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Your Most Used Scope 2020?


Nightspore
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I've been looking back at my 2020 logs and unsurprisingly my grab & go refractors have been out more nights than any of my other scopes (again).

 

The winner in 2020 was the Sky-Watcher 72ED DS Pro at 25 sessions from April the 15th to December the 12th.

 

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Not surprisingly really as it's so easy to take out.

 

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Coming in at a close second with 23 times is last year's winner; the ST102. I actually got this out as early as February.

 

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An even closer third, with 22 sessions, is my TS Optics (GSO) 150mm Newtonian. Odd in a way as I didn't set the EQ5 up until October. 

 

If you have multiple scopes, what was your most used scope in 2020?

 

 

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Definitely my SW 150PDS on the NEQ6 but I used my ED80 on the Adventurer 6 times and took it to Kelling where it was used 'very little' !! 

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My Towa 80mm F15 followed by my ED80 Binocular Telescope. I,m ashamed to say the ED127 hasnt had as much use as I would like. I hope to remedy that this year

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6 hours ago, RonC said:

Definitely my SW 150PDS on the NEQ6 but I used my ED80 on the Adventurer 6 times and took it to Kelling where it was used 'very little' !! 

My ED 80 only got out 11 times, but in the main they were good sessions. 

 

It started the year like this:

 

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By June it looked like this:

 

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And by September it looked like this:

 

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I planned to get a final session right at the end of the year to make it a round dozen. But the weather defeated me. 

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34 minutes ago, philjay said:

My Towa 80mm F15 followed by my ED80 Binocular Telescope. I,m ashamed to say the ED127 hasnt had as much use as I would like. I hope to remedy that this year

 

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I know how you feel. I used to take my Altair Starwave out with a Vixen Porta II and a HAL 130 tripod with a half pillar. It took me some time to set-up. 

 

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The Vixen TL 130 tripod has made it much easier to get the Starwave out. The OTA plus rings/dovetail is 4kg so it does well on the Porta II. I had some of the best views of Mars last year with this scope. I plan to get it out more than 4 times this year.

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I didn't get out as much as I'd have liked but I think my Esprit 100 was probably my most used scope 

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48 minutes ago, Glafnazur said:

I didn't get out as much as I'd have liked but I think my Esprit 100 was probably my most used scope 

 

They look nice, I considered one for a while. The weight put me off though. Triplets are usually heavier than doublets. 

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It's a beautiful scope and I must admit I was quite surprised how heavy it was when it arrived 🙂

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Over 6 kilo I believe. My Porta II can carry up to 5kg comfortably. My Altair Starwave is 4kg which leaves about 1kg for diagonal, eyepiece and finder.

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14 hours ago, Glafnazur said:

It's a beautiful scope and I must admit I was quite surprised how heavy it was when it arrived 🙂

 

Yes, i don't think theres such a thing as a lightweight triplet in the 4" class.

Theres quite a lot of weight just in the optics and its cell.

Mine is Russian, and Russian stuff is 'well put together'. Again around 6kg. With tube rings and dovetail its about 7.

 

This is for a 105mm scope with a shortish focal length.

Now, my bigger 140mm scope is quite a bit longer but only weighs in at 8.6kg

Its tube is quite a bit thinner, yet it has a much larger 3.5" focuser. 

With it not being an air spaced design, the cell is much smaller and lighter. Perhaps the ideal aperture to weight ratio.

 

At the other end of the scale are Takahashi triplets.

No doubt some of the finest triplet Apo's in the world, yet in regard to their bigger scopes both the TOA 130 and 150

have a heavy 'front end' and are noted for it.

The TOA 130 weights in at over 11kg and the TOA 150 is around 15kg and even utilises

a balancing counterweight in its own cradle. Not really grab and go and its also £15k new !

I actually had a chap come over last year (to purchase a binoviewer) who actually owns a Tak TOA 150

and he wanted to sell it and offered it in part ex for my 'little' 140TEC. I politely declined !

I believe its still for sale if you have a look through the UKABS ads.

 

Anyway, i digress. 

Back to my own 'most used scope' its been my little 105 refractor.

When i'm observing from home in Derby light pollution central, its the scope i grab first,

certainly if i'm having a 'quick session' and its works well on my smaller alt-az DM-4 mount.

Although it takes much longer to cool properly (i usually give it over an hour) once its there

it performs very nicely on all objects (that are visible from home !)

 

67219177-12E2-4A9B-ACF5-1D65B8D394B0_1_201_a

 

 

 

 

 

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3 hours ago, Bino-viewer said:

 

Yes, i don't think theres such a thing as a lightweight triplet in the 4" class.

Theres quite a lot of weight just in the optics and its cell.

Mine is Russian, and Russian stuff is 'well put together'. Again around 6kg. With tube rings and dovetail its about 7.

 

This is for a 105mm scope with a shortish focal length.

Now, my bigger 140mm scope is quite a bit longer but only weighs in at 8.6kg

Its tube is quite a bit thinner, yet it has a much larger 3.5" focuser. 

With it not being an air spaced design, the cell is much smaller and lighter. Perhaps the ideal aperture to weight ratio.

 

At the other end of the scale are Takahashi triplets.

No doubt some of the finest triplet Apo's in the world, yet in regard to their bigger scopes both the TOA 130 and 150

have a heavy 'front end' and are noted for it.

The TOA 130 weights in at over 11kg and the TOA 150 is around 15kg and even utilises

a balancing counterweight in its own cradle. Not really grab and go and its also £15k new !

I actually had a chap come over last year (to purchase a binoviewer) who actually owns a Tak TOA 150

and he wanted to sell it and offered it in part ex for my 'little' 140TEC. I politely declined !

I believe its still for sale if you have a look through the UKABS ads.

 

Anyway, i digress. 

Back to my own 'most used scope' its been my little 105 refractor.

When i'm observing from home in Derby light pollution central, its the scope i grab first,

certainly if i'm having a 'quick session' and its works well on my smaller alt-az DM-4 mount.

Although it takes much longer to cool properly (i usually give it over an hour) once its there

it performs very nicely on all objects (that are visible from home !)

 

67219177-12E2-4A9B-ACF5-1D65B8D394B0_1_201_a

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nice set-up. I think another reason that my 72ED and ST102 get out so much more than my other scopes is that their cool down time is negligible. The ST102 is an only an inexpensive achromat (albeit with a MoonLite) but it fits into this bag lol.

 

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Often I can only manage an hour before the weather changes for the worse. I'm seriously considering a Takahashi doublet this year, probably one of the FC-100 series. Especially if Currys ever give me back my two grand for a faulty MacBook Pro that I had to return this time last year.   

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Yes, the Tak FC 100s are very nice, and are probably one of the best performing doublets on the market.

I'd be interested in which focal ratio you go for, as they had a F9 option as well as the F7 ? or is it F7.5 ?

The F9s were few in number, and are now quite sought after by all accounts.

 

The FC 100s are no longer listed on the TAK website which seems odd ? Maybe they have discontinued them all together ?

Although FLO still have them listed.

 

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31 minutes ago, Bino-viewer said:

Yes, the Tak FC 100s are very nice, and are probably one of the best performing doublets on the market.

I'd be interested in which focal ratio you go for, as they had a F9 option as well as the F7 ? or is it F7.5 ?

The F9s were few in number, and are now quite sought after by all accounts.

 

The FC 100s are no longer listed on the TAK website which seems odd ? Maybe they have discontinued them all together ?

Although FLO still have them listed.

 

 

I was thinking of the FC-100DC f/7.4, similar enough to my Starwave in some ways. F/9 might cause mount problems for me.

 

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I'd change the finder and also probably the stock focuser.

 

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I seem to be gradually collecting Tak' stuff, a doublet would be a logical progression lol.

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I've had a life long interest in optical design systems in telescopes, and am interested in how these Taks,

which use the Steinheil doublet design, perform in comparison to the more traditional Fraunhofer type ?

 

Another 4" classic i can't fail to mention on this thread is one of my all time, most longed for scopes.

The Tele-vue NP101is. This has a Petzval design. If you want wide angle , rich field, and a perfectly

corrected flat field, this is perhaps the best there is. Its a superb visual scope and will image just as well

without any correctors etc. 540mm focal length and is less than 5kg in weight.

If you're read any of Stephen James O'mara's books, this is the scope he observes with.

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2 hours ago, Bino-viewer said:

I've had a life long interest in optical design systems in telescopes, and am interested in how these Taks,

which use the Steinheil doublet design, perform in comparison to the more traditional Fraunhofer type ?

 

Another 4" classic i can't fail to mention on this thread is one of my all time, most longed for scopes.

The Tele-vue NP101is. This has a Petzval design. If you want wide angle , rich field, and a perfectly

corrected flat field, this is perhaps the best there is. Its a superb visual scope and will image just as well

without any correctors etc. 540mm focal length and is less than 5kg in weight.

If you're read any of Stephen James O'mara's books, this is the scope he observes with.

 

I honestly don't know much about the Steinheil design, apart from that it is 'flint' first compared to the Fraunhofer. 

 

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https://www.google.co.uk/books/edition/The_History_of_the_Telescope/KAWwzHlDVksC?hl=en&gbpv=1&dq=inauthor:"Henry+C.+King"&printsec=frontcover

 

You might find this book interesting. It's a Dover 1978 reprint paperback facsimile that was first published as a hardback in the late 50's I believe. I got mine from Amazon but they're out of stock at the moment. 

 

I've often thought about the 'Petzval' NP101. It's still a tad heavy for anything I'd want though. I believe it's only just under 5kg, which means I might get away with a Porta II if I used a very light 1.25" eyepiece and no diagonal lol. Well, that and the four and a half grand price tag are a bit off-putting.

 

As I'm not into AP a doublet more or less ticks all of the boxes for my needs. I was very close to pulling the trigger on a TV 85 just before I bought my Altair Starwave. 

 

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I'm pretty sure these are made by Jiaxing Rui Xing Optical Instrument Co,. Ltd. The fact that it was half the price and an inch bigger kind of swung it for me. 

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I find I'm not using my C9.25 much nowadays - it's the 5" refractor that is normally put on my alt-az mount. 

Lately though, the Unistellar Evscope has had several outings because it is so quick to set up and the plate-solving alignment just works, first time, every time.

So minimum faff and quickest setup wins for me.

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19 hours ago, bryand said:

I find I'm not using my C9.25 much nowadays - it's the 5" refractor that is normally put on my alt-az mount. 

Lately though, the Unistellar Evscope has had several outings because it is so quick to set up and the plate-solving alignment just works, first time, every time.

So minimum faff and quickest setup wins for me.

 

Yeah, my 9.25" Evolution doesn't see the dark of night much, not at all in 2020.

 

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I had plans earlier in the year and actually practised setting the mount up and checking the electrics a few times indoors. As I've gained back more range and dexterity in my right arm and fingers it's become easier.

 

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In the end the 72ED was just easier lol.

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