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Ricochet

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About Ricochet

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  1. The advertised "maximum magnification" really only applies to the splitting of double stars. With decreasing exit pupil (increasing magnification) diffraction rapidly increases and blurs the view. The optimum exit pupil for planetary viewing is supposedly in the 0.85-1.0mm exit pupil range, which for your scope is 114-134x and covered by the zoom+barlow combination. I know someone with the 1145p and far as I know his planetary viewing with it is always done with either a 4 or 5mm eyepiece. The field of view at the low power/high focal length end of a zoom is quite small so rather than planning on getting just the zoom you would probably be better off planning the zoom plus a low power eyepiece. I used to own the 24mm ES68 and have used it in the 1145p. It makes a great finder eyepiece but at only 21x it is not going to be the best option for observing anything but the largest DSOs. I found that the roll up eyecup was not quite high enough for my liking. With a barlow the eye relief is pushed out even more and so you have to "hover" over the eyepiece. Personally, I would suggest not using this eyepiece with a barlow. The Maxvision variant is the same optically, and has a twist up eyecup that can be adjusted to the correct height, however it is not waterproof. If it was me I would probably look at something like: Planetary eyepiece, 4-5mm (Could be zoom + barlow, or something like a Vixen SLV if you want a fixed eyepiece and like 50° AFoV, BST Starguider/Celestron X-Cel LX if you prefer 60°) DSO eyepiece, 9-11mm (Could be zoom, SLV or decent Plossl to replace existing 10mm) Finder eyepiece (Could be 24mm ES68/Maxvision or even just your existing 25mm if you are happy with the FoV)
  2. Great news indeed Jupiter is probably my favourite planet with all the details you can pick out when conditions allow. Are you saying you use a Bahitnov mask for visual observation? Each time you change EP you put the mask back on to refocus?
  3. When you say light switch do you mean an actual light that turns on somewhere outside the scope or just an option on the handset called "lightswitch"? If it is somehow the former turn it off, but if it is the latter leave it on because that is just Meade's name for auto alignment and not a light! As for the bright background with a dark disc that is exactly what you would expect for an SCT that is massively out of focus. Adjust the focuser so that the disc starts getting smaller and keep going until the disc disappears and the stars/planets start to come into focus. Keep turning the focuser to make them smaller. Focus is achieved when each object is at it's smallest. If it starts getting bigger again you have gone past the focus point. Based on what you have said I suspect that you spent a few hours essentially looking at the inside of your telescope and so yes, you will see much better images once you achieve proper focus.
  4. The line started as the Meade SWA. When Meade was sold the left over SWA stock were relabelled as ES Maxvision and a new waterproof version was released as the ES68. I had the 24mm Meade SWA and ES68 and switching back and forth could not see any difference to suggest a change in lens design. If I remember correctly the new version has better internal blackening but I kept the Meade for the twist up eyecup.
  5. Typical scopes used by those starting deep sky AP are the Skywatcher 80ED and 130PDS so I suggest you consider those as a starting point and go from there. Have a look through the images that have been posted on this forum to try to get an idea of the type of images you want to be able to take and see what equipment has been used to take those shots. The advice above to get a copy of Making Every Photon Count is very good advice.
  6. Visual astronomy and astrophotography are really two different things. Visual requires a big aperture and decent mount and photography requires a big mount with a decent aperture. If you try to use your big telescope for photography you will then need a massive mount that might cost more than a completely new setup and there is no guarantee that the dob will be able to focus with a camera anyway.
  7. It depends on why you are considering it. If you are thinking of astrophotography then a shorter Newtonian is going to be less of a sail in the wind, with a faster f ratio for shorter exposures and you will also need a telescope that can reach focus with a camera, which isn't guaranteed with a dob. If you are just using it for visual then I don't like the combination of a Newtonian OTA on an eq mount and would stick with the Dob base.
  8. With your zoom eyepiece you should see that the "circle" that you see is wider at the 8mm setting than the 24mm setting. This is the apparent field of view (aFoV). Each eyepiece design has a set aFoV, your Plossl will be about 50° and your zoom something like 40-60° depending on what setting it is on. If you have a look at eyepieces on the FLO website (or any other Astro retailer) you should see this attribute listed for each eyepiece. As a general rule of thumb the wider the aFoV the more expensive the eyepiece will be. The other type of field of view is the true field of view, this is the actual amount of sky you see through the eyepiece. The upper limit to this is determined by the focal length of the telescope and the diameter of the eyepiece field stop (which is limited by the eyepiece nosepiece). When framing objects you can increase the tFoV by switching to an eyepiece with a larger aFoV or to one with a longer focal length. For example, if you were looking at something with the zoom at the 24mm setting and wanted to see more sky, you could either switch to your 32mm 50° Plossl or a 24mm 68° eyepiece, both of which will max out the tFoV available with a 1.25" barrel. I am not sure if the focal reducer will allow wider fields of view or if baffles in the telescope prevent it. I will leave it to those who have tried it to advise on this. The reducer decreases the focal ratio which will result in an increase in exit pupil and therefore brightness.
  9. As an eq mount tracks across the sky it rotates the telescope. For a telescope with a diagonal sticking out of the end this is not an issue but with a Newtonian the focuser sticks out of the side of the telescope so the viewing position is also rotated. This results in either having to contort yourself to reach awkward positions or frequently rotating the tube to get the eyepiece back in a comfortable position. With an alt/az mount you set your desired focuser angle once and it will always be in the same position. The az4 also doesn't require counterweights or polar alignment which make it slightly easier to set up.
  10. Given that the true field of view will be the same with the 32 and 40mm plossls the only reason to get the 40 would be if you feel that there are objects (i.e. nebulae) that would be better viewed with a brighter image (bigger exit pupil) than the 32mm provides. Otherwise, if you are happy with the quality and apparent field of view of your current eyepieces there isn't much need to add any more.
  11. Brantuk's suggestion of a 150p is a good one and will be a substantial improvement over the firstscope (and for visual I would think over the ed80 too). If buying new you can also get it bundled with an az4 mount, which would be my preference although the eq3-2 will give you practice aligning and using an eq mount before the heq5 arrives.
  12. So long as it is a solid tube in order for you to fit tube rings then technically it is possible. However, depending on why you are considering doing this there might be better options.
  13. Is the 80ED and HEQ5 for astrophotography or observation? Are you looking for a telescope that is in stock now to tide you over until you get the 80ED or are you planning on using the two in conjunction?
  14. I am not sure what you are expecting but there is no telescope that any of us can buy that will show stars as anything other than points of light. A telescope will show you more stars than the naked eye and magnify the gaps between stars so that what you think is one star might be revealed as multiple close stars, but the individual stars will remain as points. The following thread will give you a good idea of what you can see through a telescope.
  15. The second is the best Dobsonian as the first is not a Dobsonian. The term Dobsonian refers to the type of mount not the design of the optical tube (both of the above are Newtonians). Of the two telescopes you have listed I would choose the second option as I prefer the alt/az movement and stability of the Dobsonian mount. I do not like the way that the equatorial mount rotates the eyepiece of a Newtonian telescope, requiring contortions to reach it or frequent adjustments to turn the tube so the eyepiece is in a reasonable position. An equatorial mount is invaluable if you want to do astrophotography (for which the Dobsonian is not suited), but the model you linked to is too big of a telescope on too small of a mount for that. In addition you need the 200pds not the 200p in order to reach focus with a dslr.