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It's alive!!!!


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I had originally posted this as an addendum to my welcome message thread but thought it'd be more appropriate to this forum as it's primarily your AP opinions I'm after, that and it helps my posts cound :D, so here it is....

It's alive!!!!

Well now, where do I start. As per my original post, I'd ordered a Skywatcher Skyliner 200P Dobsonian. Now you know what the rule is, when you've decided to purchase, you should stop looking for alternatives. Well, not being one for the rules, I kept looking.

My end goal is DSO AP and from what I've been reading (mostly here on SGL), the dob isn't really suited (without modification) for tracking. So I changed my order (thanks FLO for being so helpful) to the Skywatcher Explorer 200P EQ5 (so much for a budget I hear you say), safe in the knowledge that syncscan goto could be added later.

So, here it is....


What's that you say, "what's that you got attached to the EP", oh, that'd be the Canon 1000d I'd planed to buy in about a year or so I'm getting a feeling this hobby is going to sting financially.

So, after it arrived on the afternoon of Friday 20th. I immediately got to work setting it up. Everything done and dusted apart from the polar alignment for which I needed Polaris. The clouds were kind enough to let me complete the alignment later that evening. I don't think I've it set quite right as I need to track using both RA & DEC so need to work on that my next viewing session.

Managed to get my 1st Juiper using prime-focus


No real editing done as I don't as yet know what to do or why to do it

Ambitiously, I tried some DSO (5-30 sec) exposures at various ISOs from 200 right up to 1600, but the drifting was so bad none of the images were worth keeping.

The 10mm, 25mm & 2x barlow supplied with the scope did let me get a reasonable view of Jupiter but it was a little disappointing. I've asked the guys at FLO for some advice in this department and am thinking of getting the Celestron Eyeopener Eyepiece and Filter Kit they have in their clearance section.

I've also asked FLO for details on the SynScan PRO GOTO Version 3 Upgrade Kit for EQ5, specifically:

  • Is it hard to install?
  • What's involved?
  • Is that upgrade suitable for DSO AP?
  • Is the weight of the 200P & the 1000d within the 9k weight limitations of the motors?
  • Is the syncscan set-up straightforward to polar align?

I've been busy reading up on the constellations and am able to navigate around 5-6 of them reasonably comfortably.

I think, I'm almost there (kit wise) and if the sync scan and EP set will improve my planetary viewing and DSO imaging, I'm prepared to go the last bit to get it done and dusted.

I'd appreciate any thoughts you guys have on my plans.

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The red blue hues can be sorted by using the RGB align feature in registax - probably just as a result of the optics as Red green and blue come to focus at different points - hence the appeal fo the refractor Apo's and flourite lenses.

It's impossible to get Jupiter with detail and the moons in the same shot - if you shorten your exposure time (think I was at about 1/125 for Jupiter) you might start to get some detail - just keep trying shorter exposures til you see the banding. The moons will disappear at these speeds but it's worth it.

All you need now is a small refractor piggybacked on your scope and you're all set for DSO work. - oh and yes - decking - bouncy bouncy. Even on a very well laid flag patio it's amazing how my set up can show vibration sometimes - I always tip toe out to it when it's imaging.



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All you need now is a small refractor piggybacked on your scope and you're all set for DSO work.

Ah, so that's how one can focus a target when a prime focused camera's view finder doesn't show anything then? Or, so save the expense, am I correct in saying that on a correctly polar aligned mount it would suffice to locate using either manual RA DEC settings or GoTo?

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don't go anywhere near that decking when you are making long exposures. The vibration will ruin everything.

I cant even go on my concrete patio while its doing stuff.

Nice scope that. I was looking at one of these last night. I reckoned I could get one on my EQ5 gotoed for £200 less than it is on FLO

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Interesting, care to elaborate :D

1st off, my bad, I was looking at the already gotoed scope but it should still work... however sat here going over it, I've confused myself a lot :)

In theory if you buy the bit separately you should save a bit of money - the step up in price between the standard set up and the gotoed set up is more than the cost of the goto upgrade kit by £45.

The main area of saving I was looking at is selling on the mount as I already have an EQ5. Thats where my £200 less came from.

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I think I'm going to order the upgrade, and as I'm sure lots of people have said before me "no more, that's it, no more upgrade/additions for me for a while, I really mean it this time, honestly!!!!".

I feel like a conductor who has at his hands some very talented musicians but finds that he has not the fist clue how to conduct anything other than chop-sticks :-)

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