My New Grab-and-Go / Sunspot Scope


Roy Diffrient
 

See the photos -- Basically, it's an Explore Scientific ED 80 FCD-100 APO-triplet 80 mm f/6 refractor, with a StellarVue 9X50 RACI finder, laser pointer (Amazon) and Nexus II DSC with a DiskMount DM4 alt-az mount on an ADIRpro Contractor model portable surveyor's tripod with thread converter by David Wright.  It's quickly convertible to sunspot mode, as shown, by swapping in the 1-1/4" Herschel Wedge (Lunt Solar), Televue Sol Searcher sun finder, and Svbony eyepiece extension (Amazon) with polarizing filter (from Lunt, brightness adjust by rotating the polarizer/extension).

I should have done this years ago.  This little scope does more than grab-and-go of course - double stars to wide angle, limited on deep sky by the small aperture of course, but the optics are excellent.  The telescope rings are 90 mm GRUS (Amazon) with 14 tapped holes in each ring - very handy.  I wouldn't recommend the laser in VB, but I'm careful with it, and it works great here in the rainforest to eliminate contortions during alignment.  It's mounted on a short rail between the rings with a quick-disconnect offset flashlight mount (Amazon).  It's coaxial with the telescope within 1 degree, so no alignment needed, and the beam is visible in both finder and telescope.  Thanks to Kent, Mark and David for some good ideas and developing this stuff over the last several years.

Roy


Ian Stewart
 

Beautiful!

On 9/16/2022 1:38 PM, Roy Diffrient wrote:

See the photos -- Basically, it's an Explore Scientific ED 80 FCD-100 APO-triplet 80 mm f/6 refractor, with a StellarVue 9X50 RACI finder, laser pointer (Amazon) and Nexus II DSC with a DiskMount DM4 alt-az mount on an ADIRpro Contractor model portable surveyor's tripod with thread converter by David Wright.  It's quickly convertible to sunspot mode, as shown, by swapping in the 1-1/4" Herschel Wedge (Lunt Solar), Televue Sol Searcher sun finder, and Svbony eyepiece extension (Amazon) with polarizing filter (from Lunt, brightness adjust by rotating the polarizer/extension).

I should have done this years ago.  This little scope does more than grab-and-go of course - double stars to wide angle, limited on deep sky by the small aperture of course, but the optics are excellent.  The telescope rings are 90 mm GRUS (Amazon) with 14 tapped holes in each ring - very handy.  I wouldn't recommend the laser in VB, but I'm careful with it, and it works great here in the rainforest to eliminate contortions during alignment.  It's mounted on a short rail between the rings with a quick-disconnect offset flashlight mount (Amazon).  It's coaxial with the telescope within 1 degree, so no alignment needed, and the beam is visible in both finder and telescope.  Thanks to Kent, Mark and David for some good ideas and developing this stuff over the last several years.

Roy


Kent Blackwell
 

It's jewel-like. I can tell you based on what I've seen with Mark's 5" Explore Scientific "FCD100" glass, his FCD100 is every bit comparable optically to a Tele Vue, TMB or a Takahashi refractor.
Roy, those rings are so pretty I ordered a set for my 80mm, replacing the clamshell it came with. I had to order a different finder shoe to mount on the rings, but it's on the way.
Having a scope which sets up in about the same time as it takes to insert an eyepiece is a real godsend on nights that just aren't good enough to set up a large telescope. 

Kent


jimcoble2000
 

Less is More!

I too now have a small older 80mm from Stellar View serial number 000295. There is a lot to be said for a simple set up. I don't think there really is a pure grab and go scope as things seem to always get added on.

The sun could care less about aperture and everything is big so resolution is not critical.

You have a nice set up. Your scope is excellent and for those nights that surprise you it is nice to just grab it and go outside. There is no end to objects within even an 80mm range.

 Oh and those perfect pin point stars....

On Friday, September 16, 2022 at 01:38:15 PM EDT, Roy Diffrient <mail@...> wrote:


See the photos -- Basically, it's an Explore Scientific ED 80 FCD-100 APO-triplet 80 mm f/6 refractor, with a StellarVue 9X50 RACI finder, laser pointer (Amazon) and Nexus II DSC with a DiskMount DM4 alt-az mount on an ADIRpro Contractor model portable surveyor's tripod with thread converter by David Wright.  It's quickly convertible to sunspot mode, as shown, by swapping in the 1-1/4" Herschel Wedge (Lunt Solar), Televue Sol Searcher sun finder, and Svbony eyepiece extension (Amazon) with polarizing filter (from Lunt, brightness adjust by rotating the polarizer/extension).

I should have done this years ago.  This little scope does more than grab-and-go of course - double stars to wide angle, limited on deep sky by the small aperture of course, but the optics are excellent.  The telescope rings are 90 mm GRUS (Amazon) with 14 tapped holes in each ring - very handy.  I wouldn't recommend the laser in VB, but I'm careful with it, and it works great here in the rainforest to eliminate contortions during alignment.  It's mounted on a short rail between the rings with a quick-disconnect offset flashlight mount (Amazon).  It's coaxial with the telescope within 1 degree, so no alignment needed, and the beam is visible in both finder and telescope.  Thanks to Kent, Mark and David for some good ideas and developing this stuff over the last several years.

Roy