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Hi, so I have a £40 amazon voucher burning a hole in my pocket and thought I would use it for some telescope equipment. I'm pretty new to this so could use some advice! I have a 130eq reflector telescope. It came with a 10mm, a 25mm and a barlow lens. I've bought a moon filter and an 80a filter. I've been reliably informed that Santa is bringing a red light torch 😂 

So, what else should I be looking for? There seem to be a lot of other filters available but I don't yet have an understanding of what they do. Or put it towards a motor for the mount? Or do I look for a really good pair of warm, fingerless gloves?! 

Any recommendations happily received 😊

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ahh yes those vouchers certainly create an itch to spend 🙂

A variable polarizing filter can be useful as you can increase the amount of blocking to suit the target (Moon, Mars etc).

But as you have a moon filter and it perhaps is sufficient, an RA motor does help to give more relaxed viewing as it relieves you of having to be tweaking controls to keep a target in view.

Another consideration perhaps, if you only have the supplied eyepieces would be to get a better eyepiece to replace the 10mm and also maybe the barlow. The 25mm is probably good enough but the supplied EPs are not the best. BST Starguider's are well recommended but one would eat your entire voucher. Vixen NPL are decent too.

oh and welcome to the madhouse, oops forum 😉 

Edited by DaveL59
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Hi Katie,

Personally, I would refrain from spending any money on filters. You will most likely not get the benefit from them.

You said you were hopefully getting a red light torch, make sure it is a head torch, preferably one that can be dimmed.

How do you collimate your scope? Have you got a Cheshire EP/sight tube? If not I would certainly get one and learn how to use it properly. Having a properly collimated reflector is an absolute must as it will greatly enhance your views.

What finder do you use? You could add a Rigel or Telrad. They really help you to get closer to the correct area of the sky quicker and prior to using your presumably  straight through finder.

As has already been suggested, you could upgrade your EP’s. The BST Starguiders are well recommended as an upgrade from the standard ones supplied with the scope.

You could also purchase some solar film and make a filter for the front of your scope so that you may have white light views of the sun. Just make sure you get visual film, NOT photographic

https://www.firstlightoptics.com/solar-filters/baader-astrosolar-safety-film-nd-50.html

 

Hope that helps 😃

Edited by Uplooker
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Hi Katie, welcome to SGL. The most important thing you need for this hobby is patience, and you still have your gift voucher 😀

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Hello Katie. I would say that warm gloves and a warm hat will be very much appreciated come the winter.

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Hi Katie and welcome !

I'm a quite new telescope user too : it was in the first lockdown when I bought it, and when I went looking for accessories every 'proper' astromomy equipment dealer seemed to be out of stock, so I managed to buy some stuff on amazon, mostly not from amazon, but small camera shops using them as a middleman. The first thing I bought was a cheap (£20 ish) skywatcher 17mm plossl eyepiece. I had read all the comments about the packaged eyepieces not being good ( same pair as yours) but wasn't sure if paying more would show me improvement, considering I had a cheap 'scope in a suburban back garden, and am far from a discerning observer ... I chose the 17mm because it was part way between the 10 and 25mm so wouldn't just be a duplicate if it didn't turn out to improve over what I had.

When it arrived, and I used it, I was hugely impressed, the improvement over the stock EPs was easy to see. I've since bought a couple of the highly recommended BSTs (which I've never ever seen om amazon, so I doubt you could spend your voucher on one ) but also a skywatcher 32mm plossl, again between £20-£25 . When I observe now, the 17mm skywatcher gets as much use as the two BSTs , I really like it. I've added 12.5mm and 32mm skywatcher plossls to my kit as well, both are OK and give me a good range.

A word of caution though :  plossl eyepieces at high magnifications ( low number mm) are harder to use, I'd not go below , say,  10mm.

Here's a link to the 17mm from the same vendor I got it from , for £21.95 including P&P 

https://smile.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00CYHTQY8/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o07_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

I bought a cheshire collimator but to be honest, 9 times out of 10 I just use the dust cap with a hole in the middle that came with my 'scope instead, I find it easier to do a quick check with. Easy and free to bodge your own if not.

The next thing I found I really needed to make my 'scope use easier was a right angle erect image  finder (often shortened to RACI  ) , which was the cure for having to do annoying yoga poses to look along the red dot finder that came with my 'scope. I've just cheoked on amazon, and there don't seem to be any available there at the moment

If you go for some gloves , I'd suggest 'shooter's mitts' which I've used for years when outdoors taking photos. I found them to be excellent, mine are windblocker fleece and came from go outdoors angling dept years ago. Their huge advantage is the fingerless glove has an extra flap-over bit which turns it into a mitten, but velcro holds the flap back out of the way when fingertips need to be free. Plenty of them on offer on amazon for around £10 , e.g.

https://smile.amazon.co.uk/dp/B089WBVP42/ref=wl_mb_wl_huc_clickstream_2_dp?th=1&psc=1

https://smile.amazon.co.uk/TREKMATES-Womens-Youth-Fleece-Gloves/dp/B00OIVZBGK/ref=sr_1_58?dchild=1&keywords=shooters%2Bmit&qid=1605965095&s=clothing&sr=1-58&th=1&psc=1

https://smile.amazon.co.uk/Jack-Pyke-Shooters-Mitts/dp/B01LNYUTL6/ref=sr_1_5?dchild=1&keywords=jack+pyke+shooters+mit&qid=1605966118&s=clothing&sr=1-5

I find I need the thumb of my dominant hand free too, but as fleece doesn't fray I've just butchered my mitt by snipping the top of the thumb off after unpicking  the thumb seam a bit, allowing me to use the unpicked thread to secure the top of the seam properly after surgery. One pair I bought had buttons and loops to hold the mitt bit back , which was useless, too fiddly to use with cold fingers , I cut the buttons off and sewed velcro on. They've been as good at the telescope as they have been out walking in the countryside .

Something else to maybe think about : a small toolbox or similar to hold your accessories in one place and make it easy to take them outside, keep them safe from any damp surfaces and find them in the dark .

Happy observing, and for the cloudy evenings happy shopping too

Heather

 

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Hi and welcome, I’ve just returned to this after a nearly 8 year break so am still at very beginner stage. My 2 most helpful initial buys were a telrad finder and the book “turn left at Orion” then I replaced my stock eps. The most useful thing I did was join this forum, the people here are so helpful and give the best advice when you’re unsure what to buy/look at or do next.  https://www.firstlightoptics.com/ These guys are just the best to buy stuff from if you ever find money burning a hole in your pocket.

Good luck x

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Hi Katie, and a warm welcome to the Lounge. As recently discussed anything to keep you warm in the dark, cold nights of winter.

Steve

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I got myself a planisphere. I've found it really handy in locating things without using technology. 

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I think the best thing I did was join this forum 😁 Thanks for all the advice 😊

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