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cloudsweeper

Turning Luddite??

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The Dob has dominated my observing for a few months now, and I have got comfortable with rapid scanning and easy aiming, followed by a hop or two to target (usually!).  Also, starting with a True Field of 2deg (or slightly more) facilitates the process.

A few nights ago, I thought I'd get reacquainted with the 8SE/GoTo, and the relative slowness involved in alignment and scanning were quite apparent.  Furthermore, the True Field was down to 1.34deg at best, which seemed somewhat limiting, especially if the GoTo is "out".  Say it's around just 2/3 of a degree out - it will miss small targets completely, although to be fair, very careful alignment can largely overcome this.

GoTo is of course a great aid, which can save a lot of time when taking in several targets, but overall, I found I was missing the manual, wider field approach.  I also recently used the 8SE on a dual mount, with the ST120 as a very widefield guidescope - a fast and accurate way of enjoying the benefits of the 8SE tube.

It's all a matter of what we get used to, and personal preferences I suppose.  But I do feel the inner Luddite stirring!

Doug.

 

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Hi Doug,

Sorry, I'm really ignorant of a lot of models of telescopes out there, so I apologize in advance if I'm about to say something stupid here that you're already fully aware of and using.

But I agree that the ability of slewing Dobsonians around is great, and that's why I love the Sky-Watcher GoTo Flextubes. They've got Dual incoders so you can use the GoTo motor to point exactly at a deep sky object, or you can just push it around like you're used to doing, and the scope still knows where it's pointing.

I think there are other scopes out there that do this too, so it maybe that you've already got something that does this. Sorry if I've just said something really obvious to you! But I do love the GoTo Dobsonians!

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I've never owned a go to scope and am happy finding things myself but I have seen go to scopes in action and they are impressive at finding targets quickly, especially ones that are tough star hops to find manually.

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I do get exactly what you are saying Doug. I now have a pillar mounted EQ mount in the garden which is basically pre-aligned so I have minimal setup time. That does really help.

I think you would really like Push-to though. You are free to manually slew wherever you like, no need to align, but then if you do want some assistance, a quick two star align and you are away. Best of both worlds really.

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My C8 has no Go-To on the Great Polaris mount, but I do have a 14x70 finder scope. At outreach events of our astronomical institute I have frequently found half a dozen objects before the Go-To crowd have got their kit working. Having said that, when doing DSO imaging, I would like a go-to mount, so I get the object on the chip and in focus faster, without losing so much precious imaging time.

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9 minutes ago, cloudsweeper said:

I'll try to resist!

Ah Haa! That's very impressive. If you don't need a GoTo then that's great. I would be useless at finding much more than a couple of objects.

If you're able to find and view objects with your knowledge of the sky alone then that's very admirable. I started late and have a lot to learn. (Or perhaps more pertinently, remember!).

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That's interesting as I've been wondering what you thought on the subject. You seem to have been spending a lot of time with the dob. Do the extra 2 inches make it so much better or is it the wider views? 

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Imaging aside, which by definition needs fast object acquisition.
The Dob.  setup is Ideal for pleasurable Observing.
Easy management coupled with good light grasp signals a very satisfying evening perusing winter skies, as long as 
Miss Nature is being generous.  The Dob mounted telescope is also a great tool for improving ones sky navigation, teaching
the user to find the deep sky targets, without the technical wizardry mostly employed by The Imaging fraternity.
I'm not being selective here, I am just taking myself back in years, many of them too, when I was reveling in 
seeking out the hidden wonders. Great satisfaction is the reward for successful  attempts, and  it's surprising how the route 
you took to find them becomes second nature after a while..

My imaging has not taken off yet, but  All is in place to get going this season. I've been threatening to 
do so for a long time, and the time has now arrived.  If it should go pear shaped, the sale of
my Imaging equipment should afford me the price  of  a good Dob Light Bucket, which would be a balm for my hurt pride😀.
However, I don't give up easy.

So, Observers or Imagers, I hope  you all have a great winter sky time.
Ron.
 

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I have the 8SE (amongst other scopes). I never use the GoTo function on the scope. I will simply use the directional keys to get to where i want to go. The 8SE is my only GoTo scope. I also have a Heritage 130P Dob, Bresser 102 xs and............

Thats it. I have a 90mm refrac which i never use. I had a 70mm travelscope until the start of the yr but gave it to a kid across the road.

I just love manual scopes. They make hunting down objects more fun.

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5 hours ago, Lurcher said:

Ah Haa! That's very impressive. If you don't need a GoTo then that's great. I would be useless at finding much more than a couple of objects.

If you're able to find and view objects with your knowledge of the sky alone then that's very admirable. I started late and have a lot to learn. (Or perhaps more pertinently, remember!).

Nobody really needs GoTo. Its not difficult to learn the night sky, or even use star maps. 

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GoTo works, but there's no satisfaction in finding anything.

I took my small SCT off it's GoTo mount and put it on a manual alt-az. It immediately  became an instrument of discovery.

Out with the drudgery of finding twenty targets per hour! I'm back to exploring the universe on my own power.

Edited by Ruud
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1 hour ago, domstar said:

That's interesting as I've been wondering what you thought on the subject. You seem to have been spending a lot of time with the dob. Do the extra 2 inches make it so much better or is it the wider views? 

10" Bresser Dob compared with 8" SCT - 56% more light, slightly better resolution (20%), and a wider field (about 50%) at lowest mag, although that is at the cost of larger exit pupil/poorer contrast.  (Still good for finding you way round though.)  But the 8SE is a great 'scope, with good, sharp views over a wider field, and now seems very small and manageable!  As I said, I shall probably use it more on the manual mount, preferably with the frac.

Doug.

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49 minutes ago, Ruud said:

 

Out with the drudgery of finding twenty targets per hour! 

Love it, Ruud.  Can't decide whether it's irony or paradox!

Doug.

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1 hour ago, LukeSkywatcher said:

I have the 8SE (amongst other scopes). I never use the GoTo function on the scope. I will simply use the directional keys to get to where i want to go. The 8SE is my only GoTo scope. I also have a Heritage 130P Dob, Bresser 102 xs and............

Thats it. I have a 90mm refrac which i never use. I had a 70mm travelscope until the start of the yr but gave it to a kid across the road.

I just love manual scopes. They make hunting down objects more fun.

Perhaps you can help Meesh get her seven year old daughter a 90mm refractor if you never use it? 😉

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Anyway, I wouldn't worry until I'm like this...

 

 

image.jpeg

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Funny old world Doug, similar thoughts with me and my 10” dob, but opposite way around,

I have terrible light intrusion at home as well as light pollution, this makes star hops a challenge as I cannot see the overwhelmed stars from home, so I am looking at push to or similar as an option.

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1 hour ago, reezeh said:

Perhaps you can help Meesh get her seven year old daughter a 90mm refractor if you never use it? 😉

Im in Ireland. It would cost a fortune to ship it. The counter weights are solidly stuck and cant be removed etc.........

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16 minutes ago, Alan White said:

Funny old world Doug, similar thoughts with me and my 10” dob, but opposite way around,

I have terrible light intrusion at home as well as light pollution, this makes star hops a challenge as I cannot see the overwhelmed stars from home, so I am looking at push to or similar as an option.

Indeed, Alan.  I reckon careful alignment plus the wider field of a Dob would put the target well in view.  We all find our own way in this hobby, depending on preferences and conditions, and trying different approaches is great for widening experience!

Doug.

 

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It's encouraging that you are so positive about two different scopes (or even three). I wouldn't want to make my scope redundant by getting a new one but would also like to upgrade at some point. I wonder how much sentimentality plays a role in this. Anyway, not many people seem to have more fun than you with the night sky and I enjoy reading about your exploits.

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On 30/11/2018 at 18:29, LukeSkywatcher said:

Nobody really needs GoTo. Its not difficult to learn the night sky, or even use star maps. 

Imaging time's too precious to be faffing. GoTo on my DDM60 puts the target bang on the cross hairs.

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3 hours ago, DaveS said:

Imaging time's too precious to be faffing. GoTo on my DDM60 puts the target bang on the cross hairs.

I tend to agree, at my age I cannot spend too much time learning as my sight is faiing.  Goto is easiest for me.

If I were a little younger I would go for star hopping and I might even turn Left at Orion for a change.  (See my signature)

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Same for me.....I have to be mobile as I live in a flat so when its clear and I am free its a treat.  I dont want to spend 2 hours packing and unpacking plus an hour in the car each way and then get to see nothing much.

if I lived in the country with a large backyard I would do it different.

 

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