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Help me to spend cash wisely please :)


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Hi, I have a 14" dob which I am in the process of selling. I wish to get into astro imaging. I have around 2K to spend but that would have to include everything I need to get started and last for some considerable time. I have a laptop and decent lenses. Can I get some equipment advise please . Thanks .

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How serious is this imaging likely to be?

Beverley is probably too far but getting to the SW Astro Fair at NLO Sidmouth would show that many there use WO Megrez 72's on EQ5's with goto or at least dual motors. This set up - substituting a WO 71mm for the 72 - would be a simple inexpensive set up that would produce reasonable images depending on the work put in by you.

Next would be a better mount = HEQ5 with goto. More solid and takes more weight. Means you could add guiding in the future.

Next step would be a better scope. Up to you triplet refractor, RC, Mak Newtonian or astrograph. Not cheap but a step up from the WO which is a doublet.

As the SW fair is about a month off if you could make it then talking to them would be useful. los of people, helpful and lots of equipment (biggest single collection of WO Meg 72's I have seen), but I guess a 6 hour, more likely 7 hour, trip one way.

If you means lenses = eyepieces forget them. AP is prime focus.

Do you have a DSLR, if not then you will need one or a dedicated camera. A fair dedicated camera seems to be the ZW Optics ASI 1200 Colour at ~£230 from 365Astronomy. Ask about this first on the forum.

Spending your cash for you is easy, it is the wisely part that is the more difficult.

Edited by ronin
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while £2000 sounds a lot (and to me it is), when you're talking a.p. It'll get chewed up quite quickly.

I think with a £2k budget this would be a good scope/mount starting point

http://www.firstlightoptics.com/pro-series/skywatcher-evostar-80ed-pro-heq5-pro.html

I would also be looking at guiding with this as a guide scope

http://www.firstlightoptics.com/startravel/skywatcher-startravel-80-ota.html

and this as a guide cam

QHY5L-II Planetary / Guide Camera - From £169.00

http://www.modernastronomy.com/camerasGuider.html

Then you'll want an imaging camera... with this budget, forget ccd's . allow about £300 for a canon dslr (i say canon as their software is well supported).

I'm guessing i'm at around £1800 so that leaves £200 for bits and bobs such as leads, power, filters etc. and then you'll want to spend more.

Best advice....Get the book make every photon count £20

Hope this helps

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Thanks for the replies , Unfortunatley Sidmouth is too far away. I don't have a car and I do all my astronomy in the back yard. I'll be starting this from scratch so I want to get it right first time. I like the Skywatcher Evostar 80ED DS-Pro & HEQ5 PRO combo as a starting point. I have just acquired the suggested book, Making Every Photon Count and I love how easy it is to read , being a noobie :smiley: .

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Do you really need to sell the DOB? While your soon to be purchased imaging rig is busy collecting photons it will leave you with a bit of time on your hands, what better way than to get some observing in. Just a thought :)

Edited by Lorne
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Although the Dob is awesome and I will be sad to see it go, I need the funds from it to go towards the new kit. I'd love to have both , but my other half wouldn't be too happy having 2 scopes around the house. Although I am also going to have 2 sheds built in the garden , one with a removable roof and the other as a warm room, it wouldn't be big enough for both.

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