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When choosing between a collapsible and a non collapsible 12” dobsonian scope what drawbacks if any do collapsible dobsonian scopes have?

If I transport any scope it will need collimating. Obviously a collapsible scope will store better.

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    $\begingroup$ Solid tube is faster to set up and take down. Solid tube holds collimation better (quick tweak of the primary and you're good to go). Solid tube doesn't need shroud to stop stray light. Storage space is debatable: both types occupy the same 2-dimensional floor space, which is what's usually the limiting factor (how high it extends often doesn't matter). Less than 12" and i'd go for solid, more than 12" and i'd go for truss tube style... at 12" i'm not sure which i'd choose :-) $\endgroup$
    – Aaron F
    Nov 16, 2020 at 12:39

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I agree with Aaron F about storage space, but transport space is different; a non-collapsible tube wouldn’t fit in my car, while my 10″ collapsible-tube telescope fits nicely in the trunk and could fit on the back seat, whether “lying” on it or “standing” as it wouldn’t hit the car’s ceiling.

The only drawback I have heard of, aside from collimation that you would have to do anyhow (nevermind solid tubes holding it better; after enough road, it’s gone no matter what kind of tube you have), is that different thermal expansion of the truss tubes and their holders sometimes makes it difficult to expand or collapse the tube when it’s cold. Also, be careful when storing or transporting your collapsible tube, as the truss bars can potentially end up in positions that slightly bend them, making the expansion or collapse more difficult even if it’s not cold.

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  • $\begingroup$ Good answer and a good point about the difficulties with transportation! My 10" solid tube just fits along the back seat of a standard saloon car. I don't think it would fit in a more compact car. It also means that only two people can come on the trip because the rear seats are occupied. $\endgroup$
    – Aaron F
    Nov 22, 2020 at 0:52
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    $\begingroup$ It was actually one of the “conditions” when I bought that telescope; it had to fit in my car with room enough for camping gear and my girlfriend. Eventually, I changed car, and the condition then was that all the above had to fit in it! ;-) $\endgroup$ Nov 22, 2020 at 4:44

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