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AT 12"RC or Edge HD 14" - my next big dilemma

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#1 Laperuz

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 07:17 PM

So, here it is. With a budget of, say, $6K I'm trying to make the best choice possible for the OTA. I already have purchased the mount (Mesu 200) and am planning a permanent installation at a summer house in a "green" zone in the Catskills. My priorities are 80% imaging and 20% visual. From what I've read I like the idea of the 14"HD - being more "universal" and also since I have Nexstar 11"XLT for last 5 years essentially with no issues (including the use of 2 generations of Hyperstar). I want to be able to image at higher than Hyperstar FL - F/7-8 and with APS-size CCD. Don't know much about AT/GSO manufacturing history but can't afford any other RC. I guess that's it, opening another big can of worms here... But I've been struggling with this for quite a while and want to make a decision before NEAF. :scratchhead:
Any and all suggestions are greatly appreciated!
Ian

#2 korborh

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 11:28 PM

EdgeHD 14. Its is much more flexible and overall better than AT12RC. Also collimating the EdgeHD precisely is very easy. You get f/11, f7.7 (with reducer), f/1.9 (hyperstar). You can also do visual and planetary with it.

#3 mega256

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 12:55 AM

Ill put my 2Cents in....The AT12RC is a great scope.I was faced with this same decision this spring..At that time I owned a AT8RC and a AT6rc...both great...But when the price tag got above 4k$ for a OTA,I startted to think about maintence on the RC scopes.....
If the AT12RC was of an open style...not a tube,I would of gotton it.But having2 rc scopes,that were new,they were in good shape and clean...But If they needed cleaning,how would I do that? I could not get to the primary with out taking the scope apart...If it was a "OPEN truss type,you can get to the primary for cleaning. For this resason I chose the C14...Yes the corrector has to come off,but not a big deal....Because the tube has the glass corector,the primary is mostly protected and needs little service,But if needed,it could be cleaned and put back together,and Aligned with out Rocket science....The At12RC would have to be completly disasembled and some science would have to be used to get it back right.This is my H.O. To me the C14 just made more practical sense,and I can maintain it.
Also from F22 to F2 is great.

But the optics in the RC are just super,and if it was an open tube I might have went that way...An open RC is Very $$ more than I want to spend.

#4 GlennLeDrew

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 01:28 AM

I'd lean pretty heavily toward the Edge14. Easy collimation; highly corrected field already part of the package; readily available, dedicated focal reducer; versatility. Not much more to ask for.

Simple collimation alone is a very potent attractant...

#5 Jared

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 02:18 AM

Interesting. For an 80/20 imaging/ visual split, I'd go the other way. My vote would be for the RC. In the 12" size, you can just about get away with not using a field flattened (for APS-c or smaller, though it's borderline). You get a fixed primary, the otpption for a better focuser, an open tube to aid in cooling, active fans rather than passive vents, fewer dewing problems, and a faster native focal ratio. I see the collimation issue as begin all but irrelevant at a permanent site. How often will you need to adjust it? Plus, the pain of collimating annRC is, in my opinion, overstated. They are finicky, but it's not like they require special tools or anything.

On the downside, the RC has less aperture, has diffraction spikes, is probably not as good a visual instrument (due to the larger central obstruction), and has a bit less flexibility in terms of backfocus.

For the mix you are describing, I think the RC is the better scope. For the better cooling alone I would choose it over the SCT unless I lived in South Florida or somewhere that had very small temperature deltas. I'm assuming deep sky imaging, by the way, not planetary. If you meant planetary imaging, my recommendation would switch.

#6 Laperuz

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 01:33 PM

Thank you all for replies! I did a little comparison table. For me, it is 3 to 6 score towards the Edge. Major points being: pros: 63% larger effective area, universality (many f-ratios available)- visual and AP, weight (surprisingly!), cons: Price (extra $1.5K when you take in account the need for dedicated reducer vs. focuser and laser collimator), 6 refractive elements to get to F8.
Decisions!

#7 Jared

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 01:39 PM

Good luck! They are both good scopes, so I don't see either choice as a mistake. Just a bunch of factors to balance based on your intended use.

#8 Alph

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 02:40 PM

Decisions!


Dilemma, what dilemma? Get the best of both worlds, Meade 12" f/8 RCX aka LX850.
Another thing to consider. How often do you see people posting images of DSOs taken with the HD14? You will have a hard time to find them.

#9 Laperuz

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 03:47 PM

I think now it is hard to find (impossible?)a LX850 OTA. May be one day they will become available... Right now, it's either pre-order the whole scope (which I don't want/need, since I have the mount) or wait for a day to come when Meade will start selling OTA's. Life's too short for that:)

#10 Griffin!

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 03:55 PM

http://store.meade.com/acf-ota.html

They're up for preorder on the Meade store.

#11 korborh

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 04:08 PM

DSO's with EdgeHD 14 (not mine).
http://www.flickr.co...57618612316465/

Are there equivalent DSO images with AT12RC? I have a hard time finding them.

#12 Alph

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 04:22 PM

DSO's with EdgeHD 14 (not mine).
http://www.flickr.co...57618612316465/

Are there equivalent DSO images with AT12RC? I have a hard time finding them.

I knew someone would bring that webpage up. Is that all what you could find? That guy is a Celestron beta tester. :grin:

#13 Laperuz

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 04:22 PM

I saw those pictures made using the 14"Edge before - impressive! As for Meade - field is still curved, large central obstruction, no Hyperstar option (in the foreseeable future). But it is an OTA worth considering.

#14 Laperuz

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 04:32 PM

There's also this site I found: http://www.pbase.com...00__paramountmx

#15 kbastro

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 06:46 PM

get the 12" RC,, half the optical elements of the Edge,,,,

almost no dew problems compared to the big corrector plate

quicker cool down time

and coma free... but not flat

but that my 2 cents

kb

#16 psandelle

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 06:48 PM

More than a few Hyperstar 14" pics around. Just Google. Starizona has some in their main Hyperstar page from a while back, but their forums usually have a lot of the latest stuff.

Paul

#17 Laperuz

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 08:29 PM

Latest issue of S&T just came. On their last cover page - new ad for LX850, two Helices compared - LX850 12" and HST. I like the HST's better! Now I know which one to get!!!:whee:

#18 Cotts

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 08:59 PM

Hi, Alph. It matters little whether or not the pics come from a 'beta-tester' as you insinuate. What matters is that the pics were taken with 14" Edge HD and they look pretty good to me.....

Dave

#19 korborh

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 09:26 PM

Hi, Alph. It matters little whether or not the pics come from a 'beta-tester' as you insinuate. What matters is that the pics were taken with 14" Edge HD and they look pretty good to me.....

Dave


Exactly. What is important is the images were taken using C14 EdgeHD. Look at the full resolution. The quality of these images is excellent - pipoint stars all the way to the edge and tons of resolved details.

#20 Alph

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 09:57 PM

Hi, Alph. It matters little whether or not the pics come from a 'beta-tester' as you insinuate.


Yes they do come from a beta tester. Celestron use those images in their brochures. You can consider those images as made by Celestron for Celestron. However that wasn't really the point that was I making. The point is that the work of that guy is just about the only example of images taken with the 14" HD. The 14" HD is simply not a popular astrograph and for a good reason.

#21 bilgebay

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 12:44 AM

...and what is it ? I am really curious to see your images too Alph!

#22 Cotts

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 07:24 AM


Hi, Alph. It matters little whether or not the pics come from a 'beta-tester' as you insinuate.


Yes they do come from a beta tester. Celestron use those images in their brochures. You can consider those images as made by Celestron for Celestron. However that wasn't really the point that was I making. The point is that the work of that guy is just about the only example of images taken with the 14" HD. The 14" HD is simply not a popular astrograph and for a good reason.


"...Get the best of both worlds, Meade 12" f/8 RCX aka LX850. ..."

Please post the superior pictures you have taken during your direct experience as an owner of the above Meade telescope. If they are as much of an improvement over the Celestron as you say they are they will be truly
awesome. We'd all like to see them.

Dave

#23 psandelle

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 10:30 AM

Pics would be nice Alph.... :)

With that Mesu 200, either scope should be solid (very cool mount - always was curious about the whole Mesu line), but I think the versatility (for me), would give the 14" Edge the, well...edge. You really can't go wrong either way.

And, of course, the 14", as has been said before, is a fantastic planetary scope as well. (Was out with a guy doing Hyperstar for the first time with a 14" the other night - very SIMPLE setup after he figured out a workflow.)

Paul

#24 Laperuz

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 11:18 AM

I tried the Mesu 200 just once so far. Loved it! Want to put together a really universal setup. Hence, my hesitation as to what to get without killing myself and/or bankrupting the family! :foreheadslap:

#25 psandelle

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 11:25 AM

Whelp, whatever you decide on (and, no doubt, something used might rear its head to tempt you with a scope you hadn't thought of because new was too much), sounds like you're going to have a great system!


Paul






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