requirements for a gift. recommendations?

Discuss your refractor type scopes here.
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notFritzArgelander
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requirements for a gift. recommendations?

#1

Post by notFritzArgelander »

I've finally managed to negotiate a set of requirements for a 2nd telescope for a grandson. The first telescope was a Vixen Nature Eye which was sufficient to establish the durability of his interest. The obstacle is it's a table top tripod and so inconvenient to use. (One needs to take the scope and a tabletop to an urban park to observe.) Space is a premium. I think that the forest of scopes in my LR has my daughter horrified. I showed her Ed Ting's living room and it only deepened her terrors. From his existing kit he will keep the BCOs with Q-turret and I will repurpose the rest.

So here are the requirements:
1) the optical design shall be a refractor
2) the acquisition budget shall be $100
3) the mount shall be a self contained alt-azimuth type with no additional support needed

Likely candidates include:
https://www.highpointscientific.com/tel ... case-21035
https://www.highpointscientific.com/tel ... ount-21036
https://www.highpointscientific.com/tel ... ker-80-azs

My inclination is to go with the longer 70mm because of less chromatic aberration. But I worry about mount stability. Maybe one of the shorties would be supported better?

What says the collective wisdom? These are illustrative examples only. Non Celestron suggestions are welcome.
Scopes: Refs: Orion ST80, SV 80EDA f7, TS 102ED f11 Newts: Z12 f5; Cats: VMC110L, Intes MK66,VMC200L f9.75 EPs: KK Fujiyama Orthoscopics, 2x Vixen NPLs (40-6mm) and BCOs, Baader Mark IV zooms, TV Panoptics, Delos, Plossl 32-8mm. Mixed brand Masuyama/Astroplans Binoculars: Nikon Aculon 10x50, Celestron 15x70, Baader Maxbright. Mounts: Star Seeker III, Vixen Porta II, Celestron CG5, Orion Sirius EQG
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#2

Post by JayTee »

How about this from Costco for $90.
Screenshot_20191124-165823.png
Cheers,
JT
∞ Scopes: Celestron CPC1100 #2 Scope: 8" f/7.5 Dob AP Scopes: TPO 6" f/9 RC, ES 80mm f/6 APO G&G Scopes: Meade 102mm f/7.8, Bresser 102mm f/4.5 Guide Scopes: 70 & 80mm fracs
∞ Mounts: iOptron CEM60, Celestron AVX, SLT & GT (Alt-Az), Meade DS2000
∞ Cameras: Canon T3i (x2), ZWO ASI294MC Pro & 120MC, Orion SSAG
∞ Binos: 10X50,10.5X70,15X70², 25X100
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I never met a scope I didn't want to keep. "My God, it's full of stars." Searching the skies since 1966!
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#3

Post by notFritzArgelander »

JayTee wrote:
Mon Nov 25, 2019 3:00 am
How about this from Costco for $90.
Screenshot_20191124-165823.png
Cheers,
JT
That would be a candidate as long as the mount is steady.
Scopes: Refs: Orion ST80, SV 80EDA f7, TS 102ED f11 Newts: Z12 f5; Cats: VMC110L, Intes MK66,VMC200L f9.75 EPs: KK Fujiyama Orthoscopics, 2x Vixen NPLs (40-6mm) and BCOs, Baader Mark IV zooms, TV Panoptics, Delos, Plossl 32-8mm. Mixed brand Masuyama/Astroplans Binoculars: Nikon Aculon 10x50, Celestron 15x70, Baader Maxbright. Mounts: Star Seeker III, Vixen Porta II, Celestron CG5, Orion Sirius EQG
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#4

Post by Refractordude »

notFritzArgelander wrote:
Mon Nov 25, 2019 12:40 am
I've finally managed to negotiate a set of requirements for a 2nd telescope for a grandson. The first telescope was a Vixen Nature Eye which was sufficient to establish the durability of his interest. The obstacle is it's a table top tripod and so inconvenient to use. (One needs to take the scope and a tabletop to an urban park to observe.) Space is a premium. I think that the forest of scopes in my LR has my daughter horrified. I showed her Ed Ting's living room and it only deepened her terrors. From his existing kit he will keep the BCOs with Q-turret and I will repurpose the rest.

So here are the requirements:
1) the optical design shall be a refractor
2) the acquisition budget shall be $100
3) the mount shall be a self contained alt-azimuth type with no additional support needed

Likely candidates include:
https://www.highpointscientific.com/tel ... case-21035
https://www.highpointscientific.com/tel ... ount-21036
https://www.highpointscientific.com/tel ... ker-80-azs

My inclination is to go with the longer 70mm because of less chromatic aberration. But I worry about mount stability. Maybe one of the shorties would be supported better?

What says the collective wisdom? These are illustrative examples only. Non Celestron suggestions are welcome.
Reviews for the 70mm f10 are not bad. I think the mount will be stable. You will have to ditch the stock finder for a red dot Svbony. If you buy from Amazon/fulfilled by Amazon the return shipping is free. Buy it and test it out. Click the images.

Here is a great YouTube review https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IcX-JiX-JbI
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image 2.PNG
image 1.PNG
Telescopes: Meade LX70 120mm f/8 Refractor, Vixen 70mm f/12.9 Refractor, Tasco 49N 50mm Red Refractor
Binoculars: Zhumell 20x80 Giant, Levenhuk Sherman 7x50
Mounts: Orion SkyView Pro Equatorial, Orion Versago II Altazimuth, Farpoint Universal Parrallogram Mount
Finders: GSO 8x50 Raci, Svbony Red Dot
Diagonals: GSO Dielectric 2", GSO Dielectric 1.25"
Eyepieces: GSO Plossls 32mm/25mm/20mm, GSO 20mm Superview, Svbony 20mm/15mm/9mm/6mm, Svbony Aspheric 23mm/10mm/4mm, Agena Super Wide Angle 15mm, Few No Name Brand Ebay Plossls
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#5

Post by Lady Fraktor »

All of them refractor wise are a decent place to start though I do have a leaning towards the 70mm f/10 as that was my first telescope.
Everyone of these will supply eyepieces to sacrifice to the cloud deities (heaven forbid you let your grandson view with these!) and they would all benefit from a diagonal upgrade.
It does not have to be an expensive one but an upgrade will help.
5x24 finder scopes, upgrade to a cheap RDF so it is at least usable unless you teach him to star hop using the main view.
At least he will be able to wring the most out of any of them using the BCO eyepieces and they will not overload the focuser.

So 70mm f/10 for first pick, 80mm f/5 for second pick.
🇸🇰
Proper Telescopes: Antares 105 f/15, Bresser 102 f/13.2, Celestron 150 f/8, Stellarvue NHNGDX 80 f/6.9, TAL 100RS f/10, TS 102 f/11, UR 70 f/10, Vixen ED115s f/7.7
Mounts: Berlebach Planet w/ pier, Celestron AS-GT, Celestron CG-5 w/ Argo Navis & tracking motor, SLT w/ pier & tripod mods, Manfrotto 028b w/ SV M2C, Mantrotto 055Pro w/ 128RC, TAL MT1C, Vixen SXP w/ HAL-130 & half pier
Diagonal: 2" A-P Maxbright, 2" Baader Herschel Wedge (P), 2" Zeiss/ Baader Amici Prism (DX2), 2" Orion Amici Prism, 2" Stellarvue DX, 2" TeleVue EverBrite
Eyepieces: Antares to Zeiss
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#6

Post by SkyHiker »

If $1.99 over budget is permissible, here's a 90 mm with 1 good review: https://explorescientificusa.com/collec ... e-az-mount
... Henk. :D Telescopes: 6" Mak-Newt (Comet Hunter), ES ED127CF, ES ED80, Zhumell Z12, Coulter Odyssey 10, AT6RC, Venture RX-7, Celestron Skymaster 20x80, Mounts and tripod: Losmandy G11S, AVX, LXD55, Tiltall, Cameras: Fuji X-a1, Canon SX40, Xt, XSi, T6, ELPH 100HS, DIY: Dob and camera barndoor trackers, afocal adapter, Dob with foldable base and Az/Alt setting circles, Accessories: SSAG, Plossls, Barlows, Telrad, laser collimators (Seben LK1, Z12, Howie Glatter), Cheshire, 2 Orion RACIs 8x50, Software: DSS, ImageMagick, PHD, Nebulosity, Photo Gallery, Gimp, CHDK
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#7

Post by notFritzArgelander »

SkyHiker wrote:
Mon Nov 25, 2019 8:21 am
If $1.99 over budget is permissible, here's a 90 mm with 1 good review: https://explorescientificusa.com/collec ... e-az-mount
Thanks!
Scopes: Refs: Orion ST80, SV 80EDA f7, TS 102ED f11 Newts: Z12 f5; Cats: VMC110L, Intes MK66,VMC200L f9.75 EPs: KK Fujiyama Orthoscopics, 2x Vixen NPLs (40-6mm) and BCOs, Baader Mark IV zooms, TV Panoptics, Delos, Plossl 32-8mm. Mixed brand Masuyama/Astroplans Binoculars: Nikon Aculon 10x50, Celestron 15x70, Baader Maxbright. Mounts: Star Seeker III, Vixen Porta II, Celestron CG5, Orion Sirius EQG
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#8

Post by Lady Fraktor »

Since it is actually a Bresser refractor here is some better information on it: https://www.bresser.de/Astronomie/Teles ... Tubus.html
A bit better price through ES since it comes with a mount.
🇸🇰
Proper Telescopes: Antares 105 f/15, Bresser 102 f/13.2, Celestron 150 f/8, Stellarvue NHNGDX 80 f/6.9, TAL 100RS f/10, TS 102 f/11, UR 70 f/10, Vixen ED115s f/7.7
Mounts: Berlebach Planet w/ pier, Celestron AS-GT, Celestron CG-5 w/ Argo Navis & tracking motor, SLT w/ pier & tripod mods, Manfrotto 028b w/ SV M2C, Mantrotto 055Pro w/ 128RC, TAL MT1C, Vixen SXP w/ HAL-130 & half pier
Diagonal: 2" A-P Maxbright, 2" Baader Herschel Wedge (P), 2" Zeiss/ Baader Amici Prism (DX2), 2" Orion Amici Prism, 2" Stellarvue DX, 2" TeleVue EverBrite
Eyepieces: Antares to Zeiss
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#9

Post by Thefatkitty »

Well here's my two cents... The only concern I would have is the altitude rod that comes with a lot of these. I have two scopes that use these rods; a '61 Tasco 60mm, and a mid-eighties Towa 3". The rods work great for minute adjustments, but I've learned to get the object I want to focus on in the bottom of my FOV, as when I let go of the scope, all the not-so-precise-fitting parts in the altitude rod cause the scope to drop a bit. Granted, the two scopes are both quite old, but I doubt the design of said rod has improved any over the years. Perhaps it has, or they have better tolerances, but just something to be aware of. Less moving parts can often be better, especially if they're ill-fitting to start with :D

Personally, I'd go with either the 70mm f/10, or the 90mm Henk suggested. Of course, they both have those rods....

All the best and good luck with the decision!
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#10

Post by notFritzArgelander »

I went for the Synta 70mm f10 AZ but under the Orion brand. Because 1) there were additional useful goodies and 2) most of the observing will be done in an urban area so Moon and planets and 3) it comes with a red dot finder.

Thanks.
Scopes: Refs: Orion ST80, SV 80EDA f7, TS 102ED f11 Newts: Z12 f5; Cats: VMC110L, Intes MK66,VMC200L f9.75 EPs: KK Fujiyama Orthoscopics, 2x Vixen NPLs (40-6mm) and BCOs, Baader Mark IV zooms, TV Panoptics, Delos, Plossl 32-8mm. Mixed brand Masuyama/Astroplans Binoculars: Nikon Aculon 10x50, Celestron 15x70, Baader Maxbright. Mounts: Star Seeker III, Vixen Porta II, Celestron CG5, Orion Sirius EQG
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#11

Post by Lady Fraktor »

I assume this is the Observer II package?
I am sure he will be quite happy with it.
🇸🇰
Proper Telescopes: Antares 105 f/15, Bresser 102 f/13.2, Celestron 150 f/8, Stellarvue NHNGDX 80 f/6.9, TAL 100RS f/10, TS 102 f/11, UR 70 f/10, Vixen ED115s f/7.7
Mounts: Berlebach Planet w/ pier, Celestron AS-GT, Celestron CG-5 w/ Argo Navis & tracking motor, SLT w/ pier & tripod mods, Manfrotto 028b w/ SV M2C, Mantrotto 055Pro w/ 128RC, TAL MT1C, Vixen SXP w/ HAL-130 & half pier
Diagonal: 2" A-P Maxbright, 2" Baader Herschel Wedge (P), 2" Zeiss/ Baader Amici Prism (DX2), 2" Orion Amici Prism, 2" Stellarvue DX, 2" TeleVue EverBrite
Eyepieces: Antares to Zeiss
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#12

Post by notFritzArgelander »

Lady Fraktor wrote:
Wed Nov 27, 2019 6:07 pm
I assume this is the Observer II package?
I am sure he will be quite happy with it.
Yes. I think it oversteps his Mum's severe volume requirements but I have a massive case justifying that....!
Scopes: Refs: Orion ST80, SV 80EDA f7, TS 102ED f11 Newts: Z12 f5; Cats: VMC110L, Intes MK66,VMC200L f9.75 EPs: KK Fujiyama Orthoscopics, 2x Vixen NPLs (40-6mm) and BCOs, Baader Mark IV zooms, TV Panoptics, Delos, Plossl 32-8mm. Mixed brand Masuyama/Astroplans Binoculars: Nikon Aculon 10x50, Celestron 15x70, Baader Maxbright. Mounts: Star Seeker III, Vixen Porta II, Celestron CG5, Orion Sirius EQG
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#13

Post by Ylem »

I like the 80mm Celestron short tube, the 3rd link.
It's an ST80 :)

Long tubes with narrow FOV can make for a fustrating experience for youngsters IMHO.
Clear Skies,
-Jeff :telescopewink:

A bunch of SCTs and MCTs scattered around the house and an Orion ST80.
A big box of Plossls :D
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#14

Post by smeyer8015 »

A bit over budget, but Costco Warehouse has the Celestron Omni 102 AZ for $149
https://www.celestron.com/products/omni ... -telescope
Celestron Classic 8, Old Sears 60mm f/15 refractor, Old Edmund Scientific 6 inch F/8 newt, GSO 2" Diag, ES 30mm/70, ES 25mm/70, Orion 32 Super Plossl, Mead 24mm MA,
X-Cel LX 18mm, Luminos 15mm, F/6.3 reducer, Luminos 2.5x barlow, Telrad, Celestron 9x50 RACI, DIY Baader Solar Filter, Celestron Skymaster 20x80, Bresser EXOS-2 Goto, Revolution Imager R1

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#15

Post by notFritzArgelander »

Ylem wrote:
Thu Nov 28, 2019 4:33 am
I like the 80mm Celestron short tube, the 3rd link.
It's an ST80 :)

Long tubes with narrow FOV can make for a fustrating experience for youngsters IMHO.
Your POV is well advised usually but in this individual case I've observed he's very patient with target acquisition.
smeyer8015 wrote:
Thu Nov 28, 2019 6:57 am
A bit over budget, but Costco Warehouse has the Celestron Omni 102 AZ for $149
https://www.celestron.com/products/omni ... -telescope
A good choice in general but for fear of overstepping parameters.
Scopes: Refs: Orion ST80, SV 80EDA f7, TS 102ED f11 Newts: Z12 f5; Cats: VMC110L, Intes MK66,VMC200L f9.75 EPs: KK Fujiyama Orthoscopics, 2x Vixen NPLs (40-6mm) and BCOs, Baader Mark IV zooms, TV Panoptics, Delos, Plossl 32-8mm. Mixed brand Masuyama/Astroplans Binoculars: Nikon Aculon 10x50, Celestron 15x70, Baader Maxbright. Mounts: Star Seeker III, Vixen Porta II, Celestron CG5, Orion Sirius EQG
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#16

Post by smeyer8015 »

This scope is normally a $199 scope. It also appears that it can accommodate a 2" diagonal.
Celestron Classic 8, Old Sears 60mm f/15 refractor, Old Edmund Scientific 6 inch F/8 newt, GSO 2" Diag, ES 30mm/70, ES 25mm/70, Orion 32 Super Plossl, Mead 24mm MA,
X-Cel LX 18mm, Luminos 15mm, F/6.3 reducer, Luminos 2.5x barlow, Telrad, Celestron 9x50 RACI, DIY Baader Solar Filter, Celestron Skymaster 20x80, Bresser EXOS-2 Goto, Revolution Imager R1

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#17

Post by notFritzArgelander »

smeyer8015 wrote:
Thu Nov 28, 2019 8:38 pm
This scope is normally a $199 scope. It also appears that it can accommodate a 2" diagonal.
Yes it has many virtues. The die, as they say, is cast.
The scope I selected will be for home use in a light polluted area. For field trips my flotilla is ready to serve.
Scopes: Refs: Orion ST80, SV 80EDA f7, TS 102ED f11 Newts: Z12 f5; Cats: VMC110L, Intes MK66,VMC200L f9.75 EPs: KK Fujiyama Orthoscopics, 2x Vixen NPLs (40-6mm) and BCOs, Baader Mark IV zooms, TV Panoptics, Delos, Plossl 32-8mm. Mixed brand Masuyama/Astroplans Binoculars: Nikon Aculon 10x50, Celestron 15x70, Baader Maxbright. Mounts: Star Seeker III, Vixen Porta II, Celestron CG5, Orion Sirius EQG
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#18

Post by notFritzArgelander »

I took delivery yesterday. Naturally the weather was dismal. However I have begun the seduction of the neighbor dog so that I can come and go undisturbed. The key to that appears to be whole grain low sodium crackers fed through the fencing. :) I might finally be able to use the back yard soon.

In any case, I'll unpack the scope and do indoor acceptance testing with artificial stars and suchlike.
Scopes: Refs: Orion ST80, SV 80EDA f7, TS 102ED f11 Newts: Z12 f5; Cats: VMC110L, Intes MK66,VMC200L f9.75 EPs: KK Fujiyama Orthoscopics, 2x Vixen NPLs (40-6mm) and BCOs, Baader Mark IV zooms, TV Panoptics, Delos, Plossl 32-8mm. Mixed brand Masuyama/Astroplans Binoculars: Nikon Aculon 10x50, Celestron 15x70, Baader Maxbright. Mounts: Star Seeker III, Vixen Porta II, Celestron CG5, Orion Sirius EQG
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#19

Post by notFritzArgelander »

I travelled to SLC over the weekend of Dec 20 - Dec 23 with the refractor and other goodies in tow. That weekend saw the start of Hannukah and I found a menorah and a Christmas tree set up in anticipation. On the 21st we saw the most recent (and final :lol) entry in the main Star Wars films.

Earlier in the day we set up the scope for a shakedown cruise doing terrestrial viewing and tests with an artificial star. We set up out of doors to have the artificial light sources far enough away that the tests would be reasonably accurate.

The scope selected was the Orion Observer II 70 mm altazimuth f10 refractor. Assembly was fine and easy. I was dismayed (but not surprised) at the abundance of plastic screws, etc. but those can be replaced later. The included red dot finder needed no adjustment to target the center of the FOV of the lowest power eyepieces. Despite the plastic parts the mount tightened up tolerably well and my grandson was delighted by the improvement. He also really likes the red dot finder better.

Artificial star testing showed good optical quality. I thought I could maybe see some under correction but it was less than 1/4 wave so I'm not going to complain. :) The scope is diffraction limited. We used the BCO 6mm for testing. He has a complete set.

An absolute surprise were the supplied 25 and 10mm Kellner eyepieces. While certainly not on the same class as the BCOs (he noticed, tee tee) they are serviceable. I suggested that the Kellners be used sharing views with friends and the BCOs be kept "en famille". The non erecting diagonal was fine.

We turned the scope to look at the ridgeline of the Wasatch mountains and got the most marvelous contrasty views of the thermals at higher powers. This is where comparison of the supplied Kellners and the BCOs showed the greatest difference. Edges of the thermals were brilliantly crisp in the BCOs and were a tad softer in the Kellners.

Maternal unit accepted the size differential just fine on condition I remove the previous scope. So I returned with a Vixen Nature Eye that will likely be refashioned into a finder maybe?
Scopes: Refs: Orion ST80, SV 80EDA f7, TS 102ED f11 Newts: Z12 f5; Cats: VMC110L, Intes MK66,VMC200L f9.75 EPs: KK Fujiyama Orthoscopics, 2x Vixen NPLs (40-6mm) and BCOs, Baader Mark IV zooms, TV Panoptics, Delos, Plossl 32-8mm. Mixed brand Masuyama/Astroplans Binoculars: Nikon Aculon 10x50, Celestron 15x70, Baader Maxbright. Mounts: Star Seeker III, Vixen Porta II, Celestron CG5, Orion Sirius EQG
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#20

Post by Lady Fraktor »

Good to hear that it worked out well and the grandson enjoyed it.
At least with the longer focal length even the Kellners worked reasonably well and as you stated are a better choice for when others are viewing.
Next Christmas a nice Konig? ;)
🇸🇰
Proper Telescopes: Antares 105 f/15, Bresser 102 f/13.2, Celestron 150 f/8, Stellarvue NHNGDX 80 f/6.9, TAL 100RS f/10, TS 102 f/11, UR 70 f/10, Vixen ED115s f/7.7
Mounts: Berlebach Planet w/ pier, Celestron AS-GT, Celestron CG-5 w/ Argo Navis & tracking motor, SLT w/ pier & tripod mods, Manfrotto 028b w/ SV M2C, Mantrotto 055Pro w/ 128RC, TAL MT1C, Vixen SXP w/ HAL-130 & half pier
Diagonal: 2" A-P Maxbright, 2" Baader Herschel Wedge (P), 2" Zeiss/ Baader Amici Prism (DX2), 2" Orion Amici Prism, 2" Stellarvue DX, 2" TeleVue EverBrite
Eyepieces: Antares to Zeiss
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