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largest convenient//backyard Dob

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#26 Willy

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Posted 16 February 2004 - 03:24 PM

jmoore,
Have you considered getting a lpr filter or a narrowband to get around your light pollution? By all accounts they really work.I've got an Orion ultrablock on order right now.
John.

#27 lighttrap

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Posted 17 February 2004 - 06:46 AM

jmoore,
Have you considered getting a lpr filter or a narrowband to get around your light pollution? By all accounts they really work.I've got an Orion ultrablock on order right now.
John.


I've got an Orion Ultrablock, but I don't use it because it cuts out too much light and makes everything dark green. Likewise, I've got a Lumicon OIII nebula filter that doesn't see much use. Believe it or not, both of those filters are good at enhancing the view from a really dark site, but not so good from a light polluted subdivision.

The one that I really, really, really like for all around use is the Baader Contrast Booster. I like it so much that I'm considering getting a couple more just so I don't have to constantly worry about cross threading it when switching eyepieces. It actually does cut through light pollution, and it actually does enhance the views of both planets and faint fuzzies. Out of 9 filters, the Baader CB is really the only one that I regularly use.

As for what can be seen from a relatively light polluted setting: I used to be convinced that there wasn't much point in going above about 150mm.
I struggled with 100mm, 120mm and 150mm Maks for years. Then, I finally broke down and got a Hardin DSH-8 (200mm). Man! What a difference! All of a sudden I could see clearly see stuff that I'd been straining to see before in far more expensive, smaller scopes.

The f/6 DSH-8 (or Orion XT8), is very easily carried out complete and ready to use. It meets my criteria for convience, versitilty, value, views and ease of use. It's also quite dew resistant due to the inherent properties of being a Newtonian. I carry the tube and base setup as one unit, plop it down on the ground, and then use a chair to enjoy the views for as long as I care to stay out. Total setup time, including trips back to the garage to get the chair, the eyepiece box and the thermos is on the order of 3 minutes; 5 minutes if I have to bundle myself up.

About the only downsides are that it's tough to share the views, and isn't really suitable for setting up in the snow or mud. Also, it requires constant manual vigilance to keep objects in view. That's easy for one sole user, but difficult if sharing the views. To that end, I just got an Orion SVP 8" EQ. I'm hoping that will solve those few problems, but allow me to stick with the 8" aperture.

Even still, I don't envision ever switching over to the SVP EQ for the bulk of my backyard viewing by myself. For that, the relatively light, relatively compact, relatively easy to set up 8" DOB rules the roost.

Mike Swaim

#28 jmoore

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Posted 17 February 2004 - 11:48 AM

Great post, Mike! thanks for sharing those experiences. yeah, as i've repeated a few times, I do have an 8" scope, too, and love it. But like your SVP, it's not really quick-setup/backyard friendly. An 8" Dob (or 12" ;) ) would fill that gap very nicely...just as you've described.

For now, I'll probably stick with the 5" Mak as my main backyard scope...sticking mainly with planets, moon, and brighter DSOs...but I'll keep that quick-setup Dob in the back of my mind for sure.

I'm going to check out that Contrast Booster right now!! This is different from a broadband filter I assume?

cheers,
jeff

#29 Guest_**DONOTDELETE**_*

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Posted 17 February 2004 - 07:16 PM

I have an 8" Hardin Optical dobsonian that I mounted on a 19 inch end table, carry it outside in one piece--easy. I never have to bend down (perfect eye level even pointing at zenith) and it is the best scope I've owned. Using the laser collimator makes aligning optics a breeze. I also have a 70mm refractor, I use this mainly for spotting though. Two months ago I sold my meade ETX70, it was gathering way to much dust in the closet. I also can't wait till the price comes down on the Hardin Optical 12" so I can buy that one too.

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#30 lighttrap

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Posted 17 February 2004 - 07:43 PM

I have an 8" Hardin Optical dobsonian that I mounted on a 19 inch end table, carry it outside in one piece--easy. I never have to bend down (perfect eye level even pointing at zenith)...


That is a GREAT idea! I've been struggling with milk crates and 5 gal. buckets and whatever else was at hand with both the 6" f/5 Discovery Dob and the Orion XT4.5. Using something like an end table, and permanently attaching it, never occured to me. Looks like I'll be hitting the thrift stores this weekend. That would even solve the issue of using them in snow, mud and uneven fields. I don't envision elevating the Hardin DSH-8, just because I like sitting in a chair to view. But, that will certainly help out the mini-Dobs, and will save me trying to make a taller rocker box for the Discovery. Actually, I really like the idea of attaching the end table in a way that could be quickly detached and inverted to cradle the whole rocker box for transport. Hmmm, you have just shed interesting new life into both the 6" and 4.5" Dobs. I had thought about trying to make a tripod for the XT4.5, but I like the idea of a readymade quadpod for little money and less effort. My camping scope may have just gotten elevated to a higher position in my eyes, and for my eyes. Good job!

Thanks,
Mike Swaim

#31 lighttrap

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Posted 17 February 2004 - 07:55 PM

raezergl,
Looking at the picture of your setup, I just had a minor epiphany. One could just as easily make the top of the nighttable the lower swivel bearing, and essentially attach/detach the whole scope and mount with a single thru bolt. OR, one could cutout an oversize plate for the bottom swivel bearing, round or square, and attach/detach with C-clamps. With a table that didn't have the lower shelf and side latices, nesting the whole rocker box in the inverted table for transport would be a cinch.

Hmmmmmmmm,
Thank you sir!
Mike Swaim

#32 LivingNDixie

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Posted 17 February 2004 - 08:09 PM

Jeff,

The simple answer to your question is a 12 incher truss type

Now if you want a more detailed answer your going to have to be more specific on how portable you need it to be.

If you have a 5 inch scope then I would look into at least moving up to a 10 incher. If your on a budget, Discovery telscopes or Orion are going to be your best bet or even Hardin....

Good luck

#33 Guest_**DONOTDELETE**_*

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Posted 17 February 2004 - 08:58 PM

The bottom shelf is a really nice storage area, I just open my optics case and slide it onto the shelf underneath, also allows me to keep my optical case and other equipment out of my wifes' way.
Picture was taken with the 8" and a logitech pro 3000/scopetronix adapter.

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#34 Relativist

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Posted 17 February 2004 - 10:26 PM

Is the DSH 12 really going to go down in price? you think?


........Curtis

#35 lighttrap

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Posted 18 February 2004 - 07:50 AM

Is the DSH 12 really going to go down in price? you think?


I can't see that happening unless or until they come out with a "new improved" model. That could happen, but it might be a ways off. That DSH-12 is pretty new, itself. I suppose it's possible that Guan Sheng (Hardin's supplier) will come out with a push-to mount to compete with the one that Synta is supplying to Orion. If that happens, then it's reasonable to think that Hardin might discount whatever remaining stock they would have of the non-pushtos. But, all that could take awhile, and might not result in much of a discount, anyway, since there might always be people who would prefer the non-electronics equipped version. I wouldn't count on seeing it on sale for anything substantially more than reduced shipping costs anytime soon.

For the $900, that DSH-12 looks like one heck of a lot of scope as is. Similarly, the DSH-10 is an even more phenomenal bargain.


#36 jmoore

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Posted 18 February 2004 - 11:46 AM

I also can't wait till the price comes down on the Hardin Optical 12" so I can buy that one too.


I've got my eyes on this one, too. Maybe next year...
:waytogo: :praying: :winky:

#37 Tom T

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Posted 20 February 2004 - 02:12 PM

For the $900, that DSH-12 looks like one heck of a lot of scope as is. Similarly, the DSH-10 is an even more phenomenal bargain.


Is Discovery still offering a 13.1 incher for $999? I thought I was going to get a chance to test one of those last year, but it fell through. I heard that it was a pretty good deal though.

T

#38 Guest_**DONOTDELETE**_*

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Posted 20 February 2004 - 05:56 PM

The one that I really, really, really like for all around use is the Baader Contrast Booster.


Started checking prices on this filter when I ran across this on Hardin Opticals site "This unique and versatile eyepiece filter is especially designed to improve contrast and color accuracy of achromatic refractor telescopes."

Does this mean it is not intended for an 8" Dob? Is this different than a narrow band filter? Sorry to briefly interrupt this thread.



#39 jmoore

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Posted 20 February 2004 - 06:53 PM

Kevin,

Here's what Mike posted on the subject. According to him, they work well in everything...though addressing false color won't be the issue in your reflector, obviously.

cheers,
Jeff
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Here's what I posted to Astromart forums back in 8/03 about the Baader contrast booster. Since then, my opinion of this filter has increased, and I find that I'm using it for one thing or another everytime I observe.
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It's a neodymium glass filter that increases contrast, blocks skyglow and removes false color. It's marketed primarily as an ecconomical way of eliminating chromatic aberation in doublet refractors, but I find that it's a lot more than that. I've been very impressed with it's performance in several inexpenive newts. It tends to refocus diffraction spikes into a sort of halo effect. They don't go away, they just get more under control.

At the moment I've got 13 filters, ranging from various colored glass and neutral density (moon) and polarizing filters to Orion's simple colored glass planetary set, to Thousand Oaks OIII, to Orion's Ultrablock to the Celestron Baader contrast booster. The Baader contrast booster has proven to be far and away the best overall performance enhancer of any of the filters that I've tried. It's currently the one that I try 1st no matter whether I'm using the TV Ranger or the Hardin DSH 8 or one of my other DOBs.

To be sure, it doesn't *always* help, and sometimes the bennefit is questionable. But, it is the best overall performer no matter whether the target is planetary or nebular or globular. Occasionally, one of the other filters will slightly outdo it on any one specific target. But if I was limited to just one filter, I'd keep the Baader Contrast booster.

http://www.hardinopt...com/c94121.html

That site doesn't go into it, but the light transmission curve of the Baader Contrast booster filter is really interesting and is far more complex than some of the exotic narrow band filters.

If you do a search (of the Astromart forums)for it, you should find a bit of recent discussion about this filter. Just buy one! Highly recommended. I consider it to be somewhat of an ecconomy scope equalizer.

Mike Swaim

#40 Scott Beith

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Posted 22 February 2004 - 01:16 PM

Jeff,
Any scope mentioned will not give you the "Wide Field" effect you are looking for without going the 2" EP route. You already noticed that you are rapidly loosing aperture in your search for wide FOV. The only way I know to allow for wide FOV in big aperture is the 2" EP route. Sorry. Maybe someone else will come up with a better answer for you.

Scott


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