Telescope advice for a newby

The Liverpool Astronomical Society Forums Help and Advice Telescope advice for a newby

This topic contains 15 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by  Robert 5 years, 7 months ago.

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  • #2792

    phil atkinson
    Registered user
    0p

    Hi guys, i have always been into the night sky and have now decided to purchase my first scope, following my years of interest in photography, which has taken financial priority.

    I will be looking at photographing deep sky objects, and after reviewing what seems to be thousands of scopes, i thought i best ask the guys in the know.

    I have been looking at the skywatcher 200p with the EQ-5.

    I will be looking at purchasing the Drive at a later stage and also a webcam, although i will consider attaching my canon 5d for now.

    from what i have read, and based on my budget, i think purchasing a “reasonable” scope for now and adding the motor drive at a later stage when finances become a bit slack is the best option.

    Any ideas on whether i am beating along the right track ?

    If not, can anyone recommend a good scope to get reasonable images of deep sky objects and possibly planets ? without breaking the £400 mark ?

    cheers phil

    #3352

    Graham Bell
    Registered user
    0p

    Hi Phil, i dont do astro photography, however a new EQ5 will be a good start for imaging, but that will use up all your budget.  You could look at getting used equipment on websites like ‘astrobuysell’.

    Before you start i would recomend getting a good book like ‘Making Every Photon Count’. This will tell you everything you need to know on astro photography.

    HTH
    Graham.

    #3353

    Dave Bentley
    Registered user
    0p

    Hi Phil,
    Sorry its a bit late getting back to you but following on from what Graham says I think an EQ5 is the minimum starter point for photography. I have EQ5 and Vixen mounts and they will do the job, the Vixens being better quality and more robust. The EQ5 will carry the 200 ok, I use mine to mount an F8 5″ refractor or C9.25. Both these scopes are heavy so balancing them is critical otherwise there may be too much strain on the motors. Anything bigger than a 9.25″ would be too heavy. If you can, try and stretch your budget to include at least an RA motor. It makes a world of difference visually and is essential for photography.  Lots of people these days are using small premium quality refractors for photography and getting amazing results. Its another option!
    Dave B

    #3354

    phil atkinson
    Registered user
    0p

    Cheers guys, as im into photography i think the eq5 is the best option as i can use it as a tripod aswell.

    with regards to the RA motor. I do not require a goto as the whole excitement of viewing the sky is finding the objects yourself.

    If i buy the eq5 mount and the RA drive seperate, is it easy to fit ?

    im struggling to find a deal with the EQ5, explorer 200/p and RA drive in one.

    Also I assume the RA drive does the same job as the goto, i.e. tracking, except you have to find the objects yourself ?

    The budget on this is gona be about £500 which after pricing all this up is what i can get it all for.

    regards

    #3355

    Dave Bentley
    Registered user
    0p

    Hi Phil,
    The RA motor is very easy and simple to fit. You will have no problems with that.
    All it will do is track so you do have to find the objects yourself which is part of the fun (I have always found this more satisfying and you learn the sky better).
    When I bought my motor I think it was about £80. I got it from Stockport binnocular & telescope.
    You will certainly see a vast amount of objects in a 200mm scope. It was not long ago that the average amateur could only hope for an 80mm refractor or 150mm reflector! If you do not have one get youself a good star atlas something like Nortons which also contains lots of info.
    Have fun.
    Dave B

    #3356

    phil atkinson
    Registered user
    0p

    cheers dave,

    to be honest i have been studying the skies for some time and am becoming very familiar. i have a book called the practical astronomer which has been a god send.

    I will eventually be looking at getting coma correctors and all the extras but for now the scope, stand and ra motor are my main concerns.

    I assume once you are tracking an object you lock the ra motor to follow ? or do you need to connect it to a laptop with software in order to get this result.

    just out of interest, do you know of any other scopes that will do the same job, that may be a bit more portable, or will i be looking at the same problem.

    I don’t want to go out of my price range but would have loved to have bought the maksutov newtonian 190mn

    #3357

    Dave Bentley
    Registered user
    0p

    Hi Phil,
    Once you find your target you lock the motor by tighteneing a clutch which is fitted over the slow motion spindle (this comes with the motor). You will normally get a couple of slow motion knobs with the mount. These can be about 1 foot long and slide over the spindle with a locking screw. When I got my motor I took mine off and got smaller ones which I put back on when the motor was fitted. This allows you to move the scope in slow motion without the motor. The clutch is on a screw thread and sits between the slow motion knob and the brass gear. Tightening the clutch locks the motor but dont use the slow motion when this is locked or you may damage the motor. On the mount itself there are two locking clamps one for RA one for Dec. For quickly moving the mount you can leave the clutch tightened and undo one of these clamps and manually move the scope. This is a simple system and is not computer controlled. Hope i’ve not made it seem complicated as it is not. If you can get up to Pex Hill on a Wednesday (if the sky ever clears) you can view different scopes or come to one of the Sidewalk events.
    Dave B

    #3358

    phil atkinson
    Registered user
    0p

    brilliant dave cheers, i think ill go ahead and buy the 200p, i was considering the 200pds but i cant really afford that extra £100, plus it only comes with one eyepiece as apposed to the two – three the 200p comes with.

    i also try and get up to pex hill within the next few weeks. I assume you work there ?

    #3359

    matthew Longworth
    Registered user
    0p

    Hi all,

    I am new to looking into the night sky with a telescope, and thought i would buy my son a telescope for xmas just gone as one night when going asleep he was looking at the moon through the window and seemed interested at the time to use a telescope to get a better look…..so I got him a telescope for xmas……a CELESTRON powerseeker 70 AZ……I took him out earlier to use but to be honest he doesnt seem too interested in it….just wants to play on his xbox…….but I am really keen to learn more so I am going to use it myself……ive been looking at the site and see you have meetings at pex hill…..can anyone attend as I am interested in finding out more and maybe bringing the telescope along to be shown how to use it……ive managed to see the moon using the 20mm…..havent a clue how to use the barlow lens 3x. would really appreciate help. thanks

    matty

    #3360

    Dave Bentley
    Registered user
    0p

    Hi,
    The building at the top of Pex Hill houses the society observatory and is open on Wednesday evenings. There is a fair size car park. If its clear there will be quite a few visitors/members scopes out and they will only be too happy to let you look through. Everyones very friendly and will gladly pass on advice. Also there is normally quite a few scopes showing the sky at our sidewalk events or star parties. This web site gives the dates and times of these.
    Dave B

    Admin. note.
    The observatory is open to the public from 19:00 to 21:00 each Wednesday evening.
    http://www.liverpoolas.org/content/view/18/37/

    #3361

    matthew Longworth
    Registered user
    0p

    thanks for the reply……is the pex hill observatory open this wednesday evening 4th jan…..what time are the meetings held at and is there any cost at the meetings?

    thanks

    #3362

    Chris Price
    Registered user
    0p

    Hi Matthew

    Pex Hill will open on Wednesday from 7 pm and the public are welcome to attend.The cost of membership is £15  (per annum) or £20 if you choose to take the monthly newsletter, which I would recommend.We normally let you attend 3 meeting to see if it is right for you before asking you join.

    Hope to see you soon.

    Regards Chris

    #3363

    Robert
    Registered user
    0p

    Hi i have recentley got a teledcope i have a keen intrest but no experiance in using one before, are your meeting open to anybody to learn what to look for and how to use me telescope correctly

    Regards
    Rob

    #3364

    Graham Bell
    Registered user
    0p

    Hi Robert, the guys up at Pex Hill meet every Wed night and would welcome you no problem. The are very helpfull and will show you what to look for and show you how to use your scope.  I havn’t been latley due to family commitments but hopefully i will be back soon.
    PS. What scope do you have?

    Cheers,
    Graham.

    #3365

    Robert
    Registered user
    0p

    Phill, thank you for your response, i will get up there on a clear wednesday night, the telescope i have is a celestron nexstar 4se, hopefully that is suitable for beginers

    Regards
    Rob

    #3366

    Robert
    Registered user
    0p

    Many apologies Graham, i dont know why i called you Phil on my last response

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