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Is nudging a dob all that bad?


UTMonkey
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Hi All,

I am loving my binoculars, can't get enough views of Saturn at the moment.

I bet I am not the only one at this stage of the hobby thinking about how to supplement their equipment.

Long story short, I have decided that when funds allow to go for a skywatcher dob (aperture as yet undecided).

I don't fancy a GOTO, but the AUTO looks like it could be really useful.

I do wonder though if I should forget about all that technology, and just move the scope manually, would I be missing part of the experience if I were to get all the bells and whistles first?

Could I purchase the AUTO\GOTO elements after?

Thoughts?

Mark

p.s. I am definitely not in a hurry, but I love window shopping on the FLO website....

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There is no problem in nudging a dob even at reasonable magnifications. I am quite happy to do so with mine at maybe 250x or even more sometimes. If I had a choice (due to cost) of more aperture or a tracking device then I'd go for more aperture. If you can afford both then I'd say tracking is a great thing to have.

I'd not bother with goto for the same reasons but again some love this.

Get the biggest aperture you can manage in terms of weight, storage and portability and see some of the bigger ones before you buy - some of them are BIG.

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Nudging is something you get used to. If you have a large mirror and a wide fov eyepiece, there is no panic to track, just gentle adjustment. I've nudged x200 magnification without problems when looking at the moon, which is also nudging along!

I don't see the point of spending loads on GOTO, firstly we only get a very few number of nights to observe and 2ndly you'll soon learn where things are yourself using Stellarium etc.

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I dont think you can upgrade easily from manual to auto, but it seems you are able to upgrade from auto to goto, by swapping to a goto handset which will cost around £170 new. But you may find in the end that you don't need to do that

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Nudging a dob about isn't all that bad even at reasonably high magnifications, as with most things you'll get used to it eventually and it'll become almost second nature after a while. A good thing is to invest later on in some good quality eyepieces with a wide field of view to allow yourself to just be able to let objects drift by for a short period of time before re-centring the object.

You can pick up some decent 82 degree eyepieces (UWANs/Nirvanas) for as little as £100 each used, may sound a lot for a person new to astronomy but better than having half of an 80 odd degree field full of mushy stars. With that in mind though I can easily manage a 55 degree WO SPL at 200x, no problem once you know which way and how much pressure is needed to nudge the required amount.

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SW are now doing a GT upgrade kit for solid tube dobs. Not sure of the price?

As I mostly use powered tracking mounts I personally find nudging my dob a pain in the butt. This said a rocker box is one of the most stable platforms to have your scope on and for the money you will not get a bigger scope than a dob. And the bigger the scope the better the experience your gona get under dark skies. There are modifications that can be done to improve the AZ movements on dobs and also the option of constructing an equatorial platform to give up to 1 hrs tracking. The best thing about a dob is it's easy to setup and go. No messing with tripods, power packs, heavy counter weights or worrying about loose dovetails letting your pride and joy smash in to the ground. You simply plonk the rocker box on level ground mount the cooled tube and away you go. OK nudging may not be for everyone but the simplicity of a dob often makes for a more enjoyable experience in my book.

SPACEBOY

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I used the NLO 10" Dob as I'm without my 200P currently (impending mount purchase!) I have to be honest and say, it's not for me, after using an Equatorial. I guess I've spoilt myself :)

It didn't help that the dob wasn't very tall as well, so constantly having to bend over to view was a pain, I guess preparation (in the form of having a stool to sit on!) was required really! :D

If I was going to Dob, I think for me, it would have to be something like the 250P auto (currently on offer at flo -> Clearance / Pre-Owned - Skywatcher Skyliner 250P FlexTube AUTO )

Edited by AlexB
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I'm fed up of nudging. It makes it very difficult to show others planets at high magnifications as the planet is often at the edge of the FOV by the time they realise the eyepiece is on the side of the tube and not the back!:D

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Mark, i'd been using scopes with tracking for over 10 years and was really worried about the 'nudge factor', especially for sketching. But to be perfectly honest, it's not bad at all.. even when using fairly high power (261x with the 7mm Axiom, and 366x with the 5mm Nagler).

Yes, there have been times when i wished the 16" Lightbridge had tracking, but the views more than make up for the slight inconvenience. I love this scope so much, that it's been used exclusively since i bought it last July, with the exception of a 2 hour session with the 120ST last Autumn (and the only reason i did that was to get some sketches done for my articles :D).

Edited by Talitha
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I also concur that nudging is more or less irrelevant. Obviously with planets it is better to be able to keep the object centered smoothly but it's all a compromise with cost.

The thing I dislike most about Dobs is the difficulty I find in getting them on target in the first place. With tripod mounted scopes it's easy to sight along the tube and be roughly on target but that's far tricker with a regular sized Dob and for targets high up can involve bodily contortions and laying on the cold ground.

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I've always been a dob nudger. As others have said, with a finite amount of money aperture over tracking wins for me!

There are times I wish I did have tracking. Picking out the finer details on planets is certainly made easier with a scope that tracks.

For DSOs though I find nudging a bonus. Letting an object drift through the field of view can sometimes reveal more detail from it than if you are staring at a fixed image in the EP.

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I'm more of a drifter than a nudger.

EPs with a wider FOV means you don't need to nudge the dob round as much as you might think. The target literally drifts across the field of view. I like that as I know the cosmos is in motion rather than standing still (maybe it's just me).

Nudging, or drifting, is simple and intuitive. It takes longer to explain it than it does to do it, since it is so natural.

Dobness is bliss :)

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I started out with my 250px in dob form. Once I started doing planetary observing I quickly realised that dreamy EQ6 Synscan just had to be bought. A long long consultation with my wallet and bank account and everything was fixed :)

The EQ6 Synscan GOTO is a beautiful instrument which compliments the scope fantastically but there are plenty of cheaper options for motorising dobs which are worth considering too. To be honest, nudging can get annoying once you start cranking up the magnification (ie planets, small planetary nebs and splitting tight doubles etc)

Matt

Edited by Vega
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Personally I found using the slow motion controls on 4.5" reflector annoying to use. I can't imagine what it must be like nudging a dob particularly at higher magnifications. I would stretch to the auto option but as always it is down to budget.

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