Jump to content

  •  

CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.

Photo

Best scope for MallinCAM/Stellacam w/LP skies

This topic has been archived. This means that you cannot reply to this topic.
16 replies to this topic

#1 prestonrich

prestonrich

    Viking 1

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 718
  • Joined: 01 Dec 2007

Posted 06 January 2008 - 01:32 PM

Am currently considering the following scopes to use in the heavily light poluted skies around DC essentially for use w/MallinCAM HC or Stellacam. What would be your suggestions as a trade off between usability/portability and the cam image.

n8i, CPC11, C14, Obsession 15"

Thanks,
-Preston

#2 walt r

walt r

    Soyuz

  • -----
  • Posts: 3611
  • Joined: 13 Feb 2007

Posted 06 January 2008 - 02:07 PM

If you have a place to keep the scope fully assembled and a level path out to where you observe (like a garage) then the Obsession may be the easiest and fastest to setup and has the largest aperture. I can be obsevering with my Obsession in under 3 minutes (without cool down).

#3 smokin oakum

smokin oakum

    Surveyor 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 1529
  • Joined: 24 Sep 2007

Posted 06 January 2008 - 02:10 PM

I personaly think the best setup for live video viewing is the Meade 12" F/8 RXC . If your budget can go higher, the 14" RXC or the 16" RXC would be the way to go! I know that Rock Mallin's main scope is the 16"er. My plan is for the 12"er since the Mallincan boost you apeture by 10X anyway. 120" is plenty I think. The best part about these scopes besides the coatings is the fast F ratio. The bigest drawback would have to be the weight.

Just my :penny: :penny:
Neil

#4 David Pavlich

David Pavlich

    Transmographied

  • *****
  • Posts: 35842
  • Joined: 18 May 2005

Posted 06 January 2008 - 03:34 PM

Came here for more opinions, eh? :grin: I'm a confirmed GEM user and IMHO, any kind of imaging is aided by a German equatorial mount. Yes, I know the MC uses fairly short exposure times to generate the image, but with a GEM mounted scope, you are left with other options such as "conventional" imaging with a myriad different scopes that can be mounted on a GEM, especially if you get one in the CGE/G11 or better in carrying capacity.

So...I vote for the C14...but I'm prejudiced that way. ;)

David

#5 prestonrich

prestonrich

    Viking 1

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 718
  • Joined: 01 Dec 2007

Posted 06 January 2008 - 03:39 PM

Neil,
Those Meade's RCXs look like alt-az's. Will those alt-az's track as well as the EQ mounts for imaging purposes?

#6 rolandskythree

rolandskythree

    Soyuz

  • *****
  • Posts: 3544
  • Joined: 24 Jan 2006

Posted 06 January 2008 - 03:41 PM

I am just south of you about 110 miles with some LP around Charlottesville but I also regularly observe under poor conditions. Couple things to consider:

--I use an 8 and 5i. Nice, but not enough aperture. In the end, you still need the optics to deliver a decent quantity of light if you want to be enjoying DSOs that are not of the dominant group.

--I use a 12.5 Dob (our favorite scope) because it has a mix of portability and decent aperture. You might consider that balance because 1 in 4 times you may not be setting up at home. 14 and 16 is nice, but you better be young and strong. If I anticipated any life changes or moves, I just won't go there.

--10/11 SCTs are very good; the GO-TO is decent; tracking by all reports I have seen is good. While not as "fast" as Dobs, they seem (to me) to be a little less sensitive to reflected light from haze, light clouds, or heavy LP--the things that make your camera view go "pink" on those iffy nights. You can always use a reducer when you want.

--IF you really want fast, ask Jack Huerkamp about his new 11 inch CPC with Starizona's "little" adjustment that permits him to go from really really fast to the standard F/10, depending on how he sets it up.

--For simplicity, a 12-14 Dob is great (sized properly for weight and focuser height) but I presume you mean a platform also. If the purchase is brand new, spend the extra and get dual-axis and push-to or go-to. This is nearly the best of all world's other than the SCT with Starizona's work.

Roland

#7 prestonrich

prestonrich

    Viking 1

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 718
  • Joined: 01 Dec 2007

Posted 06 January 2008 - 03:45 PM

Roland,
Are you referring to the use of HyperStar on the CPC11 to move from f10 to f1.2?

#8 smokin oakum

smokin oakum

    Surveyor 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 1529
  • Joined: 24 Sep 2007

Posted 06 January 2008 - 05:22 PM

Neil,
Those Meade's RCXs look like alt-az's. Will those alt-az's track as well as the EQ mounts for imaging purposes?


Yes they track like a dream and have GPS, so setup is done in seconds. The short exposers that these cameras are taking will show no field rotation, but if you are also planning on doing AP (long exposier astro photography) you can get the field de-rotater that comes with that scope. Most programs you would be using for long exposer stuff will correct this anyway though. The Mallincam cameras are NOT meant for photography though, and should only be viewed as observing tools, although you can capture the images you are seeing. If you want to do serious long exposier photography stuff, you will need to spend as much as you are planning to spend on this whole package just for a nice GEM mount. I'll let the AP boys and girls have at that, and just enjoy my LP front yard with my Mallincam.

Neil

#9 plav1959

plav1959

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 602
  • Joined: 10 May 2007

Posted 06 January 2008 - 05:43 PM

I've got a 10" SCT and a 90mm refractor, but one option I'm giving serious consideration to is a 10" reflector on a gem mount. More accurate than alt/az, portable and fast enough to allow fairly wide fields.

#10 dvb

dvb

    different Syndrome.

  • *****
  • Posts: 6725
  • Joined: 18 Jun 2005

Posted 06 January 2008 - 06:08 PM

. My plan is for the 12"er since the Mallincan boost you apeture by 10X anyway. 120" is plenty I think.


Neil, aren't you overstating the apparent aperture effect? I've heard 2.5X, which seems reasonable, but 10X?

#11 Bob S.

Bob S.

    Mercury-Atlas

  • *****
  • Posts: 2711
  • Joined: 14 Jul 2005

Posted 06 January 2008 - 06:24 PM

DVB,

All indications are that the MallinCam does increase apparent aperture by 8-12x. My I3 image intensifier seems to increase apparent aperture by about 3-5x. Several of us have access to 28", 32" and 42" scopes on a regular basis and are able to compare visual views in those with the performance of scopes in the 8" and 11" range. The differences in performance are startling and suggest that the 8-12x phenomena is pretty accurate under certain conditions. In light polluted venues, the effects are really even more dramatic in that the large scopes would just pick up a boat-load of sky glow whereas the astrovideo cameras are not very bothered by the light pollution. Evidence that I can easily look at NGC253 with the Moon over half-full and 35-40 degrees away from the galaxy. It is paradigm busting performance for sure. Bob Schilling

#12 smokin oakum

smokin oakum

    Surveyor 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 1529
  • Joined: 24 Sep 2007

Posted 06 January 2008 - 06:26 PM

. My plan is for the 12"er since the Mallincan boost you apeture by 10X anyway. 120" is plenty I think.


Neil, aren't you overstating the apparent aperture effect? I've heard 2.5X, which seems reasonable, but 10X?


I've ACTUALLY HEARD both, and everything in between. Bottom line is a 10" or 12" with a Mallincam should be just about right for light gathering power and portability. I'm sure I will be just fine with what ever the increase is. If it is 2 1/2X then a 12" scope will be a 30"er! Still plenty of gathering ability, but there are people still swearing 9 to 10X increase. I get my camera this week, so as soon as all the rain that is sure to come, leaves, then I'll make my own oppinion. Read the cure for apeture feaver thread, to hear other oppinions. At least they have experience with these cameras.

Neil

#13 bkushner

bkushner

    Surveyor 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 1807
  • Joined: 26 Nov 2006

Posted 06 January 2008 - 06:46 PM

I use a Meade SN 8" with a CG5 Mount. The tracking on my 18" Starmaster is solid but not as good as my GEM mount. In discussions with Rock he said he'd seen some great stuff from SN8 and 10" scopes which led me to the SN8.

Brian

#14 prestonrich

prestonrich

    Viking 1

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 718
  • Joined: 01 Dec 2007

Posted 06 January 2008 - 07:40 PM

For MallinCAM applications would a 10-12" SCT w/GEM or fork mount like the Meades or Celestron CPC series work better than comparable Dobs w/GOTO/tracking? I'm not arguing the characteristics or quality differences between the two types of scopes but just trying to match the scope for MallinCAM use.

#15 smokin oakum

smokin oakum

    Surveyor 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 1529
  • Joined: 24 Sep 2007

Posted 06 January 2008 - 08:05 PM

As long as you have accurate tracking, it all comes down to aperture, mirror coatings, and F ratio, wether it's a SCT or a Dob. Then at the end of the day, you have to ask your self how much scope do you want to haul around. To me, with the Mallincam already dropping your jaw even with small scopes, you have to find a happy medium.

Neil

#16 rolandskythree

rolandskythree

    Soyuz

  • *****
  • Posts: 3544
  • Joined: 24 Jan 2006

Posted 06 January 2008 - 08:32 PM

Yes. Jack is so excited in some of his posts that it's hard not to see him as a kid in a sandbox again. :)

#17 rolandskythree

rolandskythree

    Soyuz

  • *****
  • Posts: 3544
  • Joined: 24 Jan 2006

Posted 06 January 2008 - 08:44 PM

I think you are right about that comparison. While I really enjoy the Dob with a Tom O. Compact Platform, the LXD75 G.E. mount is so steady....steadier than my Dob for studying/sketching objects--but its only fitted with our portable 102mm refractor. But to get a G.E. mount for a 12 inch up, weight for that configuration goes up non-linearly.

The factors, if I had the money today, would still drive me to examine my personal needs relative to the size/weight/portability of the scope--presuming the scope gets at least 11-12 inches of aperture (my cutoff at the low end of acceptable aperture).

Beyond that, the decision is really not that plain without a persons observing habits and limitations imposed on the equation. In a sense, that is good. Remember that 10 years ago such a discussion would barely be possible without a gift from a great big fairy with lots of money. Of course, the latest astrovideo tools were not in existence then either. It makes one thankful for good choices that are relatively reasonable today.

Roland


CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.


Recent Topics






Cloudy Nights LLC
Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics