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New Guy Dobsonian or refractor?

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#26 brentknight

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Posted 24 July 2019 - 07:36 PM

For your budget of around $1000, I think your best bet would be a used dob from 8” to 10”. The reason I say this is that there is no mention of any accessories with either scope. The dob purchase will leave you with plenty of cash for a few good eyepieces, maybe some filters, an observing chair and some good charts and books. The accessories you will keep forever as they will work with any scope you get. I think you might be happier if you can start the astronomy game with a few more good pieces...


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#27 SeattleScott

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Posted 24 July 2019 - 09:19 PM

Ok so the LX70 is a basic, manual mount, not a GoTo model but what can you expect for the price? It is well matched weight capacity wise with the 120ED and you could add tracking to it down the road. Certainly a tough call. The Dob will go deeper but the refractor is always ready and great for short sessions when it may not seem worth getting the Dob out. And the refractor alone is worth the price, and easy to resell. One perk of getting the refractor is that the LX70 could also carry an 8” SCT when you are ready to increase aperture, or a 6” Mak, etc. An equatorial mount is a versatile weapons platform. A Dob mount is specific to the scope. So getting the refractor would help with trying out different types of scopes. A comparable new mount would cost $300 or so, maybe plus tax and shipping.

I have a buddy who is a casual stargazer who got me started in the hobby. He bought a 10” Dob 23 years ago. Since then he added a C90 for grab and go, but that’s it. The Dob is a fine scope and has essentially been his only scope.

On the other hand, at least I can count my scopes on two hands. So I like variety. I also stargaze pretty regularly. Much more than my Dob buddy. If you really get into this hobby you will end up with multiple scopes, so getting a good deal on the refractor with Eq Mount would help start you down that path. On the other hand, the Dob has just enough light grasp, and is just portable enough, it could be the only scope you ever need.

Size wise, you could end up replacing the 8” Dob with a 10” later as the 10” aren’t that much bigger. With the refractor, it is possible you might end up selling and getting a smaller one that is more grab and go. So risk either way. At least if you sell the refractor you shouldn’t lose money on it.

Scott
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#28 DNA7744

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Posted 24 July 2019 - 09:22 PM

I used to be a refractor guy...from an computerized Meade ETX 90 to a Meade LX200 10"...and everything in between.  I recently got back into the hobby and purchased a Sky-Watcher 8" Dobson, then an Explore Scientific 12" Truss Dobson...both non-computerized.  I find both Dobson's give incredible views and ease of use (without the computerized mount) is a breeze.  I would suggest you lean toward looking at the Explore Scientific 10" truss dob…great price and a quality instrument!  You can use the extra cash to purchase a few quality eyepieces and telrad!



#29 sg6

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Posted 25 July 2019 - 03:47 AM

Really either will do a good job. In a way you cannot really go wrong. The difference is in what they produce at your eyeball.

 

I would say the Newtonian will show you more, as in more fainter objects will show up. So "more" is a bit of an ambiguous term. Likely along the lines of I thought I caught sight of a smudge there and I can just make it out now. The term "more" has to be tailored. The indiscernable ones in the smaller refractor will not suddenly jump out in full tecnocolor.

 

The refractor will likely show objects a bit better, sharper and more contrast, but not the faint ones that just appear in the Newtonian.

 

Suppose it is more in the newtonian and nicer in the refractor.

 

If tracking is or may be important then the refractor as that can go on a mount. Certainly if AP is a future idea it has to be the refractor. But the mount will cost, as will the other bits needed.

 

Whichever one you decide on you will wonder about the other. So in that respect convince the other half that it was a Buy One Get One Free deal and smuggle both in. lol.gif lol.gif lol.gif


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#30 Mr. Mike

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Posted 25 July 2019 - 04:22 AM

Really either will do a good job. In a way you cannot really go wrong. The difference is in what they produce at your eyeball.

 

I would say the Newtonian will show you more, as in more fainter objects will show up. So "more" is a bit of an ambiguous term. Likely along the lines of I thought I caught sight of a smudge there and I can just make it out now. The term "more" has to be tailored. The indiscernable ones in the smaller refractor will not suddenly jump out in full tecnocolor.

 

The refractor will likely show objects a bit better, sharper and more contrast, but not the faint ones that just appear in the Newtonian.

 

Suppose it is more in the newtonian and nicer in the refractor.

 

If tracking is or may be important then the refractor as that can go on a mount. Certainly if AP is a future idea it has to be the refractor. But the mount will cost, as will the other bits needed.

 

Whichever one you decide on you will wonder about the other. So in that respect convince the other half that it was a Buy One Get One Free deal and smuggle both in. lol.gif lol.gif lol.gif

That’s a good summary.  I’d also mention that the refractor will be ready to use almost immediately whereas the dob will need thermal adjustment time along with probable collimation each use or every other use.  I consider a 4” refractor rig a little easier to "lug" around than a larger dob too but that’s somewhat subjective.  Both are excellent general purpose instruments for the hobby. 



#31 Sully606

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Posted 25 July 2019 - 08:48 AM

Thank you all. I really can’t say how much this thread has clarified things for me!  I’m leaning toward a 10” dob. I’d have to disassemble the SW and repack it every time I use it. I have a perfect spot in the garage to keep the dob always ready except for the occasional, (or frequent?collimating). I have a wood working shop and will build some type of transportation device. 

As far as transportation I have a pickup truck with a cover so that should not be a problem. I understand the difference between go-to and push-to. I like the relative simplicity of the push-to and I really would like to understand the night sky intimately. I’ve read a couple of books and have sky safari on my phone and have been going out on clear nights with binoculars. Even at this rudimentary stage it’s a lot of fun. 

I’ve been involved in a few forums over the years an I’ll have to say this is the nicest most helpful group I’ve encountered. I am truly grateful.

 

Sully


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#32 dr.who

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Posted 25 July 2019 - 12:18 PM

Cheers Sully. 

 

With the above in mind I would strongly encourage you to go with the ES 10" Dob and the ES eyepieces as well as the other items I mentioned in my first post. That will be over your stated budget BUT spend once cry once as opposed to spend on one thing, realize it would have been better to do the originally recommended thing, then spending quite a bit more because you have the thing you spent first on and a need to spend again for what you should have gotten.



#33 epee

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Posted 25 July 2019 - 12:54 PM

Cheers Sully. 

 

With the above in mind I would strongly encourage you to go with the ES 10" Dob and the ES eyepieces as well as the other items I mentioned in my first post. That will be over your stated budget BUT spend once cry once as opposed to spend on one thing, realize it would have been better to do the originally recommended thing, then spending quite a bit more because you have the thing you spent first on and a need to spend again for what you should have gotten.

Just to clarify what dr.who recommends. ES makes some great eyepieces but, as an eyeglasses wearer, I find their eye relief a little tight in some of their focal lengths. In the shorter, higher powered,  focal lengths, I like the Baader Morpheus line.

 

That sounds like a great deal on the SW and mount. However, IMHO, that is going to be a bit more difficult to manage, and have less "all-purpose" use than a 10" Dob. Make sure you budget for a decent set of collimating tools.


Edited by epee, 25 July 2019 - 12:58 PM.


#34 Sully606

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Posted 28 July 2019 - 12:02 PM

I bit the bullet and ended up buying a used Orion 10xti. The previous owner is an avid astronomy buff and made some mods I was planning on doing. The scope is frocked and comes with a Telrad  in lieu of a finder scope. The secondary adjusters were replaced with bob’s knobs. A cooling fan was installed for the primary. The bearing material for the Az were upgraded but I think in going to have to work on that. It’s kinda sticky. 

Went out last night in poor seeing. It was clear but hazy/humid. There was a lot of ripples in the atmosphere and I was viewing south toward Chicago. What a blast!  I saw the bands of Jupiter and a couple of moons and Saturn was distinct with very little detail. The scope seemed well collimated right from the get-go. The mirror has a lot of dust and a bunch of dew spots so I might end up cleaning it. I’m  going to wait until I have some good sky’s and better eyepieces before I decide to clean the primary.  

  The scope came only with a no-name 20mm wide view eyepiece so my next step is to follow your previous advice and start shopping for EPs. I tried out the intelliscope function and it worked as advertised. It’s easy to setup and tracked properly. The only problem is the stickiness of the Azimuth. 

  Thanks again fo all you help. I couldn’t have done it without you. 

 

Sully

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#35 Chesterguy1

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Posted 28 July 2019 - 12:39 PM

I bit the bullet and ended up buying a used Orion 10xti. The previous owner is an avid astronomy buff and made some mods I was planning on doing. The scope is frocked and comes with a Telrad  in lieu of a finder scope. The secondary adjusters were replaced with bob’s knobs. A cooling fan was installed for the primary. The bearing material for the Az were upgraded but I think in going to have to work on that. It’s kinda sticky. 

Went out last night in poor seeing. It was clear but hazy/humid. There was a lot of ripples in the atmosphere and I was viewing south toward Chicago. What a blast!  I saw the bands of Jupiter and a couple of moons and Saturn was distinct with very little detail. The scope seemed well collimated right from the get-go. The mirror has a lot of dust and a bunch of dew spots so I might end up cleaning it. I’m  going to wait until I have some good sky’s and better eyepieces before I decide to clean the primary.  

  The scope came only with a no-name 20mm wide view eyepiece so my next step is to follow your previous advice and start shopping for EPs. I tried out the intelliscope function and it worked as advertised. It’s easy to setup and tracked properly. The only problem is the stickiness of the Azimuth. 

  Thanks again fo all you help. I couldn’t have done it without you. 

 

Sully

You will never be disappointed with a 10" reflector since you already know that it will be heavier/bulkier and require collimation. I think the 8" -10" is really the sweet spot. I used to own a 10" and it was great; I only replaced it because I got a 15". However, I really missed the simplicity of the solid tube 10" so about 10 years after getting the 15" I bought a lightweight solid tube 8". I also have two refractors, but the 8" is my most versatile and most used scope.  Best of luck and ENJOY!

 

Chesterguy


Edited by Chesterguy1, 28 July 2019 - 12:40 PM.


#36 NorthernlatAK

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Posted 28 July 2019 - 12:47 PM

Try a bar of soap for the azimuth stickiness. Congrats on an awesome scope! I have the 8" version and Im very impressed with the optics, as long as it's collimated well. I may sell my encoders though as I often observe in very cold weather (below 0°F), but the system works very well otherwise. The difference between urban and dark skies is huge with a scope like this. Hopefully you can try it at a nice dark site! When using the intelliscope feature, try to align your second star as fast as possible once you align the first. This makes it much more accurate. I envy your telrad...
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#37 NightF0x

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Posted 28 July 2019 - 03:09 PM

Welcome to the forums.  Glad that you got one of the scopes.  I think you'll be very happy with the 10" dob.  I have one as well and really enjoy it.  Clear skies



#38 dr.who

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Posted 28 July 2019 - 03:11 PM

Nice catch! You will be happy with 10" for sure. And the push to really helps. 



#39 dr.who

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Posted 28 July 2019 - 03:12 PM

Your next huge expense will be eyepieces. Use the ones that come with the scope at first just to get a handle on things then think about the Explore Scientific 82 degree 18mm, 11mm, and 6.7mm EPs to give you a nice range of magnification that doesn't break the bank too badly. 



#40 Jond105

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Posted 28 July 2019 - 03:36 PM

As Dr. Who has said, think eyepieces. You’re also in a great position being part of you club to ask around and see if while out you can borrow some eyepieces to see what you like within your budget. 



#41 mjulihn

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Posted 28 July 2019 - 03:48 PM

Nice find! You will not be disappointed and the "intelliscope" feature is a great bonus!



#42 brentknight

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Posted 28 July 2019 - 04:17 PM

You have chosen - - - wisely



#43 Orion68

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Posted 28 July 2019 - 04:26 PM

Welcome to Cloudy Nights!

 

As others have said both are great choices.  these scopes complement each other. So if you are seriously hooked then you will get both eventually grin.gif

 

I would start off with the refractor. Easier to transport and less maintenance 

+1 on this advice.

 

Oops, just saw that you have chosen the dob. Enjoy!


Edited by Orion68, 28 July 2019 - 04:28 PM.



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