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essential accessories

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  • hnmoffatt
    Hi, I ve got an ETX-105EC with autostar and #884 tripod on order. What accessories should be considered essential for casual viewing? Dew shield, etc? I want
    Message 1 of 4 , Jun 1, 2003
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      Hi,

      I've got an ETX-105EC with autostar and #884 tripod on order.
      What accessories should be considered essential for casual
      viewing? Dew shield, etc?

      I want to be able to upgrade the autostar software but can
      make my own cable for that.

      What's the verdict on the eyepiece deal? It's quite a bit
      more than US$99 here but could still be good value.

      Thanks
      Hamish
    • Kyle Barger
      ... I have an ETX90-RA & tripod on order. I actually got a scope already, except it arrived broken into a couple pieces. Even tho Woodland Hills shipped me a
      Message 2 of 4 , Jun 1, 2003
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        At 02:20 PM 6/1/03 +0000, hnmoffatt wrote:

        >Hi,
        >
        >I've got an ETX-105EC with autostar and #884 tripod on order.
        >What accessories should be considered essential for casual
        >viewing? Dew shield, etc?

        I have an ETX90-RA & tripod on order. I actually got a scope already,
        except it arrived broken into a couple pieces. Even tho Woodland Hills
        shipped me a new one immediately it's still a week for UPS coast-to-coast
        shipping... arrrgghh... course it doesn't matter much because we only have
        clouds in the forecast!

        >What's the verdict on the eyepiece deal? It's quite a bit
        >more than US$99 here but could still be good value.

        I already have a small collection of eyepieces from the other telescopes
        I've used. Even so, I'd jump at the eyepiece deal if I had the
        chance. Compare it to your local prices for the individual eyepieces.

        Other accessories... hmmm.... I've never felt the need for a dew shield,
        but if I did I think I'd do a homemade one rather than pay for an
        off-the-shelf one.

        Don't know if you consider these "accessories" as such but a good set of
        charts goes without saying. A lot of people like Sky Atlas 2000 but I
        personally have found Uranometria more helpful. Though computer software,
        including some of the free stuff, may be good for printing customized
        charts too. eYMMV as usual. Oh, and a red flashlight.

        Some kind of finder seems to be in order. There seems to be general
        consensus that the stock ETX90 finder is not too useful. I am a big fan of
        the Telrad from using dobs, so I have ordered the Rigel QuikFinder & will
        work with that a while before I decide whether to go for the right-angle
        finder.

        Another "consensus" item for the ETX seems to be a focus knob extender..
        there are some commercial ones as well as ideas for putting your own together.

        A solar filter is not "essential" but nice to have. Colored planetary
        filters have never done much to me, but then, I've always had short-focus
        scopes, so things may be different with the ETX. I've never tried light
        pollution filters.
      • Henry
        Get the eyepiece deal. a lot of people bag on it but it s great. If all you use (and you will) are the 32mm, the 40mm and the case you are money ahead. You
        Message 3 of 4 , Jun 2, 2003
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          Get the eyepiece deal. a lot of people bag on it but it's great. If
          all you use (and you will) are the 32mm, the 40mm and the case you are
          money ahead. You should get a barlow. You can follow the string about
          barlow's that has been going on. I also say a solar filter is a must
          IMO. The first time you look at a sun spot that is 100 times bigger
          that the earth it will blow your mind. Just be sure to enjoy the scope
          and don't be afraid to ask questions. hjs



          --- In ETXASTRO@yahoogroups.com, Kyle Barger <kyle@b...> wrote:
          > At 02:20 PM 6/1/03 +0000, hnmoffatt wrote:
          >
          > >Hi,
          > >
          > >I've got an ETX-105EC with autostar and #884 tripod on order.
          > >What accessories should be considered essential for casual
          > >viewing? Dew shield, etc?
          >
          > I have an ETX90-RA & tripod on order. I actually got a scope already,
          > except it arrived broken into a couple pieces. Even tho Woodland Hills
          > shipped me a new one immediately it's still a week for UPS
          coast-to-coast
          > shipping... arrrgghh... course it doesn't matter much because we
          only have
          > clouds in the forecast!
          >
          > >What's the verdict on the eyepiece deal? It's quite a bit
          > >more than US$99 here but could still be good value.
          >
          > I already have a small collection of eyepieces from the other
          telescopes
          > I've used. Even so, I'd jump at the eyepiece deal if I had the
          > chance. Compare it to your local prices for the individual eyepieces.
          >
          > Other accessories... hmmm.... I've never felt the need for a dew
          shield,
          > but if I did I think I'd do a homemade one rather than pay for an
          > off-the-shelf one.
          >
          > Don't know if you consider these "accessories" as such but a good
          set of
          > charts goes without saying. A lot of people like Sky Atlas 2000 but I
          > personally have found Uranometria more helpful. Though computer
          software,
          > including some of the free stuff, may be good for printing customized
          > charts too. eYMMV as usual. Oh, and a red flashlight.
          >
          > Some kind of finder seems to be in order. There seems to be general
          > consensus that the stock ETX90 finder is not too useful. I am a big
          fan of
          > the Telrad from using dobs, so I have ordered the Rigel QuikFinder &
          will
          > work with that a while before I decide whether to go for the
          right-angle
          > finder.
          >
          > Another "consensus" item for the ETX seems to be a focus knob
          extender..
          > there are some commercial ones as well as ideas for putting your own
          together.
          >
          > A solar filter is not "essential" but nice to have. Colored planetary
          > filters have never done much to me, but then, I've always had
          short-focus
          > scopes, so things may be different with the ETX. I've never tried
          light
          > pollution filters.
        • Mark Graybill
          ... As far as essential accessories, I think a finder replacement would about cover it. I m not sure what the standard eyepieces are that come with the
          Message 4 of 4 , Jun 2, 2003
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            > Date: Sun, 01 Jun 2003 14:20:26 -0000
            > From: "hnmoffatt" <hamish@...>
            > Subject: essential accessories
            >
            > Hi,
            >
            > I've got an ETX-105EC with autostar and #884 tripod on order.
            > What accessories should be considered essential for casual
            > viewing? Dew shield, etc?
            >
            > I want to be able to upgrade the autostar software but can
            > make my own cable for that.
            >
            > What's the verdict on the eyepiece deal? It's quite a bit
            > more than US$99 here but could still be good value.
            >
            > Thanks
            > Hamish
            >
            As far as "essential" accessories, I think a finder replacement would about
            cover it. I'm not sure what the standard eyepieces are that come with the
            scope, but you'll want at least two, one of low magnification (say, in the
            20-32mm range), and another that gives a moderate level of maginification
            (somewhere from 9 to 12mm.) You probably won't feel the need for more
            magnification until you're comfortable with the touchier focusing for the
            higher levels of magnification. Then you'll want something in the 4-6mm
            range. A lot of folks like Barlows to get the higher magnification.
            Personally I prefer to have a small set of eyepieces that are all parfocal,
            so that I don't have to refocus each time I change eyepieces. That way the
            focuser for the ETX becomes a non-problem for me, I focus once each night
            and leave it alone. Using a Barlow requires refocusing, and adds more glass
            between me and the object I'm viewing when I want it the least--when I'm
            looking at fine detail at high power. The eyepiece deal would certainly
            cover you on eyepieces, regardless, and would give you a selection from
            which to choose your favorites.

            If you're planning on viewing Mars over the next few months, I _highly_
            recommend some color filters to bring out the detail of the planet. Mars'
            detail is really subtle, and a small set of color filters will make a huge
            difference in what you see. You can get sets of filters for the price of an
            inexpensive eyepiece. For Mars I recommend at the very least either an
            orange filter or both a yellow filter and a red filter. I also strongly
            recommend a blue filter. A green filter can be useful, too, but I've found
            it of less use on Mars than the others I mentioned. The red/orange/yellow
            filters will bring out surface detail (I find red brings out subtle shadings
            of the surface best, while yellow brings out surface detail, and orange lies
            somewhere in the middle.) The blue brings out the polar caps and atmospheric
            detail.

            I managed to get some time in observing Mars this weekend, and it's already
            spectacular. I spent about two hours observing it through different filters
            and filter combinations, making sketches of the detail through each. I'm
            going to be getting myself up in the middle of the night sometime this week
            to see it again, rather than waiting until next weekend.

            -Mark G.
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