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First light - mixed feelings


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Hi folks, tonight was the first night using my new skyliner 200p DOB, i have to say it was full of highs and lows, Having allowed a good hour cool down time i decided to start getting a feel for the scope by looking at the moon, i started with the 25mm ep, this gave me good views and allowed me to focus in and out to get used to the focuser, which i found very smooth, the views were great, i then switch to the 10mm ep, i was blown away by the detail, i was able to nudge around the moon looking at different areas, which was great practice nudging the Dob,all was well and got even better when i switched my attention to Saturn, i used the finder to slew round to have a look, i focused in, then put the 10mm ep in, the view was outstanding, i could clearly see the rings, it was a definate WOW moment, and then things started to go down hill, i lost Saturn when i over nudged, i tried finding it again, got saturn in the cross hairs in the finder scope, went back to the ep but no Saturn, from this point on the finder scope kept changing its alignment, i went to and fro so many times i had to pack up because of severe backache and neck ache, i found the finder scope an absolute nightmare to use, the first thing im going to buy is a right angle finder scope, the second thing im going to do is build a plinth for the scope to stand on, the back and neck ache is'nt something i want to repeat, in conclusion, i thought the views that i did get were great, the scope is going to make me very happy, i just need to iron out a few niggles, thanks for reading this, clear skies. Dave

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sounds like maybe your finder scope wasn't seated properly between its 3 pins, so the slightest touch moved it. Also, they're not really accurate enough to consistently get a small object like saturn within a 10mm eyepiece. A larger finder might help.

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j have a bad back, a Telrad and a raci , they are a god send. However they all need to be accurately set if you want to locate an object in a 10mm. Good luck, it'll be worth it.,

Bart

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tel rad for a dob is must or a good RDF a sturdy homemade plinth makes your viewing so much nicer my friend had the same issue with his and once the plinth was made it was alot easier on de old back as for the finder there ok but can be a pain when trying to find stuff straight up thats were a RA finder is very handy, but you got a great scope to get you going just hang in there and you will be rewarded pick up a good star atlas and a red torch too :(

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Once you lose your target it's a good idea to go back to your lowest mag EP and work back up from there.

As has been said, getting a finder scope set up to be accurate for a 10mm EP is tricky.

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I would recommend a Telrad. Easy to align, easier to use. When I combine it with an iphone planetarium app that has the option to use the Telrad circles in it, there's no target I can't find that is visible in my scope. It's such a simple thing, but works brilliantly. I was going to get a RACI finder as well, but after putting the Telrad in I found no need tbh.

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Hi Dave- thanks for the report - we all like reading other peoples viewing reports whether they're good or bad and don't forget we're probably not seeing the sky at its best at the moment as we won't really reach full astronomical darkness again until the end of July so thinking of it this way the best is still to come.

I agree with what the other members have said in light of improving your viewing experience - I have a bad back aswel but now don't have any issues with using the Dob - same one as yours so it can be made better - just to reiterate a few things that might help

A telrad is @ £35 but get a 4 Inch riser aswel - this lifts it up from the OTA so you don't have to stoop so low.

A right angle finder is another alternative

The best thing I got in this respect was a viewing chair - just an ironing stool from Amazon for @ £25 but now no bending down at all.

A semi water butt helps as well - their plastic, light and sturdy but raise the scope about 15 Inches off the ground - some people use small inexpensive sturdy tables as well if you'd rather stand than sit (helps in the back garden as well as elevates the tube to see more over the trees and fences)

Finding objects is always better with a lower power (and if possible wider angle) lens then moving to a higher power E/P - if you lose it in the high power E/P you may well need to start the process again but something to look out for is that you haven't over tightened the bolt that holds the two Dob bases together - if you've over tightened this it will make the Azimuth (lateral) movement of the scope very jerky which won't help when you have high power lens in - this can be further improved by Modding your scope with a lazy Susan plate that makes the Azimuth motion even more fluid- perhaps you might want to consider that a little down the line when you've got more comfortable with your equipment.

Last thing to say to give you some more confidence with your scope - a few months ago I was in exactly the same position as you - now I love this scope - so much to see and learn - just persevere and relax your already on the right track

good luck

Steve

Edited by stevetynant
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I agree totally with Telrad - will help a lot. also seated observing makes life a lot more comfortable.

re your finder, it may be that you have not used the little rubber O ring that comes with it. the ring sits in a little groove in the finder tube just near the front end of the finder bracket when the finder is in place. this makes all the difference to holding finder position.

keep at it, you'll love the scope when used to it.

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The great thing about Dobs is that they are very easy to modify and how you do that is a personal thing, what you may like someone else won't but don't be afraid to add/swap bits to it.

Like others have said a Telrad or Rigel Quikfinder will make life a lot easier also being seated makes you more relaxed so improves the views you get.

As soon as I binned my finder for Telrad life got a lot easier and I enjoyed myself more.

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I have a RACI for my dob - makes things a lot easier on the neck area :(

I often read peoples comments regarding Telrads on threads like this but I have never tried one as I have a "push to". One question I would ask the Telrad owners is how it performs in suburban skies where there is substantial LP ?????

Edited by Alan_B
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I live in quite poor LP and find it essential nonetheless. even where I live I can see the main magnitude 1-3 stars and this helps to align the scope in context with the maps and this then allows me to transfer to the RACI to compare with the star map.

I use both and would not be without them.

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Thanks for the feedback folks, please don't think that my niggles lastnight has put me off, i had a great night although there were niggles, i love my scope and certainly look forward to using it again, once the painkillers set in i had a closer look at the finder and found the O ring had come out of the groove when i installed it and only half of it had entered the tube the finder slides into, im hoping this is the cause of it changing alignment throughout the evening, im going to realign it before it gets dark tonight, ive acquired a sturdy table to sit the DOB, on for now, i do enjoy standing when observing, thanks for the advice on using the lower power ep when finding the object,i was dropping back to the 25mm anyway, but still great advice.

the clouds dont look to good here at the moment, fingers crossed things will improve. clear skies. Dave

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Telrad will sort this out do not get a red dot finder they just as bad
Aren't Telrads red dot finders? I realize it uses circles. I use the term generically and includes Telrads and the likes. :( Edited by Carbon
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I found getting a right-angled finder made life a lot easier in the back and neck, I can also remain seated whilst switching between this and the eyepiece.

It looks like you found the problem with the finder losing it's adjustment so lets hope this makes things easier.

Once aligned I have found mine seems to stay in perfect alignment, although I leave mine on the tube so it doesn't get knocked whilst taking it off and on.

Edited by Kevin C
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My view (for what it's worth) is that Telrads and RDFs are not the answer if the naked eye visisibility of your observing site is worse than mag 5. On most average nights there simply won't be sufficient visible stars to navigate by. A RI finder, preferably 50mm, is essential.

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My view (for what it's worth) is that Telrads and RDFs are not the answer if the naked eye visisibility of your observing site is worse than mag 5. On most average nights there simply won't be sufficient visible stars to navigate by. A RI finder, preferably 50mm, is essential.

I agree, RA/RI finder is very useful in these situations. Also, reason why I also added a manual degree circle on the base and a digital angle finder to my dob. I get coordinates from Sky Safari on my iPod. As long as the base is dead level I get objects in the FOV of my 32mm EP every time.

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I have both a Telrad and a RACI finder on my 10" Dob and wouldn't be without either.

From a light polluted sky the Telrad puts you close then you can zero in with the optical finder, and from dark skies, often just the Telrad is enough on its own.

Although it is often fun to see what objects the optical finder will show.:hello2:

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As above I use a Telrad, this is usually sufficient to find anything in conjunction with a low power eyepiece.

Before I had the Telrad I'd set my finder on Polaris, centre it in a low power eyepiece then switch to a high power eyepiece then centre that in my finder crosshairs.

Was absolutely bang on for everything.

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