I am just a few months into this hobby. Bought a NexStar 6SE July 31 because I felt that was a happy medium to use for both planets and DSO and because it's transportable. Now I'm looking to buy a 10" dob to have something larger and non-electronic. In general, how different will the dob view be compared to the 6SE? Brighter? Wider? Is there enough difference to make it worth buying the dob at all?
I am considering a used Orion XT10 or a new Skyline 10 or Apertura AD10. Is the XT10 a good scope? Will I have to collimate it every time I transport it in the car? I want to make the right choice because this will be the last one I buy.
Those are all good scopes, so no issue there. I owned an XT8i and now own an AD12.
I think a 10" Dob will be an excellent complement to the 6SE. That is why I have an 80 mm refractor, 5" Mak and a 12" Dob. Each provides options that the others don't offer.
The Apertura AD10, the Skyline 10 and the Zhumell Z 10 are the same scope with different labels. They are all made by GSO. The AD10 and Z10 have the same accessories. The Skyline's accessory package is slightly different but fairly equivalent. From your list, I would lean toward the AD10 or the Z10, but they are all good choices.
I have 5 scopes. One is a 5" GoTo Mak, just a little smaller than your 6" SCT. I had an 8" XT8i and now have a 12" AD12.
Difference between the 6SE and the 10" Dob would be similar to my 5" Mak and my 8" Dob. Light gathering difference, about 2.5X for mine. Your 6" SCT to 10" Dob light gathering difference, about 2.7X, so quite similar in that respect.
I collimate my Dob about every 5 times at home but I collimate it after a car trip. Takes about 2-3 minutes and is quite easy to do. Any adjustments are tiny.
Collimation is a non-issue. Takes a few minutes with a laser collimator or a collimation cap. The laser is more convenient. The AD10, Z10 and Skyline come with lasers. The XT10 comes with a collimation cap.
How to Collimate an Orion Reflector Telescope using a collimation cap or a laser
The others work the same way. Quick and easy.
Field of View
Field of view is based on magnification provided by the eyepiece and the eyepiece apparent field of view specification. Because the Dobs you listed have two 2" focusers they can provide a wider view than the SCT.
The 6SE's 1.25" focuser means that your low power wide view would be a 32 mm Plossl giving you 46.8X and about a 1 degree field of view.
The Dobs have 2" focusers. I use a 38 mm 2" with a 70 degree AFOV. In one of those scopes that would provide 31.6X and about a 2.2 degree FOV, more than twice as wide as the SCT's widest possible FOV.
Finding and tracking.
The 6SE finds and tracks your targets. With a manual Dob you have to find the targets and you track them. How good are your skills at finding things without the use of a computer? Are you prepared to learn? There are several methods you can use.
Seven Ways To Find Things In the Sky
There are computer assisted Dobs. For example the XT10 Intelliscope PushTo or the XT10G GoTo Dobs. The AD10, Z10 and Skyline 10 can have a PushTo system added for about $100 called EX PushTo.
By gathering 2.7X as much light, objects will be brighter and you can see dimmer objects. The larger aperture gives you finer resolution so you can see finer details. And typically, because you gather more light, you will be able to apply more magnification, likely 40x to 80X more depending on the conditions.
My 12" Dob gathers 2.25X as much light as my 8" Dob. As a result I can see things and resolve things in the 12" that I could not in the 8". And I can apply 40X to 80X more mag. So I speak from experience.
Where will you store the Dob and how will you move it? Will it fit in your car? Should you be considering a truss rather than a solid tube?
The 6SE breaks down into pieces so you can easily move them and put them in any car. A solid tube Dob needs more space and the tube is heavier but it can be moved in two pieces.
I prefer a solid tube but, for some the truss Dobs are a better option. For example:
My XT8i lived in the garage on a cart. My AD12 lives in the garage on a hand truck. These made moving the scope super easy. Put your cursor over the photo for the description.
Edited by aeajr, 18 October 2020 - 11:51 AM.