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Upgrade Telescope Suggestions?

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35 replies to this topic

#26 GoFish

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Posted 22 June 2019 - 10:06 PM

If I were buying this for me, it would be an 8” SCT on an alt-az mount. Celestron CPC or Evolution. 

  • I like GoTo because it lets me view more objects in a session
  • I like tracking because it, well, tracks the object I’m observing
  • 8” SCT and mount is about as heavy as I want to fool with on a regular basis (11” is too big for the way I use the scope). 

But based on what you prefer, I think a 10” Dob is the easy and obvious choice. 

  • 10” is way better than 8” for Saturn and Jupiter
  • A 10” solid tube Dob can still be carried and will still fit in your car
  • At f/5 it will be fast enough for dim nebulae and galaxies
  • At f/5 the coma won’t drive you nuts and collimation is within the reach of a non-expert

You will need a good set of collimation tools (sight tube, Cheshire eyepiece, autocollimator). CatsEye makes some good stuff, albeit at a price. The little clip-on LED light they sell is well worth having for nighttime use. 

 

Don’t expect to get any use at all from a laser collimator unless you spend big money and it is Barlowed. The main problems are that the laser will tilt in the focuser, and that the laser itself is hard to keep collimated. I like passive tools a lot better. 

 

The main negative to the 10” Orion XT is that it has a single speed focuser. Two speed is a lot nicer and makes focusing more precise. But the XT is still a nice instrument and is very affordable. 

 

 

 


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#27 mrsjeff

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Posted 23 June 2019 - 09:38 AM

If I were buying this for me, it would be an 8” SCT on an alt-az mount. Celestron CPC or Evolution.

  • I like GoTo because it lets me view more objects in a session
  • I like tracking because it, well, tracks the object I’m observing
  • 8” SCT and mount is about as heavy as I want to fool with on a regular basis (11” is too big for the way I use the scope).
But based on what you prefer, I think a 10” Dob is the easy and obvious choice.
  • 10” is way better than 8” for Saturn and Jupiter
  • A 10” solid tube Dob can still be carried and will still fit in your car
  • At f/5 it will be fast enough for dim nebulae and galaxies
  • At f/5 the coma won’t drive you nuts and collimation is within the reach of a non-expert
You will need a good set of collimation tools (sight tube, Cheshire eyepiece, autocollimator). CatsEye makes some good stuff, albeit at a price. The little clip-on LED light they sell is well worth having for nighttime use.

Don’t expect to get any use at all from a laser collimator unless you spend big money and it is Barlowed. The main problems are that the laser will tilt in the focuser, and that the laser itself is hard to keep collimated. I like passive tools a lot better.

The main negative to the 10” Orion XT is that it has a single speed focuser. Two speed is a lot nicer and makes focusing more precise. But the XT is still a nice instrument and is very affordable.

But if you get the Apertura AD10, it has a 2-speed focuser as well as a cooling fan and some other goodies. It’s only slightly more expensive than the XT10.
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#28 gnowellsct

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Posted 24 June 2019 - 02:21 PM

I had the 8SE, sent it back because it was so shaky.  Every time I bumped it or touched the focuser, let out a sigh and wait for the image to stop shaking.  Good optics, but as others have said, the 8 inch really taxes that mount.  

Regards,

 

Kevin

 

Correct.  The CPC is better.

 

Or something like the below arrangement.  I remember the first time someone said the G11 was a great mount for the c8 I laughed because I thought it was preposterous.  Now it is one of my preferred rigs.  I am sorry to say that I am a slow learner.  And I find it weird that you can put something together which does a better job of holding a c8 AND a refractor than OEM mount does for holding the c8 alone.  They *really* try to cut things to the bone.  Even worse than car companies I think.  I suspect the c8 + refractor is more stable than a CPC by itself.  But the CPC is definitely the way to go if you want an OEM go-to alt-az mount that is worth anything, IMO.

 

c8 81mm Dipper.jpg


Edited by gnowellsct, 24 June 2019 - 02:22 PM.

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#29 GoFish

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Posted 24 June 2019 - 05:14 PM

I had an 8SE for a few months, and did a lot of fun observing with it. But the shakiness described previously is real and took away a lot of the pleasure of using it.

 

I sold the SE, bought a used CPC800, and have been terrifically happy with it. I mainly use it for outreach and it is rock solid even with a bit of jostling. 


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#30 PPPPPP42

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Posted 24 June 2019 - 06:02 PM

As an owner of a CPC800 its as sturdy as a rock because it is a rock.

I got mine used and don't regret buying it one bit, but if I were to buy something new it would be the Evo and not the CPC despite the CPC being better in my opinion.

The Evo is basically an SE without the cost cutting (it has worm gears for one thing) and a bunch of fancy features like wifi built in (i use the wifi add on for my cpc) but is WAY more portable than the CPC largely because the OTA comes off so its a 3 piece setup like the SE.

The main thing I like about the evo is the OTA can be transferred to something like a CGEM II if you decide you want to do astrophotography and the mount could be kept as a light alternative for just visual or easily sold to people who want to put other OTA's on it.  You can defork a CPC but its pretty one way and the leftover mount is only useful as parts.

Maybe if you are getting the CPC1100 it would make sense, but for an 8" I say Evo.


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#31 Mitrovarr

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Posted 24 June 2019 - 07:17 PM

Personally I'd say if you go SCT, just get a nice EQ mount and use that.

 

I like my AVX with SCT scopes because the telescope isn't permanently connected to the mount head, so it is a lot easier to transport. Even a 10-11" SCT isn't that heavy by itself, but when you add the fork into the equation...

 

Plus you can use the mount for other scopes later if you want. Want a widefield scope to go with your SCT? Just get a ST120 and use the same mount!


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#32 GoFish

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Posted 24 June 2019 - 08:26 PM

Personally I'd say if you go SCT, just get a nice EQ mount and use that.

 

I like my AVX with SCT scopes because the telescope isn't permanently connected to the mount head, so it is a lot easier to transport. Even a 10-11" SCT isn't that heavy by itself, but when you add the fork into the equation...

 

Plus you can use the mount for other scopes later if you want. Want a widefield scope to go with your SCT? Just get a ST120 and use the same mount!

Logical choice. 

 

But I hesitate to suggest a GoTo GEM for a beginner:

  • Decent polar alignment needed if you are expecting good tracking from your fancy new mount
  • Star/GoTo alignment more complicated:  2+4 stars for GEM to handle cone error, versus only 2 stars for alt-az
  • Counterweights and balance

I like my AVX with an SCT, too. In fact, they’re both loaded in the car right now in hopes of a clear night!  Having StarSense makes alignment of the GEM a snap, which eliminates what had been my biggest pet peeve in setting up the AVX. 


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#33 Mitrovarr

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Posted 24 June 2019 - 11:32 PM

2+4 isn't as bad as it sounds, every star after the first the mount drives you to (the general vicinity of). You do have to polar align it, though.

 

The part I like is where the 2+4 alignment actually works versus doing a 2 star alignment and then the scope maybe finding 1-3 things before losing alignment. That might just be my SE mount failing, though.


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#34 PPPPPP42

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Posted 25 June 2019 - 12:53 AM

If you are running your SE mount off the internal batteries that is the problem, they need a GOOD external 12v or 120v wall plugin or they brown out and go nuts, usually pointing straight up or some other sort of antics.


Edited by PPPPPP42, 25 June 2019 - 12:54 AM.


#35 va1erian

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Posted 25 June 2019 - 06:40 AM

+1 on the 10" dob.

 

This was my upgrade from an Orion 114mm reflector, and I've never regretted it.

But you have to use your 10" dob in the perfect darkness, right ?



#36 Mitrovarr

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Posted 25 June 2019 - 10:06 PM

If you are running your SE mount off the internal batteries that is the problem, they need a GOOD external 12v or 120v wall plugin or they brown out and go nuts, usually pointing straight up or some other sort of antics.

Come on, give me a little credit smile.gif . I use the same lithium powertank I use with my AVX.




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