Another newbie checking in. I too just ordered my AWB scope a couple days ago based almost entirely on this forum, jlandy's posts, and some favorable reviews elsewhere. Am looking forward to participating in what is an extraordinarily pleasant and useful forum.
It's clear to me that jlandy in particular is selling a bunch of scopes. His progress from "beginner" to grand old man of the forum in a matter of a few months is truly inspirational and he shows what can be done with an inexpensive scope, some focus (get it?) and a little elbow (silicon?) grease.
But he has clearly put in a lot of effort and I wonder if he may make it look a little too easy for newcomers, particularly with the long exposure deep sky photography stuff. I am still pretty clueless about astronomy in general but have been doing a lot of reading over the last month or so and the "experts" say that it takes lots of practice and lots of study and lots of patience (and lots of money?) to get halfway decent results. So I worry about expectations of new forum members who see jlandy's images and are asking him about camera mounts before their scope even arrives.
But I am just as guilty. I have never looked through the eyepiece of a serious telescope, I still don't own one, a month ago I couldn't spell astronomy, and today I find myself pricing autoguiders. Hopefully I can keep my wits, go slowly, and learn to enjoy the non-electronic essence of it for awhile. But I feel much better about the possibilities - all the "experts" I've read say you'll need $3,000 - $5,000 to do astrophotography worth doing - jlandy has demonstrated that's not necessarily true!
As I said, looking forward to participating in this terrific forum!
I think you had the right idea before seeing the magic jlandy has done. The OneSky is a visual scope lacking the necessities of astrophotography, for the most part. I wouldn't recommend it to someone wanting to do astrophotography except for quick shots of the Moon or maybe the brighter planets where the exposure is short enough that there is no perceptible motion in the eyepiece.
While jlandy has gone way beyond that capability, note that he's not using the simple table-top Dobsonian mount for longer exposures. The optical tube assembly (OTA) is entirely suitable for wide-field astrophotography but it needs a tracking mount. And not just any tracking mount but something sturdy enough to hole the OTA without any vibration during the exposure. So the jump from visual observing to astrophotography can be a big one. But not always, as jlandy has shown.
The most important necessity for astrophotography is the the patience and passion that jlandy has shown. Anyone can buy the gear but not everyone can get the best results that gear can produce. That persistence and patience can make up for quite a lot of missing equipment capability. When I started in amateur astronomy more than 40 years ago there was nothing but massive equatorial mounts -- many homemade -- and a guide scope where the photographer would spend long, cold nights watching every second of the exposure. That's no longer necessary, and more time is now usually spent in post processing than gather the starlight. It's quite a different game.
I never expected to see results from the OneSky (OTA) like jlandy has produced. I just didn't think anyone would eve try it! And jlandy's learning curve has been amazingly steep. He shows that it can be done if you really, really, really want to do it. It's just a bit time-consuming, and there is more expense involved, but he has really minimized the expense by spending the time. It's not necessary to spend big money to get into astrophotography and get satisfying results, as he's shown. But it's not a point-and-shoot hobby, even with the very expensive gear.
jlandy's advice is exactly right. Look around -- there's a whole Universe out there waiting to be discovered! Get to know the expanded neighborhood you've moved into. Take a cell phone shot of the Moon or Jupiter through the eyepiece some time and see what you get. Play with it and discover what you can, and can't, easily do. That's the fun part.