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Beginner 6" or 8" Newtonian (dso, portable and size concerns)?


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Hi, I recently looked into telescope's & dso's again due to an interesting sight in the night sky 😉

I wanted to get into telescope's etc... but my budget and other things got in the way. 

This time there's no budget limit (that doesn't mean I'm bill Gates though).

My main concern is size since I will carry the telescope with my bare hands (bag).

I don't have a local astronomy club or telescope shop around so I don't know if an 8" Newtonian is too bulky/big. 

Can someone post comparison pictures, if you have an 8" telescope (preferably newtonian, width and length)?

Secondly I want to see dso's in the future (firstly beginner objects etc...) so the 8" is more adequate than the 6", but if an 8" is too big then I am okay with a 6" as long as it's much more portable. 

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You're welcome Personally I would definitely not like to carry the 8" + a suitable mount all in one go, for 1 - 2 km.

May the force be with you next time, Andy 🙂

This gives you some idea.

Posted Images

Here's my Skywatcher 8" Dob. It stands 52" high and the base measures 20.5" diameter. It fits nicely in a spare corner.

It's quite heavy but much easier / better to move in 2 trips. The base has a strong handle, and I can carry it with one hand although your experience may differ.

Take the OTA off the base, move the base, put the OTA back on the base - job's a good un! 

Hth

Andy

......for some reason the picture won't load...... 

Edited by Dark Vader
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Don't forget you can disconnect the tube from the base with a dob such as a skywatcher very easily and quickly, place the base where needed and then put the tube back on

You can also put castors on the base to make it even more manageable so if your budget is no limit then this may give you the option of a larger scope, the larger the better for DSOs

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1 hour ago, Dark Vader said:

Here's my Skywatcher 8" Dob. It stands 52" high and the base measures 20.5" diameter. It fits nicely in a spare corner.

It's quite heavy but much easier / better to move in 2 trips. The base has a strong handle, and I can carry it with one hand although your experience may differ.

Take the OTA off the base, move the base, put the OTA back on the base - job's a good un! 

Hth

Andy

......for some reason the picture won't load...... 

Can't you upload the image via attachments or just paste the link here? 

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4 minutes ago, StarFiveSky said:

Can't you upload the image via attachments or just paste the link here? 

I tried it a few times, picture file wouldn't upload from my end.

 Tbh I'm not renowned for my technological ability - after all I had to get my minions to build the Deathstar!! 😂

I'll just force choke the phone and try again....  "I have you now"..... etc. etc. 🤣

20200731_173854.thumb.jpg.e457af401fc33015aa528ce04254145e.jpg

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If it's the 150p and 200p skyliners you are talking about, be aware that the 150 is still the same height as the 200! It's a 'slower' scope at f7.8. The 200 is f5.9

The majority of the weight is in the base. Which is similar for both, too.

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5 hours ago, StarFiveSky said:

My main concern is size since I will carry the telescope with my bare hands (bag)

How far will you be carrying it? An 8" dob can be carried for a few metres over flat ground in one piece but any further, or uneven ground and you will probably want to split it. You will probably also want a second trip for a stool and your eyepieces. 

Edited by Ricochet
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3 hours ago, Dark Vader said:

I tried it a few times, picture file wouldn't upload from my end.

 Tbh I'm not renowned for my technological ability - after all I had to get my minions to build the Deathstar!! 😂

I'll just force choke the phone and try again....  "I have you now"..... etc. etc. 🤣

20200731_173854.thumb.jpg.e457af401fc33015aa528ce04254145e.jpg

Good image, can you give me a scale or perhaps just measurements of the table, or camera height?

3 hours ago, bingevader said:

Or how about this! :D

Comparison_optical_telescope_primary_mirrors.svg_.png

I think I know this image from somewhere... 😉

1 hour ago, Ricochet said:

How far will you be carrying it? An 8" dob can be carried for a few metres over flat ground in one piece but any further, or uneven ground and you will probably want to split it. You will probably also want a second trip for a stool and your eyepieces. 

1-2km, I would rather not let my equipment (expensive I shall add) decay in the middle of nowhere to get a second bag of equipment. I mean is it that bad, that I can't carry the telescope in a bag in one hand and the tripod+eyepiece in the other? I don't need a chair... I think. 

Can someone recommend some newtonian telescopes which are portable + dso's + beginner adequate. 

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The table is yer average dining table height. The scope as pictured is 52 inches top to bottom and on a small 4 inch high trolley. If you're thinking of carrying it 1-2 km, you'll probably need a smaller, lighter, more portable one. Maybe the Heritage 130p or 150p flextube would be a better option.

 

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A Heritage 130 dobsonian a zoom eyepiece and a folding chair and small table could be pretty portable I guess:

https://www.firstlightoptics.com/heritage/skywatcher-heritage-130p-flextube.html

If you can get under truly dark skies you don't need a large aperture scope to get some wonderful views of the deep sky.

 

 

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2 hours ago, Dark Vader said:

The table is yer average dining table height. The scope as pictured is 52 inches top to bottom and on a small 4 inch high trolley. If you're thinking of carrying it 1-2 km, you'll probably need a smaller, lighter, more portable one. Maybe the Heritage 130p or 150p flextube would be a better option.

 

Is it possible to unscrew the dobson base and replace it with a classic AZ tripod? I really don't want to carry a chair & table or bend my back 150° down on the ground  to look through a cheap eyepiece. 

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If you can carry a 6" Newtonian, an 8" would be little more effort or size really IMO.( & worth it.)

   Any Astro shops reasonably local you could visit to check all this out?

Otherwise,if you want truly portable you looking at smaller short tubed instruments.

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18 minutes ago, StarFiveSky said:

Is it possible to unscrew the dobson base and replace it with a classic AZ tripod? I really don't want to carry a chair & table or bend my back 150° down on the ground  to look through a cheap eyepiece. 

You can put these optical tubes on an alt azimuth mount such as the AZ-4 or Vixen Porta II (latter shown below):

A Newtonian Travel 'Scope | Neil English.net

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3 hours ago, SiriusB said:

If you can carry a 6" Newtonian, an 8" would be little more effort or size really IMO.( & worth it.)

   Any Astro shops reasonably local you could visit to check all this out?

Otherwise,if you want truly portable you looking at smaller short tubed instruments.

As stated in the OP Post there's no local Astro shop or an place where I could test / see a telescope (observatory or meet up etc...). 

Hm... Perhaps this is my call to build an android app with AR in order to see a telescope "in person" /in the room" 😉

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3 hours ago, John said:

You can put these optical tubes on an alt azimuth mount such as the AZ-4 or Vixen Porta II (latter shown below):

A Newtonian Travel 'Scope | Neil English.net

Wow exactly what I was looking for. 

2 hours ago, Pixies said:

Wow that thing costs almost as much as the telescope! 

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1 minute ago, StarFiveSky said:

Wow exactly what I was looking for. 

Wow that thing costs almost as much as the telescope! 

That's the 'big-thing-point' about dobs. You are only paying for the optics. 

The AZ pronto mount and tripod is probably one of the cheapest decent commercial AltAz setups I can find. It's cheaper than John's options (esp the Vixen). However, if you have a sturdy photographic tripod already, you can use that with a suitable AltAz mount.

 

Hang on - that's @John - he's changed his picture. It's so confusing...

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Here's a comparison between a SkyWatcher 200PDS (8") & 130PDS (5.5"), along with a standard soda can for reference.

The AZ Pronto mentioned above, with a quoted payload capacity of 3 kg, would be way too little to carry the 8", which weighs almost 9 kg, and also too tiny for the 5.5", which weighs 4 kg.

DSC_9341-denoise.jpg

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If you got for the lightweight alt az mount option (eg: the Pronto, Porta etc, you are going to be restricted to around a 130mm aperture newtonian really.

There always seem to be trade offs to make: aperture vs portability, price vs quality, etc, etc.

 It is possible to source or make 6, 8 or 10 inch aperture ultra portable dobsonians but these either require good DIY skills / facilities / knowledge of scopes or a fair budget:

Here is a 6 inch ultra light dob project from a member here @astrolunartick:

 

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I have looked through one of these a couple of times and they are very decent indeed.

Dismantles into OTA, mount and tripod which would go into two kit bags relatively easily.

Comes in at 7.65kg.

However, the 1° mirror is fixed.

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1 hour ago, Erling G-P said:

Here's a comparison between a SkyWatcher 200PDS (8") & 130PDS (5.5"), along with a standard soda can for reference.

The AZ Pronto mentioned above, with a quoted payload capacity of 3 kg, would be way too little to carry the 8", which weighs almost 9 kg, and also too tiny for the 5.5", which weighs 4 kg.

DSC_9341-denoise.jpg

This is EXACTLY what I was looking for thank you so much!! Now the telescopes are much more visually imaginable. Thanks again! 

To all other posts, I have seen your reply but still think about it. I think 8" is a bit too heavy and big. 6" (here 5.5") seems like a better choice in terms of size and portability. This should conclude the post, thanks everyone and  thank you erling for the scale+size comparison! 

Edited by StarFiveSky
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