Telescope Loaner Program

Telescope Loaner Program Form

Our telescope loaner program makes available telescopes for members and future members who would like an introduction to telescopes or want to see what kind of telescope would fit their needs. The program also provides an outreach for members who don’t actively observe but still would like a telescope for travel or for special events like eclipses and comets. For any questions or details not listed here, contact the Telescope Loaners Coordinator.

 

Telescopes Available

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Meade ETX 90mm Maksutov-Cassegrain
We have two of these compact telescopes. They are excellent for planets and stars, and good for deep sky objects. A nice telescope for travel. This telescope can also serve as a 1250mm telephoto lens for a DSLR camera.

Mount
The tripod has an equatorial tilt bar and the mount is motorized with tracking in RA. The telescope has a control paddle for slewing in RA and Dec (see image).

Specs
90mm f/14, 1250mm FL.

Eyepieces
Various.
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Meade 390 90mm Refractor
This telescope is typical of what beginners buy as a first telescope, often from a department store; it has that ‘classic’ look. However, the optics on the Meade 390 are excellent and probably surpass the ETX 90 Maksutov-Cassegrain (also in our loaner program) in image quality because the Meade 390 has an unobstructed primary. The telescope is simple to use, it is great for taking to the cottage and setting up on the deck and looking at the Moon and brighter planets (Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn) at night and birds and landscape during the day. This particular model has been re-mounted on a EQ3 equatorial mount for a much more sturdy system than what is often provided with inexpensive department store type telescopes. If you want to discover what you can see through a small telescope before you buy one for your kids for Christmas, try this one out first. It comes with a variety of eyepieces.

Mount
Metal tripod and manual equatorial mount.
Specs
90mm f/11, 1000mm FL.
Eyepieces
Various.
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EfstonScience Newstar 120mm Refractor
This achromatic telescope is good for all around observing.

Mount
Metal tripod and motorized equatorial mount (no GoTo).
Specs
120mm f/8.3, 996mm FL.
Eyepieces
Various.
tl_kidscope_6_inch_newtonian
KidScope 152mm (6″) Newtonian
This telescope, designed and built by the Edmonton Centre, features an excellent 6″ mirror made by master mirror maker Barry Arnold. Several of these telescopes were made for use by youngsters, hence the name “KidScope”, and they are extremely durable and easy to use. But they are not just for kids, observers of all ages can view many celestial objects.The telescope is powered by a rechargeable battery and a charging unit, so all that has to be done to charge the battery is to plug the unit into a standard wall socket. However, it is advisable to have access to a 120 volt power supply via an extension cord or a 12 volt DC power tank and an inverter when observing because the battery may not hold its charge for long.

NOTE: The two boxes in which the telescope is packed are quite heavy and probably need two people to carry to the observing site. The big box weighs about 16kg (35 lb) and the small box weighs about 7kg (15 lb). One person can assemble (and disassemble) the telescope in less than 10 minutes.

Mount
Metal tripod and motorized equatorial mount (no GoTo).
Specs
6″ f/5, 750mm FL.
Eyepieces
25mm (30x), 15mm (50x), 8mm (94x)
Note: Only one of these telescopes is available in the loaner program.
tl_celestron_6seCelestron 6SE 152mm (6″) Schmidt-Cassegrain
This telescope combines the classic heritage of the original orange tube telescopes with state-of-the-art features including a fully automated GoTo mount with database of 40,000+ celestial objects, automatic location and tracking of objects, and Celestron’s latest star alignment technology StarSense. StarSense gets your telescope aligned and ready to observe in minutes all by itself.

Unique single fork arm design and sturdy steel tripod all break down into separate components for easy transport and quick assembly.

Mount
Metal tripod and motorized, single-arm, Alt-Az mount.
Specs
6″ f/10, 1500mm FL.
Eyepieces
Dedicated Celestron Accessory Kit with 6 Plossl Eyepieces: 32, 25, 17, 13, 8, 6 mm,2X Barlow, and 7 Filters: orange, blue, yellow, red, light green, green, moon.

NOTE: This telescope can be borrowed only by RASC Edmonton Centre members.

Pakan 152mm (6″) Newtonian
Former Centre member Randy Pakan built this scope from scratch including the Telrad. Randy was a prolific telescope maker and this was the last of his collection. The telescope scope has a 6″ f/4 primary mirror made by Peter Ceravolo, also a former Centre member. Because of its short focal length, the telescope has a relatively low magnification and wide field of view making it ideal to view deep sky objects like galactic star clusters, the Andromeda galaxy and Orion Nebula, but not so useful for small targets like planets. The telescope rides quite low to the ground, making the eyepiece easily accessible for small children. The Telrad finder makes pointing very easy.

Mount
Wooden dobsonian mount. Not motorized.
Specs
6″ f/4, 610mm FL.
Eyepieces
24.5 mm Meade Super Wide Angle, magnification 25X
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Omnicon 515S 152mm (6″) Newtonian
This telescope, made by Sky Instruments Vancouver, has the identical aperture and focal length as our 6″ KidScopes (described above). However, the optics are mounted on an EQ5 mount with manual controls making this system substantially lighter in weight than the KidScopes. The right-angled finder has a large 50mm aperture with a 200 mm focal length requiring its own 1.25″ eyepiece; hence, the magnification of the finder is adjustable.

Mount
Metal tripod and manual equatorial mount.
Specs
6″ f/5, 750mm FL.
Eyepieces
Various.
tl_meade_lxd_goto
Meade 20cm (8″) LXD55/75
This telescope is a Schmidt-Newtonian LXD-55 optics design mounted on a LXD-75 motorized German Equatorial Mount which is computer controlled using Meade’s AutoStar system. This telescope has been upgraded with a JMI Event Horizon Dual-Speed SCT Focuser that can accommodate 1.25 and 2-inch eyepieces. If you are thinking of purchasing a fully automated telescope, then this is the system you should borrow if you first want to obtain some experience with a serious amateur telescope with GoTo system.

NOTE: The LXD-75 mount requires 12V DC power in order to power the RA and Dec motors and the Autostar hand controller. To power the telescope, you can use either the battery pack and holder that requires 8 (user supplied) D-cell batteries, or the Meade #607 cigarette lighter adapter that requires a (user supplied) car or a (user supplied) 12V DC power pack.

Mount
LXD-75 Motorized German Equatorial mount, Meade AutoStar GoTo.
Specs
8″ f/4, 812mm FL, 8×75 Finder
Eyepieces
Various.
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Coulter 25cm (10″) Newtonian
This large telescope is excellent for deep sky objects, easy to star hop, wide field of view, good optics, good for deep-sky. Has a Telrad finder. This telescope was donated by Chantal and Richard Perry.

Mount
Wooden dobsonian mount. Not motorized.
Specs
10″ f/6, 1220mm FL.
Eyepieces
Various.

Telescope Lending Policies

Lending Period

The normal lending period is one month.

Cost

Members: FREE
Non-members: FREE + $40 refundable deposit. Please bring exact change. The deposit is refunded if the telescope is returned on time and in the same condition as when it was borrowed.

Care of Telescopes
Telescopes are finely tuned precision instruments. Care should be taken when using, storing, and transporting a telescope. Please allow optics to dry thoroughly before capping and storing, store in a dry and secure location. Provide cushioning when transporting and make sure that optical components are sealed.

We attempt to keep our loaner telescopes in good shape and will not knowingly lend a telescope which has mechanical or optical defects. However, please do not attempt any maintenance on the loaner telescopes or their components. This includes optical cleaning, optical alignment, or disassembly of the telescope or its components telescopes in any way. If there is a performance issue, please inform the Telescope Rentals coordinator.

Telescope Safety
Telescopes can provide hours of enjoyment and enrichment when used properly to explore our universe. HOWEVER, never point a telescope at the Sun unless it is properly filtered. The same rule applies to the finder. For safety reasons, the RASC Edmonton Centre does not provide solar filters with their loaner telescopes as incorrect usage or damaged filters can lead to irreparable eye damage. The Edmonton RASC Centre will not be held liable for any damages caused by pointing a loaner telescope at the Sun or careless use of a loaner telescope.

Pick-Up and Drop-Off
Telescopes are lent from our storage locker at Affordable Storage located at 10301 104 St NW, downtown Edmonton. There is free parking at this facility. Send an email to the Telescope Rentals coordinator to make pick-up and drop-off arrangements. Time arrangements are limited to the hours of operation of Affordable Storage. Please bring exact change for the deposit, if required.