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rml63

Astro Baby 130mm vs 200mm reflector review

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After reading astro baby's review of both scopes it seems to me that the130p would be a much better beginner scope.  However she also goes on to say that after a few months she wanted a bigger scope.  This is what I am afraid of is using the 130p and then in a few months wishing for something bigger.  My sessions will be short at this time, so I guess I am looking for a  G&G scope.  

I really like the 200p and on a Losmandy alt az mount it would be (I think) a great visual scope.  The weight and cool down time are the main issues stopping me from buying it.  Iam looking forward to your thoughts and tips.

Thanks 

Mike

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Could you post a link to Astro Baby's review? Thanks.

The step up from 130mm to 200mm of aperture is significant and will give considerable advantages for observation, but a 130mm is by no means a bad size for a telescope and if considerations of weight mean it will be used more, then it could be an attractive choice. 150mm might be a compromise between the two!

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With newtonians up to 8" I have found cool down time to be pretty irrelevant really. You can use them straight away after setting up, and and the views improve as they cool down over 20-30mins. Or you can just have a cuppa whilst waiting.

I find cool down time applies more to larger newtonians 10"+ where folks often add a cooling fan to the rear cell. Or with Fracs, Maks and Scts which are enclosed by a corrector plate or lens - they can take up to an hour cooling down before they're more effective - especially so when imaging. Hth :)

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1 minute ago, brantuk said:

You can use them straight away after setting up

Only at low powers if there is a considerable temperature difference between the air remaining in the tube and the outside air.  Just defocus the view and you'll see all sorts of thermals rising out of the tube on a cold night.  They completely destroy high power views.  Without a fan, it takes about 15 to 30 minutes to get all the hot air out.  To decrease the wait time, I take it outside first, remove the caps, and orient the tube vertically like a chimney.  By the time I've got my eyepiece cases, charts, observing chair, etc. brought out, the Telrad attached, the scope collimated, the tube is nearly good to go.

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Yes it would be for visual only.  Sorry about the link I tried but I am not very good with the computer.  It is under her blog of the same name.  I really like the Quattro 200p CF. F4 I think.   While it is made for astrophotograhy ,some guys on CN have used it for visual.  The big scope has an attraction for me as long as it's weight and setup would not become a pain over time.

Mike

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" Without a fan, it takes about 15 to 30 minutes to get all the hot air out "

Absolutely - what I'm saying is that 30 mins is not a long time to wait (assuming you prefer to wait) - it's peanuts alongside an overnight session. But you can still view straight away if you're keen to get going - good point to avoid higher powers till the scope is settled down. :)

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As an extreme case, I've heard that large Mak correctors never equilibrate on nights of falling temperatures.  Never had that issue with a Newt.

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2 hours ago, rml63 said:

Yes it would be for visual only.  Sorry about the link I tried but I am not very good with the computer.  It is under her blog of the same name.  I really like the Quattro 200p CF. F4 I think.   While it is made for astrophotograhy ,some guys on CN have used it for visual.  The big scope has an attraction for me as long as it's weight and setup would not become a pain over time.

Mike

What would you mount it on?  Some sort of GEM?  Edit: I see you are looking at an alt-az upon rereading.  Have you ever tried to pick up and move one of those with the tripod, head, OTA, and counterweights all connected together?  They get pretty heavy pretty quick.  I passed on a sweet deal for an Orion StarMax 127mm Mak because of this.  They're also a lot more unwieldy compared to an 8" dob that can be hugged close to your body to move around.

Edited by Louis D
Update text based on rereading OP
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There's a lot of heat coming from your body. If can cause heat differences and affect seeing if you huddle your ota. Similarly heat differences from the ground to your  scope can have an effect. More so from hard paving than on grass,

Nick,

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1 minute ago, cotterless45 said:

There's a lot of heat coming from your body. If can cause heat differences and affect seeing if you huddle your ota. Similarly heat differences from the ground to your  scope can have an effect. More so from hard paving than on grass,

Nick,

Yeah, I like to defocus on a bright star in winter, take off a glove, hold my exposed hand in front of the tube, and watch the thermal currents rise off of my exposed hand.  It's sort of like having a cheap thermal imager.  :happy7: It's very cool for a few seconds, then common sense makes me put my glove back on.

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That 130p in the review looks to have the same tripod and mount that the Mak I looked at had.  All I can say is it is cheaply made.  One of the leg extension tensioners on the tripod had literally split because its made of soft plastic rather than delrin or aluminum, so you could never extend it if you wanted to.  The mount head is cheap as well.  There's no dovetail clamp, so you can't remove the OTA without a toolkit.  Who thought that was a good idea?  Because it has to be kept all together to move it about, it was a total non-starter for me and my bad back.  I can carry 55 pounds if I can keep it close to my body.  I couldn't do that with that Mak.

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3 hours ago, rml63 said:

I really like the 200p and on a Losmandy alt az mount it would be (I think) a great visual scope.  The weight and cool down time are the main issues stopping me from buying it.  Iam looking forward to your thoughts and tips.

Weight wise, you could probably fold the legs on that mount (Edit, Oops, no you can't, they're fixed in position) and carry the whole thing, OTA included, over your shoulder with ease because it wouldn't throw off your center of gravity very much and because it's such a sturdy rig.

Edited by Louis D
Correct collapsibility of tripod.

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Louis,

You have opened my eyes, the scope I was considering was the SW BKP 130 on a vixen starguy pro alt az mount.  I foolishly thought the weight calculation of around 15 kg would not be a problem but as you say with the tripod , head ota that will be a handful.  While I realize the purpose of a scope is to gather as much light as possible I have not investigated the dob ,as the design does not appeal to me.

For me and probably me alone, the equipment has to have some visual appeal and that means a scope on a tripod .  I would really like a medium size reflector but I don't have any experience to see the pitfalls before they come.   I understand my first scope will not be my last but at 53 just entering the hobby I want to buy Quality and enjoy my new scope for awhile.   I really appreciate all the helpful advice you have given me so far, keep it coming guys and gals I'm pumped for this new scope whatever it turns out to be.

 

Mike

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Mike,

You may find it easier to decide which scope suits you by first going to an Astronomy club and seeing a few in the real world....

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Like Louis D say's, get your scope out early enough and you should reap the reward with better visuals, if the seeing conditions allow.

Do  remember though, not all Newtonian's, are in tubes? some are  held together in an open lattice frame, like the  Stargate by Sky-watcher, or the  various collapsible  scopes, so don't just assume its the tube alone that creates the thermals,  they will if their warm, and they do encase the thermals,  but as  heat rises naturally, its best to point the telescope  skywards as mentioned.
All mirrors  should be  allowed to cool if stored in a warmer environment than that  of the viewing environment.
The  damage to the visual  image  is caused by  the heat radiating from  the optics,  forming a  boundary layer across the face of the optics,  which is visible when  viewed through a de-focused eyepiece. Its  similar to the water effect / mirage on a long straight flat road,  whith the Sun beating down of the surface, everything shimmers in the distance, as the heat rises from the surface of the road. 
Fans and cooling periods really only apply to scopes that are stored in a different climate/temperature than your observing climate. If the scope is permanently at the same temp as ambient, there should not be any issue?
I always start my session on a low powered EP until conditions and cooling allow  me to go higher.  

Edited by Charic
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6 hours ago, Charic said:

If the scope is permanently at the same temp as ambient, there should not be any issue?

Not necessarily in the desert.  Even a vented observatory can reach well over 120 degrees Fahrenheit due to full sun during the day, but can drop very fast at night into the 80s at first and even the 60s by morning due to the dry air not holding heat well.  Unfortunately, glass holds heat much better than air and can take time equilibrate.

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6 hours ago, dweller25 said:

Mike,

You may find it easier to decide which scope suits you by first going to an Astronomy club and seeing a few in the real world....

This is exactly what I did back in the late 90s when I got into astronomy.  I attended the local club's annual public outreach star party.  There were dozens of scopes on the field, so I got a pretty good idea of what I liked viewing through and what I didn't.  I was originally leaning toward a GEM or fork mount, but fell in love instead with the simplicity and sharp optics of a well crafted dob.  My neighbors started wondering what I was doing with a cannon when I brought it out to the front yard to spot western targets.  I'd give them a look at whatever I was observing.  They were always impressed.

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Get a 200mm OOUK f6 on their compact aluminum dob mount, with the friction brake and add a light Rigel finder. These scope work very well.

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20 hours ago, Louis D said:

 To decrease the wait time, I take it outside first, remove the caps, and orient the tube vertically like a chimney.  

And hope there aren't too many birds about :eek::D 

Had that happen at a star party. Luckily I still had the mirror cover on my truss dob. 

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2 hours ago, swamp thing said:

And hope there aren't too many birds about :eek::D 

Had that happen at a star party. Luckily I still had the mirror cover on my truss dob. 

At night it's not much of an issue in my backyard.  During the daytime would be a different story.

I'm more concerned about the critters prowling about who might not notice me as I sit really still and quietly observing.  I've had opossums, raccoons, field rats, neighborhood cats, civet (ring-tailed) cats, toads, etc. come through at night.  I can sometimes hear coyotes in the distance.

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