Jump to content

  •  

CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.

Photo

60 day review of ETX 80

  • Please log in to reply
80 replies to this topic

#1 aeajr

aeajr

    Voyager 1

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 12879
  • Joined: 26 Jun 2015
  • Loc: Long Island, New York, USA

Posted 24 October 2015 - 11:28 PM

60 Day Review - ETX 80

 

Reason for purchase:  First telescope after starting with 10X50 binoculars.  Old 60mm Sears scope did not work very well and provided very narrow views

 

Selection Criteria:

 

  • Wide “binocular like views” as a step up from 10X50 binoculars rather than going to larger binoculars and p-stands
  • Under $300 – Was still not sure I was committed to the hobby
  • Available through Amazon.  Had credits that I could use to help pay for a telescope
  • Very stable tripod – had read many reports of entry level scopes on wobbly tripods
  • GoTo – Wanted help finding objects in my very light polluted skies (Bortel 7)
  • Tracking
  • Clutches that can be released so it can be used manually with the computer turned off
  • Light and portable – Convenient transport and set-up for home use as well as quick toss in the car for remote site or travel use
  • Compact – possible to take on a plane or in a very packed car on a vacation
  • Possible use for webcam based astro video/photography
  • Accessories available
  • Large user community
  • Major brand with good optics reports

 

Summary:  I purchased the ETX 80 AT version in August 2015 from Amazon on sale for $230.  I have been very happy with it.  This was my first scope after entering astronomy via 10X50 binoculars.  I like The ETX 80 and would recommend it to anyone looking for an entry level short FL scope that is very portable with easy to use GoTo features.  Also suitable as a first scope for a young teen with minimal adult assistance once they know how to use it.  And due to the tracking and wide views this is a great first family scope as you can find things fast and it will keep them in view as various members of the family come to take a look. 

 

More on my selection criteria and what I learned before I purchased the ETX 80

http://www.cloudynig...es-perspective/

 

Video overview of the backpack version – same scope, different tripod and accesory package
https://www.youtube....h?v=zjsD69fPg6Y

 

My Review:

 

I have a Sears 60 mm telescope from the 1960s which does not work very well after sitting in the basement over 45 years.  The views are very narrow too.   So I don’t consider that my starting point.   I started in astronomy in June 2015 with inexpensive 10X50 binoculars.   I really liked the wide views.  I spent about 2 months with a planisphere, “Turn Left at Orion” and various internet tools.  I joined two astronomy forums.

 

In August I decided I wanted to expand my glass so, was I going to 15X70 binoculars or would I go for my first scope?   After reading a LOT on the forums I decided I wanted a short FL refractor that could give me similar low power wide views to larger binoculars but would also give me stable views, Goto and the ability to go up in magnification.   The ETX 80 seemed to meet that criteria.  

 

The included 26 mm Meade Super Plossil eyepiece provides a 15X 3.4 degree field of view which is very binocular like in feel.  I use this eyepiece more than any other.   The included 9.7 mm eyepiece provides 41X and relatively wide 1.3 degree view.   I have since added a Meade Super Plossil 6.4 mm eyepiece for 62X.   When combined with the built in 2X barlow this gives me 15x, 30x 41x, 62x, 82x and 124x. That is a pretty nice range of magnifications.

 

Views of the moon, Saturn and stars were very good.   I observed a number of Messier star clusters and Deep space targets such as the Andromeda Galaxy, the butterfly cluster and others.  I split the double star Alberio and found the “coat hanger”.  These all looked great in the wide views provided by the ETX 80.   I later added external 2X and 3X barlows which took my top magnification to 186X which I have used on Saturn and the moon.  Overall I would say anything over 150X is only useful on very bright objects.   For most objects I find I typically use it under 100X.   High magnification is not that the strong suit for this telescope but even in my larger scope, which I purchased later, I do most of my observations at 150 X or less.

 

Some people don’t like the focuser as it is a fine tuning focuser.  I understand their concern but I don't find it an issue.  By design this is a fine adjustment focuser so it is slow if you want to make a large range focus adjustment as would be needed when using the internal flip barlow.  However once you are in the general focus range of you eyepieces the amount you need to turn to go to a different eyepiece is quite small and you can really fine tune the focus.  I am fine with it.

 

The internal barlow works well but, as noted above, you have to turn the focuser a LOT when using it.   It is better than nothing but an external barlow is more convenient.   I later picked up a separate 2X and 3X barlow which I can also use with other telescopes.  This has eliminated this focuser issue.  Refocusing with these is quite easy.

 

My skies have very few stars and some areas have no visible stars so having a GoTo scope that could find things was important to me.  The GoTo has been quite good and accurate once I trained the drives, as described in the manual.   However I noticed that running it on the internal 6 AA batteries only provides about 5-6 hours of useful life, especially in cooler temperatures.  Then the scope gets slow and I start to get drive failure issues.   I actually returned the first ETX 80 for Drive Fault errors as I thought it was the drives.  I now believe the first scope may have been fine and the issue was low batteries.   I have since purchased a car adapter cable and now I can plug it into a power port in the car or run it off a car jump start pack.   This works GREAT!  Slews, the moving of the scope from target to target, are fast and no more drive fault issues.  I highly recommend this $12-$20 accessory

 

I love the GoTo but I also want to learn to star hop the way one would do with a manual scope.  I like that I can release the clutches and use the scope manually.  I later learned that not all GoTo scopes allow this.   I use the ETX 80 manually about 50% of the time.  I bought a Telrad finder scope for it but have not installed it. I tend to do my star hopping with binoculars then target the scope using a $5 green laser mounted on the telescope with rubber bands.  This works extremely well.  Looking through the 26 mm/15X  eyepiece is like looking through the finder scope on many other telescopes so I find I really don't need a separate finder scope.

 

I really enjoy the portability.  All up it is about 12 pounds.  It lives in the garage with my accessory box.   I can scoop it up with the accessories, walk to my observation site, set up and observing manually in 5 minutes.  If I want to use the GoTo add another 5 minutes.   The ETX 80 is so easy to toss in the car for quick hops.  I love it!  I have not used it as a table top, off the tripod, but it is good to know I can leave the tripod home and take it with me when space is limited or on an airline in checked baggage.  Everything is built into the scope so you don't need the tripod if you have a table. 

 

Aligning the GoTo is a simple process once you have done it a few times.  The first time you do this you put in a location, time and date.  Those are retained in memory so you only do this once. Meade provides a compass/level that goes in the eyepiece hole.   You level the scope and point it North.  Then lock the two clutches so the motors can turn the scope.  Turn on the computer and select the EASY alignment option.  The scope selects a bright star that should be easily visible in your sky.  You don’t have to know where the star is, the scope knows.   Using the 26 mm eyepiece you confirm the star is in view and you center it, then hit enter.   The scope selects a second star and goes to it.  Again you confirm it in the eyepiece and center it with the arrows on the control.  Hit enter and you are done.  So easy!  Now it can find stars, planets, Messier Objects, deep space objects and more. 

 

The ETX 80 also has a cool Tour feature that will take you on a tour of the best objects in the sky tonight.  It goes from the brightest to the dimmest.  Depending on how light polluted your skies are will determine how dim of an object you can see.  If you don’t know what to look for the scope will show them to you.  In this way you start to learn some of the bright stars and some of the brighter objects in your sky.  You can change eyepieces to go up in magnification any time you like.   When I do this I often also look at the target with my binoculars to become even more familiar with the sky.

 

When I consider this package based on price, what I got in the package and the beautiful wide views I consider it a very good value.   This would be a great starter scope for anyone. You don’t have to know a lot about the sky to get started and the scope will let you use it manually when you like.  The stability, light weight, compact size and ease of use would make this a great starter for a teen too.  People are using this scope for entry level photography, webcam video astrophotography and more.  There are lots of videos on YouTube.

 

I have since purchased an Orion XT8i Intelliscope.  This is an 8” Dobsonian scope with PushTo computer assistance which I also highly recommend.   It was always my plan to have two scopes plus binoculars.  One would be a larger scope, 8”, one a grab and go portable refractor and I will always have binoculars.  However, with all the options I have at hand the ETX 80 still gets plenty of sky time when I want to be set up fast, when I want to be able to track the target or when I want that wide view experience.  I took a 4 hour trip by car recently to a remote site.  The ETX came with me.  It is amazing how much more you can see under darker skies.  I really enjoyed the views.

 

I recently went to an observing session with one of the local astronomy clubs.  I brought the ETX 80 and set it up GoTo so it would track.  I put in on the Pleiades and left it there tracking so people could see that beautiful cluster that looks much better in the ETX 80 than in my 8” Dob.  Later I put it on the double star Albireo with the 9.7 mm eyepiece so they could see the double star split and left it tracking for half an hour.   In parallel I set up my Orion XT8i Intelliscope Dobsonian to show some of the other things in the sky while the ETX 80 tracked whatever I wanted it to track.

 

At some point I plan to try webcam based video photography and the ETX 80 will be my telescope of choice for this use.

 

Will the ETX 80 be a good scope for you?  Well if your criteria are like mine then yes.  If you think this is going to compete with an 6” $800 SCT, or a 6"  Dob then you will be disappointed.  If you are looking for high magnification than this is not the scope for you.   But if you look at it for what it is, a great entry level, wide view GoTo scope at a good price on a solid mount with lots of accessories and options available then it is a great scope and a great value. I will have this a long long time.  Even now that I have the 8" Dob the ETX continues to get its share of sky time.

 

ETX80 Scope I purchased

http://www.amazon.co...ds=Meade ETX 80

Review of the ETX 80 AT version
https://www.youtube....h?v=IOTJYNbRL-I

Video overview of the backpack version – same scope, different package

They demonstrate the Goto features.
https://www.youtube....h?v=zjsD69fPg6Y

 

Using with a CCD camera with ETX 70 – from 2009

This was the earlier version which had a smaller aperture.

https://www.youtube....h?v=22ZaZU5j70E


Edited by aeajr, 26 October 2015 - 11:13 AM.

  • Jim Nelson, peter k, caheaton and 10 others like this

#2 Starman27

Starman27

    Cosmos

  • *****
  • Moderators
  • Posts: 8083
  • Joined: 29 Jan 2006
  • Loc: Illinois, Iowa

Posted 26 October 2015 - 11:03 AM

Thanks for the comprehensive review of an often overlooked telescope.


  • Michael Covington and redjellydonut like this

#3 aeajr

aeajr

    Voyager 1

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 12879
  • Joined: 26 Jun 2015
  • Loc: Long Island, New York, USA

Posted 08 November 2015 - 03:39 PM

If anyone else has this scope I would welcome your additional comments, positive or negative, for the benefit of those who may be interested.


  • redjellydonut likes this

#4 laliux39

laliux39

    Lift Off

  • -----
  • Posts: 18
  • Joined: 08 Nov 2015
  • Loc: Costa Rica

Posted 09 December 2015 - 07:59 AM

Thank you for the exhaustive review,always I'm interested in this telescope but the little guy has so many bad reviews! Temperamental plastic gear drives and go to problems... Nice to read something like this!

#5 aeajr

aeajr

    Voyager 1

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 12879
  • Joined: 26 Jun 2015
  • Loc: Long Island, New York, USA

Posted 09 December 2015 - 08:48 AM

Perhaps I have not had it long enough to hit those problems.



#6 Michael Covington

Michael Covington

    Author

  • *****
  • Vendors
  • Posts: 5524
  • Joined: 13 May 2014
  • Loc: Athens, Georgia, USA

Posted 09 December 2015 - 03:03 PM

Small telescopes like this are of continuing value -- no matter how much equipment you build up, this will continue to be your grab-and-go telescope.

 

As for whether the go-to system is unreliable, all reports indicate that there are people who are good at getting them *not* to work!  But you have had success.  This probably means, among other things, that you identify the setup stars correctly.  :)


  • spaceclown likes this

#7 Michael Covington

Michael Covington

    Author

  • *****
  • Vendors
  • Posts: 5524
  • Joined: 13 May 2014
  • Loc: Athens, Georgia, USA

Posted 09 December 2015 - 03:04 PM

Another key thing is that you are using this telescope within its limitations, not trying to make it be something it isn't.  For example, it is not an astrophotography instrument.


  • jackmoody11 likes this

#8 aeajr

aeajr

    Voyager 1

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 12879
  • Joined: 26 Jun 2015
  • Loc: Long Island, New York, USA

Posted 09 December 2015 - 04:15 PM

You are correct.  I purchased the ETX 80 scope for GoTo, tracking, portability and for grab and go.  I can even use it as a tabletop if I like. 

 

I don't compare it to my 8"/203 mm Orion XT8i dobsonian Intelliscope .  That is a different scope purchased for a different purpose.  I don't consider it grab and go, it does not track but it does have a much larger aperture.

 

I also love my binoculars.  I love them for what they are and don't compare them to the ETX or the XT8i.

 

Each fulfills a specific role and so I evaluate them within that role. 


  • Michael Covington, redjellydonut and jackmoody11 like this

#9 aeajr

aeajr

    Voyager 1

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 12879
  • Joined: 26 Jun 2015
  • Loc: Long Island, New York, USA

Posted 09 December 2015 - 04:40 PM

For physical reference the ETX 80 is the one in the middle.  It gets lots of use.

 

Close in is the Orion Skywatcher XT8i Intelliscope.  This is an 8" Dobsonian with pushto computer assist.  I consider this my main scope.

 

Far scope, the red one, is an old Tasco 76 mm reflector.   Don't use that one much.

 

The rubber bands on the ETX and the XT8i are were I place a green laser pointer that I use as a first approximation to point the scopes when I am using them manually.

 

I plan to add a Telrad base to the ETX and the XT8i so I can use a Telrad between them.   Not really necessary but I bought one so I might as well use it.

Attached Thumbnails

  • XT8i, ETX 80, Tasco D3 in line  R.jpg

Edited by aeajr, 09 December 2015 - 04:45 PM.

  • Slashzero likes this

#10 caheaton

caheaton

    Vanguard

  • *****
  • Posts: 2129
  • Joined: 26 May 2009
  • Loc: SW Ohio

Posted 18 December 2015 - 08:51 PM

I have a soft spot for the little ETX80...it's the scope that pulled me back into the hobby after a hiatus of 15 ~ 20 years (as an observer...still followed astronomy news and events).  In my first year of owning the scope I ran through the entire Messier catalog with it and then some.  

 

 

One tip, I probably abused mine by trying to use a DSLR with it for afocal photography, as well as using fairly heavy ep's (Orion Stratus).  As a result, my first version started to develop problems (goto's wildly off, slipping, etc), but Meade replaced it under warranty.  Replacement has been trouble free, but I take care not to load any ep's heavier than 8 ounces (and most of the time just sticking to plossls) and no heavy cameras  ;)  .  

 

When aligned properly the goto's are surprisingly accurate...rarely would it not place my target within the FOV of the 9.4mm ep.  I especially enjoyed reading the tidbits of info about the target on the controller...a feature that seems to be lacking with other goto mounts I've used.

 

Enjoy!


Edited by caheaton, 18 December 2015 - 08:51 PM.

  • redjellydonut and jackmoody11 like this

#11 aeajr

aeajr

    Voyager 1

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 12879
  • Joined: 26 Jun 2015
  • Loc: Long Island, New York, USA

Posted 25 March 2016 - 02:38 PM

A tip to any ETX users, it will work on the internal batteries but it works MUCH better when connected to an external 12V source like your car, a jumper pack or a power tank.   There are also AC adapters if you are close to power.  It works so much better under an external power source.



#12 petmic

petmic

    Mariner 2

  • -----
  • Posts: 200
  • Joined: 23 Apr 2016
  • Loc: Slovakia

Posted 31 May 2016 - 10:08 AM

After reading this review i decided to give this little telescope a chance and bought an used unit very cheaply. It arrived today and so far i did train the drive and familiarize myself with autostar controls. I must say i like it so far. Only one comment so far: the tripod could have been sturdier.

Lets hope for clear skies tonight.


  • Raginar and aeajr like this

#13 aeajr

aeajr

    Voyager 1

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 12879
  • Joined: 26 Jun 2015
  • Loc: Long Island, New York, USA

Posted 31 May 2016 - 11:44 AM

Quick update:

 

I have since added new eyepieces to my collection for use in the ETX 80 and the Orion XT8i.   The 6.4 mm plossl has been replaced with an Explore Scientific 82 degree 6.7 mm eyepiece for longer eye relief and wider field of view.   The Plossl worked fine and was inexpensive but I guess we all upgrade our eyepieces over time and ES had a killer sale on its 82 degree eyepieces.   

 

I still use the 9.7 mm Meade Plossl.

 

The 25 mm eyepiece works great but I tend to use my Zoom most of the time, as noted later.

 

I have also added a Meade HD-60 4.5 mm eyepiece for longer eye relief, higher mag and wider field of view than available with a Plossl at this focal length.  

 

I have a Celestron 8-24 zoom which is my most used eyepiece in this scope.  Normally I start the evening with the 8-24 zoom for 16X to 50X.   When I want to jump up I insert a 3X barlow which now takes me to 48 to 150X and often that is what I use all evening.  

 

The ES82 gives me 60 and 180X.  I use the 180 on planets and the moon.   Works well on these bright objects.  

 

The mead HD-60 gives me 89 and 266X.    I tend to stay with the zoom for the 89X view unless I am going to dwell at this magnification.  Then the HD-60 eyepiece does give me a wider field of view.  Unless conditions are really really good 266 is really too high high on this scope except, maybe, for the bright moon.  I really consider about 180X the practical limit for any 80 mm scope.

 

Looking back, would I buy it again?   Absolutely!    

 

As stated in the review, though the Orion XT8 Intelliscope is my main scope the Meade ETX 80 still gets sky time at home and is absolutely my scope of choice for travel. And when I have my little personal star parties the GoTo and tracking are used in order to free me up to drive the 8" Dobsonian scope.

 

I am just starting to get into smart phone photography and the ETX tends to be my scope of choice when I am doing this.

 

Just felt an update would be good.  So many reviews are done within 2 weeks of purchase.   Mine was after 60 days.  Now you have one 10 months out.   

 

I still use the scope manually about 50% of the time for quick views or to visit sites that I already know.   While tracking would be nice on planets I am used to manually tracking based on the Dob.   However, when I am hunting for new targets, especially in the blank parts of my sky, the GoTo is wonderful!  And when I get into video AP I will use the Goto to track the targets.

 

Note that Meade just updated both the ETX 80 and 90.  The GoTo feature got a significant upgrade and the optical tubes are now easily dismounted if you want to put the OTA on a different mount.   Nice enhancements.


Edited by aeajr, 31 May 2016 - 12:06 PM.


#14 aeajr

aeajr

    Voyager 1

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 12879
  • Joined: 26 Jun 2015
  • Loc: Long Island, New York, USA

Posted 31 May 2016 - 11:51 AM

After reading this review i decided to give this little telescope a chance and bought an used unit very cheaply. It arrived today and so far i did train the drive and familiarize myself with autostar controls. I must say i like it so far. Only one comment so far: the tripod could have been sturdier.

Lets hope for clear skies tonight.

 

Which version did you get?  The AT version, like mine, or the backpack version.  The tripods are different in the two versions.  I understand the backpack tripod is a bit lighter in keeping with the backpack theme.  I have read that if you hang a small weight from the tripod it becomes more stable.  You might want to give that a try if it is a concern.

 

I would think it would be less of a concern in GoTo mode than it would be in manual mode.


Edited by aeajr, 31 May 2016 - 12:08 PM.


#15 petmic

petmic

    Mariner 2

  • -----
  • Posts: 200
  • Joined: 23 Apr 2016
  • Loc: Slovakia

Posted 31 May 2016 - 01:12 PM

 

 

Which version did you get?  The AT version, like mine, or the backpack version.  The tripods are different in the two versions.  I understand the backpack tripod is a bit lighter in keeping with the backpack theme.  I have read that if you hang a small weight from the tripod it becomes more stable.  You might want to give that a try if it is a concern.

 

I would think it would be less of a concern in GoTo mode than it would be in manual mode.

 

Well, the box says nothing about the version. I think it is not the backpack version though as there is no 45 deg prism, no backpack and the tripod doesnt have a hook.

The tripod i have looks like this:

 
This could be #882 field tripod i guess. I understand ETX-80 came with few different styles of this tripod.
 
There is also a tripod bag like on this picture but the tripod is slightly different:
 
Edit: replaced pictures with links to comply with TOS

Edited by petmic, 01 June 2016 - 12:11 AM.


#16 jgraham

jgraham

    ISS

  • *****
  • Posts: 20387
  • Joined: 02 Dec 2004
  • Loc: Miami Valley Astronomical Society

Posted 31 May 2016 - 04:13 PM

The backpack version does come with a very lightweight tripod that is surprisingly sturdy. The tripod that you show is similar to the one used with the DS-2000 series of scopes. A tad light, but not bad with the legs retracted. My favorite is by far the #884 tripod. These show up occasionally in the Classifieds. I also bought a set of Meade UWA eyepieces which offer a nice combination of magnification and field of view (82 degree apparent FOV). I really like using the ETX-80 for wide field star-hopping.

 

Neat stuff.



#17 aeajr

aeajr

    Voyager 1

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 12879
  • Joined: 26 Jun 2015
  • Loc: Long Island, New York, USA

Posted 31 May 2016 - 05:45 PM

The top photo looks like the same tripod and eyepiece I have.  The bottom one seems to have a different eyepiece tray.   My eyepiece tray attaches to one of the center supports.   I find mine to be pretty sturdy.  No complaints.

Attached Thumbnails

  • ETX Close up  R.jpg
  • XT8i, ETX 80, Tasco 3, 10X50 and 15X70 (179x320).jpg

Edited by aeajr, 31 May 2016 - 05:49 PM.

  • petmic likes this

#18 AWATS

AWATS

    Mariner 2

  • *****
  • Posts: 279
  • Joined: 12 Oct 2010
  • Loc: Foresthill, CA

Posted 31 May 2016 - 10:07 PM

I too got into this when my wife bought me the ETX-80BB after I made a comment about wanting to get a telescope. For the price it's worth it. I agree with the review too. Don't over-power it and it's great. And yes, power it from a power pack or AC converter. Much better!

 

Sadly, it was the start of my drunken slide into aperture fever!



#19 petmic

petmic

    Mariner 2

  • -----
  • Posts: 200
  • Joined: 23 Apr 2016
  • Loc: Slovakia

Posted 01 June 2016 - 01:15 AM

So, after the last evening I find the tripod to be just ok for a motorized mount. 

 

This is my first scope with goto, took me a little while to familiarize myself with the controller.

 

The goto performs very well. The alignment is very easy. I used the compass with bullseye to level the tripod head, pointed the scope roughly towards polaris and then turned the scope to 0° altitude on the setting circle.  

 

Goto was most of the time spot on. I had to use spiral search for few occasion but the object i was looking for appeared in the eyepiece within few seconds. Holding Enter to sync the object helps the slewing accuracy. I got a motor drive error once which i believe was due to the batteries running low. Really need to connect an external power as mentioned in the review above. 

 

The internal barlow is very inconvenient as it requires a lot of turns of the focusing knob. I ended up using an external 2x barlow which focuses within couple of turns.

 

Both eyepieces that came with the scope are Meade Super Plossl's Series 4000. They both have about 50° AFOV (quick star drift test) and are really 4 element Plossls. I was expecting to get more fov from a super plossl.

 

The focuser is kind of annoying - it is a very fine focuser that requires lot of turns. Fortunately, the Meade eyepieces that came with the scope are pretty much parfocal.

 

I am really missing a finder of some kind. A RDF would do just fine i guess.

 

I had about couple of hours before the clouds came last night. I managed to see:

Double Double (Epsilon Lyrae): this was the first object i goto'd, came nicely centered in the eyepiece, cannot split the pairs with 9.7mm eyepiece

M13 and M92 in Hrecules: both came as a fuzzy white patch

M81 & M82 in Ursa major: never seen them before, the goto really helped here

Jupiter and its 4 moons: my old 70/800 achromat is better for this as it provides more magnification

Mars: came as a beautiful red disc

M57 Ring nebula in Lyra: i did find it, i was definitely looking at the right spot but really didnt see it. Has someone seen in in such a small aperture scope?

 

This little scope really surprised me, let's see how i see it in few months time. Meanwhile i need to make the battery mod (i will fit a power jack and two schotky diodes so i can hot swap between internal batteries and an external power bank without loosing the alignment). I am also thinking about getting a zoom eyepiece - either Seben or Celestron 8-24.



#20 petmic

petmic

    Mariner 2

  • -----
  • Posts: 200
  • Joined: 23 Apr 2016
  • Loc: Slovakia

Posted 01 June 2016 - 01:17 AM

The top photo looks like the same tripod and eyepiece I have.  The bottom one seems to have a different eyepiece tray.   My eyepiece tray attaches to one of the center supports.   I find mine to be pretty sturdy.  No complaints.

The bottom one is also missing the center supports and has a different top plate.



#21 petmic

petmic

    Mariner 2

  • -----
  • Posts: 200
  • Joined: 23 Apr 2016
  • Loc: Slovakia

Posted 01 June 2016 - 01:26 AM

I found the hand controller holder in the eyepiece tray very inconvenient so i sticked small squares of 3M Klett-power (sort of a plastic velcro) to the top of each tripod legs and back of the hand controller. 

IMG_20160601_081759.jpg

IMG_20160601_081828.jpg


  • jackmoody11 likes this

#22 aeajr

aeajr

    Voyager 1

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 12879
  • Joined: 26 Jun 2015
  • Loc: Long Island, New York, USA

Posted 01 June 2016 - 03:01 AM

I don't use the internal barlow.  It is there if I want it but I prefer an external barlow.   My two Daytson barlows were $10 each and work great.    And I tend to use a 3X barlow on this scope than a 2X barlow.    3X combined with my Celestron 8-24 pretty much does me for the evening.

 

One tip, check to make sure the internal barlow it is fully out of the way at the star of your session.   Carrying it to the site sometimes shifts it slightly and brings it into the light path.  When I put the eyepiece in for the first time I check to make sure it is out of the way.   I had one session where everything looked weird.   Then, as I was changing eyepieces I noticed the barlow was about 1/3 out into the light path.

 

You can also use it as a tabletop if you want to give that a try.   I have not done that yet but keep wanting to give it a try.  However mine lives in the garage on the tripod so I would have to take it apart to do that and when I toss it in the car I leave it on the tripod.  

 

One of these days when I am traveling by air I might pack it into my big checked bag, packed in the center of my clothes.    I did keep the box as an alternate way to take it on an airplane but so far have not done that.


  • petmic likes this

#23 caheaton

caheaton

    Vanguard

  • *****
  • Posts: 2129
  • Joined: 26 May 2009
  • Loc: SW Ohio

Posted 01 June 2016 - 08:39 AM

Peter,

I've observed M57 with the ETX80.  It's faint, but definitely visible as a ghostly ring of light.  I don't recall the magnification used, but I would suggest trying the 9.7mm plossl (or thereabouts if not using the Meade plossl).  I was also observing from a nearby park that allowed me to escape having any ambient light in the area that would hurt my night vision....you could also use a dark cloth draped over your head as you observe.  Also, lower magnifications will make the ring appear brighter, but more disk like...


  • petmic likes this

#24 petmic

petmic

    Mariner 2

  • -----
  • Posts: 200
  • Joined: 23 Apr 2016
  • Loc: Slovakia

Posted 01 June 2016 - 11:47 AM

Peter,

I've observed M57 with the ETX80.  It's faint, but definitely visible as a ghostly ring of light.  I don't recall the magnification used, but I would suggest trying the 9.7mm plossl (or thereabouts if not using the Meade plossl).  I was also observing from a nearby park that allowed me to escape having any ambient light in the area that would hurt my night vision....you could also use a dark cloth draped over your head as you observe.  Also, lower magnifications will make the ring appear brighter, but more disk like...

Thanks  :) i will keep trying then



#25 aeajr

aeajr

    Voyager 1

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 12879
  • Joined: 26 Jun 2015
  • Loc: Long Island, New York, USA

Posted 21 July 2016 - 05:43 PM

I am going on vacation.  The XT8i will stay home.  The ETX will be coming with me to a darker site than I have at my house.  I expect to see plenty.  :D


  • caheaton likes this


CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.


Recent Topics






Cloudy Nights LLC
Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics