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Best Portable and digitized scope recommendations please!

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#1 CuriousOmar

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Posted 23 September 2019 - 11:55 AM

Hello fellow earthlings! I started my journey in stargazing a few months back and the fascination I felt was something I had to share it with every person I've come across so far, using my Celestron powerseeker 127eq. I've learnt to operate the telescope and its equatorial mount manually but it's been a bit time consuming to set up every time I take it anywhere (which has been every night lol). Can you please give me some suggestions for portable digitized telescopes that would be easy to set up and that would allow me and friends to see deep sky objects including nebulae, galaxies, planets, etc.. with a budget of up to $1,300? I would sincerely appreciate any suggestions!! So far, I'm considering a Celestron NexStar 8SE.

#2 vtornado

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Posted 23 September 2019 - 12:18 PM

Hello, and welcome to the forum!

 

The celestron SE will allow you to see much more than your 127.   It sounds like you have some experience,

so if you can run the alignment process, the scope will find objects for you, which can save time and is

a blessing in light pollution.

 

No I will tell you the warts.

The mount will not let you manually slew the scope. You will have to use the control box.  Maybe you don't care.

SCT's are susceptible to dew and frost. You may have to get a dew strap.  SCTs need cool

down time if the outside temp is different from where it was stored.  This can be mitigated

by wrapping with reflectorix.  See here for how to do this.

The 8 inch SCT has a narrow field of view.  Large things will not fit in the view.  Sky context is difficult to

figure out.  However there are not that many wide things. 

 You will probably have to get another battery as the AA batteries that drive this

mount don't last very long.

 

Don't forget to factor in eyepieces in your budget.

 

Honestly I don't know anything that will set up faster than an 127eq.  .  Maybe something on a lightweight  alt-az mount. but that is not big aperture and not digital.    Maybe an Orion 6i starblast.   You will need a table or a stand

to get the eyepiece up to viewing height.  But the scope and mount itself is portable. 



#3 Hesiod

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Posted 23 September 2019 - 12:21 PM

The SE8 is always a nice option; otherwise you could give a look to Skywatcher's "goto" Dobsonian, or to Orion's "Intelliscope" ones (the latter have a small computer with encoders which tells you how to move the telescope to put the target in its field of view. The advantage is that can use them manually if wish, or if your battery runs out of juice; the disadvantage is that you have to track and move them manually).

The SE8 is lighter and can be disassembled in rather small and light parts, Skywatcher's goto Dobs not so much (also, I think that the smaller is a 10"); Orion's smallest Intelliscope used to be a tebletop 6", so very easy to move around even if not the most comfortable to use; its larger sibling up to 10" used to be solid tube models, not huge but possibly nasty to move depending on your "logistics", from 12" are available as truss (easier to move, longer to assemble)



#4 M11Mike

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Posted 23 September 2019 - 01:33 PM

Nextstar 8SE is a GREAT scope - lots of aperture - lots of power and you can upgrade it a 1,000 ways.  Does it all and doesn't break your bank account.

 

And you can get a decent FOV with either 2" EP's or a F6.3 Focal Reducer (the F6.3 FR can be bought used all the time on CN's for around $80)…….or BOTH 2" EP's and a F6.3FR.  (A 35mm TV Panoptic with the FR will give you almost 2 degrees of true FOV).  

 

They are lightweight - EZ to transport, lift, set up and break down.  I can set my 8SE up in 2-3 minutes and align it (TWO STAR method) in less than 2 minutes.  Go-to is spot on and the tracking is excellent.  You can buy 8-D cell 12v powerpacks on ebay for as little as $10 and they will power the scope for over 24 hours of hard use.  

 

I love the scope as it's so versatile --- powerful enough for the planets, yet enough aperture to view all of the "M" objects.  Puts up great views of globular clusters, planetary nebula, emission nebula and open clusters.  I have an ASTROZAP due shield and have not had a single problem with dew in years!!!!  

 

I run mine with a 2" diagonal and a "FeatherTouch" micro-focuser and a laser finder.  With a 2" WF EP and the 6.3 FR I can get 95% of what I want to view in the FOV and when I can't then I go to my C102F refractor where I can get up to 3 degrees FOV.

 

CO - I have had at least 25 different scopes since I started viewing with my first a 60mm Tasco in 1958.  And after 60+ years of observing the 8SE is my favorite scope. And at one time or another I have had a lot of scopes including a C-11 (too heavy for me now that I'm older and have a bad back).   I'd have a EVO 9.25 now but that too is too heavy for me.  

 

SE8 is just perfect!!! 

 

M11Mike 



#5 MalVeauX

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Posted 24 September 2019 - 08:34 AM

Hello fellow earthlings! I started my journey in stargazing a few months back and the fascination I felt was something I had to share it with every person I've come across so far, using my Celestron powerseeker 127eq. I've learnt to operate the telescope and its equatorial mount manually but it's been a bit time consuming to set up every time I take it anywhere (which has been every night lol). Can you please give me some suggestions for portable digitized telescopes that would be easy to set up and that would allow me and friends to see deep sky objects including nebulae, galaxies, planets, etc.. with a budget of up to $1,300? I would sincerely appreciate any suggestions!! So far, I'm considering a Celestron NexStar 8SE.

C8 on the Nexstar mount is a simple and effective setup. 8" is a lot of aperture for most subjects and easy to use. Just keep in mind the focal length is very long and the FOV will be narrow so some objects will be larger than this can show you fully. But only a few are truly that huge for visual, so you should be ok.

 

The other option is a GoTo mechanized 8" reflector, such as:

 

https://www.highpoin...obsonian-s11800

 

Very best,



#6 whizbang

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Posted 24 September 2019 - 08:41 AM

The Evolution is the BEST mount. 

 

It will be slightly out of your bugdet unless you find one preowned.



#7 dr.who

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Posted 24 September 2019 - 01:06 PM

The 8SE or Evolution 8 will be excellent options.




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