I’ve gotten back into the stargazing over the past few years, and I’ve been lucky with the browsing of the classifieds and getting some really good bargains.
My current telescope stable:
- 12″ f4.9 Skywatcher 300P Flextube dobsonian, partly flocked. I may yet get a premium chassis for the optics and get goto and driving.
- 8″ F4 Skywatcher Quattro imaging newtonian used primarily for video astronomy but better than I expected for deep sky visual. Secondary is too big to make a great planetary scope. Needs a little flocking, a tube extension,maybe a primary mirror fan, and a diagonal mirror warmer. I think this scope will be useful to modify.
- 6″ f5 Celestron C6N newtonian, currently spare and for sale
- 80mm f/6.2 Celestron Onyx ED refractor, fully flocked internally. This is my main grab’n’go scope but it has pretty amazing optics.
- 70mm f/5 Ian King Imaging ED refractor, also fully flocked, which is airline portable in overhead baggage with the Mini Portamount below.
- 50mm Stellarvue F50 finder/guidescope.
- Coronado PST for solar H-Alpha observation.
- Celestron AVX mount. This now has a StarSense accessory for automated alignment and pointing. Useful for video astronomy and basic astrophotography.
- EZCPB Equatorial table. Handy for the big dob, even if the tracking is pretty poor.
- Skywatcher AZ-3 with slow motion controls. Definitely needs a counterweight to work better
- Vixen Mini Portamount, with shortened legs aiming at airline portability. Matches well with the 70mm F/5 scope
- Manfrotto 3-way head on Meade ETX tripod.
There’s currently a proper car battery to power the AVX and the associated video paraphernalia. There’s a plan to build a better power box and distribution board.
- 31mm Celestron Luminos 82°
- 4.7mm, 8.8mm, 18mm and 24mm 82° Meade 5000 UWA.
- 16mm Meade 5000 SWA.
- 8-24mm mk2 Baader Zoom.
- William Optics binoviewer with a pair of 20mm WA eyepieces and a pair of 25mm SW ploessls.
- 2.25x Baader Zoom barlow.
- TeleVue 2x barlow.
I’ve got quite a few filters as well including an O-III, UHC, and a selection of 8 Wratten colour filters. There’s a couple of hard cases for the scopes and accessories.
In addition to the dedicated astro equipment above, I got my hands on a Skywatcher Synguider for auto guiding purposes. I’ve got a Canon 600D with a selection of lenses (kit 18-55mm, 50mm f1.8, 35mm f2.0), and a Samsung SCB-4000 low-light camera with a few C-mount lenses as well as an adaptor to attach the Canon lenses.
If you check my Flickr account, you can see some of my astrophotography attempts, as well as some of my solar system imaging.
Astro hardware in my (ideal, cash-rich) future:
10Micron 1000HPS portable German mount, Aries tripod.
2nd/h CPC1100 EdgeHD with hyperstar for video work
Skywatcher Stargate 500 goto 20″ dob
And if I won the lottery, a scope like a Webster C32 f/2.7 – a man can dream!