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#1 jeff_Spicoli

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Posted 11 October 2019 - 11:47 PM

Hello all,

 

I'm 18 years old and looking to upgrade to a new telescope. The one I have now is a Celestron AstroMaster 76EQ reflector with an aperture of 3" I believe. I'm looking for something more powerful so I can see more. My budget is around $500 give or take. I was looking at Dobsonian reflectors as they seem like the best option, however there are many to choose from. I'm just not sure how much of a difference there is between 6", 8", or 10"  reflectors and would like to get some suggestions to help me. So if any of you have any recommendations please feel free to respond.

 

Thanks guys,

cheers



#2 Barlowbill

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Posted 12 October 2019 - 12:24 AM

I suggest you go for a 6" or an 8" Dobsonian.



#3 Chris Y

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Posted 12 October 2019 - 12:39 AM

^^^ Agreed.

 

A 10" (Dob) is at your discretion due to weight, but the 6" or 8" (Dob) would serve you quite well.  There was a similar thread a few days ago that pointed out that there is at lest one 6" on the market that has a 2" focuser.

 

Use your best judgement, and don't forget...aperture is king!

 

Now for the standard questions of;

1. Will you be transporting it to other sites?  and...

2. How light polluted is your home location?

 

Cheers

 

Chris



#4 Redbetter

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Posted 12 October 2019 - 12:52 AM

I would go for the 8" Apertura Dob.   The physical size isn't all that different from a 6" Dob, but the 8" will go about 0.6 magnitude deeper while providing the same true field of view as the 6".  The advantage of the Apertura (GSO) package is that it has the fan as well as the RACI finder.  Adding a simple RDF is inexpensive and gives you a great star hopper combo:  quick point to some visible star with the RDF, then hop to the target using the 50mm finder. 

 

It also comes with a laser, which if decently collimated (as that for our 10" GSO was) makes it easy to collimate even in the dark.  I also prefer the GSO focusers compared to the Synta offerings I have seen on other Dobs. 

 

While our 10" is a good scope, it is heavy enough and bulky enough that it was not our first choice.  I wanted to get my son an 8" at the time, but they were several months backordered and neither he nor I were keen about dropping down to 6", so the 10" became the default.  The 10" was pretty heavy for him at the time, but is more manageable now.   

 

Many of the 6" Dobs lack the accessories that come with the 8", and one is often stuck with a 1.25" focuser.  So unless differences in weight and/or price are critical, I would skip right to the 8". 


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#5 Dave Mitsky

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Posted 12 October 2019 - 01:34 AM

I would go for the 8" Apertura Dob.

I agree.

https://www.highpoin...n-telescope-ad8


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#6 desertstars

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Posted 12 October 2019 - 08:25 AM

An 8" aperture is a good investment, however the the telescope is mounted. That was my choice 15 years ago (mine is on an equatorial mount) and I haven't come close to seeing everything it can show me in that time.

 

Welcome to the forum. cool.gif



#7 SeattleScott

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Posted 12 October 2019 - 08:59 AM

For a young person on a budget, 8” Dob. Sure a 10” is brighter, but it is also heavier and needs more expensive eyepieces, more precise collimation, have to worry about coma, etc.

Scott

#8 Mitrovarr

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Posted 12 October 2019 - 09:31 AM

I'd get the largest one you can afford and can transport and store. The 10" dob will perform noticeably better on faint deep sky objects. The weight and size really isn't that bad: if you have normal lifting and carrying ability for an 18 year old, it will be no problem unless you have to carry it great distances.

#9 rowdy388

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Posted 12 October 2019 - 10:26 AM

I agree with an 8 or10" dob. They are both the same length. Pick whichever one seems the

better fit for you. 



#10 jeff_Spicoli

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Posted 12 October 2019 - 10:39 AM

^^^ Agreed.

 

A 10" (Dob) is at your discretion due to weight, but the 6" or 8" (Dob) would serve you quite well.  There was a similar thread a few days ago that pointed out that there is at lest one 6" on the market that has a 2" focuser.

 

Use your best judgement, and don't forget...aperture is king!

 

Now for the standard questions of;

1. Will you be transporting it to other sites?  and...

2. How light polluted is your home location?

 

Cheers

 

Chris

Thanks you Chris,

 

I will plan on transporting it every once in a while to clearer skies because I do live in pretty high light polluted location (Coastal southern California)


Edited by jeff_Spicoli, 12 October 2019 - 11:04 AM.


#11 jeff_Spicoli

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Posted 12 October 2019 - 10:58 AM

For a young person on a budget, 8” Dob. Sure a 10” is brighter, but it is also heavier and needs more expensive eyepieces, more precise collimation, have to worry about coma, etc.

Scott

 

I would go for the 8" Apertura Dob.   The physical size isn't all that different from a 6" Dob, but the 8" will go about 0.6 magnitude deeper while providing the same true field of view as the 6".  The advantage of the Apertura (GSO) package is that it has the fan as well as the RACI finder.  Adding a simple RDF is inexpensive and gives you a great star hopper combo:  quick point to some visible star with the RDF, then hop to the target using the 50mm finder. 

 

It also comes with a laser, which if decently collimated (as that for our 10" GSO was) makes it easy to collimate even in the dark.  I also prefer the GSO focusers compared to the Synta offerings I have seen on other Dobs. 

 

While our 10" is a good scope, it is heavy enough and bulky enough that it was not our first choice.  I wanted to get my son an 8" at the time, but they were several months backordered and neither he nor I were keen about dropping down to 6", so the 10" became the default.  The 10" was pretty heavy for him at the time, but is more manageable now.   

 

Many of the 6" Dobs lack the accessories that come with the 8", and one is often stuck with a 1.25" focuser.  So unless differences in weight and/or price are critical, I would skip right to the 8". 

I think i'll look into the 8" ones as they seem the most well rounded. I'll definitely check out the Apertura.

 

Thanks for your suggestions and info 



#12 MalVeauX

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Posted 12 October 2019 - 11:19 AM

Hello all,

 

I'm 18 years old and looking to upgrade to a new telescope. The one I have now is a Celestron AstroMaster 76EQ reflector with an aperture of 3" I believe. I'm looking for something more powerful so I can see more. My budget is around $500 give or take. I was looking at Dobsonian reflectors as they seem like the best option, however there are many to choose from. I'm just not sure how much of a difference there is between 6", 8", or 10"  reflectors and would like to get some suggestions to help me. So if any of you have any recommendations please feel free to respond.

 

Thanks guys,

cheers

Heya,

 

Go for the 10". You'll see more. Lots more. Still a very portable scope.

 

Very best,



#13 mjulihn

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Posted 12 October 2019 - 11:40 AM

We landed on a used 8" Zhumell dob for our first scope and have been more than pleased. GSO makes these gems in Taiwan which are then branded as Zhumell Z8, Apertura AD8, or Orion SkyLine. A 2" Crayford style focuser, nice RACI, and two decent eye pieces are usually included.


Edited by mjulihn, 12 October 2019 - 11:49 AM.


#14 aeajr

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Posted 13 October 2019 - 05:38 AM

I started with an 80 mm refractor. My second scope was an Orion XT8 Intelliscope. This is a PushTo model where the computer helps you find your targets but you have to move the scope as there are no motors. However it can be used manually like any other Dob too. About $700

So I would give a very positive review of an Orion XT8.

I now have an Apertura AD12 (Zhumell Z12, Orion Skyline 12) and am very pleased with this one too. The 8" and 10" are similar, just a bit smaller. I think the Apertura/Zhumell/Skyline package offers a nicer set of of accesories than the XT8 for about $50 more.

Compare Aperture - 3" vs 6" vs 8" vs. 10"

To compare them from an aperture, square the aperture to get the ratio of the areas. Let's include your current scope.

9 to 36 to 64 to 100.

A 6" provides 4X or a 400% increase in light gathering over your 3". That is HUGE! The increase to a 6" will dramatically change what you can see and how much mag you can apply to the image.

An 8" provides 177% of the light gathering of a 6". Or you can say it gathers 1.77 times as much light as a 6". That is substantial and will be noticeable. It is about a 7X increase over your 3". Gigantic.

A 10" provides 277% of the light gathering of a 6" or 2.77 times. That is big! And it gives you 11X the light gathering of your 3".

A 10" provides 156% of the light gathering of an 8", or you could say it gathers 56% more. That is substantial, but not as big as the difference between the 6 and the 8.

That is how you compare the aperture increase. Figure about a 15% increase in the maximum magnification you will be able to use as you go up each size. The more light you gather the more mag you can apply up to the limit the atmosphere the sky imposes.

To help put this into perspective, My 12" gathers about 2.25X as much light as my 8" so it provides a brighter image in all cases. When using the 12", I can typically apply about 40X to 70X more mag on any given object on most nights and have a similar quality of image. For example, my 8" would often top out around 180 to 200X on planets. In the 12" I can typically hit 220 to 270X on the same night, depending on transparency and seeing.

Naturally that is not always important as some things look better at lower mags. But on the Moon and Planets, splitting tight double stars, that extra mag comes in handy.

Weight

Now you look to moving them. About 35 pounds, 45 pounds and 60 pounds, depending on the brand. Each can be mored in two pieces. I chose the 45 pound 8" because I knew it would be easily within my comfort zone to move. I originally thought I would be storing it in the house.

If you store it at ground level in a garage or a dry shed, you can put any of them on a cart. If you live in a third floor walk up I would lean toward the 6" as that you can probably carry in one trip. The 8" might be challenging for 3 floors and the 10" will likely require two trips.

Remember, after you move the scope, you will need a chair and your accesories so that is at least one more trip.

My 8" ended up being kept at ground level where I kept it on a cart in the garage My 12" lives in the garage on a hand truck so they are all easy for me to move and store. But if they were stored in the house, weight would be a significant factor.

At age 18 you may be fit and strong and feel weight is of no concern, but it is. The more trips it takes, the more time it takes to move and set-up, the less likely you will be bothered to use it. A 6" that is easy to move so it gets used often is better than a 10" that is too much bother.

Size

If you want to put it in the car, where will if fit. If you have an SUV, any of them will fit nicely. If you have a smart car things will be tight. My 8" fit nicely in the back of my Ford Escape with 1/2 the back seat down. A 10" would have fit just as easily.

Focal Ratio and Eyepieces

Typically the 6" is about F8, 8" about F6 and the 10" about F5.

The lower the focal ratio the more challenging it is for eyepieces to provide a clean image across the entire field. That is the reason for the earlier comment that the 10" will require more expensive eyepieces. In my opinion, equire is a strong term in this case, but the point is valid.

If you are using Plossls, I think you will be fine with all of them. But if you want to get a wider field of view then you will want eyepices with wider than the Plossl's typical 50 degree AFOV. Less expensive ones will look good in the 6", OK in the 8. In the 10" you will get more noticeable edge distortion with cheaper wide AFOV eyepieces.

Better eyepieces will benefit all of them, but in the 10" the difference will be more noticeable.

Budget

The 6" and 8" fit in your budget. The 10" will put it at the limit, or take you a little over depending on the package you select.

Orion, Apertura, Zhumell, Sky Watcher, Meade are all good brands of Dobsonian telescopes. But my leaning would be to the Apertura and I would suggest Highpoint Scientific. However, if you have a local store that you can work with, go with them for the personal service and support, if they offer that.

Hope that helped.

Edited by aeajr, 13 October 2019 - 09:31 AM.

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#15 SloMoe

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Posted 13 October 2019 - 08:48 AM

Ed always has well thought out post's almost every angle covered, to post afterwards I really gotta dig deep to find something that hasn't been explained,,,,,,tongue2.gif

 

So where to dig, well for sure eyepieces will be just as expensive for an 8" vs a 10", you're going to end up with Ethos and they're the same price no matter what scope you own,,,lol.gif

 

Hmm, ok transport, a solid tube vs a flex'collapsing dob, my 10" Skywatcher ota weighs in at 33lbs., the base is about the same, fit's into a car with ease, set up time, mirror cool down time given the mirror is warmer than ambient, collimation, what else could you ask for?

A solid tube, not really heavier but cumbersome in length, takes up the entire back seat without the base, the flex/collapsible dob on one side, the base on the other, eyepiece kit on the floor,,,,,

 

The view of a well collimated 10" will last you a lifetime.

 

Although I don't see them for sale used for much less than $500, or $600,



#16 aeajr

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Posted 13 October 2019 - 09:37 AM

Thanks for the kind words Mike W.

As to eyepieces, I can't argue with Tele Vue Ethos as an excellent recommendation. they are really nice, but they are not required.

I am very happy with Explore Scientific and Meade 82 degree in my Apertura AD12. In fact I use them in all of my scopes.

Edited by aeajr, 13 October 2019 - 10:07 AM.


#17 SloMoe

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Posted 13 October 2019 - 10:29 AM

I know Ed,  just couldn't help myself from mentioning eyepieces from another post, truth is that both the 8" and 10" are the same focal length so it won't matter what's purchased to use, they'll preform equally in either scope. bsmirk.gif


Edited by Mike W., 13 October 2019 - 10:29 AM.


#18 Mitrovarr

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Posted 13 October 2019 - 10:58 AM

I would say that a 6", 8", and 10" dob are all roughly the same amount of time to move. It's two trips for all of them; one for the tube, one for the mount. I really don't think moving a 10" dob is particularly bad for a younger person; I don't have any trouble with it at 38.


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#19 aeajr

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Posted 13 October 2019 - 01:14 PM

When we find where he is going to store it and where he will use it, then we will know more about how easy or difficult it will be to move it.    I would not hesitate to carry a 6" Dob on stairs as a complete unit, one trip.   Not sure about an 8 and definitely not a 10. 



#20 Redbetter

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Posted 13 October 2019 - 04:48 PM

I would say that a 6", 8", and 10" dob are all roughly the same amount of time to move. It's two trips for all of them; one for the tube, one for the mount. I really don't think moving a 10" dob is particularly bad for a younger person; I don't have any trouble with it at 38.

I disagree.  A 10" is considerably bulkier and heavier than the other two.  Both a 6" and an 8" are more of a single trip.  The 10" can be done as single, but it isn't comfortable to do so.  The extra diameter makes some difference as well.

 

From what I recall the stated assembled weight of the Z8 and Apertura are about 10-13 pounds higher than actual because they list shipping weights with packaging for each box rather than the actual components..  That is what I found with Z10 that was listed as 66 pounds but was actually 53 assembled.  Based on this I expect the 8" to run around 40 to 42 pounds vs. the 52 stated.



#21 Mitrovarr

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Posted 13 October 2019 - 09:31 PM

How are you transporting a 6-8" dob in one trip? The OTA and base aren't really attached, so you can't carry them together. You could one-hand both the tube and the mount, but you'd probably have to install handles, and it's going to be super awkward (and you'll be too wide to fit through doors).
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#22 zleonis

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Posted 13 October 2019 - 09:59 PM

How are you transporting a 6-8" dob in one trip? The OTA and base aren't really attached, so you can't carry them together. You could one-hand both the tube and the mount, but you'd probably have to install handles, and it's going to be super awkward (and you'll be too wide to fit through doors).

I have an 8" dob and I almost always carry it outside assembled. I put one hand underneath the base and the other just above where the eyepiece tray is/would be. And I pick it up from the front so the tube can't go anywhere. It's slightly awkward since the top of the scope is above my head  (I have to be attentive going through doorways), but quite manageable. I agree though that it would be really awkward to carry it disassembled in a single trip, and I would be a bit hesitant to carry the 10" the same way. 



#23 gnowellsct

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Posted 13 October 2019 - 10:03 PM

Inexpensive mainland dobs come up fairly often on Craigslist, and I don't live in a major metropolitan area.  If you have the patience to keep looking and willingness to buy used, see what turns up.

 

Greg N



#24 Redbetter

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Posted 14 October 2019 - 01:03 AM

How are you transporting a 6-8" dob in one trip? The OTA and base aren't really attached, so you can't carry them together. You could one-hand both the tube and the mount, but you'd probably have to install handles, and it's going to be super awkward (and you'll be too wide to fit through doors).

I carry the 10" fully assembled most of the time.  I open the door, then go over to pick up the scope.  I squat, put one hand on the handle on the base and grasp one of the sides of the rocker with my other hand, I lift and walk outside to where I want to place it.  Fits through doors easily since it is vertical the whole time.  Then I come back in after the chair and eyepieces/collimator/battery pack, etc. 



#25 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 14 October 2019 - 02:08 AM

I move tube Dobs in two pieces, I don't care if it's a 6 inch or a 12.5 inch, it's just so much easier and safer.  

 

In the comparison between an 8 inch and a 10 inch, both are winners, you can't make mistake. The 10 inch is more capable, the 8 inch a little more forgiving.

 

I've had my 10 inch OPT Starhunter 10 for 16 years. This is the same basic scope as the Aperture 10 inch. It's never been my largest scope or my best scope but it's been a very good scope that shares the same stage with some quite fancy Refractors and Dobs, it holds it's own.

 

During that 16 years, at least five 8 inch Dobs have come and gone. They were good scopes but I could never figure out a reason to use an 8 inch when the 10 inch was around.

 

The caveat is whether Jeff is able to manage the 10 inch OTA. I had a friend who simply could not handle it. He was smaller and it was just too bulky and heavy.

 

Jon




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