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Best GoTo Reflector from $1000-2000

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#1 ArcToArcturus

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Posted 16 July 2013 - 09:13 PM

Hi,
I am trying to find a reflector with the following characteristics:

$1000-2000
Less than 45 pounds
Computerized

Would anyone be willing to help me find the right telescope?

Thanks!

#2 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 16 July 2013 - 09:42 PM

Hello and let me welcome you to Cloudy Nights... :whee:

As far as a GOTO reflector that weighs less than 45 lbs, I am cannot really help... Maybe the Orion XT-8G, it weighs slightly over 50 lbs but the heaviest part is well under 45lbs.

#3 okieav8r

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Posted 16 July 2013 - 10:23 PM

Hello and let me welcome you to Cloudy Nights... :whee:

As far as a GOTO reflector that weighs less than 45 lbs, I am cannot really help... Maybe the Orion XT-8G, it weighs slightly over 50 lbs but the heaviest part is well under 45lbs.


That's what I'd recommend.

Welcome to Cloudy Nights, ArcToArcturus!

#4 derangedhermit

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Posted 19 July 2013 - 07:40 PM

How about an 8" Newtonian OTA on a GEM mount? Celestron 8" f/5 on Advanced VX mount.
Parts weights: 18lb mount, 14lb OTA, 2x11 lb counterweights.

#5 Bill McNeal

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Posted 19 July 2013 - 10:55 PM

I'd suggest the 10" on the AVX. OTA itself is about 28 lbs. If Celestron doesn't sell as a bundle you'd have to buy the OTA separate.

#6 SeattleScott

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Posted 19 July 2013 - 11:33 PM

If you are looking for 45lb total weight, the closest you will get is a goto Dob. If that is your max for an individual item then you have some more possibilities. Orion Optics UK has their lightweight VX series that weigh about 25% less than the Chinese scopes. Still, my 10" weighs close to 80lbs including mount and counterweights. And it cost a little north of $2k although the 8" could fit your budget. If you are serious about goto though the alt az Dobs are supposed to be easier to align, and generally have more comfortable viewing positions as long as you like using a chair.

#7 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 20 July 2013 - 03:52 AM

I'd suggest the 10" on the AVX. OTA itself is about 28 lbs. If Celestron doesn't sell as a bundle you'd have to buy the OTA separate.


I would not recommend a 10 inch Newtonian on the AVX mount, this is the same basic mount as the CG-5 ASGT and a 10 inch Newtonian is just too big, too long and heavy for this mount.

I own the CG-5 with the 8 inch F/5, I would not recommend anything more. I also recommend that any one interested in a larger equatorially mounted Newtonian try one out before buying one. Tube rotation issues, dodging the counter weight and tripod, getting to the eyepiece can be awkward.

Equatorially mounted Newtonians used to be the standard. These days Dobsonians are far more popular. At the low end, price probably is a factor in the popularity but high end Newtonians are also almost all Dobsonians. I own both types, Dobs are just easier to use, more comfortable to look through.

Jon

#8 TexasRed

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Posted 20 July 2013 - 04:13 AM

I think the Orion XT10g is about the only things that fits your specs. The total weight is over 45 pounds, but they're made to be moved in two trips, and the base and tube each are less than 45 pounds.

#9 Starman1

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Posted 20 July 2013 - 02:28 PM

Hi,
I am trying to find a reflector with the following characteristics:

$1000-2000
Less than 45 pounds
Computerized

Would anyone be willing to help me find the right telescope?

Thanks!


A 10" dobsonian with GoTo is possible, but they are clunky and large.

However, if you knew how easy it was to find stuff with a good set of digital setting circles, a 10" Orion Intelliscope dob would be quite affordable, as well as being lighter, and leave lots of money for eyepieces, which are always left out of the telescope ensemble (yes, I know it comes with 2, but you WILL want to change them)
It's about the biggest telescope you would want with a full-tube.

If lightweight portability is of primary concern:
http://www.jmitelesc....com/buy_lb.htm
is a 10" truss-tube dob. This company can install the digital setting circles for you and send it to you complete. And it will be lighter, and easier to transport than the Orion, yet have a larger database of objects.
And still be well within your $ amount and leave extra for eyepieces.

And a 10" have a great amount of light gathering for deep sky objects.

Otherwise, it's hard to beat an 8" SCT on a computerized fork mount.

#10 Kendahl

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Posted 21 July 2013 - 12:51 PM

Aperture rules. The bigger the telescope, the more you can see. Unfortunately, bigger size means more bulk and weight and higher cost. Therefore, you want to buy the biggest telescope you can handle and can afford. That would be a Newtonian reflector.

A basic, unpowered Dob has nothing to help you find celestial objects and won't track them. A German equatorial mount with setting circles and a motor for at least the right ascension axis will do both. GoTo on a GEM is more precise than setting circles and lets you find objects by name instead of by right ascension and declination. The biggest limitation of GEMs is that they get very heavy as the aperture of the telescope increases.

The Dobsonian mount design is mechanically superior to the GEM. As a result, large Newtonians are invariably mounted on Dobsonians, not GEMs. Digital setting circles on a Dob will help you find objects but won't track them. For that, you need full GoTo. Truss tube designs are easier to handle than solid tubes because they can be broken down into smaller, lighter components.

Large Newtonians have focal ratios less than f/6. They are more sensitive to precise collimation and suffer from coma. Cats Eye and Howie Glatter make good collimation tools. There are many coma correctors available.

Orion sells a 12 inch, truss tube, GoTo Dob for $2,100. Contact their tech support to learn the size and weight of the various components.

Having JMI install GoTo on a Meade Lightbridge is an interesting idea. However, Meade's continued survival is a concern. There has been news that they may be bought by a financially stronger company or may simply go bankrupt.

#11 DeanS

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Posted 21 July 2013 - 03:38 PM

Or a 8" LX200GPS. A bit heavier but a nice compact package.

#12 ArcToArcturus

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Posted 23 July 2013 - 11:54 AM

I've been thinking about the following telescopes so far:
Celestron NexStar 8
Meade LT 8 (SC or ACF)
Meade LS 8 (SC or ACF)
Orion Skyquest XT8g
Meade LX90 8
Meade LX80 Multi-Mount
Right now I am leaning towards the NexStar (I've posted a wanted ad) but I'm open to suggestions. What do you think?

#13 csrlice12

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Posted 23 July 2013 - 12:11 PM

Due to economic circumstances, I'd be leary of anything that has a Meade label on it right now, unless its a manual scope......I'd wait till the Meade ownership/backruptsy debacle is over to see if any Meade warranties/support will be honored (they won't necessarily be honored depending on how the merger/takeover happens).

#14 Starman1

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Posted 23 July 2013 - 12:52 PM

I've been thinking about the following telescopes so far:
Celestron NexStar 8
Meade LT 8 (SC or ACF)
Meade LS 8 (SC or ACF)
Orion Skyquest XT8g
Meade LX90 8
Meade LX80 Multi-Mount
Right now I am leaning towards the NexStar (I've posted a wanted ad) but I'm open to suggestions. What do you think?

The XT8g.
1) lowest price of any listed
2) smallest secondary of any listed (more contrast)
3) fastest focal ratio of any listed (widest field of view)
4) no corrector plate to dew up. Scope relatively immune to dew.
5) lightest of scopes mentioned when tube is separated from base, so easy to transport.
6) convenient eyepiece height for sitting in a low chair.
7) Only scope with 2" focuser standard
8) Only scope with 2-speed focuser standard
9) Most useful database of all scopes mentioned.
10) Company likely to be here in a year (unlike Meade)
11) 2 eyepieces included, not one.
12) lunar tracking rate selectable easily.
13) most stable of all scopes selected.

Conclusion: it's a better scope, for less.
And because it costs less, you'll have more money for the accessories:
--observing chair
--red LED flashlight
--planisphere
--star atlas
--small folding table
--lots of winter-style clothes, including boots and gloves and hats
--cases for eyepieces and accessories
--observing log
--pens and pencils
--thermometer
--extra eyepieces (e.g. Paradigms)
--barlow lens (2X)
--nebula filter (s)
--color planetary filter(s)
--moon filter
--observing guide
--upgrade star diagonal (dielectric)
--dewshield
--anti-vibration pads for tripod feet
--eyepiece tray for tripod
--battery power pack
--thermos
--laser pointer
--binoculars
--tool kit to fix anything on the scope
--gasoline to put in car to drive scope to darker skies every now and then.

#15 mark379

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Posted 23 July 2013 - 12:58 PM

One of my favorites is the Orion XT 10 G Versatile and about the biggest I would recommend for 1 person to handle.
1300, and use the extra 700 on eyepieces...
I'd recommend either a 27 mm panoptic or 28 mm es 68 degree,maybe an e/s 14 mm
a good barlow, 2 planetary eyepieces in the 6 and 9 mm range, and you'll be happy. Get a Paracoor as funds allow to correct coma later on, and you'll have one nice viewing machine.

#16 c.bernardino

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Posted 23 July 2013 - 01:52 PM


I would not recommend a 10 inch Newtonian on the AVX mount, this is the same basic mount as the CG-5 ASGT and a 10 inch Newtonian is just too big, too long and heavy for this mount.

I own the CG-5 with the 8 inch F/5, I would not recommend anything more. I also recommend that any one interested in a larger equatorially mounted Newtonian try one out before buying one. Tube rotation issues, dodging the counter weight and tripod, getting to the eyepiece can be awkward.

Equatorially mounted Newtonians used to be the standard. These days Dobsonians are far more popular. At the low end, price probably is a factor in the popularity but high end Newtonians are also almost all Dobsonians. I own both types, Dobs are just easier to use, more comfortable to look through.

Jon


Jon,

I had a 10'' newtonian on a cg5 with goto, and it was fine for visual and solar system imaging :)
We must recall that Orion Optics (UK) newtonians are lightweight... much lighter than standard Orion/skywatcer/chinese OTA.

Any way I do agree with you on other issue: tracking/computerized dobsonians changed everything. They are perfect for me (now I own a xx12gt)

Cheers,


Carlos

#17 SeattleScott

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Posted 25 July 2013 - 11:22 PM

I got the Orion Optics UK 10" model and use it on my CG5 mount. Works quite nicely for visual use with the lightweight OTA.

#18 Bill McNeal

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Posted 25 July 2013 - 11:44 PM

Seattle, where did you get your OO VX10? Does OO ship to the US? I saw no authorized US dealers on their site.

#19 Messyone

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Posted 26 July 2013 - 12:34 AM

+1 on the VX 10. Mine is on a Skywatcher NEQ6. I got lucky and got both used for $1800. Teleskope Express sells the UK Orions.
Matt

#20 Messyone

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Posted 26 July 2013 - 02:03 AM

Just been on TS site. The OO 10" is a bit expensive but does weigh 4kg's (sorry in Australia, lbs are a mystery!) less than a Skywatcher 10" f5 Newt. The GSO 10" is lighter and cheaper than a Skywatcher 10" and much cheaper than an Orion UK scope....could then get the EQ6, NEQ6 ,Atlas second hand?

#21 SeattleScott

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Posted 26 July 2013 - 09:42 PM

I got my VX10 direct from OO. Just add a few hundred for shipping, customs and foreign exchange fee. Ended up being about the same price as 11" Celestron SCT. Not cheap but the light weight and fast cool down are nice, on top of the premium mirror, etc. I have a hard time believing GSO is significantly lighter than skywatcher. Are you sure that includes rings dovetail and finder scope? The OO spec includes all of that for 24 lbs or 11kilos. My bathroom scale agrees. But if it is beyond your budget it doesn't matter.

#22 Bill McNeal

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Posted 27 July 2013 - 12:05 AM

Thanks Seattle.

Are there any GoTo Dobs besides Orion? I'm looking for a 12" mirror, but can't find anything besides the XT12G and XX12G.

#23 Starman1

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Posted 27 July 2013 - 12:19 AM

Thanks Seattle.

Are there any GoTo Dobs besides Orion? I'm looking for a 12" mirror, but can't find anything besides the XT12G and XX12G.

The only other GoTo dobs are those to which the complete Stellar Cat system has been added (it's quite expensive).

#24 Bill Weir

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Posted 27 July 2013 - 12:42 AM

Thanks Seattle.

Are there any GoTo Dobs besides Orion? I'm looking for a 12" mirror, but can't find anything besides the XT12G and XX12G.


For some reason in the US you can't get these. http://ca.skywatcher...ail.php?sid=354
If you live close to the Canadian border it does make them an option.

Bill






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