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bibbsy

very wet behind the ears.

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hi everyone,just started up in the hobby so i have much to learn,i purchased the skyliner 200p dob a couple of weeks ago but i am having problems finding anything of interest,other than the obvious...the moon and jupiter,i wanted to get one of the goto scopes but was advised to go with the dob as its a better scope for the money i had to spend,after spending a very frustrating 2 wks in the garden ive decided that i really do need the goto system,i was going to buy the EQ5 synscan goto mount but was offered the HEQ5 for not a great deal of difference in price as it was the x display piece of kit,so im now waiting for the mount to arrive,my question is,do i now have a good set up to be able to view all there is to view (within reason) once i start to learn more i would love to get into astro photography,will the set up i have be ok for this side of the hobby,at the moment i only have a bog standard digital camera so im guessing that i'll need a much better camera,not in a hurry for this but any pointers that members could give me will be very much appreciated.thanks in advance for any help and advice :)

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Hi Bibbsy,

Welcome to SGL. I have the 200pds on an EQ5 synscan GoTo. To answer your question, its swings and roundabouts, what you gain on the one hand you lose on the other. The dob is great for a beginner. Its the best for learning the sky, simple to use and easy to set up. The HEQ5 Synscan is what you need for photography because you can track objects which you can't with the dob, however they are complicated to set up and use and very frustrating when it doesn't slew to what you asked it to....you can spend many hours wondering why this is and trying to sort it out, ou will find many threads here on that subject!!!

Take a look at and bookmark this you will be referring to it a lot. Before you consider photography, I woulsd spend a few months learning to observe and then you wilol be in a good position to advance.....most of all have fun

Jiggy

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hi cosmological,thanks,i have the star chart and a few books but was no help to me lol,as i said....very much to learn :)

Edited by bibbsy

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Hi bibbsy, welcome aboard. I started with a goto setup, spent ages trying to get it sorted and ended up using it as a very awkward dob. Be patient, there is plenty to see, learning to find stuff makes the whole job more rewarding. Has anyone suggested stellarium? Very useful bit of software.

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hi pauly,thank you,i'll check that out,hmmmmm patience,i had better learn that too lol :)

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Stellarium is great, and starcharts with a red torch are a must. Silly to point out, but ensuring that your finder is VERY well lined up with your scope is worth the effort, just find an easy target like jupiter or polaris, and get them center of your main scope, then adjust the finder to suit. Double and triple check it to make sure the target didn't drift too far while you were adjusting.

Moving around can be tricky with the old flip-reverse stuff, takes a while to get your head around, but you shouldn't need to do too much.

Easiest way to find stuff is to get as close as you can by using a well aligned finder, then use a wide low power eyepiece in the main scope, you should be in the general ballpark, and a quick scan in each direction should find you your target, albeit at a low magnification. Center up the target, then switch to your preferred viewing eyepiece.

Try M31 (aka Andromeda). It was the first thing that isn't visible to the naked eye (not in my garden anyway) that i managed to find by star hopping.

I probably took a convoluted route, but i imagined a line from the wider angled point on the "W" of Cassiopeia down to jupiter. About halfway along that line and slightly to the left is a bright star (named Mirach). I looked just a little bit higher than Mirach, there were another 2 stars in a line above Mirach and just above and to the right of the higher star, was a tiny grey smudge (I was looking through 21mm binos lol).

Stick with it, spend some time just getting familiar with how the stars look in the sky, because as handy as star charts are, they don't give a good idea of distances, colours, and angles etc since they are two dimensional.

They're much easier to use when you don't need to be like "Right, i gotta find that shape in the sky, 3 bright stars in a line, then come off that line at a right angle and i'l see a bright star named Betelgeuse, then i can hop from there", instead you'l be like "Ahh yes i know that shape, and i can hop from that orange star near it"

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hi jimmy,thanks very much,tried the star chart above my head a few times,it ended up being a Frisbee :) im now going to try what you advise,but hope to have the heq5 goto mount by wednesday so hope life will become easier for me :p

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Hi Bibbsy and welcome to SGL :)

For a list of the best current objects in the sky take a copy of Sky at Night or Astronomy Now magazines. There's a center page pull out with a description of interesting objects to see. Also Turn Left at Orion is a good book for finding your first 100 objects.

To help with pointing download Stellarium and get a setting circle for the dob base and a Wixey magnetic angle guage - this will provide a very effective and accurate system for finding stuff.

Then you need to learn which eyepieces to choose for viewing different types of objects. Some easy ones are M45, M31, Jupiter, M42 (in the early hours), Alberio, and I'm sure someone will offer a few more. Astronomy is a lot about patience and learning.

Good luck and enjoy the forum :p

Edited by brantuk

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Hi

It does take a while to get used to any telescope. I'm on my second and it was a bit of a shock going from an eq mount to an auto dob earlier this year. Just beginning to get used to it now. Persevere if you can as it's worth it. Also worth finding some local like minds or pop along to an astro camp - everyone's always full of helpful advice on here as well :)

Don't be disheartened! If it was easy it'd be boring :p

Steve

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Anyone interested in imaging should get a copy of Steve Richards "Making Every Photon Count" (FLO £19.95). It is a very comprehensive book on what you need and why you need it to achieve the standard of imaging that will meet your expectations. Scopes that are great for observing don't necessarily make ideal scopes for imaging. Imaging planets and the moon can be done via a webcam, the best 'frames' stacked to create a composite image and can be done on any scope setup. Deep Sky Objects (DSO's) such as galaxies, nebula etc however, will require accurate tracking to capture pin point stars during long exposures and so therefore any effective imaging starts at the mount, the minimum being an HEQ5. All this is explained in the above book and though modestly priced, it will actually save you money in the longer term.

Good pictures don't come cheap and if I had a pound for every person who claimed they only want to dabble in imaging but who then later go on to develop it further, I might be able to afford to do it myself! :):D Lots of free software to help with the processing but there also great bits of software that will need to be paid for so budget is the key to avoid future frustration.

James

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