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Upamunro

Which accessories with my first telescope?

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Hello

l'll shortly purchase my first scope which is very likely to be a nexstar 5SE.

I'd be grateful for any advice from those with many gazing hours on what accessories I should consider from the outset. And for those with experience of the 5SE I'm aware that a power pack is probably a good starting point, so assume that's a given.

Many thanks

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I don't think you need to consider any 'accessories' for your scope yet. 

If you know your way around the sky just have fun and find out what you like doing. i.e. Moon, planets, doubles, deep sky, etc. If you don't know your way around invest in 'Turn Left At Orion', a wonderful book which will guide you as to what you can see and how to see it. Also invaluable ('cos it's free to download!) is Stellarium or, alternatively, Sky Safari.

When you have found out where you want to go with the hobby it will be time enough to spend money on extras. And  you could spend A LOT of money - especially if you have a hankering for imaging!

The main thing is to have fun and not to worry about what else you might acquire.

And welcome to the forum.

Edited by Floater

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Hi, I agree with Floater, Stellarium or Sky Safari are great apps and both free. And TLAO is a great book to start with.

Re accessories:

  • Power source - essential, which you have have already identified
  • One item i would recommend with this scope is a 12.5mm Reticle EP, this will assist greatly with the accuracy of alignment, i wouldnt be without mine. (alignment can be tricky when you first start, TIP: take your time - it is not time dependent, no need to rush)
  • EP's - dont rush into this but the 5SE only comes with a stock 25mm EP, so you will want to add to this soon i suspect, maybe a quality barlow, which you will likely get at some stage anyway and it will double up on each EP you get down the track

Other than that just enjoy your new scope. Good luck.

Edited by MarkJ44
Typo

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The only one I would say is necessary is a dew shield.

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I've owned a couple of the 5SE's. An essential accessory for them and all SCT's is a dew shield - the "glass at the front" design attracts any dew about like a magnet and will bring an premature end or at least a halt to a viewing session surprisingly quickly.

The batteries don't last long at all so a power pack is another very important addition I feel.

Otherwise you should probably get some experience with it before deciding on further accessories (other than the above).

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Another vote for a dew shield; without one you might not even get an hour's viewing.

A passive dew shield is the easiest and can be bought or made (craft shop foam or thin camping mat for example).  You can also get heated dew shields but you will then also need a controller (and possibly another power source).

Turn Left at Orion is a great book if you're looking for ideas about what to look for but the astronomy magazines all have monthly targets too.

Wait on buying eyepieces (I can't say I've ever needed a reticule EP).  See if you can borrow before you buy.  It will be easy to spend much more than the price of your scope on eyepieces if you wish!  I dislike red-dot finders but again wait until you've tried yours - it might be good (there are plenty of folks on here who think they're fine).

Lastly, welcome to SGL!  Scotland?

Andrew

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A 32mm or 40mm plossl, get all the field of view that you can.

If the scope comes with plossl's then stick to them for a while, although something like a 12mm plossl could be useful. Partially depends on what design the supplied eyepieces are.

Dew shield of some sort but these can be made wirh inexpensive material, a thin foam sheet and maybe self adhesive velcro. I use the "fab foam" from hobby craft, just not sure if the big shet is big enough to go round a 5SE. Check out a local Poundland as I think I saw a foam roll in one recently, many use a camping mat.

Power pack, not 100% sure of, they tend to be a lead acid battery and people use them until they cannot drive the scope any more and at that stage they are "damaged". I use a Li-ion item with a home mde connector - but that depends on you having and getting the bits to make one up. Easy but some idea is required.

You will also need the data to enter, and at least initially patience. :icon_biggrin::icon_biggrin::icon_biggrin:

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For low-to-moderate magnifications of all things celestial, along with a go-to mount that can be operated manually in addition when needed, and unlike that of the Celestron...

http://www.firstlightoptics.com/reflectors/sky-watcher-star-discovery-150p.html

For the moderate to high magnifications, which can be placed on the same mount with ease...

http://www.firstlightoptics.com/maksutov/skywatcher-skymax-127-ota.html

...£594 total for a great, versatile go-to mount and TWO telescopes, versus £629 for the Celestron... 

 

 

 

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20 hours ago, Upamunro said:

Hello

l'll shortly purchase my first scope which is very likely to be a nexstar 5SE.

I'd be grateful for any advice from those with many gazing hours on what accessories I should consider from the outset. And for those with experience of the 5SE I'm aware that a power pack is probably a good starting point, so assume that's a given.

Many thanks

Hi and congrats on you new scope ,if your going to be viewing from home,a lot then I would go for a more permanent. 240v  power supply these power tanks hate the cold and all the rest ,and every one who gets ones like yeah they brill ,Ermmm  mine was rubbish I hated the thing ,go for a,leisure baterrys bigger the amps the better ( it will only draw the amps it needs )  ,I,could suggest a few eps but they would be my personal choice and maybe not a good,choice for you  a good 32mm is always worth having in your box ,another good it of kit 

dew shield

dew heater 

dew controller 

leisure batt

32mm ep

upgrade to the finder scope 

the list is around a mile long but that's what I would be looking at if it was me 

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3 hours ago, Alan64 said:

For low-to-moderate magnifications of all things celestial, along with a go-to mount that can be operated manually in addition when needed, and unlike that of the Celestron...

http://www.firstlightoptics.com/reflectors/sky-watcher-star-discovery-150p.html

For the moderate to high magnifications, which can be placed on the same mount with ease...

http://www.firstlightoptics.com/maksutov/skywatcher-skymax-127-ota.html

...£594 total for a great, versatile go-to mount and TWO telescopes, versus £629 for the Celestron... 

 

 

 

Did you read what the op actually wrote ?.

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Thank you very much for the advice, it's greatly appreciated.  I'll ponder on the list but am reassured that bar the necessary publications/websites and some cheap or not so cheap foam I'll be good to go.  

A couple of further points:

- are there any Barlow related posts that you would point me to?

- It's too exhausting a thought to go back to the beginning in so far as choosing a telescope so I'll pass on the alternatives and strictly speaking it wasn't part of my initial question.

cheers

 

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Dew shield (heated or not) and battery pack as mentioned several times are 2 absolute essentials from the word go. Having only a 25mm eyepiece will be a pain in the behind, so until you are ready to spend money on good EP's......which you will (good does not mean expensive), i'd probably say go ahead and buy a 2x barlow. Theis will give you 25mm and 12.5mm EP's. That will be fine for now.

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2 hours ago, Upamunro said:

Thank you very much for the advice, it's greatly appreciated.  I'll ponder on the list but am reassured that bar the necessary publications/websites and some cheap or not so cheap foam I'll be good to go.  

A couple of further points:

- are there any Barlow related posts that you would point me to?

- It's too exhausting a thought to go back to the beginning in so far as choosing a telescope so I'll pass on the alternatives and strictly speaking it wasn't part of my initial question.

cheers

 

The 125mm f/10 Schmidt has a focal-length of 1250mm.  Under average seeing conditions, 150x is going to be at about the maximum before the images begin to soften and blur.  

1250mm ÷ 151x = 8.3mm...

http://www.365astronomy.com/12.5mm-Japanese-HD-Orthoscopic-Eyepiece-Fujiyama-Series.html

http://www.365astronomy.com/GSO-2x-Barlow-2-Element-Achromatic-Barlow.html

1250mm ÷ (12.5mm ÷ 2x = simulated 6.25mm) = 200x, and for nights of better-to-ideal seeing conditions.

Alternately, when the barlowing-element is unscrewed from the bottom then screwed onto the bottom of the ocular itself, a 1.5x barlow is realised...

1250mm ÷ (12.5mm ÷ 1.5x = simulated 8.3mm) = 151x

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Conditions look good, probably at their best for visual observations, then it all goes awry during your session?
Reason!.....It's a clear cloudless night, the surface temperature of the glass/lens objective on the front of your 5SE  refractor, drops like a stone( but more  often the  drop is  gradual) due to thermal radiation, and this leads to or reaches a temperature known as the dew point (depending on local humidity and air temperature) its at this  point water vapour in the air condenses into droplets, covering the plate glass/objective ending most observing sessions earlier than expected?

The cure? You need to keep the objective slightly warmer which goes against the saying, let your scope cool to equilibrium?
But warm you must. Either by short  blasts from a hair dryer, adding an extension (Dew hood) to the OTA (Optical Tube assembly) or using a permanent dew heater attached to the periphery of the objective lens.

An extension dew shield is probably the easiest/cheapest to construct made  from camping foam underlay, the dew shield itself will  reduce the amount of sky that the objectives surface can radiate too, without any  loss of the field of view expected  from this scope. I think there is a rule of thumb that says 1.5 times the aperture of the telescope!........ too long and you will reduce the field of view?

My scope the Skyliner has a tube that is almost 4 feet long, protecting the main mirror, The OTA protects the main mirror on a reflector, unless its a collapsible scope, whereby you need a telescope jacket too help protect the main mirror from dewing,  but I still a attach a dew shield of 20", which is more than necessary, the extra 8" is a necessity for using from within my tent.

Edited by Charic

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I'm a fan of anything with a twist lock rather than a screw/compression ring as they are much quicker, easier and can be used with the thickest of gloves. If you're looking for a barlow that leaves you with two options that I know about, the achromatic  Antares twist lock or the apochromatic Astro Engineering Supreme.

Having said that, aside from the power pack and dew shield that are a prerequisite for your choice of scope, the accessories that will help give you the most enjoyment and use of your new scope are warmer clothes. The clothes that you wear to go outside in winter suddenly prove to be totally inadequate when you're sitting or standing outside on a cloudless night without moving and generating the extra body heat that usually keeps you warm.

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