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Found 105 results

  1. Hi! I really want to get into watching the night sky. After a looking at the scopes that are available in my country, I chose to buy a SW Explorer 200P (haven't yet) and build a homemade dobsonian base. I really like the aesthetics of the Orion Sky-quest dobsonian bases, so I draw a really similar design to fit the SW scope I want to buy. But while drawing it, I had tons of questions and I hope you can help me. First of all, I just could get some aproximate measures of the parts of the scope out of the internet. If any of you has one of these SW reflectors, I would really appreciate if you can take some measurements for me to make the design more precise. Specially I really need the thickness and size of the holes of the rings. About the bearing surfaces, I can't get anywhere the Teflon pads you usually use. What can I use to replace them? Also, what about the radius of the altitude bearings, Is it important? Finally, which should be the height of a dobsonian mount? I don't want to be bent over to be able to see comfortably, nor I want it to be too tall. Is it supposed to be used on a stool or something? I will really appreciate any other tip you can give me. I have never had a telescope, neither have I seen a dob mount. So I can be making a big mistake trying to convert this OTA to use with a dobsonian mount. Anyway thank you very much. Cheers from Argentina Almost forgot to add some pics of the 3D design I made!
  2. Hi all I purchased a skywatcher 200p dobsonion from first light optics a few weeks back. During assembly I found that the package containing side handle and the tension control handle is missing. I have contacted the first light optics but they are not sure when and how they are going to make it available for me. Does anyone of you have these to spare??
  3. The first two photos were taken using my BST StarGuider 3.2mm ED EP. The middle one was using a 25mm MA EP. The last two were taking with a 10mm MA EP. I was just holding the phone to the eyepiece, using the zoom and exposure compensation. I have no control of the ISO with this phone, even using the Open Camera app.
  4. After a long wait (ordered on May, received it on August) I finally received my new baby The scope is the Sumerian Optics Alkaid, 12 inches version (300mm). http://www.sumerianoptics.com/products-price/ It was ordered from Teleskop Express (DE) It's a bit expensive for a dobsonian telescope, but I was really looking into something very portable. The "fold into a hand-luggage compliant suitcase" feature is really amazing. Not many airline companies do actually allow so much weight (16 KG), but still you can find a few, and I'm gonna see what happens on my next trip in Italy in a couple of days. I haven't yet used it a lot, due to weather, moon, and laziness but these are my first impressions: Unboxing The scope was very well packaged, it was a mess to cleanup the house with all that foam peanuts This of course is all very nice for transport, what was less nice is that all this, and the protective cotton over the mirrors, did create a lot of dust and filaments all over the mirrors. Nothing serious, cleaned most of it with a little air pump, but they might think of a different protection layer for the mirrors. Assembling The first time you read through the provided manual, get it wrong on a few steps, but overall instructions are clear enough, and most of the pieces can be mounted in one way only, so it's quite straightforward. Mounting the suitcase back requires some attention too, but there are instructions for this as well, so it's easy. After doing it a couple of times, you can really assemble and disassemble the whole thing in a matter of 5/10 minutes. Collimation This is where I'm still having some problems. Some of them due to the scope it self, but some might also be because of my inexperience with it, and with the Cheshire tool (I was previously using laser collimators on smaller newtonians). The secondary collimation is quite straightforward. I'm still having some minor issues in aligning it to the focuser, but with more experience it should get better. The primary is what troubles me most. Both the secondary and the primary use a two screws system. The third one is fixed, and you should align it by moving the other two. This in theory should work, but it seems that the two screws don't have enough run to compensate for major misalignments. Also, the screws movement is quite irregular, and after a few tries, one of them became very very hard to move. I will try again using some grease, otherwise I might think of replacing them with some plain old allen keys. Movements and stability Movements seem to be quite smooth. The scope is also provided with a shock cord "counterweight" system for balancing heavier eyepieces. I don't have any (yet), but I'm planning to buy a 1KG ep with a big FOV, so I tested balancing with a 1KG counterweight attached to the focuser, and it seems to hold on quite well. I also bought a third shock cord in addition to the two provided, just in case I need more traction. Red dot finderscope Mixed feelings with this: it certainly looks nice, and it also has a green setting (for daily usage/bright objects I guess?). But to align it you need an allen key (included), which feels a bit uncomfortable, and the window doesn't seem clear enough, blocking too much light, so it's a bit difficult to point at faint objects/stars. The finderscope is also too close to the tube, so it's not very comfortable. I will have a few more runs, and then decide if I want to replace it with a different one (I have a Celestron Starpointer Pro, which I have used with quite some satisfaction). Light shroud There is a little shroud provided, but honestly I haven't even tried it, I really didn't like the idea of an open truss. Instead, I sewed a full length shroud using some lycra cloth. I added some magnets to the top and bottom of the telescope, in order to keep the shroud in place. First light I had a quite unlucky first light, actually. There was too much dew, and the moon rose slightly after 11 pm. I just made it to view a couple of objects (easly resolved polaris b, the ring nebula), but the eyepieces got quickly covered with dew. In a way that was also useful though, since I both tested that my light shroud protected quite well the primary mirror (no sign of dew in there), and the built in anti-dew of the secondary, that in 5 minutes cleared it out. Overall impressions I still have to familiarise with it, particularly with the collimation, but I am really satisfied with this setup. The portability side is quite amazing, I could put it in the back of a quite small car, with lots of room to spare! I'm looking forward to a few more detailed tests over the next few weeks, in a fairly darker spot. I'm a bit worried about the airplane trip, but we'll see about that...
  5. Found various threads on here and other forums about flocking dobsonians/newtonians but couldn't find specific images of disassembly of the very popular SkyWatcher Heritage 130p flextube and flocking of the OTA. So having ordered some DC-Fix black velour sticky back material (can be got from various places including FLO) I thought i'd share some photos of the process from start to finish as it may help someone else in the future... Images below with notes... 1. Focuser and shield flocking This was the easy bit. A strip stuck inside the focuser, and just unscrew the shield, draw round it, cut the material and align and smooth down. In the last image above you can already see the significant improvement on reducing reflections comparing the flocked shield to the unflocked tube... Notice my version of Bob's Knobs on the secondary mirror which are just black steel M4 25mm knurled thumbscrews bought off ebay for about £7 - along with the thumbscrews already on the 130P primary mirror this makes any fine collimation easy and completely tool free! For full stealth mode I've also painted the edge and rear of the secondary mirror, and any exposed screw heads with blackboard paint to reduce reflections. 2. OTA disassembly and tube before Note the cutout in the lower primary housing and the top ring. This aligns with the ridge of the tube seam, and means there is only one way to reassemble the telescope tube and mirror and one place for the handful of screws (4 at the bottom, 3 at the top). You'll also need an allen key to remove the 3 bolts for the dovetail mount. Simple! Now you're ready to Flock 'N' Roll! 3. Flocking the tube You'll need approx. 50cmx29cm of the material to do the tube in one go, starting along the seam. As others have described just take your time here, peel off about an inch of the backing and get the edge aligned with the tube seam stick down firmly and smooth out any air bubbles. Then slowly keep peeling more backing (rip and remove if the excess gets in the way) and smooth down as you go, turning the tube and affixing the velour material. 4. Finished flocking and close up during application so you can see contrast/reflection comparison of before and after. All in all only took around an hour so not a hard job as long as you prepare and concentrate! I ordered one sheet of 45cm x 1m material which was plenty, however if your not as confident you'll get it right first time then order 2m so you have more to spare if you need to start again. Looks great, so as always I now just need clear skies to go play and see the difference it makes!
  6. I recently decided to give the SynScan app a try on my new Orion XT10g. Now using the hand controller I was familiar with the "Brightest Star" and "Two-Star" alignments methods, indeed I always use the Two-Star method. With the app however I see that the Two-Star has been replaced with the level north two star. What is that? And since there's no manual for the app, what precisely does level north mean? I'm guessing that you level the OTA and point north but with what precision? Any idea why that replaces the Two-Star method from the hand controller? OK, so fine. I did the Level North alignment. I noticed that as it goes to each of the two stars and stops, while waiting for you to center the star, a couple of the directional buttons are flashing. What's interesting is that the ones flashing are not the ones for the direction that the scope needs to move to center the star. Again, what's up with this? Finally, after aligning and doing a Goto (reasonably accurate), once it arrives at the target again, one of the directional buttons is flashing and there's a message above the object name that says that I'm to center it. Huh? Can someone help me make sense of all this. And, is there a manual for this app ?? Thanks.
  7. I recently purchased an Orion XT10g which will be replacing my Evolution mounted EdgeHD 8 and a 10" Zhummel Dob. This scope will give me the extra aperture that the Zhummel has as well as the tracking and GoTo of the Evolution. I made a few upgrades before I took it out for its first night under the stars... Center spotted the primary with Catseye's Hotspot (already have set of their collimation tools) Installed Protostar FlockBoard along the full length of the tube Replaced the focuser with a Moonlight CR focuser Added a couple Farpoint lifting straps Added Bob's Knobs to the secondary holder. Last night it had its first light. Overall I'm quite happy. Collimation was easy as expected using Catseye's tools. Alignment (two-star) was similarly quite quick and easy. Objects were found easily and well within, if not near the center of my lowest power, widest field eyepiece (17mm Ethos) Skies were clear and transparency was above average. Seeing wasn't the best so I kept to low powers. Very impressed with the optical quality. Using my GSO coma corrector I got near perfect images even at the edge of a 100º field of view. As was the case with my Zhummel Z10, the GSO corrector is plug-and-play. No need to do any adjusting or fiddling. Panning around via the hand controller was very smooth. No backlash noted. Now the only issue that I have is that the azimuth movement, manually that is, is very stiff. Stiff to the point of really not possible without toppling the whole scope over. I've already raised this concern with Orion and they are sending a new base out to me. I'm hopeful that issue will be fixed.
  8. 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:
  9. Hi all, I'm trying to get back into astronomy (had a Meade DS 2090 Mak when I was 10 but was too young to get into it) and I'm having a very hard time choosing a telescope. My main goal is to observe a bit of everything. Planets and the moon are great and I definitely would want to observe them, but my main focus would be DSO's. That being said, I would also like to have the possibility of doing some basic astrophotography afterwards. Not expecting to do 2 hours of long exposure and getting some insane images, but having a telescope (or rather a mount?) that can track would be nice to get some decent images. Basically, visual observation is a must, AP would be great but only basic, no need to get one JUST for that. I realize that visual observing and AP are 2 very different things, but my question is if it is possible to find something that is mainly used for VO and is somewhat capable (even if it's not great) to do AP with. Furthermore, a push to or goto would be fantastic as well since I'm not too familiar with the night sky. Is it really difficult to find DSOs yourself without reading and learning for hours and hours? My budget would be around 800 euros, that is everything included, telescope, mount, eyepieces etc... (If it's a little bit more than that that's fine as well). After hours of doubt and searching I thought the Orion Skyquest Xt8 Intelliscope would be good (push to) (around 750 euros), however being like most dobsonians, this one wouldn't track. This made me think : Should I rather look for a newtonian reflector with an EQ mount, or just give up my basic AP wish and go for a dobsonian that doesn't track? Some people have suggested to drop AP for now and go for the dob, is there a possibilty to upgrade later to make the dob work for AP, like putting it on an EQ mount, or would I have to buy a new telescope again? Any telescope, mount and added equipment like eyepieces and filter suggestions would be reaaaally appreciated, cause everything just feels overwhelming and I don't know what to look for anymore. Thanks in advance!!
  10. Hi,currently owned 70mm refractor, want to upgrade and many suggested me to get 6" dobsonian. The only 6" dob i can find in my country is GSO 150mm/1200mm dob (https://www.opticaluniversescientificinstrument.com/products/gso-6-dobsonian-telescope), is this brand and specs ok? My main targets is planet and moon, maybe some star, i wonder is it hard to imaging planets? ill be using ccd eyepiece connected to laptop. I live in malaysia city area, very less likely i will bring the scope to darker area because its pretty far from my home,and the scope quite big, so its dobsonian suitable for minor light population? I heard that that dobsonian can affected by weather and cooling the scope be a big issue? hope expert can give some advice. thanks
  11. 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?
  12. 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
  13. 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!
  14. 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? ?
  15. 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
  16. Hi again after thinking about getting the 130p dob I think I’ve change my mind and have decided to go for the bigger 200p as I’ve realised it’s not that bad to carry after looking at some videos. As I mentioned before I don’t really have a good telescope at the moment and have never seen Galaxies or Nebulae properly before. These are my main interests and objects I’ll be observing the most ( and maybe star clusters) . I was wondering if the 200p is good for this type of thing? I live in a south facing garden ( if that matters) and relatively low light pollution.I’ve also seen filters which you can buy to get the best view out of them but not really sure how they work. Or would I be better off getting a refractor? Thanks for the help.
  17. Hello again, After a lot of you gave me some good suggestions for what my first scope should be someone had suggested the Skywatcher a heritage 130p. I just wanted to know if anyone has had this scope and would to share your opinion/experience with it. I was looking something portable and under £200 and this seems to fit. But when scopes are usually this cheap sometimes they don’t perform that well. Also I wanted to ask is having a open tube a problem for dew etc. Many Thanks, Ps (here is the original post if you have anymore suggestions) someone had mentioned
  18. (Sorry for double posting hopefully one of the mods can delete my original post) Hello all, hope you’ve all had a good week, been a few clear skies this week . In the next couple of months I’m going to be purchasing the 200p Dobsonian. And doing some research people seem to struggle carrying the ota because of how awkward it is.I was wondering if anyone has successfully put handles on it to make it easier to carry or other solutions I have found this on eBay https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Awning-Pole-Storage-Bag-Deluxe-Hardwearing-Holdall-/142422407055?_trksid=p2385738.m4383.l4275.c10 not sure if it’s the right dimensions I’ve also seen people suggest heavy duty trolleys. But I have to use stairs to get to the garden so that’s kind of out the question ( and might need to make a 2 minute walk to a field). Any help would be appreciated and also if possible to post me some images of what you’ve done. I don’t really want to drill in the ota to make holes for a handle.
  19. I found a used Deep Space Explorer 8" for sale online. It comes with a collimator and several lenses, as well as a telrad finder scope. The price is lower than any Dobsonion I've seen before, $75. I am just getting started in the stargazing hobby, especially with telescopes, so I was wondering the opinion of you kind folks. Would this be worth buying? Why or why not? Thank you!
  20. Hey guys I've been interested in getting myself a fairly large dobsonian, but which is portable enough to carry alone ,I have an ancient 6-inch on an alt-azimuth mount(Quite the relic,belonged to my grandfather, but that's a story for another day, haha I've had my eye on the skyliner 250px for a while now,so I wanted to ask those of you who own a skyliner 250px,either normal or flextube versions, about the weight and size of the scopes in question,and about the weight(as written on the boxes they came in) and the size of those boxes. You see, I'm from Pakistan, and I'll be visiting the UK for a short time in a few weeks, and figured I would indulge myself and get a new telescope. Issue at hand is getting it back in the plane though, and if I could get some weights/measurements beforehand, you would make an astronomer very happy, haha. Oh, and suggestions are very welcome too, if you have any better ideas about what scope I should go for. I do apologize wholeheartedly if this is in the wrong section though, it seemed the most appropriate at the time, but I've not used this site a while, so i'm probably wrong, haha
  21. Hie folks, Wanted a mount for astrophotographt, but buying one for my 8" dob is really expensive. Nearly 3000$. I recently came across a dob dual axis eq platform. What would be your suggestions on this. ???It is a motorised dual axis dob platform with hand controls and costs about 550$. Yes il b using an autoguider to keep the object i want centered. Any suggestions...?? Please feel free to share youe thoughts.
  22. Attempt number 2 at processing Jupiter. Finding it incredibly frustrating trying to image with my current set up, so have invested in 'Making Every Photon Count' to help me decide what I should upgrade to! Composite image of Jupiter and 3 of its Galilean moons Canon 70d, 8" Dobsonian (prime focus and manually tracked) 1 x 30 sec video, stacked, for Jupiter I attempted eyepiece projection, but couldn't achieve focus... no doubt I am doing something wrong, but couldn't work out what!
  23. It is a solid tube scope made in the UK by Darkstar, probably in the mid to late 1990s. It comes with a Telrad finder and I can throw in a finderscope if you prefer. Focusser is a Skywatcher dual speed crayford. The build is that of a traditional dobsonian with a plywood rocker section which provides a solid foundation and smooth movement. The mirrors could do with re-coating, but are still quite usable. This scope could be well described as a light bucket; the optics are not great (maybe a half wave?) and are really only suitable for low power views. However, it is pretty good for deep sky viewing. From my pretty good location I have seen tricky objects such as three of Stephan's Quintet, the Flame nebula, M51's arms, NGC 5053, C17 and much more. The previous keeper to me used it for galaxy hunting and amassed an impressive catalogue of observations. The scope is just too big for me to use frequently and I tend to get out the ten inch instead. However, I hope it could make a good instrument for someone else. Obviously this is too big to post, so it is pick up from mid Wales (Llanwrtyd Wells) or Penarth. £250 or offers/trades.
  24. Hello again, After many hours of researching and asking on forums I’ve decided not to go down the imaging road as I’ve come to realise it’s way out of my budget. Now after realising this I’ve narrowed down to three telescopes that I’m considering on getting purely for visual use.. Skywatcher 150p 150pl or the dobsonian 200p. What is the difference between the 150p and the pl? I’m after something that can let me see enough detail on planets that I’ll enjoy and also allows me to get views of deep sky objects. I have been talking to Martin from FLO as well and still can’t decide. I’m hoping you can help me make my decision. I’d also like to know how comefortable these three are as I’ll be most likely doing long sessions for sketching. My budget is £400 max. Thanks for for the help (again).
  25. I've just received a 12" Lazy Susan bearing to see if I can ease the Azimuth movement on my 10" SkyWatcher Dob. Before I drilled any holes I thought I'd just put it in between the baseboards to see how it moved with the weight of the scope. Sure, it moves very freely and of course I'd have needed some kind of clutch to stop it flying around in the wind, but when it gets down to really fine movement, the cheep pressed steel bearing really isn't up to the job. I couldn't get the super-fine movement I had with the Teflon pads, it was just a wee bit too jerky. The Teflan pads are not as easy flowing but you get a load of control with Teflon if you apply some carefully applied muscle. That's two dob mods that haven't worked for me so far, caster wheels and now the lazy susan bearing. Next upgrade will definitely be something simple like an eyepiece.
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