Thanks for all the great advice.
I will use it at home. Besides the light pollution their are neighbors tree that limit viewing near the horizon in the east and south. Have been able to work around by moving scopes around yard to see between the trees.
To be stored in the dining room replacing the meade 4500 currently residing there. Only two steps out of the house.
Currently taking maybe once a year camping taking in a minivan.
Really do not view the moon other than a quick look. So far mainly have been looking at planets and a handful of Messier Objects (M42, M45, M35, M13, M11, M5)
Budget of under $1100.
Planning on going public star party on 31st to take a final comparison.
Great info in your posts.
So, most of us end up with three types of optical devices:
- Smaller grab and Go - typically 70 to 130 mm
- Light Bucket - Typically 8"/203 mm or larger
So, the question is, which spot are you trying to fill.
You have a 70 mm refractor - Not a great one but it seems to work for you.
You have a 4.5" reflector and it seems you are planning to replace that.
So, it becomes a question of which slot you are trying to fill. That 100 mm ED refractor sounds GREAT to give you a more powerful and higher quality Grab and Go. Great for the Moon, planets and brighter DSOs. And there are plenty of brighter DSOs.
The 8"-12" Dob works great on the Moon and Planets too but really gives you the "reach" to hit many of the dimmer DSOs and bring up more detail on the brighter ones.
I too am in a very light polluted area.
M31, the Andromeda Galaxy, is a small gray smudge in my refractors, Mak and my 8" Dob. Have not tried it in the 12. But if I go to a somewhat darker area with less ground light pollution the difference is dramatic.
M13, the Hercules Globular cluster, was a smudge in my 80 mm refractors, a little brighter smudge in my 127 mm Mak and starts to show some shape in an 8" Dob. But get to that slightly darker area with less ground light and it shows me shape and I can resolve stars. It is even better in my new 12". And with the 12" from home it looks like it does in the 8" at the darker site.
In visual astronomy, aperture rules.
So it all becomes a question of which slot are you trying to fill?
Assuming you are going to keep using your 70 mm and your 114 mm/4.5", I would opt for an 8" or larger scope. An 8" would gather over 3X the light of the 4.5". A 10" would gather almost 5X as much light as the 4.5. The more light you gather the more detail you can see and the more mag you can apply.
I would use your current scopes as your grab and go and go for the 8-10". Later replace the 4.5" with the ED refractor. (100 mm ED is my next planned scope to replace one or two scopes in that range.)
So, which one? You have a $1100 budget.
Apertura AD10 – $659 ( have the 12") ( leaves money for eyepiece upgrades)
10”/254 mm aperture Dob - Includes roller bearing base 1.25” and 2” eyepieces, eyepiece tray
2” dual speed focuser, laser collimator, 8X50 RACI Finder, Moon filter
I own the 12” version of this scope.
Orion XT10 Intelliscpe ( have owned the XT8i and loved it) (helps you find things)
Video ( 8 and 10 are the same focal length)
Then you get into these large aperture GoTo scopes. Fully computerized with tracking.
Orion SkyQuest XT8G GoTo Dobsonian - $1045
Full computerized and motorized 8” Dobsonian so it will find the targets and then track them.
SKY-WATCHER 8" GOTO COLLAPSIBLE DOBSONIAN TELESCOPE – $1,035
Demo of the GoTo system
He is using a tripod mounted scope but the GoTo system is the same for the Dobs
Celestron NexStar 8SE - $1199 - Goto Schmidt Cassegrain
SCT style telescope – computer assisted and motorized so it will find the targets and then track them.
Different types of Telescopes