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FDP Forum / Moe's Tavern (_8^(I) / I've got the astronomy bug again

Mikeyguitar
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PA - USA

THAT...IS...RIGHT!
Mar 30th, 2019 01:20 PM   Edit   Profile  

After seeing the recent astronomy thread and watching some of the YouTube videos, I've got the bug again.
But a couple of years ago I gave away my 8" Dobsonian scope...so I now find myself shopping for something new and more portable.

The thing is - I knew that while I had the old scope, the main reason for not using it more was that it was so cumbersome.

I enjoy looking at deep sky objects, so he 8 inches was nice. Still, I decent smaller scope will be able to hold my interest a bit more I think.

Chris Greene
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Idaho, USA

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Mar 30th, 2019 02:41 PM   Edit   Profile  

My largest scope these days is a 6" Celestron SCT I use on an alt-az mount. Short tube, light weight, great optics, lousy FOV. I also have Televue 85mm and 70mm refractors. Those are what I use most of the time unless I go out with some 8x42 Zeiss binoculars. Actually, most of the time, I go outside and simply look up but I live under what are still pretty dark skies.

Dobs, Newts, and refractors larger than 4" end up not getting used. See it all the time. Yes, the larger aperture reveals more. *If* you go out and set it up. I got rid of the 8" SCT I once owned and two 4" refractors. Want big aperture? Join a local astronomy club and go to their star parties. Let some other poor mook do all the work.

Mikeyguitar
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PA - USA

THAT...IS...RIGHT!
Mar 31st, 2019 05:49 AM   Edit   Profile  

"Yes, the larger aperture reveals more. *If* you go out and set it up."

Exactly.


This is the one I'm looking at:

Orion AstroView

Chris Greene
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Idaho, USA

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Mar 31st, 2019 08:55 AM   Edit   Profile  

That's a large, bulky telescope. 36# altogether. I would look in the 80mm range if you want something more useful as grab and go. What is your purpose for the scope? How dark are the skies you'll be viewing under? Are you imaging? If so, the tripod won't cut it.

Of course, if this scope is at your budget, it will be impossible to get a quality scope of smaller aperture for the same money. Stellarvue has a couple smaller aperture refractors but even the tubes will be the price (or more) of their basic 80mm.

Any reason not to use an alt-az mount? Will you be tracking under higher powers?

NoSoapRadio
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Mass., Amerika

CO2 ... is there anything it can't do?
Mar 31st, 2019 09:45 AM   Edit   Profile  

Mikey -- that scope is still a chunk, especially with the EQ mount. It will take you at least 15-20 minutes just to get the mount leveled and polar aligned before every session.

Honestly, I'd rather wrestle with the 8" Dob than a big refractor.

Dang -- Chris got here first.

(This message was last edited by NoSoapRadio at 11:50 AM, Mar 31st, 2019)

Chris Greene
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Idaho, USA

Buy your virtue signal here
Mar 31st, 2019 09:53 AM   Edit   Profile  

That's OK, we're making the same point. And yeah, an 8" DOB is easier to handle and set up than that 5" EQ mounted refractor. I actually had an sample of that Orion Chinese refractor some years ago but returned it after a few days due to its poor optics.

Mikeyguitar
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PA - USA

THAT...IS...RIGHT!
Mar 31st, 2019 12:47 PM   Edit   Profile  

Honestly, I don't know much about mounts, tripods, etc.
EQ mount... alt-az mount? No clue.

It's not the weight that bothered me about the DOB - it was the bulk.

I want a scope that has good reviews (which this does), around that price range.
I'm thinking that at some point I'd like to do some astro-photography. But I'm a technical/computer idiot, so that may never happen.


I've been looking for a place to set up out in the country where I might be able to get some dark skies, but there's no place ideal. Most of those areas are private property. Parks have closing times. Churches/cemeteries are usually lit up at night.

The best places I've found so far are side roads out in the sticks. Few cars, but still - I'd be parked on the side of the road on a small strip of land among farms.

From my house, there is light pollution. I live in a neighborhood in suburbia, with a couple of industrial parks nearby.

Chris Greene
FDP Host

Idaho, USA

Buy your virtue signal here
Mar 31st, 2019 02:35 PM   Edit   Profile  

Well, good luck with your choice. These days, it’s hard to go wrong, at least optically speaking.

Mikeyguitar
Contributing Member
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PA - USA

THAT...IS...RIGHT!
Apr 1st, 2019 06:03 AM   Edit   Profile  

Thanks - I'm still researching.
And I've just learned the difference between alt-az and EQ, so I have that going for me.
lol

NoSoapRadio
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Mass., Amerika

CO2 ... is there anything it can't do?
Apr 3rd, 2019 01:08 PM   Edit   Profile  

I took my little 66mm refractor out on Monday night. Mars is passing close by the Pleiades for the next few days and I wanted to get a look at it. I was able to get both objects in the scope's field of view using a 40mm 72degree EP -- pretty cool.

I haven't made any progress on the astro photography thing, so this was just visual.

Last night was cloudy, but today is clear as a bell and it's supposed to hold into tonight. I'll take some smaller EPs and see what kind of detail I can get on Mars with some higher magnification.

If you're out tonight, take a look in the western sky -- both Mars and the Pleiades are unmistakable and they are not often this close together.

Mikeyguitar
Contributing Member
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PA - USA

THAT...IS...RIGHT!
Apr 17th, 2019 07:16 AM   Edit   Profile  

Well, I went ahead and took the plunge on the scope referred to above.
It's pretty much exactly what I wanted.
I ordered it Monday - it showed up on my doorstep Tuesday!


I did a lot of research the past couple of weeks - learning about various mounts, focal lengths, eyepieces, FOV, etc. It's still somewhat murky to me...but I'm learning.

I figure if I'm ever going to get into the AP aspect, I'll just have to purchase an entire new setup. $600 now isn't too much of a hit for something that I believe will get a lot more use than the old Dob.


...now, if we only had some clear skies.

Chris Greene
FDP Host

Idaho, USA

Buy your virtue signal here
Apr 17th, 2019 09:33 AM   Edit   Profile  

"...now, if we only had some clear skies."

Ah, the old astronomer's curse. ;o) Enjoy the new scope!

NoSoapRadio
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Mass., Amerika

CO2 ... is there anything it can't do?
Apr 17th, 2019 10:05 AM   Edit   Profile  

"Ah, the old astronomer's curse. ;o)"

And you've got a double whammy with the full moon on Friday.

Good luck with the new gear -- let us know how it works out.

Mikeyguitar
Contributing Member
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PA - USA

THAT...IS...RIGHT!
Apr 19th, 2019 01:14 PM   Edit   Profile  

So far, it's not working out.
Clouds galore.
some day...some day

NoSoapRadio
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Mass., Amerika

CO2 ... is there anything it can't do?
Apr 19th, 2019 01:19 PM   Edit   Profile  

That's your fault for buying new gear -- and you're screwing it up for the rest of us. ;^)

Next week looks better -- up here anyway.



FDP Forum / Moe's Tavern (_8^(I) / I've got the astronomy bug again




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