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musrol

Beginner accessories for SW 150PL?

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Hi,

I am relatively new to astronomy, and I am getting my first proper scope for Christmas which is the SkyWatcher 150PL + EQ3.

Does anyone else have this scope, or think of any additional accessories such as lenses, filters, sights etc that may be useful and worth getting to go with it?

I have Stellarium for my computer, SkyWalk for my iPhone, and the book Turn left at Orion. All of which I thoroughly recommend to any other beginner.

Thanks in advance

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Now is the time to take your time and start to learn your way around the sky with the new scope. After a while you will find where your intrests lie and will get an idea of what additional equipment will help you. A good atlas (can be downloaded for free) will help as a start. It may seem odd but a pair of 10x50 binoculars would be a useful addition to your armoury - you can practice "star-hopping" and finding objects - then use the scope, if appropriate, for a "better" view.

Edited by Bizibilder

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I'd get a dewshield, red light torch and leave it at that. Get some eyeball time in, go to some star parties and find out what you want next.

Theres almost no limits to upgrades on a 150/EQ3 - most people will move on up to a bigger scope but if you wanted to stay with it you could upgrade an awful lot.

Its a good bit of kit and when I started in astro probably the biggest scope most people could hope to own.

I'm sure you'll love it - any questions just ask up.

Peace and clear skies to you.

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I agree 100% with Bizibilder - don't rush into accessories until you have the scope and have used it for a while. You get enough to get you started with the scope and there are so many accessories but only you will know the ones you need - after you have had the scope for a while and have learned more about where your interests lie.

John

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I second Bizibilder. If you have no previous experience then the 1st thing to do is to learn the constellations and how to find things in the sky. If you can't do that then it will be impossible to point at anything worth seeing.

You can make a free starwheel at home using this link. Print it and get out there with the naked eye or the binos and start learning your way around the sky. A nice addition would be a good beginner's book such as "Turn Left at Orion" and later on an Atlas.

EDIT: As Astro Baby said the dew shield will be nice too. You guys in UK seam to sufer a lot from dew and that can ruin an observation night. A red light torch (or a normal one painted with red nail varnish) will allow you to see the star wheel/books/atlas without ruining night vision.

Edited by pvaz

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I'd still suggest the dewshield because (a) it will block out stray light and (:D without it the scope will dew up. Mine shows an ability to dew up at the slightest opportunity.

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Hi musrol

I bought my first scope a couple of months ago and I would agree you certainly don’t want to rush into buying stuff. My first accessories though were a Cheshire collimator (device for making sure you mirrors are aliened correctly) and a moon filter. With the moon full after chrimbo (31st) your bound to want to ogle it and its amazing but a bit bright on the eyes.

Also made a dew shield out of an old 10mm foam camping mat, works a treat.

Cheers

Edited by Dicky de Builder

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I wouldn't bother with a dew shield. Never had dew problems with any of the reflectors I've owned at all - just IMHO.

I'd second the other advice given, but would add that a moon filter is a necessity even for a beginner. You will, no doubt, point your scope at the moon because: a) it is easy to find; :D it has a wealth of detail to look at and; c) it is a pretty darn fine object to look at. A moon filter will just reduce the glare to comfortable levels (nb even a full moon wont damage your eyes, but it's not easy to stare at!)

They can be picked up fairly cheaply here on occasion or from FLO/other reputable dealers.

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If you do find you need a dew shield, you can easily make one out of some of that foam camping mat, rolled into a tube and slid over the end of the tube. You want about 1.5x the aperture, so about 9" long.

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I have this scope. Great piece of kit. I'd agree with the advice re. a moon filter - gotta get one else your eyes will hurt!

I have been extremely frustrated by the poor quality of the 10mm eye piece supplied. Effective magnification with supplied EPs / barlow is only 120x as the 10mm is unusable with the barlow (at least from my location) so I would look to save up and spend a few quid on a decent EP that will up the mag for planetary viewing in particular. (I am still deciding what to get with my 'under the bed savings scheme that the wife doesn't know about') lol

I'm not suggesting that you need to splash out immediately though - there is loads to see with the 25mm, barlow, and 10mm without barlow.:D

Enjoy!

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Thanks very much everyone for all your replies, all really useful! Ill see how I get on the first few days, and if I have enough Crimbo money left over get a moon filter as that sounds the priority, maybe a EP if I feel the need.

Cant wait till Christmas till I can use it, the scope arrived yesterday. Although I got in a lot of trouble with the girlfriend as she had no idea how big it would be, the boxes are maaasive! hehe

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Just use the scope first, then decide on extras..

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Newbie: If you are having problems with the 10mm eyepiece and barlow combination it may well be that the seeing (atmosphere) simply won't stand that level of magnification. This is often the case - especially with a object placed low down as Jupiter currently is. I have sometimes been unable to go above 100x on my 200P simply because the image was "boiling all over the place".

A really good LOW power eyepiece may be a good idea - for looking at wide(ish) views of star flusters and fields. Having had a while to think about this thread may I suggest that if you start observing by drawing what you see you will quickly start to learn your way as well as having a record of what you have seen - very useful reference for the future. With that in mind maybe a good first purchace would be a simple motor drive for the Polar axis - this will keep the image in the field of view and leave your hands free for notes and drawings rather than continuous "knob twiddling" of the RA slow motion.

I just spotted....

Star FLUSTERS and FIELDS???? Too much Cristmas cheer!!!!! OOPS!!!!

Edited by Bizibilder

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Definitly a collimator whether it be a cheshire or a laser type.

You are going to need one at some stage and an uncollimated mirror might leave you asking questions about the quality of your purchase.

Just a thought

Graham

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Although I got in a lot of trouble with the girlfriend as she had no idea how big it would be, the boxes are maaasive! hehe

When i got mine i set it up in the sitting room. My girlfriend came home and just said "F!*$£ing hell it huge". She was then quiet for ages :D:D:D:D

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