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General Astronomy >> Beginners Forum

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jrcrillyAdministrator
Refractor wienie no more
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Reged: 04/30/03

Loc: NE Ohio
Re: goto telescope bad for a beginner ? new [Re: howard929]
      #5606243 - 01/05/13 10:16 AM

Quote:

I suspect but don't know this, that with GoTo the experience is "that's nice, NEXT!!" as apposed to finding and actually looking.




From what I've seen, folks engaging in any hobby activities tend to concentrate their efforts on things that interest them. Thus, folks who enjoy finding objects spend more time finding them and folks who enjoy looking at objects spend more time looking at them them. Nothing else would make sense. Anyone who concentrates on an uninteresting (to them) activity because someone else thinks they should is missing the point of having a hobby and is getting less out of it than they could be.


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howard929
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Reged: 01/02/11

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Re: goto telescope bad for a beginner ? new [Re: CJK]
      #5606247 - 01/05/13 10:18 AM

Quote:

Quote:

I suspect but don't know this, that with GoTo the experience is "that's nice, NEXT!!" as apposed to finding and actually looking.




That depends on your attitude and goals, I suppose, like anything else. I don't think it's fair to imply that using a GoTo system somehow makes astronomy less rewarding.

-- Chris




You missed the point. It's got nothing to do with rewarding and everything to do with observing.

For me astronomy is all about patients, work = reward. And looking, trying to find some nuance that I haven't already noticed. I find that to be time well spent and rather rewarding. As I said, I don't know this to be true but I do suspect it is with GoTo that that's not typical.


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jturie
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Reged: 11/19/12

Loc: Valley Forge, PA
Re: goto telescope bad for a beginner ? new [Re: jrcrilly]
      #5606255 - 01/05/13 10:22 AM

Speaking as a newbie goto scope owner, I think goto is a great thing for beginners. I agree that I tend to hop from object to object right now, but as I gain more experience, I will settle down and study the objects more.

In my heavy light polluted location, I would probably not have been able to find half of the objects by star hopping. Difficult to get from point A to point D when you can't see points B and C. I will eventually start driving to darker locations once I get remote power, but if I had to do it every time, things would become painful quickly.


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dpwoos
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Reged: 10/18/06

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Re: goto telescope bad for a beginner ? new [Re: jrcrilly]
      #5606260 - 01/05/13 10:23 AM

In our club, I would say that the NON-goto folks spend more time finding stuff, but also more time looking at stuff, too. Of course, we also have astro imagers who spend a huge amount of time doing neither, but are doing what they love to do. An important factor is how much light pollution one has to live with. Here in Vermont the skies are fairly dark, and so NON-goto is easy to do. If we had bad light pollution the story might very well be different.

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CJK
professor emeritus


Reged: 12/05/12

Loc: Northeast TN
Re: goto telescope bad for a beginner ? new [Re: jrcrilly]
      #5606268 - 01/05/13 10:30 AM

Quote:

Quote:

I suspect but don't know this, that with GoTo the experience is "that's nice, NEXT!!" as apposed to finding and actually looking.




From what I've seen, folks engaging in any hobby activities tend to concentrate their efforts on things that interest them. Thus, folks who enjoy finding objects spend more time finding them and folks who enjoy looking at objects spend more time looking at them them. Nothing else would make sense. Anyone who concentrates on an uninteresting (to them) activity because someone else thinks they should is missing the point of having a hobby and is getting less out of it than they could be.




Spot on.

-- Chris


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Eric63
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Reged: 06/16/12

Loc: Ottawa, Ontario
Re: goto telescope bad for a beginner ? new [Re: CJK]
      #5606293 - 01/05/13 10:42 AM

I try to get the best of both worlds with my SW AZ4. The smooth az mount is perfect for hunting (which I love), and if I get frustrated or don't feel like spending too much time, I use the setting circles on the mount and my Ipod App. Works great all the time, even in light pollution.

Eric


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Cliff Hipsher
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Reged: 12/31/08

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Re: goto telescope bad for a beginner ? new [Re: dodomang]
      #5606320 - 01/05/13 10:59 AM

I say go for it. With a GoTo Dob you get the best of both worlds. You can learn to manually star hop, and when the kiddies gather round you can punch some buttons and give them a tour.

FWIW, I'm looking for a nice DOB to go with my 2080 SCT.


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NeilMac
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 09/25/10

Loc: MedHat, AB, Canada
Re: goto telescope bad for a beginner ? new [Re: Cliff Hipsher]
      #5606330 - 01/05/13 11:04 AM

I have the XT8i and have never used the intele part of the scope yet, dont miss it since haven't used it and Im limited to whats bright at the time. Once I actually have clear skies and can line up the scope then I'l get to use it.
Whats bright are worthy of looking at is always posted here so one does not realy need to have some electronic gadget to show you whats what, I could have saved $200 and got some EP's


Edited by NeilMac (01/05/13 11:06 AM)


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Maverick199
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Re: goto telescope bad for a beginner ? new [Re: dodomang]
      #5606383 - 01/05/13 11:29 AM

If you even start thinking the goTo will be bad for a beginner, then you are already resigned to the fact it will be bad for star hopping.

I started star hopping due to extremely bad light pollution at my place before I went goTo. During that time, with help from my kids, when we discovered galaxies or nebula, the feeling was great. Same can't be said about goTo's. But if you are inclined to learn, then even goTo can be useful.


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csrlice12
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Reged: 05/22/12

Loc: Denver, CO
Re: goto telescope bad for a beginner ? new [Re: CJK]
      #5606388 - 01/05/13 11:32 AM

A 10XTG for $465? If its in good shape--go for it. Yes, its heavier, and takes longer to set up, and needs power, and is a little stiff if you "go manual"....but you're getting GoTo and tracking with a 10" Dob!!!!!! The XTg does weigh quite a bit more then the XTi....but the views in that 10" are fantastic. That's actually a great price as long as it's in good shape...

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jgraham
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Reged: 12/02/04

Loc: Miami Valley Astronomical Soci...
Re: goto telescope bad for a beginner ? new [Re: Maverick199]
      #5606396 - 01/05/13 11:35 AM

This is a learning process and there is no right way or wrong way. This can be just another tool in your toolbox, and a fun one at that. Having one will not prevent you from exploring other observing methods and it will help you find things easily.

Enjoy.


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frito
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 10/05/12

Loc: Fremont, CA
Re: goto telescope bad for a beginner ? new [Re: jgraham]
      #5606468 - 01/05/13 12:08 PM

If the scope is in good condition its a steal at that price. as Jon said last page one thing to consider is this scope has electroncis and moving parts and if they break you will probably have a hard time getting replacements from Orion because you did not buy it from them. with Orion's normal and even push to dobs this isn't a huge factor because you don't need to get any parts from them generally speaking, they are just basic dobs. if this goto dob's tracking system breaks you're going to have to do some modifications to get it moving smoothly like a manual dob should on its own but its not impossible to convert it in the event that does happen.

on the point about goto and newbies. well its to each his own in this regard. i personally am very glad i went the manual dob route because its forced me to learn the night sky and with the help for sky safari for my mapping needs on my tablet i've found that while a goto or push to setup would be neat to have i don't have any real desire for it. if you fix up the bearings on manual dobs and get wide field high mag eyepieces even tracking planets manually becomes an easy task.

now you said you have had an alt az refractor for awhile now. as long as your confident that you can do the alignment procedure and you know its what you want then go get it. for brand new folks i never want to recommend EQ mounted scopes goto or not. at least with a goto dob you don't have to mess with setting up a tripod and mount and then polar aligning it. just last night we had a new guy out at a dark site with us. pretty much everyone but myself and this guy were out there doing imaging. he was lost and in the dark trying to setup his Sirius EQ-G mount and refactor for like a long time. Ed one of our main guys in the club who does imaging a lot had to spend a bunch of time basically setting it up for him. even once he was down to the star alignments he had trouble because he had no idea where the stars named in the controller were in the sky. meanwhile i brought not one but two dobs out a 12" Lightbridge and my XT10 i setup and was observing in 15 min and packed up in the same amount of time. meanwhile he took hours to setup and still longer than me to tear down.

i see this fairly often with new people who buy nice goto scopes and every time i just think to myself if i had to go through that kind of setup every time i wanted to get some observing in i think i would be more reluctant to actually do it and what is often said that is the absolute truth buy what you know you will get out and use the most often.


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CJK
professor emeritus


Reged: 12/05/12

Loc: Northeast TN
Re: goto telescope bad for a beginner ? new [Re: frito]
      #5606493 - 01/05/13 12:21 PM

FWIW, I was able to polar align my daughter's Sirius EQ-G mount the last two nights in about 10 minutes. (I've never had a GEM mount, and I've not had a telescope at all for more than 35 years.) And this was in a much less than optimal location (front porch of my house, with limited views in most directions and significant LP).

The keys for me were reading the manual quite thoroughly and practicing with the controller in the bright, warm living room and having Sky Safari running on my iPad so I could figure out where the named stars the hand controller was suggesting were located. It also helped to do the alignment just after sunset, when basically only the brightest stars were visible -- it made it easier to pick them out.

-- Chris


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frito
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 10/05/12

Loc: Fremont, CA
Re: goto telescope bad for a beginner ? new [Re: CJK]
      #5606507 - 01/05/13 12:31 PM

Quote:

FWIW, I was able to polar align my daughter's Sirius EQ-G mount the last two nights in about 10 minutes. (I've never had a GEM mount, and I've not had a telescope at all for more than 35 years.) And this was in a much less than optimal location (front porch of my house, with limited views in most directions and significant LP).

The keys for me were reading the manual quite thoroughly and practicing with the controller in the bright, warm living room and having Sky Safari running on my iPad so I could figure out where the named stars the hand controller was suggesting were located. It also helped to do the alignment just after sunset, when basically only the brightest stars were visible -- it made it easier to pick them out.

-- Chris




i have no doubt that with use and practice you get good at it. setup still takes anywhere from 3-6 times longer than a manual dob. the hardest part of setting up a manual dob is carrying it the goto dob would be easier than a goto EQ mount no doubt about it but one still has to go through the star alignments. just making sure the OP know what he will have to do to use this scope.

my point is however that you have to setup most goto scopes. some folks struggle with this more than others. i know personally even though i have never setup a goto scope ever before i'm pretty sure i can get it done with relative ease once i figure out how to assemble the mount but i'm seasoned enough that i can pick out bright guide stars and find polaris without even needing a map or sky safari to help me.

Edited by frito (01/05/13 12:32 PM)


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CJK
professor emeritus


Reged: 12/05/12

Loc: Northeast TN
Re: goto telescope bad for a beginner ? new [Re: frito]
      #5606526 - 01/05/13 12:43 PM

Quote:

i have no doubt that with use and practice you get good at it.




I probably should have made it clear that those were the first two times I've ever aligned a scope. Not bragging, just don't want the OP to think it's impossible for a newbie, because I am DEFINITELY a newbie!

Quote:

setup still takes anywhere from 3-6 times longer than a manual dob. the hardest part of setting up a manual dob is carrying it the goto dob would be easier than a goto EQ mount no doubt about it but one still has to go through the star alignments. just making sure the OP know what he will have to do to use this scope.




I can't imagine anything being easier to set up (other than carrying it, as you say) than a manual Dob! And I completely agree that it's probably the best type of mount for someone who (a) doesn't want to spend a lot on a mount and/or (b) wants to get out and start observing with a minimum of fuss.

That said, I was prepared to deal with a little more fuss and time in setting up my daughter's scope because I wanted the pluses I could only get with a computerized GEM.

-- Chris


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Jon Isaacs
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Reged: 06/16/04

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Re: goto telescope bad for a beginner ? new [Re: CJK]
      #5606550 - 01/05/13 12:50 PM

Over years, I have literal bought 100s of telescopes. I have gotten some amazing deals, I have gotten stung a few times and I have avoided some misrespresented scopes. Buying used telescopes takes experience. This is what I see:

This is a $1300 telescope that should essentially new. For someone to offer it for $465 is very suspicious. In my mind, if it were in good operating condition, it should bring around $1000. The fact that some one is willing to offer it to you for $465 suggest to me that there is something wrong with that cannot be repaired.

Certainly a working 10 inch goto Dob for under $500 would be a great deal but I wouldn't touch this scope unless I could see it in person and test it. It just seems too good to be true. If you were to buy the scope and it did not work, you would be stuck.

You get the scope in the boxes... It doesn't work when you try it out and the seller either disappears or claims that it did work...

Jon

Edited by Jon Isaacs (01/05/13 05:10 PM)


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panhard
It's All Good
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Reged: 01/20/08

Loc: Markham Ontario Canada
Re: goto telescope bad for a beginner ? new [Re: Maverick199]
      #5606556 - 01/05/13 12:52 PM

Quote:

If you even start thinking the goTo will be bad for a beginner, then you are already resigned to the fact it will be bad for star hopping.

I started star hopping due to extremely bad light pollution at my place before I went goTo. During that time, with help from my kids, when we discovered galaxies or nebula, the feeling was great. Same can't be said about goTo's. But if you are inclined to learn, then even goTo can be useful.


+1

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Napersky
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 01/27/10

Loc: Chicagoland
Re: goto telescope bad for a beginner ? new [Re: panhard]
      #5606780 - 01/05/13 02:59 PM

I had a Goto Meade ETX80. I couldn't get it to align and find the right object. I was at a Dark Sky party and even inputed my new location zip code..no luck.

Someone with experience thought I should change the batteries perhaps they were low on juice.

I tried to change the batteries when I got home and couldn't remove the internal plastic battery holder. It broke inside the scope cavity.

so Goto is now NOGO.



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Napersky
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Re: goto telescope bad for a beginner ? new [Re: Napersky]
      #5606914 - 01/05/13 04:22 PM

One of our best observers at the Chicago Astronomical Society cut his teeth on the Meade LX90 8" GoTo. He loved it and still uses it although he often uses a classic C8 and 10 inch Dob. He teaches classes on Whats in the Night Sky.

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sg6
professor emeritus


Reged: 02/14/10

Loc: Norfolk, UK.
Re: goto telescope bad for a beginner ? new [Re: Napersky]
      #5606991 - 01/05/13 05:28 PM

No poblems with goto get whatever and take a look. If it bothers you then just use the handset to drive the scope and line things up through the finder.

Goto's tend to be a bit more sociable, they track so someone else can take a look and it is still there.

I tend to look upon it that the ones on Hawaii, in Chile, on the canary's etc are all goto's, so why not me.

The idea that you will not learn is crazy. You will still need some idea of what to ask it to goto and finding that out will give you an idea of where it is. The scope will hopefully confirm it. Mine managed to confirm a couple of times that I didn't know what I was doing.

Worst thing about a goto is that you need power for it. Them damn handsets and motors don't do too well without electricity.

Oh yes, practise the alignment a couple of times. read the instructions and have all the data required. I have seen/read of some horrendous errors in this area.


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