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Re: [skyquest-telescopes] 6", 8", 10", 12"

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  • Phil Lefever
    ... Which aperture is the best is always a tough question! As someone that owns scopes from 60mm to 10 I ll attempt to throw something helpful your way... Any
    Message 1 of 20 , Nov 1, 2005
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      At 04:53 PM 10/31/2005, you wrote:
      >I am currently using an old 60mm refractor that I mistakenly got for a
      >gift a few years ago. It is wayyyyyy past time for an upgrade, and I have
      >been reading about the XT series dobsonians and they all look like a good
      >place to begin.

      Which aperture is the best is always a tough question! As someone that
      owns scopes from 60mm to 10" I'll attempt to throw something helpful
      your way...

      Any of these scopes with simply AMAZE you compared to your current 60mm
      scope.

      Do keep in mind that stepping from one aperture level to the next will
      only provide a subtle increase in what you see. Skipping a aperture
      step is quite noticeable though (as would be the step from your 60mm).

      At the lower 6" end, deep sky objects will be a bit more difficult and
      you won't see the detail that a larger aperture might provide. Also
      maximum usable magnification is related to aperture so if you live
      somewhere with stable seeing and you like the planets keep that in
      mind. The 6" scope is usable to around 200x while the 12" would be
      suitable to around 500x. Keep in mind that atmospheric stability will
      often be the limiting factor for any magnification over 250x or so.

      A very important thing to consider is if size will limit your usage
      of the new scope. All of these scopes are _reasonablly_ portable but
      the larger models will limit usage. The 6" scope can easily be carried
      outside in one piece but the larger scopes are a bit more of a commitment.
      Also consider transporting the scope to dark skies, the 6", 8" and 10"
      will fit in most any car. The 12" requires something a bit larger. A
      larger scope that stays in the house isn't nearly a good as a smaller
      scope is outdoors!

      If you can find a local club I HIGHLY recommend attending one of their
      star parties prior to making your decision. We could all give you our
      sage advice but that pales in comparison to a few looks through various
      aperture scopes. There is just no way to describe what you will see.

      Finally, if you haven't run across this, read this link:

      http://www.scopereviews.com/begin.html

      This is very down to earth advice that will serve you well.

      Clear Skies,

      PL


      --------------------------------------------------------------------
      Phil Lefever - Burnsville, MN
      Amateur Radio Callsign - KB0NES EN34jt
      C8-SP XT-10 C102 80WV
      MNAA & MAS Member
    • George Reynolds
      ... star ... Mike, I agree with John. I have the XT10i, and I love it. I had an 8 several years ago, and the difference to me is significant. As John says,
      Message 2 of 20 , Nov 1, 2005
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        --- In skyquest-telescopes@yahoogroups.com, "johnwunderlin"
        <orion@a...> wrote:
        >


        > You may want to consider the Intelliscope minus the controller, so
        > you can add it later if the mood strikes.
        >
        > One last point in favor of the Intelliscope. Even if you like to
        star
        > hop, if you are showing objects to friends, families or at public
        > events, the intelliscope lets you find many objects in a hurry- the 3
        > year old waiting in line doesn't understand star-hopping ;).
        >
        > (I should be a sales person for Orion, but I'm not)
        >
        > John Wunderlin

        Mike,

        I agree with John. I have the XT10i, and I love it. I had an 8"
        several years ago, and the difference to me is significant.

        As John says, you can buy the IntelliScope now and get the controller
        later.

        I also agree that it is great when you have people standing in line to
        look at showcase objects. You can find them in seconds, instead of
        putzing around trying to star-hop to them in five, ten, or fifteen
        minutes!

        And, as has been said, you don't have to turn the COL on. I observed
        all night last Saturday, 10/29/05 without ever turning on the computer
        object locator. Then about 3:00 am a buddy of mine was trying to find
        a couple faint planetary nebulae, so I turned it on and found them
        (quickly!) to help him ID them and confirm that he had found them in
        his scope.

        George
      • Charlie Stout
        Hello all. I haven t posted in a long time so it s good to be back. On this question I would say that you should get the largest telescope that fits your
        Message 3 of 20 , Nov 1, 2005
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          Hello all. I haven't posted in a long time so it's good to be back. On this question I would say that you should get the largest telescope that fits your back and your wallet. It's true that the 8" and 6" are the same length and lay in most back seats easily. If you plan on using a van or have a vehicle with fold down seats - then the 10" or 12" shouldn't be a problem. I would recommend the carry bag on either of the two larger ones. That makes things much easier. As far as the i - I bought the classic and while it is a great scope - I really really regret not spending the extra few bucks for the i feature. It's not so bad when I'm out by myself and just hunting around - but it makes a difference when you take some newbie out or you are "volunteering" your scope at some event (i.e. a school or church function) where the sky's aren't so dark. There are a few after market options but they are easily triple the price you would pay by just getting it now. Even if you don't buy the controller - get the "i" which is basically the optical encoders and connecting hardware - VERY worth it.

          Charlie Stout
          Murfreesboro, TN

          -----Original Message-----




          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • George Reynolds
          Check out the various transportability options in the Photos section of this group. Dob mobility Tiny URLs: http://tinyurl.com/awx43 http://tinyurl.com/748ka
          Message 4 of 20 , Nov 1, 2005
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            Check out the various transportability options in the Photos section
            of this group.


            Dob mobility Tiny URLs:

            http://tinyurl.com/awx43
            http://tinyurl.com/748ka
            http://tinyurl.com/7opl4
            http://tinyurl.com/7qjr2
            http://tinyurl.com/dxxoc
            http://tinyurl.com/8795k

            George

            --- In skyquest-telescopes@yahoogroups.com, "c1todd" <c1todd@i...>
            wrote:
            >
            > Hand truck, now that's what I need. I carried the XT8 (assembled)
            with my
            > chair and accessory bag down to my viewing area (100 yards) in one
            trip
            > Friday night and my back is still sore. Others on this group
            warned me but I
            > had to try it once.
            >
            >
            >
            > It's portable in 2 pieces or with a hand-truck. I wouldn't want
            to
            > lug it far in one piece without more gym work myself ;)
            >
            > John Wunderlin
            > Mineral Point, Wi
            > XT10i
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            >
          • George Reynolds
            ... I think the link below may be too long it may get wrapped. Sorry ... http://www.seansastronomyshop.c ... Jeff, Try shrinking long URLs with Tiny URL:
            Message 5 of 20 , Nov 1, 2005
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              --- In skyquest-telescopes@yahoogroups.com, Jeff Zeigler
              <jeff9915@o...> wrote:
              >
              I think the link below may be too long it may get wrapped. Sorry
              > don't how to fix if it get busted.
              >
              > CS, Jeff Zeigler
              >
              > http://www.seansastronomyshop.com/index.html?
              http://www.seansastronomyshop.c
              > om/help/telescopeComparison/telescopeComparison.html
              >

              Jeff,

              Try shrinking long URLs with Tiny URL: http://tinyurl.com/

              The one above would become http://tinyurl.com/7z5g3. It is a good
              comparison of what can bee seen between a 6, 8, and 10-inch scope.

              Its home page (Sean's Astronomy Shop) is this:
              ttp://tinyurl.com/784ge

              George
            • Mark Mullen
              ... Mike, You ve gotten a lot of sage advise from some very experienced and knowledgeable experts. I can t claim to be an expert but I will tell you about my
              Message 6 of 20 , Nov 1, 2005
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                >
                > I am currently using an old 60mm refractor that I mistakenly got
                >for a gift a few years ago. It is wayyyyyy past time for an
                >upgrade, and I have been reading about the XT series dobsonians and
                >they all look like a good place to begin.
                >
                > The 6" would be a HUGE step up from what I currently have, but for
                >a bit more cash I could get the 8" but then the 10" is just a bit
                >more than that, and hey, if you're going to get a 10" then you
                >might as well get the 12" right?
                >
                >
                Mike,

                You've gotten a lot of sage advise from some very experienced and
                knowledgeable experts. I can't claim to be an expert but I will tell
                you about my own experience: Four years ago I bought my wife a
                shorttube 4.5 reflector for Christmas and found that I was more
                interested in astronomy than she was. Within a couple of months I
                bought myself an XT8 and I was hooked for good. About a year ago I
                upgraded to a DSH-12 (12" Dob) and, as part of the deal I made with
                my wife, sold my XT8. I love the views I get with my 12" but it's
                not very portable at all (although it's not THAT much trouble to
                move) and I truely miss just picking up and carrying my XT8 outside
                in one trip and setting up whenever I felt like it. I have no
                intention of giving up my 12" of aperture but if I had it to do over
                again knowing what I know now, I'd get an XT10 (or equivilent) and
                live happily ever after (except fot the incessant urge to upgrade and
                accessorize). It's 2" bigger than the XT8 but still manageable and
                moveable in a single trip to an average adult person - same length
                tube, 14 lb. heaver - 41 lb vs. 55 lb. (vs 83 for the XT12i!!).

                As for the 'i', I'll have to defer to others on this forum and your
                own personal desires. I enjoy star hopping and don't do a lot of
                public viewings so, on a limited budget, I opted for putting what I
                had into optics and aperture.

                Hope that helps.

                Have fun.

                Mark

                By the way, I've since gotten my wife an XT4.5 and got rid of the
                shorttube. Same size aperture because she likes it and can sarry it
                around but neiither one of us liked the shorttube and she never got
                the hang of an eq mount. I use her 4.5" dob as much as (or more
                than) my 12" now because of the portability and ease of use.
              • Dean
                ... a gift a few years ago. It is wayyyyyy past time for an upgrade, and I have been reading about the XT series dobsonians and they all look like a good
                Message 7 of 20 , Nov 1, 2005
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                  --- In skyquest-telescopes@yahoogroups.com, Granse Photography
                  <mike@g...> wrote:
                  >
                  > I am currently using an old 60mm refractor that I mistakenly got for
                  a gift a few years ago. It is wayyyyyy past time for an upgrade, and
                  I have been reading about the XT series dobsonians and they all look
                  like a good place to begin.
                  >


                  A couple things to think about...

                  first and foremost, don't look at this as your last scope. you can
                  always upgrade at a later date.

                  since you're using a marginal scope now, the "wow" factor of a 6 inch
                  scope cannot be overstated. from what you're used to, the views will
                  shock you. I went from a 4.5 inch reflector to an 8 inch dob and was
                  amazed. going from 60mm to 150 mm is a huge step.

                  the 6 inch scope is almost the same size and weight as the 8 inch
                  scope. it costs $100 less so you could buy a decent eyepiece or
                  filter for the same price. The 10" scope is significantly bigger than
                  these two scopes. i can easily carry the XT8 all around my miniscule
                  backyard fully assembled. i doubt i could carry the XT10 assembled.
                  since you didn't mention how the 60mm is mounted, i can't comment on
                  how you would view the weights of these scopes.

                  when upgrading from one scope to another, i've heard that you want to
                  increase by one magnitude level. the step from a 6" scope to an 8
                  inch scope is about half a magnitude. 6" to 10" is a full magnitude
                  as is going from 8" to 12".

                  Personally, if i was in your case, i'd either buy the 6" scope and
                  accessories or (if you already have some decent accessories) i'd buy
                  the 8 inch scope. once you get used to using a dob and are accustomed
                  to the weight, you can then decide whether to go on to a 10" or 12"
                  dob. the good thing about both the 6" and 8" dobs are that they hold
                  their values pretty well.

                  Dean
                • cedarman320
                  Excellent compilation, George. Thanks for taking the time. I would also add Bobby s handle modification: http://tinyurl.com/7utql http://tinyurl.com/akqj6
                  Message 8 of 20 , Nov 1, 2005
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                    Excellent compilation, George. Thanks for taking the time. I would
                    also add Bobby's handle modification:

                    http://tinyurl.com/7utql
                    http://tinyurl.com/akqj6
                    http://tinyurl.com/b2dxn

                    Rick

                    --- In skyquest-telescopes@yahoogroups.com, "George Reynolds"
                    <pathfinder027@h...> wrote:
                    >
                    > Check out the various transportability options in the Photos
                    section
                    > of this group.
                    >
                    >
                    > Dob mobility Tiny URLs:
                    >
                    > http://tinyurl.com/awx43
                    > http://tinyurl.com/748ka
                    > http://tinyurl.com/7opl4
                    > http://tinyurl.com/7qjr2
                    > http://tinyurl.com/dxxoc
                    > http://tinyurl.com/8795k
                  • George Reynolds
                    ... Charlie, the 10 is the same length as the 8 scope. The tube is 4 feet long and fits neatly in the back seat of the average 4-door car, including
                    Message 9 of 20 , Nov 1, 2005
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                      --- In skyquest-telescopes@yahoogroups.com, "Charlie Stout"
                      <cstout@h...> wrote:
                      >
                      >On this question I would say that you should get the largest
                      >telescope that fits your back and your wallet. It's true that the
                      >8" and 6" are the same length and lay in most back seats easily.
                      >If you plan on using a van or have a vehicle with fold down seats -
                      >then the 10" or 12" shouldn't be a problem.

                      Charlie, the 10" is the same length as the 8" scope. The tube is 4
                      feet long and fits neatly in the back seat of the average 4-door
                      car, including compacts. It is a little harder to get it in the
                      back seat of a 2-door car, but not impossible.

                      >I really really regret not spending the extra few bucks for the i
                      >feature. It's not so bad when I'm out by myself and just hunting
                      >around - but it makes a difference when you take some newbie out or
                      >you are "volunteering" your scope at some event (i.e. a school or
                      >church function) where the sky's aren't so dark.

                      My sentiments exactly. It's great when the skies are not the best
                      and for public functions, or to verify what you are looking at.

                      And as Charlie says, to add "digital setting circles" to a non-
                      IntelliScope the aftermarket cost will be at least triple (probably
                      more) than the cost of the IntelliScope feature and controller.

                      George
                      XT10i
                    • George Reynolds
                      ... BTW, the 12 tube is about a foot longer, and will NOT fit in the back seat. This is where you will need a van or station wagon with seats that fold down
                      Message 10 of 20 , Nov 1, 2005
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                        --- In skyquest-telescopes@yahoogroups.com, "George Reynolds"
                        <pathfinder027@h...> wrote:
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        > Charlie, the 10" is the same length as the 8" scope. The tube is 4
                        > feet long and fits neatly in the back seat of the average 4-door
                        > car, including compacts.

                        BTW, the 12" tube is about a foot longer, and will NOT fit in the back
                        seat. This is where you will need a van or station wagon with seats
                        that fold down or remove.

                        George
                      • Phil Lefever
                        ... Just as a further off topic aside, consider that using a service like this cloaks the original URL, i.e. the person clicking on it doesn t know where their
                        Message 11 of 20 , Nov 2, 2005
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                          >Try shrinking long URLs with Tiny URL: http://tinyurl.com/

                          Just as a further off topic aside, consider that using a service
                          like this cloaks the original URL, i.e. the person clicking on
                          it doesn't know where their browser will end up.

                          Personally I am very apprehensive of clicking on these shortened
                          links to the point of rarely ever doing so. Of course within our
                          friendly astronomy community I doubt that anyone would ever post
                          a intentionally malicious shortened link. For me I'd rather stitch
                          together the original link unless its really ugly.

                          After 12 years on the Internet with only one virus, color me
                          paranoid ;)

                          Clear Skies,

                          PL

                          --------------------------------------------------------------------
                          Phil Lefever - Burnsville, MN
                          Amateur Radio Callsign - KB0NES EN34jt
                          C8-SP XT-10 C102 80WV
                          MNAA & MAS Member
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