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New to Refractors Question

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#1 Guest_**DONOTDELETE**_*

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Posted 23 November 2003 - 01:39 PM

Debating between 2 very different scopes. A 12" Meade LX200 GPS SMT and a refractor. What can one expect in differences between the Meade LXD127 or 152 and the AR-5 and AR-6?

What I am looking for is a scope that has reasonable capture ability, very good "go to" capabilities and is "portable" enough to be used more often. Interfacing with "The Sky," "Starry Nights" or "Mega-Star" is a definate plus.

The 16" light bucket is fantastic and I lucked out with optics that figure to <1/10 wave. However, that level of performance means colimating it before each use. Yes, it is a touch heavy. :grin:

The Ultima is quick to set up, is ok for deep sky but is lacking in the planetary dept. However, am planning to add a CCD at some point and the drive system, mount and optics (for an SCT) on an the Ultima are way above par.

Any suggestions? :question:


#2 jrcrilly

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Posted 23 November 2003 - 01:48 PM

Any of the scopes you list will be compatible with most popular planetarium software packages. The 127ED and 152ED come on mounts with controllers similar to the LX200 Classics; they are vastly superior to and significantly heavier than the LXD55 mount (and much more expensive). The Autostar controller on the LXD55 is more sophisticated though. It's much closer to the Autostar II of the LX200GPS than to the Classic controller.

#3 Charles

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Posted 23 November 2003 - 07:46 PM

I have a 12" LX200GPS and I also own a TOA-130. The 12", Bertha, is a very powerful scope but I do not like it's portability at all. For me, I need another person every time I set her up because she is just too big. I will say this though I checked her collimation every time I setup and she has always been dead on. I have had to adjust the collimation maybe once out of every 15 to 20 setups. Traveling with Bertha never seemed to effect her the way I thought it would.

As to the TOA-130, I love it. It is very portable and takes me just a little longer to setup, but I can do it all myself. The Optics’ are perfect and if I can just develop better skills at CCD imaging I think the TOA is a better overall scope.

SCTs have their place though and are great for high power but they just suffer the portability issue as far as I'm concerned. If I had a home observatory I would love a 12.5 RC, but I don't so I like the portability and wider field of view for imaging the 5" refractor gives me.

Charles


#4 Guest_**DONOTDELETE**_*

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Posted 23 November 2003 - 08:29 PM

John's right. The 650 and 750 mounts for the ED series are very stout pieces of machinery. The Go-To computer is an option on both and niether are cheap. The 650 mount will carry the AR-6 with poundage to spare. They come with the heavy-duty field tripod and are huge in their own right.

The LXD55 is a much lighter mount, not in the same class as the 650 or 750. It's well built and functions as advertised. Some need the crud cleaned out of them to smooth them out, but that's no big deal to perform. You might have to tighten a gear or two as well.

My jury is still out on the Autostar coupled to the LXD55 as a package. The Foreman may come to a verdict by next Monday. We'll see.

I've read more than once that the optics are better in the AR-5 than the -6. I've not looked through an AR-5 to be able to say. It may be because of the f/ being higher than the R-6. The AR-6 has great optics for an achro and pulls in more light than the -5. You'll be able to see fainter objects with more clarity in the -6.

Color isn't bad except for on all but the brightest objects. I'm mostly a deep space observer, so I don't notice any color at all on DSO's. Mars looked good if you like looking at planets. Frankly, (except for Saturn or Jupiter) when you've seen one, you've seen them all. They bore me.

#5 jrcrilly

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Posted 23 November 2003 - 09:09 PM

I've read more than once that the optics are better in the AR-5 than the -6. I've not looked through an AR-5 to be able to say. It may be because of the f/ being higher than the R-6. The AR-6 has great optics for an achro and pulls in more light than the -5.


Hi, Schultze.

I've looked through both quite a bit. I wouldn't say the 5" optics are better. There is less chromatic aberration which I agree is due not to better optics but to the slower focal ratio and smaller aperture. The 6" is a bunch heavier; I think it's worthwhile for the deeper views.

#6 Guest_**DONOTDELETE**_*

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Posted 23 November 2003 - 09:54 PM

Me too.


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