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View Full Version : Thoughts on these two 12-in Dobs?



Tucson_Tim
2007-May-08, 06:57 PM
I'm looking at these two 12-in Dobsonians:

(1) 12'' LightBridge Truss-Tube (approx $1000)
(2) SkyQuest XT12 Classic (approx $900)

Does anyone have experience with either one of these scopes? Or a recommendation for another 12-in Newt or Dob?

Tim

Palomar
2007-May-08, 08:33 PM
Regarding the 2nd choice, I've done business with Orion before. They're courteous, efficient and prompt, but the 8" Dob I had was difficult to handle imo [unsteadiness, no matter how much we tried to secure it]. Yet a larger 'scope? Good luck. :doh:

If you've got the $, I'd forego a Dob; opt for a Schmidt-Cassegrain instead. :dance:

Tucson_Tim
2007-May-08, 08:43 PM
Regarding the 2nd choice, I've done business with Orion before. They're courteous, efficient and prompt, but the 8" Dob I had was difficult to handle imo [unsteadiness, no matter how much we tried to secure it]. Yet a larger 'scope? Good luck. :doh:

If you've got the $, I'd forego a Dob; opt for a Schmidt-Cassegrain instead. :dance:

I hear you. I have the money (for the first time in my life I probably have more money than sense. :shhh: Of course in my case that wouldn't require much money ;) ) Ever since I was young, I've wanted a 10-in + SC scope, just hate to fork out the $2-3K....

If I do go the SC route, I'll probably opt-out of the "go-to" hdw and buy a standard equatorial mount.

It looks like the mounts on the larger SC scopes are all tripods - are these stable enough? I'm used to the heavy and solid mount on my old 6-in Criterion Newtonian...

Tim

Palomar
2007-May-08, 08:56 PM
It looks like the mounts on the larger SC scopes are all tripods - are these stable enough? I'm used to the heavy and solid mount on my old 6-in Criterion Newtonian...

Tim

Haven't ever handled an SC myself [though I've dreamed of having a Celestron since age 12 :::drool::: ], so unfortunately wouldn't know. I've personally handled both a refractor and a reflector on tripods; the former handled better.

Considering the compactness of a Schmidt-Cassegrain, I'd presume (said cautiously; I dislike presuming anything) that they are indeed sturdy and stable.

redshifter
2007-May-09, 07:56 PM
Not sure what Palomar means by the difficulties securing the XT8 Orion dob, I owned one for years and found it to be extremely steady and stable, like most if not all dobs I've played around with. I currently own the Orion XT10 (no issues with stability either) and based on my experience, the XT12 would make a fine scope for much less $$ than a comparably sized SCT. However, it really depends on what you want to do with the scope as to whether you'd want the SCT or the dob. Also, a solid tube 12" dob is a large scope, maybe too much for one person to handle, and will require a large vehicle to transport. Solid tube dobs get really big after 10" or so. Personally, I'd give the lightbridge a look, or maybe another brand of truss tube scope. A 12" truss tube will break down enough to fit in the front seat of most cars. I'd probably stay away from a 12" eq mounted newtonian, a mount stable enough for such a tube will be very heavy and expensive.

I believe Discovery scopes has larger truss style dobs. There is also starsplitter and starmaster to consider, etc.

http://www.starmastertelescopes.com/
http://www.starsplitter.com/
http://www.discovery-telescopes.com/discovery/td.html

Dave Mitsky
2007-May-10, 07:26 AM
Rumor has it that Starsplitter may no longer be in business.

Optically, a well-made Newtonian is superior to a Schmidt-Cassegrain of equal aperture.

Dave Mitsky

Tucson_Tim
2007-May-10, 05:19 PM
I currently own the Orion XT10 (no issues with stability either) and based on my experience, the XT12 would make a fine scope for much less $$ than a comparably sized SCT. However, it really depends on what you want to do with the scope as to whether you'd want the SCT or the dob. Also, a solid tube 12" dob is a large scope, maybe too much for one person to handle, and will require a large vehicle to transport. Solid tube dobs get really big after 10" or so.

I usually observe right outside my garage door so I wouldn't have to transport the "big Dob" to far. The Orion XT12 tube is (according to their spec) only 50 lbs and the base is only 30 lbs - I can handle that.

I may still go the 12-in Dob route.... :think:

redshifter
2007-May-14, 06:04 PM
The problem with 12" dobs isn't so much the weight, but the size of the tube. However in your situation that might not be an issue, since it sounds like you don't have to move the scope very far.

jouster
2007-May-15, 05:34 PM
I'm slightly iconoclastic in that I never recommend binoculars for beginners or Dobs for a first telescope (or any other for that matter).

In Dobs's case, it's because I find hand tracking to be far too intrusive to put up with, especially at high powers. I don't see the point in continually having to adjust where the eye is focused, nor of trying to tease detail out of an object that is in the FOV for 30 secs or so.

I'd rather have an EQ mount with a simple one-axis tracking capablity and a scope with less aperture than the average Dob. That's why my Dob will shortly be on Craigslist.

redshifter
2007-May-15, 05:48 PM
'I'd rather have an EQ mount with a simple one-axis tracking capablity and a scope with less aperture than the average Dob. That's why my Dob will shortly be on Craigslist.'

Interesting, I don't find tracking to be troublesome at all, and I much prefer the larger aperature, inherent stability, and ease of setup that a dob allows. Different strokes for different folks I guess.