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nexstar 8 SCT vs skywatcher 10 collapsible goto dob

Started by JimPhelps, 01/09/2019 09:57AM
Posted 01/09/2019 09:57AM | Edited 01/09/2019 09:57AM Opening Post
Recently I've been considering getting back to a tracking mount.  I currently own an Orion 10" intelliscope and an Orion 6" StarBlast intelliscope.  at first I was debating whether to go for a Celestron Nexstar 6 or a Celestron Nexstar 8, and I found myself leaning towards the 8, but I wonder if the Skywatcher 10" collapsible goto dob might be even better. I Like the fact that it has a 2" focuser as I have a number of 2" eyepieces.  I have NO interest in imaging , only visual so other views would be helpful.  Thanks for any pros and cons you all could offer.
Jim Phelps
Posted 01/26/2019 11:11AM #1
Jim,

I have a Celestron Nexstar Evolution 8" Edge HD and it is a fantastic scope for visual.  It's very lightweight and portable.  I find myself using it a lot more than the Orion XT10G I used to own (which had major alignment problems right out of the box).  The built-in battery avoids having to get a separate power source and deal with cord wrap, which was a frustrating issue with the XT10g.  One of the best features of the scope is that it has built in wifi, which allows you to use your phone to control the scope with the SkyPortal app instead of navigating the 90s-era hand controllers that all manufacturers still use.   Once you get it aligned, just point and click to the object in the app.  Getting the 8" over the 6" is a no brainer.

The base Nexstar SCTs lack some of the features like wifi, so if you can afford it, shoot for the Nexstar Evolution models.

Also, you can convert the scope from 1.25" to 2" visual back, which I did because I have mostly 2" eyepieces.  If you do this, you have to buy the shortest adapter and diagonal possible (and move the OTA as far forward as possible) to avoid the diagonal hitting the base when at zenith.  I used the Baader Planetarium 2" Clicklock Adapter for Smaller 2" SCT Thread (https://www.highpointscientific.com/baader-planetarium-2-clicklock-clamp-for-sct-clsc-2), which is what you use to replace the orange and black visual back.  The clicklock is good for a SCT since you'll find yourself rotating the diagonal when the altitude changes.  I use a Baader diagonal as well due to the short profile.  The Televue diagonals seem to be too long for a tight space like this.

 
Posted 01/27/2019 08:24AM | Edited 01/27/2019 08:26AM #2
Tom,
  Thanks for he reply, especially the details on the 2" visual back.  The only obstacle I have with getting the evolution mount is the $500 more for it than the regular nexstar 8 SE.
  I also had an Orion 10" goto dob, and besides the usual learning curve with the goto object locator, the weight and bulk became problematic for me.  That's why I wonder if the Skywatcher collapsible 10" goto, might be more portable .
Clear Skies,
Jim Phelps