Sunday, December 29, 2013

Goodbye to the AT72ED

Two years ago I purchased a used AT72ED. The scope I wanted was the AT65EDQ, but it was too pricey for my budget.

The AT72 was an able performer when paired with the Orion Field Flattener for Short Refractors (see my Andromeda Galaxy image in this blog post. I didn't care for the mounting foot, but it was easy to replace with rings. The focuser was no Moonlite but it held my heavy CCD + Filter wheel without problems. If it had a fault it was a little blue haloing on brighter stars. (I can't be sure if that wasn't my fault for not being a diligent focuser.)

Eventually a local club member decided to part with his AT65 and I was able to pick it up for not much more than the AT72 cost me. This made the AT72 expendable and I put it up for sale. I let it sit idle for a while on the club's merchandise forum. Finally this fall I listed it on Cloudy Nights and it sold along with the FF. The new owner is interested in using it to get into wide-field DSLR astrophotography, for which it's wonderfully suited.

The AT65 has been great this fall for chasing down the larger Astronomical League Bright Nebula objects. I recommend it to anyone who wants to get into imaging without spending a lot on an expensive telescope.

One of my telescopes is becoming something of an orphan. My old ShortTube 80, originally purchased as a travel scope to take to the 1998 Solar Eclipse in Aruba, doesn't have a role any longer. I'm holding onto it for now because it's still a good travel scope, and it's great as a guide scope. The Orion mini-guider has replaced the ST on my refractors, but I'm uncertain if the little scope will work well with my C925. That determination will have to wait for the summer when the weather is better.

Speaking of the weather, it's not been helpful. I got the usual fall head cold a couple of weeks before Thanksgiving. Then after the holiday the weather turned cold (frequently going sub-zero). I can handle temperatures down to around 10 degrees F, but zero is outside my optimal range of operation. Cold and Clouds have continued all December. I'm hoping for a better 2014!

Oh yes, one more thing. Astrobin did a major reworking of their site code and all my image links are now broken. I'll be fixing them as time permits.