TPO 12" F/4 Truss Tube Imaging Newtonian
TPO's 12" Truss Tube Imaging Newtonian Reflector is a splendid example of a broad aperture, high speed imaging telescope ideal for wide field of view Deep Space astro imaging. It is fully compatible with DSLRs and large format CCD cameras alike.
This 12" Truss Tube Imaging Newtonian was designed not only as a premier quality deep sky imaging instrument, but also to be fully capable of imaging and viewing objects within our own solar system. As the AT12INT’s large secondary mirror has been optimized for full-field photographic illumination, solar system visual contrast will be somewhat reduced compared to a longer f/ratio reflector with a smaller secondary. Yet even so, with minor adjustments it can perform just as splendidly in highly detailed planetary or lunar imaging as it does by nature in deep sky imaging.
Still, it's clear this scope is at it's absolute finest when used for deep space astronomy- whether visual or imaging, as it excels in both when it comes to the farther and fainter reaches of the cosmos. With its highly polished and finely coated internal optics it promises truly high quality in it's specialization, and due to that same quality it can also boast a high degree of adaptability when even minor accessories are applied to shift things more towards the closer reaches of space. All in all, this is a stellar choice for any astronomer, especially those interested in imaging.
Top Notch Optics
This TPO 12" Imaging Newtonian boasts truly high quality optics which are the core of it's sheer capabilities in most astronomical fields. At an extremely broad 12" aperture and a blazingly fast for that aperture F/4 focal ratio, it's quite the beast of a scope. Both internal mirrors, primary and secondary, are ground and polished under computer control for guaranteed diffraction limited performance then coated with 96% reflectivity enhanced aluminum, and overcoated with a protective layer of silicon dioxide (quartz) for long life.
A Solid Body
This 39.5" long 12" wide optical tube uses carbon fiber truss tubes and CNC-machined stainless steel and aluminum hardware. Both the primary and diagonal mirrors have built-in light shields on the inside of the truss tube assembly to block ambient light. he two front truss-tube mounting rings that form the diagonal mirror cage have a maximum diameter of 15.75". The two rings holding the carbon fiber tubes that form the primary mirror housing have a maximum diameter of 19.25". The carbon fiber truss tubes that form the primary mirror housing and connect the front and rear sections of the optical tube have a very low thermal coefficient of expansion. This keeps focus changes (due to tube contraction when the temperature drops during an exposure) to an absolute minimum.
Focuser and Other Accessories
This Truss Tube Optical Tube comes with several accessories as well. First and perhaps foremost, is a 2" dual speed linear bearing Crayford focuser. This heavy duty Crayford focuser has a 2” accessory holder, with a 1.25” accessory adapter. Both have non-marring compression rings. The focuser has dual-speed focusing. There are two coarse focusing knobs. One knob has a smaller concentric knob with a 10:1 reduction gear microfine focusing ratio. This provides exceptionally precise image control during critical imaging. All focus knobs are ribbed, so they are easy to operate, even while wearing gloves or mittens in cold weather. As an added feature to improve on the basic Crayford design, the focuser implemented with this Truss Tube features a polished stainless steel drive rail that runs the length of the underside of the drawtube. he focuser’s stainless steel drive shaft presses on this drive rail to move the focuser, rather than having the hard steel drive shaft press directly on (and wear out) the softer aluminum drawtube as with conventional Crayford focusers. This grants the focuser a far longer lifespan than a normal Crayford due to greatly reducing the wear and tear suffered.
The steel drive in question rides in a self-lubricating track that runs almost the full length of the focuser body. The drive rail and its attached drawtube are thereby supported over most of their length at all times, rather than by a conventional Crayford focuser’s two sets of small contact area roller bearings. This system distributes the drive force evenly over the entire drawtube, without concentrating it on a few small contact points. The result is a very rigid drawtube with essentially zero flexure and no wear (much less flat spots or uneven wear) on the focuser drawtube. The focuser drawtube has 51mm (2") of travel. Focusing scales on top of the focuser drawtube are marked in inches and millimeters to make it easy to return to the approximate correct focus when setting up to image or observe each night.
Another fine accessory included with this scope is the 8x50 finderscope that is, as usual, standard to all TPO Imaging Newtonians. This straight-through achromatic finderscope has a dark crosshair and a spring-loaded quick-release mounting bracket. It also has a luxuriously comfortable 13mm of eye relief. To focus the finder, loosen the trim ring behind the objective lens cell, screw the lens cell in or out to focus, and tighten the trim ring to lock in the correct focus.
Convenient Mounting Plates
Two 17-5/16" long Losmandy-style D-plate dovetails are installed on the AT12INT. One is used to mount the AT12INT on any equatorial mount of your choice that has a sufficient payload capacity to carry the 51 lb scope and any imaging accessories you might add. The second is available to mount a photoguide scope or other accessories. Because of the 51 pound weight of the AT12INT, plus the weight of your ancillary camera equipment and any photoguide scope, installing the AT12INT on a German equatorial mount with a 90 pound or greater payload capacity is recommended. Such mounts include the 90 pound capacity Celestron CGE Pro and the 100 pound capacity Losmandy HGM Titan. We provide several such mounts and numerous others capable of sustaining this splendid scope's hefty weight!
All in all...
Why not treat yourself then? This is definitely one of the better available scopes on the market right now, with a sturdy and dependable body, the finest of optics, and high quality built in accessories. You'll definitely be happy with your purchase of this stellar example of an optical system, whether you intend to use it as-is for your adventures in the deepest, darkest reaches of the cosmos available, or make some minor changes for a view closer to home.
Manufacturer Product Number: AT12INT