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Thread: Got out again! : Shootout between Old and New

  1. #1
    wgbeatty's Avatar
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    Default Got out again! : Shootout between Old and New



    Got out tonight! Yay! Temperature wise, not a bad night only -7C. Bands of thin clouds kept coming by but I was taking advantage of the warmer temperature and the mostly clear sky, a rare combo lately. The Moon being so bright was the main damper on the evening. It limited my targets but as I was also using this as an opportunity to get a baseline for my 76mm Newtonian prior to trying to center-spot the primary. This was the first my 76mm saw any starlight since I got the 8" dob so I used the chance to also do a comparison on my main target, Jupiter.

    So, without further ado, here is a synopsis of my written logs, with the log entries in italics and my comments in regular text:

    7:25PM - Taking some initial readings using 76mm Newtonian prior to center dotting primary
    Jupiter - clearly seeing 4 moons and 2 main bands on Jupiter. Clearest I have ever seen them in the 76mm. Using 25mm X-Cel


    Now, note here that this truly was the clearest I have ever seen the bands of Jupiter in the 76mm. They were boldly a brownish colour instead of barely being visible as the last time I looked at Jupiter in this scope. Now not sure but I believe this is due more to experience and eye training than to seeing as the seeing wasn't great tonight.

    7:35 Tried 10mm Super and 10mm Plossl, neither focused well, though the MA Super 10 did better than the plossl. 12mm X-Cel LX worked well but no further detail visible except the hint of a band at the top.

    I used the Skywatcher 10mm Super EP accidently. Meant to reach for the 10mm Plossl but grabbed the Modified Acromat instead. In the 76mm though it was a far superior view to the 10mm Plossl oddly enough. Was much easier to focus and the bands were much clearer. Neither compared to the clarity of the 12mm X-Cel LX in the 76mm though.

    7:45 Using the dob (8"). View in 25mm close to that of the 12mm in the 76mm. Some detail visible but much clearer. 10mm Plossl with barlow element screwed in (1.5x) was excellent.
    4 bands clear, bottom part looked shaded. Festoons visible on main bands.


    The size of Jupiter and the general view in the 25mm in the 8" dob was similar to the size and level of detail in the 12mm on the 76mm. Didn't expect that really. The 25mm in the dob is 48x while the 12mm in the 76mm Newt is 58x so they are different but yet the view seemed similar. There was a clear difference in the quality of the view though between the two scopes with the clarity of the view in the dob quite apparent no matter what eyepiece was used. Big difference in optical quality. I have never been happy with the Skywatcher 2x barlow in the dob. It just wasn't clear. Using the 2x with the 12mm X-Cel LX should net me 200x magnification but it was always blurry. With the barlow element unscrewed (possible with this barlow) and then screwed into an eyepiece I believe I get 1.5x. If so, then with it on the 10mm I should have had a magnification of 179x (6.7mm equivalent rounded) so the view was a similar size and magnification level to the full 2x barlow but yet the clarity was a huge difference. Not sure but perhaps the scope doesn't come to focus properly with the 2x barlow? Anyway, this was one well corrected and awesome 10mm Plossl with that barlow element screwed into it. The bottom quarter of Jupiter looked shaded no matter where I placed it in the view so I am not sure but the "shading" may just be a mass of unresolved detail in that quadrant of Jupiter's disk.

    8:05PM - Split Castor in 12mm X-Cel LX on 8" dob. 10mm Plossl with 1.5x element was very clean.

    The split was obvious in the 12mm but was a very clean split in the 10mm with the barlow element attached. Even the 25mm showed the double but it looked like an elongated star.

    8:08 PM - View again similar in 12mm on 76mm Newt to 25mm in 8" dob. Hints of a double on Castor. Still cannot split with 10mm.

    On the 76mm Newtonian, using the 12mm X-Cel LX the view was about the same as the 25mm on the dob, an elongated star or basically the hint of two stars. The 10mm (70x) clearly showed two bumps but no split of Castor.

    8:10 PM 12mm X-Cel LX with 1.5x element added able to cleanly split Castor on 76mm Newt.

    Using the barlow element screwed into the 12mm X-Cel LX giving me a magnification of 87.5x (equivalent of an 8mm) in the 76mm Newtonian I got a clean split of Castor. This in fact is the highest I have ever cleanly taken that little scope in magnification so the seeing couldn't have been bad at all. Castor and it's companion were fairly clear in the scope.

    And here are my log pages, poorly scanned:
    Feb13_2014LogPg1.jpgFeb13_2014LogPg2.jpg

    Now for the other differences. There was a slight breeze, and the tripod on the 76mm, even with the legs lowered almost all the way, vibrated in the breeze. The dob laughed maniacally at the breeze, no vibration at all as expected. The rack and pinion focuser on the 76mm was always stiff even with lots of use so can be hard to focus cleanly. Plus the scope vibration doesn't help. The dob with it's stock Crayford focuser was smooth as silk and there was no problem focusing clearly. The focuser on the 76mm took the 10mm eyepieces fine but was a tight fit for the X-Cel eyepieces. All eyepieces slid into the focuser nicely on the dob. There is a huge fit and finish quality difference between the two telescopes, with the dob, low cost though it is, being of far superior quality. There was a big difference optically too with the dob being so much clearer. And yet, the views on the 76mm were more than adequate. They were still clear and nice views. Now the only place where the 76mm won in the comparison was in bringing the scopes back inside. The dob was the usual 2 handed awkward carry through the screen door with it cradled in my arms. The 76mm Newtonian, tripod and all was a one handed affair with the other hand holding the door open. So light!

    I have absolutely no regrets with the dob. It's a far superior telescope in more ways than one. Yet that little Newtonian has potential. I want to center spot the mirror. I would like to take apart the focuser, clean and re-grease it to see how much better it is after. I'd like to flock it (just for fun) and my dob too. I wouldn't mind putting the 76mm on a better mount and tripod. Problem is new, most mounts are worth more than the scope is. At any rate it's really not a bad little scope...kind of like Charlie Brown's Christmas tree. Doesn't look like much but a little sprucing up and it'll do the job. I can use it as a portable grab and go for now though.

    Anyway, a fun little exercise tonight and a good chance to get out before the weather turns crappy again.
    William.

    Telescopes - 203mm (8") F/5.9 Skywatcher Dob, 102mm F/9.8 Celestron C102-HD refractor
    Eyepieces - Agena SWA 70 deg 38mm, Agena SWA 70 deg 26mm, Celestron Luminos 82 deg 15mm, Celestron X-Cel LX 60 deg 12mm, 9mm, ES 82 deg 8.8mm, Orion 55 deg Edge-On 6mm

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Got out again! : Shootout between Old and New

    Hi William. An excellent report from you. You did a nice job of describing the comparisons of not only the telescopes, but the eyepieces as well. And, I can see why you want to hang on to the older telescope. Some do a great job for their size, they have sentimental value, and they make for a great grab and go scope. I also liked your log entries. You will find these invaluable with future observations. Thanks for your well written and fun read report William, and best wishes for another great night like this one.
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    Default Re: Got out again! : Shootout between Old and New

    Decent nights have been so few and far between that you take any chance you can get. And guess what...cloudy again today so glad I got out.
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    William.

    Telescopes - 203mm (8") F/5.9 Skywatcher Dob, 102mm F/9.8 Celestron C102-HD refractor
    Eyepieces - Agena SWA 70 deg 38mm, Agena SWA 70 deg 26mm, Celestron Luminos 82 deg 15mm, Celestron X-Cel LX 60 deg 12mm, 9mm, ES 82 deg 8.8mm, Orion 55 deg Edge-On 6mm

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    Default Re: Got out again! : Shootout between Old and New

    Quote Originally Posted by wgbeatty View Post
    Got out tonight! Yay! Temperature wise, not a bad night only -7C. Bands of thin clouds kept coming by but I was taking advantage of the warmer temperature and the mostly clear sky, a rare combo lately. The Moon being so bright was the main damper on the evening. It limited my targets but as I was also using this as an opportunity to get a baseline for my 76mm Newtonian prior to trying to center-spot the primary. This was the first my 76mm saw any starlight since I got the 8" dob so I used the chance to also do a comparison on my main target, Jupiter.

    So, without further ado, here is a synopsis of my written logs, with the log entries in italics and my comments in regular text:

    7:25PM - Taking some initial readings using 76mm Newtonian prior to center dotting primary
    Jupiter - clearly seeing 4 moons and 2 main bands on Jupiter. Clearest I have ever seen them in the 76mm. Using 25mm X-Cel


    Now, note here that this truly was the clearest I have ever seen the bands of Jupiter in the 76mm. They were boldly a brownish colour instead of barely being visible as the last time I looked at Jupiter in this scope. Now not sure but I believe this is due more to experience and eye training than to seeing as the seeing wasn't great tonight.

    7:35 Tried 10mm Super and 10mm Plossl, neither focused well, though the MA Super 10 did better than the plossl. 12mm X-Cel LX worked well but no further detail visible except the hint of a band at the top.

    I used the Skywatcher 10mm Super EP accidently. Meant to reach for the 10mm Plossl but grabbed the Modified Acromat instead. In the 76mm though it was a far superior view to the 10mm Plossl oddly enough. Was much easier to focus and the bands were much clearer. Neither compared to the clarity of the 12mm X-Cel LX in the 76mm though.

    7:45 Using the dob (8"). View in 25mm close to that of the 12mm in the 76mm. Some detail visible but much clearer. 10mm Plossl with barlow element screwed in (1.5x) was excellent.
    4 bands clear, bottom part looked shaded. Festoons visible on main bands.


    The size of Jupiter and the general view in the 25mm in the 8" dob was similar to the size and level of detail in the 12mm on the 76mm. Didn't expect that really. The 25mm in the dob is 48x while the 12mm in the 76mm Newt is 58x so they are different but yet the view seemed similar. There was a clear difference in the quality of the view though between the two scopes with the clarity of the view in the dob quite apparent no matter what eyepiece was used. Big difference in optical quality. I have never been happy with the Skywatcher 2x barlow in the dob. It just wasn't clear. Using the 2x with the 12mm X-Cel LX should net me 200x magnification but it was always blurry. With the barlow element unscrewed (possible with this barlow) and then screwed into an eyepiece I believe I get 1.5x. If so, then with it on the 10mm I should have had a magnification of 179x (6.7mm equivalent rounded) so the view was a similar size and magnification level to the full 2x barlow but yet the clarity was a huge difference. Not sure but perhaps the scope doesn't come to focus properly with the 2x barlow? Anyway, this was one well corrected and awesome 10mm Plossl with that barlow element screwed into it. The bottom quarter of Jupiter looked shaded no matter where I placed it in the view so I am not sure but the "shading" may just be a mass of unresolved detail in that quadrant of Jupiter's disk.

    8:05PM - Split Castor in 12mm X-Cel LX on 8" dob. 10mm Plossl with 1.5x element was very clean.

    The split was obvious in the 12mm but was a very clean split in the 10mm with the barlow element attached. Even the 25mm showed the double but it looked like an elongated star.

    8:08 PM - View again similar in 12mm on 76mm Newt to 25mm in 8" dob. Hints of a double on Castor. Still cannot split with 10mm.

    On the 76mm Newtonian, using the 12mm X-Cel LX the view was about the same as the 25mm on the dob, an elongated star or basically the hint of two stars. The 10mm (70x) clearly showed two bumps but no split of Castor.

    8:10 PM 12mm X-Cel LX with 1.5x element added able to cleanly split Castor on 76mm Newt.

    Using the barlow element screwed into the 12mm X-Cel LX giving me a magnification of 87.5x (equivalent of an 8mm) in the 76mm Newtonian I got a clean split of Castor. This in fact is the highest I have ever cleanly taken that little scope in magnification so the seeing couldn't have been bad at all. Castor and it's companion were fairly clear in the scope.

    And here are my log pages, poorly scanned:
    Feb13_2014LogPg1.jpgFeb13_2014LogPg2.jpg

    Now for the other differences. There was a slight breeze, and the tripod on the 76mm, even with the legs lowered almost all the way, vibrated in the breeze. The dob laughed maniacally at the breeze, no vibration at all as expected. The rack and pinion focuser on the 76mm was always stiff even with lots of use so can be hard to focus cleanly. Plus the scope vibration doesn't help. The dob with it's stock Crayford focuser was smooth as silk and there was no problem focusing clearly. The focuser on the 76mm took the 10mm eyepieces fine but was a tight fit for the X-Cel eyepieces. All eyepieces slid into the focuser nicely on the dob. There is a huge fit and finish quality difference between the two telescopes, with the dob, low cost though it is, being of far superior quality. There was a big difference optically too with the dob being so much clearer. And yet, the views on the 76mm were more than adequate. They were still clear and nice views. Now the only place where the 76mm won in the comparison was in bringing the scopes back inside. The dob was the usual 2 handed awkward carry through the screen door with it cradled in my arms. The 76mm Newtonian, tripod and all was a one handed affair with the other hand holding the door open. So light!

    I have absolutely no regrets with the dob. It's a far superior telescope in more ways than one. Yet that little Newtonian has potential. I want to center spot the mirror. I would like to take apart the focuser, clean and re-grease it to see how much better it is after. I'd like to flock it (just for fun) and my dob too. I wouldn't mind putting the 76mm on a better mount and tripod. Problem is new, most mounts are worth more than the scope is. At any rate it's really not a bad little scope...kind of like Charlie Brown's Christmas tree. Doesn't look like much but a little sprucing up and it'll do the job. I can use it as a portable grab and go for now though.

    Anyway, a fun little exercise tonight and a good chance to get out before the weather turns crappy again.
    An interesting, well done report, very detailed comparison ! It shows why most like / demand more than one scope in their life. Your next step might be an 80-100mm refractor of decent quality as per some of the ones that get thrown back and fourth on some of these threads, there's a great choice for not a lot of $. Remember promise your wife the moon and get you / her a new scope ! LOL ! As to carrying it in and out aren't you strong enough to hold the door open for her ? LOL, again !
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  5. #5
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    Default Re: Got out again! : Shootout between Old and New

    Quote Originally Posted by wgbeatty View Post
    Got out tonight! Yay! Temperature wise, not a bad night only -7C. Bands of thin clouds kept coming by but I was taking advantage of the warmer temperature and the mostly clear sky, a rare combo lately. The Moon being so bright was the main damper on the evening. It limited my targets but as I was also using this as an opportunity to get a baseline for my 76mm Newtonian prior to trying to center-spot the primary. This was the first my 76mm saw any starlight since I got the 8" dob so I used the chance to also do a comparison on my main target, Jupiter.

    So, without further ado, here is a synopsis of my written logs, with the log entries in italics and my comments in regular text:

    7:25PM - Taking some initial readings using 76mm Newtonian prior to center dotting primary
    Jupiter - clearly seeing 4 moons and 2 main bands on Jupiter. Clearest I have ever seen them in the 76mm. Using 25mm X-Cel


    Now, note here that this truly was the clearest I have ever seen the bands of Jupiter in the 76mm. They were boldly a brownish colour instead of barely being visible as the last time I looked at Jupiter in this scope. Now not sure but I believe this is due more to experience and eye training than to seeing as the seeing wasn't great tonight.

    7:35 Tried 10mm Super and 10mm Plossl, neither focused well, though the MA Super 10 did better than the plossl. 12mm X-Cel LX worked well but no further detail visible except the hint of a band at the top.

    I used the Skywatcher 10mm Super EP accidently. Meant to reach for the 10mm Plossl but grabbed the Modified Acromat instead. In the 76mm though it was a far superior view to the 10mm Plossl oddly enough. Was much easier to focus and the bands were much clearer. Neither compared to the clarity of the 12mm X-Cel LX in the 76mm though.

    7:45 Using the dob (8"). View in 25mm close to that of the 12mm in the 76mm. Some detail visible but much clearer. 10mm Plossl with barlow element screwed in (1.5x) was excellent.
    4 bands clear, bottom part looked shaded. Festoons visible on main bands.


    The size of Jupiter and the general view in the 25mm in the 8" dob was similar to the size and level of detail in the 12mm on the 76mm. Didn't expect that really. The 25mm in the dob is 48x while the 12mm in the 76mm Newt is 58x so they are different but yet the view seemed similar. There was a clear difference in the quality of the view though between the two scopes with the clarity of the view in the dob quite apparent no matter what eyepiece was used. Big difference in optical quality. I have never been happy with the Skywatcher 2x barlow in the dob. It just wasn't clear. Using the 2x with the 12mm X-Cel LX should net me 200x magnification but it was always blurry. With the barlow element unscrewed (possible with this barlow) and then screwed into an eyepiece I believe I get 1.5x. If so, then with it on the 10mm I should have had a magnification of 179x (6.7mm equivalent rounded) so the view was a similar size and magnification level to the full 2x barlow but yet the clarity was a huge difference. Not sure but perhaps the scope doesn't come to focus properly with the 2x barlow? Anyway, this was one well corrected and awesome 10mm Plossl with that barlow element screwed into it. The bottom quarter of Jupiter looked shaded no matter where I placed it in the view so I am not sure but the "shading" may just be a mass of unresolved detail in that quadrant of Jupiter's disk.

    8:05PM - Split Castor in 12mm X-Cel LX on 8" dob. 10mm Plossl with 1.5x element was very clean.

    The split was obvious in the 12mm but was a very clean split in the 10mm with the barlow element attached. Even the 25mm showed the double but it looked like an elongated star.

    8:08 PM - View again similar in 12mm on 76mm Newt to 25mm in 8" dob. Hints of a double on Castor. Still cannot split with 10mm.

    On the 76mm Newtonian, using the 12mm X-Cel LX the view was about the same as the 25mm on the dob, an elongated star or basically the hint of two stars. The 10mm (70x) clearly showed two bumps but no split of Castor.

    8:10 PM 12mm X-Cel LX with 1.5x element added able to cleanly split Castor on 76mm Newt.

    Using the barlow element screwed into the 12mm X-Cel LX giving me a magnification of 87.5x (equivalent of an 8mm) in the 76mm Newtonian I got a clean split of Castor. This in fact is the highest I have ever cleanly taken that little scope in magnification so the seeing couldn't have been bad at all. Castor and it's companion were fairly clear in the scope.

    And here are my log pages, poorly scanned:
    Feb13_2014LogPg1.jpgFeb13_2014LogPg2.jpg

    Now for the other differences. There was a slight breeze, and the tripod on the 76mm, even with the legs lowered almost all the way, vibrated in the breeze. The dob laughed maniacally at the breeze, no vibration at all as expected. The rack and pinion focuser on the 76mm was always stiff even with lots of use so can be hard to focus cleanly. Plus the scope vibration doesn't help. The dob with it's stock Crayford focuser was smooth as silk and there was no problem focusing clearly. The focuser on the 76mm took the 10mm eyepieces fine but was a tight fit for the X-Cel eyepieces. All eyepieces slid into the focuser nicely on the dob. There is a huge fit and finish quality difference between the two telescopes, with the dob, low cost though it is, being of far superior quality. There was a big difference optically too with the dob being so much clearer. And yet, the views on the 76mm were more than adequate. They were still clear and nice views. Now the only place where the 76mm won in the comparison was in bringing the scopes back inside. The dob was the usual 2 handed awkward carry through the screen door with it cradled in my arms. The 76mm Newtonian, tripod and all was a one handed affair with the other hand holding the door open. So light!

    I have absolutely no regrets with the dob. It's a far superior telescope in more ways than one. Yet that little Newtonian has potential. I want to center spot the mirror. I would like to take apart the focuser, clean and re-grease it to see how much better it is after. I'd like to flock it (just for fun) and my dob too. I wouldn't mind putting the 76mm on a better mount and tripod. Problem is new, most mounts are worth more than the scope is. At any rate it's really not a bad little scope...kind of like Charlie Brown's Christmas tree. Doesn't look like much but a little sprucing up and it'll do the job. I can use it as a portable grab and go for now though.

    Anyway, a fun little exercise tonight and a good chance to get out before the weather turns crappy again.
    Have you tried suspending some weigh from your mount to try and stabilize it ? Many seem to think it helps ?

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    Default Re: Got out again! : Shootout between Old and New

    Quote Originally Posted by wgbeatty View Post
    Decent nights have been so few and far between that you take any chance you can get. And guess what...cloudy again today so glad I got out.
    I was out with some friends last night and when I got home I took my Celestron 15x70's out of their case but was too lazy to go any farther so I put them back in their case this AM ! Nice play LW !
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    Default Re: Got out again! : Shootout between Old and New

    Quote Originally Posted by larrywalls View Post
    Have you tried suspending some weigh from your mount to try and stabilize it ? Many seem to think it helps ?
    Tried it, not much luck...trust me, this tripod is wobbly.
    William.

    Telescopes - 203mm (8") F/5.9 Skywatcher Dob, 102mm F/9.8 Celestron C102-HD refractor
    Eyepieces - Agena SWA 70 deg 38mm, Agena SWA 70 deg 26mm, Celestron Luminos 82 deg 15mm, Celestron X-Cel LX 60 deg 12mm, 9mm, ES 82 deg 8.8mm, Orion 55 deg Edge-On 6mm

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    Default Re: Got out again! : Shootout between Old and New

    It sounds like you had a nice night out and the comparison between the 76mm and eight-inch Dob was very interesting. Thanks for the fine report.
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    Michael
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    Default Re: Got out again! : Shootout between Old and New

    Good report… fun read.

    Thanks for sharing.

    Clear Skies
    wgbeatty likes this.
    John (Urban Astronomer)
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    Dob; XLT 150 Dob; XLT 120EQ; Lunt Solar 60 PT/B1200; ES AR102; SW Pro 100ED; 2 SW Pro 80ED's; 90mm Eq; WO Z-61; SW 90mm Virtuso Mak; 2
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    ST-80's; Quark-C; Cams: ASI120MM-S, ASI174MM & ASI174MM-cooled


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