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#26 Startraffic


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Posted 10 January 2013 - 12:38 PM

It sounds like you like your Dob, but want the convenience of a GOTO scope. It that's the case then why not keep the scope & invest in a good GOTO platform & a good power supply that you can plug into one of those numerous outlets? A lot of the new platforms are even designed to be used as a means to move the scope to where you want it. A whole lot cheaper than a completely new system, & the a lot less hassle than learning a completely different system of motions involved in a GEM, new setup procedure, i.e. leveling the mount, polar aligning the mount, AND then getting the GOTO system aligned to the sky so the GOTO's will work.
GEM's are a very different animal to learn to use, & not necessarily very intuitive.

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#27 Mark Costello

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Posted 10 January 2013 - 01:46 PM

Power supply is not an issue. I have no less than 6 outlets spread out across my backyard. Weight is not too much of an issue provided of course it's not obsessive. It's the length and bulk of the tube. I have to carry it down a flight of stairs to set it up outside.

I don't live anywhere near a store or outlet where I can actually look at setups. At the moment I'm hedging toward a 8" SCT and from what I can see the weight and compact tube assemblies might be a good fit but since I can't physically see one I'm not sure :(

Astronomics and maybe some other shops have data on C8 tube assemblies and complete C8 rigs that might help you get data on their weights. A C8 OTA weighs in at about 13 lb. A NextStar C8 rig is about 35 lb IIRC, and both the C8-SGT and CPC8 come in at a little under 60lb. There's a review of the C8 over on Astromart, written by "Eddgie" which has some photos of the OTA, it's an eye-opener to look at the OTA sitting next to a 80mm short tube refractor....

Hope this helps....

#28 S.Boerner


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Posted 10 January 2013 - 02:13 PM

If you can live with the nudge, nudge, nudge but want to find things faster consider making Dave Ek's digital setting circles

If you go the capacitance based encoder route you can get Push-To on your scope for less than $150. I did it to both my 40 year old C8 and alt/az Berry mount.

You'd still be limited in astrophotography, but hooked to a laptop or tablet you could find those faint fuzzies much faster than you'd ever dreamed.

#29 paulr57



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Posted 10 January 2013 - 06:07 PM

Wow thanks for the response! You've given me some new things to ponder. One question about a shed with a removable top. I have an 10x12 that is pretty much unused but I'd have to move it about 100ft. I'm thinking someone with a decent size forklift might be able to do that.
My question is can the existing roof be retrofitted for would I need to tear the roof down and rebuild it from the rail up?

#30 Doc Bob

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Posted 10 January 2013 - 06:18 PM

Build out an observatory!! You have all of the necessary space and "stuff". That Dob and/or another "go-to" scope ( I like the Celestron CPC1100) would be really nice - permanently set-up ready for instant use!


#31 paulr57



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Posted 10 January 2013 - 06:21 PM

I'm still motivated to move the Dob around and over the years it's has made more than one vacation trip with me.

Now that a shed with a removable roof has entered my brain patterns it opens up some possibilities that appeal to me. I'm going to look at some mounts capable of holding the Dob. Anyone here have a bigger Dob on a eq mount?

#32 csrlice12


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Posted 10 January 2013 - 07:00 PM

Not certain how you are with a little engineering and tools, but you could mount the current roof structure with a brace and wheel/bearing system and a rail for it to ride on (will require sinking posts w/cement using those cardboard tubes & cement) You could add a little "skirt" around the bottom edge of the roof to keep out the wind/rain. On the sides that will ride on the rails, just make cutouts where the rails will run through. If your're real energetic, you could make "caps" for the end of rail piece. (Be sure to put some kind of stop at the end of rail, or being out in the open sky will no longer be a problem). Or, just tear out the current roof (please brace the shed sides first) install a flat, sturdy plywood roof with a hole big enough for an observatory dome. For the dome, well.....I've seen some reviews on Cloudy Nights.....

#33 Quinn



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Posted 11 January 2013 - 04:30 AM

Hey Paul

NeilMac has an idea there. Now a small observatory would be nice. However even a small tool shed, that can be locked and secure, along with a good hand cart would be worth investigation. Probably save a few dollars over the cost of a SCT and mount.

If you like your 10" dob I don't know what would replace it that would be all that much easier to drag/drop down a flight of stairs. 10" SCT is going to weight just a couple of pound less but it will be half the length. The mount will be heavier though. You will be looking at a few trips up n down the stairs.

Added just after I posted. Definitely get a shed or if you have the funds an observatory. Even if you get a different rig. Even if it is a bit lighter. I think you deserve to make the most of your hobby/avocation. Fireman! Yea I'd say you earned it. Humping Kit up n down stairs... This is supposed to be enjoyable. and the easier you make it the more you are going to want to go out there and do it.

All the best
to you and yours

SO you have a Haven that we would all drool over :)

Building a small observatory might be your best bet, would be nice not have to setup each time and just slide the roof off.

#34 paulr57



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Posted 11 January 2013 - 09:23 AM

Thanks for the ideas. I've now moved an observatory to the number one spot. I can keep my existing scope (and use it a lot!) and solve my mobility issues in one swoop!

I'm not "construction" oriented but I have friends who are truly gifted in this area. I'll browse the DIY sections here and see what I can find for modifications.

#35 kenrenard


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Posted 11 January 2013 - 12:44 PM

I'm still motivated to move the Dob around and over the years it's has made more than one vacation trip with me.

Now that a shed with a removable roof has entered my brain patterns it opens up some possibilities that appeal to me. I'm going to look at some mounts capable of holding the Dob. Anyone here have a bigger Dob on a eq mount?

Check out this post.
Re: DSO Telescope Viewing Sizes

Jon Isaacs has a 12 inch. He is very helpful and may be able to give you some good advice. He has quite a bit of experience with different types of scopes and always helps folks including me in the beginners forum.

Good Luck


#36 Motokid600


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Posted 11 January 2013 - 12:57 PM

You know I said the same thing about AP when I first started out. Bought my cpc1100 with only observing in mind. BUT one night I got curious while looking at Orion. I took a *BLEEP* point and shoot, turned the exposure up, held it up to the eyepiece as steady as i could. .. I was blown away. Instantly addicted. So all I can say is.. keep an open mind and future proof your resources. As the others have said you have an astronomers wet dream for a backyard. Go to town on an observatory.

#37 TexasRed


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Posted 12 January 2013 - 08:37 AM

You asked if anyone had a 10" Newtonian or bigger on an EQ mount. I had one, but I sold it because I needed a ladder and the spine of a snake to use it. I also needed help to move it, and the tube was a wind sock.

I got one of Orion's "g" series for the automatic tracking and GoTo, but I only have to wheel it out onto my deck with a handtruck, which isn't hard. You wouldn't want to take it up or down stairs.

Look into one of Telegizmo's covers for leaving a scope in a shed.

You might also find a hand dolly and a long ramp easier to deal with than carrying anything up and down stairs.

#38 maakhand


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Posted 12 January 2013 - 10:55 PM

hi and welcome to the forum. one idea not yet mentioned here is to have your scope converted to "ultra light" by Dennis of dobstuff. he can install sky commander and servocat for you too.

#39 northernontario



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Posted 13 January 2013 - 03:11 AM

I bought one of those metal kit sheds some time ago. 8x10.

On sale, it was under 300.00 dollars. The base was about 50 dollars worth of wood.

It is not a roll off roof, but it has a roll out Dob inside. :cool:

I used to lug my 16 inch up the basement stairs. :foreheadslap:

The 350 dollars for the shed was the best money I ever spent in this hobby. :jump:


#40 drewp


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Posted 13 January 2013 - 01:59 PM

i like the idea of a roll off roof for shed/observatory. id do one myself if i had your skys and back yard room. as far as goto is concerned why not go with digital setting circles for your dob?

#41 lfinn



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Posted 13 January 2013 - 02:22 PM

Have you considered adding a skycommander to the scope you already have. It wont be GOTO but it will give you a push to which will get you where you want to be with just aligning to two stars then then select what you want from the handset.

They are easy to add to most scopes and they do have the option of a DOB kit that will work with what you already have.

The the option of a shed where you can wheel it out as needed or a slide off roof would provide all your asking for.

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