80 D051FBFC0494
 
3D3E4A69 2A90 48AD 9F47 6EF9DE180719
 
6A168D45 1A6B 45E5 B20A C9F6C749FB0C
 
9C92C96B 2FEE 41F9 A8D0 55AAAB16C369
 
FFCA07C8 C9D8 4307 B618 83C6B17FCDBC
 
4AEB47D1 E86F 446B 9F7C E51E90E330F4
 
887BA42A 9684 48BE 9765 AF0B7BB76B4D
 
A3E82C8D 6266 48E6 B025 21CD4F7B55AC
 
20210922 171706
 
5810F164 96B9 482C 9FFA 50D86EC31B2B
 
6034F43A 7F93 4D9E 932F 87DD82251AA6
 
DD1A3EA9 83CF 4FBA 93EF 40D0007826D6
 
670EA05A FB35 4A13 AB0B 444B9357068F

Edited by GOLGO13, 22 September 2021 - 09:18 PM.

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#2 Stellar1

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Posted 22 September 2021 - 09:02 PM

Congratulations! what a fine piece of glass you have there! remember to post first light as soon as the clouds break.


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#3 turtle86

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Posted 22 September 2021 - 09:08 PM

Oh my bigshock.gif Telescope.gif thewave.gif  ... I feel like a segment from an old news program in St. Louis..."You paid for it!". What a beautiful scope. During my unboxing it was storming like crazy, so no first light tonight. Par for the course with big telescope deliveries.

 

The stock focuser seems pretty good and the MEF3 works much better than I expected. I don't see a need to upgrade the focuser at this point. I did try to adjust it, but with a heavy eyepiece it was probably where it should be. Let me know if you have an idea for the use of the two extension tubes. As far as I can tell they will not be needed for visual with either diagonal. They don't seem to want to thread together easily, but one of them does work when attached by itself. I didn't want to try and force them to play with each other. Those don't appear to be part of the fit guide so must be an alternative extension setup?

 

I really like the function of the tube rings. Makes it easy to get the tube in and out. My plan is to set the rings and dovetail in the saddle and then plop the tube in there. That worked very well and will ensure I don't make any mistakes inserting the dovetail (which can happen if not careful). While I do wish they were a more subtle color, I don't mind the look. But for this situation, I rather have a very solid connection and they seem extremely well made as well as the dovetail which is awesome. I even was able to install 4 safety screws, 2 on each side. Why both sides? This puppy is front heavy and I could see it swinging downward if not careful. Not a likely scenario, but when you have a scope like this you don't want to take any chances.

 

Because it has a sliding dew shield, it actually fit in the case I use for the 103s (more easily than the 103s). 

 

It feels like a heavy scope and I suppose it kind of is. I didn't weigh anything yet, but just holding the OTA you can tell it's a bit heavier than normal. Similar to my 150mm F5 which probably weighs about the same. And similarly front heavy, but certainly not bad and easily balanced with the rings. 

 

Takahashi America is pretty darn good, and man. That triple boxing is killer. Honestly the box felt like there was a scope and mount in it! Of course that would have been nice. Even putting the box in the attic empty I was surprised how heavy it is.

 

I think I have decided to keep the 103s as I can see using it in situations such as if it's really cold out, going to a star get together where I don't want to have such an expensive scope (I have not been to one of these in 5 years), or situations where I want to setup something more lightweight (the 103s is the max for my Vixen AP mount, and that mount is awesome grab and go EQ mount). 

 

Open boxing below. I didn't see many of these on here so thought it would be a nice treat for you guys jawdrop.gif drool5.gif

 

 

Congratulations!  Beautiful scope.  I was similarly impressed by the packaging for my Mewlon 180.

 

Hope you get some clear skies soon.


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#4 GOLGO13

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Posted 22 September 2021 - 09:46 PM

Good choice. You will soon be a victim of Takitis, if you aren't already.  You have plenty of fellow sufferers.  

 

https://www.cloudyni...466960-takitis/

 

Experience proves, however, that no Tak is happy unless it has a stablemate.  It's time to start planning for Tak no. 2!

The TSA 120 was number two lol.gif ... I think I am done now though! 
 
20210806 145726

 


Edited by GOLGO13, 22 September 2021 - 09:47 PM.

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#5 Oyaji

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Posted 22 September 2021 - 09:48 PM

 

The TSA 120 was number two lol.gif ... I think I am done now though! 
 
 

 

 

Yes, I saw that on the Takitis thread, so I deleted my post.  But while I was deleting, you were replying!  

 

Oh, well--enjoy your 120.  I certainly enjoy mine.  


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#6 Jethro7

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Posted 22 September 2021 - 09:58 PM

Hello GOLGO13,

Congrats on the Tak, I feel like there is one of these in my future.

If I may ask, what is the lead time between ordering and receiving one if these fine scopes?

 

HAPPY SKIES TO YOU AND KEEP LOOKING UP Jethro

 

 

Oh my bigshock.gif Telescope.gif thewave.gif  ... I feel like a segment from an old news program in St. Louis..."You paid for it!". What a beautiful scope. During my unboxing it was storming like crazy, so no first light tonight. Par for the course with big telescope deliveries.

 

Takahashi America is pretty darn good, and man.....

 
 

 


Edited by Jethro7, 22 September 2021 - 09:59 PM.

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#7 Castor

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Posted 22 September 2021 - 10:05 PM

Hi Golgo13,

 

Congratulations on your brand new Takahashi TSA-120, it looks gorgeous and thanks for sharing the unboxing pics! waytogo.gif 


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#8 GOLGO13

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Posted 22 September 2021 - 10:14 PM

Hello GOLGO13,
Congrats on the Tak, I feel like there is one of these in my future.
If I may ask, what is the lead time between ordering and receiving one if these fine scopes?

HAPPY SKIES TO YOU AND KEEP LOOKING UP Jethro


Well, I saw it was in stock and figured I should jump while I could. Ordered it about 5 days ago. Otherwise I am not sure. But the Takahashi sellers in the US seem to be pretty good if you email them. It's a very tough time for shipping and distribution, so hard to say how things are going to be nowadays.
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#9 Jethro7

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Posted 22 September 2021 - 10:31 PM

Well, I saw it was in stock and figured I should jump while I could. Ordered it about 5 days ago. Otherwise I am not sure. But the Takahashi sellers in the US seem to be pretty good if you email them. It's a very tough time for shipping and distribution, so hard to say how things are going to be nowadays.

Hello GOLGO13,

Way to go,that's outstanding. Maybe I will have that kind of luck on a couple of months. My Astro toy savings account is starting to get fat and so far I have been able to stick to my plan. Yesterday I turned down a D&G 6" F/12 ( I really want one of these scopes also) so far have been able to thwart temptation in favor of a Takahashi TSA 120. My goal is a Takahashi Christmas. 

 

HAPPY SKIES AND KEEP LOOKING UP Jethro


Edited by Jethro7, 22 September 2021 - 10:32 PM.

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#10 Castor

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Posted 22 September 2021 - 10:31 PM

You did well by acting fast on your scope decision! ubetcha.gif  With the current shortages in the market you never know for sure when a backordered telescope model is going to be available again or for how long the current price is going to hold! shrug.gif 


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#11 doctordub

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Posted 22 September 2021 - 11:36 PM

Congrats! Your scope is even clouding my skies!

CS

Jonathan


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#12 JeremySh

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Posted 23 September 2021 - 06:51 AM

Congratulations and welcome to the Tak TSA 120 club flowerred.gif


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#13 bobhen

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Posted 23 September 2021 - 06:53 AM

The bare OTA is listed at 13.5 pounds.

 

Yes, being a triplet it will be nose heavy. I use a 3rd ring and optical finder to better restore balance.

 

Yes, the OTA length “really shrinks” when the dew shield is pushed back and the focuser extension is removed.

 

I leave my extension tube on for visual (even with a 2” diagonal it comes to focus) because it keeps the draw tube length short and less opportunity for sag.

 

I remove the extension when I do Night Vision observing and even using prime focus and a 2” diagonal and a reducer everything still comes to focus.

 

I use my TSA 120 on a UA alt/az Macrostar so I know you will like using the UA alt/az mount for deep sky visual, quick looks and especially night vision observing. However the TSA 120 can be used at high power when conditions are good and in that case I use one of my GEMs (an AVX or CG5) or my DSV-3 alt/az mount with slow-motion controls.

 

Below is my TSA 120 on a UA Macrostar with the intensifier in the diagonal and the extension tube, which I remove for NV observing. You can also see I added a 3rd ring (which of course is optional) for better balance and another place to mount an additional finder. 

 

Lots of rain today but it should be a nice weekend for deep sky observing and maybe planetary as well.

 

Looks great! Good luck.

 

Bob

 

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#14 GOLGO13

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Posted 23 September 2021 - 07:58 AM

The bare OTA is listed at 13.5 pounds.

 

Yes, being a triplet it will be nose heavy. I use a 3rd ring and optical finder to better restore balance.

 

Yes, the OTA length “really shrinks” when the dew shield is pushed back and the focuser extension is removed.

 

I leave my extension tube on for visual (even with a 2” diagonal it comes to focus) because it keeps the draw tube length short and less opportunity for sag.

 

I remove the extension when I do Night Vision observing and even using prime focus and a 2” diagonal and a reducer everything still comes to focus.

 

I use my TSA 120 on a UA alt/az Macrostar so I know you will like using the UA alt/az mount for deep sky visual, quick looks and especially night vision observing. However the TSA 120 can be used at high power when conditions are good and in that case I use one of my GEMs (an AVX or CG5) or my DSV-3 alt/az mount with slow-motion controls.

 

Below is my TSA 120 on a UA Macrostar with the intensifier in the diagonal and the extension tube, which I remove for NV observing. You can also see I added a 3rd ring (which of course is optional) for better balance and another place to mount an additional finder. 

 

Lots of rain today but it should be a nice weekend for deep sky observing and maybe planetary as well.

 

Looks great! Good luck.

 

Bob

Thanks Bob...I probably should have clarified it's heavy for how it looks, but it's not too heavy as a scope. I've seen different weights listed as the bare OTA, but somewhere around 13-15 pounds. 

 

Thanks for explaining the extension tube setup. I'm thinking, based on what you said, the scope should be good for binoviewing also. My binoviewer doesn't require as much inward travel as the NV with a .7 reducer. I don't know if I got two of these extensions on accident or what. Did you get two of them?

 

I can say I'm glad I got this scope and not a heavier one. I just don't prefer heavy scopes (well, I don't exactly count the 10 inch dob since the mount is more solid and easy to use). I am able to easily hold the OTA and put it into the rings. With almost no effort which is how I want it to be. I never want to be awkward with something like this.

 

This will ride really nice on my Vixen GPD2. Usually I prefer alt/az, but there are times for tracking and go-to (my GPD2 has a synscan setup so it has go-to).

 

Yeah. The weather forecast looks quite good upcoming. Those maybe long nights.


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#15 syxbach

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Posted 23 September 2021 - 09:31 AM

I am glad to hear that you have decided to keep my 103sgrin.gif

 

Yuexiao


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#16 GOLGO13

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Posted 23 September 2021 - 09:33 AM

I am glad to hear that you have decided to keep my 103sgrin.gif

Yuexiao


Hah!! Yes. Absolutely love your observatory pictures! Great stuff. Enjoy.
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#17 tgreene

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Posted 23 September 2021 - 10:10 AM

Beautiful scope, and I hope it gives you much enjoyment!

 

What mount and tripod do you have it on in the photos? That looks like a nice alt-az setup, and I'd be interested in your comments on how well it works.


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#18 bobhen

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Posted 23 September 2021 - 10:13 AM

Thanks Bob...I probably should have clarified it's heavy for how it looks, but it's not too heavy as a scope. I've seen different weights listed as the bare OTA, but somewhere around 13-15 pounds. 

 

Thanks for explaining the extension tube setup. I'm thinking, based on what you said, the scope should be good for binoviewing also. My binoviewer doesn't require as much inward travel as the NV with a .7 reducer. I don't know if I got two of these extensions on accident or what. Did you get two of them?

 

I can say I'm glad I got this scope and not a heavier one. I just don't prefer heavy scopes (well, I don't exactly count the 10 inch dob since the mount is more solid and easy to use). I am able to easily hold the OTA and put it into the rings. With almost no effort which is how I want it to be. I never want to be awkward with something like this.

 

This will ride really nice on my Vixen GPD2. Usually I prefer alt/az, but there are times for tracking and go-to (my GPD2 has a synscan setup so it has go-to).

 

Yeah. The weather forecast looks quite good upcoming. Those maybe long nights.

Yes I got 2 extensions.

 

HERE is a link to the TSA 120 photo visual chart. I've never tried it but I believe a couple of extensions might be needed for straight through viewing.

 

I mostly use alt/az mounts as well but for long lunar or planetary sessions tracking is nice, especially on a night of good seeing.

 

Bob


Edited by bobhen, 23 September 2021 - 10:14 AM.

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#19 GOLGO13

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Posted 23 September 2021 - 10:27 AM

Beautiful scope, and I hope it gives you much enjoyment!

What mount and tripod do you have it on in the photos? That looks like a nice alt-az setup, and I'd be interested in your comments on how well it works.


That is a Unistar (largest size) mount. Unfortunately they are no longer made. They are very stable mounts that can handle large loads. I once had a very early version which was OK, but not as nice as this newer one (well, relatively new). This one has better knows and such.

The tripod is a blemished (couldn't find anything wrong) Oberwerk tall tripod. It also is very stable but slightly tall even at the lowest setting. This is a good problem for refractors. But can be a bit high up for an SCT or newt.

Any solid tripod should work I suppose.

The whole setup is actually not overly heavy.

Some of these mounts came with encoders and computers also
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#20 GOLGO13

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Posted 23 September 2021 - 10:30 AM

Yes I got 2 extensions.

HERE is a link to the TSA 120 photo visual chart. I've never tried it but I believe a couple of extensions might be needed for straight through viewing.

I mostly use alt/az mounts as well but for long lunar or planetary sessions tracking is nice, especially on a night of good seeing.

Bob


Ok. If I needed to I think I will use a single one and then use a normal 2 inch extension. Of course I don't think I'll ever need to.

#21 SandyHouTex

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Posted 23 September 2021 - 10:36 AM

 

Oh my bigshock.gif Telescope.gif thewave.gif  ... I feel like a segment from an old news program in St. Louis..."You paid for it!". What a beautiful scope. During my unboxing it was storming like crazy, so no first light tonight. Par for the course with big telescope deliveries.

 

The stock focuser seems pretty good and the MEF3 works much better than I expected. I don't see a need to upgrade the focuser at this point. I did try to adjust it, but with a heavy eyepiece it was probably where it should be. Let me know if you have an idea for the use of the two extension tubes. As far as I can tell they will not be needed for visual with either diagonal. They don't seem to want to thread together easily, but one of them does work when attached by itself. I didn't want to try and force them to play with each other. Those don't appear to be part of the fit guide so must be an alternative extension setup?

 

I really like the function of the tube rings. Makes it easy to get the tube in and out. My plan is to set the rings and dovetail in the saddle and then plop the tube in there. That worked very well and will ensure I don't make any mistakes inserting the dovetail (which can happen if not careful). While I do wish they were a more subtle color, I don't mind the look. But for this situation, I rather have a very solid connection and they seem extremely well made as well as the dovetail which is awesome. I even was able to install 4 safety screws, 2 on each side. Why both sides? This puppy is front heavy and I could see it swinging downward if not careful. Not a likely scenario, but when you have a scope like this you don't want to take any chances.

 

Because it has a sliding dew shield, it actually fit in the case I use for the 103s (more easily than the 103s). 

 

It feels like a heavy scope and I suppose it kind of is. I didn't weigh anything yet, but just holding the OTA you can tell it's a bit heavier than normal. Similar to my 150mm F5 which probably weighs about the same. And similarly front heavy, but certainly not bad and easily balanced with the rings. 

 

Takahashi America is pretty darn good, and man. That triple boxing is killer. Honestly the box felt like there was a scope and mount in it! Of course that would have been nice. Even putting the box in the attic empty I was surprised how heavy it is.

 

I think I have decided to keep the 103s as I can see using it in situations such as if it's really cold out, going to a star get together where I don't want to have such an expensive scope (I have not been to one of these in 5 years), or situations where I want to setup something more lightweight (the 103s is the max for my Vixen AP mount, and that mount is awesome grab and go EQ mount). 

 

Open boxing below. I didn't see many of these on here so thought it would be a nice treat for you guys jawdrop.gif drool5.gif

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

That’s a beautiful scope.  You’re going to love it.


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#22 25585

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Posted 23 September 2021 - 12:13 PM

Golgo13, I recommend a Primaluce D 3" bar instead of the Vixen. 

 

Save the Vixen for your Vixen :)



#23 GOLGO13

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Posted 23 September 2021 - 12:20 PM

Golgo13, I recommend a Primaluce D 3" bar instead of the Vixen.

Save the Vixen for your Vixen :)


Hah. All I have are Vixen connections. However, it feels very solid on the Unistar.

The ADM clamp seems to work fine.

And of course the GPD2 is Vixen style but I have never had a problem with them.

I think moving up to the next class of scopes in the 25 or 30 pound plus I maybe inclined to try a thicker bar.
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#24 25585

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Posted 23 September 2021 - 12:59 PM

That bar in your photo is a Vixen width one. For a 120 triplet a Losmandy style 3" width makes me feel happier with my TSA. 



#25 GOLGO13

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Posted 23 September 2021 - 01:27 PM

That bar in your photo is a Vixen width one. For a 120 triplet a Losmandy style 3" width makes me feel happier with my TSA. 

 

I can understand what you are saying, but this setup seems extremely solid.  I can even add some screws in the middle directly attached the bar to the ADM clamp to make it even more solid. Obviously that would make it a pain to release the dovetail on a whim,  but it would ensure it is not going anywhere. 

 

The quality of these rings and the dovetail bar is quite high.

 

See the picture below 

 

20210923 142058

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