6 hrs 38 mins of the best skies in six months last night with m’new left eye – Thank You, Urania & Doc McG!
Vixen Space Eye 50m 50×600
This came in a larger box than the EduScience T700HD. Fat foam. The first fault we noticed was the objective – the objective is was not screwed down on ours and was out-of-the-box canted slightly. We removed it, checked for stray plastic or metal and reseated it.
The mount is all plastic, but not flimsy. It has built-in slo-mos which work well – they are small, short, smooth and work very well, giving about +/- 5° of travel. A knobbed bolt on each axis provides clutching – simple and effective. The tripod is well made, sturdy and stable when loaded with the 50m.
I don’t like the finder – one of those minimal diameter but focusable with fat crosshairs 25 or 28mm affairs. It does work when you get your eye jammed close enough. The top aiming screw hole arrived split to the back rim – awkward. It will probably be replaced with a low-end reddot.
Initially, the Vixen Space Eye 50m was a dog, optically, at night – just too dim – annoyingly dim even for a 50. The drawtube is baffled. The baffle opening is about 1/3 of the drawtube 0.965 diameter and on ours was located about 1/4 of the way in from the objective end. I haven’t done the math or a drawing, but the image roughly doubled in brightness when the baffle was removed.
The f/12 ratio, dimmish 50mm image and small image size (60x) with the 10mm EP kept colour to a minimum. Fringing was less than expected on Arcturus, Vega, Jupiter and Saturn. The star tests on Arcturus and Vega were unexpected – in and out were balanced and gave clean, distinct, clearly countable rings to six, with blurring of the inner two rings at seven. Very nice.
The EduScience 50×600
Optically, the Edu Science 50×600 was very close to the Vixen 50m. Star test gave the same ring counts but the in-focus set had a dim area around 01:30. But visually, it matched the Vixen 50m.
The mount was a simple all plastic AltAz and the tripod was wispish and slow to settle – why this package costs $20 more than the ~$70 Vixen 50m I have no clue.
The Edu Science Astro Gazer T700HD 70 was actually respectable, providing reasonable, stable views for it’s level. Good image, not dripping colour.
The Omni XLT 102 held up well against the f/11ED which help up well against the Orion XT8g – the latter tracked Jupiter dead-center for 3 hrs and then let me run thru the first 63 Messiers, most of which I could see
something of, and not a few that I could resolve bitsy teeny wee little stars in the globs. Three fails due to building or trees.
The Astronomics Astro-Tech 15mm Paradigm Dual ED was excellent in all the scopes, as was the Hyperion 5mm.
The Omni honestly seemed as colour-free as the Ascent on Jupiter and Saturn, but the Ascent showed the GRS and Cassini better. The AR102-L got a break, and the latest C-90 was not ‘on game’.
Mood music by Enya & Bowie.
Sybil sold her horse trailer, for which we had no horses, mules or donkeys, this a.m. She then lent me a pair of her Walmart readers and I can see up close! She’s GeNiUs!