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Need advice and review on beginner accessories for SkyWatcher 6'' DOB

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#1 Virgil

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Posted 12 July 2018 - 06:58 PM

Greetings!

 

I just bought my first real astronomy telescope:  Skywatcher 6'' DOB Telescope

 

https://www.highpoin...XQaAp7FEALw_wcB

 

To begin my journey in astronomy, I think I need buy some accessories. 

 

After reading many articles in the forum, I made several choices below, but still need advice on remaining accessories.

 

Will buy:

 

Barlow lens:  GSO 2'' 2* ED Barlow Lens  - $75

https://agenaastro.c...arlow-lens.html

 

 

Filter:             DGM NPB 2'' UHC filter      - $150

https://telescopes.n...ula-filter.html

 

 

Flashlight:      Orion redbeam flashlight    -$24

https://www.telescop...a3bb/p/5756.uts

 

 

Planisphere:   Orion star target planisphere  - $7   (I know this may not be necessary, since we have mobile apps such as Sky Safari etc. But I just try to use traditional method to learn some skills)

https://www.telescop...6b4e/p/4110.uts

 

Books:    Turn Left at Orion   - $25;   Night Watch - $21  (These 2 books will come first, hope I can retain my interest after I read these books.)

https://www.telescop...19d/p/51315.uts

 

https://www.amazon.c...0?ie=UTF8&psc=1

 

 

Need Advice:

 

Even the telescope come with 2 1.25'' EP, 25mm and 10mm separately, I still want to buy a 2'' EP (since I bought SkyWatcher because of the 2'' focuser, why stuck on 1.25'' EP, right?). Could you please recommend one low power 2'' EP for nebulae or galaxy, and one high power 2'' EP for planet view? Budget would be around $50~$150 each. 

 

 

I know the best way to learn what to buy, is to join local stargazing club, and try different sets. But just personally prefer on starting play on my own equipment.

 

And please also leave advice if you think I missed any necessary accessories for beginners.

 

Thanks,

Virgil


Edited by Virgil, 12 July 2018 - 07:00 PM.

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#2 ShaulaB

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Posted 12 July 2018 - 07:12 PM

This is a free download, you can print out all you want. http://www.skymaps.com/downloads.html

Scroll down to find the map you want.

 

This site has a monthly star map and a calendar of events on one side. The other side has a list of naked eye, binocular, and telescope objects. Even cheap WalMart binoculars can help you find things in your scope.

 

Gas for your vehicle is another great accessory. You would be surprised how different deep sky objects look when viewed from a dark sky than from a light polluted sky.

 

Most of all, observe, take notes, decide what is right for you. Not everyone has the same vision or tastes.



#3 NickWDavis

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Posted 12 July 2018 - 07:28 PM

2" eyepieces are mostly for low power. For planets they are not necessary.


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#4 kfiscus

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Posted 12 July 2018 - 07:41 PM

It's very important to be well dark-adapted when working on DSOs.  Your NPB filter will do amazing things to many gaseous nebulae- but only if you have your eyes dark adapted and you've begun training your most important astro equipment- your eye/brain combo.  Record what you've seen in some great DSOs like the Lagoon and Swan Neb.  When you go back to them again on other dates, you should expect to see more detail due to your training.

 

Good luck.



#5 vtornado

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Posted 12 July 2018 - 07:54 PM

Hi Virgil Welcome to the forum!

 

You have an awesome scope.

 

For a planetary eyepiece I would start with an 7mm 1.25 inch eyepiece with a apparent field of view of 60 or more.  If you can afford them many people like the ES 80 degree series. I have 60 degree paradigm Ed eyepieces. 

 

A 7mm is a good place to start planetary viewing with your scope.  On good nights you might be able to  do a 5mm.  That could be accomplished with a 2x barlow and your 10mm eyepiece.

 

A 32mm 1.25 inch eyepiece is my most used eyepiece.   It gives you the widest field possible without going to a 2 inch eyepiece.   I find,  replacing the 2 inch to 1.25 inch adapter kind of a hassle, if done repeatedly. If is a long night of looking for new things, or sweeping I use the 2 inch eyepiece.   If I am going for a list of medium power targets I use the 32mm 1.25 inch.

 

I only use my 2 inch eyepieces for low power scanning no need to barlow them.  And a 2 inch eyepiece and a 2 in barlow is quite a hunk of glass.  This can cause balance issues.  Which can be overcome,

but something to be aware of.

 

I love my 8x50 raci finder.

 

I have a digital angle meter and paper setting circle.   I could not live without them in the glow of my bortle 6 skies.

 

Good luck and keep us posted.

BTW you don't need to buy everything right away.

 

VT



#6 Virgil

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Posted 12 July 2018 - 08:08 PM

This is a free download, you can print out all you want. http://www.skymaps.com/downloads.html

Scroll down to find the map you want.

 

This site has a monthly star map and a calendar of events on one side. The other side has a list of naked eye, binocular, and telescope objects. Even cheap WalMart binoculars can help you find things in your scope.

 

Gas for your vehicle is another great accessory. You would be surprised how different deep sky objects look when viewed from a dark sky than from a light polluted sky.

 

Most of all, observe, take notes, decide what is right for you. Not everyone has the same vision or tastes.

Thanks! Just downloaded, and watched the "Eyes on the Sky" series video. 

 

It seems all NJ area is highly light polluted, hopefully I can find somewhere dark enough..



#7 Virgil

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Posted 12 July 2018 - 08:09 PM

2" eyepieces are mostly for low power. For planets they are not necessary.

Got it! So it sounds like I don't even need buy 2'' barlow, since we don't need high magnitude for low power watching. Thanks for the guide!

 

Any recommendation for 2'' EP?


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#8 Virgil

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Posted 12 July 2018 - 08:12 PM

It's very important to be well dark-adapted when working on DSOs.  Your NPB filter will do amazing things to many gaseous nebulae- but only if you have your eyes dark adapted and you've begun training your most important astro equipment- your eye/brain combo.  Record what you've seen in some great DSOs like the Lagoon and Swan Neb.  When you go back to them again on other dates, you should expect to see more detail due to your training.

 

Good luck.

Glad to know that! Or I may doubt on the quality of my equips before my eye/brain system get adapted on the dark. Thanks!



#9 ICit2

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Posted 12 July 2018 - 08:15 PM

Well, Virgil congrats on your first scope!  A six inch dob means you're going to be using it often.  A common mistake is to start out too big and heavy.  Which is why there's the old saying, the best scope is the one that gets used the most.  So, you've started off on the right foot.

 

The budget you've laid out for eyepieces, around $50~$150 each, means you'll probably do better buying used here on CN.  Or you might want to take a look at Agena 2" Super Wide Angle (SWA) Eyepiece - 26mm.(https://agenaastro.c...a-eyepiece.html) for a 2" low power one. 

 

You might also want to switch out the 6x30 finder scope it comes with for a red dot or telrad: https://www.astronom...copes_c415.aspx

Target acquisition can be a bit challenging starting out and a red dot or telrad makes the job much easier.  And I admire you starting out old school with a planisphere!  It does make it more rewarding when you locate an object that way.  Too often the go-2 systems become like the remote on the TV.  There's a lot of guys using them that can't find their way around the sky with out go-2.  It's too bad really as that's part of the fun and a way to measure one's progress.  

 

Astronomy is looking up!



#10 NickWDavis

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Posted 12 July 2018 - 08:17 PM

Got it! So it sounds like I don't even need buy 2'' barlow, since we don't need high magnitude for low power watching. Thanks for the guide!

 

Any recommendation for 2'' EP?

Sorry, my only 2" eyepiece is a 35mm Teleview Panoptic, which exceeds your budget. People say good things about the ES series of eyepieces but I've never used one.



#11 drneilmb

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Posted 12 July 2018 - 08:18 PM

Any recommendation for 2'' EP?


If you are going to buy only one 2" eyepiece, then I recommend getting the largest field of view that is possible in a telescope with a 2" focuser. For an f/8 telescope, the Agena SWA 38mm with a 70 degree field of view is a very reasonably priced lightweight choice. If you want something fancier and much more expensive and much heavier, aES 68 40mm or Televue 41mm Panoptic will have better performance at the edge of the field.

#12 Virgil

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Posted 12 July 2018 - 08:20 PM

Hi Virgil Welcome to the forum!

 

You have an awesome scope.

 

For a planetary eyepiece I would start with an 7mm 1.25 inch eyepiece with a apparent field of view of 60 or more.  If you can afford them many people like the ES 80 degree series. I have 60 degree paradigm Ed eyepieces. 

 

A 7mm is a good place to start planetary viewing with your scope.  On good nights you might be able to  do a 5mm.  That could be accomplished with a 2x barlow and your 10mm eyepiece.

 

A 32mm 1.25 inch eyepiece is my most used eyepiece.   It gives you the widest field possible without going to a 2 inch eyepiece.   I find,  replacing the 2 inch to 1.25 inch adapter kind of a hassle, if done repeatedly. If is a long night of looking for new things, or sweeping I use the 2 inch eyepiece.   If I am going for a list of medium power targets I use the 32mm 1.25 inch.

 

I only use my 2 inch eyepieces for low power scanning no need to barlow them.  And a 2 inch eyepiece and a 2 in barlow is quite a hunk of glass.  This can cause balance issues.  Which can be overcome,

but something to be aware of.

 

I love my 8x50 raci finder.

 

I have a digital angle meter and paper setting circle.   I could not live without them in the glow of my bortle 6 skies.

 

Good luck and keep us posted.

BTW you don't need to buy everything right away.

 

VT

Thank you for the detailed guide!

 

Actually I have exactly concerns on switching between 1.25'' and 2'' EP's, which is the reason why I want to buy 2'' EP directly... Anyway, I will firstly try to use the 25mm and 10mm 1.25'' EP come with the telescope, to have some taste on the sky, and then make decision which EP I shall buy. (Btw, I saw many people recommend the paradigm EP, will consider it if I want to go with 1.25'')

 

The telescope come with a 6*30 finder, hopefully it's not that bad.

 

Thanks! 



#13 clearwaterdave

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Posted 12 July 2018 - 08:22 PM

Hello.,you may want a comfy chair.,many find it better to be sitting while at the scope.,I know I do.,
Finding a dark spot to observe from will be the best thing you can do for yourself.,good luck.,
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#14 nicoledoula

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Posted 12 July 2018 - 10:02 PM

2" high power EP's are designed for Dobs so the owner doesn't have to move the telescope so often. However the prices asked for them exceed your budget by 2X. You might want to consider 82* 1.25" EP's for your higher powers , and Explore Scientific 82*' EP's are $160 Ea., and are net best to TV EP's at twice the price. Good (widefield) EP's start at $150.  Since your scope is a well chosen F/8 you can and maybe should skimp on the lowest power EP.  Any of the 2" 40mm offerings will provide good service. I.E.: William Optics 40 SWAN, Meade 5000 40 super "plossl", QX 70 38mm/Agena SWA 38mm/35mm Bresser. For $179  ES's new 62* 40mm might be just the ticket. The others listed are less. I like the Meade 40 I got for $80, but it is heavier than the others. You can't go wrong with ES 82* 8.8  + 6.7 for planetary mags (unless you wear glasses when observing)  The Meade 5.5mm UWA is fantastic as a highest (normal) power EP for that scope. And within your price range. You were wise to choose F/8. 6" is enough for most people to be entertained for a lifetime. ENJOY.



#15 gsm026

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Posted 12 July 2018 - 10:05 PM

Virgil,

 

Congrats on the scope!  If I were planning on learning the night sky and starhopping, I would consider adding a red dot or bullseye pointing device to be my top priority.  You can often find Telrad or Rigel devices around the $30 -$35 range here on Cloudy Nights.  Telrads are kind of big and ugly but they work incredibly well.  Small red dot finders also work but are a bit harder to use IMO.

 

You could upgrade the finder too - larger finders 50mm and up are much more comfortable to use - but honestly you can live without any finder if you have a properly aligned Telrad.

 

Good luck,

Greg 



#16 HubSky

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Posted 12 July 2018 - 11:49 PM

A 6" F8 was one of my first.  Honestly, reflecting (nice pun) on all the stuff I've owned over the years, it's still a scope that I would be happy with if it was my only one. 

 

Accessories.  Where the real expense seems to start. 

 

As you know, you are in a heavily light polluted area.  Keep expectations reasonable.  Until you can get to a better sky condition, I think you will only get frustrated if you go searching for galaxies and nebulae except for maybe the few very bright ones.   Think of lunar, planetary, globular, and galactic clusters of which there are some very nice ones up at this time of year.  

 

Your telescope sits low and a straight through finder to me is kind of cruel.  In a light polluted area, I don't find (ah, another pun) optical finders to be that useful.  As someone else said, think of a red dot, Telrad, or Rigel as you will need to rely on star hoping or at least the relationship between the stars that you can see to target the area you are trying to look at.  You want to use a low power, wide angle eyepiece when trying to find the object, but once you do, crank up the power some and watch the sky glow diminish and the contrast increase.  That would be like a 8-24mm eyepiece to give you a 1-3mm exit pupil.  For my skies, I find a 2-2.5mm exit pupil to be the most useful.  That is for clusters of stars.  It won't work for faint nebula and galaxies as their faint surface brightness will be lost in the background sky glow.  There are books dedicated to finding objects using 1x finders.  I also like the Pocket Sky Atlas in that effort.  

 

Items I've found useful that I didn't see in your list.

 

1)  Stardust type chair. 

2)  Dob Pedestal 

https://www.telescop...53/p/102785.uts

3)  binoculars

4)  collimating eyepiece or laser collimator.  Though a 6"f8 isn't too hard to do just by eye.  

5)  Moon filter if the lunar brightness is too much. 

6)  1x finder.  For low sitting scopes, I like the Rigel the best, though I've lived happily with Telrad, red dots, and other reflex type finders.  

 

Good hunting. 



#17 Jond105

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Posted 13 July 2018 - 12:18 AM

I 2nd one of the low power agena Astro/Q70 2" eyepieces. In the 26 or 32mm. Nice and wide field. And maybe the 8.8 explore scientific 82* for your planet eyepiece. Both well in your price range.  You'll still be able to find some good stuff in your polluted skies. Just much much harder to find. I've never left the front or backyard of my house in a complete white zone. Good luck on your purchases



#18 Virgil

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Posted 13 July 2018 - 07:00 PM

Thanks for all suggestions!

 

A quick question here:

 

For maximizing my budget utility, I plan to buy something from CN classifields.

 

Is there any concern on buying accessories from classifields? Or is there specific accessory I shall always buy from official website?

 

Currently I plan to buy my barlow lens, EP and UHC Filter here.

 

 

Thanks!



#19 whizbang

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Posted 13 July 2018 - 07:29 PM

An inexpensive 1.25 Meade Plossl in 32 or 40mm will provide amazing views.

 

You can't go wrong with a Telrad.

 

And you might consider these books which I find helpful:

 

Turn Left at Orion.

 

The year Round Messier Marathon Field Guide.

 

Sky and Telescope's Pocket Sky Atlas --- Jumbo Edition

 

Double Stars for Small Telescopes.



#20 Virgil

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Posted 13 July 2018 - 07:40 PM

And also, I see for the DGM NPB filter, some come with square plastic case, some come with round case. 

 

Does round case means cosmetic factory second item?

 

But in NPB official site, it is also round.

 

http://www.npbfilter...m/specials.html



#21 Jond105

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Posted 13 July 2018 - 07:42 PM

Thanks for all suggestions!

 

A quick question here:

 

For maximizing my budget utility, I plan to buy something from CN classifields.

 

Is there any concern on buying accessories from classifields? Or is there specific accessory I shall always buy from official website?

 

Currently I plan to buy my barlow lens, EP and UHC Filter here.

 

 

Thanks!

I'd say no concerns buying here. Especially the three things you listed. Vendors are good for warranties, and send backs. So maybe extremely expensive accessories, you may want to go through a vendor. Be weary of eBay unless it is scopehed, who also posts some things through classifieds here. 



#22 Jond105

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Posted 13 July 2018 - 07:44 PM

No round cases do not mean second hand. It's manufacturing choice whether they use round or square. Orion uses round. I think Celestron is square, etc 



#23 Virgil

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Posted 13 July 2018 - 08:15 PM

I think I may go with ES 82d 24mm EP to start.

 

Mag will be about 50*, while at the same time I can have 1.64d TFOV, though expensive...

 

https://www.adorama....YAaAkS5EALw_wcB

 

The key question here is, I am not sure what is the necessary magnification number to see a good view of nebula, galaxy, clusters, planetary etc. 

 

I know it depends on how far and how bright the object is, but can anyone tell me for viewing most of those groups of objects, what's the best magnification range to each group? Thanks!


Edited by Virgil, 13 July 2018 - 08:19 PM.

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#24 Virgil

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Posted 13 July 2018 - 08:25 PM

No round cases do not mean second hand. It's manufacturing choice whether they use round or square. Orion uses round. I think Celestron is square, etc 

Great, thanks! I see in classifields, some one sells 2'' and 1.25'' DGM NPB set at $160. Since there is no concerns on quality, I may directly get that set.


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#25 Jond105

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Posted 13 July 2018 - 08:25 PM

That, I can not answer. The ones who can who have more experience with dobs sure can, since it does differ between scopes, seeing conditions, and just what Nebula you are going after. Also could be preferences of your own eye and how dark adapted you are




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