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Dob upgrade worth it?

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#1 paulr57

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Posted 02 May 2013 - 08:39 AM

I currently own an Orion 10" Dob and am considering going up in size. Would a jump from 10" to 12" be a worthwhile endeavor or should I think 14" or more?

I recently moved a shed to a better location in the yard (from advice in another forum here) and it will be dedicated to my Astronomy Addiction. I plan to keep the 10" for remote observing at other sites.

#2 Jeff Morgan

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Posted 02 May 2013 - 10:12 AM

As you move into the bigger apertures the considerations become more about the logistics of using the scope vs. the optical considerations.

If you can determine the absolute largest size and weight you can deal with and then reduce it by 10% you'll probably be just about right.

#3 DJCalma

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Posted 02 May 2013 - 10:24 AM

I've seen several cases where someone went from a 10" to 12" and realized that the views weren't much different. A 44% increase in light gathering isn't much at the eyepiece. I would recommend an increase of 100%. A 14" would be a 96% increase and for me would be the minimum jump from a 10".

#4 Mike B

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Posted 02 May 2013 - 10:24 AM

Hi Paul-

Good question. This one is asked pretty frequently around here, so there may be quite a few old (or recent :grin:) threads dedicated to answering... try a "search"?

In my view, there are two ways to approach the matter; ONE is to get the larger scope that suits your situation-
1) available storage
2) size & weight for transport- from doorways, to vehicles
3) eyepiece height at zenith
3.5) willingness to expand 3) via a ladder or stool... & pack it with you wherever the scope goes!
4) budget constraints vs. quality constraints vs. peace & tranquility factors re: spousal unit
5) etc.
... and let the aperture fall where it may.

The OTHER approach is to try for at least 4-5 inches of aperture jump- ie. 8-12 inches, or 10-14. As the aperture range goes up, the 4-5 inch thing might need to expand with... a 26-30 inch bump likely won't rock anyone's world. :lol:

The first was my own approach, but it's maybe too easy for me to tout this method, as it led me from a 10-inch to a 15-inch. But it landed me with a Dob that fits me & my constraints rather perfectly, and given the chance to do it again, even if coming from a 12-inch Dob, i'd do it again (15) in a heartbeat. It's like shoes that fit & perform perfectly... versus ones that do so not-so-perfectly. :smirk:

A parallel thot might go like "is it better to get a 12-inch stock scope, or a 10-inch premium-optic scope?" Yet another might be "is it better to get a 12-inch stock scope, or a 10-inch one loaded with features, like tracking or computer-pointing?" The easy answer here is "it depends". ;) But i throw them out here as being thots possibly worthy of consideration in your overall calculus.

Happy upgrading!
:cool: mike b

#5 panhard

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Posted 02 May 2013 - 11:04 AM

I also think that you have to ask yourself the big question. Can I still handle the bigger scope 10 years from now?

#6 GeneT

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Posted 02 May 2013 - 03:59 PM

I've seen several cases where someone went from a 10" to 12" and realized that the views weren't much different.


This is where I come out. I own a 12.5 incher. If I were going larger, I would want to double my light gathering, which would put me at about an 18 incher. I did just that--bought an 18 inch, but sold it and now only use the 12. The extra light gathering of the 18 did not overcome the hassle so I kept and only use my 12.

#7 NewMoonTelescope

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Posted 02 May 2013 - 07:01 PM

I agree that doubling your light gathering capability is certainly the way to go (taking the jump to a 14), but others brought up excellent points to take into consideration regarding storage, portability, and of course, cost.
My experience says yes, it would be worthwile to go up the extra 2 inches. I use a 12 on occasion even though my go to scope is a 16. I can see a noticeable difference between 10 and 12 inches, and the mass isn't much greater. Many people say that a 12 is the smallest of the big ones, and I would certainly agree with that.

Good luck!

#8 paulr57

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Posted 02 May 2013 - 08:12 PM

Thank you all for the responses! You've certainly given me some things to ponder.

I won't have to move the scope very far. I have a shed and plan a platform of some sort and maybe with a dolly it'll be a simple move.

I haven't ruled out a roll off roof down the road but the only thing that keeps me from doing the roof now and going berzerk on a mega scope is my age. As panhard said I need to ask myself will a bigger scope be ok 10 years from now.

I do like nearly doubling my light gathering if I go to a 14" and I did a quick look on youtube to get an idea of it's size, and more importantly to me, the height of the eyepiece at zenith. Ladders are not in my cards due to some injuries years ago. A 14" would be max for me.

So off I go to ponder life and the excellent ideas you've all provided!

Clear Skies!
Paul

#9 gaz-in

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Posted 03 May 2013 - 06:37 AM

Another consideration is moving from you mass produced 10" Dob (I own one and love it so this is not a knock on mass produced dobs)to a premium (optics and structures) 12 inch Dob......IMHO you would notice a difference there....

#10 Bob S.

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Posted 03 May 2013 - 08:19 AM

Thank you all for the responses! You've certainly given me some things to ponder.

I won't have to move the scope very far. I have a shed and plan a platform of some sort and maybe with a dolly it'll be a simple move.

I haven't ruled out a roll off roof down the road but the only thing that keeps me from doing the roof now and going berzerk on a mega scope is my age. As panhard said I need to ask myself will a bigger scope be ok 10 years from now.

I do like nearly doubling my light gathering if I go to a 14" and I did a quick look on youtube to get an idea of it's size, and more importantly to me, the height of the eyepiece at zenith. Ladders are not in my cards due to some injuries years ago. A 14" would be max for me.

So off I go to ponder life and the excellent ideas you've all provided!

Clear Skies!
Paul


Paul, I was 62-63 years old and in good health with a sort of healthy back and was rolling my 28" f/3.5 Starmaster out from the insulated garage to a spot on my driveway where I had rubber-backed commercial entrance carpet that prevented radiation of the concrete up the back of the scope. I could then deploy a 20" box fan to cool the large mirror.

If you plan to have something near your shed, I would suggest a concrete or grass pad (grass is better) that is level and the effort to deploy a large scope is essentially a non-issue. I now have a 20" f/3 that has integral wheels and can deploy it in less than 1 minute with absolutely no hassles whatsoever. Larger aperture if you live in relatively dark skies is worth the minor effort and it sounds like you have an amenable setup capability. Bob

#11 paulr57

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Posted 05 May 2013 - 08:48 AM

"If you plan to have something near your shed, I would suggest a concrete or grass pad (grass is better) that is level and the effort to deploy a large scope is essentially a non-issue."

I have a little bit of a slope to deal with and a pad is not practical. I was thinking of building a platform big enough to to hold the scope and then surrounding it with decking large enough for me to move about safely in the dark! The platform and decking would be isolated from each other so my movement would not create vibrations in the scope. All of this would be level with the entryway so I could roll it out and not have any lifting or twisting to contend with.

I do have level areas in the yard but where I have the shed placed allows for greater sky area for viewing.

Do you think this plan is viable?

#12 Bob S.

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Posted 05 May 2013 - 09:30 AM

"If you plan to have something near your shed, I would suggest a concrete or grass pad (grass is better) that is level and the effort to deploy a large scope is essentially a non-issue."

I have a little bit of a slope to deal with and a pad is not practical. I was thinking of building a platform big enough to to hold the scope and then surrounding it with decking large enough for me to move about safely in the dark! The platform and decking would be isolated from each other so my movement would not create vibrations in the scope. All of this would be level with the entryway so I could roll it out and not have any lifting or twisting to contend with.

I do have level areas in the yard but where I have the shed placed allows for greater sky area for viewing.

Do you think this plan is viable?


Absolutely viable. Might suggest considering using composite wood (petroleum based) so that you do not have maintenance issues with your surrounding deck. Would also suggest putting up a railing around that deck so you or anybody else does not fall off the deck in the dark. I would also make the center pad out of concrete so that your scope is super stable and very level. I am sure others will have some good suggestions to add to the ones I just made. Bob

#13 paulr57

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Posted 05 May 2013 - 06:07 PM

Thanks for the reminder about rails! While the elevation will only be 18-24 inches I'd still hate to back off the edge and fall. I've had enough of that already from my Firefighter days!

#14 Mike B

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Posted 05 May 2013 - 06:55 PM

Hi Paul-

It's those "short" steps that can be SO troublesome & injury-inducing! The 2-3 inch variety are nearly as bad, as they're classic trippers. Working in the Architecture field, such transitions are contrary to code- 4" being the minimum transition ("step"), and they need to be marked & visible! Per code, you can do as much as a 20" (iirc) height transition w/o a railing, but i wouldn't recommend it!

#15 donnie3

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Posted 07 May 2013 - 12:59 AM

I have a 10" dob and had a 12" dob from orion(solid tube) yes, there is a difference, its not a wow but its there. im thinking about purchasing orions 12" truss intelliscope. sure would like to get the 14" but putting it on a cart I would have to use a stool at zenith. the 12" would be just right for my height and less of a hassle.






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