#1881  
Old 17-01-2020, 06:39 AM
Startrek (Martin)
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Hi Vikram
Welcome to IIS
A few questions -
Are you interested in visual observing only , astrophotography or both ?
If you are new to astronomy with no experience, I wouldnít recommend a C8 Cassegrain telescope as your first scope either for visual or astrophotography, itís more suitable for an intermediate or advanced person , reason itís a long story
I would recommend an 80mm refractor or a 6Ē f5 Newtonian reflector telescope as your first scope , both will suit your proposed HEQ5 mount and both can be used for visual observing and Astrophotography
I could go on but thatís my advice at present , Iím sure others will comment to steer you in the right direction
The nearest astronomy clubs to you are located in the rear of the ASTRONOMY 2020 Australia book , I think thereís one in Wollongong
Also some good local suppliers of astronomy equipment are Bintel and Andrews Communications in Sydney , a lot of IIS members use them
Cheers for now
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  #1882  
Old 17-01-2020, 07:45 AM
Imme (Jon)
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Agree re scope, dont buy a C8.......the frustration you will have trying image through it will probably result in you giving up the hobby.
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  #1883  
Old 17-01-2020, 09:14 AM
DarthRiker (Vikram)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Startrek View Post
Hi Vikram
Welcome to IIS
A few questions -
Are you interested in visual observing only , astrophotography or both ?
If you are new to astronomy with no experience, I wouldnít recommend a C8 Cassegrain telescope as your first scope either for visual or astrophotography, itís more suitable for an intermediate or advanced person , reason itís a long story
I would recommend an 80mm refractor or a 6Ē f5 Newtonian reflector telescope as your first scope , both will suit your proposed HEQ5 mount and both can be used for visual observing and Astrophotography
I could go on but thatís my advice at present , Iím sure others will comment to steer you in the right direction
The nearest astronomy clubs to you are located in the rear of the ASTRONOMY 2020 Australia book , I think thereís one in Wollongong
Also some good local suppliers of astronomy equipment are Bintel and Andrews Communications in Sydney , a lot of IIS members use them
Cheers for now
Quote:
Originally Posted by Imme View Post
Agree re scope, dont buy a C8.......the frustration you will have trying image through it will probably result in you giving up the hobby.
Thanks. I know a Newt is preferable for EAA ...but the compactness of the C8 SCT is also factor for me. I have really thought about this decision.

While I know a C8 is probably more work - that doesn't stop me. It takes a lot to make me call it quits (which I don't intend on doing).

My goal is mainly EAA (with maybe the rare/occasional visual).
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  #1884  
Old 17-01-2020, 10:24 AM
Startrek (Martin)
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Hi Vikram
Pardon my ignorance, Iíve been into astronomy for 4 years now but Iíve never come across the acronym EAA ??
Whatís EAA ?
Also a 6Ē f5 newt is only 6kg lighter than a C8 and only 850mm long
Hereís a couple of my images captured under Bortle 8 skies in Sydney a while back on a similar scope but at f6 both planetary and Deep sky objects ( DSOís)
I also observe and image on the south coast near Ulladulla at my weekender which has Bortle 3 skies
Donít discount a newt , they are so versatile and simple in construction , ease of maintenance and easy to collimate
I have a 6Ē and 8Ē for Astrophotography and a 12Ē for observing
Cheers
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  #1885  
Old 18-01-2020, 04:47 AM
DarthRiker (Vikram)
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Eaa

Yeah, I didn't know about EAA until I GoFish (Jim) over at the CN forums brought it up based on my requirements.

I'm going to quote from his post (thread link here: https://www.cloudynights.com/topic/6...a/?p=9889708):

Quote:
There is a rapidly growing segment of amateurs who practice “electronically enhanced astronomy”, or EAA. Essentially, EAA puts on your computer screen what your telescope is seeing in real time. Based on your stated goals, I think EAA might appeal to you.

Planetary photography is not a real time observing activity. Only after a lot of processing does the wow! image appear on the screen. With EAA, you and your observing partners can see the wow! shots of deep space objects in real time. It is also a simple matter to save the viewed image for sharing later.
Also I have read up on the C8 SCT (this review seems to summarise things well http://scopeviews.co.uk/CelestronC8XLT.htm). Interestingly, plenty of people have said it is a good "jack of all trades" type of telescope. I have also read this one https://telescopicwatch.com/celestro...-8-sct-review/ but it seems with the issue there was mainly with the AVX mount (which I am not getting).

I have thought about the Newt vs SCT scenario for a while. While I was considering a Newt I realised it really just didn't fit with what I wanted from telescope and the C8 SCT did.
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  #1886  
Old 18-01-2020, 06:34 AM
Startrek (Martin)
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I thought it might have been an American term , Iíve never seen it used here
Looks like you research things thoroughly and know what you want
Good luck with the hobby
Cheers
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  #1887  
Old 18-01-2020, 08:23 AM
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Outcast (Carlton)
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Hi Vikram,

Welcome to the forum; I understand EAA, I have done a little dabbling in this when showing my elderly mother-in-law views through my scopes as she doesn't really like squinting through an eyepiece.

Can I ask why you've decided to go with the Cooled version of the 290MC? Is it to future proof yourself incase you get bitten by the AP bug?

Reason I ask is; as Martin points out for AP an SCT is not the best choice so, your choice of camera seems a little at odds with the scope you are purchasing & your main stated goal of EAA; in short, a cooled camera would be overkill in terms of money spent to achieve good results in EAA.

Not criticising any of your choices; I ended up buying an 8" SCT when I wanted to up the aperture from my 80mm refractor because, it just ticked all the boxes I was looking for but, at that stage AP wasn't on my horizon.

In short, if EAA is your main goal then you could spend considerably less on a camera & still achieve your goal in spades. I use a 224MC FWIW, I didn't buy it for EAA, I bought it for planetary imaging. It proved a good gateway into dabbling into DSO imaging through my fork mounted SCT...

So, if you are serious enough about AP to want a cooled camera then, I'd take Martin's advice & go with a Newt as it will be far more suited to AP but, will enable you to do EAA, if on the otherhand you just want to dabble in AP, buy the SCT & save yourself some money by buying an uncooled camera, it will still show you what you want to see via EAA...

Just my thoughts on saving you some coin, FWIW

Edit: Also, if you want convenience & have an Android tablet... use ZWO's Asicap app & a USB OTG cable to connect your camera to your tablet... that's what I use with the mother-in-law... you will need to adjust gain & exposure settings for each target to get the best views but, you'll have to do that regardless of what you use to display the images.. I just find a tablet way more convenient than a laptop..
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  #1888  
Old 18-01-2020, 03:36 PM
DarthRiker (Vikram)
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Quote:
In short, if EAA is your main goal then you could spend considerably less on a camera & still achieve your goal in spades. I use a 224MC FWIW, I didn't buy it for EAA, I bought it for planetary imaging. It proved a good gateway into dabbling into DSO imaging through my fork mounted SCT...

So, if you are serious enough about AP to want a cooled camera then, I'd take Martin's advice & go with a Newt as it will be far more suited to AP but, will enable you to do EAA, if on the otherhand you just want to dabble in AP, buy the SCT & save yourself some money by buying an uncooled camera, it will still show you what you want to see via EAA...
EAA is main goal with a dabble in AP (but that dabble won't be for a long time so it will be all EAA).

I would love an uncooled version of the ASI294MC but I couldn't find one ...hence the ASI294MC Pro.

While I was initially thinking about the 224MC/385MC cameras, discussions with others, plus having played around with setup and calculations over on sites such as https://astronomy.tools/ https://telescopius.com/ (FOV, CCD Suitability of C8 SCT with .63x Reducer), convinced me to go for the 294MC camera with its larger FOV and better results with CCD suitability.

Again - I would love a lower cost 294MC over a 294MC Pro camera - I just simply cannot find one for sale.

Last edited by DarthRiker; 18-01-2020 at 03:47 PM.
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  #1889  
Old 18-01-2020, 05:58 PM
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Outcast (Carlton)
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No worries Vikram,

Hmmm, I just had a look it's still listed on ZWO's site but, agree, doesn't appear anyone is selling them here.. very interesting. You can order from ZWO direct, they will ship to Australia if you want to see if you can get one.

https://astronomy-imaging-camera.com...asi294mc-color

If you are looking at sensor size as one of your primary decision points, you might look at the 183MC perhaps. Not a 4/3 sensor but, a full 1" so, not quite as big but, no as small as the 224 or 290MC's. Another option you might consider is an f3.3 reducer; they will come to focus with these ZWO camera's but, not with a DSLR...

As someone else said, make sure you keep a close on the classifieds here, there are some gems come up at very good prices... just be cautious..

Regarding where you purchase from & their prices.. I've bought plenty from Sirius Optics, they are great people to deal with but, not always the cheapest for everything..

Make sure you have a good look at BINTEL, Astro Anarchy & despite their 19th century website, take a look at Andrews Communications. You might find that you can get some or all of what you are looking for at a cheaper price. If it's only the odd item from your wishlist then, you just need to weigh up the postage costs if buying from different suppliers...

The other thing to think about is if you are buying it all in one go, perhaps one of the retailers will do you a package price... it pays to ask each of them... they want your money, maybe they will do you some deals..
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  #1890  
Old 18-01-2020, 07:07 PM
DarthRiker (Vikram)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Outcast View Post
No worries Vikram,

Hmmm, I just had a look it's still listed on ZWO's site but, agree, doesn't appear anyone is selling them here.. very interesting. You can order from ZWO direct, they will ship to Australia if you want to see if you can get one.

https://astronomy-imaging-camera.com...asi294mc-color
Huh. For some odd reason I didn't think of that! Thanks! Even with an approx conversion to AUD it comes to about $1k (which is still a good $600 cheaper than the Pro). Will definitely think about this.

Quote:
If you are looking at sensor size as one of your primary decision points, you might look at the 183MC perhaps. Not a 4/3 sensor but, a full 1" so, not quite as big but, no as small as the 224 or 290MC's. Another option you might consider is an f3.3 reducer; they will come to focus with these ZWO camera's but, not with a DSLR...

As someone else said, make sure you keep a close on the classifieds here, there are some gems come up at very good prices... just be cautious..

Regarding where you purchase from & their prices.. I've bought plenty from Sirius Optics, they are great people to deal with but, not always the cheapest for everything..

Make sure you have a good look at BINTEL, Astro Anarchy & despite their 19th century website, take a look at Andrews Communications. You might find that you can get some or all of what you are looking for at a cheaper price. If it's only the odd item from your wishlist then, you just need to weigh up the postage costs if buying from different suppliers...

The other thing to think about is if you are buying it all in one go, perhaps one of the retailers will do you a package price... it pays to ask each of them... they want your money, maybe they will do you some deals..
Yeah. Howie1 (his CN forum name) mentioned Astro Anarchy. I intend on shopping around for a package price. Will email stores directly and see what response I get. It's possible they might be able to source the 294MC (non-pro/cooled) for me which would mean not having to buy it from ZWO itself overseas.
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  #1891  
Old 18-01-2020, 09:18 PM
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  #1892  
Old 25-01-2020, 10:27 AM
Grantd53
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Thumbs up Hello everyone

My name is Grant. I have been a member for sometime.
This is my first public post, I think ....
Just saying hello to all ..
Regards Grant
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  #1893  
Old 27-01-2020, 12:04 PM
jjjjohn9 (John)
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Beginners start here

Hi everyone,
I am new to IIS and pleased to see from this thread that there are quite a few "oldies" like me making their way back into astronomy. I feel like I am among friends!
I am retired and first became interested in astronomy the 60s with the help of Patrick Moore and his writings. I tried to grind an 8" mirror myself in the mid 60s with the aim of seeing Saturn's rings on edge around that time. The kit I bought said it would require 35 hours work. Alas I found it took much more than 35 hours and I never finished grinding the mirror myself. I paid someone to finish it and it found its way onto a Newtonian eventually.
I really didn't get much satisfaction from the Newtonian over the years mainly because of its bulk and the difficulty of setting it up and then observing with a motorless drive in my Sydney suburban backyard.
I currently have a 120mm f8 Orion refractor which I intend to trade up to something like a 6" folded reflector with the best portability and easiest to set "goto" drive system I can find.
I look forward to learning from the IIS "brains trust" in my search.
John
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  #1894  
Old 27-01-2020, 03:01 PM
jjjjohn9 (John)
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Don't buy a C8

Quote:
Originally Posted by Imme View Post
Agree re scope, dont buy a C8.......the frustration you will have trying image through it will probably result in you giving up the hobby.
Hi Imme (Jon)
I am new at this but was surprised at your advice not to buy a C8. My understanding was that a C8 was a very versatile scope and would be ideal for a new entrant.
Were you meaning just that the C8 had some shortcomings regarding hooking camera gear up to it?
Thanks,
John
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  #1895  
Old 01-02-2020, 05:18 PM
Davep314 (Dave)
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Hello all!

Hi Everyone! I've recently joined the forum and found much of the info very useful. I have been interested in astronomy for over 45 years and owned a 60mm refractor for many years. I then bought an 8" Dob in my late twenties which I still own and wheel out occasionally.
I have had a long interest in astrophotography but the equipment was largely beyond my prices range and I didn't really have the time! However, I've now decided to dive into the deep end and have recently purchased a second hand Orion 120ED on a HEQ5pro mount with guide scope.
My day job is as a physicist working in optical fibre technology (no I can't make your Internet connection faster!) and I have had a long interest in landscape and nightscape photography so I'm hoping these skills will quickly scale the learning curve!
Looking forward to the smoke clearing and darker skies setting in!
cheers
Dave
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  #1896  
Old 09-02-2020, 08:31 AM
hypersonics (Deepak)
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New to Dobsonian 8"

Hi All,

Got a Bintel 8" Dobsonian and the pack includes three eyepieces, which are SuperView 30mm (2″), 15mm Plossl (1.25″) and 9mm Plossl (1.25″). I don't know the differences among the three apart from them having different focal lengths.

After assembling the scope on Friday, too it out in the backyard. Struggled to get the 30 mm eyepiece to focus, eventually got it. However, due to overcast, I couldn't point to any clear part of the sky. Hoping the weather would clear up in the next coming days here in Canberra.

Being new to astronomy and more so with Bobsonian, would be helpful if I could get some advice on using the scope. Also, what can I expect to observe on an 8" Dobsonian?

Thanks
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  #1897  
Old 09-02-2020, 09:38 AM
m11 (Mel)
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Hi Hyper,

Welcome to iceinspace,

Thr 8 inch Dob you got is an excellent scope.

You need to first check collimation of the primary and secondary mirror, many tools to do this from, a collimation cap, cheshire eyepiece and laser collimators. I prefer a laser as its easier.
Start with the lowest power first - 30mm which I believe you are using now. Get the finderscope aligned with eyepiece to ensure you can easily find stuff.
I recommend star maps or Stellarium to look for objects.
At this time of year I would start off easy:
  • moon
  • m42 orion nebula
  • 47 Tucane gc
  • Jewelbox ngc4755
  • Eta Carina

Hope it helps.

M11

Quote:
Originally Posted by hypersonics View Post
Hi All,

Got a Bintel 8" Dobsonian and the pack includes three eyepieces, which are SuperView 30mm (2″), 15mm Plossl (1.25″) and 9mm Plossl (1.25″). I don't know the differences among the three apart from them having different focal lengths.

After assembling the scope on Friday, too it out in the backyard. Struggled to get the 30 mm eyepiece to focus, eventually got it. However, due to overcast, I couldn't point to any clear part of the sky. Hoping the weather would clear up in the next coming days here in Canberra.

Being new to astronomy and more so with Bobsonian, would be helpful if I could get some advice on using the scope. Also, what can I expect to observe on an 8" Dobsonian?

Thanks
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  #1898  
Old 09-02-2020, 11:34 AM
hypersonics (Deepak)
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Thanks M11.


I will look into buying a laser collimator as you suggest.


Also, I took out the scpoe in the daytime yesterday to align the finderscope and the 30mm eyepiece. I don't think I was able to do it correctly due to not able to find an object far enough that I could focus. Can I align during the night, perhaps pointing towards the moon?


I have a Staw Walk 2 app that I can use to find celestial objects.


Thanks again.



Quote:
Originally Posted by m11 View Post
Hi Hyper,

Welcome to iceinspace,

Thr 8 inch Dob you got is an excellent scope.

You need to first check collimation of the primary and secondary mirror, many tools to do this from, a collimation cap, cheshire eyepiece and laser collimators. I prefer a laser as its easier.
Start with the lowest power first - 30mm which I believe you are using now. Get the finderscope aligned with eyepiece to ensure you can easily find stuff.
I recommend star maps or Stellarium to look for objects.
At this time of year I would start off easy:
  • moon
  • m42 orion nebula
  • 47 Tucane gc
  • Jewelbox ngc4755
  • Eta Carina

Hope it helps.

M11
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  #1899  
Old 09-02-2020, 05:16 PM
m11 (Mel)
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I would recommend the moon if its up as its bright and easier to align too.

Good luck
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  #1900  
Old 09-02-2020, 06:30 PM
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JeniSkunk (Jenifur)
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Depak, your user info indicates you're Canberra.
Can you see either the Telstra Tower, or the Parliament House flagpole from your place? If so, when the sun is behind you when you're looking at the top of either object, align the finder on the top of either object.

Here in Brisbane, I don't have such a line of sight to Mt Coot-tha and the television station studio masts. So I have to use the floodlight towers at the local rugby league fields, 500m east of my place, as my target for aligning the red dot finder on my 5" Dobsonian. Do you have any similar sports fields at least 500m distant and visible from your place?
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