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Posts Made By: Larry Thaxton

April 20, 2003 09:37 PM Forum: Equipment Talk

4-inch to 8-inch: Not Enough?

Posted By Larry Thaxton

I have owned 4" and 5" APOs and my 10" Portaball blows either away on deep sky and-given excellent seeing-planetary performance. The newtonian is more sensitive to seeing but when the sky co-operates the smaller APOs get a well deserved rest because they can not begin to compete. Just one example- M13 looks ok in the 4" and 5" APOs but is a whole other experience in the 10". I have an MN76 that out performs any 4" or 5" APO I have had a chance to look through but the Portaball leaves it well behind too.

The problem is that somewhere in the 10" to 12.5" range the balance between size and "useability", i.e., actually taking the scope out and using it, starts to drop off- at least for me. If I were faced with the choice you mention, I'd go for the 10" rather than the 8".

April 30, 2003 06:55 AM Forum: Takahashi

EM-10 Manual

Posted By Larry Thaxton

Hi Tony,

I have an EM-10 manual that includes all 15 pages. Be glad to make a copy and send it along. My direct e-mail is:


May 2, 2003 03:15 PM Forum: Equipment Talk

Hurst Synchronous Motors

Posted By Larry Thaxton

Their website is:

This is the "Hurst" page and navigating their system is a bit time comsuming. Hit "motors" on the menu, On the next menu hit "synchronous motors" and it should get you there.


June 2, 2003 03:31 PM Forum: Equipment Talk

Mounting finder on AP 6"F*8

Posted By Larry Thaxton

Hi Erik,

I actually just put an Orion QR base on my 6" F/12 AP and the holes lined up fine. Two things you may need to know: the Orion base is a bit larger that the original base and sticks out over the end of the tube by 1/8" or so and it is a good idea to cut out a piece of rubber or felt to fit between the QR base and the tube both to protect the paint from damage and as it makes for a tighter fit as the radius on the QR is not quite the same as the OD of the OTA.


September 13, 2003 04:35 PM Forum: Refractors

Japanese refractors

Posted By Larry Thaxton

I know a very experienced Japanese observer who answered the question this way:

"in Japan we think, Astro-Physics is the best brand image for scope. Next is ... I don't know. Maybe I suppose TEC=TMB=TV > TAK, FS, FC, FCT > Vixen FL. But as for TOA, I think it would be the same level or might be slightly better then TEC, TMB, TV refractors.

Maybe my opinion would be different from you (US people)."

I would guess this ranking would vary among Japanese amateurs just as such a question would get a variety of answers here.

September 15, 2003 08:49 PM Forum: Equipment Talk

Online review of Orion 80mm ED? Anyone?

Posted By Larry Thaxton

September 17, 2003 12:17 PM Forum: Equipment Talk

High Power EP

Posted By Larry Thaxton

Hi Joe,

I have a 10" F/5 dob, a couple of long focus refractors and a Tak FC 100. While I have drives on the refractor mounts, I do not always use them (lazy) and the DOB is a "push-drive". The best planetary eyepieces I have used with the scopes are the TMB Monocentrics and the Pentax SMC orthos. Much more convenient and still excellent performers are the Pentax XLs (5.2 and 7mm for your needs). UO orthos are damn close but eyerelief suffers in shorter focal lengths.

Though I find the TMBs are a bit tight on FOV, they are still useable without the drives. You will not "outgrow" them (or the SMCs or XLs either)by switching to another scope and adding a drive would negate the FOV concerns. I have owned several TeleVue eyepieces (Radians, Panoptics and Naglers) and all are great performers. I just like the TMBs, SMCs and XLs for some reason.

While I would probably say the XLs are my recommendation for your scope, my advice is to borrow various contenders at a star party and compare them on the objects you like to observe. I found it pretty expensive doing it the other way- buying and trying to come to a decision. Perhaps it is the variation in our eyes, but certain eyepieces "work" better for me than others. Nothing in this is meant to be a snub to the other brands, I am not a brand-loyalty guy, I just like what lets my eyes see the most. Orthos and Monos are at the top for me , the others very close seconds.

September 26, 2003 02:55 PM Forum: Refractors

Collimating a refractor?

Posted By Larry Thaxton

Hi Nick,

If you wish to collimate, Takahashi makes a collimation telescope that attaches to the scope. It has a port that can be illuminated to cast light onto the lens elements ( the lens cap must be in place to perform this operation). The scope will show two circles of reflected light, one for each element. It will actually focus on each ring separately by pulling the collimation scope draw tube. If the rings are concentric, you are home free. If not, you will have to adjust the lens with the three sets of push-pull collimation screws around the lens cell until they are. It is actually quite easy once you do it a time or two.

Art is the guy to talk to about obtaining the Tak collimation scope and a 1 1/4" adapter if needed. I have one and use it with all of my refractors just to make sure. The greatest advantage is that you can do it at your leisure day or night and do not have to worry about tracking or have an unsteady atmosphere to contend with!


September 27, 2003 04:34 PM Forum: Equipment Talk

O.D. of FS-128 tube?

Posted By Larry Thaxton

145 mm OD Tubes (Takahashi FS 128)

November 1, 2003 10:50 AM Forum: Equipment Talk

Schaefer Mounts...

Posted By Larry Thaxton

Hi Nico,

They are no longer manufactured and a bit hard to come by. I noticed that Don Rothman has one for sale:


His website: