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Old 17-01-2009, 11:58 PM
DENMONKEY (Brett)
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Collapsible Dobsonian - SWFLEXDOB-12

Ok looking at getting into my first real scope after a crappy 4.5inch reflector.
I stuck a thread in the newbie section regarding some things I was considering and received the standard 'thou shalt buy a dob my son' replies.

Listening to that sage like advice I have all but convinced myself this just may be the way to go.
Admittedly I have no understanding of the night sky and this was my first concern for not getting some go-to like contraption or similar.

I do already have most bits and bobs I picked up after doing some reading when I got my original scope.
Planisphere, compass, red torch, decent EPs(for me) and a copy of stellarium (how brilliant is this?)

So with numerous questions running through my head I took a pilgrimage to York in Sydney.

I must say they spent a lot of time listening and responding with some great feedback.
I initially was thinking of a 10inch collapsible dob but upon laying eyes on the 12inch variety it was immediately apparent that size wise this was still considerably portable.

With a final decision looming we discussed prices.
Now the original figure I had in mind was somewhere between 12-$1300.
The price I was offered is still considerably less than the ticket price of $1999 as per the website and I have spotted these for $1500 via other online retailers some with a freight price of as low as $30.

Now I can make the $1500 asking price for these and would like to buy from york considering their infinite patience with me today but I also don't want to fork over more than I have to.
That said I will chat to them before making a decision.

A few questions though if I may in relation to the 12'.

I've seen these have taken a recent price hike of late and am asking myself is this the time to buy or should I do the smart thing and see if they come back down.
Working in the financial industry I don't think this is going to happen anytime soon and can see prices continue to increase.

During my chat we discussed the fact that i maybe interested in imaging down the line and the challenges relating to mounting this style of scope.

I was told an EQ6 should be capable of supporting the weight of the OTA but the mounting options would be a considerable challenge.

Looking at the lower OTA near the pivot point it looks like a set of rings may just fit on there.
This may see the scope slightly unbalanced but I have heard of people using magnets to sort out such imbalances.

I'm also aware this type of truss design is still relatively new, so I'm sure given time and by the time I get around to it, there will be some creative handy people out there who will come up with something.

So your opinions please.

1. buy now or wait it out......you know your required response here
2. Will an EQ6 support 12 inches of love ?
3. collapsible truss + EQ mount, everlasting Pain and regret or rewarding challenge ?

Cheers Brett
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Old 18-01-2009, 12:09 AM
bobson (Bob)
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Hi Brett

1. I would wait a bit, unfortunatelly we don't have after Christmas sale

2. EQ6 should support 12" Dob...but it has to be solid tube, unless I am wrong?

3. Collapsible will not go on EQ mount, you need solid tube in that case, and its cheaper too.

Till someone more experienced comes in help

cheers
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Old 18-01-2009, 12:16 PM
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bmitchell82 (Brendan)
Newtonian power! Love it!

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eq6 can carry a 12 inch but not for astro photography, the rated loading on these mounts is 25kgs. considering the ota alone is 22 kgs, and your rings are going to be approximately 2kgs. your right on the boarder line. you add in a digital camera and the OAG scope to guide with, and your well over the rated capacity hence your guiding is up the creek. 12" and over require a mount like the losmundy titan or there abouts to hold its carcass, and in any case a truss is not for mounting its for pure visual. though you can get a goto system and a tracking system for a dob (see servo cat and argo navis) these are not cheap. but in saying that they are cheaper and lighter than a losmundy titian mount
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Old 18-01-2009, 01:45 PM
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Starkler (Geoff)
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I think the biggest thing that many newbies need to understand is that asking the one scope to do both imaging and visual on a budget comes with tradeoffs.

A relatively inexpensive imaging setup ie small, gives uninspiring results with visual.

A scope thats good for visual , ie BIG, is not mounted cheaply for photography.

My advice is buy both. Btw the 12" sywatcher flextube is a very nice portable scope for visual work, but its not one to go on an eq mount.
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Old 18-01-2009, 04:49 PM
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Dave47tuc (David)
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The SW 12" Collapsible Dob is a very nice scope. Can be made a lot better with a few mods. ( that's another story}

But a couple of web sites to help you.

http://www.spacealberta.com/equipment/dob12/dob12.htm

http://supernorthstars.tripod.com/index.html

Good luck with you choice.
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Old 18-01-2009, 05:17 PM
Jim McAloon
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Hello Brett

Thinking over the six years since I picked astronomy up again... everything is an individual choice and no one is going to be prescriptive. My views, for what they are worth, are, in no particular order:

If you don't know the night sky well then a Dob mount is a great way to make you learn. I still enjoy star-hopping, that is, finding my way to a target through the finder, relying on SkyAtlas 2000. It's nice to know many of the stars and constellations (my knowledge is far from perfect). Low tech also has its advantages - I've had a ten inch Dob for six years (same as Bintel's) and it's nice just to be able to take it out of the garage and start looking without having to plug anything in.

There are many ways of enjoying the night sky. If you want to extend your visual experiences - and my ten inch has been fantastic as a visual telescope - then that's a very good thing to do, and a ten or twelve inch Newtonian reflector on a Dobsonian mount would be a great way to go. Incidentally my ten inch has given very good views of the planets as well as the deep sky. Don't forget that you will need some eyepieces, not too many, and you don't need to shell out more for the eyepieces than the telescope costs, but you will want three or four. If you do go for such a telescope then you will be blown away by the difference after your 4.5 inch.

As far as imaging is concerned, that has been something I've often thought of, but have not so far as the deep sky is concerned ever got around to. I still get a lot of enjoyment from simply looking with my eyes. That said, what other responses have indicated about mount capacity is a significant issue. I have now got a C 9.25 which rides on an HEQ5 and that's fine for imaging the planets. But, I have put my ten inch Newtonian OTA on that mount and it's very marginal for that.

I think if I was going to move into deep sky imaging from scratch I would look for an 80mm ED refractor and start there. Or, given that I now have an HEQ5, I might look at a 6 or 8 inch reflector, f/4 or 5. My point is that I think if I was going to image the deepsky that is a separate question, and it's very hard to find one instrument that will do everything. Something else that has often been noted is that off the shelf Newtonians on Dobsonian mounts have one problem when it comes to imaging: the focuser won't work with a digital SLR so you have to adapt your equipment anyway. Apart from that problem, though, solid-tube reflectors are easy enough to mount on a German equatorial mount, and many retailers have the adapter bars and tube rings which you need. A truss design seems a bit different.

I guess the summary of my views is that if you are contemplating a ten or twelve inch Newtonian on a Dobsonian mount that is excellent for visual and you will have a great deal of enjoyment, and will be able to hit the ground running without spending too much money or getting into technical complexities. If you are wanting to do some imaging, that's a whole other question, and you say you only 'may' want to. If it was me I would look at that dimension later on, or, if I wanted to do it now, I would be looking at another sort of setup. The deepsky imaging forum is inspiring in terms of what many people do with their various equipment.

all the best
Jim
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