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About dreamlander

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    North Dakota
  1. 3rd time out. I didn't get out until about 3 am so it was kind of a short session. Got a good look at Saturn, that was super cool. Could not get the goto function any more accurate. Didn't find any DSO's, but did spend a lot of time with the star charts just learning the sky. I came to a couple conclusions though: 1. I need to get out to a dark location. The 6 or so street lights and trees in my view were really starting to annoy me. 2. I need an observing chair, and I think an eyepatch would be nice.
  2. Yes. This is spot on. I can put the red dot on Jupiter, or bright star, and it is right there in the ep. Even with the 10 mm Delos.
  3. One more thing, what will it look like if my primary mirror is not cooled completely? Tempurature changes so much. I am just curious.
  4. You are talking brighter objects, but not bright enough to see with the naked eye I assume?
  5. My base is leveled with a bubble level and very stable. I made sure the stars where dead center in my 12mm ep with cross hairs. The scope only has 2 star alignment. It would be nice if it had 3 star, seems like it would only help. Looking now I see it has pointing accuracy enhancement (PAE). I guess that you recenter a bright star after aligning and that will help with accuracy in that area of the sky. Is that what you mean by calibration, Riemann? Thanks for all the tip advice everyone. This place is so helpful. Looks like the sky should be clear tonight. I think I will have to stay up to check out Saturn.
  6. Thanks, I will have to search around some more when the sun is up. I have done so much reading and research the last 6 months just to buy this stuff. Guess I am ready to get out and observe.
  7. I will have to check out Stellarium. Thanks for all the object suggestions. No dew heater/shield. I looked at the mirror a few times to see if it was getting any dew on it. It didn't. I was trying the tour function only because I really didn't know what to look at, or try to look at. That guide looks like the kind of thing I need. I was using the goto hoping it would put me directly onto the objects, because I really don't know what I am looking for. So If you are looking for a DSO don't you just use the constellations as guides? I guess I feel like I would still be learning the sky if my goto worked properly as can look in my viewfinder to where my scope is pointing when viewing a DSO. I am studying the sky as I use goto, not just blindly looking into the ep. Is 1 degree error normal for goto? I thought it would be much better than that.
  8. Where do I start... Well I bought an Orion Skyquest xx12g, a 12" goto truss dob, a couple months ago and finally got a chance to set it up in my back yard 10 days ago. Collimation went great, and was actually a lot easier than I thought it would be. It was a full moon and the air was hazy, but I got an ok look at Jupiter and learned alot about aligning and operating the scope. I got to take it out again last night. Very clear sky, got some good looks at Jupiter through a 10mm Delos, and there were a lot of stars visible to the naked eye. But here is my issue. I want to take a tour of deep space objects, Great! The problem is that I have no idea what I am suppose to be seeing. For instance, it will say beehive cluster, or double cluster and if I choose that object and the scope slews to it I really don't know what I am looking for. Part of this issue is the accuracy of the Goto function. It seems to be about 1 degree off no matter what I do. This is no problem if I am checking out Jupiter, or a double star I know like Mizar. I can just slew the scope manually, put my red dot right on the object, and it will be in my eyepiece. But if I don't no what I am looking for and the Goto function is about 1 degree off, How the hell do I know what i am looking at? I did quite a bit of looking around like this with a ES 82 30mm, and it was very cool, but the real fun of astronomy for me is the knowing what I am observing and learning about it. Another issue is what ep to use for what object. If I knew I was looking where I was supposed to be I could experiment with the 10mm Delos, ES 82 30mm, and 2x powermate I have, but not knowing if I am centered on object I don't know where to start. So... any suggestions? I thought about looking up the clusters and other object's picures, but that won't really do me any good looking through an ep. I use the crosshair ep that came with the scope for alignment and I have tried to be as precise as possible. I tried with many 2 star combos with Polaris, Vega, Arcturus, Regalus, Procyon, and always end up with the same results. It is about 1 degree off. I went back and looked at all the info I put it in and it is all good. This has started to annoy me a bit. One last thing, even though at times Jupiter and 3 of the moons looked great, it would seem to go in and out of focus quickly. Is this my eye? Not keeping steady with the ep? Or could it be my primary mirror cooling down? We have drastic temp swings here in North Dakota. It was 60 when the sun went down and I had some frost on my ep case by midnight. What does it look like when the mirror is changing temps? All in all I am enjoying it. I think I will stay up late enough tonight to get a look at Saturn. I look forward to getting it out to some truly dark skies in the future.
  9. Yes, I am using the 2" adapter if that is what you call it. It threads into the draw tube and has 2 set screws. I have a short one and an extended one in case I can't reach focus. The id on both is the problem, maybe I am exaggerating when I say much too large, but I thought this would be a much tighter fit than it is and didn't expect is to be that loose. This adapter is the piece I thought might be easy to replace with something that has tighter tolerance. The 1.25" adapter goes into the 2" adapter.
  10. Wow, thanks for all the great advice and words of encouragement. I will try the stepping down the ep focal length thing. Along with the 30mm I have a tv 10mm Delos a tv 2x powermate to get started. An easy fix to the ep slopiness I can think of would be to get a different 2" ep holder part that threads into the Orion focuser. This one's id is way to big. Anyone know of such a piece? There are so many times I wish I had a lathe. This place is great. So many people willing to help us newbs.
  11. Thanks, this is what I suspected about the ep, your words are reassuring. My real issue though is that the object being viewed is not dead center when switching ep's. It seems this would throw off the red dot alignment, star alignment (goto), and even collimation when switching ep's. Am I over thinking it? 4 days of work then a week off to get it out under the stars. So excited!
  12. I finally bought my first scope, Orion truss rod xx12g. I assembled it in my garage and took my sweet time going through the collimation process and as far as I can tell everything came out very well. I wanted to get the red dot finder aligned with the scope and it just so happened I have the view of an old car tire on a hillside 530m away that I can see from my garage. So I put the 28mm 2" ep in that came with the scope. I centered it and I could just make out the tire in the red dot sight, worked great actually. Then I decided I would put the 82 ES 30mm ep in. I noticed right away that it had more movement in the focuser so I made sure it was pushed in flush and as it is tapered where the set screws make contact I figured this is to help keep it flush and consistently in the same spot. This was a bit of a pain because the ep is so large it covers the thumbscrews make it difficult to even tighten them, but I got it. I go to look and now the tire is off center a bit. I also notice the edge of view is very distorted and the color looks bad. The 28mm Orion ep everthything looked great. I find this incredibly annoying. A high precision instrument like this and there is major slop in the fit between the ep and focuser? I just don't get it. How hard is it to build something with tighter tolerances? I have plenty of rifle scopes and they all fit perfectly into the scope rings from all different manufacturers. So what is the trick to get the ep consistently in the same place? and if one ep is a bit off from the next won't this not only throw off the red dot finder but the collimation as well because the ep won't be pointing directly at the secondary mirror? Also is it normal for the color and edge of the view to be distorted while looking at near objects in the ES 82 30mm ep? I haven't got it out in the dark yet but I am already frustrated that I spent this kind of money and these tolerances are so bad. I hope the only answer isn't a better focuser, but if it is so be it. Thanks for help in advance.
  13. You all have really helped me out here. I learned as much in this thread as I have reading a lot of other things. Auspom, I think you put it best. I am leaning heavily toward a 12" dob now, and will worry about the ap if I get to that point. I might have enough visually to keep me occupied for years. Thanks everyone
  14. I should elaborate more on why I landed on this scope and mount. I have changed my mind several times. I want something goto. Goto dob of equal size and quality around $1400, and if I ever wanted to try ap I would have to start over. If I were to go the dob got route I would probably skip ahead to something like http://www.telescope.com/Telescopes/GoTo-Computerized-Telescopes/Orion-SkyQuest-XX12g-GoTo-Truss-Tube-Dobsonian-Telescope/pc/-1/c/1/sc/15/p/102637.uts 10" astrograph and atlas pro $2730. Yes, almost twice the price but now I have a killer mount which I doubt i will outgrow. So I decided a newtonian on the mount in az was for me. I landed on this scope because I just didn't find many other options and read a lot of good things about these scopes. And with this mount I could mount a refractor simultaneously for visual, but maybe I am getting ahead of myself. Ok, I am a little confused here. What is the real difference between an astrograph and standard reflector (newt or dob) besides the faster focal ratio? Won't I want a coma corrector for wide field ep's be it f/5 or f/4? Is there something else about the astrograph that gives it weaker contrast? Any difference in quality of parts between the Orion astrograph and there standard reflector or a Meade LX70 R8? Thanks for helping me sort these things out.
  15. Well it should say, help me avoid future buyer's remorse. This will be my first setup. Mount- Atlas Pro AZ/EQ-G weight capacity-44 lb Scope choice- Orion 10" f/4 astrograph or the 8" Use- observing, maybe ap someday I have read SO much comparing these two, but still can't get the answer I am looking for. I am only worried about the observing aspects at this point. Most things I read pertain to imaging and everyone concludes the images would not be noticeably better in the 10" so just get the 8", but what about observation? I don't want to buy the 8" and be thinking, wow I wonder how this would look in the 10", so how much better is it? I might try ap someday and the 10" ota weighs 25.5 lb. I figure with any equipment I would need it could bring the weight to 36lb at the most, still 8lb below the mount capacity. Yes, I know the general 50% weight rule, but I don't like general rules. I want to know if something ACTUALLY works or not. I seem to read a lot of anecdotes from people imaging at close to mount capacity without problems. I also look at it like this, getting into ap in a proper way would be expensive. If it absolutely does not work with the 10", I feel like buying the 8" for $550 wouldn't be a big deal as the scope is about the cheapest part. I think I would rather go this unlikely route, as I see it, over buying the 8" and always wondering how good the 10" would have been. I am a new to this stuff, and no, I won't be going to any observing parties as I live in the sticks. I am just trying to get a feel for how much I would gain visually with the 10" compared to 8". So why shouldn't I buy the 10"? Any other opinions welcome.
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