Helios StarTravel 150 Refractor Telescope

I bought this 6″ short tube refractor second hand in October 2004. Since then I’ve fully flocked the interior of the scope tube, and have installed a Baader Crayford focuser (which is very similar to the better known William Optics version, before its recent redesign). The new focuser is much more precise and easy to use than the rack and pinion focuser the scope was originally fitted with. It also can be rotated to adjust the eyepiece angle, which is very useful when the scope is equatorially mounted.

I use the scope with my EQ-6 mount. When I upgraded the mount to use the wider “Losmandy” style dovetails I swapped the scope’s “Vixen GP” dovetail bar for a William Optics dovetail plate. This is a good match to the scope and it now feels much more secure.

Here’s the “business end” of the scope. Lovely big glass, but the anti-reflection coatings are clearly not as good as those on my SCT or my other refractors.

Large, short focal length achromats like this are ideal for wide field views of large objects such as open star clusters. With my 27mm Panoptic eyepiece I get nearly 2½° true field at around 28x magnification.