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Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars216
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on September 10, 2003
The Telrad is an easy to use 1x (that is right one power) reflex finder. I use one with my Meade 8" LX200 telescope. The advantage of a reflex finder is that you can aim the telescope at the area you see with your naked eyes. If I had one of these finders when I started out with my first telescope, I would have spent more time looking at objects than looking for them. It can be used as a complement to the "minature telescope" finders, or with a "Go-To" scope as the only finder. How does the Telrad work? it projects three concentric rings of 4, 2 and half a degree on a transparent window that you look through. The key to using it is to point the telescope at a bright object, then align the reticle (rings) to be centered on the object, and then use the rings to point the scope where you want to observe. The biggest advantage is if you aren't on a target, you can see which direction you need to move the scope without having to make the mental calculation... is my image reversed/upside-down, etc.? The one drawback is that you can only use objects (stars) that you can see with the naked eye. That makes it less useful in light polluted areas. The one thing about the Telrad that is a pet peeve, is that it is large. Also, in damp locations, it is suseptable to dew. There are a number of simple solutions to this. Since installing the Telrad on my LX200, I haven't used the 8x50 finder that Meade sells as standard equipment.
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on February 23, 2006
I purchased the Telrad to add to an Orion Skyquest XT-8 Dobsonian scope. Given that the Dob mount is made for manual star hopping and tracking, ease of hopping around the sky is critical. The Telrad is fantastic!

I mounted my Telrad between the focuser and the finder scope and back just a bit. The Telrad allows you to easily find a bright star and locate other objects relative to it. The brightness of the red finder target can be adjusted easily.

All in all, this should be the first thing you add to a scope like this. It greatly enhanced my enjoyment of the scope and overcomes some of the inherent issues of using a Dob mount.
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on April 24, 2008
As many new astronomers have discovered, finding an object to look at can be the most difficult part in the hobby. Due to the small field of view most telescopes provide, a wider field of view "finder scope" (essentially a small telescope) is used in conjunction with the main viewing telescope in order to find the desired object(s) more quickly and easily. However, this may not provide enough assistance for the beginner and they become frustrated and lose interest.

This is where the Telrad, and other so called "Red Dot Finders", come in. It is not a telescope. It only projects a red dot, or in the case of the Telrad, a series of concentric red circles, into the sky, letting you know where your telescope is pointed without restricting your field of view at all. This provides you with a much better idea of where you ARE looking and helps your get your telescope pointed where you WANT to look. Just move your telescope with Telrad mounted to it until the red circles are projected over the part of the sky, or object, you wish to view and then look through the telescope eyepiece. More times than not, you will find the desired object within your telescope's field of view on your first try. It gets you "into the ballpark".

The Telrad can be adjusted left/right and up/down so it is aligned with the telescope it is mounted upon. This is critical and a good feature.

It runs on a 9v battery which seems to last quite a long time (battery not included). There is a switch which allows the user to dim or brighten the red circles, making them easier to see.

My favorite design feature of the Telrad is that it can be removed from the base (which attaches to your scope with double stick tape) so you can use the same finder on multiple scopes without having to buy a whole new finder. You just buy an extra Telrad Spare Mounting Base for each scope (trust me, once you get into this hobby, you'll end up with more than one!) and move the finder from scope to scope. Some folks don't like messing up their scope with the double stick tape. It depends on what is more important to you; easy to use telescope or pristine telescope finish.

Another good design feature is, unlike many of the other red dot finders, such as the Orion EZ Finder Deluxe Reflex Sight (my second favorite), the Telrad can be mounted to nearly any telescope.

The only drawback I can think of is that the Telrad is on the large side compared to other red dot finders. However, when compared to most finder scopes, it is on the small side.
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on January 19, 2015
I bought this to replace the red dot finder on my Astromaster 130EQ. That sight was hard to see, hard to aim, and hard to remember to switch off to save its button cell battery. I was able to easily remove that finder and attach this one to the main tube. What I like the most about this finder is that as I move my head, the target stays nearly in the same place, so I can more easily aim the scope. The "reticle" brightness is widely adjustable and runs on simple AA batteries. While I do wish the unit was smaller, it is surprisingly lightweight. The instructions recommend against storing the sight on the telescope, so I created a customer hardshell carrying case to store this and my eyepieces together. And like my eyepieces, I can move this to another telescope if I decide to upgrade.
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on September 23, 2010
Steve Kufeld took his place among the stars many years ago, but his contribution to the pursuit of astronomy will never be forgotten.

There are some things that someone really into skywatching needs to have. A planisphere, a decent pair of binoculars, and a red penlight will get you going, to be sure. Then after a while you might find yourself ready take the dive for a good telescope, and if you're on a budget you get the joy of deciding whether to get a smaller "go-to" scope or give up the electronics in favor of a bigger aperture, as in a Dob. Then if you're like me and you got a light bucket and find you have problems sighting through the tee-niny finder, well...take it from pretty much everyone who's posted to this product: The Telrad is just what you need.

It's simple. Mount it, align it, and you're in business. Sight in on what you're looking for through the Telrad and pow! There it is in your eyepiece. Yes, it really IS that simple. I've located lots of Messier objects with it I would've had fits with otherwise. And a lot of the work is done for you...just Google "Telrad Charts" and you'll find enough stuff--treasure maps, I call 'em--to keep you going for a lifetime or two.

Yes, it does fog when it's humid. So do the telescopes themselves. You learn how to deal with it, or you spend more money. I deal with it.

There you go. A genuine "essential". If you own a telescope, your enjoyment of it will increase exponentially with the purchase of a Telrad.
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on October 4, 2015
Used with Celestron 127EQ. This finder sight is awesome, best telescope upgrade yet! Near to impossible to locate objects with the stock scope, setup is a breeze just know that it's hard to see red rings in daylight, test at night. I don't think there is a better product out their period!
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on July 16, 2011
I used this for my last theatrical show as a spot light operator. Only needed to focus the target once and it stayed focused for the entire run of the show. Even when I changed the batteries every week for 4 weeks and even had to take it off of it's base twice to do some maintenance to the spot light, it never lost it's focused spot. Also, the dimming option was very useful when I needed to find my character in a black out so I can bump up with the lights. This Telrad has never let me down and would highly recommend it to other spot light operators. So far I have not had a single problem with it. and is alot better than the spot dot and other laser spots for spot ops.
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on March 6, 2012
I bought this because of the rave reviews here. It's not a bad finder, but it's not particularly good either. Might end up sending it back.

First off, the thing is bulky, REALLY bulky. It is actually larger than the (monster) optical sight I was replacing. It is also made out of a cheap brittle plastic. The glass window sticks out, and is not particularly well supported. First time out and I almost broke it bringing my 10" dob back through the garage door.

The second issue is that it has a narrower angle of view than some of my cheaper LED finders. This means you have to get more in line with the sight, which is a bit of a pain.

The final issue was the illumination control. the rings don't light up until the control is over 3/4 way to max. Then it gets bright ridiculously fast, and casts many extra rings at full brightness. I think they made a mistake when building it.

The final problem has to do with it being outside in the daytime. The manufacturer warns that sunlight shining on it can damage the unit. They couldn't improve the design to prevent accidental destruction?

On the plus side, the alignment mechanism is very well thought out. It was a simple matter to align the sight and it didn't require any tools. I also like the fact that the brightness control is a simple to use lever, and gives a solid click indicating it is on/off. Lastly, as someone who is forgetful I appreciate the fact that it uses two AA batteries instead of a lithium button battery.

Ir almost seems as if this unit was designed by two people. One was an astronomer/engineer and the other one was an idiot.

EDIT: Have been using this finder, and numerous others on other telescopes, for the last 3 months. This finder is growing on me, especially the not needing tools to adjust it. My listing of the drawbacks still apply, but the pluses have come to dominate over the minuses.
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on November 26, 2015
For learning astronomy this is a great accessory... check that -- essential gear.

Factory supplied finders are often like small 8x50 telescopes, often providing a cross hair reticle for centering on an object, but when used at night it's like looking through a mailing tube for a cat in a coal bin. Or a needle in a hay stack. High-powered binoculars can work better for finding things, but fall short on helping you position your telescope.

The Telrad is square and bulky, it provides NO magnification, it has a goofy dimmer switch for the illuminated reticle. It is not sexy looking taped to your telescope.

But it works fantastically. Reason 1) the unmagnified wide field of view means What You See Is What You Get (wysiwyg). And what you see now makes sense -- it matches your star chart/planisphere. Reason 2) the illuminated reticle (dimmable) enables you to center your telescope on your object easily, quickly.

This finder needs to be aligned just as any finder scope needs to be BEFORE viewing. Unfortunately the illuminated reticle is not visible for daytime alignment, so wait until dusk and pick a known bright star (Polaris, Altair, Vega, etc) or easy to identify object such as the moon, an evening planet, even a distant smokestack with blinking lights.

This Telrad is about the same size as the 8x50 finder on my Celestron C8.
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on October 30, 2012
Here's the short version: This finder scope is amazing and worth every penny.

Long version:
I got a Celestron 114EQ as a birthday gift and I could basically find the moon. Anything else was an exercise in patience rather than astronomy thanks to 'finder' scope on the 114EQ. The first time I turned on the Telrad I was dumbfounded by how much easier it was to operate and adjust. For anyone wanting to spend more time looking AT objects instead of looking FOR objects, get this finder scope. My backyard has several street lights shining onto it and I'm surrounded by pine trees that completely obstruct my line of sight. I have to frequently pick my scope up and move around to different parts of the yard for line of sight which previously killed the whole experience for me. But the Telrad lets me move anywhere, acquire my target in about five seconds and keep on viewing. If you're looking for a replacement finder scope you cannot go wrong with this guy.

Other thoughts:

The finder scope is large. Especially on the 114EQ the base will not fit on the tube without modification (the base is long enough that it has to cross over the tube mounting rings). I debated what to do but in my impatience I just used a miter saw to cut a section out of the middle of the base and put the two base pieces on either side of the tube mounting rings. The finder scope only attaches to the base at the very front and back of the base so I wasn't very worried. It worked fine. I believe Telrad sells risers and/or extra bases if you're worried about cutting the base due to space constraints.

Thankfully, the finder scope runs on AA batteries as opposed to the Klingon watch battery in the 114EQ's standard finder scope. Which is good because my standard 114EQ finder scope died in one night of use because I forgot that I left it on. The Telrad is much easier to check for on/off and the batteries are much easier to replace.

Before purchasing I read some complaint(s) about how the power switch arm for the Telrad has an unnecessarily long sweep, say 360 degrees, but you only get useful sight illumination out of the last <90 degrees. Even if you want to pick at straws and actually complain about this 'problem' after an hour or so of use I actually appreciated how faint you can make the projects site rings. Again, I live in the suburbs with several streetlights shining into my backyard but even after finding some shade and adjusting to as much night vision as possible you can really go after faint stars or planets by making the scope rings very dim and not overpowering your target.
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