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doubledoubleswifty

10 inch Dobsonian too heavy - alternative recommendations

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Hello,

I have a SW250PX, I'm finding it a bit difficult to transport and tedious to set up each time.

Please, do you have a recommendation for something with similar views but easier set up?

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Tricky one. If you drop too much aperture then you may end up disappointed with the views you get, but then a scope you use is much better than one you don't!

I assume you have to go somewhere dark to observe rather than your back garden?

One suggestion might be a Celestron 8SE. Not a cheap option but much easier to handle and set up in its smaller parts

https://www.firstlightoptics.com/se-series/celestron-nexstar-8se.html

What would your budget be?

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Have you considered the Flextube version? Setup is about the same but the tube when collapsed is a lot easier to transport.

 

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27 minutes ago, johninderby said:

Have you considered the Flextube version? Setup is about the same but the tube when collapsed is a lot easier to transport.

 

Are they not alot heavier John?

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16 minutes ago, johninderby said:

About 1 kg heavier. 

Ah, not so bad then, does it split in two still? I guess I was thinking of the Goto versions which are heavier?

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The 10" flextube will be more compact for transportation, but will still have a similar weight. If that is a concern, you could consider the 8" flextube. This would be lighter than your 10", slightly smaller, easier with eyepieces, show less coma, still powerful.

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Posted (edited)
41 minutes ago, Stu said:

Ah, not so bad then, does it split in two still? I guess I was thinking of the Goto versions which are heavier?

Yes the tube still lifts off..

I once did a truss conversion on a 250px using a Geoptik truss kit bought cheap on eBay. They no longer do the 10” kit though.

Edited by johninderby

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A more expensive option is a Dob from Orion Optics UK.  

Their 10” Dob is noticeably lighter than a Skywatcher equivalent.

I own an 8” and a 10” Dob from OO UK, the difference in the views is not that much. An 8” OO is considerably lighter than a 10” SW.   About 12 years ago I owned a 10” SW Dob, I had to carry it down a flight of stairs to use it, so I’m aware of the problem.

Ed.

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8 minutes ago, NGC 1502 said:

 

A more expensive option is a Dob from Orion Optics UK.  

Their 10” Dob is noticeably lighter than a Skywatcher equivalent.

I own an 8” and a 10” Dob from OO UK, the difference in the views is not that much. An 8” OO is considerably lighter than a 10” SW.   About 12 years ago I owned a 10” SW Dob, I had to carry it down a flight of stairs to use it, so I’m aware of the problem.

Ed.

Very true - my 12 inch OO UK dob is around the same weight as the Skywatcher 10 inch.

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9 hours ago, Stu said:

One suggestion might be a Celestron 8SE.

I would suggest rather the Evolution version as the mount is a lot steadier and comes with a built in battery, for power. I have the 9.25 and whilst I thing the 9.25 is right at the limit for the mount, I imagine the 8 to be close to perfect? Of course I could be very wrong... :rolleyes2:

I don't imagine either would be a lot lighter, but would be far easier to manage as they can be split into three: Tripod; Mount; OTA. I can say the setup on the Evolution is a real doddle too, especially with the supplied handset. :smiley:

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10 hours ago, doubledoubleswifty said:

tedious to set up

What do you mean by this? Just putting the OTA onto the base and screwing in the handles or is there more to it? 

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Rather depends on whether the OP particularly wants a Dob, or whether he might like a C8 SCT, which has a different focal ratio and narrower fields.

The C8 OTA is very light and you can put it on any manual mount you like if you don't want one of the Celestron GoTo mounts.

If you go for the popular C8 SE that is the most portable of the GoTo variants and quick to set up (carry the whole thing outside). I did hanker after an Evolution which has a better mount.  The OP won't want the CPC800 which is very heavy and designed with imaging in mind.

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An SCT will require cool down time if it's bought from inside. Also a dew shield and / or a heated dew band is more or less mandatory because the corrector lens acts as a dew magnet.

All we have from the original post is " I'm finding it a bit difficult to transport and tedious to set up each time ".

I think some more information would be helpful but I tend to think of dobsonians as the easiest and quickest medium aperture (ie: 8-12 inch) telescopes to set up and use. I have owned a Celestron 8SE and it's a good scope but the power needs to be connected, the scope cooled for longer than a newtonian and the GOTO setup using the alignment process.

A dob can be up and running in a couple of minutes for low to medium power observing. Plus my £200 8 inch F/6 dob tended to show things as well if not a little better than the 8 inch F/10 SCT did.

Some more specific feedback from the original poster would help though.

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7 minutes ago, John said:

I have owned a Celestron 8SE and it's a good scope but the power needs to be connected,

Which is why I suggested the Evolution instead and as Geoff said, it doesn't have to go on a goto mount. The dewshield and cooldown is hardly a real chore either, just set up and go for a cup of tea, or two... As for F10, well I enjoy F6.3 in fact! 😜

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Changing to a new Evolution 8 will cost the OP around £1,500 for 2 inches less performance (assuming £400 raised from the sale of the 10 inch dob). Not sure thats the way to go for the OP myself but more info on where they themselves would like to go would help :smiley:

 

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11 hours ago, johninderby said:

Have you considered the Flextube version? Setup is about the same but the tube when collapsed is a lot easier to transport.

 

I have 10" Flextube, and find easy to transport and store

I am out a couple of times per month with my club, doing presentations school/scout groups

Attached pic was taken at a recent Saturn in the Park public night

John 

Skywatcher 10 inch Dobson.jpg

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1 minute ago, John said:

Not sure thats the way to go for the OP myself

Nor me to be honest. I have just been diagnosed with a frozen shoulder, which has made me reassess my setup, regarding portability. The Evolution 9.25 is still very doable, with a setup time of less than ten minutes, from upstairs, then a wait whilst it cools down and it gets proper dark, but still very easily manageable, with little pain... :rolleyes2: ( Expensive option though. )

That said I have recently got a C5 on a photo tripod, which is just ridiculously easy to set up, with one hand! You could get a second hand C5 or C6 for a very reasonable price too. :smiley:

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Hope your shoulder gets better over time - they are painful !.

A lower back injury a few years back made me think carefully about kit choices too. It's recovered now but I certainly would not want to aggravate it again.

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On 30/06/2019 at 10:52, Stu said:

Tricky one. If you drop too much aperture then you may end up disappointed with the views you get, but then a scope you use is much better than one you don't!

 I assume you have to go somewhere dark to observe rather than your back garden?

One suggestion might be a Celestron 8SE. Not a cheap option but much easier to handle and set up in its smaller parts

https://www.firstlightoptics.com/se-series/celestron-nexstar-8se.html

What would your budget be?

Thank you for your suggestion!  How easy is it just to carry it outside in one?

 

On 30/06/2019 at 21:23, Ricochet said:

What do you mean by this? Just putting the OTA onto the base and screwing in the handles or is there more to it? 

Unfortunately I have recently moved into an apartment.  Carrying the OTA and then base up and down the stairs a few times and then through a few doors gets tiring.

 

Thank you for your replies guys.  Ideally, I would just prefer something that I can carry myself in one and just go outside?  Does that ideal telescope exist?  Not looking to do astrophotography at the moment.

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If you're carrying it up and down flights of stairs I think you will need to go lighter. The 8se linked above states 11kg for the scope and 4kg for the mount, do you think you can easily carry that in one go or is a lighter set up needed? As I said in a similar thread a few days ago, I think something that can be carried in a backpack is probably a good idea, although aperture will be reduced compared to the current scope. 

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If you to carry the whole lot up and down stairs then I would have to think again. I would suggest something smaller which won't give you the views you get from a 10" but at least will get used.

Perhaps on of the AZ5 mounted scopes such as the 130ps AZ5. This is probably light enough to carry down in one go with eyepieces and accessories in the other hand.

https://www.firstlightoptics.com/sky-watcher-az5-deluxe/sky-watcher-explorer-130ps-az5-deluxe.html

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On ‎02‎/‎07‎/‎2019 at 18:14, doubledoubleswifty said:

Thank you for your suggestion!  How easy is it just to carry it outside in one?

 

Unfortunately I have recently moved into an apartment.  Carrying the OTA and then base up and down the stairs a few times and then through a few doors gets tiring.

 

Thank you for your replies guys.  Ideally, I would just prefer something that I can carry myself in one and just go outside?  Does that ideal telescope exist?  Not looking to do astrophotography at the moment.

An able-bodied person could pick up a complete C8 SE and carry it through a doorway (with the tripod legs retraced, obviously).  This is what I used to do with my C8 SE until recently - just carry it outside, set it down and turn on the Starsense accessory.

If you have to carry it down stairs I would definitely not advise carrying the whole thing, for safety reasons, but the C8 SE  easily splits into two parts - OTA+mount head, and the tripod.

If carrying the scope, mount etc in one go is a requirement, then you really want either a tabletop mini-Dob, or a small setup based on a Maksutov or SCT that you can disassemble into a backpack or carry case.  I think we already had a thread discussion where the OP wanted to observe from a roof.

Transit cases are available for the C8 - not sure about the tripod as well, but if you are thinking of going this route it might be wise to get a suitcase from a junkshop, add some bricks to the indicated weight and have a dummy run up and down those stairs.🙂

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I think my Orion Optics VX12L is actually lighter than my Synta made Orion XT10 Classic. Certainly easier to carry. 

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