Hey everyone. I'm really struggling with what to do here.
I have a Meade LXD55 Newt.
8" -812mm f/4
I got it from my step moms daughter a few years ago (with it's crappy mount for 200$) because I thought it would look cool in my ham shack! And it did for a few years until my buddy asked if I ever looked THROUGH it not AT it! haha. We got it out and looked at the moon and Jupiter, saw Saturn's rings! Holy amazing!
Tried to take photos though it with iPhone! hahaha.
Tired to get figure out the goto with the stock Meade mount. Polar align. Sheesh. What a struggle. I would take a photo, plate solve, move, photo, solve, move. Repeat.
From a lot of reading here and guidance, the first thing I did was get a new mount. Orion Atlas. OH YEAH. What a difference. Still took me a few to polar align and what not.
But I was able to get some really good images (for me) and began to enjoy the aspect of capturing light instead of dinking with the mount.
I then got the ASIAir with guidescope. Revolutionary.
As a newbie, this changed the whole game for me.
Anyway. I wanted to go through that so you sorta knew where I was.
My main focus is AP. That's really what I'm interested in. But I do like looking at our solar system with friends. And I'll always have this scope for that.
I feel I'm at the point now where I need a coma corrector. It's an F/4. I kinda also feel I'm getting close to upgrading to a dedicated cam. 294MC Pro is where I'm at. I'm not ready to go mono with all the filters.
Right now I'm shooting with an unmod T7i, and long exposures (90 sec) in the summer really hurt the image. Hot pixels, noise. etc.
When I collimate the scope it can get it pretty good with my laser (which I also collimated on machinist V blocks first).
My thinking is, that once I hang the DSLR off the stock focuser, it probably goes out of collimation.
Add a coma corrector and the extra weight and distance from centerline, I'm sure it gets worse.
So to me, the first thing on this scope would be a new focsuer.
Moonlite- with the required mounting plate- 350 (new) with dual speed and lock. If I want power focuser it's another couple hundred, but not supported by ASIAir.
A good coma corrector-250-400 bucks I THINK I can use the SkyWatcher Quarto??? But I don't know for sure. The Parracor is also high dollar.
Advice here please!
So I'm into upgrades for 650 bucks.
The question I have is this. Is this scope worth putting that much money into it? I have no idea what's required to change the focuser. I don't want to really screw up the scope by doing that. I don't know if the tube is strong enough to support even more weight with the focuser and coma corrector and DSLR/ or astro cam.
For that same 650 I can get a WO 61 apo with field flattener. NIB shipped.
I know I won't have the same "reach" as that scope is only 360mm vs my 812mm
Frankly I won't buy much of anything new. But it's easier to compare new pricing.
I think I would probably look at used refractors in the 5-600 range. Which would probably get me into 450mm range-ish. Used WO 71 or the like.
I guess the question in all this is, would I be further ahead going refractor, or putting work into my Newt?
Writing all this out and trying to critically think, I might be the best move to upgrade the Newt instead of refractor.
Thank you for reading! Comments advice is definitely welcome!