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Hi everyone! Just joined and this is my first post so just want to firstly say hello and compliment everyone on such a great forum. I've been lurking in the shadows so to speak for the last few weeks

HI There, Warm welcome to SGL. Great choice for the first scope, keep some pennies by for a copy of 'turn left at orion' and 'sky & telescope pocket star atlas'... Also worth downloading a planeta

welcome to SGL Paul

Thanks Welrod, I will definately be making the collimator my first purchase. I've been reading up on it and read Astro Babys guide and it does seem clear but I imagine it being quite fiddly. I just wondered are the laser ones easier than the chesire non laser? I watched a video demo on a laser one on youtube and it looked too easy (compared to Astro Babys guide).

Also I was reading up about eyepieces and I don't want to go spending ridiculous amounts on eyepieces to start with - but at the same time I don't want to buy cheap rubbish. I'm thinking a 5mm and 16mm to go with the ones supplied and then getting a 2x barlow? Budget wise maybe up to £50 per piece? I read that the 200p dob being a "fast" scope (sorry I don't actually understand what that means) that I need better quality eyepieces as cheaper ones show up badly.

Thanks again everyone for you kind advice.

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Hi Paul and welcome to the forum. Congratulations on ordering your new scope and so let's hope the weather can be king for you (and your daughter) on trying out this great scope!

Clear skies


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Paul, I've not used a Cheshire collimator although the idea is the same. I tend to prefer the laser variant as it is a bit easier for me to 'follow' but the only downside is that the beam must come out straight and if it doesn't then you need to collimate the collimator! This however is itself a simple task. Mine was out very very slightly when I had it and you will find tutorials on the web about how to sort it. It took me literally two minutes and is something you can mess about happily with on those dark cloudy nights ;) I know a lot of folks on here prefer Cheshire collimators, and perhaps someone else will chip in with some advice :)

Eyepiece wise, I personally would shy away from anything beyond 5mm as the seeing in this country is rarely good enough to allow such high magnifications. I have a 4mm TMB planetary which gets used every time I go out. I can count on one hand the times it has given me excellent views though. My personal view is that you should look towards a good quality 16mm EP and a good quality barlow. This will then give you an 8mm EP with barlow lens and I'm assuming you've got a 10mm and 25mm already with the scope so you will have a good range. With optics you tend to get what you pay for, so if you can stretch a bit beyond £50 for the barlow it will be worth it.

Finally, a 'fast' scope os one with a wider aperture. My 130 PDS is an f5 which is pretty wide, hence allows more light in but can be a bit softer. The same principle as camera lenses. A Maksutov with lets say, a slower f13 aperture will allow less light in but will give slightly sharper views. Faster is better for deep space and slower is usually better for planetary. Of course, there are exceptions to this general rule, but at a very high price tag indeed.

HTH :)

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Thanks Welrod. I really appreciate you taking your time to explain all that.

Mate, you're most welcome ;)

That scope will be a good light gathering instrument and should give superb views, especially at a good dark sky site.


Oh, and while I think on, as and when you do collimate the scope, go easy on the secondary mirror - basically follow the tips here and on you tube videos etc. I tried to be clever first time round with my previous scope and it took me an hour to put it right. It's not a problem, just don't mess with the secondary too much! (I rotated mine and screwed it too far inwards too - don't ask why) :rolleyes:

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Well after deciding on Tuesday to buy the 200p Dobsonian I phoned Phil at Phil Burton Photography on Tuesday night. He told me the scope would be with me by Friday. It arrived at my workplace on Thursday in two very large boxes - I was surprised by how fast I received them and even the Fed Ex guy wondered what the hell was in the boxes "Is that a big camera you got?" he asked. "Something like that" I replied. Despite the cloudy skies I couldn't wait to get home to build it and get a good like at this thing!

Boxes in my workplace

As soon I as got home (and trying to contain my excitement from the wife - does anyone else do this? When your bursting with excitement but you put the boxes to the side and cooly say "I'll open it after dinner" when really you want to tear into it?) Once opened I realised just what a beast of a telescope this was. It was huge. I kinda prepared myself for it but you still get that "wow" factor when you lift that telescope tube from the box. It was extremely easy to put together - much more so than the ikea furniture that is the lengths of my manly building ability. I waited til the wife was bathing the kids to keep them out the way but it was up in no time at all. Even the wife was impressed and brought a wee smile to her face - whereas before all I got was "and where are you putting that thing?!".

Daugther comparing the size to herself

My eldest has shown a bit of interest in my telescope was gobsmacked at the size of it.

Just can't wait until the clouds clear and we get proper look through this. Fingers crossed and reports look good for tomorrow and Monday!

I've even named the scope "Bellatrix" as my daughter Bella (Isabella) likes to think its her star.

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