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Researching options for upgrading to a better telescope.

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#1 Battlestamps

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Posted 02 March 2021 - 04:37 PM

Hello All!

    This is only my second post here aside from the introduction post. I've been lurking and reading posts for quite awhile here since I received my first real telescope back in December 2019 - Celestron Nexstar 4se. I've been enjoying that quite a bit when I can and have added some better eyepieces and other accessories already. I feel pretty confident in my ability to use it and understand the basic, but still very much a beginner. The learning curve is definitely steep in some areas and learning the jargon did present some stumbling blocks at first. This is the same for many hobbies so not unexpected. I collect stamps and postal history too and can bury a non-collector or newbie in philatelic terms. 

    However, I'm now at that point I want to add another telescope into the family that has one a bigger aperture for visual viewing and two the ability to delve into astrophotography. I already have Celestron's StarSense, SkyPortal and SkySync. I probably could do without the latter, but I would like my second telescope in the Celestron family and definitely a GOTO. As for OTA I would like the 9.25 Edge HD. As for mounts I've read quite a bit here. I know enough that I want an equatorial mount and from what I've read the AVX just isn't really enough for the 9.25. Would this be a correct conclusion? Then there's the CGEM II and the CGX. From what I've read the original CGEM was kinda a dud and not recommended by a number of reviewers. From what I read here the CGX L might not really be an option anymore - discontinued? That doesn't matter, but would like to know folk's views about the CGEM II vs. CGX (aside from price). Which would be the better match for the OTA or is it overkill, the merits/cons of each, etc?

    Also I'm just starting to learn about the diagonal pieces. Is the diagonal that comes with the 9.25 worthwhile as is or best to replace it with one the Celestron's premium model or one from Baader?

    I do plan to use some of the accessories like the Star Sense on the new scope, but would like to also know what direction I should look into for Deep Sky cameras for this particular setup. I know it's not optimal scope, but I assume I can use different scopes on these types of mounts later if I wish. I have a Celestron Neximage10 which works for most larger solar system items, but need ideas for DSI. Once I understand and can operate the new scope, mount, software, etc. I might look into a focal reducer and/or hyperstar. This is a long term plan and given the current state of the market and lack of most telescopes and accessories for sale I have more than enough time to continue to research and keep my eyes open for an opportunity. In the meantime, I'll keep having fun with the 4se. Love to hear your takes on my questions above.

   Best regards,

     Will

 

p.s. If it makes any difference, I live under Bortle 4 skies and would more than likely only use the scope somewhere in my yard. Not likely to travel with at as I have kids - no room in the car once it's packed for a trip. Due to other factors I don't ever see myself joining a club. There's one nearby in Albany, NY but most often I cannot travel at night. 

    

 

     



#2 PirateMike

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Posted 02 March 2021 - 04:59 PM

An Edge 9.25 is not ideal when learning AP. I wish you luck if you decide to go with it.

 

A 60mm to 80mm refractor is usually recommended by most, but I consider a 60mm the one to get for quick success and pretty pictures.

 

 

Miguel   8-)

 

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#3 Battlestamps

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Posted 02 March 2021 - 05:08 PM

Thanks for the reply. I know it's not ideal for AP, but I just want something that works well with visual viewing as well. A jack of all trades scope - master of none. Later on, can a refractor be used on one of those mounts I mentioned above? 



#4 DSOs4Me

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Posted 02 March 2021 - 05:15 PM

I would do the CGX as it has a higher load capacity. Just the weight of the 9.25 optical tube alone puts you over the half way weight limit on the CGEM II.

I started with an 11 Edge and just do AP. There is a learning curve but to me the learning is the fun part! Just my 2 cents


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#5 bobzeq25

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Posted 02 March 2021 - 05:35 PM

Thanks for the reply. I know it's not ideal for AP, but I just want something that works well with visual viewing as well. A jack of all trades scope - master of none. Later on, can a refractor be used on one of those mounts I mentioned above? 

Note that we're not supposed to discuss astrophotography here, in part because it's a _completely_ different activity.

 

But I trust the mods will be OK with me pointing out that  _classic_ beginner mistake.  Or that they'll move the thread.  Here's how it goes.  15 minutes spent watching this video will save you a _lot_ of time, and a _lot_ of money.

 

"I put together a video of my imaging rig along with some info on how I went from years of failure trying to image with a long focal length SCT, to achieving success on my first image."

 

https://www.youtube....h?v=MNQU1hdqz4M

 

As far as the "jack of all trades" scope, here's how that one goes.

 

"I got back into astronomy about 8 years ago with the intention of buying a scope setup that could  "here it comes, you haven't heard this from every new guy"  work great for visual AND AP. So yeah, I bought a C11 CGE. Yeah I know :-).  I finally tried AP just 2 years ago, and it didn't take long to buy a 80ED doublet for AP duties."

 

Bottom line.  If your goal is to image with the 9.25, you'll reach it _much_ better/faster/cheaper if you cut your teeth on that refractor.

 

Yeah, it's not intuitive.  <smile>


Edited by bobzeq25, 02 March 2021 - 05:36 PM.

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#6 jimhoward999

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Posted 02 March 2021 - 05:47 PM

While purists say no, you actually can put 9.25 Edge HD on an AVX mount....they even sell them that way.  It will work fine for visual observation and you can even do AP provided you limit yourself to short exposures of planets.

 

What you can't do is long exposure imaging of DSOs because the overloaded mount may shake.

 

But the advantage is cost and it makes for a portable light weight set up.


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#7 Battlestamps

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Posted 02 March 2021 - 06:25 PM

I'm pretty dead set on a 9.25 as the vast majority of time will be spent on visual viewing, but I just want AP as an option to grow into and just want to know what kind of cameras could be considered in the future. I don't mind the learning curve as I'm pretty patient (I've sorted probably through two million stamp covers by now and that's my low estimate) and I have the time to put into it as needed. 

 

Jimhoward999: Would the larger mounts eliminate most of that shake?



#8 jimhoward999

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Posted 02 March 2021 - 07:28 PM

I'm pretty dead set on a 9.25 as the vast majority of time will be spent on visual viewing, but I just want AP as an option to grow into and just want to know what kind of cameras could be considered in the future. I don't mind the learning curve as I'm pretty patient (I've sorted probably through two million stamp covers by now and that's my low estimate) and I have the time to put into it as needed. 

 

Jimhoward999: Would the larger mounts eliminate most of that shake?

yes, and give better performance of course.....just heavier to lug into the backyard.



#9 Battlestamps

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Posted 02 March 2021 - 07:34 PM

Yep, heavier, but not Dob heavy. Backyard is a short trip at least. I have a wagon to carry the parts as needed.



#10 PirateMike

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Posted 02 March 2021 - 10:57 PM

Note that we're not supposed to discuss astrophotography here, in part because it's a _completely_ different activity.

Ooops, Sorry. flowerred.gif

 

I need to pay more attention to what forum I'm in. blush.gif

 

 

Miguel   8-)

 

.



#11 Hexley  Happy Birthday!

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Posted 02 March 2021 - 11:01 PM

Yep, heavier, but not Dob heavy. Backyard is a short trip at least. I have a wagon to carry the parts as needed.

The 9.25 mounted weighs in around 50 pounds, more if it’s on a counter weighted mount. My 8” Dob is 40 pounds. So it’s close.

Speaking as a 6SE owner hanging out at 1500mm, my issue with the larger SCTs is their long focal lengths... that’s very hard to manage. If I were you, I’d get a big 10” Dob to compliment the 4” grab-n-go scope. You can use the 4” baby as the guide scope for the big Dob. Point it where the green laser pointer is pointing 😂

You’re very lucky to have Bortle 4 at home, so the 10” will do very nicely since it needn’t travel far. Living in a Bortle 7, my scopes are 6 and 8”... any larger scope’s benefit is lost to light pollution and won’t fit easily in my car.

What always shocks me at club events is how much larger and longer the 9.25 is over the 8” SCTs, and I’ve looked at the same object back to back... it’s not a significant difference to my admittedly casual astronomer eyes.

Edited by Hexley, 02 March 2021 - 11:05 PM.


#12 Battlestamps

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Posted 03 March 2021 - 08:41 AM

I've read about the Dobs and they are not what I'm looking for at the moment nor matches my goals. It might be something I might add in the future if the opportunity arises. The 9.25 set-up should still be easy enough to dissemble and transport in case I want to rent a place in the Adirondacks. There's some Bortle 1-2 skies in some areas out there and not far from home. 



#13 PirateMike

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Posted 03 March 2021 - 09:18 AM

Just buy the 9.25 and be done with it. wink.gif

 

 

Miguel   8-)

 

.


Edited by PirateMike, 03 March 2021 - 09:21 AM.


#14 Battlestamps

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Posted 03 March 2021 - 09:29 AM

Probably will once someone has one available and might have to wait till the end of the year. I should have made my questions more pointed: Which mount? Need a better diagonal? Which camera? 



#15 SeattleScott

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Posted 03 March 2021 - 10:06 AM

Probably will once someone has one available and might have to wait till the end of the year. I should have made my questions more pointed: Which mount? Need a better diagonal? Which camera?

Which camera is a complicated question that depends on which types of targets and what type of imaging, like planetary, EAA or long exposure. What mount is related to these as well. Better questions for imaging forum.

Scott

#16 bobzeq25

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Posted 03 March 2021 - 10:51 AM

Probably will once someone has one available and might have to wait till the end of the year. I should have made my questions more pointed: Which mount? Need a better diagonal? Which camera? 

Again, we're not supposed to discuss astrophotography.  I'll keep this very brief, still expecting the thread to be moved.

 

Mount is the most important thing.  Did I mention this was not intuitive?  <smile> The best you can afford and carry.  The most common beginner mistake is skimping on the mount.  The second is too big a scope.

 

Camera, like scope, is less important.  A DSLR can work.   A dedicated astro camera is better for planetary.  A dedicated cooled camera is better for DSOs.

 

You don't use a diagonal for photography.  Completely different thing.


Edited by bobzeq25, 03 March 2021 - 10:52 AM.


#17 Battlestamps

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Posted 03 March 2021 - 10:58 AM

Would upgrading the diagonal noticeably improve visual viewing over the diagonal that would come with the scope?  I will look out for one of the studier mounts, not the AVX. Thanks for your response bobzeq25.



#18 SeattleScott

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Posted 03 March 2021 - 11:09 AM

A 2” diagonal would give a wider view.

It is possible if not likely that a $400 diagonal will give a sharper view than the stock diagonal, but typically the difference will be subtle. Certainly a consideration if you like to get the best.

Scott

#19 Battlestamps

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Posted 03 March 2021 - 02:58 PM

I'll look into diagonals another day as that's down the road and I just something I've been thinking about.

 

Now, funny story. I know I didn't say I wanted a Dob, but opportunity knocked. I was causally looking through the local Craigslist today and there was a Skywatcher 10" Dob for a good price and it was listed as barely used. I went and checked it out and it was in great looking condition, all the parts, clean moves fine, etc. I know that it's going to be awhile before anything will be on the market, new or used. I was wanting a Dob further down the road, but welp opportunity knocked. The previous owner was an older petite woman who just jumped head into astronomy and bought the scope from Astronomics, but found it too heavy for her. In two pieces, it's easy for me. After 20 years of field archaeology it's not heavy to me, but a little awkward due to the shapes. She's still interested in astronomy and she seems comfortable DSLR cameras. I suggested she could look in a nice refractor/mount combo or the like. I told her about this forum if she wants to ask questions, etc. I still want a 9.25", but that's probably not going to happen for quite awhile given the market and I doubt those just pop up often on the secondary market like the dob. I have time and hope to enjoy this one for now until then.




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