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Zhumell 12" Review and First Light Report!

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#1 dennyhenke

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 09:25 PM

I've written up a review and first light report for the Z12. :grin:

#2 Mr. Marbles

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 09:45 PM

Very nice write-up! Though the big Dob may not break the bank, don't break your back moving it. Last night, I was out at a dark site with my 8" and my buddy had his 14". More detail was seen in every object we looked at with the 14" - but, to be honest, the view of M81/M82/NGC3077 neighborhood was not really any better in his scope, in fact, I may have preferred it in my 8". Those galaxies are kind to less aperture and a contrasty mirror.

#3 Scott in NC

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 10:36 PM

Nice report! Congrats on the new scope. :waytogo:

#4 panhard

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 10:54 PM

Very nice report. I am sure you are going to enjoy your new scope.

#5 kfiscus

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Posted 09 January 2013 - 01:52 AM

Here's what I did with my loose dust cap. I used a heat gun to carefully soften a few of the tabs, one at a time. I held on to each tab with the pliers and could feel when the heat just began to have an effect. I gently bent the tabs outward a tiny bit and the dust cap is now obedient.

#6 stratocaster

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Posted 09 January 2013 - 02:21 AM

Another comment on the loose dust cap.

I have a Z10. In my case I had two issues. The cap itself seemed to fit perfectly at first. But the first time I took it to a cold site it got REALLY loose. Wouldn't even stay on. At room temperature it fit fine again. Obviously expansion differences between the metal OTA and the plastic cap caused this issue.

The second problem was one of my own making. I went to a club-sponsered weekend star party in death valley. Most of us in the club left the scopes assembled outside, but I did not have a scope cover. The next day it got a little warm, the OTA got a lot warm, and the plastic tabs on the cover softened. At that point the cap wouldn't get snug at all.

I just bought some felt at Home Depot and placed it around the circumference of the cap as necessary. Problem solved.

#7 coopman

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Posted 09 January 2013 - 07:55 AM

Congrats on the new light bucket and thanks for the report.

#8 Gastrol

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Posted 09 January 2013 - 01:10 PM

Very nice report, and enjoy your new scope!

#9 echoes1961

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Posted 09 January 2013 - 09:48 PM

I've written up a review and first light report for the Z12. :grin:


Did you do a quick star test to determine the primary mirrors shape? I know you collimated it but how is the mirrors surface looking in a star test?

Thanks for the post, very interesting.

#10 Kildar13x

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Posted 10 January 2013 - 07:31 PM

Thank you so much for this. I have been hemming and hawing over what dob to get for awhile now and I was pretty confident in the z12 but I Hadn't seen any real reviews on it. This is just what I was looking for to push me to buy it. I'm upgrading from my C6 to this and I am sure I will not be disappointed. I have heard the same thing about the springs from other people as well any suggestions for upgrading them?

#11 echoes1961

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Posted 10 January 2013 - 08:42 PM

Yes..go to Lowes and you will find some compression springs there, they are a little larger and stronger then the original springs in todays scopes. They're about 3 inches long and chrome plated, cut them in half with a dremal tool and install them one at a time in the back of the telescopes mirror cell, you don't have to remove the cell. Works great.

I did this to 2 telescopes and it keeps them collimated longer and it's easier to collimate them when needed.

Clear skies.

#12 BigC

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Posted 10 January 2013 - 09:57 PM

Nice review.

I am another Z12 owner.Just get lost with all the stars the 12" brings into view.

Think what the 16" would bring in!

I have two complaints about all these scopes:one the darn particle board bases are awfully heavy; and two,why are the finder scope dovetail brackets made such that the protruding foot ends up on the lower side of the bracket?If the protrusion was on the upper side then gravity would help keep the finder in the bracket.Tightening the finder dovetail screw is very important.

Can probably duplicate the base with lighter real wood and save some weight.

Still today's amateur is blessed to have several very affordable and excellent 12" scopes from which to choose.

#13 kenrenard

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Posted 11 January 2013 - 06:57 AM

Congratulations Denny.

Found some other great observing articles on your site. Are you using a specific book for the Hershel 400? I received Steven O'Meara's book for the holidays and have been able to see a few so far. I'm in pretty bad light pollution so its a slow go. Good Luck with your new scope.

#14 dennyhenke

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Posted 18 January 2013 - 09:53 PM

echoes1961, I'm not sure what you mean by doing a star test? I'd be happy to give it a go if you can explain it.

#15 dennyhenke

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Posted 18 January 2013 - 09:58 PM

Ken, no specific book. Just the list imported into SkySafari to locate them with the iPad/Mac. All observations recorded into my FileMaker Pro database. I'm lucky to be in a dark site so the star hopping is easy and so far the Z12 is a real pleasure to use.

#16 dennyhenke

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Posted 18 January 2013 - 10:07 PM

Kildar13x, I think you're really going to enjoy it. I've had mine for two weeks now and have it out ever clear night, six nights total and it has been fantastic. Galaxies that would be very hard to see in the 8" just jump right out. Viewed the globular cluster M68 last night, and it resolved pretty well. The Sombrero galaxy was beautiful as were both of Bode's galaxies. Saturn was off the charts fantastic. You'll want a 5mm if you don't already have one... provides some great close-ups of Saturn and Jupiter as well as some DSOs.

A real pleasure to use this scope!

#17 mdalton

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Posted 20 January 2013 - 12:35 AM

Congratulations on the new scope, Denny. Nice report. Hey, we are almost neighbors.

#18 Smittty692k4

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Posted 20 January 2013 - 09:27 AM

Those 12"s sure are fantastic.

M81 and M82 in the same FOV with the 30mm EP and the Double Cluster with the 30MM EP are my 2 favorites so far.

The number of stars in the DC with the 12" compared to the 8" is just ridiculous. I hope u have continued joy with your Z12.

#19 dennyhenke

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 11:43 PM

Matt, agreed, a fantastic view of Bodes. I think I spent 30 or 40 minutes on that the other night and will revisit soon. Another favorite is the Sombrero!

#20 dennyhenke

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 11:47 PM

Mdalton, indeed we are! We've just started the Eastern Ozarks Astronomical Society if you'd like to join us. We've got a weekly viewing session, usually Thursdays and have a group coming down from the St. Louis Astronomical Society on February 9. More here http://www.facebook....35270693159026/

#21 fnowat

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 01:44 AM

NICE! Welcome to the "Z12" Club! And enjoy...

frank

-oh, and you do have some interesting reads on your "account" i decided to 'follow'...






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