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Topics - isveheartle

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Well, I have almost narrowed this choice down to these 2 telescopes (the one that comes with the AVX and the OMNI XLT 150).

If you only look at the OTA, I have hard time deciding which way to go:

The AVX telescope has a smaller secondary mirror, 1.25" focuser, and interesting hex-screws in the back for collimation.
The OMNI XLT has a larger secondary mirror, 2" focuser, traditional colliation screws and XLT coatings.

Why should I pick one over the other for primarily visual - only looking at the OTA?


I'm brand new to amateur astronomy, having just acquired my first scope - an 8", f6 dob (XT8 Plus, specifically). I've taken it out every clear night and I'm already sure that this will be a hobby I will be investing some time (and money) in. I've spent some time reading through these forums, and have read through two highly recommended books ("Nightwatch" & "Turn Left at Orion"), but there are some things I could use some further advice on:

1. Light pollution: I live in an urban environment (Alameda, CA - basically downtown Oakland) and the light pollution is awful. I have 3 young kids, include a 1 month old, so my ability to get away from home to seek out dark skies will be limited for the foreseeable future. I understand that many deep sky objects will remain out of reach from my location, but I still want to seek out all the open clusters and multi star systems and any other bright objects that I can from my own backyard. Considering my gear, and that I have no GoTo technology, I'm reliant on star hopping to find my targets, which is quite difficult with my severe light pollution.I had considered getting an extreme wide angle eyepiece at low power with which to break through the pollution to navigate the skies for star hopping purposes.Is this a feasible solution? Perhaps coupled with a broadband filter?Any other advice on star hopping in severe light pollution without GoTo technology? Also, can you please recommend a resource for light pollution maps?

2. Filters:I'm considering purchasing two different filters, a broadband filter to dampen light pollution (noted above - although I question how helpful it will be), and a narrowband filter for nebula viewing from home and on rare occasions when I can get away from the city. Regarding the narrowband, I've read great reviews on the DGM NPB, so that's currently at the top of my list. With that in mind, I'd rather not pay the full $150, so I'm mulling the idea of getting the "cosmetic 2nd" discounted piece from Amazon (, but I'm concerned about the fact that the flaws include "cosmetic flaws, such as pinholes, sleeks, or light scratches". Are these flaws significant when it comes to filters?Or should I trust DGM when they say "flaws which have zero impact on optical performance. Spectral characteristics are the same high quality as our first quality filters and side by side performance is indistinguishable."

3. Eyepieces:There's so much information out there on eyepieces, it's difficult to settle on which eyepieces to target next. The XT8 Plus comes with an Orion 10mm plossl and 28mm "Deep View". The plossl seems well enough for now, but I don't feel that the Deep View provides enough FOV for a lower power eyepiece, so I think a low power, wide angle eyepiece will be my next purchase.With that in mind, any recommendations on the ideal "True FOV" to shoot for low power viewing? I know 2"+ will be necessary to take in all of thePleiades and Andromeda (for example), but is 2" considered overkill, or is this a good TFOV to shoot for? Any other eyepiece advice you can provide regarding building a strong initial eyepiece set would be helpful as well (considering mid to high-tier options).

Thanks a lot!

Hi all.

Have a collection of 4 inch, 5 inch, and 6 inch F5 achromatic objective lenses. These lenses forte is obviously wide, low power views and I look forward to catching the summer Milky Way shortly.

So, aiming for a 6mm exit pupil give or take, which implies a 30mm focal length give or take.

Well, I ain't affording me no dangnabitly expensive Televue grenades, so ES is it.

ES makes a 30mm give or take a bit eyepiece in both the 68 degree and 82 degree models. And the price differential is not that great (something like $220 vs $290).

My main question would be this. How does the center 68 degrees of the 82 degree model compare to the 68 degree model? I would assume it is as good if not actually better but I don't know that (and if it was significantly worse I might go the 68 degree route).

And, how do you folks feel about the performance in general of these eyepieces in an F5 refractor?

Thanks for any input!

Light Pollution Topics / This Can't Be Good News
« on: December 29, 2017, 01:26:30 AM »
This is horrible news. There are plans to build and launch a 250 mile wide solar panel around the moon.


Beginners Forum / Filters: Cost effective suggestions
« on: December 28, 2017, 09:46:36 PM »
I'm trying to research all the different filter types and what they do. If I wanted to view nebula in general what type of filter/s would I use? Can anyone mention some decent ones under $100? If I wanted to view galaxies what type of filter/s would I use?

I recently purchased an ES 82 30mm and am wondering if it would be better to just buy a 2" filter for the eyepiece to view nebula through rather than purchasing a 1.25" filter for the other eps that I have.

If I were to purchase one filter to start off with what would your suggestion be? (dark skies not being an issue)

Eyepieces Questions & Recommendations / High(er) Power in smaller SCT's?
« on: December 27, 2017, 11:35:55 PM »
I'm redoing my eyepiece collection after a number of years of inactivity and what I have doesn't work well with my new C6 and fairly new C8. Tele Vue's web site recommends a 9mm for "high power". Is he being very conservative? Doing some math, a 7mm would produce ~35x/inch in each while retaining a doable exit pupil. The seeing where I observe is usually decent to very good.
I've done a fair amount of reading here and most discussions are about absolute max power or eyepieces for larger SCTs (10-11-14-etc.)

What do you SCT owners reach for when conditions permit solar system observing?

I usually image from my backyard in light polluted California. I can easily plug in with an AC-DC power supply directly into the wall to the mount and this works all fine and dandy. So my friend and I decided to invest in a Deep Cycle Marine battery, purchased a DC/Cigarette plug, stripped the wire down and added Anderson Powerpoles.

When we plugged in the jack into the mount port, nothing turned on. After 5 sec, I did however hear the scariest thing ever - a pop.
I freaked out turned it off. I plugged back in the original wall power supply, and prayed that the mount turned on. It did! Hand controller seemed to be working properly too. Slewing capabilities seemed to function just fine as well.We realized later at the end of the night that we made the same mistake this guy made:We reversed the polarity on the anderson powerpole connectors.

I'm really nervous and scared that I fried something on the board, and have a loss of function somewhere. I'm at work right now and can't check, but am wondering if someone can help me investigate the possibility of what blew out. I'm quite nervous in dissecting out the mount.

I'm really disappointed in this all. I know I could have easily checked and avoided this. With that being said, I'm still a bit optimistic because it did turn on. Anyone have any experience with something like this?

Reflectors Telescopes Forum / Parabolic or spherical primary mirrors
« on: December 27, 2017, 12:16:22 PM »
Out of curiosity do all reflectors have parabolic mirrors unless they have a corrective lens when a spherical mirror is used, I have seen some low cost reflectors with spherical primary and no corrective lens or is it only "bird jones "scopes that have spherical mirrors

ATM, Optics and DIY Forum / Your Hubble Moments
« on: December 24, 2017, 06:51:36 PM »
This morning I had a "Hubble Moment".  I define a Hubble Moment as an action or dimension that's done very accurately, while overlooking something obvious, leading to an unsatisfactory outcome.

My first Hubble Moment came after I drilled two holes quite attentively in a sheet of material so they would line up with the piece I was attaching.  My pride at the neat outcome was short-lived, when I understood I'd oriented the line between the holes 90 degrees from where it should have been.

I came up with the title Hubble Moment in (dis)honor of this celebrated Hubble Space Telescope mirror error.  It was touted as the very precise large mirror ever made, but due to a faulty measuring apparatus, it had just two wavelengths of spherical aberration, an error that could cause any amateur mirror maker to hang his head in shame.

Please share your Hubble Moments.  Maybe it will help the rest of us avoid bone-headed mistakes.

Beginners Forum / Does it make sense to keep smaller telescopes?
« on: December 24, 2017, 09:37:53 AM »
I recently purchased a 12" truss dob.  It fits in my vehicle better than my 8" strong tube dob, so it's going to surely see more use.
What say you, CN?  Keep both or sell the smaller?  I really don't have a great deal of money in the 8, so fiscal recovery is not a big concern, storage is your question.

Beginners Forum / 1st scope se8 What can I see?
« on: December 24, 2017, 03:25:08 AM »
On a ordinary night say looking at the moon with a filter.  What do I expect to see?  I've seen photo's of the moon that seem to have sand shifts moving down the craters.  Will I be able to see something like this with mine?

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