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Extras for my new scope

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My new 12 inch skyliner flextube should be arriving next week. Depending on finances, i may be able to buy all or just a couple of these items i mention.

What would be your suggestions if i am limited with cashflow at the moment?

I would like to buy a shroud, a red dot finder, a cheshire and a dew shield.

Any recommendations on these, and what you would buy first?

Thanks in advance, Jon.

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I hear that dobs go out of collimation quite quickly, so I guess that should be pretty high on your list otherwise you'll struggle to get quality observing sessions - the dew shield also I would guess should be high up there as well unless you want to use the hairdryer method that some others use to keep the dew at bay

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When I had a Mead Lightbridge 12" truss tube dobsonian, I found all those items pretty well essential to be honest - the dew shield might be optional depending on dewing conditions where you observe but you can make one of those as a temporary fix.

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You can make the dewshield from a flexible camping mat I understand - a lot of people recommend this. Also it shouldn't be too hard to run up a shroud using some black material and velcro. You can get spray on waterproofing from camping shops (the stuff they use on tents) to proof it. The tailored shrouds for your scope are around £70 brand new.

For the red dot finder the "Telrads" are cheap and highly effective - very popular.

Hope that helps save you a bob or two :)

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Dew shield is a defo, and the cheshire is a must. The shroud would be good to cut out the light also.

How much for the shroud on average?

I bought an Astrozap on for around £50 but they are closer the £70 now. Excellent accessory and essential with the Lightbridge with the low level, lateral light pollution I had to cope with. Thay could be made DIY of course but need some care in design to ensure that the material does not sag into the light path.

You may be OK without one of course - perhaps it's best to get the scope 1st and see how it goes. The Cheshire is probably the most vital on that list as newtonians will often loose collimation in transit.

Edited by John
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As i am no good with the needle, i think i will buy a shroud, and the Cheshire.

Minds made up.:)

God ,i still have good times awaiting arrival of the scope.;)

What will arrive first,scope and power pack, or shroud,cheshire, and the other bits of gear.

Telrad looks the biz in my eyes, so thats a defo, thanks Brantuc.:D

I will order them all mfrom flo tomorrow, cannot wait.

Thanks guys.

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Joined mate. Good info as well.

If only my scope will arrive,grrrrr,lol.

One thing i was going to ask you Brantuc, i have a smaller goto telescope, so am i right in thinking i can swap handsets with the auto of my new scope to make it a goto?

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Is it like this one? Skywatcher AZ GOTO mount (2nd item down the page)


It seems you're on Version 3.05 whcih is the same as mine but I notice 3.07 is available now - best we both update.

Anyway - if that's your mount then it will work - it's the same as my handset - it has to be the AZ goto though (the EQ goto won't work with the dob).

Cheers :)

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I would like to buy a shroud,

Vital for looking at planets whne you happen to be upwind from the scope.

a cheshire
Vital, period. You probably mean (I'm being pedantic) a "combination tool" or "collimation eyepiece" which is the combinations of a Cheshire eyepiece and a sight tube with cross-hairs, but that's probably whatyou meant.
and a dew shield.

Those are usually not really "dew shields" but light shields, and they do help cut down on veiling glare, especially from light polluted settings. You can make your own (in the past I made them out of adhesive backed velvet and either aeroplane multiplex --like on the Dob in my profile picture-- or thin aluminium sheet), or you can buy an AstroZap one.

Any recommendations on these, and what you would buy first?

Thanks in advance, Jon.

Definitely the collimation tool. Then the shroud if I observed planets and the light shield if I observed deep sky objects. Then the last.

If you're especially interested in emission nebulas, you may also want a good UHC filter (not one of the "too cheap" ones, but a Lumicon UHC or an Omega Optical NPB), perhaps before even the light shield (it's also easy to make your own light shield but not easy to make your own excellent UHC filter :) ).

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I've not been too impressed with my astrozap shroud - costs a lot of money and sags into the tube - I'm going to have to take a needle and cotton to it to make it tighter, which I dont think I should have to do for such an expensive item. However I'd put some form of shroud on the "essential" list (not least because it adds some form of protection against things falling into the tube.

An RDF definitely helps me get in the right ballpark, before I switch to the finder scope. So for me it's very beneficial if not quite essential

I've not had a dew problem with my 10 inch flextube yet - only the finder and rdf have dewed up - the primary and sceondary have been fine. I'd put that as an "optional"

If you've bought the "auto" version, then some form of power source should make the essentials list.

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Thanks everyone for the tips. Yes Brantuc, that is the one mate.

Looks as though i now have a goto skyliner:)

I will phone the shop this afternnon on the progress of the delivery.

I originally ordered the scope and power supply on the 6th of this month. They then told me it was out of stock and would be shipped over.

Phoned them around a week ago, and was told that it should be with me in the next 2 weeks. Damn frustrating as i wont to have a play around with it before the clear skys arrive so i am used to the set up.

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Great stuff on the goto JW - glad I could help on that :)

Hope your scope arrives soon - dobs are pretty simple and you allready know the handset - so it'll just be plug'n'play on the first clear night I'm sure. Delivery is frustrating though I agree - good luck and let me know how you get on mate ;)

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I've not been too impressed with my astrozap shroud - costs a lot of money and sags into the tube -

I have the Astrozap shroud on my 12" Flextube and although it sags a bit, it doesn't sag into the light path. In windy conditions it blows into the light path and also acts like a sail - but in those conditions I take it off. It's expensive but better than anything I could have made myself, so I consider it a good buy.

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It has finally arrived.

Due to the present situation with the weather, i did wonder if my scope would arrive today.

I did not get much sleep last night, i was like a child on Christmas Eve. I must have fallen asleep at some stage, as my dog kindly woke me up at around quarter to 7!!!

I decided to fix a leaking tap in bathroom and had just put the spanner down after finishing the job, when a fedex van pulled up outside.

I walked(rather quickly mind), to open the side gate and the driver kindly dropped off 3 packages.

First thing opened was the base unit. It came well packed i must say. Half a hour,to 45 minutes later, it was all put together and the cardboard boxes taken down to the shed.

Coffee and a smoke and put the Power Pack on charge.

Right, on opening the scope box, i was expecting it to be big, but blimey, photos do not really show you the size. Its massive!!!

On to the base it went, and on checking the collimation, i was really pleased to see that for tonight, if the weather does go clear, i will be able to have first light with it without doing a collimation.!!!

The Primary was ever so slightly out, nothing to worry about.

All in all, i am very pleased with the 300.

The flextube is really neat,will fit in the car when i want to go really dark, and the livery is superb.

Am i happy, im overjoyed.

As i write this, the clouds have come over and it aint looking to clever for first light. Praying to the Sky Gods for some clear skies may help,i hope.

Now i can appreciate its size, i have a new patio to lay, a observatory to build, and a membership at the gym to cancel.

Wont be needing that now,will i.:)

First light report when the sky clears.

Time for a cold beer.

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