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Just bought my first serious telescope, I need advice on accessories

accessories beginner eyepieces equipment Meade observing outreach
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15 replies to this topic

#1 Bigfoot13

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Posted 01 August 2020 - 09:45 AM

Hey everyone!

I just bought a Meade LX65 8” ACF with a goto mount. I’m looking for some advice on eyepieces and other accessories that will help me get the best out of my purchase.

The specs on the telescope are:
D=203.2mm
F=2032mm
f/10

I’m planning on taking it to some dark sky areas but for now I’m testing it out on my back porch which has some light pollution but not a crazy amount. For example, I saw the Hercules cluster last night but it was a blurry patch and I lined up the whirlpool galaxy but couldn’t get a view of it. I’m trying to keep my expectations realistic but I just thought I would reach out and see if anyone has advice on what I should buy to enhance my viewing experience.

Thanks! Any advice is greatly appreciated!

#2 Mitchell M.

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Posted 01 August 2020 - 09:55 AM

When I first got my 8" lx90 many moons ago, the first accessories were a dew shield, some dew strips and controller and an alternate power source (as opposed to on-board batteries). Then I started working on my eyepieces.

I first worked on being able to view with scope, then I worked on what I can view with scope.


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#3 Bigfoot13

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Posted 01 August 2020 - 11:09 AM

Thanks for the reply!

Ya I’ve been looking into some sort of dew prevention and also an alternate power source is a must. One of the main things I’m trying to research now is what kind of eyepieces would work best with my set up. I bought a cheaper 3 piece set of Gosky Plossl eyepieces but I’m looking to get 2 or 3 higher quality eyepieces. I just don’t really know where to start right now.

#4 SloMoe

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Posted 01 August 2020 - 12:06 PM

ES 82° 8mm, 11mm, & 14mm

 

AstroZap flex dew shield,

 

PowerTank for remote battery.


Edited by SloMoe, 01 August 2020 - 12:07 PM.


#5 Blackbelt76

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Posted 01 August 2020 - 12:30 PM

I just bought...

 

Why not take the scope out, start using it?

Believe me, after a few sessions you will be able to determine "must haves; which will help you avoid unnecessary expenditures on accessories you may rarely use.


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#6 Chris Y

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Posted 01 August 2020 - 01:44 PM

Thanks for the reply!

Ya I’ve been looking into some sort of dew prevention and also an alternate power source is a must. One of the main things I’m trying to research now is what kind of eyepieces would work best with my set up. I bought a cheaper 3 piece set of Gosky Plossl eyepieces but I’m looking to get 2 or 3 higher quality eyepieces. I just don’t really know where to start right now.

Ya might want to check out the dew heaters from these fellers too.

 

http://www.tech2000astronomy.com/zap/


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#7 rajilina

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Posted 01 August 2020 - 02:29 PM

Why not take the scope out, start using it?

Believe me, after a few sessions you will be able to determine "must haves; which will help you avoid unnecessary expenditures on accessories you may rarely use.

+1. This is excellent advice.

 

I made the mistake of buying stuff I thought I needed before using my scope much. Storage boxes that ended up not serving my needs well... a polar scope which I found frustrating to use and later discovered I could align quite well without it... vibration suppression pads...I have stable ground for my rig and have never needed them...the list goes on and on.

 

Wait for the needs to present themselves vs. trying to anticipate them... you'll save yourself a lot of money in the long run.


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#8 Echolight

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Posted 01 August 2020 - 02:51 PM

Only thing I've bought so far is a zoom eyepiece.

 

Seemed like a good bet that it'd be something I'd use a lot. And I was right.

 

I splurged on a Baader because I thought it would be my most used eyepiece and I wanted something that was easy to look through and forgiving of eye position. So far it has worked perfectly for me. I mostly use for high power viewing.

 

Thinkin a 2 inch diagonal would be nice for my C8. And maybe a 20 UWA and 38 SWA. But I'm trying to ease into the accessory game and not make any mistakes.



#9 chrysalis

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Posted 01 August 2020 - 02:58 PM

Yes, good advice to wait and use a while before plunking cash into more EPs etc.

 

Meanwhile:

 

1. What eyepieces (FL) do you have now?

 

2. What objects do you want to see? (Planets, double/multiple stars, open clusters, globular clusters, diffuse nebulae, planetary nebulae, galaxies, etc.)

 

3. What Bortle Zone are you in at home and where you can get to if you want to observe in dark(er) sites? Suggest to use this website:

https://www.lightpol...FFFFFTFFFFFFFFF

 

4. What is the weather you live under? Dry, humid, cloudy, etc? Jet stream, lakes, mountains, etc.? You can get the forecasted astronomy weather (includes easy-to-understand graphical representation of cloud cover, transparency, seeing, darkness, wind, humidity, and temperature) for a site close to you for example here:

https://www.cleardar.../csk/index.html

 

5. How familiar are you with the sky? How do you know what is positioned well in the sky to make it the most worthwhile to look for?

- You can generate lists of objects visible from your area for a certain number of hours on a chosen night here:

https://tonightssky.com/MainPage.php

- You can generate lists of selected objects in a chosen constellation here:

http://www.virtualcolony.com/sac/


Edited by chrysalis, 01 August 2020 - 02:58 PM.


#10 MellonLake

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Posted 01 August 2020 - 03:17 PM

Unless you live in the desert, a dew sheild and/or dew heaters are a must. My 90mm Mak often dews/frosts over in under 2 hours here in Ontario.

#11 Bigfoot13

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Posted 01 August 2020 - 07:27 PM

Yes, good advice to wait and use a while before plunking cash into more EPs etc.

Meanwhile:

1. What eyepieces (FL) do you have now?

2. What objects do you want to see? (Planets, double/multiple stars, open clusters, globular clusters, diffuse nebulae, planetary nebulae, galaxies, etc.)

3. What Bortle Zone are you in at home and where you can get to if you want to observe in dark(er) sites? Suggest to use this website:
https://www.lightpol...FFFFFTFFFFFFFFF

4. What is the weather you live under? Dry, humid, cloudy, etc? Jet stream, lakes, mountains, etc.? You can get the forecasted astronomy weather (includes easy-to-understand graphical representation of cloud cover, transparency, seeing, darkness, wind, humidity, and temperature) for a site close to you for example here:
https://www.cleardar.../csk/index.html

5. How familiar are you with the sky? How do you know what is positioned well in the sky to make it the most worthwhile to look for?
- You can generate lists of objects visible from your area for a certain number of hours on a chosen night here:
https://tonightssky.com/MainPage.php
- You can generate lists of selected objects in a chosen constellation here:
http://www.virtualcolony.com/sac/


Thanks for the links, that is very helpful. I’ll try to answer your questions to the best of my knowledge:

1. I have a Meade Super Plossl 26mm (came with the telescope)
A set of Gosky Plossl 6mm/12.5mm/20mm.
I also have a set that came with an old Meade DS-2090
that I bought used. They are;
Meade MA 6mm/12mm/17mm/20mm/25mm

2. Planets are fun to look at but I really want to see some deep sky objects. Diffuse Nebulae/Planetary Nebulae and galaxies are what I’m most interested in.

3. I used the map and it seems I’m in a class 4 Bortle zone, that was assessed in 2015 so there is probably a bit more light pollution now.

4. As far as weather, I’m in Ontario and in my area it’s cloudy on and off, the wind gets pretty bad and the humidity is pretty high.

5. I am very new to the night sky so I would say I’m not very familiar at all but I am picking it up fast. The goto mount is definitely helping me out big time right now.

After seeing everyone’s advice I’ve decided to slowdown and get more familiar with my new telescope and the night sky before making any big purchases. It seems the only thing that for sure I won’t regret buying is a dew shield, or heater. If anyone has an opinion on a shield vs heater it would be much appreciated. I’m still trying to figure out what would be best for me.

#12 KTAZ

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Posted 01 August 2020 - 07:35 PM

I highly recommend that you grab one of the free planetarium software platforms, such as Stellarium. Install that on your PC and you can use it to pick targets for every night of viewing and also simulate what those targets may look like through any eyepiece that you can dream of, same for camera sensors.

 

The only caveat is that the software uses pretty pictures of the targets, and you must realize that what you actually see through an eyepiece may be similar in size and FOV, but the actual brightness and detail you see for DSO's will be far less. You are using your eyes, not a time lapse camera! Temper your expectations and you will love your scope.



#13 MellonLake

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Posted 01 August 2020 - 08:05 PM

Best accessory of all is dark skies. In Ontario there are many dark sky areas, The Bruce Peninsula, Lennox and Addington dark sky, North Frontenac, Muskoka.. Find a Bottle 1-2 site to visit and view from. This really helps for DSOs.

#14 KOstar

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Posted Yesterday, 05:07 PM

Howdy Bigfoot13!  Looks like you have a very capable scope.  Should give you tons of enjoyment.

 

To be honest, one of the best accessories I ever bought for my telescopes was a good comfortable stool.  There are times I will sit for a half hour and observe an object.  It's surprising how much better you can see an object after watching the fine details over time.  Sometimes the seeing can improve for brief moments and you will see things you couldn't see before.  It's much better when you are comfortable.

 

Also, you mentioned you had trouble with the Hercules cluster and Whirlpool galaxy last night.  I suspect most of your problem was the full moon.  A dark moonless night will improve the view of these objects greatly.

 

Best of luck!

 

KO



#15 Blackbelt76

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Posted Today, 09:59 AM

I'd also suggest a lot of research on eye pieces.

Having good optics as you do, poor eyepieces will cripple the scope.

Kinda' like installing bias ply tires on a Ferrari. ;) Just not done.



#16 David Castillo

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Posted Today, 10:23 AM

+1 to all the above. I would like to recommend you get/make an observing chair so you can observe for long hours without wearing out your feet standing. Keep a red flashlight handy so you don't have to resort to sacrificing your night vision looking for your accessories. 




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