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Equipment Discussions >> Refractors

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sniperpride
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Reged: 01/04/12

15inch dob needs a friend
      #5539030 - 11/25/12 04:13 PM

My 15inch obsession is very lonely, and needs a companion. I have roughly 2500 to spend on scope, and mount. This will be for visual use only, and I would like a goto mount. Uses will be for planetary, doubles, star clusters.
Help me find him a new friend
Im leaning towards a few scopes but all of them are either backordered or out of stock. I would like to spend as little as possible. But I love quality, and it comes at a cost, we all know this

Edited by sniperpride (11/25/12 04:14 PM)


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Erik Bakker
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Re: 15inch dob needs a friend new [Re: sniperpride]
      #5539069 - 11/25/12 04:36 PM

Quote:

My 15inch obsession is very lonely, and needs a companion. Uses will be for planetary, doubles, star clusters.





You should be able to find the intended subjects without goto, that should free-up some cash

Spend 1/4 on the alt-az mount and the rest on the OTA. That should get you a very nice APO, especially on the used market. For performance, a 4" is great. For portability, a 3"-3 1/2" is a better choice.


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maknewtnut
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Re: 15inch dob needs a friend new [Re: sniperpride]
      #5539124 - 11/25/12 05:21 PM

IMO, a Petzval or MakNewt is excellent in this role. Why? Because the smaller scope will often be used to present wide fields. There's no better widefield scope than one that presents a wide, flat field.

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sniperpride
super member


Reged: 01/04/12

Re: 15inch dob needs a friend new [Re: maknewtnut]
      #5539175 - 11/25/12 06:00 PM

I had been interested in the AT-111 apo, but these have been out of stock everywhere for a long time. Stellarvue 105 is a possibility. I guess i would like to stay between 90-115mm, but I dont know how much aperture I truly need because its big brother will be next to it.

As far as sturdy manual control eq mounts go, what are my options?


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Jon Isaacs
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Re: 15inch dob needs a friend new [Re: maknewtnut]
      #5539386 - 11/25/12 08:36 PM

Quote:

IMO, a Petzval or MakNewt is excellent in this role. Why? Because the smaller scope will often be used to present wide fields. There's no better widefield scope than one that presents a wide, flat field.




There is nothing quite like an NP-101 for a companion to a larger Newtonian... It only weighs about 10 lbs and with it's 540mm focal length and Petzval flat field, it is amazing at low magnifications. And it's a performer at high magnifications too...

Jon


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johnnyha
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Re: 15inch dob needs a friend new [Re: Jon Isaacs]
      #5539398 - 11/25/12 08:44 PM

Another great companion is the Takahashi FS102, just a flat-out beautiful image and no thermal issues. And it should fit your budget.

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sniperpride
super member


Reged: 01/04/12

Re: 15inch dob needs a friend new [Re: johnnyha]
      #5539433 - 11/25/12 09:17 PM

I would have to find both of those scopes used to fit my budget, and have barely if any left over for a mount, mainly with the NP101

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rockethead26
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Re: 15inch dob needs a friend new [Re: sniperpride]
      #5539467 - 11/25/12 09:47 PM

To accompany my 14.5 dob, I recently acquired an EON 120ED on a CG-5. With a diagonal and finder this great combo is under your budget. EONs are now only available used, and there were two on a-mart a week or so ago. The Skywatcher version which is available new contains the same fine optics. Highly recommended!

Edited by rockethead26 (11/25/12 09:48 PM)


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gillmj24
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Re: 15inch dob needs a friend new [Re: rockethead26]
      #5539526 - 11/25/12 10:27 PM

If you have limited funds for the mount I would say the orion Atlas gives the most for your money. It will be rock solid on any 120mm or smaller apo. You can find a used goto one for under 1000. Maybe closer to 800. It is heavy but if you can manage it, it will be much more solid than the cg5.

Edited by gillmj24 (11/25/12 10:29 PM)


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Rob E
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Re: 15inch dob needs a friend new [Re: gillmj24]
      #5539553 - 11/25/12 10:42 PM

I found a Skywatcher Synscan GOTO for a good price here in the S&S.
I've paired it regularly with an Orion ST120 & Stellarvue ST 80ED. I really enjoy both tubes.


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Jon Isaacs
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Re: 15inch dob needs a friend new [Re: gillmj24]
      #5539667 - 11/26/12 12:13 AM

Quote:

If you have limited funds for the mount I would say the orion Atlas gives the most for your money. It will be rock solid on any 120mm or smaller apo. You can find a used goto one for under 1000. Maybe closer to 800. It is heavy but if you can manage it, it will be much more solid than the cg5.




In my view, the difficulty with a 120mm scope on an Atlas or CG-5 is that it takes a fair amount of effort to get it up and running, probably about the same effort as a 15 inch Dob that is stored fully assembled.

To compliment a larger Dobsonian, something that is easily portable, provides the widest fields possible and doubles as a terrestrial scope is what I find the most useful.

YMMV

Jon


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Sky Muse
sage


Reged: 10/26/12

Loc: De Soto County, MS
Re: 15inch dob needs a friend new [Re: Jon Isaacs]
      #5539855 - 11/26/12 06:34 AM

Per the title, I thought you were selling, or even giving it away in the spirit of Christmas.

"Uses will be for planetary, doubles, star clusters."

Get a German equatorial and a motor-drive set, and to accomplish higher mangnifications. An average alt-az mount will disappoint. I ordered a Celestron CG-4 and the dual-axis motor drives, the mount to arrive later today. That would allow for a plethora of moderate focal-lengthed achromats from which to choose, and per your quoted observing interests. Then there's this, and highly rated...

http://www.telescopes.com/telescopes/refracting-telescopes/celestronc6rgtrefr...

The possibilities are almost endless given the budget.

Cheers,

Alan


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Jon Isaacs
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Re: 15inch dob needs a friend new [Re: Sky Muse]
      #5539868 - 11/26/12 07:01 AM

Quote:



Get a German equatorial and a motor-drive set, and to accomplish higher mangnifications. An average alt-az mount will disappoint.




This is a personal choice. High magnification duties are going to disappoint when compared to a decent 15 inch Dob. High magnifications require a stable mount and good optics... 300x in a 4 inch is easily done with an alt-az mount..

For me, refractors represent a balance, a companion to a larger reflector. They are small, agile and when the skies are dark and clear, provide the widefield, low magnification views that are beyond the capabilities of a larger scope. An Equatorial mount is more cumbersome and less agile, less intuitive than an alt-az mount.

Me, I have a variety of mounts, GEMS and otherwise but to go along with my bigger scopes, refractors sit on appropriate alt-az mounts.

That's my two cents...

Jon Isaacs



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Sky Muse
sage


Reged: 10/26/12

Loc: De Soto County, MS
Re: 15inch dob needs a friend new [Re: Sky Muse]
      #5540136 - 11/26/12 11:16 AM

In addition, with an alt-az, one would be forever having to manually move the refractor up and down, left and right to find something, and then tapping it up and down, left and right just to keep the object almost centered in the eyepiece. The finest alt-az mounts, for me, are of the yoke type, yet will take away a larger portion of the budget from the refractor.

An alt-az is best for viewing wildlife and distant vistas, and if at a dark site, for a quick look-see just prior to night falling.

With a motorised equatorial mounting, and it doesn't have to be a beast, one centers the object of choice, and they're done, as it will track the object for hours on end, perhaps only requiring very fine adjustments in declination once in awhile.

True, there is the portability factor to consider, and a modest equatorial can be just that, however if you're fortunate to live in area that is reasonably free of light pollution, it remains the best of the two.

Cheers,

Alan


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jrbarnett
Eyepiece Hooligan
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Re: 15inch dob needs a friend new [Re: sniperpride]
      #5540149 - 11/26/12 11:24 AM

$2500 for the OTA and mount, in refractorland, where you want top quality, will not go very far. Buying used is probably your best bet given your quality requirements and budget.

Regards,

Jim


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Jon Isaacs
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Re: 15inch dob needs a friend new [Re: Sky Muse]
      #5540277 - 11/26/12 01:06 PM

Quote:


In addition, with an alt-az, one would be forever having to manually move the refractor up and down, left and right to find something, and then tapping it up and down, left and right just to keep the object almost centered in the eyepiece.




A few thoughts, comments:

- This scope is a companion to a 15 inch Obsession, Sniperpride almost certainly is familiar and skilled at manual tracking, probably at much higher magnifications than one could ever achieve with a refractor.

- In my experience, the manual best alt-az mounts for a refractor are the balanced mounts with slow motion controls. The main advantage of these mounts is that they can be used "point and shoot dob style" for low power scanning and observing and yet at the high magnifications, the geared slow motion controls allow for easy, accurate, vibration free tracking, tapping and such is simply not necessary. (As an aside, I must admit, I have never used a mount that required tapping to track.) These mounts are simple, compact and easy to setup and require no electronics to make them work...

The Vixen Portamount was the first affordable balanced alt-az mount with slow motion controls and it is still reasonable choice for a 3 inch or relatively light 4 inch, particularly with an upgrade to a wooden tripod. I frequently mount my NP-101 on an upgraded Portamount and operate it up to about 300x.

The Astro-Tech Voyager is similar in cost and capacity. Currently there are quite a number of balanced alt-az mounts equipped with slow motion controls. I also have a StellarVue MG2, I have used it with an 8 inch F/5 Newtonian with good success.

There is no doubt that there good quality alt-az mounts out there, no need to compromise. If tracking is desired and one is willing to pay the price in setup time and awkwardness, a GEM is a reasonable solution. I have a CG-5 but only use it for astrophotography...

Jon Isaacs


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csrlice12
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Re: 15inch dob needs a friend new [Re: Jon Isaacs]
      #5540282 - 11/26/12 01:09 PM

$2500...well, there's always a BIGGER brother, who says you gotta so smaller????

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Sky Muse
sage


Reged: 10/26/12

Loc: De Soto County, MS
Re: 15inch dob needs a friend new [Re: Jon Isaacs]
      #5540308 - 11/26/12 01:30 PM

"They are small, agile and when the skies are dark and clear, provide the widefield, low magnification views that are beyond the capabilities of a larger scope."


"I would like a goto mount. Uses will be for planetary, doubles, star clusters."

...hence, an equatorial combined with either a moderate-to-long focal-lengthed achromat or a fast-to-moderate apochromat, like a used Takahashi FS-102, if they haven't been gobbled up. Else, you'd need either an extender, a barlow or both to duplicate the former, and per viewing interests.

...my three cents, and a ball of lint from my pocket for good measure.

Cheers,

Alan


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simpleisbetter
Carpal Tunnel
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Re: 15inch dob needs a friend new [Re: Jon Isaacs]
      #5540319 - 11/26/12 01:35 PM

Quote:

In my view, the difficulty with a 120mm scope on an Atlas or CG-5 is that it takes a fair amount of effort to get it up and running, probably about the same effort as a 15 inch Dob that is stored fully assembled.




I wholeheartedly agree with that statement. A well balanced manual alt/az with slow motion is the easiest and the best grab and go mount for the 90-110mm scopes, and the quickest out the door and viewing. I moved "up" to the CG-5 only due to my arthritis in my neck. Even though I really like my mount I knew what I was getting into when I bought it, understanding that I would lose grab and go capability.

Even if I haul the CG-5 and a 4" scope out in one piece, there's still power wires, laptop cables, leveling, alignment, etc. All that can take upwards of 30 minutes or more. My old 4" f/7 on the Voyager was up and running in 5 minutes.

And picking the whole thing up to rapidly relocate for a better vantage point to view a specific area of sky, or to block stray light, is non-existent with the go-to mount (especially an Atlas or greater); even a large dob is easier to relocate and get back up and running.


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rockethead26
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Re: 15inch dob needs a friend new [Re: simpleisbetter]
      #5540349 - 11/26/12 01:49 PM

I don't see where the OP said anything about grab n go being a requirement. If he had, I certainly wouldn't have recommended my rig, but since he didn't...

He even says that he wants GoTo.

Edited by rockethead26 (11/26/12 01:50 PM)


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Jon Isaacs
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Re: 15inch dob needs a friend new [Re: Sky Muse]
      #5540384 - 11/26/12 02:13 PM

Quote:

"I would like a goto mount. Uses will be for planetary, doubles, star clusters."

...hence, an equatorial combined with either ...




In a later post, Sniperpride also asks this question:

"As far as sturdy manual control eq mounts go, what are my options?"

It seems that GOTO is not a requirement. If one is open to manually tracked mounts, certainly alt-az mounts are worthy of serious consideration.

In any event, the world of alt-az mounts has come some distance from the old yoke mounts...

Jon


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simpleisbetter
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Re: 15inch dob needs a friend new [Re: rockethead26]
      #5540387 - 11/26/12 02:14 PM

You might be right Jim, but the reason I said grab and go is because outside of that requirement, for visual use only, I really, honestly, see absolutely no need to have a second scope, except as a grab and go to get out and observe on those nights when you can't get the big scope out. If that's not the case here, then I recommend he save his money and that it be better spent on other accessories.

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Sky Muse
sage


Reged: 10/26/12

Loc: De Soto County, MS
Re: 15inch dob needs a friend new [Re: Jon Isaacs]
      #5540392 - 11/26/12 02:17 PM

"The Astro-Tech Voyager..."

I have said "Voyager", and, putting it mildly, it leaves more to be desired. Also, I've searched the galaxy for a slo-mo cable for the declination, but to no avail. Thirdly, in that dude is wanting a refractor for visual only, like me...

...what "awkwardness"? It's no more awkward than a large Dobson-Newtonian utilised for visual, let alone for snapping photos.

Cheers,

Alan


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csrlice12
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Re: 15inch dob needs a friend new [Re: rockethead26]
      #5540427 - 11/26/12 02:35 PM

You can also always lay an EQ mount on it's side and use it as Alt/Az...

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cloud_cover
professor emeritus


Reged: 08/17/10

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Re: 15inch dob needs a friend new [Re: csrlice12]
      #5540457 - 11/26/12 02:51 PM

I agree that setting up a GEM is cumbersome. In fact, one fo the reasons why I hardly use my 8" SCT although it performs better overall in my urban skies is the set up time: Its far, far easier to grab the NP-101 and Portamount than to mount the 8" on a Vixen SXD...
Sniperpride: Have you ever thought about mounting the refractor on your Obsession? I seem to recall one Obsession review where the finderscope was an NP-101. Unusual, but effective...


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Mark Costello
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Re: 15inch dob needs a friend new [Re: rockethead26]
      #5540518 - 11/26/12 03:27 PM

Quote:

To accompany my 14.5 dob, I recently acquired an EON 120ED on a CG-5. With a diagonal and finder this great combo is under your budget. EONs are now only available used, and there were two on a-mart a week or so ago. The Skywatcher version which is available new contains the same fine optics. Highly recommended!





I second the motion....


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Jon Isaacs
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Re: 15inch dob needs a friend new [Re: Sky Muse]
      #5540543 - 11/26/12 03:40 PM

Quote:

...what "awkwardness"? It's no more awkward than a large Dobson-Newtonian utilised for visual, let alone for snapping photos.

Cheers,

Alan




Hummm...

"No more awkward than a large Dobsonian-Newtonian" is not much of an endorsement for a 4 or 5 inch telescope. A 4 or 5 inch on a decent Alt-az mount is significantly less hassle getting it up and running than a 15 inch Dob...

Jon


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Sky Muse
sage


Reged: 10/26/12

Loc: De Soto County, MS
Re: 15inch dob needs a friend new [Re: Jon Isaacs]
      #5540622 - 11/26/12 04:31 PM

"...not much of an endorsement for a 4 or 5 inch telescope."

It is if it's a fine refractor on a motorised equatorial mounting, for visual only, and far more enjoyable than carpal tunnel syndrome and ascending/descending a ladder.

Additionally, a telescope motorised in right ascension will help ensure that one never misses that elusive binary companion during fleeting moments of good seeing, instead of fumbling with knobs in the dark.

Alan


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Sky Muse
sage


Reged: 10/26/12

Loc: De Soto County, MS
Re: 15inch dob needs a friend new [Re: csrlice12]
      #5540642 - 11/26/12 04:45 PM

If I'm not mistaken, Vixen's old "Super Polaris" doubled as both.

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Jon Isaacs
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Re: 15inch dob needs a friend new [Re: Sky Muse]
      #5540717 - 11/26/12 05:44 PM

Quote:

"...not much of an endorsement for a 4 or 5 inch telescope."

It is if it's a fine refractor on a motorised equatorial mounting, for visual only, and far more enjoyable than carpal tunnel syndrome and ascending/descending a ladder.

Additionally, a telescope motorised in right ascension will help ensure that one never misses that elusive binary companion during fleeting moments of good seeing, instead of fumbling with knobs in the dark.

Alan




Again, these are very personal choices. A refractor on a Gem is a fine instrument. However, as a companion to a larger, more capable scope, there are certainly good reasons to consider a modern alt-az mount.

I am glad that at 64 years of age that the effort required to turn a slow-motion control is still does not represent any sort of physical challenge. And too, I am glad my dexterity and experience is such that I am not fumbling around in the dark to find slow motion controls... with a bit of experience, they are right there when I reach.

The point here is that a refractor on an alt-az mount is more manageable and therefore more likely to get out under the night sky than one on a GEM... If it really takes as a similar amount of effort to setup the 4 or 5 inch refractor as it does a 15 inch Dob then one of the major advantages of the smaller scope is lost.

Jon


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Sky Muse
sage


Reged: 10/26/12

Loc: De Soto County, MS
Re: 15inch dob needs a friend new [Re: Jon Isaacs]
      #5540863 - 11/26/12 07:27 PM

Serious study of planets and binaries almost certainly requires an equatorial, especially when motorised. The gentleman clearly stated that those were his interests, including open and globular star clusters. If one has to travel to a suitable dark site, then there are several suitable GEMs from which to choose that are not that much more trouble to set up, especially if they're used to setting up a large Dobson-Newtonian in addition. Observing with an equatorial, especially with moderate-to-long focal-lengthed refractors, is simply a superior experience, if a bit more cumbersome, granted.

Also, if one balks at the idea of pouring money into a mount over the optics, like me, they'd get a cheap alt-az, like the aforementioned "Voyager", and later, wish they hadn't. If I considered another alt-az, I'd get a "Gibraltar", but at over $1500 a pop, I'd rather a Losmandy G-11 GEM.

"...then one of the major advantages of the smaller scope is lost."

I'd exchange the cumbersomeness in attempting serious study with an inadequate alt-azimuth for same in setting up an equatorial, any day.

Cheers,

Alan


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Sky Muse
sage


Reged: 10/26/12

Loc: De Soto County, MS
Re: 15inch dob needs a friend new [Re: sniperpride]
      #5540895 - 11/26/12 07:43 PM

A Celestron CG-4 equatorial is less than $300 and will hold a four-inch refractor. Adding the 16" pier sold by Orion for $90 will allow for clearing the tripod, accessing the zenith and improved stability. The dual-axis motor drive set with hand controller is only another $100 or so, and will track whatever you're viewing without ever touching the mount. Mine was $106. That's the minimum for a suitable, serious equatorial setup. The setup will also allow for an introduction to astrophotography, if you ever choose to go that route. From there on up it gets more and more expensive. Researching the GEMs prior to purchasing will help ensure the best choice.

Cheers,

Alan


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simpleisbetter
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 04/18/11

Re: 15inch dob needs a friend new [Re: Sky Muse]
      #5541043 - 11/26/12 09:02 PM

Quote:

Serious study of planets and binaries almost certainly requires an equatorial, especially when motorised.




Having personal experience otherwise, I have to disagree. I've used dobs with VERY good and smooth tracking, along with well-balanced refractors on good smooth and sturdy alt-az mounts (not just the Voyager or Portamount), while tracking effortlessly with orthos at the 250-400x range. Serious study of detail is easily possible, it just depends on the mount. Like you I considered the Gibraltar once and I like it, but ultimately passed based on lack of slow motion and the big hole at zenith.

One thing I might've overlooked but haven't seen yet; what about one of the iOptron Minitowers? One of them could fill the OP's requirements while keeping things simple and relatively lightweight.


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Sky Muse
sage


Reged: 10/26/12

Loc: De Soto County, MS
Re: 15inch dob needs a friend new [Re: simpleisbetter]
      #5541065 - 11/26/12 09:15 PM

I did write, "...almost certainly..."...

I thought about the iOptrons, and recently for myself, but then I decided on a GEM in the end. Besides, half the fun is in the hunting, no?

Cheers,

Alan


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sniperpride
super member


Reged: 01/04/12

Re: 15inch dob needs a friend new [Re: Sky Muse]
      #5541343 - 11/26/12 11:43 PM

Ok guys, I have ordered a SV105 in stardust blue, and a CG5 GT
Thanks for all of the advice, it helped me narrow down my options.
Also, I may have slightly went beyond my initial budget


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Sky Muse
sage


Reged: 10/26/12

Loc: De Soto County, MS
Re: 15inch dob needs a friend new [Re: sniperpride]
      #5541371 - 11/27/12 12:06 AM

If that SV105 is new, indeed you did, but over time the shock and cost of ownership will decrease. The focal ratio sounds perfect at f/7...not too fast, not too slow.

Now all you need is Orion's 16" pier extension for the mount and you'll be set, and you won't have to paint it, as I will have to for my white CG-4.

Congratulations!

Cheers,

Alan


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simpleisbetter
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 04/18/11

Re: 15inch dob needs a friend new [Re: Sky Muse]
      #5541385 - 11/27/12 12:16 AM

That is going to be a sweet combo, I'll admit that having used it. Congrats.

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rockethead26
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Reged: 10/21/09

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Re: 15inch dob needs a friend new [Re: sniperpride]
      #5541601 - 11/27/12 07:28 AM

Quote:

Ok guys, I have ordered a SV105 in stardust blue, and a CG5 GT
Thanks for all of the advice, it helped me narrow down my options.
Also, I may have slightly went beyond my initial budget




I think you'll be quite happy with that combo, regardless of the budget. Congrats!


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BDS316
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Reged: 09/16/09

Loc: Sol 3
Re: 15inch dob needs a friend new [Re: sniperpride]
      #5541706 - 11/27/12 09:20 AM

I am pretty happy with my SV 80mm F/7 on an M1 with grab and go tripod, easily in your budget. An observing buddy of mine uses an SV102ED f/7 on an Ioptron MiniTower for go-to and tracking. Not sure if this would be within your budget but maybe consider an SV102ED with one of the Universal Astronomics mount and tripod combinations.

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Jon Isaacs
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Re: 15inch dob needs a friend new [Re: Sky Muse]
      #5541975 - 11/27/12 12:04 PM

Quote:

Serious study of planets and binaries almost certainly requires an equatorial, especially when motorised.




First, let me congratulate Sniperpride on his new scope and mount, I am sure he will have some fun...

Second: In my experience, "serious study of the planets and binaries" requires excellent seeing and enough aperture to take advantage of that seeing. A stable mount and good optics that are thermally stable are also important. Getting the good image to the focal plane of number one importance. Motorized tracking is nice but not necessary. In my experience a 4 inch telescope is just not sufficient aperture to "seriously study" the planets, particularly in the presence of a good quality 15 inch Dobsonian.

That's how it works around here...

'nuff said

Jon Isaacs


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Sky Muse
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Re: 15inch dob needs a friend new [Re: Jon Isaacs]
      #5542733 - 11/27/12 08:02 PM

"Motorized tracking is nice..."

Obviously, and the CG-5 equatorial has the GOTO enhancement as well, though I enjoy the hunt myself. I suppose the GOTO would come in handy when ushering the curious into our hallowed hobby.

"...but not necessary."

Only bread and water are necessary...and Twinkies.

"...a 4 inch telescope is just not sufficient aperture to 'seriously study' the planets..."

"For serious lunar, planetary, globular cluster, and binary star observing – as well as for surprisingly good views of the brighter Messier, NGC, and IC catalog objects– many amateur astronomers prefer the crisp, high-contrast, diffraction-free images of a good refractor. Under average seeing conditions, a useful rule of thumb in astronomy is that a good 3" to 4" refractor will usually outperform an average 6" to 8" reflector or Schmidt-Cassegrain for seeing details on the Moon and planets, splitting binary stars, and resolving globular clusters." -Astronomics

Given the funds then allocated, what would you have suggested, this...

http://big-deals.fr/product.php?id_product=37

...?

"That's how it works around here...

'nuff said"

'fraid not.

Cheers,

Alan


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BDS316
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Re: 15inch dob needs a friend new [Re: Sky Muse]
      #5542896 - 11/27/12 09:44 PM

" Under average seeing conditions, a useful rule of thumb in astronomy is that a good 3" to 4" refractor will usually outperform an average 6" to 8" reflector or Schmidt-Cassegrain for seeing details on the Moon and planets, splitting binary stars, and resolving globular clusters." "

Just. Not. True.

My XT8, when properly collimated and cooled down, blows away four inch apo refractors and can go toe to toe against a 5 inch AstroPhysics Starfire. In fact, it even impressed the heck out of the owner of a SIX INCH AstroPhysics Starfire.

I have a nice 80mm refractor and access to several other nicer, larger refractors, SC's and Dobs. Each type of scope has pros and cons.

Aperture rules. At your last star party, how many big Dobs were used with off axis aperture masks?

Edited by BDS316 (11/27/12 10:26 PM)


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Sky Muse
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Re: 15inch dob needs a friend new [Re: BDS316]
      #5542970 - 11/27/12 10:23 PM

When I quoted that, I didn't consider it as an absolute, for there are, apparently, exceptions. I've known of a few testimonials to the same effect, of which I've no real reason to doubt. To wit, it's my actual understanding that a four-inch refractor and a six-inch reflector are demonstrably equal, in general at least, save the virtue of direct observance.

Frankly, I was surprised at the quality of the parabola and flat within my own Orion 6" f/5 Newtonian, however nowhere near the equal of my four-inch apochromat.

"At your last star party, how many big Dobs were used with off axis aperture masks?"

...at my star parties? None at all, for it's just me, myself and I...and my telescopes.

Regards,

Alan


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Jon Isaacs
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Re: 15inch dob needs a friend new [Re: Sky Muse]
      #5543104 - 11/28/12 12:03 AM

Quote:

Under average seeing conditions, a useful rule of thumb in astronomy is that a good 3" to 4" refractor will usually outperform an average 6" to 8" reflector or Schmidt-Cassegrain for seeing details on the Moon and planets, splitting binary stars, and resolving globular clusters."




Well, you can't always believe what your read. I have several 3 and 4 inch refractors including one of each that I consider excellent. They are no match for my pedestrian 8 inch F/5 Synta reflector on the planets, globulars etc..

If your average seeing conditions are so poor that a 4 inch outperforms an 8 inch, you have my sympathies and I am glad that rarely is the seeing that bad around here.

Jon


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coutleef
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Re: 15inch dob needs a friend new [Re: Jon Isaacs]
      #5543350 - 11/28/12 07:34 AM

Quote:

Quote:

Under average seeing conditions, a useful rule of thumb in astronomy is that a good 3" to 4" refractor will usually outperform an average 6" to 8" reflector or Schmidt-Cassegrain for seeing details on the Moon and planets, splitting binary stars, and resolving globular clusters."




Well, you can't always believe what your read. I have several 3 and 4 inch refractors including one of each that I consider excellent. They are no match for my pedestrian 8 inch F/5 Synta reflector on the planets, globulars etc..

If your average seeing conditions are so poor that a 4 inch outperforms an 8 inch, you have my sympathies and I am glad that rarely is the seeing that bad around here.

Jon




I agree with Jon. I have had a 3 inch and now have a 4 inch ED refractor with excellent star tests and the are not a match on planets or the moon to my 8 inch SCT. They beat my sct for ease of use and wide fields but the 8 inch scope has more resolving power that can not be matched by the smaller scopes even when the seeing is below average.

When the seeing is that poor, i usually stay indoors


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sniperpride
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Re: 15inch dob needs a friend new [Re: coutleef]
      #5543454 - 11/28/12 09:21 AM

My only refractor I have ever owned was a 50mm toy. So this should be quite a learning and enjoyable experience.
Also, what really made me want to get a refractor aside from refractors being awesome, was the book starlight nights. One of the best books I have ever read.


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csrlice12
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Re: 15inch dob needs a friend new [Re: sniperpride]
      #5543510 - 11/28/12 09:55 AM

"Only bread and water are necessary...and Twinkies."

Hey man, wanna buy a collector Twinkie.......they're becoming rare you know.....


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Sky Muse
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Re: 15inch dob needs a friend new [Re: Jon Isaacs]
      #5543562 - 11/28/12 10:26 AM

"Well, you can't always believe what your read."

Your beef is not with me, on that at least, but with our host, Astronomics, rather.

Perhaps you might correct them.

Cheers,

Alan


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Sky Muse
sage


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Re: 15inch dob needs a friend new [Re: sniperpride]
      #5543570 - 11/28/12 10:29 AM

Yeah, buddy! That Stellarvue's gonna make you forget that 50mm forever!

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Jon Isaacs
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Re: 15inch dob needs a friend new [Re: sniperpride]
      #5543957 - 11/28/12 02:11 PM

Quote:

My only refractor I have ever owned was a 50mm toy. So this should be quite a learning and enjoyable experience.
Also, what really made me want to get a refractor aside from refractors being awesome, was the book starlight nights. One of the best books I have ever read.




A 4 inch refractor and 15 inch Dob is about as perfect a match as there is... You are in for some real treats.

And if you are not using a Paracorr and the good eyepieces in your Dob, you might be in for another treat.

Jon


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Sky Muse
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Re: 15inch dob needs a friend new [Re: Jon Isaacs]
      #5544032 - 11/28/12 02:57 PM

"And if you are not using a Paracorr and the good eyepieces in your Dob, you might be in for another treat."

I'd bypass extras for the old scope and focus on the new toy, the refractor instead, like a pier to clear the tripod which will allow for more comfortable, direct, straight-through observing, if so inclined, in addition to extra two-inch oculars, if lacking.

Refractors do not require coma-corrective devices.

Cheers,

Alan


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Jon Isaacs
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Re: 15inch dob needs a friend new [Re: Sky Muse]
      #5544358 - 11/28/12 06:32 PM

Quote:

"And if you are not using a Paracorr and the good eyepieces in your Dob, you might be in for another treat."

I'd bypass extras for the old scope and focus on the new toy, the refractor instead, like a pier to clear the tripod which will allow for more comfortable, direct, straight-through observing, if so inclined, in addition to extra two-inch oculars, if lacking.

Refractors do not require coma-corrective devices.

Cheers,

Alan





Alan:

I know you don't seem to appreciate the capabilities of a large Newtonian but the refractor is a companion to that Newtonian and both can benefit from high quality eyepieces. The combination of high quality eyepieces plus a Paracorr in a 15 inch Newtonian can provide those nice pinpoint stars all the way across the field of view, the difference being that they can be about 3 magnitudes dimmer and still be seen.

And it is true, faster refractors do not require coma correctors but they do require correctors for field curvature if sharp to the edge views are to be obtained...



Jon


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sniperpride
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Reged: 01/04/12

Re: 15inch dob needs a friend new [Re: Jon Isaacs]
      #5544366 - 11/28/12 06:38 PM

Using Delos eyepieces at the moment, and looking at getting a 3-6 TV zoom for the refractor.
Also, since this is my first venture into refractors, Is there more to dew control that I should be concerned about than just using the "dew shield"
Should I invest in those heating strap thingies
I go out in the winter and such living in MN, not sure how dew will affect this new scope.

Edited by sniperpride (11/28/12 06:40 PM)


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Sky Muse
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Reged: 10/26/12

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Re: 15inch dob needs a friend new [Re: sniperpride]
      #5544656 - 11/28/12 10:02 PM

The integrated dew shield will delay dew formation for only a short time. There used to be foam-lined dew shield extensions offered, I've forgotten the brand, but AstroZap currently offers a felt-lined shield which slips over the end of the scope's shield and would help extend observing time. I've been looking at the electric dew controllers, and they're the best, particularly if you observe for several hours, with heating straps for the objective, eyepiece, etc. I haven't decided which method to choose myself...probably the electric system.

Cheers,

Alan


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Jon Isaacs
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Re: 15inch dob needs a friend new [Re: Sky Muse]
      #5544693 - 11/28/12 10:21 PM

Quote:

The integrated dew shield will delay dew formation for only a short time. There used to be foam-lined dew shield extensions offered, I've forgotten the brand, but AstroZap currently offers a felt-lined shield which slips over the end of the scope's shield and would help extend observing time. I've been looking at the electric dew controllers, and they're the best, particularly if you observe for several hours, with heating straps for the objective, eyepiece, etc. I haven't decided which method to choose myself...probably the electric system.

Cheers,

Alan




There are a number of options. What I find works best is to live in a dry climate...

Jon


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Sky Muse
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Reged: 10/26/12

Loc: De Soto County, MS
Re: 15inch dob needs a friend new [Re: Jon Isaacs]
      #5544728 - 11/28/12 10:38 PM

"There are a number of options. What I find works best is to live in a dry climate..."

Wouldn't we all, but I'm thankful for a relatively dark sky right outside my front door. Unfortunately, my lifelong love of trees has hampered my view.

Cheers,

Alan


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csrlice12
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Re: 15inch dob needs a friend new [Re: Sky Muse]
      #5545117 - 11/29/12 08:51 AM

Northern Minnisota in the dead of winter--probably a touch cold with dry air so dew would probably not be a problem...wanting to be out in that cold, dry air is another story.......

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sniperpride
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Re: 15inch dob needs a friend new [Re: csrlice12]
      #5602580 - 01/03/13 09:18 AM

I changed my order from the Stellarvue 105mm to 115mm. Havent even looked through it yet and my aperture fever kicked in.

Edited by sniperpride (01/03/13 09:18 AM)


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johnnyha
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Re: 15inch dob needs a friend new [Re: sniperpride]
      #5603316 - 01/03/13 04:24 PM

Smart move.

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