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Bushnell Voyager 4.5 inch Reflector Telescope

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I live in Downingtown, PA, about 25 miles northwest of Philadelphia. I have lived here for 7 years. Before that I lived in Howell, NJ about 7 miles east of 6 Flags Great Adventure. I have been using my own telescopes since 1986 and had some sky watching off and on for 20 years before that. I only use my equipment about once a month. I have a Coulter Optical 8" Dobsonian, a Bushnell Voyager 4.5 inch Reflector Telescope, and a very old pair of 10x50 Selsi binoculars. My only bias is that I like to use simple equipment because I usually do not have a lot to time to observe. Also, I have been an avid subscriber to Astronomy magazine for over 25 years.

I do not have any new equipment to review, but I would like to review the Bushnell Voyager 4.5 inch Reflector Telescope, similar to the Astroscan marketed by Edmund Scientific for years and years. This scope is great for just grabbing something quick for a few minutes of sweeping the sky to get a closer view of naked eye and nearly naked eye sights. For a casual astronomer, the views are clear in the eye pieces, 1 1/4” 27mm Plossl and 5mm Ramsden. Maneuvering the scope from sight to sight is as easy as it gets, but staying locked on can be a hassle because the slightest touch can throw it off view due to the base being a simple type of ball and socket swivel. I had always wanted a small easy scope (after seeing the Astroscan ads for years), but could not convince myself to spend the money as I was not sure if I would be satisfied with the results. I am glad that I finally did buy this scope and it has become a much used tool for me.

Although this model is no longer available as new, it is a fine representative of the very easy ball and swivel scopes that you could give to young child interested in the night sky. It takes only a moment to set up and begin viewing, the images of naked eye sights are clear and crisp, and it is so portable that you can carry it easily on your back with the shoulder strap provided and it takes up almost no room in the car/van when you are packing for a vacation. I love going to star parties and seeing the real big scopes in action and my dobsonian gives some good views of deep sky sites, but this little scope is the what I grab along with my binoculars when I an eke out a few moments to spend looking up at night.

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