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class="prefix prefixOrange">Vintage Equipment An odd but good gift

Discussion in 'Telescopes and Mounts' started by Leonard, Feb 5, 2019.

An odd but good gift

Started by Leonard on Feb 5, 2019 at 4:21 PM

8 Replies 403 Views 5 Likes

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  1. Leonard

    Leonard Well-Known Member

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    I’m new here, but I’m an old man considering amateur astronomy terms. So, I thought I might type out a bit about my background and how I got into the hobby....etc

    It will be 20 years this Christmas when my wife bought me a scope for a gift. She wanted to get me another gift, and didn’t know what to buy me. We were at the local Wal M. She was in line checking out and I was in the eye department waiting. It just so happened that her line was in easy site of the eye department. I was checking out the scopes they used to sell at Christmas, looking through a 114, F8 Tasco reflector. She noticed me and the scope and bought it the next day.

    That 114mm turned out to be a decent scope and a good starter scope. The main mirror is parabolic so the scope can handle mags of 125 to 150 without much of a problem.


    It has a plastic Rack and Pinion focuser, but its diameter is 1.25” diameter. It came with an EQ1 mount, so it bounced around a good bit. I added more weight which settled the mount down a bit. However, the eyepieces left much to be desired; an SR4mm, a 20mm and a 12mm Huygens and a pretty well useless 3x Barlow.

    Yet, I didn’t know they were “bad” eyepieces. I was overjoyed with what I was seeing. The moon with craters inside of craters. I soon discovered the terminator. The second object I observed was Jupiter with the NEB and SEB and moons that danced across the globe. I was able to observe a shadow transit. Who can forget the first time one observed Saturn with the ring system and the Cassini division.

    I was able to locate several DSOs such as Orion NEB, the Double Cluster, Andromeda, Hercules glob Cluster. This was due to another purchase my wife made for me, a nice beginners book, “NightWatch”. It has a lot of good info for s beginner and several beginner star charts. It took time to learn the sky. I didn’t have much help because I am a bit of a loner and my job used to take me away from home several days a week. But with that Tasco 114mm F8, I was able to learn the sky and unlock the beauty of the Cosmos.

    I still have that old scope and times take it out. It does a good job as a grab and go. In fact that was the plan for a few years until I had problems finding a good and small AZ mount that could support the scope.

    About a year after I started observing I purchased 3 plossls and a 2x Barlow. (This was a direct result of the NightWatch book). They were Hands on Optics GTO plossls. A 32mm, a 15mm, and a 9mm. The Barlow was a Celestron standard Barlow. They worked well and after a year I was “hooked”.

    My wife, Helen has never regretted getting me started. And in fact she encourages me to expand my hobby by purchasing more equipment. Upon occasion she has joined me at the scope. My other observing partner was at that time, 20 years ag0, my grandson, Caleb. He was 6 or 7 and he used to sit next to me, waiting for me to let him have a look. It was a special time.

    Well, I need to wrap this up. I get carried away with it once I start typing about astronomy. But it’s time, so I hope I didn’t bore u.

    Later
     
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2019
    Ed D, jgroub, Scopejunkie and 2 others like this.
  2. Seer

    Seer Well-Known Member

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    Not boring at all Leonard. That is a wonderful story. I wish you all the best in your endeavors. I hope that we all have many clear nights in the future to take advantage of.
     
  3. Gabby76

    Gabby76 Well-Known Member

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    A great story Leonard :)
    A beginners telescope and some persistence can get you viewing a lot.
    Enjoy the journey!
     
  4. jgroub

    jgroub Well-Known Member

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    Very nice story, indeed, Leonard. I was all about to tell you to buy some Plossls to upgrade from those other, um, "eyepieces" (note the quotes, meaning that I am scoffing at them), when I see you already did that after a year. Good move!

    May I suggest Turn Left at Orion as a next step for you to take in terms of finding more objects up there? It's a great beginner's book like Nightwatch, but is just one more step advanced from it.

    https://milehighastro.com/products/turn-left-at-orion-revised-2018-edition
     
  5. kevan hubbard

    kevan hubbard Well-Known Member

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    I had a red tasco reflector I can't remember it's mirror size probably about 4"? I got a lot of enjoyment out of it.the finder was hopeless however,a 25 mm but it was stopped down to about 10mm right behind the front optic!worse than no finder at all and I never used it. I have a feeling it used eyepieces of .965",these are rare these day so it'd be hard to switch better quality eyepieces as these are all going to be 1:25"or 2". adapters are available but I have read that due to altering the focal length focus is a problem in .965"telescopes when using eyepieces that they where not designed for.my childhood 3"refractor,looked like a unitron but possibly sold under another brand,also used .965"eyepieces.i wonder if anyone still makes .965"telescopes?
     
  6. Leonard

    Leonard Well-Known Member

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    Yes, you can purchase .965 EPs. There are not a lot available, but some that are available are of decent quality. There is one company that has a line of .965 EPs, I think they are plossls. I can’t remember the name.

    I think you can find them on the OPT web site.
     
  7. Leonard

    Leonard Well-Known Member

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    Btw. They are Antares Plossls. An entire line. And they are reasonably priced. I just checked.
     
  8. kevan hubbard

    kevan hubbard Well-Known Member

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    I've read .965" was popular in Japan but the rest of the world preferedp 1:25"and eventually the Japanese gave in and made their telescopes 1:25"and also 2". I can't remember what the field of view of of mine was but .965"is described as 'drinking straw'.almost tempted to buy a second hand .965" and compare it with an equivalent appeture 1:25".
     
  9. Leonard

    Leonard Well-Known Member

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    That’s certainly true. I think most of Japan is now using the 1.25” focuser. I think the only reason .965 sell is for existing scopes.

    I have read those Antares are good EPs. And, I suppose if you have a GoTo (or any driven mount) and your looking at planets it won’t make much difference.

    I have a 1.25 to .965 adapter and have been tempted to use it a time or two. I have a few .965 EPs that were given to me. But they are of terrible quality so I have never tried them out. But, if I can remember, I’ll give them a shot.
     

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