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paulhereford

A newbie about to take the plunge!

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Good evening all,

Having received some fantastic advice here about buying my first scope I have decided to go for the Skywatcher Explorer 150P EQ3-2 6''. This is a bigger scope than I had originally intended to go for but the advice has been to go for the biggest apperture that can be afforded.

Is there anything please that I will need in addition to the Skywatcher and bits and bobs that come with it to get going?

I am keen to view planets, galaxies etc.

Also, do you have any recomendations as to where to purchase the scope from please?

Many thanks

Paul Hereford

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I can higly recommend First Light Optics (link at the top of this page). Given them a ring - Steve and James are very helpful, not at all pushy and will recommend what you need in the way of acessories rather than a whole bunch of stuff that you never use !

Your choice of scope is a good one with loads of potential.

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Welcome to the forum, a x1 finder such as a Rigel quikfinder, a Telrad or a red dot finder one of these will make finding things a lot easier, also a red light and a good book of star charts for example the Sky & Telescope pocket sky atlas and that's about it to get you started. Nice scope by the way it should serve you well.

I can recommend First light optics, Rother valley optics, Sherwoods, Telescope house and scsastro I have purchassed from them all and they have all performed well.

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As you asked "What else" then I suggest you consider the following:

Finder scope - probably necessary to locate what you want.

Additional EP's, one at say 32mm (wide).

Eventually motors to drive the EQ3-2.

Would have said 2 EP's but no sure on the f-number of the scope and what comes with it.

Getting the scope is the start of a money spending exercise, so think carefully.

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I'm also a newbie and recently made a purchase of my first scope from First Light Optics and was very pleased with the whole service and advice on other purchases made!! They are also involved on this site so you can get advice from them out of hours aswell (provided they are online..... if not just leave them a message!) And this is definately by far the best forum ive seen and the members are so helpful.

Good luck with your purchase!

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As you asked "What else" then I suggest you consider the following:

Finder scope - probably necessary to locate what you want.

Additional EP's, one at say 32mm (wide).

Eventually motors to drive the EQ3-2.

Would have said 2 EP's but no sure on the f-number of the scope and what comes with it.

Getting the scope is the start of a money spending exercise, so think carefully.

i think it comes with a 6x30 finder scope.

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A 6" reflector is a great way to get into the hobby, in fact I had one as my first scope! I would hold fire on buying any accessories at first, get used to using it and take it from there.

Tony..

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A great choice for a 1st scope. I too can recomend First Light Optics, great service and customer support, and, as far as Sky Watcher kit is concerned you wont get a better price.

Other things to buy, once you've got it you might be like me and cant get on with the 'finder scope' if thats the case then you could consider either a Telrad or Red Dot Finder. A couple of Eye Pieces would be good, but wait until you have the scope and decide on what you really want to look at.

And finally, warm clothes. A good hat is a must for hanging around in the cold dark nights. I got a kinda furry deer stalker type hat from Asda, £7, bloomin great. Quite often have to take it off for a while as it is sooo warm. Fingerless gloves are also a good idea, you can wear the gloves and still fiddle with the scope etc. You might also want to consider pocket warmers. I use charcoal style warmers bought from evil bay, very hot and burn for around 4 ~ 5 hours.

Oh, and good luck with the scope, you wont be disappointed.

Gary

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I agree with trying out what you get out of the box before any purchases. The only must have accessories that don't come with your scope are:

1) a red light torch so you won't loose your night vision while reading charts

2) warm cloths, multiple layers

3) a portable 12v hair drier or fan so you can give just a little heat on the stuff so you won't have to cut your sessions short cause of dew.

4) a nice star atlas. Pocket sky atlas is great and cheap. Or you can print this free stuff instead:

Skymaps.com - Publication Quality Sky Maps & Star Charts

Sky Maps

SAC's 110 Best of the NGC Book

Taki's Home Page

If you can't get along with your finder buy a telrad, but try the finder a few nights, 1st.

EDIT: Oh I forgot. If you want to look at the moon then you need a Neutral Density filter or it will be too bright and make your eyes hurt.

Edited by pvaz

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Hello Kris. Thank you for the advice. Much appreciated. I have a good set of glow in the dark sky charts and am reaquainting myself with the night sky after many years.

I have emailed First Light Optics and am awaiting a reply.

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Thank you Capricorn. I have thought about the scope I am going to purchase so will probably see how I go with it first before making any additional purchases at this stage. I have a number of interests/hobbies all of which have demands on time and finance so a sensible approach is needed. I also have a lot to learn about astronomy so that will be fun and a challenge. :)

Edited by paulhereford

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I'm also a newbie and recently made a purchase of my first scope from First Light Optics and was very pleased with the whole service and advice on other purchases made!! They are also involved on this site so you can get advice from them out of hours aswell (provided they are online..... if not just leave them a message!) And this is definately by far the best forum ive seen and the members are so helpful.

Good luck with your purchase!

Thank you Space_Trucker. I have emailed First Light Optics and await a reply. :)

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i think it comes with a 6x30 finder scope.

Thank you lennoxlude. As I have mentioned in other replies I have emailed First Light Opics and I am sure they will confirm this when they reply.

:)

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Thank you Gary. Great advice - I have plenty of warm clothing, layers, hats. gloves etc as I do quite a lot of camping / bushcrafty outdoors stuff. I am really looking forward to getting the scope and to getting started. :)

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A 6" reflector is a great way to get into the hobby, in fact I had one as my first scope! I would hold fire on buying any accessories at first, get used to using it and take it from there.

Tony..

Hello Tony. Yes I have opted for the 6'' reflector as I wanted to be sensible about what I was prepared to pay allied to getting the biggest reflector I could afford at this stage and yes I will see how I go before buying any accessories.

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I agree with trying out what you get out of the box before any purchases. The only must have accessories that don't come with your scope are:

1) a red light torch so you won't loose your night vision while reading charts

2) warm cloths, multiple layers

3) a portable 12v hair drier or fan so you can give just a little heat on the stuff so you won't have to cut your sessions short cause of dew.

4) a nice star atlas. Pocket sky atlas is great and cheap. Or you can print this free stuff instead:

Skymaps.com - Publication Quality Sky Maps & Star Charts

Sky Maps

SAC's 110 Best of the NGC Book

Taki's Home Page

If you can't get along with your finder buy a telrad, but try the finder a few nights, 1st.

EDIT: Oh I forgot. If you want to look at the moon then you need a Neutral Density filter or it will be too bright and make your eyes hurt.

Thank you pvaz great advice. The red light torch idea is great. I have glow in the dark sky charts and have been finding my way around the night sky of late so can't wait to get the scope now.:)

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