Pointing a Dobsonian

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Pointing a Dobsonian

Postby Sophiecentaur » Mon Apr 25, 2016 11:54 pm

I have just bought a Sky Watcher 200mm Dobsonian on eBay (cheapy cheep) and have already managed to be really impressed with a snatched view of Jupiter, complete with coloured bands and moons, through some small gaps in the cloud.
Now, I am not tall and I can use the eyepiece with reasonable comfort by bending down a bit or, I guess, using a stool. But the Finder scope is a real struggle and I am nearly overbalancing when I lay my cheek against the scope barrel to look into the finder. I am considering getting a finder scope with a right angle viewer or perhaps a red dot finder. However, to use a red dot finder, you still have to be looking in the direction of the object so I would probably have the same problem with one of those.
Does it have to be a finder scope then?
Alternatively, do people operate Dobsonians on a platform, to bring things up to male adult eye height? I could build something in the garden and use it as a seat in the day time, perhaps.
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Re: Pointing a Dobsonian

Postby Aratus » Tue Apr 26, 2016 2:54 pm

You have realised one of the downsides of a reflector. :) They are fairly low because you need to get access to the eyepiece at the top of the barrel. The finder requires you to look upon the axis of the telescope which means contorting your neck to look through it, especially at a high altitude. I have vivid memories of an aching neck cause by trying to locate an object. :cry: Red dots etc have exactly the same kind of problem.

There are a few partial solutions. A good adjustable chair so you can get behind and under the finder whatever the position. If it isn't already, put the finder at the very end of the tube which increases the chance of getting behind it

The only other solution I know of is to use a right angled finder. A good one will imitate the view through a normal finder. I freely admit that I've never used one, but I am told you quickly get used to moving the telescope in relation to what you see through the finder.

A good stable stool is always useful in the garden! :)
I use an 11" Celestron SCT (CPC 1100) on an equatorial wedge, housed in a 2.2m Pulsar observatory. I use a ZWO ASI1600MC and Canon 500D for imaging.
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