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Old 01-10-2020, 11:02 AM
Evo5RS (Z)
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Hi from Auckland, NZ

Heya team,

Firstly thank you for accepting me!

I am from Auckland, NZ and am looking at a scope as a gift for my mrs.
I have read heaps of helpful information from the forums and had decided on a 6" dobsonian telescope as it seems the easiest to use and best bang for buck.

I had narrowed it down to two 6 a GSO one and a Skywatcher one.

They both seem very similar besides the tension springs/handles but both are out of stock everywhere in NZ so will just grab the 1st one that comes in stock before November (girlfriends birthday). Most people do seem to prefer the Skywatcher though!

I was recommended this forum from cloudy nights hoping that something 2nd hand would pop up in NZ as there does not seem to be any forums in NZ I could find. Telescopes seem so much cheaper in Australia.

Cheers
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Old 01-10-2020, 06:55 PM
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Scorpius51 (John)
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Hi Z

Welcome to the Oz Astro community!

Your choice of a Dob scope is sound based on value for money. A 6 is very portable and easy to set up, but I would probably consider an 8 as better value and still easy to setup and transport.

Have you contacted your local Auckland Astronomical Society?

https://www.astronomy.org.nz/

Good luck.
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Old 02-10-2020, 04:55 AM
Evo5RS (Z)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scorpius51 View Post
Hi Z

Welcome to the Oz Astro community!

Your choice of a Dob scope is sound based on value for money. A 6 is very portable and easy to set up, but I would probably consider an 8 as better value and still easy to setup and transport.

Have you contacted your local Auckland Astronomical Society?

https://www.astronomy.org.nz/

Good luck.
Heya John, Cheers for the reply and the welcome!

The 6" is right on the edge of my budget at the moment. Id love a 8" but in NZ the scopes seem so much more expensive than Australia for some reason. My initial budget was $300 but its gone up to $500 lol.

The cheapest 6" I can find it $495 and the cheapest 8" is $795. Very tempting though! I think my mrs is going to kill me either way

Cheers for the heads up with the website have sent them an email to see if they know of any 2nd hand ones.

Thanks again,
Z
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Old 02-10-2020, 10:23 AM
N1 (Mirko)
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Hi there & welcome

They do in fact come up on TM fairly regularly, like this one

Not in Auckland but you get the idea. That one also happens to be Synta-made, like the Skywatcher and virtually identical to it. There isn't much between those and GSO's optically, or ergnomically though.

So, keep an eye on that site. Search for "telescope" rather than "dobsonian" & scroll past all the junk. Many dob sellers have no idea it's a dob they are selling.

Yes get an 8" if you can but don't lose any sleep if a 6 is all you can find in the time you have. Still a very capable instrument.
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Old 03-10-2020, 06:35 PM
Evo5RS (Z)
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Originally Posted by N1 View Post
Hi there & welcome

They do in fact come up on TM fairly regularly, like this one

Not in Auckland but you get the idea. That one also happens to be Synta-made, like the Skywatcher and virtually identical to it. There isn't much between those and GSO's optically, or ergnomically though.

So, keep an eye on that site. Search for "telescope" rather than "dobsonian" & scroll past all the junk. Many dob sellers have no idea it's a dob they are selling.

Yes get an 8" if you can but don't lose any sleep if a 6 is all you can find in the time you have. Still a very capable instrument.
Heya Mirko,

Cheers for the welcome and the heads up. I have that one on my watch list. It looks in very good condition so might have to do a road trip if I win.

I've been keeping an eye on trade me for about 3 weeks now and that was the only one to pop up so far hopefully some more pop up.

Thanks again buddy!
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  #6  
Old 06-10-2020, 09:08 AM
Evo5RS (Z)
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Heya team,

Just a quick update so i missed out the the 6" dob sadly...

But scored an 8" dob with a few accessories for $650!! https://www.trademe.co.nz/Browse/Lis...?id=2809207916 I didn't grab the toolbox cover. Little bit over budget but thought with the accessories thought it was worth it. Cheers for the suggestion Mirko, i had a look at the expired listings.

Its this package https://www.astronz.nz/shop/item.asp...e-package/244/ so i am stoked as i saved around $245 plus got a free eye piece cover.

Picked and up after an 2 hour drive. The scope is HUGE! But got home safely after a slow drive home lol being careful not too knock anything and have it hidden at mum's waiting for my Mrs birthday.

The scope came with:
9mm Plossl 1.25" eyepiece
30mm Superview 2" eyepiece
15mm SuperView 1.25"
2" 10:1 Crayford focuser with self-centering adaptor for 1.25" eyepieces
8x50 finder scope
Moon Filter
Turn Left At Orion book

Is there any other accessories i should be looking at? Might get me a cheap trolley to wheel it around. I can move it easy enough but not too sure about mrs.

Can't wait too use it in a month lol!

Last edited by Evo5RS; 06-10-2020 at 08:42 PM.
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  #7  
Old 06-10-2020, 09:19 AM
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Outcast (Carlton)
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Perhaps look at a planisphere, they are inexpensive & will show you what's around in simple altitude & azimuth numbers. Make sure you get one for the Southern hemisphere.

Alternatively, have a look at planetarium phone apps such as Sky Safari (basic version will be quite sufficient), Stellarium, etc...

Essentially an app will give you a digital planisphere as well as provide you additional information on the object you are looking for...

Another very useful book for learning to star hop is ' 'A Walk Through The Southern Sky' by Heifitz & Tirion. You can start anywhere in this book depending on what's in your night sky at the time & it will guide you around the constellations, bright stars & teach you how to navigate around the sky.

Cheers
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  #8  
Old 06-10-2020, 08:39 PM
Evo5RS (Z)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Outcast View Post
Perhaps look at a planisphere, they are inexpensive & will show you what's around in simple altitude & azimuth numbers. Make sure you get one for the Southern hemisphere.

Alternatively, have a look at planetarium phone apps such as Sky Safari (basic version will be quite sufficient), Stellarium, etc...

Essentially an app will give you a digital planisphere as well as provide you additional information on the object you are looking for...

Another very useful book for learning to star hop is ' 'A Walk Through The Southern Sky' by Heifitz & Tirion. You can start anywhere in this book depending on what's in your night sky at the time & it will guide you around the constellations, bright stars & teach you how to navigate around the sky.

Cheers
Cheers Carlton for the advice will defs look at a planisphere and make sure its for the Southern hemisphere.

Had a quick look at the apps as well they look really good too!
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  #9  
Old 08-10-2020, 08:02 AM
Dober (Steve)
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Hi Z,

Welcome,

Happy to see you got the 8" over the 6" you will not be disappointed, its a good size to start you off.

You have the basics with the package but another necessary item you will need is a tool to collimate to scope, there are several types of varying quality.

Check this site or others web reviews, recommendations and utube on how the use them. These scopes need the mirrors collimated fairly regularly to keep them aligned otherwise it will not preform at it's best, a little tricky at first.

The quality and price of them varies quite a bit. Check out Bintel for one, there are others here in Aus. that supply these an lots of other gear, again check the Web. No doubt there will be someone in NZ that sells astro gear.

https://www.bintel.com.au/product-ca...v=322b26af01d5

Good luck and enjoy.

Steve
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  #10  
Old 08-10-2020, 09:29 AM
N1 (Mirko)
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Well done Zed on the 8". That's a solid package. I got the same 2nd hand five years ago and it's provided endless hours of eyepiece fun and is still heavily used. They are incredible value.

Yes you need a tool to collimate it (not hard, with a bit of practice), but other than that, you can get crackin' with what you have there.

Maintenance wise, I pull the mirrors out of mine just before the start of each season and give them a clean. Good instructions here on IIS on how to do that. Depending on your climate, this may not be needed that often where you are.

A few things to watch for on the GSO altitude bearings, whose design I really like: Make sure you balance the tube well, and set the altitude bearings to the correct tension during operation (i.e. just tight enough so it doesn't move on its own but no tighter). Also make sure the bearings sit nice and tight in their cradles. If not, add some felt or whatever until they do. The lazy Susan Azimuth bearing is nothing special but does the job if kept clean and properly tensioned. Doing the above allows mine to be hand-tracked at >400x with no issue (and that mirror absolutely can deliver that kind of power if the seeing permits), or for some basic planetary imaging.


You might end up using it more than your wife will, unless that was the plan all along?
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  #11  
Old 08-10-2020, 02:07 PM
Evo5RS (Z)
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Heya team,

Cheers for the replies!

Pretty stoked that I got an 8 over a 6 especially since they seem almost same in size and weight but a lot better in viewing.

I will properly just go with an cheshire collimator as the farpoint seems to be out of stock for a while https://www.bintel.com.au/product/ce...v=322b26af01d5

Will it make much difference that my scope is a 2" also but this is only for 1.25". Watching the youtube videos make me nervous looks hard to collimate the scope..

I will defs look at how to give the mirrors a clean very carefully of course!

Cheers for the heads up on the altitude bearings I will have to go to my mums and loosen them up as i had them tight while they are in storage hidden away from the mrs.

Quote:
You might end up using it more than your wife will, unless that was the plan all along?
Hahahaha im not really into astronomy at the moment but am really looking forward to giving it a go with the mrs(she loves it), might have to give her the scope early as Mars is good to view at the moment. Really loving the helpful and friendly astronomy community as well which makes me want to get into it even more so since i can't play footy since I got concussed.
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  #12  
Old 08-10-2020, 02:24 PM
croweater (Richard)
Don't Panic!

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Hi Z, The cheshire collimator is a very good choice. I have the orion one but I think the celestron one is identical. It is pretty easy to use. Collimation is not hard and doesn't usually need to be done very often. Check out astrobaby's site on the net. She has an excellent article on collimation that will set you right. Just type in google "astrobaby collimation" and that will get you there. The 1.25 inch tool will be fine with your scope
Cheers, Richard

Last edited by croweater; 08-10-2020 at 02:25 PM. Reason: Spelling
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  #13  
Old 08-10-2020, 03:31 PM
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Outcast (Carlton)
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Check out this site for a very simple to follow guide to collimation:

http://www.astro-baby.com/astrobaby/...ian-reflector/

Easiest guide I have found... makes the job very simple with good diagrams, pictures and simple word explanations

Cheers
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Old 08-10-2020, 07:54 PM
Evo5RS (Z)
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Heya team,

Cheers for the tips loving all the info!

Had a read of astro-baby website explains things really well. Just 1 issue I'm struggling to find a Collimation cap in any where online? Even was looking to make a diy one but can't find a film cannister

Any ideas team?
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Old 08-10-2020, 09:17 PM
raymo
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Buy a film.
raymo
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  #16  
Old 08-10-2020, 09:31 PM
croweater (Richard)
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Z if you get the collimating eyepiece you wont need the film canister as the eyepiece is a sight tube as well as a cheshire. So you can use it to help centre the secondary mirror as well as the primary. Orion have instructions on their website for the orion collimating eyepiece that explains this.
Cheers, Richard
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  #17  
Old 08-10-2020, 11:10 PM
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Outcast (Carlton)
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Two options for DIY collimating cap...

Film canister - go to a camera shop & ask if they have any... I got some this way but, I drill holes in them & use them as caps desicant in my guide scope focuser.

Find/purchase a 1.25" focuser cap... they have a flat top with three curved sections that fit in the tube... the slots between the curves are where the grub screw sits... this is what I use although, I have a Cheshire too... & a laser...😊

I like the cap for quick checks...

If you purchase a Cheshire, have a look on eBay... doesn't need to be a branded one... think I paid like $15 for mine... works just as well as a $75 Orion one just quietly...

Cheers
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  #18  
Old 09-10-2020, 06:50 PM
Evo5RS (Z)
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Cheers team I will have a look on ebay/ali express for a cheshire collimating tool! Thanks again for all the help!

Ive tried to read up but am no closer to deciding but would i get a short or long tube cheshire?

Last edited by Evo5RS; 09-10-2020 at 07:10 PM.
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  #19  
Old 10-10-2020, 08:38 AM
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IMHO, get a short tube cheshire... it was the advice I was given by very knowledgeable folk... but, can't quite recall why...

I have a short tube one, works just fine & takes up less room in my EP case

Cheers
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Old 10-10-2020, 07:54 PM
Evo5RS (Z)
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Cheers Carlton will grab it.

Quick update gave the dobsonian to my mrs as an early birthday present and she was so happy!! Pity its bloody cloudy tonight so cant have a go with it.

Just a big THANKS once again to everyone who helped out! Loving these helpful forums! Mrs was so thankful and stoked!

Another question is it a bad idea to add castor wheels to the base of the dobsonian to make it easier to move around or just stick the the trolley idea?
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