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I was lucky enough to get a 12" Skywatcher Dobsonian (305mm/1500mm) for Christmas. It shipped with a 10mm Plossl and a 25mm Plossl, both 52° AFOV. Finally had a clear enough night to try it out and I absolutely loved it. I researched a bunch over the last year so I knew this was the scope I wanted should someone want to get me a really sweet gift before I grabbed it myself. What I didn't research at the time was accessories and equipment, something I've been doing relentlessly over the past few days.
I'll primarily be viewing in the backyard until I find a great viewing spot (and a good way to safely transport). Light pollution isn't terrible but I haven't fully gauged its impact on seeing fainter objects. I'm not interested in imagery/photography at the moment. Not foreclosing on the idea by any means but everything I'm looking to add is purely for visual gratification at this point. Hoping the experts out there can lead me in the right direction. Here's what I'm trying to figure out:
1. What eyepieces should I pick up?
I've read that, generally speaking, you want 2-3 premium pieces in over to cover low, medium, and high magnification. I'm currently looking at the following "sets": 5mm Nagler, 13mm Ethos, 35mm Panoptic or 6mm Ethos, 13mm Ethos, 21mm Ethos. I'm not overly concerned about price. I recognize that there's going to be a premium associated with a brand like TeleVue and with squeezing out that last drop of performance; however, I don't want to throw away money unnecessarily if I'm not going to see a benefit from pulling out the stops. I'm not beholden to TV by any stretch but everyone says they're the gold standard so I figured I'd look there first. I'm not looking to grab everything at once either. Was thinking of starting with the 13mm Ethos since it would fill the mid-range gap between my 10mm and 25mm.
2. Should I grab a Paracorr?
I've read many comments that go back and forth on this but the consensus seems to be that, while it's not crucial at f/4.9 like it would be with a faster scope, it's something I should probably have in the arsenal if I'm using wide field eyepieces, which the ones I'm contemplating are. I couldn't detect any coma with the two eyepieces I currently have but I suspect I probably wouldn't given the FOV and my beginner status. I also think that once I see it I'm not going to be able to unsee it.
3. Should I pick up a Barlow?
This question assumes I'm not getting a Paracorr. I like the idea of essentially doubling the number of eyepieces I have but I'm not too sure of the ultimate utility/necessity of it.
4. Any other crucial accessories I should have?
I'm looking at a Cheshire collimator for when the time comes. Aside from that, is there anything else I should absolutely have?
5. Finally, any suggestions on transporting?
It goes without saying but this baby is heavy. I don't have a garage, and I'm hesitant to store it in the shed, so what I've been doing is removing the OTA from the base and transporting them separately to the backyard for setup. It's not bad but I can see it getting old after awhile, especially with numerous viewing sessions in a row. After all, I didn't get this scope so it could collect dust; I want to use it as often as the weather lets me. I do plan on replacing the feet with wheels so I can at least roll it, but I'm trying to figure out a good solution to getting it in and out of the house (down 3 small steps) to the backyard without damaging it or breaking my back.
I think that's all I have for now. I appreciate any help you all can provide. I'm just trying to learn as much as I can so I can have a great experience and eventually show my little guy all about the joys of astronomy. Thanks everyone!
Decided to put cooling fans on my newtonians a 200pds and a 130pds ,used a 120mm on the 200 and a 80mm on the 130pds ,i used, Be Quite silent Wings2 fans they use rifle bearings and are so quite German made, i did the 200 first and was impressed with this make so ordered the same make for the 130 pds it comes with a lead with four wires but only needed neg ang pos so snipped other two out , made a disc from plastic and cut out around collimation screws on primary then used velcro to attach to OTA fitted a 2.1mm dc socket on to the disc then bought a usb lead to 2.1mm barrel though i may fit another 2.1mm socket on my power box and use 12v either way it works ,i used a dimmer on the 200pds but it doesnt need it and wouldn't use it again but its fitted now so will leave in place.
So, I have gone and got myself a Skywatcher Star Discovery 150p, which has so far proved to be a very good little scope and I've had some very good results.
I have now got the bug for imaging and have gone out and got myself a second hand Nikon D5100 and verious other equipment needed to do this, only to now find I can't get Prime Focus!!!!!!!! So the only way I can image is using a barlow x2 which obviously changes the F ratio from F5.5 to F11 slowing everything x2 this isn't to bad for planetary imaging but for DSO images not so good!!!
After searching through lots of videos on to do this all I can find is......
I can either butcher the standard rack and pinion focuser that's fitted on it by cutting it down and rethreading it or by moving the primary up by 20-25mm, which seems a shame to do a brand new scope still under warranty!
The only other option I have come up with is changing the focuser to a Skywatcher Low Profile Dual Speed Focuser For Newtonian Reflectors.
Could anyone out there shed any light on this before I spend another £130 on the new focuser.