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Best telescope upgrade

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#1 Tornado77

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Posted 23 August 2019 - 12:42 PM

Hello, I'm watching the moon and jupiter moons since few weeks with my cheap 40mm refractor and my binocular but now I want a serious upgrade. I was looking for a 16 inch Dobsonian but I'm not sure if it would be a good idea for me. I'm living in a small city without too much light pollution but I have a problem, I can't see Jupiter and Saturn from my house and I can't see other interesting things because of street lights. I will need a telescope that I can safely transport in a normal 4 place car with a small chest. Should I buy a smaller Dobsonian or maybe a Schmidt-Cassegrain?

 

The Dobson I would buy

I'm living in this area (As you can see I don't need to ge very far to get a clear sky)

 



#2 Akol47

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Posted 23 August 2019 - 12:51 PM

I love my 8 inch dob, but a 90ishmm achromat would also be a decent upgrade to a small refractor. Depends on what you want to see,  



#3 Jeff Struve

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Posted 23 August 2019 - 12:56 PM

I had the similar situation a number of years back. I went with the 12" Orion Truss dob... Orion 12XXi.

 

It comes apart easily w/o tools so packs up easily and transports easily. From in its cases in my car to put together, collimated and aligned is about 10 minutes. It's a PushTo Dob so if wanted, you get the convenience of a hand controller to help you find objects without the mechanics, weight, power requirements of a GoTo.

 

I have a number of scopes and mounts, and it's the quickest and easiest to get going and maybe the most portable... 

 

A larger Dob probably will require a step ladder or at least a step stool...

 

At my last Messier Marathon I was able to find 107 of the 110 Messier Objects plus another 11 objects in a single night just using this scope and a 21mm eyepiece... so I can say, for me, of all my scopes, if I'm just wanting to do visual astronomy, this is the scope I use most often... heck... when I do AP I bring this scope to view through while the other scope or scopes I have set up are imaging.

 

Have fun and Clear Skies!

Jeff  

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#4 SeattleScott

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Posted 23 August 2019 - 12:58 PM

The 16” is generally going to be too big for everyday use. The people who have a 16” scope as their most used scope either have it in a backyard observatory or they have it in their garage with a rolling cart, or wheels and wheelbarrow handles, so they can just roll it out and start observing. Sounds like your yard doesn’t have good horizons and too much light so you need something you can easily transport in a car.

A typical Dob is 50” long. Most transport the tube across the back seat, and the base in the trunk or front passenger seat. Skywatcher makes a collapsible version if 50” is too long for your car. An SCT has a shorter tube which can make it more portable.

I think 8-10” aperture should be your target. Either will be a huge improvement and portable enough to use on a regular basis. You have to decide how important GoTo is. Most scopes are either GoTo or manual although there are some, normally on equatorial mounts, that can use GoTo or can be used manually.

Scott
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#5 Phil Sherman

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Posted 23 August 2019 - 01:07 PM

Your selected scope is 30kg plus a large heavy base- a hefty thing to move in and out of your car. I'd look at a smaller dob. SCTs are compact not that much lighter for matching sizes and have very narrow field of view compared to a dob. An SCT will also require a largish (heavy) mount to not have lenghty ofvibrations every time you touch the focuser or tube

 

A 203mm dob will be a lot easier to handle.


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#6 Tornado77

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Posted 23 August 2019 - 01:08 PM

What about a 14" ? https://www.telescop...xtube-goto.html



#7 havasman

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Posted 23 August 2019 - 01:08 PM

I'm able to assume that you have not ever seen a 16" Dob. They are large packages for any normal 4 passenger vehicle. Transporting my 16" along with all the gear I require for a session caused me to buy a Honda Odyssey minivan. I had previously used a Nissan Murano for a smaller scope but it was not adequate to the task of hauling my kit that included the 16".

 

I would recommend that you look at Dobs in the 10" range. They are very powerful instruments and will make a VERY significant step up from your small refractor. They are also quite cost effective. Usually it is not difficult to transport a 10" in a common vehicle. 

 

From under good dark skies such as you can access, a 10" transportable Dob provides wonderful views of a wide range of star clusters, nebulae, comets and galaxies in addition to fine planetary and lunar views.


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#8 Chesterguy1

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Posted 23 August 2019 - 01:08 PM

Geeze, I remember jumping from a 90mm to a 10" and that was a huge leap! I would think moving up to anything between , say 100 mm refractor, 6" SCT and 6-8" dobsonian would knock your socks off and still provide reasonable ease of setup and allow for easy transport. The dob will give you the most aperture gain for the buck, but the refractor or SCT will have a lower hassle factor because they will need collimation with much less frequency. That is definitely an issue for some and not even a minor annoyance for others.

 

Keep in mind with an SCT and Refractor you will also need a stable mount and don't forget EPs, a chair, etc.

 

Chesterguy



#9 MalVeauX

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Posted 23 August 2019 - 01:10 PM

A 10" dob would still fit in the car and transport nicely. I'd go with that!

 

Otherwise, 120mm~150mm ED/APO on a good alt-az mount. But this gets costly.

 

Very best,



#10 Tornado77

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Posted 23 August 2019 - 01:15 PM

Could I dismount this one ? https://www.telescop...xx12g-goto.html



#11 vtornado

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Posted 23 August 2019 - 01:45 PM

Hello and welcome to the forum.

 

A 16 inch scope is a monster.  Since you are coming from 40mm, I would say a good step up is a 8 or 10 inch dob.

Besides being big,  The mirrors in dobs have to cool, otherwise the views are wavy at high power.

My dob takes an hour to cool 20 degrees.  I don't know how long a 16 would take.

 

An 8 or 10 inch dob will not require a ladder or stool, and can run at f5 or f6 so coma is tolerable and intermediate eyepiecs will work ok. 

 

If you want to go bigger in 12 inch I recommend a truss dob.  A 12 inch solid tube is fairly heavy and will not fit

in a smaller car.

 

An 8 or 10 easily fits in almost any car.   No need for a van or light truck.


Edited by vtornado, 23 August 2019 - 02:00 PM.

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#12 OleCuss

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Posted 23 August 2019 - 01:53 PM

Could I dismount this one ? https://www.telescop...xx12g-goto.html

I have one of those.

 

You have to really look at a scope of that size.  Even though the XX12g breaks down quite nicely, the ground-board is still pretty big and may or may not be a good fit for your vehicle.  I'd bet you can transport it in your vehicle but you may not find it to be an easy fit with which you are happy.

 

If at all possible, go to a few star parties with clubs in your general area and get a good feel for just how big and heavy a 12" Dob is before you buy one.

 

I have a number of telescopes (including the XX12g) and I got more use out of my 80mm ED-Doublet spotting scope because it is far faster/easier to set up and there is no cool-down period.

 

Rather than getting that XX12g I'd encourage you to look at the Sky-Watcher line-up.  I think you might find there instruments a little better appointed.  But if you go big I think the XX12g will break down into smaller pieces than will the 12" collapsible Sky-Watcher Dobsonian.

 

Do note that an 8" GoTo/SynScan Sky-Watcher Dobsonian is a great balance of portability and capability.  I'd personally choose the 8" over the 10".



#13 Taosmath

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Posted 23 August 2019 - 02:07 PM

Could I dismount this one ? https://www.telescop...xx12g-goto.html

You should certainly be able to take the upper tube and the trusses off the scope.  That would reduce the weight from 60kg to 45 kg or so.  Can you lift 45 Kg?  Alsothe largest piece would be about 80cm high and 60 cm in diameter.  Would this fit in your car?  It might be possible to separate the lower tube from the rocker box, but since this is a goto system I don't know how easy that would be.  I've never used one.

 

If you bought a manual 330 cm scope like this one

 

https://www.telescop...r-300-1500.html

 

You could lift the tube off the base and put that across the back seats of your car and put the base in the rear.  The tube weight 21 Kg and the Base 18kg so that's easier to lift too.


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#14 Feidb

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Posted 23 August 2019 - 02:38 PM

I've been using a 16-inch in various forms for 32 years. It's portable enough for me. My original home-made beast was nine feet long and admittedly, was a chore to move, but with my truck, was doable with a bit of work. Sure, not for everyone.

 

On the other hand, my commercial 16-inch, which is an f/4.5 truss design, breaks down into pieces no more worse than an extra large bag of dog food. Though I still use my truck, it's the only thing I observe with and take it out for any serious observing, which is primarily all I do except outreach.

 

I do NOT have an observatory in my severely light-polluted back yard in Las Vegas.

 

I'm well over the hill and have a bad back yet I still get out there.

 

It all depends on what you want, and how much you're willing to do to get there.

 

This is a passion to me and I've been doing it so long I don't even think about it. I just do it.

 

It's certainly not for everyone, but I must say that the old saying that aperture rules isn't far off the mark.



#15 scadvice

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Posted 23 August 2019 - 02:40 PM

If the 12 inch fits in your auto I would say that is the largest. Can you go see them before buying and maybe do a fit check?


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#16 jaraxx

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Posted 23 August 2019 - 02:41 PM

From 40mm, pretty much anything is a significant upgrade. Going from a 40mm refractor to a 16 inch dob is like escalating a conflict from a shouting match to an artillery barrage. An 80mm refractor doubles your aperture, a 10 inch dob is about an eightfold increase in aperture. There's a lot to be learned and it won't hurt to learn on a scope smaller than 16 inches - bear in mind that finding stuff to look at with a 16 inch dob is going to be harder than finding the moon and Jupiter.

A ten inch dob is not small, and 8-10 inch dobs are usually available used. I would also give consideration to a small refractor (maybe 102mm) since you're using one and know something about it. A small refractor, capable of wider views, is an excellent way to learn the sky, is both portable to the site and if needed you could walk a ways with it. It also allows terrestrial viewing if desired, and (along with anything else you buy) would blow the 40mm away.

Good luck - and really, 16 inches is a monster in my opinion!


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#17 fcathell

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Posted 23 August 2019 - 02:44 PM

I'll repeat one of my observing "axioms" I have come to realize over the past 40 years of amateur astronomy.  "The amount of observing you do will be inversely proportional to the size/weight of the scope." Get yourself a 6" or maybe 8" SCT and you will (for the most part) be satisfied. I personally use 4", 5" and 6" Maks and a 4", F/6 wide field refractor. I ultimately unloaded the Dobs because as I got older they sat in the garage collecting dust most of the time.

 

Frank


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#18 OleCuss

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Posted 23 August 2019 - 02:48 PM

You should certainly be able to take the upper tube and the trusses off the scope.  That would reduce the weight from 60kg to 45 kg or so.  Can you lift 45 Kg?  Alsothe largest piece would be about 80cm high and 60 cm in diameter.  Would this fit in your car?  It might be possible to separate the lower tube from the rocker box, but since this is a goto system I don't know how easy that would be.  I've never used one.

 

If you bought a manual 330 cm scope like this one

 

https://www.telescop...r-300-1500.html

 

You could lift the tube off the base and put that across the back seats of your car and put the base in the rear.  The tube weight 21 Kg and the Base 18kg so that's easier to lift too.

You take off the UTA and remove the trusses from the LTA.  Remove the LTA from the base.

 

Then the base is disassembled.  Yup, you end up with the ground-board still in one piece but the superstructure is all taken apart.



#19 Jeff Struve

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Posted 23 August 2019 - 02:50 PM

I'll repeat one of my observing "axioms" I have come to realize over the past 40 years of amateur astronomy.  "The amount of observing you do will be inversely proportional to the size/weight of the scope." Get yourself a 6" or maybe 8" SCT and you will (for the most part) be satisfied. I personally use 4", 5" and 6" Maks and a 4", F/6 wide field refractor. I ultimately unloaded the Dobs because as I got older they sat in the garage collecting dust most of the time.

 

Frank

 

I tend to agree... portability means a lot... my 12" Dob actually is lighter weight, has less pieces, and is quicker to set up than even my smaller scope was on one of my eq mounts.



#20 Tornado77

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Posted 23 August 2019 - 02:52 PM

My final choice would be this one, https://www.telescop...xtube-goto.html I don't want anything smaller than 10"/200mm since I tried a 14" Orion dob at an observatory


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#21 Jeff Struve

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Posted 23 August 2019 - 02:55 PM

Not sure where you live, but this was just listed and seems like a pretty nice set up:

 

https://www.cloudyni...ser-collimator/



#22 Tornado77

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Posted 23 August 2019 - 02:57 PM

I live near Quebec City



#23 Taosmath

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Posted 23 August 2019 - 03:13 PM

My final choice would be this one, https://www.telescop...xtube-goto.html I don't want anything smaller than 10"/200mm since I tried a 14" Orion dob at an observatory

This scope is an 8".  My Dob I pull out of the garage for a quick session is an 8" and I find it very satisfactory.



#24 39.1N84.5W

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Posted 23 August 2019 - 03:31 PM

Before you spend another dollar... go to a star party and look through a bunch of telescopes.
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#25 MartinPond

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Posted 24 August 2019 - 05:36 PM

I love my 8 inch dob, but a 90ishmm achromat would also be a decent upgrade to a small refractor. Depends on what you want to see,  

 

2 excellent ideas. Good Lord, a 16" Dob is a bit beastly...

An 8-inch Dobbie  with an 80x400 wide refractor on the side would be awesome.


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