Jump to content

Stargazers Lounge Uses Cookies

Like most websites, SGL uses cookies in order to deliver a secure, personalised service, to provide social media functions and to analyse our traffic. Continued use of SGL indicates your acceptance of our cookie policy.

sgl_imaging_challenge_banner_30_second_exp_2.thumb.jpg.7719b6f2fbecda044d407d8aba503777.jpg

Alexandros

Best course of action for a beginner

Recommended Posts

So as the title says I am a beginner in the stargazing area. I recently got my scope a Skywatcher 130/900 reflector, mounted on an EQ2 mount and it came with 2 reverse kellner eyepieces a 10mm and a 25mm one and a barlow lens. I have been looking through it for about a week now, loving the experience and I just got back from seeing my first Messier object and I am very excited so forgive me if this post has some parts that seem jumbled! 

have been noticing, that with my rack and pinion focuser, it is hard to get the sweet spot of focus that i believe I can achieve with my scope and I have been considering investing on a 2 speed crayford focuser, in order to better control the focus. However there are so many other things that I want to get, like a motor drive for my mount and a t ring to attach my dslr but the fact that I have been in posession of the scope for a week and a day makes me feel like I have to take things slow now and learn how to use my equipment better before I proceed in an investment right now. So my question is, what should I do right now. Should I get any of the equipment I feel like is gonna help enhance my experience, or do you think I should spend some time first to learn the sky and how to better see with my scope right now? If I were to get some new equipment down the line, what do you think I should prioritize on?

Sorry for the long post, it's the excitement I guess!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We all know the excitement, no need to say sorry about anything. That’s what it’s all about! 🙂

And this is unlikely to be the answer you’re looking for ... but you should wait.

Spend time with your scope, using it, learning the sky and learning what you can do with your scope and your skies. Certainly think about what might help in your enjoyment of the hobby but, mostly, just enjoy what you’re doing. 

And it seems to me you’re doing just fine!

Have fun and go easy.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Firstly, before shelling out a ton of money on a focuser costing as much as your scope, try this:

http://www.astro-baby.com/Skywatcher Focuser Tune up/Skywatcher Focuser Tune-up.htm

I tried the above with a 130PS and focusing improved considerably.

Listen to the previous poster's advice. Buy nothing for a few weeks at least. It's all too easy to go on a spending frenzy. I ended up with a second scope quite quickly and luckily I'm very happy with it!

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm with Floater, it sounds like you're having a blast as it is, so go with the ride. I'm not saying take the 20 years it took me to go from observing to imaging, but just think how much money you can save up in 20 years for gear, haha.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I very much agree with Floater's comments. A week is a fleeting moment in astronomical terms.

Yes tackle the focusser. At some point you might visit collimation if you think the scope is not doing as well as it should.
None of this costs you any real money and you will learn a lot.

As you are using Kellner eyepieces, I suspect an upgrade here might be your first spend - but not yet.
Try to find the limits of your current setup and maybe borrow other eyepieces from friends to see what suits you.
Think in terms of tens of euros on new eyepieces and if/when you change scope, the eyepieces can stay with you.

Enjoy the journey.

David.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you all for the replies!

To be honest, I am not looking for a particular answer, I know that both are options, I am just trying to learn from your experience mostly as to what is the best path for me right now! I can see that unanimously the best option for me is to continue looking at the sky so I will keep doing that, at least for the coming month as the new moon will let me know what the best seeing conditions I can achieve in my location are. Also more Messier objects are there to spot as well! 😁 Any ideas on other objects I can see under the moonlit sky?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Don't buy a focuser without checking out Chinese-made helical focusers. They seem to be intended for guidescopes  but work fine as a screw-in fine focuser for a Newtonian. For pic see my Newtonian OTA post in the 'For sale'.  That focuser cost me around £20 from China.

be cautious if buying a motor for your EQ-2.  I had a EQ-2 clone mount and bought the £30 budget motor for it.  It was rubbish and eventually got binned. IIRC there is a better drive but it can't be transferred to another type of mount.

Also a 130/900 scope sounds a bit chunky for an EQ-2 mount.  Replacing the mount with something better should give you much more stable views, but at significant expense.

I doubt that the Kellner eyepieces supplied will work particularly well with your scope (or anything else).  I have not been impressed by similar kit eyepieces supplied with my scopes and found that an upgrade was worthwhile for higher powers.   

Apparently this telescope has a spherical mirror rather than parabolic and reviews suggest the kit is a low cost entry level instrument. Accordingly I would caution against buying upgrade components that can't be re-used with  your next telescope. Eyepieces and standard mounts will in general be re-usable.

Edited by Cosmic Geoff

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks a lot Cosmic!

Thank you for that final remark, I was under the impression that all the mirrors were parabolic. Now I am much more cautious as to what I should invest in. It could very well be the reason why there seems to be a deadzone in the focus of my scope, within that window, the sharpness of the image does not improve. Is there any way I can test if the spherical mirror has a noticeable effect? For example if there is a certain lunar feature I should be able to distinguish, or a binary star I should be able to split, or something else.

I also see from your post, that you have the EQ 5 mount and the motor drive for it. Could you share your opinion on it? I saw it today online and was thinking if I should consider it for a future upgrade.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you're looking for a course of action you could do worse than check out if there are any astronomy clubs in your area. The chance to talk with others, learn from their experience and try out different types of kit can be invaluable.

Billy.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Billy,

I know there is an astronomy club operating on my island and I am going to attend some of their stargazing nights as well. They just don't meet very often sadly.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Alexandros said:

Thanks a lot Cosmic!

Thank you for that final remark, I was under the impression that all the mirrors were parabolic. Now I am much more cautious as to what I should invest in. It could very well be the reason why there seems to be a deadzone in the focus of my scope, within that window, the sharpness of the image does not improve. Is there any way I can test if the spherical mirror has a noticeable effect? For example if there is a certain lunar feature I should be able to distinguish, or a binary star I should be able to split, or something else.

I also see from your post, that you have the EQ 5 mount and the motor drive for it. Could you share your opinion on it? I saw it today online and was thinking if I should consider it for a future upgrade.

If you look in Norton's Star Atlas or (these days) online you should find stars tagged as "test for 5inch" or whatever, which will give you some idea of how your telescope rates.  The theoretical resolving power of a 5" scope is well known.

The EQ-5 is like scaffolding compared with an EQ-2 and suchlike mounts. It supports telescopes up to about 10Kg for visual use.  I have the single axis RA drive for it which works well. A minus point is that it runs from 6 volts while I'd rather it ran from 12v like the majority of astro electronics.  There are several other motor options - two choices of dual-axis drive, plus the Goto option.  Check its weight though before you plan backpacking it into the wilds.🙂

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ahh, thanks a lot! It looks like there is some studying involved in the resolving power and how to properly measure it so I will most certainly take my time to understand it first!

Also, thank you for sharing your opinion of the EQ5 :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
16 hours ago, Alexandros said:

Thanks a lot Cosmic!

Thank you for that final remark, I was under the impression that all the mirrors were parabolic. Now I am much more cautious as to what I should invest in. It could very well be the reason why there seems to be a deadzone in the focus of my scope, within that window, the sharpness of the image does not improve. Is there any way I can test if the spherical mirror has a noticeable effect? For example if there is a certain lunar feature I should be able to distinguish, or a binary star I should be able to split, or something else.

I also see from your post, that you have the EQ 5 mount and the motor drive for it. Could you share your opinion on it? I saw it today online and was thinking if I should consider it for a future upgrade.

You have a Sky-Watcher(Synta) 130mm f/7, and I have this Meade(Ningbo Sunny)114mm f/8...

kit4d.jpg.168b14e59b201a9548c2db265f2bda95.jpg

Both of our telescopes have a 900mm focal-length, an EQ-2 mount, and spherical primary-mirrors.  At the longer focal-length of my own, I have been told that the telescope is at 1/5th-wave if perfectly spherical.  Therefore yours, at f/7, should perform within Rayleigh's 1/4th-wave criterion as well, and diffraction-limited.  But it must be collimated well.  Mine, fresh out of the box, gave me practically tack-sharp views.  

"Diffraction Limited" is stated within the specs of the Orion-of-California variant of your own, the Orion "SpaceProbe" 130, and also made by Synta.

In order to use an inexpensive motor-drive with your mount, you must adjust the mount, and to where you can twist the RA worm-shaft with your fingers, and with little effort...

504154131_twisthere.jpg.1bf97d460b5902cfdfde7d83e4e7b5dc.jpg

Else, the plastic gears and their teeth within the drive will break and crack, and the motor itself can burn out.  These mounts generally arrive bound-up and tight.  If yours seems a little too tight, loosen it up.  The mount is a mechanical thing, a machine, and consisting of nuts and bolts to hold it together. 

Edited by Alan64
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Hi Alan! Thanks for you response. 

I am not familiar with the criterions you mentioned but I'll look them up. 

Regarding the mount. Mine was in fact tight and quite difficult to move in the RA axis with the handle on, but I applied some WD-40 to the contact of the main gear with the worm shaft and it became a bit better and the motion was smooth. However, I am not able to move it with my fingers when I'm trying to twist at the position you pointed in the picture. I assume a loosening up is called for. I will search for a tutorial for how to do this properly, but if you are aware of good one, could you post it here so I can have a reputable one? 

Thanks again for responding

Alex

Edited by Alexandros
Typo
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Alexandros said:

Hi Alan! Thanks for you response. 

I am not familiar with the criterions you mentioned but I'll look them up. 

Regarding the mount. Mine was in fact tight and quite difficult to move in the RA axis with the handle on, but I applied some WD-40 to the contact of the main gear with the worm shaft and it became a bit better and the motion was smooth. However, I am not able to move it with my fingers when I'm trying to twist at the position you pointed in the picture. I assume a loosening up is called for. I will search for a tutorial for how to do this properly, but if you are aware of good one, could you post it here so I can have a reputable one? 

Thanks again for responding

Alex

There are only three areas of these entry-level mount-heads, in this instance the EQ-2,  that need checking, and oft adjusting upon its arrival...

1.  The RA lock-nut...

1460070215_RAlock-nut8.jpg.4bb04cfb95de4e29e2c8f66aa80f8574.jpg

You would simply loosen that one to adjust.  Being a lock-nut, it will hold its position wherever you set it.

2.  The DEC lock-nut...

1012712135_DEClock-nut5.jpg.3f112e4fcf0e176e8bc756f536fa73af.jpg

You would loosen the three screws round, screw the ribbed nut inward or outward to the desired position, then secure the screws.

3.  The RA worm-shaft assembly is a bit more complicated, but it's not that difficult really...

https://stargazerslounge.com/topic/319273-meade-large-equatorialeq-2-hyper-tuning/?do=findComment&comment=3492379

At a minimum, there should be no dire need to completely disassemble anything.  You want those junctures to be without slack and slop, yet easily set in motion.

For the lack of a better analogy, these entry-level mounts, and those larger even, are oft as this upon arrival...

https://www.completelydelicious.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/IMG_4124.jpg

...a work still in progress.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 20/05/2019 at 23:17, Alan64 said:

There are only three areas of these entry-level mount-heads, in this instance the EQ-2,  that need checking, and oft adjusting upon its arrival...

1.  The RA lock-nut...

1460070215_RAlock-nut8.jpg.4bb04cfb95de4e29e2c8f66aa80f8574.jpg

You would simply loosen that one to adjust.  Being a lock-nut, it will hold its position wherever you set it.

2.  The DEC lock-nut...

1012712135_DEClock-nut5.jpg.3f112e4fcf0e176e8bc756f536fa73af.jpg

You would loosen the three screws round, screw the ribbed nut inward or outward to the desired position, then secure the screws.

3.  The RA worm-shaft assembly is a bit more complicated, but it's not that difficult really...

https://stargazerslounge.com/topic/319273-meade-large-equatorialeq-2-hyper-tuning/?do=findComment&comment=3492379

At a minimum, there should be no dire need to completely disassemble anything.  You want those junctures to be without slack and slop, yet easily set in motion.

For the lack of a better analogy, these entry-level mounts, and those larger even, are oft as this upon arrival...

https://www.completelydelicious.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/IMG_4124.jpg

...a work still in progress.

Hi Alan!

Sorry for replying so late, I have been caught up with work.

Thanks for the tutorials, once I find some free time, I will put them to use and let you know how it went :) 

Alex

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.