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Equipment Discussions >> Cats & Casses

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spongebob@55
scholastic sledgehammer
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Reged: 12/26/11

Loc: Bergen Co. New Jersey
Orion 180mm Maksutov-Cassegrain Questions
      #5739844 - 03/17/13 11:36 PM

I'm considering this scope. If you have one, could you comment on it for me? I'm interested in it for planets, Moon and tight DSOs.
I see it has a 1-1/4" back but there's a converter available for 2" accessories. I normally would get a 2" visual back with a focuser, since I don't like that coarse focusing little knob on the back. But question is, is a 2" back going to give me anything since a f/15 light cone has got to be pretty tight by then..... except that I have a lot of nice 2" EPs, but not many low power 1-1/4" EPs. I would put this on my Atlas EQ-G, and I also like to be able to rotate the focuser too. I don't know if there's a rotatable 1-1/4" focuser.
Do you use a straight through or 90* finder?
Can you mount a dovetail on it in order to attach an auxiliary scope or maybe guide scope?
Are the visuals really APO refractor like? Any other links or references would be great. THANKS
Bob


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herrointment
Post Laureate
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Reged: 03/12/11

Loc: North of Hwy. 64
Re: Orion 180mm Maksutov-Cassegrain Questions new [Re: spongebob@55]
      #5739870 - 03/17/13 11:56 PM

LINK

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jfoley68
member


Reged: 03/30/12

Re: Orion 180mm Maksutov-Cassegrain Questions new [Re: herrointment]
      #5739915 - 03/18/13 12:34 AM

I'm very curious about these too, and am trying to decide between one of these or a C8 EDGE. Not sure what I'd prefer right now.

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iluxo
sage


Reged: 09/23/08

I have the SkyWatcher 180mm f/15 new [Re: jfoley68]
      #5739959 - 03/18/13 01:28 AM

... it has a 2" back as standard, and its able to fill a 40mm diameter field at the eyepiece. The back is similar to a Celestron or Meade SCT back, but the screw thread is a different diameter (they aren't interchangeable) so you might have issues finding a stock focusser that can screw onto this, if you are really determined to do that.

Personally I don't have any issues with the internal micrometer focusser, it's fine enough. There is a little lateral shift in the mirror but its only noticeable at high power.

Anyway at f/15 these scopes are visual, not really for photography.

It comes with a 9x50mm straight through finder, though you replace that with a right-agle one (Skywatcher do make one that fits).

FWIW the secondary obstruction is distinctly smaller than in the f/10 SCT's and it really does count, this scope will show textbook diffraction rings in good seeing. But you do have to wait a while for it to cool down.

There is one other aspect - these scopes don't dew over as easily as SCT's and I have never needed to add a dew cap or heater on my scope, in 6 years.

Edited by iluxo (03/18/13 01:31 AM)


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moynihan
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 07/22/03

Loc: Lake Michigan Watershed
Re: I have the SkyWatcher 180mm f/15 new [Re: iluxo]
      #5740245 - 03/18/13 08:45 AM

Quote:

... it has a 2" back as standard, and its able to fill a 40mm diameter field at the eyepiece. The back is similar to a Celestron or Meade SCT back, but the screw thread is a different diameter ...Anyway at f/15 these scopes are visual, not really for photography.... these scopes don't dew over as easily as SCT's and I have never needed to add a dew cap or heater on my scope, in 6 years.




Both Orion, Synta (the owner of Celestron), Scopestuff sell little adapter rings to allow use of SCT visual backs, diagonals, third party focusers, etc. They run about $20-23 USD.

They are not recommended for DS imaging, but excel at solar system object imaging (with the exception of wide-field comet imaging of course).

Re the dew shield, your experience is probably the exception. I would strongly recommend a dew shield.


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Classic8
professor emeritus


Reged: 04/12/06

Loc: Naperville, IL, USA
Re: I have the SkyWatcher 180mm f/15 new [Re: moynihan]
      #5741142 - 03/18/13 04:56 PM

I haven't used mine much yet, I did like the view of Saturn I got when I did use it. I think it was better than in my SCT. But the jury is still out. I replaced the finder with a RA finder, much more comfortable to look through.

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vct123
sage
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Reged: 11/17/09

Loc: Staten Island, N.Y.
Re: I have the SkyWatcher 180mm f/15 new [Re: Classic8]
      #5741214 - 03/18/13 05:27 PM

Hey SpongeBob I live near you in Staten Island and while I have not owned the 180 Orion Mak Cass I have had 6 and 7" Maks from Intes and the 180 Orion Mak Newt. The problem in our area is the cool down of these scopes in the cold months here. Mine all had nice sharp views but this time of year be ready for 2- 3 hours cool down times. If you are ok with that I have heard they are nice scopes.

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hottr6
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Reged: 06/28/09

Loc: 7,500', Magdalena Mtns, NM
Re: Orion 180mm Maksutov-Cassegrain Questions new [Re: spongebob@55]
      #5741299 - 03/18/13 06:04 PM

If you do go with a 2" Crayford (I certainly needed one on my 152mm MCT because of 'orrible image shift), you will need to shop for the shortest SCT focuser you can find, or face the dreaded 'increasing focal-length' problem.

Among the more widely known SCT 2" Crayfords, I have found that CrawMach makes the shortest-profile focuser, followed by JMI which adds a few mm of length. GSO focusers add more than 2 cms over and above the CrawMach! There may be other low-profile SCT Crayfords, but I've not found them after an extensive search.

Borg and Baader make helical focusers that are even shorter, but apparently do not work as well as the Crayfords when heavily loaded with gear.

Shane in gray-zone NM


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skyjim
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 01/13/07

Loc: Carmel, NY
Re: Orion 180mm Maksutov-Cassegrain Questions new [Re: spongebob@55]
      #5747534 - 03/21/13 12:39 PM

A 7" MCT is a very good scope providing you live in the southern states. The Orion/Synta variants have no cooling vent's at all which mean's you have to take the scope apart and drill holes in it for some type of cooling system here in NY cause the late fall,winter and early spring will end up with a 3 hour window for cool down time. The Intes Micro scope's that are newer model's have had at least some type of passive cooling which help's but maybe were looking at taking and hour off the 3 hour window, belive me I have owned maybe 10 different MAC's from Intes/Intes Micro,AT/Bosma,6" Orion just to name a few plus a little Meade 90 and all had cool down issue's. I finally threw in the towel and bought a C8HD which is every bit as well corrected in the FOV as the mac's plus it has passive cooling so what I am telling you is that living here in the NE the mac's are a love/hate type scope but like most we all live and learn.
Jim

PS the nicest 6" mac's I owned were the IM 6511/603 variants and the AT6M/Bosma mac's, the AT6M was the cheapest and best bang for the buck but Astronomics stopped there inportation, both were Rumak design and held up very well in summertime lunar/planetary veiws but forgetaboutit in any other season's.


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spongebob@55
scholastic sledgehammer
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Reged: 12/26/11

Loc: Bergen Co. New Jersey
Re: Orion 180mm Maksutov-Cassegrain Questions new [Re: skyjim]
      #5747585 - 03/21/13 12:59 PM

Quote:

A 7" MCT is a very good scope providing you live in the southern states. The Orion/Synta variants have no cooling vent's at all which mean's you have to take the scope apart and drill holes in it for some type of cooling system here in NY cause the late fall,winter and early spring will end up with a 3 hour window for cool down time. The Intes Micro scope's that are newer model's have had at least some type of passive cooling which help's but maybe were looking at taking and hour off the 3 hour window, belive me I have owned maybe 10 different MAC's from Intes/Intes Micro,AT/Bosma,6" Orion just to name a few plus a little Meade 90 and all had cool down issue's. I finally threw in the towel and bought a C8HD which is every bit as well corrected in the FOV as the mac's plus it has passive cooling so what I am telling you is that living here in the NE the mac's are a love/hate type scope but like most we all live and learn.
Jim

PS the nicest 6" mac's I owned were the IM 6511/603 variants and the AT6M/Bosma mac's, the AT6M was the cheapest and best bang for the buck but Astronomics stopped there inportation, both were Rumak design and held up very well in summertime lunar/planetary veiws but forgetaboutit in any other season's.




Well, I'm in NJ, but I plan on storing it in a detached unheated garage, so cool down is not a problem. I'm also around all the time, so I can plan easily for cool down way before sunset.
Thanks for the info on your Maks. Did you use an optical focuser on the back or did you do all your focusing with the mirror? I see the Orion has now 'fine' focusing. The iOptron 150mm version does, along with a 2" back, but you can't really find any pictures or information on line about that. That worries me from a point of resellers knowledge and return / quality issues. I can't even tell if the Orion one has a objective cover b/c of the lack of pictures.
But thanks and any other information you have, pls pass it on!
Bob


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hfjacinto
I think he's got it!
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Reged: 01/12/09

Loc: Land of clouds and LP
Re: Orion 180mm Maksutov-Cassegrain Questions new [Re: spongebob@55]
      #5747622 - 03/21/13 01:16 PM

Bob,

Tony from AAI has an Intes Mak, you should look through it, its really nice, but cool down is an issue. I can ask him to bring it next time he comes up to JJ.


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SteveSMS
super member


Reged: 03/29/08

Loc: Jersey Shore USA
Re: Orion 180mm Maksutov-Cassegrain Questions new [Re: spongebob@55]
      #5747634 - 03/21/13 01:19 PM

Hi Bob,

I'm in Jersey too and I too keep my scopes in an unheated space. I had a TEC6 MCT that had a small internal fan and it still took 2 hours or more to equalize in cold weather. I have also had the Orion 127mm Mak and it too took way too long to cool down for me. I now have an EdgeHD 8 and it not only has more than acceptable optics it is Jupiter ready in 45 minutes to an hour. Maks are nice scopes but they have some real caveats.

Clear Skies,

Steve


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spongebob@55
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 12/26/11

Loc: Bergen Co. New Jersey
Re: Orion 180mm Maksutov-Cassegrain Questions new [Re: hfjacinto]
      #5747662 - 03/21/13 01:40 PM

Quote:

Bob,

Tony from AAI has an Intes Mak, you should look through it, its really nice, but cool down is an issue. I can ask him to bring it next time he comes up to JJ.




That would be great!! A picture and owners experience is worth a 1000 thread readings!

bob


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skyjim
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 01/13/07

Loc: Carmel, NY
Re: Orion 180mm Maksutov-Cassegrain Questions new [Re: spongebob@55]
      #5748120 - 03/21/13 05:36 PM

Funny, I did the same and still do store my scope's in an unheated garage, it help's as far as taking anywere from .5 to 1 hour off cool down time's then you have to deal with on some night's temp swing's. To get the best image its best in summertime. After 10 yer's plus of trying different mct's I was done. The Intes Micro scope which was my last one I owned I placed a real nice Event style focuser, it didn't add more than a pound on the back of the ota plus it didnt add that much to the total FL of the system. The C8HD's focuser has been the best I have seen plus zero image shift which was a pleasure to use right outa the box, just undo the mirror lock and I was good to go. The Ioptron 6" mac is the same optics as the AT6M but has the two speed focuser which I found not the much better than the AT6M. The optics on the AT6M was better IMO. Resale value on MCT's suck, sorry I am not going to surgar coat what I have seen and been threw so like I said its a love/hate kinda thing with MCT's.
Jim


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rg55
scholastic sledgehammer
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Reged: 08/02/08

Loc: western US
Re: Orion 180mm Maksutov-Cassegrain Questions new [Re: spongebob@55]
      #5749672 - 03/22/13 01:13 PM Attachment (197 downloads)

Quote:

I'm considering this scope. If you have one, could you comment on it for me? I'm interested in it for planets, Moon and tight DSOs.
I see it has a 1-1/4" back but there's a converter available for 2" accessories. I normally would get a 2" visual back with a focuser, since I don't like that coarse focusing little knob on the back. But question is, is a 2" back going to give me anything since a f/15 light cone has got to be pretty tight by then..... except that I have a lot of nice 2" EPs, but not many low power 1-1/4" EPs. I would put this on my Atlas EQ-G, and I also like to be able to rotate the focuser too. I don't know if there's a rotatable 1-1/4" focuser.
Do you use a straight through or 90* finder?
Can you mount a dovetail on it in order to attach an auxiliary scope or maybe guide scope?
Are the visuals really APO refractor like? Any other links or references would be great. THANKS
Bob




Hi Bob,

I do own this telescope. For imaging it is mounted on a CG5.

1. 2" back: I have not tried this so no personal experience.
2. Finder: I use a 90 degree finder
3. Auxiliary dovetail: You should be able to do this. I purchased my scope second hand and it came with a rail mounted on it.
4. Visuals: I find the visuals to be almost refractor-like. I'm quite satisfied with them, given the aperture. This is probably the largest Maksutov I can have outside of an observatory.

Below are some images taken through a 180mm Orion Maksutov using a NexImage 5 camera. I have not done any DSO imaging. I have only owned it for two months, so my examples are limited.

First up is the Apennines, including the Apollo 15 landing site/EVA area.


Edited by rg55 (03/22/13 01:43 PM)


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rg55
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 08/02/08

Loc: western US
Re: Orion 180mm Maksutov-Cassegrain Questions [Re: rg55]
      #5749674 - 03/22/13 01:14 PM Attachment (254 downloads)

Jupiter.

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rg55
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 08/02/08

Loc: western US
Re: Orion 180mm Maksutov-Cassegrain Questions [Re: rg55]
      #5749684 - 03/22/13 01:17 PM Attachment (241 downloads)

Archimedes and Plato.

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rob cos.
scholastic sledgehammer
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Reged: 03/11/04

Loc: New England
Re: Orion 180mm Maksutov-Cassegrain Questions [Re: rg55]
      #5750466 - 03/22/13 07:45 PM

Love the photos! I'll be dabbling with imaging through the Neximage this Spring!

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mdowns
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 06/12/10

Loc: Englewood,FL
Re: Orion 180mm Maksutov-Cassegrain Questions [Re: rob cos.]
      #5750559 - 03/22/13 08:36 PM

Bob,
I had this scope while here in Florida and it was a fabulous performer. Often handled crazy high mags without breakdown and was killer on the planets and moon. Very very tight stars.However another cnighter,Mike K.in central IN,bought one and as much as he wanted it to work for him,I dont think it ever did.The seeing was never really steady enough for him to realize the full potential of the scope.I believe the same will be true for you in your location.The 7" maks are tempermental,best suited for steady enviroments and a bit warmer temps.I'd lean towards that 8" edge,as much as I liked the 7,I think you'll do better in NJ with the edge.Good luck!


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spongebob@55
scholastic sledgehammer
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Reged: 12/26/11

Loc: Bergen Co. New Jersey
Re: Orion 180mm Maksutov-Cassegrain Questions [Re: mdowns]
      #5750821 - 03/22/13 10:28 PM

skyjim and mdowns.....I really appreciate both your honesty. Its refreshing. I guess since I travel a lot an hour and a half to darker sites, this really is not the way to go for me. I appreciate everyone's input, and I'm just going to have to look at some other type of scope to compliment my C14 f/11
Regards,
Bob


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