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So time to spend some hard earned money again. Which also brings up the question of what should I spend it on?

I've been in astronomy now since November of 2013. Started with a 130SLT and it got me hooked. Before a year was up I moved up to a 6" newt on an AVX. Got a DSLR and moved into imaging. So now I am ready to get a few upgrades or accessories or whatever you want to call it and here's what I'm thinking of getting.

1) Need to up my exposure lengths but can't afford weight. Going to pick up an Orion Mini Guider package.

2) A new, sturdier red dot finder.

3) A dual finder bracket so I can mount the red dot and guider on one bracket.

4) A new OTA. A 127Mak for planetary viewing and imaging. 

There might be a few tweaks in the order. The autoguider is top choice so that will likely stay but I may opt out of the rest and break the budget by a little bit to get an 8" Intelliscope. I miss visual astronomy and would give me something to do while the AVX is busy imaging.

But I also really want the Mak for planetary stuff. 

This is the worst part of astronomy. Picking gear, the right gear, and keeping a budget.

Any thoughts???

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With regards to the red dot finder, if your current one is not a Telrad, get a Telrad.  Not too heavy and is the best out there it also comes with charts of star patterns for specific objects.

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Would it be better to go down the finder guider / laptop / PHD guiding route? Not sure if you have a laptop available for the job? You can then buy a guide camera that will be good for the planetary stuff too. You will then have the laptop available for planetary captures when you want to do that. It's also great to use the laptop for everything else to do with imaging - mount control, plate solving, capture, etc. Just a thought?

Edited by PhotoGav

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I had a Telrad on my old Z10 and didn't really care for it. I can see having one for star hopping but just for GOTO alignment just a dot is all I need.

I do use a laptop now for imaging. I run my 1100D with BYEOS. The AVX is not the beefiest mount so I was just going to get the smaller 50mm Orion mini guider and was thinking the dual finder bracket would be the way to go to mount the guider and finder on my C6N. I don't think I would need the guider on the Mak. 

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