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Dob to compliment my 8' SCT?

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#1 REC

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Posted 02 July 2013 - 10:50 AM

Well after reading 100's of posts and reports on how great Dob's are, maybe I'll take the plunge? I just read a post about someone who has a manual DOB and uses his GOTO scope with a green laser to find stuff. I was concerned that using the manual DOB was going to cause some issues finding fainter DSO's beyond what I could see in my 8x50 finder scope in my light pollution sight (Red) at best. My GOTO works really well and if I could see the beam in the DOB then that sounds like a great idea!

The other concern is weight as the heaviest part is the mirrow box I guess. Looking at the Truss Type, the 10" weighs 65lb. and the 12" weighs 80lb....total.

Bottom line also is, am I going to be able to see a pretty big difference with the faint fuzzies in a 10" or do I really need to go to the 12" ?

Thanks for any of your suggestions!

Bob

#2 JayinUT

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Posted 02 July 2013 - 11:11 AM

Aperture rules, bottom line. Having said that a scope that is too heavy and results in you second guessing if you want to take it out is not good either. There is a balance between weight and aperture and it is one you have to decide on.

I'd recommend the 12" t 12.". 12" or 12.5" is a good platform for observing DSO's. I recommend that you consider a couple of vendors and look and compare them closely. Look at Dennis Steele at Dobstuff, Rob Teeter at Teeter Telescopes and perhaps New Moon Telescopes who has a 12.5 f4.9 for $3898 and you can get the Argo Navis system installed for $798. I love Teeter's scopes and will own one someday, perhaps on the 20" mirror I am having made. You can get a new Teeter 12.5 with Zambuto Primary for $5200.00 I went with my Dobstuff for my 14" Zambuto and I enjoy the motions, the quick cool down and ease of use. I had to do some tweeks but that made the scope mine even more and nothing was major. Dennis at Dobstuff has a 12 inch Strut for $1395 or a six truss truss for $1795. It comes with a Zhumell Primary and 1/10th wave secondary. He also has a 13 inch Coulter Primary re-coated Strut Scope for $1495 on his Telescopes for sale. I will say that the Dobstuff in my opinion, is a major improvement over an Orion or similar scope that you would buy commercially. The Teeter is hands down incredible and New Moon I put out there as they are new but seem to have a decent rep building up. So anyway, There is what I would recommend. If you want the utmost in quality in optics and material the Teeter will be your best bet, though you'll pay more for it. Next would come New Moon or an Obsession 12.5 for $3495, and then if you had the optics a Dobstuff then the main market scopes. In terms of weight, the Dobstuff will most likely be your lightest, followed by the New Moon, Obsession and Teeter. Last are the Orion and similar scopes as their press board is very heavy. In the end you have to balance what you can afford or what your willing to spend versus your ease of use. There are some excellent choices out there so good luck. YMMV of course on each of these.

#3 tim57064

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Posted 02 July 2013 - 11:43 AM

I had purchased a 12 1/2" mirror a number of years ago when experiencing aperture fever and made it into a truss tube scope thinking it would be easier to handle/haul around. Granted it was slightly easier than the traditional Dob,yet that lower cage housing the primary mirror was still quite heavy. I had it for a year before selling it. It was getting too cumbersome too haul around and caused me to lose interest in the hobby. That was nearly 20 years ago. Last year I was finally able to afford my first goto scope/my dream and now I am back and having more fun than ever.
Guess what I am trying to say is, unless you are younger than I, Larger aperture is not always the way to go. A 10 inch will complement your 8 just fine and in my opinion, you will get more enjoyment out of it.

#4 John Miele

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Posted 02 July 2013 - 12:27 PM

In my opinion...get at least a 16" DOB or forget it. Your SCT will do your planets and double stars and bright DSOs just fine (especially in a dark sky). The only reason for a larger Dob is just that...LARGER mirror to find fainter DSO's. If you really want to dig deep for the faint fuzzies and/or get some knockout views of the showpiece DSOs you need some horsepower. Now a 10" Dob is already getting big heavy and "clunky" and you will barely notice a difference in the views. If you are willing to haul around a big heavy clunky instrument, make it count! Get a 16" truss Dob that you can disassemble. Sorry, but my mantra is go deep or don'go... :grin:...John

#5 GeneT

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Posted 02 July 2013 - 02:34 PM

A 12 inch Dob will double the light gathering of your 8 SCT. An 18 will double the light gathering of a 12. A 12 incher is a nice place to be. I have owned telescopes ranging in size from four inch to 20. I decided that 12 was exactly right for me. My 12.5 inch Portaball is as easy to load, set up, and take down as an 8 SCT. Let us know what you decide.

#6 mark379

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Posted 02 July 2013 - 02:36 PM

Well after reading 100's of posts and reports on how great Dob's are, maybe I'll take the plunge? I just read a post about someone who has a manual DOB and uses his GOTO scope with a green laser to find stuff. I was concerned that using the manual DOB was going to cause some issues finding fainter DSO's beyond what I could see in my 8x50 finder scope in my light pollution sight (Red) at best. My GOTO works really well and if I could see the beam in the DOB then that sounds like a great idea!

The other concern is weight as the heaviest part is the mirrow box I guess. Looking at the Truss Type, the 10" weighs 65lb. and the 12" weighs 80lb....total.

Bottom line also is, am I going to be able to see a pretty big difference with the faint fuzzies in a 10" or do I really need to go to the 12" ?

Thanks for any of your suggestions!

Bob


I have a c8, 10 in Dob and 14" dob.

Depends on how much you can carry, More aperture is always better. The 10 does show quite a bit more than the 8 in darker skies or suburban skies. My 14 is a truss and is a whole different experience altogether, however I use it rarely, and only at darker skies. I've had a 12 as well. In a suburban sky, I see not much difference in what you can see between a 10 and 12, but the weight between a 10 and 12 is quite a bit!
At a dark site,the difference between 10 and 12 is apparent.
So , you have to ask yourself, how much you will use the bigger scope and if you are ok with more spectacular views less often, then go for more aperture. For myself, my worry with my 14 is my back. If I can't strengthen up my core soon, I may have to let it go and get a c 11 instead.
Mark

#7 vsteblina

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Posted 02 July 2013 - 02:37 PM

A 12.5 f5 DOB comes close to the perfect scope. So perfect I own two of them!!

No ladder, but large enough to show a lot of stuff. Get DSC for it and your set.

After that you can go to a 18 or 24 inch DOB.

#8 Tony Flanders

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Posted 02 July 2013 - 02:50 PM

Well after reading 100's of posts and reports on how great Dob's are, maybe I'll take the plunge? I just read a post about someone who has a manual DOB and uses his GOTO scope with a green laser to find stuff. I was concerned that using the manual DOB was going to cause some issues finding fainter DSO's beyond what I could see in my 8x50 finder scope in my light pollution sight (Red) at best. My GOTO works really well and if I could see the beam in the DOB then that sounds like a great idea!


That will work -- assuming that the Go To scope is really accurate and the green laser on it is well aligned. But it's a lot of extra equipment to haul around. A Go To scope is a pretty big accessory for a Dob.

Besides, what better excuse could you have to learn star-hopping? And no, of course star-hopping isn't limited to things you can see directly through your finderscope -- otherwise I would never find 95% of the stuff I look at.

Bottom line also is, am I going to be able to see a pretty big difference with the faint fuzzies in a 10" or do I really need to go to the 12" ?


I don't see much point in going from 8 inches to 10, especially if you have an 8-inch scope with Go To and are predisposed to use Go To anyway. Yes, it will show significantly more, but you'd still end up with two pretty closely matched scopes.

12 inches, on the other hand, really puts you into a different class of telescope.

#9 Greyhaven

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Posted 02 July 2013 - 03:13 PM

Bob, I just read your post to Elliot, my 12" Hardin Deep Space Hunter dob and he said, "Grey please send my compliments to that fine young SCT, and tell his owner that any dob would be proud to serve him." Elliot's like that, normally he's very quiet, but when he speaks well, the yard canon, will get your attention.
Be Well
Grey and Elliot

#10 csrlice12

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Posted 02 July 2013 - 03:24 PM

I'd go 12" if going to a dob from an 8" SCT. THAT being said, I'd probably consider a short tube widefield first. You already have high power covered; maybe a nice 90-110mm ED short tube f6 or 7ish.

#11 Kevdog

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Posted 02 July 2013 - 06:02 PM

I noticed a significant difference going from my 8" SCT to an 11" SCT. So I would go with the 12" and not the 10". That said, a 12" solid tube dob is not small. When you break it into 2 parts they're not too bad on their own but still ~40lbs each. Now if you get a premium dob, then things get a lot lighter (high quality hardwood is a lot lighter than particle board).

Now, if you are worried about missing goto, you could always get an Orion XT12i. The push-to is great for finding stuff, but you lose the tracking. If you are patient in your local CL, you could probably find a used one for about $500-$600. I actually saw an XT12i in just a garage sale ad for $500! I also saw a Zhummel 12" for $250 (no push to).

I actually am starting to learn to star hop, but not with a scope. I'm using Oberwerk 15x70 binoculars instead. Now you definitely can't pick up the faint fuzzies, but you can see quite a bit in them. I hopped around the teacup and hit about 75% of the M objects there.

Now I'm pondering a 12" to 16" dob if one comes up cheap on CL just to try my hand at "proper" star hopping.

#12 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 03 July 2013 - 06:14 AM

The other concern is weight as the heaviest part is the mirrow box I guess. Looking at the Truss Type, the 10" weighs 65lb. and the 12" weighs 80lb....total.

Bottom line also is, am I going to be able to see a pretty big difference with the faint fuzzies in a 10" or do I really need to go to the 12" ?

Thanks for any of your suggestions!

Bob



Bob:

Would you see a "Pretty big difference" with a 10 inch? Other than the significantly wider field of view that is possible with a 10 inch Dob, I think a 12 inch would fill the bill. I have 8 inch, 10 inch and 12.5 inch scopes, a 12 inch class scope is a major step up from an 8 inch, a 10 will show more to be sure but the difference is not mind boggling.

Weight wise, a 12 inch tube Dob is pretty big and awkward, a 10 inch is quite manageable, the OTA is 4 feet long and weighs about 33 lbs, fits across the seat of most cars. The 12 inch it's 60 inches and about 50lbs and the hassle factor beyond the threshold for many. My 10 inch is a tube Dob, my 12.5 inch is a truss.

But I suggest seeing for yourself before diving in and buying a scope. Find a way to see some scopes in person, look through some scopes in person. For someone like myself with multiple scopes and some very large, a 10 inch tube, a 12.5 inch truss seem compact and easily transported. But in fact, they are quite big.

I think another important aspect is the viewing experience, what it's like observing with a Dob versus an SCT. In the long run, I agree with Tony, I think it's unrealistic to use an 8 inch with a laser pointer to find your way around the sky, it's a lot of effort and upsets the natural flow of the night. However, with their short focal lengths are 2 inch focusers, Dobsonians are the instrument of choice for star hopping. Observing is much more of a hands on experience. Myself, I enjoy those aspects of observing, many don't...

Jon

#13 BigC

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Posted 03 July 2013 - 09:53 AM

If you want to see a pretty big difference get at least a 12" Dob.My Z12 is just amazing in how it turns a blank to the eyeball spot of sky into a star-sprinkled view.

Of course it is BIG and quite a bit more hassle to move from house to yard or car,as designed. The addition of handles and wheels or a sturdy two-wheeled (large wheels!) dolly with extended lift plate and a safety strap make moving it MUCH easier.

Since 12" are offered by multiple vendors it is a good price point.

14" will show even more stuff at considerably higher cost.

I think the 12" Dob is a reasonable choice .

#14 Kevdog

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Posted 03 July 2013 - 10:24 AM

You also didn't mention budget?

The orion XX14i would give you push to, but not goto for $2000

There's the Orion GoTo dobs as well.... the XX14g is an amazing scope, but it runs $2700. But it would definitely be a huge step up over your LS8.

Or are you looking for a "cheap dob" like I am. Then a Zhummel/Apertura 12" runs about $700 new or around $300-$400 used if you manage to snag one.

#15 auriga

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Posted 03 July 2013 - 11:43 AM

12.5" would be a big gain, this is about the jump in size I would consider.

A Dob will be an entirely different instrument to use however.

I think the weight issue is serious and I agree strongly with the poster who suggested a DobStuff 12.5" lightweight truss from Dennis Steele.

I would never buy a solid tube 12.5", the tube is much much too heavy and much too unwieldly.

And I would never buy a scope with a particle board base, much much too heavy.

Good luck with your decision.

Bill


#16 jgraham

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Posted 03 July 2013 - 01:30 PM

I'd go at least with a 12" scope if you're looking for a sizable increase in deepsky capability over your 8" SCT. I went all the way up to a Lightbridge 16 and love it! I also opted with a point-to system that I originally built as a companion to my homebuilt 16.5" f/6.5 Newtonian. I love this old scope, but the narrow field of view made star-hopping a bit of a chore. A point-to system doesn't have to be very fancy, I've seen them made from an ETX-60 fitted with a green laser pointer. High accuracy isn't needed either, just synch on a nearby star, then GoTo your target. It is usually pretty close and easy to find in the big scope. The bonus of a point-to system is that it can work with any scope. I really liked it with my refurbished 10" LX6.

I built my point-to system using spare parts that I had available including a DS-2000 mount (similar inner workings to an ETX), a 2045S 4" f/10 SCT spotting scope, and an Orion green laser pointer. This system is simple, lightweight, and easy to set up.

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#17 jgraham

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Posted 03 July 2013 - 01:35 PM

Just for yucks, my Lightbridge... I've left it pretty much stock. The only Changes that I've made were mounting wheels under the ground board (I roll it around using a plywood track that I lay out in the yard) and a lightweight shroud. The point-to scope gets placed just north of the scope where I rarely observe and I'm not likely to bump into it.

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#18 Tom and Beth

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Posted 05 July 2013 - 03:18 PM

I went from an 8 inch SCT to 12 1/2 truss dob. IMO while a 10 inch DOES show more, it doesn't complement the 8 inch SCT as much as the larger scope. Yes it is more weight. A set of wheels takes care of that.

Put DSC on the dob, and then all you need to do is push the dob to the same coordinates as your Goto SCT. A finder will help you with initial setup of the dob, as well as a bit of star hopping should you just decide to go "A la mode" Later. Oh, and either a Cheshire or Howie Glatter collimator.

#19 gaz-in

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Posted 05 July 2013 - 03:59 PM

I have an 8 inch Nexstsr GPS. For years it was complimented by a wonderful 12 inch F5 Teeter. IMHO 8 inch SCT and 12 inch F5 are excellent compliments to each other.

#20 REC

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Posted 06 July 2013 - 01:17 PM

Thanks all for your suggestions. Actually I have a FB friend who has my same LS8 and he just bought a 12" Apetura, so I will ask him.

As for the weight, I was thinking of a 12" Light Bridge as I can get a good deal on one. I don't plan on traveling too much and will mostly use it in my backyard. I only will have to move it a short distance from my kitchen to the back patio. I suppose I should go to an Astronomy club one night to see some of other scopes under the stars to compare. Also just want to use it for DSO's and wider fields.

Bob

#21 auriga

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Posted 06 July 2013 - 07:21 PM

Dobs feel very competitive with SCT's and will rarely give them compliments. SCTs and refractors get along a lot better and often exchange compliments. Mak Cass scopes are admired by all and they know it.
Bill

#22 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 06 July 2013 - 10:15 PM

Dobs feel very competitive with SCT's and will rarely give them compliments. SCTs and refractors get along a lot better and often exchange compliments. Mak Cass scopes are admired by all and they know it.
Bill


Bill:

My Dobs get along fabulously with my refractors, like they were made for each other... complimentary rather than competitive.

Jon

#23 GOLGO13

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Posted 06 July 2013 - 11:49 PM

There is no doubt you would see a difference going from the 8 inch SCT to a 10 inch dob. Maybe not enough for what you are looking for. There are a few things to consider. Collimation is one. It's critically important with a fast focal ratio scope. Looking at your scopes your 8 inch is the only one that requires collimation. So take into account getting some sort of collimation tool set. If you go truss dob it will be even more important.

Weight should be a concern. How willing will you be to move around a big scope. Will you be OK with setting all that up for a session.

Based on your preferences I'd say at least get a scope with some finding capability. The folks that sell the Apertura scopes have a setting circle setup which can be used on other scopes as well. I'd consider that at least if you don't get another alternative.

As far as tube dobs go, I'd rather have a 10 inch than a 12 inch. I find the 12 inch F5 tube dobs are just too big for me. The 10 is plenty to handle. Truss dob wise, I think a 15 inch by a quality manufacturer would be OK (Telekit, Obsession, Starmaster, Teeter). If going Meade or Orion, check the weights and choose accordingly.

I don't know how much effort it is to setup a truss dob. I did watch a friend of mine setup a 16 inch at a dark site and it looked like a bit of a pain. So I guess my opinion is unless you keep it together all the time at home, you may not feel like setting it up. If you are getting it mostly for travel situations, then that would be OK.

I like tube dobs in that they are very quick and easy to setup. Collimation mostly holds...but with a fast scope you should check it every time you setup or move the scope.

If you can stretch your budget a bit, I've seen really good deals on high end dobs with tracking/finding capabilites. Most of the time they are pickup only though. Still, I have seen scopes that cost $9000 new go for $4000. It's a little gamble but can be very nice savings.

I like the Intelliscope for light pollution because I can use it if I am getting frustated trying to find something...or I can not use it and the scope acts exactly the same. No tracking, but if DSOs are your thing that's not much of an issue.

Don't be afraid of the 10 inch though...I still think that would be a valid companion to your 8. Really would be used for different objects in my opinion. But certainly going bigger will provide more difference. I find 8/10/12 to be in one class. Then 14/15/16 to be in another class. 15 is probably as big as I would go truss wise. One that is small enough to not require a step stool.

#24 REC

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Posted 07 July 2013 - 08:08 AM

Thanks for that well thought out explanation and your suggestions. Maybe the 10" Intel scope from Orion may be the ticket as I do have LP to deal with and don't want to have to crane my neck all the time looking for faint fuzzies?

Also, if I go this route, can I get away without spending another $500 on a Paracor on a $800 scope! I do have a set of excellent EP's. I see Orion has a sale on them and perhaps free shipping?

#25 GOLGO13

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Posted 07 July 2013 - 09:05 AM

The Apertura AD10 with the pre-installed setting circle would be a good option also. That has free shipping and would be quite a bit less then the Intelliscope. I don't exactly know how good the setting circle thing works...I'm guessing it's not quite as good as having a hand controller, but may have some benefits over one as well.

You could be $600 out the door with that one. I'd consider the tweakers package as well. I personally would get that because I didn't enjoy flocking my tube and rather have someone else do it for me.

I think if I were getting a scope today it would be the AD10 with the setting circle and tweaker package.

All that being said, the Orion 10i is a great telescope. And if it's on sale with free shipping that wouldn't be too bad. But the AD10 has some pretty nice features and with the setting circle addition it provides a finding capability.






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