The Author's Astronomy Equipment

Version 1.3.4 of 10/2/2011-1:00 a.m.

The author's main equipment:

  1. A small Tasco D=60mm and f.l.=700mm, fortified with a 45 degree diagonal, a shorty Barlow 2x and a good zoom eyepiece 7-22mm, all from Apogee.
  2. A pair of giant multi-coated Apogee 20x100 binoculars.
  3. A pair of BCF Chinon 11x80 binoculars.
  4. A custom metal T-bracket[1] which can be used to align either pair with the Tasco or which can be disassembled to allow a simple altazimuth mount for the Tasco, alone.
  5. A professional stable Chinon tripod, capable of carrying weights of up to 20 kg's.
  6. A smaller Velbon photo tripod.

The author is a DSO hunter, so he is after light gathering power and portability. Magnification doesn't concern him much, but whenever the object requires it and the sky allows it, the Tasco with the good eyepiece can go up to reasonable magnifications such as 90x (without the barlow).

The metal T-bracket allows exact visual alignment of either binocular pair with the Tasco, which in turn transforms either pair into a giant finder for the Tasco. This way DSO's are located easily and then both views can be compared directly.

Here's how M22 looks through all three instruments, with digital sketches made in Photoshop from a real image of the object[2]:

Chinon 11x80 Apogee 20x100 Tasco@35x
M22 with 11x80 color M22 with 20x100 color M22 with Tasco @35x color
Tripod Tasco Apogee Side
All the equipment mounted, at head's height.
Tripod Tasco Apogee Diagonally
Side view.
Tripod Tasco Apogee Close
Closer side view.
Tripod Tasco Apogee Back
Close up from head's height.
Tripod Tasco altazimuth
The T-bracket disassembled and serving as an altazimuth mount for the Tasco alone.
Eye view @1x
Distant boat[3].
Apogee view @20x
Distant boat through the Apogee 20x100 pair.
Tasco view @35x
Distant boat through the Tasco with the Apogee zoom eyepiece, at 35x.
Tasco view @92x
Distant boat through the Tasco with the Apogee zoom eyepiece, at 92x.
edgar everhart binocular chair

The author's ideal setup: Armchair mounting demonstrated by Dr. Henry E. Paul. Mounting is controlled by convenient hand cranks. This "Sky Sweeper" chair was originally designed and build by Dr. Edgar Everhart, who used it in his discovery of the comet 1964h, which now bears his name[4]. The author's engineer assures him that he can build a modern version of this chair which can also be conveniently disassembled for transportation. The price he is asking: &Euro;1,400.


  1. Built by the author's Engineer, VRM-S. Kanellopoulos.
  2. More digital sketch representations of visual comparisons of all three instruments for some famous Messier objects can be seen here.
  3. View from the author's one past female companion's house.
  4. From page 199 of The Amateur Astronomer's Handbook, by James Muirden, 1974.