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Why we love our light buckets.

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#1 25585

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Posted 29 May 2019 - 06:43 AM

Dobsonian.gif wub.png

 

My first Dob gave me first view of so much so fast, I was totally overwhelmed. 30 years later, I still am.

 

In the recent past I glimpsed a super nova in a galaxy close to Coma Bernices (I think), with my current 12 inch (SW 300P DS).

 

For a £600 OTA, that is incredible.   


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#2 TOMDEY

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Posted 29 May 2019 - 07:42 AM

Nice... Dobsonians and other Light Buckets  Rule!  ~Aperture Fever~ is alive and well!

 

We have threads on about one-month centers, where cute little small-scope proponents strongly argue that big scopes are no longer needed. They cite things like CCD, CMOS, EAA and Night Vision as supplanting the Big Guns, by emulating their capabilities with far better efficiency, amplification, etc.

 

But their arguments, although true at one level, still fall short. That is, a small scope today can indeed out-do a big scope of decades ago... but it is also true that a BIG scope today can out-do a small scope today! ~QED~

 

In my modest case, that's why we built and enjoy the New Moon 36-incher... and why I'm staking out the foundation for something much bigger! Six feet may suffice, but going straight to eight feet would probably make a lot more sense. Rolling the mirror up Mt. Everest will be the challenging part. I'll ask the Sherpas to go up first, and help pull it up with a rope.   Tom

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  • 140 Brobdingnagius Rex 36-inch with Flapper.jpg

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#3 RalphMeisterTigerMan

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Posted 29 May 2019 - 07:46 AM

Been a while since I heard the term "light bucket". I was just getting "serious" about Astronomy again back in 1983. I suppose one could argue that the dobsonian revolution had begun and was well underway

 

The ads for Coulter's Odyssey 13.1" and 17.5" big and heavy, back breaker, Hernia building "light buckets" were not just enticing but also double take, heart attack producers. Especially the prices. Talk about getting your biggest bang for your buck. Combine these monsters with Al Nagler's ground-breaking, picture window, wide-wide angle "hand grenade" eyepieces with their block-buster. mega-viewing, forget-me not memory builders and you have the recipe for epic observing awesomeness.

 

Clear skies.

RalphMeisterTigerMan


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#4 Starman47

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Posted 29 May 2019 - 08:14 AM

I love my 12” and 16” dobs. But a smaller grab and go scope has its place.


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#5 nirvanix

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Posted 29 May 2019 - 09:16 AM

These days it's easily possible to have a "light bucket" with a high strehl ratio, which makes them moon/planet killers extraordinaire. Just don't gloat about it around the high-end refractor weenies or they'll turn purple (that's called chromatic aberration laugh.gif).


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#6 starman876

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Posted 29 May 2019 - 10:42 AM

A porta ball is a great light bucket


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#7 25585

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Posted 29 May 2019 - 01:04 PM

These days it's easily possible to have a "light bucket" with a high strehl ratio, which makes them moon/planet killers extraordinaire. Just don't gloat about it around the high-end refractor weenies or they'll turn purple (that's called chromatic aberration laugh.gif).

I have Tak or two & some EDs. But to see further & fainter my Dobs are unbeatable. I am at my size limit physically for Dobs (wanting to stay with solid tubes), and a wee bit over spendwise for refractors. But if I had to choose just one scope to keep, it would be my 10" F6 Dob. 


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#8 TOMDEY

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Posted 29 May 2019 - 03:25 PM

These days it's easily possible to have a "light bucket" with a high strehl ratio, which makes them moon/planet killers extraordinaire. Just don't gloat about it around the high-end refractor weenies or they'll turn purple (that's called chromatic aberration laugh.gif).

Yep. My original Light Buckets were all Coulters 13.1 then 17.5 and finally 29-inchers. They had OK mirrors for low power. I was able to get decent Deep Sky performance with the 13.1 at 115x, 17.5 at 154x and 29 at 255x (2.9mm pupil - 9x/inch); occasionally able to push them to 13x/inch. For planets, I would use off-axis stops, and got magnificent performance... actually quite astounding.

 

My 36-inch New Moon with Fullum Technofusion mirror gives perfect (only atmosphere-limited) performance, full-aperture. When the thermals are behaving, I go to 438x without the resolution losing it. At that mag, it's all about having a good scope and good atmosphere... right from the telescope on up! It's in a dome, so I blow the heck out of the interior for a couple of hours before sunset. That makes a huge difference.    Tom

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  • 141 24-Foot dome Tom and assistant.jpg

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#9 nirvanix

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Posted 29 May 2019 - 03:49 PM

36" Fullum mirror...where's my drool bucket! I suspect in Pickering 9-10 skies you could push that scope to 700x or better on moon/planets.


Edited by nirvanix, 29 May 2019 - 03:50 PM.


#10 bbqediguana

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Posted 29 May 2019 - 04:02 PM

I recall with great fondness my first dob - a 2000-ish Meade Starfinder 10. Sure, the alt/az bearings were sticky as a pine tree trunk on a hot summers day, and the plastic focuser gave me fits. But those were easy to fix and with a few more minor mods, it was a beautiful scope to sail the heavens with.

 

I think of dos like sailboats - quiet, simple, peaceful and very enjoyable.

 

Refractors are like small speedboats - they perform very well for their size.

 

Cats are like cruise boats - they do a lot of stuff (but maybe they aren't the best at any one of them but they're tons of fun!).

 

Meade Starfinder 10" Dob

Edited by bbqediguana, 29 May 2019 - 04:03 PM.

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