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Equipment Discussions >> Cats & Casses

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Starhawk
Space Ranger
*****

Reged: 09/16/08

Loc: Tucson, Arizona
Re: C6 or 6SE? New York City dilemma re: TV eyepieces new [Re: FishInPercolator]
      #5870709 - 05/19/13 03:33 AM

An Omni XLT 150 is pretty big- 9.5 lbs heavier than a C5. On the bright side, when equipped with the old school drive, it runs for quite a while on a set of D cells.

Tell me this, would you feel comfortable toting a cello around NYC? Being a pedestrian stuck moving a heavy payload around the city isn't generally my idea of great fun. Of course, if your model was taxi-mobility, then this gets to be pretty forgiving, payload-wise. Not so much, wallet-wise.

How about this: mock up one of these scopes you are considering with a combination of cardboard boxes, bricks, and broomsticks, then go where you are thinking of observing from, and observe how it goes. The idea of doing this with cheap materials is if it's a total foob, you can jettison the mockup and just come home without the pressure of trying to recover over a thousand dollars worth of gear.

-Rich

Edited by Starhawk (05/19/13 03:37 AM)


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Starhawk
Space Ranger
*****

Reged: 09/16/08

Loc: Tucson, Arizona
Re: C6 or 6SE? New York City dilemma re: TV eyepieces new [Re: Starhawk]
      #5870734 - 05/19/13 03:56 AM

Note- consider when people look at you with your odd looking mockup how you would feel when they were gazing at gleaming stainless steel legs and odd bags heaped with you.

-Rich


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pjensen
super member


Reged: 04/08/12

Loc: Highland Village, Tx
Re: C6 or 6SE? New York City dilemma re: TV eyepieces new [Re: Starhawk]
      #5870850 - 05/19/13 08:08 AM

Quote:

Tell me this, would you feel comfortable toting a cello around NYC? Being a pedestrian stuck moving a heavy payload around the city isn't generally my idea of great fun.




Great point.

One more consideration - it will take dozens of these trips to get used to the equipment. The first couple of times, you will find something not working right (aka: not understanding how it works). Or you will find you need this or that - a light, a chart, gps co-ordinates, a connector... Or just not knowing the star names (required for 2+4 star alignment). Or clouds will roll in.

Learning how to use this stuff and learning the sky takes time (and repeated attempts). I just can not imagine how hard this would be if I had use a subway (and hours of transit time) every time I wanted go out.

Perhaps taking a vacation for a week at a dark location might be a better option.


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Patrick
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 05/16/03

Loc: Franklin, Ohio
Re: C6 or 6SE? New York City dilemma re: TV eyepieces new [Re: FishInPercolator]
      #5871017 - 05/19/13 09:59 AM

Quote:

Nope, I'm debating now between a C6 and an Omni XLT 150.




It's nice to explore all the options. The C6 and Omni XLT 150 have the same aperture, but the 6" f/5 reflector is about twice as long as the C6. Just sayin'...

With an f/6.3 focal reducer, they're almost identical (750mm vs 960mm). The C6 can also be mounted on the CG4 mount if that's your concern. The C6 would also be easier to use on a GEM style mount than the Newt.

Patrick


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Geo.
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 10/01/08

Loc: Upstate NY
Re: C6 or 6SE? New York City dilemma re: TV eyepieces new [Re: FishInPercolator]
      #5871957 - 05/19/13 04:53 PM

Quote:

Nope, I'm debating now between a C6 and an Omni XLT 150.




Pretty sure the optics are the same.


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FishInPercolator
professor emeritus


Reged: 04/30/13

Loc: NYC
Re: C6 or 6SE? New York City dilemma re: TV eyepieces new [Re: Geo.]
      #5872308 - 05/19/13 07:46 PM

True but wouldn't the Newt provide more contrast and larger field of view (even though people have advised not to overwhelm myself with it)?

The 6" newt is 2.5 lbs heavier and 10.5 inches longer... the weight variance is nominal and due to its longer length, I would just have to position it vertically as opposed to horizontally in whatever large case I find for it...


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FishInPercolator
professor emeritus


Reged: 04/30/13

Loc: NYC
Re: C6 or 6SE? New York City dilemma re: TV eyepieces new [Re: FishInPercolator]
      #5872310 - 05/19/13 07:47 PM

It also includes a 2" crayford focuser

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azure1961p
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 01/17/09

Loc: USA
Re: C6 or 6SE? New York City dilemma re: TV eyepieces new [Re: FishInPercolator]
      #5872778 - 05/19/13 11:03 PM

Fish,

Which one in the avatar is you and whose the other guy?

Pete


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FishInPercolator
professor emeritus


Reged: 04/30/13

Loc: NYC
Re: C6 or 6SE? New York City dilemma re: TV eyepieces new [Re: azure1961p]
      #5872785 - 05/19/13 11:08 PM

lol, actually, I was the one who took the photo

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WesC
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 02/06/13

Loc: La Crescenta, CA
Re: C6 or 6SE? New York City dilemma re: TV eyepieces new [Re: FishInPercolator]
      #5872871 - 05/19/13 11:57 PM

I still think you should go back to the refractor suggestions I made and seriously consider that approach. Its much lighter, and a lot easier to deal with.

Have you made it to a store yet?


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FishInPercolator
professor emeritus


Reged: 04/30/13

Loc: NYC
Re: C6 or 6SE? New York City dilemma re: TV eyepieces new [Re: WesC]
      #5872881 - 05/20/13 12:07 AM

Hey Wes, yes I am certainly considering a refractor but as a second scope. Right now it's a toss between a C6 and the Omni 150 XLT Newtonian 6"... it's inexpensive and still portable, albeit a bit longer than the C6. I've made it to Adorama and they only had an EdgeHD 800 which I had asked them to ship from the warehouse. It's lovely but heavier/bulkier than the C6. The latter along with the 6" Newt are also significantly less expensive.

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Patrick
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 05/16/03

Loc: Franklin, Ohio
Re: C6 or 6SE? New York City dilemma re: TV eyepieces new [Re: FishInPercolator]
      #5872901 - 05/20/13 12:40 AM

My first scope was an 8" f/5 on a manual GEM. That scope nearly made me give up on astronomy. It's a pain in the neck using a Newt on a GEM mount, literally. You'll be rotating the tubes in the tube rings and/or have to look at your eyepiece upside down in certain parts of the sky. With the SCT all you rotate is the diagonal...much more convenient.

Contrast? Yeah, there's a bit of a difference...but you also have noticeable diffraction spikes with bright objects llke Jupiter, something you won't see in the SCT. Everything you can see in the Newt you can see in the SCT. There are only a very few objects that the 750mm Newt might get completely in the FOV that the 960mm C6 (operating with a focal reducer) might not be able, but the vast majority of objects will fit in both of the FOV's.. To be fair, at 1525mm native focal length, most deepsky objects look better in the C6 because they'll be bigger with the same eyepiece. It will take much shorter eyepieces to get any decent image scale from the Newt. Shorter eyepieces generally equate to shorter eye relief. I prefer to use longer focal length eyepieces and barlow if I have to.

My 2 cents...others may disagree...

Patrick

Edited by Patrick (05/20/13 12:45 AM)


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FishInPercolator
professor emeritus


Reged: 04/30/13

Loc: NYC
Re: C6 or 6SE? New York City dilemma re: TV eyepieces new [Re: Patrick]
      #5872909 - 05/20/13 12:44 AM

They are worthwhile points... I just think a faster scope like an f/5 will work best for both visual and imaging. I read about a bunch of problems bringing the C6 f/10 down with reducers for use with a CCD camera or DSLR. Unless I'm mistaken...

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Patrick
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 05/16/03

Loc: Franklin, Ohio
Re: C6 or 6SE? New York City dilemma re: TV eyepieces new [Re: FishInPercolator]
      #5872917 - 05/20/13 12:51 AM

Quote:

I read about a bunch of problems bringing the C6 f/10 down with reducers for use with a CCD camera or DSLR. Unless I'm mistaken...




What kind of problems?

Okay, now you're throwing imaging into the mix? Does the imaging setup need to fit in your backpack too?

Go with a small 80mm refractor if you're going to image. The SCT will be easier to image with than the Newt, but an 80mm refractor will be better than either. I thought you cared more about visual, but if imaging is your end game, then go with the refractor.

Patrick


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Spacetravelerx
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 12/23/12

Loc: New Mexico
Re: C6 or 6SE? New York City dilemma re: TV eyepieces new [Re: Patrick]
      #5872922 - 05/20/13 12:53 AM

I 110% agree with Patrick!

But you knew that fish...


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FishInPercolator
professor emeritus


Reged: 04/30/13

Loc: NYC
Re: C6 or 6SE? New York City dilemma re: TV eyepieces new [Re: Spacetravelerx]
      #5872925 - 05/20/13 12:56 AM

I will probably end up getting a 6" Newt, a 6" SCT, and an 80mm refractor by the end of the year anyway... all portable solutions...

The Tak 102mm I need to save up for so that will take a bit more time...


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Starhawk
Space Ranger
*****

Reged: 09/16/08

Loc: Tucson, Arizona
Re: C6 or 6SE? New York City dilemma re: TV eyepieces new [Re: FishInPercolator]
      #5873019 - 05/20/13 02:29 AM

So, after posting on this a few times, I went out and did an experiment with a mobile rig to see what happened. The participants were a NexStar SLT mount (with the 4" OTA it came with removed), an 80 mm C80ED telescope (f/7.5 600 mm FL refractor with the same optics as the Orion ED80), and a C5 OTA.

I started out witht the 80mm on the mount, and at a total of about 17 lbs, it's pretty even to move, even though it isn't obvious how to pack a scope that long in a backpack. The mount has some bounce since even this relatively small scope has a bit of a moment of inertia, which small mounts have trouble with. The views were quite nice, and the moon was bright enough to look a bit like the last big city sky glow I got to endure. The view of the moon had great contrast, though the seeing didn't seem to want me to go over 100X. Likewise, Saturn didn't want to give up the Cassini division, although I have seen it in this telescope in the past. DSOs were quite difficult with the setting double cluster only seeming to be a few of the bright stars.

I then went on to the C5, which has sadly been wanting wear since the AP 130 EDFGT showed up in 2011. The C5 threw down a fantastic image on the moon which held up at twice the magnification I was able to use on the C80ED. We've been having a lot of wind, so there is a lot of dust in the air, but the C5's image still came through to make fuzzy details like some of the older rays on the moon fairly obvious. At over twice the magnification I had reached in the C80ED, Saturn showed the Cassini division, cloud stripes, and subtle color variations as well as three moons. Double Cluster was improved, but still, you really needed to have seen the object before to know what you were looking at since only the brighter stars came through. What was interesting was the mount was much more stable with the C5, even with the longer focal length effects, thanks to the small moment of inertia of such a stubby telescope. I finished the evening quite sure I could never part with that telescope.

With AA batteries and a basic assortment of eyepieces, this or something like the NexStar 5 SE would be around 25 lbs, and ideal for visual work.

Packing it up isn't trivial, but at least it is possible on a frame backpack, and with a bit of a stretch, I can probably see getting the NexStar 6 SE across the city as well (again, the issue isn't just weight- it is bulk, clumsiness, and fragility all tied together).

With that said, this evening reminded me of starting out thinking I could get really light mounts to cooperate for imaging with enough elbow grease and smarts. The sad truth is: They just don't. Whoever put the 5 SE together even had enough of a sense of humor to add a wedge into the tripod. In reality, it isn't going to be easy.

The only thing I have done for photographing DSOs which has ever approached being "Easy" has been moving a C11 to the boonies, setting it up with land-line power, hyperstar, a computer monitor, and about 200 lbs of gear total. What was easy about this, you ask? The images were shot at f/2 so a 30 second exposure could get to 22nd magnitude. That solves some heavy duty issues. Sure, refractors are really easy to get set up for photography. And if you have 70+ lbs. of mount on your side, they can even be guided through an image. Astrophotography is unforgiving, but when you have the right rig in the right place at the right time, those amazing images can come. But if anything isn't just so, the only comment back is, "Your stars aren't round."

If you can set photography on the back burner for a while, I anticipate you can make this work. If you want to do photography, there is an adapter for iphones to make getting a parfocal image easier to start out (you can actually do a lot with this).

-Rich

Edited by Starhawk (05/20/13 02:31 AM)


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FishInPercolator
professor emeritus


Reged: 04/30/13

Loc: NYC
Re: C6 or 6SE? New York City dilemma re: TV eyepieces new [Re: Starhawk]
      #5873026 - 05/20/13 02:42 AM

Thanks for the post, Rich. I've decided on two portable tubes - C6 f/10 or the 6" Omni XLT 150 reflector f/5. And with the ZEQ25 it'll be about 40ish pounds which I feel I'll comfortably lug around when not transporting via car. My concern is to successfully focal reduce the C6 f/10 as I have heard there are issues with that. I will most likely start off with a scope and then work my way toward an imaging system, but I figured it wouldn't hurt to do some preliminary research now so I can get a general idea of total costs and payload requirements.

Edited by FishInPercolator (05/20/13 02:46 AM)


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Starhawk
Space Ranger
*****

Reged: 09/16/08

Loc: Tucson, Arizona
Re: C6 or 6SE? New York City dilemma re: TV eyepieces new [Re: FishInPercolator]
      #5873036 - 05/20/13 02:53 AM

I don't know that I would say reducing a C6 i especially problematic; its more that there are limits to what you can get in return. If you want to reduce a C6, you can get all the way down to f/1.9, since it has its own mini version of hyperstar (yes, it is cute). The real problem is no matter what you do, the best photography means a trip to the boonies. The broad spectrum lights people have started using have made filtering far less effective than it was 10 years ago. If you're in the city, get images of stuff in the solar system; there's still a lot to learn, but it's a lot more fun.

-Rich


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FishInPercolator
professor emeritus


Reged: 04/30/13

Loc: NYC
Re: C6 or 6SE? New York City dilemma re: TV eyepieces new [Re: Starhawk]
      #5873060 - 05/20/13 03:21 AM

Mini hyperstar? Do tell...

I think Jack at Mallincam said the problem I would have with the C6 is if I used it with the Universe, which has a larger chip and made for scopes w/2" focusers. So my thought was I could get a 2" focuser on the 6" Newt... It's not EdgeHD optics though so I not sure exactly how that plays out...

I plan to get images of solar system too... I cannot fathom neglecting our own moon.


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