Author Topic: What do I buy after an 8 inch dob?  (Read 775 times)

Marcus Kucrud

  • Active Astronomer
  • ***
  • Posts: 116
  • Activity:
    0%
  • Reputation: +0/-0
    • View Profile
What do I buy after an 8 inch dob?
« on: December 28, 2017, 09:47:08 AM »
Help me pick my next telescope. I currently own an Orion xt8i. I've had it for about a year and absolutely love it. Here's my biggest regret though- I want goto. The intelliscope is nice, and when I'm by myself it suits me just fine. But most nights I'm with my wife and kids exploring the skies. Manually pushing the dob to follow Jupiter gets old really fast.

What should I upgrade to? I'm mostly content with the views from my suburban skies but still want more aperture. Portability would be nice but not that important. My dilemma is how big should I go? I'm young and fit but a telescope that weighs over 100 lbs might end up sitting in my room most nights. Here are a few I've looked at-

Orion xt10g- full goto, solid tube, only weighs 68 lbs

Orion xx12g- full goto, breaks down, but weighs 128 lbs

Celestron Evolution 9.25- full goto, portable, lightweight (46 lbs), but smallest increase in aperture

I've read so many times that you should jump 4 inches in aperture to really get that "wow" effect but I'm hesitant about the weight of 12 inch goto dobs. Any thoughts or recommendations? I could spend the $2000+ for the scope and still have some left over for EPs. I just don't want to regret buying a huge scope.

Thanks!



Seth Mamidi

  • Active Astronomer
  • ***
  • Posts: 132
  • Activity:
    0%
  • Reputation: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: What do I buy after an 8 inch dob?
« Reply #1 on: December 29, 2017, 12:00:01 AM »
Seems you have some conflicting needs listed

The one i will address is the 4" increase to get a 'wow' factor. Not true. Standard advice is you double your aperture for that... so to answer your desire for a 'wow'-noticeable difference you should be looking at something around 16"

CS
Bob

Gregory Plummer

  • Active Astronomer
  • ***
  • Posts: 137
  • Activity:
    0%
  • Reputation: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: What do I buy after an 8 inch dob?
« Reply #2 on: December 30, 2017, 08:00:32 AM »
An equatorial platform perhaps ($300?) could give you the tracking you want, and allow you to use higher magnifications.

Or, if you do get goto, and given how weight increases with the cube of the aperture, and go-to/mount cost increases with weight, and given your desire to share the views, perhaps a "not so large" scope suitable for EAA, and a revolution Imager 2, or IMX camera could allow you to see more (EAA is an alternative path to more raw aperture), with the ease of sharing a screen, and the benefit of seeing colors.

It's not for everyone, but it is one of the available paths, so at least give it a thought.

Jeff Weiss

  • Active Astronomer
  • ***
  • Posts: 113
  • Activity:
    0%
  • Reputation: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: What do I buy after an 8 inch dob?
« Reply #3 on: December 31, 2017, 04:19:44 AM »
I would think a 8 to 12 inch jump would be a wow factor.
That is over a 2x increase in light gathering.
The orion size lists the 12inch goto at 100 lbs.

There are a lot of variables, but when I have compared dobs of similar aperture with SCTs, I prefer the view in the dob. So I don't know if you would be gaining a lot moving from a 8 inch dob to a 9.25 inch SCT. Although the SCT optical tube is smaller, the mount needed to hold it steady is big and gangly.

You are asking a lot. A large aperture telescope that moves to track objects.
What about a dob eq platform.

Good luck

malralilin

  • Active Astronomer
  • ***
  • Posts: 131
  • Activity:
    0%
  • Reputation: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: What do I buy after an 8 inch dob?
« Reply #4 on: December 31, 2017, 07:01:15 AM »
Add a platform to your current scope and save your $ for a premium Dob in the 12.5 to 14" range. You will have a lifetime instrument and will never regret it.

SCT's are nice but the point above about little optical gain from 8" Newt to 9.25" SCT is valid. BUT!! If your main concern is with involving your family then that is a very strong motivator for going that way. The package size is friendly too.

But keep the Dob for its widefield capability.

unoutdethea

  • Active Astronomer
  • ***
  • Posts: 126
  • Activity:
    0%
  • Reputation: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: What do I buy after an 8 inch dob?
« Reply #5 on: January 03, 2018, 05:36:44 PM »
12" would be a big difference. But not quite a "wow" difference. Basically double your light grasp to make an aperture upgrade worthwhile. Double your aperture to blow yourself away. So the 12" would be a worthwhile aperture upgrade. It just won't blow your mind.

The 9.25" is too close. Not much point unless you don't like something about your 8".

The 10" would be a noticeable improvement. That is the "right size" scope for many of us. Basically you could get a 12" and use it on special occasions and keep the 8" as a portable scope, or you could sell the 8" and get the 10".

Scott

James Scaturro

  • Active Astronomer
  • ***
  • Posts: 124
  • Activity:
    0%
  • Reputation: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: What do I buy after an 8 inch dob?
« Reply #6 on: January 04, 2018, 05:44:50 AM »
Hmmmm. That's a lot to think about. Normally, owning a 12" Push-To dob myself, I might knee-jerk to the 12" Go-To dob. I also own an 8" SCT and I'm very happy with this arrangement. But I'm not going to go that way and here's why: You mentioned your family and their involvement. This made me think of the 9.25" SCT. For two reasons. One, it's a lot more compact and thus easier to move around because it weighs less than the 12" dob that will take you a lot of time to set up and take down. Two, it's got the Go-To and will hold the object indefinitely. Additionally, the views through the 9.25" are very, very good. I also happen to think that it (the FOV) won't matter to your kids as much as it does to you. If they can stand there and look at the object as long as they want, they'll be happy. Think like a kid, not like an adult, if you know what I mean. It doesn't mean to them as much as it means to you at this point in their lives. Remember that. Throw in a couple of Explore Scientific EP's (82*) and you're golden. And that's how I see it...

STARKID2U

Cameron Artist

  • Active Astronomer
  • ***
  • Posts: 118
  • Activity:
    0%
  • Reputation: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: What do I buy after an 8 inch dob?
« Reply #7 on: January 04, 2018, 02:49:42 PM »
You could get a manual 12" dob for yourself and a 8" Evo for family use. You're already familiar with the 8" and the night sky to use any dob manually with a 1x finder and a bit of star hopping. You could maybe use a GLP on the EVO to assist in locating tougher targets with the bigger dob? Best of both worlds and two scopes are always better than one : ) but if it's just one scope the Evo would be pretty sweet for your situation. Always can get a bigger dob down the road.

Robert Cavalli

  • Active Astronomer
  • ***
  • Posts: 123
  • Activity:
    0%
  • Reputation: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: What do I buy after an 8 inch dob?
« Reply #8 on: January 04, 2018, 06:45:09 PM »
With all your comments I'm starting to see the value of the SCT. I've been a dob guy for years and have no regrets with the xt8i. The kids really like swinging it around and looking through the Telrad to locate objects. But the constant nudging does get old.

Maybe I go for the 8 or 9.25 Evo for now. Use that when the kids and neighbors are involved. Hold onto the 8 inch dob still (I'm too attached) and upgrade it later to a 12-14 inch non goto dob. Maybe even a used Obsession.

I guess I'm looking for the "perfect scope" and it doesn't really exist.

Edward Johnston

  • Active Astronomer
  • ***
  • Posts: 129
  • Activity:
    0%
  • Reputation: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: What do I buy after an 8 inch dob?
« Reply #9 on: January 05, 2018, 04:40:03 PM »
Quote
I guess I'm looking for the "perfect scope" and it doesn't really exist.

That's the consensus from everyone. LOL Though Hubble comes close.

Clint Trotter

  • Active Astronomer
  • ***
  • Posts: 117
  • Activity:
    0%
  • Reputation: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: What do I buy after an 8 inch dob?
« Reply #10 on: January 08, 2018, 12:41:21 AM »
I like your thinking. I have a 6SE and recently added an XT8i. I keep thinking I should have moved up to the 10 for a bigger jump in aperture. There's a difference in what it shows but it's not a lot. The simplicity of it and the wider views are what I like most about it. The 10 probably would have been a better choice for me though. I do like having an SCT on a Goto mount to compliment the dob. It's very easy to take out and it packs nicely for a trip to dark skies. The tracking is nice and I can do some short exposure imaging with it. EAA is a possibility too. It's nice to have the options.

I think you and your kids will enjoy the Evo and if you upgrade the dob in the future you'll get the bigger jump in aperture you were looking for.

cludertypos

  • Active Astronomer
  • ***
  • Posts: 130
  • Activity:
    0%
  • Reputation: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: What do I buy after an 8 inch dob?
« Reply #11 on: January 08, 2018, 01:09:16 PM »
I'm going to suggest the opposite direction, that is, getting a quality 4" f/7 APO refractor on a go-to mount. The "wow factor" will be different however. The wide field views will be outstanding; you'll say wow every time you see the sharp contrasty star images; the set-up time will be minimal with little waiting for the optics to cool-down; the whole set-up won't be that heavy; its family friendly with tracking and go-to; on an AVX or Sirius mount the OTA will be very stable and you can sit down for most viewing. APO Refractors are the most efficient instruments giving the sharpest views for their size. For brighter images you need more aperture and you already have that. But for the planets, moon, double stars, and clusters it's hard to beat a good refractor. An APO and a larger Newtonian make a superb combination.

tailipoma

  • Active Astronomer
  • ***
  • Posts: 122
  • Activity:
    0%
  • Reputation: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: What do I buy after an 8 inch dob?
« Reply #12 on: January 08, 2018, 03:14:49 PM »
A typical dob upgrade for many here is 2 sizes up, so that would be a 12". I'm not a fan of goto, but I like the EQ platform idea, which could be used with both scopes. Optically, I've never liked SCT's. They are a compromise in everything, except portability (8" and smaller versions only).

Lcs King

  • Active Astronomer
  • ***
  • Posts: 132
  • Activity:
    0%
  • Reputation: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: What do I buy after an 8 inch dob?
« Reply #13 on: January 08, 2018, 09:54:43 PM »
So, your goal is for GoTo or, at least tracking

Seems you are thinking about more aperture.

XX12G - I also have the Orion XT8i and I also love it. Mine lives on a cart in the garage so I just roll it out. My next, larger Dob will likewise be on a cart so I can just roll it out. My next intended jump is to the XX12I or G. - 2.25X the light gathering ability. I consider that a big enough jump to be worth the move when I am ready to make it. Still portable enough for me to move it around on a cart at home. I would put it on a cart it can stay on or set it up to be moved, assembled, with a hand truck or wheel barrow type arrangement.

The truss is easy enough to break it down to put in the car for remote sites. I was thinking about a 14", but having seen one recently I am thinking the 12 might be a better choice for me. So I can fully endorse that.Do you have a grab and go scope? A smaller 102 mm refractor on a GoTo might offer a different value. Smaller, more portable, perhaps within the ability of the the kids to use on their own, you don't say how old they are. Today's kids are very tech savy. I would think a responsible 10 year old could manage a GoTo on a 102 mm medium FL scope very easily. Would also be easy to take on family vacations. Also a refractor can be used during the day for boats on the lake or wildlife.For your consideration:Meade StarNavigator NG 102 mm GoTo refractor –
Correct image prism, 2 eyepeices and finder scopehttps://www.amazon.c...e starnavigator
Videohttps://www.youtube....h?v=VhZTuBIFNDI

Celestron has a similar model, the 102 SLT
https://www.amazon.c...estron 102 GoTo.

So, you can move up for aperture or down for portabilityI look forward to your feedback.

Javier Gutierrez

  • Active Astronomer
  • ***
  • Posts: 100
  • Activity:
    0%
  • Reputation: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: What do I buy after an 8 inch dob?
« Reply #14 on: January 09, 2018, 03:31:45 AM »
I'd recommend a 12" and an EQ platform.