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10" 12" or 14" meade?

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#1 Guest_**DONOTDELETE**_*

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Posted 23 May 2004 - 10:23 AM

Hi,
I need info from people with these scopes. How are they to transport, is it impossible to set up the 14" on your own. What is the noticable difference between all these scopes. Has anyone bought a 10" and then had to upgrade to a 12"/14"? I need to go to the US to get this scope so i don't fancy having to upgrade any time soon. Is there anything you could rig up to assist with asembling the 14".

By the time i am going to get this scope i should have the money for the 14" with some acessories. I will not have to move it much except into and out of the house (i live in a v dark skies site). I am just wondering whether it would be better to go for more portability and more accesories or more appature. (just how much more portable is the 12"?)

This is a conundrum and probably very difficult for you lot to answer but i would teally appreciate any advice from people who know. Thanks :help:

#2 Don W

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Posted 23 May 2004 - 10:29 AM

How are you going to transport it from the US to wherever you are?

#3 Guest_**DONOTDELETE**_*

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Posted 23 May 2004 - 10:56 AM

going to have to ship it. Will cost a bit, pluss import and vat but still saves me a couple of grand

#4 Echo

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Posted 23 May 2004 - 11:58 AM

I think the 12" is the true limit for setting up and tearing down. Even then you have to be very careful. It isn't the weight of the 12" that makes it difficult. It's the high center of gravity. I have a 10" and absolutely love it. The OTA on the 10" swings down between the forks and it is a breeze to lift onto the tripod. Maybe Meddyn can give you some advice on the 14" as he just set his up in his observatory.

#5 conus

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Posted 23 May 2004 - 12:36 PM

I will not have to move it much except into and out of the house (i live in a v dark skies site). I am just wondering whether it would be better to go for more portability and more accesories or more appature.



Do you have a garage or other ground-level structure seperate from the house? Whichever size scope you choose, JMI's Wheely Bars will make the setup more portable at your permanent location. I have mine on Wheely Bars in our unheated garage, which also helps with cool down. To use the scope I just wheel it outside, point it north, lock the wheels and align. They have sizes to fit most tripods and if you need to roll it accross dirt or grass, you can order larger wheels.

http://www.jimsmobil...y_bars_data.htm

#6 Guest_**DONOTDELETE**_*

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Posted 23 May 2004 - 12:54 PM

i do have a guarage but it has quite deep gravel outside it. I might be able to rig up some kind of shed near where i am going to need the scope.
Thanks for the info

#7 jrcrilly

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Posted 23 May 2004 - 06:12 PM

I think the 12" is the true limit for setting up and tearing down. Even then you have to be very careful. It isn't the weight of the 12" that makes it difficult. It's the high center of gravity. I have a 10" and absolutely love it. The OTA on the 10" swings down between the forks and it is a breeze to lift onto the tripod.


Yes - I've used 10" LX200s's in the field lots of times and they are fine. I've owned the 12" and 14" and didn't consider either of them portable. I've seen the 12" used in the field but with that OTA sticking straight up and the handles at the bottom it's seriously unbalanced when setting up. The 14" weighs a good 40 pounds more than the 12" (120 pounds v. 80 pounds) and is even farther from balance. I can't recommend it for portable use at all. I've never attempted to set mine up alone, even though I did it with the 12" plenty of times. It's just too top-heavy to do with confidence. Don't even think of sticking it on the wedge alone; I suspect that's impossible. I'm a big boy; 240 pounds and 6 feet - but I know my limitations.

#8 wilash

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Posted 23 May 2004 - 07:26 PM

Have you thought about using the OTA on a GEM. It would be easier to handle. If you are thinking about imaging, a GEM would be more versatile.

#9 StarWars

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Posted 23 May 2004 - 08:08 PM



The 14 inch LX-200 GPS weighs 166 lbs.

This is NOT a grab and go telescope ... :shocked:

#10 Scott Beith

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Posted 23 May 2004 - 08:49 PM

If I can carry it - will someone give one to me ?????

:roflmao: :roflmao: :roflmao:

#11 Rusty

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Posted 23 May 2004 - 09:36 PM

If I can carry it - will someone give one to me ?????

:roflmao: :roflmao: :roflmao:


No.

#12 Scott Beith

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Posted 23 May 2004 - 09:49 PM

Darn, that was my only chance...

:bawling: :lol:

#13 jrcrilly

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Posted 24 May 2004 - 02:02 AM

Have you thought about using the OTA on a GEM. It would be easier to handle. If you are thinking about imaging, a GEM would be more versatile.


I suppose it would be easier to handle if you are gonna tear it down and reassemble every time you use it. GEMs are substantially heavier than forkmounts for a given capacity. A GEM that would handle a C14, but probably not the heavier Meade 14" tube, would go maybe 200 pounds including counterweights plus 50 pounds for the C14.

Many imagers feel that the 200 pound class of mounts are unsuitable for a 14" SCT and recommend a heavy-duty mount instead. :crazy:

#14 jrcrilly

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Posted 24 May 2004 - 02:07 AM


The 14 inch LX-200 GPS weighs 166 lbs.

This is NOT a grab and go telescope ... :shocked:


That does include the tripod; the mount and OTA go about 120 pounds. I don't think there's any safe way to pick up the whole assembly; I'd expect that the weight of the tripod pulling the wrong way on the RA bearings would do some damage if one tried to lift it with the scope.

I've handled two of these things and still haven't felt inspired to pick one up off the floor alone. Mine's on the floor right now and needs to be lifted onto the wedge (about 4.5 feet up) while tipped at about 45 degrees - it ain't gonna happen until someone shows up to help.

#15 Guest_**DONOTDELETE**_*

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Posted 24 May 2004 - 03:28 AM

Thanks for all the help guys. I am beginning to think the 12" might be the way to go. I will be loath to give up that extra aperture but i think i could handle the 12", not so sure about the 14". I was initially thinking of making some kind of portable hoist system that could be used to set it on the tripod with only one person but thi all adds difficulty and more baggage.
Also i would be using the wedge although i am aware that picking up the whole assembled structure would be next to impossible. Just in case i think i will get in some time in the gym!!!
I'm not sure i could give up all the aperture down to the 10" and to be honest if the guy at the shop gives me the hard sell i could just throw all my careful consideration out the window and get the 14".
Well thanks anyway and if you have any more info on clever ways of getting scopes about let me know!

#16 wilash

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Posted 24 May 2004 - 04:46 AM

u02pnm, may I ask if this is your first scope?

#17 Guest_**DONOTDELETE**_*

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Posted 24 May 2004 - 05:52 AM

No, i have had a scope for about 10 years. I also have friends with larger scopes (mostly russian, the scopes not my friends). This will be my first serious scope, i know i like the hobby as i have stuck with it for all these years when my scope could bearly show the rings of saturn.

#18 Guest_**DONOTDELETE**_*

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Posted 24 May 2004 - 07:31 AM

The 16"!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

#19 wilash

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Posted 24 May 2004 - 07:55 AM

One more point to think about. The harder the scope is to set up, the less it will be used. You may actually end up seeing more in the 10". Have you considered the Celestron NextStar 11" carbon fiber SCT?

What accessories are you planning to buy. Are you going to be imaging with this scope? Binoviewer? A small refractor to piggyback as a wide-field scope? Eyepieces? Will you need a 2" diagonal? Dew sheild? Dew heater? Charts? You mention accessories in your orginal post and we have been so caught up with this aperture/weight thing, we forgot to ask.

#20 Guest_**DONOTDELETE**_*

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Posted 24 May 2004 - 09:00 AM

As far as accessories go i will need
Various EP's
A 2" diagonal
A 2* barlow
Dew shield (although may make this)
I have a small refractor, charts, books etc
I will be imaging starting with the LPI that comes with then hopefully moving to CCD maybe in a year or 2- my Dad has some equiptment and my aunt is a professional photographer. Up to now i have just been piggybacking etc.
I will also need a few filters and other accessories.
I am quite handy both in electronics and minor engeneerin/carpentry skills so i intend to make a few things myself as i have done up to now.
My biggest problem is getting the largest aperture i can handle for around £5000 with a few bits and bobs thrown in. Money is always a bit of a problem but i am setting a reasonable sum aside for this and am willing to invest more in the future. My biggest fear though is buying an expensive scope that i outgrow in a couple of years. The largest scope our astronomy club has got is a 10" meade and i think it would be nice to have a slightly larger one (not for ego but to evolve the club and improve its resources)
Everyone here has been very helpful so thanks for all the advice.
If anyone can think of any accessories that are a must have, or those bits and bobs that just make things easier then post because i really am looking to absorb all your knowledge and experience. Thanks

#21 Guest_**DONOTDELETE**_*

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Posted 24 May 2004 - 09:02 AM

the 16" is a bit much even for me Scott. How do you get that up (avoid any inuendo!!!). What kind of images do you get?? more info just for interests sake!

#22 BluewaterObserva

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Posted 24 May 2004 - 09:25 AM

Anybody hauling around, tear'n down, and setting up a 12" SCT or larger, has a lot of fortitude in my book.

I hauled around a 16" EQ for 5 years, When I upgraded the OTA to a 17.5" f/4, it was time to give it a permanent home.

#23 Guest_**DONOTDELETE**_*

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Posted 24 May 2004 - 09:45 AM

i need something to keep me fit bluewater!!

#24 BluewaterObserva

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Posted 24 May 2004 - 11:21 AM

Best thing about is....

"The more you use it, the more fit you become!!!"

I can say in that 5 years, the size was never a factor, I was always excited and eager to go out and get it setup. I do admit, that it makes for mostly all nighters, cause once it is setup, you will want to get the max possible use from it, before tear'n it back down. lol

#25 Guest_**DONOTDELETE**_*

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Posted 25 May 2004 - 04:47 AM

In my line of work we have night shifts every so often so i will become a bit nocturnal during these times anyway. Whats the point in getting up during the day??? Anyway once you get out and all wrapped up for the cold its very hard to leave the eyepiece, i guess its just an occupational hazzard!
Still pontificating over 12" or 14" but at present i think i am 62.6% moved towards the 12" for ease of setup.


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