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Mgauthier
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SkyProdigy 70 on sale for $299
      #5664281 - 02/05/13 08:30 PM

Not sure where this post should go, but I figured I'd let you people know that the SkyProdigy 70 is on sale for $299 over on telescopes.com. That strikes me as a great price for what it is, and I'd definitely jump on it if I didn't already have my 102SLT. I don't know how long the sale's going to last.

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BigC
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Re: SkyProdigy 70 on sale for $299 new [Re: Mgauthier]
      #5665067 - 02/06/13 11:47 AM

The SkyProdigy 70 is also available on Amazon; I just ordered a used one for $171 shipped.Shipping is free IF you allow them to take more time,and the weather here seems like another week could hardly matter!

It was said elsewhere that all the SkyProdigy sets use the same mount,only the OTA varies with the model.Assuming that is correct then this mount will soon be hosting the "OTA du jour" from my collection.


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Mgauthier
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Re: SkyProdigy 70 on sale for $299 new [Re: BigC]
      #5665362 - 02/06/13 02:12 PM

That's a fantastic price! Looking at Amazon, a few vendors also have the $300 new price. I wonder if they're going to phase out the 70 or something.

EDIT: I just saw that the used $171 is fulfilled- and apparently quality controlled- by Amazon rather than sold by a random 3rd party. I might have to pick one of these up after all...

Edited by Mgauthier (02/06/13 02:13 PM)


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BigC
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Re: SkyProdigy 70 on sale for $299 new [Re: Mgauthier]
      #5665413 - 02/06/13 02:37 PM

Thank you for alerting us to the $299 price.

Of course after checking out that ad I ran a search just in case,downloaded Celestron's brochure,looked for online reviews, and finally decided the Amazon -backed used model at a savings of another $100 would suffice!

Although SkyAlign works on the scope I have the idea of just turning on the scope and letting it orient itself is attractive.


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BigC
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Re: SkyProdigy 70 on sale for $299 new [Re: Mgauthier]
      #5667203 - 02/07/13 02:33 PM

It was just delivered by UPS ,maybe 30 hours after ordering!
That's service!


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Mgauthier
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Re: SkyProdigy 70 on sale for $299 new [Re: BigC]
      #5667334 - 02/07/13 03:47 PM

It'd be great to hear your first impressions... assuming the clouds haven't rolled in yet.

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BigC
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Re: SkyProdigy 70 on sale for $299 new [Re: Mgauthier]
      #5667985 - 02/07/13 10:30 PM

OK,unpacked the scope and everythig seems there and only a few tiny scuff marks on OTA show it is used.

Put the SkyProdigy outside and level,plugged in a power supply, tossed a nylon jacket over it and went back after dark.

Despite some haze it did a successful self-align on the first try although it seemed to "look" at 4,not 3 different patches of sky.Siting was not the best,sitting amongst a garage,storage building,trees and stuff.But quite a bit of high sky visible.

After alignment,selected "Solar System" and it displayed Uranus;hit enter and scope slewed and when I looked there was a blue-green dot in the eyepiece.Not dead center but at least within the middle third of the FOV.It wouldn't show any other planets ;either none were up or the operator needs to learn the controller.

Selected Messier and put in M42,hit enter and there it was ,well-centered.Put in M31 and ,voila!-right there in center of FOV.M51 not so good but 70mm scope and 25mm EP may not be the tools needed to see that.

Switching to "Named Stars" ,Pleiades centered and excellent,Rigel about one-third from center,Pollux and Castor not in FOV,Nor was Betelguese.

I also experimented by laying aside the 70mm f10 and placing the 102GT OTA in the SkyProdigy mount.Took three tries to get a successful align and then seemed to work.But the long 102 tube and relatively short mount was poor for high objects.

Attempted installation of a SCT OTA but the dovetail base of the SkyProdigy has a curved shroud that interfered.The 6" SCT model of the SkyProdigy must have a different dovetail base.

Clouds moved in and ended the session at 10PM.

.

The instruction book is the same for the 70mm f10 refractor,90mmf14 Mak, and 130f5 Newtonian.

Based on my inmitial couple hours I think this is a neat scope,and do not regret the puchase


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Mgauthier
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Reged: 04/07/12

Re: SkyProdigy 70 on sale for $299 new [Re: BigC]
      #5668589 - 02/08/13 09:33 AM

The curved plastic shroud on the SLT mount is removeable via a few small screws here and there to allow other OTA sizes. Is the Skyprodigy's shroud removeable, do you think, or is it part of the mount arm?

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BigC
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Re: SkyProdigy 70 on sale for $299 new [Re: Mgauthier]
      #5668963 - 02/08/13 12:55 PM

Anyone who has difficulty or is hesitant because of alignments will love these scopes.I was very pleased with its performance.

Will have to examine the dovetail shroud in the light.After several hours of us both in the cold ,when the clouds moved in the scope was carried inside and left while I got warm!

Even if this one can only take modest diameter refractors-it did accept the 102 OTA- at $171 it is a bargain.I'm actually considering ordering another one!

Any OTA swapped onto the mount should probably be kept relatively short for mechanical reasons.Note the 130mm reflector is very close in overall lengrth to the 70mm refractor and the 90mm Mak is under that length.

Probably any OTA of no more weight than the 6" SCT and not too much longer than the refractor should work on the SkyProdigy mount. The 102mm/1000mm made for awkward viewing position of objects high up and was likely pushing the mechanical limits.

A Meade 102mm f7.7 refractor OTA is much lighter (I don't have one of the Celestron 102GT short f6 OTA to try)and ought to work,although it will need a dovetail.

The scope controller continued to show in alignment during my careful tube swaps but errors in pointing at stars occurred after swapping,so best advice is use the same OTA(if not the original) throughout a viewing session.


Forgetting all that,the SkyProdigy 70 as sold appears to me a very capable model.The original list price was too steep for me .On sale at $299 it is a good deal;at $171 it is a great deal.The mount's capabilty to self-align has much appeal to anyone who doesn't know all those alignment stars by name and is a wonderful addition to the standard goto capabilities.Note that like many goto scopes it must be used with batteries or power adapter.It can be used for daytime land views by just using the direction buttons.For those who want more,and can spend $999(new), I expect the SkyProdigy 6 would be a super beginner and casual stargazer scope.
Note the scopes have gotten mixed reviews so either quality control or reviewer expectations are lacking.


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Sorny
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Re: SkyProdigy 70 on sale for $299 new [Re: BigC]
      #5669913 - 02/08/13 10:39 PM

I'm actually interested in the standalone starsense to add to my CPC1100. Not because I think it's too hard to point to polaris and then some other bright star, but just because I like gadgets. That thing is going to go for more than the SkyProdigy 70 package. Unreal.

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BigC
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Re: SkyProdigy 70 on sale for $299 new [Re: Sorny]
      #5670319 - 02/09/13 08:58 AM

Quote:

I'm actually interested in the standalone starsense to add to my CPC1100. Not because I think it's too hard to point to polaris and then some other bright star, but just because I like gadgets. That thing is going to go for more than the SkyProdigy 70 package. Unreal.


I noticed that.Except for the price,it seems a neat accessory for all the other Nexstars.

Here is an idea and question:
Cannot a computer program be written or modified to get the pointing co-ordinates from one Nexstar handset and then command another handset to move to and track from those co-ordinates ?

And not just Nexstar but any goto system ?

Can you imagine a trio or quad of 8" SCT scopes simultaneously tracking and imaging ,in three or four different wavelengths , the same object ?


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wcstarguy
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Re: SkyProdigy 70 on sale for $299 new [Re: BigC]
      #5671573 - 02/09/13 11:22 PM

Any update on the possibility of removing the shroud on the SProd 70 to allow use of the mount with other optical tubes?

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BigC
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Re: SkyProdigy 70 on sale for $299 new [Re: wcstarguy]
      #5672380 - 02/10/13 01:34 PM

Yes, the shroud can be removed .There are three metric hex head socket cap screws ,size 3.0mm .Remove the shroud and the dovetail receptacle will accept any dovetail-mounted scope. But there are obviously limits to the weight and size the mount can handle.Removing the shroud also exposes the elevation gear somewhat although it is recessed about half an inch.

The user might cut out the center of some plastic lid to cover the opening,mostly to prevent stuff getting to the gear.The factory shroud is not itself much protection in that regard;it looks partly cosmetic and partly intended to mechanically stiffen the attachment.Maybe even mostly cosmetic.

Edited by BigC (02/10/13 01:36 PM)


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BigC
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Re: SkyProdigy 70 on sale for $299 new [Re: BigC]
      #5672387 - 02/10/13 01:40 PM

Note: I tried an 8" SCT because it was handy and dovetailed but the mount felt unstable and overloaded just sitting here.Celestron does sell a 6" SCT version and that is probably as big as you should try on this mount.

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nine44
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Re: SkyProdigy 70 on sale for $299 new [Re: Mgauthier]
      #5673224 - 02/10/13 10:40 PM

Anyone know if the CCD camera in this scope serves as a star guider as well? Or just a one time align and then tracking?

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BigC
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Re: SkyProdigy 70 on sale for $299 new [Re: nine44]
      #5673419 - 02/11/13 01:37 AM

Quote:

Anyone know if the CCD camera in this scope serves as a star guider as well? Or just a one time align and then tracking?


That is a very good question.

A CCD camera capable of acquiring star images sufficient to determine its own alignment OUGHT to be capable of then acting as an autoguider.There is no mention of such function in the manual so it is probably an "unimplemented feature".The user can't see or download the images from the mount camera,which is likely because Meade has a patent on that feature.

I suppose someone willing and capable of hacking the hardware and software could add those functions .That would void the warranty and might even violate some software license besides the risk of ending up with an inoperable mount.


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Midnight Dan
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Re: SkyProdigy 70 on sale for $299 new [Re: BigC]
      #5673550 - 02/11/13 07:02 AM

Still a couple available at the $170 used price:
http://tinyurl.com/dye5zgo

-Dan


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Peter9
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Re: SkyProdigy 70 on sale for $299 new [Re: Midnight Dan]
      #5673571 - 02/11/13 07:24 AM

You eyeing another scope Dan?

Regards. Peter.


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cyclist7531
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Re: SkyProdigy 70 on sale for $299 new [Re: Peter9]
      #5673698 - 02/11/13 09:39 AM

Thanks for the tip on this scope. I just ordered a used one for my grandson off amazon. I've got an extra auto jumpstarter with a 12v acc port that I think will work for him so they won't have to go through gobs of "D" cells.

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Midnight Dan
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Re: SkyProdigy 70 on sale for $299 new [Re: Peter9]
      #5673718 - 02/11/13 09:55 AM

Quote:

You eyeing another scope Dan?

Regards. Peter.




I'm tempted! But it would only be for a lark. With my observatory on the way I have to save my shekels for that. Just like a scope, once you get it there's lots of other things needed to go along with it!

-Dan


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BigC
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Re: SkyProdigy 70 on sale for $299 new [Re: BigC]
      #5673929 - 02/11/13 12:03 PM

Silly me!

I just realized guiding by the built-in mount camera is what Meade's Starloc does;so if that is what one wants,then for now,buying the Meade is how you get it.

The SkyProdigy is still a great bargain for the beginner or casual observer or anyone who just likes letting the scope set itself up.

The SkyProdigy has the usual Nexstar tracking and I think autoguiding can be accomplished through the mount's AUX port or the port on the base of the handset.Of course another camera is needed and a guiding program like PhD.

Edited by BigC (02/11/13 12:12 PM)


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Widespread
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Re: SkyProdigy 70 on sale for $299 new [Re: BigC]
      #5674273 - 02/11/13 03:39 PM

Someone mentioned that you can perform a SkyAlign with the SkyProdigy.

I assume this means that 2-star auto and 1-star align are also available?

And here I thought the one advantage of my SLT was that I could do 1-star alignments from obstructed my 2nd floor deck!
Ah, well, for me, it's too similar to the SLT to justify buying.

Best,
David


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wcstarguy
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Re: SkyProdigy 70 on sale for $299 new [Re: Widespread]
      #5674288 - 02/11/13 03:49 PM

I was thinking of getting one of the used ones but with no warranty and the sellers fairly low (lower 90s) ratings decided to go another way...(rather not risk even $170). Still, a great buy if it works out...

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Mgauthier
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Re: SkyProdigy 70 on sale for $299 new [Re: wcstarguy]
      #5674493 - 02/11/13 05:23 PM

I'm thinking the same thing, David. It would be cool to have in a gadgety sense, but I think I'll put the money towards a new OTA or something.

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BigC
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Re: SkyProdigy 70 on sale for $299 new [Re: wcstarguy]
      #5675126 - 02/12/13 01:20 AM

Got the warranty card with mine.

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wcstarguy
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Re: SkyProdigy 70 on sale for $299 new [Re: BigC]
      #5680360 - 02/14/13 10:45 PM

Just noticed that Adorama has the SP70 for $229 with free shipping....I'm very close to pushing the button....I've got a couple of other scopes that should work with this mount (maybe removing the plastic shroud thingy), a c90 mak, and a bushnell flextube ares 130....might even try my 120st...

Edited by wcstarguy (02/14/13 10:47 PM)


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Tel
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Re: SkyProdigy 70 on sale for $299 new [Re: wcstarguy]
      #5680711 - 02/15/13 06:03 AM

Aside from the bargain prices and the possibility of using this mount to support other OTAs, (of limited weight and/or length), can anyone explain to me the attraction of this 'scope.

Forgive my possibly unfounded aversity to this series of 'scopes, but isn't it such it that all that is surely acquired here is an achromatic OTA of limited aperture, high focal ratio, (f/10), and thus a narrow field of view, on a state of the art mount supported by a tripod of perhaps questionable stability.

The mount itself sports, of course, the latest in self-alignment technology, but any alignment of GoTo mounts can be learned in a very short time making the technology here of dubious value if no more than an expensive gimmick.

And, with regard to the OTA's performance, what has one got? As it stands, probably something of nothing ? It certainly won't give wide views of the heavens and its aperture size and thus magnification and resolution limitations, prevent it surely, from showing much in the way of planetary detail or close double star separation.

It somewhat reminds me of the first department store 'scope I bought for a week's wages back in 1971. An Alt.Az. 60mm f/11 wooden tripod mounted achromat.

With that experience behind me, I can't therefore say that I'm in any way personally attracted to this despite the price.

Best regards,
Tel


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Skip
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Re: SkyProdigy 70 on sale for $299 new [Re: Tel]
      #5681784 - 02/15/13 03:31 PM

I am in violent agreement with Tel on this! I think Celestron just did this to counter the LightSwitch technology of Meade's. And at last news, Meade was still having problems with their's.

But maybe I'm wrong...?


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Midnight Dan
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Re: SkyProdigy 70 on sale for $299 new [Re: Skip]
      #5681826 - 02/15/13 03:47 PM

For the original price ... no interest at all. For $299 ... not really.

But for $170 used? Now it starts to fall into the range of just something fun to have. If I didn't have other items tugging at my wallet, and I had $170 burning a hole in my pocket, I'd probably get one.

Not sure I'd want the 70mm on it, but I could throw on my ST80 if I wanted wide views and have a nice little grab and go setup with goto. Or my EON 72mm ED/APO might find a home on it. I might try my 5SE OTA on it, but I have a hard time thinking I'd like it better than the SE mount. One nice feature is the battery pack rated at 30 hours. No external power to drag along. Plus, it would be fun at a summer party to let guests play with it by just powering it on and letting it do it's thing.

Certainly not something I'm dying to have, but at that price ... well like I said, for a lark I think it would be fun!

-Dan


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WaterMasterAdministrator
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Re: SkyProdigy 70 on sale for $299 new [Re: Midnight Dan]
      #5681960 - 02/15/13 04:55 PM

At star parties I like to set up my 80GTL on the nexstar mount, with the tripod legs as short as possible, point it at a planet with a 15mm plossl and use it for little kids (I used to pick them up to look through the dob, but I'm getting older and I don't really like kids anyway ).

Anyway, for a couple hundred bucks, someone interested in outreach might be quite interested.


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Mgauthier
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Re: SkyProdigy 70 on sale for $299 new [Re: WaterMaster]
      #5681982 - 02/15/13 05:08 PM

I find it attractive as a gadget. Some people will find that silly, others won't. The fact of the matter is that most people are not purely into astronomy, or purely into woodworking, or purely into this or that. We have multiple interests and hobbies with ill-defined borders. I like seeing into the heavens, but I also like buying cool stuff to play with. The two feed off one-another until my wallet contains negative space.

Edited by Mgauthier (02/15/13 05:08 PM)


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wcstarguy
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Re: SkyProdigy 70 on sale for $299 new [Re: Midnight Dan]
      #5682029 - 02/15/13 05:31 PM

Let's see, I don't have a goto mount currently, this one will work well with my smaller scopes, plan on giving the 70mm away on a cheap alt-az mount (I already have a larger dob mount newt, to compliment the smaller scopes). The reviews I have found on this mount have been mostly positive, it works well in dark skies or lp suburbs (my area), it has manual adjustments for both level of darkness at your site and to specify what areas of the sky it uses for the initial guidance setup, if some portion of your viewing site is blocked (buildings or trees). At the $200 price range (new, with two year warranty) for a mount = or better than the slt mount (which runs around $300 new)it is affordable. I can use this mount with a small solar scope, I can use this mount for short exp. wide field imaging with either a dslr or video cam (like mallincam).

This mount would be great for outreach with kids or other newbies. Guerilla observing, sometimes I don't have time/too tired after work for hours of observing, I could throw the SP in my car with a small scope, head to a dark site a few minutes away, or just off the road somewhere and observe for a bit. The tripod can be beefed up easily,there are several threads on this. This mount can be used on other tripods with a little adaptation.
I don't have any particular problem with Celestron regarding the SP line other than its original price is too high and the tripod is too weak. I read a good thread regarding the SP line: CN-thread, particularly a response where ProAstroPD gives a good review. Celestron is coming out with this technology as an add on for their larger goto scopes in March, I read about $300 or so, again overpriced but interesting Star Sense Technology . Sounds good for my various uses, I just ordered one. WC

Edited by wcstarguy (02/15/13 08:19 PM)


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BigC
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Re: SkyProdigy 70 on sale for $299 new [Re: Tel]
      #5682076 - 02/15/13 06:00 PM

I find it absolutely amazing that many of the same people who get excited over small apo in the 70mm-80mm aperture condemn achro 70mm as useless.

70mm is 70mm .And the additional light-gathering of an 80mm over a 70mm is rather modest.

A good 70mm 0r even a 60mm 0r yes,a tiny 50mm, will be capable of striking views of the brighter objects.Such scope sizes were more usual in the 1950s when the sky was a lot darker.I first viewed Saturn here with an iOptron 70/900 I believe it is the light pollution that now limits viewing more than the scope! If the glass is good the 70mm can go 140-150X which is in the range most observers say they use anyway;certainly you will be limited compared to an 8" SCT.

My experience is the 70mm f10 will go to higher magnification than an 80mm f5 before CA becomes unbearable.

These scopes are best for,and doubtless intended for, the stargazer who has limited time and money,and doesn't yet know the stars and their names but wants to see at least some interesting stuff right now.

It would be kind of silly for someone to take the OTA from a working goto mount and put on this UNLESS they really need or want the sel-align function.It would be quite reasonable to swap the OTA from a non-goto setup,in my opinion,or if one happened to get a good deal on an OTA by itself .


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wcstarguy
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Re: SkyProdigy 70 on sale for $299 new [Re: BigC]
      #5682093 - 02/15/13 06:11 PM

I agree, the 70mm F10 is a very usable scope...I will try mine out before giving it to my nephew, hopefully will get his astro interests going a bit more...he is taking a basic astronomy class this term so the interest is there. WC

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Midnight Dan
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Re: SkyProdigy 70 on sale for $299 new [Re: wcstarguy]
      #5682218 - 02/15/13 07:34 PM

Quote:

My experience is the 70mm f10 will go to higher magnification than an 80mm f5 before CA becomes unbearable.




For me it's purely an issue of the fact that I already scopes that do the high mag thing quite well. So if I was going to play around with this, I'd rather have a scope like the ST80 that does better with the low mag, wide views. I think the mount is more suited to wide views as well, not being a heavy duty, solid mount.

-Dan


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BigC
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Re: SkyProdigy 70 on sale for $299 new [Re: Midnight Dan]
      #5682341 - 02/15/13 09:00 PM

Dan,

to repeat,this scope isn't built for you anymore than Huffy builds 16" bikes for Corvette drivers,

These scopes are best for,and doubtless intended for, the stargazer who has limited time and money,and doesn't yet know the stars and their names but wants to see at least some interesting stuff right now.

I,too,have bigger scopes and bought this only because of the "gadget factor".


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Tel
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Re: SkyProdigy 70 on sale for $299 new [Re: BigC]
      #5682837 - 02/16/13 05:26 AM

Reading through this thread, it certainly appears as if the prime intention here is to take advantage of a very special offer to acquire a Prodigy mount on which to place other, (better?) OTAs ; the acquisition of the 70mm f/10 OTA being a secondary issue. And why ever not should this be the case ?

But otherwise, let's please not delude ourselves.

It is very difficult to make price comparisons with so many price reductions and special offers flying about but at brass tacks, recommended price level, who would in all sensibility consider purchasing any of this series of 'scopes when, just for example, over here, the Prodigy 6 is overpriced to the extent that it costs about the same as the 8SE, a price structure which is, by and large, reflected throughout the Prodigy series range.

Indeed and particularly as far as this model is concerned, one might wonder why the price has dropped so drastically to $299 from that which seems to have originally been pitched anywhere between $797, (Amazon) and a more normal $400, (BH, Telescopes.com etc.). (?)

Growing customer awareness ? Loss cutting ?

Standing by original opinion therefore, I submit that these 'scopes are a poor investment and as such the "stargazer who has limited time and money" might well be advised to buy more wisely even if this requires a little more cash outlay; cash however, ultimately better spent.

Best regards,
Tel

Edited by Tel (02/16/13 06:02 AM)


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BigC
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Re: SkyProdigy 70 on sale for $299 new [Re: Tel]
      #5683312 - 02/16/13 11:40 AM

Tel,

I will agree that the SkyProdigy70 at $299 is still not the best investment when the Celestron Costco 102 is available for $200 with a bit better mount and larger tube of good reputation.

However, I continue to regard the doubly-discounted used,evidently customer returns, backed by Amazon, at a price of mere $171 as an excellent scope buy that will thrill the casual stargazer.

And if the choices are buying a $171 scope NOW or saving for another year hoping to buy the $1000 scope many here seem to think is required to enjoy the sky,I say buy the $171 scope!!!!!!!

The $999 price of the SkyProdigy 6 would need to be discounted to $499 ,at which point I would think it also a great deal.


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Tel
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Re: SkyProdigy 70 on sale for $299 new [Re: BigC]
      #5684681 - 02/17/13 06:23 AM

Hi Carl,

First and foremost I, like you, am fully in support of encouraging and enthusing newcomers to this hobby. Likewise however, I am equally aware that it's not one of the cheapest to pursue.

Disregarding therefore, the conjecture that anything costing less than $1000 is of dubious value if one is to enjoy the sky, which both you and I know is not so, the case here does not appear to be one of 'scope quality but one of economy.

Sure, the SkyProdigy 70, like the rest of its ilk is normally overpriced; "Starsense" bearing a large proportion of the cost; but an opportunity to buy one cheaply doesn't improve its performance or overall usefulness, unless, as previously discussed, there is an different reason for purchasing "on the cheap": i.e. the acquisition of the mount. But then, this has nothing to do with enthusing new stargazers.

For interest, I took a look at the SkyProdigy manual covering the "70", "90" and "130" and certainly at first glance, the alignment procedure(s) appears just as complex or simple, (depending on one's perception), as the options provided in, for example, the SLT or SE series' manuals.

Neither are such aspects of backlash adjustment, alignment refinement, screening filter set-ups etc. ignorable with these 'scopes, making them possibly less of an attraction to the newcomer to astronomy than perhaps initially thought. (?)

As always, just this guy's opinion with all respect to yours and to others.

Best regards,
Tel

Edited by Tel (02/17/13 06:30 AM)


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Mgauthier
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Re: SkyProdigy 70 on sale for $299 new [Re: Tel]
      #5685081 - 02/17/13 12:05 PM

To be sure, if my choice was between a SkyProdigy 6 and a Nexstar 8SE, I would buy a Nexstar 6SE and go to a fancy restaurant for dinner. I was never interested in the tube itself- I have the nicer 102SLT short tube for that- but the mount does look like a convenient improvement over my SLT mount.

EDIT: Looks like our (by which I mean your) purchases have pushed the Amazon Warehouse price up to about $200.

Edited by Mgauthier (02/17/13 12:09 PM)


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wcstarguy
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Re: SkyProdigy 70 on sale for $299 new [Re: Mgauthier]
      #5685385 - 02/17/13 02:56 PM

Noticed that too, Adorama is now out of the new SP70 but B&H Photo is still selling them for $229. I really am looking forward to using the mount, not having a goto mount currently. I plan on trying my 120ST on the mount, along with a couple of other smaller scopes I have (I like small scopes ). I know the sky fairly well from using simple alt-az mounts and sky hopping but this one will be fun, for me and the kids...WC

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bda
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Re: SkyProdigy 70 on sale for $299 new [Re: Mgauthier]
      #5685935 - 02/17/13 08:49 PM

New here...... found this thread while researching this scope, fyi they are selling it new at B&H for 229 with free shipping....

I'm still a relative novice myself and picked this up for my mother to see if it will help her be more confident in what she is looking at.... I'll keep my fingers crossed that it pans out.


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bda
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Re: SkyProdigy 70 on sale for $299 new [Re: wcstarguy]
      #5685937 - 02/17/13 08:51 PM

ooops, the newbie already screwed up....didn't see that last post!

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Midnight Dan
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Re: SkyProdigy 70 on sale for $299 new [Re: bda]
      #5685968 - 02/17/13 09:14 PM

Hi bda & welcome to the forum!

>. ooops, the newbie already screwed up....didn't see that last post!

No worries! We all do that from time to time!

Let us know how you mother likes it!
-Dan


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wcstarguy
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Re: SkyProdigy 70 on sale for $299 new [Re: Midnight Dan]
      #5685996 - 02/17/13 09:25 PM

Hello bda, I'm kind of a newbie/oldie myself. Been lurking on here a long while but haven't been able to be too active with astronomy for a few years, getting the equipment back out and watching the skies again is great fun! WC

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bda
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Re: SkyProdigy 70 on sale for $299 new [Re: wcstarguy]
      #5686061 - 02/17/13 10:02 PM

thanks for the welcome...... having the scope shipped to me to try out before passing it along so we'll see how it goes

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BigC
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Re: SkyProdigy 70 on sale for $299 new [Re: Mgauthier]
      #5686806 - 02/18/13 11:15 AM

EDIT: Looks like our (by which I mean your) purchases have pushed the Amazon Warehouse price up to about $200.

So I see! Must be that supply and demand free-market forces at play!

By the way,when I first looked at this the used prices were $19x, but the next day amazon notified me of a price reduction to $171 ,at which time I ordered one.The $171 price held steady for a week then jumped back up.


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Mgauthier
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Re: SkyProdigy 70 on sale for $299 new [Re: BigC]
      #5689683 - 02/19/13 08:38 PM

Amazon Warehouse now has a SkyProdigy 6 for sale for $761. That's much better than retail, but only so-so next to a brand new 6SE.

Amazon Warehouse SP6


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BigC
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Re: SkyProdigy 70 on sale for $299 new [Re: Mgauthier]
      #5692096 - 02/21/13 01:38 AM

I'd order the used,Amazon customer return SP6, IF it was $499 !!

$719 IS too close to a new 6SE,or a good used 8SE from private (and non -warranted) seller


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BigC
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Re: SkyProdigy 70 on sale for $299 new [Re: Mgauthier]
      #5707748 - 03/01/13 08:27 PM

Amazon used SkyProdigy 70 now at $293 !! ;glad I grabbed one for $120 less.

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wcstarguy
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Re: SkyProdigy 70 on sale for $299 new [Re: BigC]
      #5707762 - 03/01/13 08:33 PM

I'm enjoying mine...what with the weather and such I've only had it out one night for a few hours but it worked a charm with my little st80 goscope. WC

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BigC
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Re: SkyProdigy 70 on sale for $299 new [Re: wcstarguy]
      #5708649 - 03/02/13 11:54 AM

I think there has been only ONE clear night since mine arrived ;there were a few nights of full Moon with heavy haze,cold and very damp,not fit for man nor scope.

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wcstarguy
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Re: SkyProdigy 70 on sale for $299 new [Re: BigC]
      #5715270 - 03/05/13 08:17 PM

Hey BigC, I'm using my SP70 mount without the 70mm tube shroud so my other OTAs will fit and it seems to work fine. I couldn't tell that the plastic shroud was adding any absolutely needed support to the mount either. I am still looking for the perfect "modified cover" to protect the alt gear a bit, are you using yours this way (no shroud)? Looks like Hayneedle still has them for $299 new but everywhere else they are $360 and up....WC

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BigC
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Re: SkyProdigy 70 on sale for $299 new [Re: wcstarguy]
      #5715746 - 03/06/13 01:55 AM

ony had ne good night here and limted time soused my etx80 then.

badcold now staying in


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BigC
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Re: SkyProdigy 70 on sale for $299 new [Re: BigC]
      #5800246 - 04/15/13 11:08 AM

Last night after work took the SkyProdigy 70/6SE out for its first light.(Took the 70mm refractor OTA and substituted a 6SE OTA.Since the 6SE has its dovetail on the opposite side ,the focus knob is above the eyepiece and the red dot finder rather awkward.)The mount handled the 6" sct with no unusual noises.I did see the mount flex when putting on the heavier OTA.Self-align took a look at 4 sky areas and claimed success. But it turn out the object desired was consistently just out of the field of view of a 25mm eyepiece,always to the lower left.

Just couldn't seem to get point-like focus on Castor or Pollux;switching back to Saturn it was there but had trouble getting sharp focus.Momentary views showed sharp rings and planet defintely had a little color with faint bands whereas the rings looked brilliant white.Continued to struggle with very tiny focus moves but Saturn stayed blurry.One look at the corrector confirmed my mistake.I forget the dew shield! The plate was covered in dew ;thus ended the session.

I did get a few glimpses of Saturn in sharp fous,the best I had yet seen it.Once found with the 25mm, a TMB 6mm was swapped in for most views.Saturn did not exhibit the rainbow of colors as did Castor which was much lower in the sky.

Conditions started with half-obscured sky ;very large high cloud coverage that moved or dissipated by 2 am.

And this was first real session for my ergonomic work chair ;really glad I bought one with the larger range of seat heights .


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core
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Re: SkyProdigy 70 on sale for $299 new [Re: BigC]
      #5801710 - 04/15/13 10:53 PM

Quote:

But it turn out the object desired was consistently just out of the field of view of a 25mm eyepiece,always to the lower left.




That makes 2 of us! I have a different OTA mounted on my SkyProdigy mount - an older Celestron 100mm f/5 refractor, and in my case, setup for video astronomy. with straight-thru video camera mount, objects consistently end up on the lower right of the display screen (left for you since you have a diagonal. I've had the setup out three times, and each time I've gone into menu setting to alignment the mount with the scope (and it's easier since I have a mark on the center of my screen) - goto's still end up on the lower right. Tripod is leveled, and the only thing I have not calibrated is the mount's back-lash - is your backlash set to zero as well? Will try and tinker with that aspect next time around.


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BigC
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Re: SkyProdigy 70 on sale for $299 new [Re: core]
      #5802364 - 04/16/13 11:21 AM

Didn't change backlash.I should put the 70 back on and check accuracy.The little shroud might also brace tube/mount alignment?There are other scopes to try on this mount as well,like a lightweight 80mmf5.And a 130mmf5 Newton.

Since the error is consistent it can be dealt with.

It is just neat to watch the scope search the sky and align itself.I'd like my 8SE to do that but the price for the SkySense add-on is too high for me.


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nine44
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Re: SkyProdigy 70 on sale for $299 new [Re: wcstarguy]
      #5802865 - 04/16/13 02:29 PM

Quote:

Hey BigC, I'm using my SP70 mount without the 70mm tube shroud so my other OTAs will fit and it seems to work fine. I couldn't tell that the plastic shroud was adding any absolutely needed support to the mount either. I am still looking for the perfect "modified cover" to protect the alt gear a bit, are you using yours this way (no shroud)? Looks like Hayneedle still has them for $299 new but everywhere else they are $360 and up....WC




WC--I took a chop saw to my mount shroud and sanded the cut edges--keeps all of guts covered, but allows larger diamter OTAs to be used. I'm using the 6se on it and it works realy well.


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wcstarguy
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Re: SkyProdigy 70 on sale for $299 new [Re: nine44]
      #5802880 - 04/16/13 02:39 PM

Nine44, I think I'll do the same thing, my mount seems to be working well, without the alignment problems a couple have mentioned. I have only had the sp out about three times due to bad weather and other stuff but I really like it. My biggest scope I have mounted is the 130 flextube newt and it worked fine. I am thinking of ordering one of those high point scientific C6 tubes to use, it weighs about the same as my 130 or my 120st. I did put wooden legs on the mount and they help with stability. wc

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BigC
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Re: SkyProdigy 70 on sale for $299 new [Re: wcstarguy]
      #5803869 - 04/17/13 02:16 AM

As my scope was on a grassy spot not sure wooden legs are needed.My biggest problem is bumping the legs with my size 12s!

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Rainguy
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Re: SkyProdigy 70 on sale for $299 new [Re: BigC]
      #6061474 - 09/03/13 06:45 PM

Hey BigC, wcstarguy and core. When you put a different OTA on your SP70 StarSense mount, did you need to go into the Menu, Advanced Settings and do some kind of correction in order to use the different OTA?

I spoke with a tech at Celestron and he told me, Yes, you can use other OTAs (weight limit of 8 pounds) but that you had to go into the Advanced Settings section and punch in some kind of correction because the default settings are geared to the stock 70mm OTA.

Did any of you do this? If not, it seems that the different OTA worked okay, more or less.

I want to try out a Vixen A70lf and Stellarvue ED-80 but not sure whether to just install the OTA and go through the Alignment process as usual, or go to Advanced Settings first, though I'm unsure of what do do once I am in there.

Any input greatly appreciated.

Doug


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sonny.barile
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Re: SkyProdigy 70 on sale for $299 new [Re: Rainguy]
      #6061584 - 09/03/13 08:13 PM

70mm? 80mm? Are you guys talking about binoculars?

Im with Tel on this one. You would be better off buying run of the mill binoculars, a sturdy camera tripod, a red flashlight, and a good book of binocular objects. You would probably still have enough left over to hit the KFC on the way home from the store.

Just my 2 pasos.....


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core
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Re: SkyProdigy 70 on sale for $299 new [Re: Rainguy]
      #6062035 - 09/04/13 01:33 AM

Quote:

When you put a different OTA on your SP70 StarSense mount, did you need to go into the Menu, Advanced Settings and do some kind of correction in order to use the different OTA?




Yes, every time I change OTA's I re-calibrate the mount since no 2 scopes with their mounting system would be pointed exactly at the same spot. It's something that's very easy to do - the main thing is to make sure that your finder on your OTA is already lined up with that particular OTA.

So for example, I switched out my A80SS refractor tube for 130SLT reflector indoors, then bring the scope out. Set it up and hit align. Once it's done, slew to one of the brightest star you can find (summer triangle stars, Arcturus, etc). Most likely the scope will not be on target. In the StarSense Camera settings menu, select Calibrate and follow the instructions - use the direction and rate buttons, center the star (that's where an pre-aligned finder comes in handy if the star is outside of the FOV). Then hit enter - the SP will then take a shot, and calibrate the bright star as the new center of the FOV.


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cn register 5
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Re: SkyProdigy 70 on sale for $299 new [Re: core]
      #6062123 - 09/04/13 04:11 AM

A friend of mine has a SP with a 6" SCT. He's replaced the tripod with a much better one, with an adaptor to connect the SP mount. It's a much better system.

Chris


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wcstarguy
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Re: SkyProdigy 70 on sale for $299 new [Re: cn register 5]
      #6062155 - 09/04/13 05:41 AM

Peter describes the same steps that I have used with my SP mount. I go between a c90 Mak, a 130mm Ares 5 reflector and an Orion 120st refractor. All work well with my mount after doing the initial alignment and the adjustments in the camera settings menu (calibrate).

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