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General Astronomy >> Beginners Forum

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JerryK
sage


Reged: 09/25/05

Re: It's all your fault, CN new [Re: UncleMossy]
      #5832684 - 04/30/13 04:21 PM

I agree with UncleMossy--just get the 8SE. It disassembles into separate parts that can fit their way in your vehicle. Save up for the add-ons. You'll love the convenience of the GoTo; it save time finding stuff. The 8" aperture will keep you interested for life. Lunar, Planets,bright and dim deep sky objects are within your grasp. Don't forget, the moon and planets will change constantly in subtle ways that always require another and another visit!

All the Best,
Jerry


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JerryK
sage


Reged: 09/25/05

Re: It's all your fault, CN new [Re: UncleMossy]
      #5832710 - 04/30/13 04:30 PM

I vote for the 8SE. You won't regret the extra aperture for going deep. It can keep you happy for many years. Budget for the extras for next year.

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Kevdog
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 07/11/12

Loc: Desert Hills, AZ
Re: It's all your fault, CN new [Re: JerryK]
      #5832729 - 04/30/13 04:40 PM

Don't forget to check your local craigslist... you can find some good deals (and a lot of overpriced *BLEEP*).

C130 - $250
http://seattle.craigslist.org/oly/for/3721250978.html

Meade ETX-105EC $525
http://seattle.craigslist.org/tac/spo/3745899690.html

Celestron 102GT - $99
http://seattle.craigslist.org/sno/fod/3765753430.html

Orion 120ST - $450
http://seattle.craigslist.org/oly/for/3758046982.html

Not sure on the price of the ETX-105EC as I don't think they are sold anymore.... Also not sure on the Orion 120ST but it looks intriguing.

Buying used can often get you started without a big outlay of cash. Then you can figure out more what you want and usually resell your first scope for about what you paid or often just keep it as a 2nd scope.

But the 8SE is a pretty good deal too. I had the Meade LT8 (Meade's equivalent of the 8SE) before I got my C11 and it is quite light and portable, yet has good reach and does make it easy to find things.

Good luck and good views (whatever you end up with)


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Widespread
professor emeritus


Reged: 05/11/11

Loc: Bowling Green, Kentucky
Re: It's all your fault, CN new [Re: JerryK]
      #5832762 - 04/30/13 04:58 PM

Quote:

Get an ST80 rig for the camping trips, and you'll be surprised how well it does for other things, too. Then, an 8" SCT can cover the rest.




+1

The ST80 isn't very good for planetary, and it's particularly atrocious on Jupiter. But I will not part with mine; it's small, light, and inexpensive enough to use in situations I'd shudder to use my apo or 8SE.

That said, I LOVE JUPITER, and it wasn't long before I had to get my 90mm apo so that I could have good performance for both widefield and planetary observing.

If you're going to get one scope, I'd say get either the 6SE or 8SE. I have the 8", and it's great. There are times when I wish for a 6", though. The 6SE only weighs a bit less, but is considerably less bulky. Also, it uses the same mount as the 8SE, which is stable for the 6" but a bit marginal for the 8".

The main downside of the 6SE, IMHO, is that its true field of view is even more limited than the 8SE's. The smaller aperture internal baffle tube really limits the FOV. I think the consensus is that with the 6SE, one can use either 2" EPs or a focal reducer, but not both. In contrast, an 8SE equipped with a 6.3 focal reducer for wider, brighter views can still use a 35mm Panoptic eyepiece without objectionable vignetting.

FWIW, my own experience is that when summer camping, I get up early, and by the time it's dark I'm pretty beat. Also, I often go to Colorado, which has a lot of thunderstorms that time of year. The ST80 is perfect: it's tiny, so that if I can't use it much, it's not a huge waste of space; it has virtually no cool-down time, so you can take it from a warm car and start using it immediately; it's a refractor, so you can generally just take it out and use it without collimating; and it's inexpensive, so if something bad happens in rugged field use, you won't have a heart attack.



David


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orion61

*****

Reged: 10/20/07

Loc: Birthplace James T Kirk
Re: It's all your fault, CN new [Re: howard929]
      #5832810 - 04/30/13 05:21 PM

Quote:

Have you considered a 6" Star Blast?



6" StarBlast is a fun little scope but nowhere close to the
quality of optics or versitile ans the NexStar 6/8se.
Dont forget the Meade versions of the LightSwitch 6 and 8.
I love my Celestron 127SLT MAK. dont be fooled the FOV os fine it is faster than the typical F15 Intes and ETX MAKs
I would suggest the Orion 8" Dob with the computer.
Planetary viewing is stunning through them easily as good as an 8" SCT.


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hytham
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 12/25/12

Loc: Canadian in the US
Re: It's all your fault, CN new [Re: orion61]
      #5832844 - 04/30/13 05:39 PM

A lot of great advice in here.

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kraberus
member


Reged: 04/27/13

Loc: Spokane, WA
Re: It's all your fault, CN new [Re: hytham]
      #5833118 - 04/30/13 08:07 PM

Quote:


A lot of great advice in here.





I could not agree more. Thank you all so much for indulging my utter analysis paralysis - it helps. Not sure what I'll do yet, other than check out the local astronomy club in mid-May. That said, the frontrunners right now are
1.) Orion ST80 w/EQ-2 or VX mount
2.) Celestron 6SE

Of course this could all change by dinner time...

CalSky says clear skies and moderate seeing tonight in Seattle. Can't say it looks good right now, but here's hoping.

Nick


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GeneT
Ely Kid
*****

Reged: 11/07/08

Loc: South Texas
Re: It's all your fault, CN new [Re: kraberus]
      #5833173 - 04/30/13 08:34 PM

Quote:

* C8 NexStar SE - Top end of my budget. Seems too automatic for me. I like star charts and want to teach my wife and kids.
* 8" Dob - I said CAMPING.




Any on your list would be good, I recommend one of the two above. I bought 8 inch NexStars for my grandchildren, and they are nice telescopes. Also, an 8 inch Dob would be a good place to begin. The NexStar would be a little more portable, if that is a consideration.


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Widespread
professor emeritus


Reged: 05/11/11

Loc: Bowling Green, Kentucky
Re: It's all your fault, CN new [Re: kraberus]
      #5833186 - 04/30/13 08:44 PM

The ST80 works great on altaz mounts, also. I use mine on a Vixen Porta with wood legs, or NexStar SLT tripod/mount. The latter has a built-in bubble level, so a quick 1-star alignment often suffices, thanks to the huge FOV of the ST80.

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Smittty692k4
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 07/05/11

Loc: East Bernard, TX
Re: It's all your fault, CN new [Re: Widespread]
      #5833227 - 04/30/13 09:16 PM

The 8 SE IS A FANTASTIC scope, but not to use with star charts. The 12" dob I got was 20% less expensive for 4 more inches.

I take the ST80 with me to work (south TX oil field) and while the views pale in comparison, it still is nice to just be able to use and show others Juptier and Saturn.

My advice would be along with others and get a 6-8" dob. Save on computer driven mounts now so you can splurge later!!

For instance, I found a Celestron 11" GPS on craigslist about 50 miles from me for $1700 WITH THE JMI case included. A ridiculous value... But I think I gotta buy a new water heater for the house, so I GUESS that will have to wait. I told my wife I didnt mind cold showers. She gave me "the" look.

Good luck man.


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Paco_Grande
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 07/14/12

Loc: Banana Republic of California
Re: It's all your fault, CN new [Re: Smittty692k4]
      #5833261 - 04/30/13 09:36 PM

Quote:

... But I think I gotta buy a new water heater for the house, so I GUESS that will have to wait. I told my wife I didnt mind cold showers. She gave me "the" look.







Awesome


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David Ault
sage


Reged: 09/25/10

Loc: Georgetown, TX
Re: It's all your fault, CN new [Re: kraberus]
      #5833475 - 04/30/13 11:46 PM

Quote:


Quote:


I think the best suggestion I can make is to join your local astronomy club. You don't need your own scope and frequently clubs have loner scopes and will give you some lessons on how to use them. Also, a lot of clubs have star parties and outreach events and these are great opportunities to ask questions, see what types of equipment people are using and get to peek through their eyepieces. This will really help you form an opinion about what you want to view and what equipment might work best for you.




Wise words! I'm checking out the local club, looks like they have a star party in May.





Thanks Nick. I'm glad you like the pics and I hope you have a good time at the star party. I try to do as much outreach in my area as I can and find that it's just as fun whether you're the person behind the telescope or the one asking questions and it's almost impossible to not learn anything either way.

Regards,
David


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jchaller
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 05/29/08

Loc: Tenino, WA.
Re: It's all your fault, CN new [Re: kraberus]
      #5833481 - 04/30/13 11:51 PM

You fool! You fell victim to one of the classic blunders! The most famous is never to get involved in a land
war in Asia. And only slightly less well known is this: never buy a pair of binoculars for viewing the night
sky and think that will be the end of it.

Welcome to Cloudy Nights and good luck in your quest.

The 6SE has been mentioned a couple of times. I have one, which I take camping/fishing and it works fine.

Edited by jchaller (05/01/13 12:03 AM)


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David Ault
sage


Reged: 09/25/10

Loc: Georgetown, TX
Re: It's all your fault, CN new [Re: csrlice12]
      #5833498 - 05/01/13 12:05 AM

Quote:


"The Maksutovs and Refractors don't require this (collimation) at all"

Actually, this is not true. ALL scopes, regardless of make, model, and type of glass/mirrors used, require collimation. That being said,most refractors are collimated at the factory and won't need touched ever again, but they are initially collimatted, and some have collimateable objective lenses.





csrlice12, you are quite right. Looking back at what I typed, my statement looks definitive rather than what I was thinking in my head, which was that from a practical perspective Maksutovs and Refractors rarely require collimation. I've never owned a refractor or Maksutov that I've had to collimate, nor known anyone that has, even with some heavy abuse (i.e. bumping around in the back of a car on horrible dirt roads for miles). Sorry for the confusion.

Regards,
David


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Tony Flanders
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 05/18/06

Loc: Cambridge, MA, USA
Re: It's all your fault, CN new [Re: kraberus]
      #5833692 - 05/01/13 05:53 AM

Quote:

The frontrunners right now are
1.) Orion ST80 w/EQ-2 or VX mount
2.) Celestron 6SE




Wow! They're both fine packages, but two telescopes more different are hard to imagine.

The 6SE has vastly more light grasp and resolution, a vastly narrower field of view, can only be used in electronic mode, and is highly prone to dew. It's great for viewing individual objects, especially small ones, and virtually worthless for browsing the sky.

The ST80 has an enormous field of view but is mediocre at high power. It's fully manual, a great instrument for browsing the sky but not so great for zeroing in on specific objects -- especially not on planets.


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Eric63
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 06/16/12

Loc: Ottawa, Ontario
Re: It's all your fault, CN new [Re: Tony Flanders]
      #5833745 - 05/01/13 07:05 AM

A 5" or 6" F5 Newtonian would do both

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Paco_Grande
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 07/14/12

Loc: Banana Republic of California
Re: It's all your fault, CN new [Re: Eric63]
      #5834233 - 05/01/13 12:14 PM Attachment (5 downloads)

Quote:

A 5" or 6" F5 Newtonian would do both






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kraberus
member


Reged: 04/27/13

Loc: Spokane, WA
Re: It's all your fault, CN new [Re: Paco_Grande]
      #5836148 - 05/02/13 12:05 PM

Well, it is done. I decided to go "short" and relatively low-tech for my first scope. Orion ST80-A with the EQ-1 plus a pile of eyepieces, filters and a dielectric star diagonal...and still enough left over to consider a NexStar or Dob before too long...

Thanks everyone for helping me.


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David Ault
sage


Reged: 09/25/10

Loc: Georgetown, TX
Re: It's all your fault, CN new [Re: kraberus]
      #5836263 - 05/02/13 01:08 PM

Congratulations Nick! I'm sure you'll have a lot of fun with that setup. Hopefully you don't get hit with the new equipment curse and you have clear skies when all those boxes come in!

Regards,
David


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kraberus
member


Reged: 04/27/13

Loc: Spokane, WA
Re: It's all your fault, CN new [Re: David Ault]
      #5845403 - 05/07/13 12:06 PM

Well, the ST80 w/ EQ-1 arrived yesterday. It is a wonderful instrument. I cobbled it together and enjoyed probably the best seeing conditions so far this year.

Some notes on the scope itself - Well built, though the tube is easily scuffed up by the tube rings. The inside of the dew shield is already flocked to a nice flat black. From what I can tell, this is recent improvement - I was expecting to have to do this myself.

The rack-and-pinion focuser is stiff, but not overly so.

The EQ-1 is just fine (not that I have much to compare it to :P). It wobbles a bit while focusing but it damps out within a few seconds.

Targets from red-zone LP'd driveway:

Saturn - Just a dot with the 20mm eyepiece (20x), Startlingly beautiful with the 9mm Expanse (44x). Rings clearly distinct with a small dot below, possibly Titan? Some features visible on the surface.
M13 - I was very pleased to be able to find this. No individual starts visible, just a hazy snowball. Still pretty cool though.
Epsilone Lyrae - Split the double next to Vega.

No luck with M81 or M82. Not sure if it's realistic to see these in a red zone, plus I'm still getting used to the finder being upside down :P

Chromatic aberrations were minor and not distracting at all. Next time I will try the v-block filter and see what that does.

Hopefully tonight I can try the Barlow plus the short Plossls.

Memorable moment of the night - a minor coronary event caused by the 737 that flew thru my FOV while I was mesmerized by Saturn's rings.

Thanks again everyone...


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