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Thread: Minor Frac Modding

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    Default Minor Frac Modding



    Well, I've been bleating about my new fracs for a bit. I'm really enjoying these two scopes (ES AR127 and Orion ST80), especially this week as the sky has permitted me some yard time. The transparency has been sub-par, but at least I'm catching some photons.



    Anyway, the 8x50 straight through finder on the AR127, while a clear and quality finder scope, is still, by design, what not_Fritz as appropriately termed a "vile instrument of torture."

    Nothing like hunkering down, cranking the neck at an odd angle, and trying to star hop backwards with the darn thing. It had to go, and quickly.

    As for the ST80, I really dig this little scope. But, after enjoying the nice smooth operation of the Crayford focuser on my dob for the past couple of years, and the nice Crayford on my AR127 (especially the fine focus option on both), the R&P on the short tube left something (well, a little tiny bit of something) to be desired.

    Fortunately, my mother was kindly generous and gifted me with $200.00 US in cash for both Christmas and my birthday. I went browsing, shopping, and comparing, and finally settled on a GSO 8x50 RACI, a GSO 2" Crayford focuser, and a Rigel QuickFinder for these scopes. All three ordered and promptly shipped by Agena Astro.

    I received the RACI and the focuser yesterday and quickly swapped out the OEM parts prior to last night's observing session. The sizing chart that Agena has posted on their website allowed me to choose the proper focuser, and it easily mated to the back of the Short Tube.



    I'm still using the little straight through finder on this scope as the stalk on the bracket is longer than the ES version, thus I don't need to bend quite so awkwardly with that one.

    As for the RACI on the AR127, I was able to utilize the finder rings that came with the scope. The GSO RACI just barely fits (not as long as the OEM finder), but it's quite workable and adjustable.



    The RACI makes star hopping so much easier with this setup. I'm a happy camper. The Rigel QuickFinder should be here tomorrow, and I'll get that mounted onto the AR127 as well.

    I was going to do a little grab n' go wide field observing tonight with the ST80 on my Cube-G mount, but alas, the wind and clouds said no.

    Anyway, the Short Tube 80 looks a bit ridiculous with the ES 82° 24mm hanging off the back.



    Now I just need to get myself another 2" diagonal so I'll have one for both scopes.
    Bryan
    Scopes: Apertura AD12, RACI/Telrad; ES AR127, RACI/Rigel QF, Twilight II; Orion ST80, Twilight I; iOptron MC90 Mak, Cube-G Mount; Meade Telestar NG60
    Eyepieces: GSO Superview 30mm; ES 70° 25mm; ES 82º Series; GSO 9mm Plössl; Zhumell Z Series 5mm; Vite Aspherics 23mm, 10mm, 4mm; Orion Expanse 20mm, 9mm
    Binoculars: Pentax PCF WP II 10x50, Bresser Corvette 10x50, Bresser Hunter 16x50 and 8x40, Garrett Gemini 12x60 LW, Gordon 10x50
    Observing: Herschel Tallies: H1 = 400/400 H2 = 252/400 H3 = 149/300; 2,349 observations of 1,438 objects; Led Zeppelin


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    Default Re: Minor Frac Modding

    Short Tube 80 looks a bit ridiculous with the ES 82° 24mm hanging off the back
    LOL yea it is almost as big around as the tube!

    Anyhow yea I cannot stand straight through finders. I have a couple bobbing around in spare parts boxes
    Scopes: Home brew 6" Dob, Orion XT8G, Orion 130mm APO Triplet, Orion 8" f3.6 astrograph, atop a Orion Atas pro AZ/eq-G - Guiding: Orion 60mm f4 scope, Orion 'Star Shoot' autoguider camera, PHD2 software - Cams: Orion MP5 planetary ccd, Cannon Rebel SL1 (EOS 100D), BYEOS software, ATIK 383L+ Processing : Regisax, Deep Sky Stacker, Star Tools Assistant: One very large cat


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    Default Re: Minor Frac Modding

    I actually like straight through finders. But I've never used a RACI. So maybe ignorance is bliss in my case.
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    Eric

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    Default Re: Minor Frac Modding

    Quote Originally Posted by Kolchak357 View Post
    I actually like straight through finders. But I've never used a RACI. So maybe ignorance is bliss in my case.
    I think a lot of it is what one is used to. I started off (with serious observing) with a RACI, thus the ST's seem awkward to me, especially since the business end of the refractors can get low to the ground. You may find a RACI similarly awkward.

    It's a wonder my brain doesn't melt. Right angle, correct image in my dob finder, upside down and backwards in the dob eyepiece, then go to backwards in a straight through to upside down with the refractor. Then trying to keep all that oriented and star hop with an atlas.
    Bryan
    Scopes: Apertura AD12, RACI/Telrad; ES AR127, RACI/Rigel QF, Twilight II; Orion ST80, Twilight I; iOptron MC90 Mak, Cube-G Mount; Meade Telestar NG60
    Eyepieces: GSO Superview 30mm; ES 70° 25mm; ES 82º Series; GSO 9mm Plössl; Zhumell Z Series 5mm; Vite Aspherics 23mm, 10mm, 4mm; Orion Expanse 20mm, 9mm
    Binoculars: Pentax PCF WP II 10x50, Bresser Corvette 10x50, Bresser Hunter 16x50 and 8x40, Garrett Gemini 12x60 LW, Gordon 10x50
    Observing: Herschel Tallies: H1 = 400/400 H2 = 252/400 H3 = 149/300; 2,349 observations of 1,438 objects; Led Zeppelin


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    Default Re: Minor Frac Modding

    Mental gymnastics... its good for you
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    Scopes: Home brew 6" Dob, Orion XT8G, Orion 130mm APO Triplet, Orion 8" f3.6 astrograph, atop a Orion Atas pro AZ/eq-G - Guiding: Orion 60mm f4 scope, Orion 'Star Shoot' autoguider camera, PHD2 software - Cams: Orion MP5 planetary ccd, Cannon Rebel SL1 (EOS 100D), BYEOS software, ATIK 383L+ Processing : Regisax, Deep Sky Stacker, Star Tools Assistant: One very large cat


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    Default Re: Minor Frac Modding

    I have two straight through correct image finders on either side of the focuser on a reflector with an equatorial mount that work extremely well. For most of my small refractors, I have settled on 6X30 RACI. With larger scopes and with the little Infinity 80 so far, I have been using red dot finders. I also really like Amici type diagonals on refractors. You might think about one of those for your ST 80.
    bladekeeper likes this.
    Bill Steen
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    Default Re: Minor Frac Modding

    Great looking set up Bryan!

    The wind got me tonight too... turned the dob into a blessed weather vane. First time I've ever missed the old dob's Teflon bearings. So much for catching Mars & Neptune together.. tomorrow is suppose to cloud up, praying for a little luck.

    I believe that at least 80% of the fun of the ST80 is modding it. The GSO focuser is on mine as well & the "vile instrument of torture was the first thing to go. It absolutely
    cracks me up that we will spend more money modding the scope than it took to acquire it. (THANKS MOM!) Mine has the focuser, a red dot & a home made solar finder. The flocking is still on the
    shelf waiting to be installed. If you think the 24mm looks funny try picturing a 14mm 100 in it or better yet a Nikon hanging off the back. The only place I "shorted" the 80 was the
    diagonal. It lost the WO I bought for it and got the ES that came with the 127. You'll like the GSO focuser - especially the ability to rotate if you ever go EQ on a mount.

    It's a wonder my brain doesn't melt. Right angle, correct image in my dob finder, upside down and backwards in the dob eyepiece, then go to backwards in a straight through to upside down with the refractor. Then trying to keep all that oriented and star hop with an atlas.
    I always hated the straight through that came with my first scope, an XT8. Couldn't find my fanny with both hands an a road map. Funny that bothered me so much yet moving around in the
    EP of the Dob was always like breathing.

    For the 127? Just have the Scope Stuff ES to Synta adapter on the way so the RACI can me mounted. I've already got 2 of them and didn't see a need for a 3rd - probably the first
    time ever being sensible since getting back into the game. Other than a sticker I put on it no plans for mods.... yet. Probably an Ortho EP first.... Baader or Kokusai Kohki ?

    Glad you are enjoying the new toys.

    Here's to windless clear skies!

    SKE
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    AD10- 9X50 RACI Red Dot, AR127 & ST80 Twilight I & SW AZEQ6 GT Mounts
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    Default Re: Minor Frac Modding

    Quote Originally Posted by MistrBadgr View Post
    I have two straight through correct image finders on either side of the focuser on a reflector with an equatorial mount that work extremely well. For most of my small refractors, I have settled on 6X30 RACI. With larger scopes and with the little Infinity 80 so far, I have been using red dot finders. I also really like Amici type diagonals on refractors. You might think about one of those for your ST 80.
    Thanks Bill! I'll have a look at the prism diagonals.

    Quote Originally Posted by sketrip View Post
    For the 127? Just have the Scope Stuff ES to Synta adapter on the way so the RACI can me mounted. I've already got 2 of them and didn't see a need for a 3rd - probably the first
    time ever being sensible since getting back into the game. Other than a sticker I put on it no plans for mods.... yet. Probably an Ortho EP first.... Baader or Kokusai Kohki ?

    Glad you are enjoying the new toys.

    Here's to windless clear skies!

    SKE
    Thanks Steve! I've been meaning to whup on over to ScopeStuff and check on the ES to Synta adapter and keep getting side tracked with forum posts. I'm just happy AF is afloat again. Heading to ScopeStuff right now...
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    Bryan
    Scopes: Apertura AD12, RACI/Telrad; ES AR127, RACI/Rigel QF, Twilight II; Orion ST80, Twilight I; iOptron MC90 Mak, Cube-G Mount; Meade Telestar NG60
    Eyepieces: GSO Superview 30mm; ES 70° 25mm; ES 82º Series; GSO 9mm Plössl; Zhumell Z Series 5mm; Vite Aspherics 23mm, 10mm, 4mm; Orion Expanse 20mm, 9mm
    Binoculars: Pentax PCF WP II 10x50, Bresser Corvette 10x50, Bresser Hunter 16x50 and 8x40, Garrett Gemini 12x60 LW, Gordon 10x50
    Observing: Herschel Tallies: H1 = 400/400 H2 = 252/400 H3 = 149/300; 2,349 observations of 1,438 objects; Led Zeppelin


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    Default Re: Minor Frac Modding

    Nice

    Abb
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    Telescopes: Celestron Omni XLT 120, Explore Scientific AR102, Orion ST80-A Refractors; 8" Skywatcher Dob; Coronado PST. EP's: ES 4.7, 6.7, 11, 18 and 30mm 82° EPs; Baader 24mm 68°; Meade 8-24mm Zoom. Other: CG4 + 16" Orion Pier Extension; Celestron 15x70 binos; Kendrick Solar Filter; etc

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    Default Re: Minor Frac Modding

    Great upgrades! 2" focuser will do ST80 justice.
    Prism diagonals require extra focuser travel, which might be an issue with short tube refractors. It could not get my 120st to focus with prism diagonal.
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    Scopes: Celestron 8" SCT F10, ES 127mm CF APO F7.5, Orion 120ST/F5 Achro. Mounts: ES Twilight I, Bresser EXOS2, Orion VersaGo II. Binos: Orion 10x50, Celestron 8x42. EPs: TeleVue: Radian 3mm, Plossls 11-15-20-32mm, 2x barlow; ES: 82o 4.7-6.7-8.8-11-14mm, 68o 16-20-24mm; Baader: Classic Orthos 6-10-18mm, Aspheric 31-36mm; Celestron: 0.63 reducer, X-Cel LX 5-9-12-25mm, Luminos 7-10-15mm; GSO SV 42mm. Filters: Zhumell: UHC, OIII; Baader: UHC-S, M&SG, CB; Orion: SG, H-beta; Lumicon: OIII, H-beta; DGM: NPB.
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