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General Astronomy >> Beginners Forum

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wky46
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 12/12/05

Loc: west Ky.
Re: goto telescope bad for a beginner ? new [Re: sg6]
      #5607054 - 01/05/13 06:01 PM

Quote:



Worst thing about a goto is that you need power for it. Them damn handsets and motors don't do too well without electricity.


I don't have GOTO but without power to run the corrector and EP dew strips my telescope is as 'useless as teets on a boar hog'

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TexasRed
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 05/17/11

Loc: East Texas
Re: goto telescope bad for a beginner ? new [Re: wky46]
      #5607442 - 01/05/13 10:41 PM

I start most sessions by aligning my GoTo and then just pushing the scope to a few familiar, favorite targets myself and letting the auto-tracking take over. I've never had a standard Dob, so I never realized mine was stiff or moved poorly. After reading Jon's comments and thinking about them, I suppose he's right about it not being as smooth as it could be, but that's never bothered me.

As the evening progresses and I start searching for new targets, I can use the GoTo for help, if I don't find one right away. Then I take another look at the surrounding area and make a mental note of how to find that target again if/when the GoTo breaks down. I'm still learning where things are, but I'm spending less time lost and frustrated.

Finally, the automatic tracking lets me spend all the time I want trying out different combinations of eyepieces and filters looking for the best view without losing the target and repeating the search. I love the "g" series scopes.


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butsam
super member


Reged: 12/28/12

Loc: Ohio
Re: goto telescope bad for a beginner ? new [Re: sg6]
      #5607623 - 01/06/13 12:29 AM

I wouldn't have the quality of scope that I do if it didn't have GoTo. This was a huge plus -- I could get more aperture without getting lost in the light-polluted skies (since FOV goes down when magnification goes up...which generally means FOV goes down with larger aperture, for the same EP), and the young kids won't get bored as easily. So, we saved up and jumped straight to 8".

There is still some minimal "star hopping" (others will kill me for using that term, I guess "star discernment" is more like it). For example, last night, I told the scope to go to Uranus. there were 3 star-like objects in the FOV, all roughly the same magnitude. One of them looked bluish, but I am blue-green color blind and therefore don't trust my gauge of blueness. The lowest-zoom eyepiece was in, of course, for the initial centering. It wasn't entirely obvious to me which one was Uranus at that low power, so I did need to consult the charts and figure out which one it was before centering it, and moving to higher power.

I'm not saying that is exactly the same, obviously -- star hopping is certainly a great skill to have -- but for someone with a 7-year-old kid out there in the light-polluted suburban skies, that is about what they have patience for, and once we moved to higher power, she got to see the disc-like extent of the planet and the definite blueness as a reward.


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dpwoos
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 10/18/06

Loc: United States
Re: goto telescope bad for a beginner ? [Re: butsam]
      #5607635 - 01/06/13 12:43 AM

I can appreciate your situation and choice, even though it is not what I chose and what worked for my kids. Over and over I suggest to folks that they join their local astro club, where they can observe with others using goto, pushto, tracking, and totally manual and so discover for themselves what works for them. I think that many clubs have loaner scopes (ours has several), so folks can give observing a shot without having to spend anything at all! Really, what could be better?

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butsam
super member


Reged: 12/28/12

Loc: Ohio
Re: goto telescope bad for a beginner ? new [Re: dpwoos]
      #5607827 - 01/06/13 06:59 AM

Yes, that is the best advice, and how I ultimately settled on saving up for my scope -- by trying out several, and talking to people who had more experience than me about the pros versus cons of a wide variety of scopes. You are spot on -- that is the best advice!

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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: dpwoos]
      #5607834 - 01/06/13 07:19 AM

Quote:

I can appreciate your situation and choice, even though it is not what I chose and what worked for my kids. Over and over I suggest to folks that they join their local astro club, where they can observe with others using goto, pushto, tracking, and totally manual and so discover for themselves what works for them. I think that many clubs have loaner scopes (ours has several), so folks can give observing a shot without having to spend anything at all! Really, what could be better?




Dennis, I agree that getting some first hand experience is best and a good club can provide resources that and experiences that are truly of great value.

My concern with this thread is that it has two separate issues, the viability of GOTO for the beginner, it certainly is a viable option, and the viability of this particular XT-10 gg. As someone said in the reflector thread, if there was nothing wrong with this scope, the seller wouldn't have to ship it, people would be beating down the door at this price.

Jon


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BigC
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 09/29/10

Loc: SE Indiana
Re: goto telescope bad for a beginner ? new [Re: Jon Isaacs]
      #5608173 - 01/06/13 11:51 AM

Sometimes no one in a seller's area is interested in an item and it goes begging;I have seen this in radios and cars too.

Sometimes the seller is "motivated" for quick sale due to family pressures or even spousal resentment.I have bought several very nice dobs from "motivated" sellers VERY reasonably and without haggling down the advertised price.

Checking any item out before purchasing is a good idea especially if there is no warranty or return offered.


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Achernar
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 02/25/06

Loc: Mobile, Alabama, USA
Re: goto telescope bad for a beginner ? new [Re: dodomang]
      #5608401 - 01/06/13 01:40 PM

GOTO telescopes are not "bad" for beginners any more than an outright manual telescope would be. You still need to learn your way around the sky, GOTO or not. You will also have to of course learn how to operate it, as well as troubleshoot when its pointing accuracy is off the mark. So yes, if you are asking if buying that telescope is a good move or not, I would say yes for that price if it's in good working order. Light pollution is getting worse, a lot worse because of LED lighting, population growth and more lighting being used outdoors at night. Therefore beginners need all the help they can get.

Taras


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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: BigC]
      #5608430 - 01/06/13 01:51 PM

Quote:

Sometimes no one in a seller's area is interested in an item and it goes begging;I have seen this in radios and cars too.

Sometimes the seller is "motivated" for quick sale due to family pressures or even spousal resentment.I have bought several very nice dobs from "motivated" sellers VERY reasonably and without haggling down the advertised price.

Checking any item out before purchasing is a good idea especially if there is no warranty or return offered.




If one could inspect this scope, that would be a different situation. If one could buy parts to fix the scope, that would be a different situation.

The very low price plus the fact that seller apparently responded to a want ad with an offer to ship the scope is a red flag to this old bargain hunter.

Jon


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csrlice12
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 05/22/12

Loc: Denver, CO
Re: goto telescope bad for a beginner ? new [Re: CJK]
      #5608523 - 01/06/13 02:25 PM

Quote:

FWIW, I was able to polar align my daughter's Sirius EQ-G mount the last two nights in about 10 minutes. (I've never had a GEM mount, and I've not had a telescope at all for more than 35 years.) And this was in a much less than optimal location (front porch of my house, with limited views in most directions and significant LP).

The keys for me were reading the manual quite thoroughly and practicing with the controller in the bright, warm living room and having Sky Safari running on my iPad so I could figure out where the named stars the hand controller was suggesting were located. It also helped to do the alignment just after sunset, when basically only the brightest stars were visible -- it made it easier to pick them out.

-- Chris




Same here, first night with my 102XLT on the CG4. Couldn't polar alighn (haven't installed the polar scope yet), so North aligned using a compass and made sure it was level. Put on the scope, (marked already so I know it's balanced), loosen the clutches, and used Jupiter to fine-tune the finder scope (gotta replace that), and I was viewing from start to finish in about 15 minutes. Never used an EQ mount before in my life, but once I had Jupiter in the scope, all I had to turn was the RA knob to keep it in focus, so I must have been doing something right (yea, surprized me too)....but totally agree, taking the time to read the manual, asking questions here, and other research, sure helped to make it a LOT easier.


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CJK
professor emeritus


Reged: 12/05/12

Loc: Northeast TN
Re: goto telescope bad for a beginner ? new [Re: csrlice12]
      #5608567 - 01/06/13 02:47 PM

Yeah, I am pretty sure I need a new finder also. (Or a new neck, because mine just doesn't bend in the directions required.)

-- Chris


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GeneT
Ely Kid
*****

Reged: 11/07/08

Loc: South Texas
Re: goto telescope bad for a beginner ? new [Re: Jon Isaacs]
      #5608937 - 01/06/13 05:47 PM

I would never buy a used telescope unless I could personally check it out, and test it under the stars--unless it was a classic that I wanted for a collection.

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