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Richard Hather

Aperture fever or common sense???

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If only it was that easy estwing there's 2 reasons why I can't just put my scope in a car and drive to a dark spot.

1. I can't drive it's something I've never had to do always had GFs that can drive for me haha ? 

2. With 3 kids and me working shifts setting up in the garden is 95% of the time the best I can do.

The only time I've ever been to dark sites is when my friend Lee has let me tag along 3 times I think over the past year so not to shabby.

Richard

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1 hour ago, Richard Hather said:

So what would you personally go for a flexi or a truss for east storage?

Having the veil lifted from your eyes that's the sort of thing I'm hoping a 12" could do for me and I think the hassle of not having to align the scope could be a plus it's just finding them hopefully that will be half the fun.

Richard

Speaking for a Flextube 12", I stored mine in an upstairs spare bedroom, which I could manage up and down the stairs and the footprint was fine, though I now use a corner in the back room of our house for my current scopes. Also just to add, a shroud is a necessity. Whether you decide on a 10 or 12", it will fit across the back seat of a car with the dob mount in the boot (if a hatch back).  It would also rest upright on a passenger seat (seat belted in of course). For mainly confined to observing at home, a shroud and dew shield will help to combat stray light and there are other hints and tips in various threads on the forum. If your friend is also interested, then you could consider going along to regional star camps -  check the star party section, such as the Peak star party or else go camping (basic farm campsites can often be best, no brightly lite wash room blocks, pathways or reception areas) such as in the Dales occasionally. 

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Having a small flat and no car I just ordered a Sumerian Optics Alkaid 12". A bit expensive, sure, but compact enough to carry around without issues. I will bring it will me even in Italy, this summer, as hand luggage on airplane. And I plan to use car clubs (or even trains, who knows?) to try and find darker places here in the UK.

And it's also very compact for easy storage in my flat :)

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18 minutes ago, GuLinux said:

Having a small flat and no car I just ordered a Sumerian Optics Alkaid 12". A bit expensive, sure, but compact enough to carry around without issues. I will bring it will me even in Italy, this summer, as hand luggage on airplane. And I plan to use car clubs (or even trains, who knows?) to try and find darker places here in the UK.

And it's also very compact for easy storage in my flat :)

Interesting plan, dobs on trains sounds good.

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I would second the advice to check out the physical size/weight factors and think through where it will be stored and how you will set it up and take it down.

I would only go for a truss if small size and lighter bits when packed up is a limiting factor. Otherwise solid tubes are better in most respects.

I got the biggest solid tube I can set up and take down on my own and it is great - it needs more strength to set up than say a little maksutov on an az mount but actually it doesn't take any more time.

My plan it to keep that for as long as I can set it up (hopefully many years) and downsize as I get more decrepit.

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Not being able to drive is a minor handicap, but if you have someone to drive you, then a trip to the Astronomy Centre at Todmorden may prove beneficial. There are lots of scopes to play with and you'll get an idea of size, portability and usefulness of different apertures before you buy something for yourself.

Mike

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Cheers everyone I think I will definitely see one and look through it and check out the weight before investing in one.

Its a bit more complicated then I thought it would be but hopefully it will all work out thanks again everyone ?

Richard

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Richard 

Just a thought, but it might be too late for this. Is there a way you can keep the 6SE and still fund the Dob ?

I say this as you are contemplating a similar move to one Susie and I have been through recently. 

Long story short; we started out with an 8" EdgeHD SCT. For wide field viewing and very quick Grab & Go we added the Evostar ED80 shortly after. And the little Carbon INED 70 is the one that goes into "carry on rucksacks" when we fly. 

It was natural for us to consider passing on one or more of our existing scopes when we started thinking about stepping up to a medium sized Dob. But we're lucky enough to be able to keep the arsenal intact, and we've found nights where something other than the Dob is the best tool for the job given conditions, time available and so forth...

Might not be possible. But it would give you options..?

By the way, whether it's heavier, bulkier and more difficult to store; all that's forgotten as you put your eye to the eyepiece...

Simon

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I do all my observing from home in not too good skies. I use the 16" whenever I can, but often use the 10" if it's a more spontaneous session, (like last night). I bought the 10" first, ( instead of say a 12") and chose this size at the time, because of ease of handling. 

I can easily move the 10" to different spots around the garden if need but once assembled the 16" truss can't be moved.

Edited by Scooot
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14 minutes ago, Racey said:

Richard 

Just a thought, but it might be too late for this. Is there a way you can keep the 6SE and still fund the Dob ?

I say this as you are contemplating a similar move to one Susie and I have been through recently. 

Long story short; we started out with an 8" EdgeHD SCT. For wide field viewing and very quick Grab & Go we added the Evostar ED80 shortly after. And the little Carbon INED 70 is the one that goes into "carry on rucksacks" when we fly. 

It was natural for us to consider passing on one or more of our existing scopes when we started thinking about stepping up to a medium sized Dob. But we're lucky enough to be able to keep the arsenal intact, and we've found nights where something other than the Dob is the best tool for the job given conditions, time available and so forth...

Might not be possible. But it would give you options..?

By the way, whether it's heavier, bulkier and more difficult to store; all that's forgotten as you put your eye to the eyepiece...

Simon

That was my initial thought but space is a big issue for me with 3 kids all under 7 it's amazing how much space all there stuff take up.

The other reason is I wouldn't like to go purely manual and really learn the Sky and start star hopping all the time I know it can be frustrating but letting go of my 6SE will be tough ?

Richard

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2 minutes ago, Scooot said:

I do all my observing from home in not too good skies. I use the 16" whenever I can, but often use the 10" if it's a more spontaneous session, (like last night). I bought the 10" first, ( instead of say a 12") and chose this size at the time, because of ease of handling. 

Nice how is it for you when observing galaxies and Nebula?

I will probably just go for the 12" but I am going to see one for myself and get a feel for it ?

Richard

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Galaxies not much good, can see lots of them but they're just fuzzy patches and streaks, Bodes is quite nice, Andromeda just the bright core and maybe a hint of surroundings. M42 is awesome, but most of the very large nebulas such as the California are very faint or invisible. I can see the brighter parts of the veil with a filter. M42 is awesome as is the ring, and dumbell.

I'll dig out a couple of sketches & post them later.

Edited by Scooot
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The fever won't pass Richard, so I would take a look at the various 12" candidates and go for it.Having tried 12" Lightbridge and Skywatcher scopes, I have been lucky enough to acquire a OO12", which is very much lighter, easy to handle, and with superb optics.

I am a refractor lover first and foremost, but I could never be without a largish reflector, and a Dob is just so easy to use. Oddly, I identified a 12" as the perfect scope for me,long before I had one, and have no desire to go larger, even though I have seen the most incredible sights through a 20" Dob at Kelling.:happy11:

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Here's a few sketches, not really my forte but hopefully it',, give you some idea. On a good night I can see all of little bear but more usually the three main stars.

IMG_1565.JPG.98397af79d8a6319b511f9f5e756a026.JPGIMG_1566.JPG.b27f8118cc47564b8124ac6231027ab9.JPG592148a135fe4_M42sketchIMG_6232.thumb.jpg.83193e64e43a849b36915c8a4a592f67.jpg

Edited by Scooot
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39 minutes ago, Scooot said:

Here's a few sketches, not really my forte but hopefully it',, give you some idea. On a good night I can see all of little bear but more usually the three main stars.

IMG_1565.JPG.98397af79d8a6319b511f9f5e756a026.JPGIMG_1566.JPG.b27f8118cc47564b8124ac6231027ab9.JPG592148a135fe4_M42sketchIMG_6232.thumb.jpg.83193e64e43a849b36915c8a4a592f67.jpg

Lovely sketches scooot that's really good detail on M42 here's a sketch I did a couple of month ago you can see the shape but none of he really detail that you managed to capture.

Richard

IMG_5382.JPG

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Thanks Richard, still a lovely sketch despite the lesser aperture. I stood the dobs on my EQ platform to do them, the 16" only just fits. I don't think I would have been able to do them without some form of tracking. So you might want to consider this if you're intending to sketch. I also use Astro Devices Nexus as a push-to system which means I can find anything very quickly, which is also particularly useful when sketching as I don't waste sketching time (which takes me ages) looking for things.

Edited by Scooot
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My early sketches of M42 looked like yours Richard (H) but I found that I was using too much magnification so only getting the central region. Using a low power, wide angle eyepiece gave me a view like Richard has sketched with his 16" - what puzzles me a bit is that I was only using a 60mm refractor at that time :icon_scratch:

With my 12" dob and a nice wide eyepiece on a dark night M42 looks very like this from my backyard (not my sketch):

 

img2010011401_M42lg.jpg

Edited by John
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7 minutes ago, John said:

My early sketches of M42 looked like yours Richard (H) but I found that I was using too much magnification so only getting the central region. Using a low power, wide angle eyepiece gave me a view like Richard has sketched with his 16" - what puzzles me a bit is that I was only using a 60mm refractor at that time :icon_scratch:

With my 12" dob and a nice wide eyepiece on a dark night M42 looks very like this from my backyard (not my sketch):

 

img2010011401_M42lg.jpg

Great sketch John, my guess is North Somerset is a lot darker than Billericay. Also probably it's not the best sketch..... :( 

Edited by Scooot
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2 minutes ago, Scooot said:

Great sketch John, my guess is North Somerset is a lot darker than Billericay. 

It's not my sketch I'm afraid but it does represent what M42 can look like on a good night here.

Maybe my garden is better than I thought ?

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8 minutes ago, John said:

It's not my sketch I'm afraid but it does represent what M42 can look like on a good night here.

Maybe my garden is better than I thought ?

I can see the e&f regularly with the 16", and I'm always very impressed with m42 so maybe I haven't done it justice. I certainly haven't depicted differing levels of brightness in the nebulosity very well. But I unfortunately can't see anything like the sketch i posted with my baby tak. 

Edited by Scooot
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A 10" is the ideal size for me. The skywatcher solid tube 12" seems huge in comparison and the flextube version or lighter weight OOUK telescope were out of budget.

I live in an estate on the south side of Gloucester, but on a good night there is plenty to be seen.

image.jpeg.81f33f828338f1a763e79b89f7481b60.jpeg

image.jpeg.23c2c248c6eb02b78838127d7422d651.jpeg

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Wow I'm loving this, all these sketches are one of the main reasons I love astronomy ?

I wasn't planning on going Goto with a dob but maybe it's not a bad idea?

Richard

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17 hours ago, estwing said:

this isn't going to happen in Bury....

No chance were I live in Peacehaven . I can just about make out Jupiter on some nights.

About one of the worst years I have known for imaging. Wont spend any more on gear now.

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This is a short exposure image I took of the ring with my 16" a while ago. The view I had through my 10" last night was quite similar but with a hint of colour. Maybe not quite so pronounced and fewer stars.

IMG_2372.thumb.PNG.a36eeca984a477f4933da23e0bf5a8b3.PNG

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1 hour ago, Scooot said:

I can see the e&f regularly with the 16", and I'm always very impressed with m42 so maybe I haven't done it justice. I certainly haven't depicted differing levels of brightness in the nebulosity very well. But I unfortunately can't see anything like the sketch i posted with my baby tak. 

I get E & F with my 120mm refractor and occasionally with my 4" fracs. Sometimes I can get them when M42 is more or less drowned out my Moonlight or LP so Maybe more a test of resolution ?

On the original question, up to 10/12 inches of aperture I tend to feel there there will be noticable gains to be had on deep sky objects especially, over a 6" SCT. Maybe a little less gain on the moon and planets if the SCT is a good one and in good collimation. Globular clusters really seem to benefit from additional aperture even with some LP around.

I have observed with Rik's 10" Skywatcher under a reasonably dark sky (SGL star party) and the deep sky views were superb :icon_biggrin:

In some ways, if its feasible, having a 10" dob AND a 6" SCT would be a great complimentary combination. Just have to practice your excuses to your other half :icon_biggrin:

 

Edited by John
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