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PostPosted: Tue Jul 05, 2016 9:38 am 

Joined: Tue Jul 05, 2016 9:32 am
Posts: 1
Hi all,

Completely new to all of this, but I'm interested in a set up for viewing the planets, but I have a fondness for DSO's and would love to capture these. From what I'm seeing, my budget would definitely need to be higher than I thought originally (I was looking at £300 max). I can stretch to £500 or so straight away and work higher if I buy things over a longer timescale (and a birthday is around the corner, so perhaps I can wrangle some items then ;-) I was astounded and impressed with the images captured by many using the Skywatcher Explorer 130PDS.

So it looks like at a minimum I would need: ... s-ota.html ... eluxe.html ... ector.html ... r-eq5.html ... apter.html

Does that look about right? That thread was started in 2014, and I'm not sure if there are even better options out now for around the same price, or if there is a bundle you can buy that does all that and more for even less than the combination of those items. I'm open to your suggestions.

I'm thinking I would also perhaps just start with a telescope and mount and after a few months of experimenting and learning the sky, get further into it with the addition of a motor and DSLR adapter for my camera etc, and even a computer portion for locating things in the sky easier if required.

Some people have said I should get the Celestron AVX or SW HEQ5 PRO mount instead of the EQ5 Delux, but I was hoping to keep costs to a minimum but still allow room for add-ons in the future. The Sky Watcher HEQ5 PRO is £750 compared to the Sky Watcher EQ5 Deluxe mount at £230. Other than the GOTO computerisation etc on the HEQ5, is there much benefit to me buying that over the EQ5? I realise it has an 11kg carry capacity and the EQ5 Deluxe only 9kg, but the 130PDS only weighs 4kg from what I can tell, so still room to upgrade to a larger scope in future if required. I then planned to add GOTO ability, motorised units etc to the EQ5 Deluxe mount as time and money allows. Would I not be smart to do it this way?

Looking forward to your feedback.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 05, 2016 9:15 pm 

Joined: Mon Jan 18, 2010 9:25 am
Posts: 5335
Hi Gary and welcome.
Can't advise on the scope, but for visual observations of DSO you need dark skies.
Is your observing site dark?


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 06, 2016 5:08 pm 

Joined: Fri Dec 03, 2004 9:58 pm
Posts: 3639
Location: Wellingborough
Hi Gary and welcome.

A couple of comments to get started:

if you haven't already got a copy of "Making every photon count" then it's a very good place to start with imaging : ... hards.html

Also you'll find that many imagers use a guided setup, with a separate finder/camera and control software that will precisely track a guide star during long exposures. This will help overcome problems such as inconsistencies in the mount's tracking performance and flexure in the telescope/mounting as it rotates for instance. Worth looking into :)


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 08, 2016 5:27 am 

Joined: Sun May 11, 2008 6:11 pm
Posts: 3303
Location: Portslade, Sussex Lat 50deg 51min Long 0deg 13mins West
Quote; "I'm thinking I would also perhaps just start with a telescope and mount and after a few months of experimenting and learning the sky.........."
Personally I think that this would certainly be the very best way to proceed, rather than to splash out on lots of fancy equipment that others have recommended without this basic information....and I would imagine that it would take a bit longer tha just "a few months to learn the sky"! regards maf

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