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theblazingak

What type of telescope do you prefer?

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Vaguely remembering my struggles with alt-az as a teenager EQ mounts seem a godsend to me!

How on earth do you star-hop around with an alt-az when you have to cross large areas with only scattered nondescript stars? With the EQ mount I can easily follow the grid lines of the chart up and across.

My head just seems to work in AltAz rather than EQ. I know Michael Wilkinson prefers an EQ I think for similar reasons to you.

With a nice widefield scope giving a 3 or 4 degree field it's actually very straightforward finding your way around. Having the SCT accurately aligned with the Tak in my Giro-WR makes it even easier.

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Forgive a newbies' potentially silly question, but reading the various replies to this question makes me wonder how easy would it be to swap the mounts on a telescope. For example, I'm considering purchasing a Dobsonian for my first scope, but if at a later date I decided to swap that for an EQ mount, would that be possible?

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Forgive a newbies' potentially silly question, but reading the various replies to this question makes me wonder how easy would it be to swap the mounts on a telescope. For example, I'm considering purchasing a Dobsonian for my first scope, but if at a later date I decided to swap that for an EQ mount, would that be possible?

Yes - you can get tube rings that let you remount the OTA from your dob onto an EQ mount. I'm sure I've read about that before, here.

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The ability to mount a dobsonian onto an eq mount is an option as stated above but I must say from experience ensure you have the ability to buy the best kind of mount to take the weight which most probably would atleast be a eq3 for anything up to 6inches and either an EQ5 and above for an 8inch scope. I also remember seeing a article that dobsonians are allegedly not the best for astrography but I am unsure if the arguments were due to the mounts. As stated earlier in this thread I am a relative newcomer so my advice is that of a person who has travelled down the path of upgrading from a very small portable package to that of a only just transportable setup. And yes you can star hop really well with a decent sky chart.

Geoff

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As you can see laudropb  and I have the same scope. I find mine  easy enough to transport in my car, or just into the garden fully assembled,  its just the effort required to get everything right, and more so, having the clear skies to make the trips worthwhile.

I too have considered a Refractor ( the TAL 100RS for under £150 thread has re-fired the enthusiasm )   but I feel the Skyliner will better the TAL for my needs at present, I just want to look through one?

I have had two Newtonian telescopes since I started in 2013, a 5" on a GEM ( German Equatorial Mount ) and the present Skyliner on a Dobsonian mount. The latter being of simple construction, fantastic value and brilliant results. Only a bigger scope will improve the images provided?

The 5" Celestron taught me how to Polar align, manually track but  quickly dislike the practice required to just simply view objects in the night sky, just too much hassle and time wasted.

The Dobsonian however is a joy to use, what can go wrong? You place the thing on firm ground, pop in your longest focal length eyepiece, and start viewing. If the scopes optics are a little warmer than the ambient air temperature, they will cool, and  the cooler they get, the better the final view. Most telescopes require some cooling, in fact my scope has been out for  3 Days now, pity the clouds  are not aware, as the optics, fully cooled, fully collimated, should give stunning results, Oh yeah I forgot!, the neighbours will have their lights on! Good job I have a mobile Dob tent to help reduce the effects of light pollution, and give it another Week and I reckon all the leaves will have fallen off the tree that hides the main street light. darn it! 

For astrophotography work, or just to track an object so that non-users of your telescope can keep up with the targets, a Tracking Mount is required.    

laudropb said....

As you will have gathered from the previous reports there is no easy answer to this. 

......easy for me though, a Newtonian on a Dobsonian Mount :grin:  though not the right solution for everyone?  


.

Edited by Charic

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By preference refractors do it for me - I always wanted a big one, and now I have one that looks like it could knock a wall down.  It's not the most convenient telescope to use for all sky sectors but it makes me very happy! Had some amazing views of sun and moon, It's eq mounted - at higher magnifications a large refractor would be awkward on alt/az in my view - eq tracks more smoothly at higher mags.  It sets up quickly too.  I don't think I want a GOTO, The eq mount has dec and RA markings, plus there is a finder on the scope - I use 2 atlases and bins to get to my targets (though sun and moon I now spot fairly quickly) - I currently use large binoculars for locating DSOs mounted on alt/az - but am in process of going for another smaller refractor to deal with those.  I am not against mirrors or anything, and will get one one day I'm sure, but refractors just seem more intuitive to me for some reason

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