First time using clock drive
Posted 10 February 2011 - 05:04 PM
I was hooked again!
I picked up a 127mm Orion Mak in Oct/2010, then I got myself a Skywatcher EQ-3 mount and an RA drive just last month. I tried the scope with the drive this morning and I must say WHAT A DIFFERENCE IT IS OBSERVING WITH A CLOCK DRIVE ON !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I must say I LOVE IT !!!! Not having to nudge the telescope on Saturn was so pleasing and comfortable. I liked the fact that when taking my diagonal out to insert a filter and fiddling around a bit to insert it back and having my target still there was so refreshing !!!!
LONG LIVE CLOCK DRIVES !!!!!!!
PS: I still wouldn't mind having a 10" reflector for deep sky. The 127mm Mak is a PERFECT planetary telescope....Hmmmm maybe the 10" can find it's way onto a CLOCK DRIVE.
Posted 10 February 2011 - 08:58 PM
However a large aperture Dob is very good for deep sky objects at low magnification.
You now have the best of both.
K W TONG
C8+CG5 GT, TSA102+HEQ5 PRO, MK67+Voyager, NexStar 6SE, C5+Mizar K, WO ZS80FD+Kenko NES, Megrez 72FD+Kenko KDS, Mini Borg 50, PST
Posted 10 February 2011 - 11:55 PM
Even deep sky objects often take lots of magnification. I use 325x on M13 and it resolves BEAUTIFULLY right to the core. BUT, at 325x, M13 COMPLETELY fills the field of view!
There are a great number of deep sky targets that really come alive with 300X and 400x, and trying to push the scope to keep them in the field would be miserable.
And the eyepice change and balance issues of most Alt Az mounts was a total turn-off to me. I was ALWAYS fussing with clutch tension on the Alt-az mounts. The most miserable one to me was the Televue. Swapping from a 31mm Nagler to a 7mm Nagler on my TV 101 on the Gibralter was always aggrevating because of the need to fuss with the clutches, and you never seemed to hold the target in the field during the change.
Now that Go-To dobs are available I might one day sell my C14, but I would not have considered a dob before this because tracking just makes observing so much easier, and honestly.... Better. You simply have more time to study the target when the scope is driven.
Just my opinion. Driven mount is just about essential for high power deep sky and planetary observing.
Posted 11 February 2011 - 12:58 AM
I would say there are more deep sky targets that NEED higher powers as opposed to other bigger deep sky targets that require lower power / wider FOV.
I am really going to enjoy observing with tracking....more of a chance to see detail when the object at hand is just sitting there instead of drifting across the FOV too.
Posted 11 February 2011 - 01:01 PM
Many of the NCG targets are very small in terms of angualr size, and often benefit from considerable magnification.
Globulars and Planetary Nebula in particular LOVE high powers. Even showcase objects like M57 come alive with high power to reveal deatil that just doesn't stand out well at low powers. You SEE the nebula brighter and better in a big dob at low powers, but to STUDY it, higher powers are (in my own opinion) highly desirable.
Orion Nebula is another great example. At low powers, you see the Nebula quite well, but at high powers, you discover that there is STUFF HIDING in there. Lots of texture to the nebula, and ultra-faint stars that only stand from the glow of the gas when you crank up the power and study the structure of the Nebula very carefully.
This often entails watching the exact same little spot in the cloud for many seconds at a time. Any interruption to that gaze basically means I have to start over.
And the MOON! OMG! The MOON is an AMAZINGLY wonderful place to explore. I have seen rille structure in my C14 around Triesnecker that most people only see in pictures! It is extremly fine detail that begs the observer to sit still and study that area for long periods of time. A similar size undriven scope might show it on a nigth of good seeing just as easily, but seeing is rarely that good. But with a drive running, I can just concentrate on a particular point on the surface and WAIT for it. And it almost ALWAYS works. Detail flashes in and out of sight quickly, but once you SEE it, for whatever reason, it now seems EASIER to see, but only if you keep looking at that exact same spot. This to me is an argument against the "You can't use a big telescope for Planets because seeing is never good enough" Camp. A driven telescope and PATIENCE will often show an amazing amount of detail that never shows in much smaller scopes. It is the DRIVE that makes the difference by allowing the observer the luxury of staying focused on the target.
So, to me, a drive is absolutly essential and ALL of my telescopes are almost always mounted on tracking mounts.
But that is me. For a great many people, low power observing completely satisfies their astronomical desires or works sufficently well for a great number of smaller targets, and for those observers, Push To more than offsetss its negatives by being simple and affordable. I get that! My CGE 1400 cost me about $5500. You can buy a lot of Dob for $5500.
Posted 11 February 2011 - 04:29 PM
I was ALWAYS fussing with clutch tension on the Alt-az mounts. The most miserable one to me was the Televue. Swapping from a 31mm Nagler to a 7mm Nagler on my TV 101 on the Gibralter was always aggrevating because of the need to fuss with the clutches, and you never seemed to hold the target in the field during the change.
If you think a go-to dob with an inexpensive tracking system is going to keep the object centered at high x in the manner to which you are accustomed....try one and see how it goes.
Remember that tracking on a GEM is easy--it can be done without computers and is a purely mechanical process. In alt-az you need two motors to move and they both have backlash.
But as to the Gibraltar--this is one of those things, I don't understand how it keeps getting sold from year to year.
Posted 11 February 2011 - 06:53 PM
Also, the CGE is prone to run-away in DEC from time to time.
So, the CGE isn't a perfect experience either. And the new price on JUST a CGE was more than the MSRP of the entire Go-to 14" dob that just came out.
I don't expect it to be perfect either, but I know that if it is junk, I can return it. That helps my confidence in makeing the decision to purchase. This is why I was waiting for a major player to come out with a Go-To dob. Companies like Orion will give you your money back if the product does not measure up. A Go-To dob that won't track would I think be sufficient grounds for a return.
But I will keep the CGE 1400 until I buy and try, and if I like it, I will have the mirror refigured and replace the secondary, and when all is finished, I can sell the CGE 1400.
And if it is less than satisfactory, I can return it and just go back to the CGE 1400.
So, can't loose I think. Maybe will be out of some shipping.
Posted 11 February 2011 - 06:55 PM
Posted 12 February 2011 - 11:24 AM
I can spend 30 minutes looking at one spot on the moon at 150x even in my 4" refractor.
To me, tracking just seems indespensible. For low power sweeping, I often just push my 6" APO, but when I find something I want to LOOK at, I lock the drive clutch before I even touch the eyepiece to change it.
I have been a big advocate of driven mounts on CN for a decade. Once people start using them, they start using bigger telescopes with more power, and it really opens up their observing catalog.