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one dob for the long haul?

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#1 sw196060

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Posted 30 June 2020 - 05:26 PM

Hi,

  As I advance in age I am thinking of splurging a bit and getting the last dob to age with.  I am 60+ and feeling the years.

My years of yearning for huge aperture are behind me.  Now, I value convenience and ease of use.

I have been using my 8" f/6 non-premium dob for years now.  The mirror seems good but, I may be up for improvement.  

It is certainly not a premium scope.

I have been planning a longer focus planetary dob/newt of 8" again.  Now I am thinking an f/6 8" is such a nice place to be.

I just want now to upgrade to a premium 8" f/6.

 

Have anyone else settled on an 8" dob as their lifer scope?

Any premium 8" dob makers out there to recommend?  

 

Unfortunately, Teeter has shut down and most premium dob makers are doing larger apertures.

A Portaball has my interest but, not sure on that.  I'd have to rule out DSCs.

 

Thx


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#2 Richard O'Neill

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Posted 30 June 2020 - 06:00 PM

 When I was a teenager an 8" reflector was a huge scope. Many decades later it still is. flowerred.gif 

 

Richard


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#3 sanbai

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Posted 30 June 2020 - 06:17 PM

Look at New Moon Telescopes.

If you are up to 12.5 (it shouldn’t be much more hassle and it’s a serious improvement over 8”) look at Obsession telescopes.

You may want to call those makers and have a chat about your requirement and what their customers give as feedback.


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#4 petert913

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Posted 30 June 2020 - 06:25 PM

You don't mention if this scope needs to be transported.  Near or far.

I'm like you in age and I don't want to haul around a 12" scope no

matter how good the views.   But if I can set it and forget it, then yes, give me aperture.



#5 gwlee

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Posted 30 June 2020 - 07:26 PM

Hi,

  As I advance in age I am thinking of splurging a bit and getting the last dob to age with.  I am 60+ and feeling the years.

My years of yearning for huge aperture are behind me.  Now, I value convenience and ease of use.

I have been using my 8" f/6 non-premium dob for years now.  The mirror seems good but, I may be up for improvement.  

It is certainly not a premium scope.

I have been planning a longer focus planetary dob/newt of 8" again.  Now I am thinking an f/6 8" is such a nice place to be.

I just want now to upgrade to a premium 8" f/6.

 

Have anyone else settled on an 8" dob as their lifer scope?

Any premium 8" dob makers out there to recommend?  

 

Unfortunately, Teeter has shut down and most premium dob makers are doing larger apertures.

A Portaball has my interest but, not sure on that.  I'd have to rule out DSCs.

 

Thx

I am still looking. The Teeter 8” STS was closest to what I want. Perhaps Teeter will resume building scopes someday. 

 

Had a Portaball 8”f6. The Zambuto primary was very nice, but the rest of the scope had a lot of problems. The guy who took over Mag1 might have fixed them, but his website is out of date, doesn’t have the basic information you would expect to find there, and he didn’t respond to several inquiries, so I gave up on Mag1. 
 

Consequently, the money I had saved for a premium small dob got spent on a premium small refractor/mount instead, and I am continuing to use my synta 8”f6 until I can find something more suitable. 


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#6 Junoscope

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Posted 30 June 2020 - 07:37 PM

I’m very impressed with the Starmaster 11” ELT Shorty, a scope from the 1990’s, that I recently acquired. It has a premium (CZ) mirror and I can observe seated. I’m not ready to sell my 14.5” Dobsonian or 5” refractor, but I could see some day thinning out my scopes.

More directly to your question, I’ve had the opportunity to look through a 16” New Moon telescope and was impressed. They list an 8” model on their website and you might want to contact them. As you know, any scope you use frequently will be showing you a lot.

#7 Kutno

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Posted 30 June 2020 - 08:31 PM

...

 

Have anyone else settled on an 8" dob as their lifer scope?

 

...

 

Nothing wrong with making this decision.  There was a time, not that long ago, when I thought a 6" F/8 Dob was going to suffice, for life.  Good hunting!  



#8 Echolight

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Posted 30 June 2020 - 09:10 PM

I'm a little younger by about 10 years. And not nearly as experienced in astronomy. But I've been considering an 8 inch f6 solid tube dob for a big grab and go that won't be fussy over eyepieces and should hold collimation better than bigger dobs. Not to mention will be easier to move around, store, and won't eat up a ton of space when transporting.

 

I'm in plenty good shape to move a bigger scope if I wanted to. But I just want something easy. And not a lot of money to find out if I'll even like using a dob or not.

 

Probably not the premium that you meant. But I am leaning towards a "premium" mass produced dob. The XT8 plus wins the lightweight contest. And the ES solid tube 8 might be the best design. Zhumell looks like the best value.

 

I know everyone says get a 10, or get a 12, you'll see more.

But what I see... is more money for the scope, more money for eyepieces and paraccor, more headache to collimate, store, move around, and transport and set up.

 

With the 8 I see easy. And easy gets used a lot.

Maybe some day if I move to a dark site I'll get a big scope.



#9 areyoukiddingme

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Posted 30 June 2020 - 09:39 PM

I would get in contact with Teeter if that's what interests you. I don't know if he's completely out of the game, but can't hurt to ask.


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#10 Allan Wade

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Posted Yesterday, 12:46 AM

If you asked someone in their 30’s, 40’s, 50’s, 60’s or 70’s what their lifetime scope size is, you would most likely get five different answers.

 

I had a book in 1985 I read so much it fell apart. It basically said if you owned an 8” scope you had some large and very capable aperture. The world has changed and moved forward from then. But if your energy matches an 8” size scope that can be a nice spot to be. Sneaking up to 10” doesn’t really add much effort but comes with more capability. I’ve found 8” dobs to be an uncomfortably small size, while 10” works better ergonomically.

 

I think generally the premium guys leave the small scopes to the mass produced market, and concentrate on bigger aperture. So you might have better luck finding someone to build you a slightly larger dob than 8”.


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#11 RichfromRoch

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Posted Yesterday, 12:49 AM

 When I was in my early 60s, I worked out six days a week, took two spin classes, rowed 45 minutes twice a week, leg pressed over 300 pounds and bench pressed 150 pounds.. I had a 8-inch f6 Hardin. I am 74 now and still work out five days a week, bike and walk. I am certainly not as strong as I was back in my 60s. I recently purchased a new Explore Scientific First Light 8-inch f6. I've had it out three times just to view Jupiter, Saturn, the moon, and a general scan of the sky. The planetary views were terrific and the moon was spectacular. Stars in several open clusters were pinpoint. This scope has good optics. Now all this was done using my 13 Nagler, 24 Panoptic and 10 Radian. I haven't even broken out the 5mm Nagler yet. This probably is my last scope (I also have five smaller scopes). I almost went for the 10-inch First Light, but this scope is about all I want to handle at this stage of my life. I have no regrets because this 8-inch is a good scope. 


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#12 osbourne one-nil

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Posted Yesterday, 02:47 AM

A year or so back I decided that an 8" dobsonian was the one for me. I've had lots of scopes over the years ranging from a 60mm Televue up to a couple of 12" dobs. The fact that I've had two 12" dobs indicates that I was suffering from aperture fever but ultimately they were just too big and heavy. My 8" is a "cheap" Skywatcher that costs around £250 so I'm not too worried about it being damaged. It's light enough that I can move it outside without any concern, small enough that it cools down quickly (especially for low power views), slow enough that collimation isn't that critical and big enough that it will show me more than I could ever want to see. It doesn't get used that much these days as my time is limited, the weather is awful and I tend to use binoculars for grab and go, but its price means that if it sits there for a few weeks, I don't fret about it. 

 

I too had a Portaball which the new owner of Mag One refurbished for me and it was beautiful. However, it was also very expensive and the cost did annoy me as it sat there, so I moved it on. I think if you're after a premium Dob these days you could do worse than look at Orion Optics UK, who do a range of mirror qualities and are generally very well thought of, optically at least. You can match any tube to any mount and have a choice of 1/4, 1/6, 1/8 or 1/10 pv mirror. 



#13 Jon Isaacs

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Posted Yesterday, 03:21 AM

I am 72 and in reasonable health.  I do not get the exercise I got 10 years ago but I am still reasonably strong.  My approach has been to own a range of scopes so that I can match the effort required for setup with the energy I have.  

 

I am fortunate to have two homes, one in the city and one in the high desert.  Three years ago, I decided it was time to downsize from my 25 inch F/5 to something smaller that didn't require such a tall ladder.  One night I was standing on the top platform of the ladder looking out over the magnificent view and I realized that I had no business standing with my head more than 10 feet off the ground, all alone with the nearest hospital about 50 miles away.  Soon enough I found a 22 inch F/4.4 and that has worked out very nicely.  

 

I am fortunate that I can leave my 16 inch and 22 inch setup and just attach the wheel barrow handles and roll them out of the garage, it takes 5 minutes or less.  

 

Hopefully I will age gracefully, a slow decline rather than an abrupt one.  I figure there will come a time when the 22 inch is too much for me.  And then the 16 inch.. But I am not there yet.  

 

What's important is finding the scope(s) that work for you.  If I wasn't blessed with a second home under reasonably dark skies, I would have a different set of options and a make different choices.

 

Jon


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#14 sw196060

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Posted Yesterday, 06:53 AM

In my case I have to move my scope often ... tree dodging at home, or taking to a dark site. 



#15 phonehome

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Posted Yesterday, 08:52 AM

Although I'm in the thinning 60+ crowd I still want to have my cake and eat too.  And why not?  That's why Elvira was designed and built as a scope to accommodate aging.  With a large/fast aperture, feet on the ground wide-field/occasional high mag viewing, no heavy lifting, high image stability, easy push-button setup/storage and of course excellent NV capability it's proven ideal for my needs.

 

As a long-term dob I know it will continue to meet my evolving needs as it's been well-proven that all that's required to setup and use the instrument is one good arm and one good eye.

 

Ed


Edited by phonehome, Yesterday, 08:58 AM.

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#16 Pinbout

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Posted Yesterday, 09:17 AM

my custom 10" is just as easy as an 8" and is available. grin.gif

 

https://www.youtube....h?v=1pxVIqQweq4

 

star test after figuring it a little more

 

https://www.youtube....DN-T_L-6s&t=92s

 

 

i still like watching them.  smile.gif



#17 Keith Rivich

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Posted Yesterday, 09:18 AM

I'm a little younger by about 10 years. And not nearly as experienced in astronomy. But I've been considering an 8 inch f6 solid tube dob for a big grab and go that won't be fussy over eyepieces and should hold collimation better than bigger dobs. Not to mention will be easier to move around, store, and won't eat up a ton of space when transporting.

 

I'm in plenty good shape to move a bigger scope if I wanted to. But I just want something easy. And not a lot of money to find out if I'll even like using a dob or not.

 

Probably not the premium that you meant. But I am leaning towards a "premium" mass produced dob. The XT8 plus wins the lightweight contest. And the ES solid tube 8 might be the best design. Zhumell looks like the best value.

 

I know everyone says get a 10, or get a 12, you'll see more.

But what I see... is more money for the scope, more money for eyepieces and paraccor, more headache to collimate, store, move around, and transport and set up.

 

With the 8 I see easy. And easy gets used a lot.

Maybe some day if I move to a dark site I'll get a big scope.

I find setting up and observing with my 25" is not to much more work then my 12 1/2" which is not to much more work then my 8". 

 

I agree with you on test driving a scope before taking the "big plunge" but don't let opportunity pass you by. Go big while you are still young enough to get the benefit of the extra effort. 

 

I'm 59 by the way.



#18 sw196060

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Posted Yesterday, 09:24 AM

I have no room in my garage for a roll out so, I carry the scope up from the basement in pieces.  A big dob is problematic for me, unfortunately.



#19 NC Startrekker

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Posted Yesterday, 09:30 AM

For Stan and others looking for a smaller premium solid tube Dobsonian, I have some good news limited though it may be.  Rob Teeter announced a limited production run for delivery sometime in 2021.  Please see his website homepage for details.  In a nutshell, he plans to build 6 scopes that he can work on at a leisurely pace around family and other commitments.  One will be a truss tube and the other five will be his STS (solid tube) Dobs (2 x 8", 2 x 10", and 1 x 11" all with Zambuto mirrors).  The last time I looked, one 8" STS and the two 10" STS were still available.

 

Like some of you, I was looking for my "retirement scope."  With 50 plus years in the hobby, I never owned a Dobsonian/Newtonian.  For several years, I had been contemplating wading into the pond with a Teeter STS.  Unfortunately, when Rob Teeter announced last year that he was suspending production, I was not in a position to take advantage of his last call.  I thought the ship had sailed on my aspiration to own a premium solid tube Dob.  Then, when Rob announced this limited run for 2021, I realized it was now or never and quickly placed my order for an 8" STS.

 

If you are truly interested in one of these, I suggest you act quickly.  But please fully read Rob's announcement.  Patience will be a virtue.  He is not guaranteeing any specific delivery dates or timeframes.  Just sometime in 2021.  But compared to AP's wait times, 12 months or so is relatively short.  So, if you have the patience to wait, give him a call.

 

Alan



#20 gwlee

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Posted Yesterday, 11:51 AM

Coming up on four decades in the hobby, an 8”f6 is the largest scope I have owned, wanted to own, or probably will ever own. When I lived in metro area, I belonged to a large astronomy club, and had many opportunities to use larger scopes belonging to the club or other members, enjoyed using them occasionally, but so far never seriously wanted one for myself.

 

Consequently, I have been searching for a better quality 6”f8 or 8”f6 for several years. Having no success in the new or used market, being in my early 70s now, I am spending the money earmarked for a premium quality small dob on a premium refractor to complement my small, inexpensive dob, and improving my observing site to make these small scopes even easier to use. In fact, far more of my astronomy gear budget is going into site improvement than anything else. 

 

I haven’t ruled out owning an inexpensive 10 or 12 inch dob at some point in the future, but seriously doubt it will happen now. Think it’s more likely that a small refractor will become my primary instrument in the not too distant future, but this might change if someone starts building a premium quality small dob. 
 


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#21 sw196060

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Posted Yesterday, 12:53 PM

What refractor do you use?



#22 Chesterguy1

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Posted Yesterday, 01:17 PM

I have an 8" Teeter STS and find the 8" is nearly perfect for most of my viewing and an excellent match for my home location. Like Jon, I have a range of scopes to use depending on my mood, energy and time availability. The 8" is my most used scope. My 15" sees less use than I would like because of setup and mirror acclimation. Still, it's grand to have while I can still move the parts--and it isn't hard with wheelbarrow handles.

 

I think if I was "downsizing" and had to cull to a single scope it would be an 11"-12.5" Teeter Journey (no longer made) or equivalent New Moon with a thin fast mirror. The Journey is quite light and portable and could easily be moved fully assembled from a house to backyard. I'd still want a lightweight refractor on a simple Alt-Az mount, though.

 

Chesterguy 


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#23 macdonjh

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Posted Yesterday, 01:19 PM

sw196060, 

 

I saw your post about your garage, but what about a small shed in your yard to house the biggest scope you want to handle (whether that's 8" or 36")?  I started keeping a small mount assembled in my garage and can now be ready to observe in five minutes or so (compared to forty-five minutes when I had to assemble my big mount).  If I could, I'd build a small shed at home.  As you know, convenience is your friend when you're deciding whether or not to set up a scope for the evening.  Beside, I can't think of a bigger hassle than carrying a scope up from the basement.

 

Zambuto lists 8" mirrors on their website.  You could also place a wanted ad here on Cloudy Nights, I have seen 8" mirrors fairly often.  What about first replacing your secondary mirror?  If that proves to be not enough improvement, having your existing primary mirror refigured?  Once your optics are squared away, if you like DIY, building a new mount for your OTA would be a good project.  Heck, you could even build a new OTA.  If you don't want to jump into the DIY deep end, there are companies like DobSTUFF and Telekits who will sell you a structure without optics.



#24 makeitso

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Posted Yesterday, 01:32 PM

Here I am at 67. I just moved into my long haul home a little over a month ago. I just got my long haul dob a few days ago. It’s an XT12i. I live in a red zone, 20 minutes away, there is a blue zone. I’m never going to buy a scope bigger than this one (haha). I don’t plan to and most likely won’t be able to afford one. What my plan includes is to work this one out to be as good as possible. I may look at a premium mirror one day. This scope at f5 is a as big as I can go and still sit in a chair (it came with a starbound chair too). It’s pretty easy to put in the back of my truck or the backyard. Three trips, the base, the OTA, then the chair and eyepieces.

 

I'm going for the most aperture I can while I can. At some point, maybe I’ll trade it for a smaller one. I have a Celestron C8n also which is a fine instrument. It sits on an AVX and is way more trouble to setup and use. I just got a Celestron cg4 mount I converted for az use. The C8n and the cg4 work fairly well together. Right now, I have lots of options, I can go small or big, depending on how I feel. My smallest gng is still at least two trips, scope/mount, chair/eyepieces.

 

My goal is to work with what I have. I’m going to make everything as easy as possible to take out and use. I’m considering a shed of some kind in the backyard to make it simpler to just roll out the XT12i or, roll the roof off.

 

Jack


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#25 Jon Isaacs

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Posted Yesterday, 01:47 PM

My goal is to work with what I have. I’m going to make everything as easy as possible to take out and use. I’m considering a shed of some kind in the backyard to make it simpler to just roll out the XT12i or, roll the roof off.

 

Jack:

 

Do you think you can build a shed that can handle the rain in your new location?  :)

 

I looked it up.. You get more rain than Death Valley but not by much, less than an inch more.

 

Maybe your idea to corner the local umbrella market isn't going to work out.

 

Jon


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