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Dob mounts

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In my scope quest, looking at dobs (and there pros and Cons). It hit the target for being reliable (in that there is no power requirement and no electronics to break down - maintenance free too I suppose)

Not so great for portability as will need to travel with it (in car) but with limited space.

Photography is not high on my list just now but will maybe dabble if I get hooked in the future.

Dob mounts. A dob is one on the list for first scope. Planets, moon and DSO's for viewing.

How good are they? Are they annoying to use due to constant moving to keep the target in focus? Would the object move by the time others took over the scope to look at the found object. Are they good for the newcomer.

Will post for advise on other mounts - then scopes - just trying to weigh up the options and get something right for me to start off.


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I have to say that i love the simplicity of a simple Alt-Az mount. After one or two quick observing sessions you dont even notice that you are moving the scope manually in both the Alt and Az axis. It becomes second nature very very quickly.

Regarding the object being out of view by the time another person gets to look.........

This is an issue with all manual scopes. Some more then others perhaps. It all depends on the magnification you are using. High mag will cause the object to leave your view quicker then at a low mag.

I think they are great for beginners because we all have inside us the understanding of up/down/left/right.

There really is nothing to them. They do exactly what you want them to do when you want to do it.

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I'm a newbie to telescopes too, I have a 12" dob and find handling it easy enough. The key point is can you physically carry the scope out to your viewing space easy enough. You have to remove the tube from the base, carry the base outside and come back for the tube. Bear in mind, and this obvious you'll be doing it in the dark. Dobs are heavy to carry but simple to use once in place. You also need a flat space for the base too. I'm happy with mine but as you say they lack options re astro photography. Good luck, they are a helpful bunch on here and others will come forward with more technical advice too.:)

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Ceti Alpha V

Dobs are very easy to use in my opinion. Tracking an object at Low and Medium power is pretty easy and does not take long to master. Higher powers do present a little more challenge because the object moves across the field that much quicker. Again managing this can soon be mastered.

Obviously if you have a queue of people at the scope objects need recentering as time passes. You mention focus in your post, this should not be affected by the drift of an object.

In my view Dobs are an excellent scope for a beginner combined with a Telrad or Red Dot Finder, a decent atlas and a bit of effort invested and the sky is your oyster!



Edited by JAO
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Thanks, that is all helpful advice. I think I will next post listing the scopes/mounts I am thinking about, the viewing I hope to achieve and the conditions I will need or like.

Buying a scope is much like buying a fishing rod when getting into that field. Similar ho's and hum's and trying to figure what you want and what to get. Only with eventually getting into the sport do you find out, really, what rod is suitable and all the other factors that turn the usual disappointment (of not catching much and/ or lack of casting ability). Tip to the wise, for Sea angling anyway, don't go to big or to expensive as you'll probably lack the technique and/ or physical stature for giant and/or expensive rods.

That all said, I eventually got a range of rods to fear you and a vast array of reels, line, kit in general. Both astronomy and fishing share a lot of similar problems. From initial kit choice, to picking reels (simile mounts), the end tackle and bait (eye pieces), knowledge, location, species/ object hunted, clothing (keep warm!), time/ season of year and weather conditions. Similar in so many way and both expensive - astronomy more so to begin with but you always need new tackle to replace old/ lost and bait - all adds up. Both fun though and both with that wow factor!

Thanks all

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as regards having to keep nudging to keep the object in view you soon get used to it,secondly a couple of ep,s with a wide field of view help to keep the object in view a little longer,i carry my 8" dob from shed to viewing area in one go,base and all,but the size differences as you go up in aperture are quite significant.suggest you try and have a look first at a few dobs before taking the plunge,there maybe a local sgl dark site/meet near to you:p

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I guess the best way to advise you is to think what you would advise to a new comer to fishing.

The best kit for a beginner is some thing that is a good all rounder.

IMO That is one of the most important criteria for a starter scope too.

No point in buying specialist kit until you know what area of the hobby you'll enjoy most. If you ever indeed specialize at all.

You'll want something easy to use, Highly portable, quick and easy to set up.

If it's over complicated IMO a beginner will tire of using it.

Plus the more complicated normally means more cost. No point in spending too much until your sure it's a hobby your gonna carry on with.

Of course cost is relative to the individual, only you can decide what's too much.

However a 6" Dob at about f/8 is just about as good a starter as any.

It's a great all rounder, easy to use, about as portable as they come, and almost instant set up, as the minute you stick it on the ground ya ready to go (as long as you aint bashed the tube about and it needs collimating).

Plus it will keep you amused visually longer than others because of the bigger aperture. As you get more aperture per pound than any other type of scope.

As a fisherman i guess half the fun is the chase? For me that's half the fun of a Dob.

Tracking objects was something that put me off Dobs for years but since owning one. I won't go back to Equatorials.

Good luck with your search.

Regards Steve

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