Author Topic: Beginner Setup... What's missing?  (Read 201 times)

rennlispuring

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Beginner Setup... What's missing?
« on: December 24, 2017, 04:23:15 AM »
Hello "Nightonians",

Where to Start... Ok, as some already know I'm new to this hobby.  I've attempted to put up myself with a quality"Starter Kit", one that I can also grow with.  So much my installation comprises: Zhumell Z8, Baader Hyperion Mark IV Zoom, Zhumell 2x Barlow, Telrad, attachment case, planisphere, Turn Left at Orion (book), and little red flashlight.

...I just recently obtained (previously back ordered) that which I believed would complete my entry bundle, an 8" solar filter made from Orion.  Regrettably, I havediscovered itis not compatiblewith my Z8 (won't fit).

. . .Now the question is do I return the filter for another helpful thing, or can somebody recommend a filter that will actually fit the Z8? ...

Any suggestions? ... Is a solar filter value theinvestment early on? . . .Is that there amore usual itemI shouldbe contemplating when starting out? ...

I'm simply trying to make the most out of the mishap and turn it around for the positive.

Thank you!



teoknoxparli

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Re: Beginner Setup... What's missing?
« Reply #1 on: December 28, 2017, 12:10:30 AM »
I don't see any mention of an adjustable stool/observer's chair, star charts (either old-fashioned paper such as Sky Atlas 2000 or electronic tablet/laptop versions) or a small fold-up table to put accessories on. I'd get those before buying a solar filter. (And if you can't get a premodern filter for your Z8, making one yourself is an easy project.)

calbeyrefrows

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Re: Beginner Setup... What's missing?
« Reply #2 on: December 28, 2017, 12:52:01 AM »
First when you say "I am simply trying to make the most out of this mishap and turn it around for the positive." What are you referring to?
I dont see any laser colimator? I am assuming you have this?
Also I would highly consider some quality binoculars, made for astronomy. I have some cheaper Celestron 15x70s I enjoy. I find the wide field of view very helpful for finding objects, and its also nice to have if the conditions arent that great, or its pretty cloudy and you just want a quick look. I use my 15x70s for birdwatching and while heavy, I think they are pretty good for this even.
I find binoculars also helpful, for when I am trying to find a object and may not see some stars near by a object with the naked eye, but the binoculars can give me a better idea if im looking at a specific arrangement of brighter stars that may be "near" a object.

Jerry Gilbert

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Re: Beginner Setup... What's missing?
« Reply #3 on: December 29, 2017, 02:37:42 PM »
Which Orion solar filter on http://www.telescope...63/p/101909.uts did you order exactly? What is the Item Number? When you say it "doesn't fit", is it too small, too big, can't provide a tight "snap fit", or what?

I have a slightly-oversized (6") solar filter that I just tape onto my 5" Maksutov-Cassegrain Telescope (MCT) -- it works fine even though it "doesn't fit".

tessacubadc

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Re: Beginner Setup... What's missing?
« Reply #4 on: January 01, 2018, 12:46:27 AM »
Yep...
an adjustable astronomy chair
laser columator
some sort of dew control... mirror fan... hair dryer...
send the zhumel barlow back... if you MUST have a barlow, get the one dedicated to the Baader zoom
red head lamp
agreed... if the solar filter is slightly too big, it should work... ask the vednor of the scope what solarfilter to get
variable polarizer filter (for moon)
I use a laptop ALL of the time... planetarium program and other electronics for other mounts... if you do too, a tent for the laptop, redLED goose neck lights if the keyboard is not lighted
Pocket Sky Atlas is nice even if you use a laptop
Small table
ThermaCell for bugs

Jeremy Gambel

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Re: Beginner Setup... What's missing?
« Reply #5 on: January 03, 2018, 07:04:45 PM »
thermos for coffee?

Jasper Banks

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Re: Beginner Setup... What's missing?
« Reply #6 on: January 04, 2018, 05:32:40 PM »
Always a good Idea to ask questions first and then buy. A laser collimator is a great suggestion here. Hotech 2" works the best for me.

Ricky Mondal

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Re: Beginner Setup... What's missing?
« Reply #7 on: January 05, 2018, 04:12:49 PM »
The Zhumell Z8 was my first scope. Paired with an Explore Scientific 24mm, 82 degree eyepiece, it offered some fantastic views. You are going to have some serious fun!

hutualyli

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Re: Beginner Setup... What's missing?
« Reply #8 on: January 09, 2018, 11:44:17 PM »
Quote
Hello "Nightonians",

Where to Start... Ok, as some already know I am new to this hobby. I have tried to set myself up with a quality"Starter Kit", one that I can also grow with. So far my setup includes: Zhumell Z8, Baader Hyperion Mark IV Zoom, Zhumell 2x Barlow, Telrad, accessory case, planisphere, Turn Left at Orion (book), and small red flashlight.

...I just recently received (previously back ordered) what I thought would complete my entry package, an 8" solar filter made by Orion. Unfortunately, I havediscovered itis not compatiblewith my Z8 (will not fit).

...Now the question is do I return the filter for another useful item, or can someone recommend a filter that will actually fit the Z8?...

Any suggestions?... Is a solar filter worth theinvestment early on?...Is there amore usual itemI shouldbe considering when starting out?...

I am simply trying to make the most out of this mishap and turn it around for the positive.

Thank you!

The best thing is to just get under the stars. You'll figure out what you're missing soon enough.I'll guess a chair and something like the Pocket Sky Atlas will be the first things. The chair/stool needn't be an "observing chair", maybe start with something you have around already, but adjustable height is a good thing.

freddormasa

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Re: Beginner Setup... What's missing?
« Reply #9 on: January 11, 2018, 05:45:23 PM »
And, oh yeah - as long as the solar filter isn't too small to fit the tube diameter, you can make it work. If it's too small, well...measure the outer diameter and get thee to Kendrick Solar Filters; their "Visual Solar Filters with Solar Finder" are what I would recommend. You can also save money by just getting the sheets of Baader solar film and rigging something up (this isn't a precise operation at all), but I do really like my pre-made filter with attached solar finder.

Leon Ware

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Re: Beginner Setup... What's missing?
« Reply #10 on: January 12, 2018, 10:14:43 AM »
If you are really interested in seeing the Sun, then you should get a solar filter that fits. That said, the others are correct, there is nothing dangerous about having a solar filter that's too big as long as yousecure it well. Orion tells you on their website what the ID of each of their solar filters is, so take a measurement of your scope and return the filter you have for a different one if you want.

I agree with the other posters who have recommended a chair or stool and a laser collimator. The stool will make you much more comfortable while you're engrossed with the universe. The laser collimator will make the necessary task of keeping your optics aligned a two minute process.

My guess is you have pretty good skies in Oregon. If so, I'd recommend a shorter focal length eye piece. You zoom will give you 150x at the 8mm setting, which is great for deep sky on good nights. However, for double stars, lunar, planetary, and small deep sky objects, you may find you want more magnification. I would consider a 4mm eye piece for 300x, which is a magnification I find useful several times a year. I personally don't like Barlows, so I'd trade the Barlow you have for a short focal length eye piece. Of course,this purchase should wait awhile until you've decided whether or not you like the magnification range offered by the zoom you already have.

calbeyrefrows

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Re: Beginner Setup... What's missing?
« Reply #11 on: January 12, 2018, 05:45:26 PM »
Quote
Hello "Nightonians",

Where to Start... Ok, as some already know I am new to this hobby. I have tried to set myself up with a quality"Starter Kit", one that I can also grow with. So far my setup includes: Zhumell Z8, Baader Hyperion Mark IV Zoom, Zhumell 2x Barlow, Telrad, accessory case, planisphere, Turn Left at Orion (book), and small red flashlight.

...I just recently received (previously back ordered) what I thought would complete my entry package, an 8" solar filter made by Orion. Unfortunately, I havediscovered itis not compatiblewith my Z8 (will not fit).

...Now the question is do I return the filter for another useful item, or can someone recommend a filter that will actually fit the Z8?...

Any suggestions?... Is a solar filter worth theinvestment early on?...Is there amore usual itemI shouldbe considering when starting out?...

I am simply trying to make the most out of this mishap and turn it around for the positive.

Thank you!

My personal opinion is that a white light filter for reflectors is only useful for observing solar eclipses. With this scope and filter you are only going to see sun spots. You won't be able to see any surface texture at all, and you are not going to see any ejecta such as flares or coronal mass ejections. Honestly, you can only look at small black dots on a big orange disc while getting one side of your face sunburned for so long before it gets really boring. Much better to save your money and buy a refractor specially designed for solar observing. Again, just my opinion based on my own experiences.
A good observing chair is going to improve your views more than any other accessory. You can build a very simple and effective Denver chair using a couple 2x4's, some plywood, and some hardware.
You could install a cooling fan, especially if you get one out of a computer. However, your mirror is small enough that a fan is going to be of limited value. There's something to be said for not having to worry about electricity or batteries.
A laser collimator is a handy tool. I'll admit that I can't collimate my scope worth a darn without one. But for most folks it is not necessary. A Cheshire collimating eyepiece from Agena Astro is an inexpensive alternative.
A right angle correct image illuminated reticle finder, coupled with Sky Safari Plus will go a very long way in enhancing your enjoyment of the night skies. I can't recommend that combination enough.

Lcs King

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Re: Beginner Setup... What's missing?
« Reply #12 on: January 13, 2018, 02:18:30 AM »
The solution I adopted to secure loose items to the front of a scope is to use "decorator velcro". This product has one side with a sticky back, the other intended to be sewn to something. Three pieces spaced around the tube will secure anything without fears of it coming off.

vicareeti

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Re: Beginner Setup... What's missing?
« Reply #13 on: January 14, 2018, 01:26:30 AM »
I agree with wrvond, no need for the solar filter at all, big orange/white ball and a few black spots.
Laser collimator is next on your list.

Jairo Zilinskas

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Re: Beginner Setup... What's missing?
« Reply #14 on: January 14, 2018, 05:08:22 AM »
I dunno... for as inexpensive as the white light filters are... especially if you make one... I think it's cool to periodically check out sun spots... gives you some astro time during the day... handy for outreach while the sun is up... probably not the highest of priority...