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Thinking of a dob…

Dob Equipment Visual Reflector
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#1 MarkCosmos

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Posted 29 June 2022 - 07:19 PM

Hey guys,

 

I’m thinking about a dobsonian for more casual on the spot observing, my current setups require a decent amount of set-up, and in the summer pattern here, viewing windows tend to be apparently very spontaneous.

 

I’d really like a dob that’s :

  • Around 6ft tall max (Aperture corresponding)
  • relatively Light weight & Transportable
  • Collapsible and hand-portable (truss tube style)
  • Good solid build quality to price ratio(quality components, good focuser, quality optics, good base)
  • Have Simple/Basic Go-to with tracking
  • Ideally suited targets in order of Priority:

1.Bright DSOs

2:Lunar

3: Gazing at open clusters and at starfields 

4: Double Stars

5: Planetary.

 

Other considerations are that I’d like it to work well with my current Eyepiece set (Baader Hyperion 68°s + Xcel-Lx Barlows+ Zwo ADC) I’d put priority in quality of the optics, and a smooth nice 2 speed focuser, other considerations are secondary in my opinion. Mods to make a good scope better are fine, Mods to bring a “almost good except” scope up to par is a no-go for me. I’m looking for quality out of the box. Something Mid-range, and commercially available, no custom orders, or “DIY Specialty Kits” please, thank you!

 

I realize there’s no “perfect scope” and there’s always trade-offs so please let me hear them, and your recommendations, personal experiences, and comments are welcome!

 

Thank you Kindly! I’ll appreciate all input!


Edited by MarkCosmos, 30 June 2022 - 04:13 AM.


#2 Bean614

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Posted 29 June 2022 - 08:47 PM

And your Budget is.......????


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#3 Keith Rivich

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Posted 29 June 2022 - 09:04 PM

18" f4.5. 



#4 MarkCosmos

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Posted 29 June 2022 - 09:19 PM

18" f4.5. 

 

And your Budget is.......????

Budget is relatively open, I want a good mid tier scope. I expect that this scope might be 1000-$2000 New, possibly less used?


Edited by MarkCosmos, 29 June 2022 - 09:20 PM.

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#5 Bean614

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Posted 29 June 2022 - 09:32 PM

Good luck with that! 


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#6 MarkCosmos

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Posted 29 June 2022 - 09:50 PM

Good luck with that! 

Is $2000 very low for a basic truss, go-to dob of this size? Sorry I’m new to Astronomy in general, and don’t know a whole lot about what different types of scopes costs.

 

Thanks.


Edited by MarkCosmos, 29 June 2022 - 09:51 PM.


#7 N3p

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Posted 29 June 2022 - 09:54 PM

There is one for sale in Canada, it would probably cost a bit to ship to Florida.

 

it's not a recommendation or anything, just an observation.

 

https://www.kijiji.c...plet/1601450136


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#8 Jethro7

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Posted 29 June 2022 - 10:27 PM

Budget is relatively open, I want a good mid tier scope. I expect that this scope might be 1000-$2000 New, possibly less used?

Hello Mark,

For what you are looking for, will probably cost you at least twice your top budget and at this price point you are most likely looking at 10" Dob. You can take a look at the Classifieds or try placing a Classified Ad here and there and who knows maybe some one has a truss Dob for sale. That Dob may need some work to get it back into operation. Things like the mirrors needing recoating and a good cleaning and refinish. This is no problem if the price is right. Every now and again, I have  been looking around for a Classic Obsession Dob around a 15" to 20" for myself, the prices range around $6,000.00 basic, to $8,500.00, used and depending on upgrades can be more, add another $450.00 for freight or for a road trip. 

 

KEEP LOOKING UP Jethro

 

P.S. FWIW there are some nice collapsible Comercial Dobs out there. That are in your price range. You can join a Astronomy Club. Or attend a Star Party. Often these are great places that you can locate scopes for sale. Or build your own. This Hobby can be expensive. But you know what? It has been well worth it. It's Amazing what's up there.


Edited by Jethro7, 29 June 2022 - 10:58 PM.

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#9 JohnBear

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Posted 29 June 2022 - 10:39 PM

Sounds like you want a Big (12-14') easily transportable Truss Dob with built in GoTo and tracking for $2k or less. lol.gif roflmao.gif rofl2.gif

 

I have basic 12' SW Flextube (about $1800 new), and it NEEDS a JMI Wheeley Bar ($400) to move it around. A made to fit tracking GoTo system would probably add around another $1k. 

 

I believe Amazon has the GoTo SW 12" for around $4000. That is up from around $2000 in 2020 I think.  But time machines are also expensive - not to mention risky!.

 

Also note that the SW Flextubes are actually about 7% heavier than the equivalent solid tube Dobs. So they really are not that much more "portable".  A "real" truss tube Dob would be much lighter and compact for transport, but they also require manual assembly and collimation each time - and they are generally more expensive.

 

'That's just the nature of this hobby!

 

 

 

.


Edited by JohnBear, 29 June 2022 - 10:43 PM.

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#10 BrentKnight

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Posted 30 June 2022 - 12:10 AM

Is $2000 very low for a basic truss, go-to dob of this size? Sorry I’m new to Astronomy in general, and don’t know a whole lot about what different types of scopes costs.

 

Thanks.

Skip the Go2 and the price drops along with the weight and complexity.  Maybe one of the new StarSense Explorer Dobs from Celestron might work?


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#11 mayhem13

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Posted 30 June 2022 - 01:07 AM

In all honesty, given the assembly time of a large Dob along with collimation, your current 9.25 and AVX is likely no more difficult to transport and set up. 
 

While the larger Aperture Dob will capture more light, the views will be dictated by the seeing and Florida seeing isn’t anything special…….the planetary photography folks here often capture with the 9.25 and unless the seeing is exceptional (read very very rare) you’d need 14” or larger to see and improvement.

 

So in a nutshell, real appreciable improvements in viewing will come with the big dobs……16” and larger……but they’re not light, even in pieces….and sadly, they’re 2x-3x your budget or more. In other words, enjoy what you have ( an excellent scope BTW) and start saving for your next upgrade. You would likely have one built and the turn around time these days can be a year or more…..plenty of time to squirrel away the funds!



#12 MeridianStarGazer

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Posted 30 June 2022 - 02:04 AM

A HubbleOptics 16" is a bit over $2000. But that is before you add shipping and the shroud and accessories. Also, some say the structure is not as stiff as an Obsession.

But it is only 60 pounds.

#13 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 30 June 2022 - 02:47 AM

While the larger Aperture Dob will capture more light, the views will be dictated by the seeing and Florida seeing isn’t anything special

 

 

The views of DSOs are mostly about light gathering.

 

Florida seeing can be very good.

 

Jon


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#14 MarkCosmos

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Posted 30 June 2022 - 04:04 AM

Thanks all for the replies,

 

I didn’t have an idea of baseline price to consider other than “Dobs are the best bang for your buck”

So I’d need to go double in price to get what I’m looking for?
 

For some reason I was under the impression that dobs can be separated into tube, and base… transported and setup quickly, I was aware of the collimation part, but not that they’d need any major assembly each session. The idea is not to see a visual improvement over my current setup, other than being able to pull it out of the garage and have it setup when 1-2 hour viewing windows open up in the summertime rain/cloud pattern.

 

I guess go to is not an essential though, a Push-To system would work as well. Heck DSCs would be fine too. Just something to help me locate items, and let me know where I am in the sky.

 

I was originally thinking something along the lines of a 8/10 flex tube go-to which seem to be below 2000 in price, but as I said that number doesn’t need to be a constraint. Although more affordable = Better for now.
 

Thanks again for the replies!


Edited by MarkCosmos, 30 June 2022 - 04:08 AM.


#15 ButterFly

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Posted 30 June 2022 - 04:17 AM

Budget is relatively open, I want a good mid tier scope. I expect that this scope might be 1000-$2000 New, possibly less used?


Spend some time browsing the classifieds. Look up the specs and features of the scopes offered. Get to know the pluses and minuses of the various components. That budget is better off invested for a few years while you get to know what's out there.

Sporadic views with a dob means that it's cool and ready to go. That's more realistic with an 8/10" on a hand truck in a shed. For a first dob, going much higher than that is not advisable. Wooden scopes have issues from time to time, especially in humid environments. Bigger doesn't mean easier to handle.

You will get much larger true fields than with an SCT. Dobs have all the reach of large SCTs, but can still be used at "low" power.

Join a club and start with a loaner or used 8/10". After a year, with starhopping, you can decide whether to step up. Goto on a dob still needs some knowledge of finding out where you are. If you're only after the big bright stuff, it's very easy to find. But in truth, you will be pushing it and getting to its limits. Knowing that you are in the exact right place helps with that. Most DSCs have some local align feature, so your gotos will be very close, but the object won't be obvious. Starhopping is very quick once you get the hang of it, even with relatively tiny true fields.
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#16 MarkCosmos

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Posted 30 June 2022 - 04:27 AM

Spend some time browsing the classifieds. Look up the specs and features of the scopes offered. Get to know the pluses and minuses of the various components. That budget is better off invested for a few years while you get to know what's out there.

Sporadic views with a dob means that it's cool and ready to go. That's more realistic with an 8/10" on a hand truck in a shed. For a first dob, going much higher than that is not advisable. Wooden scopes have issues from time to time, especially in humid environments. Bigger doesn't mean easier to handle.

You will get much larger true fields than with an SCT. Dobs have all the reach of large SCTs, but can still be used at "low" power.

Join a club and start with a loaner or used 8/10". After a year, with starhopping, you can decide whether to step up. Goto on a dob still needs some knowledge of finding out where you are. If you're only after the big bright stuff, it's very easy to find. But in truth, you will be pushing it and getting to its limits. Knowing that you are in the exact right place helps with that. Most DSCs have some local align feature, so your gotos will be very close, but the object won't be obvious. Starhopping is very quick once you get the hang of it, even with relatively tiny true fields.

Thanks ButterFly,

 

I did ask the same question in my club, and asked if any loaners were available. It would be stored in my garage covered, on wheels/platform to roll-out to the drive way. The budget is more open than $2000 I was just trying to make an “Educated Guess” on what such a scope might cost.

8 to 10” in aperture would be just fine, I’m looking for more ease of setup and transportation for a visual instrument, that I can just level base, put the OTA on, and start stargazing. Not having to fuss with facing tripod north, polar alignment sliding an OTA in the dovetail, and balancing like I need to do with my SCT. Something more simple, and easy to use basically… for when those short opportunities of clear sky present themselves.


Edited by MarkCosmos, 30 June 2022 - 04:29 AM.


#17 Chad7531

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Posted 30 June 2022 - 05:11 AM

This seems to fit what you were originally looking for, almost. https://www.bhphotov...t=BI:6879&smp=y

But if you want simplicity and are going to keep it in the garage and not take it apart and put it back together. Maybe go with the z12/ad12, add a manual setting circle, and maybe the wheel bar kit mentioned above (they’re heavy left in one piece). But you could always take the OTA off and muscle the base and scope around separately.

Another option mentioned is the starsense dob option.

Edited by Chad7531, 30 June 2022 - 05:12 AM.

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#18 MarkCosmos

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Posted 30 June 2022 - 05:26 AM

This seems to fit what you were originally looking for, almost. https://www.bhphotov...t=BI:6879&smp=y

But if you want simplicity and are going to keep it in the garage and not take it apart and put it back together. Maybe go with the z12/ad12, add a manual setting circle, and maybe the wheel bar kit mentioned above (they’re heavy left in one piece). But you could always take the OTA off and muscle the base and scope around separately.

Another option mentioned is the starsense dob option.

Yes, that is nearly exactly what I’d be looking for, I could still collapse it and tote it to darker skies, and could wheel it out of the garage and be observing in a moments notice. Has anyone had experience with these scopes?
 

I’ll have to look into the star-sense Dobs,

 

Thanks for the suggestion!


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#19 Speedy1985

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Posted 30 June 2022 - 05:52 AM

For $2k, a go to truss is out of your budget if you want to appreciably increase your aperture to 10 or 12”. My suggestion is forget the factory electronics and, if you can handle it, get an Apertura AD10 or 12. The 12” is $1299 and you can add a Nexus II plus encoders for another $500, download SkySafari and make it a push to dob. The Nexus is a very good product. The scope also comes with a decent 30mm eyepiece as well. They occasionally show up in the classified ads too.


Edited by Speedy1985, 30 June 2022 - 05:52 AM.

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#20 Mike W

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Posted 30 June 2022 - 08:49 AM

For $2k, a go to truss is out of your budget if you want to appreciably increase your aperture to 10 or 12”. My suggestion is forget the factory electronics and, if you can handle it, get an Apertura AD10 or 12. The 12” is $1299 and you can add a Nexus II plus encoders for another $500, download SkySafari and make it a push to dob. The Nexus is a very good product. The scope also comes with a decent 30mm eyepiece as well. They occasionally show up in the classified ads too.


I just purchased an Apertura AD10 and I have to tell you I was pleasantly surprised at the quality and excellent optics!
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#21 MarkCosmos

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Posted 30 June 2022 - 08:51 AM

For $2k, a go to truss is out of your budget if you want to appreciably increase your aperture to 10 or 12”. My suggestion is forget the factory electronics and, if you can handle it, get an Apertura AD10 or 12. The 12” is $1299 and you can add a Nexus II plus encoders for another $500, download SkySafari and make it a push to dob. The Nexus is a very good product. The scope also comes with a decent 30mm eyepiece as well. They occasionally show up in the classified ads too.

That sounds like a good alternative, I’m familiar with SkySafari as I already use it, so that’s no problem. The ability to add push-to sounds cool too, I could just use the scope as is for a while and see how I like it before adding the encoders. Are the AD 10/12 Reasonably good built scopes?



#22 Mike W

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Posted 30 June 2022 - 09:10 AM

That sounds like a good alternative, I’m familiar with SkySafari as I already use it, so that’s no problem. The ability to add push-to sounds cool too, I could just use the scope as is for a while and see how I like it before adding the encoders. Are the AD 10/12 Reasonably good built scopes?

The build quality is excellent. Smooth axis movement and easily collimated. The focuser is a dream! I put a telrad on it though.
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#23 BlueTrane2028

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Posted 30 June 2022 - 09:17 AM

I think you're light on your budget for what you want it to do.

Cruise the classifieds for a C6 or C8 and an AVX or similar class mount.  Or even just a NexStar setup.

There's your reasonably priced go-to.

Sure, it's not a Dob, but it's more portable than the inexpensive collapsing or truss types.

I've been using my C6 on a manual EQ a LOT lately, way more than any of my Dobs...


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#24 MarkCosmos

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Posted 30 June 2022 - 09:37 AM

I think you're light on your budget for what you want it to do.

Cruise the classifieds for a C6 or C8 and an AVX or similar class mount.  Or even just a NexStar setup.

There's your reasonably priced go-to.

Sure, it's not a Dob, but it's more portable than the inexpensive collapsing or truss types.

I've been using my C6 on a manual EQ a LOT lately, way more than any of my Dobs...

Thanks, I’ve already got a Edge 9.25HD on an AVX though, when there are short opportunities of cloudless skies, set-up time eats up most of the viewing window. Aligning and leveling the trip, carrying out the weights and putting them on the shaft, balancing the scope on the mount in two axes…

 

I was wanting the do,  just to place the base down, insert the OTA and start observing. It’s the simplicity of the Mount that I desire, my budget can extend to accommodate the scope that fills my needs, I was just having an “educated guess” when I said up to $2000 new. I was basing that off of the Skywatcher flex tube go to series. Which are around 1700-1800 or so. 
 

A push to scope would be great too, I don’t need full fledged go-to, I just want to surf the skies visually with an intuitive to operate scope of decent aperture 8 or 10” would be just fine, though I’d probably wouldn’t mind a 12 if it’s a truss and the parts can fit in the SUV for taking around to different sites.

 

Just looking for a “Grab and Go” lightweight, but quality dob. I see lots of folks having fun with the AWB One-Sky and such, and I’d just like that experience and ease of use in a larger aperture.
 


Edited by MarkCosmos, 30 June 2022 - 09:39 AM.


#25 Speedy1985

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Posted 30 June 2022 - 09:37 AM

That sounds like a good alternative, I’m familiar with SkySafari as I already use it, so that’s no problem. The ability to add push-to sounds cool too, I could just use the scope as is for a while and see how I like it before adding the encoders. Are the AD 10/12 Reasonably good built scopes?

In my opinion they are reasonably well built. There are also some nest quick mods you can do to them to make them a little better too. Search for the Mega Mod thread and have fun reading.


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