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I could use some help…

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#1 Michaelhazuka

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Posted 11 June 2021 - 10:24 AM

I have been purchasing eyepieces for my 15 year old son. He has a dobsonian with a focal length of 1200mm at f/4.7. He uses his telescope almost daily.

He has the following eyepieces:
APM UFF 30
TeleVue Nagler 22T4
Baader Morpheus 17.5
Baader Morpheus 12.5
Baader Morpheus 9****
TeleVue Nagler 9T6****
Baader Morpheus 6.5
Meade UWA 5.5

I realize he has duplicate magnification at 9mm, but we are waiting on shipment of the BM 9 due to supply constraints. We are given a tentative shipping date at the end of July, and we have a dark sky outing planned before that time frame. I will likely sell the 9T6 unless it provides something substantially different than the BM 9. He does seem to like the Morpheus line with the expansive eye relief. He can view without glasses, but occasionally will wear them.

He does not have a Parracor(yet). He also doesn’t Barlow anything(yet). He does have a fairly cheap Barlow that he initially used with his first set of Plossls. He never uses the Plossls anymore.

What’s the next direction in terms of a purchase that will benefit him? He doesn’t give much for feedback other than he loves what he has. I’d like to keep him interested since he’s doing great and loves it.

Any guidance from here?

Thank you for all the help to date…

Mike
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#2 Alrakis

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Posted 11 June 2021 - 10:30 AM

It looks like he has eyepieces covered. What does he look at? If it is the planets than maybe a zwo adc or planetary filters to increase contrast. If deep sky then a uhc or oiii filter might be a good addition.

 

Chris 



#3 havasman

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Posted 11 June 2021 - 10:33 AM

Hi Mike,

 

I think you've done a fine job of supplying your son with very capable observing gear. That's a really good scope and eyepiece kit. There's really nothing but a coma corrector that could be needed. That would be a great addition. Coma at f4.7 is present. Even if it's not noticed, the improvement to the field will become immediately apparent when it is removed by a coma corrector. The Paracorr 2 is highly recommended. A Barlow is a specialized tool and that organized eyepiece kit really does not need one.

 

The only things then missing are a few good narrowband nebula filters: UHC and O-III. Best suppliers are Lumicon, Televue and Astronomic and those three stand as equals at the top of the nebula filter supplier pyramid.

 

The best accessory for any scope is more time spent observing from the best location possible and your son is getting that done. His skills will advance rapidly.


Edited by havasman, 11 June 2021 - 10:36 AM.

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#4 ShaulaB

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Posted 11 June 2021 - 10:37 AM

That is a fine collection of eyepieces for a ten inch aperture Dob. Did the math in my head. 😁

I assume your son has proper collimation tools. Keeping the optics in good alignment is essential.

Again, the eyepieces you already own are really good. How long has your son been observing? After six months, or a year, of observing, he will get a much better idea of what he prefers. Eyepiece views are very subjective. When he likes seeing might look not so great to you, Dad. Young eyes tend to work much better than older folks' do.

When will your son get his drivers' licence? Getting out to dark skies helps any telescope. Find a local astronomy club, become members, and you and your son can find out where safe, dark viewing sites are.

A Paracor may help, but it will not correct miscollimation.
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#5 LIVE LONG

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Posted 11 June 2021 - 11:11 AM

Mike,

 Your son is very fortunate, to have a father help him with his astronomy hobby. The eyepiece collection you have is excellent!

 

It has already been mentioned, but what are you and your son using to collimate the Dobsonian. The reason I ask, is that In the past year I purchased a Howie Glatter "Paralizer" eyepiece adapter. 

 

The Paralizer, helps achieve perfect collimation, and helps achieve perfect optical alignment with your eyepieces. The Paralizer seems to fly under the radar, and it is a shame. It is an upgrade, that to me is worth every penny!



#6 eyeoftexas

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Posted 11 June 2021 - 11:21 AM

You have a fine array of eyepieces, from 5.5 mm to 30 mm, so there's no need for a Barlow.  If you two haven't noticed the coma in your view yet, then a coma corrector is not needed (yet).  Since you're heading for a dark site in the summertime, you might consider an UHC and/or OIII filter for nebula viewing.


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#7 SeattleScott

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Posted 11 June 2021 - 11:56 AM

UHC filter probably the biggest bang for buck. 1.25” probably since that’s what most of his eyepieces are, but assuming the 1.25” adapter has filter threads, 2” could work too. Problem is, if he is using the Morpheus 2” barrels, then this would require using the adapter with them and using them as 1.25” eyepieces, which would most likely require removing an extension tube. So now to use the 2” nebula filter, one has to remove an extension tube, pull a 1.25” adapter out, screw the filter onto the adapter, put adapter in, put Morpheus eyepiece in adapter. Versus a 1.25” filter, which would only involve screwing the filter on the Morpheus eyepiece and inserting the eyepiece. Now if he is using Morpheus with a 1.25” adapter anyway, then the 2” format filter makes sense, as it would also work with his 2” eyepieces. So you just have to see how he is using the Morpheus eyepieces.

Coma corrector can be interesting, generally with about 65 AFOV or less, they probably aren’t worth the hassle. But he is more like 70-82 AFOV so a coma corrector could be well worth the hassle. From what I understand SIPS is the easiest to use, basically zero hassle, and naturally costs the most. Paracorr is pretty convenient and half the price. Then you have the cheaper ones that require really working out the spacing with extension tubes and parfocal rings, which could be problematic with the short 2” barrel on Morpheus if he uses the 2” barrel. So it takes a lot of effort to get stuff set up and configured right, but then should be convenient to use, assuming you can configure everything optimally.

Scott

#8 areyoukiddingme

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Posted 11 June 2021 - 12:26 PM

If the highest power is the 5.5, for 218x, it's likely he can use more if the sky supports it in your area.

 

A Nikon 1.6 barlow on the 6.5 gets up to ~300x, which will be useful.

 

Other than choosing a coma corrector, does he have a good chair?



#9 f74265a

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Posted 11 June 2021 - 01:27 PM

To gain drift time at higher power, I would swap out the 5.5 and 6.5 for a single ethos 6mm
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#10 Michaelhazuka

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Posted 11 June 2021 - 03:20 PM

Mike,
Your son is very fortunate, to have a father help him with his astronomy hobby. The eyepiece collection you have is excellent!

It has already been mentioned, but what are you and your son using to collimate the Dobsonian. The reason I ask, is that In the past year I purchased a Howie Glatter "Paralizer" eyepiece adapter.

The Paralizer, helps achieve perfect collimation, and helps achieve perfect optical alignment with your eyepieces. The Paralizer seems to fly under the radar, and it is a shame. It is an upgrade, that to me is worth every penny!



#11 Michaelhazuka

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Posted 11 June 2021 - 03:24 PM

Right now we are using the instructions provided by Orion. It’s tedious, and he did mention a laser collminator the last time we did it. It rarely is out of collmination by much, but I will admit that our methodology is far from precise.

It’s also something he would definitely want. Thanks for the suggestion.

#12 Adam Long

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Posted 11 June 2021 - 04:19 PM

I've got a scope with the same specs and often use a 4mm EP for 300x, and the same Meade 5.5mm with a 2x barlow for 436x. Those aren't mags you use every night but they are necessary to split tight binary stars at the limit of the scope's resolution. Binaries are good challenge targets for suburban skies as light pollution isn't much of an issue.



#13 Michaelhazuka

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Posted 11 June 2021 - 04:43 PM

Quit buying eyepieces for him and let him use what he has would be my suggestion.


Seriously? This kid goes out every night he physically can go out. He’s not into sports, he has perfect grades, and he loves doing it. I’m going to support him 1,000,000% in this endeavor. My neighbors actually turn their outdoor lights out at 9pm because they know he’ll be out there.

I know parents that have kids in sports that spend thousands annually without even a hesitation. He’s not into sports, and I’m ok with that.

I didn’t have a pot to **** in growing up. My biological father left when I was born. My adoptive father wasn’t much more than my biological father, so excuse me if I want to give him something more than I had. My wife and I work crazy hours to provide for our three kids. She had no parents as well.

He likes astronomy. That’s it. He could ace a collegiate level astronomy course, and he’s fifteen. Would you rather have me ignore him and let him muddle through life with zero guidance? I’ve l’m a product of that, and it took 46 years to figure things out.

I asked for help, and many provided just that. He will get the tools he needs to be successful in this, and I’m going to help him with that. This also provides an opportunity for me to bond with him(either collminating his scope, or looking at eyepieces, or talking about the Cigar galaxy ad nauseum). Either way, I’m committed to helping him with this, because why not?
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#14 SeattleScott

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Posted 11 June 2021 - 05:14 PM

It has been acknowledged he has nice eyepieces. People are suggesting other stuff instead, like nebula filters, laser collimator, coma corrector.

Scott
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#15 russell23

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Posted 11 June 2021 - 05:42 PM

Seriously? This kid goes out every night he physically can go out. He’s not into sports, he has perfect grades, and he loves doing it. I’m going to support him 1,000,000% in this endeavor. My neighbors actually turn their outdoor lights out at 9pm because they know he’ll be out there.

I know parents that have kids in sports that spend thousands annually without even a hesitation. He’s not into sports, and I’m ok with that.

I didn’t have a pot to **** in growing up. My biological father left when I was born. My adoptive father wasn’t much more than my biological father, so excuse me if I want to give him something more than I had. My wife and I work crazy hours to provide for our three kids. She had no parents as well.

He likes astronomy. That’s it. He could ace a collegiate level astronomy course, and he’s fifteen. Would you rather have me ignore him and let him muddle through life with zero guidance? I’ve l’m a product of that, and it took 46 years to figure things out.

I asked for help, and many provided just that. He will get the tools he needs to be successful in this, and I’m going to help him with that. This also provides an opportunity for me to bond with him(either collminating his scope, or looking at eyepieces, or talking about the Cigar galaxy ad nauseum). Either way, I’m committed to helping him with this, because why not?

As someone that teaches college Astronomy to high school students I can tell you I love students like your son that are really into it.  I was the same way in high school. 

 

Regarding BlueMoon's comment I would offer this perspective:  If you read a lot of threads on this forum people often ask about buying equipment right after getting their new scope.  The advice often offered is to use what you have for a while which will help you figure out what you need.  That was how I read the comment.  The set of eyepieces accumulated for your son is outstanding.  If he is still getting familiar with them there is nothing wrong with waiting a little while before adding to what he has.  As he gains experience he likely will figure out what he needs.

 

That said, if he wants something higher magnification the 1.6x Nikon barlow works great with the 9mm and 6.5mm Morpheus.

 

Kudos to you for making sure he has everything he could possibly want!
 


Edited by russell23, 11 June 2021 - 05:44 PM.

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#16 rkelley8493

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Posted 11 June 2021 - 05:56 PM

You have a very nice eyepiece selection for your son and just about have everything covered. The only thing I really see that could be useful [eyepiece wise] is a 3.5mm to 4.5mm high power eyepiece for lunar/planetary observing. A few good models in this range are the 3.5 XW, 3.5 Delos, 4 DeLite, and 4.5 Delos. If you want to stick with Baader Morpheus, they have a 4.5 available, but I've heard this focal length suffers from edge of field brightening [someone please correct me if I heard wrong].

Another useful tool to have is a focal extender like the TeleVue Powermate or Explore Sci 2x Focal Extender. Either of these will double your magnification while keeping the effective eye relief of the eyepiece unchanged, and you essentially double your number of eyepieces. 

The last thing I would recommend is a laser collimation tool. It's crucial to have a well collimated scope when doing high power observing to get the best images possible from your scope. The collimation tool isn't very expensive, and they're pretty quick & easy to use. I would check collimation once before observing and once again before high-power observing. The scope I had didn't hold collimation very well, so it needed frequent adjustments, but the difference in the views was dramatic when it was on point vs being off by a few millimeters. It's definitely one thing Newtonian Reflector owners should have in their tool kit.

 

PS, your son is blessed to have a loving & supportive father waytogo.gif


Edited by rkelley8493, 11 June 2021 - 07:53 PM.

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#17 BlueMoon

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Posted 11 June 2021 - 06:03 PM

Seriously? This kid goes out every night he physically can go out. He’s not into sports, he has perfect grades, and he loves doing it. I’m going to support him 1,000,000% in this endeavor. My neighbors actually turn their outdoor lights out at 9pm because they know he’ll be out there.

I know parents that have kids in sports that spend thousands annually without even a hesitation. He’s not into sports, and I’m ok with that.

I didn’t have a pot to **** in growing up. My biological father left when I was born. My adoptive father wasn’t much more than my biological father, so excuse me if I want to give him something more than I had. My wife and I work crazy hours to provide for our three kids. She had no parents as well.

He likes astronomy. That’s it. He could ace a collegiate level astronomy course, and he’s fifteen. Would you rather have me ignore him and let him muddle through life with zero guidance? I’ve l’m a product of that, and it took 46 years to figure things out.

I asked for help, and many provided just that. He will get the tools he needs to be successful in this, and I’m going to help him with that. This also provides an opportunity for me to bond with him(either collminating his scope, or looking at eyepieces, or talking about the Cigar galaxy ad nauseum). Either way, I’m committed to helping him with this, because why not?

Well, you have a perspective on this that is unique to yourself. I've deleted my previous comments as being rather superfluous to your situation.

 

Clear skies.


Edited by BlueMoon, 11 June 2021 - 07:22 PM.

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#18 JamesDuffey

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Posted 11 June 2021 - 06:08 PM

If he doesn't take notes on his observing, I would suggest getting him a note book in which to make observational notes. Or, if he does take notes, there are note-taking templates available here and elsewhere on the web. I suggest making him a customized notebook from the templates printed on good heavy paper with a personalized cover and spiral binding. Your local Kinkos or equivalent can put together something. 

 

A membership in a local astronomy club, if he doesn't already belong, would be good. If already has one, get him out to meetings and star parties. Tag along at the star parties and see what he likes and doesn't like. Buy what he likes. 

 

He may be ready for, or even want, another telescope. A refractor capable of wide FOVs is a good complement to a Dobsonian. 

 

He might be interested in building his own telescope, or even grinding his own mirrors. If he is, that avenue is worth exploring, encouraging and funding. That requires an investment of time and effort and is quite rewarding. 

 

You might want to consider giving him a modest budget each year that he can spend on astronomical items of his own choosing. That will teach him fiscal responsibility and will give him a sense of ownership of the things he buys. 

 

Parental interest in kid's activities is a good indicator of success later in life, so you are to be commended for encouraging and funding his astronomy activities. 


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#19 Michaelhazuka

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Posted 11 June 2021 - 07:08 PM

I took BlueMoon’s initial response a little too defensively, and I apologize for that. In hindsight, I understand the point he was trying to make. This process is about time and understanding how to use the tools that you have available, and growing with that.

Astronomy is not my strength…I’ll admit that. That’s why I’m here. I don’t have 40+ years of experience to guide him in this journey. I likely have him home for three more years. We started late, but I plan on making the most of our time that we have available. I’m doing the best I can to make this work. You can’t fault me for that. I’m not asking for advice to buy him every obscure eyepiece to make him an elitist astronomer. I’m asking for the next logical step, and if I knew the answer to that question I wouldn’t ask it.

Again, thank you all for the advice. We(both him and I) discussed the direction we should go based on the input of this group.
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#20 TayM57

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Posted 11 June 2021 - 07:35 PM

I took BlueMoon’s initial response a little too defensively, and I apologize for that. In hindsight, I understand the point he was trying to make. This process is about time and understanding how to use the tools that you have available, and growing with that.

Astronomy is not my strength…I’ll admit that. That’s why I’m here. I don’t have 40+ years of experience to guide him in this journey. I likely have him home for three more years. We started late, but I plan on making the most of our time that we have available. I’m doing the best I can to make this work. You can’t fault me for that. I’m not asking for advice to buy him every obscure eyepiece to make him an elitist astronomer. I’m asking for the next logical step, and if I knew the answer to that question I wouldn’t ask it.

Again, thank you all for the advice. We(both him and I) discussed the direction we should go based on the input of this group.

I would really recommend buying a 2" Howie Glatter laser collimator and a Howie Glatter tublug. There is no use having all those outstanding eyepieces if your scope isn't collimated.

 

https://www.eyepiece...m_p/6401030.htm

 

https://www.eyepiece...g_p/6403010.htm

 

The laser collimator goes into the top of the tublug, and the entire thing goes into the focuser. This will help you collimate your primary. Before you do that though, put the collimator into the focuser first to align the secondary mirror. This is achieved by adjusting the secondary mirror until the red dot is in the center of the center sticker on the primary mirror.

 

After that, get the Paracorr II.

 

That said, outstanding job supporting your son's astronomy hobby.


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#21 havasman

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Posted 11 June 2021 - 07:50 PM

Have you addressed collimation? That's the alignment of the mirrors so they can work to their design limits and feed the most coherent wavefront of light to the eyepiece. It enables everything  a scope does well. Folks sometimes have difficulty with collimation. That's unnecessary. If you get good tools and follow their procedure, collimation is quick, easy and accurate. There are different types of tools. I use, like and recommend tools designed by Howie Glatter, a valuable hobbyist and machining supplier to the hobby whose loss a few years ago still resonates across the group. His Glatter lasers and tools are now made, with full consent of Howie's estate, by Starlight Instruments. I use and recommend a Glatter laser and Tublug combination as fast, simple and very accurate. They're not cheap but they're also not cheap if you know what I mean. They'll last a lifetime.

 

Observing while sitting has advantages. The stability of a sitting body increases. Relaxed observing is easier. The Starbound Observing chair is a good one. If you have some minimum tools you and your son can build a very fine chair from plans for the Denver Chair that are all over the web.

 

You likely already have dimmable red led lights for chart reading. Rigel Starlite Mini is nearly perfect. And charts! The Sky & Telescope Pocket Sky Atlas is the essential chart set for pretty much everybody. Right now I have charts scattered all over my desk and table as I'm building my next session's observing plan and that S&T PSA is the most used of the lot.

 

If I think up some other way to spend your cash, I'll chime in again.  lol.gif 


Edited by havasman, 11 June 2021 - 07:52 PM.

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#22 vtornado

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Posted 11 June 2021 - 08:28 PM

I'm up for adoption lol.gif


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#23 f74265a

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Posted 11 June 2021 - 08:32 PM

Ok, since you are fine spending some $ to improve your son’s experience, I’ll suggest a quality pair of binoculars, say at least 8x42. Under darker skies, binoculars are a great way to see all of andromeda. It is huge and stretches much farther across the sky than you would guess. Some of the larger star clusters present well in binoculars also. And they make star hopping easier

#24 Voyager 3

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Posted 11 June 2021 - 11:28 PM

I don't have any other suggestions because others have given you excellent ones ...

 

Doesn't your son has a CN account ? Being a member , reading the posts and posting his questions himself will enhance his interest by an awful lot . 


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#25 noisejammer

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Posted 12 June 2021 - 05:02 AM

That's a great set of eyepieces.... They span the range of exit pupil from 6.4 to 1.2 mm. It will take a very long time before they become the limiting factor. So ...

 

I'd like to echo the suggestions on a laser collimator. I use the Hotech model with a crosshair - it's pretty good even at f/3.3 and a Barlow will improve the precision.

 

Apart from this, a seat and a good UHC (I use the NPB offered by DGM Optics), you might want to take a look at a Telrad. It's clunky but it's the best unity power finder in the market.

 

On seats - I greatly prefer the Cat's Perch type to the Starbound, I've seen a Starbound suddenly slip and drop it's user on the ground. A Cat's Perch kit is relatively inexpensive and he could learn some woodwork at the same time. (Mine's been in use since the winter of 2007.)

 

Another idea - an observing hood (or a dark t-shirt worn upside-down.) This is particularly useful when observing with a UHC / O-III / H-beta filter because it stops light entering past your eyeball, bouncing off the filter and returning to degrade the contrast.


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