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Posts Made By: Larry Thaxton

August 10, 2008 11:16 PM Forum: Takahashi

Tak FS-152 Take Two

Posted By Larry Thaxton

A while back I bought a Takahashi FS-152 from Joe D. Absolutely loved it but sold it to get a 10" Mak-cass. Recently a chance came to pick up another and I could not resist. This one came as a complete package with the scope, 11x70 finder, NJP Temma, Tak pier and three Scope Guard cases and is truly in "like new" condition. Tonight was first light and the scope performed magnificantly yielding razor sharp images and pinpoint stars. The Moon through a pair of 20mm XWs was enough to melt your heart! I ran the gammut of my Zeiss collection from 25mm to 4mm and found sharp, detailed images at every step. Another great Takahashi scope!!

August 16, 2008 08:41 AM Forum: Equipment Talk

Japanese Scope Pictures

Posted By Larry Thaxton

I just received a 2009 publication from a friend in Japan. It shows a number of scopes and brands I have never seen before and I though folks might find a few pictures interesting. Since I can not read Japanese, those of you who can should feel free to comment on anything you find interesting.

The cover:

August 24, 2008 07:33 AM Forum: Reflectors

Diagonal size question

Posted By Larry Thaxton

I am slowly restoring a Cave 12.5" F/6 and plan to change a few things. The scope will be original as much as possible though the focuser will be replaced with a Moonlite. My intentions are to set the scope up for binoviewing and a low profile focuser will be part of the plan. At present the scope has a 2.6" secondary and I am inclined to replace that with a 2.14" to get a smaller CO. Will this work with a binoviewer or do I need to stay with the 2.6" for a fully illuminated field?

September 20, 2008 09:06 AM Forum: Reflectors

Royce 10" F/20 Dall-Kirkham

Posted By Larry Thaxton

20 September 2008

I just finished putting the Cave 8” F/8 and Royce 10” F/20 D-K away after a round with the Moon early this morning. Seeing was pretty good, 6/10 I would guess and the Royce was starting to strut its stuff. Not quite stable enough for it to hit its stride but 9 craterlets in Plato ain't half bad especially as I was catching fleeting bits of a few others. It was so nice I swapped out scopes and have the TMB 175 set for tomorrow morning.

What fascinated me was that in mono-vision the old Cave 8” F/8 seemed sharper. At one point I was running a 10mm Orthostar in it at 160x and a 40mm plossl in the Royce at 125x and they looked pretty equal though I would have given the nod to the Cave in terms of image sharpness. Running up the power it seemed like the Cave had a slight advantage and the four main craterlets in Plato were solid. But they were not bad in the Royce either, just not quite so solid. I should note that I did not run the fan in the D-K and it was definitely improving as it cooled down which it does quickly even w/o the fan running. Once cooled down, my whole outlook changed:

Things looked pretty good so I started the drives on the HGM-200. Without them it is a little hard to track given the Royce’s narrow FOV. I decided to pull the binoviewer out and WOW what a difference!! With the 30mm LEs (208x given the 1.25x Glaspar) in place the image was stunning- not dead steady as the atmosphere was a little shaky, but still a wonderful image. The craterlets in Plato were easy, 8 of them solid and the 9th fleeting. More amazing was that I was just picking up others but the air was a little too unstable to call them for certain. The image was so good I did not return to the Cave for an hour and when I did it seemed far less of a challenge to the Royce. I have no doubt that the Royce D-K was just idling waiting for better seeing! The 30mm LEs were great! They make me want a pair of 34mm Zeiss Abbes even more than ever. I was also impressed by the 24mm Panoptics.

The Royce D-K is a superb planetary scope and with the Royce 12.5" F/18 D-K prototype in the works, planetary observers should be pretty excited!

October 15, 2008 06:44 AM Forum: Takahashi

Takahashi Pier and Installation of Locking Casters

Posted By Larry Thaxton

A while back I asked a question about the size of the leveling bolts in the feet of my Takahashi pier. My question was driven by the desire to mount casters to the pier feet. The casters, available from McMaster-Carr (Part Number: 2460T54 $17.56 Each, Capacity 250 lbs), lock completely and make getting the scope out and into action quite simple. The factory bolts appear to be metric as the 1/2x13 bolts I had would not thread into the existing holes. Well, with a little trepidation I ran a 1/2x13 tap through the holes and it carved perfect threads. The 1/2x13 bolt of the casters fit as expected, but the metric bolts also fit perfectly, something I did not expect. Now the casters are in place and the scope will see a lot more use as I no longer have to disassemble the mount, carry it out in three trips, reassemble it outside and then do all of that over again when the evening observing session is over. If I decide to remove the casters, the factory bolts go right back in and the mount is "box stock" once again. Slick!

December 5, 2008 06:32 AM Forum: Refractors

Last Pentax refractors?

Posted By Larry Thaxton

I just received a message from a friend in Japan and figure it is worth pasing along. It is in Japanese so a translation would be helpful:

"Pentax will stop to make telescopes.

But eyepieces will continue."

December 22, 2008 02:37 PM Forum: Zeiss

34mm Zeiss Abbe

Posted By Larry Thaxton

Does anyone know the total number of 34mm Abbes Zeiss made in the last 20 years or so? I found one and am hoping to locate its twin for binoviewing and am curious what I am up against. Thank you!

December 23, 2008 04:44 PM Forum: Eyepieces

20mm Ortho Star Erfle Question

Posted By Larry Thaxton

Does anyone know the proper assemble for a 20 mm Ortho star Erfle? I picked on up on the "other auction site" and there is something amiss- the central 30% is pretty sharp but the outer 60-70% is extremely curved and anything but in focus. One of the lenses must be in incorrectly. Guess it is true, "You pays your money and you takes your chances."

April 25, 2009 09:29 AM Forum: Takahashi

Takahashi Family Portrait

Posted By Larry Thaxton

Well all three Tak fluorites posed for a picture:FS-152, FS-78 and FC-50.

April 25, 2009 10:14 AM Forum: Takahashi

Something not seen too often

Posted By Larry Thaxton

A friend in Japan ran across a Takahashi FC-50 package and I picked it up. Beautiful little thing with amazing performance- though it is only a 50mm scope! I read that only 100 were made, not sure if true but not many seem to pop up.