Go Back   IceInSpace > Equipment > Equipment Discussions

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread
  #1  
Old 05-07-2022, 01:23 PM
EpickCrom (Joe)
Epick Crom

EpickCrom is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2021
Location: Perth
Posts: 123
Who has upgraded to a 14 inch dob?

Hi fellow amateur astronomer friends

I'm thinking of upgrading from my current 10 inch dobsonian to a 14 inch dob. My current dob is manual solid tube, Saxon. The 14 inch I'm looking at is a Skywatcher collapsible with GoTo. I would like to hear from anyone who has upgraded from a 10 inch to a 14 inch dob, how was the experience for you? Anyone have experience using a Skywatcher 14 inch GoTo dob?

Thanks in advance for any information

Joe

EDIT: I forgot to mention that I will still keep my 10 inch dob after the upgrade, it is an excellent scope!
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 05-07-2022, 04:32 PM
astro744
Registered User

astro744 is offline
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 1,180
I went 6” f5.5 to 10.1” f6.4 to 16” f4.5 with approx 2.8x and 2.6x increase in brightness as I stepped up. The largest I have looked through is 20” f5 and I clearly remember Omega Centauri and 47 Tucanae noticeably more spectacular in the 20” than I am seeing in the 16” but the observations were many years apart. I have looked through a 14” but this was also a very long time ago when I only had my 6”.

The 16” gives noticeably brighter views with more detail than the 10.1” and I prefer using it even though the 10.1” has an exquisite Suchting mirror and the 16” is a Meade factory mirror albeit a reasonably good sample.

A 14” is a nice step up from not only 10” but also 12” and is preferred by those that don’t quite want the bulk of a 16”, (at least in Meades large footprint for their 16” Lightbridge). You will get a near 2x increase in brightness with the 14” over the 10” which is quite noticeable. Planetary nebulae and galaxies will offer more detail with more light at the higher power compared with the 10”.

My ultimate telescope to retire with would be a 12.5” f5.5 (not 12”) with a Suchting mirror either with ServoCAT for tracking only, not GOTO or on an EQ platform in which case I’d want f5 so I can stand at zenith without a step.

Whatever you choose, enjoy!
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 05-07-2022, 04:53 PM
EpickCrom (Joe)
Epick Crom

EpickCrom is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2021
Location: Perth
Posts: 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by astro744 View Post
I went 6” f5.5 to 10.1” f6.4 to 16” f4.5 with approx 2.8x and 2.6x increase in brightness as I stepped up. The largest I have looked through is 20” f5 and I clearly remember Omega Centauri and 47 Tucanae noticeably more spectacular in the 20” than I am seeing in the 16” but the observations were many years apart. I have looked through a 14” but this was also a very long time ago when I only had my 6”.

The 16” gives noticeably brighter views with more detail than the 10.1” and I prefer using it even though the 10.1” has an exquisite Suchting mirror and the 16” is a Meade factory mirror albeit a reasonably good sample.

A 14” is a nice step up from not only 10” but also 12” and is preferred by those that don’t quite want the bulk of a 16”, (at least in Meades large footprint for their 16” Lightbridge). You will get a near 2x increase in brightness with the 14” over the 10” which is quite noticeable. Planetary nebulae and galaxies will offer more detail with more light at the higher power compared with the 10”.

My ultimate telescope to retire with would be a 12.5” f5.5 (not 12”) with a Suchting mirror either with ServoCAT for tracking only, not GOTO or on an EQ platform in which case I’d want f5 so I can stand at zenith without a step.

Whatever you choose, enjoy!
Thank you Astro744. So a ServoCAT tracks only? That sounds great as I only want GoTo for the tracking, I love finding targets by starhopping. I will research that. Yeah the bulk of the 16 plus eyepiece height at Zenith has made me favour a 14". Thank you for so much helpful information!
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 05-07-2022, 05:13 PM
glend (Glen)
Registered User

glend is offline
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Lake Macquarie
Posts: 6,715
Hmm, is it really an upgrade. I am sure a few people have questioned the decision after the fact. When you get to 12" your getting to the point of complexity in transportation, maneuvering at home, storage etc. I went to a 16" from a 12" and it became much harder, especially getting to and from dark site trips, and space required at home. Sure we all love the views, but age gets all of us, and that increase in aperture loses some attraction pretty quick (you simply get used to it) and where do you go from there.
I think it's a pretty normal trajectory to go up in size, but it's also pretty normal to go back, to save your back.
As far as a "scope to retire with" mentioned below, many factors will affect the useability of that scope, your health, vision, etc all impacted by age. It's a fact that you do not realise till you get there, so prepare to have your plans changed by circumstances.
And there is always EAA through a good sized refractor on an EQ mount. You would be surprised how much brighter a view you will get through real time video frame stacking with Sharpcap in a smaller scope, than plain old eye ball observation through a big Dob.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 05-07-2022, 05:29 PM
astro744
Registered User

astro744 is offline
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 1,180
I have never used a ServoCAT equipped telescope and I seem to recall reading recently that it is being discontinued. I’m not fully aware of what ServoCAT can and cannot do but in my case I only want tracking and not GOTO and I would certainly want manual override so I can move the telescope myself and when I let go it keeps tracking. I’m happy with an EQ platform but I believe ServoCAT has a lower profile or so I have read only on forums. It’s never going to happen in my case so I haven’t bothered looking into it further.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 05-07-2022, 05:50 PM
astro744
Registered User

astro744 is offline
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 1,180
My 16” Dob is on a dob trolley and stored in a backyard shed. I wheel it out to observe and back in when finished. I only observe in my backyard which has Bortle 4 skies. The telescope is always assembled and keeps collimation. If I had to assemble and collimate it each time and then take it apart at the end of the night I simply wouldn’t use it. I would scale down to a 12.5” provided it was also wheel out/wheel in and no setup. I will always keep my 10.1” but even though I admire the quality of the mirror I did once compare it to a 12.5” f6 telescope and the difference in brightness over the 10.1” was noticeable to the point where I just wanted that little bit more light that the 12.5” provided for the targets I was viewing. The 16” provides that extra light and some but I know I’d be happy with 12.5” provided it was a quality mirror. That’s just me and I know everyone is different.

If I ever go to a dark remote site I’d take a my Tele Vue 101 refractor on either a Gibraltar or Losmandy AZ-8 Mount. No electronics, no screens, no lasers just simple manual use of the mount.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 05-07-2022, 05:50 PM
Startrek (Martin)
Registered User

Startrek is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: Sydney and South Coast NSW
Posts: 4,945
I started with 10” Bintel solid tube dob back in 2016 and then bought a Skywatcher 12” Goto dob late 2018
I considered the 14” but it’s significantly bigger and heavier so decided on the 12” which proved to be the right decision for my situation and expectations
My 12” is kept in the garage fully extended and I just use a parcel trolley with strap to bring it out to my observing location in my Car Bay Area 6m away.
Complemented with my Televue eye pieces, Paracorr and Powermates it has plenty of light gathering power to resolve loads of celestial objects and is a joy to view the planets
I do observe under Bortle 3/4 skies which is an advantage

Cheers
Martin
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 05-07-2022, 06:27 PM
EpickCrom (Joe)
Epick Crom

EpickCrom is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2021
Location: Perth
Posts: 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by glend View Post
Hmm, is it really an upgrade. I am sure a few people have questioned the decision after the fact. When you get to 12" your getting to the point of complexity in transportation, maneuvering at home, storage etc. I went to a 16" from a 12" and it became much harder, especially getting to and from dark site trips, and space required at home. Sure we all love the views, but age gets all of us, and that increase in aperture loses some attraction pretty quick (you simply get used to it) and where do you go from there.
I think it's a pretty normal trajectory to go up in size, but it's also pretty normal to go back, to save your back.
As far as a "scope to retire with" mentioned below, many factors will affect the useability of that scope, your health, vision, etc all impacted by age. It's a fact that you do not realise till you get there, so prepare to have your plans changed by circumstances.
And there is always EAA through a good sized refractor on an EQ mount. You would be surprised how much brighter a view you will get through real time video frame stacking with Sharpcap in a smaller scope, than plain old eye ball observation through a big Dob.
I appreciate your words of wisdom Glenn! I'm 41 at the moment and in good physical condition, but you are right, father time catches up with all of us.I just crave a bit more light By the way are you Glenn Dawes from Astronomy yearbook fame?? Thank you for your good advice.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 05-07-2022, 06:33 PM
EpickCrom (Joe)
Epick Crom

EpickCrom is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2021
Location: Perth
Posts: 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by astro744 View Post
My 16” Dob is on a dob trolley and stored in a backyard shed. I wheel it out to observe and back in when finished. I only observe in my backyard which has Bortle 4 skies. The telescope is always assembled and keeps collimation. If I had to assemble and collimate it each time and then take it apart at the end of the night I simply wouldn’t use it. I would scale down to a 12.5” provided it was also wheel out/wheel in and no setup. I will always keep my 10.1” but even though I admire the quality of the mirror I did once compare it to a 12.5” f6 telescope and the difference in brightness over the 10.1” was noticeable to the point where I just wanted that little bit more light that the 12.5” provided for the targets I was viewing. The 16” provides that extra light and some but I know I’d be happy with 12.5” provided it was a quality mirror. That’s just me and I know everyone is different.

If I ever go to a dark remote site I’d take a my Tele Vue 101 refractor on either a Gibraltar or Losmandy AZ-8 Mount. No electronics, no screens, no lasers just simple manual use of the mount.
Sounds like a good setup astro744. Wow you are blessed, a 16 inch under bortle 4 skies from your backyard My skies are bortle 6. There is a back and forth in my head between getting a 16" or a 14". Portability and eyepiece height are my only concerns. But you mention you have a dob cart...Hmmmm...
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 05-07-2022, 06:35 PM
EpickCrom (Joe)
Epick Crom

EpickCrom is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2021
Location: Perth
Posts: 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by Startrek View Post
I started with 10” Bintel solid tube dob back in 2016 and then bought a Skywatcher 12” Goto dob late 2018
I considered the 14” but it’s significantly bigger and heavier so decided on the 12” which proved to be the right decision for my situation and expectations
My 12” is kept in the garage fully extended and I just use a parcel trolley with strap to bring it out to my observing location in my Car Bay Area 6m away.
Complemented with my Televue eye pieces, Paracorr and Powermates it has plenty of light gathering power to resolve loads of celestial objects and is a joy to view the planets
I do observe under Bortle 3/4 skies which is an advantage

Cheers
Martin
Thank you Martin. So the jump from 10 inch to 12 inch has worked out good for you. I will consider this also. Thanks!
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT +10. The time is now 05:52 AM.

Powered by vBulletin Version 3.8.7 | Copyright ©2000 - 2022, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Advertisement
Testar
Advertisement
Astroworx
Advertisement
Bintel
Advertisement
Limpet Controller
Advertisement
Astronomy and Electronics Centre
Advertisement