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I've come to the rather expensive conclusion that I dont want to carry on imaging as I'm really not enjoying it.

Several reasons for that, two prolapsed discs and a non permanent setup being the main one.

I've decided I would still like to carry on with things visually and this is where the dilemma comes in.

I can carry on viewing using my Equinox 120ED Apo on the NEQ6 Pro Synscan or I can sell the setup to fund a large dob.

I'm going to get out tonight with the Apo and have a good nights viewing with it, something I've not really done yet as its been an imaging scope but I was wondering if anyone else has been in this situation and what their decision was in the end.

I know ultimately its my choice but I really value your thoughts on this.

I had my time with my 12" Newt on the EQ mount and the views were breath taking but if I were to go the dob route I'd like to go for a 16" one. I suppose 16" of mirror wipes the floor of a just under 5" Apo and it would be alot easier to set up and use.

Look forward to reading your opinions on this.

Cheers,

Simon.

Edited by simon84
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Hello Simon. Sorry to learn that your back problem is part of your dilemma, in this context it's hard to believe that carrying even the dismantled components will be good for it, the mirror assembly itself is pretty heavy and fitting up or breaking down the OTA can result in sudden unexpected loadings on your back due to the delicate nature of the operation. However, if this is still possible, a large Dob will certainly keep you standing upright most of the time and it will cetainly eclipse your 5". Good luck with whatever pans out.

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Simon

I would like to do visual and astro photography but the fact remains that we get so few clear nights in the UK I believe in the end you do one or the other. I made the decision to go the visual route and I bought the 10" Dob because it is easy to carry, in two parts, the 30 metres to the end of my garden. Unless you put your proposed 16" Dob on wheels you will have a problem moving this large scope with your back problem. You will see from my signature that I have done pretty well viewing DSOs and although I fancy a bigger aperature the weight puts me off.

In conclusion I would buy a 10" or 12" Dob and retain the 120mm frac for quick grab and go on an alt az mount.

Mark

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Hi Peter, thanks for the reply. Its looking for the lesser of two evils at the moment. I can store the dob outside in a lockable shed, ready to be wheeled out when needed so the primary mirror would only be handled getting it out to where it will live.

I have a pier for my imaging setup which I can use for visual use but because of its location in the garden I cannot fit a secure structure around it.

I was looking at the truss dobs which I believe are easier to handle rather than having a full length tube.

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Just to mention where the dob will live is approx 8 feet from where it will need to be wheeled to.

Hi Mark, yes the 16" would be put on wheels and then moved into position. It'd be nice to keep the Equinox as a grab and go but it would need to go to fund the dob.

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I don't think you'll regret your decision to go visual but it takes a little while to adjust. I had come to loathe the imaging but still needed to find the right buzz with the visual. Big dob was definitely the way. I bought a 12.5" Meade and it certainly did the job of giving me the buzz back. I had forgotten just how wonderful everything was visually and just how time i had wasted behind a laptop screen.

Just wonder if a 16" is a little too far seeing as its a bad back forcing you out of imaging. But the best of luck with your new path.

Edited by russ
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Thanks Russ, I'm hoping the back problem isnt permanent and the diagnosis seems to suggest that a year or so will get things sorted but there were other reasons for being fed up with imaging. Like you say being stuck behind a monitor is hardly a great way to spend your time.

I'll get there eventually. Just cant have both, otherwise it would be too easy....

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Bad back notwithstanding its got to be the Big Dob, I'm a visual observer and own a ED120 and a 14" Dob. Although the ED is a superb scope I'd choose the Dob over it in a heartbeat if push came to shove.

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Yes, get a 14" dob, the perfect compromise between portability and aperture. The OO 14" OTA is light enough to carry it single handed (once a carrying handle has been fitted) and then just fit a StellarCAT system and you've got the best of both worlds.

John

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Well I've just got in from an evenings viewing with the Equinox on the NEQ6, my back is now screaming but that was to be expected.

Some quick views of some messier objects and some NGC's and I can safely say the Equinox isnt a patch on my old 12" Newt.

I'm going to go away and spend some time looking at the different dobs that are available. I'd like to avoid a full tube and go for a truss dob as these look like they will be alot kinder to the old roof rack. The Meade 16" is really playing on my mind but I quite like the Skywatcher 12" auto dob that Steve has in the clearance section for under a grand. To go to 14" or 16" would be a real treat as I've used a 12" before and would love the extra light.

I also managed to convince my wife that a 16" mirror really deserves to be enjoyed looking through Naglers so this could work out very well indeed.

A couple more days of making sure this is what I really want to do and then we'll see what Monday brings.

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My wife came up with a plan, put the imaging setup away, just leave it alone and forget about it. Then once the back is sorted I'll be able to get on with it much better than I can at the moment.

Oh, and she said she would buy me a 12" dob and a couple of nice EP's for an early christmas pressie so I can carry on viewing......

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Your wife is right, put all your AP kit into storage, once your back start's getting better, who know's, you might get back into it. Look at it in the long term, if you sell all your AP kit now, you might kick yourself later.

Get well soon....

Simon :)

Edited by Si W
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My wife came up with a plan, put the imaging setup away, just leave it alone and forget about it. Then once the back is sorted I'll be able to get on with it much better than I can at the moment.

Oh, and she said she would buy me a 12" dob and a couple of nice EP's for an early christmas pressie so I can carry on viewing......

She's an amazing woman (My DH is a corker too :)). What a great idea - best of both worlds.

All the best with your back, I hope the condition improves.

Edited by Beulah
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Thanks kindly, especially for the kind words about my wife.

She has been an inspiration to me lately. Not letting me get down and keeping me on my toes. I wouldnt have any hobbies if I didnt have her in my life as when I find something new she is the first person I want to share it with.

I'm sure secretly she misses the 12" Newtonian and quite fancies using the Dob aswell. We've found one we like, going to hold off to see if a used one becomes available but if it dosn't FLO will be getting a call.

Cheers all for all your comments, its nice to know when you need some advice there are plenty of people who come and give some.

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