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Stargazing Zhumell Z8 Dobsonian. 8 inch reflector

  1. Apr 14, 2011 #1
    Well, I have a Zhumell Z8 Dobsonian. 8 inch reflector.

    It's kind of heavy, but is easy enough to transport. It didn't cost me much, under 400 I think. I am a big fan of it. I personally wouldn't ever choose portability over viewing quality, as long as I can move the thing. I'd always feel like I could do better for my money if I bought portable over image quality.

    I took the thing to northern Arizona. It was actually up by snow bowl, a ski hill near Flagstaff. Since northern AZ boasts some of the darkest skies you can get, coupled with the altitude giving you excellent clarity and less obstruction from surroundings, I had the best night viewing that I've ever had. I was using my cumbersome Zhumell, yet I still take it out in the back yard when I go back home, and I still managed to put it in the back of my car and take it up the mountain.

    So, my take on portability is get something that you can still move and set up without it being a major ordeal.

    For newbies, I never really had a chance to go to a star party, so if you don't get that opportunity (though I would still highly recommend it since you can usually test out a wide range of equipment), I'd go for a Dobsonian mounted telescope, since you can usually take it in two pieces.
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 14, 2011 #2


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    Re: Planning to buy a first telescope?

    The factor to consider here is: the skywatching with a medium-quality scope is still a far better experience than that of a high-quality scope that never gets taken outside.

    One of my favourite sayings is actually a boat saying, but it is a similar sentiment:

    Q: It's 200 miles from here to Kingston. Between a $5,000 boat and a $10,000 boat, which one will make it to Kingston faster?
    A: The $5,000 boat, because it can leave a several years earlier!
  4. Apr 14, 2011 #3
    Re: Planning to buy a first telescope?

    Well if it is too big to take outside then you ought to not get it. But I can still move mine outside since it sits next to the door. I just grab the stand, then the tube.

    One of these days I might make a dolly and get a larger mirror scope.

    But this is my personal preference, anyways.
  5. Apr 14, 2011 #4


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    Re: Planning to buy a first telescope?

    Precisely, so there is a limit at which you will (and anyone else should) choose portability over quality.
  6. Apr 14, 2011 #5


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    Re: Planning to buy a first telescope?

    That limit is getting stretched by some manufacturers. Orion is manufacturing a line of truss-Dobs that break down into several packages. Rocker box, mirror box, secondary mirror/focusser assembly, truss rods, and shroud. This puts very large 'scopes within the handling abilities of almost any fit person.
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2011
  7. Apr 14, 2011 #6
    Re: Planning to buy a first telescope?

    Isn't someone doing something like that with 16 inch mirrors? I'd absolutely love to have one of those.


    I'd buy that eventually and use it frequently. I'd probably make a dolly for it before purchasing it though.

    If I made some really good money I'd maybe get one of these suckers and make a custom trailer for it:


    I don't know exactly how I'd go about doing that, but I'd definitely do it if I knew how and had the money. Then I'd take that up to northern Arizona. I almost can't believe that that thing exists for anyone to purchase.
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