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Posts Made By: Larry Thaxton

February 18, 2008 07:47 AM Forum: Refractors

Refractor Collimation

Posted By Larry Thaxton

Hi Joe,

Collimation is not too difficult depending on the physical arrangement of your scope. If it has the usual three sets of push-pull screws on the lens cell and you own or have access to a Cheshire collimation tool we can walk you through the process. I have collimated or checked collimation on every refractor I have owned from achromats the my current TMB 175mm triplet. It is pretty easy if you are careful and even easier if you have an assistant.

On the color issue, better optical minds than mine will have to weigh in. We have several who read these posts and I trust one will be along shortly.

Feel free to contact me on my home e-mail:


February 21, 2008 04:43 AM Forum: Reflectors

Looking for suggestions on a 6" Newt

Posted By Larry Thaxton

There is an excellent "Classic" 6" F/8 for sale, a Criterion Dynascope. Having owned a few, I am tempted to buy it but just have too much equipment at the moment. Check out ad #549153. The only problem is shipping though you might want to pick up a few eyepieces as well.


February 21, 2008 02:03 PM Forum: Refractors

Astro Physics 130MM Star ED f/8

Posted By Larry Thaxton

Hi Howard,

I recalled seeing an ad for the 130 ED and finally found it again. It is on the AP website. When you are on their home page click on "Astro-Physics Products" in the menu on the left. Then click on Astro-Physics telescope History" in the blue links at the top of thh page. Once on that page, click the link in the second paragraph, "Astro-Physics Ads" which will take you to thumbnails of many years ads. Click on "May 1992 until March 1993" and you will see you scope on the bottom half of the page.

March 10, 2008 08:56 PM Forum: Refractors

Straight through viewing.

Posted By Larry Thaxton

I have done quite a bit of straight through observing though generally at night. A day or two back I mounted a 75mm Pentax EDHF on a TMB 175 and will use it for low power, widefield mostly. From a seated position the Pentax and a 30mm Pentax XW are perfectly placed for straight through viewing. A friend in Japan tells me that Japanese observers do the majority of their viewing in this way. In day time use the image will be upside down.

March 11, 2008 02:57 PM Forum: Equipment Talk

Ultimate Small Telescope--Questar for the 21st?

Posted By Larry Thaxton

Hi Doug,

What are the parameters of "Small telescope"? Is there an aperture or dimensional range? Visual use? Photography/imaging?

In anticipation of your response, to date I have owned two Questars and really liked both but still sold them. They were teh ultimate in portability and had everything in that wonderful little case. But the aperture of the Q 3.5 was too small for my interests. Yes they were incredibly well designed and the optics in both excellent. But an obstructed 90mm just does not deliver enough light for DSOs and high magnification planetary. Superb for eclipse chasing and Lunar viewing.

Depending on your answer re: size and dimensions, I vote the Uti 8". Second is a Pentax EDHF with M3 mount. Excellent scope (though still a little small for me!).

March 12, 2008 07:05 AM Forum: Equipment Talk

Ultimate Small Telescope--Questar for the 21st?

Posted By Larry Thaxton

While I agree with the concept that a Q3.5 required a tripod for serious use ( I had the Questar pier for mine), what I felt the Q 3.5 offered was an ingenious package in which scope, finder, barlow, the equivalent of four eyepieces and a rudimentary Moon or sky map went outside in one hand. While any 80mm to 90mm APO will beat it in terms of overall use and image brightness, nothing comes close to its sophisticated "portable observatory" design. I have owned six or eight Takahashi scopes over the years and love their performance but the Sky 90 needs a lot of add on parts to do more than low power wide field viewing. Those have to be carried and kept track of. Those who have owned Q3.5s know how incredible compact and sophisticaed the outfit was. With all of the modern computer design and production available today, where is its equivalent whether APO or Mak?

March 22, 2008 06:02 AM Forum: Reflectors

Abscense Makes The Portaball Grow Valuabler?

Posted By Larry Thaxton

There are many nice 8" scopes these days at bargain prices. Most come out of China and have decent optics. Portaballs with Zambuto optics have always been expensive and even prior to Peter's decision to stop taking new orders used Portaballs remained costly. Having owned two- a 10" and now a 12.5"- I will echo a comment in a previous edition of "Star Wares" that they are well worth the cost.

April 3, 2008 08:39 PM Forum: Equipment Talk

Would you rather have a bigger SN or a smaller MN?

Posted By Larry Thaxton

I would vote for the MN86 or MN76. Both are excellent optically. Having owned two MN's and enjoyed them both immensely, it is an easy recommendation. In my view, APOs are at the top in terms of image quality followed closely by MN's and F/8 or longer Newtonians.

April 21, 2008 03:17 PM Forum: Landscape Photography

Joshua Tree Natonal Park

Posted By Larry Thaxton

JT is a great place for scenery and pretty decent for observing though it handles a lot of camper/climber traffic and vehicle lights can be an issue at times. A few pictures of landscapes.

April 26, 2008 03:50 PM Forum: Astro-Physics

305mm Mak-Cass at NEAF2008

Posted By Larry Thaxton

Any details? Focal length, weight, price?