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New (Ageing) Astronomer - Advice Needed


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1 hour ago, doublevodka said:

Or get a really really big one, no clearance issues then ;) 

How Does a Dobsonian Telescope Work?

I think the neighbours might have something to say though!  😄

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6 hours ago, Paul_Sussex said:

Spiralling in like a vulture, I'm almost decided now on a mid-size reflector. Bear in mind this will be primarily for visual observation. FLO currently list the explorer 150P and 130PDS for about the same price The 130 has only 75% f the area, but comes with a 1.25/2" dual speed focuser. How does that balance against the loss in aperture? Many people seem happy with, for example, the Onesky/AWB 5" tube.

(As these are both showing in stock with FLO, I'm tempted to grab one or the other now then sit there stroking it until I can pick up a mount to suit 🥴 )

FWIW, I have a 150PDS and that focuser is superb for the price IMO. Also, note that the 150P will probably need modification if you ever want to image with it while the 130PDS is already suitable for prime-focus astrophotography. For that, there's an entire thread dedicated to AP with the 130PDS that should give you some idea of capability. (clicky link)

Good luck and HTH

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1 hour ago, Paul_Sussex said:

Help! I realise I'd need eyepiece(s) and a mount, but this seems too good to miss! And the finance director is willing to sign off on it. Any opinions?

https://www.firstlightoptics.com/offers/offer_ts-photon-6-f6-advanced-newtonian-telescope-with-metal-tube_288502.html

I've (and others) have tried to point you in a direction, but all you seem to do is link to lots of different scopes and asking for peoples opinions between them.  Part of this problem is that most people don't own two or three scopes, let alone owning the  two specific brands or models you are asking for comparison on, especially when its not one of the more common brands such as Skywatcher.  Also as mentioned, peoples opinions are subjective.  You would really need to compare different brands or size aperture size under like for like skies, as a 130p under really dark skies could quiet easily out perform a 200P in a more light polluted area...

As you have gathered ask for a recommendation and you will get 100 differing suggestions and a thread that runs into pages and pages.  We can only give you our opinions or suggestions based on our own experiences, which will be limited as most of us only have used one or two scopes, hence the suggestion to go and speak to someone in a showroom and compare what they have to offer.   People have recommended PDS versions so that if you find viewing faint grey fuzzy blobs disappointing you can easily switch to imaging with basic cameras, even those found on mobile phones.  Again, what you will see will be dependent on the quality of the skies where you live or intend to observe from, and how good your eyesight is. 

I wish you well in your continued search, for an extra ten quid you can get the same scope only F5 focal length brand new from FLO.  As for how they perform, someone who does have a large selection of scopes have placed a review on how the TS scope performs 

Quote

Thursday, 6 January 2022  |  Stuart

I got this OTA just before xmas to sit in mid-range FL space.

I have a 72ED, and now also an Altair 80ED for the 4-500 space, and I have the 9.25 with 6.3 reducer for around 1300. And of course higher FL without it.

I have a 200P newt, but it's big and a pain to setup and balance.

So.. after some discussion on the forum where I wanted to say away from newts, I ended up going for a smaller newt! for value for money it just seemed a no brainer.

https://www.firstlightoptics.com/ts-telescopes/ts-photon-6-f5-advanced-newtonian-telescope-with-metal-tube.html

After first light I was impressed, but it was in need of a coma corrector, so on advice from FLO I bought this

https://www.firstlightoptics.com/coma-correctors/baader-mark-iii-mpcc-coma-corrector-photographic.html

So about 400 quid all in.

I've used it quite a few nights now, so wanted to just give a quick review - not war and peace, but as FLO has only started selling them, I figured it might be useful to potential buyers.

It came in a solid box, and seemed to have good collimation out of box. I've as yet not re-collimated. It looks nice in 'zwo red' and black, going well with my other ZWO bits.

The focuser is a crayford job, which though according to FLO, is better quality that the rack and pinion Skywatcher equivalent, does need careful setting up to avoid slipage with my asi1600, and EFW on the end of it.

I use the ZWO EAF - this took a wee bit of creativity to mount as the screw holes are not suitable. So it is on with one bolt, and some tie wraps - but it does the job and focuses reliably all night long through my filters automatically.

If, like me you came from a 200P, it might surprise you just how much smaller and more manageable it is. It's no longer a burden to setup like the 200p, easy to balance, less couterweights, and I am getting 0.4" RMS guiding pretty constantly with my EQ6r-pro.

It has an open back for the mirror, so be aware of that for darks. As I have quite a lot of ground light pollution I cover that up with masking tape.

I've had no dew issues so far, though I have woken to find it covered in frost - but the mirrors have remained clear.

With the coma corrector it appears sharp edge to edge - a few pics below from the last few days.

All in all, I'd say it's a great scope at a great price. I'm a very happy punter - it's going to be getting a lot of use in the coming months.

  

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