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EclipseView 114 vs Lightbridge Mini 114

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#1 Oberst


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Posted 09 December 2018 - 01:48 PM

Hello, this is my first Post in this forum, so I hope this is the right subforum for this question.


Short question: Is the EclipseView 114 identical with the Lightbridge Mini 114 (except for coloring and additional solar filter), or is there any difference not obvious on the spec sheet (different materials, spherical vs parabolic, worse construction)? I couldn't find a definitive answer anywhere, yet.


More detailed situation: I recently moved to California to a location just 0.5-1 hour drive from nice, dark viewing locations at somewhat higher atlitude, with nice conditions all year around. Since then I thought about buying a small telescope in the <200$ price range (I already own a reasonable pair of binoculars, which I carry around alot, also for daytime viewing). As, at some point in the future, I might have to move again (I am not from this country), I was looking for a reasonably priced telescope in the 4" to 5" range, small enough to be carried around. In worst case, I might even dissemble in tube and base, where the tube would travel with me in my carry-on and the base in my checked luggage, if I have to travel or move far.


This pretty much brought me to any of the tabletop mini newtons (Zhumell Z114, Orion 4.5" or Lightbridge Mini114). Recently, I have also seen that the EclipseView 114 is on sale/clearance. I have spotted it for example on amazon for $96 as a heavily discounted item (vs. >$149 on the lightbridge mini and the others). The EclipseView appears on the spec sheet a Lightbridge Mini 114, except for the additional solar filter and slightly different coloring (the original price tags Lightbridge for $149 vs Eclipseview for $189 supports this assumption). Is this correct? Or did the EclipseView recieve any kind of different components to rib off less knowledged people during the eclipse hype (i.e. a spherical mirror, worse optics, worse base construction?). I also see, why the EclipseView is on sale right now, it was introduced for the "Great American Eclipse" and now they want to get rid of stock items. But now there is no Eclipse, but casual people don't see that this is the same item (except for coloring). If, it really is the same, I can easily fit on my budget a 2x or 3x barlow, a moon filter and a maybe a book/planisphere and I have everything, I was looking for.


Thank you for your answers.



#2 mitchellcloud


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Posted 09 December 2018 - 01:58 PM

You may check out the AWB Onesky. It gets great reviews, supports an important cause, and is the compact design I think you are looking for. 


Here's the link to the scope: https://shop.astrono...ctor-telescope¬†


Here's the link to one of the many threads on CN about the scope: https://www.cloudyni...awb-onesky-dob/

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#3 Oberst


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Posted 09 December 2018 - 02:01 PM

That looks also neat.


Thank you.

#4 sg6


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Posted 09 December 2018 - 02:21 PM

Not directly familiar with either of the 114's you mention but if they are the dame focal ratio - about f/8 I guess - then they will be basically identical. Neither will be made by whose ebver name is on the side they will be a  branded item purchased from whoever did really make them.


I have a feeling they are spherical mirrors, and at f/7 or f/8 the problems that such produce are minimal and deemed acceptable.


One aspect of scopes you may be pointed at is they can be "table top" scopes, meaning you need a table or such like to use them on. So portability is compromised. Always seemed odd that they are advertised as small and portable and that mention of carting a table of some sort is not mentioned.


Decide on what you want carefully. Some at the size you mention are fast scopes - f/4 and f/4.5 - I suggest you avoid those as the other bits required can be difficult - they need GOOD eyepieces, and good = expensive.


Some can have a focal length of 1000mm but a tube length of around 500mm. They have a barlow built in to the focuser and again I suggest you avoid. The implimentation is poor and it just doesn't work.


It is not as easy as "That looks about right, I'll get one."


Above the budget but a 6" dobsonian would likely suit well and last you for a couple of years, or longer. Remember that you will need other bits, 2 or 3 eyepieces being obvious.


If you swapped to refractor then check the ES Firstlight offerings.

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