Vixen VMC110L modified Cassegrain OTA

By Steve Ringwood

Vixen_VMC110L_1412x1059What on Earth would 17th century observers make of today’s compact telescopes? There they were, struggling with ever-lengthening tubes so vastly prolonged that they required ship’s rigging to hold them fast; yet now a telescope of similar aperture, with a focal length of over a metre, can be folded into a tube barely more than a third of that.

This new grab ‘n go telescope is a modified Cassegrain bearing a 110mm primary mirror. This spherically figured mirror, in combination with the Cassegrain secondary, produces a focal length of 1035mm – making this folded system a very respectable f/9.4. It is therefore similar in ability to the ubiquitous f/10 SCT systems – apart from not having a (corrector plate) slab of glass in front to gather fresh water from our ever-drenching atmosphere.

The ‘user’ end features an integral two-port flip-mirror system – one for the observer and the other for a camera (the latter having a 42mm thread for T-ring fittings). Weighing just 4.6 lb (2.1 kg) with dovetail plate and finder, it will be no trouble at all for the average portable mount – or a well-padded backpack. With such compactness proceeding apace, how long I wonder before that backpack also contains a dehydrated up-and-over turret observatory (just add water)?

Price: £309

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