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Trish
2001-Oct-23, 01:37 AM
OK, I know from the other board but...

I recently found out that Celestron has quit producing the Dob mounts for their scopes. So...

Thought you might like to know./phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif

Wally
2001-Oct-23, 09:48 AM
Oh man!!! I saw some of the earlier responses to my request for info on Dobs, but if anyone posted something later in the day yesterday, could you possibly repost? Thanks!

Kaptain K
2001-Oct-23, 10:50 AM
I suggested that you might want to check out the Meade LXD55 series of 'scopes. Schmidt-Newtonians on computerized equatorial mounts.
6" f5 - $599
8" f4 - $729
10" f4 - $879
Prices like that give Dobs a good run for your money.

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Kaptain K on 2001-10-23 06:52 ]</font>

Russ
2001-Oct-23, 12:56 PM
On 2001-10-22 21:37, Trish wrote:
OK, I know from the other board but...

I recently found out that Celestron has quit producing the Dob mounts for their scopes. So...

Thought you might like to know./phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif



I don't know if this matters to you but both Astronomy and Sky & Telescope rated the Orion Dob's "best in show". That assumes, of course, that you want to buy a Dob.

Have you been to a star party yet? They're a good place to shop as there's always somebody trying to sell something or another.

Wally
2001-Oct-23, 01:11 PM
Thanks for the information people. Kap.K, I did see the ad for the LXD in last month's Astro. mag. It's an interesting scope. Wonder how long it takes to cool down, considering the correcting lens closes off the tube. Russ, I haven't been to a star party yet (I know, a major sin according to all who have ever written about buying a scope. . .). Guess I've been so stuck on the LX200, that I was afraid someone would talk me out of it! Just re-read the review of the the LX90 on the sky & telescope website. They sure liked the thing. Of course, it's quite a bit more than a dobs or the lxd would be. Looks like I've got at least a few more months of agonizing before I move on things anyway. Maybe if I can get my wife to sell her engagement ring. . .

Trish
2001-Oct-23, 02:21 PM
On 2001-10-23 06:50, Kaptain K wrote:
I suggested that you might want to check out the Meade LXD55 series of 'scopes. Schmidt-Newtonians on computerized equatorial mounts.
6" f5 - $599
8" f4 - $729
10" f4 - $879
Prices like that give Dobs a good run for your money.

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Kaptain K on 2001-10-23 06:52 ]</font>


I'm trying to stay under $350. Those are just out of my price range right now. That's why I'm looking at a reflector with a Dob. Anyway, since I was orignially looking at a Celestron (that's out now 'cause the equatorial mount runs $485). So I'm looking at a Meade 6" reflector. (I can add an equatorial mount later...maybe if I don't go for a cassegrain. /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_wink.gif)

Wally
2001-Oct-23, 02:41 PM
Sounds like a good choice Trish. Keep in mind, if the Meade has a short focal length (i.e. "fast" f-ratio, meaning anything f/5 or smaller), you'll probably want to get a barlow to go with it. This, because you have to buy much shorter focal length eyepieces when the f.l. of the scope is small. Shorter f.l. eyepieces means very little eye relief (distance between your eye and the eyepiece). A barlow will double your mag. for a given eyepiece, meaning a 10 mm eyepiece (with it's comfy eye relief) will give you the same mag. as a 5mm one. Just something to keep in mind. Also, faster f-ratio scopes are not as forgiving where eyepieces are concerned, so don't scrimp on price. May want to stick with the Plossl's or better. . . (meade's 4000 series get good reviews).

Russ
2001-Oct-23, 02:59 PM
On 2001-10-23 09:11, Wally wrote:
Thanks for the information people. Kap.K, I did see the ad for the LXD in last month's Astro. mag. It's an interesting scope. Wonder how long it takes to cool down, considering the correcting lens closes off the tube. Russ, I haven't been to a star party yet (I know, a major sin according to all who have ever written about buying a scope. . .). Guess I've been so stuck on the LX200, that I was afraid someone would talk me out of it! Just re-read the review of the the LX90 on the sky & telescope website. They sure liked the thing. Of course, it's quite a bit more than a dobs or the lxd would be. Looks like I've got at least a few more months of agonizing before I move on things anyway. Maybe if I can get my wife to sell her engagement ring. . .

If you want my totally bigiotted, biased and otherwise personalized opinion. Start putting away $$$$ each month and save for the LX-200. I saved for 2 years and my only regret was that I didn't start saving sooner so I could have the scope sooner. My LX-200-10 is a wonderful instrument and the only limiting factor in studying the heavens is me.

When I first started looking for a scope I thought I'd just get a Dob and "see what I could see". But, then at star parties I'd listened to people moan & groan over not having enough aperture to see "whatever", or not having gotten a scope they can do astrophotography with, or no goto, or whine, whine, whine.

That made up my mind. I decided to get the most scope I could handle regardless of cost. I was sweating pretty hard writing a $3500 check, (scope + accoutrements) but have never regretted it for a moment.

I know, I know, I'm an LX-200 bigot, but my scope draws the biggest crowds at the "public" star gazes. A suggestion; have a garage sale is a good way of getting cash without selling the ring. I built shelves, bird houses and candle sticks in my wood shop and sold them on the corner next to the kids lemon aide stand. Every penny helped.

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Russ on 2001-10-23 11:04 ]</font>

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Russ on 2001-10-23 11:05 ]</font>

Trish
2001-Oct-24, 03:00 AM
On 2001-10-23 10:41, Wally wrote:
Sounds like a good choice Trish. Keep in mind, if the Meade has a short focal length (i.e. "fast" f-ratio, meaning anything f/5 or smaller), you'll probably want to get a barlow to go with it. This, because you have to buy much shorter focal length eyepieces when the f.l. of the scope is small. Shorter f.l. eyepieces means very little eye relief (distance between your eye and the eyepiece). A barlow will double your mag. for a given eyepiece, meaning a 10 mm eyepiece (with it's comfy eye relief) will give you the same mag. as a 5mm one. Just something to keep in mind. Also, faster f-ratio scopes are not as forgiving where eyepieces are concerned, so don't scrimp on price. May want to stick with the Plossl's or better. . . (meade's 4000 series get good reviews).


I talked to several dealers and the one I'm looking at comes with a 10mm Plossl eyepiece. Yeah, I was aware of the difference in eyepiece quality - thanks for the info on fl and eye relief.

GrapesOfWrath
2001-Oct-25, 04:12 AM
Russ

One of the biggest complaints I've heard about Meade is the noise of the mechanism. What's your opinion of that, being the LX-200 bigot? /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif

Wally
2001-Oct-25, 11:11 AM
Seems like I've read that noise was an issue on earlier drives, but that now it's much more quiet. Obviously, Russ will have the scoop. . .

aurorae
2001-Oct-25, 03:03 PM
Of course, one option is to build your own scope. Nowadays, it's possible to buy good quality mirrors relatively cheaply, and then construct your own scope.

The book to read is by Kriege and Berry, published by Willmann-Bell. Title is something like Building Dobsonian Telescopes. Although most of the book is focused on big big scopes, there is a plan in the back for an 8 incher. And a lot of the material is good for whatever size scope you want.

There's lots of good designs here:
http://members.aol.com/radcash/compact.htm

For an extremely cheap, and dead simple small scope, try:
http://www.lymax.com/cosmicone/4inchdob/

If you want to buy a scope, please join your local club and try some different scopes.

Sky and Telescope's Starting Right article:
http://www.skypub.com/tips/startright.shtml

Lots and lots of great info for beginners:
http://observers.org/beginner/

Russ
2001-Oct-30, 02:06 PM
On 2001-10-25 00:12, GrapesOfWrath wrote:
Russ

One of the biggest complaints I've heard about Meade is the noise of the mechanism. What's your opinion of that, being the LX-200 bigot? /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif



My totally bigotted opinion is that my scope is noisy but not hatefully so. It makes less noise than my blender or electric beater. It is also my totally bigotted opinion that scopes are to LOOK THROUGH not listen to so who cares how much noise they make? /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_eek.gif /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_rolleyes.gif My scope has beautiful optics.

I think the noise complaint comes from the fact that star parties tend to be exceptionally quiet, people actually whisper rather than talk in normal tones, so scope drives that would be considered quiet in any other venue, get pegged as noisy at star parties. I have also heard that the new Meades are quieter. I don't know. Ya pays ya money N ya takes ya chances. /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_wink.gif

aurorae
2001-Oct-30, 03:58 PM
I've been reading some strange things about Meade. It seems they are suing Celestron over the concept of a GOTO telescope.

Gee, maybe they are going to sue all the observatories (both professional and amateur) that have had GOTO scopes for decades (long before Meade did).
/phpBB/images/smiles/icon_mad.gif

I don't know, Meade kind of gives me the creeps. I'd steer people away from them.

Chip
2001-Oct-30, 04:05 PM
On 2001-10-30 09:06, Russ wrote:
I think the noise complaint comes from the fact that star parties tend to be exceptionally quiet, people actually whisper rather than talk in normal tones, so scope drives that would be considered quiet in any other venue, get pegged as noisy at star parties. I have also heard that the new Meades are quieter. I don't know. Ya pays ya money N ya takes ya chances. /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_wink.gif


Yeah. My 90 mm Meade ETX-90EC and I have visited a couple of small star parties in my area. Reverent hushed tones befall everyone under the awesome veil of the Milky Way. Then I go in for some fine calibrations on centering M51 and "reeeeeeooo" "reeeeeoooo" "ree" ree" "nung-nung-nung-nung..." (Close approximations of the motor sounds - not unlike a high-speed dentist's drill.) Nevertheless, it's a great little scope, and I like it a lot! Nobody has complained about the sound effects. /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_biggrin.gif

Chip

Wally
2001-Oct-30, 04:59 PM
On 2001-10-30 10:58, aurorae wrote:
I've been reading some strange things about Meade. It seems they are suing Celestron over the concept of a GOTO telescope.

Gee, maybe they are going to sue all the observatories (both professional and amateur) that have had GOTO scopes for decades (long before Meade did).
/phpBB/images/smiles/icon_mad.gif

I don't know, Meade kind of gives me the creeps. I'd steer people away from them.




Meade's not sueing over their GOTO technology. They're sueing over their new GPS system that they've recently started attaching to their LX200 scopes. Seems as soon as they came out with it, so did Celestron. Both had first-time ads in this month's Astronomy magazine for GPS scopes. Coincidence??? Gotta wonder!!!

Kaptain K
2001-Oct-30, 06:28 PM
Seems to me, that unless Celestron actually stole the software, Meade doesn't have a legal leg to stand on.

aurorae
2001-Oct-30, 10:06 PM
On 2001-10-30 11:59, Wally wrote:

Meade's not sueing over their GOTO technology. They're sueing over their new GPS system that they've recently started attaching to their LX200 scopes. Seems as soon as they came out with it, so did Celestron. Both had first-time ads in this month's Astronomy magazine for GPS scopes. Coincidence??? Gotta wonder!!!


If what you say is true, then Sky and Telescope Magazine's web site has it wrong. That's possible of course, but they are quite clear in stating it is over GOTO technology, with no mention of GPS that I can see. Here is the article:

http://www.skypub.com/news/news.shtml#Meade_lawsuit

Looks like another case of someone patenting the invention of the wheel (which reportedly happened recently in Australia) and then trying to sue over it. /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_rolleyes.gif

Russ
2001-Oct-31, 02:46 AM
If what you say is true, then Sky and Telescope Magazine's web site has it wrong. That's possible of course, but they are quite clear in stating it is over GOTO technology, with no mention of GPS that I can see. Here is the article:

http://www.skypub.com/news/news.shtml#Meade_lawsuit

Looks like another case of someone patenting the invention of the wheel (which reportedly happened recently in Australia) and then trying to sue over it. /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_rolleyes.gif


Ya gotta remember this is patent law we're talking about./phpBB/images/smiles/icon_rolleyes.gif I does not matter what it is that is patented, whoever owns that patent is entitled to protect their rights. Yes you can patent a concept as well as a physical thing. If all of those observatories didn't patent their "goto" scopes or concepts and Meade did, tough for the observatories and tough for Celestron.

I haven't heard about what's going one with Meade and Celestron, so I can't take sides or comment. But...having had patent infringement problems myself, I have no sympathy for Celestron /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_frown.gif if they really did steal the concept or gizmos. (steps down from soap box dusting eggs and tomatos from clothes)

____________Had to fix quotes & spelling_____
"She made the Kessel run in less than three parsecs." Han Solo

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Russ on 2001-10-30 21:48 ]</font>

Wally
2001-Oct-31, 11:36 AM
On 2001-10-30 17:06, aurorae wrote:


On 2001-10-30 11:59, Wally wrote:

Meade's not sueing over their GOTO technology. They're sueing over their new GPS system that they've recently started attaching to their LX200 scopes. Seems as soon as they came out with it, so did Celestron. Both had first-time ads in this month's Astronomy magazine for GPS scopes. Coincidence??? Gotta wonder!!!


If what you say is true, then Sky and Telescope Magazine's web site has it wrong. That's possible of course, but they are quite clear in stating it is over GOTO technology, with no mention of GPS that I can see. Here is the article:

http://www.skypub.com/news/news.shtml#Meade_lawsuit

Looks like another case of someone patenting the invention of the wheel (which reportedly happened recently in Australia) and then trying to sue over it. /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_rolleyes.gif




Hmmmm. . . Funny. I coulda sworn when I read the article last week it specifically talked about the GPS function recently added to the GOTO technology. Wonder if the article was re-written. Regardless, it appears Meade isn't suing the GOTO tech. as a whole, but rather they're suing over their method of providing that functionality at a low cost; a method they say Celestron "borrowed" soon after Meade made it available. Oh well, both probably will survive. . .

Alan
2001-Oct-31, 02:53 PM
Any opinions on this:

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00004SPCB/qid=1004545878/sr=8-3/ref=sr_8_3_3/104-3762640-4276736

for a beginner?

Wally
2001-Oct-31, 03:50 PM
Hmmmm (again). . . Tried to find reviews of this scope on a couple sites, but couldn't find any. 2 out of the 3 on Amazon's site didn't particularly care for it. I'd be a bit wary of the 3 legged tripod setup, as it would seem to be a little shaky compared to a single post type mount. Beware the list price they show is NOT what anyone would actually pay for this scope. I'm guessing their final price is probably pretty close to what you'd pay anywhere. If it was me, I'd spend another few bucks and get a couple more inches aperture w/ a more sturdy mount. A 6" wouldn't be as affected by the secondary mirror obstruction as a 4.45 would, as the mirror is a smaller % of the total aperture. I'd also be a little hesitant to buy from Amazon. You'd probably get better service if you bought from an actual telescope dealer (just my opinion). Get a copy of Sky&Telescope or Astronomy magazine and check out the ads in there before you commit.

Kaptain K
2001-Oct-31, 04:18 PM
At 4.5" this is at the absolute minimum for a reflector. The Meade name guarantees better quality than you will find in dept store 'scopes that sell in this price range. At that price ($180), this 'scope is hard to beat. If you can swing it, I would reccomend that you consider stepping up to the Meade LXD55 6" f5 ($450). For the extra $$$, you get:
1) Over twice the light gathering power. This means that you can see fainter objects.
2) An equatorial mount. This makes it easier to track objects as the Earth rotates and you can move up to astrophotography if you so decide.
3) It has computerised GOTO, so you spend more time looking at objects and less time looking for them.

But as I said, at that price, you can't go wrong with the DS114.

_________________
All else (is never) being equal.

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Kaptain K on 2001-10-31 11:20 ]</font>

Alan
2001-Nov-01, 12:29 PM
I looked out there for the LXD55 6", looks like a nice scope but where can I get it for $450, all the places I looked had it for $599?

Kaptain K
2001-Nov-01, 03:31 PM
My bad. /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_redface.gif I misremembered what I had read. $599 it is (still a good deal).

Alan
2001-Nov-01, 06:00 PM
Here is a site that has user reviews of telescopes (among other astronomy things):

http://www.excelsis.com/vote/astro/index.html

Wally
2001-Nov-06, 01:12 PM
Hey people. Just saw an ad for the Meade LDX55 6" refractor in the new issue of Astron. mag. Under $900 for a 6" refractor??? Doesn't that seem pretty darn cheap??? And it even includes Autostar software. Just wondering if anyone has any experience with this scope.

Hale_Bopp
2001-Nov-06, 03:26 PM
I have not had experience with that model. Remember,it is an achromatic refractor which means you will experience some color fringes on bright objects. Apochromatic refractors reduce this problem, but cost three or four times as much.

I have looked throuhg a 6" Celestron acrhomat and the color fringes were evident on bright objects, but once you got down to fourth magnitude or fainter, they were hardly noticable.

You will probably get a decent image from the telescope for most objects. I do wonder how sturdy the mount is. Sometimes low cost telescopes push the load limits of the mount and are a little more prone to vibration.

I think it would be a telescope to consider for an astronomer on a budget.

Rob

Hale_Bopp
2001-Nov-06, 03:26 PM
I have not had experience with that model. Remember,it is an achromatic refractor which means you will experience some color fringes on bright objects. Apochromatic refractors reduce this problem, but cost three or four times as much.

I have looked throuhg a 6" Celestron acrhomat and the color fringes were evident on bright objects, but once you got down to fourth magnitude or fainter, they were hardly noticable.

You will probably get a decent image from the telescope for most objects. I do wonder how sturdy the mount is. Sometimes low cost telescopes push the load limits of the mount and are a little more prone to vibration.

I think it would be a telescope to consider for an astronomer on a budget.

Rob

Russ
2001-Nov-06, 03:37 PM
This brings up the noisy Meade drives subject again. Since it was brought up here earlier, I've been more concious of the noises my LX-200 makes.

My scope is most noisy, when you are in the maximum slew rate. At this setting it is still not very noisy, about half as loud as my blender (50db? maybe?)If you slew at the next slower speed It's about as loud as my wife snoring. Quiet and sonorous. At the two lowest speeds, I can't hear it at all.

A buddy has a newtonian on a German equitorial mount. It hardly makes any noise at all. The only time I can hear it at all is when he's in superslew and I can just barely hear that.

I stopped by Pete's Photo World, where I got my scope. I put a Celestron through it's paces. The noise level was about 75% of my Meade. In other words, not much difference.

I don't know if anybody really cares about all of this any more but here it is for what it's worth. :)


The edit was to correct grammer.
_________________
"She made the Kessel run in less than three parsecs." Han Solo

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Russ on 2001-11-06 10:49 ]</font>

Kaptain K
2001-Nov-06, 05:19 PM
Hey people. Just saw an ad for the Meade LDX55 6" refractor in the new issue of Astron. mag. Under $900 for a 6" refractor??? Doesn't that seem pretty darn cheap??? And it even includes Autostar software. Just wondering if anyone has any experience with this scope.

There is also a 5" for under $700! /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_biggrin.gif

Wally
2001-Nov-08, 12:40 PM
Well. . . Just bought a pair of Orion Ultraview 10X50 bino's to replace my old, misaligned pair of non-astro 10X50's. Just wondering if anyone's done a comparison between bino's with multi-coated lenses as compared with terrestrial bird-watcher types (presumably non-coated???).

Hale_Bopp
2001-Nov-09, 01:54 AM
I have a pair of Celestron 20x80 binoculars with multicoated optics. They are spectacular. I don't think I ever realized how huge the Andromeda galaxy really is because I never saw it all at once before! The Pleiades are better through these than I have ever seen through any telescope.

Sure, you need a telescope to see detail on Jupiter and Mars or see deep space objects, but for certain objects, nothing beats a good pair of binoculars.

Rob

Wally
2001-Nov-09, 12:03 PM
Hey there Hale-Bopp. Do you use a tripod with yours? I've never used anything bigger than 10X50's, but even at that mag. it seems pretty hard to keep things steady. Can't imagine what it must be like at 20X80, especially considering the size of them puppies!

Hale_Bopp
2001-Nov-09, 01:09 PM
Yes, I use a tripod...althouh my tripod is a little undersized for the binoculars and doesn't stand up well to even a light breeze.

They are pretty heavy to hold wihtout a mount, that is for sure.

Rob

Trish
2001-Nov-10, 05:38 AM
Hi, been mostly lurking, recently. But Astronomy's Exploring the Universe 2002 has a complete list comparing the top 50 reflectors and refractors for under $500.

jkmccrann
2005-Nov-15, 03:17 PM
Ya gotta remember this is patent law we're talking about./phpBB/images/smiles/icon_rolleyes.gif I does not matter what it is that is patented, whoever owns that patent is entitled to protect their rights. Yes you can patent a concept as well as a physical thing. If all of those observatories didn't patent their "goto" scopes or concepts and Meade did, tough for the observatories and tough for Celestron.

I haven't heard about what's going one with Meade and Celestron, so I can't take sides or comment. But...having had patent infringement problems myself, I have no sympathy for Celestron /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_frown.gif if they really did steal the concept or gizmos. (steps down from soap box dusting eggs and tomatos from clothes)

____________Had to fix quotes & spelling_____
"She made the Kessel run in less than three parsecs." Han Solo

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Russ on 2001-10-30 21:48 ]</font>


Well, Meade did end up winning that lawsuit against Celestron, but it certainly wasn't the hit to Celestron that some thought it would be.

Meade Lawsuit (http://astro.gpsrevs.urlq.net/celestroncpc.htm)

The word on the street is that Celestron was forced to use this slightly different alignment method because of the recent patent lawsuit Meade won against the company.

The truth is in relation to matters in the patent-infringement area, that as IP becomes an ever-more valuable asset for companies, the tendency to go to court to protect one's IP is only going to increase and increase and increase. There are in fact a lot of companies these days that rely for the majority of their income and revenues on licensing the patents they've developed without in fact in the end making anything themselves!

I wouldn't know whether Meade or Celestron will eventually go down this path, becoming Telescope R&D houses, but I guess its a possibility.