Trying to get started - equipment thoughts Jun 26, 2019 20:39:07 GMT
Post by shannon on Jun 26, 2019 20:39:07 GMT
Hi, all. This is my first real post. I have become intrigued with the idea of video astronomy, and hope to acquire equipment and get started soon. I have spent a fair amount of time reading, trying to decide on my initial equipment purchases. My goals are to use my gear for live or near-live viewing. I am interested in viewing nearly anything in the night sky, but DSOs would be my greatest interest. Really, I'll just be happy to see whatever is out there! I would like for my equipment to be pretty light, and I would like for my monetary investment to initially be modest. If I enjoy myself and gain sufficient skill, I can invest in more expensive equipment at a later date. With that in mind, here is what I am thinking:
Telescope: 80 or 90 mm achromatic refractor (with the appropriate filters). I'm considering the Meade Infinity 90 AZ. It is a 600 mm F/6.7 scope. I figure with a 0.5 focal reducer and a 2x Barlow, it should offer some versatility and decent views. The OTA weighs 4 pounds, so wouldn't need a humongous mount. The mount that is supplied would be handy for terrestrial use or a quick peek at the moon, too! I have also considered the Celestron Omni XLT 102 AZ refractor, and the Celestron AstroMaster 80 mm refractor. The Omni 102 gives more aperture but is bulkier, and the AstroMaster is lighter and faster, but the Meade 90 mm seems a good compromise.
Mount: Given the light weights of the scopes I'm considering, I'm looking at the Explore Scientific iExos-100 EQ mount and the iOptron Cube Pro AZ mount. The iExos has a slightly higher weight capacity, but the iOptron includes GPS and doesn't require messing with polar alignment. I'm hoping that, for live viewing, field rotation won't be a huge issue, and can be mitigated somewhat through software.
Camera: Right now, the ZWO ASI224 looks like a good choice. I have a laptop and a Microsoft Surface, either of which could run the necessary software. From all I can gather from reading, this seems to be a fairly versatile camera.
So, what do you think? Meade Infinity 90 AZ plus iOptron CubePro plus ASI224 looks like my working target. What suggestions would you make? Any big pitfalls I'm not seeing?
Thanks for your insight!