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Nexstar5SE or 6SE?

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#1 Scottobservatory

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Posted 02 December 2013 - 09:17 PM

I have a 10" Skywatcher reflector that is quite large and heavy. I am seriously thinking of buying something smaller I can use for a "daily" scope and am wondering if the 5SE or the 6SE will give me what I am looking for: planetary viewing and discernible deep space viewing, particularly galactic structures, as well as just being outside just "browsing". I'm concerned the 5" won't give me the details of the planets I'm looking for, nor will I get decent views and details of Andromeda and other galactic targets. After I bought the Skywatcher I realized I should have bought the more-friendly 8" Nexstar and am making the best of it. I also find the powertanks haven't been reliable, with two of the larger units not charging at all. Any suggestions re the Nextstars? Thanks.

After posting this I found a similar thread and believe the 6" is preferable to the 5" simply due to the light-gathering power. Now all I need is a good protein drink to help me schlep the 10" Skywatcher around. And I also found some good advice re powertanks, namely the Schumacher at Walmart. Thanks guys.

#2 maugi88

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Posted 02 December 2013 - 09:53 PM

6"

#3 Midnight Dan

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Posted 02 December 2013 - 10:17 PM

Hi Scott:

The 6SE should be great on planetary views. It might be a bit weak for "details" of galaxies unless you're under very dark skies.

I guess a lot depends on where you're going with the 10". If you want a scope as a companion to the big gun and you still plan to use the 10" a lot, then the 6SE is an excellent choice.

BUT ... if you think the smaller scope will start weaning you away from the 10" and it's just too much to deal with, then you might want to consider the 8SE. That is, assuming you can afford it - you didn't mention budget. As a replacement to the 10", an 8SE will show less, but not by a substantial amount. On the other hand, the 6 will be a big step down from the 10.

Just something to think about.

-Dan

#4 SouthernSky

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Posted 10 December 2013 - 12:09 PM

Hi Scott,

If I recall correctly, the 5SE and 6SE is not only different in aperature size but also the mount. The 6SE uses the same sturdier mount as the 8SE. But the 5SE mount has built-in equatorial wedges. Sometimes I also wonder why Celestron doesn't use the Nexstar 127SLT's 5" Maksutov-Cassegrain OTA for the 5SE. Maks is supposed to have smaller central obstruction than SCT.

Best Regards.

#5 TK6411

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Posted 10 December 2013 - 02:19 PM

Of the two choices I would recommend the 6 SE.

Jim

#6 faltered

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Posted 10 December 2013 - 04:43 PM

6. All day. And with the sale on these right now, it makes it even more attractive.

#7 OrlandoMatt

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Posted 12 December 2013 - 02:26 PM

Do you think the 8SE is a better choice then the 6SE for the money? (fingers on the trigger with all these sales)

#8 Midnight Dan

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Posted 12 December 2013 - 04:38 PM

Hi Matt:

Absolutely! If you can swing the money, the 8SE will provide nearly twice the light gathering capability of the 6. You'll be able to see quite a bit more when it comes to the faint fuzzies like galaxies and nebulae.

-Dan

#9 hopskipson

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Posted 13 December 2013 - 07:06 AM

Matt
If you can swing the money and the added weight go with the 8. I know some will say the mount will be shaky but there are cures for that and once it settles down you will be rewarded with a better view.

#10 dpippel

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Posted 13 December 2013 - 12:04 PM

The 8" is right at the weight limit for stable operation on this mount IMO. It works pretty well, but you will experience "the shakes" to some degree. I think that the 6" is the perfect match for the mount weight/size-wise, although I certainly wouldn't let that dissuade me from going with the 8" if I wanted the extra aperture.

#11 OrlandoMatt

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Posted 13 December 2013 - 01:14 PM

Weight wouldn't be an issue for me, and thanks for the replies. I've been seeing the same things regarding the mount.

#12 BigC

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Posted 13 December 2013 - 11:10 PM

The cure for the shakes is a motorized focuser to keep my big clumsy fingers off the scope!!It made a huge improvement in satisfaction and ease of achieving best focus on my 80GT.

My SN-10 has had a motor for years.The faster the scope and ,or, the shakier the mount ,the more benefit I have found from motorizing the focuser.Same principles apply to slo-motion control vs. RA motor with remote.Initial cost is high(er) but operation becomes more pleasant.

Seriously, it is the observer who mostly provides the unwanted force the tripod and mount must then absorb or transmit to the ground.

I am in the process of adding powered focusers to several scopes as time and money allow.

#13 Gary Z

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Posted 13 December 2013 - 11:45 PM

Having an 8 SE for over a year now, I love the views the 8 inch provides. Yes, when the smallest wind comes up, it will shake the scope a bit. One way to help mitigate this is by lowering the tripod at it's lowest level while maintaining leveling for the mount. Best wishes for your purchases and most of all, Clear Skies....

BTW, where do you observe in NM. I live in eastern NM (Clovis).

Warmest regards,

#14 Scottobservatory

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Posted 16 December 2013 - 09:03 PM

Thanks for the definitive response. I've been away and just now returned home. Sorry for the delayed thanks. 73

#15 Scottobservatory

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Posted 16 December 2013 - 09:10 PM

Dan, thank you for the detailed response. Budget is vital--I'm married. My wife sees the 10" in our living room every day and just shakes her head and says something in Japanese (I won't ask her what she said). So the 8" is not an option. Either the 5 or 6 will work, though the greater power of the 6" is probably going to be the deciding factor. It's also MUCH more portable than the 10" will ever be, though I will now occasionally take the 10" to acreage we have in rural Florida near our primary residence. The 5/6" scope can be used there too, as well as when we travel. I should also note my handle Scottobservatory refers to the C.S. Scott Observatory at Park University, which I attended in the mid-1960's. I worked at the observatory for 4 years and it has since burned to the ground mysteriously. It had a beautiful 8" refractor with a 108" focal length and a great brass clock drive tracking mechanism. So...in remembrance of those days, I use the handle Scottobservatory. :)

#16 Scottobservatory

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Posted 16 December 2013 - 09:13 PM

Many thanks. I think having the sturdier mount trumps the wedges (I believe I can add them as an accessory). :)

#17 Scottobservatory

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Posted 16 December 2013 - 09:15 PM

Thank you Jim. I'm going to be in Dallas for the holidays and plan to personally buy the scope from a retailer in the region while I'm out there. No one near me in Florida. Besides, I can test it out to ensure its working properly before heading east again.

#18 Scottobservatory

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Posted 16 December 2013 - 09:17 PM

And the sale is what got me to make a purchase.

#19 Scottobservatory

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Posted 16 December 2013 - 09:19 PM

Matt, the 8" would be the ideal, but as I mentioned in an earlier response in this thread, I'm married. 35 years. My wife knows I like to spend $$ and she goes the opposite way. Washes straws so she can re-use them. The 6" would be the absolute limit.

#20 sonny.barile

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Posted 16 December 2013 - 09:34 PM

Why not go all the way and get the 8se? It is only a little heavier than the 6 as they are on the same mount.

#21 BigC

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Posted 17 December 2013 - 12:24 PM

He just explained why.

The 6SE isn't a poor choice.

Besides,there IS always the possibility of the 6" ota mysteriously growing a bit larger should an 8" OTA deal appear ......after all ,the tripod,mount,control and everything else are the same.He might even find someone who feels swapping their 8" for a 6" would result in an easier to manage set.Possibilities....

#22 Scottobservatory

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Posted 17 December 2013 - 10:51 PM

Evening. We're only occasionally out to our place in NM. It's northwest of Magdalena, off a forestry road, and on the way to the Alamo reservation. Our son was going to use it also, but moved to Dallas from Fort Bliss after he retired from the Army. But I have to say the skies are magnificent, far better than many places here in Florida. Clovis is a nice location. Been there a couple of times. 73 :)

#23 Scottobservatory

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Posted 17 December 2013 - 10:55 PM

True about an 8" replacing a 6" down the road. Just have to pay cash, that's all. Credit cards leave a record. Wives sniff them out like French dogs and truffles. I'm probably going to also fabricate or buy a dolly of sorts to move the 10" Skywatcher around. Not having seen it in person before I bought it, I wasn't prepared for its size. It's like the 105mm my son trained on in Basic.

#24 StarWars

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Posted 17 December 2013 - 11:45 PM



I like the 5 SE for the size... :gramps:

#25 BigC

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Posted 18 December 2013 - 12:02 PM

Maybe you should buy a nice oriental folding screen to make the 10" less noticeable in the living room?

Or paint it? Apply artwork? Cover with fabric ? Make it match or complement the furnishings?Store it horizontal under a sofa table with floor-length table cloth?

Store upright behind a set of very shallow curio shelves with an access door ? Or doors displaying paintings ?

Is it possible or practical to give the 10" a new home of its own outside in the form of a nice garden storage bench of shed ?Dobs don't HAVE to stand upright in storage even if they are most often pictured thus.

I can understand the usual "black water heater" appearance of a 10" Dob offends some few persons' decorating sense!

My Z10 was a very good deal several years past in no small part because the previous owner's wife objected to its size and appearance.






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