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Have a CPC1100, Is getting 14" Dob unwise?

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#1 spongebob@55

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Posted 01 October 2012 - 08:28 PM

I've been out about 6 times with my newly acquired used CPC1100. Went to a few viewing parties and looked through a 15 or 16 dob and I was amazed. I also realized I really like DSOs. Would it be stupid to get an XX14g? I would have to get some other eyepieces too, right, since the scope is so fast? I can handle the weight of the CPC1100 just fine and it fits in my car just fine. Give me your opinions? Maybe sell the CPC1100 in lieu of the xx14g? I only had a little time with Jupiter and Saturn due to weather and personal responsibilities, and haven't seen the winter sky yet through my CPC1100. I live in a white/white area, but travel an hour to see better. I'm using a ST80 for a finderscope and I also have a ES102triplet that I just got. Maybe I'm over analyzing, but I like to do that. I'm retired now, so I have some time to read and educate myself. I already know I made some mistakes, so I'd to minimize new ones. I have ES 6.7, 14,and 24. I have a 8-9-24 baader zoom. Also TMB 5, 6,7,8, and 9mm. Also Smart Astonomy 12.5, 17, and 25mm. An old 7/8" Brandon and a 40?mm Jaegers. I'm sure I don't need all of these......... Let the opinions and guidance freely flow. Thanks!

#2 SeattleScott

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Posted 01 October 2012 - 08:34 PM

When you factor in central obstruction and other efficiency factors, the light transmission on the 14" Dob will be upwards of double the SCT. So in that sense it could be a worthwhile upgrade. However I suspect the SCT has better optics than the Orion Dob. And with the Dob the Goto might be a little more complicated (no GPS) and you would need to collimate it each time. So that's kind of what it comes down to. If you don't mind potentially paying to have the mirror refigured on the Dob, it could certainly provide an improvement in the views.

#3 MikeBOKC

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Posted 01 October 2012 - 09:34 PM

I have the CPC1100 and it is by far the best scope I have ever owned when you consider aperture, convenience and ease of seated viewing. Having said that, I plan to add the Orion xx16g for dark site/DSO use in the next few months. It is not to replace the SCT but to broaden my observing options. A large Dob is really designed, as I see it, for dark site use in search of faint fuzzies and there is nothing better for resolving them. The CPC is my "in town" big scope (I also have a grab and go refractor.) To me it is not an either-or question but one of giving me a wide range of capabilities to match locations and targets.

As noted above there is more effort involved in transporting and setting up a large Newt -- weight, space, collimation, etc. If I am going for a late night extended session at a dark site that is well worth it. But I would rarely, if ever, use the big Dob in town; sort of like driving a Ferrari in dense rush hour traffic, you would not get the full use of its capabilities.

The xx14g seems to be a fine scope. Aside from one member here who had to refigure the mirror, the user comments have been very good to outstanding. But Dobs from 14 inches up are somewhat specilized niche instruments which really come into their own out away from light pollution. I think you would be very happy with the 14g (which I would have purchases were it not for the pending release of the 16g) but I also think you would miss the versatility of the CPC.

#4 Gastrol

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Posted 01 October 2012 - 09:40 PM

My CPC1100 is permanently housed in my obs in the city. To dark sites I take my 12" dob.

#5 seattlepete

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Posted 01 October 2012 - 10:40 PM

I had a CPC1100, nice scope but I enjoyed the views through my 12" dob more and now for sure through my 14" dob. I sold the SCT but it was a nice package...just dont like SCT's that much.

#6 seattlepete

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Posted 01 October 2012 - 10:40 PM

I had a CPC1100, nice scope but I enjoyed the views through my 12" dob more and now for sure through my 14" dob. I sold the SCT but it was a nice package...just dont like SCT's that much.

#7 Mike B

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Posted 01 October 2012 - 11:28 PM

But Dobs from 14 inches up are somewhat specialized niche instruments which really come into their own out away from light pollution.



As one who has used both a larger SCT & a Dob, i don't see this at all. Both take similar set-up times, both had optical gusto to haul in the goodies. The Newt requires collimation with every set-up, and is bulkier- requires more than an RX-7 to transport. The SCT had cool-down issues, and a LOT more glass between you & the sky, but offered a wee bit more seated observing. The Dob is a bit tougher to view at zenith, the SCT (fork-mounted) was nearly impossible to view near the pole. Prob'ly most significant is that neither is anywhere near "grab 'n' go" status... but require effort & planning to use well.

I use the Dob for about 90% of my viewing, backyard or remote site. Its a telescope- no more, no less. I could see a place for having & using *both*... so long as you can happily store them.

Yes, they'll use some differing EPs, the Dob having more expensive (ie. well-corrected) tastes, but will also use a wide range of overlap, too.

These Orion GoTo Dobs are big, heavy, & bulky tho. That might pose the most significant issue? Make sure to SEE one, if possible, before you commit to buying the thing! I'll bet my 15" Obsession-type Dob is lighter than a 14" Orion gDob.

Perhaps another way to classify these two scope types would be the SCT is a Lexus automatic with bells & whistles, the Dob is a wind-in-the-hair Austin Healey :lol: What's yer pleasure?
:grin: mike b

#8 Mirzam

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Posted 02 October 2012 - 08:24 AM

The large Orion dobs strike me as being extremely heavy for their aperture size and offer inconsistent optical quality.

Why not use the CPC for a year or so and then move to a premium dob? If you really like the GOTO on the CPC get a dob with GOTO.

Or get a Mallincam for the CPC and have the equivalent of a 36" dob. :whistle:

JimC

#9 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 02 October 2012 - 09:45 AM

But I would rarely, if ever, use the big Dob in town; sort of like driving a Ferrari in dense rush hour traffic, you would not get the full use of its capabilities.



I am not quite sure how this differs from any larger scope, it performs it's best under dark skies but the added aperture still allows it to outperform smaller scopes, to see fainter fuzzies and the like, from a red/white zone. I still remember the first night I used my 16 inch from my urban backyard, objects like the Owl nebula and M108 could not be missed in a low power sweep. I was truly surprised how easily seen they were.

As far as swapping the 11 inch SCT for a 14 inch class Dob, I think this is a strictly individual issue. Bob ought to spend a little more time with a Dobsonian...

Jon

#10 spongebob@55

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Posted 02 October 2012 - 11:32 AM

thanks for your input guys. I will definitely spend more time with the dobs in my group and mentally compare the set up times and prep times. Perhaps the best would be to set up right next to a dob at one of the viewing parties. It will definitely be a 'go to' because I just can't star hop due to the lack of them. I would have to mount a large optical view finder which is what I'm doing now on my CPC1100. Between that and these different weight E.P.s, I'll be counter weighting quite actively. I'll also have to see what the magnitude difference between the two and what the extra cost of these better E.P.s. Anything else would be appreciated....
Sbob

#11 Mike B

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Posted 02 October 2012 - 12:02 PM

It will definitely be a 'go to' because I just can't star hop due to the lack of them.



I feel yer pain on that one... 'tis a growing problem, this "LP". :ohmy: Still, don't let that shanghai you into more expense & trouble than is warranted! My Dob, as well as Orion's "Intelliscope" family of Dobs, uses a computer object locator... a.k.a. "digital setting-circles" ("DSC's"). You still drive... the computer simply guides your pushing. As opposed to a "GoTo", such systems are fondly referred to as "PushTo".
And i like rowing my own gears! :jump: You might, too. But it also means you've gotta "hand-track" as you view... a PushTo won't do that unless it's sister'd with a tracking drive.

There are many ways to skin that cat that don't involve an arm and a leg.

Perhaps the best would be to set up right next to a dob at one of the viewing parties.


:waytogo:

I'll also have to see what the magnitude difference between the two and what the extra cost of these better E.P.s.

Explore Scientific (a.k.a. "ES"), Meade, & Celestron have all come out with some really nice EPs the last few years. Yeah, $400 Naglers are truly nice... but $100-150 ES models are arguably 95% of them for Dob use. It's not really all that scary. Now, $50-75 widefields that may *seem* decent in your SCT... they may WELL be scary when tried in a fast Dob! :lol:

Have fun with that CAT, and enjoy the time comparing!
:grin:

#12 Patrick

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Posted 03 October 2012 - 06:58 PM

I've been out about 6 times with my newly acquired used CPC1100. Went to a few viewing parties and looked through a 15 or 16 dob and I was amazed.



I'd give the CPC1100 a little more time to learn how to use and enjoy. The fork mounted scope experience is a lot different from a large Dob. You may have been looking through some big dobs, but did you load them, haul them, set them up, collimate them, and tear them down? If you need to travel to dark skies, all that extra work may put you off going out as frequently.

I have a CPC1100 and 10" Truss scope and I can tell you just from a setup point of view that the CPC1100 wins every time. Granted the 10" is not a 14", but that's beside the point. I find the CPC1100 much easier to use.

You should also consider the build/optical quality of those 15" and 16" dobs you looked through. Will the XX14g have a similar build and optical quality? Most custom built 15/16" scopes have premium optics while the Orion scope will have production optics. Granted, the Chinese optics have gotten pretty good lately, but perhaps not quite as good?

Just some things to think about. This hobby is a marathon, not a sprint. Enjoy the scopes you already have before jumping to the next level.

Patrick

#13 Mike B

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Posted 03 October 2012 - 08:39 PM

Granted, the Chinese optics have gotten pretty good lately, but perhaps not quite as good?


I dunno.... stock CAT optics versus stock Newt optics?
Two stock surfaces versus FOUR, plus a typical diagonal at the rear?

Add to this the fact that a re-figure is possible with the Dob, whereas not a likelihood with the CAT...

:shrug:

The CAT is prob'ly a more refined mechanical package, the Dob more a work-in-progress.

Very different packages, aimed at different audiences. For the OP, gotta figure which type you are... and as has been well stated, get to know the CAT you have- and you'll be in a better position to evaluate the differences a Dob might bring.

#14 Achernar

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Posted 03 October 2012 - 09:25 PM

No, but I would put in some more time with your 11-inch SCT first and learn how to use its capabilites. From a good site, there's a lot to see with an 11-inch, many NGC objects are well worth looking at with a telescope that has the capabilities yours does. Some of them are not going to look all that much different through a 15 or 16-inch compared to a 11-inch, while others will show a dramatic difference. Some objects will be faint fuzzy blobs in both. If you still wish to get a larger telescope, I would opt for a 16-inch truss-tube, which will be a good compliment to the 11-inch. Add digital setting circles and you will be able to do almost everything the 11-inch would do, except for tracking and slewing automatically to objects. You can get a 15 or 16-inch into a larger car, but the mirror box can be heavy, the one in mine with the mirror in it is 60 pounds and I much rather use my ramps and a pickup to transport it than my car. I would probably use the larger telescope at dark sites only, and use your SCT at home or at a dark site, depending on what you're in the mood for. I have sometimes taken both my 10 and 15-inch to a dark site, swapping between both. Personally, I would spend $2,000 or more for a good primary mirror from a reputable firm and build the telescope myself instead of buying an Asian Dob if it's feasible. If you have the tools and talent, you can build a lighter, more capable, compact, transportable and more user friendly telescope with good if not great optics. There's plenty of examples to inspire you here on Cloudy Nights.

Taras

#15 Patrick

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Posted 03 October 2012 - 11:38 PM

I dunno.... stock CAT optics versus stock Newt optics?
Two stock surfaces versus FOUR, plus a typical diagonal at the rear?



I was attempting to make the point that most 15" and 16" Dobsonians are custom built and use premium optics while the XX14g has Chinese production optics. I wasn't comparing the XX14g's optics to the SCT optics. The OP said he was amazed at what he was seeing in several of the big dobs which could be partly due to premium optics. It's just something the OP may want to consider.

Patrick

#16 Erik Bakker

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Posted 04 October 2012 - 01:44 AM

Like other said, take some more time with your C11. At least an observing season to find out how it really works for you under your conditions.

That said, I replaced my forkmounted Questar 7 with a premium, custom 16" f/5 dob that takes comparable effort to my equatorially mounted 4" apo to carry outside and set-up. If conditions are reasonable and I have at least an hour to observe, I generally use my 16". Such a joy to observe with and a vast improvement over the Q7.

The C11 you have is a relatively convenient big instrument that is comfortable to observe with. If you wish something bigger in addition, I would go at least the 15-18" premium dob route. As a replacement for the C11, a 12.5-15" premium dob would be nice. Buy used if money is an object. A mass produced dob is a different experience with a different price tag, not sure if that would be an improvement over your C11.

#17 Brent Campbell

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Posted 04 October 2012 - 08:56 AM

With apologies spongebob@55 I hijacked your thread with a variation of my own. I will add one thing. You have a fairly big and complex scope (CPC1100) and are planning on getting the Orion 14 " tracking DOB. Why not get something simpler, smaller, lighter, and cheaper? That way you can really compare two different types of scopes, electronics laden and simple? The concept of MOVING two complex scopes would tend to ruin my night. Think about the setup time for both scopes! Not a small amount of time will be spent setting up and breaking down two heavy computerized scopes. One is bad enough but two?

#18 spongebob@55

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Posted 01 November 2012 - 08:55 PM

I had thought about possibly a 8 or 10" simple dob, but then I got a refractor and wow, they're great. Now I'm wondering if I should get a 150mm achromat f/5. There seems to be a crispness in my 102ED f/7 that is just wonderful. However, being mounted on a Porta, its so hard to find anything. I use it as a grab and go. Set up time is shorter for sure, but finding things sometimes takes 10-15 minutes b/c of the light pollution and the fact that I'm a 'advanced beginner'. thanks to you all. Unfortunately, we got hit very hard by Sandy, and we're all in the dark but safe. Running a few lights and laptops and TV with a DC to AC inverter plugged in to my Prius' cigarette lighter. Uses the battery as power, then when the battery gets drained the gas engine starts, recharges the battery, and the whole thing continues. Uses next to no gas, either btw.

#19 Brent Campbell

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Posted 02 November 2012 - 10:38 PM

Hope everything is going well for you in New Jersey. I followed a similar but less expensive path. I purchased a used Orion Express 80 off of Cloudy Nights- I should be getting it on Monday. This should be a good compliment to my 8" SCT. When the Express 80 runs out of magnification the SCT will pick up. The Express 80 is capable of much wider fields of view than the C8 so the two should compliment each other.

#20 Bill Weir

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Posted 02 November 2012 - 11:38 PM

Not to be a fly in the ointment but presently the 14" of anykind dob is MIA from the Orion website.

Bill

#21 spongebob@55

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Posted 03 November 2012 - 10:18 AM

They're there....... http://www.telescope...pes/pc/1/15.uts

#22 johnnyha

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Posted 04 November 2012 - 01:53 AM

A 150 f5 will be 1/4 as dim as your 11" SCT and also show purple CA. :confused:

#23 Lane

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Posted 04 November 2012 - 02:45 AM

If you compare every Messier object in a C11 and 14" Dob you would be hard pressed to find a difference. In some of the galaxies you might see a tiny bit more structure but it will be a very small improvement. Even making this comparison to an 18" dob was surprising to me, the difference on brighter objects is miniscule. Where you will see a difference is when you look for very faint planetary nebulae and faint galaxies that you cannot find in your C11. There are hundreds of them visible in the 14 that are not visible in the 11. Another big difference is that the field view is going to be much better in the 14. So something like the Veil Nebula will be much more enjoyable to look at in a 14" dob.

#24 Pinbout

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Posted 04 November 2012 - 09:22 AM

hubble has a 14in on ebay.

astro sky sells 14in kit. $650

he'll glue and nail gun the wood for extra $100.

you'll have to put the uta together.

you also get %15 off all truss, focuser, spider, tailgate mirror cell and digital setting circles, when you buy the kit.

a much better telescope than the production scope orion sells.

#25 auriga

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Posted 04 November 2012 - 01:54 PM

I've been out about 6 times with my newly acquired used CPC1100. Went to a few viewing parties and looked through a 15 or 16 dob and I was amazed. I also realized I really like DSOs. Would it be stupid to get an XX14g? I would have to get some other eyepieces too, right, since the scope is so fast? I can handle the weight of the CPC1100 just fine and it fits in my car just fine. Give me your opinions? Maybe sell the CPC1100 in lieu of the xx14g? I only had a little time with Jupiter and Saturn due to weather and personal responsibilities, and haven't seen the winter sky yet through my CPC1100. I live in a white/white area, but travel an hour to see better. I'm using a ST80 for a finderscope and I also have a ES102triplet that I just got. Maybe I'm over analyzing, but I like to do that. I'm retired now, so I have some time to read and educate myself. I already know I made some mistakes, so I'd to minimize new ones. I have ES 6.7, 14,and 24. I have a 8-9-24 baader zoom. Also TMB 5, 6,7,8, and 9mm. Also Smart Astonomy 12.5, 17, and 25mm. An old 7/8" Brandon and a 40?mm Jaegers. I'm sure I don't need all of these......... Let the opinions and guidance freely flow. Thanks!


Hi,
In your situation I would sell the 11" SCT and put the money toward a good quality American made 16" Dob, such as one by Dobstuff or Teeter or Starmaster, or Webster or Starstructure or jpastrocraft. And Obsession makes good 15" Dobs.

My rationale is this: a 16" would give a more worthwhile increase in aperture over an 11". I have gone from an 11 to a 16 and the difference has been truly remarkable. And a jump from 11 to 15 would also be worthwhile if you prefer Obsession Dobs.

I find that American made Dobs are not as heavy, and are better constructed in many ways than most or all Asian-made Dobs, and are consequently more expensive. I would sell the 11" SCT to fund the difference. Why not have one superb large scope rather than two lesser large scopes?

Or, as Achernar suggests, you could build your own 16" from quality components. I suggest a focal ratio of f4.5 (or even f/4), to avoid use of a ladder in most or all viewing positions.

Bill






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