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Which of your scopes do you use most, and why?

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Joe Hall:
Hello all

I am interested in two things:

Which of your scopes do you use most, and why?
And that of your scopes do you use less than you anticipated, and why?

Corey Howell:
I use my Celestron C8N ASGT (8" f/5 newt on GOTO GEM) less than I had expected. Scope plus mount is a bit much to lug around, and my GOTO is sometimes squirrley, including doing random slews. Haven't isolated the cause to cable/connector/board as yet.

I don't use my '80s Celestron Comet Catcher much anymore. Just lean toward the more general purpose scopes for my visual-only observing. Plus, collimation of that SN is complicated by having to remove the corrector to adjust the secondary tilt.

I use my Nextar 6SE a bunch. Does a nice job, and is quite portable.

I use my 8" f/6 dob a lot, the best performer in my stable of modest scopes.

Jon Venning:
Most used this year has been my Meade 152ED due to portability, questionable seeing, and more clear Planetary/Lunar nights than DSO nights.
My least used is my NS11GPS (and old staple) as It's more or less been replaced with a Fast Newt (for wide-field) and a C14 for Globular Clusters/Faint fuzzies.

Skywatcher 8" dob used most, it just does everything, stable, easy to use, has the largest aperture of all my scopes, holds collimation like a champ, and is really not as cumbersome as some people think. This is a relaxation hobby for me, and so simplicity in an observing session is important and there is nothing simpler than haul out the base, plop the OTA on the base, add heater straps (optional but recommended), and start observing. And just running the straps, the Celestron PowerTank works for hours with no significant power drain.

6SE is least used. I got it to try a goto/tracking scope and to try video astronomy, but found I did not really like video, too many wires and fumbling with the display positioning (the simplicity thing). I am not heavily into planetary observing, tending to hit planets at dusk as a warmup before moving on to DSOs, so I have found manual tracking of the dob to be sufficient for my interests as I never go above 218x. As for goto, I find I enjoy star hopping more than goto system alignment as it provides a stronger connection with the sky. And again there is that annoying wire with the 6SE goto mount. Add that it has cool down time comparable with the dob, and it does not have any advantage for winter observing.

Nexstar 6SE by a large margin. It´s simple to set up and align, reasonable good goto and tracking, and the tour function alone is like having an automatically generated observing list for the night.

Close second would now be my 6" skyquest, which is serving Grab and Go functions atm. I can pick it up ota and base together, move to the patio in one trip and sit back and enjoy.


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