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.