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By Andy Cole
I'm a newbie here but not totally new to astronomy. I've had a telescope since I was a teenager (over 30 years!) and only ever had 1 telescope - a Tasco 40x40mm reflector. I expect members my age are familiar with it - thin and white with a thin metal tripod and a push and pull focuser. It's still functional at more than 30 years old although the thread on the eyepiece is worn so the eyepiece falls off regularly! I've only ever used it to look at the moon, Jupiter and Saturn and that's always been good enough for me. Now I have been thinking of getting a new scope. I have a very limited budget and so I am wondering whether I will get any significant improvements on what I can see.
My earliest memories of the Tasco from childhood were that I could see the rings of Saturn as a line across the circle of the planet. Having rekindled my interest in the last few years, I have started to use it again, and nowadays, when Saturn is visible, I can clearly see the rings 'as a ring' and the gap between the planet and the rings, which I don't remember seeing as a kid.
Vieing Jupiter I can usually see about 4 moons.
I've heard that the Skywatcher Heritage 130P Dobsonian is a good 'budget' telescope, and great for casual use, which is what appeals to me most. I don't want a telescope with complicated setup or one that takes up a lot of space. TheSkywatcher seems to fit the bill, and it also fits my very limited budget.
What I am most interested to find out is whill I get an improved view of the things I have already experienced? I have read some reviews that describe what you can see with this scope and it sounds like it's pretty much what I can already see. And it's maximum 65x magnification doesn't seem like much better than the Tasco's 40x. But will the wider aperture make a bigger difference than the magnification?
I'm also interested to know if I could use this scope for basic astrophotography - I have numerous cameras - phone cameras, compacts and DSLR's (photohraphy is my main hobby). I'm not talking about hour long exposures of dark sky objects, just what can be seen easily through this scope.
I'd love to know what people's opinions are, especially if you own or have used this scope. I'm also interested to hear recommendations for other scopes, but please remember I have limited budget and space. I know that an 8" or more is better and I would love one but they are just too expensive and too large for me.
By Mark Daniels
Been looking for neat solution to taking small scope abroad using my stuff and not paying out for a dedicated set up.
Have a skywatcher finder which with a barlow and 90 * gives good results. I was looking at an Orion mini eq tabletop tripod but hard to get hold of.
Play a bit of music in a band and have a few microphone stands so got to work with a hack saw.
I used a mic holder as in photo they are about £3 and cut the holder part off and filed flat. Drilled hole through to accept large camera thread (£3 screw bolt)
this allows shortened micstand to fit to the alt az mount. (Mic stand 15 of ebay. )
the dovetail was expensive as i wanted green and got from germany £30 with couier the white finder bracket from tring harrisons £6
so thats £60 but if i went for black dovetail less than £40 seeing i had mic stand already quite a cheap solition
the stand is very stable and provided the telescope is moved clockwise when rotating freehand the threads stay tight with the fine controls either direction works well
overall wiegt is bit over 3 kg and will fit in a standard aluminium camera case
hope this if useful
as the title suggests, I've noticed that the RA axis of my HEQ5 pro mount has some give. I don't notice it while the clutch is unlocked, but it's very obvious with a locked RA clutch. Any suggestions on what could be causing it/what adjustments need to be made?