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Ships and Stars

Stargate 500p discontinued?

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As the very happy owner of a SW 500p dobsonian, I noticed FLO had stopped listing them, so I looked around and even the main UK distributor OVL no longer lists them.

Wondering if anyone knows if they are coming out with a MkII version, or if there was a run of problems with them? I know a very small handful (like two people) have complained about the primary mirror, but there must be other happy owners out there besides myself? Mine has been brilliant and holds collimation better than my 300p flextube, even after repeated disassembly and reassembly of the truss rods and long journeys. A very solid frame and great portability for a 20" GOTO scope. 

My aperture fever has returned lately, so now I've start dreaming about finding another second-hand 500p and making a 20" binoscope, rather than trying to buy/make a monster mirror and build a 300kg scope which requires a trailer and a 3m ladder.

I find using both eyes is so much more immersive, relaxing and enjoyable, so rather than hunt for that truly giant dob, dreaming about pairing up some 500p's. I'm halfway there...

 

 

Edited by Ships and Stars
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I doubt they sold many. Nothing wrong with them I expect but I can't imagine the market for 20 inch scopes is that big and a proportion of those who aspire to that sort of aperture might decide to splash out a bit more on a David Lukehurst custom job or an Obsession ?

 

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15 minutes ago, John said:

I doubt they sold many. Nothing wrong with them I expect but I can't imagine the market for 20 inch scopes is that big and a proportion of those who aspire to that sort of aperture might decide to splash out a bit more on a David Lukehurst custom job or an Obsession ?

 

That's a good point John in regards to the Lukehurst or Obsession custom scopes, I can see how buyers might opt for one of those instead, thinking mass-produced is of lower quality in areas. I know a few people online had 500p primary mirrors they weren't happy with, but I sense they wanted really high-end optics or one or two marginal mirrors did in fact get out the door. I'm happy with mine, rarely go over 222x anyway, though I've used 444x once with decent results.

The 500p is actually a lot of scope for the money, especially second-hand, considering it has goto and the mirror design with the ribbed supports underneath which cuts mirror weight considerable and cools very quickly. 

I'm still trying to figure out if a 20" binoscope would equal a 28" dob, considering the much-debated notion that binocular vision is equal to 1.4x the aperture, i.e. a 10" binoscope would be the same as viewing through a 14" dob.  I've read anywhere from 1.2 to 1.4x, though ultimate resolution would remain higher with the larger aperture single scope set-up from what I read...

Anyway, that's another topic!

Thanks again.

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25 minutes ago, johninderby said:

The Taurus 20” dob isn’t that badly priced if you can’t get the SW.

I've see those for some time now, wondering if anyone here has one (any size) and how they quality is? They used to do a 24" I thought, maybe that was Hubble Optics. That one is a bit dear! 20k I think... 

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Given the unsettled weather we seem to have had over the past 2 years, I wonder if people are spending money on other hobbies? In my case I spent my cash not on aperture, but on portability with a scope that will go in an overhead locker, and isn’t too heavy.  I had more clear nights observing in 2015/2016 that last year and so far this year...Hopefully we have a decent winter and get the use of of our scopes.

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@Ships and Stars have you considered a conventional bino viewer on the 500p for more relaxed viewing, would be a lot of effort transporting and setting up 2 of them at your dark sky's sites. Or is that impractical as it would exclude using the 100degree eyepieces?

 

Edited by omo

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