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#1 OldNo7

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Posted 09 November 2018 - 01:34 PM

Let me start off by saying that I know nothing except what I've learned while cruising the internet the past few days, so I apologize in advance if I sound misinformed or ignorant...

 

I started out shopping for a telescope for my four year old son who has a mysterious infatuation with constellations, planets, and space. I say mysterious because he's developed it by himself through books, since no friends or family ever talk about it or are even really interested in it. So I entered this with the idea and understanding that I'd be doing everything and he'd just be looking through the eyepiece once it was setup, since he's only four but I wanted him to hopefully see some "neat stuff" other than just the moon. I had it narrowed down to the Celestron Cometron FirstScope, Celestron 70mm Travel Scope, or the Celestron PowerSeeker 127EQ (obviously all very different). The more I read the more interested I became because this stuff actually seems really cool, haha. So I was pretty much decided on the PowerSeeker 127EQ (comes with 4mm, 20mm, and 3x Barlow), but stumbled across a nice deal on an AstroMaster 130EQ including an eyepiece kit (so in total 20mm, 15mm, 10mm, 9mm Kellner and moon,blue, & red filters) for $70 more but still under $200. 

 

I live in an NYC suburb in Long Island, so light pollution will be terrible. On the DarkSiteFinder map, my house is the light gray ring outside of NYC. However, I can drive 10 minutes to the beach where it's dark red or 20 mins to where it's dark orange/yelow(?). I will also car travel with the telescope to much better places upstate which are in the light and dark green areas on the map. Primary spot would be backyard if possible though, then the beach, while upstate trips are infrequent and only a few times a year.

 

I'm not dead set on a Celestron, just seems that everything I read and researched led me to these. For some reason I'm against dobs, don't really know why, other than it seems like a pain whereas the tripod style mounts seem more comfortable and easily moved around. I've watched a few YouTube videos about setting up an EQ style mount and about collumating and I'm up for both.

 

I think my primary wish would be for us to see planets because that's what my family knows about, but honestly I'm not even sure about that because deep sky objects (Messiers?) also seem pretty interesting and that greatly expands things to find and observe.

 

Would both of these telescopes allow me to see the same things? Are there drastic differences between the two? Reviews are all mostly favorable on both of them, but with the PowerSeeker having about three times as many.

 

Or am I completely off base with everything I'm thinking? then feel free to lock my account and throw me off the forum, haha

 

Thanks in advance to everyone who reads and more thanks to those who respond...My family really appreciates the help...


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#2 Augustus

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Posted 09 November 2018 - 01:35 PM

The 127EQ and 130EQ are horrible scopes. I'd get an AWB OneSky or 6" Dob.


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#3 ShaulaB

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Posted 09 November 2018 - 01:47 PM

Contact your local astronomy club and hang out with the members when they are observing. You will get tons of useful information.

 

Does your family take camping trips? To see Messier objects with a small telescope, you need darker skies than what you have.

 

Good luck. A bright child often moves from one interest to another.


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#4 Sky Muse

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Posted 09 November 2018 - 02:33 PM

The Celestron "PowerSeeker" 127EQ is not a good choice for those first starting out.  They're difficult to collimate, for one.  Then, the 130mm "AstroMaster" is a fast, f/5 Newtonian, which should come equipped with a parabolic primary-mirror, but it doesn't.  It comes with a spherical mirror, rather, which may make viewing at the higher powers less than satisfying.

 

Have you ever aligned, collimated, a Newtonian before?  They do require it, and on an occasional basis.  It's not the hardest thing in the world to learn, but there is a learning-curve nonetheless.  An equatorial mount has a learning-curve as well, but it's not as difficult as the former.

 

Given your location, the light pollution, the largest aperture possible is preferable.  Handling a "Dobsonian" is not that taxing, not until you reach 8" in aperture and larger.  A comparative scale for the various apertures...

 

https://i1.wp.com/ww...e=678,381&ssl=1

 

https://www.bhphotov...gQAvD_BwE&smp=y

 

Even a 4.5" will show more than just the Moon, especially under darker skies, in that it would travel quite easily...

 

https://www.amazon.c...e/dp/B0000XMSNO

 

Incidentally, a "Dobsonian" is a Newtonian mounted upon a Dobson alt-azimuth.  It, too, would require collimating, although the 4.5" and 6" would be the easiest of all the varying apertures in that regard.

 

If you chose a refractor instead, they normally do not require collimating, but the apertures of refractors at similar price-points are smaller, like this 4"...

 

https://www.bhphotov...QQAvD_BwE&smp=y

 

This Meade is similar, and for less...

 

https://www.bhphotov...6_5.html?sts=pi

 

However, the mounts are barely adequate, if that, and both telescopes would require the separate purchase of a star-diagonal for use at night.  The diagonals that come with them are for use during the day, for land targets and such.


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#5 zleonis

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Posted 09 November 2018 - 02:43 PM

I'm not dead set on a Celestron, just seems that everything I read and researched led me to these. For some reason I'm against dobs, don't really know why, other than it seems like a pain whereas the tripod style mounts seem more comfortable and easily moved around. I've watched a few YouTube videos about setting up an EQ style mount and about collumating and I'm up for both.

 

I think my primary wish would be for us to see planets because that's what my family knows about, but honestly I'm not even sure about that because deep sky objects (Messiers?) also seem pretty interesting and that greatly expands things to find and observe.

 

Would both of these telescopes allow me to see the same things? Are there drastic differences between the two? Reviews are all mostly favorable on both of them, but with the PowerSeeker having about three times as many.

 

Hello and welcome - I myself have definitely used my kids as cover for my own interest in astronomy, so I can relate!

 

A few thoughts: if it's at all possible, see if you're able to assess in person the sorts of telescopes you're considering. You might find a dob to be less of a pain than an equatorial mount. While I haven't used either of the specific telescopes you're considering, I do have a similar sized reflector (114mm f/8 on an entry level alt-az mount), and got a dobsonian reflector earlier this year. While an 8" dob is certainly heavier than the tripod-mounted reflector, I'd actually consider it less of a pain. The dob is more comfortable for me to observe with (seated) and it's much sturdier than the entry-level mount and tripod. It doesn't vibrate like the tripod-mounted scope does when focusing or when you nudge the scope. Tracking objects at high magnification is a little trickier on the dob, but I get used to it and end up not noticing it too much. The setup is quick and easy: I can awkwardly carry it assembled (weights a bit over 40lbs) or comfortably move it in two pieces. Storage-wise, the dob is actually more convenient than the tripod-mounted scope since it has a smaller footprint and is more stable. You could well use a dob and decide that it doesn't work for you, but it's worth a look (assuming you have room in your budget for a dob, which would be ~$300 or so for a 6" and $400 for an 8"). There seem to be a number of Cloudy Nights members who are active in clubs in Long Island, so I'm sure you could find an outreach event where you could see some options firsthand.

 

At any rate, I imagine both scopes have the potential to show you quite a bit. The optical design of the power-seeker which incorporates a correcting lens is the subject of much abuse around here, but someone much more knowledgeable than me would have to explain exactly why this is so. I was really happy with the planetary and lunar views of the 4.5" reflector I have (Saturn looks like Saturn, Jupiter shows, at least two bands, red spot, four bright moons, and Earth's moon has endless detail to explore) and there are also many open clusters that look interesting even in light polluted skies. (it goes without saying that nothing at the eyepiece looks remotely like what you'd see in a photograph, except maybe the moon). Good luck!


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#6 zleonis

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Posted 09 November 2018 - 02:55 PM

Does your family take camping trips? To see Messier objects with a small telescope, you need darker skies than what you have.

It's definitely worth the trouble to get to darker skies when you can, but I've found no shortage of things to hold my interest as a beginner in pretty bad skies (bright red on the website referenced above). There are dozens of open clusters that are pretty rewarding under bad skies, and a smaller handful of brighter globular clusters that are easy to find, although I'd agree that it's tough to see more than a ball of fuzz. Tony Flander's Urban Messier Guide is a great introduction to what you can see through modestly sized scopes in less than ideal conditions. 


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#7 db2005

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Posted 09 November 2018 - 03:00 PM

Welcome to the forum!

 

 

Contact your local astronomy club and hang out with the members when they are observing. You will get tons of useful information.

 

Does your family take camping trips? To see Messier objects with a small telescope, you need darker skies than what you have.

 

Good luck. A bright child often moves from one interest to another.

+1 what ShaulaB says.

 

I would add, that portability and ease of use are most likely going to be your most important concerns here: If you get a small, light scope you can bring along on trips, it will be able to show you much more that you can see in the city. In a heavily light polluted city, only the moon, planets, bright clusters and double stars are within easy reach by any telescope, and for that purpose small refractors are extremely versatile for their size, and they are fairly light, acclimatize fast and are quite robust. All these considerations point in the direction of getting a small refractor, something in the 80 mm class on an alt-az mount.

 

But, if at all possible, contact a local astronomy club first.


Edited by db2005, 09 November 2018 - 03:05 PM.


#8 vtornado

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Posted 09 November 2018 - 03:09 PM

Hello OldNo7 and welcome to cloudy nights.

 

I would tayler this scope to a child.  You will have to help him at first, but in a while he

is going to want to drive the scope himself. 

 

So ...

From your light pollution problem you will want to focus on the bright objects in the sky.

Moon, planets, double stars, star clusters, and only the brightest nebulas.

 

You will want an alt-az mount, not an eq.   Atl-az points into the sky like people think, up-down

left - right.  EQ mounts point like a clock does.  The center of the clock is the north star.   Then you have to figure out What o'clock is the object you want to see at, and how far out on the hands is it (center or tips)?

 

You will want a wide field instrument.  That makes getting things into the telescope's view much easier

than with an narrow field instrument.  In general the field is determined by the telescope's focal length.  The shorter the focal length the wider the field.

 

Obviously you don't want something super expensive, because of breakage issues, and maybe

in a month, your child may never use it again.

 

Than leads me to the following telescope designs.

80mm f/5 refractor.   No adjusting, wide field, pretty rugged, small size means it will not tax the mount.

 

Small dob - 6 inch or 4.5 inch dob.  May require some initial adjustment (collimation). medium field of view.  This scope will provide the best views, but they are a bit bigger.

 

Table top dob AWB one sky is a great starter scope. (will probably need and adjustment every once in awhile.) Small, will require something to put the scope on.  I use a bar stool.

 

Note that these scopes are NOT toys.   Any one could grow with the child, and provides good

views.  I still use each of these scopes to this very day, when I don't want to drag out a big scope.

 

Hope this helps.

VT


Edited by vtornado, 09 November 2018 - 03:11 PM.

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#9 SeattleScott

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Posted 09 November 2018 - 03:19 PM

Something to consider is eyepiece position. Reflectors have the eyepiece at the top of the tube, a bit of a climb for a 4 year old. Refractors are at the bottom of the tube. You might need a chair but your kid would have an easier time. If I get a scope out for my kids or public outreach, I think about whether I want adults to sit on a chair next to my scope, or kids climb a ladder, and which scenario is more likely to result in injury or damage to my equipment...

A 4” F9.8 refractor might be perfect...

Scott

#10 sg6

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Posted 09 November 2018 - 03:55 PM

Likely need a few answers: Mainly is $200 the actual budget?

Agreed that a dobsonian is not going to be a good idea, if you learn to find something then your son has to also and that likely will not come easy to him. It may not come easy to you but if you find anything then handing it over to him will likely just move it all enough for him to see nothing.

 

Which leads to one "conclusion" you likely need a tracking mount for the scope. Principle being you find something, it tracks and when he looks it is still there.

 

Someone I suspect reasonably close to you (Ed - Aeajr) has a small Meade ETX-80. Small goto and goto's track. Think it is over $200, just not sure how much over. They are easy to set up. Data is half sensible, you aim it North and have the mount and scope Level. Then tell it to auto align. Meade actually put together a reasonable set of stars to align with.

 

Handset is basic, oddly that likely helps.

 

After that on the fully manual side are the ES Firstlight scopes. They have an 80mm 640mm focal length one at around $150 and they have a 90mm 500mm FL one at around $60 or $90. Mount is basic (shaky and wobbly). Before anyone says much all mounts tend to be just adaquate so about all end up a bit shaky.

 

A straight forward scope could be a Bresser 102mm 600mm FL, good all rounder but then you need a mount.

 

At present only Mars is really visible, and Mars is troublesome, expect just a small red disk. Jupiter reappears next year and Saturn a bit later.

 

I think it will be better to consider the mount and the requirements you have for that. Said yesterday that someone could buy a seperate mount that matched the requirements and just buy the ES Firstlight 90/500. Then put that scope on the purchased mount. You can buy a better scope if you wanted to some months down the line.

 

The ETX 80 is goto, tracks, simple and reasonable, but reasonable depends on expectations.

 

Get an easy to use scope, the Maks that are small tend to have long focal lengths and so deliver narrower fields and that can be a problem, or or accurately a difficulty.

 

Almost "standard" if possible find a club to visit. Ed may know of one, maybe two and even maybe a public outreach night.


Edited by sg6, 09 November 2018 - 03:58 PM.


#11 OldNo7

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Posted 09 November 2018 - 04:14 PM

The 127EQ and 130EQ are horrible scopes. I'd get an AWB OneSky or 6" Dob.

I see the AWB OneSky appears to be a very popular scope in here. I'm currently reading through the thread now that is linked through the AWB website. I understand this can get expensive, but starting out $200 is higher than I wanted to go. I see it comes with a collimator, so there's a bonus...is a 10mm and 20mm eyepiece enough to start out with? What should be my next purchase to go with this? a Barlow? a zoom? a different eyepiece?



#12 OldNo7

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Posted 09 November 2018 - 04:18 PM

A bright child often moves from one interest to another.

I definitely agree with that statement, but he's been into this for two years now...the kid's been an astronaut the past two Halloweens and made his 1 y/o sister go as "his" alien this year, haha...


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#13 OldNo7

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Posted 09 November 2018 - 04:27 PM

Have you ever aligned, collimated, a Newtonian before?  They do require it, and on an occasional basis.  It's not the hardest thing in the world to learn, but there is a learning-curve nonetheless.  An equatorial mount has a learning-curve as well, but it's not as difficult as the former.

 

Given your location, the light pollution, the largest aperture possible is preferable.  Handling a "Dobsonian" is not that taxing, not until you reach 8" in aperture and larger.  A comparative scale for the various apertures...

 

Have I ever done any of that? no...I didn't even know what that was until Tuesday, but I am more than willing to learn.

 

I also should've better explained myself. I'm not overly concerned about the telescope being too taxing to handle. I'm an able-bodied 39 y/o 6' 200 lb man, transportability is more where my concern lies with the Dobsonians. Also durability during transport. I'd also assume that I'd have to check collimation (if I used that word properly) upon reaching my destination.



#14 SeattleScott

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Posted 09 November 2018 - 04:31 PM

I agree it sounds like he has a passion that is worth nurturing, like I did growing up. Just don’t cheap out and get a $99 department store refractor that squashes that interest like my parents did.
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#15 Augustus

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Posted 09 November 2018 - 04:32 PM

I see the AWB OneSky appears to be a very popular scope in here. I'm currently reading through the thread now that is linked through the AWB website. I understand this can get expensive, but starting out $200 is higher than I wanted to go. I see it comes with a collimator, so there's a bonus...is a 10mm and 20mm eyepiece enough to start out with? What should be my next purchase to go with this? a Barlow? a zoom? a different eyepiece?

$200 is basically the absolute minimum for a decent scope. The Meade Mini 114 and 130 hover around the $150 range but come with inferior accessories which are barely usable.

 

I'd get a 6mm "gold-line" eyepiece and 32mm Plossl as your first new accessories. Cheap Barlows and zooms suck.


Edited by Augustus, 09 November 2018 - 04:51 PM.


#16 OldNo7

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Posted 09 November 2018 - 04:40 PM

Hello and welcome - I myself have definitely used my kids as cover for my own interest in astronomy, so I can relate!

 

A few thoughts: if it's at all possible, see if you're able to assess in person the sorts of telescopes you're considering. You might find a dob to be less of a pain than an equatorial mount. While I haven't used either of the specific telescopes you're considering, I do have a similar sized reflector (114mm f/8 on an entry level alt-az mount), and got a dobsonian reflector earlier this year. While an 8" dob is certainly heavier than the tripod-mounted reflector, I'd actually consider it less of a pain. The dob is more comfortable for me to observe with (seated) and it's much sturdier than the entry-level mount and tripod. It doesn't vibrate like the tripod-mounted scope does when focusing or when you nudge the scope. Tracking objects at high magnification is a little trickier on the dob, but I get used to it and end up not noticing it too much. The setup is quick and easy: I can awkwardly carry it assembled (weights a bit over 40lbs) or comfortably move it in two pieces. Storage-wise, the dob is actually more convenient than the tripod-mounted scope since it has a smaller footprint and is more stable. You could well use a dob and decide that it doesn't work for you, but it's worth a look (assuming you have room in your budget for a dob, which would be ~$300 or so for a 6" and $400 for an 8"). There seem to be a number of Cloudy Nights members who are active in clubs in Long Island, so I'm sure you could find an outreach event where you could see some options firsthand.

 

At any rate, I imagine both scopes have the potential to show you quite a bit. The optical design of the power-seeker which incorporates a correcting lens is the subject of much abuse around here, but someone much more knowledgeable than me would have to explain exactly why this is so. I was really happy with the planetary and lunar views of the 4.5" reflector I have (Saturn looks like Saturn, Jupiter shows, at least two bands, red spot, four bright moons, and Earth's moon has endless detail to explore) and there are also many open clusters that look interesting even in light polluted skies. (it goes without saying that nothing at the eyepiece looks remotely like what you'd see in a photograph, except maybe the moon). Good luck!

Thank you for that insight, it's actually really helpful. With me not knowing anything or anyone to ask, you addressed a lot of my concerns/questions...



#17 SeattleScott

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Posted 09 November 2018 - 04:50 PM

I believe the Powerseeker 127 is a Byrd Jones design, which involves the much maligned corrector. I have a 114mm version. The views are pretty bad with a $40 plossl but my $250 eyepieces provide halfway decent views with the scope. The 130mm is a native F5 but someone said it has a spherical mirror, another cheap shortcut. Bottom line, just because you can buy a $100 telescope doesn’t mean you should. These cheap telescopes will not foster an interest in astronomy. They will only disappoint and frustrate. Another user just posted that you need to pay at least $200 to get a decent scope. I would argue $250, but you get the idea. You can sometimes find decent scopes for under $200 used.

Scott
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#18 Rock22

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Posted 09 November 2018 - 04:56 PM

Something to consider is eyepiece position. Reflectors have the eyepiece at the top of the tube, a bit of a climb for a 4 year old. Refractors are at the bottom of the tube. You might need a chair but your kid would have an easier time. If I get a scope out for my kids or public outreach, I think about whether I want adults to sit on a chair next to my scope, or kids climb a ladder, and which scenario is more likely to result in injury or damage to my equipment...

A 4” F9.8 refractor might be perfect...

Scott


I like this idea. Sounds like his son is ready for something that would look awesome to a 4 year old.

To get a good alt-az mount and some good eyepieces will push the cost up quite substantially, but it would be a scope that he won’t get tired of. If I had to do it again, I would have saved up for a Tak FC100-dl.

I really like my ES Firstlight 102mm f/9.8, but it came with an EQ3 mount that isn’t suitable for the weight or size of the scope IMHO. There is a package from ES that has the Twilight I mount, but that’s $450. I got mine off Amazon Warehouse for under $200 (about $140). I would have just returned it if the scope were defective. It wasn’t! Goes really well on my Porta II.

See if there is a good deal on Black Friday or when Christmas deals start popping up. In any case, I second the 4” f/9.8.

#19 AnalogKid

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Posted 09 November 2018 - 05:01 PM

As mentioned in a few previous posts, visit a local club if at all possible.  You can see many types of scopes in person to gauge size, complexity, etc.    Most have loaner scopes for members.


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#20 OldNo7

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Posted 09 November 2018 - 05:38 PM

I agree it sounds like he has a passion that is worth nurturing, like I did growing up. Just don’t cheap out and get a $99 department store refractor that squashes that interest like my parents did.

that's what I'm trying to avoid and why I'm here conversing with you fine gentlemen wink.gif


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#21 MalVeauX

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Posted 09 November 2018 - 06:05 PM

Get something that you will enjoy too.

 

My daughter (now 5) has been looking through scopes since about 3 years old. Sometimes it's just seconds. Sometimes minutes. Now all her cousins and friends come over and look through scopes.

 

But you need to enjoy it too and be able to use it too, so that you can help, and it can be something you share.

 

We may see dots and smudges, but a child see's something entirely different. Something we cannot even know.

 

You don't need a crazy costly setup. But you also want to avoid a total toy that breaks or doesn't hold up to use.

 

The AWB One Sky is an excellent starting instrument. A real telescope. You don't need fancy stuff. A Celestron 8-24 zoom eyepiece is a fantastic way to start and not fiddle with things in the dark.

 

Otherwise, a long focal-ratio (F number) refractor is fine for planets, such as a 70mm to 90mm F8~F11 type refractor are fine for planets.

 

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

 

Here's my daughter at 4 years:

 

23978855207_7917318dcc_c.jpg

 

45540591892_f5d5e60c16_c.jpg

 

39864477391_837d819bbe_c.jpg

 

45781484261_4e309d6cd8_c.jpg

 

Get something you will use 5~10 years later. Don't get something just for the next year. This lasts your life time.

 

You'll cherish the memories more than anything. Well worth it.

 

Very best,


Edited by MalVeauX, 09 November 2018 - 06:08 PM.

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#22 OldNo7

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Posted 09 November 2018 - 06:06 PM

Likely need a few answers: Mainly is $200 the actual budget?

Agreed that a dobsonian is not going to be a good idea, if you learn to find something then your son has to also and that likely will not come easy to him. It may not come easy to you but if you find anything then handing it over to him will likely just move it all enough for him to see nothing.

 

Which leads to one "conclusion" you likely need a tracking mount for the scope. Principle being you find something, it tracks and when he looks it is still there.

 

Someone I suspect reasonably close to you (Ed - Aeajr) has a small Meade ETX-80. Small goto and goto's track. Think it is over $200, just not sure how much over. They are easy to set up. Data is half sensible, you aim it North and have the mount and scope Level. Then tell it to auto align. Meade actually put together a reasonable set of stars to align with.

 

Handset is basic, oddly that likely helps.

 

After that on the fully manual side are the ES Firstlight scopes. They have an 80mm 640mm focal length one at around $150 and they have a 90mm 500mm FL one at around $60 or $90. Mount is basic (shaky and wobbly). Before anyone says much all mounts tend to be just adaquate so about all end up a bit shaky.

 

A straight forward scope could be a Bresser 102mm 600mm FL, good all rounder but then you need a mount.

 

At present only Mars is really visible, and Mars is troublesome, expect just a small red disk. Jupiter reappears next year and Saturn a bit later.

 

I think it will be better to consider the mount and the requirements you have for that. Said yesterday that someone could buy a seperate mount that matched the requirements and just buy the ES Firstlight 90/500. Then put that scope on the purchased mount. You can buy a better scope if you wanted to some months down the line.

 

The ETX 80 is goto, tracks, simple and reasonable, but reasonable depends on expectations.

 

Get an easy to use scope, the Maks that are small tend to have long focal lengths and so deliver narrower fields and that can be a problem, or or accurately a difficulty.

 

Almost "standard" if possible find a club to visit. Ed may know of one, maybe two and even maybe a public outreach night.

As far as budget goes, I definitely can't go over $200 to start with...but buying eyepieces and other equipment down the line is fine. I know $200 isn't a ton of money, but I want to be able to get up into the sky and see a few things at that price point. I also don't want to just throw away money on a telescope that has no real upward mobility because of garbage internal components.

 

Since I obviously know nothing, I really wasn't even considering tracking, which yes, that has a potential to be a huge problem. My son is four, I seriously doubt he'll be able to find anything. I honestly figured I would find it, then let him look...how fast do things move? I'm sure it's all relative to what you're looking at, just a general question basically asking if I find something and let him look, will he see it or will it be gone that fast???

 

I like the price on those ES FirstLight scopes grin.gif  , but that Bresser is $300, which is out of my range...

 

To be honest I was looking at the 127EQ and 130EQ because I was under the impression that the larger apertures would be better for my light pollution condition here. I didn't think a refractor would be suited to what I was looking to do...



#23 OldNo7

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Posted 09 November 2018 - 06:20 PM

I believe the Powerseeker 127 is a Byrd Jones design, which involves the much maligned corrector. I have a 114mm version. The views are pretty bad with a $40 plossl but my $250 eyepieces provide halfway decent views with the scope. The 130mm is a native F5 but someone said it has a spherical mirror, another cheap shortcut. Bottom line, just because you can buy a $100 telescope doesn’t mean you should. These cheap telescopes will not foster an interest in astronomy. They will only disappoint and frustrate. Another user just posted that you need to pay at least $200 to get a decent scope. I would argue $250, but you get the idea. You can sometimes find decent scopes for under $200 used.

Scott

From what I read in reviews, it is a Byrd Jones design and it does have the corrector because I watched a video where you have to remove the corrector to collimate it...

 

It seems counter productive for me to buy a $250 eyepiece to look through a $120 telescope, haha...but thanks for the heads up and putting it into perspective for me.

 

I'm just trying not to break the bank on something for my four year old, that at the end of the day, nobody in my family may get into. But at the same time, I don't want to set us up for failure with a cheap piece of garbage, where we'll be turned off due to terrible equipment or we do wind up liking it and there's not really very many accessories, which would improve our viewing experience. This is probably my biggest issue...we think we'll like it, but don't know, nor do we have anyone to ask. I also just started looking into this because it never really interested me until I started shopping for my son, so I literally know nothing...

 

I tried googling some local astronomy clubs and found two so far...going to try and make an effort to check their events schedule and make an appearance. And what's CRAZY is that one had pictures of a guy's backyard, he built like a little observatory structure, and it's in my town, almost fell out of my seat!!



#24 OldNo7

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Posted 09 November 2018 - 06:34 PM

I like this idea. Sounds like his son is ready for something that would look awesome to a 4 year old.

To get a good alt-az mount and some good eyepieces will push the cost up quite substantially, but it would be a scope that he won’t get tired of. If I had to do it again, I would have saved up for a Tak FC100-dl.

I really like my ES Firstlight 102mm f/9.8, but it came with an EQ3 mount that isn’t suitable for the weight or size of the scope IMHO. There is a package from ES that has the Twilight I mount, but that’s $450. I got mine off Amazon Warehouse for under $200 (about $140). I would have just returned it if the scope were defective. It wasn’t! Goes really well on my Porta II.

See if there is a good deal on Black Friday or when Christmas deals start popping up. In any case, I second the 4” f/9.8.

yeah...at +$2500 that Tak FC100-dl is absolutely out of the question, unless I find a buyer for my spare kidney, haha

 

I also found that ES FirstLight 102mm package you're talking about for $450, which is still way too steep for me...

 

And that's my exact plan, to pull the trigger on Black Friday or Cyber Monday, but I want to know what I'm looking to buy before that time gets here...



#25 Augustus

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Posted 09 November 2018 - 06:38 PM

I like this idea. Sounds like his son is ready for something that would look awesome to a 4 year old.

To get a good alt-az mount and some good eyepieces will push the cost up quite substantially, but it would be a scope that he won’t get tired of. If I had to do it again, I would have saved up for a Tak FC100-dl.

I really like my ES Firstlight 102mm f/9.8, but it came with an EQ3 mount that isn’t suitable for the weight or size of the scope IMHO. There is a package from ES that has the Twilight I mount, but that’s $450. I got mine off Amazon Warehouse for under $200 (about $140). I would have just returned it if the scope were defective. It wasn’t! Goes really well on my Porta II.

See if there is a good deal on Black Friday or when Christmas deals start popping up. In any case, I second the 4” f/9.8.

The ES FirstLight scopes are fantastic but they don't have great accessories and tend to be undermounted.

 

The 80mm FirstLight-EQ3 with a new diagonal, Plossls, and a Rigel Quickfinder or Telrad might be good, but a OneSky will easily beat it........




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