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ben2112
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 07/12/12

Loc: North Charleston SC
Input needed
      #5665549 - 02/06/13 03:46 PM

Well.. I am ready to pull the trigger on my first real scope. I live in a red zone at the moment and will mostly be using the scope for moon and planets, but on occasions I will be taking it to a blue area every so often. Been looking at the 6SE and 8SE. I can afford the 8SE with no accessories or the 6SE with stuff like a power tank, eye pieces, etc. I really like how portable the 6SE is compared to the 8SE.

More then anything, I want get something that when I set it up in my front or back yard, my daughter will be amazed, not disappointed.

Here is a pic of what the area looks like with Google Earth with the light pollution overlay.



If you can't see the pic, let me know. I might have done it wrong. And thanks for any and all input.


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Tel
Postmaster
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Reged: 03/31/06

Loc: Wallingford England
Re: Input needed new [Re: ben2112]
      #5665630 - 02/06/13 04:42 PM

Hi Ben2112,

Welcome to CN and to this Nexstar forum !

If I had to make the choice, I would opt for the 8SE everytime.

I appreciate you're looking for some degree of portability in a 'scope, but the 8SE is only 3lbs. heavier than the 6SE albeit a little bulkier. It does however, have almost twice the light gathering capability of the 6SE.

So, were you to go this route, where does that leave you in terms of accessories ?

Well the 8SE (like the 6SE) comes, (I believe) with a 25mm Ploessl eyepiece, (EP), to which you could add perhaps an inexpensive 15mm or 10mm (or both) of the same design. (You might even be able to negotiate a "bundle deal" with your dealer to get a Celestron eyepiece/filter kit included). I can't advise specifically on this though, being resident in England and thus not knowing your sales and marketing structures etc.

Additionally, you don't need a "Power Tank" ! Sure, you need something more than mere AA battery power as this is a particularly expensive and short lived source of power for your 'scope, but a cheap 120V AC/12V DC transformer with a 1200/2000mA output, will do the job quite adequately coupled, if necessary, to an extension cable for outdooor use.

But finally and particularly with your aim to move to darker sites in mind, when you can afford a self contained external power supply, then better invest in an Auto Jump Start battery at a fraction of the price of a Celestron "Power Tank"; after all, all you require is a reliable 12V source which does not need to be accomapanied by whistles and bells !

Hoping this helps,
Best regards.
Tel

Edited by Tel (02/06/13 06:48 PM)


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TmaninTn
sage


Reged: 12/19/10

Loc: Nashville, TN USA
Re: Input needed new [Re: Tel]
      #5665659 - 02/06/13 05:00 PM

Ah yes, the immortal "6SE VS 8SE" comparison, a tale which has been told here at the Nexstar forum for time immemorial. A thousand stars cried out as yet another budding astronomer searches for the truth. AND LO, THE NEXSTAR ENTHUSIASTS DID GAZE UPON THE SKY, WHILST ASKING THAT ANCIENT QUESTION.....

APERTURE vs. $$$ FOR STUFF?

In all seriousness, that's what it comes down to. As a 6SE owner, I can say that the price for the 6SE bundle (Scope, battery, EP's and cords) was cheaper than a regular 8SE with no bundle, thus it allowed me to get more STUFF to add to my growing AP toy collection.

All of that being said, the 8SE provides better light gathering power, to the point where you will see more in terms of DSO's. And as Tel mentioned, the weight difference is insignificant.

The bottom line is that you WILL be buying a whole bunch of other stuff to add to your collection (Dew shields/heater, viewing chair, AP equipment, additional EP's, and other assorted toys), so FEAR NOT about your available funds. Trust me when I say what you are spending now will probably be nothing compared to what you are going to buy for your scope over the next few years.

So if you are just wanting to get straight to viewing, I would suggest the 8SE since it will get you the best views. But if you are looking to gradually add to your collection, the 6SE leaves some room in the wallet to get MORE STUFF sooner, thus enhancing your viewing time. And the beauty of the 6SE is that the mount is the same as the 8SE, which means if you want to later in time you can always upgrade to an 8SE OTA, which is what I'm currently looking in to.

Hope this helps and welcome to THE BEST ASTRONOMY FORUM IN THE UNIVERSE!!!


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Midnight Dan
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 01/23/08

Loc: Hilton, NY, Yellow Zone (Bortl...
Re: Input needed new [Re: TmaninTn]
      #5665762 - 02/06/13 06:08 PM

Hi Ben & welcome to our little corner of Cloudy Nights!

I agree, go for the 8SE. It's an investment that will pay dividends for a long time into the future. A 6" will leave you wanting more at some point. Well, so will an 8", but not nearly as soon! You can always save up for those accessories later and it gives you something to look forward to!

Whether your daughter will be amazed of not depends a lot on her age and her general attitude towards these things. Many people look through a scope (of any size) and say, "Meh. I can see better views than that on the internet". Then there are others of us who are just amazed at what we can see with our own eyes, regardless of other comparisons.

If your daughter is young, keep in mind that young minds are fickle. They take an interest in something for a fleeting moment and move on to the next thing. They are still exploring the world and finding out what they really like and don't like. Much of a child's excitement comes from how much interest the parent shows and how involved they are. Try to spend time with her looking at potential targets on the internet, planning what you might be able to see through the scope that night, and most of all letting her operate the controls.

Good luck and let us know what you decide!
-Dan


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hopskipson
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 06/24/10

Loc: Queens, New Yawk, Light pollut...
Re: Input needed new [Re: Midnight Dan]
      #5665962 - 02/06/13 08:22 PM

Welcome to the Nexstar forum
I opted for the 8se for the simple reason that I could always buy the accessories in the years ahead. You will always be wanting for a bigger scope but the 8se hits that sweet spot of aperature and portability. I live in a small 2 bedroom apartment with 4 kids. I store the scope under my bed and can have it up nnd running in about 30 minutes. If money is tight, I do suggest the ac adapter by celestron for about $18 and either a barlow or 10mm plossel to get better planetary views.

Good luck in your decision and don't forget to post a first light report!


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ben2112
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 07/12/12

Loc: North Charleston SC
Re: Input needed new [Re: hopskipson]
      #5665990 - 02/06/13 08:50 PM

Ok.. I pulled the trigger.. I ordered the 8SE as a kit. For $100 more. I got the Celestron eyepiece kit, AC adapter, 7ah Power tank (I'll build something better), and the Zhumell Urban Sky Filter. Now, I have cursed my area with cloudy nights for a while.. LOL ROFL.

Besides the advice from this forum, I sat down with the wife. It's a hunk of money, but we decided it was also a good educational tool for our daughter. The other accessories I want to get will come in time, especially a good viewing chair. But for the moment, I am going to use an old computer task chair with the back off of it.. It's adjustable. The only thing I need to get is a dew shield.. I am going to make one myself because I have a feeling I am going to need a heated one. The humidity here on the coast can get pretty high.. I'll learn as I go along and keep posting and reading on here..

Clear Skies to everyone..


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UncleMossy
super member


Reged: 02/08/12

Loc: Downtown Toronto
Re: Input needed new [Re: ben2112]
      #5666137 - 02/06/13 10:12 PM

Welcome,
You will enjoy your decision to go with the 8se.
Dew protection is a must though, nothing will end your night faster than fogged up optics.
A shield will work but a heater will be a guarantee.
If you are inclined to build rather than buy you should check out this heater constructed by another member.

http://www.cloudynights.com/ubbthreads/showflat.php/Cat/0/Number/5070249/page...

Cheers,
Jim


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WarmWeatherGuy
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 08/27/11

Loc: Orlando, FL 28 N, 81 W
Re: Input needed new [Re: ben2112]
      #5666213 - 02/06/13 11:05 PM

There are many things you need in addition to the scope. You need a carrying case, a couple of nice eyepieces, a chair, dew shield, dew buster, heating strip, planisphere, flashlight, pocket sky atlas, power tank, Bahtinov mask or electric focuser, NexImage 5 camera, OFF bug spray, gloves, and an electric heated jacket.

I'm betting you are going to get the 8SE. Welcome to the big hole in the sky where we all throw our money.



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ben2112
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 07/12/12

Loc: North Charleston SC
Re: Input needed new [Re: WarmWeatherGuy]
      #5666277 - 02/06/13 11:52 PM

Quote:

There are many things you need in addition to the scope. You need a carrying case, a couple of nice eyepieces, a chair, dew shield, dew buster, heating strip, planisphere, flashlight, pocket sky atlas, power tank, Bahtinov mask or electric focuser, NexImage 5 camera, OFF bug spray, gloves, and an electric heated jacket.

I'm betting you are going to get the 8SE. Welcome to the big hole in the sky where we all throw our money.






I have plenty of OFF.. I also have another hole I pour money into, Jeeps. But I got hurt on the job a few years ago, and going off roading isn't as much fun as it used to be. Getting in and out of lifted Jeeps was causing major back issues for me. I sold my project Jeep but kept my very first Jeep. It's an old 95 Wrangler.

As for imaging, I plan on getting the Neximage 5 with part of my tax return. I think this 8SE will keep me going for a long time.


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Tel
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 03/31/06

Loc: Wallingford England
Re: Input needed new [Re: UncleMossy]
      #5666467 - 02/07/13 05:39 AM

Quote:

Welcome,
You will enjoy your decision to go with the 8se.
Dew protection is a must though, nothing will end your night faster than fogged up optics.
A shield will work but a heater will be a guarantee.
If you are inclined to build rather than buy you should check out this heater constructed by another member.

http://www.cloudynights.com/ubbthreads/showflat.php/Cat/0/Number/5070249/page...

Cheers,
Jim




Hi Ben,

Meanwhile in the temporary absence of a dew heater; used with care, an occasional GENTLE blast when necessary from a hair dryer over the 8SE's corrector plate and eyepieces will clear any dew fogging. I would recommend a circuit breaker in the line though when operating from an AC electrical source outdoors.

Best regards,
Tel


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Midnight Dan
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 01/23/08

Loc: Hilton, NY, Yellow Zone (Bortl...
Re: Input needed new [Re: Tel]
      #5666539 - 02/07/13 07:03 AM

Hi Ben:

Congrats on the purchase!

I have the 8SE and, over the years, have acquired a number of other scopes and mount as well. But the one that you'll have to pry out of my cold, dead hands is the 8SE! There's a lot to love about this scope and it definitely will keep you happy for many, many years.

-Dan


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ben2112
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 07/12/12

Loc: North Charleston SC
Re: Input needed new [Re: Tel]
      #5666594 - 02/07/13 07:50 AM

Quote:

Quote:

Welcome,
You will enjoy your decision to go with the 8se.
Dew protection is a must though, nothing will end your night faster than fogged up optics.
A shield will work but a heater will be a guarantee.
If you are inclined to build rather than buy you should check out this heater constructed by another member.

http://www.cloudynights.com/ubbthreads/showflat.php/Cat/0/Number/5070249/page...

Cheers,
Jim




Hi Ben,

Meanwhile in the temporary absence of a dew heater; used with care, an occasional GENTLE blast when necessary from a hair dryer over the 8SE's corrector plate and eyepieces will clear any dew fogging. I would recommend a circuit breaker in the line though when operating from an AC electrical source outdoors.

Best regards,
Tel




I plan on making one out of black cardboard or craft something.. I have a friend who works at one of those hobby/craft stores.. I will see what I can make. Or I just might break down and order a dew shield. But we will see.. But great idea about a hair dryer.. Would have never thought about that..


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ben2112
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 07/12/12

Loc: North Charleston SC
Re: Input needed new [Re: Midnight Dan]
      #5666597 - 02/07/13 07:55 AM

Quote:

Hi Ben:

Congrats on the purchase!

I have the 8SE and, over the years, have acquired a number of other scopes and mount as well. But the one that you'll have to pry out of my cold, dead hands is the 8SE! There's a lot to love about this scope and it definitely will keep you happy for many, many years.

-Dan




Yeah.. That is why I chose the 8SE. I done a lot of reading and research on the net and especially this forum. I am thinking that down the road, I am going to move the OTA to an EQ mount and get a 6in OTA and put it on the SE mount. Or I just might get another scope mounted on an EQ mount. But that is WAY WAY down the road.. I need to learn a lot and enjoy what I have first.


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Peter9
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 10/30/08

Loc: Yorkshire - Born & Bred
Re: Input needed new [Re: ben2112]
      #5666638 - 02/07/13 08:36 AM

Well done on acquiring the 8se Ben. A wise choice indeed. I'm sure it will give you, and your daughter, many happy nights viewing.

Good idea to make your own dew shield which I'm sure will work fine. Just remember Tel's tip should dew begin to form. I use hand warmers placed inside the dew shield next to the corrector plate to do the same job.

Regards. Peter.


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Skip
Starlifter Driver
*****

Reged: 01/23/08

Loc: Fort Worth, Texas, USA
Re: Input needed new [Re: Peter9]
      #5666973 - 02/07/13 12:05 PM

Quote:

I use hand warmers placed inside the dew shield next to the corrector plate to do the same job.




Of course, that does make it difficult to see through the scope.

Hi Ben,

WELCOME to the Collective. You WILL be assimilated. Resistance is futile.

I am NOT going to wade into that 6SE vs 8SE discussion!! But to be honest, if I had it to do all over again ...

Enjoy the beautiful new toy. And by all means keep the young 'un interested as long as possible!

EDIT: Forgot to add - when I lived in N. ChuckTown (60s) light pollution was not anywhere near that bad!

Edited by Skip (02/07/13 12:07 PM)


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Peter9
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 10/30/08

Loc: Yorkshire - Born & Bred
Re: Input needed new [Re: Skip]
      #5667019 - 02/07/13 12:37 PM

Quote:

Quote:

I use hand warmers placed inside the dew shield next to the corrector plate to do the same job.




Of course, that does make it difficult to see through the scope.






You silly A...

Regards. Peter.


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ben2112
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 07/12/12

Loc: North Charleston SC
Re: Input needed new [Re: Skip]
      #5667160 - 02/07/13 02:05 PM

Quote:

Quote:

I use hand warmers placed inside the dew shield next to the corrector plate to do the same job.




Of course, that does make it difficult to see through the scope.

Hi Ben,

WELCOME to the Collective. You WILL be assimilated. Resistance is futile.

I am NOT going to wade into that 6SE vs 8SE discussion!! But to be honest, if I had it to do all over again ...

Enjoy the beautiful new toy. And by all means keep the young 'un interested as long as possible!

EDIT: Forgot to add - when I lived in N. ChuckTown (60s) light pollution was not anywhere near that bad!




Yeah.. From your title "Starlifer Driver" I take it your were a C-141 pilot. Yeah.. They have expanded the base and it has grown like crazy. My wife pretty much grew up here. Her father retired from the AF at that base in 1971. Back then, it wasn't very big.. Now, it's exploded with sub divisions and shopping centers.. And now we have Boeing building planes here.. It's just crazy..


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Arthur Dent
Galactic Hitch-Hiker
*****

Reged: 10/23/08

Loc: South Yorkshire, UK
Re: Input needed new [Re: ben2112]
      #5667307 - 02/07/13 03:35 PM

Hi Ben

First of all, welcome to the forum:



+1 for the 8SE. Best bang for your buck.

Art


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barbarosa
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 04/11/10

Loc: "lamorinda", CA
Re: Input needed new [Re: Tel]
      #5667318 - 02/07/13 03:40 PM

Quote:

I would recommend a circuit breaker in the line though when operating from an AC electrical source outdoors.





It might be a terminology issue, but what you should havey is a GFCI (Ground Fault Circuit Interupter) proctected outlet or extension cable. A circuit breaker protects the ciruit from a current overload, but does not protect against electric shock.


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Arthur Dent
Galactic Hitch-Hiker
*****

Reged: 10/23/08

Loc: South Yorkshire, UK
Re: Input needed new [Re: barbarosa]
      #5667346 - 02/07/13 03:53 PM

For those in the UK we would refer to this as an RCCB (Residual Current Circuit Breaker)

Art


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