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Old 13-07-2012, 03:09 PM
whitek2h (Kevin)
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What to do with a 10inch OTA

So 14 years ago I purchased a 10 inch Meade LX50. (Push to version of a LX200)
It has seen some use over the years but not enough. I should have purchased an 8 inch LX200!

I've moved to a house in Sydney with lots of light pollution on a hill with lots of trees so have poor views of the sky and the SCP. I'll need to move the scope between the front and back yards over the course of an evenings viewing!

The LX50 as is is too big and too heavy. I struggle to lift the 15Kgs of OTA and fork arms onto the wedge. So I figure de-fork the OTA cuts 5Kgs and clamp on some rings. Then buy a HEQ5 mount. The OTA is 10Kgs. I could go for the NEQ6 mount but worried about weight.

I have not done any Astrophotography but I would want to mount an SLR as a first step. I spend some weekends away under dark skies as well.

So here are my questions.
- For visual use at home will I be able to get a good enough alignment for the goto to work if I have a restricted view of the sky on the HEQ5?
(In LP skies I find goto a great feature even if the object is dim in the ep.)

- Should I sell the scope and by a small Alt Az like an 8 inch LX90 which I know will get more use due to its small size and weight?

- Will the HEQ5 cope with a Meade SC 10inch, 10Kg OTA plus rings SLR, viewfinder and maybe a guide scope in the future?

Heated debate welcome, no offence taken, and yes this is my first post on IIS.

Thanks in advance Kevin
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Old 13-07-2012, 06:50 PM
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billdan (Bill)
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Hi Kevin, welcome to Ice in Space.

I think you would be pushing the limits of the Heq5 too far with the 10 inch on it; it has a max payload of 13Kg.

For imaging you need to keep below 75% of max payload or else the clutches will slip and ruin your images.
With camera, guidescope and guidecam you will easily exceed that 75%. For visual use you will be Ok but will restrict you to visual unless you get a smaller scope for imaging.

As far as GoTo is concerned the Synscan controller requires a two star alignment (I use Sirius and Alpha Centauri), you can choose which stars to use from the synscan database. You can also re-calibrate at any time and update the synscan.

I have an EQ6 and with the tripod it weighs 22Kg, I carry mine out from the garage each session and even though I have only 12 steps to take it is still an effort. But Iím an old bloke in my 60ís. However the EQ6 is good insurance for future OTA upgrades. (I presently use an 8inch Skywatcher Newt for imaging).

As far as the LX90 goes, for imaging you will still need an equatorial wedge for tracking, or else you will get field rotation after 60 secs. Some stacking software can fix that, but only so far before it gives up.

Hope this helps

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Old 13-07-2012, 07:58 PM
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I agree with Fred. Particularly getting a reducer.

Bypass the HEQ5 and get an EQ6. They are quite reasonably priced and just robust enough to take that 10" OTA, and later an ED80 or similar as a guider.

Polar alignment will take a bit of getting used to but with some practice it will become second nature.

Doing unguided subs up to a minute with a DSLR mounted piggy back on the OTA is the way to start off. Up to a 200mm lens will work quite well with this method.

When you get this mastered it is the time to look at an ED80 or similar to be used as a guider. Or even use the 10" as the guider and take some wide angle shots on the ED80.

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Old 13-07-2012, 09:02 PM
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torana68 (Roger)
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Originally Posted by whitek2h View Post
So 14 years ago I purchased a 10 inch Meade LX50. The LX50 as is is too big and too heavy. I struggle to lift the 15Kgs of OTA and fork arms onto the wedge. .
.- Should I sell the scope and by a small Alt Az like an 8 inch LX90 which I know will get more use due to its small size and weight?
Thanks in advance Kevin
you said it
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Old 13-07-2012, 09:36 PM
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Bassnut (Fred)
Narrowfield rules!

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Originally Posted by torana68 View Post
you said it
gaud, how lame is that .
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Old 13-07-2012, 10:03 PM
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dannat (Daniel)

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If it were me I'd get a 8" on alt/at but are you able to find your own objects under the light pollution? If you're starting out I would nt be trying astrophotography with the 10", I'd ditch it first then go & see what other people are using
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Old 14-07-2012, 12:07 AM
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Reflecting on Refracting

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Hi Kevin,
Heres my 2 bobs worth...get rid of the 10" and get an EQ6 ,maybe go for one with the syntrek control( non goto )and use something like Sky Safari on an ipod/ipad to find your way around the night sky. As for scopes a 4 or 5" ED refractor instead of 8" reflector??
I do have the HEQ5pro and since getting a manual/motor drive EQ5 mount, I don't use the HEQ5 much anymore. The non goto version is simple, plonk it down roughly facing to the SCP and off I go, no frustrating hand control telling me I've failed in alignment 101. I work lots of evenings getting home round midnight ( like tonight) and don't want to go through the alignment thing....it's bad enough setting up at that time of night. The EQ6 will take just about any scope you want to put on it later and it comes apart to move around if it's too heavy in one piece. You can always add goto via laptop later on too...Hope I haven't rambled on too much, think I should really get a dob as I'm not into imaging.
All the best deciding, Matt
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Old 14-07-2012, 01:46 AM
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g__day (Matthew)
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I'd agree a 10" SCT needs the EQ6 class mount, is your location suitable to install one or more piers anywhere? Can you claim a permanent 1 foot diameter fixture in your front or backyard? If so it makes alignment a bit easier, you could buy a very small shed that rolls off and minise your carrying duties.

Alignment you will master, even with restricted sky views. An illuminated reticle or a webcam into PHD helps to measure DEC drift!

Finally with light pollution a factor I'd keep the 10" whilst you can manage it, but I'd be trying some way to permanently mount it!
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Old 15-07-2012, 05:52 PM
whitek2h (Kevin)
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Thanks for the words to date.
So I have ruled out the HEQ5 due to weight and future upgrades etc.

I'm used to finding my way aorund the Sydney sky hopping from one object to another but do want to have a goto scope now. When I'm out of Sydney it takes me ages to find my way around in a dark sky just too many stars compared to Sydney skies.

I'm still unclear for visual only observing if I have a GOTO polar mount like the NEQ6 how accurate do I need to be with the polar allignment for goto to work. ie if I can't see the SCP can I still get it alligned well enough for the GOTO to put the object into a wide eyepiece?

For Astro work I understand alligment is critical...

Cheers Kevin
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heq5 pro, lx50, lx90, meade, ota

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