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Meade Lightbridge or Skywatcher

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#26 Astrojensen

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Posted 10 September 2013 - 02:25 PM

Hi Jon

Oh, I didn't mean to imply that a Telrad was never effective for anyone hunting faint objects, just that *I* found a 8x50 finder generally more useful. I do have dark skies, but I can find the objects faster with the finderscope than the Telrad.

Just a personal thing, a bit like preferring auto or stick shift gearbox in a car. Very personal opinion, but they both get you there.


Clear skies!
Thomas, Denmark

#27 coutleef

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Posted 10 September 2013 - 03:07 PM

the only negative about the sw was the focuser which i replaced with a moonlite that is far better then the focuser on the sw and lb. i had compared both dobs and choose the sw because movement was smoother with the sw in azimuth. also there wee several posts on cn complaining of the quality of mirrors on the lb. my dealer never had a return if a sw dob or any complaint on the mirror.

i choose ultimately sw because of the bad service we have in canada with meade dobs (with some horror stories of broken mirrors meade did not want to replace leading my astronomy store to stop selling meade scopes)

i have had my sw dob for several years and am very happy. if you have service for the lb, i ssuppose both scooes are good choices

#28 Astrojensen

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Posted 10 September 2013 - 03:49 PM

there wee several posts on cn complaining of the quality of mirrors on the lb. my dealer never had a return if a sw dob or any complaint on the mirror.



I had a chance to compare a 10" Sky-Watcher tube dob with my 12" Meade LB this weekend. Both mirrors were about equally bad, with both showing lots of astigmatism, with the S-W perhaps a tad worse... We use my high-end ES eyepiece in both and both scopes were f/5 and were well collimated.

The original focuser on the Meade was FAR better than the one on the (older, white tube) S-W and the Meade had MUCH smoother motions in altitude and azimut, making tracking at high power a breeze, compared to the S-W. All the S-W dobs I've seen have been pretty stiff. All the Meade LB's I've seen have been very smooth.

Sounds like a Meade ad here, but just reporting what I've seen, honestly. Fine S-W dobs no doubt exist, I just haven't seen 'em...

But the Meade LB is far from perfect. The biggest drawback is that it has quite small altitude bearings and is quite sensitive to balance.


Clear skies!
Thomas, Denmark

#29 Gastrol

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Posted 10 September 2013 - 04:22 PM

But the Meade LB is far from perfect. The biggest drawback is that it has quite small altitude bearings and is quite sensitive to balance.


So true. This was one reason why I decided to go with oversized bearings when I built a new base from scratch.

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#30 coutleef

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Posted 10 September 2013 - 04:30 PM

the SW i have been using is the collapsible dob and is black. really movements are not stiff.

with both these choices one has to accept the limitations of mass produced dobs. they are not obsession dobs and with both, homemade modifications do improve their performance.

just wanted to give a different opinion here as opinions were mainly on lightbridge dob while the SW is an interesting alternative worth considering.

philip Creed did a nice review if the SW 12 inch here on CN and my experience with the SW dob parallels his report.

i suppose he and i were lucky with our scopes. the focuser is the weak point in the SW, i agree.

#31 Light Bender

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Posted 10 September 2013 - 06:33 PM

Very nice scope.

#32 Light Bender

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Posted 10 September 2013 - 06:37 PM

And those different opinions between LB and SW are what I asked for and I thank you for sharing.
The collapsible tube is the SW I'm considering along with the LB.

#33 Light Bender

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Posted 10 September 2013 - 06:42 PM

Hmmm. This statement concerns me. But, thanks for the honest observation.

#34 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 10 September 2013 - 06:43 PM

Hi Jon

Oh, I didn't mean to imply that a Telrad was never effective for anyone hunting faint objects, just that *I* found a 8x50 finder generally more useful. I do have dark skies, but I can find the objects faster with the finderscope than the Telrad.

Just a personal thing, a bit like preferring auto or stick shift gearbox in a car. Very personal opinion, but they both get you there.


Clear skies!
Thomas, Denmark


Thomas:

I just wanted to make sure that was clear that a Telrad can be used effectively, if the skies are dark, to navigate the night sky.

For me, this is how it seems to work: objects and regions I know from my pre-Telrad period, my magnifying finder era, I use the magnifying finder. For my Telrad period, I pretty much use the Telrad but sometimes find new objects using the magnifying finder.

From my light polluted backyard, a Telrad by itself is a serious hindrance, I can make it work, but it's just so much easier with a magnifying finder. In fact, I should be out in the workshop right now fabricating a bracket so I can mount a STCI (Straight through-correct image) 8x50 finder to the 13.1 inch F/5.5 Starsplitter I recently acquired, it has a Telrad but it's backyard scope so it really needs a magnifying finder.

Jon

#35 Stargazer78

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Posted 11 September 2013 - 10:43 PM

I have a skywatcher dob and its great!!!

#36 Fireball

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Posted 29 September 2013 - 12:44 PM

I really like my 12" Lightbridge! Did several mods to optimize it - you just have to know what to do ...

#37 Ski-Patroller

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Posted 30 September 2013 - 04:15 PM

I also have the LightBridge, and am very happy with it over all. It is very solid and smooth. Two small complaints:

1. As mogur mentioned, the Azmuth rotation is too easy, it will move in a breeze. I'm thinking about swapping the upper thrust bearing out for two steel washers and a teflon washer. I'll post the result when I have tried it.

2. It is nose heavy, because the trunnions are mounted lower than most Dobs. I have three 1# and one 2# Farpoint weights on the rear cell. It is a very clean solution.
I do have both a Telrad and 8x50 E.S. Finder scope on the front end which compounds the problem.

#38 Ski-Patroller

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Posted 14 November 2013 - 03:26 PM

I have replaced the upper Azimuth bearing with teflon and steel washers. It appears to work a little better, since you can add a little resistance the the Azimuth motion, more easily than with the ball thrust bearing. Try it, it is cheap, easy and reversible if you don't like it.

#39 John rombi

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Posted 14 November 2013 - 04:13 PM

After 7 years of ownership of my 12" LB, the best recommendation I can make is BALANCE.
Regardless of the accessories installed, BALANCE is the key to smooth motions in both alt & az.

I use the original roller bearings and felt, with great success. To steady the alt movement, you can use the alt brake when observing.

#40 Sean Wood

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Posted 15 November 2013 - 04:49 PM

A factor I haven't seen anyone mention is that the LightBridge is a bit more portable. It breaks down into smaller pieces/components. Especially the rocker box as its shorter from what I've noticed in comparative pictures I've seen.
I own a 10" LB myself and have found a solution to pretty much any of it's shortcomings. Neither of these scopes should be considered super high end excellent optically but for the conditions most of us east of the Mississippi folks deal with you shouldn't really notice a terrible degradation at the eyepiece. Unless of course you luck out and get a slag of a mirror. That'd be fixable though by exchanging the scope or mirror.

#41 acochran

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Posted 16 November 2013 - 12:53 AM

I'd buy a Dobstuff. Lightweight but strong. More expensive but worth it.
Andy






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