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What gearNeeded for a new 150mm Mak?

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#1 Escape Pod

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Posted 19 October 2020 - 04:42 PM

Jumping back into astronomy after a looong hiatus. Basically since boyhood.

 

After much deliberation between a short refractor and a Cass, I found a good deal on a 150mm Orion Mak with GoTo.

 

For lenses I’m going to start out with a zoom for planetary and moon (probably the new 7-21mm), and a widefield piece to see how deep the 6” scope will go. For that, an APM 30mm 70*.

 

I found the bag.

 

I’ve got the book. (Left at Orion)

 

Now I need to know what accessories I need for an evening of winter viewing. 

  • Reflectix blanket
  • Dew shield
  • Blanket/dew shield combo? I’ve read that if you cut the reflectix to a longer length it can serve double duty.
  • Red light (I think headlamp probably best so I can see my star charts), preferably one that won’t blast me with light if I hit the wrong button
  • Bahtinov mask?
  • Will a red dot finder cut it for bright DSO finding, or do I need/want a RACI?

What else?

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Edited by Escape Pod, 19 October 2020 - 06:25 PM.


#2 Bean614

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Posted 19 October 2020 - 05:31 PM

Reflectix on Scope and Dew Shield,  Red Dot Finder, if you can view enough stars, or know the sky, red light definitely,  and wait on the mask until you've used the focuser for a while (remember,  always finish your focusing by turning the knob  Counterclockwise).

Also, while Turn Left At Orion is a great book, you may find that even an inexpensive basic version of  SkySafari will serve you MUCH better.

To start with, your  eyepiece choices are perfect, for a while, until your personal preferences start to show themselves. 

I've had that scope, a few times, and it's superb! Planet views are astonishing. 

Good luck!


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#3 Escape Pod

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Posted 19 October 2020 - 06:29 PM

Reflectix on Scope and Dew Shield,  Red Dot Finder, if you can view enough stars, or know the sky, red light definitely,  and wait on the mask until you've used the focuser for a while (remember,  always finish your focusing by turning the knob  Counterclockwise).

Also, while Turn Left At Orion is a great book, you may find that even an inexpensive basic version of  SkySafari will serve you MUCH better.

To start with, your  eyepiece choices are perfect, for a while, until your personal preferences start to show themselves. 

I've had that scope, a few times, and it's superb! Planet views are astonishing. 

Good luck!

Thanks Bean! 614...are you in Columbus by chance. If so, O-H!

 

On the lens front...do you think that 7mm on the zoom will max out the magnification capabilities of a 150mm Mak in really good seeing? I guess that would be 254x. I’m into camping, so we’re going to be taking this to some serious dark sky locations.



#4 Bean614

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Posted 19 October 2020 - 06:47 PM

"Thanks Bean! 614...are you in Columbus by chance. If so, O-H!".....?????????

 

If you look under the blank photo, under my username,  it CLEARLY states that I'm in Massachusetts.  Why would you think I'm in Ohio?

My username is  Bean614, not Bean! 614.

A 6mm (or 7mm) is, for practical purposes,  the lowest you would want to go, unless you like hanging on to eyepieces you can only use once per decade, in absolute flawless conditions. 



#5 maroubra_boy

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Posted 19 October 2020 - 07:05 PM

A Bahtinov mask is ONLY for photo, not for visual.

 

A red dot finder is all you need.  If you are using the goto function, after you have acquired the alignment stars you won't be using any finder for very much at all.  What makes you think a red dot finder won't help with bright DSO's?  Or anything else?  In the end, if a red dot or optical finder, it all depends entirely on your own preference.  Me, if I am using a manual push-pull scope I use both red dot and optical finders.  For my goto, only a red dot.

 

Phone apps like Sky Safari has a red-light screen function.  You may find it useful.  I don't like it or using red lights for reading charts.  The contrast is just too low that red light gives.  But YOU need to see what works best, and starting with a red torch is excellent.  Just don't be afraid to try different things.  My phone, being an Android, I only have the app's red-screen option or its full colour.  I keep it to full colour and drop the screen's illumination to minimum.  Not ideal, but I can now read the blooming thing.  For reading paper charts, I've made myself an orange light torch.  Slightly shorter in wavelength than red, but it also means I can have its intensity much, much lower than red and still be able to read my charts much more easily and my dark adaptation is not disrupted.  But start with red and see how your go.

 

If your red light is too bright to begin with, you can make a cover for it with three or four layers of red cellophane.  This will tone the light down.  More layers, more toned down.  You can also do this with a white light torch to make a red light one.  Or a dim orange light too.  And you don't lose the torch's original brilliance.

 

Alex.


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#6 Escape Pod

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Posted 19 October 2020 - 07:21 PM

"Thanks Bean! 614...are you in Columbus by chance. If so, O-H!".....?????????

 

If you look under the blank photo, under my username,  it CLEARLY states that I'm in Massachusetts.  Why would you think I'm in Ohio?

My username is  Bean614, not Bean! 614.

A 6mm (or 7mm) is, for practical purposes,  the lowest you would want to go, unless you like hanging on to eyepieces you can only use once per decade, in absolute flawless conditions. 

Apologies. 614 is our area code in Columbus. 

 

Thanks for the lens help!


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#7 Escape Pod

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Posted 19 October 2020 - 07:31 PM

A Bahtinov mask is ONLY for photo, not for visual.

 

A red dot finder is all you need.  If you are using the goto function, after you have acquired the alignment stars you won't be using any finder for very much at all.  What makes you think a red dot finder won't help with bright DSO's?  Or anything else?  In the end, if a red dot or optical finder, it all depends entirely on your own preference.  Me, if I am using a manual push-pull scope I use both red dot and optical finders.  For my goto, only a red dot.

 

Phone apps like Sky Safari has a red-light screen function.  You may find it useful.  I don't like it or using red lights for reading charts.  The contrast is just too low that red light gives.  But YOU need to see what works best, and starting with a red torch is excellent.  Just don't be afraid to try different things.  My phone, being an Android, I only have the app's red-screen option or its full colour.  I keep it to full colour and drop the screen's illumination to minimum.  Not ideal, but I can now read the blooming thing.  For reading paper charts, I've made myself an orange light torch.  Slightly shorter in wavelength than red, but it also means I can have its intensity much, much lower than red and still be able to read my charts much more easily and my dark adaptation is not disrupted.  But start with red and see how your go.

 

If your red light is too bright to begin with, you can make a cover for it with three or four layers of red cellophane.  This will tone the light down.  More layers, more toned down.  You can also do this with a white light torch to make a red light one.  Or a dim orange light too.  And you don't lose the torch's original brilliance.

 

Alex.

Thanks for the info, Alex! 
 

The mount is Goto, but I guess I’m wondering if I should take a crack at using it in manual push-pull mode so that I learn my way around the sky. I think about how stupid GPS makes me in terms of driving directions. That being the case, I wonder if the ergonomics of a right angle finder, as well as the wide magnification, wouldn’t be easier for me to manage. Am I overthinking it?



#8 maroubra_boy

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Posted 19 October 2020 - 07:57 PM

Overthinking  waytogo.gif

 

You will be just fine moving the scope manually.  Get the red dot lined up so suit you, and you will be just fine.


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#9 Escape Pod

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Posted 19 October 2020 - 08:14 PM

Haha. Wouldn’t be the first time. Many thanks again!

Overthinking  waytogo.gif

 

You will be just fine moving the scope manually.  Get the red dot lined up so suit you, and you will be just fine.



#10 kjkrum

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Posted 22 October 2020 - 08:48 PM

A Bahtinov mask is ONLY for photo, not for visual.


I use a Bahtinov mask for visual. I find it easier than judging optimal focus subjectively.

#11 luxo II

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Posted 22 October 2020 - 09:53 PM

I agree - a Bhatinov mask is helpful to find the nominal focus especially if (a) you're very long/short sighted (as I am) and (b) you're doing an outreach night.

 

But not until COVID is over.




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