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Equipment Discussions >> Electronically Assisted Astronomy

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gary-sue69
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Loc: Maybee MI.
Which one will work best?
      #6335152 - 01/25/14 03:52 PM

Which one will work best, with a mallincam X2EX with Class 0 CCD sensor, In light polluted skies?
AT130 130mm f/6 FPL-53 ED triplet apochromatic refractor
Meade ACF 14" f/8 Advanced Coma-Free
Thanks.


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A. Viegas
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Reged: 03/05/12

Loc: New York City/ CT
Re: Which one will work best? new [Re: gary-sue69]
      #6335160 - 01/25/14 04:00 PM

Gary-

Both of those telescopes are great options. The 14" will grab more photons but will give you a much smaller field of view. The 5" APO will give you wider field and allow you to go after larger DSOs. Both will require focal reduction, with the 14" requiring more than the faster refractor.

If you have mounts for both or can mount them together, then I would recommend you get a second camera like one of the newer lower cost ones and run the setups together.

That way you can get the best of both telescopes with minimal effort.

Al


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gary-sue69
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Loc: Maybee MI.
Re: Which one will work best? new [Re: A. Viegas]
      #6335310 - 01/25/14 05:21 PM

yea, I wish I could have both the meade 14" would be a lx600, but I went to the forums and it looks like they are putting mirror locks on them now. I don't know if this is for shipping or for mirror flop, I am waiting to find out. if I go with an at130 I will use the meade lx850. but I was wondering which would be better to use with light pollution with the mallincam.

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David PavlichAdministrator
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Re: Which one will work best? new [Re: gary-sue69]
      #6335352 - 01/25/14 05:36 PM

For video astronomy, aperture is king. And since you'll be reducing it anyway, the long focal length of the big Meade will just overpower the refractor. For the conventional, everyday objects, either would be fine, but when you start to poke around more distant, diffuse objects, the brute power of the Meade will be the ticket!

David


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gary-sue69
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Reged: 07/19/07

Loc: Maybee MI.
Re: Which one will work best? new [Re: David Pavlich]
      #6335376 - 01/25/14 05:51 PM

hi David. yes, I agree. but I was just curious if the Meade, being so big, would collect more light pollution and interfere with the objects I am looking at. I definitely like nebulas, galaxies, planets, but not so much double stars or star clusters.

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David PavlichAdministrator
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Re: Which one will work best? new [Re: gary-sue69]
      #6335462 - 01/25/14 06:50 PM

One of my favorite Mallincam stories happened at an outreach event. We were at a school with typical lights around it, the Moon was about 1/4 and we were about 500 yards from a lit up plaza parking lot. Jack had his venerable orange tube C8 focused on the Horsehead and it was as just as clear as can be! Plenty of light pollution, but it didn't seem to have any major effect on the video viewing.

I know if I ever get into video stuff, it'll be with a C14 or something similar.

David


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gary-sue69
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Re: Which one will work best? new [Re: David Pavlich]
      #6335479 - 01/25/14 07:04 PM

thanks for the info. I do like mallincam, but i am still having trouble deciding on the scope type. i hope to hear something about the mirror lock and flop on the meade so i can choose. i am going to make a remote observatory, so i can control everything from in the house, and i do not want to have to go outside to manually adjust it.

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jrcrillyAdministrator
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Re: Which one will work best? new [Re: gary-sue69]
      #6335529 - 01/25/14 07:40 PM

Quote:

i hope to hear something about the mirror lock and flop on the meade so i can choose. i am going to make a remote observatory, so i can control everything from in the house, and i do not want to have to go outside to manually adjust it.




Mirror lock won't prevent remote operation, as you will require remote focusing for anything you use remotely. Focus WILL change as the temperature drops during the night in Michigan.

They appear to have implemented mirror locks on the later 14" and maybe the 12" tubes. If you remote the internal focuser you won't be able to use the mirror locks. If you add an external focuser you can use the mirror locks. Mirror locks are generally desirable for high resolution imaging with an SCT. In your case, the extremely low resolution of video observing wouldn't be affected (especially since the different focuser design of the F/8 Meade OTA reduces flop considerably). If you get one with locks you can leave the lock disengaged and remote the internal focuser if you want to. I'm currently using a 12" without locks for high res imaging with no issues; a buddy uses a 14" similarly.

The answer to your original question is: whichever one delivers the FOV you want. It's not as though you could capture the same image with either one but one would work better. They will capture DIFFERENT images so you select the one that delivers the image you would rather get.


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A. Viegas
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Re: Which one will work best? new [Re: gary-sue69]
      #6335567 - 01/25/14 08:06 PM

Sorry Gary, I read your question as if you already had both scopes!

I have a CPC1100 which i control remotely from inside the weekend house. I have a smaller C80ED or ETX70 mounted piggyback which in turn allows me to have a wider field of view when I am using two cameras (that way I can switch from one to the other seamlessly). The APO or the Meade are expensive scopes. At that price point there are many options to get you a very good combination of FOV, photon gathering power and flexibility. My advice would be to work backwards a little. How much money do you want to spend? What is your absolute IDEAL situation in terms of equipment and flexibility? This way you can determine the best combination of equipment to maximize your budget.

Al


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gary-sue69
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Re: Which one will work best? new [Re: jrcrilly]
      #6335577 - 01/25/14 08:11 PM

thanks john, more great info. so I take that the mirror lock was put on the meade for mirror flop. I am a little disappointed that they changed the design. I thought about the meade electronic micro-focuser that plugs into the base, if I decide to go that route. I am still concerned with light pollution with such a large scope, I heard the bigger the scope, the more light pollution it lets in while using a mallincam. so I am hoping anyone with any experience can let me know what issues or successes they have had.

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jrcrillyAdministrator
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Re: Which one will work best? new [Re: gary-sue69]
      #6335601 - 01/25/14 08:26 PM

Quote:

thanks john, more great info. so I take that the mirror lock was put on the meade for mirror flop. I am a little disappointed that they changed the design. I thought about the meade electronic micro-focuser that plugs into the base, if I decide to go that route.




The lock-equipped models are shipped with the Meade external focuser. Most imagers select a higher precision stepper-driven unit instead, though (I use a Moonlight). The Meade unit would probably be OK for video. I can't think of any conditions under aperture would be a disadvantage. In my red zone location aperture improves visual use and has no apparent negative effect for imaging (I shoot through apertures of 65mm through 14").


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GlennLeDrew
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Re: Which one will work best? new [Re: jrcrilly]
      #6335639 - 01/25/14 09:06 PM

For fainter stars, raw aperture.

For smaller objects, longer focal length.

For lower surface brightness, faster f/ratio.

No one scope is best at everything. You really must decide based on the target's characteristics. The most important being size, as this sets focal length, and to a certain degree aperture.


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gary-sue69
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Re: Which one will work best? new [Re: GlennLeDrew]
      #6335698 - 01/25/14 10:03 PM

thanks john, but if I buy a focuser that costs that much more after the setup, my wife might put a stake through my heart...:) I think i'll have to use the meade...thanks for the info. what's your thoughts of lx600 or the lx850?

thanks glen for the info. I understand all that. but with the mallincam I heard at one point the bigger the aperture the more the light pollution affects the camera. at this point I have sold my equipment, including multiple scopes, many times. you would think I would have this down by now...:) I just want to get it right this time...before my wife kills me this time...:)


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dragonslayer1
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Reged: 02/25/12

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Re: Which one will work best? new [Re: gary-sue69]
      #6335719 - 01/25/14 10:24 PM

why not look at the r/c tubes to go along with your camera, Kasey

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jrcrillyAdministrator
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Re: Which one will work best? new [Re: gary-sue69]
      #6335822 - 01/25/14 11:54 PM

Quote:

what's your thoughts of lx600 or the lx850?




I haven't used the LX600 but I've seen them and they appear to be a significant upgrade to the LX200 models I have used. I remember fondly the days when I could shoot horizon to horizon without scripting procedures to handle meridian flips! I do have a compelling preference for OTA flexibility, though, so the LX850 is the only one that will do what I want. Mine has been here nearly a year and has done a nice job so far.


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gary-sue69
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Loc: Maybee MI.
Re: Which one will work best? new [Re: jrcrilly]
      #6335862 - 01/26/14 12:35 AM

Thanks john. I am leaning to the Meade LX850 with WO132FLT F7 Triplet APO, MallinCam XTREME X2, all though this is tough choice.

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Dragon Man
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Re: Which one will work best? new [Re: David Pavlich]
      #6335883 - 01/26/14 01:08 AM

Quote:

For video astronomy, aperture is king. And since you'll be reducing it anyway, the long focal length of the big Meade will just overpower the refractor. For the conventional, everyday objects, either would be fine, but when you start to poke around more distant, diffuse objects, the brute power of the Meade will be the ticket!

David




Sorry but no David.
That is a common misconception coming from years of peoples Imaging habits.
With Imaging, Aperture often is King.

With Video, Aperture is NOT.
It can actually work 'against' you.

With Video, 'Focal Length' is the most important factor to keep track of.
If you want to video observe small objects, use a slow scope with a medium to long focal length (often meaning a larger aperture).
If you want a wider FOV use a Focal Reducer.
If you want to video observe very large objects like the Sun, Moon, large Nebula, large Galaxy Clusters and open star clusters, use a short focal length, not a fast focal ratio.
For example, a 12" f5 is fast but is too long (1200mm) in focal length to assist in wide FOV video observing.

Whereas, a 600mm focal length scope will give a much better result, especially when focal reduced to 300-400mm.
The most common scopes to fill this spot is the ED80 refractor and 120mm f5 Achromat Refractors, and SCT's with Hyperstar (but not because of its aperture, but because of its short focal length).
There are also optimised RC scopes that work well because they have been set up for Video work.
They are called 'VRC telescopes'.

The trick is to get the focal length down, not necessarily the aperture up. Video Astronomy cameras are sensitive enough to not be handicapped by less aperture.


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Relativist
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Re: Which one will work best? new [Re: Dragon Man]
      #6335923 - 01/26/14 01:45 AM

It's not the only one out there, but take the Mallincam for example, it's roughly equivalent to using an 8mm 50 degree FOV eyepiece from what I understand. So you can see why focal length of the scope you chose is so important. From what I've seen 8"-11" SCTs are a sweet spot.

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Chris A
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Reged: 02/03/07

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Re: Which one will work best? new [Re: Relativist]
      #6336814 - 01/26/14 02:30 PM

I 2nd that Curtis. An 8 to 11" scope at an F4 or faster seems to be a very sweet spot for the 1/2" CCD sensor for a decent image scale, resolution and FOV.

Chris A


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gary-sue69
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Reged: 07/19/07

Loc: Maybee MI.
Re: Which one will work best? new [Re: Chris A]
      #6337374 - 01/26/14 06:52 PM

well, I just order my mount. The Meade LX-850. I got $1000. off because it was an open box from Astronomics. I am leaning toward a William Optics FLT-132 APO Triplet Refractor with 3.5" WO Focuser. But NOT for sure.

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