I just got an Apertura AD8 as my first "real" telescope after observing on and off with binoculars and a tiny reflector many years back. I've had it out a couple nights and I've run into a frustrating challenge.
My hands and face are shakier than I realized. Every time I touch the focuser (even the fine adjustment knob), the image bounces all over the place and it takes several seconds to settle down. Focusing shake isn't a big deal until I change eyepieces again, but I frequently bump the eyepiece as I'm trying to get close enough to get the wide field view with my eye near the glass. I don't wear glasses. I can settle in and see a lot with a stable image, but keeping a stable image is really hard. Dealing with a constantly shaking image is super frustrating.
I bought a night mask to try to improvise an eye patch so I can keep my non-dominant eye open to minimize facial twitching and strain. So far that's a bust, but I have a better "3D" option on order.
Tracking adjustments at higher magnifications are difficult because I frequently overshoot and each adjustment restarts the shake->settle process.
Here's my current setup -
Flocked with velvet opposite focuser
Stock 2" 30mm, 1.25" 9mm plossl eyepieces
Oberwerk 23.9mm eyepieces from my binoculars (great eyepieces, feel wider than my ES 82 degrees, even though they're only ~60)
ES 82 degree 14mm eyepiece
Telrad finder, stock RACI finder
Variety of Harbor Freight magnets to balance the OTA (2-3lb)
I live in a Bortle 8-9 area in Houston suburbs. I can see the main 7 stars of Orion on a clear night unaided and the Orion nebula looks like a small black and white cloud with the AD8.
I sit on a mechanic's pneumatic adjustable roller chair which puts me at a good height.
I'm considering making a few changes to improve my experience -
- longer relief eye pieces so I can get the immersive wide angle experience without bumping the eye piece
- bigger, heavier scope, possibly with larger diameter altitude friction surfaces to minimize spring effect, maybe the ES 10" tube dob or the ES 12" truss dob (I have a 10% off ES coupon that expires tomorrow). I want something that will still fit in the trunk of my Camry, or backseat, worst case scenario. The 12" appeals to me because of the portability and I'd leave it assembled in the house and set it out to cool ahead of time on evenings that will be clear.
- I'd really like to figure out an option to add a fine adjustment mechanism to a stable dob base so I don't have to constantly overshoot when I make corrections.
I can see now how this gets expensive quickly. I want something that gathers a ton of light for easy visual observing and is rock solid to compensate for my over-caffeinated, shaky self.
Would longer relief eye pieces make a significant improvement, should I jump straight to the ES 12", or is the only way to fix this problem to spend an obscene amount of money on a GEM mount that can stabilize a big scope?
Is the ES 12" a more stable platform? Intuitively it seems the larger diameter teflon pads and alt structure would settle faster than a small diameter bearing/clamp system.
Any insight or guidance is appreciated.