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Astronomy Shopping List


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Hi All,

I will soon be taking the plunge and ordering my telescope and mount but have put together a wish list of accessories I'm considering getting over the coming months as far as finances dictate.

I've compiled this in rough order of 'importance' and wonder if anyone has any suggestions?:

1st: Celestron C8-SGT XLT Telescope (Celestron CG-5 Mount)

2nd: Celestron Compatible 12v Mains Power Supply

3rd: Celestron Dew Shield 8" SCT

4th: Celestron Polar Finder For CG5

5th: Celestron X-Cel Series Eyepiece (10mm)

6th: Celestron Omni Series Eyepiece (40mm)

7th: Celestron Moon Filter 1.25"

8th: Nikon T-Ring

9th: Celestron SCT T-Adaptor

10th: Celestron Ultima 2x Barlow Lens 1.25"

11th: William Optics 2" Dielectric Diagonal with SCT Adaptor

12th: Starlight Instruments Feather Touch Micro Focuser

13th: William Optics Binoviewer (inc. 2 x 20mm Eyepieces)

14th: Orion UltraBlock Filter 1.25"

Just checked the weather for next week and as you've probably already guessed... cloudy! :)

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If you're intending to do photography you might want to consider a reducer (Celestron 6.3) or a 3.3.

Hope that helps :)

(Oh and a dew heater system?)

Edited by brantuk
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If you're intending to do photography you might want to consider a reducer (Celestron 6.3) or a 3.3.

Hope that helps :)

(Oh and a dew heater system?)

I was going to say reducer, too, but absolutely not the 3.3. It is hopeless except on the tiny webcam sized CCD chips for which it was designed. They are virtually given away these days by people who have abandoned them. I was literally given mine. It would be no good at all for your Nikon.

Be aware that without autoguiding at the long focal lengths of an SCT you will be pretty limited and a reducer like the 6.3 or Alan Gee would be effectively essential.

Olly

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If you update the CG5 GT mount to the latest firmware you won't need a polar finder as the the software has the All-Star Polar Alignment feature that lets you do a polar alignment using any star. More accurate as well.

The Feather Touch micro focuser is great for visual use, and it gets rid of a lot of the mirror shift as well. However if you're going to do much astrophotography you would be better off with an SCT crayford focuser as that would get rid of mirror shift completely.

I never use one of the old type Moon filters any more. The Baader Moon & Skyglow is the only filter I use now for lunar observing.

John

Edited by johninderby
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Thanks for that Olly - I learned something about reducers there :)

Yes, I thnk a few folks have been burned by that one. Sadly there is no cheap or easy route to f3 or thereabouts. I wish there were but the optical difficulties are pretty extreme, hence the price of the Orion Optics AO8, Tak Epsilon and so on. Shame, it would be great.

Olly

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Hi Sp3ne3r74, (THAT'S A HANDFULL)!

I would consider some non celestron branded kit that might be as good, if not better than some of the celestron kit. The money you save can then be put towards your next purchase. There are plenty of choices on the ep front for a start, the power station has many options as well, to name but two.

Clear skies

Alan

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Yup Alans right - the Celestron reducer is around £150 and there are cheaper one's just as good. Also keep an eye on the "For Sale" section - a Celestron one was sold almost brand new recently (just 2 or 3 mths old) for about £95 - great bargain.

Cheers

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I'd move the moon filter higher up your wish list. If you're just starting out, the moon is a great first object to concentrate on and the filter will reduce that full moon glare.

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If you update the CG5 GT mount to the latest firmware you won't need a polar finder as the the software has the All-Star Polar Alignment feature that lets you do a polar alignment using any star. More accurate as well.

John

Thanks for that John! It'll save me some cash for other bits and pieces :)

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The Feather Touch micro focuser is great for visual use, and it gets rid of a lot of the mirror shift as well. However if you're going to do much astrophotography you would be better off with an SCT crayford focuser as that would get rid of mirror shift completely.

John

Hi again John,

I've been having a look at the Moonlite SCT Crayford Focusers which look rather stunning :) although they do look a little weighty and increase the focal length somewhat?

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The MoonLites are very nice, but there are other options.

My first choice if the budget allows would be the Feather Touch. A compact and lightweight focuser that's simply unsurpassed in quality in a 2" crayford.

http://www.harrisontelescopes.co.uk/acatalog/Starlight_Instruments_Feather_Touch_2.0__Dual_Speed_Focuser.html

The Baader Steeltrack is a really great focuser that's just as smooth and precise and handles as much weight as the MoonLite, but cheaper.

http://www.harrisontelescopes.co.uk/acatalog/Baader_Steeltrack_SCT_Crayford_Focuser.html

The William Optics 3rd Gen crayford is very good and not too expensive.

http://www.firstlightoptics.com/proddetail.php?prod=WO_crayford_focuser

The change in focal length isn't a problem as SCTs have so much focus travel.

John

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If you're intending to do photography you might want to consider a reducer (Celestron 6.3) or a 3.3.

Hope that helps :)

Opticstar offered a free Focal Reducer with the scope I ordered so that's sorted ;)

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  • 8 months later...

Although a dewshield is essential, you can do the job a lot cheaper.

I bought a sheet of black card from my local craft shop and folded it into a cylinder which fitted over the front of the scope. Card sounds as if it won't last, but I have used the same one for 18 months and it hasn't fallen apart yet. It can be strengthened if you think it necessary by some 5mm foam (yoga mat type stuff), which is also dirt cheap. Don't know how much the celestron dewshield is, but an A3 sheet of card cost me £2.95 ... and there was enough card for two dewshields and two focussing masks (one for each of my telescopes).

[there's a pic of my sct with dewshield attached in my album "6SE"]

Edited by Demonperformer
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I think a 2" visual back would be nice. I don't know what type comes with the C8, but it may be the 1.25". 2" accessories are often cheaper than SCT threaded accessories and there are more choices out there.

The feather touch would be a nice idea if you ever want to do Hyperstar imaging.

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