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mounting a dobsonian phnarr phnarr


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An open question to everyone. I have a f5.9 8 inch skywatcher dob and love it! My neighbours all love the tap tap tap from my garden in the wee small hours however In the future i would love to do some astro photography and wondered if mounting this scope would be the best/most cost effective way forward.

Would love to capture dso's, so what do i need to purchase to start capturing images? And what would you buy ( I would be working with a modest budget ) and why? I really need to see if the overall cost would be to much for me, i am itching to do some astrophotography but may have unrealistic expectations on the overall cost of the transition from visual to recording. Any help in this matter would be very warmly welcomed.

Gary

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Only just re-entering the hobby myself so I can't really offer much advice.

You might find that it is worth buying a new telescope AND mount because the the mounts seem to be very expensive on their own. Then you could sell one of your scopes on ebay or astro buy sell.

It would be helpful to know what equipment you have ie. Digital SLR etc.

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You will probably want a set of 8" tube rings, a dovetail bar and if you dont already have one an EQ mount. I would recommend a driven mount or even a GOTO mount as these tend to have better motors and gears. I would say an EQ5 class mount is the minimum for an 8" OTA but you would be better off with something like the HEQ5 or if you can afford it the EQ6 as this gives you plenty of room for expansion in the future should you wish to add guide scopes, cameras and other paraphernalia. Be warned however that EQ mounts can get expensive.

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Gary, Gordon's advice is sound but there are a range of options open to you. You can use the dob for the moon and bright planets using a web cam. Turn up the gain a little and you can image Saturn at 1/50 second. It's hard work and takes a bit of practice to keep the target on the chip but can be done. You can get fancy motorized wedges for dobsonians that allow long exposures but the ones I've seen are pretty expensive and the results aren't that great.

The other alternative is to leave your dobsonian intact for visual use. Much more convenient like this than on a heavy mount. Get yourself a small refractor - there are a lot of these around second hand. Preferably an apochromatic such as the ED80 or William Optics ZS 66/80 doublet Their short focal length will give super images of larger DSOs and not require a super expensive mount. Treat yourself to a modified web cam such as and SC3 equivalent from astronomiser http://www.astronomiser.co.uk/cams.htm#astsc3

Your ideal mount would be a Super Polaris or Great Polaris with motors. Don't worry about forking out for goto yet, you can add it later if you want. Alternatively you could get an EQ5 EQ3 or CG5. They will all do a reasonable job for you when using a small refractor.

A second had mount and scope combination as suggested above is likely to set you back £400 - £600 plus £250 for the camera. A lot of money but if you really get the bug and want to upgrade you will have kit that you can sell on for not much less than you paid for it.

A set up like this will be capable of producing some very good images.

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Hi Gary,

I thought about doing the same thing with my dob but cant afford a mount that'd be up to the job :rolleyes:

If you want to come round some clear night and have a look at the 4.5" eq setup you're welcome

I think all in it came to about £100 incl the scope, toucam and the ra motor for the eq3 mount though I'll be another 50 to get the toucam modded for long exposures.

You'd need a laptop though too :wink: You'd get a P3-1000 laptop for about £120-180

Cheers

Paul

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Cheers Gordon for the reply I was thinking along those lines but did not have the details i will do a wee bit of on-line shopping tonight to work out the cost of this option. i do like the idea of a separate scope/set up as per post from martin, lots of detail there and the start of some frantic goggling on my part many thanks. Paul would love to see the set up-we should get out soon too once this grey stuff goes away. believe it or not i now have a laptop at home connected to tinternet and everything, can't believe i waited so long!

Cheers

Gary

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Hi jakey and wh,

I have seen these dob bases and look very ingenious but i am really after capturing details in the faint fuzzies out there, for the moment planets/moon don't offer the same potential satisfaction, you are trying to get a view that is not visable thru the eyepiece compared to just trying to replicate it- not saying anything against planet/moon photography just not my bag at the moment! Thanks for the input everyone- given me plenty of food for thought, now to tell the wife :nono:

Gary

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