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davidpitre
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Best scope? Beginner family with unknown interest
      #5666672 - 02/07/13 09:09 AM

A question to both beginners and veterans.
I'm considering donating a telescope to a school (K-8) benefit auction. I would also include a nights instruction in how to operate as well as bringing my own scopes to show them around the sky.
I'm wanting suggestions on the best scope. I obviously know nothing about the winners of the auction, and so need to consider lots of possibilities, needs, interests. I'm not really a goto person myself, but realize many are, and it helps many get aquainted with the sky as well as helping in the early stages of finding objects. Then again, alignments can be intimidating to some, and might make them feel like it is too much to tackle.
I'm also concerned with collimation. It might also be a put-off.
So. Reflector or refractor?
Goto or not?
My budget is $3oo. $400. total.


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Tank
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Re: Best scope? Beginner family with unknown interest new [Re: davidpitre]
      #5666715 - 02/07/13 09:42 AM

I would say go with a 8" or 6" solid tube DOB
Do one collimation at the begining and should hold for a while.
The GOTO mounts cost alot and hard to operate at the start.
DOB will be ready to go once you pull it out of the car also the 6" or 8" DOB will show you alot more than a frac can for $400 total package!
my 2 cents


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dpwoos
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Re: Best scope? Beginner family with unknown interest new [Re: davidpitre]
      #5666739 - 02/07/13 09:57 AM

Binoculars.

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Madratter
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Re: Best scope? Beginner family with unknown interest new [Re: dpwoos]
      #5666757 - 02/07/13 10:07 AM

I second the vote for a good pair of binoculars. As much as I love my Dob, I don't think a Dob is a good idea for this case. If you don't like binoculars, maybe one of the small goto Refractors.

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Tony Flanders
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Re: Best scope? Beginner family with unknown interest new [Re: davidpitre]
      #5666769 - 02/07/13 10:17 AM

Quote:

I'm considering donating a telescope to a school (K-8) benefit auction. I would also include a nights instruction in how to operate as well as bringing my own scopes to show them around the sky. I'm wanting suggestions on the best scope . . . My budget is $3oo. $400. total.




I would stay away from Go To, especially in that price range. It can be very helpful once you get into the great list of DSOs. But anybody can find the Moon and planets by sighting on them directly, and those are the targets most likely to interest beginners. And doing it yourself gives you a great feeling of confidence and control.

I'd say there are two reasonable choices. One is a 6-inch Dob. 6 rather than 8 inches will save a bit of money, and it's ample for someone who may or may not end up interested. Moreover, at f/8, once the scope has been collimated the first time it will probably remain collimated well enough for any but the most critical observers more or less forever.

The other alternative would be a small refractor. Orion's 80-mm Go Scope is a particularly good deal, and at that price point you could throw in a 2X Barlow, which would be hugely helpful for such a small, fast scope.

I don't think binoculars are such a great idea. In some ways, they're harder to use than telescopes. And they certainly won't give the same knock-your-socks-off views of Jupiter and the Moon.

Moreover, people are more likely to own binoculars already.


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uniondrone
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Re: Best scope? Beginner family with unknown interest new [Re: Tony Flanders]
      #5666792 - 02/07/13 10:24 AM


I agree with Tony's assessment.


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csrlice12
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Re: Best scope? Beginner family with unknown interest new [Re: uniondrone]
      #5666810 - 02/07/13 10:36 AM

Agree with Tony, the 6" will only very rarely require collimation,yet provide good views. As we are also dealing with K-8 graders here, the 6" would allow comfortable viewing for all in those age groups, most you would need is a small stool for the youngest ones. The Dob will definitly be easier to view thru then a refractor, where they'll end up in some uncomfortable positions. Wow, a 6" Dob as a first scope.....that's gonna be some lucky kid (and parents too).

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dpwoos
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Re: Best scope? Beginner family with unknown interest new [Re: csrlice12]
      #5666839 - 02/07/13 10:53 AM

I build dobs, I love dobs, but I wouldn't do a dob without knowing who it was going to. If you don't want to do binos then a small refractor.

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JLovell
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Re: Best scope? Beginner family with unknown interest new [Re: dpwoos]
      #5666913 - 02/07/13 11:32 AM

I'd look around for a "like new" used Intelliscope Dob. Didn't they used to make a 6" version? You can use it entirely manually like a standard Dob, or with the push-to electronics when they learn enough stars to align the scope. Might be able to find a really nice used one for that budget, especially if you talk to the seller about what you want it for.

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Jarrod
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Re: Best scope? Beginner family with unknown interest new [Re: csrlice12]
      #5666920 - 02/07/13 11:37 AM

As a beginner myself, with school-aged kids (and especially since you are going to give them one-on-one instruction on setup and use) I would go with a little mak-cass on an EQ mount with an RA motor (or a goto alt-az would be even better). For me and the kids, who don't know the sky, the most frustrating thing is finding and then keeping the object we want to observe in the FOV. Once we do find it, even a lazy, eyeballed polar alignment is accurate enough for the RA slow motion control to track an object for more than the attention span of the kids and me.

For my wife, the most frustrating thing is the space the kit takes up. That's why the mak-cass recommendation. You do not want it to look like some hulking thing (Dob) if you want lots of people bidding on it. I think you'd find that many moms won't tolerate that.


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MikeBOKC
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Re: Best scope? Beginner family with unknown interest new [Re: Jarrod]
      #5666924 - 02/07/13 11:39 AM

I think the little tablestop Orion Starblast 4 inch reflectors are pretty nice beginner scopes, very kid friendly yet with pretty decent optics. I know club members who bring those scopes to outreach events for the convenience of transport and use.

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Jarrod
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Re: Best scope? Beginner family with unknown interest new [Re: Jarrod]
      #5666927 - 02/07/13 11:41 AM

And by the way, what a GREAT and generous thing to donate for a school auction. Kudos to you. If that had been my son's school, I'd have bid it up pretty good

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Thomas Karpf
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Re: Best scope? Beginner family with unknown interest new [Re: Jarrod]
      #5666951 - 02/07/13 11:51 AM

An ST-80 on an alt-az mount with an erecting prism and an inexpensive 8-24mm eyepiece. Very intuitive to use. Usable under the stars, for birding, etc.

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csrlice12
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Re: Best scope? Beginner family with unknown interest new [Re: Thomas Karpf]
      #5666962 - 02/07/13 11:59 AM

"You do not want it to look like some hulking thing (Dob) if you want lots of people bidding on it."

Good, means I get a better scope for a cheaper price......


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NeilMac
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Re: Best scope? Beginner family with unknown interest new [Re: csrlice12]
      #5666969 - 02/07/13 12:04 PM

I don't think binoculars are such a great idea they can go missing.

8" dob would be the best general purpose/simple and inexpensive.


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NeilMac
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Re: Best scope? Beginner family with unknown interest new [Re: csrlice12]
      #5666971 - 02/07/13 12:04 PM

I don't think binoculars are such a great idea they can go missing.

8" dob would be the best general purpose/simple and inexpensive.


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Madratter
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Re: Best scope? Beginner family with unknown interest new [Re: dpwoos]
      #5666998 - 02/07/13 12:20 PM

Quote:

I build dobs, I love dobs, but I wouldn't do a dob without knowing who it was going to. If you don't want to do binos then a small refractor.




I've been thinking this over some more, thinking back to when I got my first scope and what I did with it. Likewise, I have a friend who just got a telescope. The moon and the planets are the likely targets. As such, a refractor makes a great scope but I'm not a fan of the very short focal length refractors for that purpose.

And I still think a Dob is a really bad idea.


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csrlice12
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Re: Best scope? Beginner family with unknown interest new [Re: Madratter]
      #5667006 - 02/07/13 12:28 PM

Maybe the best to do is a scope that is a "jack of all trades, master of none" and get one of the 102mm F9.8 acromats, Preferrably on an alt/az mount. These scopes do well with most any eyepiece, they're tough, you'd almost have to beat them against a tree to hurt them, and they're easy to use, and will give you both decent DSO and Planetary/lunar views. They also allow you to view using both low and high powers. Considering this will be used by multiple people, it just might be the best all-round deal.

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John Kuraoka
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Re: Best scope? Beginner family with unknown interest new [Re: csrlice12]
      #5667025 - 02/07/13 12:41 PM

I'll just throw this in, as a parent with two school-aged kids who has attended such fundraising auctions.

I think the ability to use the scope in daytime will dramatically increase the chances for uptake; school-aged kids must go to bed early to be up and ready to go by 7 the next morning. So any reflector will be non-school-night-use only, which significantly limits its use.

So, another vote for a small mak-cas or refractor, preferably also equipped with a correct-image diagonal for terrestrial use.

Also, I'd recommend including some books in the package: a basic star chart or kid-friendly star atlas (as much as I like my new S&T atlas, I wouldn't recommend it as part of an auction package to non-astronomy people) and Turn Left at Orion.

Last but probably foremost, thank you for your generosity! Schools today are really strapped, and I hope your donation raises a nice chunk of money.


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WaterMasterAdministrator
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Re: Best scope? Beginner family with unknown interest new [Re: John Kuraoka]
      #5667041 - 02/07/13 12:53 PM

What a great thing, David

I'll also agree with Tony.

To sweeten the deal you have my permission to throw in a free membership to Cloudy Nights!


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Tony Flanders
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Re: Best scope? Beginner family with unknown interest new [Re: csrlice12]
      #5667070 - 02/07/13 01:14 PM

Quote:

The Dob will definitly be easier to view thru then a refractor, where they'll end up in some uncomfortable positions.




Why do you say that about refractors? I certainly wouldn't recommend a big refractor, but short refractors -- anything with a focal length less than about 500 mm -- are fantastically easy and comfortable to use. And I agree with whoever said that for kids in particular, the ability to use them on terrestrial subjects is a big plus. Though I've known plenty of kids who happily viewed things upside down in reflectors, too.

With something like the 80-mm Go Scope or the ubiquitous 80-mm f/5, you just have to accept that you're not going to use high magnification. In which case tracking (or the lack thereof) is a total non-issue.

That's just as well, because Go To scopes present a significant entry barrier. But Go To scopes are the easiest motorized scopes to use by a huge margin. The entry barrier posed by equatorial mounts is much, much higher.

35X may not sound like a lot to an experienced observer. But to somebody who's never been above 1X -- or even somebody who's used to 8X in binoculars -- 35X is totally mind-boggling. Especially on the Moon.

As others have said, the biggest argument against a Dob is its physical size. That can be an issue both practically and psychologically. On the other hand, Dobs are probably the easiest scopes of all to use. And obviously they will provide by far the most impressive views of any scopes mentioned so far in this thread.


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Erik30
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Re: Best scope? Beginner family with unknown interest new [Re: WaterMaster]
      #5667101 - 02/07/13 01:31 PM

Quote:

What a great thing, David

I'll also agree with Tony.

To sweeten the deal you have my permission to throw in a free membership to Cloudy Nights!




How about talking to your local Astronomy club to see if they will throw a free year membership in with the scope also?


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Jarrod
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Re: Best scope? Beginner family with unknown interest new [Re: Tony Flanders]
      #5667119 - 02/07/13 01:42 PM

Regarding the many Dob recommendations in this thread:

I completely understand that this provides best view per dollar, and agree it is one of the best recommendations for someone who is already motivated. For example, to someone who comes to an astronomy forum and asks "what is the best beginner telescope?"

But that isn't the use case here. David is essentially asking multiple people to bid against each other to make an impulse buy. The manufacturers have already done the market research on impulse-buy scopes for you. How many times have you seen a Dob pop up in a Wal-Mart or Costco?? Exactly.

This is as much a marketing exercise as it is an astronomy one. The goal is to raise money for the school *and* give someone the opportunity to have a good first experience. Both considerations must be weighed equally. I think you are putting the first consideration at a disadvantage if you put a Dobsonian in a school auction. Its appeal will be limited primarily to people who already know what they are looking at, not the average parent.

And John's point about bedtimes and daytime use is very practical. Although this point is not likely to be obvious to the prospective buyer, it is still a good one. Also, he had great idea to put a book in the package. I recommend NightWatch by Dickinson. It's a terrific intro to all the main aspects of astronomy - I'm still getting through my copy and it's tremendous.

Edited by Jarrod (02/07/13 01:51 PM)


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csrlice12
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Re: Best scope? Beginner family with unknown interest new [Re: Erik30]
      #5667122 - 02/07/13 01:50 PM

Quote:

Quote:

What a great thing, David

I'll also agree with Tony.

To sweeten the deal you have my permission to throw in a free membership to Cloudy Nights!




How about talking to your local Astronomy club to see if they will throw a free year membership in with the scope also?




Now there is a FANTASTIC idea.


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kenrenard
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Re: Best scope? Beginner family with unknown interest new [Re: csrlice12]
      #5667155 - 02/07/13 02:01 PM

What do folks think of the Starblast 6 inch? I see that is just under $300 and pretty portable. Even kid height. Just curious!


Ken


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Jon Isaacs
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Re: Best scope? Beginner family with unknown interest new [Re: kenrenard]
      #5667223 - 02/07/13 02:46 PM

Quote:

What do folks think of the Starblast 6 inch? I see that is just under $300 and pretty portable. Even kid height. Just curious!


Ken




Ken:

I am not a big fan of Table top mounts, they seem like they would be cool but a solid table that also allows one to view comfortably is represents an investment all by itself.

An 80mm F/6 or F/7 achromat on a reasonable alt-az mount is pretty sweet, it's got a wide enough field of view for terrestrial viewing and for finding one's away around the sky. It provides decent views of many easy objects. "It looks like a Telescope." John Kuroaka's 90mm Mak is nice and handy too, the field of view is pretty narrow which can be frustrating. In any case, the mount is at least as important as the scope.

It's a difficult problem. When I donate equipment, it's equipment I already own.

Jon


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BigC
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Re: Best scope? Beginner family with unknown interest new [Re: davidpitre]
      #5667245 - 02/07/13 02:56 PM

Nice idea.

I doubt anyone will bid the actual worth(price) of whatever you donate.

As great as Dobs are ,I think a refractor is more familiar to the public and likely to be accepted.

Like another poster I think a goto alt-az is great considering you are gooing to show the winner how to use it.

A 102GT ,like the Costco model, or the Meade Starnavigator is in your budget.


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kenrenard
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Re: Best scope? Beginner family with unknown interest new [Re: Jon Isaacs]
      #5667268 - 02/07/13 03:08 PM

Quote:

Quote:

What do folks think of the Starblast 6 inch? I see that is just under $300 and pretty portable. Even kid height. Just curious!


Ken




Ken:

I am not a big fan of Table top mounts, they seem like they would be cool but a solid table that also allows one to view comfortably is represents an investment all by itself.

An 80mm F/6 or F/7 achromat on a reasonable alt-az mount is pretty sweet, it's got a wide enough field of view for terrestrial viewing and for finding one's away around the sky. It provides decent views of many easy objects. "It looks like a Telescope." John Kuroaka's 90mm Mak is nice and handy too, the field of view is pretty narrow which can be frustrating. In any case, the mount is at least as important as the scope.

It's a difficult problem. When I donate equipment, it's equipment I already own.

Jon




I understand. We have a Sky Scanner 100 for my daughter. It was a family starter scope which is now mounted to a wide book shelf type case. Its kid height. On occasion I mount it to my UA dwarf star and it works pretty good. I know Tony Flanders has mentioned in his articles about the 4.5 starblast which I believe he owns. I was curious if the 6 would be a good starter since it is not that much more than the 4.5 with some good light gathering power. I can see the benefit if someone is looking for a cheap scope to bring on a family trip and they want something like this. I see f/5 so it may have collimation challenges for a beginner?

I think the full size 6 inch is the way to go. But bringing something large on a family camping trip may be the difference between not bringing anything at all. So I see where the starblast is perfect in that respect.

Ken


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davidpitre
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Re: Best scope? Beginner family with unknown interest new [Re: BigC]
      #5667296 - 02/07/13 03:27 PM

Quote:



I doubt anyone will bid the actual worth(price) of whatever you donate.





I've done this before and gotten more than the true value.
I will be spending an long evening with the family out on my farm which sweetens the deal.
Agreed that a good book would be appropriate.
I'm leaning towards either an 8" simple dob or an ST80.
I'd agree more could be had used, but this needs to be new.


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csrlice12
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Re: Best scope? Beginner family with unknown interest new [Re: davidpitre]
      #5667321 - 02/07/13 03:41 PM

An 8" Dob, Including Training on How to Use It?

That's priceless.........forget the SST80...If you're going to provide a night of training (and there's truely not much to train on for a dob, and once you show them collimation, it won't be the monster everyone makes it out to be; If you can walk and think at the same time, you can collimate a scope). The 8" with even a night of trainig will give them years of use, the ST80 will just wet their appitite and leave them wanting more.....


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Tony Flanders
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Re: Best scope? Beginner family with unknown interest new [Re: kenrenard]
      #5667341 - 02/07/13 03:51 PM

Quote:

What do folks think of the Starblast 6 inch? I see that is just under $300 and pretty portable. Even kid height.




The 6-inch Starblast is too low for anybody older than a toddler. On the other hand, it's a bit too high -- and probably too heavy -- to use on a standard folding table.

The 4-inch SkyScanner works great on a card table -- as well as mounting to a standard photo tripod. And the 4.5-inch StarBlast isn't so bad on a card table, either, as long as you don't want to use high power.

But the 6-inch StarBlast is enough of a scope so that it really seems to want a custom-built support. Either that or use it sitting on the ground.


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kenrenard
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Re: Best scope? Beginner family with unknown interest new [Re: Tony Flanders]
      #5667383 - 02/07/13 04:05 PM

Quote:

Quote:

What do folks think of the Starblast 6 inch? I see that is just under $300 and pretty portable. Even kid height.




The 6-inch Starblast is too low for anybody older than a toddler. On the other hand, it's a bit too high -- and probably too heavy -- to use on a standard folding table.

The 4-inch SkyScanner works great on a card table -- as well as mounting to a standard photo tripod. And the 4.5-inch StarBlast isn't so bad on a card table, either, as long as you don't want to use high power.

But the 6-inch StarBlast is enough of a scope so that it really seems to want a custom-built support. Either that or use it sitting on the ground.




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

Thanks Tony


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Matt2893
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Re: Best scope? Beginner family with unknown interest new [Re: Tony Flanders]
      #5667435 - 02/07/13 04:29 PM

Quote:

Quote:

What do folks think of the Starblast 6 inch? I see that is just under $300 and pretty portable. Even kid height.




The 6-inch Starblast is too low for anybody older than a toddler. On the other hand, it's a bit too high -- and probably too heavy -- to use on a standard folding table.

The 4-inch SkyScanner works great on a card table -- as well as mounting to a standard photo tripod. And the 4.5-inch StarBlast isn't so bad on a card table, either, as long as you don't want to use high power.

But the 6-inch StarBlast is enough of a scope so that it really seems to want a custom-built support. Either that or use it sitting on the ground.




I was seriously looking at the 6" StarBlast Intelliscope, but ended up getting the 6" Intelliscope Dob (XT6i). What sold me was the additional focal length, and not having to deal with the additional support issue. Unfortunately, I seem to have gotten one of the last XT6i in December under the 'build-a-scope' option as they don't offer it anymore.

Back on topic, it sounds like the school families in Central Texas have a better understanding and appreciation for astronomy than in my neck of the woods. Good luck with the auction, hope the school raises all the money it needs.


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mman22
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Re: Best scope? Beginner family with unknown interest new [Re: Matt2893]
      #5669459 - 02/08/13 05:22 PM

Although I am a beginner at astonomy, I have some experience with fundraisers including auctions. Here is my advice in that regard.
1. Define your main goal, are you wanting to raise the most money possible or help spark an interest in astronomy?
2. Know your audience. Are there some amateur astronomers among the parents (and possibly the faculty). If so, getting a scope that would spark their interest and be something that many wouldn't have would help raise interest.
3. Is this a silent auction, where people will write down bids or is it the more known English Auction (Ascending Price Auction) where people are openly bidding against one another. If you have the English auction with multiple people who have an interest, the price can go higher than the original cost. Otherwise, you probably won't get more than what you paid for it. If you have a silent auction where your scope will have its own spot for people to look at, place some literature (sales description, reviews and possibly some photos that are representative of the views possible) with it.
4.If your goal is wanting to get kids interested in astronomy, it might be nice to donate it to the science class. Either way, speaking with school's science
teacher(s) would probably help in determining what level of interest there would be.
Ultimately it's a great idea and a generous donation!


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dpwoos
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Re: Best scope? Beginner family with unknown interest new [Re: mman22]
      #5669811 - 02/08/13 09:35 PM

In my experience, giving a scope to a science teacher/school is not a good idea. Unless a teacher already has a strong interest in doing observing the scope will end up in a closet, and if a teacher does have a strong interest they probably already have one. When folks ask me if they should donate a scope to a school, I always recommend that they provide something else that can be used during the school day, and leave the observing to us (the local club).

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palmer570
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Re: Best scope? Beginner family with unknown interest new [Re: dpwoos]
      #5669893 - 02/08/13 10:23 PM

Would be nice if the auction was in the evening when its dark and you could set it up so they could take a look through it on their way into the auction.

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drbyyz
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Re: Best scope? Beginner family with unknown interest new [Re: palmer570]
      #5669934 - 02/08/13 10:58 PM

I have no personal experience with these scopes but maybe someone else can chime in...what about the Meade ETX series??

They are GoTo which could be a plus, don't require collimation, small and portable, and have decent optics from what I've heard. I think new they are probably right at the top of your budget, but possibly find a gently used one on here or elsewhere if you have time?


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Jon Isaacs
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Re: Best scope? Beginner family with unknown interest new [Re: kenrenard]
      #5670189 - 02/09/13 06:19 AM

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


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davidpitre
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Re: Best scope? Beginner family with unknown interest new [Re: WaterMaster]
      #5670364 - 02/09/13 09:32 AM

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.

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davidpitre
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Re: Best scope? Beginner family with unknown interest new [Re: davidpitre]
      #5670397 - 02/09/13 09:48 AM

What do ya'll think of the 90mm Celestron alt/az refractor paired with a "SkyScout" mounted to it?
I don't know anything about the SkyScout, but it might help with the complete novice family.
http://www.opticsplanet.com/celestron-skyscout-scope.html


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

This

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kenrenard
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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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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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