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New to this, and I need some advice?


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Hi Guys 

I hope you don’t mind me coming on here, and asking for some help, having never contributed before. Hopefully in the future once I’ve learnt abit more I can contribute something useful. 

Basically ive bought a dobsobian Skywatcher 200, cost me about £280. I didn’t buy anything extra with it. I’m just using the eye pieces I bought with it, and so far I’m not really impressed with what I can see. I can’t even get any good detail on  the moon, never mind see any good shots of planets. 

I know now that I’m going to need to buy some upgrades parts for this telescope, to see the best of it. 

I know that I’m going to need better eye pieces but is there anything else I should buy? 

And what eye pieces do you recomend, for viewing planets? I would rather not spend a fortune in an ideal world, but if I have to spend abit I will. 

Do I need anymore lenses for the scope? Will they help me get a better view? 

Thanks in advance, to anyone who can offer me some advice on this. 

 

 

 

Edited by Johnny89
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Have you tried to colimate the scope yet? Your scope is unlikely to perform very well if you haven’t.

Not to worry if you haven’t as you will find plenty of advice and help on the subject of collimation here.

Edited by johninderby
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13 minutes ago, Johnny89 said:

I’m not really impressed with what I can see. I can’t even get any good detail on  the moon

Even with the supplied eyepieces I think you should be blown away by your first look at the moon. When you look at the moon do you see the craters? Or do you see a big grey doughnut? If you see the doughnut it is because you are out of focus, probably because the telescope is shipped with two extension pieces in the focuser when you only need to use one at a time.

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Hi Johnny, It can all seem daunting and frustrating at times. Any pictures you can supply of what you see through the eyepiece ( Use you mobile camera over the eyepiece, or a rough sketch ) and also your set-up on your focuser to maybe see what @Ricochet is identifying.

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Hello Johnny, there are so many variables involved in troubleshooting a scope that is performing badly, aside from the great advice you will get from SGL i would utilize the internet to find any scope shops near you, and maybe even better, astronomy club. Even though your issue may well be recognized by some members, you may have a hard time executing instruction as your experience in the hobby may be limited at this moment. Ultimately, there is no substitute for someone having a hands on look at your scope, if you live near any major cities, there must be a scope shop or astronomy club somewhere, you may find you'll have your scope up and performing quicker with a bit of hands on help.

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Thanks for the advice guys, and the welcoming responses. 

I got Mars on the scope just now, and this is how it looked. I’m not sure wether this is actually the shape of Mars, or it’s just the telescope reflecting the light, and making it look round. 

Apologies if that sounds stupid, I’m new to this stuff haha 

Maybe the scope is out of focus, as I’m getting a sort of Donut shape a lot of the time, il see what I can do to figure it out. If not il try get someone round who’s experienced with telescopes. 

 

BABF2A07-2C28-4D46-AE8D-563646B291DA.png

Edited by Johnny89
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Johnny - donut shapes indicate you are quite a way out of focus (unless you are actually looking at a donut which is a long way away :lol:)

You will need to learn the point of focus of your setup... what you are looking for is to turn the focuser slowly so that large donut gets smaller and smaller until it is just a full circle of light, keep on turning the focuser in the same direction and it will get smaller and smaller until eventually it will start getting bigger again. The point at which your object stops getting smaller is the point of focus, and you should definitely focus backwards and forwards 'through' that point to get used to what you need to do.

Although it is possible that your eyepiece (or DSLR when you move up to that stage) can't actually gain focus (because it either needs to be further out or closer in that the focuser can physically go, this is not usually the case with the supplied eyepieces, so take it slowly and learn how to find the point of focus. It will be in a different place for different eyepieces, but always in approximately the same place for each ep. I often mark my focuser draw tube with a pencil line and number to indicate approximately where each EP focuses and allows me to start the fine-tuning of the focus straight away.

As for the phone shot needing a flash - on the contrary, rather than more artificial light you need more light from the celestial object - and the only way you are going to get that is with a long exposure (maybe 10s+) using the phone camera's manual settings (if you have them). This will often need a holder attachment that keeps the phone in place (and still) during the exposure. Bear in mind that the phone will only work if its camera is at the same distance from the eyepiece as your normal eye relief when using that eyepiece; I used to get good shots from my 25mm plossl, but couldn't get any picture whatsoever out of my 10mm std ep.

The following smartphone picture is a 20s exposure of the Dumbell Nebula at ISO200 through my first scope - a modest Evostar 90 F10 scope. One of my first astro photos ?

 

 

 

Dumbell 20s oneplus3t evostar 90.jpg

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As per my previous post the doughnut shape indicates being out of focus, probably due to the telescope being shipped with both 1.25" and 2" extension pieces in the focuser. You only need one at a time depending on which eyepiece you are using. The photo below shows the extra 2" extension that needs to be removed:

Focuser edited.png

 

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Having bought the same scope in the not too distant past i certainly agree with the above post. Please check you have not got both extension pieces fitted as this is how it is shipped. Remove the 2" extention piece and ONLY use the 1.25" extension piece with the supplied 1.25" eye pieces.

With this done you will get stunning views of the moon.

Your photo of mars is just a very out of focus picture.  Mars will appear alot smaller than that and reddish in colour.

This is how the size of mars should look through the eye piece. The larger outer blue ring is a 18mm eye piece and the smaller blue ring is 8mm eye piece. 

 

20180918_092415.jpg

Edited by Chefgage
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Some great advice here. And Johnny, please don't feel like you're asking daft questions. People here love to help, and I've been observing for 30 years and still ask daft questions!
But yes, you haven't yet focussed your telescope properly. When you do, you'll know! Don't get buying anything else yet!

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1 hour ago, Ricochet said:

As per my previous post the doughnut shape indicates being out of focus, probably due to the telescope being shipped with both 1.25" and 2" extension pieces in the focuser. You only need one at a time depending on which eyepiece you are using. The photo below shows the extra 2" extension that needs to be removed:

Focuser edited.png

 

Yeah I had been using both parts, thanks for the advice. If it’s a clear night tonight, il get it out and set it up how you’ve said. 

Thanks for going to the trouble of using a photo to explain where I’m going wrong. 

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48 minutes ago, Chefgage said:

Having bought the same scope in the not too distant past i certainly agree with the above post. Please check you have not got both extension pieces fitted as this is how it is shipped. Remove the 2" extention piece and ONLY use the 1.25" extension piece with the supplied 1.25" eye pieces.

With this done you will get stunning views of the moon.

Your photo of mars is just a very out of focus picture.  Mars will appear alot smaller than that and reddish in colour.

This is how the size of mars should look through the eye piece. The larger outer blue ring is a 18mm eye piece and the smaller blue ring is 8mm eye piece. 

 

20180918_092415.jpg

Thanks for that, that will help me know when I’m actually seeing the planets properly. I knew the scope was better than what I was getting having seen the reviews on it on here. Il try again with Mars, as it seems to be one of the easiest to see for a beginner. 

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33 minutes ago, Swithin StCleeve said:

Some great advice here. And Johnny, please don't feel like you're asking daft questions. People here love to help, and I've been observing for 30 years and still ask daft questions!
But yes, you haven't yet focussed your telescope properly. When you do, you'll know! Don't get buying anything else yet!

Thanks mate. I won’t be buying anything else just yet then. 

I just thought I’d buy a decent telescope, aim it up in the air, and it would be easy. But this hobby is a lot trickier than I was expecting. 

I think thanks to the help on this thread, and having read other threads on this forum, I’m hopefully getting a better understanding of how to get the best from my scope. 

Il give it another shot tonight. 

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54 minutes ago, Johnny89 said:

Thanks for going to the trouble of using a photo to explain where I’m going wrong. 

No worries, the photo was already on the forum from the last time someone had the same issue. It catches so many people out. 

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14 minutes ago, Ricochet said:

No worries, the photo was already on the forum from the last time someone had the same issue. It catches so many people out. 

I think i might of seen that photo or one like it before i bought that scope so luckily i knew to remove the 2" extenstion. Its a pity its shipped like that

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15 hours ago, Johnny89 said:

I can’t even get any good detail on  the moon, never mind see any good shots of planets. 

 

The Moon is stunning at 200x plus magnification, but your scope just needs to be correctly set up, and cooled to the surrounding temperature ( leave the scope outside for 30-60 mins normally does the trick?  If you take a room temperature telescope outside, it take a short while for the heat to dissipate from the mirror. The downside to this dissipation is that its visible through the eyepiece as a blur, but reduces the longer it cools, also the seeing conditions need to be right too, keep at it! )

Follow the guidance already given, then when your comfortable with the setup, I would only suggest you buy a more comfortable eyepiece to use with this scope. For me the 8mm and the 12mm BST Starguider worked a treat, almost meant for this scope, but thats my  own personal  opinion. 

Don't expect magazine style images of the planets from this scope. You'll find the planets will be very small indeed. Viewing is best when your targets are high in the sky!!

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