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General Astronomy >> Beginners Forum

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dodomang
journeyman


Reged: 12/20/12

goto telescope bad for a beginner ?
      #5605285 - 01/04/13 05:47 PM

OK so there is a used Orion xt10g goto dobsonian telescope that I can buy for $465 including shipping and I'm thinking that that is a great deal but I am a beginner in astronomy. I have owned the celestron power seeker 70az for about 2 months and realty enjoy what I can see. With the 70az I can barely make out the Orion nebula so I decided I wanted another telescope and one that can see galaxy's and nebula good. The thing is I don't know the sky too well yet so I'm wondering if the goto wil ruin the fun for me. I thought about buying the xt10g and then sell it to get a used 8-10 inch dob and make a prophet. There is also someone elce who will sell me their brand new Orion xt8 for $300 shipped. And I also don't need to worry about eyepieces I have a few Meade 4000s

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Bill Weir
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 06/01/04

Loc: Metchosin (Victoria), Canada
Re: goto telescope bad for a beginner ? new [Re: dodomang]
      #5605310 - 01/04/13 06:03 PM

You do know that this type of scope can be used without the GOTO? Then on the nights when you want to use it you can. That tracking can be nice too for high power planetary use.

Bill


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northernontario
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 07/01/09

Loc: Porcupine, Ontario Canada
Re: goto telescope bad for a beginner ? new [Re: Bill Weir]
      #5605341 - 01/04/13 06:28 PM

465 for a 10 inch go-to Dob sounds like a really good deal to me.

As Bill mentioned, it does both.

Fun is a personal thing. Most nights, I like to hunt em down, that's fun for me. But it is also nice to let some one else do the driving once in awhile.

You would be surprised at how fast you learn the night sky if you put your mind to it.

jake


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BigC
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 09/29/10

Loc: SE Indiana
Re: goto telescope bad for a beginner ? new [Re: dodomang]
      #5605349 - 01/04/13 06:37 PM

The goto won't ruin it for anyone.

What is the real difference whether the objects are pointed out to you by book, a human more experienced, or a computer data storage unit ? Unless one plans on pretending the stars haven't been named and positions plotted before ?



It is a tool just like automatic transmissions.

Walking barefoot in the snow uphill to school didn't make the lessons any better(or worse).


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Ed Wiley
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 05/18/05

Loc: Kansas, USA
Re: goto telescope bad for a beginner ? new [Re: BigC]
      #5605359 - 01/04/13 06:43 PM

Go for it. Star-hopping is fun and you can do it simply by not using the go-to. On the other hand, if you get frustrated trying to find a target, then "go to" it, use the finder to study the field and next time you will know what to look for in your star hopping.

Ed


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panhard
It's All Good
*****

Reged: 01/20/08

Loc: Markham Ontario Canada
Re: goto telescope bad for a beginner ? new [Re: Ed Wiley]
      #5605401 - 01/04/13 07:11 PM

Quote:

OK so there is a used Orion xt10g goto dobsonian telescope that I can buy for $465 including shipping and I'm thinking that that is a great deal but I am a beginner in astronomy.


That price is great as long as the telescope is in good shape.

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GOLGO13
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 11/05/05

Loc: St. Louis area
Re: goto telescope bad for a beginner ? new [Re: dodomang]
      #5605496 - 01/04/13 08:12 PM

I think "goto" is fine for a beginner. I believe with that scope you can use it or not if you like. So you get the best of both worlds.

In my opinion the only bad go to scopes are ones where you cannot use the scope without it. More of a problem if the scope breaks in the future.

If you live in light pollution where star hopping is tough, it's very useful.


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lamplight
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 09/18/12

Loc: western MA, U.S.
Re: goto telescope bad for a beginner ? new [Re: GOLGO13]
      #5605623 - 01/04/13 09:45 PM

My firsts cope, way back in.. Oh.. Late fall this year, I picked because it was goto and could be used manually. This sounds ideal, hurry!!

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Billytk
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 04/22/12

Loc: Lake Mary, Fl.
Re: goto telescope bad for a beginner ? new [Re: lamplight]
      #5605636 - 01/04/13 09:56 PM

The Orion GO-TO scopes can be used manually but are very stiff and hard to track by hand. If you want to track by hand they are not the scope you would want.

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Fuzzyguy
professor emeritus


Reged: 12/21/11

Loc: Colorado/Kansas
Re: goto telescope bad for a beginner ? new [Re: dodomang]
      #5605798 - 01/04/13 11:54 PM

I'm in the Goto doesn't need to ruin it for beginners crowd. If the goto is easily aligned and accurate, it will take the frustration many newcomers (myself included) experience when they first try to find objects using viewfinders and eyepieces.

Learning the tricks of the trade to see detail in faint nebulas, galaxies, details on planets etc. is way more important in my view than how you find them.

I've never tried it, but I'd think if you wanted to learn to star hop, you could use goto pretty effectively by having the scope move from star to star while you watch in the finder or eyepiece. Then go back and try it for yourself. After a few times, you'll get the hang of it. It's not really rocket science, it just takes practice.


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dan777
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 11/16/07

Loc: Indiana
Re: goto telescope bad for a beginner ? new [Re: dodomang]
      #5605842 - 01/05/13 12:34 AM

Quote:

goto telescope bad for a beginner ?



The answer is no. But even if the answer was yes, you don't have to use it.

The second question should be "is a tracking scope bad for beginners?" The answer is no. The tracking capability of the XT10g makes it a much more useful scope than the non-tracking dobs you are considering. Nudging a 10" dob to track an object takes more effort than it does with a 70mm.

Getting back to goto, it has helped me find faint fuzzies that I would have given up on. Then there's the occasional faint comet that is only visible in the middle of the night for a few weeks in the winter when maybe you get one clear night in that time period. You don't want to be up all night looking for it and fail to find it.


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Gregen
super member


Reged: 11/25/12

Loc: CA
Re: goto telescope bad for a beginner ? new [Re: dan777]
      #5605893 - 01/05/13 01:13 AM

I think it is a great deal! Go for it! I myself think it is ok to get it as a starter. But, because of the usual high price, I do not have a goto. It has served me well for my first and has shown me how to navigate the stars. I would turn the goto off every once and a while for a true experience though.

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orion61

*****

Reged: 10/20/07

Loc: Birthplace James T Kirk
Re: goto telescope bad for a beginner ? new [Re: Gregen]
      #5606104 - 01/05/13 08:16 AM

Go-To is the Best thing to happen in Ameture Astronomy for beginners.... and the worst.
It has gotten people into the hobby that otherwise may not have started without it.
It is sad the lack of knowledge, and not knowing the thrill of the Hunt, Star Hopping, Useing Star Charts,and Manual setting circles. plotting and Conquering the faint objects you are hunting for.
I get bored with Go-To after about 1/2 hr, and find I dont take as much time with each object studying it.


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Jon Isaacs
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 06/16/04

Loc: San Diego and Boulevard, CA
Re: goto telescope bad for a beginner ? new [Re: orion61]
      #5606165 - 01/05/13 09:15 AM

I am not a big fan of Goto because I enjoy starhopping. Whatever one wants to say, using Goto and starhopping are quite different experiences, just as riding a motorcycle and riding a bicycle are fundamentally different experiences, both get you there but the trip and the challenges are quite different.

That said, I realize that we all enjoy this hobby in our own way, that we have different desires, different goals, different situations and take our pleasures in different ways. So, it might be that Goto is not an enjoyable experience or it might be that it transforms a frustrating, time consuming process into a simple process that greatly enhances your enjoyment of star gazing... but there is notthing inherent about Goto that ruins you as an observer, this hobby, re-creation is the goal...

That said, this particular scope raises a red flag, it's too cheap. And the added difficulty is that it seems that Orion only supports the original owner so if there is something wrong with the scope, it's dead in the water. Orion support is critical since many of the parts are propriety.

If there is some wrong with the mount, then you will have invested nearly enough money to buy a new non-Goto 10 inch but you will as others have pointed out, you will have a scope that is not well suited for manual use. Given that this new technology that has had some teething problems, One should only buy this scope if you can see it work in person.

Goto won't ruin you, you might find you don't like it but then you will have learned something.

Jon


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CJK
professor emeritus


Reged: 12/05/12

Loc: Northeast TN
Re: goto telescope bad for a beginner ? new [Re: orion61]
      #5606182 - 01/05/13 09:29 AM

As a beginner, I will say that I think GoTo is great for many reasons: I have young kids, and waiting patiently while Dad tries to find his way to something interesting is not likely to be an oft-repeated situation; the view from our home is constrained by both light pollution and obstructions; the need to align the telescope and mount in order to use the GoTo feature has helped me learn some of the brighter stars and constellations; and finally, being able to slew to a target reliably has kept frustration to a minimum in these early stages. (That way, I save my frustration for my attempts at astrophotography. LOL)

As someone already said, if you have GoTo, you can always decide not to use it. If you don't have it and decide you need it ...

-- Chris


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dpwoos
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 10/18/06

Loc: United States
Re: goto telescope bad for a beginner ? new [Re: Jon Isaacs]
      #5606187 - 01/05/13 09:30 AM

Well said, Jon. Posts like this are hard to answer well, as we all have our own way(s) of doing astronomy. I am a huge fan of seeking out the local astro club, and observing with those folks. There is great value in trying out different gear, etc. However, I also think that one can see how other folks observe - how the community observes. For me and my (then) young sons, it soon became clear to us that we liked how the NON-goto crowd did things better than the goto folks. I think kids in general have good eyes and memories, and my sons could be successful in finding stuff and so fully participate. We also enjoy building scopes, so that factored into our NON-goto direction. So, an important factor in deciding what kind of scope to get, and what kind of observing to do, is what other folks are doing around you and who you want to hang out with.

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howard929
Member
*****

Reged: 01/02/11

Loc: Low End of High Ground
Re: goto telescope bad for a beginner ? new [Re: dpwoos]
      #5606204 - 01/05/13 09:40 AM

I suspect but don't know this, that with GoTo the experience is "that's nice, NEXT!!" as apposed to finding and actually looking.

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CJK
professor emeritus


Reged: 12/05/12

Loc: Northeast TN
Re: goto telescope bad for a beginner ? new [Re: howard929]
      #5606212 - 01/05/13 09:46 AM

Quote:

I suspect but don't know this, that with GoTo the experience is "that's nice, NEXT!!" as apposed to finding and actually looking.




That depends on your attitude and goals, I suppose, like anything else. I don't think it's fair to imply that using a GoTo system somehow makes astronomy less rewarding.

-- Chris


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Jon Isaacs
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 06/16/04

Loc: San Diego and Boulevard, CA
Re: goto telescope bad for a beginner ? new [Re: CJK]
      #5606214 - 01/05/13 09:47 AM

Quote:

As someone already said, if you have GoTo, you can always decide not to use it. If you don't have it ...




Some Goto mounts can be used effectively for starhopping but many cannot. In general equatorial Goto mounts work well for starhopping, they have eq north tracking mode and in that mode, its just like using a mount with a clock drive.

But in general, alt-az Goto mounts are not designed to be easily used without the Goto, the motions and action of the unlocked mount is poor so one is dependent on trying to slew the scope using the hand-controller, it's not easily done...

In case of this particular scope, the XT-10g, it seems the motions are stiff and not smooth..

Jon


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CJK
professor emeritus


Reged: 12/05/12

Loc: Northeast TN
Re: goto telescope bad for a beginner ? new [Re: Jon Isaacs]
      #5606216 - 01/05/13 09:50 AM

Quote:

Some Goto mounts can be used effectively for starhopping but many cannot. In general equatorial Goto mounts work well for starhopping, they have eq north tracking mode and in that mode, its just like using a mount with a clock drive.

But in general, alt-az Goto mounts are not designed to be easily used without the Goto, the motions and action of the unlocked mount is poor so one is dependent on trying to slew the scope using the hand-controller, it's not easily done...

In case of this particular scope, the XT-10g, it seems the motions are stiff and not smooth..

Jon




Ah. There's my inexperience showing again.

-- Chris


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