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  1. #1
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    Default First scope advice



    Hello,

    is it possible to give me some advice, helping me to choose a telescope? I had a look at several types of scopes allready, from refractor to Maksutov. When I look in forums, the advice for a beginner is always more or less the same: go for the 8" dob. Now, although it is going to be used 99% of the time in the backyard, I don't want to carry a lot, more a 'grab and go'. As close to an allrounder as possible, although that is offcourse very difficult .

    Some scopes I'm considering:

    -Celestron 102/1000 OMNI refractor on OMNI mount (CG4)

    -Omni XLT 150 newtonian telescope with CG4 mount (not exactly grab and go is it...)

    -Skywatcher Black Line Skymax-127 SynScan AZ Goto computerised Maksutov Cassegrain ->> very interested in this one.

    or even something like this, I would buy this to see if I'm really going further with the hobby:

    Skywatcher Startravel-102 AZ3 / Rich Field Refractor 102/500mm

    But I doubt this last one, for an only scope.

    Lots of different options, I know. But if you have the time, can you tell me if there is a good choice in this small list?

  2. #2
    Joe Lalumia's Avatar
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    Default

    The reason everyone recommends the 8 inch Dob is because:

    1. Best bang for the buck in amateur astronomy

    2. VERY much grab and go in two easy trips-- carry out the base, then carry out the tube. Some folks will say only one trip if needed. BUT I am an old guy!

    3. No mechanical parts to break.

    4. Just set it on the ground and start observing-- all scopes need a small cool down to reach ambient temperature.

    That's why the DOB is always recommended. It will gather MANY TIMES the light of the scopes you listed above.

    Of all the scopes you listed the XLT 150 on the EQ mount is the nearest to a regular DOB, BUT again you cannot just pick this up and carry it outside. The 8 inch DOB is much more portable than a normal EQ mount.

    The Skywatcher Black Line Skymax-127 SynScan AZ Goto would also be a very neat scope, and might also be considered grab and go as most folks could carry it all outside at once.

    My votes go to an 8inch DOB or the 127 Synscan as the top two choices.
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  3. #3
    andyp180's Avatar
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    Default

    i'm with joe on this.i have a 130 on an eq mount right now.
    the next one i'm saving for is a 10" dob.twice the aperature of what i have
    now.when i started out in this,not too long ago,i was where you are now.
    looking at many scopes and not sure which one.i actually ended up going
    in a different direction and edged to the dobs.the reasons?joe has
    pretty much listed them all.
    you will get alot of scope in a dob,for a better price than the goto's for
    example.
    clear skies,
    andy

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  4. #4
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    Default

    One thing about the Mak/Cass design is it has a long cool down time -but as that one is relatively small it might not be too bad at all - I used my little meade 125 for many years and cooled down enough most nights, but climate here is relatively mild and I left it outside a lot, so didn't need to acclimate much. No need to collimate as the secondary was attached to the miniscus plate.

    I'm one of the 'get a refractor folks' - but I've owned a lot of mirrored scopes too. A 4" (~102mm) refractor (and here I'm saying an f/8)can be a great visual tool for planetary, but really won't get you much outside the solar system. The faster focal ratio scopes are great for wide field, but I think in very dark skies they stand out. But then the faster focal ratio makes OTA length shorter and more grab and go.

    If you go with the newt you'll get more resolution and a lot of the M objects will be resolved a lot better (best on your list). But if you are going to g&g with either a newt ofr a dob, depending on transport, I'd get the collimation tools for it - not difficult, but it makes all the difference. Another g&g consideration should be acclimation - more mirror mass means more cool down time for best viewing - also if temp swings are large, more acclimation time.

    Reason the refractors are often recommended for grab and go is they dont require collimation, very little cooldown, and you can transport worry free.

    I'd think about what you'd like to see when you get there and work backwards. If your ok with planetary only I'd consider 4" of any design the minimum, some folks like ~80mm but for me personally it's sort of a tease. Especially if a fast 80mm. If you want DSO I'd say f/7 or f/8 125mm and larger refractor, or a 150-200mm Newt depending on the focal length.

    More apeture always resolves more, resolution is a function mainly of apeture. But all apetures are not created equal when it comes to grabbing and getting out the door with it somewhere and having it ready to view with quickly. If you are somewhere you can leave the scope outside, it helps a lot, but if going from heated room or heated car to fielding, a modest sized refractor is really hard to beat.

    All that said, I've at times considered my 10" LX200 SCt grab and go and did plenty! Same for my C-11 SCt! (much lighter that the LX) But I wanted to bag things when I got there and not look at a lot of ff's (faint fuzzys), and no stranger to collimation. It's just part of doing business with mirrors and g&g. You get fast and good with practice.
    Last edited by klaatu2u; 08-18-2010 at 01:21 AM.

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  5. #5
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    Default

    Welcome to the forum. Good advice above.
    name: Derek

    Various scopes and such.

  6. #6
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    Default

    thanks for the great advice. Seems there is good reason then that the same recommendation for a dob is always coming back. Will look into that!

  7. #7
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    Default

    i'm a 1 month old Dobson user. I have not owned any other types of scopes so i cant comment on other scopes or compare but so far, my experience with the dob has been a fantastic one. As joe said earlier, its extremly simple to move about and even simpler to use. I have an 8" with the optical tube in its own bag and i can easily carry the base in my right hand, throw the tube over my left shoulder and carry my eye peices in my left hand over a short distance (50-100m)

    In about 5 mins time, i can have the scope mounted on the base, both my telrad and finder aligned and still have time to drench myself in bug spray! (be very careful and never let the bug spray touch the optics cuz if u get any on it, it will ruin your scope. I usually put my bugspray on in the car to make sure and keep your hands clean)

    I live in Canada and i had mine shipped from the States. Between, taxes, duties and shipping, i paid about $800 CAN for the scope, the carrying case and a collimation laser.

    the only thing that i was apprehensive about with this scope was the first time i tried collimating it. i wasn't entirely sure what i was doing and was afraid i would break it. Patience is the key and make sure you give yourself a few hours for the first time you try it. I can now do the work in a fraction of the time.

    Depending on how many times you drive around with it, you will have to collimation every2-3 trips. I have a sports car and the suspension is very unforgiving on gravel roads outside the city so i normally try to collimate everytime i go out but depending on how comfy your car is, you might not have to.

    the real gem so far for me has been observing large deep sky objects like open clusters and galaxies. With low power eye peices (25mm and larger) i've got some amazing bright views of the sky. Planetary observation is also seems good but i've only gotten a good look at jupiter so far, the real test will be saturn and mars.

    Hope you find this helpful!
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  8. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to RouTaran For This Useful Post:

    andyp180 (08-19-2010),dmbryan (08-18-2010)

 

 

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