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Old 25-12-2019, 06:39 AM
Alasdair
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Something more portable than a 10" dobsonian?

Currently I own a Skywatcher Black Diamond collapsible 10" dobsonian. It's a fine thing, but big and heavy. In consequence I hardly ever use it - it sits forlornly in the corner of my first floor flat. I'm thinking that a smaller scope - even if not as powerful - may in fact get more use. I guess my interests lean towards planets and deep sky (rather than the moon) and I don't need a GoTo scope or motor drive - I'm quite happy to do my own finding and moving. On the other hand, an equatorial mount might be nice.

So I'm hoping for advice. Advice (a) for scopes (including mounts) for say about $500, and (b), price no object. I don't know yet whether I want this scope as a secondary one, or to replace the dob completely. (Hence the price difference!)

But easy transport's the thing! Thank you.
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Old 25-12-2019, 10:36 AM
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Outcast (Carlton)
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Hi Alisdair,

As I'm sure you've likely been advised before there is no 'one scope does it all perfectly' option but, if you are looking for a scope that is relatively compact, does a fairly good allround job (within limits) I would recommend looking at either a Schmidt or Matsukov Cassegrain design.

You can go from 4" to about 14" (you can go bigger if you have really deep pockets & a weightlifting background)

If possible, go & look at what's around to ensure you find something that meets your objective size & weight wise; there are lots of options & pricing points..

I have, among other scopes a Meade LX90 8" SCT; when I use it I take it outside in two stages; Tripod which weighs in at about 11kg, setup & level followed by OTA which is permanently fork mounted & weighs in at about 15kg or so..

That should give you some reference to work from... obviously, the bigger you go, the heavier it gets & vice - versa... You can also look at single arm mounts that allow you to detach the OTA which enable you to look at which is more convenient for you in terms of moving it to your viewing position as well as storage options..

IMHO a small 6" SCT or Mak Cat would be a fine choice; sure, it's not going to show you what your 10" dob can in terms of light capture but, you will still get some fantastic views. Another compact option worth looking at is a 5" table top dob.. you might be surprised just how good they are; I have a 5" vixen Newt (not a table top but, same aperture) & the views are truly superb; If you want to see what I am comparing these to, just take a look at my signature.. I have way to many options to compare it to..

Cheers
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Old 25-12-2019, 10:42 AM
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Atmos (Colin)
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You could look at an 8” dob. It may only be one size down but it is a fair significant weight difference.
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Old 25-12-2019, 08:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Atmos View Post
You could look at an 8 dob. It may only be one size down but it is a fair significant weight difference.
Agree ,
A 8" F/6 or F/7 dob with good optics will still show wonderful views & be used more often as you will be able to pick it up in one go .

Kind on the pocket also !

Bobby .
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Old 26-12-2019, 02:15 PM
Alasdair
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Many thanks for all your detailed, expert, and generous replies. Of course when I start looking at all the alternatives, I'm back where I was when I first bought the 10" dob: considering aperture, price, usability. I'm not going to get better aperture for the money, and I'd rather spend money on optics than electronics. Smaller OTAs such as the various Cassegrain models, are all expensive, and all come with GoTos and motor drives, which I can live without.

So my current thought is to find a carry bag for the OTA - maybe a bag which also has a protective pocket for extra eyepieces, lenses, filters etc. The base has a carry handle already. That would, I think, vastly improve the portability as I could carry everything in one go!

So I'm now on the lookout for a decent bag...

Thank you all again!
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Old 26-12-2019, 07:57 PM
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Outcast (Carlton)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alasdair View Post
Many thanks for all your detailed, expert, and generous replies. Of course when I start looking at all the alternatives, I'm back where I was when I first bought the 10" dob: considering aperture, price, usability. I'm not going to get better aperture for the money, and I'd rather spend money on optics than electronics. Smaller OTAs such as the various Cassegrain models, are all expensive, and all come with GoTos and motor drives, which I can live without.

So my current thought is to find a carry bag for the OTA - maybe a bag which also has a protective pocket for extra eyepieces, lenses, filters etc. The base has a carry handle already. That would, I think, vastly improve the portability as I could carry everything in one go!

So I'm now on the lookout for a decent bag...

Thank you all again!
Have a look at this & see if the dimensions work for your OTA....

https://www.artistguitars.com.au/buy...um-hardw/15779

I use one for a tripod, not sure if the length will suit your OTA but, have a look around at other drum hardware bags, they are well padded & considerably cheaper than bags marketed for Astro OTA's..

Cheers
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Old 28-12-2019, 10:33 AM
Alasdair
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Originally Posted by Outcast View Post
Have a look at this & see if the dimensions work for your OTA....

https://www.artistguitars.com.au/buy...um-hardw/15779

I use one for a tripod, not sure if the length will suit your OTA but, have a look around at other drum hardware bags, they are well padded & considerably cheaper than bags marketed for Astro OTA's..

Cheers
Many thanks - that's a brilliant idea, which I would never have thought of. I was looking at duffel bags such as most outdoors shops sell. But in fact there's a drum store just down the road from where I live so I'll pay them a visit!

Last edited by Alasdair; 28-12-2019 at 10:57 AM.
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