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Looking for an 10" Dobsonian

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#1 dlagoeka0217

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Posted 16 July 2020 - 01:20 AM

Hello all!

I am looking for a 10" dobsonian for watching DSO. I prefer observing DSOs compared to planets and moons. I would like a 10" dobsonian telescope and I searched up for many models.

Among many, which do you recommend? Those I have found are the following, but if you also have other recommendations for me please let me know :) I really want to get the best telescope out of the budget I use.

1) Orion XT10i:

For this one, I got to know about the push-to model. Compared to the past, this telescope seems to have a higher price around 1000$. Is it worth it? Do you recommend me to buy this model or is there a way of buying a a traditional manual version and making the manual one have a similar effect to the push-to by using Sky-Fi or other equipments?

2) Orion XT10

 

3) Orion XT10 Plus

Some people say that the XT10 plus is not worth; they recommend to but an Orion XT10 plus and get other accessories instead? What do you say about this?

4) Sky-Watcher S11720
 

This is a flextube, collapsible if I what I know is right. I heard that the flextube is hard to handle for collimation such as I have to collimate every single time when I go out, so I am quite worried about this. What do you think? Would it be better than the one below: Sky-Watcher Traditional 10" Dob or the other ones that I wrote here?

5) Sky-Watcher Traditional 10" Dob

6) Apertura AD10

I heard someone saying that the Apertura series have more accessories compared to the Sky-Watcher or the Orion. Is this true? Do you recommend this one rather than the other 5 above?

And also, in addition to these 10" dob series that I researched about, please let me know if you have other recommendations or comments on using these telescopes! You could rate in from the most recommended to the least or just give me comments about these telescopes! It will be a great help for me!

Other than the telescope, I read that I should buy a collimator and other equipments. Can somebody recommend me about the basic equipment or additional accessories you recommend me to buy in addition to the telescope?

I've been looking for telescopes during 1 month, and I really want to get the best telescope I could get as soon as possible. Could anyone give me recommendations on the questions I have above kindly?

Thank you so much! :)



#2 stevenrjanssens

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Posted 16 July 2020 - 01:46 AM

The Apertura AD10 is one of the GSO brands. Last I checked it does come with better accessories which include a two speed focuser, a right angle correct image finder which is much more ergonomic than a straight through finder, a couple of eyepieces and a laser collimator. In addition to the scope, I would highly recommend a Telrad along with Sky Safari Plus on your phone. The Plus version allows you to overlay the FOVs of your eyepieces as well as the Telrad rings. Together, along with the RACI finder and a low power eyepiece, they make star hopping easy.


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#3 havasman

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Posted 16 July 2020 - 02:41 AM

Welcome to the forums!

 

I have an XT10i that was my 1st scope and it is a fine instrument. Over the years I have modified many of its features to match my idea of what's best and/or to deal with local conditions like dew and stray light. But the primary mirror is as-delivered. Testing showed it is quite good. Much of the observing I do with that scope is from an urban setting with very poor sky darkness. The intelliscope electronic finder system was critical for me as relatively few stars are visible and star hopping is difficult. The finder helped me learn the sky and constellations and when I became able to access a dark observing location I had some idea of what was where. If you will start observing in light polluted conditions I very highly recommend the XT10i. It is also very good under a dark sky but is more critically useful in an urban setting.

 

For me the critical difference in the XT10 Classic and XT10 Plus is in how scope balance in the alt axis (up/down) is controlled. The Plus uses the same knob on the frame as the XT10i and this gives better direct input control which is useful when you have eyepieces and accessories that vary in weight. For more resistance to movement, tighten the knob a bit. The spring on the Classic lacks this direct input for control.

 

All the scopes you have listed are powerful observing tools. Of those, I am only familiar with the Orion scopes. However, I have also used another club member's Explore Scientific 10" FirstLight Dob and it is also very good. Its innovative alt bearing design mimics those found on very expensive premium Dobs and is an excellent feature. The optics were also at least on par with the other scopes in this class. It is also less expensive than some. If you choose a scope without an electronic finder like the intelliscope system, it is the one I'd recommend.

 

Collimation enables the optics in a Newtonian telescope to work to their capacity. There are many capable tools. These are quality products at reasonable cost  -  https://www.eyepiece.../11401006.htm  

There are other fine systems including lasers that can work very well.

 

There are a couple of items you really just have to have and another you'll likely not think of at first. You have to have a dimmable red light like the Rigel Starlite Mini to preserve your night vision and to be able to observe anywhere there are others observing. You also have to have a tool to find your way in the sky, something like the excellent Sky & Telescope Pocket Sky Atlas or a phone app like Sky Safari. A planisphere is also a great tool, something like the KenPress 16" Guide to the Stars. Something that might not occur to you is the very high value a variable height observing chair will have. You can build a Denver Chair from common lumber and plans you can easily find on the internet or you can buy a nice chair like the Starbound. Most of us would not observe w/o our chairs. I have 1 I built and 1 I bought. Both are very useful.

 

All these scope packages work very well as they are delivered from the makers. But all hobbies exist to soak up all that extra time and money you otherwise would not even know you had. The range of astro accessories is vast. But I encourage you to restrain your buying impulses for some months until you become familiar with your new scope and how you will use it. The most valuable accessory for any new scope is more time spent observing from under good dark skies.

 

Enjoy your new scope! Remember, if you're having fun, you're doing it RIGHT!


Edited by havasman, 16 July 2020 - 12:53 PM.

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#4 cuzimthedad

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Posted 16 July 2020 - 12:24 PM

Welcome to Cloudy Nights!

 

+1 to what havasman said above. Continue to always feel free to ask questions because there is an immense volume of knowledge to be taken here!


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#5 Tom Stock

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Posted 16 July 2020 - 05:04 PM

There are many dobsonians cheaper than the XT10i, but for a beginner I think I would recommend the XT10i.

 

I've owned a bunch of scopes over the past 30 years, goto and non-goto and just recently ordered an XT10i for myself.  It's quick to set up, quick to align, runs on a single 9V battery, no motors, and you can use or choose not use the computer.  

 

I'm looking forward to the quicker setup time and ease of use (compared to my 8" SCT on a German Equatorial mount).


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#6 n2dpsky

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Posted 16 July 2020 - 05:46 PM

Hello all!

I am looking for a 10" dobsonian for watching DSO. I prefer observing DSOs compared to planets and moons. I would like a 10" dobsonian telescope and I searched up for many models.

Among many, which do you recommend? Those I have found are the following, but if you also have other recommendations for me please let me know smile.gif I really want to get the best telescope out of the budget I use.

1) Orion XT10i:

For this one, I got to know about the push-to model. Compared to the past, this telescope seems to have a higher price around 1000$. Is it worth it? Do you recommend me to buy this model or is there a way of buying a a traditional manual version and making the manual one have a similar effect to the push-to by using Sky-Fi or other equipments?

2) Orion XT10

 

3) Orion XT10 Plus

Some people say that the XT10 plus is not worth; they recommend to but an Orion XT10 plus and get other accessories instead? What do you say about this?

4) Sky-Watcher S11720
 

This is a flextube, collapsible if I what I know is right. I heard that the flextube is hard to handle for collimation such as I have to collimate every single time when I go out, so I am quite worried about this. What do you think? Would it be better than the one below: Sky-Watcher Traditional 10" Dob or the other ones that I wrote here?

5) Sky-Watcher Traditional 10" Dob

6) Apertura AD10

I heard someone saying that the Apertura series have more accessories compared to the Sky-Watcher or the Orion. Is this true? Do you recommend this one rather than the other 5 above?

And also, in addition to these 10" dob series that I researched about, please let me know if you have other recommendations or comments on using these telescopes! You could rate in from the most recommended to the least or just give me comments about these telescopes! It will be a great help for me!

Other than the telescope, I read that I should buy a collimator and other equipments. Can somebody recommend me about the basic equipment or additional accessories you recommend me to buy in addition to the telescope?

I've been looking for telescopes during 1 month, and I really want to get the best telescope I could get as soon as possible. Could anyone give me recommendations on the questions I have above kindly?

Thank you so much! smile.gif

I have a Flex-Tube 10" and I definitely don't have to collimate it every time I go out.  Actually, it holds collimation pretty well.  If I plan on high power planetary or double-star observing, I do touch it up on a medium bright star, which takes me maybe 30-45 sec.   No lasers.  It's not difficult.     However, I have read it's actually heavier than the closed tube version and you will need a shroud, so for those reasons, assuming you can store and transport the closed tube models, I might recommend those.   If space it tight, I wouldn't hesitate to buy this telescope again.   I've enjoyed it a great deal.   Hope that helps.

 

Chris


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#7 areyoukiddingme

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Posted 16 July 2020 - 10:04 PM

Welcome to Cloudynights!

 

It's unlikely that you can go wrong with any of these choices.

 

Of the bunch, the two that stand out to me would be the Apertura as you get a good deal and people seem rather happy with them. The other that I like has been brought up, the Explore Scientific, which has a more impressive structure.

 

The question of adding a scope with push-to encoders or going manual isn't a huge deal, as you will be able to add encoders yourself as an after market option if you want down the track.

 

Depending on where you are at, you may also want to be thinking about accessories too. Eyepieces is the main consideration.

 

What kind of budget and plan do you have there? An adjustable height chair is also a major improvement for many, and some decent collimation tools. 


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#8 jakecru

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Posted 17 July 2020 - 01:36 AM

If I were looking to buy a 10" mass produced dob, i'd be looking at the ES firstlight 10" dob just for the larger altitude bearings and the ability to rotate the tube. The AD 10 is also a very good scope and comes with some good accessories. Nothing wrong with any of the dobs mentioned. Orion and Skywatcher are great brands as well. 


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#9 25585

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Posted 17 July 2020 - 10:23 AM

If I were looking to buy a 10" mass produced dob, i'd be looking at the ES firstlight 10" dob just for the larger altitude bearings and the ability to rotate the tube. The AD 10 is also a very good scope and comes with some good accessories. Nothing wrong with any of the dobs mentioned. Orion and Skywatcher are great brands as well. 

+1 I own one & its never disappointed me.

 

https://explorescien...ht-10-dobsonian


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#10 Second Time Around

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Posted 17 July 2020 - 11:00 AM

I agree with the last 2 posters and suggest looking at the Explore Scientific First Light (Bresser in Europe).  It's not so well known as it hasn't been out long.  Here's a link: https://explorescien...ht-10-dobsonian

 

FL-DOB1005-01_1800x1800.jpg?v=1573839817

 

A couple of years ago I spent time in a number of shops comparing commercial Dobsonians soon after the First Light came out.  In the end I bought an upmarket used Orion Optics UK (not to be confused with Orion US).  However the First Light was my second choice. It's also highly thought of by a number of members of the UK-based Stargazer's Lounge forum who have used it in the field, and a search there will reveal several topics.

 

One of the most overlooked parts of a Dob is the mount.  It's easy to upgrade the accessories, but not the mount.  Therefore I feel that this is possibly the most important factor in choosing which make to buy. 

 

The First Light has large altitude rings.  Firstly, this makes it smoother.  Secondly, it's much easier to carry the tube as you can use the altitude ring to do so.  In fact an able-bodied person should be able to carry the tube in one hand and the mount in the other. Being somewhat disabled this allowed me to buy a 10 inch compared with only an 8 inch with makes without an altitude ring.

 

The Bresser also has tube rings.  This makes it easier to balance different weight eyepieces and accessories, and also rotate the tube.  It also means it's easier and less costly to convert to an equatorial mount later if you want to.

 

Some other features:

 

Primary mirror: made from low expansion glass so cools down ready to view quicker.

 

Focusser: A very good heavy duty focusser that you can easily convert at low cost to dual speed for easier fine adjustment.

 

Eyepieces: Only 1 but it's higher quality than with some competitors.  Many buyers of the poorer quality eyepieces quickly upgrade them anyway, which of course adds to the cost

 

IMO, the First Light is well worth the small amount extra money.  You'll forget this very soon but will appreciate the advantages for a long time.


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#11 areyoukiddingme

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Posted 17 July 2020 - 01:50 PM

That 10" ES is a nice looking scope. The rings plus large altitude bearings will make for a good viewing experience.

 

The only issue I see on that is it appears to have a single speed focuser. Not a deal breaker, but a dual speed would be nice.

 

There's a truss version at costco too, same deal with the focuser it seems.

 

https://www.costco.c....100505499.html


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#12 jessebear

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Posted 17 July 2020 - 01:50 PM

I researched dobs last winter and settled on the 10" class size as I thought a 12" F5 would be a bit on the large side for my vehicle. Still not sure I made the right choice there, but I wound up with an AD10. The included accessories at the price point were what sold me, though I was sorely tempted by the Costo version of the ES truss tube 10" dob ($599). It's a stripped down version of their 'standard' 10" truss dob ($949) but still seems to be a good buy. I didn't even consider the ES First Light 10" dob because I didn't realize it existed. If I were in the market again I'd be interested in that model as well for the same reason others have mentioned - larger altitude bearings and tube rings are a plus.

Having said all that, I like my AD10 and I'm not tempted to sell it and pick up either of the ES options. It holds collimation well and is easily manageable, plus I've had fun adding upgrades. It's a 'push-to' dob now after adding the EZ Push-To kit from Romer Optics ($100), which is something you can't do with the ES scopes. Unless someone comes along and wants to trade me their AD12 or Z12 for my AD10 and some cash, I'm keeping it and will eventually convert to Go-to with Onstep.


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#13 Second Time Around

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Posted 17 July 2020 - 02:04 PM

That 10" ES is a nice looking scope. The rings plus large altitude bearings will make for a good viewing experience.

 

The only issue I see on that is it appears to have a single speed focuser. Not a deal breaker, but a dual speed would be nice.

 

 

There's a quick and easy upgrade to dual speed that Explore Scientific/Bresser offer.


Edited by Second Time Around, 17 July 2020 - 02:06 PM.

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#14 25585

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Posted 21 July 2020 - 11:02 AM

There's a quick and easy upgrade to dual speed that Explore Scientific/Bresser offer.

https://www.firstlig...ex-focuser.html


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#15 25585

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Posted 21 July 2020 - 11:09 AM

This thread has good pix of the ES bits in detail

https://stargazerslo...essier-10”-dob/


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#16 Tom Stock

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Posted 22 July 2020 - 11:07 AM

The Bresser also has tube rings.  This makes it easier to balance different weight eyepieces and accessories, and also rotate the tube.  It also means it's easier and less costly to convert to an equatorial mount later if you want to.

 

10" newt on an equatorial mount? Possible, of course, but not a great experience.  This is how dobs became popular in the first place.


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#17 Pinbout

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Posted 22 July 2020 - 01:39 PM

 

... I really want to get the best telescope I could get as soon as possible.

10f5.6 veneered (3).jpg

 

grin.gif


Edited by Pinbout, 22 July 2020 - 01:39 PM.

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#18 dlagoeka0217

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Posted 23 July 2020 - 12:05 AM

The Apertura AD10 is one of the GSO brands. Last I checked it does come with better accessories which include a two speed focuser, a right angle correct image finder which is much more ergonomic than a straight through finder, a couple of eyepieces and a laser collimator. In addition to the scope, I would highly recommend a Telrad along with Sky Safari Plus on your phone. The Plus version allows you to overlay the FOVs of your eyepieces as well as the Telrad rings. Together, along with the RACI finder and a low power eyepiece, they make star hopping easy.

Hello! Thank you so much for your reply! I'm actually new to a dob (I actually only used a refractor before.) Will you explain to me what the Telrad is used for, and possibly link me a product that you recommend? Also, for the RACI finder too! Thank you :)



#19 dlagoeka0217

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Posted 23 July 2020 - 12:09 AM

Welcome to the forums!

 

I have an XT10i that was my 1st scope and it is a fine instrument. Over the years I have modified many of its features to match my idea of what's best and/or to deal with local conditions like dew and stray light. But the primary mirror is as-delivered. Testing showed it is quite good. Much of the observing I do with that scope is from an urban setting with very poor sky darkness. The intelliscope electronic finder system was critical for me as relatively few stars are visible and star hopping is difficult. The finder helped me learn the sky and constellations and when I became able to access a dark observing location I had some idea of what was where. If you will start observing in light polluted conditions I very highly recommend the XT10i. It is also very good under a dark sky but is more critically useful in an urban setting.

 

For me the critical difference in the XT10 Classic and XT10 Plus is in how scope balance in the alt axis (up/down) is controlled. The Plus uses the same knob on the frame as the XT10i and this gives better direct input control which is useful when you have eyepieces and accessories that vary in weight. For more resistance to movement, tighten the knob a bit. The spring on the Classic lacks this direct input for control.

 

All the scopes you have listed are powerful observing tools. Of those, I am only familiar with the Orion scopes. However, I have also used another club member's Explore Scientific 10" FirstLight Dob and it is also very good. Its innovative alt bearing design mimics those found on very expensive premium Dobs and is an excellent feature. The optics were also at least on par with the other scopes in this class. It is also less expensive than some. If you choose a scope without an electronic finder like the intelliscope system, it is the one I'd recommend.

 

Collimation enables the optics in a Newtonian telescope to work to their capacity. There are many capable tools. These are quality products at reasonable cost  -  https://www.eyepiece.../11401006.htm  

There are other fine systems including lasers that can work very well.

 

There are a couple of items you really just have to have and another you'll likely not think of at first. You have to have a dimmable red light like the Rigel Starlite Mini to preserve your night vision and to be able to observe anywhere there are others observing. You also have to have a tool to find your way in the sky, something like the excellent Sky & Telescope Pocket Sky Atlas or a phone app like Sky Safari. A planisphere is also a great tool, something like the KenPress 16" Guide to the Stars. Something that might not occur to you is the very high value a variable height observing chair will have. You can build a Denver Chair from common lumber and plans you can easily find on the internet or you can buy a nice chair like the Starbound. Most of us would not observe w/o our chairs. I have 1 I built and 1 I bought. Both are very useful.

 

All these scope packages work very well as they are delivered from the makers. But all hobbies exist to soak up all that extra time and money you otherwise would not even know you had. The range of astro accessories is vast. But I encourage you to restrain your buying impulses for some months until you become familiar with your new scope and how you will use it. The most valuable accessory for any new scope is more time spent observing from under good dark skies.

 

Enjoy your new scope! Remember, if you're having fun, you're doing it RIGHT!

Hello! Thank you! I'm really happy to join this forum! I really appreciate your specific explanation :) I've got a lot of information and a big picture from your recommendation and replies on my questions! Where did you buy the XT10i or the other accessories? I heard buying it from Amazon might be too dangerous. I'd like to buy it from a reliable seller, and possibly some more discounts.



#20 dlagoeka0217

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Posted 23 July 2020 - 12:10 AM

Welcome to Cloudy Nights!

 

+1 to what havasman said above. Continue to always feel free to ask questions because there is an immense volume of knowledge to be taken here!

Thank you so much! :) I'll definitely consider your suggestion! :)



#21 dlagoeka0217

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Posted 23 July 2020 - 12:13 AM

There are many dobsonians cheaper than the XT10i, but for a beginner I think I would recommend the XT10i.

 

I've owned a bunch of scopes over the past 30 years, goto and non-goto and just recently ordered an XT10i for myself.  It's quick to set up, quick to align, runs on a single 9V battery, no motors, and you can use or choose not use the computer.  

 

I'm looking forward to the quicker setup time and ease of use (compared to my 8" SCT on a German Equatorial mount).

Yes! I think that the XT10i would be really good for me. I'm still hesitating between the ones with the electronic controllers or with no electronic controllers. I'm trying to figure out a way to save my budgets by buying a telescope and the electronic controller separately. Still, I'm a beginner, so I think the XT10i would be great! Thank you for your recommendation! :)



#22 dlagoeka0217

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Posted 23 July 2020 - 12:16 AM

Actually I have one more question everyone! :)
Is there a way I could buy a telescope and the electronic controller (such as push-to) separately? I'd like to save my budgets if possible by buying it separately. 
As I am a beginner I think I'd need a electronic controller, but if I could by it separately with a lower budget than I'd like to consider that as well! 

Thank you so much for all your help!

Clear skies!!! 



#23 dlagoeka0217

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Posted 23 July 2020 - 12:20 AM

I have a Flex-Tube 10" and I definitely don't have to collimate it every time I go out.  Actually, it holds collimation pretty well.  If I plan on high power planetary or double-star observing, I do touch it up on a medium bright star, which takes me maybe 30-45 sec.   No lasers.  It's not difficult.     However, I have read it's actually heavier than the closed tube version and you will need a shroud, so for those reasons, assuming you can store and transport the closed tube models, I might recommend those.   If space it tight, I wouldn't hesitate to buy this telescope again.   I've enjoyed it a great deal.   Hope that helps.

 

Chris

Hello Chris,
Thank you so much for your response :) Is the flextube much portable compared to other one-tubed telescopes? I'd like to take it to a nearby hill, but unfortunately the stairs up to the hill doesn't allow cars to go up. I might have to take the telescope all the way up. Also, for your recommendation of a closed tube version telescope, may you add a link for me please? Thank you:)



#24 dlagoeka0217

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Posted 23 July 2020 - 12:26 AM

Welcome to Cloudynights!

 

It's unlikely that you can go wrong with any of these choices.

 

Of the bunch, the two that stand out to me would be the Apertura as you get a good deal and people seem rather happy with them. The other that I like has been brought up, the Explore Scientific, which has a more impressive structure.

 

The question of adding a scope with push-to encoders or going manual isn't a huge deal, as you will be able to add encoders yourself as an after market option if you want down the track."

 

Depending on where you are at, you may also want to be thinking about accessories too. Eyepieces is the main consideration.

 

What kind of budget and plan do you have there? An adjustable height chair is also a major improvement for many, and some decent collimation tools. 

Hello! Thank you for your comments! I live in Orange County, California. Quite a lot of light pollution sadly. Could you explain to me what you mean by "add encoders yourself as an after market option"? Will I be able to buy a separate push-to kit that is adaptable for any type of dob, after I buy a telescope without a electronic push-to? If yes, may you please add a link of a separate push-to I could buy? My maximum budget is around 800$-900$. Can you give me some more tips on the accessories and eyepieces? I would like to see nebulae and clusters in my city. (I think I wouldn't have much opportunity go to less light pollution areas sadly) Thanks so much:)



#25 dlagoeka0217

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Posted 23 July 2020 - 12:27 AM

If I were looking to buy a 10" mass produced dob, i'd be looking at the ES firstlight 10" dob just for the larger altitude bearings and the ability to rotate the tube. The AD 10 is also a very good scope and comes with some good accessories. Nothing wrong with any of the dobs mentioned. Orion and Skywatcher are great brands as well. 

Oh I see! Thank you so much for your comments :) I'd definitely consider your recommendations :)
Clear skies!!  




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Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: reflector, observing, equipment, dso



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