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frito
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 10/05/12

Loc: Fremont, CA
Re: Telescope for 11 year old under $250? help! new [Re: GOLGO13]
      #5550903 - 12/02/12 07:39 PM

Quote:

I think to "go to"/"push to" or not to really depends on where you are observing from. Where I live there are not a whole lot of stars to hop from.

For looking at planets and the moon it certainly doesn't matter. Those are the objects most folks would look at as a beginner.

I'm glad I got push to on my 10 inch dob. I don't think I'd still be observing without some sort of electronics. I know you guys enjoy finding objects (from previous posts). I can tell you that not everyone is like that. I could care less about the finding part of observing (in fact I really don't enjoy it at all). I'm much more into the observing part.

I don't think we should assume that everyone is the same for this hobby. With an 11 year old, planets and the moon may be just fine with him. Maybe he would learn the sky and find objects. But unless we know his personality we really can't advise.

I really do like the push to scopes. They are there if you need some help (especially for hard to find targets). But you don't have to use them if you don't want. Or you can use them together with star hopping. Star hop...or just scan the sky...then if you find something interesting you can record the coordinates.

I guess in this situation the 4.5 is probably the safe bet. Then he can get a better scope later if he still has interest.




i live in a red zone, SF bay area. the only good thing about where i live is i have sort of darker eastern skies due to the lack of population in that direction on the other side of the large almost mountain sized hill in that direction. i can with ease once semi dark adapted see mag 4.0 stars. with averted vision and on a good night mag 4.5. between my rigel, 8x50 RACI and the scope i can star hop to any object visible from my location even extremely hard ones in the middle of nowhere even in darker skies like Uranus for example. the key to my success is is sky safari, the rigel and the 8x50. sky safari and the rigel get me in the general area, sky safari + the 8x50 narrows down the area with more stars and then once again sky safari and my widest true field Eyepiece confirm i've found what i think i've found. with DSO's here at home i often find things i cant or can barely even see due to the light pollution but thanks to sky safari i'm able to at least confirm i got to the right location by matching up the star patterns. this is one of the reasons i'm such a big advocate of the program. its so user customizeable for situations. you can have it display telrad rings to help if you have a telrad/rigel. you can zoom as much as you want to match the true field of your finder or eyepiece in use. you can even have the program flip and invert the displayed map making confirming locations of objects 10x easier in a dob. without sky safari i'd probably be lost and definitely would have only seen half as many objects as i have fount currently esp at home.

to each his own i suppose but goto really seems to me to take the fun out of the journey and in a light polluted area there really is a pretty limited amount of DSO's you can see very well. i put a hard mag limit of 10 for stars/star like objects on myself at home because i now know from experience anything dimmer is not going to be easy to see if even visible in the scope. at a bit darker site 45 min south of me that i frequent with other club members that is an orange zone my limiting mag jumps to 12-13 and there are at least a few hundred naked eye stars to use vs the 40-50 ish i can see from home. i also go to public star party's our club does regularly at our HQ that is at a park smack dab in the middle of the light pollution mess of san jose, a white zone. i see less stars there naked eye than at home but still plenty to make out the major constellations and i have no trouble finding things there either with my setup.


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GOLGO13
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 11/05/05

Loc: St. Louis area
Re: Telescope for 11 year old under $250? help! new [Re: frito]
      #5550976 - 12/02/12 08:20 PM

sometimes I'm overwhelmed by the number of stars at a dark site. But it certainly makes finding stuff easy. Especially ones you can see with your naked eye. Just point at something fuzzy.

I think using tools like sky safari, Telrad charts, etc. are kinda similar to using go to. Sky safari is nice to at least get a good idea of what's around an area. And learning the brighter stars.

I have a good amount of challenges at my house. And I usually have a very limited time to observe. I'm hoping to get to a better house/sky in the next year or two.


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frito
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 10/05/12

Loc: Fremont, CA
Re: Telescope for 11 year old under $250? help! new [Re: GOLGO13]
      #5551234 - 12/02/12 11:01 PM

it certaintly takes some getting used to at darker sites where there are more stars but honestly as long as you know the major constellations one can make heads or tails of it pretty quickly although you do get lost at moments sometimes.

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danyap
member


Reged: 12/01/12

Re: Telescope for 11 year old under $250? help! new [Re: frito]
      #5551350 - 12/03/12 12:57 AM

Thanks everyone for your input! I decided to check back to see if anyone else chimed in and sure enough, there's an interesting discussion going on! We're looking seriously at the 4.5 and our budget. I'd love to go bigger, but I don't think we can unless it's used. The astronomy magazine is a good idea. And this kid is pretty strong (he's a 2nd degree black belt). I think lifting won't be a problem. We'll be there to help him though, just in case. He's going to love this gift (I'm just afraid of this slippery slope we are on - in a few years he'll be asking for something serious...we better start saving up now)!

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jerwin
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 05/17/12

Loc: Romeoville IL
Re: Telescope for 11 year old under $250? help! new [Re: danyap]
      #5551385 - 12/03/12 01:57 AM

here's 2 cents of advice for the slippery slope. Don't buy an eyepiece kit. The filters (besides the moon filter) are pretty useless, and chances are the high powered eyepieces will go unused. With the exception of planets most of the time he'll use lower magnification eyepieces. A few eyepieces he'll use is a better value than a set that will let half of them collect dust.

2nd thing, BUY USED if\when you can. All too often people are a in similar situation. They buy sometime to make sure they enjoy it and then upgrade to bigger and better once the truly catch the bug. Or sell it when they realize it wasn't for them. They buy xyz eyepiece and find the eye relief isn't great for someone that wears glasses or whatnot. Most used astro equipment has a pretty set value that doesn't fluctuate that much unless someone needs cash or just wants to dump the entire lot. So if you see something that you think is a good deal, a few minutes of research in the classified section of cloudynights will show you what similar items sold for. On the same note if you buy something that doesn’t work out, someone else might by dying for it. Do a gut check on used stuff. I'll usually check out the person’s profile, and make sure they have at least posted before, hopefully they have a user rating. Or make sure they don't have a post that said, I just dropped my telescope down the stairs, what do I do now? But so far I haven't had a single bad experience buying off the cloudnights classifieds.
3rd thing. Try to be with him the first night he views Saturn. That planet still knocks my socks off every time.:)

Jim


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frito
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 10/05/12

Loc: Fremont, CA
Re: Telescope for 11 year old under $250? help! new [Re: jerwin]
      #5551410 - 12/03/12 02:27 AM

idk, eyepiece sets are not all bad. today i just bought my first seriously nice eyepiece used at the local club's swap meet, a 16mm Nagler Type 2. it cost me as much used as my Orion Sirius plossl set did brand new. does it knock the socks off the cheap Orion plossls, yes. can it split the double double, no its too low of magnification in my scope to do so. the 6.3mm plossl can split the double double with ease in my scope. i found the set to be a good value honestly and a good way to get ones feet wet with various magnification options, with the set and the 25mm i already had that came with the scope it allowed me a whopping 12 different magnification levels to play with most very well spaced out.

on the filters i agree. i've used the color filters on jupiter and mars and see very little if any extra detail with certain color's, the neutral density filter however is almost mandatory for lunar viewing. all in all i kicked the filters out of my orion eyepiece case today to make more room for the nagler. i can still see myself using the shorter focal length plossls even though i have the nagler and it does show more plantary detail than they do at a lower magnification no less. the 17,25 and 40mm are pretty much obsolete however now that i have a 38mm Q70 and the 16mm T2 Nagler. next up is a shorter focal length wide field televue or explore scientific eyepiece i'm thinking esp considering the level of detail and ease viewing jupiter tonight was with the nagler.


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danyap
member


Reged: 12/01/12

Re: Telescope for 11 year old under $250? help! new [Re: frito]
      #5551823 - 12/03/12 10:55 AM

Ok, I called a classified about an xt6 for $200 (the one I posted earlier). It was purchased in March and they are wanting to upgrade. So this may be the deal we go with. It's practically new! Thoughts on this over buying the 4.5?

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frito
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 10/05/12

Loc: Fremont, CA
Re: Telescope for 11 year old under $250? help! new [Re: danyap]
      #5551828 - 12/03/12 10:58 AM

its a great scope and will not be out grown as fast as the 4.5

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csrlice12
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 05/22/12

Loc: Denver, CO
Re: Telescope for 11 year old under $250? help! new [Re: frito]
      #5551836 - 12/03/12 11:02 AM

"you may not have used GoTo as a crutch but many folks do when they are new. it develops bad habits."

Yes, like having your eye stuck to the eyepiece......it's a hobby, however or whatever you do, it's not a bad habit; it's only how you decide to work it....


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danyap
member


Reged: 12/01/12

Re: Telescope for 11 year old under $250? help! new [Re: frito]
      #5551858 - 12/03/12 11:15 AM

Quote:

its a great scope and will not be out grown as fast as the 4.5



Great! That's what I want to hear.


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danyap
member


Reged: 12/01/12

Re: Telescope for 11 year old under $250? help! new [Re: danyap]
      #5551872 - 12/03/12 11:22 AM

Which moon filter would I need to get for the xt6? There are a few on orions website. Which would you recommend?

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csrlice12
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 05/22/12

Loc: Denver, CO
Re: Telescope for 11 year old under $250? help! new [Re: danyap]
      #5551880 - 12/03/12 11:29 AM

Go for the variable one.

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panhard
It's All Good
*****

Reged: 01/20/08

Loc: Markham Ontario Canada
Re: Telescope for 11 year old under $250? help! new [Re: csrlice12]
      #5551970 - 12/03/12 12:37 PM

+1 on the variable polarizer. With it you can tune out the light to your liking. As far as I am concerned the standard Moon filters let too much light through.

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jerwin
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 05/17/12

Loc: Romeoville IL
Re: Telescope for 11 year old under $250? help! new [Re: panhard]
      #5551997 - 12/03/12 12:47 PM

variable polizing filter is very nice. You screw it onto the bottom of your eyepiece and then just twist it to adjust the brigtness. It's crazy how bright the moon is.

Jim


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starbux
sage
*****

Reged: 02/08/06

Loc: Sunnyvale, CA
Re: Telescope for 11 year old under $250? help! new [Re: jerwin]
      #5552049 - 12/03/12 01:28 PM

Another handy aspect of a variable polarizing eyepiece is that if you separate (unscrew) the elements you can get a good view of the (about) quarter moon in the daytime with the sky darkened but not the Moon itself.

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Tony Flanders
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 05/18/06

Loc: Cambridge, MA, USA
Re: Telescope for 11 year old under $250? help! new [Re: frito]
      #5552151 - 12/03/12 02:29 PM

Quote:

its a great scope and will not be outgrown as fast as the 4.5




I can't imagine outgrowing an XT4.5; it's an extremely versatile telescope. However, an XT6 is clearly better in every way except storability, portability, and cute factor.


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Tony Flanders
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 05/18/06

Loc: Cambridge, MA, USA
Re: Telescope for 11 year old under $250? help! new [Re: danyap]
      #5552159 - 12/03/12 02:31 PM

Quote:

Which moon filter would I need to get for the xt6? There are a few on orions website. Which would you recommend?




If you're short on money, skip the Moon filter. It's a luxury at best. If you really find the Moon too bright you can always use sunglasses. But I prefer to view the Moon unfiltered in any case.


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CosmoSat
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 07/24/09

Loc: India
Re: Telescope for 11 year old under $250? help! new [Re: danyap]
      #5552308 - 12/03/12 03:44 PM

Quote:

Ok, I called a classified about an xt6 for $200 (the one I posted earlier). It was purchased in March and they are wanting to upgrade. So this may be the deal we go with. It's practically new! Thoughts on this over buying the 4.5?




A 6" has almost twice the light gathering power than the 4.5", which translates into resolution...that's something u can consider..and u are getting it at about 2/3rd the price of what its available as of now..(tho at that price u can get an 8" used too if u r willing to spend more time looking..but cant rely on that really..)


Clear skies!


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C_Moon
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 10/23/09

Loc: Beneath the arms of Cassiopeia
Re: Telescope for 11 year old under $250? help! new [Re: CosmoSat]
      #5553114 - 12/03/12 11:40 PM

I agree with the advice to skip the moon filter. I never use one.

If I were you, I'd go with the 6" scope.

Good luck.


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kfiscus
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 07/09/12

Loc: Albert Lea, MN, USA
Re: Telescope for 11 year old under $250? help! new [Re: C_Moon]
      #5553138 - 12/03/12 11:55 PM

Buy the 6" and take good care of it. You can sell it for the same $$$ if you decide to move up.

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