Hi Charles If you are looking for a Ha Solar Scope there are a few nice options you may wish to consider. Solarscope http://www.solarscope.co.uk/products.html and Daystar http://www.daystarfilters.com/Quantum.shtml have Premium Ha filter systems that will mount to your existing refractor to turn them into very high quality solar instrument. One of my friends has a Solarscope filter system that just blows away the Coronado or Lunt scopes. I have heard nothing but good about Daystar but have no experience with them. Something to consider since you tend to like the best
Interesting you said that because I've been of the same mind. I considered starting small and stretching to better, but finally after all I've read I decided to go for a higher end from the get go - an aplanatic 11" with CGEM DX mount. My only hesitation was a) it may be more than I can handle (I'm quite fit now at 59, but in 15 or 20 years a 110 lb mount may prove daunting to haul around) and b) building that old 6" from scratch was an adventure. Buying a 'ready to go' scope may leave less opportunity for creativity and discovery. But I suspect I will have ample opportunity to tweak and upgrade and I get my feet wet in this. Time will tell.
well, forgot to mention that I have a 6" ~ F6 newtonian I built years ago and also picked up a used 3" refractor that have both languished for lack of a decent mount. a priority is to get a good solid mount. my skies are pretty good when clear (mountains of Pennsylvania)
that's part of my dilemma - both. So I wanted something I can enjoy viewing with and cultivate a serious AP hobby too. I was torn between a large aperture SCT and large newtonian. I'd read that for viewing a short F newtonian was not ideal, but a 10" F5 newtonian would have a 48" tube - kind of cumbersome on for viewing with an equatorial mount.
I think where I've settled is the reality that there is no one perfect scope for both viewing and AP - I'll eventually want an SCT and a newtonian; maybe even a big dobsonian. I'm strongly motivated to go with a SC to start and build from there.
Hey Charlie! I spoke with Chris at OPT, and said that you recommended the Orion Sirius 80ED setup and he said that was a great idea. Turns out, by the time I get the C6RGT and an auto guider, I'd be pushing the limits for that mount. And I need to get a camera before I need the auto guider (the one I have won't mount), so I'm just gonna go with the Orion and build from there. Looks like my Christmas list is written for the next few years! :) the rabbit hole is deep indeed...
Thanks, Charles, I was actually just looking at that one! I've been a space junkie my whole life, and wanted a telescope for as long as I can remember, and now that I can afford one that will see further than the moon, I'm learning just how deep the rabbit hole goes, so to speak. I'm learning as I go, so I'm gonna be patient and not jump into something then regret it. Thanks a ton for the advice and info!
I worked through a number of setups over the last 10 years to get to this one. I started imaging with an LX10 back in 1998 with a Starlight Xpress MX5 doing manual guiding. That got me hooked and I wanted to get better pictures so then I went to an LX200 and ST7-E and things got better but not great. I made a real breakthrough when I moved to an RCX400 and ST-2000 camera with AO. The AO sorted out all the issues with the Meade mount tracking but I was never happy with the focus I could get on the RCX. So then I decided to simplify. Use a top of the line refractor with no electronics to go wrong and combine it with a good quality camera like the STL-11000. The image quality from that was great. Now I just wanted to go deeper than wheeling the setup out on my driveway and sitting with it would allow. So last year I build my backyard observatory and put it on a good pier. Now it images all night long controlled by CCD Autopilot and the images are now really looking good.
It's very good for giving you absolutely pinpoint stars without any tracking errors as it corrects mount errors very quickly and accurately compared to the relays. I image at 2.3 arc/secs per pixel and it ensure I get every bit or resolution I can get at that scale
Other people may think differently ,Mr Dunlop;
You have to accept that different musical tastes do exist on this earth.
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Thanks for the kind words. I am amazed at this site and what it provides for us amateurs. So far I enjoy AstroGab very much. I find a lot of excellent imagers and people willing to guide and help others.