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Observing with Small Apertures: 130mm and Below

Discussion in 'Telescopes and Mounts' started by Ray of Light, Jul 26, 2016.

Observing with Small Apertures: 130mm and Below

Started by Ray of Light on Jul 26, 2016 at 5:34 AM

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  1. Mak the Night

    Mak the Night Well-Known Member

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    Rigel Telrad.jpg

    The plastic fantastic has arrived. I guess I'll have to read the instructions. The Rigel works anyway as I have batteries for it.
     
  2. Ray of Light

    Ray of Light Well-Known Member

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    The Meade mount doesn't work that way. The azamith side was fine, the altitude side was messed up. My Meade already has a short cable, the Agena cable set screw was too long, and Agena admitted it. Unfortunately they are charging me return shipping, which I think is unfair because there was no caveat stating these cables would not work with the Meade Infinity 102. It is what it is I guess. Soured me towards Agena a little bit.
     
  3. Dave In Vermont

    Dave In Vermont Well-Known Member

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    I've moved the positions on the Vixen so the alt.- cable is is about straight-back along the body of the scope - Masutov 150mm. And the az.- cable is to-the-right pointing at the 5:00 o'clock position. Now both are comfortable to adjust at the same time while I'm at the EP.

    I can see how these Synta-cables would present a problem with the little bolts getting in the way of the mount. Poorly designed interface. I had this problem with a bizarre, older Orion mount. Had to scavange some weird, older cables that screwed onto the cable-heads on the mount. This was actually a better system as there were no little bolts to get in the way of the mount.

    Progress my foot!

    Dave
     
  4. Mak the Night

    Mak the Night Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, I've had a few things like that happen. At least TS Optics paid for the return shipping of the chocolate teapot. Unfortunately they trashed the tripod. I just put it down to one of those things. It can kind of sour you a bit though.

    I've had to return a lot of defective eyepieces and other things, I've always got my money back for the product, but I've been out of pocket with postage. Some eyepieces I've just cannibalised for parts rather than send them back as it was just too much trouble.
     
  5. Mak the Night

    Mak the Night Well-Known Member

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    Progress?

     
  6. Dave In Vermont

    Dave In Vermont Well-Known Member

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    Me too - that's why I pay my $15.00 each year to use Astromart - the best by/sell of astronomical-goods this side of the Atlantic. I've got an extra Crayford for Cats (SCT's, Maks) to post soon. And a few other, smaller goodies, too.

    Anywho - The cables worked very well for me. I had them for about a year. Bought and found they wouldn't work on a mount I had - FINALLY! - overhauled and fixed. That Orion G-4 I posted about a little while back. But I knew they'd come in handy. I could have easily returned 'em to ScopeStuff.com, as Jim there is a good-guy to do business with.

    Now the cables are working out very well for me:

    Vixen Porta II a.JPG


    Vixen Porta II d.JPG

    Enjoy!

    Dave
     
  7. Mak the Night

    Mak the Night Well-Known Member

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    The Vixen Porta's looking good Dave. I have some new Vixen NPL's to play with as well. TeleVue viewing quality at less than half the price! The build quality is quite good and the long, shallow draw tube undercuts work in everything.
     
  8. Dave In Vermont

    Dave In Vermont Well-Known Member

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    I have some - 3 - older Vixen LV 55° or so EP's from around 2003. I'm still kicking myself for not buying the full series! Uteerlt flat-field from edge-to-edge with no false-colour at all. It's the lanthanum lens in these that turns the trick. If your new Vixen NPL's do this also (the 'L' may be saying it is), they're pure gold!

    Eat your heart-out, TeleVue®!

    If this be the case - and I'm off to do a bit of research - don't follow my footsteps. BUY THE WHOLE SERIES! TWICE OVER! My funky-looking, though unassuming, LV's were also quite inexpensive to their credit. Not scary at all to an accountant. Ah ha! Found 'em!

    VixenNorthAmerica_052103_Lanthanum_LV.pdf

    I hope this transferred alright. Me thinks this forum's software is a bit 'buggy' lately.

    Off to research a few things...

    Dave & Dr. Frankenstein


    Igor here: I just did a walk through Vixen-Land and found the info I needed on these NPL's. You've struck Gold! They appear to be utterly unassuming, inexpensive EP's that put on no airs - unlike some we could name. So I'd bet these are the latest in Vixen's line of high-quality, lanthanum-bearing jewels! I know what I'll be picking up next.....:p

    Thanks for bringing these to my attention!
     

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    Last edited: Jan 11, 2017
  9. Mak the Night

    Mak the Night Well-Known Member

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    I don't know whether these have lanthanum glass, but I've owned the 30 & 25mm ones for a while now.

    Dumpy and the Vixen Sisters.jpg

    I now have the 6mm, 15mm and the 10mm. I've just ordered the 8mm. Above 20mm they have a weird plastic twist-up eyecup. You can see it on the above. I think five or six Vixen NPL's cost about the same as one 19mm Panoptic. The Panoptic is probably one of my favourite eyepieces of all time though. It's virtually perfect IMO lol.

    grabngo.jpg

    10 & 15mm NPL's with 9, 11 & 20mm TV Plossls (above), 6mm NPL (below).

    Vixen6mm.jpg
    The Vixen NPL's are every bit as good to look through as TV Plossls in my experience. The wide shallow undercuts are as good as, if not better, than the TV undercuts. They are no problem to extract from compression rings.

    The link below is the site of that bloke who makes chrome plated barrels:

    http://shop.telescope-warehouse.com...1B.p3plqscsfapp001?productId=286&categoryId=2
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2017 at 5:31 AM
  10. Ray of Light

    Ray of Light Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, not having as much experience as you guys I guess this took me by surprise a little, but I'll live, lol! If I can't find anything I'll stick with the shorter cables I have. They are actually made better than the ones from Agena!
    I assume the Vixen 4mm SLV I bought is up there with the ones you mentioned (except the Panoptic, lol!)? I wouldn't mind getting a couple more, but the price is kind of high for me. Going for a CAT scan, be back later.
     
  11. Mak the Night

    Mak the Night Well-Known Member

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    I think the cable compatibility thing would have taken me by surprise as well. I haven't got any Meade hardware so I can't really compare it with anything. Synta mounts vary in quality. The basic EQ 1 and 2 mounts are pretty usable though. The EQ2 is fairly well engineered and holds the Bazooka's 900mm f/l OTA and 3kg counterweight pretty well. It can vibrate slightly if knocked, but the recovery is relatively rapid. A bit of lubricant on the RA worm gear occasionally helps of course lol.

    I can get £20 (nearly 25 USD) off the SLV's at the moment. They are very high quality. The 20mm eye relief is a bit long on a small eye lens for me. I am tempted to get one though. I went on this Vixen Plossl spree after both my 6mm BCO's borked. I salvaged the draw tubes and they now have a new existence on the 'Baadertrons' (Celestron 13 & 17mm Plossls).

    Baadertron Pair.jpg

    I've had these Eyeopener Kit plossls for so long now the silk screen writing has rubbed off. They're decent Synta Plossls and with their new draw tubes fit everything with no hang ups. As my other 6mm Plossls haven't fared as well I decided to replace the borked BCO's with a decent 6mm Plossl. 6mm is a very useful lunar viewing size for me, and as TeleVue don't make a 6mm Plossl, I thought I'd go for the Vixen. It will give me nearly fourteen and a half arc minutes TFOV for 208x on the StarMax and nearly ten arc minutes for 300x (2x Barlow) on the Bazooka. On the Big Cat it will give about 392x for around seven and a half arc minutes. It will even give me 66.6x for forty five arc minutes on the ST80, so very possibly good for Messier Objects too.

    Good luck with the CAT scan. I remember mine. I think that was when they filled me with radioactive fluid or something. I still don't have any superpowers lol.
     
  12. Ray of Light

    Ray of Light Well-Known Member

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  13. Mak the Night

    Mak the Night Well-Known Member

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    With my CAT scan they wanted to look at the left side of my brain. They told me the radioactive fluid might feel warm (no brainer right lol), I could feel it slowly moving through all of the blood vessels on the left side of my body. I'd have preferred to have been injected with a miniature Raquel Welch.



    Don't Meade sell longer slo mo cables? They must do somewhere.
     
  14. Mak the Night

    Mak the Night Well-Known Member

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    Just got first light with the 10mm Vixen on M42. It holds its own against a TV 11mm Plossl, I can't see any difference.
     
  15. Dave In Vermont

    Dave In Vermont Well-Known Member

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    The question was posed what would be good eyepiece choices for a beginner with a ST refractor, similar to the ST80 and Ray's Meade. Based on your endorsement, I suggested the Vixen NPL's. So: If my head rolls - yours' will too! :D

    I'm not terribly worried. Never seen a Plossl blow-up a small, fast frac. The worst that could happen is that he'll need a simple extension-tube for his focus.

    Now I've got a mad Texan baying at the Moon with a brand-new Celestron NexStar that he is trying to figure out how to get it working properly. Thus far his methods have included his threatening to shoot a Opossum with his handgun! Thought I was exagerating with the word 'Mad?' Guess again! I kept the screenshot..... Then he was howling about why this was happening to him? My response was the Spirit of the Opossum was ticked-off at his actions - after explaining that I was Native-American.....

    Another beautiful day in the neighborhood!

    Dave


    sb10062282hh-001.jpg
     
  16. Ray of Light

    Ray of Light Well-Known Member

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    Lol! Yes that stuff can impart a warm sensation, strangely it didn't happen this time, but it has in the past. Now I just feel generally all screwed up !
     
  17. Mak the Night

    Mak the Night Well-Known Member

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    I'm pretty sure the NPL's would work well in a fast scope. I've used both 30mm & 25mm in my ST80. Celestron/Sky-Watcher claim that their Plossls are best suited for telescopes with f-ratios f6 or slower. Vixen don't claim that.

    I don't think we have opossums or Texans here. Aren't opossums marsupial, or is that Texans or wannabees? We have bats, owls, cats, hedgehogs, badgers, foxes and invisible ducks here. OK, the ducks may not actually be invisible, I can hear them but never see them. Could be stealth ducks.
     
  18. Mak the Night

    Mak the Night Well-Known Member

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    One time my doctor changed my blood pressure medication after convincing me it was a good thing. I asked about any side effects, he was reluctant to say at first but admitted I may feel a 'little light headed' after I pushed him on the subject. Basically it zombified me into one of the cast of the Walking Dead and I made him change it back. He was an understanding chap and I went back to my original medication. Later, I found out one of the side effects of the new stuff he prescribed was that it could cause a stroke. You couldn't make this stuff up! :eek:
     
  19. Dave In Vermont

    Dave In Vermont Well-Known Member

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    Yes Opossum's are indeed the lone Marsupial on the American continent North to South. Good reminder! Thank you!

    Mak - I hear you loud & clear on your 19mm TeleVue® Panoptic. I've not used a 19mm before. But I do have a 24mm Panoptic - which also wins my highest praise! I often state to people that if you only ever decide to purchase just one TeleVue® EP ever & for all make it the 24mm Panoptic. I shall amend that to 24mm OR 19mm TV. As for these Vixen NPL accolades, I'm firmly convinced these are the newer equivalent of my 2003 LV-s' which were cheap and considered to be frivolous Plossl's in-drag. Obviously the reviewer's had never tried them in their own telescopes. They just read the low-key Vixen paperwork - the same one I included earlier.

    Hey Ray - I was injected twice with a beta-emitting Fluorine-isotope with a short half-life. This would seek out cancer's hiding on cells of cancer by lighting them up by tickling them with nascent Protons. They didn't light-up anything. Good! I was being treated with X-ray's and filled me up with very strong poisons that murdered the cancer I was being treat for - localized to my tongue. I didn't feel anything from the beta-emitter and x-rays, but the chemo-drug was another story. All my hair fell out for starts. I was in terrible pain, and I ended up on morphine for 1 1/2 years - followed by 'cold-turkey' withdrawl - the Skunks!!

    In deference to my Native ancestor's, my hair remains long. I was overjoyed when my hair returned longer & fuller than before! All was forgiven. I could then return to Turtle-Island - which is what we call the "American-Continent" - a full member again.

    Anyways, I know how much 'fun' you're having with the medicos' tests & treatments. Once you're all-done and over, you'll look back in the amazement of having gone through all that - and still be alive! :eek: :p

    Ho-Ka-Hay!

    Dave
     
  20. Ray of Light

    Ray of Light Well-Known Member

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    Yes, quite true Dave. And I am sorry to hear about the past troubles you had. It seems you, Mak and I have been through a lot!
     

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