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What to buy next...a list

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#1 newtoskies

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Posted 04 March 2013 - 05:21 PM

As you all have noticed by now, I have been bored since we have not had a clear sky in weeks so I am browsing the web and CL. After seeing scopes like the ETX and Nexstar I had the bug to want to buy another scope. So now instead I am thinking what do I need to round out what I have now and what I should have to be set.
Other than using what I have and any other ep's (and eventually a 10" dob) what do I really need. Yes I know, get out there and use what I have...lol

On my list of what I think I still need are the following.
.RACI finder for the XLT102
.Moon filter, not sure which!
.Shorty 2x Barlow for the 102
.Eventually an observing chair for the 10"


Is there anything I am missing that will round out what I have so i am set for a long time ?

#2 csrlice12

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Posted 04 March 2013 - 07:39 PM

Just because the XLT can take it (and the 10" will absolutely love it), a 2" 24-30mm 82* eyepiece (I'd recommend the ES82* 24mm or 30mm for around $250-$300(for the money, best bang for the buck), or the Terminagler (little more bang, lots more buck, but they are coming up used more often now), but, if money is no object, there's the just discontinued Pentax 30mmXW, that'll run you $500 or so....

#3 GOLGO13

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Posted 04 March 2013 - 07:49 PM

I think a good chair would benefit your current scopes as much as it would a 10 inch dob. Remember that a 10 inch dob is the same height basically as your 6 inch. And your 102mm when pointed at zenith will have you pretty low to the ground. So I think that's the best purchase. I still don't have a really good chair like the cats perch or similar ones. But I use a drummer's throne which works fine for me so far.

If you find the moon just too bright (especially as it approaches full moon) there are a couple options. There is just a strait up moon filter, or there is a variable moon filter which changes darkness as you rotate the filter. I personally like the variable filter (though it may have a little negative affect on the image compared to a normal moon filter). The benefit is you can vary the darkness as the moon varies it's brightness. I love it.

The RA finder may not be a bad idea either. I have not tried them, but I can see the value of them. Not sure if I could get used it.

#4 Wasatch

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Posted 04 March 2013 - 08:55 PM

I say get the Moon filter, and a 2x barlow.

#5 RocketScientist

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Posted 04 March 2013 - 09:26 PM


If you look at the Moon frequently, the variable Moon filter will be useful now and absolutely necessary when you get the 10". I find it actually painful to look at the nearly-full Moon through my 10" Dob w/out the filter turned down pretty dark.

But don't bother with a fixed Moon filter. I find them worthless.

Eyepieces: I'd say you have a pretty good solid set there, and unless you have a craving to do the ultra-wide-field expensive eyepiece thing, you don't need much more. If you are getting the craving to look through something a little wider field-of-view than a Plossl, get the set of OWL Enhanced Superwides or Orion Expanses (same eyepieces, different branding). These are probably my most-used eyepieces (20mm, 15m, and 9mm), though I am not thrilled with the 6mm.

Other filters: if you are into deep-sky nebula, it's worth getting a UHC and/or OIII. I think these would give you some interesting new capabilities. If budget is an issue, get the Zhumells for about $40 each; otherwise, spring for a higher-quality one at a higher price.

I can't speak to the observing chair, but there are certainly times I've wished for one!

Finally, you don't say what atlases you have or use, either books or software. If you don't have a good atlas with which you're comfortable, that might be a good next investment. Something like Sky Atlas 2000 would suit your equipment well.

#6 Dave74

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Posted 04 March 2013 - 09:37 PM

A chair is something you'll use every time out.

#7 orion61

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Posted 04 March 2013 - 10:00 PM

How about a Solar filter to be able to use your scope in the daytime.
I bought a premium Glass filter for my ETX 90 and it hasn't been off of it since. Makes a great Solar scope,
I have scopes 4" 6" 8" and a C14 so I don't miss it.
Do you have filters? Color for planetary and Nebuls filters for deep sky.

#8 newtoskies

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Posted 04 March 2013 - 11:28 PM

Thanks for al the feedback all. As for the moon filter I was thinking the 1-40% from Orion and also maybe the 13% just for afocal images.
As for star charts/atlases I use printed out charts from websites, S&T and Sky at Night mags. I do plan on getting the The Cambridge Star Atlas, 4th Edition, by Wil Tirion.
A chair will be on the list but since I have no problems viewing t=with the various stools and chairs I have , it's not at the top of the list.
No real interest in solar viewing but may be an option way down the road.
I thought about the OHC and OIII but they are a bit pricey, so maybe one at a time when I can.
As for EP's, well I think I like what I have now but was thinking if I do buy one more than it will be an ES 68*. I like the 50-60* ep's and the views they give so any wider would be just for open clusters and star hopping.
Color filters are planned (maybe) down the road when I finally get a 10" dob.

I really want to spend this year learning the constellations and better star hopping and just visual viewing with the occasional pic of the moon and planets. So the priority is not to see as many objects as I can, but instead to get the best out of what I have and just enjoy the universe. The past couple months I would say 'man I wish I had this or that' , so to have what I need now will make the hobby more enjoyable. I have about 5-600 I could spend on some items so I want to get what I need and not what won't be used.
Are there any other must haves ?

#9 Benson

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Posted 05 March 2013 - 12:47 AM

A variable [polarized] moon filter is a good choice if you like moon viewing. Other filters are pretty much a waste of money unless hard core AP is on the agenda. Chairs are only worth the money if you have a big scope and the ep is frequently high above the ground, but, a comfortable stool will do just fine most of the time. Internet charts are more than adequate to learn star hopping. I'm partial to UWF ep's, but, that is a luxury, not a necessity. You generally need a 2" diagonal to use them, and they are not cheap either.

#10 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 05 March 2013 - 06:24 AM

If you look at the Moon frequently, the variable Moon filter will be useful now and absolutely necessary when you get the 10". I find it actually painful to look at the nearly-full Moon through my 10" Dob w/out the filter turned down pretty dark.



I frequently observe the moon with scopes ranging from 60mm to 25 inches. I have several filters including a variable polarizing filter but I never use a filter. Rather, I just allow my eye to adapt to the brightness. If I am dark adapted then certainly I lose my dark adaptation but I will lose that no matter what I do.

I recommend a chair, it's the one accessory I use each and every night no matter what. And as GOLGO13, pointed out, a chair will be actually be more useful with the refractor than with the DOB.

Jon

#11 newtoskies

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Posted 05 March 2013 - 10:16 AM

Even at 1/4 moon it does hurt my eyes and not so much about the dark adaption issue. My eyes are a bit sensitive to light and even on cloudy days I have to wear sun glasses.

I have a low patio chair I have used with the 102 at close to zenith with no problem and it was comfy. If I end up finding a good and cheap 12" I will grab it up, missed a good deal on one already, so the new chair will be needed.

I went window shopping last night...lol. Placed a few things in the shopping cart. How are the Celestron OIII and UHC filters ? Also placed the Meade lunar/planetary 4 filter set in the cart. Are these any good too? I know I will rarely need the color filters but it does come with the 13% moon filter and the price is under $30.
Like I said, just getting gear that I need now and for later down the road when I know I won't be able to afford them.
Oh yeah, the 8x50 GSO RACI is in the cart as well.

If I get another ep it will not be a very expensive one. Was thinking under $100, the ES 68* or 82*,

#12 csrlice12

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Posted 05 March 2013 - 11:08 AM

A cheaper solution: Wear your polarized sunglasses when viewing the moon......

#13 Mike4242

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Posted 05 March 2013 - 11:44 AM

I would get the chair. Although the RACI would be a close second. It took me a long time to finally get a chair and once I did, I was mad that I waited so long. The Starbound chair that I got will adjust almost all the way to the ground, so when my XLT 102 is pointed high up I can adjust the chair very low and then just stretch out my legs between the tripod legs.

#14 Paco_Grande

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Posted 05 March 2013 - 11:59 AM

My thoughts, FWIW. In order of priority.

1. Chair
2. Buy a used 10", sell 6"
3. Adjustable moon filter (but only if you really can't tolerate without)
4. Used OIII

I don't see the importance of the color filters. Just me.

#15 newtoskies

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Posted 05 March 2013 - 11:59 AM

The chair was something I was thinking of making myself. I think I have plans for making one some where. For now the lawn/patio chair works great even at zenith, although I rarely ever look straight up. For now it is at the bottom of the list. The RACI is more important I think, so I don't have to kneel on the ground to use the finder.

I thought about and have tried the sun glasses for the moon and it does work. But if I want to take an afocal image of the full moon then a filter I think would work best. Any and all info, suggestions and tips are most welcome and very much appreciated. this is one of the reasons why this forum is so great, all the knowledge and opinions here helps us newbies a lot.

What I think I need to most of all........clear skies...lol. I have no idea what phase the moon is in right now because I haven't seen it in two weeks..lol. Another storm heading our way tomorrow...fun fun fun.

#16 csrlice12

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Posted 05 March 2013 - 12:40 PM

"I have no idea what phase the moon is in right now because I haven't seen it in two weeks"

Luckily, the scope shop gave me a 2013 Moon calender when I got my XLT......

#17 newtoskies

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Posted 05 March 2013 - 12:45 PM

LOL, yeah I looked at mine, but would be nice to actually see the moon again.

#18 Mike4242

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Posted 05 March 2013 - 02:26 PM

I don't think there really is a moon. It's a myth. :p

#19 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 05 March 2013 - 02:32 PM

The chair was something I was thinking of making myself. I think I have plans for making one some where. For now the lawn/patio chair works great even at zenith, although I rarely ever look straight up.



You can definitely make a chair yourself, the Denver chair is quite popular. A chair is useful not only when viewing near the zenith but all the way from the Zenith to the horizon so make sure you don't cheat yourself, either make one or buy one.

The moon... ever look at it during the day... it's no brighter at night.

jon

#20 csrlice12

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Posted 05 March 2013 - 04:14 PM

I have viewed the moon during the day thru my scope....pretty nice views actually.....Some of my best views of Jupiter have also been just after sunset (twilight).

#21 RocketScientist

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Posted 05 March 2013 - 10:40 PM

How are the Celestron OIII and UHC filters? Also placed the Meade lunar/planetary 4 filter set in the cart. Are these any good too? I know I will rarely need the color filters but it does come with the 13% moon filter and the price is under $30.


I think you'd get a lot more benefit from a $40 Zhumell UHC filter than from a set of color filters, unless you are strictly Moon-and-planets and never look at nebulae. You don't need the more expensive makes of narrowband filters unless and until you decide that's an area where you want to focus more of your $$$.

#22 newtoskies

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Posted 06 March 2013 - 12:35 AM

Thanks, I'll check into the Zhumell filters. I want to leave as much left over from what I have to grab a used 10" dob when one pops up.

#23 RocketScientist

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Posted 06 March 2013 - 12:42 AM

I want to leave as much left over from what I have to grab a used 10" dob when one pops up.


Good plan. I would never part with my 10" Dob; it's the core of my telescope set.

#24 csrlice12

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Posted 06 March 2013 - 08:54 AM

Truthfully, get the 10" first....filters can help, but only the scope can bring in the fuzzies. I'd rather see the Lagoon Nebula in my 10" dob and 24mm eyepiece, then with a smaller scope filterd to the hilt......without the aperture to pull in the fuzzies, the filter is just a colored piece of glass. Not that I won't get filters down the road, but I'd go for the base equipment first....just like a house...build the foundation first...then accessorize....

#25 newtoskies

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Posted 06 March 2013 - 12:06 PM

Yeah I think the 10"dob is a must, especially for the lp around here. I keep checking the classifies here and CL, nothing yet.






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