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Posts Made By: Larry Thaxton

January 20, 2007 05:25 PM Forum: Takahashi


Posted By Larry Thaxton

Looks like Robin Casady was ahead of his time:

January 25, 2007 04:59 AM Forum: Zeiss

Collector or user?

Posted By Larry Thaxton

I have a brand new, unused 4mm Zeiss ortho (A-4). Before I use it, is this somethng a Zeiss collector would be interested in? I am an observer first so collecting comes second to using but someone may be interested in this little beauty.

January 26, 2007 04:53 AM Forum: Maksutovs

10" F/12.5 APM/Wirth Custom Mak-cass

Posted By Larry Thaxton

I finally see what all the fuss is about Mak-cass scopes- this thing is a killer on the Moon and detail seems limited completely by seeing. The conditions are still not really steady but I could see very fine detail for brief moments and felt the scope was looking very “refractor like” in terms of resolution and maybe better in terms of color correction and shadow detail (blackness). The edge of the Moon was sharp as a tack and went from brilliant white to black with no scattered light at all. Rima Hyginus was nicely positioned for a test target and I ran pretty much every focal length eyepiece from a 5mm ortho (625x) to a 55mm Plossl (57x) to see what the scope would do. Surprisingly, it did well with everything. The 5mm was a bit soft, more from the unsteady seeing than any fault of the telescope. My favorite view of Rima Hyginus was through the 16mm Zeiss ortho (195x) which held steady and was very sharp with beautiful contrast. The 10mm Zeiss was not far behind (312x) but just over what the sky would allow. The 25mm Zeiss and 20mm Tele Vue plossl were also turning in stunning views. I also tried out the Zeiss 2x barlow which I really like but the 16mm and barlow at 8mm (375x) was again just beyond what the sky would permit. The 10mm with the barlow (625x) was as good or as any single focal length 5mm but far beyond what conditions permitted.

Out of curiosity I tried my old favorite Meade 14mm UWA (224x) and found it very satisfying- sharp and a huge field of view. The 20mm XW was even better and at 156x a great place to be. Dropping in the 5mm XW (625x) I was treated to surprisingly good views of various craters with the 7mm at 446x a touch sharper. Things hit their stride though at the 15mm/16mm mark, roughly 200x. I kept sweeping back and forth across the lunar surface which the NJP does remarkably well. The Mak and NJP are a very nice combination and the Mak barely touches the carrying capacity. I plan to piggy back the FS-78 next time out and also have to replace the JMI focuser with a Feathertouch.

Binoviewing was even better and with a pair of 35mm Ultimas (112x) the lunar surface was stunning. But the JMI was struggling with the weight of the bino viewer and eyepieces and kept racking itself out to its maximum extension. Not being familiar with the JMI, I could not set the drag correctly and finally just decided to order the FeatherTouch.

All in all I really like the scope and feel collimation is very close if not right on. On the next night of really steady seeing I will try to tweak it a bit more if needed, but for now I simply plan to leave it alone and enjoy the views.

One night of excellent seeing please!

February 12, 2007 04:30 PM Forum: Refractors

Planetary Observers, How about a 7" F/10 APO?

Posted By Larry Thaxton

Being a planetary observer, I would really like to see a 7" F/10ish APO. I wonder if there is enough demand to get one on the drawing board. TMBs Signature line sounds like it offers a whole lot of performance for a reasonable price-any chance they or someone else would produce such a scope?

September 14, 2007 01:42 AM Forum: Astro-Physics

Star12ED collimation

Posted By Larry Thaxton

Is there a way to collimate a Star 12ED? Mine is pretty darn close in collimation but I am tempted to tweak it into perfection. Would I use the three screws that hold the cell in place to make adjustments ?


February 28, 2008 06:04 AM Forum: Eyepieces

Best long focal length planetary eyepiece

Posted By Larry Thaxton

What is the best longish focal length eyepiece(s) for planetary and lunar visual use in long FL scopes? I now have a Royce 10" F/20 Dall-Kirkham and the 5000mm FL is a little hard on my eyepiece collection. I would love to find a pair of Zeiss 34mm Abbes but being more realistic, what have you found best for high resolution viewing? I have a pair of 20, 25 and 32mm TeleVue plossls and they are nice. My Zeiss 25mms are nicer but that is the longest I own. I'd appreciate your thoughts.

July 12, 2008 01:16 PM Forum: Refractors

Large Aperture Refractors for Visual

Posted By Larry Thaxton

Not sure how to title this. I have been reading threads here and elsewhere about planetary scopes including the much vaunted AP "Superplanetary" scopes, TMB 130 F/9.25, APOMAX, etc. Comments were made about the 5" to 6" range of scopes more often matching the seeing than larger scopes. Most of the scopes discussed were 5" to 6" apos which led me to wonder what scopes folks prefer in larger apertures which I suppose must mean those scopes over 6". It is a wider field of possible choices than one might first first realize if one includes achromats, apos and whatever you decide to call those scopes "in between", i.e. the Meade 178ED.

For those of you who have gone to 8" or larger apos, what are the advantages and tradeoffs?

It would also be interesting to know how the larger scopes are handled- permanent installations, "portable" arrangements that are set up each time they are used? How about the obvious- are you hinderd by the large aperture meeting atmospheric limits? Also, what are your preferred planetary eyepieces. In larger achros, have you found that any particular eyepieces excells in terms of color correction?

For my part, I have owned the AP 6" F/12 Superplanetary, a Meade 178ED, D&G 8" F/12 and now a TMB 175. In moments of weakness, I consider a larger refractor ( a friend in Japan notified me of a Goto 10" F/12 objective up for auction but I was too slow) and am curious of others views. Have you ever though of going back down to a smaller refractor after buying a large scope?

Goto auction though long closed:

July 30, 2008 04:51 AM Forum: Takahashi

Collimation of an FS-152

Posted By Larry Thaxton

I picked up a Tak FS-152 and while I have collimated every other Tak I have owned, I never had to touch my old FS-152. I own the Tak collimation scope and would be interested in hearning from others who have had to adjust their FS-152s.


August 6, 2008 01:03 AM Forum: Takahashi

Thread size- Art?

Posted By Larry Thaxton

I would like to put locking casters on the legs of my Takahashi pier. The stock bolts appear to be either M12 or 1/2" in diamter but have a strange thread- 2mm ridge to ridge which is not listed anywhere I can find it. Should I simply re-tap the holes to 1/2x13 or ?

August 10, 2008 03:59 PM Forum: Takahashi

Guiding Mount?

Posted By Larry Thaxton

Has anyone used the TGM-2 guiding mount on the side of an NJP saddle plate? I read that the TGM-2 will bolt to the flange on the mounting plate but am concerned about balance with an FS-78 and TGM-2 hanging on one side of the scope.

Would it be better to use the Tak 100mm guidescope rings (Part #TGR0100) on the top plate of the dual tube ring set up?

Thank you for the help!