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#1 Aoi

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Posted 10 April 2020 - 04:23 AM

Hello, 
 
This is my first post here, and in the beginner forum I've seen a lot of similar posts and I'm sorry to add to them. Basically my dad likes looking at the moon and Jupiter through binoculars here at home, and so do I to some extent. Last year he showed an interest in me buying him a telescope for his birthday and I did a lot of research into what I could afford and what would be good for us. Only for him to decide that he wanted a la-z-boy instead. In the meantime my mother has decided to go hard into the conspiracies during this quarantine (not that she left the house much otherwise) and is sure that the Earth is flat. I'm not really a scientist but I know that just about any large body in our world tends to end up in a ball shape, why would Earth be any different? So for this year for my birthday I asked for a telescope as well, for my dad to enjoy and my mom to say I'm photoshopping the light because I think that'd be kinda funny. 
 
Anyway, I bring this up to dad and he goes hard onto facebook marketplace and after showing me 30 telescopes with "national geographic" and telescopes that you would see in the toys aisle at walmart. Finally, he scrolls past a big ole sky bazooka in front of me. I make him stop on it. It's a used Orion 10" Dobsonian for 350$. A pretty good deal and the first real telescope he showed me. Well, about an hour later he tells me hes negotiated it down to 300 and that we're driving down about 3 hours in the morning to go get it. Now I kinda start panicking, because we live in the suburbs, and I'm a 5'7 punk girl and I don't think I can lift that huge thing to get it in the backyard. Even if i can, will I want to? Will it collect more dust than light? Like yea, it's half a gift for him, but I think it's kinda cool too and what if I really like it? Like I don't think it'll even fit in my car if i wanted to go to darker skies. I honestly think a 5" cassegrain would be better for us to be able to just throw open a window, have a driven stand so we don't have to adjust constantly, and won't weigh a ton. I wasn't really able to find anything used fitting that description within 4 hours of me, and dad already kinda has his mind set on it.
 
Will I hate the dob? How heavy are they?
Any tips on maybe getting him to delay picking it up? He can be kinda stubborn
General thoughts on a 5" cassegrain vs a 10" orion dob? I know the bazooka will be better at nebulas, but we live in a moderately light polluted area near detroit anyway.
Also when I end up with the star bazooka (.__. ) what eyepieces would ya'll recommend? I figure I would need some magnification, a light pollution filter, a moon thing, I'm not against like nebula and further field eyepieces but I just dont think I'd have much luck with it here. I've looked on amazon and are the cheaper brands worth it, like SVBONY? (which is a great silly name) Or should I just keep everything in brand to make sure everything fits? I've also read that the focuser on the basic 10" dob isn't very good, would I need to replace that too realistically, or should it be fine for a beginner?
 
Sorry I know it's a lot to read but thank you for doing so
 
     -Aoi


Edited by Aoi, 10 April 2020 - 04:25 AM.

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#2 beanerds

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Posted 10 April 2020 - 06:16 AM

If the mirrors and hardware on the 10 inch are OK ,,, for $350 grab it you wont look back !  10 inches is where the fun really starts .

 

No a 10 inch F4.5 is big but not overly big , it's in 2 pieces , OTA ( tube ) and mount , 2 easy to move and store parts .

 

Does this come with eyepieces ? ,, any photos ? that sort of stuff , but my advice is for the money and if that 10 inch Dob is in good condition ,,, GRAB IT ! and forget the smaller scopes .

 

Beanerds .


Edited by beanerds, 10 April 2020 - 06:19 AM.

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#3 Migwan

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Posted 10 April 2020 - 06:17 AM

Or, after seeing Jupiter, a globular cluster and planetary nebula up close, you won't be able to get enough.  Kind of a can't just see one.  

 

Then there's all the family and friends you'll just have to share with and you become labeled as obsessive.  smile.gif You just never know.

 

Enjoy and stay safe.

 

jd


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#4 Tony Flanders

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Posted 10 April 2020 - 06:27 AM

Most people carry 10-inch Dobs in two pieces: first the base, then the tube. Done that way, it should be no challenge at all to a normal female. And the views through a 10-inch Dob are vastly superior to the views through any 5-inch scope across the board, from the Moon to the planets to nebulae and galaxies.

 

Dobs are also exceptionally easy to use -- much easier than most designs. At public star parties, I generally let anybody older than 5 or 6 point the telescope for themselves, and few kids have much trouble doing it on the first try.

 

By the way, I strongly recommend against trying to observe through an open window.


Edited by Tony Flanders, 10 April 2020 - 06:49 AM.


#5 rhetfield

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Posted 10 April 2020 - 07:21 AM

Each piece might be around 30-40 lbs. If one gets straps to attach to the tube, it is easier. It can store assembled in a garage or enclosed patio and rolled out to the drive or yard in one piece with a moving dolly.

The 10" will perform much better than the 5". For $300, it is a no brainier. Even if you don't use it, it can be resold for a profit if it is in decent shape.

You will want a low power 2" eyepiece for wide angle views, a Barlow and one or two higher magnification 1.25" eyepieces. Go mid range on the price. Explore scientific eyepieces are an example.

Look at a variable polarizer for the moon and big planets and a UHC filter for nebulas.

Find the threads on degree circles. These are cheap and easy to make. Use a phone app to get real time coordinates of objects then use the degree circles to point the scope at it. Very easy and effective.

Read up on collimation and ask for help here or at the local club if needed.

Remember that dark skies are only a couple hours to the Northwest of Detroit. A 10" will show a lot in the suburbs and so much more in the state parks and forests.
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#6 Aoi

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Posted 10 April 2020 - 07:28 AM

If the mirrors and hardware on the 10 inch are OK ,,, for $350 grab it you wont look back !  10 inches is where the fun really starts .

 

No a 10 inch F4.5 is big but not overly big , it's in 2 pieces , OTA ( tube ) and mount , 2 easy to move and store parts .

 

Does this come with eyepieces ? ,, any photos ? that sort of stuff , but my advice is for the money and if that 10 inch Dob is in good condition ,,, GRAB IT ! and forget the smaller scopes .

 

Beanerds .

Here's the photos on the ad. I don't think it comes with any eyepieces, it seems to have the one it comes with and nothing else. The person selling it is doing it for an estate (someone died i guess?). I have no idea if the mirror is in good shape, the seller doesn't seem to know much about it. I'm not even sure there is a mirror in it at all. The fact that it is listed as "like new" it had better have a mirror or I'm gonna make him pay for my gas. In one of the pictures its missing one of the springs and the eyepiece, but I'm guessing he just didn't have it assembled all the way.

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#7 Aoi

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Posted 10 April 2020 - 07:39 AM

Each piece might be around 30-40 lbs. If one gets straps to attach to the tube, it is easier. It can store assembled in a garage or enclosed patio and rolled out to the drive or yard in one piece with a moving dolly.

The 10" will perform much better than the 5". For $300, it is a no brainier. Even if you don't use it, it can be resold for a profit if it is in decent shape.

You will want a low power 2" eyepiece for wide angle views, a Barlow and one or two higher magnification 1.25" eyepieces. Go mid range on the price. Explore scientific eyepieces are an example.

Look at a variable polarizer for the moon and big planets and a UHC filter for nebulas.

Find the threads on degree circles. These are cheap and easy to make. Use a phone app to get real time coordinates of objects then use the degree circles to point the scope at it. Very easy and effective.

Read up on collimation and ask for help here or at the local club if needed.

Remember that dark skies are only a couple hours to the Northwest of Detroit. A 10" will show a lot in the suburbs and so much more in the state parks and forests.

Straps for the tube were the first thing I thought. Do people just glue them on? It might look kinda unaesthetic but would be effective. Yea the middle of Michigan doesn't have much, you're right. I immediately thought of Ohio though, maybe that's rude xD

 

Degree circles to like, stick onto the base of it? Yea that sounds smart. I've read a little on collimation in the past, and that's another one of the extras I'll have to order. Once I'm doing it in real life I'm sure I'll end up begging for help here anyway. Would you recommend the shop that sponsors this site? Do they ship quickly to the states? Or just stick to amazon?



#8 Richie2shoes

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Posted 10 April 2020 - 07:49 AM

Straps for the tube were the first thing I thought. Do people just glue them on? It might look kinda unaesthetic but would be effective. Yea the middle of Michigan doesn't have much, you're right. I immediately thought of Ohio though, maybe that's rude xD

 

Degree circles to like, stick onto the base of it? Yea that sounds smart. I've read a little on collimation in the past, and that's another one of the extras I'll have to order. Once I'm doing it in real life I'm sure I'll end up begging for help here anyway. Would you recommend the shop that sponsors this site? Do they ship quickly to the states? Or just stick to amazon?

I bought velcro brand straps that wrap all the way around the tube, they work great on my 12" dob.

 

Setting circles and a magnetic angle gauge will really help you learn the sky and find things quickly.  Here's a post on them.  The whole thing is interesting, but the last 5 or 10 pages are all you need.  https://www.cloudyni...degree-circles/



#9 sg6

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Posted 10 April 2020 - 07:57 AM

Suppose that visiting a club is not an option. However it may be an option to slow Dad down in purchasing a 10" scope that you seem a little unsure of.

 

The big problem is there is no ideal answer, unless the budget is in the 10's of thousands.

 

10 Dobsonian, nice and big, and on an astronomy forum big gets pushed a lot.

Negative side is you have to learnt to use it, and to find everything. Even the moon is small and it has the advantage of being bright. Planets are bright and if they happen to drift across the scope view you register them. Go outside tonight, look West and that bright thing is Venus. Any idiot can see it.

 

Now go out find M31 - Andromeda Galaxy, you generally won't see it by eye, then look "below" it for M33, it is smaller and dimmer, And then point a scope at that. Chances are you will never find it until a lot of practise has occurred.

That is the problem. You get told the Nice BIG Aperture, you don't get told you may not find and see anything for a few months.

 

SCT/Maks the 6SE type are long focal length and so narrow resultant field of view. Honestly would only suggest one if it was a goto system. You need to use the system to find objects and the tracking maintains them in the field of view.

 

Refractors: Fairly nice and simple. Refractors are fairly easy to use which is their plus. Problems is they are generally small in aperture. And the lesser cost achros will show some chromatic aberration. One that do not are costly.

 

One odd advantage is they are usable for the night sky and with a solar filter for the sun. Not a lot of solar activity but it is something to consider.

 

Now being fairly honest - will not admit to any more. I like refractors, almost certainly the easyness of them. My most used setup is a now old ETX70, a small goto. Next is a 72mm ED refractor on an Az GTi goto mount.

 

Was said some years ago that the best all round scope is an 80mm refractor. And I tend to agree, they will do and show 95% or more of what we want to look at. An 80ED can be used for astrophotogrraphy (Dobsonians do not do astrophotography).

 

That is about all. As said if the 10" dosonian is making you nervous, then slow Dad down by saying you want to wait until the situation is such that you can visit a club and see equipemtn and people. Good sounding reason.

 

As to equipment eventually 5 eyepieces. And the better the scope the more costly the eyepieces. A 10" reflector (the dobsonian is a dobsonian mount with a reflecting scope on it - dobsonian is actually the mount not the scope) will be f/4.7ish and that means good eyepieces. Think ES eyepieces at $120-$200 each.

 

Also the scope is an Orion, as you are not the original purchaser if you have a problem or want a bit, Orion will not help. That is their policy. You are on your own.



#10 vtornado

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Posted 10 April 2020 - 08:11 AM

Hello and welcome to the forum.

 

A 10 inch dob is at some kind of limit for a lot of people to carry in two trips.  I have one.  Each piece is about 35 lbs.

The tube is much easier to carry if there is a handle.  I think there is a product called scope totes, that have two

nylon webbed straps with handles that require no drilling.

 

If you are handy, and cheap you can drill the tube, and attach cabinet handles from home depot, with screws and nuts.

This takes bravery as I would highly recommend removing the optics from the tube before drilling.

 

If there are no eyepieces just get a 32mm plossl, 20mm plossl, and 12mm plossl and a 2x barlow.

Those can be purchased used on our classified, or from astronomics as value line plossls.

 

I also use red beam flash light.

 

Since this scope is used, you will need to collimate it. 

I strongly recommend the barlowed laster technique.  It is simple and accurate.

http://www.smartavtweaks.com/RVBL.html

 

I also do not see a finder in the picture.  This is necessary to initially aim the scope.

 

After this just use the scope and see where adding something else might enhance your viewing.

 

Regarding the scopes condition,  If you have been around scopes, the mirrors condition is not so

hard to judge, but if you have not seen one it is  a little challenging.   Check the main mirror at

the end of the tube. dust is ok, it can be blown off if you are brave.  (you may have to disassmble the mirror).

If the mirror has spots or discolaration this may mean that the coatings have been damaged.

I see there is a lot of dust on the base, there may be a lot of dust on the mirror.

 

Do the same check on the secondary mirror, the one underneath the focuser.

 

Next check the base, does the tube spin easy in both dimensions, azimuth (round and round)

and altitude (up - and - down)  sometimes these bases warp if stored in humid areas,

and do not have good freedom of movement.

 

Check the focuser to make sure it moves in and out easy.

 

Look for any signs of rust on the metal parts.

Surface rust is fine, it would be deep rust that maybe makes moving parts difficult to turn.

Look for the collimation bolts on the back end of the scope.  There should be

6 three large and three small.  They should be straight and turn easy.

Don't turn them too much just a tweak and then back.

 

I don't know what to tell you about the spring.  It is needed.

It can probably be purchased online for a few bucks, but

it could be a little tricky to find a close match.

 

=======================

 

I have to bring this up.   A 10 inch dob is a wonderful telescope, and I think you can move it around.

However can your dad ... and are you always going to be around to set it up with your dad?  Can he do it himself?

 

For moon and planets this scope will have to be collimated each time it is used.  However the barlowed-laser

above takes about 2 minutes.

 

If you keep this scope inside and bring it outside with a very different temperture it will take about

45 minutes for the views to settle down due to the mirror having to cool down to the outside temps.

This can be solved simply by setting the scope out an hour before you view or storing it

in an unheated garage or shed.

 

If not a 4-5 inch telescope is still capable and a lot easier to setup.

 

 

Good luck on whatever you decide.

VT.


Edited by vtornado, 10 April 2020 - 08:14 AM.

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#11 Aoi

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Posted 10 April 2020 - 08:44 AM

Suppose that visiting a club is not an option. However it may be an option to slow Dad down in purchasing a 10" scope that you seem a little unsure of.

 

The big problem is there is no ideal answer, unless the budget is in the 10's of thousands.

 

10 Dobsonian, nice and big, and on an astronomy forum big gets pushed a lot.

Negative side is you have to learnt to use it, and to find everything. Even the moon is small and it has the advantage of being bright. Planets are bright and if they happen to drift across the scope view you register them. Go outside tonight, look West and that bright thing is Venus. Any idiot can see it.

 

Now go out find M31 - Andromeda Galaxy, you generally won't see it by eye, then look "below" it for M33, it is smaller and dimmer, And then point a scope at that. Chances are you will never find it until a lot of practise has occurred.

That is the problem. You get told the Nice BIG Aperture, you don't get told you may not find and see anything for a few months.

 

SCT/Maks the 6SE type are long focal length and so narrow resultant field of view. Honestly would only suggest one if it was a goto system. You need to use the system to find objects and the tracking maintains them in the field of view.

 

Refractors: Fairly nice and simple. Refractors are fairly easy to use which is their plus. Problems is they are generally small in aperture. And the lesser cost achros will show some chromatic aberration. One that do not are costly.

 

One odd advantage is they are usable for the night sky and with a solar filter for the sun. Not a lot of solar activity but it is something to consider.

 

Now being fairly honest - will not admit to any more. I like refractors, almost certainly the easyness of them. My most used setup is a now old ETX70, a small goto. Next is a 72mm ED refractor on an Az GTi goto mount.

 

Was said some years ago that the best all round scope is an 80mm refractor. And I tend to agree, they will do and show 95% or more of what we want to look at. An 80ED can be used for astrophotogrraphy (Dobsonians do not do astrophotography).

 

That is about all. As said if the 10" dosonian is making you nervous, then slow Dad down by saying you want to wait until the situation is such that you can visit a club and see equipemtn and people. Good sounding reason.

 

As to equipment eventually 5 eyepieces. And the better the scope the more costly the eyepieces. A 10" reflector (the dobsonian is a dobsonian mount with a reflecting scope on it - dobsonian is actually the mount not the scope) will be f/4.7ish and that means good eyepieces. Think ES eyepieces at $120-$200 each.

 

Also the scope is an Orion, as you are not the original purchaser if you have a problem or want a bit, Orion will not help. That is their policy. You are on your own.

I'm certainly not against going to an astronomy club, but, when you don't have anything to look through, what do you do really? Just wander around like a beggar child hoping people will throw you scraps of photons from other galaxies? And let an amateur operate your 3k$ setup? Also during a coronavirus pandemic I don't really think people really want some random person breathing on their telescope.

 

What does sct mean? If they (cassegrains) really can only see that narrow a space of sky that they're only really useful with a goto, that is definitely a turn off. I'm sure once you're deep into this hobby a goto is really just a time saver, but I'm brand new, and a part of the fun I think would be learning where the stars even are, or just scanning around and seeing things I cant see with my eyes alone, and then looking up what we're actually looking at. That's mostly what we do now with binoculars.

 

I know there's techniques for seeing stars that I've kinda brushed past on here, and I know it will be hard and take time, but honestly I wouldn't be interested otherwise. I can just google pictures of all these things if I just wanted to see what they looked like.

 

Honestly if I had unlimited money I would probably get a nice refractor and an equatorial mount from what I've looked at too. But I need it to be a reasonable birthday gift, around 400 total. ES eyepieces? Explore Scientific like the other person mentioned I'm guessing?


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#12 rhetfield

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Posted 10 April 2020 - 08:55 AM

In the pictures, I don't see a finder scope.  Something like the one it came with can be had for around $20.

 

This one is an upgrade and can be found for about twice the price of the stock unit:

https://www.celestro...starpointer-pro

 

Better yet is the Telrad for about the same price as the celestron.  Those are bulky, but would not be bad on a 10".


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#13 Aoi

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Posted 10 April 2020 - 08:59 AM

Hello and welcome to the forum.

 

A 10 inch dob is at some kind of limit for a lot of people to carry in two trips.  I have one.  Each piece is about 35 lbs.

The tube is much easier to carry if there is a handle.  I think there is a product called scope totes, that have two

nylon webbed straps with handles that require no drilling.

 

If you are handy, and cheap you can drill the tube, and attach cabinet handles from home depot, with screws and nuts.

This takes bravery as I would highly recommend removing the optics from the tube before drilling.

 

If there are no eyepieces just get a 32mm plossl, 20mm plossl, and 12mm plossl and a 2x barlow.

Those can be purchased used on our classified, or from astronomics as value line plossls.

 

I also use red beam flash light.

 

Since this scope is used, you will need to collimate it. 

I strongly recommend the barlowed laster technique.  It is simple and accurate.

http://www.smartavtweaks.com/RVBL.html

 

I also do not see a finder in the picture.  This is necessary to initially aim the scope.

 

After this just use the scope and see where adding something else might enhance your viewing.

 

Regarding the scopes condition,  If you have been around scopes, the mirrors condition is not so

hard to judge, but if you have not seen one it is  a little challenging.   Check the main mirror at

the end of the tube. dust is ok, it can be blown off if you are brave.  (you may have to disassmble the mirror).

If the mirror has spots or discolaration this may mean that the coatings have been damaged.

I see there is a lot of dust on the base, there may be a lot of dust on the mirror.

 

Do the same check on the secondary mirror, the one underneath the focuser.

 

Next check the base, does the tube spin easy in both dimensions, azimuth (round and round)

and altitude (up - and - down)  sometimes these bases warp if stored in humid areas,

and do not have good freedom of movement.

 

Check the focuser to make sure it moves in and out easy.

 

Look for any signs of rust on the metal parts.

Surface rust is fine, it would be deep rust that maybe makes moving parts difficult to turn.

Look for the collimation bolts on the back end of the scope.  There should be

6 three large and three small.  They should be straight and turn easy.

Don't turn them too much just a tweak and then back.

 

I don't know what to tell you about the spring.  It is needed.

It can probably be purchased online for a few bucks, but

it could be a little tricky to find a close match.

 

=======================

 

I have to bring this up.   A 10 inch dob is a wonderful telescope, and I think you can move it around.

However can your dad ... and are you always going to be around to set it up with your dad?  Can he do it himself?

 

For moon and planets this scope will have to be collimated each time it is used.  However the barlowed-laser

above takes about 2 minutes.

 

If you keep this scope inside and bring it outside with a very different temperture it will take about

45 minutes for the views to settle down due to the mirror having to cool down to the outside temps.

This can be solved simply by setting the scope out an hour before you view or storing it

in an unheated garage or shed.

 

If not a 4-5 inch telescope is still capable and a lot easier to setup.

 

 

Good luck on whatever you decide.

VT.

This is an extremely useful post, thank you.

 

The umm second mirror under the focuser, how do you check that? It faces away from the opening right? Is the focuser easy to remove to look at it? Or should i look at it in the big mirror? I'm going to be bringing a very bright flashlight and my dad has screwdrivers in his truck. Papa is a strong man, he'll be able to move it much easier than me, no worries. I'm not particularly handy, but dad is. Either way I don't see much a reason to risk it if velcro will work. I think the spring is probably included, I think the seller dusted it off and removed the springs and eyepiece to move it outside for another picture, but I'm also not doing the negotiations. The seller hasn't gotten back to us this morning and I have to be at the shelter at 4pm today, so if he doesn't get back to us by 11 or so we won't be going today. Oh! yea, if we do end up getting it'll probably be stored in a dry but unheated garage so warm up time should'nt really be a concern.



#14 rhetfield

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Posted 10 April 2020 - 09:03 AM

I'm certainly not against going to an astronomy club, but, when you don't have anything to look through, what do you do really? Just wander around like a beggar child hoping people will throw you scraps of photons from other galaxies? And let an amateur operate your 3k$ setup? Also during a coronavirus pandemic I don't really think people really want some random person breathing on their telescope.

 

What does sct mean? If they (cassegrains) really can only see that narrow a space of sky that they're only really useful with a goto, that is definitely a turn off. I'm sure once you're deep into this hobby a goto is really just a time saver, but I'm brand new, and a part of the fun I think would be learning where the stars even are, or just scanning around and seeing things I cant see with my eyes alone, and then looking up what we're actually looking at. That's mostly what we do now with binoculars.

 

I know there's techniques for seeing stars that I've kinda brushed past on here, and I know it will be hard and take time, but honestly I wouldn't be interested otherwise. I can just google pictures of all these things if I just wanted to see what they looked like.

 

Honestly if I had unlimited money I would probably get a nice refractor and an equatorial mount from what I've looked at too. But I need it to be a reasonable birthday gift, around 400 total. ES eyepieces? Explore Scientific like the other person mentioned I'm guessing?

Yes, if you went to a star party without a scope, you would be begging for scrap photons.  The people are generally nice and would share plenty of them with you. 

 

Right now, the virus has put a stop to the public (and most club member only) star parties and meetings.  With many of the parks closed, the dark sky trips are largely  gone to (though I suspect that few in the rural areas around you are too terribly interested in hassling people in dispersed hunt/camp areas of deserted public forests).

 

Still, if you came across someone in your area through here or a club site, you would likely be able to set up a meeting with them to help get you started.


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#15 Broglock

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Posted 10 April 2020 - 09:38 AM

Howdy and welcome. I'm a new member myself and sympathize with your situation having gone  through it recently myself. Astronomy club would be of great benefit. That being said I happen to have a 6" Celestron sct setup (no mount) that I can ship to you. That would leave you a decent budget for a non goto mount with possible monies leftover. If you are interested you can PM me. Otherwise I really can't add anymore information than what has been shared except I am in agreement as far as a dobson goes. 



#16 kfiscus

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Posted 10 April 2020 - 10:05 AM

To the OP, welcome.  If this scope is intact, you have started out with a great scope.  This thread is different than most first cries for help and your personality shines through better than most.  I owned an Orion XT10 for years- and know it inside and out.  Once you get it, resist the temptation to take anything apart and don't start cleaning any of the glass.

 

Please take inventory of what you ended up with, what you suspect is missing or broken, and take good closeups of the scope from different angles.  We'll steer you around problems and get you fixed up, good-as-new.  I wish most newbies (no offense) could get started with scopes this good.

 

P.S.  I'd recommend ordering one or two Strap-A-Handles.  I got mine at Staples but know Home Depot sold them as well.  I've included a photo of one my scopes wearing its blue handles.

Attached Thumbnails

  • Stock 12 & 16 Photos 005.JPG

Edited by kfiscus, 10 April 2020 - 10:14 AM.

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#17 MellonLake

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Posted 10 April 2020 - 10:34 AM

I am a beginner and I have had an XT10 for a year and a half.    After 1 year with the Orion XT10 I have seen all of the planets, about  10 moons, many open clusters, many globular clusters, probably a hundred galaxies, and probably 50+ nebula.   The power of a 10 in. Dob is impressive. I can not only see Saturn's rings but can see the gap in the rings.  I can see the great red spot on Jupiter and many cloud bands.  Some of the globular clusters are just wow moments in the 10 in. Dob.  When people look through my telescope at the larger open clusters and the small Sagittarius star cloud, I get a lot of "WOW, that is a lot of stars".  I really like the XT10, it is a very powerful telescope for a relatively low price, $300 is a steal.  While smaller telescopes might be more portable, the large light gathering power of the XT10 is great!  The XT10 is a very versatile telescope.       

 

I recently bought a 90mm Mak on an cheap equatorial mount to do planetary viewing.  While the 90mm Mak and mount are lighter that the XT10, I find the equatorial mount more difficult to use and the telescope takes a good deal longer to set up.  The Dob moves intuitively while the manual equatorial mount takes a lot more getting used to.   Having watch people get frustrated with goto mounts and aligning goto systems, I have come to appreciate my very manual XT10 telescope.  The manual Dob has forced me to learn the nights sky which I really appreciate.   Dobs also do not have the same extent of problems with dew and frost that Maks, refractors and SCTs do.  Now having had the Mak, I really think the 10in. Dob was a great choice for me.  In general I think Dobs are a very good choice for beginners.  As a word of caution, I would stay away from telescopes with cheap manual equatorial mounts.           

 

In terms of portability, I have a cottage and take my Dob in an an 14 ft. aluminium boat and then up a 70 ft. hill to my cottage, it is portable and I am confident you will be able to move it.   

 

In terms of what you need to get a lot out of the telescope quickly.  I recommend:

 

1) A Cheshire Collimation Tool - here

2) Plossl eyepiece kit (note there are much better eyepieces but these are good for a beginner) - here - here.  The kits come with some filters as well and the Moon filter is especially helpful (the moon is way too bright in the XT10 without a filter)

3) Telrad Finder (it looks like the telescope your are looking at does not have a finder) Telrads are great for Dobs here.  NOTE: I prefer Green Laser Pointer Finders (GLPs).  However you cannot use these near an airport.  GLPs are the easiest finders to use and I think they are great for Dobs/beginners but please read on Laser safety at the many threads here on CN before using one. 

 

Before you go out on the first night:

1) Spend a little time learning about collimation (there are lots of threads here on CN).  This will help you feel confident you are getting the most out of your telescope.  This should be done at home during the daytime and checked prior to using the telescope once it is set up at site.   

2) Align your finderscope (Again do this at home before you go to site).  Use a telephone pole or tree in the distance to make sure the telescope and finderscope are pointing at the same spot.

3) Make a list of what you want to see.  If you are viewing in April in the evening I would suggest - Venus, M42 (my favorite Deep Sky Object), M37 (great open cluster), and if you are in darker skies a couple bright galaxies such as M101 and M81/M82 .  M13 in Hercules around midnight is spectacular as well.  Or get up early and look at Jupiter, Saturn and Mars (although all of these will be better later in the year).   

 

You really can't go wrong with the XT10!  

 

FYI - the telescope has had a "Dob Handle" added to it.  This is a nice little perk!

 

All the Best and Clear Skies.

 

Rob 


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#18 MellonLake

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Posted 10 April 2020 - 11:05 AM

 I've also read that the focuser on the basic 10" dob isn't very good, would I need to replace that too realistically, or should it be fine for a beginner?
 

Sorry, I missed this in your post.  The focuser on the XT10 is fine.  It is a Crayford forcuser and will work very well for your needs.  I would just test it when picking up the telescope to see if it runs smoothly.  

 

If you ever buy very heavy wide field eyepieces you might want to upgrade (many large wide field eyepiece cost significantly more than the $300 you are planning to pay for the XT10).  Two speed focusers are also nice but really not a necessity.     



#19 vtornado

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Posted 10 April 2020 - 11:35 AM

For checking the secondary mirror look down the focuser tube.

We can help you remove dust if it is necessary.  What you are looking for is staining, pitting, or discoloration.

That is signs that the over coat of the mirror is compromised.  This cannot be cleaned or fixed.

I don't want to alarm you, I have bought many used scopes and this is a rare thing.  It usually only

occurs if the scope was poorly stored, or is ancient (20+ years).

 

For finding things search here for manual push to system.

You will buy a magnetic digital angle meter.

You will make a degree circle that fits around the base.

You will load sky safari to a smart phone or tablet.

 

Sky safari will give you the current postion in elevation and azimuth for any object in the sky.

You will use the degree wheel and level to push the scope so it matches what sky safari says.

That will get you very close to what you are looking for which is a BIG help in finding dimmer

things that are not naked eye visible.

 

VT


Edited by vtornado, 10 April 2020 - 11:49 AM.


#20 Dave Mitsky

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Posted 10 April 2020 - 12:13 PM

If the 10" Orion Dob is relatively recent, it came with an LED dot pointer or reflex sight instead of a finder scope.

https://www.telescop...pe/p/102006.uts

A Telrad is far superior.  Another option of somewhat lesser utility is the Rigel QuikFinder. 

 

https://agenaastro.c...-telescope.html

 

http://avila.star-sh...ssierTelrad.htm

 

In actuality, a RACI (right angle correct image) finder scope in conjunction with a Telrad or even a dot pointer is an even better option.  A dual finder scope mounting bracket can be used if there's no convenient way of mounting both.  Orion sells them but they can be found for less money elsewhere.

https://www.telescop...et/p/102788.uts

Setting circles and an inclinometer will make locating objects easier but are not strictly necessary if you learn the technique of star-hopping.  However, star-hopping can be difficult if one is observing from a very light-polluted location.

 

https://www.robhawle...sh101/index.htm

 

https://cvas.cvas-no...tar Hopping.pdf

 

https://www.amazon.c...t/dp/0933346689

 

You may find some of the information on amateur astronomy and observing in my post (#22) useful.

 

https://www.cloudyni...mers/?p=5184287


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#21 Dave Mitsky

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Posted 10 April 2020 - 12:29 PM

The 10" Orion Dob was most likely supplied with a 1.25" 25mm Plossl 50-degree apparent field of view eyepiece.  As has already been said, you'll need more.  A 2" wide-field with an AFOV of 65 to 70 degrees and a focal length of 30 to 38mm will allow you to see far more of the sky, which is very useful for locating a target and also for observing the comparatively few very large (in apparent size) deep-sky objects.  A 2" eyepiece, even one with a relatively simple design, will be more expensive than a comparable 1.25" eyepiece of the same type.

 

https://starizona.co...ding-eyepieces/

Here's an example of one that doesn't cost too much.

https://agenaastro.c...a-eyepiece.html

I suggest avoiding eyepiece kits.  A few well-chosen eyepieces of better quality are better than many mediocre ones.  Some people like zoom eyepieces, which have their shortcomings but offer a wide range of magnifications.  

The Astro-Tech Paradigm Dual ED eyepieces offer an AFOV of 60 degrees and extended eye relief and are relatively inexpensive.  Purchasing them from Astronomics helps to support Cloudy Nights and will garner you a bit of a discount.

 

https://www.astronom...iece_series=478

 

https://www.cloudyni...y_discount.html

 


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#22 Charles Funk

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Posted 10 April 2020 - 12:58 PM

Two words. Hand Truck. Takes all of the worry out of moving a solid tube scope.

 

Starting out with a 10" scope eliminates much of the soon to be realized desire for more aperture right off the bat. A good 10" scope is capable of being a lifetime scope for many. The deal looks pretty good to me. I'd jump on it.


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#23 JOEinCO

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Posted 10 April 2020 - 01:19 PM

Two words. Smaller scope. Is anybody going to emphasize what a beast a 10" dob is? 

 

Starting out with a 10" scope could very well kill their interest as well. Is no one going to suggest something that's a little easier to deploy? Something that doesn't take 45 minutes or an hour to acclimate? I don't mean to turn you off from what is a nice large-aperture scope. But be sure you look at BOTH sides of the coin.

 

And that particular XT10 is missing some original accessories, as some have pointed out. If you do decide to go with the big gun....if you do decide to go with that level of commitment EVERY TIME you want to observe....then I'd offer $250 because of the missing finderscope and eyepieces and who knows what else that needs some TLC. waytogo.gif 


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#24 MellonLake

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Posted 10 April 2020 - 01:35 PM

 

I suggest avoiding eyepiece kits.  A few well-chosen eyepieces of better quality are better than many mediocre ones.  Some people like zoom eyepieces, which have their shortcomings but offer a wide range of magnifications.  
 

 

I agree with Dave on the eyepiece kits being not the best eyepieces and you can do better. 

 

However, in my opinion, the eyepiece kits are and easy way to get the magnifications you need quickly in one place without having to do too much research on what you need.  I started with the kit and have added higher quality eyepieces later.  I could have saved a few $ and maybe had slightly better eyepieces from the start but the kit was a fast convenient way to get started.  That why I suggested them in my post.  

 

In general, Dave's recommendations are excellent and if you have the time it is well worth following them.  I would suggest a 32mm and an 8mm (anything 7mm to 9mm should be fine) are the best eyepiece focal lengths for the XT10 telescope (32mm is the widest recommended for the telescope and 8mm is generally the maximum magnification the sky conditions will typically allow).  The 32mm is great for deep sky objects (DSO) and the moon.  The 8mm is great for planets.  If you can fit a third eyepiece into the budget, something in the 12mm to 15mm range would be good as well for clusters and smaller bright DSOs.  (Note: the 32mm is really great for finding objects it is my goto eyepiece for much of my viewing.  While I have 10 eyepieces now I use my 8mm and my 32mm far more than the others combined. 

 

Again, make sure you pick up a moon filter (needed for Venus and the Moon).  The moon really is blinding in an XT10 without a filter.   

 

Rob        


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#25 Sketcher

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Posted 10 April 2020 - 04:45 PM

To me, that 10-inch scope looks a bit like a fix-er-upper for a more experienced (telescope savvy) buyer who's experienced enough to know what additional components the scope might need and how to add those items in a practical, functional manner.  It just doesn't seem to fit in with a first-time telescope buyer/user.  So I would suggest ordering a complete, new telescope that already has everything (at least the bare essentials) needed in order to start observing.

 

Another reason to buy new:  We're in a pandemic.  Is it really necessary to undertake a 3 hour drive, to arrive it someone else's home?  Your household might be spreading the virus unnecessarily to others and/or the other household might spread the virus to you.  Then there's any stopping you might do on the way there or back.  The risks are real right now.

 

There's nothing wrong with going with a refractor on an equatorial mount -- something you mentioned liking.  Similarly, a 5-inch cassegrain could also make a reasonable first telescope.

 

Personally (and it all comes down to personal preferences), I like refractors as first telescopes.  If one is comfortable with the idea of an equatorial mount, then an equatorial can be a useful mount for a refractor.

 

Refractors tend to be more natural or more intuitive to point at any desired object.  One can sight along the (relatively long) tube for rough pointing, then use the finder or a wide-field eyepiece to fine-tune one's pointing.  Refractors generally need no attention to collimation.  Refractors are easier to clean safely, and easier to keep clean than a Newtonian (or Dobsonian).  Simply put, a refractor is well suited as a first (or second, or third, . . .)  telescope.

 

The primary argument against refractors is aperture.  For the same price one could get a significantly larger reflector.  But is the traditional CloudyNights mantra:  "Larger is better." always true?  I have a book on amateur astronomy that specifically states that it's better to start out with a smaller telescope.  A statement that I agree with.

 

The secondary argument against (the less expensive) refractors is chromatic aberration (CA), or color error.  Well, the reality is that all telescopes have their weaknesses.  Yet, any telescope is still capable of showing a person far more than they can see with their naked eyes alone.  For example, Newtonians suffer from coma, have spiders, and central obstructions.  Cassegrains have central obstructions.  No telescope is going to be perfect.

 

A cassegrain would make for a smaller package and would still provide plenty of nice views.

 

The reality is that any type of telescope could be workable as a first telescope.  It only makes sense to go with what you want.

 

That being said, I would still recommend buying new.  You'll be more likely to end up with a complete telescope that's usable right out of the box.  You'll likely have some form of customer support -- in the event that it becomes necessary.  The telescope will be new!!!  And last but not least, you'll be taking fewer risks with the heath of you, your immediate family, and those in your community.

 

Purchasing filters should wait until after you've gained more experience using a telescope.  Some people are convince that they need a moon filter, others are equally convinced that they can see more on the moon without using a filter.  The same goes for color filters and observing planets.


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