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Purchasing advice for Nexstar 8SE

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#1 Unidentified130

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Posted 12 March 2013 - 10:19 AM

Hello Cloudy Nights! I have been lurking around this site and it seems this is the place for information regarding astronomy hobby. Just a quick background, i got into the hobby when i first bought a Celestron Powerseeker 70az from Walmart when it was on sale to try it out. Managed to look at the moon and jupiter which blew me away so i decided to return for a better one. Then came Orion Spaceprobe 130ST Equatorial Telescope, Orion 1.25 Inch Premium Telescope Accessory Kit, and Orion SteadyPix Universal Smartphone Telescope Photo Adapter (all of which i still own) that gave me a better views of the night sky. Even though it enhanced my viewing experience, finding objects in the sky to look at started to become a chore. After bout 4-5 months, I started looking into GO-TO computerize telescopes which I came across with the Celestron Nexstar SE series. The choices I end up contemplating of buying are the Nexstar 6SE and 8SE. Looking up the pros and cons of both telescope, it seems the 8SE got the most favors especially from this site.

The concern i'm having is should I buy a brand new or used one? As of the moment, I've been eyeing the one from Amazon since if i purchase one from their site, I can get a free 2 day shipping for the reason that my wife have a Prime account with them. Price for a new one is $1199 and the used ones I have seen fluctuate between $950-$1060. I was leaning on the used one to save money but it seems I only get a 30 day return should it break on me vs a new one with a 30 day return plus 2 year warranty from Celestron. Seems like it's a gamble if i go with the used one to save money. Any advice given to me will be appreciated.

One more thing, is the telescope decent for terrestrial viewing?

#2 Midnight Dan

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Posted 12 March 2013 - 10:42 AM

Hi Unidentified130:

Well, the new vs. used depends on your tolerance for risk. There have been a number of people here on CN who purchased new and had to return for one reason or another. So personally, I'd be leery of buying used unless you can check out the unit in person first. That 2 year warranty can be very valuable if it needs to be exercised.

-Dan

#3 hopskipson

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Posted 12 March 2013 - 06:23 PM

I think if you are going to risk used it better be a great deal. I would hate to risk $950-1060 on a used scope. Can you wait on your purchace? Sometimes theese scopes do go on sale $100-200 off. I got mine @ B&H around June for $1099 with free shipping.

#4 WaterMaster

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Posted 12 March 2013 - 08:18 PM

Hi Unidentified, and welcome to Cloudy Nights!

Buying used can save a lot of money, but I wouldn't recommend it unless you can examine the scope (and assuming you would know what to look for).

Dan hit the nail on the head - mass produced telescopes, almost by definition, are bound to produce the occasional lemon. A full warranty can be pretty comforting. :ubetcha:

#5 Unidentified130

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Posted 12 March 2013 - 08:26 PM

Unfortunately i cant examine the scope since it's an Amazon warehouse deal. Since our tax refund is still being processed, i'm in no hurry to purchase one. So i'm using that waiting time to do some research and look around first. Thanks for the replies so far. :)

#6 ben2112

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Posted 12 March 2013 - 08:33 PM

It took me almost 7 months to decide if I should go with a 6SE or the 8SE. :lol:

But when I did decide, I wanted to get something new. I am a noob so I don't know anything about scopes. So if anything were to go wrong, I had a warranty to fix any issues.

#7 BigC

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Posted 14 March 2013 - 03:50 PM

The 2 year warranty and peace of mind is not a bad deal for the difference betwen $950 and new.

My 8SE was bought used but I had some idea of what to check,plus the seller is a area businessman and the cost was well under $950.

#8 Unidentified130

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Posted 15 March 2013 - 01:00 AM

Another question... I have a celestron 7ah power tank but after reading some threads, I decided to return it since it's still under the 30 day return from amazon. From what I've gathered, there are better power tank alternatives out there. Do you guys got anything to recommend? Preferably multi purpose/use. Thanks.

#9 Tel

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Posted 15 March 2013 - 04:37 AM

Hi Unidentified130,

Welcome to CN and to this forum ! :bow::bow:

Personally, I think you are/were wise to return your 7Ah Celestron Power Tank. They are, as a Celestron branded accessory, relatively expensive for what they offer.

Certainly they will power your 'scope for much longer than any set of AA batteries contained in the mount, but their energy can be severely curtailed if, for example, they're asked to supply a dew removal heater system at the same time.

I therefore think you'll find that the better options are either a mains AC/DC transformer adapter giving an output current at 12 V of between ca.1200 mA and 2000 mA or, if you require to move your 'scope around and thereby have greater flexibility as to where you locate it, then it is hard to beat a high Ah capacity, (e.g. =/> 20Ah), 12V Autostart battery unit. Such will give you plenty of reserve power for a modest cash outlay.

Here below for example, is one such unit I've used for many years now.

Hoping this helps,

Best regards,
Tel

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#10 Peter9

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Posted 15 March 2013 - 07:22 AM

In support of what Tel has advised, here's my "jump start" unit. It's a 17ah, and cost me £19.99p. Still going strong after four years of regular (as regular as the British weather will allow) use.

Regards. Peter.

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#11 Bob Griffiths

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Posted 15 March 2013 - 07:49 AM

I power my scopes with a 35aH 12 V handicapped mobility scooter/wheelchair battery...BUT I do still own TWO 7 ah Celestron Power tans that are both over 10 years old and both still work...
Maybe I have been a "good boy" for a long time..but I've never had a problem with either of them

That said they are grossly overpriced for what you get...and the charger itself has a reputation of failing fairly quickly ...

AS noted by the others You are much better off returning it... and buy a jump start charger and save a few bucks in the process...

Bob G

#12 ben2112

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Posted 15 March 2013 - 12:26 PM

I use a Generac 15k watt generator. Oh wait.. That's for the house during hurricanes.. :lol: :roflmao:

When I got my scope, I got a kit that came with the 7ah Powertank. It works pretty good so far for me.

#13 Unidentified130

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Posted 15 March 2013 - 04:50 PM

http://www.walmart.c...findingMetho...

My local Walmart has this item for $40. Will this do the job? If I buy a port splitter, can it power the telescope and maybe a dew heater or something?

#14 Tel

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Posted 15 March 2013 - 05:47 PM

I wouldn't advise this one. From the specification it looks as if its capacity only amounts to 5 Ah. Your old unit was of 7Ah capacity !

You really need to look around for something in the region of 20Ah if you want to power such pieces of kit as dew removers which do tend to "zap" current a little !

BTW. You can always add additional outlets, (cigarette lighter ports), to most of these units, such as you can see, from my own unit above, I did.

Although I don't run my 'scope mount from my unit any more, it does serve to power my two dew removers and the cooling fan on my CCD camera.

Hoping this helps you further,
Best regards,
Tel

#15 Unidentified130

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Posted 15 March 2013 - 06:05 PM

http://www.walmart.c...5140205?find...

When I bought the celestron one, it was bout $55. Kinda trying to keep the cost around that price. The one I link above is also available at the store which might be doable for me as far as the price. Thoughts?

Thanks for the replies so far. Really helpful!!!

#16 Tel

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Posted 15 March 2013 - 06:47 PM

Looks good to me with its 22Ah capacity and two port outlets which, as I mentioned, you can always add to if required ! :waytogo:

True its more expensive than your original 7Ah "Power Tank", but there's plenty of power in this one to keep your 'scope going all night ! :lol:

Best regards,
Tel

#17 Unidentified130

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Posted 15 March 2013 - 11:09 PM

http://www.amazon.co...UQNV8/ref=wl...

http://www.amazon.co...08Y0SS/ref=w...

http://www.amazon.co.../ref=wl_it_d...

I need an opinion(s) with these 2 eyepieces and a 3x barlow on my list that i'm planning on purchasing when I get the telescope. Any info will be appreciated.

#18 Tel

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Posted 16 March 2013 - 05:33 AM

Hi Unindentified130,

Opinions will inevitably differ but personally, I would not buy any of these items for the following reasons.

1) The Celestron "Zoom" price appears to be a bargain but this eyepiece is only of standard Ploessl design offering a maximum, apparent field of view of merely 60 degrees and a very miserable 40 degrees at minimum, which you'd find is akin to looking through a drinking straw ! (Believe me, I once bought a Celestron 40mm on the naive pretext that low magnification meant wide field of view. I was wrong; my 40mm gave me the equivalent in its apparent field of view) !

2) Again, normally when one purchases a long focal length eyepiece, one is generally looking towards gaining a significantly wider field of view. Regarding this Celestron 32mm though, expect nothing greater than any standard Ploessl has to offer; i.e. that of ca. 50 degrees: (52 in this particular case).

3) Unless you're intending to carry out some lunar or planetary imaging, I find my Antares X3 Barlow a little "strong" with a tendency to lack contrast in the view and therefore of less use than the more standard X2.

So much for the negative. Now, more positively but on a general purpose basis, many of the guys here have invested in the Baader series of eyepieces, (including myself), with a few opting for the Baader Hyperion 8-25mm Zoom.

This eyepiece offers a 50 degrees apparent field of view at 24mm and a very reasonable 68 degrees throughout the rest of the 20mm, 16mm, 12mm and 8mm "clickstop" range. True this single accessory is significantly more expensive than that of the above combined price, but the quality is there.

Here's an example link to UK pricing. The price in US dollars is likely to be, (at a guess) two thirds of this.

http://www.firstligh...n-zoom-eyepi...

Hoping this helps,

Best regards,
Tel

#19 dragonslayer1

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Posted 16 March 2013 - 05:58 AM

before purchasing any extra EP, if not already I would try a 2" diagonal and EP if possible. Everyone I have showed the difference to has gone to the 2". The diagonal is not that expensive for a lower cost one. Or try Astronomy club and see if can try one of theirs,, just my $0.02
Kasey

#20 Tel

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Posted 16 March 2013 - 07:23 AM

Hi Unidentified130,

Further to the above two posts, it occurs to me that it might help if you gave us an indication as to the size of your accessory budget. :idea:

Could you provide one ? :question:

Best regards,
Tel

#21 Unidentified130

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Posted 16 March 2013 - 11:05 AM

My budget's around $1600. That covers the telescope and any other required/recommended accessories that I need. If I invest on the Baader zoom eyepiece, would I need a barlow and/or a focal reducer? Or that eyepiece will be alright by itself?

#22 Tel

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Posted 16 March 2013 - 01:02 PM

Again, only in my opnion, but I'd forget the Barlow. The Baader "Zoom" has enough range to make a Barlow unnecessary. Conversely, an f/6.3 focal length reducer can be used selectively to advantage.

For example, in the 20mm EP position, the Baader will give a magnification of 2000mm/20mm = X100 with a theoretical true field of view of 68/100 = 0.68 deg.

With the f/6.3 reducer in place, the magnification is reduced to 1260/20 = X63 with a consequent theoretical true field of view of 1.08 degs.

Perhaps Peter 9 wouild care to comment ? I believe he uses this combination extensively.

Best regards,
Tel

#23 Unidentified130

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Posted 16 March 2013 - 01:19 PM

I really appreciate you answering my questions so far!!!

Another thing, any chance you know the diameter of the baader zoom eyepiece?

http://www.telescope...ories/Orion-...

I have this with my smartphone "Samsung Galaxy S3" to take pics. Tinkering with the stock camera app and couple of other lowlight/long exposure app, I have taken really good pics of the moon. Managed to take a pic of Jupiter and orion nebula. Even though they're not high quality like the one taken with a dslr camera, it's good enough for me. Used it with the Orion Spaceprobe 130ST Telescope that I recently managed to sell to save up for the nexstar 8se.

#24 Tel

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Posted 16 March 2013 - 02:10 PM

I'm sorry, but I can't help you here as I don't own a Baader Zoom.

I have a range of individual Baaders, namely the 21mm, 17mm and 13mm, but the body size of these EPs may well differ.

Presumably, and with the camera platform in mind, you're looking for the "Zoom's" maximum body diameter ?

Best regards,
Tel

#25 Peter9

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Posted 16 March 2013 - 02:13 PM

Like Tel, I have mixed feelings regarding barlows. I do have one but apart from when observing the Moon, and in very good seeing, Jupiter and Saturn, it normally stays in the case.

Re the use of a 0.6 focal reducer, I have one on my spare 24mm x 8mm zoom. As Tel has said, it gives lower mags and a wider field. I use it when in areas that have rich star fields i.e the path of the Milky Way across the sky etc, and when looking for and at open clusters and the like. It is really nice on the eye. Fair to say thou, that I don't use it as often as did, as I now have a set of wide angle eyepieces.

When you ask about the diameter of the Baader zoom I assume you mean is it either 1.25" or 2.0". The zoom itself is a 1.5" eyepiece but it is suppied with both 1.25" and 2.0" diameter barrels.

Regards. Peter.






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