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General Astronomy >> Beginners Forum

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gosox2525
journeyman


Reged: 11/16/12

Help deciding between 3 beginner telescopes? new
      #5528736 - 11/19/12 08:26 PM

would you recommend the Orion SpaceProbe 3
Link

the Orion Observer 70mm
Link

or the Celestron AstroMaster 114
Link

All of these are under $200, which is my budget. I live very near chicago, and on the clearest nights see around magnitude 3 or 4 stars. Which telescope do you think would be the best? I do want to view the moon and planets but also am interested in the Pleiades, and other DSO's. Thanks so much!


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kfiscus
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 07/09/12

Loc: Albert Lea, MN, USA
Re: Help deciding between 3 beginner telescopes? new [Re: gosox2525]
      #5528740 - 11/19/12 08:28 PM

None of the above. I'd get a good-as-new 6" dob for $150 on the interweb from a well-rated seller.

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JohnMurphyRN
sage
*****

Reged: 09/09/12

Loc: Near St Louis
Re: Help deciding between 3 beginner telescopes? new [Re: kfiscus]
      #5528748 - 11/19/12 08:33 PM

Quote:

None of the above. I'd get a good-as-new 6" dob for $150 on the interweb from a well-rated seller.




+1


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frito
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 10/05/12

Loc: Fremont, CA
Re: Help deciding between 3 beginner telescopes? new [Re: kfiscus]
      #5528751 - 11/19/12 08:35 PM

+1 Check craigs list and the classifieds here regularly. the cheap Chinese 6" and 8" dobs go up for sale at and under 200 dollars pretty regularly. a dob is probably one of the best beginner scopes because they are simple, easy to use, have more aperture for your money and are great to learn on because they force you to learn the night sky all those scopes listed are much worse in quality and performance and ones with EQ mount like the Celestron will require you to polar align them before use otherwise your going to hate life trying to navigate the skies with one. the only positive thing about manual EQ mounts is once you do find an object tracking it by hand is much easier than a dob, but manual tracking on a dob is a skill that is learned with time and can be done quite effectively as long as your not trying to track something at the zenith.

Edited by frito (11/19/12 08:36 PM)


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gosox2525
journeyman


Reged: 11/16/12

Re: Help deciding between 3 beginner telescopes? new [Re: kfiscus]
      #5528754 - 11/19/12 08:36 PM

I like these 3 though, I want something more portable that a 6" dob. Which out of the three do you think is the best, which is most worth it?

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frito
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 10/05/12

Loc: Fremont, CA
Re: Help deciding between 3 beginner telescopes? new [Re: gosox2525]
      #5528758 - 11/19/12 08:37 PM

you planning on taking a hike with the thing? if thats the case forget about telescopes get some decent binoculars and a tripod for them or something.

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gosox2525
journeyman


Reged: 11/16/12

Re: Help deciding between 3 beginner telescopes? new [Re: frito]
      #5528762 - 11/19/12 08:39 PM

Haha no i just mean in the car and such. I dont know I didnt look into 6" dobs, I didnt know they were available for that cheap. Can anyone give me some links? or where should I look?

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frito
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 10/05/12

Loc: Fremont, CA
Re: Help deciding between 3 beginner telescopes? new [Re: gosox2525]
      #5528769 - 11/19/12 08:43 PM

get an 8" dob if you can. buy used. i bought my XT8 for 200 locally. i sold my XT6 it replaced for 160 locally both via Craigslist. the 8's have more room to grow because of the 2" focuser and have a bit more light grasp but 6" is no slouch either. portability of either one is about the same. they both weigh under 50 lbs assembled and can be carried as a single unit. for transport just take the OTA off the base and stick it across the back seat or like i do in my pickup cab in the passenger seat. and throw the base in the bed of the truck/trunk of the car.

it takes less than 5 min to unpack and setup a solid tube dob at a viewing site.


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KWB
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 09/30/06

Loc: Westminster,Co Elev.5400 feet
Re: Help deciding between 3 beginner telescopes? new [Re: gosox2525]
      #5528807 - 11/19/12 09:04 PM

Quote:

would you recommend the Orion SpaceProbe 3
Link

the Orion Observer 70mm
Link

or the Celestron AstroMaster 114
Link

All of these are under $200, which is my budget. I live very near chicago, and on the clearest nights see around magnitude 3 or 4 stars. Which telescope do you think would be the best? I do want to view the moon and planets but also am interested in the Pleiades, and other DSO's. Thanks so much!



Hello and welcome to CN!

I think you should have what you like,especially if money is short and $200 is all you have to spend. With a few exceptions,a number newly purchased budget telescopes in 2012 are better than no telescope. Purchased new,one gets a warranty. Of the 3 telescopes you linked to,I like the 70mm F/10 refractor by far the best. It's mount can be manipulated to be used in the Alt/Az mode for the very simple operation of moving the scope up and down,or right to left. This refractor can show Lunar and planetary detail,plus the ability to split quite a number of double stars that no regular pair of comparable priced binoculars can hope to match.

The 76mm reflector will provide no optical advantage and requires collimation,which isn't a huge task at a focal ratio of F/9. It will also require some time when taken outdoor to acclimate to the outside observing temperatures(the refractor will require practically none).

The 114mm reflector also will have the same requirements as the smaller reflector plus IMO it is of a design that compromises it's optical quality being of a Bird/Jones design. IMO it is best avoided,as in one of the exception I noted above. The design also doesn't make isn't easy to accurately collimate, for even an experienced user.


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drewp
professor emeritus
*****

Reged: 05/19/07

Loc: 41.5 deg north moline ill
Re: Help deciding between 3 beginner telescopes? new [Re: frito]
      #5528808 - 11/19/12 09:05 PM

those 3 with tripods will take up almost as much space as a 6" dob. i dont think your going to find anyone on here thats willing to recommend any of those for you.

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gosox2525
journeyman


Reged: 11/16/12

Re: Help deciding between 3 beginner telescopes? new [Re: frito]
      #5528878 - 11/19/12 09:42 PM

Yea I'm in an Astronomy class and i can navigate the sky pretty well, and could easily line up to Polaris. I prefer and EQ

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GOLGO13
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 11/05/05

Loc: St. Louis area
Re: Help deciding between 3 beginner telescopes? new [Re: gosox2525]
      #5528885 - 11/19/12 09:45 PM

Personally I would go with the 70mm refractor, but I would use the alt/az design vice the equatorial mount. That will be more grab and go.

I have looked through that 70mm and it's not too bad. But you may want to explain what you want to do with the scope. If you are just looking for some nice views of the moon and OK views of planets, then this scope will work OK. If your wanting views of deep space objects beyond the really bright ones, this won't do too well.

I agree with a used 6 inch dob if you can find one. Those are great grab and go scopes with a ton of capability.

$100 or even $200 scopes are little hard to recommend, but they do work. Just make sure you check here on each one, because some are just plain not good. However, you may also find it hard to find people here who have tried them ... and that's not to say they are bad...


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frito
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 10/05/12

Loc: Fremont, CA
Re: Help deciding between 3 beginner telescopes? new [Re: gosox2525]
      #5528908 - 11/19/12 09:55 PM

well its a trade off really.

cheaper Dobs sacrifice fancy mounts and/or tracking for more Aperture and thus resolution and performance

cheaper EQ mounted telescopes sacrifice Aperture and thus resolution and performance.

i honestly don't see what the point of a manual drive EQ mount is. my first decent telescope i had back when i was a teenager was a 4.5" newt on a EQ mount. its cool once you find an object to be able to reliably follow and re find said object. the process of finding said object was truly much more difficult than it needed to be in the first place however and between that and my lack of knowing what else to look for besides major planets and the moon i stopped using it and have only recently got back into astronomy and love dobs. all i'm saying and anyone else on here will likely agree with me on this is best bang for you buck is a cheaper dob new or used. but to each his own and if your set on getting a scope with an EQ mount under 200 dollars it would likely be best to go with a small refractor then as someone else mentioned above a few posts. either way have fun its your choice not mine


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jerwin
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 05/17/12

Loc: Romeoville IL
Re: Help deciding between 3 beginner telescopes? new [Re: GOLGO13]
      #5528914 - 11/19/12 09:57 PM

I agree that you should check craigslist . I see a Meade version of the Astromaster for 100 in Joliet

http://chicago.craigslist.org/sox/tag/3404372015.html

Aperture is king, so of the 3 I'd go for the 114mm newt, however I've seen some pretty shaky mounts before whereas the dobs are pretty sturdy. Probably a little harder to transport a smaller dob but not much.

Not sure where in the Chicago area you live, but if your close to Naperville the Naperville Astronomical Association has an astronomy fundamentals program tomorrow night at 7:30

http://www.stargazing.net/naa/current.htm#af

The guy teaching it is the club president and just a super smart guy in astronomy. If you can make it out we'd love you have you. You could probably get your next 50 astronomy questions answered in one night

Jim


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KWB
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 09/30/06

Loc: Westminster,Co Elev.5400 feet
Re: Help deciding between 3 beginner telescopes? new [Re: frito]
      #5528933 - 11/19/12 10:05 PM Attachment (10 downloads)

As to finding anyone here on CN that has tried all 3 of the linked scope types,I'm the one.

I regularly use and enjoy my 70mm Powerseeker and it has a less desireable mount than the Orion EQ 70mm. I think of it in terms of not what it can't do,but rather what can it do. A nice and easy to use change of pace to my 90mm refractor and 10 inch Dob.


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GOLGO13
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 11/05/05

Loc: St. Louis area
Re: Help deciding between 3 beginner telescopes? new [Re: jerwin]
      #5528941 - 11/19/12 10:08 PM

Do your homework on the Craigslist ones though. I see A LOT of them way over priced. Such as, used scopes which were $130 new listed at $200. So check each one using Google.

I will say there is something special about long small refractors. I think most people who are a bit older grew up on them. There could be some quality control issues on the cheaper ones. Vixen makes a few which look OK...optcorp.com has them. Those may only come with one eyepiece. Check the classifieds here for a some cheap plossls...should be $20 or less.


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Mike4242
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 11/02/11

Loc: Memphis, TN
Re: Help deciding between 3 beginner telescopes? new [Re: jerwin]
      #5528945 - 11/19/12 10:09 PM

Of the three you have listed, I'd say go with the 70mm refractor. However, a 6" dob as others suggested, will show much much more and is still pretty portable.

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lamplight
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 09/18/12

Loc: western MA, U.S.
Re: Help deciding between 3 beginner telescopes? new [Re: frito]
      #5528955 - 11/19/12 10:14 PM

Quote:


i honestly don't see what the point of a manual drive EQ mount is




I agree... I'm waiting for the EQ mount for my 10" reflector to come in (for tracking, not goto use) and my "goto" scope has been my 8" SCT on alt-az mount. it's just easier to setup...


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CosmoSat
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 07/24/09

Loc: India
Re: Help deciding between 3 beginner telescopes? [Re: gosox2525]
      #5529332 - 11/20/12 03:02 AM

If u really really want to choose among the three u hve mentioned...I would rather suggest this one..MEADE NG70-SM ALTAZIMUTH REFRACTOR.

But as many as advised above..better go for a dobsonian...any size that u can lay ur hands on in the used market for the budget u hve..

Or saving up for a new one like this Apertura AD8 Dob will be money well invested..

Clear Skies!


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howard929
Member
*****

Reged: 01/02/11

Loc: Low End of High Ground
Re: Help deciding between 3 beginner telescopes? new [Re: gosox2525]
      #5529441 - 11/20/12 06:30 AM

Hello and Welcome to Cloudy Nights.

You'd benefit from getting to a star party or joining a astro club. Then you'll be able to view through different types of telescopes even if none of them are among your 3 choices, you'd get a fair idea about what best suits your needs.

Edited by howard929 (11/20/12 06:31 AM)


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