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Equipment Discussions >> Reflectors

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bhuloka
super member


Reged: 03/06/12

Loc: Maryland, USA
Re: Let's talk about the Hubble Optics UL16 new [Re: bhuloka]
      #5460636 - 10/08/12 01:14 PM

ZiptheLipp; you are in NYC. Do you have any ideas about how to do air travel with your Obsession UC15"? Have you gotten a case?

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TechPan6415
sage
*****

Reged: 07/29/12

Loc: Aspen, Co
Re: Let's talk about the Hubble Optics UL16 new [Re: bhuloka]
      #5460683 - 10/08/12 01:38 PM

At first glance, it looks like Obsession offers a travel case for the 15" & 18" UC models, $495 & $595. Worst case ( pun intended ) I bet the one for the 18" would work. Also look at Pelican cases like a cube 0370. Even with the $45 caster kit, it is still nearly half the price of the UC 18" case but weighs 40 pounds empty, so your whole travel kit might weigh over 100 pounds.

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zipthelipp
member


Reged: 09/10/12

Loc: Bayside NY
Re: Let's talk about the Hubble Optics UL16 new [Re: TechPan6415]
      #5460928 - 10/08/12 04:35 PM

bhuloka, I never travel with my scopes by air. My 15UC didnt come in yet. I may take it to the Philippines with me when I go there, I would love to see some of the Southern skies.

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Sean Wood
super member


Reged: 04/19/11

Loc: North Carolina
Re: Let's talk about the Hubble Optics UL16 new [Re: zipthelipp]
      #5474675 - 10/17/12 09:03 AM

Could one of you fella's that have one of these please measure what the dimensions of this scope is when it is collapsed. I'm SERIOUSLY considering one and just want to have all the info I can before purchase. Also, is the aluminium frame components black anodized, powder coated or just have a plain enamel finish?

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stewarttt
member
*****

Reged: 11/11/11

Loc: Monticello, Florida
Re: Let's talk about the Hubble Optics UL16 new [Re: Sean Wood]
      #5476630 - 10/18/12 10:06 AM

Sean,
When the scope is collapsed, it is about 20" high and 22" on all sides. Very small footprint. If you decide to get one I would recommend getting the wheels that you can order as an option. Well worth it. Or better yet, make them yourself. I bought all the parts and made them for about $75. They look just like the ones on the Hubble website. Also, I think the frame is black anodized paint


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TechPan6415
sage
*****

Reged: 07/29/12

Loc: Aspen, Co
Re: Let's talk about the Hubble Optics UL16 new [Re: stewarttt]
      #5479515 - 10/19/12 09:20 PM Attachment (58 downloads)

An Update:

"Seeing is Believing"…at least in terms of good seeing that is…

I had an assignment to shoot out in Utah yesterday morning, so I checked my clear dark sky app and the seeing looked promising at both Natural Bridges and Goblin Valley, so after the shoot, I took my pop-up camper and scope out to the latter. I had to go for another 3-4 miles on dirt roads before I could find a spot that was not polluted with campfires and hordes of ATV riders camping out. I finally settled on a nice bench off of a short 4WD road and set it all up for the night...

At 8PM, I had the scope set up and a basic collimation done. I went into the camper for an hour to let it cool off and made some dinner. By 9PM I was off and running. There was a tiny breeze that would kick up a bit here and there for about an hour, the seeing was fairly good and things started looking good. But by midnight, it was dead calm and the seeing was very, very good. I ran the scope through it's paces with all my eyepiece combos and just had a blast finding all kinds of DSO's I had never seen before. By 1:30 AM I must have seen two dozen galaxies, a dozen planetaries and plenty of diffuse nebula and star clusters, it was addicting. So I got a little tired and decide to nap until 3 AM. I got back up and the seeing was even better, jupiter was mind blowing in the binoviewers and I was addicted to the Orion Nebula like it was crack. I went bonkers until twilight made flooded the views of Venus and Jupiter, went back to bed at 8AM.

I did check the collimation often because a temporary fix for the loose azimuth bearing turned out to be too sitff and it was rough to say the least, the only real downer of the night. It made looking at Jupiter with the 8.8's in the 1.25X binoviewer combo a pain in the rear, the 16's were much better in terms of dealing with the stiff side to side motion. I did a couple of star tests and I thought that overall, it looked pretty good, very symmetrical, with maybe a tiny bit of darkening on the extreme outside edge of the inside focus ( I think ). I still think I need to do some more on this so I might need to compare it to another scope at some point but overall, I thought when the seeing and collimation was good, the stars and Jupiter looked great.

But the deep sky objects…wow, I truly have never seen Orion like that, the entire 30mm eyepiece filled to the brim with nebula, the colors, the tiniest of stars in the trapezium, I must have looked at that for over an hour, 30mm 82 degree, 14mm 100 degree, 24 and 16mm in binoviewers, holy cow! The spiral structure in galaxies, the Eskimo, the Owl, etc, all kinds of stuff, just a heck of a lot of fun and most likely the best views of objects I have ever seen…certainly the most in one night.

I have more mods to do, like find a permanent solution for the azimuth bearing, an adjustable tensioner. Right now I have two small felt pads lodged in-between for some friction, last night I had 4 and it was a nightmare. But all in all, I think this scope is going to work for me! I have just as dark of skies out where I live, but lately the seeing has not been great, so a trip out to Utah finally shed some light on how good the optics are, glad I brought it with me!


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sopticals
professor emeritus


Reged: 03/28/10

Loc: New Zealand
Re: Let's talk about the Hubble Optics UL16 new [Re: TechPan6415]
      #5479527 - 10/19/12 09:27 PM

Nice report.Great dark sky start.Scope obviously giving great views.You will be well satisfied with the optics. Enjoy.

Stephen.


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bhuloka
super member


Reged: 03/06/12

Loc: Maryland, USA
Re: Let's talk about the Hubble Optics UL16 new [Re: sopticals]
      #5514479 - 11/11/12 01:21 PM

I finally had a chance to do a meticulous comparison (in very good seeing) between my 8" Edge HD SCT, and my Hubble 16".
The news is (finally) very good for the Hubble.
The Edge scope has always been razor sharp, even when I compared it against a 5" TEC refractor while viewing Saturn last Spring. So, I consider it a good benchmark for evaluating the 16". But 2 obstacle stood in my way; poor weather from May thru October, and the fact that I did not know how to properly collimate and otherwise optically adjust the Hubble scope.

Now the weather has cleared, and I have spent some time working on the scope's collimation issues. I re-centered the primary mirror center spot (is was off by 2 mm). I re-glued the secondary mirror to it's stalk (it was previously noticeably crooked). I added a milk-jug washer to the top of the stalk, so that the collimation screws would move smoothly (this made a HUGE difference in being able to minutely adjust the mirror aim). I very carefully recentered the secondary mirror under the focuser, using a Glatter laser with holographic attachment, AND a Catseye sight tube. I also had precisely levelled the focuser itself. Using a laser in the focuser, I found that the focuser was indeed tilted down a bit. Some aluminum foil shims placed under the focuser mounting bracket solved that problem. I replaced the weak primary mirror support springs with heavier ones from the local hardware store. I made a nice light shield for the upper cage out or Protostar flockboard. And, though not optically necessary, I replaced the faulty GSO stock focuser with a nice Moonlite CR dual-speed focuser (with filter swing arm; saves weight compared to a filter slide).

Then I spent some serious time examining the primary mirror cell; namely, the mechanics of its collimation screws and lock-down bolts. (This without the mirror in the cell.)

All of this effort really paid off this week. Clear Sky Chart showed excellent seeing for Saturday night, so I headed out with both scopes for a definitive "sharpness showdown". While the 16" has always been brighter than the 8", it has been blurry at higher magnifications, so planetary views have been poor compared to the 8" Edge.
I wanted to see if my modifications would finally bring the 16" up to its potential. The answer is a resounding "YES"!

I set up both scopes, let them cool for 2 hours, then went to work. My main test targets were Jupiter, and the Trapezium in M42. (Also Uranus and Double Cluster.)

Jupiter was near its zenith by 1 am. Seeing was very good, at least 4 out of 5, and steadily improving. The 16" view was very detailed, subtly colored, and bright. But the 8" was a little better. So I checked my collimation, using a tuBlug; sure enough, it had drifted. After readjusting collimation, the 16" became much sharper, easily surpassing the 8". But the 8" still had better contrast on the planet's surface; dark bands appeared darker, light areas still bright. So some features stood out more. But they were not quite as detailed as in the 16", just easier to see.

Then it was time to increase the magnification.
Here is where the 16" really left the 8" in the dust.
The 8" easily handles 302x, but gets mushy and dim if you go much above that. Floaters appear in the eyes, and the detail does not increase. The 16", however, easily delivered 389x with exquisite detail, and rich colors which I had never seen on Jupiter before. The Great Red Spot had a clear color gradient from white margin to peach-colored center. There was white, pink, orange, rust, all subtly blending from one to the other, or sharply defined at edges of features. I remember faintly gasping at one moment when the seeing became especially clear. Then I walked over to the 8". Again, better contrast, but somewhat less detail, and definitely much less subtlety and variety of rich colors. Perhaps the 16" just makes the darker areas too bright, thus losing some contrast. Maybe a ND filter to darken it up a bit would help?...

Next post, The Trapezium...


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bhuloka
super member


Reged: 03/06/12

Loc: Maryland, USA
Re: Let's talk about the Hubble Optics UL16 new [Re: bhuloka]
      #5514578 - 11/11/12 02:29 PM

On the Trapezuim, the UL16 clearly did much better than the Celestron 8" Edge HD. But I again had to collimate the 16". It seems to drift, so tweaking seems to be a continual process that pays dividends. The 16 clearly and easily showed the E and F stars, steady and calm. The 8" showed the E star faint but steady. At first, no sign of the F star, but it eked into view during a few moments of good seeing. Not steady, though.

The larger nebula showed lots of subtlety in the 16, much more than the 8".

I had spent several hours meticulously comparing the scopes on these 2 targets, using various magnifications, waiting for calm seeing moments. The 16" is finally fulfilling its potential. With a 2x barlow, i now think it will easily go to 544x, or maybe even (gulp) 772x. Is that possible?

We shall see....

I then turned to the Double Cluster for a low power view with both scopes; the 8" view was beautiful, but the 16", now nicely collimated, was just breathtaking. I had previously been satisfied with the 16's low power views, but the good collimation made them dramatically better.
There were lots of tiny, pinpoint stars of various colors, dense and rich.

I finished the night with some large aperture specials; faint fuzzies, that is. No contest here. The 16" view of M31, 32, 101, 81, 82 were bright and fine. 8" just couldn't keep up.

Future modifications; goto/tracking system from Hubble, binoviewers, reducing stiction in altitude bearing, adding a little friction to the lazy susan azimuth bearing.

Bring on the good seeing, 'cause the Hubble Optics 16" is ready (optically, at least).


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bhuloka
super member


Reged: 03/06/12

Loc: Maryland, USA
Re: Let's talk about the Hubble Optics UL16 new [Re: bhuloka]
      #5514580 - 11/11/12 02:30 PM

(M110, not 101)

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starman345
Wait, I'm Thinking
*****

Reged: 07/06/10

Loc: New Brunswick, Canada
Re: Let's talk about the Hubble Optics UL16 new [Re: bhuloka]
      #5514695 - 11/11/12 04:04 PM

Great report, I much enjoyed reading it. This gives me hope that my 14 HO mirror will deliver good views when I get the scope finished.

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sniperpride
super member


Reged: 01/04/12

Re: Let's talk about the Hubble Optics UL16 new [Re: starman345]
      #5515114 - 11/11/12 09:28 PM

No offense, but tell me you are not honestly comparing an 8 inch to a 16 inch scope....If the 16 does not beat it out on fainter objects you have a problem.

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bhuloka
super member


Reged: 03/06/12

Loc: Maryland, USA
Re: Let's talk about the Hubble Optics UL16 new [Re: sniperpride]
      #5515356 - 11/12/12 12:24 AM

"No offense, but tell me you are not honestly comparing an 8 inch to a 16 inch scope....If the 16 does not beat it out on fainter objects you have a problem. "

It was a test of general optical quality, not quantity, you might say. For its size, the 8" Edge HD is really sharp, with absolutely no collimation issues. The Hubble, however, was an unknown, and my first Dob. Until now, it has been definitely fuzzy, and very UN-satisfying in the planetary viewing department. The 8" was very obviously kicking its rear in that regard. But on faint objects, yes, the 16" was always vastly superior right from the start. But I feared that I had gotten a very poor 16" mirror that would never do well with high-power views. So I compared it side-by-side with a known sharp performer, not for brightness,(which would be ridiculous, as you point out) but for sharpness and pinpoint stars, which, until now, I hadn't seen in the 16" because of my poor collimation skills. That was the point, and I'm now satisfied that the 16" mirror is almost in the same league with some very nice premium mirrors I have looked through(an 18" Webster and a 20" Midnight), and better than a 16" Lightbridge which I spent an evening with back in May.


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Sean Wood
super member


Reged: 04/19/11

Loc: North Carolina
Re: Let's talk about the Hubble Optics UL16 new [Re: bhuloka]
      #5565554 - 12/11/12 09:02 AM

Hubble has added some products to their line...
A 14" f4.6 UL($1895), 18" f4.0 UL($3695) and a set of Bluetooth adapted digital setting circles they are touting for use with an Android tablet and Sky Safari... U do a single or double alignment and the tablet image follows you. From how they're making it sound. $149 if you get it when you order the scope or $249(+$40 s+h) outright.
Pretty nice additions I'd say.


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nirvanix
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 06/07/07

Loc: Saskatoon, SK
Re: Let's talk about the Hubble Optics UL16 new [Re: Sean Wood]
      #5565849 - 12/11/12 12:26 PM

Yes, I'm now strongly considering taking the Hubble plunge. It's a lotta scope for da money and people seem quite satisfied with performance except for some tweeks. Not sure where I fit in on the size scale. Would the 14" f4.6 need a paracorr? Likely the 18" f4 would.

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starman345
Wait, I'm Thinking
*****

Reged: 07/06/10

Loc: New Brunswick, Canada
Re: Let's talk about the Hubble Optics UL16 new [Re: nirvanix]
      #5565868 - 12/11/12 12:35 PM

I have a 14" f4.48 and haven't finished the build yet, from what I've read it seems some people aren't bothered by the coma while others are, I'm going to try without then see. Like you say, probably at f4.0 coma would be a bit more evident. But, that 18" f4.0 would keep your feet on the ground, a big plus right there. These new additions to the Hubble line make for some nice competition for the other makers.

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Sean Wood
super member


Reged: 04/19/11

Loc: North Carolina
Re: Let's talk about the Hubble Optics UL16 new [Re: starman345]
      #5565974 - 12/11/12 01:42 PM

I'm considering one of these and I'm coming off of a 10" Light Bridge... The 16 is still looking to be my best bang for the buck... Don't know if I could justify $1200 for another 2" of apature... Or would there be enough difference in views to make it worth my while to save another few months for the big boy?

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bhuloka
super member


Reged: 03/06/12

Loc: Maryland, USA
Re: Let's talk about the Hubble Optics UL16 new [Re: Sean Wood]
      #5566041 - 12/11/12 02:24 PM

Well, Sean, the eyepiece height is the same for the 16" f/4.5 and the 18" f/4.0
Therefore I have also wondered if the 18" would have been a better choice. But I am happy with my UL16", as it is lighter and more portable than an 18". The difference in light gathering is 200 sq. in. compared to 254 sq. in. , so a 25% increase. But a big jump in price. So, yeah, brighter, but not $1200 worth, to my thinking.

Regarding paracorr; I'll be binoviewing this scope (Siebert Black Nights arriving next week). The optical corrector that comes with the scope is basically a paracorr for the binos, so I won't be getting a separate paracorr.
I used to think this scope had lots of come, but it was mostly just poor collimation. Since I've gotten better at collimating the scope, the coma has not bothered me much. It's there, but not such a big deal at f/4.5
I find that poor seeing is more of a problem than coma.
When seeing is good, things look pretty crisp, given proper collimation. So I'm glad I didn't buy a paracorr.

The mechanical issues remain unsolved; too much stiction in altitude movements, and too loose in azimuth. These problems ARE solveable, though, if one has some time to spend on them. Next year, I plan to solve them just by getting Hubble's goto system, and letting the motors move the scope.


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bhuloka
super member


Reged: 03/06/12

Loc: Maryland, USA
Re: Let's talk about the Hubble Optics UL16 new [Re: bhuloka]
      #5566051 - 12/11/12 02:27 PM

Sorry; the optical corrector comes with the black night binos, not with the scope.

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nirvanix
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 06/07/07

Loc: Saskatoon, SK
Re: Let's talk about the Hubble Optics UL16 [Re: bhuloka]
      #5566420 - 12/11/12 06:38 PM

Thanks starman and bhuloka for answering my question about the paracorr. Nice to hear that the 14" may not have heinous coma.

So much choice in scopes these days. Feels like the kid in a candy store metaphor.


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