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Ab Umbra Lumen

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About Ab Umbra Lumen

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  1. General suggestion (although here it's really a matter of taste/philosophy): it depends on how much time and effort you want to invest before gettings results. If you never looked at the sky before, a good monocular or a binocular are just fine to start with. If you just don't know, then I'd advise as a first scope one with at least goto and tracking: this really brings you right away to see things and relax with the tracking, giving istant gratification. After that, you can better judge whether you want to go the "pure" (no motor) way, or go on with the "comfort zone". In fact, in terms of learning the sky, I found I learnt much more from a motorized scope when a beginner, so that now I can just point without go-to: the other way around is way harder, and can be a stopover for a beginner. Of course just my 2 cents: other people are really passionate about this and would surely advise the "pure" way, no motors no tablets etc. I think it is very personal: in retrospect, I found my passion and ability grew quickly and fast just because of the motorized approach, starting right away to spend hours and hours looking at things and learning the sky since day 1 (I still remember fondly my first two nights with a (motorized) scope, each up until 3am, and discovering the second day I had missed the real first accessory of any scope: a good adjustable chair (nothing like realizing it's 3 am again because of your back sore ;-) ! Either way you go, have fun! Ab
  2. Thanks Dave: in fact I've seen Wiilliam Optics also does a rotolock version, which is similar to the Baader's and likely with less problems wrt visual backs, alas it looks to be hard to impossible to find (at least in Italy or even in the UK). Shopping from the US shouldn't be much of a problem in this modern world, but then there are extra import taxes (extra-EU) to be paid, and the procedure and costs (at least in Italy) are so heavy that people usually avoid it unless there is really no other option. It is a strange world, where we are connected by the web, and disconnected by "protection" (sigh) taxes :-/ Then, of course, a vacation trip to Vermont would solve any problem ;-)
  3. Thanks to everyone for the informative replies. So summing up: * the 2" diagonal does not suffer from "swivel"/stability issues, in fact it is more robust wrt eyepieces * clearance should not be much of a problem, at least using configurations *without* the visual back... *... which in turn, also improve on the focal lenght problems a 2" diagonal would bring (thanks Yong for the great thread, very useful and full of interesting data (for binoviewing too) * regarding the Baader diagonal, in view of the above, the good news is that one can still avoid the visual back using their locking ring, so turning the 2" diagonal into an SCT-friendly one I think all the doubts have been settled, thanks again!
  4. Having an EVO 9.25 I am thinking of one classic upgrade path, a 2" diagonal, which would also help to share eyepieces with the planned buy of a big dob. I have read plenty of existing discussions, but am still lacking enough information on the right one to choose. In particular, the missing point is about clearance and combinations: I have read a short diagonal that fits directly in the SCT thread (like WO) should allow for clearance (pushing up the OTA), therefore allowing the scope to work at its full potential. My doubts are: 1) does getting rid of the visual back cause big problems? I have read it makes hard to block the diagonal at the right position, and that it can make the diagonal dangerously swivel 2) if there are indeed problems, and keeping a visual back (like 2" Baader's click-lock, for instance) is better, wouldn't this prevent clearance? 3) I am tempted by the 2" baader click-lock dieletric for its no screws capablity: is there a combination that allows clearance for this diagonal? Anybody help please? Thanks! Ab
  5. Thanks Ronin, in fact looking at the shipment sizes can be a good "investigative" way to guess weights, at least approximately. Another problem is that figures can vary from site to site, and it's unclear who is right: the best would be someone (owners) to finally shed some light on this mysterious numbers. Anyway, adding to your wise calculations, I include below the most reliable figures I have found so far, so even if no owner replies at least there is some information and reference for anybody who wants to have more detailed information on these scopes, now and in the future. Numbers are relative to the large scopes Skywatcher dobson GOTO 12"/14"/16" (300p/350p/400p) respectively: Base weight: 36Kg/50Kg/55Kg (source: teleskop-express) OTA weight: 27Kg/23.5Kg/38Kg (source: teleskop-express) Base diameter: 63,2cm/77,5cm/84,2cm (sources: 365astronomy / http://www.iceinspace.com.au/forum/archive/index.php/t-73854.html / teleskop-express) Some considerations (*IF* these numbers are correct): 1) There is a huge increase in base weight from passing from the 12" to the 14", the 16" then is almost the same; 50Kg (!) is quite a heavy beast, which means probably it cannot be easily lifted and should be permanently put on some wheeled base. 2) The OTA weight, on the other hand, even decreases from 12" to 14" (!), making it even more portable: so, separating the OTA from the mount is a handy operation both in the 12" and 14", not so for the 16" 3) Diameter again increases a lot from 12" to 14" (+14,3cm), less than from 14" to 16" (+6,7cm), which could also explain the problem with the base weights; this makes the 14" at risk from passing thru doors (door's aperture range from 70 to 80cm) So final usability considerations (again, *IF* these numbers are correct): 12": base can pass thru doors, both base and OTA ok to manage by hand alone 14": base cannot pass thru doors, base too heavy to lift alone (!), OTA ok to manage alone 16": base cannot pass thru doors, base too heavy to lift alone, OTA dangerously heavy to manage alone Personally, this leaves the 16" out of question, as I said. Regarding the 12" vs 14", the main problem to think about is the huge base weight. Even if using a wheeled support, I'd like to be able to take the base over and out from it alone, so to be able to land the base on the ground rather than having it permanently attached to an underlying wheeled base (even with blocking wheels). Not an easy choice...
  6. Hi everyone! I've decided to get my first "serious" equipment, finally setting up for a choice between two models: the Skywatcher dobsonian 12" (300p) or 14" (350p) Flextube GOTO (Synscan). Yes, beasts. Yes, weight and complications rather than an SCT. But the dobsonians are calling in the dark sky... I think I am doomed :-) The only problem I am having for a final decision is that the full size/weight speciifications of these beauties/beasts are missing and appartently a hidden secret. The setting: house in the Dolomites Mountains (ca. 1400m alt.), where I plan to get the "beast" straight out of the garage and outside the house. So the plan is to leave the base permanently in the garage, often with the OTA on it, then getting it out with a trolley or some other gizmo, just few meters away, powered with an extension wire from the garage. I'd like not to assume any help, that is to say, to be able to do it alone (so, 16" is out of question). But for these "beasts" weight and size are also a factor to consider, and I couldn't find any official data on the spec sheets. Reading here and there, there are rumors that for instance the 14" GOTO base is so heavy (50kg?) that is almost impossible to handle alone unless you have superpowers, whereas the OTAs are more or less the same size (21-23Kg?) and manageable. The sizes of the base is also a mystery (rumors are the 14" cannot be taken thru normal doors), and that is also helpful to know how it could be set up on a rolling base, and how much room would it take in a corner. Before you ask: yes, taking out GOTO takes out some weight and money too, but please don't ask me to give it up :-) So, could someone please give a final word about: 1) the WEIGHT of the base (12" and 14" GOTO versions, weighting more than the normal versions) 2) the DIAMETER of the base (always 12" and 14" GOTO versions) Of course if anybody wants to add some other opinion on how easy these would be to handle in the setting described above, the more info the better :-) Thanks so much!!
  7. Helllo everyone! Glad to join the forum, which is always been a faithful companion of great information. After stargazing with binoculars, I have stacked up enough to finally get my first more serious equipment (for which I'll need some advice, will open a post in the appropriate section). Allthough living close to Venice (nice city, but terrible sky) I spend quite some time at my place in the Dolomites (about 1400m alt.), where many times a year there is a superb sky, that sky that just leaves you stunned, even without any equipment, captured by the sheer beauty of the stars up there. So, well, the time has come to upgrade, and get a tiny closer to those beauties :-) Happy stargazing!
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