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EclipseView 114


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#1 MistrBadgr

MistrBadgr

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Posted 09 August 2017 - 09:20 AM

I have been using an EclipseView 114 for several weeks now, and thought I would comment on it.  This scope is the real thing for an enjoyable view of sunspots.  I have tracked several across the sun.

 

The film type filter is actually a three inch attached to an adapter cap that fits over the open end of the scope.  The adapter cap and both end rings are yellow.  There is the normal black cap that fits on the end of the 76mm reflector that covers the sun filter when not in use.  The scope comes with a normal black end plug also, like comes with the Lightbridge Mini 114, that can be used to plug the end of the scope if you do not want to keep the sun filter on the scope all the time.

 

The scope comes with both a normal red dot finder and a little sun finder.  The two use the same set of posts on the scope body.  You just switch out to which ever type of finder is needed at the time.  The sun finder is definitely handy and makes finding the sun much easier than having to wander around in the general area.  To me, having the finder by itself is worth the difference in cost between the Eclipse View and the LightBridge Mini versions.  Having the solar filter is simply "icing on the cake."

 

I have found a few drawbacks to the scope, but not very many.  The first is the yellow end ring on the open end of the scope is, naturally, yellow on the inside.  This is OK during solar viewing, but puts a yellow cast on the view when observing the Moon or with a lot of light pollution.  I took the yellow end ring off and spray painted (carefully) the inside of it with flat black paint.  The problem was solved and the ring ended up looking good with the inside surface flat black.  I want to point out that the regular Lightbridge Mini 114 has black end rings, so no problem with yellow in the view.

 

The focuser works very well with light weight eyepieces, which is what is intended for an entry level scope.  The eyepieces and Barlow are good for starters, but the optics of the scope are good enough to deserve using more advanced eyepieces, which are heavier.  The focuser draw tube is held in place with the rack and pinion on the bottom and a single plastic guide strip on the top.  Again, this is fine for the eyepieces that come with the scope and most Plossles.  For the heavier ones, I made the following modification:  After some trial and error, I found that a couple strips of a Kraft cardboard file folder (thin material), with strips of double sided clear tape could be placed around the inside of the focuser body with the original guide strip removed.  It took a bit of coaxing to get the draw tube back in, but once it went, the focuser works like a charm. 

 

The two strips are a little less than an inch and a half wide, but more than an inch and three eights wide.  The strips are four and a quarter inches long.  I put pieces of the double sided tape going across the width of the folder material with a little space between them.  It took seven strips of tape to go down the length.  If longer strips of tape are put down the length of the folder material, it has trouble bending around the inside of the focuser body and does not work well enough that way.

 

I have used my HD 60, and 82 degree eyepieces, even with long Barlow lenses successfully after this modification, up to 325X with no problems.

 

Doing a star test on the primary mirror, there was no sign of roughness.  There was a very slight difference in the image inside and outside of focus.  Judging by pictures in Richard Suiter's book on star testing, the mirror has less than a tenth of a wave length of under spherical correction....a very high quality mirror, which some consider to be a little bit better than a mirror with perfect spherical correction.  Having a tiny bit of under correction allows for a slight warping of the mirror as it cools down with a cooling outside temperature, making the image better.  Most of the time, the temperature at night is cooling down a little, so this kind of adjustment can be good.  As you might gather, I am very happy with this mirror.

 

Observation with upper quality eyepieces:

 

With a good collimation, I have been able to view Jupiter and see some mottling on the equatorial belts.  On Saturn, I could clearly see the Cassinni division between the A and B rings.  I could also see a strip of dark going across the planet body, which was either a darker band of gas or the rings' shadow.  For both planets were view best with an HD 60 4.5 mm eyepiece (100X) or the 9mm with a Meade #140 2X APO Barlow. 

 

The top magnification for me of the Moon was around 275X before I started loosing a noticable amount of light, contrast, along with things starting to get fuzzy. 

 

Looking at Epsilon Lyrae (the double double) which was easily split with this scope, I went to a high power using either the HD 60 6.5mm eyepiece and a self centering 4X Barlow, or the same Barlow and the 5.5 mm 82 degree 5000 series UWA.  Looking at the double with equal halves (stars C and D)  I noticed the space between the disks was greater than the width of a star disk...maybe 15 to 25% more.  Doing a little research, I found the separation between those two is listed as 2.3 arc seconds with it increasing.  It should be 2.4 in 2020.  With a little logic, and assuming my theories are correct, if the CD components were half as much, or 1.2 arc seconds, instead of 2.4, and estimating that the space between the disks now is around 20% wider than the width of a star disk, there should be around 0.1 arc seconds of dark space between the two disks with half the separation removed.  If I am correct, the scope is capable of splitting equal magnitude stars in the 6.0 range at least down to a separation of 1.2 arc seconds.  The mirror actually measures 111mm of clear reflecting surface diameter, once some space is allowed for the bevel around the edge.  This makes the Dawes limit for this size of good long focal length refractor to be 1.04 arc seconds.  A good long focus reflector can do this as well.  For an f/4 reflector, not really designed with splitting double stars in mind, getting down to 1.2 arc seconds is excellent in my opinion.

 

Other items:

 

In terms of simply moving the scope around to track double stars, I think a practical limit for this scope is somewhere around 300X.  Beyond that, it is simply too easy to make a mistake on which way I push the scope and loose the object.  However, that magnification is more than enough to reach reasonable expectations of the scope's capabilities.

 

Even though this scope seems to fight my light pollution well, when it comes time to take mirrors out for cleaning (in maybe a year), I will blacken the bevels around the edges of both mirrors with the side of the cone of a regular "Sharpie" marker.  This will help contrast a little bit.  I may also line the scope with light trap black flocking and blacken any internal items that need it.  Increasing contrast in the scope will help when finding and viewing galaxies and other dim objects.  This scope is definitely capable of finding all the Messier Objects with a dedicated search.

 

For me, being 6 ft 1 inches tall, I need a stool about 1 to 3 inches higher than whatever I am sitting on for the best eyepiece and red dot finder position.

 

This scope is definitely a keeper!

 

If I think of information to add, I will post to this thread.  Do not hesitate to ask questions if something is not clear or I did not mention something about the scope that interests you.

 

Thanks for reading!

 

Bill


  • RickScofield likes this
Bill Steen, Sky Hunters' Haven Observatory, Broken Arrow, Oklahoma

#2 E Sully

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Posted 09 August 2017 - 02:51 PM

Thanks for the review on what sounds like a versatile and affordable scope.


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