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Sandancer10

Skywatcher Explorer 150pds with EQ5 Pro Tripod

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Well the kit arrived at lunch time and I have spent all afternoon putting it together and reading the literature that came with it. Considering the last telescope I had (Tasco - or is that a bad word?) I was blown away by the quality of the equipment and the weight!! Skyscan works beautifully and managed to align the findscope with the telescope using the local church steeple.  It just remains for the light to disappear and, hopefully, clear skies and I will be out there checking the heavens. 

Now onto my next problem - do I need a 10mm eye piece or 2.5mm for looking at the moon and planets? It only came with a 25mm. And is it worthwhile getting a polariser or do I need a light filter to darken the street glare - only from one side of the house, the other way is east and looking out to sea.

Secondly, I'm a bit perplexed about Sidereal time and tracking rates for AP. Do I set the tracking rate to 1 x and will that just allow for the Earth's orbit or do I need to put something else in.  Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Brenda   :smiley:

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I have the 150p and a 8mm BST Starguider which gives me excellent views of the moon i have the 5 mm as well which gives very up close views of the craters which for these scopes is probably pushing the limit of magnification.

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Congratulations on your new telescope  :smiley:

If it only came with one eyepiece then you will probably want to expand your collection over time. A 2.5mm EP will give you 300x magnification which is likely to be a bit too much to be useful most of the time. I have a 150pDS but I have only used it for imaging so far, so I can't comment on the highest effective magnification for the scope (although that will also depend on seeing conditions). 

As wookie says, the Starguiders are a popular upgrade. Vixen NPLs are another sound choice.

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Hi Brenda,

Congradulation on getting yourself a new scope! Its a beautiful piece of equipment you have there. Let me answer your questions without much ado.

a) Do you need the 10mm or 2.5mm for looking at planets and moon?

The answer is yes and no. The 25mm provided gives a wide field of view to locate the object and center it and also enjoy the wide view.

 The 10mm does not give enough magnification on the moon or planets, and also it being a version of the Kellner optical design, it is unsuitable for short focal lengths. Get yourself one of the wide angle, high magnification eyepieces sold by various companies like Opticstar, FLO, Sky-Watcher. They all originate in China, but are of good quality. They cost about £40 each, so not a big deal for your pocket. An eyepiece like the 4mm ish focal length should give approximately 162x magnification. This should be good for the city/town conditions.

B) Do you need a green filter to cut off street lights?

    That used to be the case in the Ye Olde Days. Now you get Light Pollution filters that cur off the lights pretty well while giving the deep sky objects a hint of blue. They would work better than a standard green filter because they allow for LRGB to pass while cutting off Na and Hg lines to a large extent. You may also use a UHC Nebula filter for deep sky objects. They work similarly by allowing selected wavelengths to pass.

c) For AP, you dont need to do anything with the Synscan controller. Just select the DSO of your choice, attach the camera and shoot. Be sure to accurately polar align the mount to minimize drift of stars. The more your accuracy, the longet your length of exposure. Do remember that you have a big limitation in your mount. The gears are small and hence lesser number of teeth, thus reducing accuracy. Try to autoguide if you can with a finder guider, it will help to an extent. But do not expect more than 3min subs at full focal length.

Lastly, if you are into AP, get yourself a Baader MPCC. It reduces coma to a large extent and improves your imaging.

Have Fun,

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