Antares 127mm Project: New Stuff
The holidays came and went, and despite relatively mild weather I've pretty much wussed out when it comes to observing with the hardware. However I have been stepping outside for short bursts to gaze upon the winter constellations (Orion, Auriga, Gemini) naked-eye from the deck. Model trains have been a distraction from astronomy lately, as I have built up a small collection of N-scale locomotives and rolling stock in anticipation of our move back to Closter and with it the opportunity to build a small layout in the garage there. But I've not forsaken astronomy, and along with the trains I've acquired a few little things from Orion for my Antares refractor.
- 2" Dielectric Mirror Diagonal - The Tele Vue Everbrite diagonal from my TV85 has been working fine, but I would rather not have to move it back and forth between scopes. This new diagonal was recently introduced, it appears to be the same Chinese OEM sold by other brands (Astronomy Technologies).
- V-Block Minus Violet Filter - Haven't really found fringing to be much or an issue with the Antares; the long (f9.4) focal ratio seems to alleviate most of it. But last time out I did notice a bit of a purple halo around brighter stars. I've been meaning to get one of these filters for a while - I blew my chance when Astronomics was clearing out their William Optics filters (I waited a few hours too long) - so when I saw the Orion filters on sale I jumped at it. From reviews on CN and elsewhere, the Orion V-Block is stronger than other filters at removing fringe (caused by chromatic aberration of achromatic lenses), but at the expense of introducing a yellowish tint. I purchased the 2" version, which will stay more or less permanently attached to the diagonal.
- EZ Finder Deluxe - Lord knows I love my Telrad, but the dang thing is just so goofy looking! This new finder has 4 selectable reticles, and looks like it's about 1/3 the size of the Telrad. Since the mounting foot is different than the stock Antares finder mount I had to order the optional mounting block; this will require drilling two holes in the OTA.