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Celestron 6" Refractor and Skyview Pro

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#1 asaint

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Posted 29 January 2009 - 05:43 AM

Celestron 6

#2 Project Galileo

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Posted 29 January 2009 - 07:53 AM

Thanks for sharing your new toy and your experiences. I am a fan of big refractors.

#3 Doug76

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Posted 29 January 2009 - 09:06 AM

I have been singing the praises of this scope for nearly a year now. Your experiences with yours are nearly a match with mine. Mine rides on the CG-5ASGT mount. Most people say mounts like ours aren't enough because it takes those few seconds to settle. The preferred time is less than 2 seconds to settle. I will be providing a heftier mount for mine in the future. I absolutely think this scope is finest kind and I will be keeping mine for quite a while, possibly till I can't use one anymore.
Thanks for the back up in your review. Maybe that will cause some of the naysayers who have never used one to not be so harsh on it.

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#4 Project Galileo

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Posted 29 January 2009 - 09:20 AM

These class of scopes are becoming readily available for very little money on the used market. Comparatively to some of the more expensive glass out there they hold up quiet well view wise and are wonderful insturments. The views are truly stunning. Most people agree they control CA quite well. If you like the size, you will love these scopes. Even new for the money they are amazing deals.

Oh, don't forget the mount. I agree with you both the mount proves more than adequate for visual. A great performer, as is the LXD55/75, and way under rated. Folks bash these mounts for being overloaded with our 6s but I just don't see mine complain or have any problems running even with binoviewers and two Hyperions. They are workhorse mounts. I figure when/if we burn these mounts up we can replace them for about $300-$500 on the used market. That would mean tearing through 6-10 of them before we have spent the same money as a CGE. Thats a lot of amazing viewing for the money if you ask me.

Again, thanks for your perspectives on your scope.

#5 39.1N84.5W

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Posted 29 January 2009 - 09:28 AM

In these days of $700 eyepieces it is so nice to read a review about one of the best astronomy values on the market. I owned this 6" refractor w/Chromacor and always packed up after observing with a smile on my face. To this day I wish I had not sold it!

#6 Project Galileo

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Posted 29 January 2009 - 09:36 AM

Doug, those weights look cool. Nice touch.

#7 Lew Zealand

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Posted 29 January 2009 - 10:07 AM

Thanks for the review! I was just talking to Mrs. Z last night, now that our 100mm f/6 refractor is mounted on an Orion Paragon XHD, the SkyView Pro which came with it now didn't have a telescope. I was saying that a 6" f/8 would be perfect for it and your review couldn't be more timely! Thanks for the information on settle time, which is good enough for me as I'll probably get a 2" GSO 11:1 focuser for it (I got one for the 100mm f/6 and it's *wonderful*).

#8 phxbird

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Posted 29 January 2009 - 10:39 AM

Thanks for your kind words! I agree that the focuser could be much better, but my budget will not justify spending the money for a Moonlite or other precision focuser. When you have a focuser that costs more than the whole setup that is a little over the top for me. I am currently building a CCD photometer to do variable star work. It will be mounted on the 6" with the Skyview pro mount. I anticipate it will be stable enough to do photometry down to about 12th magnitude or more without upgrading to a beefier mount. If I wanted to take pictures of obscure nebulae this setup would just not be good enough but it will suffice for doing photometry just fine. Thanks again and I will look forward to hearing more from all of you!

#9 CharlieB

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Posted 29 January 2009 - 10:50 AM

Nice article on a very capable scope. I've been using the same set-up for a while. I added a GSO 2-speed focuser, dual-axis motors, the Intelliscope kit for the SVP and built some tall wooden tripod legs. The wooden legs really did the trick for stability. I get < 1" vibration recovery time. These modifications really do make this a wonderful scope and I find I am using this one more than any of my others with the exception of my 10" Coulter Dob.

Charlie

#10 phxbird

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Posted 29 January 2009 - 11:46 AM

Any chance of hearing how you built the new tripod legs? I have seen several articles on them but did not find them to be very helpful to me. Though I have restored a 1902 Victorian Farmhouse I am still not the greatest with a saw!

#11 CharlieB

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Posted 29 January 2009 - 01:23 PM

Well, I bought some white ash and ripped it down to 2" wide for the outside pieces of each leg (2 per leg). Then I ripped spacers that were exactly the width of the tripod hub. I used two spacers on each leg and also made three short ones to fasten a triangle of plywood with holes drilled for eyepieces. I drilled pilot holes for screws that went almost all the way through both leg halves and the spacers. I put just a bit of yellow glue and screwed the together. The plywood triangle (and short spacer) was drilled for 3/8" threaded knobs. Make sure you round off the top of each leg and also make sure the first spacer is far enough down the leg to easily clear the hub arm. Finally, use a drill press to make sure pilot holes and holes for the hub arm bolts absolutely straight and perpendicular to the legs. I really don't have any drawings, but the photo will give you some idea of what I'm talking about (I have since built a taller tripod with adjustable legs). I can measure what I did and make up some drawings, but it will take a few days. Perhaps I can take a few more detailed photos and upload them.

Charlie

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#12 Project Galileo

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Posted 29 January 2009 - 01:54 PM

Nice tripod CharlieB! Well done.

#13 CharlieB

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Posted 29 January 2009 - 03:35 PM

Thanks. It was just a weekend project and cost maybe $50 or so. Of course, you can use other woods, but I like the dimensional stability of ash. I made another out of white oak and it was somewhat heavier but still portable. Walnut is very nice as is mahogany, but the cost of these woods is somewhat prohibitive. Some softer maple might be ok, too.

Charlie

#14 Starman1

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Posted 29 January 2009 - 05:13 PM

The reviewer refers to a focuser tension screw. There is no such animal on this scope--merely a photographic "locking" screw. There are other adjustable screws that control the tightness of the focuser movement.
However, the popularity of these scopes has made after-market focuser replacements ubiquitous: GSO, Moonlite, FeatherTouch. If you get one with good optics, a focuser upgrade is a nice thing to do.

The Flexure in the Sky View Pro, while too much for my taste, isn't really the problem with this mount--it is the steps in the stepper motors are too coarse and this cause "jitteriness" at high magnifications. Perhaps the motors in the computerized version has finer steps?

Oh, one last comment: Adding vibration suppression pads under the legs of the tripod reduces the length of the shimmy period for the scope. I recommend it--especially for high power views.

#15 phxbird

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Posted 29 January 2009 - 05:39 PM

Nice tripod! I have to buy some walnut for a honeydew project so may try and get enough for a tripod.
Also I tired to use my DS-90 to do imaging and it was worthless. I suspect that the computerized systems may be too coarse. All that I know is the True Track works much better than I expected!

#16 RocketScientist

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Posted 29 January 2009 - 07:38 PM


I seriously considered this scope before purchasing my Celestron XLT 127 (review to appear shortly). My Short Tube 80 has turned me on to refractors!

However, both the review and my intuition say that the C6 is under-mounted as described here. Does anyone feel that it is adequate on the R-GT mount, as currently sold by Orion?

In the end, the weight and awkwardness of a telescope that would have to be frequently carried up and down flights of steps, and would often be used to view from an apartment balcony, gave me a thumbs down on the C6. Of course, when my living situation changes...

RocketScientist

#17 Starman1

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Posted 29 January 2009 - 07:51 PM

I seriously considered this scope before purchasing my Celestron XLT 127 (review to appear shortly). My Short Tube 80 has turned me on to refractors!

However, both the review and my intuition say that the C6 is under-mounted as described here. Does anyone feel that it is adequate on the R-GT mount, as currently sold by Orion?

In the end, the weight and awkwardness of a telescope that would have to be frequently carried up and down flights of steps, and would often be used to view from an apartment balcony, gave me a thumbs down on the C6. Of course, when my living situation changes...

RocketScientist

A C11 SCT weighs a little less than the C6R, so if aperture is what you're after...........
A lot depends on whether the scope is used visually or photographically. This scope needs a CGE or heavier for photography, but visually it needs less of a mount.
What REALLY benefits the scope is a Hargreaves strut:
http://www.astrotasm...hargreavesstrut
It's easy to make and has a profound effect on rigidity.

A note: Celestron now is selling a 6" f/5 (!) refractor on the CG-4 mount:
http://www.celestron...D=63&ProdID=540
so there are 2 different 6" refractors now.
I'll reserve judgment until I read a review, but I'm not hopeful.

#18 DrMichaelSinger

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Posted 30 January 2009 - 08:34 AM

How can you write a "review" and omit technical details, specs, and model numbers of the scope and accessories. You know, things like focal length or ratio. Is it really a 6" scope or is it 150mm?????????

SIGH

#19 phxbird

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Posted 30 January 2009 - 03:25 PM

Good point. The assumption is that most will know the specs on this common scope. However, assumptions probably just get you in trouble most of the time.
It is a Celestron 6" Refractor. D=150MM;FL=1200MM Focal ratio F8. Astronomics is where it was purchased a year ago for $499.00. Their model number is C6ROTA.
Here is a link to their description for the scope. http://www.astronomi...oduct_id/C6ROTA
Here are the specs as listed.

Highest Useful Magnification
300x (I've already used higher)
Focal Length
1200mm
Focal Ratio
f/8
Resolution
0.76 arc seconds
Visual Limiting Magnitude
13.5
Aperture
6"
Weight
18 lbs.

Next time I do a review I will remember to list these most important factors! thanks

#20 dfell

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Posted 30 January 2009 - 06:15 PM

I had the Skywatcher version on an EQ6 mount which was adequate for this OTA for webcam use but not long exposures. I had a very good 2005 Mars apparition with this scope but I sold it in 2006 when I bought my TeleVue.

#21 Doug76

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Posted 31 January 2009 - 12:47 AM

Doug, those weights look cool. Nice touch.


Scopestuff. CW's for the Meade 12" Lightbridge. Yeah, they don't mess up the look, and definitely help shift the balance to the rear some.
http://www.scopestuff.com/ss_cwb2.htm

As for the mount, yes, if not buffeted by wind, and if properly balanced, it is somewhat more than adequate visually. But my humble opinion is a EQ6/Atlas or the new CGEM would be far better, and that is backed by more than a few opinions I have read here.

And note, I did replace the focuser with a Moonlite, the single speed version. It was all that was necessary, IMO.

#22 werewolf6977

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Posted 31 January 2009 - 05:35 AM

It so nice to see a positive review of a "lowly" achro!! Nothing against apo's, buuuut, apo isn't necessary for visual, IMHO. What he said about his being close to his 8 incher for dso's rins true with my "lowly" 6" Apogee.

#23 Project Galileo

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Posted 31 January 2009 - 09:37 AM

I thought I had seen those weights somewhere. I may be calling scopestuff soon.

For this class of scope I totally agree about the Atlas and CGEM and am headed that direction next. They are nicer mounts in all ways.

However, I decided to upgrade after I wear out this stock mount the mighty 6" came with. The problem is it isn't giving up. I use the binoviewers and heavy eyepieces trying to hasten the demise of this mount. I slew back and forth from one side of the sky to the other. I am pretty much careless with this mount and it keeps on ticking. For my eyes and use I am not complaining.

I have heard some folks shy away from having a mount that cost more than a scope. In the case of these scopes it is worth it. I love the 6" achro views!

#24 galaxyman

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Posted 01 February 2009 - 12:20 PM

Hey Paul

Very nice review, for these 6" achros are a tremendous value in observing for sure.

My current Astrozap 6" f/8 is wonderful. Check out this recent night observing report with my 6" refractor (and more)http://www.cloudynig...5/o/all/fpart/1

One note about M-1 (Crab nebula), is for the 1200mm (focal length) 6" refractors, I seem to get the best view of this object from a good dark site with a 11mm Nagler (109x). This seems to be a "sweet spot" for this object in a 6" refractor. On some excellent nights my Meade 8.8mm 5k (136x) can also produce a very nice image of M-1.


Karl
E.O.H.
E.S.H.


Chesmont Astronomical Society
Telekit (Swayze optics) 22" F/4.5 Dob
Homemade (Parks Optics) 12.5" F/4.8 Dob
TMB 8" F/9 Refractor”The Beast”. One great achro
Astrozap 6" f/8 Refractor. Another fine achro
Orion 4" f/6 Refractor. Also not bad for an achro

#25 phxbird

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Posted 09 February 2009 - 10:29 AM

Hey Galaxyman thanks for the info. I will check that out in the next week or two. As far as the discussion on the mounting I realize that the Atlas would be much better but there is no way I can afford it at this time! My wife is in the last year of college and maybe when she goes to work I can afford to buy stuff like that, who knows. At this point the Skyview Pro will do all that I need it to do for my observing. Thanks for all the kind words everyone!


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