So yeah I just rushed to order an AT80ED while it was in stock. I'm waiting for the accessories I need to go with it to come back in stock. Now that I've ordered my new Grab n Go scope I'm trying to decide on the accessories to go with it I'm open to suggestions!
Congratulations on your new scope. It will make an excellent companion to your XT8.
What mount will you use? My AT 102ED, on order, will go on an Explore Scientific TW1. Astronomics offers the similar Voyager 2 mount which should work well for this scope.
You will need a diagonal. 1.25" or 2" as your focuser will take either. Astronomics has recommendations on the product page with the scope.
Based on the eyepieces you have now and the short FL of this scope, a 1.25" diagonal should be fine.
Your 24 mm 68 degree will give you 23X and about 2.9 degrees. Nice wide view. That is almost large enough to take in all of the Andromeda Galaxy. Will frame the Pleiades nicely.
If you want to go wider you will need a 2" diagonal. Then you can go real low and real wide.
A 2" 30 mm 82 degree would give you a 4.3 degree FOV. Wide enough to nicely frame the Andromeda Galaxy or take in all of the North America Nebula. And it would make a reasonable daytime spotting scope if you don't mind the left/right switch.
You have a nice set of eyepieces: 24mm & 16mm ES68, 11mm & 6.7mm ES82
Do you have a Barlow Lens? The 6.7 will take you to 83X. You could add the ES 82 4.7 for 119X.
A 1.5X/2X Barlow might be nice to have. GSO has one for about $35.
Have you considered a zoom eyepiece?
I have three zooms. My Baader Hyperion 8-24 is my favorite eyepiece and would work nicely in this scope, combined with a 1.5/2X Barlow or the Baader Hyperion Zoom 2.25X Barlow.
I originally purchased my BH Zoom for my XT8i and now use it in my Apertura AD12. In the XT8i I used it with a 1.5X Barlow for 75X to 225X. It will get a lot of use in my AT 102ED, when it arrives. Matched with the same 1.5X Barlow it will give me 45X to 134X without changing eyepieces.
At 24 mm, the zoom would give you 23.3X and zoom to 70X with no eyepiece changes. With the BH Zoom 2.25X Barlow it would give you 52X and zoom to 155X, about the limit of this scope. And you would always have your 68 nd 82 degree eyepieces to use when you wanted more drift time in the eyepiece.
With a scope of this focal length and the wide field of view possible at the eyepiece, you really don't need a magnifying finder. A Red Dot Finder, RDF, would be fine.
I have an AT102ED on order. I have a 2" Diagonal for it and I have a 38 mm/70 degree that will give me a 3.6 degree FOV, so I don't need a magnifying finder. I will likely get a Rigel QuickFinder. This might be a good choice for you. Smaller and lighter than a Telrad, it can be used in a similar fashion.
AltAz Finding Method - Angle Finder
I use the AltAz method to find my targets. I first used this with my XT8i. It is now my main method for all of my non-computerized scopes, but I am in a Bortle 8 location. Star Hopping here is tough. You might want to consider adding an angle gauge to use this method or to augment your star hopping. It is quick and easy.
I have this one but there are many. This one is not backlit. Others are.
Edited by aeajr, 13 February 2021 - 10:55 AM.