Tele Vue Starbeam With flip mirror for TeleVue refractors

$225.00

Availability: More on the way

The Starbeam non-magnifying red dot finder fits the clamshell tube ring of TeleVue refractors . . .
Our Product #: 3971F
TeleVue Product #: SFT-2003
 

Product Description

The Starbeam non-magnifying red dot finder for TeleVue scopes seems to project a 10 arc minute diameter ball of red light wherever your telescope is pointing at night, making it easy to quickly center the scope on planets and deep space objects. The Starbeam is normally used as a straight-through finder, similar to the heads-up display in a military aircraft cockpit. However, the Starbeam has a pivoting light-weight first surface flip mirror that also allows the Starbeam to be used as a straight-through finder, a right angle finder for observing at the zenith, and at any angle in between. This standard flip mirror (also available as an inexpensive retrofit for older Starbeams) makes the Starbeam a truly universal finder.

A removable black metal base channel on the Starbeam fits into a dovetail slot machined into the mounting ring of all current TeleVue TV-85, TV-101, TV-102, and Renaissance-101 scopes. Screws thread through the base channel and into the telescope mounting ring to hold the base channel in place. The black and metal finder itself then slips onto the base and is held in place by one large knurled knob. Azimuth and altitude adjustment knobs allow you to line up the Starbeam with your main scope optics.

An on/off switch and integral rotary brightness control allow you to match the finder brightness to your eye's dark adaptation. In addition, a rotary control in the side of the illuminator lets you gradually vary the blink rate of the illuminator from constantly on, to a rapid blinking, down to a slow half second on/half second off pulsing rate for more comfortable viewing. Uses a Duracell XL DL 1/3N lithium or equivalent battery (supplied, but not guaranteed by TeleVue to be at full strength).

Tech Details

Weight 14 oz
Warranty 5 years

Reviews

Review by:
While I found the finder to be pricey for a finder, it was one of the best non-magnifying finders I've used. The mirror is a great feature to use when hunting objects near the zenith. I do recommend adding the dew shield if you have nights with lots of dew. (Posted on 10/21/2019)
Review by:
You are paying $225 for a job that can be done for $15. It's a non-magnifying red dot finder.

So you don't have to bend over to look through it. If you are spending this much on a finder because you can't bend over to find something at the zenith, maybe you should just buy a small used Nexstar mount with a goto function.

However, the fit and finish can't be denied, and sometimes you want our accessories to be as nice as your scope. If you think it is good money, then more power to you. At the end of the day, it's your money. (Posted on 1/3/2019)
Review by:
Finally splurged for the Starbeam for my TV-85 and so far I am happy with it.

Before I was using a Celestron Starpointer Pro and got by fine with it (after modding the too-bright illuminator with some red tail light repair tape) but it was fairly dew-prone and ergonomically cumbersome, requiring removal each time I packed up for the night. Also, finding stuff near the zenith required getting off my observing chair and down on the ground, so I decided it was time for a Starbeam.

The design is very well thought through, and has been around for a long time. I really like being able to leave it attached to the TeleVue clamshell - scope fits nicely in the TeleVue bag the TV-85 comes with, as well as as int the Pelican 1510 case. The lens is well recessed in the housing, so it is much more resilient to dewing, and the 1/2 degree projected dot really helps get a sense of scale on what to expect at the eyepiece. This is the new version of the Starbeam, redesigned by TeleVue some time ago with some pros an cons. The added strobe is an excellent feature I find myself always using, as it saves battery and also gives you unobscured view in between the blinks, allowing to see the dimmest stars better. Frequency can be controlled with a separate small white knob on the side of the illuminator. However, the main "brightness" knob on the back illuminator feels more flimsy than that of the old model stainless steel illuminators. On a couple of occasions I found myself turning it the wrong way to turn it off, only to cringe at realization that I should be going the other way. So far so good, though time will tell if it holds up. Knowing that TeleVue has great customer service really helps! However, I knocked a star off for something that they could have done better.

Aside from the less robust illuminator knob, the thing is built like a tank, and a dream to use. The flip mirror is wonderful for finding stuff near the zenith, and alone makes this design far superior to all other red dot finders I used (except for Telrad which I absolutely love on my SCT, but is way too huge for a small refractor.) This finder does it's job really well, and in my opinion is the best option for refractors of all sizes if one is willing to pay a bit more for build quality, better features and superior ergonomics. (Posted on 10/11/2018)
Review by:
I originally purchased a Starbeam with flip mirror to replace the small optical finder on my Celestron C5+. I had tried a red dot rifle sight but found the dot way too bright and the field of view way too tight for use as a telescope finder. Not having seen a Starbeam prior to ordering, I had no idea how large it was in relation to other unit power finders. Mounted on my C5+, it was simply too large and I found myself on occasion bumping into it with my head when attempting to view through the telescope eyepiece.
Don't get me wrong, I really like the Starbeam. The build quality is much better than any other unit finder I have come across. It is made from machined aluminum and anodized black. It has a large 39mm aperture lens onto which a somewhat large (10 arc minute) variable power dot is projected. It is somewhat touchy to align, but once secured, I have not had to realign with the scope. I no longer use the Starbeam on my C5+. It has found a new home atop either my Celestron 8" or my Nexstar 9.25 GPS. I have absolutely no regrets on my purchase.

Sincerely
Rodney Sullivan (Posted on 8/4/2017)
How do you rate this product? *
Rating