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General Astronomy >> Beginners Forum

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newtoskies
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 07/15/12

Loc: SE Ma.
Re: Is what is in the box all we need to get started? new [Re: rdandrea]
      #5554765 - 12/04/12 10:23 PM

I must agree that the 6 or preferably the 8" dob would do best. I have the 6 and it takes up very little space, much less than I thought it would. The 6-8 Dob can be carried with one hand, like a long suitcase.
Besides the scope, a 2xBarlow. I mainly use my 25mm and the 2x when viewing. Also a stool/chair for viewing. I would also recommend a good book, Turn left at Orion, for those nights when it's cloudy ( which will be the first night he has the scope- new scope curse you know )so he can learn about scopes and the stars.

Great that you have been on CN getting yourself informed, and that you are getting that lucky man a scope. Be sure to have him join us here once he has the scope.


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frito
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 10/05/12

Loc: Fremont, CA
Re: Is what is in the box all we need to get started? new [Re: newtoskies]
      #5554929 - 12/05/12 12:39 AM

the XT6 you're right you can carry with one hand fairly easily. the XT8, not so much. its much more top heavy than the 6, remember i've owned both. the larger focuser and secondary mirror make it fairly dangerous to carry one handled the top end tends to dive tword the ground. i find that i carry it either by the tube base hanging off it or with two hands one on handle and one on the side of the base to keep it up-right. the second method has more control to it but does not get through doors as well because your carrying at an angle rather than straight up. if either was too hard for someone due to size and/or weight carrying it wherever in two pieces is very easy just watch out for those darned spring rope loops they love to get caught in the wrong places!

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PencilCricket
member


Reged: 10/14/12

Loc: Stafford, United Kingdom
Re: Is what is in the box all we need to get started? new [Re: frito]
      #5555091 - 12/05/12 04:23 AM

Uh-oh, I feel Like I'm about to confuse you after all that "get the dob" advice. I've got a 6" reflector that's virtually identical to the Celestron XLT150 you've looked at apart from the mine having a slightly inferior mount. I've had it nine years and I'm very happy with it so I'd definitely recommend it, with one qualification:

Your husband has to be able and willing to spend time setting up the equatorial mount, and unless you've got a particular spot where you can place the tripod in the exactly the same orientation every time he uses it he'll have to do this every time. It's not too hard, and if your husband is good at/enjoys fiddly things then that's great, if he's mechanically challenged you're probably better off spending the money on a larger dobsonian.

Assuming you get the XLT150, then echoing what others have said I would suggest this telescope needs at the very least a 10mm eyepiece which will give a nice view of the whole disc of the moon, and a 2x barlow lens will also come in handy to give nice views of Jupiter, Saturn, Venus and Mars. A cheshire collimator, or a laser collimator, will be needed at some point to keep the telescope's optics aligned. A slight luxury in the "nice to have" category would be a motor for the R/A axis, but you can get this at a later date.

Accessories not directly related to the telescope I would suggest include warm clothes/gloves/hat/boots, some red film to adapt a torch (for protecting night vision), and a planisphere.


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star drop
Snowed In
*****

Reged: 02/02/08

Loc: Snow Plop, WNY
Re: Is what is in the box all we need to get started? new [Re: Maverick199]
      #5555186 - 12/05/12 06:51 AM

Quote:

That is indeed sweet of you and shows how much you care for your loved one's. The Omni 150 is a decent scope and your husband will surely love to have that. Only problem I foresee is, instead of half an hour out, he may spend hours, but you too can enjoy this together and be mesmerized with the views of Planets, Moon and Deep space.



Hi Deanne and welcome to Cloudy Nights. Do you already own binoculars? If so suggest that your husband look at the night sky with them. You already have a lot of suggestions but I will add one more. Look on the internet for an astronomy club near you. That way you and your husband can meet other amateurs and get an idea of the type of telescope that best suits your needs. However it probably won't help for obtaining a Christmas present this year.
As far as the half hour out while taking out the garbage goes you will now have to generate enough garbage to last several hours.


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another lost one
journeyman


Reged: 12/03/12

Re: Is what is in the box all we need to get started? new [Re: rdandrea]
      #5555215 - 12/05/12 07:29 AM

I think I have a lot of stuff to think about...this is overwhelming, and I am so glad I asked for help. I spent some time reading last night, and am adding this (below) to my "possibility" list, mostly because of the price, which I know, shouldn't be the decision maker in a case like this, but hey, we might be diving off a fiscal cliff soon...
Anyway, if anyone has experience about this one, I'd appreciate hearing it.
Zhumell Z10 Deluxe Dobsonian Reflector Telescope
Thanks again...this is really educational. Now I must log out and go to work:(


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newtoskies
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 07/15/12

Loc: SE Ma.
Re: Is what is in the box all we need to get started? new [Re: another lost one]
      #5555365 - 12/05/12 09:48 AM

It's an identical scope to the AD10, both are very good from what I have read and heard from those who own them. With a 10" dob he will be set for a long time. Both those scopes cost under $500 and have free shipping, can't go wrong there.

I hear you on the overwhelming part. I am going through the same situation picking out a refractor.


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another lost one
journeyman


Reged: 12/03/12

Re: Is what is in the box all we need to get started? new [Re: newtoskies]
      #5555381 - 12/05/12 09:58 AM

Very quick question while I am on a break...and I hate asking this because any kind of telescope is such a beautiful and delicate instrument, but if we got a big dob, would it damage it to keep it in the garage (specifically would the colder temps damage it)? It wouldn't be my preference, but if we keep it in the house we will have to take it around a tight corner and down steps in order to get it outside. The garage is level to the ground and we could just put it on one of those wheelie things and move it to the drive, to the patio, etc.
Sorry if that is a bad question...
Deanne


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Tony Flanders
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 05/18/06

Loc: Cambridge, MA, USA
Re: Is what is in the box all we need to get started? new [Re: another lost one]
      #5555398 - 12/05/12 10:08 AM

Quote:

Very quick question while I am on a break...and I hate asking this because any kind of telescope is such a beautiful and delicate instrument




Telescopes may be beautiful, but they're certainly not delicate. On the contrary, they're robust hunks of metal, glass, and sometimes wood or plastic that are explicitly designed to be used outdoors under adverse circumstances.

Dobs, being extremely simple, are particularly robust. A Dob is extremely hard to damage.

Quote:

Would it damage it to keep it in the garage (specifically would the colder temps damage it)?




In fact, storing it in the cold is preferable. It avoids a long wait for the telescope to cool down before using it, and all processes that might damage the scope work slower when it's cold. That's true for 'most everything else in the world, by the way. There's a reason that people store food in refrigerators!

There are two things you have to watch out for: mold and exhaust fumes. If (heaven forbid!) you keep your car in the garage, make sure that you don't run it there for any length of time, and make sure it's well ventilated. (Both good ideas anyway unless you enjoy carbon-monoxide poisoning.)

And if the garage is humid, it may encourage the growth of mold on the optics, which is not a good thing at all. You would know based on other stuff that's stored there. If it is a problem, keeping a low-watt light bulb on inside the telescope tube will eliminate the problem.


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newtoskies
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 07/15/12

Loc: SE Ma.
Re: Is what is in the box all we need to get started? new [Re: Tony Flanders]
      #5555447 - 12/05/12 10:42 AM

Thanks for the VERY helpful advice Tony. Things to think about as I too am thinking of storing in the garage or shed.

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csrlice12
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 05/22/12

Loc: Denver, CO
Re: Is what is in the box all we need to get started? new [Re: newtoskies]
      #5555464 - 12/05/12 10:51 AM

No problem with the garage as long as you be sure the car exhaust fumes have cleared out before you close the garage (car exhaust forms an acid when mixed with humidity, not good for mirrors). Also, if possible, when the scope is in the mount, put it in the horizonal position. While it takes up less space in the vertical position, in the horizontal position dew/frost is less likely to form on the mirror surface, and if it does, will run off. It left verticle, the moisture would "pool" in the mirror. Also, maybe put a shower cap on the mirror end with a couple of dessicant packages (I get mine out of old pill bottles). This helps reduce moisture and helps to keep spiders and other crawly things out of the scope.)

Clear Skies!


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howard929
Member
*****

Reged: 01/02/11

Loc: Low End of High Ground
Re: Is what is in the box all we need to get started? new [Re: Tony Flanders]
      #5555472 - 12/05/12 10:57 AM

Tony,

One has to do what one has to. I get that. In my neck of the woods anything left in a shed or unheated/cooled garage rusts if it's able to and becomes a haven for mice, spiders and Lord knows what else. My telescopes are my babies, I actively worry about them and I would never, ever.... but that's just me.


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YetAnotherHobby
sage
*****

Reged: 09/02/09

Loc: Central CT
Re: Is what is in the box all we need to get started? new [Re: another lost one]
      #5555598 - 12/05/12 12:33 PM

Just to echo the comments on useability - an EQ mount cannot be beat if you are intent on photography, but for general ease-of-use an altitude-azimuth (alt-az) mount is a whole lot simpler to point at things. I tended to fight with my EQ mount, whereas my dob's movements feel almost natural by comparison.
If you leave the dob out in the garage one easy way to move them is with a cheapo hand truck. When you are ready to observe just slide the hand truck under the base and wheel the entire scope out to your observing site. Much faster than bringing the tripod/mount and then the OTA out in separate trips. This is how I move my 12" dob out of the house. Lift and carry was a real workout and took multiple trips - handtruck is much easier.


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droid
rocketman
*****

Reged: 08/29/04

Loc: Conneaut, Ohio
Re: Is what is in the box all we need to get started? new [Re: YetAnotherHobby]
      #5555626 - 12/05/12 12:50 PM

I see everyone has already recommended a dob, I would too. One thing though, with a dob, you will have to learn how to colimate it, align all the optics, to get the best views, a little research here in CN will help and with two people, itll be easier than it sounds.

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howard929
Member
*****

Reged: 01/02/11

Loc: Low End of High Ground
Re: Is what is in the box all we need to get started? new [Re: droid]
      #5555667 - 12/05/12 01:15 PM

Quote:

I see everyone has already recommended a dob, I would too. One thing though, with a dob, you will have to learn how to colimate it, align all the optics, to get the best views, a little research here in CN will help and with two people, itll be easier than it sounds.




The first telescope I owned was a 10" Newt on a EQ mount. I spent days and days trying to figure out how to get that working. Sometimes I'd drag it around to get it pointing towards Jupiter and raise one of the legs with a chunk of wood. In the end, I sent that back and bought the 8" dob I still own. Right out of the assembly which was rather simple to do, it was and still is love at first sight.


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Tony Flanders
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 05/18/06

Loc: Cambridge, MA, USA
Re: Is what is in the box all we need to get started? new [Re: howard929]
      #5555772 - 12/05/12 02:25 PM

Quote:

In my neck of the woods anything left in a shed or unheated/cooled garage rusts if it's able to and becomes a haven for mice, spiders and Lord knows what else.




Good point about the critters. It's not a problem with sealed telescopes, but scopes with ventilation holes are an invitation to mice and insects. Just think about it -- a big empty box with comfy-sized holes just right for you and too small for your predators -- who could ask for anything more?

This is, in fact, the main reason that I keep the scope at my country home indoors instead of in the garage. I make strenuous efforts to exterminate mice inside the house, but I'm not willing to contemplate the carnage required to keep them out of the garage.


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tezster
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 07/14/09

Loc: Missisauga, Canada
Re: Is what is in the box all we need to get started? new [Re: another lost one]
      #5555802 - 12/05/12 02:53 PM

Deanne, if you do end up getting a dob and store it in the garage, I would recommend covering both ends of the tube when not in use, and plug the focuser as well (the collimation cap that comes with many commercial dobs does a good job of this).

Good luck with your decision


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fuzzystuff4ever
member


Reged: 11/26/12

Loc: Micco, FL
Re: Is what is in the box all we need to get started? new [Re: rdandrea]
      #5555875 - 12/05/12 03:38 PM

My first (adult) scope was an 8" dob and it's a perfect 1st scope; big enough to make deep sky objects interesting, and as been stated by others, doesn't take up too much room when being stored. One really cheap accessory I found useful was a couple of elastic shower cap-type covers for the ends of the tube to keep dust out (my scope didn't come with any kind of covers). Good Luck!

Brian


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another lost one
journeyman


Reged: 12/03/12

Re: Is what is in the box all we need to get started? new [Re: fuzzystuff4ever]
      #5556065 - 12/05/12 05:46 PM

I have been sold on the dob, no matter where we store it!
If we do keep it in the garage, I am very confident that my husband will be able to wrap it snugly and securely, top to bottom. He might not even want to leave it out there - we are pretty sentimental about such things.
Now I'm so excited, I don't know how I will be able to wait until Christmas...
Thank you all so much! I will keep you posted:)


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Paco_Grande
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 07/14/12

Loc: Banana Republic of California
Re: Is what is in the box all we need to get started? new [Re: another lost one]
      #5556421 - 12/05/12 09:04 PM



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star drop
Snowed In
*****

Reged: 02/02/08

Loc: Snow Plop, WNY
Re: Is what is in the box all we need to get started? new [Re: another lost one]
      #5557145 - 12/06/12 09:37 AM

Quote:

I have been sold on the dob, no matter where we store it!
If we do keep it in the garage, I am very confident that my husband will be able to wrap it snugly and securely, top to bottom. He might not even want to leave it out there - we are pretty sentimental about such things.
Now I'm so excited, I don't know how I will be able to wait until Christmas...
Thank you all so much! I will keep you posted:)



I like my 25" Dobsonian a lot too but it has to stay in the shed.


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