When I have a terrible need of - shall I say the word - religion. Then I go out and paint the stars.

- Vincent van Gogh

Equipment

14" LX850

This f/8 SCT on an LX850 mount has been my primary telescope since the summer of 2014. The increase in light gathering compared to my 12" SCT is significant. The telescope + mount is a big, heavy but therefor stable combination that brings a lot of objects within reach. In the pictures to the right the scope is set up in a Kendrick observer tent.

The equatorial mount allows for a variety of OTA's to be attached. The Autostar controller's unique tour feature is why I choose Meade.

 

 

10" Newtonian

An f/4 OTA mounted on the LX850, for wide field observing. Combined with a Paracorr and a 31mm Nagler it yields a field of view of over 2 degrees. Unfortunately, using such a fast instrument is a nightmare under humid, light polluted Dutch skies. I hardly ever use it for local observations as most objects drown in the light background.

12" LX200

Purchased in 2009, this f/10 SCT was my primary telescope until I acquired the LX850. It is mounted on a Mitty Wedge. I now use it to observe double stars from my backyard as it is quick to setup and easy to align. Using this scope I logged almost 4000 observations for over 3200 individual objects.

Accessories

It starts with a telescope, but a great many accessories prove useful, if not necessary.
A telescope without dew protection is useless in this part of the world: OTA's, finders, controllers and eyepieces are heated with Kendrick straps. Standard finders are replaced with right-angle ones. Dew shields are added to the SCT's to retain a little heat and to improve contrast. Attached to the mount is a TwelveSouth Hoverbar for the iPad, a heated tray for eyepieces and other accessories, and enough velcro to mount it to a ceiling. A 100Ah battery provides all the power I need.
When observing I use a digital memo recorder to store my observations. The eyepieces I use are TeleVue Naglers.
On astrotrips to southern France I use a Kendrick observer tent for a semipermanent setup.