Author Topic: Surprise for Husband  (Read 2109 times)

retaweawebs

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Surprise for Husband
« on: December 24, 2017, 12:12:04 AM »
Hi all,

I'm brand new here and know nothing about telescopes, astronomy, etc..  But my husband loves it, and I wish to surprise him with a telescope for Christmas, he's never had one before.  I asked him what kind of telescope he would desire and he explained an Apertura AD8 or Skywatchers Skyliner 200/1200p.  I don believe he really believes he'll get one since we usually do small gifts for one another, so I need it to become an extra surprise.  That is why I'm coming to y'all for help, rather than him. . .so please allow me to give him a fantastic surprise!!!

So, my queries...
1.  He is definitely an amateur backyard astronomer.  Are these appropriate telescopes for novices?  This is his first telescope.
2.  Where do I purchase?  I have attempted to google and can't find either of these for sale.  I must be searching in the wrong areas.
3.  What else should I buy besides the telescope?  I'm imagining something to mount it all on?  Are there any must-have accessories?
4.  I'm hoping not to discuss about $500 all-in. . .is this realistic?

I so appreciate anybody's help!!!
starrywife



Micheal Luther

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Re: Surprise for Husband
« Reply #1 on: December 24, 2017, 09:43:05 AM »
<p>Starrywife:
</p>

Hello and  Cloudy Nights.

Simply speaking, both scopes your husband has chosen are good, solid telescope suitable for novices but capable enough for an experienced observer.  These scopes come with a mount, not much else is necessary.

The Skywatcher can be obtained from Cloudy Night's sponsor, Astronomics.  It is a design layout so its easier to fit in your car.  Astronomics give CN members a discount.

Even the Apertura is no longer accessible however the essentially identical Zhumell Z-8 is, it's roughly $400 and complete it isn't collapsible, it is still quite manageable and has a nicer focuser, better finder, also comes with better eyepieces than the Skywatcher.

Your husband should be pleased with... And I wish you my very best, a loving, supportive mate is most wonderful, your husband is one lucky guy.

Jon

Kyle Montes

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Re: Surprise for Husband
« Reply #2 on: December 27, 2017, 07:29:26 PM »
http://www.astronomics.com, the sponsor of Cloudy Nights, is an extremely reliable dealer. I suggest you contact their sales staff and start the conversation. They will want your husband to be a lifelong customer, so they'll make sure he's pleased.

Daniel Lacasse

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Re: Surprise for Husband
« Reply #3 on: December 29, 2017, 10:55:42 PM »
This 8 inch Skywatcher Dob seems to be a good beginner package, with two eyepieces and a right angle finderscope:

https://astronomics....ope_p16601.aspx

This is it's listing at Astronomics. I am sure they would be happy to ship it to an address of your choosing to conceal it until Christmas.

I would suggest one other auxiliary present if you live in a community with a local astronomy club -- buy him a membership. Most clubs have lots of wise and experienced folks to help a beginner get comfortable with new equipment, as well as access to dark sky locations and quite a few activities and star parties. You would certainly enjoy it as well.

musochoolsmee

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Re: Surprise for Husband
« Reply #4 on: December 30, 2017, 05:26:09 PM »
The Skywatcher Skyliner is a truss-tube Dobsonian, and may be more difficult for a beginner to adjust the mirror system for the best possible image, and due to the truss itself. A solid-tubed version is best as a first telescope. This one comes with two eyepieces(one of which is a 2" deep-sky), a 2x barlow, a solar filter, etc....

http://www.telescope...yCategoryId=13

...or...

http://www.telescope...yCategoryId=398

With the extra $100 left by purchasing the one in the second link, you can get at least one extra eyepiece to complement the included 25mm and 2x barlow...

http://www.telescope...s?ensembleId=55

You can't go wrong with either version. I have an Orion 6" reflector, the next size down, from the same manufacturer, and it's of very good quality.

Richard Gayer

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Re: Surprise for Husband
« Reply #5 on: December 31, 2017, 04:42:17 AM »
Quote
Hi Starry!
You know, most guys would kill for a wife like you. I certainly hope your husband appreciates what you're doing for him. How much you want to bet you get diamonds next year.   

Anyway, as your husband has specified the SkyWatcher Skyliner, and the scope that was linked above, and below here, is actually a better telescope for only a couple of dollars more.

https://astronomics....ope_p16601.aspx

This one collapses for easy storage, and unlike the other one, this one actually has a setting on it for easy use of a camera. While putting you slightly over your $500, I would recommend this eyepiece to go along with the scope.

https://astronomics....iece_p4199.aspx

It's a zoom eyepiece, giving him multiple viewing magnifications in one eyepiece. Magnification changes with different eyepieces. Something called 'focal length.' The shorter the focal length, the more magnification. There's a formula, but I won't bore you with it. This eyepiece will go from 50 x to 300x magnification, and everywhere in between. Later on, as he defines his own tastes, he'll probably get a better EP, but that's for him to decide. For now, as a beginner, he'll really enjoy this. I'd like to add a couple of other things for you to keep on hand, and hidden from him.

One is a program called 'Stellearium.' It's a free program that can be downloaded from the internet, and is a planetarium on your computer. If your husband already enjoys astronomy and the night sky, he may already have it, or something like it on his computer. But, it will help him find those objects he would like to see.

Surprisingly, one of the most important items he could have is one of the least expensive, and that's a red flashlight. As we're outside, our eyes adapt to the night sky, and even moonlight can make it hard to see. We use red because our eyes are not as sensitive to red light as other colors.

https://astronomics....ght_p15223.aspx

The telescope that we've recommended here is called a Dobsonian Reflector. There are no lenses on this telescope, but there are two mirrors. There is a very large, 8" mirror at the bottom of the tube, which catches all of the light, and then reflects is up the tube to a small, angled mirror that reflects it to the eyepiece. As the telescope gets moved around, these mirrors shift slightly, and they tend to get out of something we call 'collimation.' Putting it back into collimation is not a hard task, but you do need a specific tool for it, called a collimator. They can be rather expensive, or relatively inexpensive, like this one:

https://www.astronom...tor_p20137.aspx

One of the Very nice things that comes with this scope is the small telescope that mounts on the regular one. We call these 'finder scopes' and SkyWatcher has done a very nice job of providing the user with a 'Right Angle' finder scope, which means that there is something on the back of the finder scope that we call a 'diagonal', and it turns the light 90° so that it easier for the user to look into, instead of trying to crane your neck into an awkward position to see your wide field image of where you want to be.

One other thing. You're now a registered member of Cloudy Nights, which means when you go to purchase anything from our sponsor, Astronomics, you can give them your User Name, and you'll get the 'Friends and Family' discount. From Astronomic's website.

<p class="citation">Quote

Since 2006, Astronomics has been the owner and sole supporter of Cloudy Nights, the world’s largest free astronomy forum and review site and our gift to the astronomical community. With well over 65,000 registered users, Cloudy Nights is the best site on the internet for astronomy information and family-friendly chat. You can also buy, sell, and trade your used telescope equipment on Cloudy Nights with no fees for using our classified and shop and swap sections. It doesn’t cost a cent for you to join Cloudy Nights (at www.cloudynights.com/register) and Cloudy Nights members get discounts on virtually everything we sell at Astronomics.

So, you have definitely come to the right place, young lady, and your husband is going to be doing some of these when he sees what you bought him! 

Oh, one other thing. I am very sure that if Christmas came a little early for him this year, he wouldn't mind at all!

chionewssesu

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Re: Surprise for Husband
« Reply #6 on: January 03, 2018, 04:44:59 PM »
A truss-tube Dobsonian does have its advantages: ease of storage, portability, a quicker cooling down of the mirrors for less waiting time in order to begin observing, and along with reduced tube currents given its more airy, open design. With a truss-tube, collimation(aligning) of the mirrors for best image may need to be performed more often(over that of a solid-tubed), and with this non-laser tool...

http://www.telescope...word=collimator

...and the booklet, "New Perspectives on Newtonian Collimation", available here...

http://www.catseyecollimation.com/

...might be helpful as well.

ceusesugua

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Re: Surprise for Husband
« Reply #7 on: January 04, 2018, 12:51:31 PM »
Starrywife, welcome. There is an xt 8 orion dob on clearance right now for 311 and includes shipping, leaves a little for extras. www.telescope.com , under SALE in red, scroll down to clearance.

Joel Russell

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Re: Surprise for Husband
« Reply #8 on: January 04, 2018, 05:37:00 PM »
To keep from overwhelming Starrywife, I suggest a solid tube 8" Dob. Either Orion XT8 Delux or the Zhummell Z8. Both are great entry level scopes. Easy to set up, and learn to use. Will last forever. Forgiving with light pollution. If there are children in the house, will keep them interested also. If you decide on one of these, try the eyepieces that come with them. Upgrades can go slow as needed.

Take your time and enjoy the beautiful sky. The desire for more may come soon, but again move slow. The Sky will always be there. I also totally agree with searching for an Astronomy Club in your close area. All the help you need may be found there.

in the event it is decided, that astronomy is not your cup of tea, these can be easily sold.

hope this helps some. Good luck and clear skies. Also welcome to cloudy nights.

dehimater

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Re: Surprise for Husband
« Reply #9 on: January 09, 2018, 04:32:37 AM »
The Zhumell 8" dobsonian that has been mentioned here is the best beginner scope right now. 2 speed focuser, better finder, better bearings, etc. It is the same scope as the Aperatura scope that he wanted. Get him that and you will have gotten him exactly what he wants. It is a fantastic scope. The only thing I recommend extra that you get is a Telrad to compliment the finder that it comes with.

Donnell Keown

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Re: Surprise for Husband
« Reply #10 on: January 10, 2018, 04:45:29 PM »
The most important thing.

As you can see you've wandered into a bunch of nerds who have individual opinions about small details. You're headed in the right direction, any of the options recommended will work, don't worry about which is the "best", or trying to decide who to believe. At this point, you can't make a mistake with any of these recommendations. Astronomics is a good place to do business, especially with the discount, and they can advise you about details like eyepieces.

John Fletcher

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Re: Surprise for Husband
« Reply #11 on: January 11, 2018, 12:42:11 AM »
Bobzeq25

I totally agree, with contacting our host Astronomics. My only concern is at present the Dob offerings are all truss models. For a beginner my personal opinion, is the solid tube would be more user friendly.

I whole heartedly recommend supporting our wonderful host.

holdfontrosci

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Re: Surprise for Husband
« Reply #12 on: January 11, 2018, 06:58:33 AM »
Quote
Starrywife wrote:
I asked him recently what kind of telescope he would want and he said an Apertura AD8 or Skywatchers Skyliner 200/1200p.

I use a solid-tube dobsonsian telescope that is very muchlike the Apertura that you mentioned.

One of the reasons that I love using my telescope so much is that it came with a great 2-speed focuser.The focuseremploys a 10-to-one reduction mechanism.Asa result, the focuseris extremely precise and requires just the lightest touch tooperate it. I find that I'm continually fine-tuning the focuseach time I shift the telescope and the focuser that came with mineis so smooth and effortless that it barely disturbs the image that I'm studying. Achieving perfect focusingwhile maintaininga relatively vibration-free image plays a major role in my enjoyment ofthe view produced bymy telescope. I believethis would betrue for most other telescope users. Observing the exquisite detail of planets, for example, really taxes a telescope's focusing mechanism.

I've used telescopes that utilize focusers of cruder design.I find that trying to focus them causes amore noticeable and longer lasting vibration anddisruption of theimage. After struggling with these crude focusing mechanisms, I find myself appreciating my telescope that much more.

Starting out with a properlydesigned and user-friendly focuser could bean essential ingredient in the gift thatkeeps on giving.
------------
C

trigitsipo

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Re: Surprise for Husband
« Reply #13 on: January 11, 2018, 08:56:53 AM »
StarryWife,
I have a question for you. I've been unable to find any mention of a Sky-Watcher Skyline series of telescopes. On the other hand, I have found the SynScan telescopes. Is it possible that you didn't hear your husband correctly, or that maybe he misspoke?

You've set a budget of $500, and the 8" SynScan telescope alone is over twice that budget.

http://www.skywatche...obsonian-8.html

The only difference between the telescope that I recommended in my post above the the SynScan telescope is that the SynScan is something we call a GoTo telescope. What that means is that the telescope has a couple of motors, and a computer onboard, and once 'aligned', you can simply call up any one of 40,000+ objects in the database, and then push a button, and the telescope will automatically, some of us called it 'auto-magically', move to that object. It is a wonderful way for beginners to tour the night sky.

However, if I was a husband, and my wife went out of her way to do the research, and buy me a telescope, I wouldn't care at all which one it was. I'd be bouncing off the walls.

The SynScan series of telescopes are the collapsible Dobsonian type, so I'm pretty sure that he would be very happy with the telescope that I listed from Astronomics. I don't see any way that you're going to not have a very happy husband.

Rodinald Richards

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Re: Surprise for Husband
« Reply #14 on: January 12, 2018, 04:31:53 AM »
8" dob is a great choice and the ones mentioned should do just fine for the usage stated. With him being new to astronomy I would also suggest a good stargazer's book to help learn and understand the night sky. Being a dob the scope will need to be pointed manually so knowing the sky will be crucial.

I also concur that Astronomics.com and Telescope.com are both great places to take your business.

For accessories you should be Ok with eyepieces with the initial purchase. A red led flashlight may be handy. Everything else will come with time as he learns what he needs to go along with the scope.

A good suggestionfora book(though there are many others):

http://www.amazon.co...astronomy books