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21475Re: What would you buy with $10-12,000?

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  • theweaveastro
    Jan 1, 2004
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      Here's my stab:

      You can easily spend most of your time polar aligning and focusing,
      so you want to buy equipment to minimize that.

      Some deep sky objects can be difficult to find, a goto scope will
      save you time.

      Having licked those problems, you can get on with imaging.

      What works for me:

      Takahashi EM-200 Temma PC Jr. mount (save money by getting the Jr, if
      you don't care about 700x slewing). $4,100 new (you may need
      dovetail plate hardware for the OTA)
      EM-200 Tripod $600.00 new
      SBIG ST-2000XM with CFW-8a. $4,500 new

      If you can buy the above used, you can save some for the OTA &
      accessories.

      Depending on the OTA, you will want a motorized focuser to use with
      FocusMax (freeware). For refractors you can probably just get a
      RoboFocus. For SCTs you may want a Crayford add-on.

      The OTA comes down to preference, get the largest aperture you can
      afford with the remaining money, but leave some money for
      accesories. But if you get a refractor, make sure it is an APO.
      Celestron has a deal: 5 eyepieces & filters for $99 with the purchase
      of one of their scopes (OTA's count).

      Make sure the OTA isn't too much for the EM-200 to handle (ask the
      group). I think most OTAs in your remaining budget should be OK. I
      like the EM-200 because it is easy to polar align, itsets up quickly
      and is portable (the counter-weight shaft retracts into the mount
      body).

      The FS-102 sale is continued until June, but that scope will probably
      push you over budget with all the accessories.

      Required accessories:
      Eyepieces
      Mounting Hardware

      Useful accessories::

      Kendrick Heaters and / or dew shields
      Optional finder scopes.
      Focal Reducers
      Powermates (instead of barlows)

      If you have existing 35mm lenses, you could consider buying one of
      the lens adapters for the ST-2000XM (one of the 3rd party ones that
      supports the CFW-8a). That can give you the wide-field views, then
      you can use a longer focal length for your OTA.

      Hopefully you find some or all of this useful,
      -Dave
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