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Best 12" dob?

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#26 Augustus


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Posted 02 March 2018 - 11:00 PM

<<  The Orion-not-shipping-to-California policy is because of formaldehyde in the particle board base.  >>


Glad the dangerous chemical properties of formaldehyde are limited only to California !  

Just don't eat it and you're fine??????

#27 chrysalis



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Posted 03 March 2018 - 04:46 PM


Best to look at a truss or collapsible Dob in that size mate. A 12” Dob is a big heavy beast. Explore Scientific, Skywatcher, and Orion have good options for this.

Formaldehyde, from memory, can off gas out of the particle board so there is a risk beyond eating it. Remember the FEMA mobile home formaldehyde disaster of a few years ago?

Thanks, I think I'll look into the Orion SkyLine 12" in that case. The weight really isn't an issue, I'm only 20 and in good shape, so I'm not worried about that.


I'm 63 and have no issues hefting the 33-lb base of the 12" XTi out 40 yards into the back yard and then slinging the 50-lb OTA onto my shoulder and placing it gingerly into the base. Anyway, I must be missing something, I don't see where anyone suggested the push-to Orion 12" XTi...?

#28 M57Guy


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Posted 03 March 2018 - 06:57 PM

Apertura is the same GSO scope as Zhumell and Orion's SkyLine.  Get one if you can. The Orion-not-shipping-to-California policy is because of formaldehyde in the particle board base.

Why am I not surprised.

Thanks for the feedback, Ken. I'm hoping your right the Zhumells return for sale.

#29 Foobaria


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Posted 10 February 2019 - 11:51 AM

I've heard good things about the Z12, but I can't find them anywhere

Its the now called the Apertura AD12, High Point Scientific has them. 

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#30 Araguaia



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Posted 10 February 2019 - 12:20 PM

Look at the 12" Meade LightBridge--also a GSO but much less difficult to transport.

We have one.  Good scope.  The focuser arrived out of alignement - easy fix.  It requires Bob's knobs.  The factory particle board mount is a heavy and jerky piece of crud.  The rest works great.

#31 Starkid2u



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Posted 10 February 2019 - 03:27 PM

Zhumell is gone so they are only available used.


So, what is your budget?   


I hear very good things about Teeter Telescopes




A 12.5" Obsession might be what you are looking for




Explore Scientific truss dobs for very compact designs


I'm with Ed on this one. Teeter would be the best way to go since it would be custom-made to your specs. But I like the ES scopes as well. The Obsession is great but so is the price. All are excellent, long-lasting options! Good luck!



#32 Etrsi_645


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Posted 11 February 2019 - 11:30 AM

Wasn't there one made in Wisconsin called the Port-a-ball?

#33 Starman1


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Posted 11 February 2019 - 02:32 PM

Wasn't there one made in Wisconsin called the Port-a-ball?

Read this thread:


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#34 spaceoddity



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Posted 11 February 2019 - 06:41 PM

If I was in the market for a 12, I'd get the skywatcher collapsible. It's still going to be big and heavy but the shorter tube should make it more manageable for transport. Now if you have an SUV or truck, a solid tube won't be as bad(apertura is probably the best deal). I'd recommend an orion padded bag for transporting a solid tube though. If you do all your observing at home, then no worries - get the solid tube apertura ad12.

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#35 tphili1959


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Posted 12 February 2019 - 05:10 PM

+1 for skywatcher 12 inch collapsible dob.   great scope, easy if you ever have to transport it.  and with mine, it holds collimation real well.

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#36 kfiscus


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Posted 12 February 2019 - 05:38 PM

Check out this short, awesome YouTube video of a SW 12" dob being used for outreach in LA.  (The video was viralish here on CN about a year ago.)



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#37 AnalogKid


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Posted 13 February 2019 - 04:36 PM

Yea love that video for sure.    The same basic reactions when I did an evening of outreach at a touristy spot in Pittsburgh (Mount Washington) last summer with my 12" SW.   The visitors were truly stunned, blown away, etc and very appreciative.   I had one person looking inside the scope for a picture of jupiter somewhere in there after viewing it through the scope.   Some groups spanned 3 generations and a few the grandmothers of the group who didn't speak english, game me a big hug.   I plan on doing it again this summer.  

If you have a chance to do something like this, I HIGHLY recommend it. 


Scope setup before the visitors arrived:



A few of the park rangers who also had a few scopes set up:


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