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Is AWB Scope the Best Entry Level Scope for Most Beginners?

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#26 rhetfield

rhetfield

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Posted 15 December 2020 - 12:13 PM

One thing to remember with any beginner scope is that around $200-300 in accessories is needed to maximize the scope's capability.  Most new scopes come with a low power and mid power EP.  They still need a high power EP or zoom and should have a 2x barlow that converts to 1.5x along with a UHC filter and variable polarizer or neutral density filter.  Few scopes with 2" focusers come with 2" eyepieces, so factor in one of those to maximize FOV.

 

My AWB with it's $200 worth of accessories will see more different targets than that $400 8" dob with a 2" focuser that came with just 1 or 2 low/mid power 1.25" EP's.  Once the beginner invests the $300 needed to expand their EP and filter collection, then their $700 setup will blow away my $400 setup.

 

In the $200 range, a lot of scopes come with wobbly mounts and single speed focusers that often perform worse than the AWB's helical focuser.  They are also often lacking a good means to navigate the light polluted skies.  One advantage of any dob - including the mini-dobs - is that they can have degree circles added.  Why none come with it is beyond me.  Hard to beat Sky Safari on a tablet for targeting info.

 

There is also a lot to be said about ease of setup and use.  In general, my AWB is a lot easier to transport and setup than the neighbor's Spaceprobe 130EQ (even when including the fold up camp table).  None of us have yet to master the EQ mount and it does not have near as nice of degree markings as what I added to the AWB.  The result is that everybody sees more when I bring out the AWB.

 

Whatever one gets as a beginner scope, my belief if that it needs to be able to see at least 200x with a reasonable exit pupil and get 2 deg or better FOV at the other end.




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