Return to the Cloudy Nights Telescope Reviews home pageAstronomics discounts for Cloudy Nights members
· Get a Cloudy Nights T-Shirt · Submit a Review / Article

Click here if you are having trouble logging into the forums

Privacy Policy | Please read our Terms of Service | Signup and Troubleshooting FAQ | Problems? PM a Red or a Green Gu… uh, User

General Astronomy >> Beginners Forum

Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | (show all)
Jay_Bird
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 01/04/06

Loc: USA
Re: Newbie Lunatic Needs Advice new [Re: pdxmoon]
      #5945522 - 06/28/13 08:20 PM

While it doesn't track, the Vixen PortaMount and others like it work well with 10 pounds of 80mm f/6 refractor and almost as well with about 6-7 pounds of 100mm f/10 refractor. A used Porta Mount or similar sturdy Alt-Az mount might be one under-budget option for a better "grab and go" lunar experience with your 80mm.

You might like one new eyepiece more than your Barlow. Maybe in the range of 8mm to 12mm with good eye relief, for higher power views of the moon. If the image with your Barlow is usually bright enough and seems sharp (steady seeing), go shorter (higher power) within that range.

Finally, lots of people think the metal tripod older EQ mounts are even more frustration than the wooden leg versions. A teacher's 4.5-inch f/10 newtonian EQ, probably similar to your mount, with metal legs was much more steady after cleaning the equatorial head and tightening both axes to remove play, finding the right tightness just short of binding either axis.

Based on your up-down wheel comment, do you have an equatorial or alt-az mount? A photo would help suggest fine tuning ideas for the mount.

The other key to stability is use of a tripod spreader to brace the legs outward, if you don't have a tray a plywood disk or triangle shape works well.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Jon Isaacs
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 06/16/04

Loc: San Diego and Boulevard, CA
Re: Newbie Lunatic Needs Advice new [Re: pdxmoon]
      #5945614 - 06/28/13 09:26 PM

Quote:

#5945471 - 06/28/13 07:47 PM Edit Reply Quote Quick Reply

Jon, Thanks for yourquestions!

Yes, it's the old black woodenlegvariety!

Here's my dislikes: The up/down adjustment wheel seems notto be working--I have to manually unlock the mounttomove up/down.




Is this an alt-az mount or an equatorial mount? Do you have a picture of it you can post?

The 25mm should provide 36x magnification. The scope itself should provide good views of the moon up to about 200x. In terms of the quality of the the view, a 90mm Mak like the Orion would not be a step up...

Jon


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
pdxmoon
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 06/27/13

Loc: Oregon
Re: Newbie Lunatic Needs Advice new [Re: Jay_Bird]
      #5945717 - 06/28/13 10:18 PM

Something like this, perhaps, instead of the barlow?
http://www.telescope.com/Accessories/Telescope-Eyepieces/9mm-Orion-Expanse-Te...

I'll post some pictures of the set up later. Many thanks for your help!


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
pdxmoon
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 06/27/13

Loc: Oregon
Re: Newbie Lunatic Needs Advice new [Re: pdxmoon]
      #5945868 - 06/29/13 01:20 AM Attachment (9 downloads)

Here's some pics of the set-up. I've also been looking at some lens kits and would like your opinion:

http://www.telescope.com/Accessories/Telescope-Eyepieces/Orion-Moon-Madness-V...

http://www.telescope.com/Accessories/Telescope-Eyepieces/Orion-125-Premium-Te...

http://www.telescope.com/Accessories/Telescope-Eyepieces/Celestron-125-Telesc...


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
pdxmoon
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 06/27/13

Loc: Oregon
Re: Newbie Lunatic Needs Advice new [Re: pdxmoon]
      #5945869 - 06/29/13 01:20 AM Attachment (5 downloads)

another pic

Edited by barnum54 (06/29/13 01:21 AM)


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Jay_Bird
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 01/04/06

Loc: USA
Re: Newbie Lunatic Needs Advice new [Re: pdxmoon]
      #5945967 - 06/29/13 03:41 AM

Yep that's an equatorial mount. The axis that would be the upright of a "T" should point to Polaris, it is the polar or 'right ascension' axis; it would be the only axis needed to move to track the stars. The top bar across the "T" is the declination axis, and it would let you move the scope north and south.

You seem to have the polar axis horizontal. Actually, to use the scope in alt-az or altitude (up-down) and azimuth (right-left) mode, you should have this vertical - that would be a lot less frustrating than the way it's shown in your photo. Then one side of the top of the T would be the counterweight, and the other side of the top bar of the T would hold the scope.

When I said to try tightening each axis I did not mean the clamps you might lock and unlock when observing, I meant the nut that sets the bearing tension on each axis, one of these nuts is visible opposite the scope on the end of the polar axis closer to the tripod. I'd say get more advice & questions answered about the mount here before trying to overhaul it!

A little adjustment to the mount setup, either as polar aligned equatorial, or in upright T alt-az mode, might solve many frustrations, and get a lot more out of the scope.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
stevenf
sage


Reged: 10/11/09

Loc: Vancouver, BC
Re: Newbie Lunatic Needs Advice new [Re: Jay_Bird]
      #5946532 - 06/29/13 12:53 PM

A zooming eyepiece can be a lot of fun to use on the moon. The feeling of 'swooping' in for closer looks is something that regularly blows my mind.

For lunar my favorite scope is one of my 90mm maks. Compact and powerful for those close up shots.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
pdxmoon
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 06/27/13

Loc: Oregon
Re: Newbie Lunatic Needs Advice new [Re: stevenf]
      #5946613 - 06/29/13 01:39 PM

Stevenf:

Do you mean this as a lunar scope, and add a zoom?

http://www.telescope.com/catalog/product.jsp?productId=100316&gclid=CIqMg...

It looks incredibly ez to use.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
howard929
Member
*****

Reged: 01/02/11

Loc: Low End of High Ground
Re: Newbie Lunatic Needs Advice new [Re: pdxmoon]
      #5946621 - 06/29/13 01:45 PM

Other suggestions non-withstanding, I've acquired quite a liking to lunar viewing with my 8" dob since trying it out with a nice wide field EP at 109x (11mm). The moon plays out like a hi-res, slow motion movie as it slowly sweeps by all on its own. Better then free lunch IMHO and replays are just a nudge away.

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
*skyguy*
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 12/31/08

Loc: Western New York
Re: Newbie Lunatic Needs Advice new [Re: pdxmoon]
      #5946736 - 06/29/13 03:05 PM

Quote:

Skyguy, would you think the Orion mentioned would be an improvement in optics/magnification, etc, over the starter Celestron that I have now? It looks like it may fit the bill nicely.




Because of the compact design of a 90mm Mak and the mini-dob mount, there is a definite gain in the setup time and ease of use over the equatorial mounted 80mm refractor. Optically, I think you will see some improvement over a 80mm achromatic refractor, however the difference isn't going to "earthshaking".


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Jon Isaacs
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 06/16/04

Loc: San Diego and Boulevard, CA
Re: Newbie Lunatic Needs Advice new [Re: pdxmoon]
      #5946947 - 06/29/13 05:34 PM

Quote:

Stevenf:

Do you mean this as a lunar scope, and add a zoom?

http://www.telescope.com/catalog/product.jsp?productId=100316&gclid=CIqMg...

It looks incredibly ez to use.




Hi:

The scope in the link is a 80 mm f/4. 4 achromat. It is poorly suited as a lunar scope because of the chromatic aberration inherent in the fast achromat. And while the mount is easily setup, it is not so easy to track at higher magnifications that are appropriate for observing the moon.

You current scope is far better optically, it is still an achromat but at f/11.3 the chromatic aberration is well controlled and it should provide solid planetary/moon views. In comparision to the 90 Mak, it should be essentially the same, the Mak has the slightly larger aperture but has the central obstruction which affects the contrast. Refractors also have fewer thermal issues.

Jay provided some suggestions on how to setup your current scope in the equatorial mode. This would be my suggestion. It makes tracking very easy, it only requires turning a single knob and motorized tracking is possible with the addition of the a drive motor.

Your current configuration is reverse of what is normally done. Probably using the more typical alt-AZ configuration along with attention to balancing the scope would also resolve you current difficulties. Right now I am typing this on my phone so I can't post photos but when am back in the city I will try.

You might consider hooking up with your local astronomy club or a local amateur, they could help you get your current scope sorted out.

Howard's suggestion of the 8 inch Dob is worth considering. The Dob is larger but an easy setup and at the eyepiece the added aperture will provide resolution of details not visible in the smaller scopes.

But first, I would like to see you make your current scope work the way it should, it can be a very good scope for viewing the moon.

Jon


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
pdxmoon
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 06/27/13

Loc: Oregon
Re: Newbie Lunatic Needs Advice new [Re: Jon Isaacs]
      #5946964 - 06/29/13 05:49 PM

Jon:

thanks, I will try to sort it out. I would like another, closer view eyepiece: what would you suggest? I have a 25mm now.

In the event I can't sort it out, it is broken, or too cumbersome to move and I have to go with something more portable, would this be a good lunar scope?

http://www.telescope.com/Telescopes/Cassegrain-Telescopes/Orion-StarMax-90mm-...

[EDIT:* I see that skyguy already suggested the Starmax 90. If I have to go new, would you second that?]

Thanks

Edited by barnum54 (06/29/13 05:53 PM)


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
stevenf
sage


Reged: 10/11/09

Loc: Vancouver, BC
Re: Newbie Lunatic Needs Advice new [Re: pdxmoon]
      #5947038 - 06/29/13 06:52 PM

Hi barnum, the StarMax 90mm is what I meant. Excellent lunar scope.

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Jon Isaacs
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 06/16/04

Loc: San Diego and Boulevard, CA
Re: Newbie Lunatic Needs Advice new [Re: pdxmoon]
      #5947049 - 06/29/13 07:05 PM

Barnum

You definitely need more eyepieces. I like the TMB Planetary's that Astronomics sells. They have a reasonable amount of eye relief, a reasonable field of view and are priced right. For the moon a 9 mm would provide 100x, a good place to begin. A 6 or 7 mm would provide more magnification, 150x for the 6mm. This scope will handle more for the moon, 200x or even more is possible.

The 90 mm Mak certainly Winston portability but the mini-Dob mount is just not a good choice for higher magnification viewing. Dob mounts are great with larger scopes because you have a long lever arm but for a small scope it makes tracking difficult.

If your mount is not viable, you could consider a new mount for your scope. Or you could consider a Mak but on a tracking mount.

Jon


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
KWB
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 09/30/06

Loc: Westminster,Co Elev.5400 feet
Re: Newbie Lunatic Needs Advice new [Re: Jon Isaacs]
      #5947097 - 06/29/13 07:46 PM Attachment (6 downloads)

Hello and Welcome Barnum

Jon made some great points above. I have a scope very similar to yours in size and performance,an 90mm F/10. My favorite mount for using this size refractor is one of Altazimuth in design,specifically the Vixen Portamount shown in this image. I like it for it's simplicity of use,stability and ease of moving outdoors fully assembled. I can easily track a target like Jupiter at 150X using a 6mm eyepiece.

2 inexpensive but still quality eyepieces such as these Synta Enhanced Widefields(sold by Owl Astronomy) make a huge difference in viewing comfort and viewing quality compared to the type eyepieces you have experienced so far.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
KWB
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 09/30/06

Loc: Westminster,Co Elev.5400 feet
Re: Newbie Lunatic Needs Advice new [Re: KWB]
      #5947098 - 06/29/13 07:46 PM Attachment (5 downloads)

The eyepieces. Owl Astronomy Eyepieces

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Paco_Grande
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 07/14/12

Loc: Banana Republic of California
Re: Newbie Lunatic Needs Advice new [Re: KWB]
      #5947239 - 06/29/13 10:02 PM

If you want tracking, a used Celestron NexStar 4SE would be a decent choice for lunar-oriented viewing.

If tracking is not important, an f10'ish 80-90mm refractor on a Porta II mount is worth considering. You'd likely need to find this combo used, or piece it together yourself. Too bad Orion doesn't offer this scope on a simple alt/az mount.

http://www.telescope.com/Telescopes/Refractor-Telescopes/Refractor-Telescopes...

Related to your other thread, just wanted to say I had the Orion 90mm Mak and it's a fine scope. However, for lunar only, I prefer my trusty (and cheap) 80mm f11 Vixen refractor.

http://www.optcorp.com/vx-39952-a80mf-80mm-f-11-4-telescope-w-porta-mount-ii....

It's always ready to go, no waiting for the scope to acclimate, unlike the Mak which needs cool-down time. I think an 80mm+ long focal length refractor is a better, all around planetary scope than the 90mm Mak mainly because of acclimation issues. However, the Mak is tiny in comparison. You just can't win.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Paco_Grande
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 07/14/12

Loc: Banana Republic of California
Re: Newbie Lunatic Needs Advice new [Re: Paco_Grande]
      #5947245 - 06/29/13 10:06 PM

On second thought, using your existing scope on a Porta II just might be the cat's meow for you.

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
pdxmoon
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 06/27/13

Loc: Oregon
Re: Newbie Lunatic Needs Advice new [Re: Paco_Grande]
      #5947276 - 06/29/13 10:34 PM

Paco, can you explain the "cool down time" on a mak scope? What does that mean?

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
pdxmoon
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 06/27/13

Loc: Oregon
Re: Newbie Lunatic Needs Advice new [Re: pdxmoon]
      #5947529 - 06/30/13 03:56 AM

I want to thank everyone for their kind advice. I am working to make my current scope work, but am also considering two new scopes. They are this:

http://www.telescope.com/Telescopes/Dobsonian-Telescopes/Classic-Dobsonians/O...

and this

http://www.telescope.com/Telescopes/Cassegrain-Telescopes/Orion-StarMax-90mm-...

I know the dob is less portable than the mak. I do like not having to hassle the tripod like I do on my current Celestron--big, clunky and wooden, as I go from the back patio to the front chasing the moon.

I sense that the dob has better optics and will give me better detail--but the mak sure is easy to move!

I welcome your comments and will keep you posted!


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | (show all)


Extra information
20 registered and 33 anonymous users are browsing this forum.

Moderator:  WOBentley, kkokkolis 

Print Thread

Forum Permissions
      You cannot start new topics
      You cannot reply to topics
      HTML is disabled
      UBBCode is enabled


Thread views: 1616

Jump to

CN Forums Home


Cloudy Nights LLC
Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics