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Afternoon all,

After selling my 8in explorer because I just wasn't using it because I could never be bothered to put out the mount and set the goto up, I am going to invest in a dob (after all the best telescope is the one that gets used). I would love to upgrade to the 12in for more of a step up from the 8, but I cant justify the costs at this moment unfortunately.

Is there any difference between the solid tube and flex tube versions, apart from the ease of movement & transportation, and the fact the flex tube looks a hell of a lot cooler lol. 

The cost difference between the two versions is £93, raising to £152 when including the shroud. Obviously a massive difference when trying to save for a house! I just want to make sure I am not losing something by choosing either one.

Many thanks,

Matt.

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Hi,

I can't comment on the Flextube because I have the 10" solid tube.

The solid tube lies nicely across the back seats in my little Renault Clio and the base will fit nicely into the boot.

I don't know if there is a weight difference but the solid tube is just about manageable once detached from the base - easily manageable if there are two people who can lift it.  It's probably more awkward than heavy to carry really... but it's not light either!

I have no regrets over buying the solid tube and if it fits in my little Renault Clio extreme, then it should fit in most cars.

I'm sure you'll be pleased with whatever you go for.

If you intend to go out a LOT, then maybe the 8" is more suitable for transportation?

Setting the thing up is great, only takes a couple of minutes.

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I mostly set up in the garden, and only occasionally head off to a dark site, so transportation isn't too much of an issue, until it come to trying to take It out and finding it might be!

Matt

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I have a 12 inch solid tube dob, another of our club members has a 12 inch flex tube dob with a shroud. We always find that the flex tube will dew up before the solid tube, even with the shroud. This is just my own experience with it. Others may have different views. The whole point of the flex tube is that it is more portable, but if you are able to easily transport a solid tube that would be in my experience the better option. 

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I have had 8" and 10" solid tube Dobs and I now have a12" Flextube Dob (all Sky-Watcher brand).The solid Dobs were 1200mm focal length so the tube would sit nicely across the back seat of the car (VW Golf). The 12" has a focal length of 1500mm so a solid tube one would not fit across the seat and would have to be transported in a less convenient way. The Flextube version is actually heavier than the solid tube but compacts down for transport. The Flextube idea also allows you to reduce the primary mirror to focuser distance by 100mm to make binoviewers work directly at prime focus, my preferred way of observing these days.

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I have recently purchased the 250px solid tube.

Can't comment on the differences but the solid tube is a beast.

Make sure you know how big this is and think of where you will store this when not in use.

I can manage to move this around on my own but wouldn't attempt anything bigger unless there are more than just yourself.

Living in the midlands there is a distinct lack of dark sites so this is used in the back garden as well.

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Im a pretty big dude so I'm hoping it wont be a problem, but is there any chance you can post some pics with something as a reference for the size of it.

Matt

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The solid tubed version is actually a little lighter than the Flextube (who thought of that name ???!!!!) version. The collapsable feature of the Flextube could be useful for transport and / or storeage. Optically they are both the same.

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Im a pretty big dude so I'm hoping it wont be a problem, but is there any chance you can post some pics with something as a reference for the size of it.

Matt

When I get chance, hopefully later, what i'll do is give you the exact measurements if that helps?

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I have a 10" Flextube and to be honest I'd be just as happy with either.  I only have the Flextube because it came up cheap (I already had a mirror set etc.).  If you need something smaller for storage or transportation then the Flextube is good, but otherwise I can't see a compelling reason to choose it over the solid tube.

James

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Hi Matt,

I've had a solid tube Skywatcher 12 inch dob, flextube 12 inch, flextube 16 inch and a 10 inch GSO solid tube dob. My preference is solid tube unless you need the ability to compact the tube down (for travel or storage). Main reasons being I have found solid tubes tend to dew less, you don't need to use a shroud, no time spent extending or compacting the flextube, and collimation should hold for ages (some have the knack it seems of getting the flextube back in the right place, but I recollimated mine every time, they have always been a bit out for my clumsy hands).

None of these hassles are that big, but if you are lazy/tired at the end of the day then even little things can seem like a chore and may give you a weak excuse not to go out...

re: weight, as you are strong you should find a 10 inch a breeze and a 12 inch not too much to worry about. That said I much prefer putting my 10 out, just because I find it a cinch, whereas the 12's required some effort. I can set up the 16 inch on my own, but that is defo not one for those with a bad back (and it might even give you one :grin::evil:  Best handled by two if poss, that one!)

I love the views with the 16 inch but personally I could spend an entire lifetime thrilled by the views from the 10 inch dob, it packs a pretty good punch and while being large is not that heavy, so for me it is a great balance of size/weight to wow factor :shocked:

Edited by Luke
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The dimensions as promised, in stored position.

Skywatcher 250px:-

Height - 135cm

Base + side handles - 60cm

Weight - Approx 30kg.

Whilst it is possible to lift complete I usually inscrew the handles, take out the base then bring the tube out seperate. This fits together very easy and can be done even in the dark.

This limits the chances of tripping with the complete scope outside.

If you get chance I would recommend go to look at one 1st though but plan ahead where it will be stored as you wouldn't want it damaged whilst stored away waiting for a clear night.

My other half would of had a fit if I had bought anything bigger.

If you want anymore information let me know

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