Telescope Questions & Reviews

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nevers

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On the same topic: I'm so "thrifty" that at the Grand Canyon Star Party I used duct tape and a red shop rag to cover the "security" light that comes on when you open the door! What ever works...
 
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bbrock

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Has anyone used a green lazer attached to their scope as a finder? I would like to find a simple way to attach one and still have my finder scope attached for scanning the star field. The trick is to attach the lazer pointer and alighn approximately with the scope to within a 2.5 degree field of view of the finder scope.-- like with velcro or something like that.
 
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bbrock

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Hi Brad<br /><br />Thanks for the web site. There is a lot of cool stuff. Just what I was looking for. <br /><br />Bill
 
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nevers

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Hi c_lou,<br /><br />I really doubt a Telrad would help. The difference (in degrees) between the "dot" takes up less space then the open center circle of a Telrad. A 6 x 30 finderscope would probably be of more assistance.
 
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bbrock

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What would be a good filter to use for viewing Nebula? I have trouble finding Nebula. Would a filter help?
 
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nevers

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Does anybody know anything about "Piggybacking" a telescope onto another? I'm wondering if the piggybacked 'scope has to be dead-center over the main OTA or if it's ok to have it off-set to one side or the other. If it's off-set, do you think it would strain the drive-motors.
 
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nevers

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Thanks crazy!<br /><br />I did some checking last night: supposedly, the LXD55 mount can handle the weight of a 10" telescope. However, I would never try that much weight! Everything I found stated that I could piggyback another 'scope in an off-set fashion but as you said, I'd have to counter-weight the opposite side.
 
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tfwthom

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Brad<br /><br />SkyJim called today...his plans are to meet us in the White Mts Thursday. (or as soon as Jen feels good enough to travel) He said it looks like there will be about 10 people from his club joining us but most are only showing up for the weekend. Looks like 5 of us are making the trip so a small group. We can do a side by side of your new scope and the TAK lol. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <font size="1" color="#3366ff">www.siriuslookers.org</font> </div>
 
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nevers

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Hey Thom - <br /><br />"...lol..." That should be in caps or better yet: ROFLMAO! The only comparison is that they are both Telescopes. However, I did get a Williams Optics 2" diagonal. I noticed the one in the TAK is kinda scratchy looking! <img src="/images/icons/wink.gif" /><br /><br />To tell you the truth, I thought about not even bringing the stupid thing. (It's not stupid, I'm just venting) Last night the Autostar Handheld Controler kept freezing up on me. What's up with that? I think it's just "Meg" (the hotwather heater) being jealous and has put a hex on "Fand".<br /><br />It'll be good to see ya'll again and SkyJim too. Maybe he can show me how to find M101...! <img src="/images/icons/smile.gif" />
 
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chuchurokit

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Hello all,<br />been reading for a while, first time posting.<br />i am lookin into buying my first scope for my own. my dad had one i used to mess around with but it wasnt the greatest. i was wondering if i can get any advice on what to start out with. i know i would like to view nebulas, planets, astroids and such. i also think i would like a equatorial mount, possibly. i remember the pain of finding something really cool then losing it before i could get anyone else to see it. how do you feel about a "goto" scope? the other thing i need to watch out for is the price. ill only be able to invest a couple hundred dollars to get me started, so maybe a scope that i will be able to "upgrade." <br />right now im in the coast guard, and stationed on the island of Nantucket, off the coast of mass. so there isnt very much light pollution, and in fact i have seen more stars here then i have in the mountains of idaho where i grew up. <br />can anyone give me any advice?<br /><br />thanks<br />derek
 
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nevers

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Hi Derek -<br /><br />Welcome to SDC! Hopefully you'll stay aboard once you've gotten a 'scope! Anyway...<br /><br />Check out Orion Telescopes. They have a little "survey" you can take and at the end it gives you a number of telescopes that fit your needs. You can go from there: 'scopes of other brands like Celestron & Hardin will be comparable to the Orion models you'll see at their site.<br /><br />Personally, I would suggest an 8" Dobsonian. Get a good star chart and a red dot finder and you'll be on your way. You may also, before you get a 'scope, find an Astronomy Club in your area and go to one of their star parties. There, you can look through other peoples 'scopes and see which kind you like best.<br /><br />Batten the hatches and hoist the mizen mast...clear skies to ya!
 
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nevers

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Here is a steal from Hardin: Hardin 10" Dobsonian . If you have the space to store it, this 'scope is the best deal I've seen around lately. It comes with a Crayford Focuser, an 8 x 50 finderscope and a 32mm 2" Eyepiece. I'd still ad a good star chart and a red dot finder!<br /><br />I would not get a "GoTo" unless you can spend at least $800 and in the size of at least 5" aperture. For a first 'scope, I'd just stay away from "GoTo".
 
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bbrock

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The Dobsonian suggestion is a good one. I have started with a Dob for my casual observing. One way to upgrade the Dob is " later, when you are ready " to purchase an equatorial mount that you can use the Dob Optical Tube with. I am doing this with the Orion XT10 Dob. The Orion Atlas Equitorial Mount will support the optical tube. If you go to a smaller aperture then 10", there are less brawney mounts you can choose from. <br /><br />This way, you have a choice of mounts without collecting several telescopes. <br /><br />Bill<br /><br />
 
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chuchurokit

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Thanks guys for all the advice, i think im gonna get the orion xt8, i think it will be a good learner as well as give me the deep space views i would like. now i am just wondering if there are any filters i should start off with? i know i will get one to view the moon but are there others i should get?<br /><br />thanks<br /><br />derek
 
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nevers

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Hi Derek - <br /><br />Wise choice! A variable moon filter would be great. For now, just stick with that filter. The color filters are (imho) over-rated and only good for planets (if that!)<br /><br />Instead of other filters, think about these:<br /><br />1.) Deep600 Map <br />2.) Red-Dot Finderscope <br />3.) 9 x 50 finderscope or for $20 more, you can get the "right-angle, correct-image" version which will help with neck strain and the image will match your map.<br /><br />Those 3 things will help a lot! Plus, you'll want to get some kind of chair to sit in or your back will be screaming at you. An office chair works great: the kind with wheels on it. They're height adjustable and you can roll around if your set up on a hard surface. Chairs designed for astronomy surely pack up better for convienence but they cost a lot more.<br /><br />Other things to consider:<br /><br />This will supplement the eye-pieces that come with your 'scope - 2x Barlow <br />Someday you'll want this: Laser Collimator but for now you should be good. Just don't toss the 'scope around!<br />Someday you'll want a 2" EP. This one is affordable - http://www.astro
 
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bbrock

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I agree with Brad's recommendations. I would just like to add one item. For the Orion XT8, focal ratio f/5.9, I would add one eye piece (EP) to give an exit pupil of approximately 7mm (Adult Human Dialated Pupil Diameter). That would be your minimum power eye piece. This EP would mist likely be the brightest image EP in your future collection. These are most usefull for viewing very dim deep sky objects like galaxies and most nebula.<br /><br />For a focal ratio of f/5.9, the EP focal ratio would need to be ( 5.9 x 7mm ) = 41.3mm . So an EP with a focal ratio of 40mm would get you real close ( 6.77 exit pupil ). For the Orion XT8 with a telescope focal ratio of 1200 mm, a 40mm EP will give you a very nice magnification of 30x. Excellent for looking at dim, expansive galaxies. <br /><br />Some choices would be Orion Serius Plossl 40mm, HighLight 40mm, or the 2" Optiluxe 40mm. <br /><br />Best of Luck<br />Bill
 
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nevers

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Hey Bill - <br /><br />Good choice on the EP. I have Orion's 40mm Plossl but guess what I can see with that 1rpd 2" EP I suggested? M31,M32 AND M110 all in the same FOV...! It's awesome...I love it...but I guess I should say: it can have that "fish-eye" or curved effect toward the edges on bright star fields. Not so with the EP you suggested...
 
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bbrock

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Brad<br /><br />The fish eye would not bother me at all. I prefer the 2" wide field view. The reason I haven't gone to 2" EP's is because my barlow is a 1.25". I can justify ( in my mind ) buying 1.25" EP's because I feel like I'm buying two EP's with my barlow. I'm too cheep to buy a 2" Barlow. ( I guess it's just a Kentucky thing ). <br /><br />Bill
 
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nevers

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Hi Bill - <br /><br />You know, I'm in the same boat as you and I don't even live in Kentucky! The reason I got the 2" 30mm 80 degree FOV EP was for the 80 degree FOV alone. I really wasn't concerned with using it for high power, I wanted something low power to catch some of the larger objects that Plossls can't. (Especially with the 16" 'scope) Pleiades, The Rosette, The Double-Cluster, The Viel, some of the Trumpler objects (large open clusters), The North American Nebula, The Lagoon...heck...even The Great Orion Nebula. They look great in the 2" at low power. So, if you want a 2" EP, get one and don't worry 'bout a Barlow...I find myself more and more enjoying low power viewing.
 
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bbrock

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Brad<br /><br />I have to agree with the low power, wide field view. I have purchased a 1.25" Expanse (66 deg ) EP and I love it. I can't imagine 80 deg FOV. That must be like floating in space. <br /><br />Bill
 
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nevers

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Hi Alex - <br /><br />I have "Skywatching" & "Advanced Skywatching". They are both by David Levy. I liked the "Advanced" book better. The info was well-rounded, easy to understand and not too complex on all topics of Astronomy. What I liked best were the star-charts and most objects listed were easy enough to a 5" 'scope to see. It does not have charts for all the constellations though like the first book does. However, the first books listed objects are sparse.
 
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nevers

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For those interested in what Orion's V-Block or "Minus Violet" filter does, here's an example that I pieced together.
 
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