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Scope Stability and Vibration

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#1 Go4Goodson

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Posted 24 January 2023 - 01:13 PM

All,

I am brand new.  I searched "vibration" across the forums but did not come up with a thread covering my question.  Perhaps that means it's an irrelevant question.  Here goes...first, I like quality optics and own quality spotting and shooting scopes as well as binoculars but I do not have a telescope.  I have been considering a SCT for years but have just never pulled the trigger.

 

Specifically, I am looking at the LX200GPS.  I would prefer a 12" vs the 8" or the 10", for the money.  This said, I live on a crawl space.  I would like to use the scope from inside, through some large picture windows.  I wonder if the house foundational design will introduce too much vibration for such a scope.  

 

Looking for thoughts and rationale.  Advice is appreciated!

 

Scott


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#2 vtornado

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Posted 24 January 2023 - 01:53 PM

If I was brand new I would not buy a 12 inch SCT.  Both the scope and the mount are very large.  Not a good starter scope, due to weight, thermal characteristics, narrow field of view.

 

the plate glass window will introduce a lot of abberations to the view.  It is not

optically flat, and can cause spurious relfections into the scope.

 

What do you want to look at?  I assume only a small portion of the sky will be

viewable through a window.

 

To directly answer your question.  I can setup a scope on a tripod over my

crawl space.  It is not a 12 inch SCT, but a 100mm refractor.  I can see vibration

if I or someone else walks or moves on the floor.  It does damp out in 1 second.

A 100 lb rig might take more time to damp.


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#3 MellonLake

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Posted 24 January 2023 - 01:54 PM

A couple of comments:

  1. Viewing through a window is not practical.  The reflections and heat issues will lead to very very poor viewing.  The glass will also diffract the image degrading the quality.  Telescopes need to be outside.
  2. To use the tracking and goto functions of the  LX200GPS you need to be able to star align the telescope.  The stars you use to align will need to be fairly far apart in the sky and likely you wont be able to align through a window. 
  3. A 12" telescope is huge.  If I lived in a very small space, I would not want to try and store a 12" telescope.  I would actually probably go for an 8"
  4. Vibrations tend not to be a big deal in higher end telescopes like the  LX200GPS.  However, those who have used them may be better able to comment.  Also with tracking mounts like the LX200GPS you don't have to touch the telescope much and don't set it to vibrating. 

 

Hope this helps Rob


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#4 Paul Sweeney

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Posted 24 January 2023 - 02:15 PM

Observing through a window will nutralize your high quality optics. Any optical chain is only as good as the poorest component. Windows are terrible, optically speaking. So it makes no sense to put a high quality scope behind a window.

Vibrations will do the same. A 12" SCT is a big scope and will bind you to medium to high powers. Great for observing planets, but high power will magnify the vibrations.
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#5 SoCalPaul

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Posted 24 January 2023 - 02:24 PM

The responses above are spot on, but I will summarize by stating that going for big glass (12" aperture) and then planning to observe through a window on an unstable surface is self-defeating.

 

You would be working against yourself. If possible, commit one way or the other.

 

If you want to see a lot of cool stuff with some detail, go with big glass but find somewhere outdoors and relatively dark to observe from.

 

If you are stuck indoors with no outdoor option, stick with your spotting scopes.

 

My $0.02 worth. :-)

 

Clear skies,

Paul


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#6 SeattleScott

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Posted 24 January 2023 - 05:00 PM

I sometimes do casual viewing through windows with binoculars or small telescope. Not worth getting a big scope designed for medium/high power and viewing through windows that will only give borderline acceptable low power views. Stick with your spotting scopes if you are going to do casual viewing through windows.
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#7 Echolight

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Posted 24 January 2023 - 05:07 PM

I know there’s a few here who view through windows with spotting scope size telescopes.


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#8 vtornado

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Posted 24 January 2023 - 05:12 PM

I know there’s a few here who view through windows with spotting scope size telescopes.

I do for terrestrial views, such as birds, coyotes and deer. I use an ST80.

Opening the door may spook them, and the best views are in the winter when

the foliage is down.  Some days are too cold to be comfortable, and watching

coyotes with a wide field scope at low power with a cup of coffee is very relaxing

on a chilli winter day.

 

The view definitely sharpens up if I take it outside.


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#9 Go4Goodson

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Posted 24 January 2023 - 05:14 PM

This has all been very helpful.  This is reminding me of why I haven't yet pulled the trigger.  Unless the scope is set up and ready to go, I just don't see myself using it much.  I'd love to use it regularly, but image it's a bit of a time investment each set-up.  



#10 Echolight

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Posted 24 January 2023 - 06:03 PM

This has all been very helpful.  This is reminding me of why I haven't yet pulled the trigger.  Unless the scope is set up and ready to go, I just don't see myself using it much.  I'd love to use it regularly, but image it's a bit of a time investment each set-up.  

Something like this can be carried out and set up in a flash. A little more versatile than a spotting scope for astronomy. As you can get both a wider field of view as well as higher magnification just by swapping out the eyepiece. Although you could just use a spotting scope that you already have on a similar tripod.

52BC833C-572B-469A-9891-FA69325BA297.jpeg


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#11 sevenofnine

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Posted 24 January 2023 - 08:06 PM

You really don't have to have a "Big Gun" to see stuff FarmerRon.gif  Visual astronomy is all about buying the largest apertured scope that you can comfortably transport to a good viewing site (read that twice). We have a saying in this hobby that buying too much scope is a bigger mistake than buying too little. It's great that you have a good budget to start and appreciate well made equipment. That goes a long way towards being satisfied with whatever scope you select.

 

That said, I recommend buying a good astronomy guide book first before you buy anything. There are many but one of the best is "The Backyard Astronomer's Guide 4th ed." available on Amazon. Good luck! waytogo.gif


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#12 Tony Flanders

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Posted 25 January 2023 - 06:16 AM

This has all been very helpful.  This is reminding me of why I haven't yet pulled the trigger.  Unless the scope is set up and ready to go, I just don't see myself using it much.  I'd love to use it regularly, but image it's a bit of a time investment each set-up.  

Sure. But unless you're observing bright objects like planets, it takes at least a half hour for your eyes to adjust to the dark. The setup time is a negligible fraction of the total.

 

Astronomy is not a casual pastime.


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#13 Paul Sweeney

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Posted 25 January 2023 - 10:16 AM

If a 12" scope is what you want, then you can put it on a rolling platform and keep it in the garage/ shed, or build yourself an observatory and mount it on a pier. Then you have no setup time, though you might have some cool down time to deal with.

#14 rjacks

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Posted 25 January 2023 - 10:40 AM

This has all been very helpful.  This is reminding me of why I haven't yet pulled the trigger.  Unless the scope is set up and ready to go, I just don't see myself using it much.  I'd love to use it regularly, but image it's a bit of a time investment each set-up.  

You will have better views outside with a smaller scope that is easier to set up, like a 4 in apochromatic refractor or a smaller SCT, like a 6". Setting up and taking down of such scopes isn't very difficult.  



#15 JohnnyBGood

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Posted 25 January 2023 - 12:21 PM

Some of my most enjoyable observing has been done with a 70mm scope. There are a lot of things you can find to see with a small scope and if you have a light, easily portable scope you'll actually get out and use it a lot more often (and this see more) than you will with a larger scope.

I observed a lot more when my biggest scope was 5" than I do now that I have an 8" scope.

Observing indoors isn't terrible with a small scope, either, at least at lower powers. I wouldn't recommend anything less than 70mm but here are a lot of good options out there in the 70-102mm range that would be very easy to take in and out.

#16 tturtle

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Posted 25 January 2023 - 12:43 PM

There are several things about your plan that are, shall we say, not ideal.  The windows will allow a very limited view of the sky, the floor will induce unacceptable vibrations, the window glass will significantly degrade the views, and the 12” mounted SCT will probably take up too much floor (crawl) space.



#17 Danny Linguini

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Posted 25 January 2023 - 01:53 PM

This has all been very helpful.  This is reminding me of why I haven't yet pulled the trigger.  Unless the scope is set up and ready to go, I just don't see myself using it much.  I'd love to use it regularly, but image it's a bit of a time investment each set-up.  

Sometimes you just need to weigh other factors besides aperture more heavily to determine how much a new scope is actually going to get used. I recently purchased a 5” SCT, specifically for its ease of transport and setup. I keep it in the house, but I can have everything outside and set up in less than 10 minutes, with just a few minutes more to get aligned. I’ve only had a couple of good nights with it so far, but I’m able to find many of the brighter DSO’s as well as the planets. I would say a 6” SCT would be almost as easy to move around, but I was also trying to keep costs down at the time (says the guy who just ordered a Unistellar eQuinox 2). Just a though - you don’t need to go big to see lots of stuff up there, and there’s some really good quality smaller aperture rigs around in the 5-6” range to be had that won’t break the bank … or your back.

 

Like others have said, I’d recommend something smaller to start off with; see how far that takes you, then see what’s best for your next step and what kind of viewing you want to do. 



#18 Inkie

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Posted 25 January 2023 - 02:26 PM

It's the idea that matters in an emotional pursuit, which hobbies typically are.  Something about a big light-bucket that you have always dreamed of, that would be yours, something to cherish and to enjoy, appeals to you.  I think we all get that.  Or should by now. 

 

However, you have set for yourself a limitation that almost all of us responding to you would get the willies accepting; wanting almost no handling, and desiring to use this costly and wonderful device with window glass between you and objects you'd like the device to show you using its engineered potential. (We would just use binoculars if the engineering is unimportant).

 

Plate glass has horrible qualities optically.  It's crap glass, for one thing, and it is milled to tolerances approaching 1/50mm over any 20 cm sq.  You could save a lot of money, and maybe self-recrimination, by buying the cheapest Dobsonian you can find with a poorly figured mirror, total cost around $600, even for a 12".  What would a SCT costing ten times as much offer you in utility, pleasure, and guilt-free observing behind that plate glass?

 

I would counsel you to take more time and consider what it is you really want out of the hobby given your constraints.  If pride of ownership, 'neatness', or some other intangible is that important, then go ahead and enjoy the acquisition and receipt of that fine scope.  But don't expect that you'll get much utility out of it.



#19 aeajr

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Posted 25 January 2023 - 03:17 PM

All,
I am brand new. I searched "vibration" across the forums but did not come up with a thread covering my question. Perhaps that means it's an irrelevant question. Here goes...first, I like quality optics and own quality spotting and shooting scopes as well as binoculars but I do not have a telescope. I have been considering a SCT for years but have just never pulled the trigger.

Specifically, I am looking at the LX200GPS. I would prefer a 12" vs the 8" or the 10", for the money. This said, I live on a crawl space. I would like to use the scope from inside, through some large picture windows. I wonder if the house foundational design will introduce too much vibration for such a scope.

Looking for thoughts and rationale. Advice is appreciated!

Scott

There are several things to address here:

1) Viewing from inside the house through and open window is a bad idea. The air currents and turbulance at that window will mess up the view

2) The LX200GPS is a GoTo scope that will require a clear view of the sky so it can do its alignment which will be nearly impossible from inside the house and you may be limited to a very small part of the sky that is close to the horizon which is the worst area of the sky for observing.

3) Unless you have a pack of kids or large dogs that are romping around inside the house I would not expect vibrations to be much of a problem, but that would be the least of my concerns here.

4) A 12" LX200 is a big, heavy scope. Likley you will need two people to set it up. Now, if you plan to leave it set up all the time, that may not be a problem. But if you are like most of us and will be putting it up and taking it down, you are likely to come to hate the scope.

You need to plan to use the scope outside.

Do you have a garage or shed that are well ventilated and at ground level? If you do then you could place the scope on wheels and roll it out, fully assembled. I have a 12" Dobsonian that lives on a hand truck in my garage. Very easy to move it around.


Now, to the real question, why this scope as opposed to any other? And why do you want to use it from inside the house?

If you want to avoid being outside and can't set it up in a permanent position, you may be able to operate it from inside the house with a camera in place of the eyepiece.


However, you might want to consider a remotely controlled smart scope instead of a traditional optical scope. Small, light weight and easily remotely operated.


Video
https://www.youtube....h?v=LJB61FUjmMQ
https://www.youtube....h?v=GZhpuCu-4v4


Smart Scope Examples:
https://www.highpoin...smart-telescope
https://www.highpoin...skies-equinox-2
https://www.highpoin...k-evscope-2-kit

Edited by aeajr, 25 January 2023 - 04:10 PM.

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#20 CarolinaBanker

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Posted 25 January 2023 - 04:00 PM

Viewing through a window is a recipe for frustration. The scope that you want is too big and too complicated to set up easily unless you have an observatory where you can keep it permanently mounted on a pier or easily roll it outside. Given that you want something very easy to use I recommend either a grab and go scope like an alt az 80mm refractor or a pair of binoculars.

In addition, with most scopes set up takes substantially less time than becoming dark adapted, which can take 30 minutes.

#21 Mike Q

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Posted 26 January 2023 - 05:20 AM

I would find a astro club and go check out different types of scopes.  There are lots of options out there that are nice grab and go scopes that require minimal set up time and effort.  


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#22 LasVegasMikey

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Posted 27 January 2023 - 09:59 AM

I would find a astro club and go check out different types of scopes.  There are lots of options out there that are nice grab and go scopes that require minimal set up time and effort.  

Setup time and effort was one of my primary concerns before buying my 6SE… so I showed up at a star party before sunset and started asking questions. I even “helped” a patient participant perform their two-star alignment. I gathered more information than anticipated and made some new friends in the process. Amazing resource.


Edited by LasVegasMikey, 27 January 2023 - 10:05 AM.

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