My Telescopes(Updated 5/27/17)

This page is dedicated to the kind and types of telescopes I have/had and my experiences with them.  Hopefully this might help in any decisions you might want to make about buying a telescope.  Please keep all comments in the realm of civility. Otherwise feel free.




My main scope is a Celestron Edge 9.25 inch on a Celestron DX mount which has been Hypertuned by Ed Thomas of Deep Space Products.  The small scope on top is an Orion ST-80 which I use with an Orion Star Shoot Autoguider for astrophotography.






This is a StellarVue 70mm fitted with a field flattener and focal reducer for widefield astrophotography.  It is sitting on a Celestron AVX mount.  The finder/guide scope on top is a StellarVue 60mm APO.  I am a big fan of StellarVue and Vic Maris.  Their quality and, especially their customer support, is top notch.  I highly recommend them if you want to buy a top quality scope.






This is my StellarVue 130 mm F5.6 APO refractor.  It sits on a Celestron CGEM mount and is topped with another StellarVue 60mm APO as a finder/guide scope.  Vic machined a part to fit this scope and then matched it with a reducer/flattener to change it from an F7 to the 5.6.  Again, excellent quality and support. 


My 6" Richey Cretian imaging scope topped with an AstroTech 65mm Quad for imaging and guiding.  Since the picture was taken the RC has been donated to Moravian College for use by their Astronomy classes.



My 6' Makasutov Cassegrain by SkyWatcher that I use for planetary, lunar and comet observation and imaging.  It sits on a Celestron AVX mount.



My StellarVue 100mm Quad topped with my StellarVue 60mm APO for guiding on a Celestron AVX mount has an ADM dual saddle and has been Hypertuned by Ed Thomas of Deep Space Products.  A great imaging platform.



A dual purpose imaging platform.  A StellarVue 80mm Access on the bottom that will be used for lunar and solar imaging and topped by an AstroTech 65mm Quad that is used for widefield astrophotography.  When imaging with the 65 mm I will use the 80mm as a guider and if I want to use the 80mm for astrophotography I add a field flattener/focal reducer element and will use the 65mm as a guider.  the only reason I don't have a StellarVue 60mm APO on top is I only have 2 of them(for now).



My Edge 9.25 now rests on the new Celestron CGX mount which I am currently blogging about in another tab.  All things about the scope are still the same as the picture that led off this tab, but I forgot to mention that the scope has a MoonLite focuser on it.Update...Took off the Moonlight focuser and installed a Micro FeatherTouch instead.  (Anybody looking for a used in good condition SCT Moonlight focuser?)



My 130 mm SV 5.6 refractor has been residing on my new CGX mount since my Edge 9.25 was in the shop.  I now have my Edge back and remounted on my CGX and this refractor will be transferred to my NEW CGX I received from my wife for Christmas.  I think I just probably insured lousy weather here in SE Pa. to continue.



Just added a Williams Optics GTF 81mm.  I had one before and they are excellent for astrophotography.  This is topped with a StellarVue 60mm APO finder/guider.  The mount is an AVX that has been Hypertuned by Ed Thomas of Deep Space Products.


New addition is a used 4" Meade.  Bought it off of Cloudy Nights.  The gentleman who sold sent a lot of accessories with it.


It came with a solar searcher, rings and base(which didn't work with the mount I wanted to use so I replaced them with ADM rings and a V base) and a Thousand Oaks glass solar filter.  I plan to leave this setup on the Celestron Alt/Az mount you see and cover it with a TeleGizmos 365 scope cover.  It will always be available then for a quick look or image of the Sun or Moon.  After I see an image of the Sun through this I'm hoping it will be good enough for the eclipse in August which will only be 80% at my location.


It also came with a Meade storage box.  Pretty standard stuff, but a nice touch anyway.



My true solar obs/imaging scope is a Lunt 80mm double stack with an 1800 blocking filter.  It is pictured on the same Celestron mount as the previous Meade and I have used it on that mount for a short visual outing, but the mount doesn't allow good access to the tuners so for longer visual/imaging sessions I usually put it on an AVX mount which works very well with this scope.


Used the Meade today to take a few quick images of the Sun and to use the Sun Searcher for the first time.  Very easy to use as you can see.  Just move the scope till the pinhole sun is in the crosshairs.  Took several images at different settings, but wasn't much there to see except one nice sunspot.


Got to thinking after imaging(very dangerous for me) about some parts I had laying around and began wondering "what if" and this is what I came up with....



I used a Meade extension I had to get the distance I needed to get past the stock focuser and added a Moonlite SCT focuser I wasn't using and topped it off with a 2" diagonal from High Point Scientific.  This setup stills allows use of the stock focuser as you can see.


My friend bought me this solar cover a few months ago and finally got to try it.  Reflective material on the outside and black fabric on the inside.  You can mold it around your aperture to fit and close it with velcro.  Sure makes it easier to see the image in the eyepiece and camera.  Thanks Pete!




Update 5/1/17

I heard back from Celestron about my 9.25 Edge and it cost me $328 to, hopefully, fix it.  Unfortunately, the letter also said 4-6 weeks for turnaround.  My Jupiter season is in danger.  Nothing I can do but wait.  Till then I started to get my summer setup going.  I put up my 2nd CGX that was the 1st one Hypertuned by Ed Thomas at Deep Space Products.  I transferred my SV 130 mm f5.6 to the new CGX because that will be my DSO platform.  My first CGX is empty right now, but I will use that on sunny days for some solar observing and imaging till I decide to mount something else on it or just wait for my Edge to come back.  See pics below for current setup.



Updated 5/27/17


Just installed my new Moonlite focuser on my SkyWatcher 150 Mak-Cass.  Talked to Ron at Moonlite and explained I was not happy with the stock focuser and he assured me he could supply a 2 speed Crayford focuser that would do the job.  He's a man of his word!  See pic below.....



It came fully assembled and in only one day(I do have to say that I live only about 70 miles from Moonlite😀).




The focuser is designed to extend far enough so the stock focuser does not have to be removed and can still be accessed.  The focuser is buttery smooth and very substantial feeling.  This setup will be for lunar and planetary and a few comet chasings thrown in.  The camera will be a Canon 60Da.  The mount is a Hypertuned AVX from Ed Thomas at Deep Space Products and my PoleMaster is mounted for the 2+4 and the PA tonight if these stupid clouds don't get in the way.

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