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Second upgrade option (train of thoughts)


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So I'm looking to upgrade my scope (aperture) and initially I was more or less set on a SW 250PDS on a Skytee 2 mount. But now I'm leaning more towards going down the dob route (started with the sweet little Heritage 130P), in this case the SW Skyliner 300P Flextube. The reason I initially wanted a tripod style mount is that the part of my garden where I use the scope has some rather uneven terrain and I usually have to move my scope a bit as I have to do some tree dodging as well. But this summer I cut down a few of them so that part has improve quite a bit. It should be pretty easy to flatten the ground on a couple of places to solve the other issue too.

Would like some feedback on my train of thoughts regarding this upgrade please:

Scope: SW Skyliner 300P Flextube (will probabably keep my keep my current (150PDS) scope as grab and go after all).

Either wait and save more cash or add later: EQ platform, AstroZap lightshroud, a wide angle EP (2", 38-40mm perhaps), laser collimator such as Hotech or similar to make collimation easier since the OTA is bigger, Telrad (or just an extra base plus a riser, since I have a telrad on my current scope).

That's about all I can think of right now. Is this option sensible?

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Hejsan!

If I had my own garden, and visual was my main thing, I'd go for the largest dob I could manage. Atleast a 300p.

The question is, do you you plan on bringing it along to star parties? In that case the flextube is the superior alternative, otherwise you can probably get more aperture with a traditional tube (and also limiting stray light from the sides).

Are you looking at AP at all? If not, what motivates you to think about an EQ platform, just curous. This would limit your aperture substantially if you're doing it on a tighter budget. I'm currently thinking about getting a 250PDS as a visual instrument for my NEQ-6, anything bigger would be pushing it.

All in all I think your idea is sensible :)

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I like the Skytee mount, but I think your thoughts about a 10 or 12" on a Dob mount is a better idea. The flextubes are a bit heavier than the solid tube equivalent, but of course fit into a smaller space for transporting in a car. If you are only going to use it at home, I'd get a solid tube myself. I'd assume that any Dob mount will have 3 short feet, so that it doesn't rock on uneven ground ?

I do agree it's a good idea to keep a smaller scope on hand if you can, to take advantage of a short break in the weather with easier set up and less cooldown issues.

So I think you have a good plan, my 10" Dob is in use at home on almost all clear nights, and fits in my small car for club or dark site visits.

All the best in your choices, Ed.

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Hello!

I mostly use the scope in my garden. Still havn't gone to a really dark site but I intend to do that this autumn. Plus it's slightly easier to store a flextube/truss type telescope I think. Regarding the EQ platform, I thought it might be easier or at least more comfortable with high power viewing of planets and moon (and those odd DSO's that can take it). Besides I've started to think about doing some outreach astronomy in the future as well. This due to the fact that a couple of colleagues, some friends as well as a cousin of mine has shown a Little bit of interest lately. That kind of planted a seed in my head that it can be fun and rewarding to share the views of our wonderful universe.

As for AP, well as interested as I may be, I don't feel I have the time to pursue that. After all, the weather is somewhat of a limiting factor so it is primarily visual astronomy I'm interested in. Those odd lunar/solar and widefield DSLR shots are enough to keep me satisfied when it comes to AP. At least for the time being. If this changes, I still have the 150PDS and can get a proper EQ mount then.

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Perhaps it's easier with a bigger dob on uneven terrain than it was with the little Heritage 130P I had. Still not a problem to flatten the ground on a few places if needed. Thanks for the input Ed, much appreciated.

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You want the tracking of an EQ mount, but still probably wont dive into AP, have you considered a GOTO tracking dob? It's not suited for AP (except planetary) but will still find and track stuff for you. Like this one for instance http://www.firstlightoptics.com/dobsonians/skywatcher-skyliner-300p-flextube-goto.html It even has push-to built in to speed up slewing.

Any EQ mount not costing an arm and a leg wont handle large apertures like that, so it might be an option.

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You want the tracking of an EQ mount, but still probably wont dive into AP, have you considered a GOTO tracking dob? It's not suited for AP (except planetary) but will still find and track stuff for you. Like this one for instance http://www.firstligh...xtube-goto.html It even has push-to built in to speed up slewing.

Any EQ mount not costing an arm and a leg wont handle large apertures like that, so it might be an option.

Thanks for the suggestion. However I prefer a manual scope. Trying to find the objects using maps is a big part of the fun for me. Really like to keep it simple at this Point and don't want the extra hazzle with the need of powertanks and things like that. :smiley:

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Before looking at huge apertures have a long think about logistics.

A well planned big scope is a successful one. No planning.......headache.

Give big amounts of thought on where to store it, how to move it etc.

Try and get to see and use a few large scopes before ordering.

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Storing and moving it around is something I've thought quite alot about. If I go for the 12" I intend to store in in a well ventilated storage room adjacent to the carport. Only have to move the scope some 10-15 meters to the area of the garden where do my observations. When I want to go to a dark site it should fit in Kia Ceed hatchback I think. Good thing I'm not in a hurry and can think things through and plan the upgrade slowly, with a little bit help from SGL members as well. :smiley:

Unfortunately I don't think I'm able to see a 12" for real though. Before (if) I go ahead and buy one.

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Before looking at huge apertures have a long think about logistics.

A well planned big scope is a successful one. No planning.......headache.

Give big amounts of thought on where to store it, how to move it etc.

Try and get to see and use a few large scopes before ordering.

Steve makes an excellent point.

In most situations, a 6" F/6 is easy to transport and set-up. However, in my situation, I have to go down 3 flights of stairs with my equipment on a fairly narrow staircase. It's only the Heritage that I can carry down in two trips including eyepieces, the other two I have to make 3 trips including eyepieces. It certainly helps that they are all light!.

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An excellent point indeed. Something I put alot of thought into. No use getting a telescope that's too cumbersome to actually handle.

This is very true. I have a NEQ-6 and a newtonian for imaging, but now I'm eyeballing a small frac on alt-az just to be able to get out there for a quick peek, without having to resort to loading my car and driving for an hour (to get to my prime dark site) and spending an hour setting up :) The best scope isn't the biggest, but the one that sees most use.

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My current scope is great for those quick peeks as it cools down quite fast as well, so I've decided to keep it no matter which scope I go for when I do upgrade. I'm currently looking into the possibility to get to see a 10 and 12" Dobsonian IRL before I order anything. However the closest dealer (Teleskop-Service Sweden) is located a little more than two hours drive from where I live. Might try to check the Swedish astroforums to see if I can get a demo from someone closer to home.

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My current scope is great for those quick peeks as it cools down quite fast as well, so I've decided to keep it no matter which scope I go for when I do upgrade. I'm currently looking into the possibility to get to see a 10 and 12" Dobsonian IRL before I order anything. However the closest dealer (Teleskop-Service Sweden) is located a little more than two hours drive from where I live. Might try to check the Swedish astroforums to see if I can get a demo from someone closer to home.

Live close to Stockholm or Uppsala?

Guessing Skåne based on your coordinates...

Edited by VigdisVZ
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I went from celestron 130eq to a 300p flex tube & I got to say it payed for it's self the first time I looked at the moon.

When I assembled the base I put some silicon greese on the roller bearings & made some washers (two each side. Stuck with double sided sticky tape) out of 1mm PTFE sheet for the tube sides that face up against the base & it's so smooth.

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I went from celestron 130eq to a 300p flex tube & I got to say it payed for it's self the first time I looked at the moon.

When I assembled the base I put some silicon greese on the roller bearings & made some washers (two each side. Stuck with double sided sticky tape) out of 1mm PTFE sheet for the tube sides that face up against the base & it's so smooth.

I'm more or less aiming dor the 300P at this Point. But I want to try to see one IRL before I go ahead. No doubt it will be a big step up in performance though. Thanks for your input.

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I've spent a few days googling for images of 12" dobs, as well as searching on youtube. They do look huge, but, very manageable (looking at the 300P Flextube) despite their size. Actually, when thinking about it, I doubt I'll have much trouble handling it. Shouldn't be too difficult to carry the rockerbox and OTA separately, weighing about 20 kg each. Hopefully the 23 years (and counting) of karate practice makes me reasonably fit for the task. :grin:

So now I think I've made up my mind. Really close to pull the trigger on the 300P, but I'll wait until after my wedding (9 days from now and very nervous) .

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