> Teleport 10"
This happens every summer, I start to play around with the idea of selling my Teleport 10" Maybe it's because I'm bored with something that works this well, maybe I'm interested in flirting with backrupcy or maybe it's just the heat...
By Ray Lesch - 8/1/2004
I purchased the seventh Teleport 10" that Tom Noe (Texan extrodinaire) manufactured (#007). I had read in Amateur Astronomy about his being thrown out of a telescope competition because the judges were concerned that he might turn pro. Maybe you saw the article? At any rate, I figured that his work was certainly worth a look and got in touch. Tom is a man with a diverse background-like the rest of us he rides motorcycles, had a computer company, is a musician and has a son who is a symphonic conducter. Actually it's not too surprising to learn that the person who builds these telescopes is the way he is; a variety of perspectives had to be considered when designing this little beast. It had to be portable, it had to be strong and it had to provide images that would make it worth owning even if you had no intention of strapping it on to the back of your motorcycle and going to hear your son conduct... Tom touched all the bases and wound up with a homerun; this telescope looks like it was designed and built by "Q" for 007 on a slow weekend.
When you first meet a Teleport 10" it's easy to think you've acquired a dehumidifier; they're both about the same size (my experiece tells me that the Teleport is lighter) and shape. The Teleport has a lovely homemade, silver cover which, when removed and folded, can be velcroed to the mirror box. Remove the wooden top and velcro that to the opposite side. You next grasp the inside of the secondary cage and pull upwards. Presto-the odd little duckling has changed into a swan. This may have taken you 45 seconds. Tighten the knobs on the tripod-like legs that connect the secondary with the mirror box (I believe they're Bogen-like legs) and all that's left to do is collimate (I love lasers, I love lasers) and fold out the little finder which lives, when not being used, inside the secondary cage.
One would expect a telescope, which has a secret life as a piece of luggage, to have made some real compromises with what it's able to reveal. No chance. When Tom set to making these things he determined that the mirrors would be ground by Carl Zambuto and the secondaries supplied by Protostar. The result of this marriage are images that are magnificent. Using a TV 22 Panoptic, Saturn and Jupiter reveal bands and festoons galore. M13 looks like a 4th of July sparkler frozen in time and nebulae are gossimer ghosts who's appearances are easily observed. During one very late night observing session I thought I had "discovered" a comet in M46. This euphoria lasted until I took a second look and clearly saw the planetary nebula. The amount of magnificiation you can use with this thing seems to be dependent on the weather, how close you want to get and your wallet.
Shortly after receiving my Teleport I wrote Tom inquiring about having DSCs installed. "Can't be done!" was his reply. Tom never counted on the perseverence of a Long Island kindergarten teacher armed with a free weekend and a bottle of decent merlot. The DSCs were up and working by Sunday evening,leaving Tom to scratch his head and wonder about how New Yorkers approach problem-solving situations... Tom now offers DSCs on his scopes with a much nicer installation than I created (hey, mine works fine).
So, does the Teleport stay or go? I suspect that as I get older, I won't miss the 20"+ monster of my dreams. As an old(er) person I will pick up my trusty 007, not feel my vertebrae turn to oatmeal and head for the nearest field. This telescope is a lot like a very good friend.
Converstaions with a good friend are easy and filled with wonder, sometimes they're so easy that you forget how unique the relationship is. So it is with my Teleport. It is so very easy to set up, and the views are so delicious that I sometimes forget what an absolutely unique instrument I have. After a few nights under the stars I will quietly withdraw my ad, apologize to the people who have called and, with a broad smile on my face, take my friend and head off into the night. Maybe I'm growing up.