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Getting a new 12" Dob???


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Hi guys. The first telescope i owned when i was a teenager was a Meade 10" cardboard dobsonian. One of my happiest memories with it was being able to see the dust lane of the Sombrero, even here in the light pollution of LA... After about 8 years it started deteriorating and i moved on to automatic mounted 8" scopes until now.

Living here in Los Angeles, i was disappointed with the views that the 8" has been giving me.

Recently i have gotten an offer to buy an Orion 12" Interlliscope, full-aluminum tube dob...

I know that the light gathering power of 12" compared to 8" is more than 100%...

I just wanted to confirm with you guys that buying this 12" for observing is a good move? I truly want to be able to observe some structure on M51 and M101, and find some faint galaxies and faint planetaries...

Living here in Los Angeles, im limited to seeing M51 with my 8" as nothing more than a tiny smudge for the core. M101 is non existant. And planetaries are limited to only the brightest such as M57, the Eskimo, and the Blue Snowball. The Owl Nebula, even with a UHC filter, is not present.

Im also excited because now that i am much older, it would be easier to take the Dob out to dark skies and start observing right away, without having to set up so much and worry about finding a power source for the mounts and stuff...

What do you guys think??? Aperature is King right?

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Well, yes, aperture is King, even under light polluted skies like what we have here in L.A. And the DSC's should come in very handy under polluted skies.

You mentioned you're much older now....are you able to handle the size and weight of a solid tube 12" dob? Of course, much older can also mean you're much stronger too... :)

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Hi Alex, buying a 12" dob - stepping up from an 8" scope for visual is definitely the right move, the design being manageable and portable enough to take to a dark location. I recently did the same thing although I currently still use my 8" scope to. Completely agree and consider that the KISS principle (keep it simple stupid) is best when it comes to a visual set up.

Only so far had the opportunity to use mine on one occasion so far and the apperture makes a significant difference.

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Hi Alex

A 12" scope is a very powerful scope indeed. It is capable of showing spiral structure in M51, but the sky you use it from is just as Important. From a city sky even large scopes struggle to show detail in Galaxies, it's very diffuse and tenuous at the best of times. I'm not suggesting it won't work better than your 8", just don't expect too much Galactic detail.

I live in London, and so am well aware how important having a mobile set up is, specially for viewing Galaxies. Large aperture mobile scopes totally rule :headbang:. IMO observing doesn't get any better than this.

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Well, yes, aperture is King, even under light polluted skies like what we have here in L.A. And the DSC's should come in very handy under polluted skies.

You mentioned you're much older now....are you able to handle the size and weight of a solid tube 12" dob? Of course, much older can also mean you're much stronger too... :)

LOL yes, "much older" means im stronger. 27 now compared to 14 when i first had the 10", but also means easier to transport around now that i actually have my own car and licence compared to when i was a teenager lol :grin:

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Thanks scarp and swamp thing... Im totally excited about having something thats easier to set-up and transport...

I know i cant expect TOO much here in the city. but any difference will be much appreciated...

Mostly excited as well about taking it to the next star party outside of the city! :grin:

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LOL yes, "much older" means im stronger. 27 now compared to 14 when i first had the 10", but also means easier to transport around now that i actually have my own car and licence compared to when i was a teenager lol :grin:

....lol....yes, it's all relative. I'm also much stronger now than when I was 30, over 20 years ago....lol...

Where is your favorite dark site in the southland? Before re-entering into this hobby last year my favorite site was Mt Pinos which I frequented during the early 2000's. I plan on making a trek up there a few times this summer. At 8300 ft elevation it can get pretty chilly even in the middle of summer.

Edited by Carbon
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with my old 12" from a light polluted site I could easily see the two cores (M51 / companion) but no detail. from a dark site I could see spiral arms with direct vision and it's a truly lovely sight.

with my 16" at home I can see the spiral arms and connecting trail, just but have not been in a position to see it from a dark site with this scope yet.

in my opinion, almost everything in the sky looks better with more aperture no matter where you are; you cannot go wrong if you can handle the weight.

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Hi guys. Thanks for all the input. I'm definitely gonna go forward with the 12". I wish I had the budget for 16" lol

Yea I've heard about Mt. Pinos here in California. However it's a 100 mile drive for me from where I live :-/

I have gone a couple of times to a star party in Oak Park which is only 50 miles from my house. And the sky is dark enough to see the milky way. Can't wait to actually take a telescope next time and be blown away :D

Most ofte people there take high-priced refractors. Views of star clusters are beautiful. But can't wait to look at some galaxies and nebulae with a 12" light bucket ;)

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Since I live near downtown LA within a huge light dome the 1.5 hours it takes me to drive up to Mt Pinos on a New Moon weekend is worth it, mingle with several dozen other astronomers, check out their gear, and spend the night there. You'll always find guys out there with their huge mega 20-30 inch dobs and their 8 foot ladders.....lol...

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@carbon

So everyone usually meets there at Mt. Pinos on New Moon Weekend? That's great. That other start party I go to is nice also. Check out telescopes.net for info on the location. There's a calendar there. They meet the same weekends.

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@carbon

So everyone usually meets there at Mt. Pinos on New Moon Weekend? That's great. That other start party I go to is nice also. Check out telescopes.net for info on the location. There's a calendar there. They meet the same weekends.

Except on a full moon weekend there are always people up at Mt Pinos just about every weekend during the summer months.

I didn't know Woodland Hills Camera hosted a star party up near Westlake Village. How dark is the site? I might just head up there on 7/21. It's much closer for me than Frazier Park and I won't have to spend the night.

I used to often drive to WH Camera to buy astro gear about a dozen years ago.

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Hi guys!!! Just wanted to let you know that I went instead for a new Meade 12" Lightbridge! What do you guys think? I know the 16" is very popular, but unfortunately it is way out of my budget.

If time permits, I should be able to set up tonight... And maybe even take a sketch of something.. :D

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Hi guys!!! Just wanted to let you know that I went instead for a new Meade 12" Lightbridge! What do you guys think? I know the 16" is very popular, but unfortunately it is way out of my budget.

If time permits, I should be able to set up tonight... And maybe even take a sketch of something.. :D

Congratulations Alex on your new LB12! Did you buy it new locally?

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Congratulations Alex on your new LB12! Did you buy it new locally?

Yes I did! I got it through agenaastro.com

They are actually on the way from my work to home. So I just ordered online and picked up from their office. They are very convenient. Even if you can't pick up from them, they have free shipping and items should arrive the next day.

Unfortunately I tried to set up tonight and turns out it was horribly out of collimation. I just finished collimating and should be ready for action tomorrow night.

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You're gonna love your LB, I find it an absolute joy to use. The simplicity of the dobsonian.

My LB is out of commission for the time being as I am modifying the base a little. I should have it up and running in about a week.

An now that the June Gloom has gone (hopefully) the seeing conditions these past few days have been pretty decent here, even from Silverlake where I live.

George

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Yes I noticed. Almost every night for this month had that dreaded sneaky marine layer. Now that I've correctly collimated the 12" I can't wait to try it out. First will be Saturn. Then some bright objects since the moon is getting brighter now. And let's see what effects the Neodymium and the UHC-s filters have!

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I just received my new stainless steel counterweights for my LB today. These are made by Farpoint and are beautifully machined. I got these because I have a digital angle finder mounted on the UTA and will also be installing a Stellarvue 60mm RA finder next to the stock red dot finder.

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I just received my new stainless steel counterweights for my LB today. These are made by Farpoint and are beautifully machined. I got these because I have a digital angle finder mounted on the UTA and will also be installing a Stellarvue 60mm RA finder next to the stock red dot finder.

That sounds awesome! Please post a picture of your new setup when youre done

And by the way, what is a digital angle finder?

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Alex.....I installed a degree circle on the base and use a small digital magnetic angle finder next to the focuser to locate targets. I use Sky Safari on my iPod Touch to get current coordinate readings, zero to 360 degrees on azimuth and zero to 90 degrees on altitude.

How did your first light session go last night?

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