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Xmas gifts to yourself for an 8SE rig

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#1 PolyWogg

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Posted 07 November 2019 - 11:09 AM

I was looking through the sticky posts, and a few of the searches in the forum didn't pop up, but I might have missed something. Nevertheless, I'm wondering what accessories people have for their 8SE?

 

I have:

​- Stock 8SE with stock mount and Alt-Az tripod;
​- Use Celestron Lithium battries;
​- Have Celestron dew shield;
​- Good for EPs;
​- TelRad on top; 

- wifi-dongle;

- NexYZ adapter for smartphone;

- Colour filters and basic other filters (LP) + solar filter for front of scope

 

I don't have dew heater, nor wedge. I've thought of adding a TelRad extender (slightly higher), or a small spotting scope? I'd love to find a way to attach TelRad in a way that doesn't involve sticky tape.

​Other accessories / upgrades people swear by?

 

Paul



#2 WarmWeatherGuy

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Posted 07 November 2019 - 11:22 AM

On comment #2 of this thread I give links to attach Telrad to SCTs without sticky tape.


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#3 markb

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Posted 07 November 2019 - 11:44 AM

Add a Vixen/Synta finder shoes to the factory holes, then attach the Telrad using the V/S adapter Scopestuff makes. They may have the shoe as well.

While you are at it, pick up their V/S to Weaver/Picatinny adapter and a green pistol microadjustable laser.

Never cared for 2x stick tape, my solutions preceded but resembled the SS items. I have also mounted Rigel and other light items by gluing (with E6000) 3-4mm supermagnets to the device and an untappable tube.

An insulating sleeve of Reflectrix is often recommended, I made one from dense PE foam sheeting.

A motorized focuser has been added to every scope I own. No one has an affordable dual speed yet AFAIK (come on GSO, adapt yours!).

I hang my TalentCell battery off a knob on my portable pier by putting it in a small mesh bag with a pullstring. No more tangles.

My latest was adding a surplus cheap round Meade eyepiece tray for a tripod to the flat on top of the GPS11 base so I can continue to place eyepieces there (and not worry about knocking them off, oops). Just check for clearance as you approach the zenith. Pulled the 1/4-20 stud, drilled the stud boss through, glued a 1 1/2 wide plastic disk with a 1/4-20 thread insert to the GPS11 (these come on lots of inexpensive refractor rings to allow use of a stud to mount a camera), and added a knurled 1/4-20 through bolt. I thread the eyepiece holder on and off (if I need zenith clearance). Pretty funny, right after I set this up I bought a 20 year old version made for the original N5 from a camera dealer clearing his stockroom. Still cannot find any sign the maker sold any, no reviews. But the same great idea.
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#4 SDTopensied

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Posted 07 November 2019 - 11:47 AM

StarSense

SkySync GPS

Dew Heater & Dew Strap

Motorized Focuser

O-III Filter

 

-Steve


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#5 PolyWogg

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Posted 07 November 2019 - 11:51 AM

On comment #2 of this thread I give links to attach Telrad to SCTs without sticky tape.

Thanks! The video in your link cycles pretty quick, so can I clarify something?

On the TelRad, there are two pieces -- the top box which can be removed with the little holding screws, and then the base which sticks on with sticky tape...if I'm understanding, this replaces the base entirely AND allows you to attach the little mounting pedestal by screws to the SCT and the top then attaches directly to this base (i.e., you don't use the existing base with the tel rad at all? Or are you somehow just buying the pedestal and the existing base is attached to that?

 

It also seems to me that you could then use that to attach to a 4SE as well (the TelRad base is too long for a 4SE scope (it hangs over the larger circle bands so doesn't mount flush, hence using a Rigel finder).

​I also see it gives a bit of a riser...do you know if that means you can't use it with the larger risers? 

 

http://www.scopestuff.com/ss_tell.htm

 

Paul



#6 WarmWeatherGuy

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Posted 07 November 2019 - 12:18 PM

I have not used a TelRad so I can only guess. Hopefully someone with experience with the ScopeStuff base can say for certain.



#7 M11Mike

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Posted 07 November 2019 - 12:19 PM

F6.3 Focal Reducer

2" Diagonal (and a long FL 2" EP or two) 

 

Either or both will give you considerable more FOV which many DSO's require 

 

M11Mike


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#8 mrki233

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Posted 07 November 2019 - 12:48 PM

CPC tripod.  Very sturdy and compatible with the SE mount bolt pattern.


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#9 markb

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Posted 07 November 2019 - 01:35 PM

+1 on the focal reducer, diagonal, and eyepiece, as well as the CPC11 tripod (I'll have to look for one as well, to compare to the GPS11 tripod; the CPCS are supposed to be better.

 

Note that, insofar as wide fields are concerned, and ignoring vignetting from the baffle tube, maximum barrel-limited fields in any scope are reached, approximately, in a 20mm 82 degree eyepiece for 1.25, and in a 30mm 82-90 degree eyepiece for 2" holders. Longer fl eyepieces give the same true field but a narrower, brighter apparent field. Maximum should be 50 degrees on a 50 or 55mm eyepiece. I have not combined either WS with a focal reducer on my SCT yet, but a huge Lumicon awaits the AZ move to meet my C11.

 

If you try the reducer, a 55mm 50 degree Televue plossl is a somewhat affordable wow! if apparent field is not an issue, nearly same true field as the Widescan, and a reputation for sharpness. I have shorter ones, and they see more use than anything else now, very sharp.

 

If on a budget, the widely cloned 30mm 82 degree Widescan, 1RPM, Owl, and others can work reasonably well in a f10 SCT. They should be about $75, and come from the era of multicoated eyepieces. Despite many disparaging comments, usually from non-owners, they are sharp on axis and pick up abberations 2/3 out. I tend to recenter, or use a tracking mount, so I never cared. I use it with a Baader MPCC properly spaced, and have only happy times, even on my f5 refractor. 20mm UO (University Optics) Widescans are quite sharp and easy to buy for sane money, just use a WTB ad. Just don't try the 30 on a dob, very, very bad match without a coma corrector and flattener.

 

I will add one of the absolute the best upgrades, a Baader Clicklock in 2" with a 1.25" to 2" Clicklock adapter (maximizes other choices in the train), either as a SCT thread or nosepiece, or an SCT to 1.25 Clicklock. No more SCT gland nut diagonals unscrewing themselves and dumping eyepieces. Like the motorized focusers, they all got one.



#10 M11Mike

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Posted 07 November 2019 - 02:50 PM

I get superb widefield views with 50mm Celestron 2" Axiom on my C8...at F10.   BTW - considerably wider than I got with with a T/V 27mm 2" Panoptic, again at F10.  

 

M11Mike



#11 markb

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Posted 07 November 2019 - 04:00 PM

The 55mm Axiom and TV 55mm eyepieces are both reputed to be great. Similar or identical fields, too. I have used the 1980s Silvertop 50mm, which seems to be in the same group of outstanding long fl plossls.

The Axiom and C/V silvertop are very tough to find and will cost the same as a new TV 55, which might be a stocked item. I'd bet it's just as hard to get used, superb EPs always are, but Wanted To Buy ads often flush them out.

#12 WarmWeatherGuy

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Posted 07 November 2019 - 04:06 PM

The 8SE is an excellent scope for planetary imaging. I made this animation of Jupiter with a C8. I used a ZWO ASI224MC camera. Unfortunately you will have to wait for next year to get some good planets.



#13 Dynan

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Posted 07 November 2019 - 04:12 PM

You don't want to transport it in a ratty old car, or a natty old suit, do you??!?!

 

I'd suggest a Porche Cayenne and an Armani three-piece! Merry Christmas!


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#14 Michael_Swanson

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Posted 08 November 2019 - 07:25 AM

+1 on the focal reducer, diagonal, and eyepiece, as well as the CPC11 tripod (I'll have to look for one as well, to compare to the GPS11 tripod; the CPCS are supposed to be better.

Hi Mark,

 

The CPC tripod is more stable than the NexStar GPS tripod, but I doubt you would be able to detect the difference with a NexStar 8SE on top.

 

Best regards,
Mike Swanson
Author of "The NexStar User's Guide II"
Author of "The NexStar User's Guide"
Author of "NexStar Observer List"
https://www.NexStarSite.com



#15 Michael_Swanson

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Posted 08 November 2019 - 07:29 AM

I was looking through the sticky posts, and a few of the searches in the forum didn't pop up, but I might have missed something. Nevertheless, I'm wondering what accessories people have for their 8SE?

 

<snip>

 

Paul

Hi Paul,

 

On this page of my website:

https://www.nexstars...m/OddsEndsI.htm

have a read through the article "Accessories for Your Scope" for a few additional ideas not yet floated here.

 

Best regards,
Mike Swanson
Author of "The NexStar User's Guide II"
Author of "The NexStar User's Guide"
Author of "NexStar Observer List"
https://www.NexStarSite.com



#16 GoFish

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Posted 08 November 2019 - 07:59 AM

1.  f/6.3 reducer/flattener

2.  Celestron SkySync GPS



#17 markb

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Posted 08 November 2019 - 08:16 AM

Thanks Mike!

I use my tripod on the monster GPS11 (original tripod as shipped in 2000, with wood spreader disk), at least until my back gives out in a few years and I am forced to downsize or setup a permanent pier, so the tripod rigidity is more critical than the N8.

If not the CPC tripod, is there a 'best' version to look for? Or even adapting something else?

Incidentally, I have had positive experiences with using a Baader Nexstar base adapter to place the original N8 on my portable pier and my surveyors tripod. I tapped it to let me bolt on the Starizona Landing Pad. I was tempted to tap my pier top to accept the Landing Pad directly, but I already had the Badder casting, after a 10 month backorder.

I also used a ball-head setscrew (hard to call it that at M10 (or M12) thread sizes) in the center of the Baader casting to give me a central drop/locating point.


Hey, that's another great Christmas gift for any Nexstar, a Starizona Landing Pad.

The GPS early pad is discontinued, but my GPS11 and original N8 both drop on and bolt up perfectly to the CPC Landing Pad.

I am so used to using it, I forgot how magical the improvement was!

Not as important for the N8 (but worth it there too; the rubber pads peeled off to expose the trusty Nexstar bolt pad ovals) but a back saver on the 60 (?) pound 11. Pricy but awesome.

#18 Michael_Swanson

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Posted 09 November 2019 - 04:48 AM

Hi Mark,

 

Regarding an upgrade tripod for a NexStar 8SE - if you can find a used NexStar 8/9.25/11 GPS tripod, that should be the best economical upgrade and as mentioned, as solid as possible/needed for the 8SE.  Otherwise, you would definitely be looking for the CPC tripod.  Those are the only two heavy-duty tripods out there that have the exact bolt pattern needed.

 

 

Best regards,
Mike Swanson
Author of "The NexStar User's Guide II"
Author of "The NexStar User's Guide"
Author of "NexStar Observer List"
https://www.NexStarSite.com


Edited by Michael_Swanson, 10 November 2019 - 01:14 AM.

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#19 Taylor

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Posted 10 November 2019 - 12:03 AM

Fine focus knob for C8 from ScopeStuff. You’ll love it! Very helpful for planets and double stars. 



#20 carver2011

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Posted 10 November 2019 - 08:06 AM

PolyWogg, you have a good setup now, and with the addition of some of the suggested items recommended here, you’ll have a great system. One thing I would highly recommend is Mike Swanson’s book, The NexStar Users Guide II. It’s been a big help to me. More than once I’d be browsing thru it and get one of the “gee I didn’t know that” moments. There’s much more to the NexStar than the manual shows.
Regards
Ed
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#21 markb

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Posted 10 November 2019 - 09:34 AM

Yes, Mike Swanson's book is a must-get. Now I do have a suggestion for me kids to get for me, too. I've put off getting it for too long.




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