I purchased this interesting accessory to record the 2003 Martian Opposition. It's not nearly as good as one would hope; but the Orion description is fairly accurate. The image scale from the eyepiece itself is about that of a medium power eyepiece - something in the 10-12 mm range. I used it mainly with my 7 inch f/10 Maksutov Cassegrain.
For the last several months I have been looking for a wide field telescope to complement my Starmaster. Since I’m still years out on the AP list, I decided on the NP-101 and placed an order through Anacortes. One week later the telescope, a Gibraltar mount and Star Beam was delivered.
The thought process that led to purchasing this scope started years ago at a lunch meeting of the Analemma society in Great Falls, where I was an invited speaker. Marty Cohen of Company 7 was talking about the steadily increasing demand for Astrophysics refractors, and the steadily lengthening wait lists.
Here with the tripod is fully extended, with the Synta 150 (6") f/8 refractor, properly balanced. The pivot point of the DEC axis with the tripod fully extended and pointed north is at 67.5" in height.
You can’t go to a star party these days without bumping into one of Coronado’s Hydrogen Alpha (Ha) Filters. All it takes is one look and your hooked. Seeing the solar chromosphere come alive in Ha light is thrilling. I have had the opportunity to look through and compare the 40mm, 60mm and 90mm versions as well as a stacked 40mm and a stacked 90mm. When it came time to purchase one, I bought the 60mm.
The Meade ETX-60AT digital, computerized, go-to, 60 mm telescope was recommended to me by a nameless, but respected, member of NOVAC, who said they were a lot of fun. However, my experience with it is that it is a pain in the neck that makes funny whirring noises in the dark and is much less useful than a decent pair of binoculars.
This telescope came delivered for $995. With all the features it proclaims, I was apprehensive to say the least. I have been both pleased and dismayed. I am going to divide up between OTA and Tripod/Autostar.
Some recent online comparisons between the Meade ETX90 and Orion 90mm Mak-Cass telescopes motivated me to capture my thoughts about another small telescope that warrants attention if you are looking for a inexpensive, but capable, grab-and-go telescope. Before diving into the details, I'll point your attention to Guy Brandenburg's review of the Meade ETX-60AT. Except for the obvious differences in aperture, I suspect similar comments could be made about the ETX90.
This is a 7.1 inch f/10 Maksutov Cassegrain manufactured by the Russian company Intes Micro. I purchased this scope from ITE Telescopes in February, 2003. It arrived a few weeks later after a stop-over in Jupiter, FL for a collimation and certification by Mike Palermiti. The scope is the standard coatings version with a certified final wavefront error of one-sixth wave and 0.7 arc second bench-test resolution.
This winter I decided to purchase a scope that I could use on my apartment balconies. My 5-inch f/8 Starfire was too large, there were too many stray reflections to use my 6-inch Newtonian on a regular basis and my 4-inch apo didn’t gather enough light for high power views of the planets. After reading about the Intes Maksutovs at the Earth and Sky Adventures web site, I decided to order the 6-inch f/12 MK66 model. I also ordered a 2-inch Intes Sital mirror star diagonal and a 2-inch coupling needed to attach accessories to the scope’s back plate.