Somewhere in dry, hot, and dark West Texas was a gathering of premium 6-inch refractors. The site is known as Comanche Springs, a territory owned by Three Rivers Foundation, that will soon be home to four observatory domes. The shootout consisted of four popular 6-inch APO refractors from reputable telescope makers. Here are the contenders...


TEC160FL

Tak TOA150

Tak FS152

Stellarvue SV152
The July evening revealed a clear dark sky painted with Milky Way stars. It was a deceiving perception, for the actual seeing was not quite at the level we had anticipated. A tumultuous atmosphere affected us to the point where people were losing guide stars during imaging attempts.

Our initial target was Jupiter. We later moved to M22, M13, and finally, the Nu Scorpii double-double in Scorpius. What a treat it was. I don't own any of these refractors (I'm still waiting on a phone call from AP). I just own the mount/pier on which the TEC160 sat. My buddy Tim, who recently took delivery of the new TEC, hasn't received his new mount yet. After the comparison fun came to an end, we put a ST-10XE on the back of Tim's TEC160 and managed to get some h-alpha data captured of the Mexico region of the North American Nebula.

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This was my first time to see the new TOA150. Similar to the TOA130, this scope is built solid and is aesthetically stunning.


David gives a pep talk to the TOA just prior to the shootout.

So what were the results?

Below are photos of all 4 scopes setup in close proximity.

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The previous week we had another 6-inch shootout between three scopes. The same TEC160FL above, a new AP160, and a different Tak FS152. Clouds haunted us, but we did encounter a break long enough to evaluate the scopes while they were on Jupiter.