My Current Telescope: AstroTech 111mm @ f/7 or f/5.6 with Astrotech Reducer. Focuser upgrade: Moonlite Large Format Crayford Focuser w/Stepper Motor.


This new and lighter version of the Astro-Tech AT111EDT refractor has: OUT OF PRODUCTION

• 111mm f/7 fully multicoated triplet apochromatic optics using an ED element and all Ohara glass
• a newly-designed dual-speed 2.7" linear Crayford focuser with 11:1 ratio fine focusing 
• both 2" and 1.25" brass compression ring eyepiece holders 
• two rotating camera angle adjusters 
• retractable lens shade/dew shield, with lock knob 
• long-lasting white paint finish with anodized grey trim 
• aluminum-frame hard case 
• two-year warranty

    With an aperture of 111mm (4.37"), this new and lighter version of the Astro-Tech AT111EDT ED triplet apochromatic refractor gathers over 18% more light than the more common size 102mm (4") refractors. Combine this extra light gathering with the Astro-Tech AT111EDT’s state-of-the-art optical multicoatings, and you have a scope that outperforms similar (but more costly) competitive 102mm and 110mm refractors – and at a price as much as $800 less than a similar competitive scope!

    This new version of the Astro-Tech AT111EDT uses the same premium Ohara glass in its apochromatic triplet optics as the original model, for the same premium image quality as the original 111EDT. Despite the fast focal ratio, and even at very high magnifications, the use of premium all-Ohara glass results in images that are essentially totally free of the annoying halo of unfocused violet light (chromatic aberration) that mars the bright-object images of lesser scopes,

    These exceptional optics are even more impressive when you consider the package they come in. The finely-machined scope is in a new and smaller diameter aluminum tube (114mm o.d. compared to 124mm). It has a new dual-speed 2.7" linear Crayford focuser with a microfine 11:1 fine-focusing ratio. The smaller diameter tube (and correspondingly smaller diameter lens shade) and the new focuser combine to reduce the 15 pound weight of the original 111EDT to the more convenient 11.2 pounds of this new version.

    The focuser can rotate a full 360° to put your camera or eyepiece in the most comfortable observing position. The supplied 2" and 1.25" eyepiece holders use non-marring brass compression rings that won’t scratch your eyepiece barrels. The Astro-Tech AT111EDT has a retractable lens shade with a lock knob to prevent slippage during use and comes in a locking aluminum-frame hard carrying case.

    This feature-laden 111mm Astro-Tech ED triplet apochromatic refractor is priced hundreds of dollars less than competitive 102mm and 110mm scopes. At the price, and for the exceptional performance, it is an absolute steal!

    Here are some comments about the AT111EDT from an owner, Joe Nastasi of Parallax Instruments. Joe is an experienced astronomer, well-known for making some of the finest cost-no-object large aperture classical Cassegrain and Dall-Kirkham Cassegrain optical tubes and equatorial mounts available to the amateur astronomer.

    “I was in the market for a portable, high quality apochromat for my visual planetary study and decided on the Astro-Tech AT-111. I was thrilled when Pete informed me that he had one in stock! Upon receipt of the instrument, I was impressed by the quite good looks of the telescope. After performing a quick star test, it was apparent the collimation was dead on. After performing numerous other tests, I must say that the triplet optics are of the highest quality with as near perfect color correction as I have ever seen. A few nights ago, I enjoyed a few hours of excellent quality seeing and atmospheric transparency. The detail visible on Jupiter was stunning to say the least. The instrument delivered exceptional contrast and sharpness with belts and zones clearly defined. The extremely difficult swirls and polar mottling could occasionally be glimpsed. Quite extraordinary for a 4.37" telescope. In addition, the standard camera angle adjuster is a real joy, especially when using a binoviewer. All in all, I’m very pleased with this telescope and can’t wait to get my hands on the 6" that's being considered." – Joe Nastasi, Parallax Instruments

Astro-Tech AT111EDT 111mm f/7 ED Triplet APO Refractor Specs

Telescope Aperture 4.37”
Telescope Focal Length 777mm or 624mm
Telescope Focal Ratio f/7 or f/5.6
Glass Type: FPL-51
Optical Tube Weight 11.2 lbs.
Tube Color or Finish Gloss White
Limiting Stellar Magnitude 12.7
Resolution 1.04 arc seconds
Highest Useful Magnification 222x


My Current WideField Imaging Telescope:
William Optics 81mm GT  f/6 or f/4.8 with Astrotech Reducer. Focuser upgrade: Moonlite Medium Format Crayford Focuser w/Stepper Motor.

The stunning new William Optics Gran Turismo 81 Apo is the new jewel of the apochromatic refractor world.
From the pristine white finish on the CNC tube to the elegant gold trim, this telescope has more than just good looks.
The new GT81 features a 3-element objective using high-quality FPL-53 extra-low dispersion glass that reduces any secondary spectrum to an unbelievable degree.

Optically Unbeatable
• Triplet air-spaced objective (FPL-53) in adjustable CNC machined ultra high precision lens cell.
• Extremely sharp with excellent color correction.
• Each lens is Fully Multi-Coated with a special super-high transmission coating (STM Coating) on all surfaces.
• This f/5.9 lens is ideal for astrophotography.

 

William Optics GT81 Refractor Specs

Telescope Series William Optics GT
Telescope Optical Design Refractor
Telescope Aperture 3.2"
Telescope Focal Ratio f/5.9
Telescope Focal Length (mm) 478
Number of Refractor Elements 3
Refractor Design Apochromat (APO)
Optical Coatings Fully Multi-Coated
Limiting Stellar Magnitude 12.2
Focuser Size 2"
Focuser Speed Dual Speed
Focuser Style Rack & Pinion
Telescope OTA Diameter (in.) 3.54 (90 mm)
Telescope OTA Length (in.) 17.32 (440 mm)
Telescope OTA Weight (lb.) 8.2 (3.7 kg)

Mount: iOptron CEM60


An extraordinary innovation in mount design...Now with a new payload!

This past year we introduced a new design concept -- the center-balanced equatorial mount (or CEM) called the ZEQ25. Now, we're proud to introduce the CEM60! -- with an increased payload of 60 lbs! The CEM60 puts the weight of the payload at the center of gravity allowing for greater natural stability. This makes the mount extremely light compared to its payload--a nice benefit when setting up at a remote site. And polar aligning is quick and accessible all the time since the polar scope is not blocked by the declination shaft.

The CEM60 is equipped with the most advanced GOTONOVA® GOTO technology, making it one of the most powerful and accurate GOTO mounts available. Its database includes over 300,000 objects. The other features include an adjustable counterweight bar, magnetically loaded gear system, gear switches on both R.A. and DEC axes, screw/worm type latitude adjuster and built-in or customized cable management system. The CEM60 - a new category (and payload capacity) of mounts for viewing and astrophotography.

Specs

Mount Center-balanced Equatorial Mount (CEM)
Payload 60 lb (27.2kg), exclude counterweight*
Mount weight 27 lb (12.3kg)
Payload/Mount weight ratio 2.22:1
Material All metal (except GPS cover)
Latitude adjustment range 0°~ 70°
Azimuth adjustment range ± 8°
Right Ascension worm wheel Φ146mm, 288 tooth aluminum
Declination worm wheel Φ146mm, 288 tooth aluminum
PEC PPEC
PE < ±5 arcsec p-p
Counterweight shaft Φ28x 450 mm Stainless Steel
Counterweight 21 lb (9.5 kg)
Mount base size Φ150 mm
Motor drive Stepper motor
Resolution 0.06 arc seconds
Slew speed 1×,2×,8×,16×,64×,128×,256×,512×,MAX(~3.75°/sec)
Power consumption 0.6A(Tracking),1.1A(GOTO)
Power requirement 12V DC 2A
AC adapter 100V ~ 240V (included)
Polar Scope AccuAlign TM dark field illuminated, 2 arc min
Level indicator Level bubble
Dovetail saddle 8” Losmandy/Vixen dual saddle
Hand Controller Go2Nova® 8407+ 359,000 objects database, star recognition
Meridian treatment Stop (0-15° pass), auto flip
GPS Internal 32-channel GPS
Autoguide port ST-4
Communication port Serial port
PC computer control Yes (ASCOM)
Cable management 4X USB, 2X DC12V (MAX 5A), 6P6C
Operation temperature -20°C ~ +45°C

CCD Camera: QHYCCD QHY10 Sold by Astrofactors in Plano Tx. USA

QHY10 is a 10 Megapixels APS-C size compact, light weight one shot color CCD camera. With Sony  ICX493AQA Super HAD technology and its two stage cooling system with the active cooling fan keeps the dark noise of the QHY10 extremely low. The 6.05um*6.05um pixel size is ideal for very high resolution deep sky imaging. The 400g weight and 63mm diameter make QHY10 very suitable for Hyper Star Imaging. The QHY10 is based on QHYCCD's high speed and low readout CCD technology. It will produce high SNR imaging for deep sky imaging. QHY CCD astronomical camera

QHY10 Specs

Sony Super HAD CCD sensor ICX493AQA
Total pixel : 3964 x 2712
Active pixels: 3900 x 2616
Pixel Size: 6.05um x 6.05um square
Effective sensor area: 28.4 mm diagonal
Color method: RGB BAYER film on CCD
Peak QE 60% green. 50% red and blue
Readout noise: 8-10 e- @600 Kpixel/s
System Gain: 0.7e-/ADU
Fullwell:45ke-
Support Binning: 1*1,2*2,4*4
Download speed: 18sec/4sec for full image
Preview speed: 1sec for 4*4binning image
One 2*2binning ROI mode to increase the focus speed
Microlensing on chip
ABG: -100dB
16bit ADC with CDS and Preamp
USB2.0 High Speed interface
Two Stage TEC, Low power consumptionBuilt in Active Fan
Two stage Cooling TEC
Maximum 40C below ambient with temperature regulation
Low Power consumption: 13Watt @ 50% TEC power 
Built in temperature sensor
Weight: 400g
Camera size   Diameter=63mm Length=129mm suitable for primary focus

imaging and Hyperstar
DC201 DC adapter & regulated TEC controller
USB2.0 High Speed interface
Guide port - built in Optic isolated guide port RJ11 6pin (ST4 type)
Fully sealed
Desiccant Silicon tube

Guider Camera: QHYCCD QH5LII Sold by Astrofactors in Plano Tx. USA

QHY10 is a 10 Megapixels APS-C size compact, light weight one shot color CCD camera. With Sony  ICX493AQA Super HAD technology and its two stage cooling system with the active cooling fan keeps the dark noise of the QHY10 extremely low. The 6.05um*6.05um pixel size is ideal for very high resolution deep sky imaging. The 400g weight and 63mm diameter make QHY10 very suitable for Hyper Star Imaging. The QHY10 is based on QHYCCD's high speed and low readout CCD technology. It will produce high SNR imaging for deep sky imaging. QHY CCD astronomical camera

QHY5LII Specs

Sony Super HAD CCD sensor ICX493AQA
Total pixel : 3964 x 2712
Active pixels: 3900 x 2616
Pixel Size: 6.05um x 6.05um square
Effective sensor area: 28.4 mm diagonal
Color method: RGB BAYER film on CCD
Peak QE 60% green. 50% red and blue
Readout noise: 8-10 e- @600 Kpixel/s
System Gain: 0.7e-/ADU
Fullwell:45ke-
Support Binning: 1*1,2*2,4*4
Download speed: 18sec/4sec for full image
Preview speed: 1sec for 4*4binning image
One 2*2binning ROI mode to increase the focus speed
Microlensing on chip
ABG: -100dB
16bit ADC with CDS and Preamp
USB2.0 High Speed interface
Two Stage TEC, Low power consumptionBuilt in Active Fan
Two stage Cooling TEC
Maximum 40C below ambient with temperature regulation
Low Power consumption: 13Watt @ 50% TEC power 
Built in temperature sensor
Weight: 400g
Camera size   Diameter=63mm Length=129mm suitable for primary focus

imaging and Hyperstar
DC201 DC adapter & regulated TEC controller
USB2.0 High Speed interface
Guide port - built in Optic isolated guide port RJ11 6pin (ST4 type)
Fully sealed
Desiccant Silicon tube

Focuser: MoonLite Model CFL Refractor Focuser and the RoboFocus Control Box

    

 

Moonlite CFL Focuser

The CFL 2.5" large format focuser is well suited for both imaging and visual use with its large 2.5" ID drawtube design and high pressure double bearing crayford configuration for extra lifting capacity. The focuser comes standard with our large 1.5" Tri-knob dual rate 8 to 1 reduction unit for great lifting capacity while retaining extremely smooth focuser ability. We added a new shaft lock system to the left knob allowing the focusers position to be locked using a micro compression ring clamp on the left knob. This type of lock does not push against the draw tube like other lock systems do. There is no image shift with this style of shaft lock system, perfect for imaging set ups maintaining critical focus. The focuser also comes with 4 different motor options. A DC motor version with Rigel hand controller for visual use, or our popular "High Res stepper motor option" with the choice of 2 different controllers for extreme imaging needs requiring very fine repeatability and temp compensation using any ASCOM software. More info is on the website with focusers for other types of the telescopes.

 

 

 

 

RoboFocus RF3 Van Slyke 

Van Slyke Engineering, (and other focuser manufacturers), obtains the RF3 motor directly from Technical Innovations and build into focuser as requested. The "Van Slyke version" includes all other parts needed to make up a complete RoboFocus System upon receipt of your new focuser.

Astrotech 2" Field Flattener 

 

 

Astro-Tech 2" Field Flattener Specs

Astro-Tech photographic field flattener reduces the normal field curvature inherent in all refractors to provide you with images that are sharply focused out to the very corners of your DSLR or large format CCD imager frame. Stars on your images look sharp and point-like all the way across the field. You don't have to worry about photos that are sharp in the center but out of focus at the edges. The field flattener also works surprisingly well with the 6”, 8”, and 10” Astro-Tech Ritchey-Chrétien astrographic reflectors.

Astrotech 0.8x Reducer/Field Flattener 

Astro-Tech 0.8x Reducer/Field Flattener Specs

Astro-Tech #ATR8 0.8X reducer/field flattener is designed for prime focus astrophotography with quality f/6 focal ratio apo refractors such as the Astro-Tech AT72ED and AT130 apo, it will also work well with Astro-Tech and other brand refractors in the f/5.5 to f/7 range that use a 2" focuser.

For example, the fully-multicoated Astro-Tech ATR8 converts the 430mm focal length f/6 Astro-Tech AT72ED refractor into a 344mm f/4.8 lens for faster and wider field astronomical and terrestrial photography, while the 777mm f/7 Astro-Tech AT111EDT converts into a 622mm f/5.6.

In addition to reducing the focal length of the telescope and thereby increasing the photographic speed, the ATR8 flattens the normal field curvature inherent in all refractors to provide images that are sharply focused out to the very corners of a large format DSLR chip. Stars look sharp and point-like all the way across the field in your images. You don't have to worry about photos that are sharp in the center and blurry at the edges.

The Astro-Tech ATR8 reducer/flattener fits 2" focusers. The 2" telescope-side barrel is threaded for standard 2" filters and has a beveled safety groove. The camera side of the reducer has standard 42mm T-threads to connect to a T-ring and camera body. A thread-on metal cover protects the T-threads when the reducer is not in use, while a slip-on dust cover is proveded for the 2" scope-side barrel. Back focus is 55mm from the shoulder of the reducer to the image plane, the standard spacing for 35mm and DSLR camera bodies. The image circle at the focal plane is 42mm in diameter

Orion T-Thread Spacer Ring Kit 

Orion T-Thread Spacer Ring Kit Specs

Use the Orion T-Thread Spacer Ring Kit to achieve proper spacing with astrophotography equipment and avoid fuzzy, out of focus images

Includes 5mm, 10mm, and 25mm T-threaded spacer rings - mix and match depending on your needs

Each ring features an easy-grip knurled exterior for convenient use

Glare-reducing threaded interior maximizes contrast

Made of rugged black anodized aluminum

All astrophotography equipment requires critical spacing in relation to the astronomical imaging camera so that proper focus can be achieved. Without correct spacing for your gear, your astrophotographs will most likely be plagued by fuzzy, unfocused stars and exhibit lackluster resolution. Finding the means to obtain just the right amount of spacing can be difficult to say the least. Our helpful T-thread Spacer Ring Kit includes a 5mm, 10mm, and 25mm spacer ring with male T-threads on one side, and female T-threads on the other, so you can mix and match them to achieve ideal spacing depending on the specific needs of your particular astrophotography setup. Each spacer ring features an easy-grip knurled exterior, and a glare-reducing threaded interior to maximize contrast. The black anodized aluminum spacer rings can also be used as extension tubes.

Any astrophotographer who uses off-axis guiders, focal reducers, coma correctors, field flatteners, adaptive optics guiders, or other imaging accessories needs the versatile and affordable Orion T-thread Spacer Ring Kit in their accessory case. Don't leave home without it!