Hello all, my name is William. My first post here or anywhere relating to astronomy.
One day a few months ago I realized that I would have the summer free and the ability to spend a little. I have an 8 year old daughter and so we had to figure out what to do, camping I thought. Excitement building, then I realized I might have a lack of activities.
Later on that week, I was watching something about the Voyager probe, and OMG IT HIT ME, I remember using someones telescope when I was a kid to look at the moon for a few hours and that feeling of being almost in orbit WOW. So it's on, I'm getting a telescope. After all this my feeling is that I hope I can show my daughter that wonder I had when I was a kid looking through some unknown size and model telescope.
After much deliberation and cloudynights research I made my mind up what I was going to get, an AR127 refractor. I starting really looking into what results I was likely to get, and the cost of the telescope and associated mount, I did not want shaking. Then somehow I decided I did want that project like nature and value of a dobsonian reflector since living in a Milwaukee, WI apartment with no chance of casual observation meant it was always going to be a trip with setup anyways. On and on down the aperture rabbit hole I went, weighing the cost versus weight of solid vs truss in the 8-12 inch range. The Apertura AD8 or 10 was almost a done deal, if it were in stock. I really wanted 12"....
I look to used, craigslist nothing but small stuff, hop on to facebook marketplace.... HOLY MOLY What is this I see??!?!?!?!? I MUST HAVE IT!!!!!! This is what I went out and bought and what came after to complement it.
$750 - USED DEAL 1 - Explore Scientific 12" Truss Tube Dobsonian, included Telrad, Counterweight kit, and flocked secondary cage.
$150 - USED DEAL 2 - HoTech 2/1" Laser Dot Collimator & Zhumell 1.25" O-III/UHC/Skyglow/Variable Polarizer filters
$100 - Explore Scientific Lithium Powerbank 12v 99.6Wh (Might have the future ability to replace 18650 cells inside?)
$080 - Explore Scientific 10/12" Truss Tube Shroud (Still waiting for shipment/response from ES, it was left out original order)
$015 - Explore Scientific Astro R-Lite Variable Red Light
$049 - 2" Riser & Dew Shield+Mirror for Telrad
$035 - Sun Catcher Variable Large Aperture Solar Filter 7-12" (Still thinking about how to securely mount this)
$390 - Baader Hyperion Zoom Mark IV -w- 2.25x Hyperion Barlow
$1,570 - TOTAL
The hotech was used to the best of my ability, I made the secondary appear round in eyepiece hole, lined laser to center of secondary, lined laser to center of primary, and then centered it in the return hole at the eyepiece. There is some play in my focuser so Im not sure if I should collimate while having the tension knob a bit tight, this makes the slop go away, is this normal?
I plan to use chart software on my Android phone, or perhaps an old fire tablet with some red filter wrap on it, in conjunction with the Telrad. I don't know what to do about a finder scope or have the desire to spend any more on one right now, especially as I am mostly targeting planets and the moon to start. Will get an inside/outside thermometer to know when the mirror is ready and to save pack power.
We have a reservation to camp at the darkest spot I can muster for now, its like a yellow green on the map. July 12&13, as our first outing and learning exercise.
I am still wondering why I spent $1500 on a telescope during a pandemic but at the same time, life is short and I can't wait to see what it's like to use. I have been inspired by Dobson and others and want to spark that feeling in people that space is beautiful and attainable. Perhaps in the future I will become more outgoing and really kick up outreach a notch as time goes on. I hope so, it was part of my reasoning for going big.
At this point I can't remember clearly what dark skies are like and my kid has never seen them or used a telescope at all. Thanks in advance to all your advice over the years and I look forward to our future conversations, and suggestions are always welcome.
Edited by xanavi, 06 July 2020 - 10:22 PM.