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General Astronomy >> Beginners Forum

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Jon Isaacs
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Reged: 06/16/04

Loc: San Diego and Boulevard, CA
Re: Best scope? Beginner family with unknown interest new [Re: davidpitre]
      #5670405 - 02/09/13 09:52 AM

Quote:

Looking around, I don't see any 80mm refractors in the f/6 to f/8 range other than ED versions that are out of my budget. It also appears that most in this class are on EQ rather than Alt/Az mounts.




That is the unfortunate truth, it would be great if someone made an ST-80 type scope that was F/6 or F/7. If you are looking for ST-80 robustness, I don't know of anything out there though I hear rumors that Antares makes something.

An old style 80mm F/11 or a 90mm F/10 has some virtues but generally today's mounts are on the flimsy side...

Jon


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davidpitre
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Reged: 05/10/05

Loc: Central Texas
Re: Best scope? Beginner family with unknown interest new [Re: Jon Isaacs]
      #5670546 - 02/09/13 11:24 AM

Yeah. I'm concerned with the poor mounts that accompany most of the less expensive slow refractors. Some of these scopes are really not too bad, but are very frustrating to the uninitiated.
I noticed Vixen offers an 80mm f/11 on their PortaMount.
http://www.vixenoptics.com/packages/A80mf%20with%20Porta%20II%20Mount.html
I'm wondering if a 6" or 8" dob is a better bet.
That or one of the 130mm reflectors on an EQ. The EQ seems a little dicey for the newbie though.

Edited by davidpitre (02/09/13 02:55 PM)


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Jarrod
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Reged: 01/20/13

Loc: SE USA
Re: Best scope? Beginner family with unknown interest new [Re: davidpitre]
      #5670930 - 02/09/13 03:45 PM

Quote:

I don't know anything about the SkyScout, but it might help with the complete novice family



My version of that is the Orion Smartphone holder ($32) mounted to the rear scope ring via a mini ball head ($12). Pop your smartphone or iPod in, fire up skysafari, point the scope at a known object, center that object in skysafari, and hit the gyro button. From then on, skysafari can tell you where to point the scope, and/or what you are pointing at.



Quote:

The EQ seems a little dicey for the newbie though.



I don't think so, because you are going to show them how to use it. That is VERY different than reading through the manual...I'm a noob and figured it out on my own from the Orion manual (which is very well-written I must admit).

What's frustrating to me is keeping things in the FOV, but the EQ makes that a breeze even with a really basic, 2-minute eyeballed polar alignment. And I just added the RA motor ($70) so next time I go out even using the slow motion is a thing of the past.

Edited by Jarrod (02/09/13 03:52 PM)


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Jon Isaacs
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Reged: 06/16/04

Loc: San Diego and Boulevard, CA
Re: Best scope? Beginner family with unknown interest new [Re: Jarrod]
      #5671142 - 02/09/13 06:08 PM

Quote:

From then on, skysafari can tell you where to point the scope, and/or what you are pointing at.




I don't know what device you are using but so far, I have not seen evidence that the phones and tablets are accurate enough to put an object in the field of view of anything but a very widefield scope. Maybe yours is better.

As far as equatorial mounts go... in a situation like this, simplicity is the key and there are several gotchas with an EQ mount.

Jon


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Jarrod
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Re: Best scope? Beginner family with unknown interest new [Re: Jon Isaacs]
      #5671476 - 02/09/13 09:44 PM

SkySafari3 on the iPhone4 in gyro mode (i.e. not using the compass) is good to about 3*.

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pftarch
professor emeritus


Reged: 09/21/07

Re: Best scope? Beginner family with unknown interest new [Re: Jarrod]
      #5671521 - 02/09/13 10:34 PM

I think if you stretch your budget a smidgeon, a Televue NP101 with a Meade LX 80 would provide someone with years of enjoyment. (Just add a 0.........).

My real vote is either the ST80 on a vixen mini porta mount (and I like the erect image diagonal with an inexpensive zoom), perhaps have it include a cheap red dot finder and a cheap barlow, or, a GSO 8"dob package. (The dob would certainly catch bidders eyes.......)


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psi_chemie
sage
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Reged: 05/01/11

Loc: Leawood, KS, USA
Re: Best scope? Beginner family with unknown interest new [Re: pftarch]
      #5672057 - 02/10/13 09:53 AM

Too bad you can't buy both a dob and a short refractor and report back to us which one works out better

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Whichwayisnorth
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Reged: 07/04/11

Loc: Southern California
Re: Best scope? Beginner family with unknown interest new [Re: WaterMaster]
      #5672355 - 02/10/13 01:20 PM

This

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kenrenard
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 12/13/12

Loc: Dunmore, PA
Re: Best scope? Beginner family with unknown interest new [Re: Jon Isaacs]
      #5672798 - 02/10/13 06:14 PM

Quote:

Quote:

With a Alt-Alz mount tripod could make a nice grab and go for someone not wanting a full size dob.

Thanks Tony




A tripod capable of handling a 6 inch F/5 Starblast represents a significant investment and in the end will require more effort to setup than a full sized Dob.

Jon




I see what you mean Jon

It's larger than I thought. I was thinking not much bigger than my sky scanner until I actually look at the specs.


Anyway hope your auction goes well. I see many kids interested when they come to our astronomy club . It's a great idea for an auction


Ken


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Jon Isaacs
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Reged: 06/16/04

Loc: San Diego and Boulevard, CA
Re: Best scope? Beginner family with unknown interest new [Re: Whichwayisnorth]
      #5672880 - 02/10/13 07:05 PM

Quote:

This




Among my collection of telescopes and mounts, I happen to have an iOptron R-80 Optical Tube Assembly. It has the poorest plastic focuser I have ever seen, worse than a $40 department scope. I replaced it with the focuser from an ST-80, the mount may be good but the scope itself is a deal killer.

Jon


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