#121  
Old 19-10-2005, 08:57 PM
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Starkler (Geoff)
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The 6 inch dob in the picture above is the minimum scope I could recommend to anyone. Anything less will just be an exercise in frustration with a wobbly scope that will shimmy everytime you touch it or try to focus. What might look reasonably sturdy on the shop floor is a different animal once those wobbles are magnified by 100 or 200 times.

The Orion starblast would be a great starter scope. I would buy one myself if they were available here
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  #122  
Old 24-11-2005, 01:26 AM
Reg Johnson
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Hi, another new bloke here. Interesting to read all the scope/eyepiece talk. I bought a 12" Dob and am not really over the moon about it (excuse the pun) I saw the article regarding star testing...I see no rings at all under high mag. just a large fuzzy ball. I had the scope outside to cool off for an hour too. Am now dismantling the mirrors as instructed....
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  #123  
Old 24-11-2005, 09:15 AM
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ving (David)
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hi reg, it could just be that the seeing was bad and hence no rings.
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  #124  
Old 24-11-2005, 10:51 AM
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davidpretorius
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Reg Johnson
Hi, another new bloke here. Interesting to read all the scope/eyepiece talk. I bought a 12" Dob and am not really over the moon about it (excuse the pun) I saw the article regarding star testing...I see no rings at all under high mag. just a large fuzzy ball. I had the scope outside to cool off for an hour too. Am now dismantling the mirrors as instructed....
what were your expectations to start with?

I have found that collimation is only the last 5%-10% in sharpness or viewing pleasure

I was blown away with my 10" dob in terms of nebula, galaxies, double stars and planets when i first got it regardless of the collimation.

Friends are dumb struck when they see mars even if it is 10 degrees above the horizon, there is no detail, but to see a red blob, they are wrapped. It is only now 5 months later that I am imaging that i want sharp contrast on planets and splitting stars etc

I would have thought a 12" would still show great amounts of stuff regardless of collimation unless you were expecting to see mars filling up your eyepiece with all the fine detail.

It worries me a bit, because if you are disappointed now, then collimation wont double or triple the experience, it only refines it!

Unless there is something majorly wrong with your scope that is!

Another guy in NSW bought a 12" and was disappointed but that was because he didn't know where to look.

I would love to hear you opinion on Orion (the saucepan in the photo). Point your scope at the handle and let me know what you see. it rises in the east around 9pm my time, so adjust for WA time. This is one of the showpieces of the sky and I hope that the experience of viewing this will get the excitement levels rocketing!!

Re Collimation:

Very important, but not the be all and end all. It is a refining process.
Not sure of the links, but these are my two favourites and in order:
1. http://www.schlatter.org/Dad/Astronomy/collimate.htm
2. http://legault.club.fr/collim.html

#2 is for the final tweaking ie a star test.

Especially for the star test, you need your primary mirror less than 1 degree different to the ambient temp. We all say take your scope out and let it cool for an 1hour, but that does not work here in tasmania as the temp keeps dropping from say 9pm to after 12pm. Take a thermometer out with you and check to see when the temp has stabilized and then wait for an hour!!!

Once the mirror is the same temp, then you will see the rings around the outer edge. Of couse as ving has mentioned, the actual atmosphere or high level jet stream could be causing havoc, so that will also bugger the star test!

I am hoping orion will get you excited!
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  #125  
Old 24-11-2005, 11:15 AM
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ving (David)
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your excitement is quite infectious you know dave
there are many factor to take into account as you can see. maybe also you were using too much magnification?
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  #126  
Old 13-12-2005, 10:35 AM
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Mikezoom
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Hi all,

Mike here and have been reading for a week or 2 after being told about this funky place by Astroman from...

http://www.weatherzone.com.au/index.jsp

Well now my GF hates my PC even more as I have been spending double time on it. Great place, hope to see everyone from time to time and make sure you are all here to help when I get my GS 880 in Feb.

Mike.
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  #127  
Old 13-12-2005, 10:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikezoom
Well now my GF hates my PC even more as I have been spending double time on it. Great place, hope to see everyone from time to time and make sure you are all here to help when I get my GS 880 in Feb.

Mike.
easily fixed with the GF, marry her and then she won't care what you do. If it gets you out of the house, but keeps you off the streets, then astronomy / computers is great!!!

i also have the 10", the best scope in the world bar none!!!!

yes we will help, cos we love to!!!
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  #128  
Old 17-12-2005, 05:01 PM
Harlequin
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G'day, I am interested in developing a lifelong hobby in astronomy. I live in QLD, on the Gold Coast. I am planning on driving 25 mins away from the coast to the national parks for darker skies when I have decided which telescope am going to invest in. I am prepared to invest $6,000 for long term hardware. I am interested in viewing high quality DSO?s and I do not plan on astrophotography.

I find the idea of an expensive computerised telescope interesting since this will allow me immediate success out-of-the-box. However the features of the large aperture DOB Truss that can be (de)assembled into my large Camry Toyota Station Wagon is also very attractive. The DOB Truss will allow me access to DSO?s other hardware may not be able to. I am prepared to spend 30 mins assembling, with an additional hour of cool down before beginning to explore space.

I am fortunate to have a local mentor who is prepared to help me with any problems I encounter. This has reduced my newbie concerns about manually locating DSO?s with the DOB style telescopes.

Please let me know if you have any advice and tips. I am looking forward to contributing to this community. Chat to you soon.


Best regards


Harlequin

Last edited by Harlequin; 17-12-2005 at 06:52 PM.
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  #129  
Old 17-12-2005, 05:13 PM
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Invest is exactly the right word. A good telescope is a lifelong investment.

If you're only interested in visual observing maybe a big dob with an Argo Navis or similar computerised system would be a good start.
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  #130  
Old 17-12-2005, 05:17 PM
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ballaratdragons (Ken)
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Harlequin, may I suggest to take up the hobby of 'Astronomy' instead of 'Astrology'.
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  #131  
Old 17-12-2005, 05:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Harlequin
  • I am prepared to invest $6,000 for long term hardware. I am interested in viewing high quality DSO?s
  • I do not plan on astrophotography.
Ok off the top of my head, i am thinking your $$$ are putting you in the middle of no mans land.

$2499 for a 16" truss dob
$1000 for a dob driver from TECH2000 or Mel Bartels system
$1000 at the most for two top eyepieces or three very good ones
______
$4500

Or getting up around $7 - 10,000 you could get yourself into some serious equipment that a member Rumples Riot has just purchased.

I will not suggest an eq mount only because you are wanting setup quickly when driving out and back. plus you have no interest in astrophotography.

Having said that though, I would suggest allowing $500 for a toucam and modifications or some complete imaging packages. THere is nothing more pleasing than taking shots of what you see and showing friends and family.

I have just installed a Tech2000 dob driver on my 10" that tracks the stars and planets and incorporated into your laptop gives you a goto system.

keep coming back asking us questions, you will get lots of advice and you need to digest that an be 100% sure and happy you are buying something that will meet everything you are wanting to do over the next 10 years or so.

There is no perfect setup, each one's is different, so ask away and pick to pieces each setup and work out what's best for you.
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  #132  
Old 17-12-2005, 06:18 PM
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asimov (John)
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Why even have tracking if theres no interest in astrophotography or high power planet viewing....Just a thought.
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  #133  
Old 17-12-2005, 06:24 PM
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true, spend say $1500 odd on a 12" dob + $1000 for argo navis and some very good eyepieces and leave it at that.

don't tell your wife you haven't spent the remainder of the $6000!!!
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  #134  
Old 17-12-2005, 06:38 PM
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asimov (John)
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But with a budget of 6K.....I'd have to go the 16" truss tube dob. + full set of High-end EPs....I can't imagine staying with just low power DSO observing for too long! Theres too many other things to be looking at! I'd have to have the tracking/CCD camera & all the other goodies!
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  #135  
Old 17-12-2005, 06:54 PM
Harlequin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ballaratdragons
Harlequin, may I suggest to take up the hobby of 'Astronomy' instead of 'Astrology'.
LOL, I missed that mistake since I was reading half a dozen threads at the same time while writing down ideas I had been thinking about. =)


Are there recommended procedures for locating DSO's of interest? For example: space reference maps with diagrams, labels, etc? I have read many astronomy books from the library that assume you know the basics. While I have been reading your experiences, I find myself having to pause and research what specific words and terms mean. If astronomy is a continual learning curve then I think I am going to really enjoy it.
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  #136  
Old 17-12-2005, 07:15 PM
Harlequin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by asimov
Why even have tracking if theres no interest in astrophotography or high power planet viewing....Just a thought.
The attraction of the Go-To system involves the large database of thousands of objects that can be found within a few minutes. The tracking would not be used unless I changed my mind and setup for astrophotography.

I would like to be able to find the time to explore space at least 4 times each week. How many different objects in space are reasonable to explore during one night of dark skies and good weather?
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  #137  
Old 17-12-2005, 07:30 PM
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davidpretorius
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Harlequin
How many different objects in space are reasonable to explore during one night of dark skies and good weather?
i know from experience, to start with you will wanto to look at every object in the night sky in one sitting.

I would suggest starting with something easy and then working out from that object.

If you are buying in the next few months (16" don't arrive till march), then orion is a great area for nebula and then around there are lots of double stars. also there are at least 10 galaxies that are strating to come up in the earlier morning.

i have starry night pro (a must i believe) and it is a computer simulation of what you see in the night sky.

Experience is everything. You really want to get good at a certain small patch of sky so that finding that object is easy and then you can study.



a few months down the track, then you start to realize you have the rest of your life to view the heavans and so spend long periods of time observing a certain object for 10's of minutes at a time.

i am watching mars a lot at the moment and also the stars in orion.

I plane to have a go at the leo triplets galaxies tonight!
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  #138  
Old 17-12-2005, 08:33 PM
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Miaplacidus (Brian)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Harlequin
G'day, I am interested in developing a lifelong hobby in astronomy. I live in QLD, on the Gold Coast. I am planning on driving 25 mins away from the coast to the national parks for darker skies when I have decided which telescope am going to invest in. I am prepared to invest $6,000 for long term hardware. I am interested in viewing high quality DSO?s and I do not plan on astrophotography.

I am fortunate to have a local mentor who is prepared to help me with any problems I encounter. This has reduced my newbie concerns about manually locating DSO?s with the DOB style telescopes.

Please let me know if you have any advice and tips.
Best regards


Harlequin
Sorry, Harlequin, but I am now going to sound like a very, VERY old fart. It's good that you have someone to help you, but I still believe that the very first thing you need to buy is membership to a local astro club. Then binoculars and a basic star chart. A newcomer with a big budget is still a newcomer, and a big budget to me just means more potential to make a very expensive mistake. There is simply no substitute for looking through (and at) lots and lots of other people's telescopes actually in use.

Really, if I was in your position, I might even consider buying a 80-100 mm apo triplet on a fantastic alt-az mount with digital setting circles. The DSCs you'd be able to migrate across to any dob you get later, and I bet the refractor would always get a lot of use, one way or another. Still, I don't even want to pretend that this sounds anything like the right choice for you right now.

Cheers,

Brian.
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  #139  
Old 17-12-2005, 09:04 PM
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ballaratdragons (Ken)
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Also, another idea Harley is to download Cartes du Ciel into your pooter or laptop. It's FREE! Takes about 20 minutes to learn how to use it and it is very easy to use.

It is a program of the sky and you can use 'Search' to see where things are in the sky, mark your favourites on the map, switch to red screen to protect night vision etc etc. There are plenty of Astro programs but I find Cartes du Ciel easy to use and because it's free!

Go here and scroll down to the list of available dowloads and select 'Basic Package 2.76' - http://www.stargazing.net/astropc/download.html

There are thousands and thousands of Galaxies etc for you to locate using this Star Map program.
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  #140  
Old 17-12-2005, 09:37 PM
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janoskiss (Steve H)
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Being able to join a local astronomy club or society and getting help from experienced people would be nice, but if that's not feasible, it's no big deal.

I was going to go the join-a-club-first route, tried to contact a local one a couple of times about their next scheduled viewing night, and got no response. Stuff this club joining BS, I thought, I'll just get myself a telescope. And I did. And it was a dud. But it was real cheap, and I had a ball with it anyway, so no big deal. Then, after a lot of reading I bought the 8" Dob I have now, which is great.

As for the actual astronomy bit, you just need to get some maps of the sky (planisphere + star charts) and you look up with naked eye, binoculars and telescope, in that order, and enjoy. "The Southern Sky Guide" by Ellyard & Tirion is great for showing you where the best deep sky objects are and has enough content to keep you entertained for a year of observing and then some.

It's not hard. This is astronomy, not rocket science! But it's a lot of fun.
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