#1  
Old 29-12-2023, 08:57 AM
The Mekon's Avatar
The Mekon (John Briggs)
Registered User

The Mekon is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Bowral NSW
Posts: 828
Beginners scope - Vixen D 60L

Thanks to the generosity of one of our members (Dave221), I recently came into possession of a Vixen SkyScope D 60L. This scope a typical 60mm beginner’s refractor and its type and ilk have been the subject of much criticism (see "Gift of a hobby killer" ) https://www.iceinspace.com.au/forum/...d.php?t=207831 in astronomy forums.
So after a few repairs I decided to test it out.
The tripod extends to a good height and makes the eyepiece reasonably accessible. The finder I lined up by day, and shows only the bright stars in the field which I estimate to be around 7 degrees wide. Once near the centre of the crosshairs, the object was then in the field of the 12mm eyepiece. I only used the 12mm .965” eyepiece which yielded 67x.
The mount is fitted with slow motion controls on both axis that worked very well.
First object was Jupiter, high in the north. Three moons easily visible, the fourth was no doubt transiting and I could not detect it. Four bands were easily seen and good contrast against the pale yellow of the disc. Focusing was not easy as every time I touched the focuser, the image shook. But at F13.3, there is plenty of depth of focus so the image was sharp and clear.
Next up a couple of double stars. Rigel is often thought difficult, but I have seen its fainter companion many times in a quality 60mm. And to my surprise I could see it also in this scope. Then pointed the scope at Achernar to view a nearby double P Eridani – sure enough the snake eyes pair was clear and split.
Finally onto M42, and despite the full moon rising . a good bit of the nebula was easily seen and to my surprise I could see the four stars of the trapezium – theta Orion!
These were just a few of the observations I made. A determined young beginner could easily do the same or better – it is only my years of observing experience that keeps me in the game.
In summary, I feel this type of scope has received too much bad press over the years. Sure my example was a “quality” 60mm – probably much better than the $60 to $100 items that appear on ebay, but the observations showed that with a bit of perseverance a 60mm can show many objects and hopefully lead to further interest in seeing more with a better instrument.
This scope is bound for a family with a young daughter - I am hoping it sparks that interest.
Attached Thumbnails
Click for full-size image (Vixen 60L.JPG)
145.8 KB49 views
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 29-12-2023, 10:15 AM
bojan's Avatar
bojan
amateur

bojan is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Mt Waverley, VIC
Posts: 6,986
John,
I am not surprised at all: my first telescope was 45 mm FL 700 mm "Vega" telescope, with 15.5 mm (Huygens) eyepiece.

I had it for years, and I enjoyed many hours looking at many objects over that time.. I also used it as a finder for my 10" Newt..

For today's "standards" this scope could be considered as "hobby killer", but if the infatuation with hobby is strong enough, nothing can kill it

I would have still used it today, but unfortunately it was lost in Balkan's wars 35 years ago, the only part survived is back end and eyepiece . I still can't get over it...

It is shown here on my balcony in Zagreb in late '60-ies (last century!), used for Sun image projection.
Attached Thumbnails
Click for full-size image (Vega45mm.jpg)
200.6 KB41 views

Last edited by bojan; 30-12-2023 at 02:30 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 30-12-2023, 10:55 AM
JeniSkunk's Avatar
JeniSkunk (Jenifur)
Registered User

JeniSkunk is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2018
Location: Brisbane
Posts: 372
My secondary telescope is a type, that in the late 1950s/early 1960s, would have been classed as a "hobby killer".
It's a Royal Astro Optical 50mm x 500mm f10 tabletop refractor.
Lining up objects in its rifle-sight finder, is something I have not been able to successfully master.
Viewing objects in it though, they're always nice and sharp.

The big problem with modern "hobby killer" refractors isn't ever how small and dim they are.
It's how poor, cheap, and nasty, their manufacture, and quality is.
The old 1950s/1960s "hobby killer" "department store telescopes" are precision instruments, in comparison to their present day equivalents.

The Vixen D-60L has great optics and is an excellent classic scope.
It's one I'd love to find, someday.
Attached Thumbnails
Click for full-size image (Early 1960s RAO 50x500 f10 tabletop refractor.jpg)
81.3 KB40 views
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 31-12-2023, 04:02 PM
The Mekon's Avatar
The Mekon (John Briggs)
Registered User

The Mekon is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Bowral NSW
Posts: 828
Thanks Bojan, Jenifur,
It is notable that we all started with a table top refractor. Mine was a 30 x 40mm bought from an optometrist store!
I remember the Royal Astro 50mm, it was a nice instrument - a quality one for its time.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 01-01-2024, 09:58 PM
JeniSkunk's Avatar
JeniSkunk (Jenifur)
Registered User

JeniSkunk is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2018
Location: Brisbane
Posts: 372
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Mekon View Post
Thanks Bojan, Jenifur,
It is notable that we all started with a table top refractor. Mine was a 30 x 40mm bought from an optometrist store!
I remember the Royal Astro 50mm, it was a nice instrument - a quality one for its time.
My first, and main scope, is my SkyWatcher Heritage P130 collapsible tabletop Dobsonian, 130mm x 650mm f5. I've owned it since mid 2018.
I got the RAO a bit over a year after getting the SkyWatcher, when an IIS user put the RAO up for grabs in the IceTrade Classifieds. At $200, it was simply too good an offer to pass up on.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT +10. The time is now 02:13 AM.

Powered by vBulletin Version 3.8.7 | Copyright ©2000 - 2024, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Advertisement
Bintel
Advertisement