Jump to content

  •  

CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.

Photo

Getting a GoTo - Dob vs AltAz

  • Please log in to reply
30 replies to this topic

#26 Scoper47

Scoper47

    Sputnik

  • -----
  • Posts: 42
  • Joined: 22 Feb 2021
  • Loc: Olathe Ks

Posted 09 March 2021 - 10:22 PM

I'll apologize in advance for likely being the 100 millionth person to ask this question.

I already have a 90mm AZ Pro refractor - I'm happy with this for a grab and go scope, and just for coasting around at lower power.

 

I'm looking to get a GoTo scope largely for home use in Bortle 4-5.
I'd like to be able to see some DSOs that would be challenging hand sight with the given ambient light. I like the idea of being able to have the higher magnification track for bit 20-30 minutes without constantly moving knobs.

Having the aperture of like an 8-10" Skywatcher DOB is really appealing, but monetarily now we're getting $1300 -$1700: there's a lot of options for that kind of money.

I'm not interested in an EQ mount.
Something like the iOptrion AZ Mount Pro seems ideal for: ease of use, loaded with features, and expands up to 33lb payload. It seems like a very future proof mount with a lot flexibility in how you use it.

Then it becomes a question of what OTA and also not getting into >$2k cost.
Something like a 150mm MAK is appealing for the size and not needing constant collimation, but then cost per inch of aperture is higher, regardless because of the design limitations and what's commercially available, 7" is the max anyway.

That's kind of where I'm hung up.
Does it make more sense to get the DOB - or get GoTo Az + OTA.
Or even, should I get the GoTo and trying using that with the refactor before worrying about what OTA throw on it.

I also know there are GoTo mounts in the $300-$500 that would be fine for the refractor - but all those are so payload or tripod limited - there's the part of me that thinks I should skip those options because you get what you pay for I'll end up needing the step up later anyway.

Obviously COVID makes this more complicated - there are not any meetups right now and let alone people wanting to share gear.

 

---

TLDR - I'm asking the existential every person who has owned a telescope has asked - please tell me what my perfect scope is! wink.gif


 

I don't want to start an argument with you., But you may be the "100 millionth person" I have responded to by asking: Can you, and are you willing to drive to a place with darker skies? The darkness of the skies you view from can make a big difference. You mention you observe from Bortle 4 or 5 skies. I consider Bortle 4 dark but not real dark.

Rather than advise you as to whether to use a GoTo or simialr assist, or to star hop. Let me tell you what has successfully worked for me for over 35 years of observing thousands of DSO, and that is learning to read the constellations and star hop to find the dso's I am looking for.  I have tried Go To or Push To assists and in some ways they can make it easier, but in other ways they just slow me down and get in the way. Besides, to me it's not the quantity of objects I observe in a given night, but more important is the quality of the time I spend getting the most out of the objects I observe, record and sketch.  Star hopping and knowing how to navigate the sky like a road map is part of the joy of this hobby.  There are people who have been observing deep sky objects for years and have earned Messier and Herschel awards, but they only did it by using setting circles EQ or fork mounts, or using a GoTo or PushTo and depending on them to find the objects for them, but if something malfunctions, well,, they are helpless to find anything because they don't know the sky well enough to find them without these assists. 

I know saying this may upset some people here, but I am just trying to be honest in a tough love kind of way. I don't want to sound preachy, but some people in this hobby and well as other things in life are looking for easy answers and short cuts. And some people who get into this hobby are told, in one way or another, that you really don't need to learn the sky if you get an assist like a GoTo or setting circles.as a short cut. 

 

If you are willing to do without like a GoTo or some sort of EQ mount then you should be able to buy a good 8 inch or 10 in Dob new for $500 to $700 dollars, and even less used like from the classifieds.  There are no perfect scopes, and if there were you might not be able to afford it. And it's not just the scope; it's the skill of the person using it.

 

Clear skies


Edited by Scoper47, 09 March 2021 - 10:53 PM.


#27 COViewer

COViewer

    Explorer 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 63
  • Joined: 28 Sep 2020

Posted 12 March 2021 - 12:36 PM

^ And I would advise a go-to for almost anyone getting into the hobby.  I think a deep problem in the astronomy community is forgetting what it's like to be a rank beginner.  The star hopping learning curve is terribly steep.  The wonder of the skies is so easily lost in terrible frustration about merely pointing at anything to look at.  I liken it to playing a guitar or learning math.  In the initial intro, if the learner is lost, it's over.  The go-to facilitates learning the sky as much as computer driven guitar lessons revolutionized string teaching.

 

The great irony in the Dob revolution is this: while the low cost opened the hobby to many more, the difficulty in finding anything soured many more.


Edited by COViewer, 12 March 2021 - 12:57 PM.


#28 Sheol

Sheol

    Viking 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 885
  • Joined: 20 Mar 2010

Posted 12 March 2021 - 07:07 PM

                          GOTO is not a replacement for learning the brighter constellations!. This should be done before anyone ever buys a telescope. Funny thing is, I have Dobs with the Push-To DSCs & I basically do not use them. I find star hopping more fun. Yes, many will not learn to do that. But you DO need to identify the brighter stars just to use GOTO.   

                          The difficulty in finding objects has been in the Hobby since day 1. Nothing new here. Its why in the Past, many good scopes could be had second hand. People gave up because they could never use them.

 

                     Clear Skies,

                        Matt.



#29 ayadai

ayadai

    Vostok 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 163
  • Joined: 01 Feb 2021
  • Loc: Northern Mariana Islands

Posted 13 March 2021 - 02:36 AM

^ And I would advise a go-to for almost anyone getting into the hobby.  I think a deep problem in the astronomy community is forgetting what it's like to be a rank beginner.  The star hopping learning curve is terribly steep.  The wonder of the skies is so easily lost in terrible frustration about merely pointing at anything to look at.  I liken it to playing a guitar or learning math.  In the initial intro, if the learner is lost, it's over.

QFT
 

GOTO is not a replacement for learning the brighter constellations!. This should be done before anyone ever buys a telescope.

I respectfully and emphatically disagree with this statement. There are many different learning styles and one size does not fit all. I had only a latent interest in astronomy until I got a goto and began to use it. It kindled newfound enthusiasm, encouraged me to spend much more time observing, and helped me identify individual stars, knowledge that I later used to identify constellations.


Edited by ayadai, 13 March 2021 - 02:39 AM.

  • CounterWeight and 72Nova like this

#30 Dave Mitsky

Dave Mitsky

    ISS

  • *****
  • Moderators
  • Posts: 95,957
  • Joined: 08 Apr 2002
  • Loc: PA, USA, Planet Earth

Posted 13 March 2021 - 12:39 PM

The suggestions of getting an Orion Intelliscope or outfitting a manual Dob with an azimuth circle and an inclinometer are worth considering.  Some people are able to learn to star-hop rather easily, whereas others can't.  The darkness of the location from where one observes can make a big difference in that regard.



#31 CounterWeight

CounterWeight

    Star walker

  • *****
  • Posts: 11,203
  • Joined: 05 Oct 2008
  • Loc: PDX, OR.

Posted 13 March 2021 - 01:53 PM

Wanting to avoid the eternal goto vs star hopping rabbit hole. 

 

I would just say that tracking is great, whatever the scope type or how / where used.  Keeps objects centered in the eyepiece where they all work best, and I can relax and really concentrate fully on the object under scrutiny.  Not that you cannot do that manually, just as you rack up the magnification it can get tedious, at least for folks like me. (afterthought edit - also tracking is great when sharing the view with others, doing any type of outreach)

 

Many folks consider 8" aperture a good starting point for DSO's, even then many faint fuzzies will remain just that, albeit less so.  As you increase aperture the number of objects that become interesting increases in proportion wherever you observe from.  For most of us, mirrors are the only real option economically speaking.  Whatever type of mirror setup you will need to understand collimation, it is as far from a black art as it gets, but then even putting chains on your car tires may seem difficult until you actually do it. There are many great vid's about collimation on youtube, well worth the time to watch and learn from.

 

The only real difference IMO in mount types is that with an EQ type the object orientation at the eyepiece remains unchanged and so is the darling for imagers.  ALT/AZ is fine for all that is not imaging, as long as object not directly overhead all depending if you are using a refractor or SCt. IMO this where the Dobsonian setup shines, looking near overhead always least atmosphere and best view for the night whatever the atm conditions?

 

I've known many family folks getting into the hobby in the last ten years that decided on a goto SCt setup and was all they needed, they still have and use them.  Easy to learn and easy to teach initial alignment routine- 'kid friendly'.  Though these days anything that can compete with their phone or tablets is getting more rare.

 

Keep looking at gear and keep asking questions.  At some point all this Covid pandemic will be behind us. There will be star parties again !

 

So much of the hobby when getting in is about trying to 'right size' not the gear but the expectations of the person purchasing it.


Edited by CounterWeight, 13 March 2021 - 01:59 PM.

  • 72Nova likes this


CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.


Recent Topics






Cloudy Nights LLC
Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics