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MOUNTAIN II StarFari 12,5inch

The 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 12" versions is possible to bring remote & high observing sites in reach. It is based on new structural design principles by using composite materials, high quality optical and mechanical components, and fasteners from anodised alloys, hazed titanium, stainless steel, and certain heavy duty industrial plastics. Single Arm OTA versus Truss Tube OTA was normally not a big discussion with portable reflector telescopes since the advantages achieved with a classic truss tube appear obvious. However, new workmaterials will offer smarter design options and lighter weight...  


Compact Dimensions, Light Weight, and High Luminosity

The New Cambridge Lightweight Telescope design offers
practical advantages:
  •  Very low weight
  •  Low static forces in the system
  •  Low inertia of the OTA (very helpful when observing moving objects)
  •  Ultra compact overall volume and size
  •  Great stiffness of the structural geometry
  •  Nearly zero temperature drift  
  •  No sensitivity against humidity in humanly bearable climatic condition

Both, single pole OTA AND truss OTA solutions are possible with this design. The
single pole version allows very quick set up, extending the 'real' observing time. 
Truss tube
versions are mainly meant for photographic applications & bigger apertures from 16". It is possible to install a dovetail adapter plate to attach the OTA to an equatorial mount. Also an optional Nylon fabric lightshroud can be customized for covering the truss tube.

This design performs best with fast optical ratios around F/3 - F/4  


This anti-vibration solution consists of two thin carbon fiber rods to attach to the pole and to the tube base and Alt wheel. It is stopping vibrations instantly. You don't need them if you observe with lower or mid magnification. However, it will stop vibration at high magnification. The obstruction (shading) caused from these thin Valien struts is neglectable.

 NCLT with Truss TubeSingle Arm Telescope



Focuser and Coma Corrector 

Lightweight Feathertouch Focusers 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, ideal with TRAVEL 16" Instruments, especially for fast ratios around F/3. 


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 the 12" 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 better than 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 experience may improve if you can lean back and relax your body.
We recommend a flat folding seat that supports your back like a deck chair.

extreme low altitude viewing observing deep to the ground observing in mid altitude observing higher

The instrument can be converted for high performance digiscoping and observing for wildlife and birding to catch the hidden scenes of nocturnal nature

A mirror telescope of 12" will generate brighter high resolution digiscoping footage in difficult light conditions

Observing Experience  

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

Young Observers

The center of gravity is very low so that the structure provides collimation-stable and vibration-free observing. 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 altitude of the object and the size of the optics and focal ratio. Of course, it is possible to put the scope on a higher level. Children love the 12" MOUNTAIN telescopes due to their low eyepiece position.  

KidsKids and MOUNTAINobservingSeeing the many 'balls' in space


Most observation is possible without ballast weight. However, the included water ballast system, or a plastic-encased dumbbell weight disc (from a gym shop) will relieve the 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 any ballast. About 5lbs ballast weight is enough for balancing 12" MOUNTAIN telescopes with heavy eyepieces plus coma corrector or even a camera. 16inch and bigger telescopes won't need ballast for most observing tasks. We used (donut shaped) water ballast bags for the 12" MOUNTAIN size. The eyepiece weight may be limited in rather low positions, but, typically, we do observe planets at such low positions with rather smaller eyepieces. The bungee counter system relieves the change of eyepieces without the instrument 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 monolitical F/4 optics in a MOUNTAIN 12" instrument.

A video showing how a 12" MOUNTAIN telescope moves

The LiteScope MOUNTAIN 12" travel telescope was selected as a 'HOT PRODUCT 2009' by
Sky & Telescope USA
Hot Product 2009
Copyright: 2021 Vivian Bock.  All rights reserved.
Revised: October, 2021
Information in this document is subject to change without notice.
Other products and companies referred to herein are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective companies or trademark holders.