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Classic Scopes by Season?

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#1 Bomber Bob

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Posted 05 December 2020 - 12:28 PM

I have too many Classic scopes.  [Well, duh!]  I try not to play favorites, but that's tough - there are a few that I really rely on year-round.  But I've noticed I tend to have a Seasonal Rotation.  Is this common, or am I the oddball?

 

Fall [Mid-November to Mid-January]

 

- RV-6 -- my Everything Newtonian spends a lot of time in the shed, so it's ready to go.  4" APO views, almost grab & go, and I actually like the spikes on bright blue & white stars -- kinda Christmasy.

- Sears 6336 -- with the Unihex, I zoom in & out with a click; besides doubles, I really enjoy the Auriga Trio (M36,37,38) in this frac, as it has very very low CA.

Stubby -- my Edmund 6" F4 Newt is pure fun at 20x, and has very good views at 150x on the fuzzies.  It is one of my easiest scopes to use, too.

 

Winter [Mid-January to Mid-March]

 

- Meade 826 -- super sharp & my largest scope.  It's still "new" to me, but I already prefer to use it in cool / cold weather; and, we have our driest air this season, so it'll replace the RV-6 in the shed.

- Tinsley 6" Cass -- Don't Laugh!  Yeah, tiny field, & 3000mm focal length, but with the spectros 35mm Big Prism + Big Kellners, it delivers on the brighter fuzzies -- very easy to zoom-in!  The massive EQ is a smooth stable platform that rolls out in just a couple of minutes, too.

Triple Nickle -- nothing like the Winter Milky Way in a 5" F5 triplet.  'nuff said.

 

Spring [Mid-March to Mid-April]

 

- Dakin 4 -- I tend to use this 4" F10 achro a lot in the Spring, before it gets HOT.  Every object is sharp.  2" / 1.25" / .965" -- very versatile for objects & views.

- C5 Astro -- I'm more likely to take the C5 off Display Status in the Spring than any other season.  Set up / take down is more complicated than other scopes, but it's a Fun Scope (I didn't expect that).

- Questar -- DITTO.  Strange, but my Q gives very good views of The Dumbbell, and similar fuzzies.

 

Summer [Mid-April to Mid-November]

 

- Tak FC-50 -- 15x to 150x Ultra-Light fluorite tends to stay in the shed all Summer.

- Lafayette 99-7213 -- Excellent Yamamoto (SYW) 60x400 frac!  Vixen 1.25" adapter, so it's as versatile as the Tak, with a bit more aperture.

Stubby -- again!  It's easier to use than the TN5, and with all the upgrades, is a great Sweeper. 

- C-102 -- based on the past Summer, I see this very light 4" F10 Vixen going out often, until I get my top-tier 4" APO.

- C-80 -- another public / sharing scope that'll see a lot of use in 2021.

 

I have other scopes like my C90 Spotter that get occasional use; and, some small scopes that "float" throughout the year.  AND, when Mars / Jupiter / Saturn are at prime-time, there's some shuffling around.


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#2 Stew44

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Posted 05 December 2020 - 12:51 PM

Only two comments on this.  

 

1) Depends what's up planet-wise and DSOs on one hand - Means more aperture and more difficulty in setup to best observe (light gathering and resolution)

 

2) How cold it is - Winter here now in Denver (or close to it).  Cold metal to handle and longer optics settling times means shift to small aperture or simpler lens system.

 

Some compromise between the two.


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#3 Bomber Bob

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Posted 05 December 2020 - 01:12 PM

Only two comments on this.  

 

1) Depends what's up planet-wise and DSOs on one hand - Means more aperture and more difficulty in setup to best observe (light gathering and resolution)

 

2) How cold it is - Winter here now in Denver (or close to it).  Cold metal to handle and longer optics settling times means shift to small aperture or simpler lens system.

 

Some compromise between the two.

Y'all have maybe Reverse Seasons from down here?  I tend to go Light in the sweltering heat, heavier in our mild winters...

 

Tonight:  Clear, dry, 38* low.  826 & Tinsley go to the shed.  Mars is small, but the 826 has aperture, the Tinsley has 3000mm focal length.  Stubby for the wide-field.


Edited by Bomber Bob, 05 December 2020 - 01:14 PM.


#4 starman876

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Posted 05 December 2020 - 01:54 PM

Let's see

 

Winter. 6" AP

 

Spring. 6"AP

 

Summer. 6" AP

 

Fall 6"AP

 

I think that covers it


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#5 Stew44

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Posted 05 December 2020 - 01:59 PM

In spite of collecting these things, I've always said if I don't use them then how can I say I really appreciate all their fine qualities.  So I agree with JW's general approach.  Yet I still have the fine modern refractor on driven mount tuned to Colorado skies at 127mm.  Agree with Johann also.


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#6 pbealo

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Posted 05 December 2020 - 02:05 PM

I'd love to see images of that Dakin 4"!

Peter


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#7 Bomber Bob

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Posted 05 December 2020 - 02:09 PM

I'd love to see images of that Dakin 4"!

Peter

Here Ya Go!

 

Dakin 4 - Restore S35 (DONE LS Mizar SP).jpg Dakin 4 - Restore S31 (DONE RS Mizar SP).jpg


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#8 starman876

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Posted 05 December 2020 - 05:41 PM

awesome looking scope


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#9 starman876

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Posted 05 December 2020 - 05:43 PM

In spite of collecting these things, I've always said if I don't use them then how can I say I really appreciate all their fine qualities.  So I agree with JW's general approach.  Yet I still have the fine modern refractor on driven mount tuned to Colorado skies at 127mm.  Agree with Johann also.

There are times you just fall in love with the images a scope puts up.  You buy other scopes (why I do not know) but always go back to the gold standard.  If they could only make a little scope that performs like a big scope.  Darn the laws of physics.


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#10 Bomber Bob

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Posted 05 December 2020 - 06:07 PM

Here's one of my favorite Winter Scope pix, made shortly after I bought a Unihex from Johann, and adapted it to my Sears 6336:

 

S6336 and Unihex P03T.jpg


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#11 starman876

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Posted 05 December 2020 - 08:05 PM

personally I feel the only scope to drag out on a cold winter night better have that wow factor.   I am not about to freeze my ars off for anything less. 



#12 ccwemyss

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Posted 05 December 2020 - 09:11 PM

I'm with Johann -- the 6" AP gets used all year, but especially in fall and winter, when there are more wide field objects. In spring and summer, the C14 gets increased use on smaller galaxies, nebulae, and globulars. 

 

However, in the depths of winter, sometimes the observatory is inaccessible or won't open up because of ice. And in early summer, before its corner of the yard dries out, the mosquitoes swarm pretty thick. Then the Pentax and the 142 get regular use in a spot closer to the house.

 

August is when I check the loaners, and then they are usually out from September to January. This year, they will be out until May. 

 

Chip W. 


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#13 starman876

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Posted 05 December 2020 - 11:20 PM

I would love to have an observatory.    I have to many trees in the back yard to put one up.   The front yard would bring the civic association down on me.  I have thought about putting one on top of the house. But that would create other issues.  I will just stick to the best all around scope which is the AP.   Still looking for that mount I can permanently set up outside.    I have the pier.   



#14 starman876

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Posted 05 December 2020 - 11:24 PM

I'm with Johann -- the 6" AP gets used all year, but especially in fall and winter, when there are more wide field objects. In spring and summer, the C14 gets increased use on smaller galaxies, nebulae, and globulars. 

 

However, in the depths of winter, sometimes the observatory is inaccessible or won't open up because of ice. And in early summer, before its corner of the yard dries out, the mosquitoes swarm pretty thick. Then the Pentax and the 142 get regular use in a spot closer to the house.

 

August is when I check the loaners, and then they are usually out from September to January. This year, they will be out until May. 

 

Chip W. 

The 142 is a great scope. Portable and easy to set up.  The C14 is great on deep space objects.  A scope that is not that large that you can set it up by yourself. I hope you got rings for it.  What a life saver they are.



#15 Chuck Hards

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Posted 06 December 2020 - 12:55 AM

No white tubes after Labor Day. 

 

What scope goes best with white wine & Gruyère cheese?


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#16 GreyDay

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Posted 06 December 2020 - 04:52 AM

From my location 53N -3E and coastal, the sun never really sets in summer months so small apertures or slow focal lengths win out. The rest of the year is a free for all:)

 

Summer: Fracs and Maks over F10

Autumn: as above + newts

Winter: anything with a dew shield

Spring: Fracs and Maks over F10 +newts

All year : Bino's and small aperture fracs

 

Doubles, Clusters and Lunar all year, DSO's in winter


Edited by GreyDay, 06 December 2020 - 05:03 AM.

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#17 ccwemyss

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Posted 06 December 2020 - 12:44 PM

I would love to have an observatory.    I have to many trees in the back yard to put one up.   The front yard would bring the civic association down on me.  I have thought about putting one on top of the house. But that would create other issues.  I will just stick to the best all around scope which is the AP.   Still looking for that mount I can permanently set up outside.    I have the pier.   

Well, your AP mount is designed for that. They have one set up at the S. Pole. A Scopecover 365 would give it enough protection. But if you're mounting it in the front yard, that might still bother the civic association, and you'd have to use security hardware in place of the usual knobs to make it hard to steal. I plan to put my 706 mount on a pedestal nearer to the house, with a dovetail saddle, so I can put other scopes on it in the seasons when the observatory isn't as usable. 

 

Funny thing is, when I sited the observatory so far from the house, four years ago, it was to get away from several large trees that would block much of the sky. In the meantime, three of them died, and two developed damage that made it clear we needed to remove them before they fell on the house. So now there is spot by the house that is just as open.

 

The 142 is a great scope. Portable and easy to set up.  The C14 is great on deep space objects.  A scope that is not that large that you can set it up by yourself. I hope you got rings for it.  What a life saver they are.

No rings, but I have a steel kitchen cart from Lowes that is the right height to let me do the face-down mounting method, and the cart fits perfectly in the bay to use for holding the eyepiece case and tools. If I were ever to replace the Losmandy side-by-side bar with the stiffer AP bar, I would need to switch to AP saddles, and then I would get rings for it.

 

If I did not use the side-by-side, I would probably trade the C14 for the AP in about March, and switch back in September as we get into the season when M31, M42, M45, the double cluster, and Bode's nebulae are all up. Then I'd have the 706 available for occasional use of the AP scope. I think I would piggyback the Pentax onto the C14 for an easy switch to wide field during that season.

 

I think of the Pentax as what the 142 would have become if Unitron had modernized it. 

 

Chip W. 


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#18 starman876

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Posted 06 December 2020 - 03:59 PM

Well, your AP mount is designed for that. They have one set up at the S. Pole. A Scopecover 365 would give it enough protection. But if you're mounting it in the front yard, that might still bother the civic association, and you'd have to use security hardware in place of the usual knobs to make it hard to steal. I plan to put my 706 mount on a pedestal nearer to the house, with a dovetail saddle, so I can put other scopes on it in the seasons when the observatory isn't as usable. 

 

Funny thing is, when I sited the observatory so far from the house, four years ago, it was to get away from several large trees that would block much of the sky. In the meantime, three of them died, and two developed damage that made it clear we needed to remove them before they fell on the house. So now there is spot by the house that is just as open.

 

No rings, but I have a steel kitchen cart from Lowes that is the right height to let me do the face-down mounting method, and the cart fits perfectly in the bay to use for holding the eyepiece case and tools. If I were ever to replace the Losmandy side-by-side bar with the stiffer AP bar, I would need to switch to AP saddles, and then I would get rings for it.

 

If I did not use the side-by-side, I would probably trade the C14 for the AP in about March, and switch back in September as we get into the season when M31, M42, M45, the double cluster, and Bode's nebulae are all up. Then I'd have the 706 available for occasional use of the AP scope. I think I would piggyback the Pentax onto the C14 for an easy switch to wide field during that season.

 

I think of the Pentax as what the 142 would have become if Unitron had modernized it. 

 

Chip W. 

That is what worries me abour putting a really good mount in the front yard.  Someone might get a bit too curious.   I will find a nice mount one of these days that I will not mind leaving outside.    



#19 Terra Nova

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Posted 06 December 2020 - 05:39 PM

Summer: my scopes that give me the widest possible fields because I love the summer Milky Way and all the DSOs there in. Other scopes as called for depending on what’s up (planets, comets, solar, etc.). Binoculars.

Spring and Fall: Whatever scope is called for depending on what’s up. Binoculars.

Winter: My smaller scopes and binoculars.


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#20 ccwemyss

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Posted 06 December 2020 - 11:37 PM

That is what worries me abour putting a really good mount in the front yard.  Someone might get a bit too curious.   I will find a nice mount one of these days that I will not mind leaving outside.    

For me, the 706 fits that criterion. It's strong enough to carry plenty of weight, with a simple synchro motor drive, and materials that don't mind the exposure. No electronics or setting circles. Basic black paint job. Not attractive, but functional. So it can be the off-season mount for casual observing.

 

They still show up on the classifieds every once in a while. 

 

Chip W. 



#21 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 07 December 2020 - 04:59 AM

I have too many Classic scopes.  [Well, duh!]  I try not to play favorites, but that's tough - there are a few that I really rely on year-round.  But I've noticed I tend to have a Seasonal Rotation.  Is this common, or am I the oddball?

 

 

Bob:

 

I really can't comment on whether a seasonal rotation is common but I can say this, you are an oddball.. :)   If it's any consolation, we all are oddballs.  :ubetcha:

 

I no longer have sufficient classic scopes to have a rotation but when I did, I didn't... have seasonal rotation.  Any rotation fitted in with my modern scopes as a change of pace.  And with my current scopes, there is no rotation, I decide which scope to use based on the conditions and my energy level. 

 

Jon 


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#22 Defenderslideguitar

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Posted 07 December 2020 - 12:12 PM

BB

This is interesting    I have always thought about convenience and temperature more than what I am looking at. 

 

Winter  and Spring:  I like the easy grab and go of the C-80 and the C-102   each mounts quickly on the Unistar Deluxe which is always at the ready in the garage on a nice tripod ... so does the C-102fl or Vixen 80fl...…The Mayflower 814 is a sweet 60mm  G and G on its own good mount when set up and it tolerates the quicker views in the cold better than I do...

 

Summer   and Fall:    I try to mix in    a classic   and an apo  each night for longer sessions. I have  big construction strength garbage bags  to cover them with if I go back in for an hour or so and pop back out when something I want to see finally pops into my window of opportunity.

I may use the same classic and apo   for a week or so  then switch in another classic and apo pair for a week or so     then pack those two away.....BTW the C-102 and the C-80  with the AT ED Paradigms are so outreach/share friendly

 

Non classic Orion 8 inch Dob   that fell into my lap for a song    is pretty cool for someone who never had a Newtonian or Dob…….The Dob seems so easy to set up. I imagine using it all year long    I have no experience on what effort is required for larger dobs/newts  .Love to have  a 10 inch scope   a  Cave 10 inch  or old Meade 10 Newtonian …..


Edited by Defenderslideguitar, 07 December 2020 - 12:14 PM.

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