Jump to content





  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won


Posts posted by Bizibilder

  1. Hello Thunor,

    Sounds like you are new to all this so I will try to keep this simple:)

    Do I set up once? Yes IF you then don't move the mounting. This is why folks build fixed mounts / piers / Observatories etc. If you move it around eg take it indoors and put it out (with the cat!) to observe then you DO have to set up each time.

    What is the purpose? Well, if you line up the polar axis to point to the north pole (very near to Polaris) an equatorial mount (like the EQ6) allows you to follow the movement of the stars etc across the sky by rotating ONLY the Polar axis. You will need to set up using Polaris (its the easiest way)

    So: How to do it:

    Put the EQ6 / telescope assembly in your chosen observing position. One part of the mount will have an "N" on it (usually near one tripod leg) this must face North - you may need to use a compass to find north roughly). The mount will probably only assemble one way so now the Polar axis is also pointing North.

    You will find that you can make the polar axis move to point up and down at more or less of an angle to the horizontal. You need to move this axis until it points upwards at an angle equal to your latitude - there should be a scale on the mount to get this done ROUGHLY. The polar axis will now be pointing roughly at Polaris.

    You are now well enough aligned to use the telescope for visual observations. (Even though the alignment is VERY rough :o )

    Loosen both axis locks and point the scope at your chosen object (easier said than done if you are a newbie!!). Lock both axiis and then use the POLAR AXIS drive or hand control to track the object as it moves across the sky. You do not need to touch the Dec axis.

    In reality - because your set up is only roughly aligned - you will need to keep making tiny adjustments the dec axis as well.

    For better alignment you will have to follow the instructions given in the handbook. However if you can always place the telescope mount in EXACTLY the same place each session your regular minor adjustment should be very minor each time you set up.

    For photography etc you will HAVE to set up accurately every time you use the telescope or get a permanent setup. (Which is why folk complain about spending an hour setting up each time :) )

    My own set up is a roughly - as above - EQ5 mount in the garden. I tend to move it around at the moment so the only alignment it gets is a rough pointing at polaris - on a good day I get within 2 degrees!!!! I can then track easily enough for four or five minutes. Which is why I am building a permanent site.

    I hope this is the sort of information you are after.

  2. A Dobson is Altazimuth. You can upgrade to your hearts content later! Don't forget yiou will need to factor in the cost of a power supply as well (12v battery type NOT mains!!)

    You WILL see the outer planets, galaxies and DSO's BUT they won't look anything like the photo's you see!! These are all LOOOOOONG time exposures - often several "stacked" together over several nights! - you will see "fuzzies". Many star clusters are superb in an 8".

  3. Buy the bigger optics with your £300. You can always save up more pennies while you are learning your way around and then upgrade to fancy computers etc. If you buy a small scope now you will forever want to buy a bigger one!!!!!

    By bigger I would suggest 200 or 250mm reflector or Dobsonian.

    It does not take long to get used to the sky AND to point the scope in the right place! This has the added bonus that you are learning the sky at the same time.

  4. The only thing I would add is that the "little wheels on the ground" really ought to have some kind of guidance or rails to run on. Without them they could cause the whole roof to twist or turn as it rolls on or off - a small stone in the way of those wheels could spell disaster! I realise the roof itself is guided but the ground wheels will have considerable "leverage" to the whole system.

    Hope this helps.

  5. One suggestion I would make, if I may, is to make sure that whatever you buy you try first (go to the shop to try and then buy the same cheaper via the net!!). The reason is that two pairs of bins by different makers eg 10x50 can be totally different in weight and "feel" when you get hold of them. (Apart from differences in optical quality!). You will soon find what "fits" you the best. I have two pairs of 10x50's - one 35 years old, heavy and with a solid metal body - the other came as a "freebie" with my new telescope - Chinese imports, very light to hold and far better optics. They are WAY better!!

    I would also suggest some sort of mounting as definately necessary, unless you are very lucky there will be some "shake" - even a simple tripod will eliminate this. You can buy a camera tripod for about £20 which will do the job. I often put a "cushon" on the top of mine and rest the bins on that ( I steal Mrs Bizibilders grain filled "warm-it-in-the-microwave" relaxation pillow) - it works well.

    Overall - STEADY cheaper bins will outperform shaky expensive bins!

  6. Hi DeviantUK

    I've attached a photo here for you to see what can happen with a bit of luck! It was taken by hand holding my 7Mp "point and shoot" camera to the eyepiece of my new telescope (a SW 200P) just to see what happened. I took four shots, one of which was a blur and the other three were clear enough to see that the object was the Moon :) . I just allowed the camera to decide on exposure time etc. I didn't write it down but I suspect the magnification used was 80x. There has been NO processing of the image EXCEPT to crop it to make it fewer pixels to upload here.

    (I know its an awful image:( !! but it does show you what very basic equipment can do - if you have a proper camera mount then you could expect MUCH better!)

    I hope this helps!!


  7. Coffee Prince

    You don't need to be able to see the whole sky! If you look at one area of sky the Earth's rotation will bring a sucession of stars into your chosen area. In my own garden I have a poor view to the west and North west (neighbours houses) so I don't bother with that area. I have a good view East and South so I concentrate on objects that are in that area.

    I would certainly recomend downloading Stellarium - this will give a very realistic view of the sky. You can easily change the settings to show a sky with YOUR level of light polution and therefore the "right" number of visible stars etc. You can also easily "spin" it around to show exactly what you can see by standing in your garden looking in a particular direction.

    Hope this helps

  8. Abernus - I'm also a returning newbie to the hobby. Originally I had a 4" (100mm) newt and used it for quite a while to "learn the sky" this has stood me in good stead to return 30 years later - its amazing what you DO remember!! The advantage of a small scope is that you can only see thousands of objects - instead of hundreds of thousands!!

    What I'm getting at is that you should be less confused with a small scope - if you have a reasonable star map and can find the brighter planets and Moon there is enough to keep you going for years!.

    The other useful trick I have learned is to try and decide what you are going to go out and look at BEFORE you go outside - it is much easier if you have a "plan" rather than aimlessly looking around the sky. Make sure that the objects on your list ARE visible in a small scope so you won't waste time looking for the impossible

    Best of luck

  9. Omer

    I've just got myself a 200p + EQ5. It is easily portable. The tube is pretty light and easy to carry but the mount and steel tripod needs both arms! The greatest problem I have is that you have to go through doors one leg at a time (if you see what I mean!!). the two join easily, one arm / hand holds the tube and the other does up a single knob on the mount.

    As for images - nebulae etc seem to be "shades of grey" and faint to the naked eye. Ster clusters are most spectacular. The photos you see around are all time exposures and most often "enhanced" in one way or another.

    I've not tried imaging yet - Its probably best to learn your way around the sky first. This will help you as, in the long run, you will gain "the knowledge" of the sky which will help you in the future. Use your time to research imaging equipment carefully - it is expensive!! there is loads of advice to be found.....Good luck

  10. I've just returned to the hobby after an absence of several decades! In the 70's, as a schoolboy I built my own 6" reflector from scratch. I have now rediscovered the hobby and recently purchased a Skywatcher 200P on EQ5 - Surprisingly this only cost me a little over twice the cost of all the bits and pieces I cobbled together in the 70's for my entirely scratch-built 'scope :) . I'm building myself a run off roof shed type observatory. I have a blog at Bizibilder's Blog where I am keeping a record of progress (among other things!).

    I live in Norfolk UK but still have to suffer some "suburban" lights from the nearby town!

  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue. By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.