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pdxmoon
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Newbie Lunatic Needs Advice
      #5944832 - 06/28/13 01:47 PM

Hi Friends:

I currently have an old Celestron Firstscope 80 which was great when my kids were little for general stargazing (24 mm lens, and a Barlow 2z, 1.25").

I also have two pairs of Bushnell binoculars that I somehow accumulated along the way. (10x50; 7x21)

I find myself wanting to get back into lunar gazing and set up the Celestron and was unhappy at the clunkiness of it all. So I grabbed the Bushnell 10x50s, although my shaking hands were no fun.

So; I wonder if I could get your advice? Is there a more compact telescope option you'd suggest? Should I go with a field scope on a tripod (I do a bit of birding too.)

I really appreciate your advice. Budget in the $300 range would be ideal.


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Jay_Bird
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Re: Newbie Lunatic Needs Advice new [Re: pdxmoon]
      #5944955 - 06/28/13 02:59 PM

You might like a 90mm Maksutov Cassegrain (ETX-90 by Meade or Celestron 90 or Vixen 95) for lunar observing with a more compact scope. A 90 mak and a STEADY tripod like the Vixen mini-porta mount might set you back closer to $400 however.

Remounting your first scope on a Porta or Mini-Porta or similar, plus the right eyepiece if needed, might be another option?

Also look at monopod or other lightweight, not restrictive options for steadying your 10x50. Bushnell makes a lot of 10x50 from better (Legend, Legacy) to made for low cost (sportview, etc.) so let us know which you have.


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kfiscus
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Re: Newbie Lunatic Needs Advice new [Re: pdxmoon]
      #5944956 - 06/28/13 03:00 PM

You can easily mount your binos on a tripod as you consider more gear. L-brackets are available for many binos. If yours won't mount that way, you can simply get a clipboard-sized chunk of 1/4" plywood or similar and sink a 1/4-20 t-nut in its center. T-nuts are available at ANY hardware seller. Drill a 5/16" hole in the wood's center. Mount the t-nut in the hole with its flat part on the top surface of your wood and bungee the binos to the wood. You now have an adjustable, super-cheap way to hold your binos. This will have used less than $3 of your $300 budget- assuming you have a tripod already.

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hawk
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Re: Newbie Lunatic Needs Advice new [Re: kfiscus]
      #5944958 - 06/28/13 03:01 PM

Welcome!

What, specifically, bugged you about the Firstscope? I don't know much about the Firstscope 80, but pictures from a web search show it as a long refractor on an equatorial mount. I notice the only thing called Firstscope sold by Celestron now is now a tabletop reflector, if that tells you anything.....

What types of celestial objects are you hoping to look at? Planets? Wide-field views of stars? (I can't help much with the birding aspects.)

Are you interested in something like a tabletop scope? You'd get away from the tripod, equatorial mount, and could get something with more comfortable viewing positions. I don't know much about them, but Orion sells a 90mm Maksutov-Cassegrain "StarMax" that very compact, available in that price range in either tabletop form or with the optional tripod. And if you want high-power views for birding, the Mak-Cass design makes that easier. Or, if you want wider angles, the reflector design of the StarBlast 4.5 can also support a table top and would work well, and the extra aperture would help on fainter deep sky objects.


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csrlice12
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Re: Newbie Lunatic Needs Advice new [Re: hawk]
      #5944991 - 06/28/13 03:16 PM

The ST80 is a birding/astro scope. It's good for wide-field astro work. Not all that great for plantets as you'll have some CA (the ST80 is an achromat). It's also pretty affordable, and down the road, if you decide to go on, the ST80 makes a nice finder for a big dob, as a wide-field AP scope, and as a guide scope for larger aperature AP scopes. It's probably one of the most versitile scopes out there; but it's probably not going to show you much more then the tabletop reflector you have. Celestron makes a similar 102mm one with a 2" focuser that might just do though......I believe it's at f6+ish

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pdxmoon
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Re: Newbie Lunatic Needs Advice new [Re: csrlice12]
      #5945107 - 06/28/13 04:04 PM

Hi Friends:

I'm looking for equipment specifically for lunar observation. I'm not that interested in deep or even near space star observing--it's the moon I want to see :-)

That said, I just find the long scope clunky to adjust. It's probably user error, since I'm not at all deeply experienced.

I find myself grabbing the binoculars--I love looking through them. Since I need a pair for birding as well, perhaps I should first try some 8 x 42s, and lean back in a lounge chair like many do? I also may try mounting the Bushnell 10x50s on a tripod (BTW, can't tell what line. All it says is 10x50 WIDE ANGLE.)

The Celestron came with the 25mm and I bought the barlow. Perhaps I should try a more powerful lens? Lashes are getting in the way with the barlow, which indicates to me that I may not have all the right hardware for the eyepiece.

I'd love to be able to achieve steady, detailed, easy to set up viewing of the moon. That's the main goal.

I appreciate your advice!


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Connor Walls
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Re: Newbie Lunatic Needs Advice *DELETED* new [Re: pdxmoon]
      #5945110 - 06/28/13 04:06 PM

Post deleted by WaterMaster

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tim57064
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Re: Newbie Lunatic Needs Advice new [Re: Connor Walls]
      #5945124 - 06/28/13 04:16 PM

looks like someone needs to be barred from this site when they make a comment like this last one to a new commer to the hobbie. Moderator can anything be done about this type of comment?

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hawk
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Re: Newbie Lunatic Needs Advice new [Re: tim57064]
      #5945127 - 06/28/13 04:20 PM

If you look at Connor's posting history, these type of posts all started showing up within the last day, and are unrelated to his past communication. I suspect a hacked account. I've PM'd a moderator.

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AstroTatDad
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Re: Newbie Lunatic Needs Advice new [Re: hawk]
      #5945268 - 06/28/13 05:42 PM

For the OP, what is your top budget? Do you want tracking? There is a lot of ways you can go if you were only going to do lunar observing. But also really think more about it, there is a lot of us that started with just lunar observing and wanted to see more. If your looking for small compact, I can only think of a small SCT. Budget will really help out a lot on helping you.

The NexStar sale ends on the 30th of this month, there great scopes. You can get a 4, 5 or 6se. I use my 6se for everything but it's great for the moon too. When I look at the moon I like using my 8-24 zoom.

Think Connors account was hacked too, seen a comment last night by him that had a RAP spammed 3 times. idk him or seen his past comments but I was like what the???

Edited by AstroTatDad (06/28/13 05:46 PM)


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pdxmoon
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Re: Newbie Lunatic Needs Advice new [Re: AstroTatDad]
      #5945336 - 06/28/13 06:21 PM

I can probably squeeze to $500. Being able to track would be nice, but not absolutely essential. I want good magnification for lunar viewing, and of course, I'll probably wander off eventually for some planet gazing.:-) I need ease of use, light weight, ez to set up, no hassle. Eventually, I'll want to take pictures of the moon--eventually. But for now, I want to see details.

So that's the wish list. Nothing beats the hassle free grabbing of binoculars, but there's only so much I can see with my 10x50s :-)

You folks are very kind in your responses: I know nothing, but I'm a fast learner!


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*skyguy*
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Re: Newbie Lunatic Needs Advice new [Re: pdxmoon]
      #5945395 - 06/28/13 07:06 PM

With a $300 budget and an interest in lunar/planetary observing with some bird watching ... I'd get the Orion StarMax 90mm Mak-Cass Telescope and Tripod Bundle ($299) including free shipping:

StarMax 90mm

Orion Telescope has a very helpful customer service department that's always available to assist a buyer with questions on their new telescope. Good Luck with your new scope!


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AstroTatDad
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Re: Newbie Lunatic Needs Advice new [Re: pdxmoon]
      #5945424 - 06/28/13 07:22 PM

that's a good start budget. I would say get a Dob, like a 8" great for the price very easy to use but little heavy and little big. But you can't beat the views in the price range.

Here is a link to the Nexstar 4se, so you can get ideas on prices. the prices goes up to 710 for the 6se. 4se is in your price range.
http://m.bhphotovideo.com/mobile/detail?R=440804_REG&title=NexStar+4+SE+4...

But you would need a power supple, and it has a little learning curve but it's simple. You wouldn't really have to worry much on collimation with SCT's

Here is the Dob I own, I use it for Deep Space, Planets and the Moon. Very simple to use, but they need collimated a lot.. but it's simple to do as well. It comes with a cooling fan which is great with it on you can start viewing a lot quicker then a SCT, SCT takes longer to cool down.

anyhow here is the link to the dob, it's a great price and you can get a extra Eyepiece or 2 in your budget.


http://www.telescopes.com/telescopes/dobsonian-telescopes/zhumellz8deluxedobs...


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AstroTatDad
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Re: Newbie Lunatic Needs Advice new [Re: *skyguy*]
      #5945438 - 06/28/13 07:27 PM

Quote:

With a $300 budget and an interest in lunar/planetary observing with some bird watching ... I'd get the Orion StarMax 90mm Mak-Cass Telescope and Tripod Bundle ($299) including free shipping:

StarMax 90mm

Orion Telescope has a very helpful customer service department that's always available to assist a buyer with questions on their new telescope. Good Luck with your new scope!




this would be a good way too, small compact and no goto. can always get a barlow and some extra eyepieces.


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AstroTatDad
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Re: Newbie Lunatic Needs Advice new [Re: AstroTatDad]
      #5945443 - 06/28/13 07:31 PM

sorry I didn't see the 300 budget.. oops.

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Jon Isaacs
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Re: Newbie Lunatic Needs Advice new [Re: pdxmoon]
      #5945446 - 06/28/13 07:34 PM

Quote:

That said, I just find the long scope clunky to adjust. It's probably user error, since I'm not at all deeply experienced.




Barnum:

First let me say hello and welcome to Cloudy Nights..

On to your scope. There have been several versions of the Celestron 80 mm F/11 achromat. I have owned different versions but all a quite good as planetary and moon scopes. I am guessing yours has dark, wood legs and an open gear equatorial mount, probably a CG-3.

Rather than trying to help you find a new scope, I would like to try to help you make this one work. I suspect that with a little help, you could enjoy viewing the moon with this scope.

My first question is whether you are viewing standing or seated? Seated is preferred but unless the scope and the chair a properly matched, it is likely to be awkward and uncomfortable.

That said, enjoying any scope does require understanding the ergonomics so it's a pleasant experience. May you could tell me what you dislike about the current situation?

Jon


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pdxmoon
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Re: Newbie Lunatic Needs Advice new [Re: AstroTatDad]
      #5945455 - 06/28/13 07:38 PM

Skyguy, would you think the Orion mentioned would be an improvement in optics/magnification, etc, over the starter Celestron that I have now? It looks like it may fit the bill nicely.

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pdxmoon
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Re: Newbie Lunatic Needs Advice new [Re: AstroTatDad]
      #5945458 - 06/28/13 07:40 PM

Friends, will my old Meade #126 2x Barlow (1.25") Telenegative lens work with the Orion? Are they interchangeable?

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AstroTatDad
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Re: Newbie Lunatic Needs Advice new [Re: pdxmoon]
      #5945469 - 06/28/13 07:46 PM

I'm sorry. I'm out of it today. yes your 2x will work in any 1.25 even your eyepieces.

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pdxmoon
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Re: Newbie Lunatic Needs Advice new [Re: pdxmoon]
      #5945471 - 06/28/13 07:47 PM

Jon, Thanks for your questions!

Yes, it's the old black wooden leg variety!

Here's my dislikes:
The up/down adjustment wheel seems not to be working--I have to manually unlock the mount to move up/down.

The image is very bumpy. Almost as if I was hand holding.

Viewing through the 25mm is pleasing. But through the barlow, eyelashes get in the way, I'm just not using it correctly. Binoculars I don't have a problem with this.

It's rather clunky to move around the yard and to go from back patio to front driveway.

I'd like higher magnification view of the moon than I am getting at present.

I am sitting whilst using it.

That's it, basically. I appreciate you trying to help me with the old before I go down the path of the new!

Edited by barnum54 (06/28/13 07:48 PM)


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Jay_Bird
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Re: Newbie Lunatic Needs Advice new [Re: pdxmoon]
      #5945522 - 06/28/13 08:20 PM

While it doesn't track, the Vixen PortaMount and others like it work well with 10 pounds of 80mm f/6 refractor and almost as well with about 6-7 pounds of 100mm f/10 refractor. A used Porta Mount or similar sturdy Alt-Az mount might be one under-budget option for a better "grab and go" lunar experience with your 80mm.

You might like one new eyepiece more than your Barlow. Maybe in the range of 8mm to 12mm with good eye relief, for higher power views of the moon. If the image with your Barlow is usually bright enough and seems sharp (steady seeing), go shorter (higher power) within that range.

Finally, lots of people think the metal tripod older EQ mounts are even more frustration than the wooden leg versions. A teacher's 4.5-inch f/10 newtonian EQ, probably similar to your mount, with metal legs was much more steady after cleaning the equatorial head and tightening both axes to remove play, finding the right tightness just short of binding either axis.

Based on your up-down wheel comment, do you have an equatorial or alt-az mount? A photo would help suggest fine tuning ideas for the mount.

The other key to stability is use of a tripod spreader to brace the legs outward, if you don't have a tray a plywood disk or triangle shape works well.


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Jon Isaacs
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Re: Newbie Lunatic Needs Advice new [Re: pdxmoon]
      #5945614 - 06/28/13 09:26 PM

Quote:

#5945471 - 06/28/13 07:47 PM Edit Reply Quote Quick Reply

Jon, Thanks for yourquestions!

Yes, it's the old black woodenlegvariety!

Here's my dislikes: The up/down adjustment wheel seems notto be working--I have to manually unlock the mounttomove up/down.




Is this an alt-az mount or an equatorial mount? Do you have a picture of it you can post?

The 25mm should provide 36x magnification. The scope itself should provide good views of the moon up to about 200x. In terms of the quality of the the view, a 90mm Mak like the Orion would not be a step up...

Jon


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pdxmoon
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Re: Newbie Lunatic Needs Advice new [Re: Jay_Bird]
      #5945717 - 06/28/13 10:18 PM

Something like this, perhaps, instead of the barlow?
http://www.telescope.com/Accessories/Telescope-Eyepieces/9mm-Orion-Expanse-Te...

I'll post some pictures of the set up later. Many thanks for your help!


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pdxmoon
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Re: Newbie Lunatic Needs Advice new [Re: pdxmoon]
      #5945868 - 06/29/13 01:20 AM Attachment (9 downloads)

Here's some pics of the set-up. I've also been looking at some lens kits and would like your opinion:

http://www.telescope.com/Accessories/Telescope-Eyepieces/Orion-Moon-Madness-V...

http://www.telescope.com/Accessories/Telescope-Eyepieces/Orion-125-Premium-Te...

http://www.telescope.com/Accessories/Telescope-Eyepieces/Celestron-125-Telesc...


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pdxmoon
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Re: Newbie Lunatic Needs Advice new [Re: pdxmoon]
      #5945869 - 06/29/13 01:20 AM Attachment (5 downloads)

another pic

Edited by barnum54 (06/29/13 01:21 AM)


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Jay_Bird
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Re: Newbie Lunatic Needs Advice new [Re: pdxmoon]
      #5945967 - 06/29/13 03:41 AM

Yep that's an equatorial mount. The axis that would be the upright of a "T" should point to Polaris, it is the polar or 'right ascension' axis; it would be the only axis needed to move to track the stars. The top bar across the "T" is the declination axis, and it would let you move the scope north and south.

You seem to have the polar axis horizontal. Actually, to use the scope in alt-az or altitude (up-down) and azimuth (right-left) mode, you should have this vertical - that would be a lot less frustrating than the way it's shown in your photo. Then one side of the top of the T would be the counterweight, and the other side of the top bar of the T would hold the scope.

When I said to try tightening each axis I did not mean the clamps you might lock and unlock when observing, I meant the nut that sets the bearing tension on each axis, one of these nuts is visible opposite the scope on the end of the polar axis closer to the tripod. I'd say get more advice & questions answered about the mount here before trying to overhaul it!

A little adjustment to the mount setup, either as polar aligned equatorial, or in upright T alt-az mode, might solve many frustrations, and get a lot more out of the scope.


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stevenf
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Re: Newbie Lunatic Needs Advice new [Re: Jay_Bird]
      #5946532 - 06/29/13 12:53 PM

A zooming eyepiece can be a lot of fun to use on the moon. The feeling of 'swooping' in for closer looks is something that regularly blows my mind.

For lunar my favorite scope is one of my 90mm maks. Compact and powerful for those close up shots.


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pdxmoon
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Re: Newbie Lunatic Needs Advice new [Re: stevenf]
      #5946613 - 06/29/13 01:39 PM

Stevenf:

Do you mean this as a lunar scope, and add a zoom?

http://www.telescope.com/catalog/product.jsp?productId=100316&gclid=CIqMg...

It looks incredibly ez to use.


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howard929
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Re: Newbie Lunatic Needs Advice new [Re: pdxmoon]
      #5946621 - 06/29/13 01:45 PM

Other suggestions non-withstanding, I've acquired quite a liking to lunar viewing with my 8" dob since trying it out with a nice wide field EP at 109x (11mm). The moon plays out like a hi-res, slow motion movie as it slowly sweeps by all on its own. Better then free lunch IMHO and replays are just a nudge away.

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*skyguy*
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Re: Newbie Lunatic Needs Advice new [Re: pdxmoon]
      #5946736 - 06/29/13 03:05 PM

Quote:

Skyguy, would you think the Orion mentioned would be an improvement in optics/magnification, etc, over the starter Celestron that I have now? It looks like it may fit the bill nicely.




Because of the compact design of a 90mm Mak and the mini-dob mount, there is a definite gain in the setup time and ease of use over the equatorial mounted 80mm refractor. Optically, I think you will see some improvement over a 80mm achromatic refractor, however the difference isn't going to "earthshaking".


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Jon Isaacs
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Re: Newbie Lunatic Needs Advice new [Re: pdxmoon]
      #5946947 - 06/29/13 05:34 PM

Quote:

Stevenf:

Do you mean this as a lunar scope, and add a zoom?

http://www.telescope.com/catalog/product.jsp?productId=100316&gclid=CIqMg...

It looks incredibly ez to use.




Hi:

The scope in the link is a 80 mm f/4. 4 achromat. It is poorly suited as a lunar scope because of the chromatic aberration inherent in the fast achromat. And while the mount is easily setup, it is not so easy to track at higher magnifications that are appropriate for observing the moon.

You current scope is far better optically, it is still an achromat but at f/11.3 the chromatic aberration is well controlled and it should provide solid planetary/moon views. In comparision to the 90 Mak, it should be essentially the same, the Mak has the slightly larger aperture but has the central obstruction which affects the contrast. Refractors also have fewer thermal issues.

Jay provided some suggestions on how to setup your current scope in the equatorial mode. This would be my suggestion. It makes tracking very easy, it only requires turning a single knob and motorized tracking is possible with the addition of the a drive motor.

Your current configuration is reverse of what is normally done. Probably using the more typical alt-AZ configuration along with attention to balancing the scope would also resolve you current difficulties. Right now I am typing this on my phone so I can't post photos but when am back in the city I will try.

You might consider hooking up with your local astronomy club or a local amateur, they could help you get your current scope sorted out.

Howard's suggestion of the 8 inch Dob is worth considering. The Dob is larger but an easy setup and at the eyepiece the added aperture will provide resolution of details not visible in the smaller scopes.

But first, I would like to see you make your current scope work the way it should, it can be a very good scope for viewing the moon.

Jon


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pdxmoon
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Re: Newbie Lunatic Needs Advice new [Re: Jon Isaacs]
      #5946964 - 06/29/13 05:49 PM

Jon:

thanks, I will try to sort it out. I would like another, closer view eyepiece: what would you suggest? I have a 25mm now.

In the event I can't sort it out, it is broken, or too cumbersome to move and I have to go with something more portable, would this be a good lunar scope?

http://www.telescope.com/Telescopes/Cassegrain-Telescopes/Orion-StarMax-90mm-...

[EDIT:* I see that skyguy already suggested the Starmax 90. If I have to go new, would you second that?]

Thanks

Edited by barnum54 (06/29/13 05:53 PM)


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stevenf
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Re: Newbie Lunatic Needs Advice new [Re: pdxmoon]
      #5947038 - 06/29/13 06:52 PM

Hi barnum, the StarMax 90mm is what I meant. Excellent lunar scope.

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Jon Isaacs
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Re: Newbie Lunatic Needs Advice new [Re: pdxmoon]
      #5947049 - 06/29/13 07:05 PM

Barnum

You definitely need more eyepieces. I like the TMB Planetary's that Astronomics sells. They have a reasonable amount of eye relief, a reasonable field of view and are priced right. For the moon a 9 mm would provide 100x, a good place to begin. A 6 or 7 mm would provide more magnification, 150x for the 6mm. This scope will handle more for the moon, 200x or even more is possible.

The 90 mm Mak certainly Winston portability but the mini-Dob mount is just not a good choice for higher magnification viewing. Dob mounts are great with larger scopes because you have a long lever arm but for a small scope it makes tracking difficult.

If your mount is not viable, you could consider a new mount for your scope. Or you could consider a Mak but on a tracking mount.

Jon


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KWB
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Re: Newbie Lunatic Needs Advice new [Re: Jon Isaacs]
      #5947097 - 06/29/13 07:46 PM Attachment (6 downloads)

Hello and Welcome Barnum

Jon made some great points above. I have a scope very similar to yours in size and performance,an 90mm F/10. My favorite mount for using this size refractor is one of Altazimuth in design,specifically the Vixen Portamount shown in this image. I like it for it's simplicity of use,stability and ease of moving outdoors fully assembled. I can easily track a target like Jupiter at 150X using a 6mm eyepiece.

2 inexpensive but still quality eyepieces such as these Synta Enhanced Widefields(sold by Owl Astronomy) make a huge difference in viewing comfort and viewing quality compared to the type eyepieces you have experienced so far.


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KWB
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Re: Newbie Lunatic Needs Advice new [Re: KWB]
      #5947098 - 06/29/13 07:46 PM Attachment (5 downloads)

The eyepieces. Owl Astronomy Eyepieces

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Paco_Grande
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Re: Newbie Lunatic Needs Advice new [Re: KWB]
      #5947239 - 06/29/13 10:02 PM

If you want tracking, a used Celestron NexStar 4SE would be a decent choice for lunar-oriented viewing.

If tracking is not important, an f10'ish 80-90mm refractor on a Porta II mount is worth considering. You'd likely need to find this combo used, or piece it together yourself. Too bad Orion doesn't offer this scope on a simple alt/az mount.

http://www.telescope.com/Telescopes/Refractor-Telescopes/Refractor-Telescopes...

Related to your other thread, just wanted to say I had the Orion 90mm Mak and it's a fine scope. However, for lunar only, I prefer my trusty (and cheap) 80mm f11 Vixen refractor.

http://www.optcorp.com/vx-39952-a80mf-80mm-f-11-4-telescope-w-porta-mount-ii....

It's always ready to go, no waiting for the scope to acclimate, unlike the Mak which needs cool-down time. I think an 80mm+ long focal length refractor is a better, all around planetary scope than the 90mm Mak mainly because of acclimation issues. However, the Mak is tiny in comparison. You just can't win.


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Paco_Grande
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Re: Newbie Lunatic Needs Advice new [Re: Paco_Grande]
      #5947245 - 06/29/13 10:06 PM

On second thought, using your existing scope on a Porta II just might be the cat's meow for you.

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pdxmoon
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Re: Newbie Lunatic Needs Advice new [Re: Paco_Grande]
      #5947276 - 06/29/13 10:34 PM

Paco, can you explain the "cool down time" on a mak scope? What does that mean?

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pdxmoon
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Re: Newbie Lunatic Needs Advice new [Re: pdxmoon]
      #5947529 - 06/30/13 03:56 AM

I want to thank everyone for their kind advice. I am working to make my current scope work, but am also considering two new scopes. They are this:

http://www.telescope.com/Telescopes/Dobsonian-Telescopes/Classic-Dobsonians/O...

and this

http://www.telescope.com/Telescopes/Cassegrain-Telescopes/Orion-StarMax-90mm-...

I know the dob is less portable than the mak. I do like not having to hassle the tripod like I do on my current Celestron--big, clunky and wooden, as I go from the back patio to the front chasing the moon.

I sense that the dob has better optics and will give me better detail--but the mak sure is easy to move!

I welcome your comments and will keep you posted!


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OneGear
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Re: Newbie Lunatic Needs Advice new [Re: pdxmoon]
      #5947564 - 06/30/13 05:17 AM

I have a very similar setup, but my scope is 60x1000. I have a couple Plossl ep's and wouldn't trade it for money.

I use my binoculars (handheld or on a dirt-cheap tripod) to find targets for the telescope.

I hassle with my clunky wooden telescope tripod because it lets me see things my binoculars never could.

Eyepieces really make or break your experience with a scope. I bought a few used e.p.'s and the value of the scope mushroomed past the dollar investment as a result.

I've got a 26mm, 15mm, and 9mm 1.25" EP's. And a barlow. The scope itself is pretty capable. Your 90 is more capable.

The mount is actually pretty good. Sometimes I hang an empty cloth laundry bag on the objective end of the scope to dampen vibrations from focusing or using the slow motion controls. It works.

I often use mine as an alt-az mount by putting the telescope at 0*. The counterweight hangs straight across from the scope. The hand controls let you go up and down and left and right all you want without hitting the tripod/mount, and are easy to line up by sighting along the scope body.

Any 1.25" e.p.'s you buy now will work in whatever scope you buy later. So before you buy a new scope, buy some new e.p.'s for your current scope. Maybe a 15-sh Plossl, then a 5-10mm and a ~25mm Plossl.

You've got a great scope on a decent mount. Buy some eyepieces for it. You'll enjoy your current scope more and the next scope you buy will benefit from your good e.p.'s.

I really like my 15mm Scopetronix with or without the barlow, but nobody makes a bad eyepiece these days. It really is ridiculous how small an investment is required to get a good view of Saturn, much less the moon. Good new eyepieces are not expensive, and good used e.p.'s are common and cheap. Life is good.


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John Kuraoka
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Re: Newbie Lunatic Needs Advice new [Re: pdxmoon]
      #5947875 - 06/30/13 11:21 AM

Hi Barnum, and welcome to Cloudy Nights!

What Paco means when he mentions "cool-down time" is that the 90mm Mak-Cass needs time to cool down to the ambient outdoor temperature if it's been stored inside, as you likely will do.

I have this scope, and when I called Orion they advised 30-45 minutes from taking the scope outside to using it, depending on the temperature difference between indoors and outdoors.

When the scope isn't cooled down, you see a lot of waviness in the image, like you're looking through a mirage.

The 90mm Mak-Cass packs a lot of magnification into a very compact rig, but be aware that the stock Dobsonian-style mount (the one you get at the $199 price point) doesn't let you take advantage of those higher powers. You'd probably soon want to get something like the Porta II for its added stability and slow-motion controls.

However, I, too, think a 90mm Mak-Cass might not add much to your observing capability - especially for the moon - that you haven't pretty much got with what you have.


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pdxmoon
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Re: Newbie Lunatic Needs Advice new [Re: John Kuraoka]
      #5947913 - 06/30/13 11:49 AM

I'm happy to report that I did some lunar observing last night with my current scope and it was wonderful!

I used the 2x Mead barlow with the 25mm Celestron kit scope. By trial and error I set the scope at 0* with the counter weight straight across. That way I moved the scope up/down using the one fine tune tube (don't know what's called) that actually works. I had to manually move the scope left/right because that remote is not working--I turn the tube and it does nothing.

So other than that, which wasn't a big deal, it was awesome.

I'm buying some new eyepieces. I'd love to get even more detail than I got with the 2x barlow. If I were to start with one more, what would you suggest?

Thanks, all!


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pdxmoon
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Re: Newbie Lunatic Needs Advice new [Re: OneGear]
      #5947919 - 06/30/13 11:53 AM

Thanks one gear!

Do you have a link to an eyepiece you might suggest to compliment my 2mm and 2x barlow?


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AngryHandyman
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Re: Newbie Lunatic Needs Advice new [Re: pdxmoon]
      #5947925 - 06/30/13 12:06 PM

Consider the Owl eyepieces mentioned by Kenny above, also sold under other names by Orion, Agena Astro, CanadianTelescopes, Sky-Watcher and probably others! The 15mm, 9mm and 6mm will complement your 25mm nicely and will Barlow to fill the gaps and push to higher powers when seeing allows plus give you wider 66 degree views. I have them and for the price I like them a lot.

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pdxmoon
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Re: Newbie Lunatic Needs Advice new [Re: AngryHandyman]
      #5947935 - 06/30/13 12:15 PM

Thank you! I think I'll take advantage of the "buy three" sale price!

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pdxmoon
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Re: Newbie Lunatic Needs Advice new [Re: pdxmoon]
      #5948096 - 06/30/13 01:51 PM

This is on local Craig's List. Opinions?

http://portland.craigslist.org/mlt/for/3889522489.html


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tim57064
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Re: Newbie Lunatic Needs Advice new [Re: pdxmoon]
      #5948110 - 06/30/13 02:00 PM

If it is local and you can see them before buying, I think it would be a good deal.Just meet in a public place to see and purchase the items after checking them out to make sure they are not damaged in any way. Just my opinion.

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AngryHandyman
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Re: Newbie Lunatic Needs Advice new [Re: pdxmoon]
      #5948120 - 06/30/13 02:07 PM

For me the high power plossl's are uncomfortably close. My eyelashes brush the lense all the time (6.4, 9.7, 12.4)

The 15, 20, 32 would be useful. The erect image 45 diagonal would be only useful for daytime terrestrial viewing.

I'd still choose the Owl eyepieces myself for the good eye relief at the higher powers which I believe you are after for lunar viewing and wider 66 degree vs 52 degree view of the plossl's.


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pdxmoon
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Re: Newbie Lunatic Needs Advice new [Re: AngryHandyman]
      #5948126 - 06/30/13 02:13 PM

Thanks Jeremy. I agree. I also have long eyelashes!

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Jon Isaacs
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Re: Newbie Lunatic Needs Advice new [Re: pdxmoon]
      #5948232 - 06/30/13 03:23 PM

Quote:

I'm happy to report that I did some lunar observing last night with my current scope and it was wonderful!

I used the 2x Mead barlow with the 25mm Celestron kit scope. By trial and error I set the scope at 0* with the counter weight straight across. That way I moved the scope up/down using the one fine tune tube (don't know what's called) that actually works. I had to manually move the scope left/right because that remote is not working--I turn the tube and it does nothing.

So other than that, which wasn't a big deal, it was awesome.

I'm buying some new eyepieces. I'd love to get even more detail than I got with the 2x barlow. If I were to start with one more, what would you suggest?

Thanks, all!






Glad to hear you had a good session with your scope.

Regarding the "left-right" that is not working. That adjustment is not a gear drive but rather what is known as a "tangent arm." In this case, it's basically a spring loaded threaded rod. It has a limited travel, if you are at either end of the travel, it won't work any more.

I am not exactly sure what is happening here, it's possible that you have run it up against one end of the travel and that the slow motion knob is spinning or the set screw is slipping where it attaches.

(What happens when you try to move the scope side to side? Is it sloppy at first and then it get hard? You should look closely at it when you try to move it and see if you can see what is happening.)

Anyway, with a tangent arm, when you get to the end of the travel, you have to loosen the lock that fixes the motion, back up the tangent are to the middle and tighten the lock. That may be all that is necessary.

This is an Equatorial mount, the geared axis is the RA (Right Ascention) axis which can track an object as the earth rotates. The second axis, the Dec (Declination) is only necessary for centering and fine tuning during tracking, that's why it's a tangent arm.

If you set it up as an equatorial mount, that is the RA axis pointing at Polaris, I think you would be happier.

Jon


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stevenf
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Re: Newbie Lunatic Needs Advice new [Re: pdxmoon]
      #5948254 - 06/30/13 03:37 PM

Quote:

This is on local Craig's List. Opinions?

http://portland.craigslist.org/mlt/for/3889522489.html




I have that Meade kit and I've been perfectly happy with them for years.


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stevenf
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Re: Newbie Lunatic Needs Advice new [Re: stevenf]
      #5948257 - 06/30/13 03:41 PM

If you're happy with the views that your current scope is giving you (and it does sound like a perfectly fine scope) a solid mount will probably be the best investment you could make in putting together a solid, easy to use and enjoyable experience. The Porta II mentioned above is a good one, the Orion Versago II is also excellent and a bit cheaper (but no slow motion controls) http://www.telescope.com/Mounts-Tripods/Altazimuth-Mounts-Tripods/Orion-Versa...

If you get a new mount you may need to invest in rings and a dovetail as well, not sure how compatible your current setup is with the standard dovetail mounting on these mounts.


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pdxmoon
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Re: Newbie Lunatic Needs Advice new [Re: stevenf]
      #5948413 - 06/30/13 05:42 PM Attachment (4 downloads)

Jon:

What you describe is exactly what has happened on my mount. I will try and reconfigure it and loosen and reset.

I think I'll leave this mount as is and make it work--meaning, learn how to use it! (BTW--what kind of scope is this? I'm still learning my terms--is it a refractor or reflector? It's the simplest kind of scope--no?)

I really appreciate your help! I think this scope will be fine for backyard use--a bit clumsy to move, but I can deal with it.

It isn't very portable for me, tho, and next up will be to find a lightweight scope that can be moved in the car easier. So let me ask you: are there scopes of this kind with shorter tubes? Anything you might suggest that I could use as a throw it in the trunk scope (I know the 90 mak is very portable, but I'm talking about a scope that uses the same mechanics as my current one, since there is no cool down, etc.)

Finally, here's a crude pic I took last night thru the eyepiece with my iPhone. Over exposed, just held it up to the eyepiece, my lens view was much better, but it's an offering of thanks to all of you for you kind help.

Edited by barnum54 (06/30/13 05:47 PM)


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Jon Isaacs
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Re: Newbie Lunatic Needs Advice new [Re: pdxmoon]
      #5948579 - 06/30/13 07:48 PM

Quote:

Jon:

What you describe is exactly what has happened on my mount. I will try and reconfigure it and loosen and reset.

I think I'll leave this mount as is and make it work--meaning, learn how to use it! (BTW--what kind of scope is this? I'm still learning my terms--is it a refractor or reflector? It's the simplest kind of scope--no?)

I really appreciate your help! I think this scope will be fine for backyard use--a bit clumsy to move, but I can deal with it.

It isn't very portable for me, tho, and next up will be to find a lightweight scope that can be moved in the car easier. So let me ask you: are there scopes of this kind with shorter tubes? Anything you might suggest that I could use as a throw it in the trunk scope (I know the 90 mak is very portable, but I'm talking about a scope that uses the same mechanics as my current one, since there is no cool down, etc.)

Finally, here's a crude pic I took last night thru the eyepiece with my iPhone. Over exposed, just held it up to the eyepiece, my lens view was much better, but it's an offering of thanks to all of you for you kind help.




Barnum: (I hope that is your name)

Your scope is a refractor, refractors use glass to bend/refractor the light to a focus. Reflectors use mirrors to reflect the light to a focus. A Maksutov-Cassegrain is both, a Catadioptic or CAT for short, it uses mirrors but has a refractive corrector to correct the aberrations of the mirrors.

Your scope is an achromat. Refractors have the problem that the different colors travel at different speeds in the glass and so they are bent differently. With a single lenses, this is a big problem. The achromat uses two lenses of different glasses and different shapes so that the light is bent equally and comes to a common focus, or nearly so.. It is not quite perfect. On bright stars the unfocused red and blue ends of the spectrum combine to form purple, this is known as Chromatic Aberraton, false color, color fringing. The amount of purple seen increases as the aperture is increased and as the focal ratio is decreased.

Your scope, an 80mm F/11, has visible chromatic aberration but it affects the quality of the image only slightly. I have owned several of 80mm F/11 achromats, currently I own two, unfortunately they are tied up in a laboratory experiment at work.



Choices for a portable scope:

- At some point you might find yourself interested in objects beyond the moon. It's worth considering whether you will want to expand your view beyond the moon and the solar system.

- More compact refractors for high magnification viewing:

As noted above, the chromatic aberration of an achromat increases as the focal ratio decreases. Since the focal ratio is focal length divided by the aperture, a more compact scope means a shorter focal length which means more chromatic aberration.

The solution to this is the apochromat, achromats were invented in the late 1780's, apochromats were invented a 100 years later but did not become a reality for the amateur astronomer until about 30 years ago. Apochromats, "apo's" use fluorite based glasses that allow the designer to achieve essentially perfect color correction. About 10 years ago, Orion introduced the ED-80, it was the first affordable apo, an 80mm F/7.5 for $500.

That's the problem the apos and EDs (similar scopes that use fluorite based ED glass and have very good color correction), they are expensive. An 80mm ED scope will be over $400 new for a basic scope without mount, eyepieces, diagonal, etc...

- If the money is there, an 80mm apo/ED is a very nice, compact scope that is capable of providing as good an image as is possible with an 80mm scope at high magnifications and providing low power, widefield views of 4 degrees or more. A great all around scope.

- If one is fixed on a refractor and an apo is out of the question, then the ST-80 is a viable option. These 80mm F/5 achromats definitely show false color on brighter objects, the moon is not quite as crisp and clear as it is in your 80mm F/11, it would not be my choice as a lunar-planetary scope. On the other hand, I do have an ST-80 and I have spent an hour with it observing the moon, it's not the best but it's certainly enjoyable and it would take a while to run of new features to view. They are affordable, the basic scope is $120, and portable. The scope itself is only 15 inches long. ST-80s are also nice because they are capable of widefield views, up to 4 degrees, with affordable eyepieces... They are pretty good for birdwatching too...

- The third option would be a 90mm Mak. While John was very honest and pointed out the thermal issues with the Mak, I still think the Mak is a viable option for you as a lunar planetary scope. All scopes have their pluses and minuses, the Mak might not be rock-solid steady when first set out but its still quite good, the views of the moon will not be perfect but they will still be quite good.

So there you have it, of course there a myriad of choices, larger aperture scopes that provide better resolution but more thermal issues and more transportation difficulties. We all come to our own balance between optical prowess and the effort required to setup and observe, I call that the hassle factor. My collection of telescopes includes scopes of most every imaginable size but somehow most of the time I find myself using an 80mm or 100mm refractor when I am out in the backyard...

As far as advice.. your scope is a good one, learn to use it, learn to enjoy it. And it's not so difficult to haul it around. Open the clamshell, remove the OTA. Remove the spreader, fold the legs and shorten them if needed. It'll fit in a car without much trouble.

Jon


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pdxmoon
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Re: Newbie Lunatic Needs Advice new [Re: Jon Isaacs]
      #5948619 - 06/30/13 08:14 PM

Jon, again, thank you.

Are these scopes good choices for lunar/planetary viewing? The price is certainly right and they are portable.

http://www.skyandtelescope.com/observing/home/113230149.html

Thanks again for your counsel.

Edited by barnum54 (06/30/13 08:15 PM)


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AngryHandyman
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Re: Newbie Lunatic Needs Advice new [Re: pdxmoon]
      #5948667 - 06/30/13 08:49 PM

I think your current scope is a better choice for lunar and planetary viewing, these are more suitable for wide field views. They are portable, I have the larger starblast 6 and like it a lot, but a nice alt-az mount for your current scope would probably get you what you're looking for - Ease of use and portability if your current eq mount isn't doing it for you.

Edited by AngryHandyman (06/30/13 08:51 PM)


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Paco_Grande
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Re: Newbie Lunatic Needs Advice new [Re: John Kuraoka]
      #5948698 - 06/30/13 09:14 PM

Quote:


The 90mm Mak-Cass packs a lot of magnification into a very compact rig, but be aware that the stock Dobsonian-style mount (the one you get at the $199 price point) doesn't let you take advantage of those higher powers.




I can attest to this. Orion also suggests placing this mount on a tripod. Ahem... I tried it on a hefty Manfrotto and it would vibrate if a fly farted nearby. That table top mount is a major compromise and just doesn't work well for that scope.


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Paco_Grande
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Re: Newbie Lunatic Needs Advice new [Re: Paco_Grande]
      #5948714 - 06/30/13 09:20 PM

BTW, keep an eye out for demo sales at Mr. StarGuy. He's a Vixen supplier and often has demo scopes and mounts for sale. He often prices a demo Porta II mount for $180 or so. That's about $100 off new. Porta II's used are hard to come by.

http://www.mrstarguy.com

I can see you set up for lunar with your existing scope on a modern alt/az mount (either the Porta II or that Orion), and picking up a nice, used 8" dob at some point. They would compliment one another quite nicely.


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pdxmoon
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Re: Newbie Lunatic Needs Advice new [Re: Paco_Grande]
      #5948862 - 06/30/13 11:13 PM Attachment (2 downloads)

Would this do?
http://www.mrstarguy.com/scripts/prodView.asp?idproduct=351

Also, my tube is bracketed to hold it to the scope. I see no way to attach my tube to these.


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pdxmoon
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Re: Newbie Lunatic Needs Advice new [Re: John Kuraoka]
      #5948883 - 06/30/13 11:28 PM

"The 90mm Mak-Cass packs a lot of magnification into a very compact rig, but be aware that the stock Dobsonian-style mount (the one you get at the $199 price point) doesn't let you take advantage of those higher powers. You'd probably soon want to get something like the Porta II for its added stability and slow-motion controls."

Jon, can you explain why the mount does not permit me to take advantage of the increased magnification?


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star drop
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Re: Newbie Lunatic Needs Advice new [Re: pdxmoon]
      #5949512 - 07/01/13 11:48 AM

The motions of the lower end Dobsonian telescopes tend to be problematic. There can be some sticking and then a jerk as one tries to move the telescope but there are some easy fixes that are inexpensive. Some of the mounts use a lazy Susan azimuth bearing that rolls along easily, sometimes too easily. But some people can overcome these problems without tinkering, it just takes practice and a strong arm.

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Paco_Grande
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Re: Newbie Lunatic Needs Advice new [Re: pdxmoon]
      #5949517 - 07/01/13 11:49 AM

Quote:

Would this do?
http://www.mrstarguy.com/scripts/prodView.asp?idproduct=351

Also, my tube is bracketed to hold it to the scope. I see no way to attach my tube to these.




No, the mini Porta is not what you want for a long scope like yours. And I did wonder about the mounting setup on that scope. You'd need to attach a "Vixen-style" dovetail to the scope. The Vixen-style dovetail is used by Orion, Celestron, and a bunch of other companies, it's a very common configuration.

The dovetail can be attached using scope rings.



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Jon Isaacs
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Re: Newbie Lunatic Needs Advice new [Re: pdxmoon]
      #5949533 - 07/01/13 12:03 PM

Quote:

"The 90mm Mak-Cass packs a lot of magnification into a very compact rig, but be aware that the stock Dobsonian-style mount (the one you get at the $199 price point) doesn't let you take advantage of those higher powers. You'd probably soon want to get something like the Porta II for its added stability and slow-motion controls."

Jon, can you explain why the mount does not permit me to take advantage of the increased magnification?




I have observed with John Kuroaka and enjoyed the views through his 90mm Mak on the mini-Dob mount. As he says, the mount is problematic, it is difficult to use at higher magnifications, it's jerky and very small motions result is large angular changes.

Newtonians on a Dob mount work well because the telescope itself is a long lever arm, this means fine control is possible... With small, short scopes, it is just more difficult, particular with the scope is not smooth.

Geared controls like your scope or the Portamount are a big help.

Jon


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pdxmoon
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Re: Newbie Lunatic Needs Advice new [Re: Jon Isaacs]
      #5949578 - 07/01/13 12:35 PM

So, if the 90mm mak is jerky, what mount would improve it? Can you show me with a link? :-)

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pdxmoon
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Re: Newbie Lunatic Needs Advice new [Re: pdxmoon]
      #5949581 - 07/01/13 12:36 PM

Also, back to the Celestron 4SE (which has that goto mount), in your opinion is their a huge difference between the 4SE and the 5SE?

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Jay_Bird
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Re: Newbie Lunatic Needs Advice new [Re: pdxmoon]
      #5949765 - 07/01/13 02:08 PM

Hi

Glad you had some better luck with your 80mm f/11 achromat.

It seems to me like you can choose from a few paths:

1) Work on your current scope and mount to see if they get to where you want for a backyard observing system. Almost no cost except adding an eyepiece or two.

2) Remount your current scope, maybe on an alt-az mount with slow motion controls. The one I'm familiar with is the Vixen Porta (now the Porta II) in the $200 to $300 range; it's great for long 80mm and OK for long 100mm refractor or short 130-150mm reflector, and adequate for almost any scope up to about 10-12 pounds. The slow motion gears on both axes are smooth and offer continuous 360° motion.

The mount has a "dovetail" clamp that tighens onto a dovetail bar on any scope you want to use. The dovetail bar attaches to your scope with a set of tube rings, these are a like a split version of the clamshell holding your scope on current mount. Orion brand rings are about as affordable as they get, in the $20-$30 ballpark for a pair of split rings, plus close to that for a dovetail bar (maybe $50 total for pair of rings and dovetail bar); you bolt the dovetail bar to the rings and close the rings to hold your scope; the whole assembly goes in the mount dovetail.

The one caution with the Porta (or simlar) and a longer telescope is to get a longer set of legs, maybe the 130cm legs not the 110cm legs if you go with the Vixen, then you won't be as low to the ground when looking at higher objects.

New eyepieces don't need to be expensive for yout longer focal ratio scope. Some people here like Sterling Plossl's or the Astro-Tech (is it called dual ED?) equivalent from Astronomics. Maybe 10-12mm and 6-7mm range for mid-high power (more than 25mm alone) and close to maximum power for your scope.

3) Or you can get a new scope. Some packages of the Porta II mount include a 95mm or 110mm compact Cassegrain, which is a shorter tube, f/11 or so scope, kind of like a C-90 or C-4 or ETX-90.

Among the SE computerized options, the C-5 optics might be the more versatile at f/10 than the C-4 at f/13 or f/14. I don't know how sturdy the SE mounts and tripods are compared to say the Porta-mouunt.

I've tried out several ideas for "travel scope" and "grab and go" backyard scope:

- 80mm short tube achromat refractor (mine is f/6) works well for both uses. Only difference from yours is f/6 vs. f/11, making for a shorter tube. My old one is heavy, but has a 2-inch focuser and can see up to 5 degrees of sky at lowest 12x to 15x power; if yours has a 1.25-inch focuser you may get down to about 1.5 to 2 degrees of sky in widest view at about 30x. For travel a old, sturdy photo tripod is adequate, for backyard or car camping a Porta-mount works well. This scope has some achromat refractor pros and cons: it's nice on the moon over 100x (I stop at 120x due to eye floaters but it shows more a little more detail at 160x), OK on Saturn and Mars, not so great for Jupiter, with all limits above due to chromatic aberration. It is superb for wide field views under dark skies. I kept this, and it's my most-used scope.

As I finish setting up a 4-inch (102mm)f/10 refractor to use with an old equatorial mount, the 80mm may get more competition for backyard lunar & planet use, but the 80mm will stil be smaller and more one-trip-to-yard 'grab and go'.

- a C-90 90mm f/11 Maksutov. This is OK for daytime spotting (birds across lake at 35x) and was almost what I wanted for a quick look lunar scope. I traveled with this a few times too, it weighs less than 1/2 what my heavy old 80mm short tube does. It sacrifices some field of view for higher power with any given eyepiece compared to the 80mm listed above. It just didn't outperform the 80mm f/6 enough on the moon or planets for me to keep both. I sold it.

- a 130mm f/5 reflector came with my Porta-mount. It took only 1.25 inch eyepieces, and it worked well at the upper range of what the Porta could hold steady, but also didn't do enough better than the 80mm f/6 for me to keep the Newtonian 130mm f/5 too.

Now, a 6-inch reflector is a noticeable jump up from 130mm and might better complement an 80mm. Almost all reflectors are likely require more frequent internal alignment ('collimation', you can learn how easily) than refractors, which may never require collimation.

Good luck, keep asking questions about tweaking or tuning you current scope.


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pdxmoon
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Re: Newbie Lunatic Needs Advice new [Re: Jay_Bird]
      #5949798 - 07/01/13 02:29 PM

Hi jay:

I'll probably do both--continue to tweak what I have and look for a new scope.

When you say 130mm, do you mean something like this:
http://www.telescope.com/Telescopes/Reflector-Telescopes/Reflector-Telescopes...


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Jay_Bird
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Re: Newbie Lunatic Needs Advice new [Re: pdxmoon]
      #5949840 - 07/01/13 02:53 PM

Hi, yes on telescope tube, maybe not on mount.

Based on small local sample, the least expensive 'go-to' mounts may not be the most durable, solid/stable, or reliable.

That's why the Porta-mount is OK for quick looks at the moon, IMHO, since it has smooth manual tracking for use at high power, is sturdy; and for longevity, it has no circuit boards or batteries, even though it's not go-to.

Now, the Celestron Nextstar (4 or 5 you asked about) may be better (I haven't used one) in that the 4 & 5 SE's may be a grade or level up from the lowest-cost go-to scopes I've seen people asking for help with at outreach, and not refect a compromise in the mount hardware to meet a target price.

I just relayed my experience with a few scopes like you're looking at. For me the smaller aperture had other attributes (widest range of power to low/wide field) that made me pick it to keep. Others might have picked the 90 Maksutov or the 130 Newtonian.


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Tony Flanders
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Re: Newbie Lunatic Needs Advice new [Re: pdxmoon]
      #5949854 - 07/01/13 02:59 PM

Quote:

So, if the 90mm mak is jerky, what mount would improve it? Can you show me with a link? :-)




How about strapping a long dowel to the tube to give it a longer moment arm? Seems like it might work.


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John Kuraoka
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Re: Newbie Lunatic Needs Advice new [Re: Tony Flanders]
      #5949973 - 07/01/13 04:06 PM

Yeah, what Tony said!

I use the Porta II mount with my 90mm Mak-Cass, and it helped a lot at higher magnifications.

It wasn't horrible with the stock mount, especially at lower magnifications where it really worked just fine. But, for example, the 10mm that comes with the $199 kit gives something like 125x. With the simple friction bearings and manual grab-the-tube-and-rock movement, it was difficult (but not impossible - my kids had no problem) to move the telescope around in order to manually track objects as they drifted across the view with the Earth's rotation.

Adding a longer lever might help make those fine adjustments. But, before Tony had that wonderful brainstorm, I'd already gone out and bought a demo Porta II from Mr. Star Guy. It'd be really neat if someone could try it out and report back to us!

Anyway, this may all be moot since it sounds like you're doing great with your refractor!


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pdxmoon
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Re: Newbie Lunatic Needs Advice new [Re: John Kuraoka]
      #5950002 - 07/01/13 04:26 PM

My continued thanks to all for taking the time to offer your opinions to this newbie.

I'm also thinking, since the refractor I own has given me great service, stick with what I know: maybe The C80ED or this https://www.astronomics.com/astro-tech-at72ed-72mm-refractor-telescope-white-...
..as a grab and go lunar/planetary observer.

My reading is telling me that certain smaller tube refractors (is that what the ED means?) have no chromatic problems and so might make great grab and go lunar scopes. Heck even this:
http://www.telescope.com/catalog/product.jsp?productId=102007
..was rated by S&T as a good scope for lunar viewing, although it's not a refractor.

So what I'm leaning towards is this: sticking with my 80mm scope and getting a port II mount, and then getting a set up for portable use. Perhaps with the port II mount I can also use the small scopes listed above. Thoughts?

Edited by barnum54 (07/01/13 04:28 PM)


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pdxmoon
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The best Possible Outcome new [Re: pdxmoon]
      #5950354 - 07/01/13 09:06 PM

Well friends, my 28 year old son informed me that he would love to have the scope he remembers using as a kid, and thats the Celestron 80 that started this whole thread! Hahaha!

He'll pick it up in a few weeks, which gives me time to buy a new scope.

And you know what? I really like the refractor. I'm not ready for a dob, or anything that I have to worry about aligning. I'm a sit in the chair, not on the ground, traditionalist :-). Someday on the dob, when I branch off past lunar viewing. But I've got a lot to learn looking at the moon. So..

I like the moon views with the 80mm. What I don't like is the EQ mount. So the porta II looks really good to me.

I'm going to start a thread in the refractor section asking for advice there. I appreciate all your help, and if you have more to tell me, come on over!


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