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    Default Re: Help me pic a telescope



    Could/would someone give me reasons to prefer a Dob over a 10 or 12" Meade LX90, given my mission?

    (Setup will be going from inside the house to the patio or perhaps the back of our 4 acre yard.)

    That Meade seems like a lot of scope for the bucks. (As for GPS/computer integration... I'm warming up to it.)

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    Default Re: Help me pic a telescope

    A 12" Dob has a focal length of 1560mm. A 10" SCT's length is 2500mm and a 12" SCT's length is 3048mm.

    The Dob will have a much wider field of view. It is fairly easy for one person to set up but you need a large vehicle to transport it with.

    The 10" SCT will not gather as much light, has a much narrower field of view, and is a chore for a single person to set up. It is manageable, if you're in good shape, but I find the larger (but lighter) Dob to be easier.

    The 12" SCT has a much, much narrower field of view and requires two people to safely set the scope up. It is better suited to a permanent location in my opinion.

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    Default Re: Help me pic a telescope

    Quote Originally Posted by Yet Another Rush Fan View Post
    Could/would someone give me reasons to prefer a Dob over a 10 or 12" Meade LX90, given my mission?

    (Setup will be going from inside the house to the patio or perhaps the back of our 4 acre yard.)

    That Meade seems like a lot of scope for the bucks. (As for GPS/computer integration... I'm warming up to it.)
    The dob is a much simpler scope and easier to set up. Plonk down the base and set the OTA on there and boom, you are ready. The dob will be less affected by dew than the SCT. Per unit of aperture, you get more for your money. It will be more intuitive for children to drive, or at least, less complicated. Granted, a larger dob will be a bit big for smaller children. You will not require a power source to operate the dob.

    Having a much faster focal ratio, it will be less tolerant of eyepiece quality than the SCT. It will occasionally need collimating (if you can tune a guitar you can collimate a reflector). SCT's require collimation as well, but very much less often than a reflector.

    SCTs have many merits as well and one could justify owning the Meade over a dob. I have little experience with this scope type, though I would like to own one for planetary imaging.
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    Default Re: Help me pic a telescope

    Thanks again, guys! Excellent info. Even though I do *not* need to transport the scope (except out to the patio), I am now back in the Dob camp due to the light-gathering, field-of-view, and setup advantages.

    (I think the Meades look real cool tho.)
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    Default Re: Help me pic a telescope

    No leaning back to a large SCT.

    Set up time is meaningless as all the wife and I will need to do is lift the setup scope up/down one step and in/out to the patio.

    It seems that with a tube this large, light gathering & field of view will not be issues.

    Two other SCT advantages are now drawing me in:

    - Ability to handle photography someday
    - Easier viewing for small children, I think

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    Default Re: Help me pic a telescope

    Quote Originally Posted by Yet Another Rush Fan View Post

    Two other SCT advantages are now drawing me in:

    - Ability to handle photography someday
    - Easier viewing for small children, I think
    Viewing for children will be the same for either type of scope.

    While the SCT is slightly easier to use for AP, it requires the scope to be on an equatorial mount, not an alt/az mount (even with a wedge in my opinion). An equatorial mount capable of holding a 12" SCT for AP will be HUGE and EXPENSIVE!

    Then you should consider the focal length of the scope. The longer the length, the more challenging it is to image with. A 12" SCT is the LAST scope I would advise anyone to begin imaging with. Can you do it? YES. Will it be frustrating? You better bet it will.

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    Default Re: Help me pic a telescope

    Don't large dobs requite ladders for small kids? I thought they put the eyepiece higher up.
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    Default Re: Help me pic a telescope

    That depends on the focal length of the telescope.
    Short focal lengths can be used standing on the ground but may require a small step stool for vertically challenged individuals

    Here is an image that shows the comparative sizes of f/5-6 dobsonians.
    https://www.dropbox.com/s/kjzp5n1907..._comp.jpg?dl=0
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    Default Re: Help me pic a telescope

    The EP of the Dob at its highest will be higher than with the SCT, but either way, young children will need a step stool or small ladder to reach viewing height.

    The 12" Meade is an enormous scope. If you set it up inside, it will be a BIG job to get it outside into viewing position, even with only one step up/down and a few paces once outside or inside. You'd need a wide door opening to get the tripod legs through it without folding them, and you sure can't fold them and hold it up as a dead weight. The assembly (OTA plus tripod) weighs 80 lbs, and it is an awkward 80 lbs.

    I am fairly strong for a woman, or at least I used to be when I was young with a good back, and I love telescopes, and am willing to go to a lot of trouble to use them, but I frankly would dread that job. I would dread the lifting, but even more I would dread the verbal interaction between myself and my beloved as we tried to jockey that behemoth through the patio door without dropping it, tipping it over, smashing it into the glass, or crushing our fingers and toes. Yes, I am joking, sort of, not really.

    It would be a fabulous scope permanently installed on a pier, in an observatory or at least where it can be covered and protected. It would be also fine on a heavy-duty wheeled base you could roll out of a garage and stabilize on a driveway.
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    Default Re: Help me pic a telescope

    "...I frankly would dread that job. I would dread the lifting, but even more I would dread the verbal interaction between myself and my beloved as we tried to jockey that behemoth through the patio door without dropping it, tipping it over, smashing it into the glass, or crushing our fingers and toes."

    LOL.

    Luckily, my wife & I never fight. Cough.

    I was thinking, indeed, the 10" Meade might be about the maximum size for going thru doors easily (with the tripod on).

    And 10" is too small.

    If I went Dob, it would be 14" - and that's a tall scope.

    Maybe that's the compromise I have to make.

    Or, perhaps the 12" Meade lives in the car-hole (garage) - no steps that way. At 100 lb all-up, the wife & I could carry it the 50' to the patio.

 

 
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