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MOUNTAIN II StarFari 12,5inch

NCLT - a Telescope 'to go' to darker Skies

'New Cambridge Lightweight Telescope' is a portable telescope design for Newtonian optics to access remote seeing sites with big optical apertures but less equipment weight and size to carry. Mountainbiking or hiking with the lightest NCLT 12" versions is possible and will allow to reach very dark or high level observing sites. NCLT is based on new structural design principles using composite materials and high quality attachment parts and fasteners from stainless steel, anodised alloys, hazed titanium and certain heavy duty industrial plastics. Single Arm versus Truss Tube was normally not a big discussion with portable scopes since the advantages, achieved with common truss tube constructions, appeared obvious. But the workmaterials for telescopes have changed and they will change further and so will the designs. The NCLT design in form of  the Single Arm version contains a very small number of parts, making the set up easy and quick!


Compact Dimensions, Light Weight, and High Luminosity

NCLT telescope design offers
significant advantages:
a) Reduced weight, lower static forces, and less intertia (e.g. when observing moving objects)
b) Increased stiffness, precision, and stability, providing best tracking performance
c) Reduced temperature drift and less sensitivity against humidity or liquid water in every climatic condition.

Single Arm Tube and Truss Tube are possible. 
Single Arm Tube version is very quick, allowing more 'real' observing time. Truss Tube Versions are mainly meant for photographic applications. It is possible to install adapter plates for equatorial mounts. That will lead to an extremely lightweight, though, powerful astro photography instrument incl. the option to use it as a travel telescope. NCLT works best at fast optical ratios around  F/3 - F/4 which is great for versatile set up/take down travel telescopes. The triangular NCLT geometry combines highest stiffness, lowest weight, and the least possible structural complexity of a Newtonian reflector telescope.

Valien  Stops Vibration

An additional truss structure solution is included with all NCLT Single Arm versions - Valien strutsIt consists of two thin carbon fiber rods to attach to the pole and to the tube base stopping vibrations instantly. You don't need them when you observe with lower or mid magnification, but it will help reduce vibrations at high magnifications.
The obstruction (shading) caused from the Valien struts is neglectable.


Focuser and Coma Corrector 

Lightweight Feathertouch Focuser from Starlightinstruments are meeting the requirements for visual and photographic purposes for advanced travel and backpack instruments in very fast F/3 telescopes. SIPS is a combination of an optical ParaCorr II Coma Corrector from TeleVue with an attached lightweight focuser. It is ideal with NCLT Travel Instruments for ratios around F/3. We use a special lightweight focuser in combination with the SIPS from Starlight Instruments.


For 12" F/3.5 instruments we recommend the lighter Baader MPCC in a HC-2 focuser.      

Iris Baffle, Dew Shield, Dew Heaters, and more Accessories can be installed or attached as Upgrades

Protection against Wind and Light 

Lightweight beach shelter tents are ideal to use with NCLT MOUNTAIN telescopes. Set up in minutes, they protect against straylight and wind while weighing only a couple of pounds. They are enhancing the contrast for deep sky observing with the low standing 12" MOUNTAIN instrument. Sitting on a mat leads to great convenience (vs. balancing on a ladder in the darkness). Sitting is also better as standing if you want max. visual sensitivity, comfort, and concentration for getting the best possible impressions of DS objects. A smart way of 'dome' observing with two shelter tents...

observing shelter against straylight and wind

Your visual observing techniques may improve when you can lean back and relax your body while you are 'VISITING THE SKIES'.
We recommend a folding seat that supports your back like a deck chair.

extreme low altitude viewingobserving deep to the groundobserving in mid altitudeobserving higher

NCLT can serve as a high performance digiscoping instrument for wildlife and birding to catch the hidden scenes of nature. 

A mirror telescope of 12" will generate better, brighter, and higher resolution digiscoping footage of
shy or even nocturnal animals.

Truss Tube

The siXalien truss tube is an optional assembly to fit on an NCLT telescope base to produce extra stiffness. It will work as best at F/4 to be balanced by using additional counter weight. Also the set up & take down and the packing/unpacking time may need a little longer as the single tube. For most visual observing tasks we recommend the single pole instruments. But the truss tube option will, basically, allow you more weight on top of the very light NCLT telescopes. Also an optional Nylon fabric lightshroud can be used for covering the tube. The truss tube version should be used with NCLT telescopes bigger than 16".

12 inch MOUNTAIN with Truss Tube

Observing Experience  

There is not much difference to tell to any normal fast ratio 12” Dobsonian telescopes and you will get the same performance as in any such good telescope depending on the mirror quality, observing skills, the performance of the eyes, and the available atmospheric seeing. The diffraction image caused from the two blade secondary cage is not striking - just a faint unidirectional spike pattern, unlike the most common radial spike patterns caused from the common 4 or 3 arm spider mounted secondary optics.

Young Observers

The center of gravity in the NCLT instruments is very low so that the structure provides collimation-stable and vibration-free observing but without the usual heavy chunky equipment to carry around. It will require a low observing position, e.g. to sit on a small chair, or on a mat on the ground, depending from the angle of altitude and from the size of the optics and ratio. Of course it is also possible to put the scope on a higher level. Children like NCLT MOUNTAIN telescopes due to the low eyepiece position. An ideal school telescope for young astronomers.

KidsKids and MOUNTAINobservingSeeing the many 'balls' in space

Most observing is possible without ballast weight, though the sand or water ballast system, or a plastic-encased dumbbell weight disc will relieve the strong bungee counter system, making it more convenient to balance the scope with heavy eyepieces. Normally, there is no need to change the counter weight when changing the eyepieces. Light or mid weight eyepieces do not require ballast. About 5lbs ballast weight is enough for balancing 12" MOUNTAIN telescopes with heavy eyepieces plus a coma corrector or even a camera. 16" and bigger telescope sizes will not need ballast for most observing tasks. We offer (donut shaped) water ballast bags for the 12" MOUNTAIN size. The eyepiece weight may be limited in rather low positions but you, typically, observe planets at such lower positions with rather small eyepieces. Electronic eyepieces or web cams allow viewing on screen or stacking images. The included bungee counter system makes eyepiece change easy, without the scope loosing its position. 
heavy eyepieces

A counter weight (5lbs) balancing a ParaCorr PLUS Ethos13 Eyepiece.
The bungee cord system allows
 fine adjustment. Here pictured with F/4 optics in a MOUNTAIN 12" NCLT instrument.

Here is a video that shows how a NCLT MOUNTAIN telescope moves

NCLT LiteScope MOUNTAIN 12" travel telescope was selected as a 'HOT PRODUCT 2009' by
Sky & Telescope USA
Hot Product 2009
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Copyright: 2018 Vivian Bock.  All rights reserved.
Revised: December, 2018
Information in this document is subject to change without notice.
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