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Equipment Discussions >> Reflectors

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Jon Isaacs
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 06/16/04

Loc: San Diego and Boulevard, CA
Re: Meade Lightbridge or Skywatcher new [Re: Light Bender]
      #6072258 - 09/09/13 10:36 PM

Quote:

Will the Orion 9*50 fit the factory finder scope mount for this scope (Light Bridge)? I am thinking of ordering one for my XLT120 and it would be nice to use it on both.




It should fit. Sometimes though there are small differences in the mounts and one particular finder won't fit one particular shoe.

Jon


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Astrojensen
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 10/05/08

Loc: Bornholm, Denmark
Re: Meade Lightbridge or Skywatcher new [Re: Jon Isaacs]
      #6072562 - 09/10/13 03:14 AM

The finder shoe on my 12" takes the ubiqutious 8x50 finderscopes without problems. I've tried a Telrad on my 12", but find that I prefer a 50mm straight-through optical finder. Even a 8x30 works better for me than the Telrad. This is of course a personal opinion.


Clear skies!
Thomas, Denmark


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Jon Isaacs
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 06/16/04

Loc: San Diego and Boulevard, CA
Re: Meade Lightbridge or Skywatcher new [Re: Astrojensen]
      #6072624 - 09/10/13 05:34 AM

Quote:

The finder shoe on my 12" takes the ubiqutious 8x50 finderscopes without problems. I've tried a Telrad on my 12", but find that I prefer a 50mm straight-through optical finder. Even a 8x30 works better for me than the Telrad. This is of course a personal opinion.


Clear skies!
Thomas, Denmark




If there is room, I use both a Telrad and Straight-through magnifying finder. If the skies are dark, I can find most objects using the Telrad's rings to point the scope relative to the starfield. One I have positioned the scope, I switch to a low power, widefield eyepiece.

Jon


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Astrojensen
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 10/05/08

Loc: Bornholm, Denmark
Re: Meade Lightbridge or Skywatcher new [Re: Jon Isaacs]
      #6072636 - 09/10/13 05:49 AM

Quote:

If the skies are dark, I can find most objects using the Telrad's rings to point the scope relative to the starfield.




This worked very well with big and easy objects, which I could sweep up in the main scope, but I very often observe very faint, small and obscure objects far, far away from any easy guidestars. If I then can't starhop from a star easily identifiable in the Telrad AND the main scope, then I very often got lost, since the 12" showed myriad stars where my Uranometria 2000.0 showed just one or two. Which of the two hundred stars were the ones shown in U2000.0? In the 8x50 it's much easier for me to identify the field, since it matches U2000 almost perfectly, going only modestly deeper.

I'm also accustomed to using optical finders, since that's what I've been doing for twenty years. A beginner may have more immediate success with the Telrad.

I need more counterweight at the rear of the scope, if I want to mount both the Telrad and the 8x50 on the UTA.


Clear skies!
Thomas, Denmark


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Jon Isaacs
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 06/16/04

Loc: San Diego and Boulevard, CA
Re: Meade Lightbridge or Skywatcher new [Re: Astrojensen]
      #6072677 - 09/10/13 06:40 AM

Quote:


This worked very well with big and easy objects, which I could sweep up in the main scope, but I very often observe very faint, small and obscure objects far, far away from any easy guidestars.




Thomas:

It also works for difficult objects. Please realize you are not the only one hunting down, tiny faint objects. When I purchased my 25 inch, it only had a Telrad... It now has a magnifying finder but I mostly use the Telrad.

When I first tried a Telrad, I was not impressed and I replaced it with a magnifying finder, I was used to using a magnifying finder and knew how to use it, tried and true. Then I bought a scope that happened to have both a Telrad and a magnifying finder and I gradually learned how to use the Telrad effectively. Now, when the skies are dark, it's about all I use... Accurate finder charts with Telrad overlays are necessary but in this day and age, an electronic chart does this very nicely.

Telrads are not very effective when there is a significant amount of light pollution but they are quite effective when the skies are dark and clear..

Jon


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Astrojensen
Post Laureate
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Reged: 10/05/08

Loc: Bornholm, Denmark
Re: Meade Lightbridge or Skywatcher new [Re: Jon Isaacs]
      #6073415 - 09/10/13 03:25 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


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coutleef
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 02/21/08

Loc: Saint-Donat, Quebec, Canada
Re: Meade Lightbridge or Skywatcher new [Re: Light Bender]
      #6073490 - 09/10/13 04:07 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


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Astrojensen
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 10/05/08

Loc: Bornholm, Denmark
Re: Meade Lightbridge or Skywatcher new [Re: coutleef]
      #6073556 - 09/10/13 04:49 PM

Quote:

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


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Gastrol
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 11/04/11

Loc: los angeles
Re: Meade Lightbridge or Skywatcher new [Re: Astrojensen]
      #6073602 - 09/10/13 05:22 PM

Quote:


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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coutleef
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 02/21/08

Loc: Saint-Donat, Quebec, Canada
Re: Meade Lightbridge or Skywatcher new [Re: Astrojensen]
      #6073611 - 09/10/13 05:30 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.


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Light Bender
member


Reged: 08/25/13

Loc: Middle Tennessee
Re: Meade Lightbridge or Skywatcher new [Re: coutleef]
      #6073785 - 09/10/13 07:33 PM

Very nice scope.

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Light Bender
member


Reged: 08/25/13

Loc: Middle Tennessee
Re: Meade Lightbridge or Skywatcher new [Re: coutleef]
      #6073792 - 09/10/13 07:37 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.


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Light Bender
member


Reged: 08/25/13

Loc: Middle Tennessee
Re: Meade Lightbridge or Skywatcher new [Re: Astrojensen]
      #6073799 - 09/10/13 07:42 PM

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

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Jon Isaacs
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 06/16/04

Loc: San Diego and Boulevard, CA
Re: Meade Lightbridge or Skywatcher new [Re: Astrojensen]
      #6073801 - 09/10/13 07:43 PM

Quote:

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


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Stargazer78
professor emeritus
*****

Reged: 03/05/13

Loc: Susanville California
Re: Meade Lightbridge or Skywatcher new [Re: Jon Isaacs]
      #6076110 - 09/11/13 11:43 PM

I have a skywatcher dob and its great!!!

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Fireball
professor emeritus


Reged: 03/24/06

Re: Meade Lightbridge or Skywatcher new [Re: Stargazer78]
      #6107555 - 09/29/13 01:44 PM

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

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Ski-Patroller
member


Reged: 04/16/10

Re: Meade Lightbridge or Skywatcher new [Re: Light Bender]
      #6109654 - 09/30/13 05:15 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.

Edited by Ski-Patroller (09/30/13 05:21 PM)


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Ski-Patroller
member


Reged: 04/16/10

Re: Meade Lightbridge or Skywatcher new [Re: Ski-Patroller]
      #6194802 - 11/14/13 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.

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John rombi
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 08/14/05

Loc: Sydney, Australia
Re: Meade Lightbridge or Skywatcher new [Re: Ski-Patroller]
      #6194901 - 11/14/13 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.


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Sean Wood
super member


Reged: 04/19/11

Loc: North Carolina
Re: Meade Lightbridge or Skywatcher new [Re: John rombi]
      #6196834 - 11/15/13 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.


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