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I have just bought a Celestron 18771-CGL power tank to allow me to get out to the dark skies of the South Downs with my Nexstar 8SE. This is a great bit of kit because it's so light and portable and powers the scope for hours no problem. However, I've also been thinking about getting a dew heater and the only downside of the power tank is it's lack of a second 12v output. I was looking on the First Light Optics website and they sell a DC splitter cable to allow two devices to be powered from a single output. I'm not an electrician obviously, but logical tells me if the dew heater controller is also a 12v device there should be no problem running both the scope and the heater at the same time other than draining the battery faster. Is anyone using a splitter cable in this way? Or can anyone confirm my logic is flawed?
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.
I have just joined and have been looking around, and putting in various searches to find the answer to my question(s).
I have already found some valuable information, but i can't find a specific answer to a question i have relating to exposure times.
I have shot the milky way several times before, from a tripod and a wide angle lens. I am aware of and understand the "500 rule" and that worked fine for me at first when i was shooting with my Canon 6D Mark II. When i moved over to the Sony A7III i noticed significant trailing using the same rule and that led me to the NPF rule (Via the photopills app incase people dot know).
I am heading back to Tenerife once again in about 6 weeks time and want to buy a star tracker so i can get some really detailed images.
I have done a fair bit of research and in principle, the whole thing doesn't seem to be too daunting or difficult.
I have purchased the Polar Scope Align Pro app so i can align Polaris as accurately as possible, i will practise putting the unit together and familiarising myself with the different parts etc, but it is the exposure times that i do not understand.
My best glass is the Carl Ziess 50mm F/1.4 Planar, the 18mm F/2.8 Batis, the Sigma 35mm F/1.4 Art & the IRIX 15mm F/2.4 Blackstone.
I currently do not own, nor have i ever used a tracker, and I cannot find any information relating to which aperture, ISO and Shutter length any of these focal lengths should or could be shot at.
Is there anything similar to the 500 rule or NPF rule that relates to using a tracker with varied focal lengths? or is it just a case of stepping the lens down for sharpness and then trial and error?
Thanks in advance,
I have been lucky enough to have been purchased an 8SE for my birthday. Shameful to admit but this was 2 years ago and my competence has not increased much. Partly because I don't get a lot of time to play!
Every now and then, I take the scope out in earnest for some star based escapism. The trouble is, my lack of scope skills means that I dont escape very far!
I have never got on with the hand control of the 8SE. I have watched a lot of videos and read the instructions and the three star align process fails me most times. I read a post on here about making sure that the two 'index' stickers are aligned when attaching the OTA, which I have done.
I have done what I can to make sure that the settings are all correct, including time, location etc.
To overcome these frustrations, I purchased the WiFi attachment to be used with the SkyPortal app.
This configuration has been a lot more successful! I manage to align the scope using three stars each and every time - progress at last! I have slewed to the ring nebula, hit Andromeda without any problems. I'm finally getting to enjoy the cosmos!
However, all is not perfect. I slew to Andromeda, have a 5 minute gander at it and then use the 'best tonight' database to slew to something else. This is where it goes wrong. The scope slews to the earth. The on-screen scope location cross also shows it to be pointing at the earth, yet I told the scope to go to Vega. It tried to slew 360 and I had to stop it before the eyepiece smashed into the aux cable. Why would the scope do this? Handset software out of date? Scope set up incorrectly?
If this sounds like a classic dumb dumb error, please let me know. I'm starting to think my scope is faulty and my lack of experience means I have no way of telling.
Thanks to any helpful tips in advance.
Hello everyone. I've been lurking here for a while, thought I'd sign up and say hello. My name's Tom, I am serious but you can call me Shirley if you like.
I've had a telescope (skywatcher 150 dob) for about 7 years, it saw some use before I went to university to study physics, but I left it at home. (Naively thought there wouldn't be a great deal to see from the city.) It hadn't seen much use since, until January this year when I took it out under a nearly full moon to show my then lass the Orion neb and the Andromeda galaxy. Since then I must've been making up lost time because I've been out in the garden almost every clear night, and I've found my collection of astro bits and bobs has been growing at an alarming rate.
So I think it's about time I dropped by to say Hi