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Thread: Help spending tax return on a new scope/ AP related

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    Default Help spending tax return on a new scope/ AP related



    I have been doing AP for about a year. The last 4 months with a CGEM mount and a AT66ED. The scope is fine for wide angle shots, which I do like a lot. My primary issue with the scope, the focuser likes to slip at higher angles, and may even be failing completely. I use a 450D as my primary camera, and a ZWO 120MC as my planetary camera. The ZWO will be the autoguider Cam in the near future.

    I do have a 10 inch dob, but I am spoiled by not having to hunt stuff down

    I am trying to figure out what would be the next scope to get. Not opposed to picking up one used either. Below are my thoughts. Top price range would be ES127 at 1899 ish, brand new. I am leaning towards either one of the ES scopes. They seem to review well. But not sure how well I could get planets with it.

    ATRC 6
    A Cass of some sort C6 or C8
    ES102 or 127
    Imaging Newt by AT
    Last one is a WO 110 Doublet that can't seem to sell local.

    My primary objectives are in this order are Messier imaging for the near future, Planetary imaging, and then last visual with my 6 year old son who loves looking thru the scope.

    I can AP planets with the AT66ED, at 3 X barlow, which I have done in the past. Not bad, but not great either.

    Any opinions would be great. I know there isn't a scope that will do it all.

    Ron
    CGEM, Apertura AD10, AT66ED,Telrad, 2" ES 20MM 100 Degree FOV, 2", Superview 30mm, 1.25", Super-Plossl 9mm Canon 450D and ZWO 120MC
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    Default Re: Help spending tax return on a new scope/ AP related

    Ron,

    I'd buy a nice focuser for the AT66ED. Note that you would also be in the same boat if you buy the AT6RC. The AT6RC would have some advantages over the C6/C8 in that you would never have to worry about dew and I bet you can pick one up used for $300. I love my Astro-Tech's (I have an AT90EDT, AT6RC and an AT8RC) but they all pretty much require you to buy a focuser. I highly recommend Moonlight - MoonLite Telescope Accessories .

    I think it probably goes without saying that a tax refund means you're giving the government an interest free loan. I'd change my deductions/exemptions and keep more of my money.

    Dan
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    Dan Crowson - O'Fallon MO

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    Default Re: Help spending tax return on a new scope/ AP related

    Nothing like a bit of tax advice! (It's a national sport in France.... :-)

    I second Dan's advice to 'pimp' your existing scope before upgrading. I have three Moonlites though and deeply regret not getting three Feathertouches. Worth the extra tax-refund :-)

    /Jesper
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    Default Re: Help spending tax return on a new scope/ AP related

    ES makes great scopes and a 127 would give you a lot more aperture. For planetary imaging, having a longer focal length is better. That said, it definitely doesn't mean that you can't do planetary imaging with a shorter focal length scope if you have a Powermate.

    This image was done with my ES80mm Apo (480mm focal length) with a Powermate 2.5x. (/w Powermate 1200mm focal length)



    I have a 5x Powermate too, but it's overpowered for my skies.

    Understand, this image probably could have been better. I'm not very good at planetary imaging and as noted my skies are not the greatest for doing planetary imaging.

    Dan is right about needing to purchase a focuser for the ATs. That wouldn't be the case with the ES scope as mine has no trouble holding my DSLR or my CCD with filter wheel.

    For planetary imaging with a scope that isn't a refractor, most of the time you really need a scope in the 11" range to get top notch results. It doesn't have to be that large with a refractor due to how they work, but as I noted. For top results, you will want a longer focal length scope for planetary.

    If you're looking for a new scope in the sub-$2k range. Your best bets would be a smaller RC (6"?) with upgraded focuser or a refractor. IMO, (due to the focuser issue) you get more bang for the buck with the refractor. That's just my opinion though.

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    Default Re: Help spending tax return on a new scope/ AP related

    Humm... The 80-102 would be a very minor step up in terms of benefit to you when compared to the AT65EQD you have. You would want to go to the 127mm at least to go deeper on the majority of those smaller Messier objects. However for planetary you want focal length. The best compliment to that AT would be an 8" Edge HD from Celestron with the focal reducer. To that I would add, if you can afford it, the ES 102mm just because it is such a great scope. Barring that the 80mm Aluminum tubes are on sale right now for $650 so the Edge, plus focal reducer, plus the ES will put you at right about $2k and give you a nice brace of scopes to work with the caveat that the 80mm will be very close to the AT but "faster" in terms of f/stop.
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    Default Re: Help spending tax return on a new scope/ AP related

    I haven't been able to find too many images posted by you, but given the few samples found (and your Sig's Equipment List), you may want to spend that Tax Refund on some "Accessories" before committing to a new Scope.

    Suggestions:
    AutoGuider rig for existing refractor (at least the Finderscope to use with your ASI120) or piggyback/side-by-side mounting rig if you plan to use the AT66ED as Guidescope for a new larger scope.
    Modded DSLR (T2i / T3i) to upgrade your older XSi (better Noise Handling and Higher ISO and better software support) - else Modding your XSi
    Field Flattener for your Refractor
    A set of Narrowband Filters

    Given these pieces, you could likely push your existing AT66ED / CGEM / XSi rig to the same level as you are looking to reach with the larger / newer Scope.

    (And, don't forget to buy the Wife something - for allowing you to be "Out all hours of the Night" even if it isn't at a Bar...)
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    Default Re: Help spending tax return on a new scope/ AP related

    Quote Originally Posted by Jessun View Post
    I second Dan's advice to 'pimp' your existing scope before upgrading. I have three Moonlites though and deeply regret not getting three Feathertouches. Worth the extra tax-refund :-)

    /Jesper
    Jesper,

    owning a couple Moonlights myself, I'm wondering why you wish you had went with feathertouch? Outside of buying the wrong focuser the first time, I've never had an issue with mine. I was up and running in 15 minutes with my second one - vcurves and all.

    Dan
    Dan Crowson - O'Fallon MO

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    Default Re: Help spending tax return on a new scope/ AP related

    Are Moonlight and Feathertouch focusers like the Vim vs Emacs flame war of focusers? heh

    Honestly, I would like to know more about the differences. I'm sure at some point I will purchase a scope and want to upgrade the focuser. I have no idea why these two brands are considered the best or what the difference is between them.

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    Default Re: Help spending tax return on a new scope/ AP related

    From personal experience with both companies I have found that for me personally Wayne at Feathertouch responded quickly and politely to the most inane of emails whereas Moonlite is still MIA in terms of getting back to me on one simple question. I also found that the weight spec's on the FT were higher than on the comparable ML but at a higher cost. In the abstract... More like Ford v. Chevy.
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    Default Re: Help spending tax return on a new scope/ AP related

    Suggestions:
    AutoGuider rig for existing refractor (at least the Finderscope to use with your ASI120) or piggyback/side-by-side mounting rig if you plan to use the AT66ED as Guidescope for a new larger scope.
    Modded DSLR (T2i / T3i) to upgrade your older XSi (better Noise Handling and Higher ISO and better software support) - else Modding your XSi
    Field Flattener for your Refractor
    A set of Narrowband Filters

    Given these pieces, you could likely push your existing AT66ED / CGEM / XSi rig to the same level as you are looking to reach with the larger / newer Scope.

    (And, don't forget to buy the Wife something - for allowing you to be "Out all hours of the Night" even if it isn't at a Bar...)
    This is why I love this forum. Funnt you mention the autoguider, I have an Orion guide scope showing up tomorrow. So a new toy to plat with. I have a friend with the T3, I will have to give that a try before I get one. To add to this adventure, the focuser on my AT66Ed totally died, it will only hold solid in one spot, there is a grinding noise. I emailed feather touch, and with in 40 min I got a call. They seem awesome.

    You folks saved me from going totally crazy. For planets what would be a good scope option. Wife is onboard with the hobby, I have a worse hobby, R/C airplanes...lol
    CGEM, Apertura AD10, AT66ED,Telrad, 2" ES 20MM 100 Degree FOV, 2", Superview 30mm, 1.25", Super-Plossl 9mm Canon 450D and ZWO 120MC
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