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Akyra

Change Of Scope

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I already had some advice from gepetto and adam over PM, but I would like a bit more advice from owners and experienced observers before I make a final decision.

I'm finding my dob very difficult to use and rather than stick at it and dampen my enthusiasm every time I take the scope out, I am considering changing it for something with GOTO and a n00b friendly mount.

I've got a Celestron StarHopper 8" which I thought was a good choice until I realised how hard it is to use the point&shoot style mount, keep objects in the FOV, and also to find some of the fainter objects. Dont get me wrong I love the challenge of hunting down those faint fuzzies, but the inability to automatically track is also getting a bit frustrating.

I was looking on FLO and Celestron.UK and was quite fancying the NexStar 130 SLT or the Nexstar 102 SLT. Both have GOTO and adam informed me that they can track too which would make my n00b life a little easier. I will also be going to university in September and am thinking for portability and ease of setup/use this might be a better option for me than the big bulky 8" dob, which I would only be able to use at weekends when I come home.

Gepetto recommended the reflector, but the refractor has also cought my eye for the fact it wont need collimating saving me even more time.

Would I noticed much difference visually? Obviously their apertures are smaller but to be honest I dont know how to take full advantage of my 8" anyway.

Your advice is much appreciated. Philip

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The reflector will give better, colour free views than the refractor. Collimation is a 5 minute job on a small scope like that, don't let it put you off.

Another option is to buy tube rings and a EQ5 GOTO mount for your 8"...

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[quote

Another option is to buy tube rings and a EQ5 GOTO mount for your 8"...

That sounds like the best idea to me as well.

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Having very recently lost my job I cannot afford this option, as much as I would like to.

Its either swap the scope, or make do. :police:

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I'd make do, you can't beat aperture. Your mind seems made up though, so go for the larger reflector.

You could try giving the Dob a couple more weeks, tracking at low/ medium power isn't that hard - it just takes a bit of practice.

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You could try getting an EQ5 mount with a motor for the RA axis rather than the GOTO option - if you're OK starhopping to find the faint objects. That way, once you've found it you can leave the scope tracking.

Ooops, sorry, just read the bottom line of your post: "Its either swap the scope, or make do. "

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Having just spoken to adam on the phone, he gave me a little bit of info on the SLT's and, like gepetto, recommended the 130. In hindesight I think I may have jumped in at the deep end of astronomy and bought a telescope beyond my understanding.

I will give the dob a few more sessions before making a final decision, to everyone who has given and will give me advise, it is very appreciated.

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Akyra, the Starhopper 8" Dob offers significantly better views than the Nexstar 130 SLT. I suggest you give it more time to grow on you as I feel sure you will kick yourself if you change.

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Phillip, I've been at the very same point you have been, and I'm not a big lover of the hunt for fuzzies. I ended up selling what I had for an 8" GOTO job and it's t'riffic. If you're after DSO's, then you know that aparture is your friend and changing down quite significantly is going to lessen your enjoyment of the faint ones.

If you enjoy the hunt (I didn't, hence GOTO for me), then why get the GOTO? There's a fair few EQ5's second hand and they're not that expensive. You can track to a certain extent by using the micro dials. Then when finances allow, get a RA drive and you're done. In the long run, you'll be happier for it.

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Then when finances allow, get a RA drive and you're done. In the long run, you'll be happier for it.

And THEN when finances further allow, get a GOTO kit for it and sell the RA drive :police: Keep the 8" 8)

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Akyra, at the risk of incurring your wrath, I think you ought to develop a bit of fortitude and stickability.

The 8" Dobsonian is a wonderful instrument, and one that I think is very popular among backyard amateur astronomers. The reasons you give for wanting to change are not really valid. If you don't have the patience to surmount these minor difficulties, then perhaps astronomy is not really your bag. Yet having said that, it is only recently I read one of your posts, where cries of Eureka echoed all over the SGL site because you had located some faint objects you had never seen before. If you drop down in aperture, the likelihood is you will never see them again.

Think long and hard before you dispense with your Dob. it is good scope for a whole lot of reasons, and I think if you let it go, you will regret it in the long term. Don't do anything silly. Put it in a safe place of storage, ready to go back to when you are ready. Whilst at University, you will meet people who Will no doubt share an interest in astronomy, and your knowledge will increase in leaps and bounds.

You can always change the Dob. But do so when you are absolutely sure it is what you want to do, and not in a fit of pique.

Ron. :police:

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And remember that no 'scope will work well when it doesn't get dark properly. That might have a lot to do with the frustration that you are feeling, real dark is rare this time of year and you need heavy duty proper man's dark for fuzzies.

Captain Chaos

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I love the 8" OTA, the thing frustrating me most is the mount. It is so jerky and by the time I get the object in view its starting to drift out of the FOV, which then turns into a vicious circle due to there not being a fixed axis.

I am going to look at my mount again for the next few hours before it gets dark, try sort something out to make it smoother. Barkis, I am certainly nothing to fear. I welcome your advice on keeping the scope, and having time to think about what has been said, maybe I should keep what I already have.

My excitement of recent observations has certainly made me realise that aperature fever is a 'real' ailment :D and since you put it that way, dropping my aperture almost 3inch's would certainly put a quick stop to those sorts of discoveries.

Maybe I could win the lottery and buy myself a EQ6! :police: wishful thinking....

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Akyra, stick with the 8" newt, it's a great OTA and will last you a while. I believe it's the same OTA as suplied as the Explorer 200 on the HEQ5 mount. I would take a good look at your dob base and look where you can improve things. If it's shakey look to strengthen it. If it's too sticky look to use lower friction surfaces like teflon. etc etc

The views through a refractor will be nowhere near as good as the views though your 8" newt (assuming it's well collimated). Aperture is king and 8" is a great aperture and the one where things "get interesting"

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I think it might be possible to build a DIY platform for your Dobsonian mount to tilt it so that it can track equatorially - others on SGL might be able to point you in the right direction.

Also if you google a bit there are probably some low cost mods you can do to your mount to make it smoother and less jerky. Here is a web site which might help for starters:

http://www.geocities.com/smalldob/equipment_modifications.htm

John

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Hi Dave

i have been busy for a while so this is the first time i have had a chance to look round for a few weeks and i came across this post. you have recieved many good pieces of advice.. I get stunning views out of my refract or equal to the intes micro all be it a little smaller to view i do have a TMB so that does help. As for what scope to stick with / go for definitely for now stick with the DOB you are on a steeplearning curve at present and don't let it put you off. as time goes by you will learn your way around the sky starhopping from fuzzy to fuzzy. this will do two thing for you it will give a good understanding of where things are in the sky and how to get to them it will in later months years put you in good stead to know what will be showing and what will be out of reach to you even when using your go to. how many neewbs keep getting this is below the horizon due to them not having gained the experience of knowing the sky by eye first. the best way to find your way around is by persistant attempts. pick a constellation and learn what is in there then once you know your way around in your head get the scope and try star hopping.

you WILL pick up the locations of the fuzzies surprisingly quickly start off with the rising constellations that way by the time they are higher in the sky you will be accustomed to them once that is the case go back to the east and pick another one to follow and learn for a few nights.. Try to not let yourself jump around the sky to much at first stick with the ones you know once you know a few it will allbecome more rewarding

PS bring it along to the next meeting if you can we will see if we can give you more guidance.

Grahame

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Dave? If your referring to me, my name is Philip. :police:

Thanks for your advice, and I might be coming to this friday's meet in Cosmeston Lakes and will defo bring the scope with me.

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My Apologies Philip Now i feel silly :police: so i will have to wear the funny hat again !!

looked at an old thread and picked out a name of the wrong message ( Dave (Centroid)) thought it looked wrong when i typed it.

If you think you can make it i will definately attempt to make cosmeston i should be there any way but now i will for for sure.

Grahame

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Dont feel silly, its easy to forget a name. I want a hat like yours, my ears get ice cold some nights! I will try be there for Friday night, hope to see you there :police:

I've just finished rebuilding the mount from a complete strip down. Cleaned every touching surface, and adequately tightend all joining pieces. I gave the bearings a good cleaning, even tightend the plastic OTA bearing mounts which were a little on the loose side.

I dont have to get up early tomorrow so I've got Stellarium fired up, a pen and notepad next to my scope, a chair to sit on, lets see what this thing can do. Will I be putting it through its paces, or will it be putting me through mine? Find out soon!

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Im going after M13 again but cant for the life of me work out where Hercules is :x

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Success once more, I found Hercules after realised I was looking in the wrong place, then found M13 in less than 5 seconds!!! :police::D :D :D :D :D:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :D :D :D

I must have been a fool to even contemplate selling this scope!!!

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I must have been a fool to even contemplate selling this scope!!!

Well I didn't like to say..... :police: I'm glad you're getting there!! :D

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M92 and the cats eye are fairly close along with M57 just rising nicley that should keep you busy for a half hour

Grahame

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I've just spotted M92, then I lost it while changing eyepieces, but managed to find it again and had a good look through my 15mm.

I've run out of film again so cant take any snaps tonight :police:

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