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  #1  
Old 30-11-2017, 11:08 AM
Borneogoat (Murphy)
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SCT or Refractor?

I'm researching which type of telescope for my first serious scope. I've been reading up on this forum and many other internet resources for several months. I know the most common suggestion, for good reason, is a 8-10" Dobson. And bang for buck, it is probably best. However, I don't think a 10" Dob fits my personal situation. I would need to store something of that size in a very hot bungalow in my backyard, thus cooling issues might hinder the "best scope is the scope you use often". Everything in this bungalow is also subject to the abuses of visiting children and not so careful adults (i.e. drunk idiot family members!). However, a smaller OTA could be stored inside the cool house or at least on a high bungalow shelf. Additionally, I would like something a little easier to carry in a dark paddock. I will have a freshly built home in about 1.5yr with a big deck and man-cave, a big light-bucket can be reconsidered then....

So I'm bouncing between a C8 SCT or SW BD ED100 refractor, but open to other suggestions. Either way, I'm getting a Goto mount. It should help with light pollution and allow for some instant gratification. Also, my partner likes the idea of Goto and her approval is required for domestic harmony!

I'm trying to balance which OTA would be best for general visual use, no interest in imaging currently. I don't know if I prefer to hunt DSO's vs ogle planets, too novice to know. But I suspect I want a bit of everything. I also expect my regular viewing will be a quick 30-90min sessions on week nights when weather permits. I've been gripped by Analysis Paralysis between SCT (aperture for better DSO) vs quality refractor (quick cooling, easy storage/transport). Budget isn't the primary consideration, but everyone has one, so comfortable around $2-3K for OTA, Goto mount, a couple EP, and whatever else is needed to start.... I'm happy to buy used, but not much for offer in TAS and most sellers expect pick-up.
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  #2  
Old 30-11-2017, 11:37 AM
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Merlin66 (Ken)
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The ED100 and a HEQ5pro mount would be a great starting point.
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  #3  
Old 30-11-2017, 12:33 PM
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dannat (Daniel)
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if it were me id be looking for a 6" sct or mak [mak cooldown is slower], you could grab a celestron 6se with its own goto mount form the US for a bit over $1k, then buy some nice eyepieces, a meade LS woudl also be good
-i worry if you go for an 8" the cool down will be a bit slower
-hence why a refractor is good [but they are more expensive]
i tink an alt/az goto mount will be easier for you than an equatorial, will be quicker to setup. definitiely buy the CAT scope from the US though, prices are much better there even with our currency sliding
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  #4  
Old 30-11-2017, 12:51 PM
Borneogoat (Murphy)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dannat View Post
if it were me id be looking for a 6" sct or mak [mak cooldown is slower], you could grab a celestron 6se with its own goto mount form the US for a bit over $1k, then buy some nice eyepieces, a meade LS woudl also be good
-i worry if you go for an 8" the cool down will be a bit slower
-hence why a refractor is good [but they are more expensive]
i tink an alt/az goto mount will be easier for you than an equatorial, will be quicker to setup. definitiely buy the CAT scope from the US though, prices are much better there even with our currency sliding
I understand the basic principals behind Alt/Az vs Equatorial. If star hopping manually, sounds like an Alt/Az is easier for novices. If a Goto system is navigating, does it matter much?

Concerning the Achro vs Apo choice, does the CA make a big difference for a novice visual-use-only scope? It seems a 5-6" Achro can be had for the cost of 3" APO, roughly...
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  #5  
Old 30-11-2017, 01:19 PM
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AstralTraveller (David)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Borneogoat View Post
...
Concerning the Achro vs Apo choice, does the CA make a big difference for a novice visual-use-only scope? It seems a 5-6" Achro can be had for the cost of 3" APO, roughly...
After decades using newts I bought a 15cm f/8 acro. Initially I found the CA uncomfortable so I bought a Baader Fringe-Killer and that improved the view remarkably. There is still a bit of residual colour on the moon but for DSOs and planets it is imperceptible (well to me anyway ).

One word of caution. The focussers are typically pretty poor and make getting a sharp image a pain. Also, being at the end of a long tube you can't help but shake the scope. I tried an add-on focussing motor but after a couple of years 'gave up' and bought a motorised moonlite focusser. The scope is now a pleasure to use.
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  #6  
Old 30-11-2017, 01:48 PM
croweater (Richard)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dannat View Post
if it were me id be looking for a 6" sct or mak [mak cooldown is slower], you could grab a celestron 6se with its own goto mount form the US for a bit over $1k, then buy some nice eyepieces, a meade LS woudl also be good
-i worry if you go for an 8" the cool down will be a bit slower
-hence why a refractor is good [but they are more expensive]
i tink an alt/az goto mount will be easier for you than an equatorial, will be quicker to setup. definitiely buy the CAT scope from the US though, prices are much better there even with our currency sliding
Hi Dannat , any US. sellers you recommend for 6" sct ota Cheers, Richard

Last edited by croweater; 30-11-2017 at 01:51 PM. Reason: info change
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  #7  
Old 30-11-2017, 03:32 PM
Wavytone
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Hi Richard,

I’d suggest a Skywatcher 6”maksutov OTA for this - for a 6” cool down isn’t the monster some seem to think. For a mount that is both Altaz and GOTO, the SkyWatcher All View will take that scope quite nicely - but buy the mount from BHPhoto.com as it will be a lot cheaper than locally.

This particular mount has several nice aspects for a beginner:
- easy altaz setup and use, yet with a simple alignment it will track the stars;
- GOTO functionality,
- you can unclamp it and slew it manually anywhere, then reclamp and it will result tracking without losing the alignment;
- it can be battery powered or from a larger battery under;
- the handset has a tour function of the pretty bright things, useful when the chief financial officer wants a look.

And your budget will cover this with enough left over for:

- a box or two, to store the delicate parts in (go to Bunnings),
- a set of three eyepieces - for an f/15 scope like this with a 1.25" adapter: 8, 14 and 25-30mm will be fine,
- a battery (say 9 amp-hour for this mount, buy from BatteryWorld.com.au)
- a red LED torch,
- a copy of Sky Safari 5 for your mobile phone/iPad.

Last edited by Wavytone; 30-11-2017 at 08:27 PM.
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  #8  
Old 30-11-2017, 04:59 PM
bigjoe (Joe)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wavytone View Post
Hi Richard,

I’d suggest a Skywatcher 6”maksutov OTA for this - for a 6” cool down isn’t the monster some seem to think. For a mount that is both Altaz and GOTO, the SkyWatcher All View will take that scope quite nicely - but buy the mount from BHPhoto.com as it will be a lot cheaper than locally.

This particular mount has several nice aspects for a beginner:
- easy altaz setup and use, yet with a simple alignment it will track the stars;
- GOTO functionality,
- you can unclamp it and slew it manually anywhere, then reclamp and it will result tracking without losing the alignment;
- it can be battery powered or from a larger battery under;
- the handset has a tour function of the pretty bright things, useful when the chief financial officer wants a look.
As Wavy says here.
Having had and sold both 6se, 8se and 6inch maks here on IIS I would recommend these for a begginer/ intermediate also.

4inch too small for really detailed views visually and will dissapoint you and partner on most deep sky..loverly on double stars though!
bigjoe
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  #9  
Old 30-11-2017, 06:10 PM
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Atmos (Colin)
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A good 4” on the moon, planets and star systems can be excellent, I’ve had mine at a dark site trying for some of the brighter DSOs and been disappointed.
An 8” F/5 dob would eat up my 4” F/9 on DSOs
A 4” with binoviewers is more pleasing to view Jupiter than a 8” dob
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  #10  
Old 30-11-2017, 09:03 PM
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dannat (Daniel)
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sellers incl bhphotovideo or agenaastro, or optcorp

the eq mount still needs a half decent polar align, the altaz just needs to point sth (or nth)
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  #11  
Old 30-11-2017, 09:06 PM
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Merlin66 (Ken)
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Daniel,
Are you sure those stores sell internationally?
I found many just wanted to deal in the USA......
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  #12  
Old 30-11-2017, 09:07 PM
Wavytone
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All three will ship here. Use Fedex.
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  #13  
Old 30-11-2017, 10:28 PM
bigjoe (Joe)
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Agenaastro has an ebay presence , and will ship a lot of its stock here ...and take Wavys advice on FedEx !!
bigjoe.
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  #14  
Old 05-12-2017, 04:55 PM
Borneogoat (Murphy)
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Ok, after a bit circular thinking, I'm leaning towards a 8" SCT. Seems a better general purpose option with the extra aperture vs SW ED100. Now I need to narrow down the best combo. Andrews looks to have the best prices, so my options appear to be:

1. C8 with CGEM = $2499
2. C8 with AVX = $2499
3. C8 with HEQ5 Pro = $2699
4. LX80 with EQ5 Pro = $2099
5. LX80 with HEQ5 Pro = $2299
6. LX80 with AVX = $2299

Any advice here? There is $600 between the cheapest and most expensive. That equals a couple EPs and a Lymax cooler. But I don't wanna cheap out, because this will be my one and only for several years...
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  #15  
Old 05-12-2017, 05:56 PM
bigjoe (Joe)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Borneogoat View Post
Ok, after a bit circular thinking, I'm leaning towards a 8" SCT. Seems a better general purpose option with the extra aperture vs SW ED100. Now I need to narrow down the best combo. Andrews looks to have the best prices, so my options appear to be:

1. C8 with CGEM = $2499
2. C8 with AVX = $2499
3. C8 with HEQ5 Pro = $2699
4. LX80 with EQ5 Pro = $2099
5. LX80 with HEQ5 Pro = $2299
6. LX80 with AVX = $2299

Any advice here? There is $600 between the cheapest and most expensive. That equals a couple EPs and a Lymax cooler. But I don't wanna cheap out, because this will be my one and only for several years...
The c8 slightly better optically . Though Meade 8" and 10 " SCTS Ive had and sold; all good.I have an AVX and can recommend it.
Heres a good site for you on PA SCOPE.http://www.lcas-astronomy.org/articl...ory=telescopes
bigjoe.
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  #16  
Old 05-12-2017, 06:44 PM
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Merlin66 (Ken)
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Hmmm
Based on my long experience with various Meade SCT I have to say their optics and performance were as good as any other SCT.
However, the mirror shift focus system is better on the Celestron.
My C925 and C11 has better focus mechanisms.
Just my 2c
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  #17  
Old 05-12-2017, 07:36 PM
Borneogoat (Murphy)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Merlin66 View Post
Hmmm
Based on my long experience with various Meade SCT I have to say their optics and performance were as good as any other SCT.
However, the mirror shift focus system is better on the Celestron.
My C925 and C11 has better focus mechanisms.
Just my 2c
This seems to be a common opinion and I'm weighting it. But we are approaching the budget bottom line, so I'm not going to rule out either brand. The mounts are more confusing to me, because the effect is more elusive without trying them out...
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  #18  
Old 05-12-2017, 07:49 PM
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Merlin66 (Ken)
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Can't help too much with the mountings...
I've been using the HEQ5 pro mount for the past ten years with no issues.
The eight year old NEQ6 pro mount holds my C11, spectrograph and three cameras - no issues, no dramas
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  #19  
Old 05-12-2017, 08:16 PM
bigjoe (Joe)
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Murphy if you can hang out for a used C9 ..its a lifetime scope, great optics , almost refractor like...thats if you can wait and trust used optics...and it will work on an AVX or HEQ5.
bigjoe
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  #20  
Old 05-12-2017, 10:36 PM
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Merlin66 (Ken)
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+1 for the C9.25 from me.
Definitely punches beyond its weight.
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