New OTA?

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New OTA?

Postby adr82 » Wed Jun 17, 2009 5:23 pm

After spending most of the last 6 months trying to get to grips with the intricacies of imaging and autoguiding, I've decided I'd like to split my time more evenly between imaging and viewing. I'm enjoying learning (slowly!) how to get good images, but it's been a long time now since I did anything else.

The first scope I bought was a Skywatcher 150PL (6" Newt), and I'm trying to decide if it would be worth replacing this with a slightly less bulky but larger apeture SCT, or maybe a significantly larger aperture Dobsonian. I'd like to get some better views of solar system objects than I've been able to with the 150PL, and the increase in aperture would be nice to have for fainter DSOs. So far I've been looking at the Celestron 8"/9.25" SCTs and the Meade 8" LX200, plus the "Flex" or "truss"-tube Dobsonians (mainly because they seem to take up much less space when not in use than a normal Dob would).

Any recommendations? My current mount is an HEQ5, so if I end up with an 8" SCT I believe it should be able to handle that(?) without me needing a new mount too. If I was sure I was only going to be viewing I would probably just go with a large Dob, but I'd like to keep some imaging possibilities open too, so that plus the reduced spare requirements is making me lean towards an SCT on the HEQ5...


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RE: New OTA?

Postby aztecastromcj » Wed Jun 17, 2009 5:40 pm

if i had to choose one of above id go for meade lX200 8" or 10"
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RE: New OTA?

Postby brianb » Wed Jun 17, 2009 5:56 pm

The first comment is that SCTs have a fairly long focal length, even with a x0.63 reducer it places a premium on the steadiness of the mount when imaging. The Meade SCTs are available only as fork mounted packages, and, though deforking is possible, it is not an easily reversible option.

I'd be dubious about a 9.25" tube on a HEQ5. It would probably be OK visually but imaging would be too much - unless your environment is completely calm - autoguiding will not cope with wind disturbance (though an active optics unit [i]might[/i]). The C8 OTA would be a better choice, IMO. The other thing to consider would be buying the C8 as the Nexstar 8SE - the one-arm altaz mount on this scope is NBG for imaging but it makes a great grab ' go scope, and the OTA is easily transferred between it and the HEQ5 by the Vixen-style dovetail mount.

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RE: New OTA?

Postby adr82 » Wed Jun 17, 2009 9:00 pm

Thanks for the responses!

I do like the Nexstar 8SE idea, if only because I wouldn't have to constantly be swapping the OTAs on the HEQ5 that way. What's the software/alignment process like compared to Synscan?

I mentioned the LX200 because I did find a couple of places that claimed to sell at least the 8" OTA, eg [url=http://www.f1cameras.co.uk/shop.php?id=690]http://www.f1cameras.co.uk/shop.php?id=690[/url] Is it worth considering if it's available in that form?
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RE: New OTA?

Postby brianb » Wed Jun 17, 2009 9:16 pm

[quote]What's the software/alignment process like compared to Synscan? [/quote]
Most people seem to feel the Celestron is the easiest.

[quote]I mentioned the LX200 because I did find a couple of places that claimed to sell at least the 8" OTA[/quote]
I don't know where they're sourcing them .... Meade only sell complete units.

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RE: New OTA?

Postby adr82 » Wed Jun 17, 2009 10:06 pm

OK, I'll avoid the LX200 then in case they are being obtained "unofficially" or something...

I've been reading some reviews of the 8SE and it sounds almost perfect for me, the mount seems like it'd be easy to store and reassemble as needed. Do you know if it is supplied with a dovetail that fits the HEQ5, or is that something I'd have to get myself? From the images it looks like it may be but it's hard to tell.
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RE: New OTA?

Postby brianb » Wed Jun 17, 2009 11:13 pm

[quote]Do you know if it is supplied with a dovetail that fits the HEQ5[/quote]
Yes, there's no practical difference between the Vixen & Synta dovetails.
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RE: New OTA?

Postby r3i » Fri Jun 19, 2009 12:43 pm

[quote]ORIGINAL: brianb

[quote]I mentioned the LX200 because I did find a couple of places that claimed to sell at least the 8" OTA[/quote]
I don't know where they're sourcing them .... Meade only sell complete units.


[/quote]

Brianb - Meade DO sell OTAs on their own see:

[url=http://www.telescopehouse.com/acatalog/Meade_LX200ACF_8___UHTC_OTA.html]http://www.telescopehouse.com/acatalog/Meade_LX200ACF_8___UHTC_OTA.html[/url]

They're the official importer for Meade - there's nothing dodgy about them!

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RE: New OTA?

Postby brianb » Fri Jun 19, 2009 3:30 pm

[quote]Meade DO sell OTAs on their own[/quote]
[&o]Thanks for pointing out my error. In my defence they didn't used to.

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RE: New OTA?

Postby r3i » Fri Jun 19, 2009 5:26 pm

[quote]ORIGINAL: brianb
[&o]Thanks for pointing out my error. In my defence they didn't used to.
[/quote]
No worries Brian, I've read a lot of your posts and they're always very informative, I wondered if you knew something about Meade that I didn't.
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