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Christmas is coming, what to get next


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Complete newbie here (so please be gentle).

Just got my first telescope, an explorer 200p (Eq5) a few weeks ago and I am completely pleased with it so far.

With Christmas coming I was wondering what gadets or upgrades to go for next.

I'm guessing that the eyepieces that came with it are pretty basic. Is that the best thing to improve first or is there anything else I should consider?.

Thanks in advance.


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I have a 200P, was on a EQ5 but now on a Dob base, and one of the best things ive got for it, so far, is a Telrad finder - makes, er, finding objects a lot easier I find!

Maybe also a good wide field eyepiece, I use a Sky-Watcher Panavison 32mm in my 200P and I think it gives wonderful views of the skies!

Some good books on astronomy are always going to be useful too - Turn Left At Orion, or Nightwatch are both well worth getting!

Hope this gives you a few ideas!


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My suggestions would be:

A decent Star Map/Atlas to help locate objects quicker (I use Star Atlas 2000 which is expensive but Norton's are very good)

Astro Engineering do two very good products:

Red Alerts - These are flashing red LED's that sit on top of a battery (the type that you use for very small tranisistor radios) they flash twice a second, come in packs of three and are designed to be attached to each tripod leg via velcro so as you (or family!!!) don't bump into the mount when its dark. To be honest you can attach them to any piece of kit that you might be using in the dark.

Also from this company is an item they call the 'Eyepod' which is basically a bum bag that you wear around the waist and contains a foam insert that has holes cut into it so that you can store your eyepieces in it without them banging around in your pockets. The neat thing, is that attached to this foam case is a little red LED keyring that you can use to identify which eyepiece your after.

To be honest there are loads of toys that you can buy but you've got to save some money for other people's presents (....or maybe not!!!!)

Clear skies


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I;d suggest some better eyepieces - thgey dont have to be mega expensive. Even a humble Plossl in the £30 range will impro9ve the viewing - try a 32mm one first.

A dewshield - you can make one but if you some family members who are on a budget then a basic dewshield neednt cost much.

Orion Red Light Torch - Wind Up - you'll need a red light torch and the Orion wind-up one is the business. Never worry about batteries again.

The list is endless really but I;d start with some slightly better eyepieces, a red light torch and the dewshield.

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...A dewshield - you can make one but if you some family members who are on a budget then a basic dewshield neednt cost much....

This sounds like a line from "Blue Peter" :icon_salut:

There is nothing you can't do with sticky backed plastic and a used washing up bottle ......

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<= Takes a deep breath and stills the urge to launch into a diatribe on the evils of Blue Peter and uits crypto fascist tendencies :(

Ok everyone, back up! She's gonna blow!!! :icon_salut:

Seriously I would get a copy of Steve O'Meara's Messier Objects:-

Deep-Sky Companions: The Messier Objects: Amazon.co.uk: David H. Levy, Stephen James O'Meara: Books

And please don't mention sticky back anything again! ;)

Edited by mark7331
sticky - can't spell it.
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