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Hello from Surrey, UK


biminibob
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Hi all,

I'm from Epsom in the UK.  I bought my first telescope from EBay last week, a SkyWatcher 127 with a tracking (not goto) stand.  I'm a keen amatuer photographer but new to Astronomy (that said, 25 years ago I did a GCE in astronomy and I also did some Astronomy for my Physics degree).

I'll have a search of the forum, but if anyone can help with two initial questions that would be great:

1 - I've not had time to take it out yet so only used it to view buildings about 20m away.  I cannot get a very sharp focus - is it because I'm too close at 20m?

2 - it only came with one eye-piece, 25mm, so I plan on buying the skywatcher zoom 7-21mm.  Is that a sensible move?

thanks

Bob

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Thanks.  I'm planning on going to the racetrack at Epsom on Sunday to give it a first try, I'm guessing it's the darkest place and high up around Epsom.  Plus I can try it out for looking at London, can see the Millenium Eye etc... from a car park near the race track.

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Hello and welcome to the SGL

1) yes you are probably too close to achieve focus

2) I use a 8-24mm zoom myself and it has the advantage of not having to change lenses in the dark, but the views achieved are not as good as with my single eps and the field of view is rather small at low magnifications

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Hi Bob / 'biminibob' and welcome to SGL. :hello2:

A few things to bear in mind...

1. your 'scope OTA is a catadioptric.

2. catadioptric are excellant 'scopes for planets.

3. they are dew-magnets. Have you got a dew-shield? or was one included with the sale?

4. require at least an hour cool down before the views 'leap at you'.

5. the FOV will be narrow and slow at F/11.8 if planning astro-photography.

6. East & West will be 'reversed' if using a 90o star diagnonal. North & South are the 'right way up'.

7. enjoy! :icon_salut:

8. 20 metres is a bit close!

Edited by Philip R
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Hi Biminibob and welcome to SGL, it is almost certain that you will not reach focus at 20m with that scope, I am just outside perfect focus with my 10x50 bins and that is at a distance of 19m, which is the bottom of my garden.

I do not have a zoom lens, so it would not be fair for me to comment, but many on the forum who have, seem quite pleased with them. However, it is questionable that they would match up to that of single eye pieces, as has already been mentioned :)

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Hi Bob / 'biminibob' and welcome to SGL. :hello2:

A few things to bear in mind...

1. your 'scope OTA is a catadioptric.

2. catadioptric are excellant 'scopes for planets.

3. they are dew-magnets. Have you got a dew-shield? or was one included with the sale?

4. require at least an hour cool down before the views 'leap at you'.

5. the FOV will be narrow and slow at F/11.8 if planning astro-photography.

6. East & West will be 'reversed' if using a 90o star diagnonal. North & South are the 'right way up'.

7. enjoy! :icon_salut:

8. 20 metres is a bit close!

Thanks for the welcome and information everyone.

Looks like I'll need to wait to the weekend to see if it focuses properly, puts my mind at rest thought that it sounds like it's just too close to focus.

Philip, what is a dew-shield?  Can it harm the internal parts of the scope?  How effective are dew-shields at stopping it?

When you say "cool down", do you mean for my eyes to properly adjust to the dark?  Or for the telescope to cool to outside temperature?

Thanks for the tips!

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I plugged in the power pack to the scanner and nothing happened....  I started cursing myself for not checking it at the persons house who sold it.  Then I searched this forum saying it can be a problem with the power connector, and the split pin in the receptor getting too squashed together.  So I opened them out with a little opticians screw driver, and now it works fine.  :laugh:

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Hi Bob & Welcome to SGL.  Cooling down is the telescope reaching ambient temperature when outside  & can take anytime up to an hour or so  for this to be achieved, depending on the make of telescope.  Dew shields are attached to the OTA - the tube itself and won't harm the telescope.  If you do a   search (at the top right of the page)  on dew shields and cooling down you will find various questions regarding them. Hope this helps.

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