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Motorized Dobsonian or Not?

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#1 Kildar13x

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Posted 30 November 2012 - 01:29 PM

I am looking into getting a dobsonian and I was looking at the Apertura AD12. I have heard good things about this scope and its cheaper than the Orion dobsonians I was looking at. My only concern is that it is not motorized, will this present problems while observing? I've only had motorized telescopes before.

#2 jfaust75

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Posted 30 November 2012 - 01:35 PM

you do have a few options here. a normal dob is not motorized at all as you said but there is Orions Intelliscope which is Push-To(as in you push it but the controller tells you where to push it) Orion also has a Go-To model which is motorized but costs significantly more than your average dob.

a comprimise to all of this is to get any dob you pick(no motorized) and print setting circles for the base(cheap) and buy a digital inclimeter for azimuth. then just use any handheld device that you can that has a program to tell you coordinates to push to(laptop will also work).

me i went with the Intelliscope and i love it!

#3 jfaust75

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Posted 30 November 2012 - 01:37 PM

also All of those options except Go-To you have to nudge the scope to manually track(only a full Go-To can track for you)

#4 Kildar13x

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Posted 30 November 2012 - 01:43 PM

Does the target you are looking at move through the EP? That is my major concern.

#5 jfaust75

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Posted 30 November 2012 - 01:49 PM

yes that is what i meant by tracking....only a full Go-To will be able to follow an object on its own.....

manual tracking on a dob is pretty simple though, you just nudge the scope little bits at a time .you catch on after a short while(i think it took me 2 tries to get the hang of it at low power.) high power is faster and you will need to nudge it more often and even that isnt too hard once you get used to low power

#6 Kildar13x

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Posted 30 November 2012 - 01:51 PM

Ok I see. But its nothing that keeps you from enjoying the views though? I just thought it might get annoying having the object move.

#7 jfaust75

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Posted 30 November 2012 - 01:56 PM

no i absolutely love mine and the views i get from it.
get a/some wide angle EPs for it and at low power the object will stay in FOV for about a minute(one edge to opisite) then at whatever point you want to recenter just do so.

#8 jfaust75

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Posted 30 November 2012 - 01:58 PM

higher powers it will move through faster

#9 Kildar13x

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Posted 30 November 2012 - 02:04 PM

OK that's not too bad. A dobsonian is really the only way I could afford that size of an aperture.

#10 CosmoSat

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Posted 30 November 2012 - 02:08 PM

My only concern is that it is not motorized, will this present problems while observing? I've only had motorized telescopes before.


Why not try using the scopes u hve manually and u will get some idea...

As u hve some experience using telescope before..I think you will get along well with the 12" dob u r looking at..

Clear Skies!

#11 jfaust75

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Posted 30 November 2012 - 02:16 PM

My only concern is that it is not motorized, will this present problems while observing? I've only had motorized telescopes before.


Why not try using the scopes u hve manually and u will get some idea...

As u hve some experience using telescope before..I think you will get along well with the 12" dob u r looking at..

Clear Skies!


:waytogo:+1

#12 GpB311

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Posted 30 November 2012 - 02:49 PM

If nudging the scope to keep things in view ends up not being your thing, another alternative is an eq platform. While not true tracking, its an affordable option to keep things in the field of view.

#13 howard929

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Posted 30 November 2012 - 03:38 PM

And wide field EP's in the 82 degree AFOV range really improve the length of view with a push-to telescope.

#14 JohnMurphyRN

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Posted 30 November 2012 - 03:45 PM


You and I are exact opposites. I've never had a tracking scope before; I've always chased everything down by hand. Now I have a nexstar6 on the way so I'll get to sample what auto tracking and GOTO are like.

I speculate that I'll be able to look through the finder (or GLP) on the nexstar and use what I see there to help me find objects in my no-DSC-having totally manual dob (cheating).

I don't think you'll have any problem with a manual scope. Think in terms of dragging the sky around by hand.

#15 panhard

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Posted 30 November 2012 - 03:46 PM

Does the target you are looking at move through the EP? That is my major concern.

With the Orion go to scopes. After an alignment the scope will find your target and keep it in the eyepiece. Trust me I own one. :grin:

#16 MawkHawk

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Posted 30 November 2012 - 03:54 PM

I used manual tracking scopes since about 1970 and got my first go-to scope about 3 years ago. Frankly, I can't believe that I waited so long. Not having to continually think about tracking and being able to quickly move to targets is gosh darn wonderful, IMO. But you have to consider tradeoffs like anything else.

#17 Mike4242

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Posted 30 November 2012 - 08:15 PM

Last weekend I was viewing Jupiter with my XT10i at 265x with a 4.5mm Meade HD-60 eyepiece which has a 60 degree apparent field of view. I timed how long it took Jupiter to move from one edge of the EP to the other at around 35 seconds. Tracking can get a little annoying at times, but it's not that bad. However, with that said, if I had it do over, I would get the XT10g over the XT10i for the tracking. I tend to use my smaller EQ mounted refractors more that the XT10i because they have tracking.

#18 GOLGO13

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Posted 30 November 2012 - 08:28 PM

I say if you can afford it go with the tracking. That will allow you to pump up the magnification when the sky allows it. It also helps when showing other people objects in the scope.

I don't know about you guys, but almost every person who isn't a telescope person is afraid to touch the scope (except my 4 year old who does it for balance).

I personally think pushing the scope manually is fine up to 240x-300x. Sure, the earth does appear to move faster...but it's not too bad to reposition as long as your eyepiece FOV is pretty good (even with a cheap dob). But as you get up there it's a pain. Even if you have wide field eyepieces, 500x gets a bit crazy to follow something. Not impossible, but not fun either.

I may get one of those Orion G scopes instead of getting a tracking platform. How do you like yours Panhard?

#19 Mike4242

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Posted 30 November 2012 - 08:35 PM

It also helps when showing other people objects in the scope.


I stopped taking my XT10i to club observing sessions for this very reason. When you have a group of people at your scope you have to talk to them about the object as well as re-center it every few seconds which hinders the interaction.

#20 jerwin

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Posted 30 November 2012 - 08:46 PM

I own an xt10i that I bought used for $500 and CPC1100 that i bought used for $1900. If I could only keep one hands down I'd keep the CPC simply because it can track.

I'm glad I don't need to pick because I do like my dob too. Setup time on my dob is typically about 30 seconds, if I travel with it, it's maybe 2 minutes as it's disassembled.

Setup time on my CPC is at least 20 minutes, some because of assembly, but some because of the alignment process.

If I'm slewing from the north to the south my dob can do it in 2 seconds, where my cpc does it in 20-30 seconds. But if you're ever sharing the EP with someone else your observing with, tracking really becomes more important. By the time my mother could get it focused for her eyes the object would typically be out of the FOV. I'd leave it focused for her, find the object again and try to put it right on the edge so by the time she looked, it was in the center of the fov, so it just took a lot away from the viewing experience. With my cpc, I'd get it on an object and we could have a conversation about it, I could point to it with a laser pointer, this that and the other and then you look in the EP again and boom, still there.

My 2 cents.

Jim

#21 JLovell

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Posted 30 November 2012 - 09:17 PM

Eq platforms for Dobs are a really good solution. They can keep an object in the eyepiece for about an hour, and if you're handy and have time, you can build one for less than $100. You can buy one already built starting at around $400. They are simple to use... just point North, find what you want to track, and turn it on. Really good quality ones set up very carefully can even be used for photography.

A look through the ATM forum can put you on the path for building one. I think there is a sticky thread about home made mounts, and a number of the posts in there are links to home made platforms.

#22 Billytk

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Posted 30 November 2012 - 09:24 PM

Tracking rocks! Great to have with kids too. The only hard part for me is the alignment because I don't know the names of the stars yet and I can't see hardly and naked eye because of light pollution. Makes it tough to align.

#23 GOLGO13

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Posted 30 November 2012 - 10:37 PM

billy..get a planisphere...best way to know the bright stars for alignment.

#24 TexasRed

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Posted 30 November 2012 - 11:16 PM

I'm glad I could afford the luxury of auto-tracking. It's really nice to have, but if the cost would make a big difference in the biggest aperture you can afford, skip it. Manual tracking is not that hard to do, especially not at lower powers, which you'll use more than higher powers anyway.

Auto-tracking is more convenient to use and share, but more aperture gives better views. Spend your money for what you want most, or spend more for both.

#25 Tony Flanders

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Posted 01 December 2012 - 07:25 AM

Eq platforms for Dobs are a really good solution.


EQ platforms are great, but they also have many drawbacks. They're big and heavy -- a major addition to your transportation and setup needs. They need to be reset periodically. And a major issue for big Dobs is that they raise the eyepiece height quite a lot, often changing a feet-on-the-ground scope to a needs-ladder scope.

For purely visual work, alt-azimuth drive seems clearly superior.

I have observed through plenty of driven Dobs and far more undriven Dobs. Although tracking is certainly nice, it's not all that huge a deal for me. On a Dob with good motions, hand-tracking up to 300X just isn't a terribly big deal. And as a deep-sky observer, I spend most of my time at 227X or lower. I've rarely been tempted to add tracking to my 12.5-inch Dob.

I also don't find the lack of tracking to be a huge deal at star parties, though it does often push me to use lower magnifications than I might otherwise do.






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