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Meade Lightbridge or Skywatcher

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#1 Light Bender

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Posted 02 September 2013 - 09:41 PM

Looking at getting a 10 or 12 dob. I am looking at the Lightbridge and the Sky watcher.
Which would you choose and why?
As a side note....Do the 10 inch Sky Watchers come with the bearing pads or Teflon pads?

#2 Relativist

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Posted 02 September 2013 - 10:02 PM

Lightbridge without question, simply because of the focuser. The Skywatcher comes with a standard focuser but the Lightbridge has one with a 10:1 fine focus knob.

#3 Light Bender

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Posted 06 September 2013 - 03:48 PM

Thanks Curtis

#4 Sky-Watcher USA

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Posted 06 September 2013 - 05:32 PM

Our 10" uses Teflon pads but the 12" and large use needle bearings.

#5 Light Bender

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Posted 06 September 2013 - 05:38 PM

Thanks for the info. How well does the tef pads work compared to the bearings?

#6 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 06 September 2013 - 08:04 PM

Thanks for the info. How well does the tef pads work compared to the bearings?


I cannot comment on these particular scopes but if you look around at the "premium" Dobsonians, Obsession, Starmaster, Tetter, etc, they seem to all use Ebony Star-Teflon or some slight variation for the bearings.

Bearings need to provide some resistance, some friction, so they do not overshoot, you want the scope to stop moving and stay there when you stop pulling/pushing.

Jon

#7 Light Bender

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Posted 06 September 2013 - 09:11 PM

That makes since to me...Thanks.

#8 mogur

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Posted 07 September 2013 - 02:45 PM

This is true, and one of the few things I don't like about my Lightbridge. I find I need to clamp down hard on the center-screw on the groundboard so that the scope does not turn TOO easily. Otherwise if there is a breeze and you turn away to change EP's or something the scope can move by itself!

#9 Light Bender

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Posted 07 September 2013 - 07:09 PM

Hmmm. Thanks for sharing that.

#10 SteveG

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Posted 08 September 2013 - 01:14 PM

My 10" Lightbridge has the best movement of any dob I've ever used, by a long-shot! Balance is the key.

#11 Astrojensen

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Posted 09 September 2013 - 02:29 AM

My 12" Meade Lightbridge is far ahead in terms of smooth motions than the Sky-Watcher dobs I've seen, but the best I've seen is still an Obsession. OK, so it was a 20" and it was 40 times as expensive, but I just wanted to mention it... ;)

With my 9mm ES100, barlowed to 340x, I have no trouble whatsoever tracking any object anywhere in the sky with my 12" Meade, even the zenith.


Clear skies!
Thomas, Denmark

#12 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 09 September 2013 - 04:40 AM

My 12" Meade Lightbridge is far ahead in terms of smooth motions than the Sky-Watcher dobs I've seen, but the best I've seen is still an Obsession. OK, so it was a 20" and it was 40 times as expensive, but I just wanted to mention it... ;)

With my 9mm ES100, barlowed to 340x, I have no trouble whatsoever tracking any object anywhere in the sky with my 12" Meade, even the zenith.


Clear skies!
Thomas, Denmark


Custom Dobs (Obsession etc) have large altitude bearings and in my experience are just better at tracking. The other night I was observing the bright planetary NGC-6210 in Hercules with a 13.1 inch Starplitter, the altitude bearings have a 24 inch diameter. I was at 380x and wasn't seeing much detail so I Barlowed it to 760x. The motions weren't quite as perfect as the 25 inch Obsession, large scopes benefit from their mass, but I was easily placing the image where I wanted it in the field of view with a minimum of shake and jitter... I was happy.

Jon

#13 youngamateur42

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Posted 09 September 2013 - 07:20 AM

Lightbridge is pretty easy to manuver, holds collimation well, pretty nice focuser too. I would go for them- definitly worth it

#14 Light Bender

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Posted 09 September 2013 - 04:07 PM

Thanks for all the advise.

#15 SleepyAstronomer

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Posted 09 September 2013 - 05:42 PM

I've never personally tried either of these scopes, so I have no first hand experience, but I can tell you that a long time member of the local astronomy club has owned a Meade Lightbridge for as long as I've known him. For several years he owned a 10" Lightbridge, and eventually upgraded to a 12" Lightbridge. I've only heard him say good about that scope. I've seen him out in the field with the scope many a night, and he always seems to be having an absolute blast.

#16 Light Bender

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Posted 09 September 2013 - 05:57 PM

Thanks for sharing. I wonder why they don't put the 9*50 finder scope on the Light Bridge.

#17 mogur

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Posted 09 September 2013 - 08:01 PM

Ya the stock finder is pretty useless. I put my own 9x50 on it plus a Rigel Quikfinder. Rigel gets me in the neighborhood, 9x50 nails 'em down. Like shootin' fish in a barrel!

#18 Gastrol

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Posted 09 September 2013 - 08:39 PM

I have no problem with the stock red dot finder on my LB12. It gets me close enough and I use a RA 10x60 finder mounted next to it to zero in.

#19 Light Bender

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Posted 09 September 2013 - 09:12 PM

Lots of good feed back here. Thanks for the replies.

#20 Light Bender

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Posted 09 September 2013 - 09:21 PM

Will the Orion 9*50 fit the factory finder scope mount for this scope (Light Bridge)? I am thinking of ordering one for my XLT120 and it would be nice to use it on both.

#21 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 09 September 2013 - 09:36 PM

Will the Orion 9*50 fit the factory finder scope mount for this scope (Light Bridge)? I am thinking of ordering one for my XLT120 and it would be nice to use it on both.


It should fit. Sometimes though there are small differences in the mounts and one particular finder won't fit one particular shoe.

Jon

#22 Astrojensen

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Posted 10 September 2013 - 02:14 AM

The finder shoe on my 12" takes the ubiqutious 8x50 finderscopes without problems. I've tried a Telrad on my 12", but find that I prefer a 50mm straight-through optical finder. Even a 8x30 works better for me than the Telrad. This is of course a personal opinion.


Clear skies!
Thomas, Denmark

#23 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 10 September 2013 - 04:34 AM

The finder shoe on my 12" takes the ubiqutious 8x50 finderscopes without problems. I've tried a Telrad on my 12", but find that I prefer a 50mm straight-through optical finder. Even a 8x30 works better for me than the Telrad. This is of course a personal opinion.


Clear skies!
Thomas, Denmark


If there is room, I use both a Telrad and Straight-through magnifying finder. If the skies are dark, I can find most objects using the Telrad's rings to point the scope relative to the starfield. One I have positioned the scope, I switch to a low power, widefield eyepiece.

Jon

#24 Astrojensen

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Posted 10 September 2013 - 04:49 AM

If the skies are dark, I can find most objects using the Telrad's rings to point the scope relative to the starfield.



This worked very well with big and easy objects, which I could sweep up in the main scope, but I very often observe very faint, small and obscure objects far, far away from any easy guidestars. If I then can't starhop from a star easily identifiable in the Telrad AND the main scope, then I very often got lost, since the 12" showed myriad stars where my Uranometria 2000.0 showed just one or two. Which of the two hundred stars were the ones shown in U2000.0? In the 8x50 it's much easier for me to identify the field, since it matches U2000 almost perfectly, going only modestly deeper.

I'm also accustomed to using optical finders, since that's what I've been doing for twenty years. A beginner may have more immediate success with the Telrad.

I need more counterweight at the rear of the scope, if I want to mount both the Telrad and the 8x50 on the UTA.


Clear skies!
Thomas, Denmark

#25 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 10 September 2013 - 05:40 AM

This worked very well with big and easy objects, which I could sweep up in the main scope, but I very often observe very faint, small and obscure objects far, far away from any easy guidestars.



Thomas:

It also works for difficult objects. Please realize you are not the only one hunting down, tiny faint objects. When I purchased my 25 inch, it only had a Telrad... :ubetcha: It now has a magnifying finder but I mostly use the Telrad.

When I first tried a Telrad, I was not impressed and I replaced it with a magnifying finder, I was used to using a magnifying finder and knew how to use it, tried and true. Then I bought a scope that happened to have both a Telrad and a magnifying finder and I gradually learned how to use the Telrad effectively. Now, when the skies are dark, it's about all I use... Accurate finder charts with Telrad overlays are necessary but in this day and age, an electronic chart does this very nicely.

Telrads are not very effective when there is a significant amount of light pollution but they are quite effective when the skies are dark and clear..

Jon






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