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Done something a bit daft - bought an OOUK VX16 Dob


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I sold my SCT recently with the intention of moving up to a  12" dob, probably an OOUK VX12 F4.  Been keeping an eye on ABS (as you do, filthy habit, must give up, anyone got any methadone etc etc) and saw a VX14 F4.6 1/10 come up for sale, but whilst I was procrastinating about the TFOV being small due to the longer focal length (1600 as opposed to 1200 for the VX12 F4.0), it sold (in minutes apparently).  I had a word with Steve from ENS (who has a VX12 F5.3 for sale) and he recomended that for DSOs esp. galaxies the best recipe is aperture combined with a Fast F ratio and an FL over 1500 for image scale.  He reckons the VX14 is great for this (damn), but that the 16" F4 designs are brilliant as you can still walk around the scope and view without a step ladder, whilst having lots of aperture.

So when the VX16 F4 1/10th wave optics came up, I was very wary of the weight, but I realised it had the same FL (and therefore TFOVs) as the 12" F5.3 and the 14" F4.6.  So anyway I've gone and done it and it'll be with me tonight, paracorr, laser collimater and all.

Now obviously this 29Kg OTA plus aluminium base (maybe 15kg?) is not easy to move single-handed, although it has four handles attached to the dob base.  But I have a super-easy solution - an aluminium sack trolley and a couple of kerb ramps have been ordered off ebay.  

So... deeply foolish or what?

 

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Nice one Dinesh. Certainly not foolish, it's a great scope and would have been mine if the cash had been available! Actually, probably not with my back the way it is, but certainly it will be a cracker. Moonshane lifts his in one go, so I'm  sure with some thought (as you say, sack truck etc) you will be fine. 

Superb timing for 3rd September aswell :) 

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3 minutes ago, Commanderfish said:

Yes loading it into a car will be interesting - maybe not my coupe, as it has no back doors and I'm uncertain the boot opening will suffice - might have to be the wife's Alfa estate ;)

Yep, defo won't go in the beemer!

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That looks cool! Actually the sack truck is for moving the dob from garage to garden, and the kerb ramps are for the step at the threshold of the garage.  I should be fine lifting the OTA into the car once separated from the dob mount, they weigh 29kg and circa 15kg respectively.  I regularly pick up and carry my lab around (and lift him into a high-lipped car boot), he is 27Kg but admittedly much smaller and ergonomically pre-disposed than the VX16.  I could do with some carry handles on the OTA really...

According to the Meade website, the Lightbridge 16" is even heavier at 34Kg for the OTA and 25 Kg for the dob base!  That would be 59Kg if you lifted it in one go...

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Excellent, the Trunnion blocks do provide a good grip when hauling it any short distance. The VX16 is just a little taller than my VX14 and in terms of this scope, I can manage carrying in one journey through the house and out to the car then sliding it along to rest on two former packaging blocks that are used as cradles. Sometimes, if I need to open doors etc, I will lower it down usually onto a piece of cardboard or matting. A succession of short distances should enable you to haul it along I would expect (just bend the knees :smiley:). Do you plan on taking it to dark sites? 

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Well it looks like Stu's expecting it at our Outreach event on 3rd Sept!  Yes, if I can move it by myself I'll probably take it down to Butser (HantsAsto) for viewing sessions too.

I won't need to carry it any distance as I'll have the sack truck; I'll just need to haul it onto the seats/boot from the sack truck. Good to hear that the trunnion blocks work well as grips!

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Sounds like a good move to me :icon_biggrin:

Orion Optics dobs are quite a bit lighter than the chinese equvilents - my 12" F/5.3 OO dob weighs around the same all up as a 10" Skywatcher dob.

The tube on mine is 16kg so I guess the additional 13kg on the 16" is mostly glass.

Hope you have a lot of fun with it !

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Hi . You have done it now and in the big boys club. The dob mob will probably be along soon? . Nice scope the OOuk and the 1/10 mirrors are great. I am not to sure how easy it will be to transport ,as my 14"" OOuk solid tube just about fits in the car long ways, not across the back seats (unless you leave the back doors open?). And even then it's a tight fit and takes a bit of shoe horning to get it all in.             

Anyway you have got yourself a cracking scope and if your going to step up in aperture then you may as well go BIG ? enjoy.

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12 minutes ago, cotterless45 said:

Watch this aperture fever, it's not only addictive, but contagious !image.pngimage.jpegimage.jpegimage.jpeg

 

 

I wish you had not of posted this . I thought I had got my aperture fever under control when getting a OO uk 14" and 1/10pv I was very happy and very content with my scope

But the diagram of M13 at 25" does look so Great??? you are really tempting me to think about aperture again. This could get a very expensive post for those with aperture fever tendencies and the weak willed like me ?

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31 minutes ago, nightfisher said:

Congrats on getting a very good scope, i have had the pleasure of viewing with Moonshanes 16" F4 and its stunning, you now need to spend a massive amount on Televue ep`s

I think he already has this covered Jules :) 

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6 hours ago, Commanderfish said:

That looks cool! Actually the sack truck is for moving the dob from garage to garden, and the kerb ramps are for the step at the threshold of the garage.  I should be fine lifting the OTA into the car once separated from the dob mount, they weigh 29kg and circa 15kg respectively.  I regularly pick up and carry my lab around (and lift him into a high-lipped car boot), he is 27Kg but admittedly much smaller and ergonomically pre-disposed than the VX16.  I could do with some carry handles on the OTA really...

According to the Meade website, the Lightbridge 16" is even heavier at 34Kg for the OTA and 25 Kg for the dob base!  That would be 59Kg if you lifted it in one go...

Yes I did have handles and wheels on the LB 16" - but it was just too wide and heavy lifting it all in one - and pushing up a ramp into the car was onerous lol.

So I've made a lighter rocker box with no wheels which is easier to handle. All I lift now with the lifter/sack truck is the ota - the big wheels make it easy to transport over grass to the set up position. If you need any wheels and handles - pm me for dimensions and pics - they might fit your rig. :)

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So Michael dropped off the scope last night and here it is!  You can see my mighty Ethos 21, oversized Baader Sky Surfer v and Antares Versascope 60mm RACI (pretty much a scope in it's own right) all dwarfed by the OTA.

The laser collimator was out of batteries so I wasn't able to collimate (and I know that the secondary was a little out for starters as I got it going this morning), but I got an image of the moon in the ES30mm 82 degree at x56 below.

First impressions:

- Yes it's huge but not at all heavy in relation to it's huge size

- Takes a little while to cool but it will be living in the garage so that shouldn't be too much of an issue.  No fan on it, but I probably won't bother adding one in the short term

- Mirror looks great, tube is in good condition. Base is very stable without mods.

- Focuser travel is an issue.  30mm is not enough to bring all my eyepieces to focus without one or more extension tubes.  I think this will be a focuser upgrade job as it's an okay single speed focuser but could be better.

- No friction brake but I've balanced it pretty well so it doesn't shift when changing eyepieces.  The weight of the two big finders really helps :) 

- I'm used to wider field scopes so the 60mm Antares Versascope RACI with 7 degree field makes a HUGE difference, it is much easier to locate objects than it would be without.

 

Initial obsrvations:

- Despite heavy LP from the near full moon and a fair amount of moisture in the atmosphere (thin light high cloud passing through), M13 had more stars than ever in the 9.25 SCT and x273 mag was no problem, delivering a big image with noticeably better contrast than my 9.25 SCT, despite the LP.

- M81 and M82 were located despite LP which should have made them near invisible.  Not much detail due to Lp but it was possible to get far bigger images than I'm used to.  This is promising 

- Double cluster looked good though obviously not as well framed as in the Starwave 152.  

- Saturn set before the scope had cooled (shortly after we unloaded the scope really) but the disc and rings were plainly visible though without detail. 

- Owl Nebula detected for first time ever using Castell Oiii filter, despite heavy LP.  Great result.

- Far more stars everywhere than any of the other scopes.  Stars not sharp at first but got sharper as the scope cooled.  Still not Apo sharp, but the scope was uncollimated and I haven't received my Paracorr just yet.

- No secondary shadow noticeable in focus :)

- Coma very much limited to edge 5-10%.  I will reassess this once the scope is collimated.

 

Given the huge LP and lack of collimation, I think this is all encouraging for a partial first light.

Planned upgrades:

- Secondary knobs instead of screws.  Anyone know if the screws are M4?

- Focuser with more travel.  Any recommendations?  

- Possibly a friction brake.  Has anyone added something like this to an Orion dob base?

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