Newb thanks and sanity check
Posted 02 April 2013 - 10:05 PM
First, huge thanks to the community and to Astronomics for this forum. As a person who is finally breaking down and getting a scope (or two), the Cloudy Nights forums have been immensely helpful. I've long observed using binoculars (currently Nikon Monarch 5 10x42), virtually observed using Stellarium and I belong to the local astronomy club (which has a fantastic telescope loaner program). I am currently observing using a ETX-90 (for grab and go) and Super C8 (garden scope). Local skies are heavy light polluted(edge of white zone)but yellow is 30 minutes away (per ClearDarkSkies). I have acquired three of my own eye pieces (Televue 32mm Plossls, Televue 14mm Delos and Televue 10mm Delos) with a emphasis on high eye relief (Wife and I both have high astigmatism).
I am planning to start purchasing my own scopes this summer (garden scope first) and would like a sanity check on my thoughts. Primary use is visual with a desire to get into video astronomy (No AP). Not a fan of reflectors/Dobs. Based on the positive board comments, the 8" EdgeHd seems to be a sweet spot in aperture, portability and image quality minus cooling issues. I have compared a C11 EdgeHd to a 8SE at a star party and found the superior edge to edge performance of the C11 noticeable. What are the alternatives that I am missing in the $1300 range and am I overdoing it for visual in my environment.
Mounts seem much more problematic. Max payload is planned at 20lbs. Fork mounts seem heavy, awkward and clunky (to me). My desired max weight for a goto mount/tripod is 35lbs (minus counter weight) with preferred mount/tripod weight of 25lbs. The Advanced VX is at the edge of that weight but seems to be going through teething pains. IOPTRON mounts(MiniTower Pro or the ZEQ25) seem ideal but have lots of love/hate reviews. Also I would like to go wireless scope control using PC laptop and IOPTRON mounts do not seem capable. (and what is the IOPTRON port on the mount for?). Any thoughts would be helpful.
Finally, eyepieces are also a bit of challenge. I have three Televue eyepieces plus a Televue 1.25 99% Everbrite diagonal on backorder. I don't think the seeing in my area will support above 200x (in a 8" SCT) except on rare occasions. I am debating a Delos 17.3mm at 117x to fill in. That being said, not seeing a Delos equivalent (1.25 format, 20mm plus eye relief, wide aFOV) in the 20mm-28mm range. Any thoughts again would be helpful.
Sorry for the ramble and thanks taking the time to read through.
Once again, thanks to the community for this great forum and for any replies in advance.
Posted 03 April 2013 - 12:27 AM
An 8" SCT with Starbright coating on a CG5GOTO is a pretty capable visual scope and doesn't have the field rotation issue for pictures as would an az-el mount.
Posted 03 April 2013 - 12:49 AM
Posted 03 April 2013 - 12:55 AM
Posted 03 April 2013 - 10:36 AM
Posted 04 April 2013 - 12:10 PM
I think that a celestron HD8 is a great choice, it corrects for coma and field curvature. I am not sure how much of an issue they would be on a video cam as they tend to have small CCD's 1/2" or less but would certainly help with wide field eyepieces. You will almost certainly need a reducer for video imaging to get the native f10 down for short exposure times. Another option would be a wide-field f5-6 Apo Refractor with a field flattener.
The mount choices seem to grow by the week. iOptrons do work with PC's they connect through the handset. In many ways the mount is the most important part of the gear. You can get a great OTA but if its in a poor cheap wobble mount it does you little good. Also by getting a good mount you have the option of adding other scopes to it at a later date. What-ever budget you have I would recommend you put 2/3's of it in the mount. Having said that I wouldn't argue to much with a C8 HD on a Advanced VX, just remember to budget in the 0.7x reducer. A heavier rated mount for future proofing depends on your back and if you are setting up and breaking down a lot but a iEQ45 is lighter then then competitors for a 45lbs capacity (iOptron need to improve their manuals)allowing you to put a C11 on it at some date. Good quality used gear is another road, look for 2/3's pricing from new, I would stay away from bargain prices there is a reason for selling cheap.