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Sky-Watcher Skyliner 200p advise on extras


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Hi,

i am in the process of getting a Skywatcher Skyliner 200p Dobsonian telescope. I am a complete novice. What other extras do you think I might need when I start? What would be the top 3 items I should definitely purchase?

 

thanks for the suggestions.

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Hi,

I think for me the top 3 would be:

- A Telrad or Rigel Quickfinder to sit alongside the optical finder

- A cheshire collimation eyepiece

- A good star atlas such as the Sky & Telescope Pocket Sky Atlas or for more help in finding things, the good old book "Turn Left at Orion"

Hope that helps :icon_biggrin:

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16 minutes ago, John said:

Hi,

I think for me the top 3 would be:

- A Telrad or Rigel Quickfinder to sit alongside the optical finder

- A cheshire collimation eyepiece

- A good star atlas such as the Sky & Telescope Pocket Sky Atlas or for more help in finding things, the good old book "Turn Left at Orion"

Hope that helps :icon_biggrin:

Thank you. For the collimation would you use a laser one or without it? I have seen different opinions.

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9 minutes ago, Kon said:

Thank you. For the collimation would you use a laser one or without it? I have seen different opinions.

Personally I get on better with a cheshire collimator.

 

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To extend from John, perhaps a Planisphere, a dim red led light and (free software planetarium) Stellarium onto your phone and PC. Maybe a stool or chair, a mat for the dob to rest on, a compact garden or camping table. As mentioned, Turn Left at Orion, is the number one guide to get you going.

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Agree with all the above, a red dot finder like a telrad or rigel is great to have, so much easier, faster and more intuitive to just 'point and shoot' than trying to use the finderscope. I have the Telrad which is great, but I would go with the Rigel in the future as the base is much smaller for my Sky watcher dobs.

I've a Cheshire and cheap laser collimation tool. I used to use the laser exclusively because a laser must be more accurate, right? Well, perhaps not. I'm hearing now I should trust the Cheshire over the laser. I've actually never had a problem with either, and my dobs seem to reach a nice sharp focus.

I don't know your budget, but a comfortable chair or stool of some sort is a must for good viewing so you're not all wobbly trying to look in the eyepiece, but that's something you might be able to cobble together at home. A dedicated astro viewing stool is pretty expensive for what it is IMHO. I use an old plastic adjustable chair from IKEA I saved from the bin - I just leave it outside as no one would look twice at it.

My star atlas of choice is the Sky and Telescope jumbo pocket atlas. It's spiral bound for field use and I still use it almost every viewing session. If there's something in there I want to learn more about, I'll just google it in this day and age.

The included 25mm/10mm eyepieces may quickly leave a bit to be desired, especially the 10mm. I never used my 10 & 25mm very much, or at all, but I did use the Sky-Watcher 28mm 2" eyepiece quite a lot when I started and I still have it. It's really a decent eyepiece for the money (you could probably find one for a tenner) and really comfortable, especially if you want to observe wearing glasses. 

Beyond that, the BST Starguiders get good reviews and aren't silly money. I like APM and Baader eyepieces as well. The wide 82 and especially 100 degree eyepieces can get ridiculously expensive in a hurry however, easily more than the price of the scope! But they're not a necessity by any means, especially if you wear glasses when viewing, and that's something for a different thread altogether. 

Main thing is to collimate if needed, get comfortable, focus on the stars until they are nice sharp points of light and have fun. Your first views of the moon will be something else, especially if you've not used a decent sized telescope before. Very bright!  

Edited by Ships and Stars
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Only echoing what has been already said:

#1 Sight tube/Cheshire combo

#2 Telrad

#3 Free/cheap version of Sky Safari

Download AstroBaby's guide to collimation, and use a sheet of paper to block the primary when aligning the secondary 😂

http://www.astro-baby.com/astrobaby/help/collimation-guide-newtonian-reflector/

Turn Left At Orion is worth it - beautifully compiled book!

Personally I would suggest 2 EPs and a barlow... soonish, but not immediately necessary.  I did not get on with the 10mm i got with my 250px.  My best EP was a 13mm 82° afov - beautiful.  I bought a good one after a year after wasting money on a set of plossls and colour filters.  The best thing was the case they came in!! 😂

Best thing is to get out and learn your way around both your scope & the sky.  Don't despair if collimation proves tricky at first :)

I never got them, but Bobs knobs for the secondary would be a good investment- the Allen key/ hex bolts are evil.  Also the 'lock' nuts on the primary- you'll see them.  Know from the start that they should never be tightened- despite their name.  Loosely turn until the tip barely contacts is enough - hold loosely when tightening so that they slide between thumb and index finger.  Or just remove them ;)

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Cheaper laser collimators can be a bit of a lottery, and by cheaper I mean anything under about £75 which isn’t that cheap actually! They are better than Cheshire collimators in terms of convenience, but they aren’t any more accurate which is the main thing. The big challenge is that it’s quite difficult to find a laser that points dead straight, and that’s your issue!

Telrads are nearly universally adored! But they’re quite big and not very pretty. I only use a 6x30 finder these days - but there’s a couple of techniques to learn to get the best out of them. Finders are a very personal thing. I’d have a play with yours first and see how you enjoy it.

I wouldn’t rush out to buy new eyepieces for a while. The ones that come with the scope are fine honestly.

But do get a cope of Turn Left At Orion. Definitely!

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