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Unboxing and first impressions of the AT6RC. I won’t make you wait with anticipation: This telescope looks awesome.
I’ve been looking at these Astro-Tech RC telescopes longingly for a few months now, but in the midst of taking a new job and moving 1000 miles from Seattle to Denver, a new telescope had to take a back seat until now. I’m actually still waiting for most of my possessions to be delivered to Denver, which includes my EQ Mount, so I haven’t had a chance to get this scope out yet. Still, here what I can say so far.
Wow. For the price, it looks like it’s worth every penny. I have been using a Celestron C6 SCT for my astrophotography, and this looks like a perfect replacement to eliminate the coma that’s present with the Schmidt-Cassegrain design. The C6 is a great visual scope, and served as a good starting point for my astrophotography, but this AT6RC looks like it will be the perfect next step, and for about the same money as the C6!
(Coma is an optical abberation that makes stars at the edge of the field stretch into tear-drop or comet shapes. RC designs like the AT6RC use hyperbolic instead of parabolic or spherical mirrors to eliminate this optical error.)
What you Get
There are no eye pieces or star diagonal – this is an imaging telescope designed for use with DSLRs, CCDs, and WebCams.
- 150 mm f/9 (1350 mm focal length) hyperbolic quartz-coated mirror Ritchey-Chrétien astrograph
- Front Dust cap
- 2″ Crayford focuser with 34mm of travel on a rotating ring with a 1:10 fine focus nob and focus lock screws.
- 1 1/4″ adaptor
- 1 – 2″ extension ring
- 2 – 1″ extension rings
- Vixen dovetail
- Finder shoe (no included finder scope)
Packaging & Delivery
The telescope arrived triple-boxed and very well packed. Astronomics (who by the way owns Astro-Tech) provided free two-day FedEx service, and I got email updates from FedEx when it was picked up and when it was delivered.
The telescope was wrapped in plastic inside form-fit styrofoam packing. This is perfect for shipping, not good for regular use, so I’ll need to figure out a case solution. Overall, the ordering, delivery, and packaging were all excellent.
First rate. Seriously, for the price of this telescope, you couldn’t ask or hope for anything better. The steel tube has a brilliant white finish, the the metal ends are a textured black. The inside of the tube has black baffles to prevent stray light – a feature you generally only find on more expensive instruments. The Astro-Tech logo and telescope information looks like it is also painted on nicely. Visual inspection of the primary mirror was pristine, just as I would have expected.
The dust cap has to practically be pried off due to the felt pads, but I’d much rather it stay in place than flop out.
I can’t wait for first light with this telescope. Look for a followup review in the future!