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I have £150 of Amazon vouchers. Help me Choose some Accessories!


Xiga
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Hi Guys!

So then, as the title says, I have £150 of Amazon.co.uk vouchers to spend and with Autumn on the way i've decided to use it on Astronomy, rather than some useless gizmo or gadget that i don't need. I know Amazon is not the best place to buy Astro gear from, but i'm not rich and with Astronomy being such as expensive hobby it would really help if i could spend the vouchers for this purpose.

Here is what i currently own:

Celestron C8 XLT Sct

Skywatcher HEQ5 Pro Synscan

A good 17Amp Hr Power Supply

Heated dew shield.

As far as accessories go i have very little, just the original 25mm Eyepiece and Diagonal (both 1.25" obviously). I did pick up a second hand 2" visual back as well, and i added a quick release bracket (dovetail, i think?) for the original finder (6X30).

So considering all of this, if you were in my position what particular accessories would you prioritise? Bear in mind i'm only talking observing here, not imageing, and as far as eyepieces go i don't think i could really justify going above ~£100.

I'm thinking a case for eyepieces/diagonal would be nice, but would also like a good eyepiece for observing Saturn & Jupiter. But then should i make the move to a 2" diagonal first, and then look at 2" eyepieces?

All recommendations welcome.

Cheers guys!

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It goes without saying that you don't have to buy Tele Vue eyepieces (especially in a forgiving f/10) but the advice herein might be worth going over. The great thing about your f/10 is that it won't care too much about eyepiece quality and as most eyepieces on the market are probably corrected to work well on an f/10 system you should be able to find something suitable. Might be worth your time checking out what is on offer around the 32mm, 24mm to 26mm and 17mm to 15mm range.

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Whatever you look at on Amazon, I would compare the price on the FLO website (big sponsor link at the top of every forum page) so that you know you're not paying some inflated price just because it's on Amazon, I see that sometimes on there so it's always worth checking competing prices.

How about a red LED torch? I have this one, it's nice as it has a variable brightness control and also a white light mode for clearing up after your session, comes with a cord to hang it around your neck. Although the price with postage is too high on Amazon from Teleskop-Service Germany. Here's the same thing on Amazon. There are red LED head torches too, but be careful as they might be very bright, look for one with variable brightness control.

A good quality flight case is a very worth-while investment, such as this one. Pluck foam allows you to easily make holes to fit your bits and bobs, I made space for my diagonal, and a 2" diagonal after that, four eyepieces of various sizes, dew heater controller, power cable, filters... trick is to be thoughtful about where you make the holes, leave space for your next purchases even if you don't know what they are yet. This looks like the one I have, it's a nice case, better than the cheaper 3 pack Maplins often have on offer (which do not come with pluck foam).

My eyepiece case then and (almost) now:

flightcase_filled.jpg

telescopecase.jpg

The thing on the upper left is actually a 12V multi charger / power unit but I've never used it as I don't really have anything to charge. The AstroZap dew heater controller in the bottom left failed so I have now replaced it with a HitecAstro one (which is actually better). The torch doesn't actually live in the case and I have another (5mm) eyepiece now. No space left really!

You could look for an appropriate moon filter - 1.25 for now. For the 8SE you want ND96 (0.9), mine is a Meade 4000.

Consider other equipment too though - a good pair of cold weather gloves, hat, scarf, socks, boots, coat even. Amazon might be better for these items than it is for astro kit. How about a SIGG bottle with thermal pouch? Keep your drink from getting too cold on those winter nights! Don't forget the thing Amazon was founded on - books. Got a Planisphere? Turn Left at Orion?

Edited by jonathan
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What about the Revelation photo-visual eyepiece set at £138?

http://www.amazon.co...on eyepiece set

This has a set of reasonable eyepieces, a solid case and some filters.

It would certainly give you more magnification options.

Celestron do a similar set but without the photo attachment. It is also slightly cheaper at £125.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Celestron-94303-Telescope-Piece-Filter/dp/B00006RH5I/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1378151083&sr=8-1&keywords=celestron+eyepiece+set

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Thanks for all the suggestions guys, it’s very much appreciated.

I actually bought all my gear from FLO back in Feb. Great site I have to say, I got an amazing deal at the time J

I forgot to mention, I already have a copy of ‘Turn Left at Orion’, as well as a 1.25” Moon Filter, a red headlight and a Celestron Omni X2 barlow.

I’ve been doing quite a bit of research this last week and I’ve pretty much decided I will hold off on making the move to 2” for now. From what I’ve read, I may only actually need 1 (maybe 2 at the most?) 2” eyepieces in total, so I think it makes sense to start with a few 1.25’s for now.

So then, eyepieces, I think I would like to start with 3, something in the region of say 25mm, 17, and 10-12mm. In total I have £165 to spend on Amazon but I don’t mind spending an extra £50 or so (to include a case as well).

My thoughts are this, seeing as I won’t be moving to 2” for now, and with my scope’s narrow FOV, I think I would really benefit from the 25mm and 17mm having at least a 60* FOV. Upwards of 70* would be great, if possible. I know I don’t exactly need to be buying Naglers, with my scope being a forgiving F10, but the more bang for my buck I can get, the better. As for the high power eyepiece, I would like this one to be a dedicated planet eyepiece. I’ve been reading that maybe an Ortho would be best for this, is that right? I know it will have shorter eye relief but if it lets me see the GRS and pin-sharp shadow-transits on Jupiter and Saturns myriad of rings in detail then it will be totally worth it in my book!

So here’s what i’ve come up with so far:

Celestron X-Cel LX 25mm (£80)

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Celestron-X-Cel-LX-25mm-Eyepiece/dp/B0048JLLLQ/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1378815625&sr=8-2&keywords=celestron+x-cel+lx

Celestron X-Cel LX 18mm (£65)

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Celestron-X-Cel-LX-18mm-Eyepiece/dp/B0048JLLKM/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1378815625&sr=8-4&keywords=celestron+x-cel+lx

Eyepiece Case (£30)

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Telescope-Eyepiece-Case-Aluminium-Foam-padded/dp/B00AZK36WE/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1378815737&sr=8-2&keywords=astronomy+case

Baader Classic Ortho 10mm (£50)

http://www.firstlightoptics.com/baader-planetarium/baader-classic-ortho-bco-eyepiece.html

Total net spend £60!

Please do chip in with your thoughts on the above, as I’m still a bit of a noob and not completely sure of my thinking. I know the 10mm Ortho is a bit on the low side, especially if I want it to be my go-to planetary piece, so any suggestions here would be most welcome. Basically I’m looking for something that will give me as razor-sharp an image for planetary work as I can get, for a budget of £50-75 max. Likewise, if the X-Cel eyepieces are known to be not that great, or if better eyepieces at a similar price are available on Amazon (hard to know due to the lack of reviews on a lot of them!) then I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Cheers again guys!

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Hmm, that is quite a dinky little eyepiece case, I'd much rather have a wider one with pluck foam to hold more kit in then it's one case instead of two, (or more). You will expand to other things that you should keep in a case, eventually, and that particular case has no room for anything other than eyepieces.. and probably all the same size eyepieces by the look of it, too (which is not reality - all of mine are different sizes, as you can see).

As for quality eyepieces, as you say your limiting factor is the f10 C8 scope. The Celestron X-Cel LX is probably the best you need, apart from that you can try different FOV eyepieces (the C8 is quite a narrow FOV scope, I believe) but unless you plan on buying a faster scope in the future then spending on high quality eyepieces is just a waste of money.

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On of the best and cheapest and most useful things you can buy in visual astronomy IMO is a Telrad for £40. Ugly as hell for sure but absolutely 100% irreplaceable if you do not have/do not wish to use goto.

Terad + Manual Dob = Winner

None of this applies to you so I'll now shut up....!

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Thanks for the replies guys.

In the end i decided on this case:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/TS-Optics-Accessories-Aluminium-Flexkoffer/dp/B005X5SU22/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1379423317&sr=8-1&keywords=flexkoffer

Looks much nicer than the £30 one. Heaven knows i need it badly, as at teh moment i've having to resort to various bags to carry things in!

The 10mm Ortho and 25mm X-Cel have already arrived, just waiting on teh 18mm and case now. Not that it matters much though, what with the simply horrendous weather we've been having here in N.I. Hopefully will get out soon though, can't wait to see Jupiter and Saturn now!

Clear skies all!

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