Telrad Reflex Red Dot Finder
One of the first gadgets I acquired is my Telrad reflex red dot finder. I was experiencing difficulty locating objects in the sky, mainly because I haven't learned every star visible yet.
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I know the general position of the objects and can star hop between bright stars, but looking through the finder scope dramatically increases the number of stars visible and the finder scope projects an inverted view to your eye - up is down and left is right. I rapidly got confused, lost my way and lost my patience.
The red dot finder works by superimposing an electronic cross-hair over the sky (which is not magnified, you just look through a small piece of glass) and it makes star hopping that much easier by limiting to eye-visible stars only. The cross-hair has the added feature of being able to measure the distance between stars. The inner circle has a diameter of 1/2 degree, middle of 2 degrees and the outer circle has a diameter of 4 degrees. A regular finder scope can still be used to pinpoint accuracy even further with its magnification.
The red dot finder attaches with its own base which can be stuck to the telescope tube with some double sided sticky tape. When not in use it can be removed from the base for safe storage. It needs to be aligned to the telescope, the same as any other finder scope and is very easy to do by adjusting three set screws near the viewfinder.
The device works brilliantly and the cross-hair has a variable brightness control, however, I feel the unit is a bit bulky and could have been made a lot smaller, given that there is a lot of unused empty space inside (as shown in final picture).
Last updated on: Tuesday 20th June 2017