#681  
Old 16-10-2008, 02:58 PM
Paul1234 (Paul)
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Hi All,

Another newbie here. I have been introduced to this hobby this time last year by a friend and now I cannot get the image of Orion nebula out of my head *sigh*. I have acquired number of telescopes since then but I feel I am still lacking skills in using them effectively.

I am currently located in Seattle but will be returning to Oz sometime late next year (such is the plan).

One thing I have noticed was that the price of equipments over here seems to be much cheaper than back home - and using that as my justification I have managed to convince my wife in letting me buy a 12" dob (new), a 8" SCT (used) and a 5" autostar (another used - for the kids you know....)

Now all I need are some pointers on how to use them effectively, and how to better observe the night sky - and any input would be appreciated.

Also, does anybody have any recommendations on what other things I must get before I return home? e.g, eyepieces, accessories, etc.....

Thank you and hope to hear from you a lot.

Cheers,
Paul.
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  #682  
Old 16-10-2008, 03:04 PM
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erick (Eric)
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Paul, given the dramatic drop in value of the Oz dollar, if you are earning in US dollars, BUY EVERYTHING before you return!
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  #683  
Old 16-10-2008, 03:07 PM
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erick (Eric)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Whizgig View Post
Hi All, First post for me here I am a noob! I brought my wife a Telescope for a present and its a Newtonian 6" reflector on with EQ mount, I have a problem with it trying to set it up as both the RA and DE radials move by them selves and I was wondering if they are suposed to do that and if so how do I set them. I know how to set up the scope to the south -11 deg and set the alt to 38Deg for Geelong,Vic and that the scope is to be in line with the south leg of the tripod. But as the dials rotate what do I set them to to be inline with the pole so I can track objects and find them using cords?

Eugene.
Eugene, OK, we need someone who knows your particular scope to advise. Can you post some more details - brand, model etc. Perhaps some photos showing what is concerning you. Best would be to probably to get someone to visit, or pack it up and bring it to where several experienced folks are. There is a good opportunity coming up within ready access to Geelong:-

http://www.iceinspace.com.au/forum/s...ad.php?t=30107
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  #684  
Old 16-10-2008, 03:08 PM
Paul1234 (Paul)
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Wish I could... but I do get paid in AUD and I did take a hit this time around. Also, there is the wifee issue and she isn't really that easy to convince, you know.

I will take the prioritised (notice my spelling? I remembered!!) listing, if I may.

Thanx
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  #685  
Old 16-10-2008, 03:25 PM
Paul1234 (Paul)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Whizgig View Post
Hi All, First post for me here I am a noob! I brought my wife a Telescope for a present and its a Newtonian 6" reflector on with EQ mount, I have a problem with it trying to set it up as both the RA and DE radials move by them selves and I was wondering if they are suposed to do that and if so how do I set them. I know how to set up the scope to the south -11 deg and set the alt to 38Deg for Geelong,Vic and that the scope is to be in line with the south leg of the tripod. But as the dials rotate what do I set them to to be inline with the pole so I can track objects and find them using cords?

Eugene.
Hi Eugene,
From one newbie to another.. I had this problem with a telescope my friends lent me, and this is what the manual says:

"The setting circles, R.A and Dec. of the telescope may be dialed, in effect, to read the object coordinates and the object found without resorting to visual location techniques. However, these setting circles may be used to advantage only if the telescope is first properly aligned with the North Celestial Pole."

i.e, those dials are to be used for taking readings and not for aligning.

I am quoting from the manual I found online.... it is a manual for Meade 114EQ telescope. Here is the link:
http://www.meade.com/manuals/Telesco...Q-DSmanual.pdf

Hope it helps,
Paul.

Last edited by Paul1234; 16-10-2008 at 03:38 PM.
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  #686  
Old 16-10-2008, 05:39 PM
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Whizgig (Eugene)
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Smile

Hi All, thanks for you replies and your help I have worked it out now after much reading and searching the net trying to find something about how to set the RA/DE circles which is a hard thing to find in fact its impossible to find anything!
But I worked it out after down loading and installing the Stellarium program and setting it up for EQ grid lines.
So this is what I have worked out so far after setting up the tripod to be level and the south leg set at 11 deg east of south I then set up the mount so the weight rod is in line and centred with the south leg.
Then I set the azimuth to my Latitude which is 38deg and that should line me up with the SCP now I put on the scope and line it up so it is along the same south line for the south leg ect. I then set the RA to 90 deg now I pick a good star that is bright then line it up in the telescope so it is in the center of the scope, then I look on the software and set the RA/DE to the same cords as the software for that star. Then I can now pick a star on the chart and turn the scope to the same cord for RA/DE and is should be within reson cose to the center of the scope I hope.

Ok now that I have stoped rambling on As for the telescope I brought it off EBay and its possible not very good but it will do till I get a good one.
Here is a link to the one I brought her http://cgi.ebay.com.au/ws/eBayISAPI....m=230285774233

Eugene.
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  #687  
Old 30-10-2008, 08:20 AM
rollmebackagain
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I'm still in the early stages of searching for a telescope to use for astrophotography, but I just wanted to get some input from people who do this often - should I only seriously consider an equatorial mount? Will I find serious issues with long exposures if I have an altazimuth mount?
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  #688  
Old 30-10-2008, 09:00 AM
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erick (Eric)
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Originally Posted by rollmebackagain View Post
.... Will I find serious issues with long exposures if I have an altazimuth mount?
Yep! Seach for and read up on "field rotation".
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  #689  
Old 04-11-2008, 05:43 PM
Darrin (Darrin)
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Hi All,

I have just joined the forum and have recently started to look for a first telescope to buy.

I have been interested in Astonomy for a while and have decided to take it one step further and buy a telescope.

I have done a fair bit of research (magazines, internet, etc.) and much of the advice seems to point to a Dobsonian mounted telescope is the way to go for a first scope.

I can see all of the advantages but not having alot of experience with using telescopes I have a couple of questions:

1) My first question - is it easy to track objects in the sky with such a large telescope - I can see the moon being OK but if you are following a plant or DSO how hard is it to keep the telescope following the object and keep it in view. Other telescopes have I've seen have accurate adjusters or remote controls to help - is this an issue with the Dobs or do you become used to following objects

2) Secondly - if some time in the future I wanted to try some photography would I be able to remove the telescope and put on to a motorised mount - if so is there a limit to the size of the telescope you can do this to (economically)

3) Are you able to use the DOB to take photos of the moon

This is a great site - It's great to be able to read throught the threads and get other peoples views and advice.

Thanks in advance
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  #690  
Old 04-11-2008, 07:22 PM
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erick (Eric)
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Hi Darrin

1) Yes, you soon learn how to track. That normally means moving the object back to centre or the other side of the field of view, then hands off and let it drift though the field for many seconds to a minute or so, depending on the magnification, while you observe. You cannot observe while moving the scope - hands won't be steady enough. Many do some work to improve the movement of their dobsonian mount. Just some simple work on the mount as supplied can be a good improvement. With a bit of handyperson work and a few dollars, big improvements can be made.

2) Yes, people take the tube unit from a dobsonian and put it onto an equatorial mount. We've seen 12" tube units on such mounts though most seem to stop at around 10" as being enough. The eyepiece ends up quite high off the ground - probably a stepladder needed. It will also rotate to strange positions so you may need to regularly loosen the rings and rotate the tube unit to reposition the eyepiece. A mount with sufficient capacity and good performance will cost plenty - probably an EQ6 around $1,500.

3) http://www.iceinspace.com.au/63-201-0-0-1-0.html

Ask more questions - whatever you want! Maybe start your own thread.

Eric
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  #691  
Old 04-11-2008, 09:17 PM
Darrin (Darrin)
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Eric,

Thanks for the quick reply.

When you say you can do some modifications to the DOB base what would you recommend. Also are DOB bases all the same or are some better than others.

Sorry one other question - Even in DOBs there are several brands I'v seen - Sky watcher, GSO, orion, BT** - Do you have a preference - is one of these better than another?

Also are there any accessories you would recommend I get straight away or will the telescope & accessories in the package be enought while I'm learning at the start

Thanks

Darrin
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  #692  
Old 04-11-2008, 10:39 PM
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erick (Eric)
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Darrin

Best you do some searching and reading on this site. Look through the Projects & Articles and the Equipment Reviews sections up there to the left. There are articles and reviews that talk about improving the movement of the standard Chinese dobsonian base. Then search the threads. From sometime in early 2007 you'll find a thread from me on improving an 8" Bintel dob base. Search "milkbottle washers" to find a way to add some washers to support the pivot point.

However, I'm not sure what the new crop of Chinese dobsionian bases come with these days - they may have incorporated some of the better and cheaper ideas. Some incorporated a ball bearing lazy susan into the base. Some love them, other say they don't provide enough friction and your scope turns into a windmill if the wind comes up!

Best to find your local specialist - you have Sirius Optics in Brisbane, not sure who else - help me banana-benders! Then you can have a good look and what is on display. Sirius sell Skywatcher. From what I have seen, these sell at a premium of some 30% over other brands - say GSO. They get good reviews. My understanding is that most of these solid tube dobsonian-mounted reflectors come from a couple of Chinese factories. For example, I understand that the ones labelled "Bintel" are GSO telescopes, locally checked and labelled. I've had two Bintels now - an 8" and a 12". I'm happy with both. I cannot see why I'd pay a significant premium? However, others seem happy to do so. Andrews Communications in Sydney are worth a look if you really are tight on $s. They often price under most others.

If you do find that you want to buy from Sydney, consider cost of shipping and possible damage through shipping. We've had some bad stories lately around shipping.

Telescope accessories. Well, I believe in a laser collimator. The GSO delux would be fine. Others will say spend your money on an Orion combined sight tube/Cheshire collimator instead. Search out some of the collimation threads in the last six months to read the arguments for and against. However you do need a collimation tool. If you buy locally, you should be able to get the store to demonstrate how to use it on one of the floor models.

Apart from that, a red light torch (but you can make your own with red cellophane). Eveready do a head mounted torch with red light and white light - supermarkets/Kmart etc. for around $35. Do you have what you need to find your way around the sky? If not, then one of the large Planispheres. Download Stellarium (free) to your computer and use that as well. You may find it comfortable to sit down observing - there are special adjustable chairs (expensive) - I just use an old office gaslift chair with the back pulled off it. (Can get bogged in soft ground ) Don't worry about coloured filters. The filters you really need can wait a while - they won't be cheap.

If a barlow lens doesn't come with the package, pick up one of those. I'd recommend the 2" 2x GSO ED barlow. It does various things - mainly magnify by two times. Adding that to your eyepiece collection gives you a wider range of magnification.

Cheers
Eric
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  #693  
Old 05-11-2008, 06:31 PM
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jungle11 (Greg)
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howdy from jungle11 (noob)

Hi guys, i just signed up a few days ago and I'm looking forward to asking a multitude of questions over the next few months, as i have finally decided to get off my bum and join the ranks of amateur astronomy.
For years now ive logged onto the science daily astronomy section and have learnt alot of theory about things like black holes, DM, ect and yet last month a fellow asked when i told him about my "hobby" what constellation the 'saucepan' belonged to. I promptly told him the big dipper!
SHAME!! It's orion isn't it?
So enough with the pretending i thought, im buyin me a telescope and learning the night sky. When i was ten my olds brought me a scope from Toyworld. Crappy i know but i loved it - even though it wouldn't focus properly. But ever since then iv'e loved space - the size of it, wondering what's out there...blah blah.
OK, so here's my first question. Ive spent 2 weeks looking at scopes and ive got my heart set on a 12" inch dobsonian. (seems like a lot of people here feel the same) but I will need a collapsible as i just dont have enough room for a gargantuan scope. Im thinking on a SWFLEXIDOB 12
One shop i found is called andrews communication systems in NSW who list this scope at $999 (which is the cheapest ive found by quite a bit)
Yet telescope.com (NSW) list the same scope for $1950
Im just wondering how the price could differ so much?
any advice on where to shop would be helpfull as i don't really want to spend 2 months saving to get ripped off.

cheers
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  #694  
Old 05-11-2008, 09:34 PM
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erick (Eric)
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Hi Greg - welcome aboard.

Lots of people buy from Andrews Communications and seem quite happy. Search "Andrews" and many threads come up - several deal with equipment bought from Andrews. Though I haven't had the occasion to buy from there yet, they seem to be well known for pricing very competitively - and yes that can be many tens of percentage under others.

Have you picked up Australian Sky and telescope from the Newsagent. Most of the major retailers advertise in that magazine.
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  #695  
Old 06-11-2008, 08:28 AM
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jungle11 (Greg)
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Thanks Eric, I found a few references to Andrews and everyone sounds satisfied to me. Perhaps the other place (15% off at $1950) may be the one to watch out for?
I've read reviews on these dobs, and what people in light polluted areas are able to resolve with them. I live on a property in south east QLD, and the nearest city is 300 km away so i should be able to make great advantage of a 12'' scope.
I'm proberly getting too excited considering it will be 2009 before i'll see my first glimps of the planets or a dso, but at least ill be able to get some groundwork done in the meantime.
Will pick up that magazine

cheers
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  #696  
Old 06-11-2008, 08:53 AM
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erick (Eric)
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...... I live on a property in south east QLD, and the nearest city is 300 km away so i should be able to make great advantage of a 12'' scope........
Stop it! We are all drooling!
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  #697  
Old 06-11-2008, 10:58 AM
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jungle11 (Greg)
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Gee....sorry fellas...here's hoping this saving electricity thing catches on and they start turning off the city lights at night...

About 2 weeks ago i lent a australian 2007 astronomy book from the library and printed out the skymaps inside (one for each season), then i positioned the spring maps together looking south, and i cant make sense of what i see...
For one, the magellanic clouds are shown on the right hand side of the milky way on the map, but looking south they are to the left unless im seeing things...
Two, the LMC is positioned on the other side of the south celestial pole at this time of the year on the map, and yet i can see both satellites reasonably low in the southern sky!
Know what you're thinkin...bloody airhead....

help appreciated..
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  #698  
Old 06-11-2008, 12:07 PM
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erick (Eric)
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Not sure, Greg. Normally those maps are designed to stand facing a horizon then hold map up in front of you and all then OK. However, full sky maps are designed to be held over your head.

Eg:- http://www.skymaps.com/downloads.html

Hold it over your head and then North, South, East and West will point to the correct points on the Horizon. Many people wonder why they are printed "back to front"!

It may be that some maps in the "Astronomy 2007" book, those of the "centre" sky, work that way?
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  #699  
Old 06-11-2008, 01:49 PM
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jungle11 (Greg)
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Bingo! Now it all makes sense, thank you eric!
i still don't get the the magellanic clouds being above the horizon, but now at least i know they haven't mysteriously migrated thousands of light years to the opposite side of the galaxy!
Is there a site you know that might teach me more about astoronomical navigation? I know lat and long, degrees minutes and seconds here on the ground, but i know nothing about arcseconds and the like...
I did a search here haven't turned up anything yet. Will keep looking.

Cheers
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Old 06-11-2008, 01:52 PM
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iceman (Mike)
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Hi Greg

to IceInSpace

There's a great podcast series, Astronomy161, which teaches about celestial navigation - including degrees, minutes, seconds, arcminutes, arcseconds etc. Well worth a download and listen.

You'll learn a lot more about a whole lot of things in Astronomy if you persist through the course. Very entertaining and enlightening.

http://www.iceinspace.com.au/forum/s...ad.php?t=24169
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