Equipment

Orion Funscope Astro Dazzle 4.5” reflector kit

22 November 2016 Steve Ringwood

Steve Ringwood appraises the Orion Funscope Astro Dazzle, an eye-catching 4½-inch (114-mm) f/4.4 Newtonian reflector on a tabletop Dobsonian mount designed for beginners. The pre-assembled instrument possesses an inherent simplicity that will not challenge, with an aperture that brings a wealth of astronomy’s best to the viewer, he says.

Equipment

Orion 60mm multi-use guidescope

3 September 2016 Steve Ringwood

These days, more is expected of a finder than to merely direct the main telescope to a celestial object of interest. This versatile 60mm f/4 instrument possesses a fine movement non-rotating helical focuser that has been designed to double as a traditional finder or guidescope with Orion’s StarShoot AutoGuiders, says reviewer Steve Ringwood.

Equipment

Vixen VMC110L modified Cassegrain OTA

7 July 2016 Steve Ringwood

Steve Ringwood appraises the VMC110L, a novel “grab ‘n’ go” modified Cassegrain telescope of 110mm aperture and 1035mm focal length (f/9.4) from renowned Japanese manufacturer Vixen. The instrument features twin 1¼” eyepiece ports — one of which can be used for imaging or photography — and an internal flip mirror system to quickly switch between the two.

Equipment

Altair Astro Solar Finder

14 May 2016 Steve Ringwood

There is a delicious irony that ‘finding’ the brightest astronomical object in the sky is associated with the greatest danger — if one were to attempt using a conventional finder to point a suitably filtered telescope at the Sun, that is. Altair Astro’s Solar Finder permits simple, safe and swift alignment of your solar telescope, says reviewer Steve Ringwood.

Equipment

Orion 3″ field flattener for EON 115/130 EDT refractors

30 April 2016 Steve Ringwood

Steve Ringwood reviews a dedicated 3″ field flattener designed for use with Orion’s EON 115/130 EDT refractors. One side of the field flattener threads on to the 3″ focuser, whilst the other offers a wide M48 thread that enables fixture of DSLRs, etc. without the vignetting possible with smaller M42 designs — particularly when deployed with full frame sensors.

Equipment

Vixen SSW Ultra Wide eyepieces

16 April 2016 Steve Ringwood

Vixen has introduced a remarkable looking 7-element ocular that yields an expansive 83° apparent field. Yet the optical somersaults entailed in doing so are achieved without harm to the final image, yielding a stellar field with sharp edge-to-edge field definition with no vignetting – even on instruments of low focal ratio, says reviewer Steve Ringwood.