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#76 tim53

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Posted 15 December 2017 - 12:53 PM

Yep, like that.  Because the way you're set up on the west side of the meridian, the eyepiece will get lower over time.  You just need to be mindful of the scope hitting the pier.  But since these old GEMs are clutched, no damage will occur- they just slip.

 

-Tim.


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#77 rolo

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Posted 15 December 2017 - 02:00 PM

 

 

 

With a garage and a driveway a big newt is a piece of cake.

 

http://www.scopebugg...gen3sb00129.jpg

 

Not really..  That scope lacked rotating rings which makes actually using it just no fun at all..  And then there's the need for a ladder.. And then the wobble factor..  Those mounts and that OTA..  Wobble-wobble.. 

 

Jon

 

Not really, my Cave and most older newts have smooth rotating rings. Also, no need for a latter here unlike the larger Dobs. And then the assembling factor, collimating every trip to a dark site, pushing it around unless you have tracking platform that only last a couple of hours and have to reset it (pita).

 

Humm..  That's not how it worked for me..  A few random comments:

 

- The scope in the photo did not rotating rings.. 

 

My 12.5 inch Meade RG required a ladder. 

 

 

 

My 16 inch Dob  does not.  The 16 inch in the linked photo would require a ladder.. My 22 inch and the 25 inch I had required ladders..  A 22 inch on a GEM would require a ladder..  There are 22 inch Dobs that don't.. 

 

- I'm not sure which equatorial platforms you've used..  It takes about 5 seconds to reset my Tom O platform..  It weighs 29 pounds and handles scopes up to 18 inches.  An eq mount for an 18 inch that can be carried with one hand.. When I acquired the EQ platform with quartz controlled dual axis drives,  I was finished with GEMs.. 

 

Assembling factor: The 12.5 inch Meade RG weighed more than my 25 inch Obsession.  The Meade with its heavy OTA really required 2 people to setup.  I did the 25 inch alone..  The 22 inch is an easy one man setup..  

 

Bottom line:  By today's standards, large aperture equatorially mounted Newtonians have always been rare.  In the 70s,  a 12.5 inch was considered large..  Today..  Many consider a 16 inch medium sized.  I consider it large.. 

 

shrug.gif

 

Jon

 

We could sit here and discuss this worn out beaten to death topic but what for? The bottom line is every scope has its advantages and disadvantages and every observer has their preferences. 


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#78 rolo

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Posted 15 December 2017 - 02:21 PM

Is this not a beautiful catalog?

 

https://wiki.telesco...985_Catalog.pdf

 

When I was in college my plan was to buy a Parks 10" - they were Cave after Cave was no more. How did they perform? What became of them?

 

-drl

As far as Parks, I had the 10" f/5 Superior and it was a super nice scope. Since I had the 12.5" Cave I sold the Parks OTA and kept the mount for the Cave. Much better build quality than the Cave mount. Real stainless steel shafts instead of high carbon that rust, alt-az fine adjustment polar alignment, 3/8" drive backing plate as opposed to Cave's thin one eliminated flex and bounce. Upgraded the drive to top it off and it was quite capable with JMI's  Mototrak V with PEC. 

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  • Cave 019.jpg

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#79 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 15 December 2017 - 02:53 PM

For objects not far from the celestial equator and not near the zenith (like morning and evening planets), you can do this with many Newts.  And it's especially nice with large ones:

 

 

I can do 40 degrees elevation standing flatfooted with the 22 inch.. 

 

Jon.. 



#80 Geo31

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Posted 15 December 2017 - 03:19 PM

Make mine a JMI NGT-18 please.

 

So it's not up to modern AP.  Neither is a Dob or an old GEM Newt (although the older GEM Newts can be relatively easily upgraded for it).  Otherwise, you have the portability of the Dob with the Eq mount.

 

Dobs certainly aren't for me.  I used an Alt-Az through my teens (not including the 12.5" Observatory Cave that I used, but was not mine) and developed a hatred for Alt-Az.  I used a 12.5" Dob at the Sky Bar in Tucson almost 2 years ago.  Trudy had to wash my mouth out with soap after.

 

Now get off my lawn....


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#81 deSitter

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Posted 15 December 2017 - 03:26 PM

I just can't deal with a big scope that isn't on a GEM. I admire the precision. The polar axis scope is the key to world peace.

 

-drl


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#82 tim53

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Posted 15 December 2017 - 04:42 PM

Best of all:

 

post-6788-14073028371432_thumb.jpg

 

Observe in comfort from a chair or stool through a fixed eyepiece, looking down the polar axis.  I made this scope 36 years ago, and it still works well (though I've made small modifications to it over the years).  That's a Meade 4" spotter mirror-lens in the counterweight arm for a guide scope, and yes, I did do some film astrophotography through it in the 80s.  I've done digital planetary imaging with it as well.  

 

I've given though to maybe making a few of these to sell after I retire.  It was fun to build.  And a GEM made these days with standard flat stock held together with screws makes for a lighter, more rigid mount than you get with heavy, long steel shafts.

 

-Tim.


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#83 CHASLX200

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Posted 15 December 2017 - 06:29 PM

 

With a garage and a driveway a big newt is a piece of cake.

 

http://www.scopebugg...gen3sb00129.jpg

 

Not really..  That scope lacked rotating rings which makes actually using it just no fun at all..  And then there's the need for a ladder.. And then the wobble factor..  Those mounts and that OTA..  Wobble-wobble.. 

 

Jon

 

Not true at all in my case.  No big scope would ever fit in my garage and like i am gonna view in front of the house with a 1000 cars coming by a min.  Plus i am not kicking out the Vette to house a scope.



#84 CHASLX200

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Posted 15 December 2017 - 06:34 PM

 

 

 

With a garage and a driveway a big newt is a piece of cake.

 

http://www.scopebugg...gen3sb00129.jpg

 

Not really..  That scope lacked rotating rings which makes actually using it just no fun at all..  And then there's the need for a ladder.. And then the wobble factor..  Those mounts and that OTA..  Wobble-wobble.. 

 

Jon

 

Not really, my Cave and most older newts have smooth rotating rings. Also, no need for a latter here unlike the larger Dobs. And then the assembling factor, collimating every trip to a dark site, pushing it around unless you have tracking platform that only last a couple of hours and have to reset it (pita).

 

Humm..  That's not how it worked for me..  A few random comments:

 

- The scope in the photo did not rotating rings.. 

 

My 12.5 inch Meade RG required a ladder. 

 

 

 

My 16 inch Dob  does not.  The 16 inch in the linked photo would require a ladder.. My 22 inch and the 25 inch I had required ladders..  A 22 inch on a GEM would require a ladder..  There are 22 inch Dobs that don't.. 

 

- I'm not sure which equatorial platforms you've used..  It takes about 5 seconds to reset my Tom O platform..  It weighs 29 pounds and handles scopes up to 18 inches.  An eq mount for an 18 inch that can be carried with one hand.. When I acquired the EQ platform with quartz controlled dual axis drives,  I was finished with GEMs.. 

 

Assembling factor: The 12.5 inch Meade RG weighed more than my 25 inch Obsession.  The Meade with its heavy OTA really required 2 people to setup.  I did the 25 inch alone..  The 22 inch is an easy one man setup..  

 

Bottom line:  By today's standards, large aperture equatorially mounted Newtonians have always been rare.  In the 70s,  a 12.5 inch was considered large..  Today..  Many consider a 16 inch medium sized.  I consider it large.. 

 

shrug.gif

 

Jon

 

A 16" Parks or Cave OTA weighs around 180 lbs alone . Just not anyone gonna lift them up and mount them alone.  Just that 12.5" Cave i bought a year ago was just too big for me to even bother with and i never even used it.  A 16" Cave or Parks is a monster size scope that no one wants to deal with.
 


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#85 Terra Nova

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Posted 15 December 2017 - 07:02 PM

“....monster size scope that no one wants to deal with.”

 

I know I don’t!!!


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#86 CHASLX200

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Posted 15 December 2017 - 07:04 PM

“....monster size scope that no one wants to deal with.”

 

I know I don’t!!!

When i was 14 i would have moved these big scopes around like nothing.



#87 starman876

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Posted 15 December 2017 - 08:28 PM

The new ultra light scopes are wonderful.  Really getting tempted to try one.

 

https://shop.opticsp...gAaAhp9EALw_wcB

 

the above scope they claim weights 88 lbs assembled.

 

this 20" with galaxy optics for $7K is tempting

https://www.amazon.c...8&condition=all

 

there are so many ultra light scopes on the market.  I think they realized us old farts with the money do not want to have to lift a heavy scope.


Edited by starman876, 15 December 2017 - 08:30 PM.


#88 rolo

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Posted 16 December 2017 - 12:21 AM

I would never buy a 200 lb. OTA if I new I had to carry it to set it up and observe!

Personally I love rolling out my 12.5" Cave, C14, or AP180 or all three if I like. At night my subdivision is total peace and quiet with no traffic, just a nice big drive way on the side of the house with plenty of sky available!

I can invite friends over for a mini star party or scope shoot out. Afterwards, a cup of fresh hot coffee and some snacks to end our observing session. I hope I get my kidney transplant this year so I can start enjoying the hobby and the wonderful scopes I'm blessed to own!


Edited by rolo, 16 December 2017 - 12:23 AM.

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#89 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 16 December 2017 - 07:09 AM

Make mine a JMI NGT-18 please.

 

So it's not up to modern AP.  Neither is a Dob or an old GEM Newt (although the older GEM Newts can be relatively easily upgraded for it).  Otherwise, you have the portability of the Dob with the Eq mount.

 

Dobs certainly aren't for me.  I used an Alt-Az through my teens (not including the 12.5" Observatory Cave that I used, but was not mine) and developed a hatred for Alt-Az.  I used a 12.5" Dob at the Sky Bar in Tucson almost 2 years ago.  Trudy had to wash my mouth out with soap after.

 

Now get off my lawn....

 

George:

 

I think you'll find the JMI NGT-18 does not have the portability of a Dob. This review says it weighs about 250 lbs and is best setup with two people. 

 

http://www.billsastr...-18/NGT-18.html

 

If one wants tracking in a large, portable Newtonian,  either an equatorial platform of a ServoCat seems to be the popular solution. 

 

This thread is about Parks.  Whether or not one embraces the Dobsonian,  it is the most popular and most effective mounting for a larger Newtonian.  If one wants a portable and truly large aperture scope,  or even just a truly large aperture scope for visual use,  a Dob is about the only option.  Anything else would be so unique as to be of interest due to the fact that it wasn't a Dob.

 

Maybe Parks and Scope City would still be a going concern had they moved forward with the times.. But they didn't. 

 

Enough about Dobs, this the classics forum..  

 

Jon



#90 grif 678

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Posted 16 December 2017 - 07:35 AM

 

 

 

 

With a garage and a driveway a big newt is a piece of cake.

 

http://www.scopebugg...gen3sb00129.jpg

 

Not really..  That scope lacked rotating rings which makes actually using it just no fun at all..  And then there's the need for a ladder.. And then the wobble factor..  Those mounts and that OTA..  Wobble-wobble.. 

 

Jon

 

Not really, my Cave and most older newts have smooth rotating rings. Also, no need for a latter here unlike the larger Dobs. And then the assembling factor, collimating every trip to a dark site, pushing it around unless you have tracking platform that only last a couple of hours and have to reset it (pita).

 

Humm..  That's not how it worked for me..  A few random comments:

 

- The scope in the photo did not rotating rings.. 

 

My 12.5 inch Meade RG required a ladder. 

 

 

 

My 16 inch Dob  does not.  The 16 inch in the linked photo would require a ladder.. My 22 inch and the 25 inch I had required ladders..  A 22 inch on a GEM would require a ladder..  There are 22 inch Dobs that don't.. 

 

- I'm not sure which equatorial platforms you've used..  It takes about 5 seconds to reset my Tom O platform..  It weighs 29 pounds and handles scopes up to 18 inches.  An eq mount for an 18 inch that can be carried with one hand.. When I acquired the EQ platform with quartz controlled dual axis drives,  I was finished with GEMs.. 

 

Assembling factor: The 12.5 inch Meade RG weighed more than my 25 inch Obsession.  The Meade with its heavy OTA really required 2 people to setup.  I did the 25 inch alone..  The 22 inch is an easy one man setup..  

 

Bottom line:  By today's standards, large aperture equatorially mounted Newtonians have always been rare.  In the 70s,  a 12.5 inch was considered large..  Today..  Many consider a 16 inch medium sized.  I consider it large.. 

 

shrug.gif

 

Jon

 

A 16" Parks or Cave OTA weighs around 180 lbs alone . Just not anyone gonna lift them up and mount them alone.  Just that 12.5" Cave i bought a year ago was just too big for me to even bother with and i never even used it.  A 16" Cave or Parks is a monster size scope that no one wants to deal with.
 

 

Anyone have the old Sky Observers Guide, a small handbook by Golden Press back in the 50's. In the early pages, around page 8, there is a home made 12 inch reflector by a doctor. This thing has to be 15 feet long, one end is almost on the ground, the other end is roof top high, the owner is standing way up on a TALL stepladder looking in the eyepiece. He does have a remote control in his hand, so he did have tracking on it. But he was a doctor, so he could afford it. There was no way he could haul this thing around, unless he had a tractor.


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#91 CHASLX200

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Posted 16 December 2017 - 07:45 AM

 

 

 

 

 

With a garage and a driveway a big newt is a piece of cake.

 

http://www.scopebugg...gen3sb00129.jpg

 

Not really..  That scope lacked rotating rings which makes actually using it just no fun at all..  And then there's the need for a ladder.. And then the wobble factor..  Those mounts and that OTA..  Wobble-wobble.. 

 

Jon

 

Not really, my Cave and most older newts have smooth rotating rings. Also, no need for a latter here unlike the larger Dobs. And then the assembling factor, collimating every trip to a dark site, pushing it around unless you have tracking platform that only last a couple of hours and have to reset it (pita).

 

Humm..  That's not how it worked for me..  A few random comments:

 

- The scope in the photo did not rotating rings.. 

 

My 12.5 inch Meade RG required a ladder. 

 

 

 

My 16 inch Dob  does not.  The 16 inch in the linked photo would require a ladder.. My 22 inch and the 25 inch I had required ladders..  A 22 inch on a GEM would require a ladder..  There are 22 inch Dobs that don't.. 

 

- I'm not sure which equatorial platforms you've used..  It takes about 5 seconds to reset my Tom O platform..  It weighs 29 pounds and handles scopes up to 18 inches.  An eq mount for an 18 inch that can be carried with one hand.. When I acquired the EQ platform with quartz controlled dual axis drives,  I was finished with GEMs.. 

 

Assembling factor: The 12.5 inch Meade RG weighed more than my 25 inch Obsession.  The Meade with its heavy OTA really required 2 people to setup.  I did the 25 inch alone..  The 22 inch is an easy one man setup..  

 

Bottom line:  By today's standards, large aperture equatorially mounted Newtonians have always been rare.  In the 70s,  a 12.5 inch was considered large..  Today..  Many consider a 16 inch medium sized.  I consider it large.. 

 

shrug.gif

 

Jon

 

A 16" Parks or Cave OTA weighs around 180 lbs alone . Just not anyone gonna lift them up and mount them alone.  Just that 12.5" Cave i bought a year ago was just too big for me to even bother with and i never even used it.  A 16" Cave or Parks is a monster size scope that no one wants to deal with.
 

 

Anyone have the old Sky Observers Guide, a small handbook by Golden Press back in the 50's. In the early pages, around page 8, there is a home made 12 inch reflector by a doctor. This thing has to be 15 feet long, one end is almost on the ground, the other end is roof top high, the owner is standing way up on a TALL stepladder looking in the eyepiece. He does have a remote control in his hand, so he did have tracking on it. But he was a doctor, so he could afford it. There was no way he could haul this thing around, unless he had a tractor.

 

I remember one had a seat mounted up at the end.



#92 deSitter

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Posted 16 December 2017 - 08:09 AM

 

 

 

 

 

With a garage and a driveway a big newt is a piece of cake.

 

http://www.scopebugg...gen3sb00129.jpg

 

Not really..  That scope lacked rotating rings which makes actually using it just no fun at all..  And then there's the need for a ladder.. And then the wobble factor..  Those mounts and that OTA..  Wobble-wobble.. 

 

Jon

 

Not really, my Cave and most older newts have smooth rotating rings. Also, no need for a latter here unlike the larger Dobs. And then the assembling factor, collimating every trip to a dark site, pushing it around unless you have tracking platform that only last a couple of hours and have to reset it (pita).

 

Humm..  That's not how it worked for me..  A few random comments:

 

- The scope in the photo did not rotating rings.. 

 

My 12.5 inch Meade RG required a ladder. 

 

 

 

My 16 inch Dob  does not.  The 16 inch in the linked photo would require a ladder.. My 22 inch and the 25 inch I had required ladders..  A 22 inch on a GEM would require a ladder..  There are 22 inch Dobs that don't.. 

 

- I'm not sure which equatorial platforms you've used..  It takes about 5 seconds to reset my Tom O platform..  It weighs 29 pounds and handles scopes up to 18 inches.  An eq mount for an 18 inch that can be carried with one hand.. When I acquired the EQ platform with quartz controlled dual axis drives,  I was finished with GEMs.. 

 

Assembling factor: The 12.5 inch Meade RG weighed more than my 25 inch Obsession.  The Meade with its heavy OTA really required 2 people to setup.  I did the 25 inch alone..  The 22 inch is an easy one man setup..  

 

Bottom line:  By today's standards, large aperture equatorially mounted Newtonians have always been rare.  In the 70s,  a 12.5 inch was considered large..  Today..  Many consider a 16 inch medium sized.  I consider it large.. 

 

shrug.gif

 

Jon

 

A 16" Parks or Cave OTA weighs around 180 lbs alone . Just not anyone gonna lift them up and mount them alone.  Just that 12.5" Cave i bought a year ago was just too big for me to even bother with and i never even used it.  A 16" Cave or Parks is a monster size scope that no one wants to deal with.
 

 

Anyone have the old Sky Observers Guide, a small handbook by Golden Press back in the 50's. In the early pages, around page 8, there is a home made 12 inch reflector by a doctor. This thing has to be 15 feet long, one end is almost on the ground, the other end is roof top high, the owner is standing way up on a TALL stepladder looking in the eyepiece. He does have a remote control in his hand, so he did have tracking on it. But he was a doctor, so he could afford it. There was no way he could haul this thing around, unless he had a tractor.

 

Yes, that is Dr. (Clarence? Clive?) Custer's famous 12" Springfield mount, you look down the polar axis, from a fixed place, as at an observatory's Coude focus. I think it was designed by Russell Porter.

 

edit: Clarence it is smile.gifhttps://www.cloudyni...12-in-telscope/

 

edit 2: It's a modified Springfield, the focus is still tied to the tube and moves with it. Also I found the house in Stockton CA, which is sort of spooky, because I stared at that photo in wonderment as a kid.

 

-drl


Edited by deSitter, 16 December 2017 - 08:49 AM.

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#93 Geo31

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Posted 16 December 2017 - 11:15 AM

AND Dr. Custer's scope actually had a motorized chair to take him to the observing position.



#94 CHASLX200

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Posted 16 December 2017 - 11:34 AM

AND Dr. Custer's scope actually had a motorized chair to take him to the observing position.

That is the only kind of chair to have blare.



#95 Geo31

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Posted 16 December 2017 - 11:42 AM

 

Make mine a JMI NGT-18 please.

 

So it's not up to modern AP.  Neither is a Dob or an old GEM Newt (although the older GEM Newts can be relatively easily upgraded for it).  Otherwise, you have the portability of the Dob with the Eq mount.

 

Dobs certainly aren't for me.  I used an Alt-Az through my teens (not including the 12.5" Observatory Cave that I used, but was not mine) and developed a hatred for Alt-Az.  I used a 12.5" Dob at the Sky Bar in Tucson almost 2 years ago.  Trudy had to wash my mouth out with soap after.

 

Now get off my lawn....

 

George:

 

I think you'll find the JMI NGT-18 does not have the portability of a Dob. This review says it weighs about 250 lbs and is best setup with two people. 

 

http://www.billsastr...-18/NGT-18.html

 

If one wants tracking in a large, portable Newtonian,  either an equatorial platform of a ServoCat seems to be the popular solution. 

 

This thread is about Parks.  Whether or not one embraces the Dobsonian,  it is the most popular and most effective mounting for a larger Newtonian.  If one wants a portable and truly large aperture scope,  or even just a truly large aperture scope for visual use,  a Dob is about the only option.  Anything else would be so unique as to be of interest due to the fact that it wasn't a Dob.

 

Maybe Parks and Scope City would still be a going concern had they moved forward with the times.. But they didn't. 

 

Enough about Dobs, this the classics forum..  

 

Jon

 

Jon, I know we have very different views of Dobs.  :grin:   So be it.  BTW, the early Dobs ARE classics, and the discussion segued to what killed a particular type of classic, so I'd say the discussion is germane.

 

That said, I agree with you.  The Dob revolution brought us very large amateur instruments.  But as others have said, below a certain size, make mine Eq thank you.  And we can disagree about the NGT-18.  I'll still take that over a Dob, thanks.  Considering a horseshoe like the NGT would not be that hard to make, and given so many Dobs balance so low, I'm surprised more ATMs haven't copied the NGT.  As I said, I learned to hate the Alt-Az mount.  Some are OK with it.  Not me.

 

I also agree with you that if Parks had embraced the Dob revolution, they might still be here.  From your description of the 'tude at Scope City, I doubt going to Dobs could have saved them.



#96 CHASLX200

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Posted 16 December 2017 - 11:53 AM

Parks also out priced it self.  No one was gonna pay what they wanted for them left over Cave telescopes and mounts copy cats.  Their EQ mounts were  not much better than the same mounts sold in the 1950's.  All of the same kind of mounts from all the makers had slop in the clutches and gears. Ever try to center a planet at high power?  It would hang up and it was a game of over shoot and try to center. Try that at 500x and up.  The best EQ mount i ever had was a rude and crude Edmund 1.5" shaft mount with no drives and had clamp style lock downs.  That mount was pure silk with a 8" F/8 Newt.  


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#97 tim53

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Posted 16 December 2017 - 02:55 PM

AND Dr. Custer's scope actually had a motorized chair to take him to the observing position.

Sadly the scope no longer exists



#98 deSitter

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Posted 16 December 2017 - 03:25 PM

I did find where it sat. I stared at that for some time thinking of all the cool stuff the good doctor saw.

 

-drl



#99 photiost

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Posted 16 December 2017 - 04:30 PM

Yes, the new ultra light scopes are wonderful.

 

Here is my 15in f/5 that is also quite light ... maybe a tad heavier than the ultralight but I can setup this scope (alone) in 15mins.

 

It all depends on the design.

.

 

 

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  • 15in f5 at Woolywoods Observatory compressed.jpg

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#100 CHASLX200

CHASLX200

    Hubble

  • *****
  • Posts: 19,536
  • Joined: 29 Sep 2007
  • Loc: Tampa area Florida

Posted 16 December 2017 - 04:40 PM

Yes, the new ultra light scopes are wonderful.

 

Here is my 15in f/5 that is also quite light ... maybe a tad heavier than the ultralight but I can setup this scope (alone) in 15mins.

 

It all depends on the design.

.

Love that. Looks nice and easy to work with. Had my best all time views with high end Dobs.


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