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  1. Hi All, Finally my new toy has arrived, namely the 14" GOTO Skywatcher Dob. It's a massive unit. Before taking it to a dark site I though I'd spend a bit of time getting to know it in the backyard and compare the views in it to the 8" SCT. I tried to get my eye night adapted.. yes EYE singular, since I do have 3 street lights around my back yard shining in, I used a patch to keep my observing eye covered at all times when not at the eye piece. Initially I was disappointed, I positioned both of the scopes on to the 47Tuc globular. Looking first into the 8" SCT I saw what was expected, the cluster of stars with stars sprinkling outward and granulation visible all the way to the core, and I was expecting that when looking into the 14" dob, the cluster will be bright and amazing, BUT no, not much better than the 8", actually the blackness of space was milky and the view was disappointingly worse than the 8"!!! How can that be? I put it down to the 14" mirror brightening up the skyglow more and this unit is best used at a dark site. The next view I targeted was the Orion Nebula, again the 8" showed the fishes mouth and the moustachy curves witch slight haze above it, along with a slight view of M43, the trapezium, exactly what I was expecting from my backyard, here I'll point out that when I had my 8" at a dark site, there were much more detail visible than in the back yard, namely the shape of the nebula was distinct with mottling within it, M43 was a clear "comma" shape with detail with in it and the trapezium was sharp steady pinpoints of light. When I moved to the 14" SW I was expecting a similar outcome, BUT I was wrong, the nebula was big and a lot brighter then in the 8" with a lot darker blackness with much higher contrast, there was detail with in the nebula, M43 etc, through the UHC filter again the view was a fair bit brighter and more detailed then in the 8" SCT. The view from my yard was better then at a dark site through the 8" as I remember. The whole Pleiades was visible in the FOV through the 31mm TV T5 Terminagler in the DOB where as only the main part was visible in the SCT due to the higher magnification, but not that much difference, still the the view was close enough to compare. The 14" showed a lot more stars than the 8" but not more than the 8" showed at a dark site. Now the sky was not as milky as before, it was quite dark and, to cut a story short, it was just a street light that was flooding the secondary mirror completely destroying the contrast. Once I realized that this was happening I made sure that there was no light hitting the secondary and had another look at 47Tuc and this time it was brighter and more stars were visible than before and than the 8". The Tarantula Nebula actually had thin details visible within the brighter and fainter loops and structure. When the Carina nebula rose high enough for a good viewing, again what I saw in the eyepiece using the UHC filter was awesome, lots of nebulosity and detail within. The 31mm Nagler showed almost the whole nebula within the FOV which was full of nebulosity, cloudyness detail and stars. Setup and star alignment was easy to get my head around, but it is very similar to the CGEM hand controller so it wasn't a big step from one to the other. GOTO pointing accuracy was very good, found every object that the scope was slewing to, and stopped with the objects near the center in the eyepiece everytime, tracking was very good also, I left the 47Tuc Globular using the 17mm Ethos and a 2X Power mate for over 15 minutes and when coming back to the eyepiece it was still in the FOV, slightly off center, but still there. Reading some reviews where some users had problems with tracking and GOTO accuracy or with focusing using a 2" eyepiece, I think their problems were due to one or a combination of wrong time entered, wrong time zone or wrong location coordinates entered and focuser travel not coming out enough due to not using the 2" extension tube supplied in the kit. In my opinion technically the unit works very well. In conclusion the views were visibly brighter on all objects, Galaxies like Sculptor and NGC55 were much easier to see, and I saw no difference in brightness in the objects when going from the 31mm Nagler to a 17mm with a 2X PM, higher magnifications did reveal more details on the brighter objects like 47Tuc, M42, Tarantula or Carina Nabula. I can't wait to have the unit at a dark site, I think I'll have some awesome views. Thanks for reading, clear skies. Mariusz
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