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Found 97 results

  1. Just wondering what peoples thoughts are on the pro's and con's of the different types of mounts out there? Do Dobsonian mounts have issues on non-flat surfaces (like a garden) or can Equatorial mounts ever have issues getting out of line too easily?
  2. Hi, Looking for a 12" DOB (or larger) which can be transported to Prestwick, Ayrshire. Any brand, as long as the telescope is optically sound and in good working order. I'm a reliable buyer who has bought and sold on this site before. Thanks, Mark
  3. Hi all, Last night was the best night of astronomy I've had in my short time delving into this passion. It was simply incredible. Fortunately my dear friends the midgies have departed Scotland for another season. This means I can now stand at the scope without ingesting a lungful of tiny biting insects and concentrate on what I am observing. Always a plus! Two nights ago I went to my local dark spot with my 200p SW reflector. It was wonderful. LP map shows Bortle 4, but I would actually say it was a 3 or possibly a 'bright 2' when the lights go down a bit in the wee hours. Last night, I took the 20" dob and parked up. I am finding it easier and easier to move this beast around, but it's still a little bit of work to set up at the end of the day (literally). It can't all be so easy! I'm fairly new to astronomy and my scopes haven't seen a huge amount of use. After several failed attempts to get the GOTO working, I finally sussed it last night. It was just a few simple things really - small errors on my part such as a misplaced washer which blocked the azimuth from using its full range of motion, combined with a limited view at home which prevented me from doing a successful align. A huge relief to get the GOTO up and running, but I now feel a bit like I'm cheating! I don't feel guilty enough to not use the GOTO however Frankly, it's brilliant and was putting objects bang in the centre of the EP. I arrived about 6pm yesterday so plenty of time to set up. I left my counterweights at home and thus ended up strapping a small vinyl bag of tools and tyre jack to the underside of the mirror box with a tie-down. Worked really well actually! Can fine tune by removing a spanner or two. A few drops of rain blew through just before dusk but then rapidly cleared off, so all systems go. I tripped over the power cord after my first successful align. And then did it again a minute later after my second align! Will need to tidy that arrangement up or put some of my glow tape on the cable. Plenty of practice then doing an alignment, haha. M57 Ring Nebula for starters, I've been playing with my Baader 36mm aspheric quite a lot lately, I like the wide views. The Ring was fairly small through the 36mm but bright and crisply defined with an apparent faint blue tint. I then swapped to the 21mm Ethos and OIII which stayed in the focuser most of the night. Next stop was NGC6960, Western Veil Nebula or 'Witch's Broom Nebula' which was mind-blowing. It appeared as a silvery apparition which threaded right across the sky and extended well past the FOV from the 21mm Ethos. Scanning along its wispy tentacles was amazing. There's something unnerving about viewing it, it gives me goose-pimples, just otherworldly. The Eastern Veil and Pickering's Triangle in the central area were also clearly prominent, albeit slightly less luminous than 6960. The Veil was also clearly visible without the OIII, but with much more 'background noise', i.e. stars competing for attention. Following this, I slewed over to the Cocoon Nebula, but only saw a very dark lane practically void of stars. That was interesting in itself as it was so apparent by virtue of its darkness.. I don't know if I bumped the scope alignment of if I was just too impatient to punch another object in to the handset, but didn't spend a huge amount of time chasing it. In hindsight, I think I slewed to the wrong end of the dark lane. I'll find it next go. I then lined up on the Crescent Nebula which was easily visible, lots of fine filamentary details observable after some time studying it. A beauty. Next was Dumbbell Nebula which practically looked 3D through the big dob, just jumped right out at me. Another simply amazing sight. I spent quite a long time staring at it and could easily see the entire shape and structure extending from the 'Apple Core'. I remarked last night it looked like it was hanging inches in front of the scope. That's sheer aperture working I suppose! At the end, I spent some time just slewing around and having a mesmerising look across the sky, just taking in the depth and variable magnitude of stars that a big scope can display. I was already running on three hours' sleep from the previous night and by this time, I was starting to crash but was on a natural high. I crashed into the bed happily. Can't wait for another clear night with the big dob. I was a bit worried a few weeks ago that I'd bought something I didn't have the time or skill to fully appreciate, but getting the GOTO up and running and being able to rapidly slew to various objects really put things into perspective. My 200p is a wonderful, portable scope, but in comparison, 20" of aperture is simply a completely different level. It is like the difference between a small grainy 640px video and high definition 4k with the brightness cranked right up. Tonight I shall stay in, sleep well and dream about how much discarded glass is needed to cast a 36" mirror blank and how many years it would take me to figure it... Clear skies all
  4. Very happy with it! Wish the sky were clear, but as we all know, when we buy astro equipment, it's cloudy! Argh! The telescope was collected from David Lukehurst at noon and then we travelled back to Cambridge. John Nichol primary mirror: 37mm thickness, Suprax. Hilux coated. Optics 1/8 PV wavefront 1/27 wave RMS. Strehl .95. Secondary mirror: 62mm MA. Here a few photos:
  5. Hello all! I just installed this Lacerta 1:10 Micro Transmission focuser on my 8” Skywatcher Dobsonian. It is a direct replacement for the stock focuser and works extremely well. I was surprised at how easy it was to install! Ordered it from 365Astronomy and got fast shipping.
  6. I need a a really accurate,easy to use collimating tool. I have a used laser collimator but it does not fit snugly in the focuser so I feel it’s not very accurate. The idea of collimating causes me some anxiety anyway, so accurate and easy is the key! Can any of you offer any suggestions to help me out?
  7. WOW! Had a great view! Used my Pocket Sky Atlas to plan the night, then I just shot right out there! Saw the 7 Sisters (Pleiades), then hopped to the Orion Nebula! Used my ES 18 mm to find it then switched to the Morpheus 12.5 mm and could actually see wispy parts of the Nebula! ( I guess that’s what it was! LoL!) Really amazing! Called the wife out to take a look. Next I want to find Andromeda! Greg
  8. Hello all! I am mounting an Explore Scientific 8x50 Right Angle Erect Image Illuminated Finder Scope on my Skywatcher Dobsonian. The original Skywatcher mount only had one bolt hole. The Explore Scientific base requires two bolts. I was told to make sure to have the primary mirror cover in place and to place a cotton sock over the secondary mirror. My concern is drilling into the tube itself. Are there any other precautions I need to take so that that it doesn’t look like it was drilled by a bunch of Wallys? LoL! Greg
  9. Hey guys. After many years of waiting, I've decided to finally go for my first telescope. Yet, today find myself stuck between two excellent entry-level options, so I'm looking for some help. Before I get straight to my questions, I'd like to share some information about what I'm expecting to do with the equipment (among other stuff). - Objectives: Deep Sky, and some planetary observation. No interest in astrophotography, GoTo, or any other device (maybe/eventually in the future). - Budget: Given complementary I'll be getting a 2x Barlow (SkyWatcher; achromatic), and a starguider laser collimator (1.25-2), these are my two best available options to fit on its range. - Light pollution: Low-Med. Being that said, here are my questions: - Mount: After days of heavy research, so far hardly found a review about it; What do you guys think about the AZEQ AVANT type of mount?; Could it beat Dobsonians?; Would it be a better option in my case? and if so, why? - Conventional Tube vs Heritage's Compact Flex Tube: What are the differences (pros-cons) I can expect from one and the other? (despite no difference between mirrors and diameter). - Explorer 130P AZEQ AVANT (newbie question): Would it be possible to transport the whole structure armed from one spot to the other in my yard? Any help/opinion welcomed. Happy 2019!
  10. Hi there, Jon from Montreal, just saying hi. Got my first REAL telescope today. Skywatcher Classic 200P Dobsonian 8". I say real cause the 2 other telescopes I've own have been bought at art store or toys r us. Unfortunately I have yet to use my new Dob' due to all this cloud cover, hopefully it will clear up at least for the weekend. If any one has any advice to give me, about eye pieces etc.. feel free to
  11. A couple images I was able to take with my iPhone and my Dobsonian XT8. using the Camera +2 app Anyone know any other good phone apps? ?
  12. In my struggles with finding someone who wants to head out to the desert to do some late night observing... I have taken to my back yard in LA.... Honestly I know these images are not anything compared to the things that people post here... but I am slowly working on adapting to the living xD And with taking the images with a cellphone camera... lol... I cant really complain... iPhone X Camera, 2x Barlow, 25mm Eyepiece... I know sad attempt... but planning my trip out to the desert for when the real camera gets here! If anyone has any advice for city observing... They would be very appreciated... I know that there is a filter that is designed to try to remove most of the city lights.... but I have no idea what its called.
  13. Looking at this scope as my first decent scope. Anyone know pros v cons?
  14. Anyone fancy a punt on this 10" dobsonian. Needs TLC but cheap. No connection with seller of course. https://www.gumtree.com/p/telescopes/10-dobsonian-reflector-telescope-custom-built/1308162351
  15. I wouldn't want to miss observing the Sun in a full-size 300mm filter, the detail compared to smaller instruments is such a joy to see. I do have an off-axis mask for my 300mm dob but not all the time. If daytime seeing is too bad for such a large scope, I'll switch to a smaller one, but the extra resolution and ease of spotting micro-detail thanks to the brightness is something I can't do without. A sheet of 500mm wide Baader fillm allowed me to craft this. I had enough left to cut several smaller filters. To protect it I made a storage box from cardboard of obvious origin. The box had to be custom-made to save space in my dwelling, and it also hosts a bahtinov mask for nighttime. At f/5 fine focus is not too hard with the smooth single-speed focuser, but in order to enjoy moments of clarity immediately at high power, I pre-focus with the bahtinov, which sees through turbulence, what a nice invention, and simply wait for calmer air. No need to rush to fine focus and waste precious moments. This mask needs to be copied in some sort of plastic, the cardboard trial proved the number and width of the slits are fine. The rear of the filter shows the four clips mating the four button screw heads outside the tube. And this lateral view shows the sandwiching. A rigid backing plus two layers of lightweight neoprene foam cut from a cheap mat in tiger-stripe deco, its poor taste matching its 7€ price. The bottom sheet used to be a shower booth panel, my neighbor had in its garage. Hey, do you need that? No? Okay, thanks! The Baader film is held between the neoprene sheets by staples and many strips of tape. The neoprene is held to the shower booth sheet by little collars, and its edges are sewn together for a finished look. Oversize 10mm stitches didn't take too long to do, and the foam layers can be separated for replacing the film, something glue would prevent. Holes in the neoprene allow to check that the clips' bolts are always tight. Close-up of a clip. They are made of a material whose name I forgot, I only remember it is made in the UK (thanks, guys!). This is a PVC foam that's much easier to cut, drill and sand than full-density PVC, and it's much lighter (thanks, air bubbles!), which is essential for an item that's at the front of a scope where leverage is maximal. My GSO dob has four of these screw heads, one for each spider vane. They proved very convenient for attaching the filter. The black knob is an add-on to move the scope without having to grab the large tube with both hands. Pretty obvious what we're seeing here. Note the clip is flush with the tube, and pressed hard against the scope's metal rim for a very secure and tight fit. Only four clips but eight attachment points, really. Building this with tight tolerances was more lengthy but more reassuring. It is impossible to disengage a clip by accident because tolerances are too narrow, and the shower booth plastic tough spring action doesn't allow it. But should it happen three clips would hold the filter safely. All three layers of frame material are flexible, so, to remove the filter from the tube you just bend it at a corner while you lift the clip, and the clip disengages. I already rebalanced the dob by pulling the 7-kilo mirror to the rear thanks to shorter and tougher cell springs but I'm working on a sliding counterweight made of pliable steel ribbon. Adhesive felt pads protect the paint. Thanks to the large hole the 300mm filter is not too heavy (and it's used without the finder) but the off-axis mask has only a 115mm hole, so it's heavier and may require this. While I study the combinations of heavy or lightweight eyepieces, finder/no finder, mask, filter, I can change the experimental counterweight by cutting off or adding pieces of steel ribbon. Little mounting nuts and bolts through the many holes, there's always one at the right place. Ever hated to feel the Sun while loving to watch it? If you have no sunshield you did. Heat is a discomfort on the head, and light kills off contrast. So I cut a plastic folder in this weird pattern to allow sliding it between the shower booth plastic and the neoprene mat. When it's stuck there it makes quite a large area of shadow, that's such a relief. But that's also only a prototype that wants to be made again with a better material. Has to be opaque, quite thin, very lightweight, but rigid enough. I'll stumble upon the right material sooner or later.
  16. Skywatcher 14” FlexTube Dobsonian GOTO with extras Skywatcher Skyliner 350P 14" F/4.5 FlexTube GOTO for sale. Comes with : Skywatcher PowerTank 17Ah. Heater strip on the secondary mirror. does NOT come with the Dew Controller. Telrad Finder and Telrad Riser Base. Skywatcher 9x50 Finderscope 25mmSkywatcher Super Plossl eyepiece Skywatcher 2x Barlow lens. Dual-Speed 2" Crayford Focuser with 1.25" adapter Astrozap light shroud for Skywatcher FlexTube Cheshire Collimating Eyepiece Laser Collimating Eyepiece. This a big scope with great views. Can be used as a goto or a push to scope. In excellent condition. The scope can be assembled and disassembled in about 10 minutes or so. £1000 Buyer collects. Nottingham NG7 Area. Thanks
  17. Hello, I am sorry in advance if this specific subject has been discussed before, but couldn't find it. In any case, I need your wisdom I am a proud owner of the best-seller Skywatcher 200P Dobsonian (8" 203mm aperture, 1200mm FL). Like many, I started relatively cheap because I wanted to know if I'd love the hobby or not. Turns out I did. Also like many, after the first few months of pure visual joy, I got incepted with the idea of AP. A couple years later, I am using a DSLR, a ZWO ASI 224MC and recently a TV Powermate 2.5x. These have all been incrementally improving the quality of my shots, which are planetary only for now. The big elephant in the room is that this specific OTA is not ideal for AP, especially planetary. However I am thinking of moving on to the next step, and acquiring an HEQ5, to convert and put the Dob 8" OTA on it for visual and AP. Here is where I would like your opinion. Do you think that would be a waste? I have heard that this tube being so big, heavy and bulky, would push the HEQ5 at its limits for visual, and a NO NO for AP, especially with heavy powermates and the ZWO on it. Is that true? And, assuming it is true, should I completely ditch the Dob, and focus on choosing a new better OTA? I was hoping to do that incrementally for practical and monetary reasons, for example this year doing the conversion, and 1-2 years from now getting a proper tube. However if it turns out to be a waste, I would like to avoid that path. Honest opinions will be appreciated. Thanks in advance, Alex
  18. I am building a newtonian reflector telescope, and I could use some help. This is my first DIY telescope, so I am pretty unprepared and don't know where to buy some stuff, namely optics. I am planning on going for a 8" aperture, but I can't find a website that sells mirrors. What website or sites has good quality mirrors but isn't to expensive, and what mirror coating is best? All help is appreciated, thank you in advance!
  19. I've been given a lovely Dobsonian, the balance isn't quite right, I need slightly more weight at the back, how do I alter the weight? Also, I need advice in collimating it, without a collimator, is there any other way to get it all sorted? Thanks in advance.
  20. Skywatcher Skyliner 150P Dobsonian Perfect first scope - simple to setup and use. Used Skywatcher Skyliner 150P Newtonian telescope on a Dobsonian base. Excellent condition. Comes complete with fnderscope, boxed 2x Barlow, Super 10mm and 25mm eyepieces plus a Meade 9.7mm Plossl eyepiece. £150. Inspection welcome. Collection only from Rushden, Northamptonshire.
  21. Hi stargazers! I don't have a DSLR, but I have expensive mirrorless camera so I need wide lens on top of the eyepiece. I need at least 65 degree fov. I did research but I still didn't find anything good. Luminous Thank you in advance!
  22. Hi, I bougth a skywatcher skyliner 200p (a newtonian dobsonian telescope) and I should receive it in 2 weeks. Since I know nothing yet of the practicalities of astronomy I wonder what accessories I should get initially for it if any. I would love to hear your advice. Collimation : From what I gathered, collimation seems a necessary thing to perform, even with new telescope, right? I read a lot of good and bad thing about laser and only good thing about cheshire. Since I ll be alone operating the telescope, which one should I get if any ? a cheshire like this one https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Ascension-1-25-Short-Cheshire-Collimation-Eyepiece-UK/322431518490?hash=item4b126a871a:g:VYkAAOSwWxNYrXEi or a laser (in which case which one would you recommend )? Any resources on how to perform collimation. That sounds a bit scary Finders: I heard a lot about telrad and I am considering one is a rigel quickfinder similar or better ? (https://www.firstlightoptics.com/finders/rigel-quikfinder-compact-reflex-sight.html) Can these be installed without hassle on my skywatcher ? I also heard that the default straight finder installed on the skywatcher is not very nice to use as you need to bend yourself (and the image is inverted) Should I get a right angle one like : https://www.firstlightoptics.com/finders/skywatcher-9x50-right-angled-erecting-finderscope.html How would I install it? Is it as simple as replacing the straight one ? precise finding In order to find objects in the sky, I though first to buy a push to telescope like the orion xt8i but because of the price, I decided to go with the simple skywatcher skyliner 200p. This now means I have to learn to navigate in the sky, which is probably a good thing anyway. Finders helps here but to be precise, I thought about "setting circles" and inclinationmeters but these would require some time to built it and attach it. What do you think? Any good resources ? Probably something I can reconsider later? I might instead try the "skeye" app (https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.lavadip.skeye) but I ll need to find a way to fix my phone on the telescope. Protection / care: Is there any precaution I should take when storing my telescope (while not in use)? Any useful accessories ? Filters: Since the moon is such easy target and fascinating on its own. should I get a moon filter ? What about planetary filter, are they worth it ? Any other thing I should consider getting ? Any recommended books ? Cheers Ronan
  23. Skywatcher 14” FlexTube Dobsonian GOTO with extras Skywatcher Skyliner 350P 14" F/4.5 FlexTube GOTO for sale. Comes with : Skywatcher PowerTank 17Ah. Heater strip on the secondary mirror. does NOT come with the Dew Controller. Telrad Finder and Telrad Riser Base. Skywatcher 9x50 Finderscope 25mmSkywatcher Super Plossl eyepiece Skywatcher 2x Barlow lens. Dual-Speed 2" Crayford Focuser with 1.25" adapter Astrozap light shroud for Skywatcher FlexTube Cheshire Collimating Eyepiece Laser Collimating Eyepiece. this a big scope with great views. can be used as a goto or a push to scope. in excellent condition. The scope can be assembled and disassembled in about 10 minutes or so. £1250 Buyer collects. Nottingham Area. Thanks EDIT: Decided to put a reason why I am selling this scope. It's been a fabulous scope (some of you folks may have seen it at the last SGL star party). But fitting this and my 11" sct in the car is a massive squeeze (I did have a 9.25 at SGL and just managed it, with the tents and stuff). So I have decided regrettably to sell. More images can be arranged, and by all means come and view it (no obligation).
  24. Hello, after deciding on getting a dobsonian either a 150p or 200p I was wondering if anyone leaves their dobsonian outside?. Obviously I won’t be leaving it uncovered, I was hoping if there are any special all weather covers? So I can just leave it all assembled.I do have some room left in my garage but might be a tight fit . I was also thinking of getting a bag like this ( something a bit bigger) http://www.ikea.com/gb/en/products/textiles-rugs/outdoor-textiles/tosterö-storage-bag-for-cushions-black-art-20292328/?cid=gb|ps|pla||||. I’d wrap it up in dust sheets or something as well. I really want to get one of those dobs but I’m struggling on where I can store it. And please would someone confirm the weights for me Ive seen the 150p dob is about 7kg is and the 200p is about 9kg and the base being around 10kg for both is this correct?
  25. For sale is my beautiful 10" custom Dobsonian that featured in the Sky at Night Magazine How To Build a Dobsonian Telescope This unusual instrument can be used as a Dobsonian or attached to a suitable mount using its standard tube rings and dovetail bar. The telescope is in fantastic condition with an immaculate mirror - There are three tiny scratches on the tube (NOT the optics!!) as pictured below. The optical tube is fully flocked inside to increase contrast and the standard focuser (included in the sale if you want it) has been replaced with a beautiful mint condition Baader SteelTrack Crayford focuser. A matching 9 x 50 finderscope is included and this has a 90 degree adaptor that can be used (optionally). The well built Dobsonian mount includes an altazimuth scale and lubber line. The rotating table has a bubble level and the base has adjustable height feet for easy set-up on any type of ground. The original box that the telescope came in is included. Collection only, from West Sussex **SOLD PENDING COMPLETION** Whole System Dobsonian Base Altazimuth Scale Finderscope Baader SteelTrack Focuser Tiny Scratches
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