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Buying my beginner telescope! Need advise! >.<

Beginner Celestron Dob
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#1 Jokerb12

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Posted 26 February 2021 - 10:48 PM

Hi guys, i'm currently struggling in choosing between two telescope and im not sure which one to buy. the two telescope are:

1. Celestron starsense explorer lt 127az reflector (new)

2. BT252 10 inch Dobsonian telescope (used)

I dont have any experience in using any telescope, and due to this COVID, theres no local astronomy society that active atm. so there no one learn from besides my self watching youtube and articles online.

For Celestron starsense, the reason i want to buy it is because i heard its really easy to navigate and luckily the 127az is currently on discount in my area. it would cost me $480.
 

For 10" dobsonian telescope, from what i've heard, its a excellent telescope and it would allow me to see much more than the celestron starsense 127az. and on the local community website someone is selling only $600 with eye pieces due to they dont know how to use it either. But, i dont know how to use it as well. im hoping that the local astronomy society will be acitive soon, but i dont know when. 

So which one should i buy?



#2 TikiTom

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Posted 26 February 2021 - 10:54 PM

Welcome to CN!

 

My opinion is to go with #1. Pretty much everything you need.

#2 - Yes, a dob is a good starting point, but you will need more to really get going...

 

Good luck...


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#3 SeattleScott

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Posted 26 February 2021 - 11:01 PM

I kind of like the idea of the first one too. Gives the option of computer location, and it is a small, light grab and go scope. The big Dob is more of a chore to haul out. If you aren’t committed, it could end up gathering more dust than photons. And even if you get the Dob, you will soon want a smaller, more convenient scope for nights you don’t have time to commit to the 10”. Might be different if you can put the 10” on a cart and roll it out of the garage, but that doesn’t work for everyone.

Scott
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#4 Cometeer

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Posted 26 February 2021 - 11:05 PM

The 127mm is a bird-jones design. That alone disqualifies it. I'd pick the dob in a heartbeat. 


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#5 Jethro7

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Posted 26 February 2021 - 11:18 PM

Hi guys, i'm currently struggling in choosing between two telescope and im not sure which one to buy. the two telescope are:

1. Celestron starsense explorer lt 127az reflector (new)

2. BT252 10 inch Dobsonian telescope (used)

So which one should i buy?

Hello jokerb12,

If the Dob is in good working order I think you have answered your own question.

The Bt252 10" Dob by its looks is a GSO production  and is a good one and not a bad price they retail for $999.00 new. I think the main beginning issue with Newtonian scopes is learning how to collimate them. After you have done it a few times it will be just part of your set up. I think this is where most beginners get lost with Dobs. The Dobsonion telescope is one of the most versatile scopes you can own and this one has the aperture to go deep, it will totally out perform the Celestron in every way. Aperture wins. I also recomend that you pick up these two books. 

 

" Turn Left at Orion" by Guy Consolmagno and Dan M. Davis.

" NightWatch" Revised fourth Edition by Terrence Dickerson

 

HAPPY SKIES AND KEEP LOOKING UP Jethro


Edited by Jethro7, 26 February 2021 - 11:24 PM.

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#6 Jokerb12

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Posted 26 February 2021 - 11:38 PM

The 127mm is a bird-jones design. That alone disqualifies it. I'd pick the dob in a heartbeat. 

yea. i heard the 127 is crap too. but its so easy to use lol. i wanna learn how to use it but its hard...



#7 Jokerb12

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Posted 26 February 2021 - 11:39 PM

Hello jokerb12,

If the Dob is in good working order I think you have answered your own question.

The Bt252 10" Dob by its looks is a GSO production  and is a good one and not a bad price they retail for $999.00 new. I think the main beginning issue with Newtonian scopes is learning how to collimate them. After you have done it a few times it will be just part of your set up. I think this is where most beginners get lost with Dobs. The Dobsonion telescope is one of the most versatile scopes you can own and this one has the aperture to go deep, it will totally out perform the Celestron in every way. Aperture wins. I also recomend that you pick up these two books. 

 

" Turn Left at Orion" by Guy Consolmagno and Dan M. Davis.

" NightWatch" Revised fourth Edition by Terrence Dickerson

 

HAPPY SKIES AND KEEP LOOKING UP Jethro

yea. i dont know how to collimate and i got no idea how to find stars... i cant even find jupiter and saturn. and my goal is to view planetary and deep space lol....



#8 Cometeer

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Posted 26 February 2021 - 11:44 PM

yea. i dont know how to collimate and i got no idea how to find stars... i cant even find jupiter and saturn. and my goal is to view planetary and deep space lol....

Collimating the dob I’ll be much easier than collimating the bird jones - might even be nearly impossible. I use a simple laser collimator and it works fine. 



#9 Jethro7

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Posted 27 February 2021 - 12:00 AM

yea. i dont know how to collimate and i got no idea how to find stars... i cant even find jupiter and saturn. and my goal is to view planetary and deep space lol....

Hello Jokerb12,

There are many YouTube videos on collimating a Dob it is awkward at first but once you get a handle on it, it is easy, the two books I recommended will get you up and going. " Turn Left at Orion" makes it fun and you will learn alot on Celestial navigation on the first night.

I am going to step out on a limb here. I can almost guarantee that if you buy the Celestron and when the Astronomy Club gets going and you take a view through a 10" Dob you are going to want one. Dobs are easy to use. The bottom line it is your money to do with what ever you want. " yea I heard the 127 is crap too" I would say that you answered your own question.

 

HAPPY SKIES AND KEEP LOOKING UP Jethro


Edited by Jethro7, 27 February 2021 - 08:43 AM.

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#10 Dave Mitsky

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Posted 27 February 2021 - 12:04 AM

Forewarned is forearmed.  Avoid the optically inferior short-tube Bird-Jones catadioptric reflectors that are being passed off as Newtonian reflectors.

While conceptually the Bird-Jones design can make sense, the majority of Bird-Jones telescopes are aimed at the budget/entry-level sector of the market. As such, they typically use lower-standard optical components which produce lower-quality views.

http://astrowiki.jmh...Jones_Telescope

There’s one design you should avoid at all costs: the “Bird-Jones” reflector. The Bird-Jones design uses a spherical primary, and a fast one at that, in an attempt to keep the tube shorter than average. Manufacturers of this design correct for spherical aberration and increase the focal length by placing a corrector lens at the inner end of the focuser. The corrector lens is supposed to make everything all right again, but it never does. The view through every Bird-Jones scope I’ve ever looked through has been uniformly awful. There might be a decent Bird-Jones telescope somewhere out there, but if there is, I’ve never seen nor even heard of it.

https://skyandtelesc...pes-not-to-buy/


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#11 Dave Mitsky

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Posted 27 February 2021 - 12:27 AM

A 10" Dob can be a lifetime telescope.  Adding a Telrad will make locating objects far easier.

 

You may find some of the information on astronomy, amateur astronomy, and observing presented in my post (#22) at https://www.cloudyni...mers/?p=5184287 useful.  There are sections on various books, observing guides, stellar atlases, planetarium programs, and astronomy apps, as well as object lists and information on the technique of star-hopping. 


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#12 Tony Flanders

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Posted 27 February 2021 - 05:28 AM

yea. i heard the 127 is crap too. but its so easy to use lol.


Those two statements are a contradiction in terms. One of the main things that potential first-time buyers fail to realize is that the single most important aspect of high quality is ease of use. An expert can likely cope with and overcome the limitations of a cheap piece of equipment where simply pointing it in the right direction and having it stay pointed that way is a struggle, and focusing to a sharp image is a major challenge. Novices are better advised to buy high-quality equipment where these things just happen easily and naturally.

Dobs are vastly easier to use than Bird-Jones reflectors on wobbly mounts. The superior images are great, too, but they're the less important half of the benefits.


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#13 Tony Flanders

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Posted 27 February 2021 - 05:31 AM

I don't have any experience in using any telescope, and due to this COVID, theres no local astronomy society that active atm. so there no one learn from besides my self watching youtube and articles online.


In my experience, that's exactly how almost all of today's experienced observers started. Oh, but we had one big benefit -- no youtube to distract us. Online articles are better than youtube, and books are best of all.


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#14 jjbag

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Posted 27 February 2021 - 06:32 AM

yea. i heard the 127 is crap too. but its so easy to use lol. i wanna learn how to use it but its hard...

On this part , I'll give my 2cents. When I started up at 50 I first bought a "insert mass company name" brand of 70mm junk got frustrated and sent it back. Got a larger piece of Junk on a EQ mount after being frustrated of not finding anything (didn't know how to use one correctly) and what I did find the shakes were too much for me so returned that. I then did what I should have done in the first place, I read up and realized what could be best for me was a Dob it was easy with the Alt/az manual control and getting a medium laser collimator for $80 and 10 minutes of reading it too was easy to use.(I'm now good at it and it takes all of 2 mins to do). So I went with the Meade Mini 130 that kept me happy for a good year and a half (using homemade setting circle and electronic magnetic wood working angle finder). I now own an XTI 10 and this has kept me happy for 3.5 years(alas... that's about my wall... (drools as i look at the 16"/18" premiums) Anyways..  after this story.. the point for me is get the DOB...  keep coming to the boards these wonderful people will help/walk you though any of you collimation questions they really are a bunch of nice folks. Pictured is the meade with home made setting circles.

Pointer On String

 

JJ


Edited by jjbag, 27 February 2021 - 06:34 AM.

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#15 radiofm74

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Posted 27 February 2021 - 06:55 AM

I am a newbie and was exactly in your shoes two months ago.

 

My immediate reactions:

1. Whatever you do, DON'T GET THE STARSENSE 127EQ. I bought a Powerseeker 127EQ as my first scope, and if I understand things correctly the optical tube is the same.  I was lucky I could send it back! I spent more and got me a Celestron OMNIA 150 XLT. Happy!

2. On the other hand, while a 10" Dob would be a wonderful telescope, it's a bit on the other opposite… probably wonderful optically, but it might not be an ideal first scope. In my case, as I do most of my observing from a balcony, a Dob is in general not a good choice and I opted for tripod-mounted. 

 

My suggestion: stop and do some more studying in order to expand your choices. Look up telescopicwatch.com They have a fantastic section of telescope reviews by price brackets. That will give you a much better understanding of what a good first scope would be (there is no single answer to that question: it all depends on where you live, what you like/dislike,…).

 

Take the time to do your homework – a good weekend – and get a good grasp of the relative advantages and disadvantages of the main types of optical tubes and mounts. The mount is at least as important as the tube, and I'd argue that it's more important.

 

If you're impatient to start watching the night sky, start out naked eye or, if you have a pair of binoculars in the house, start using those.

 

This is the important advice. What follows are more personal opinions:

A. Having a GoTo in your scope is a trade-off. For the same money, you can get more aperture, better optics and a better mount without the electronics. Personally, I think that part of the fun and education is in the chase so I opted for non-GoTo, but everyone is different and all choices are valid. Just be aware of the trade-off.

 

B. Choosing your scope is very much a matter of balancing aperture (the diameter of the primary mirror or lens) with cost and practicality. Bigger aperture gives you the ability to see more, and to see better. But in general it makes for bigger/heavier optical tubes, requiring bigger mounts. In making this choice, every type of scope (refractor, Newton, Cat) has its pros and cons. I'd say, choose the biggest effective aperture that you can afford in a package that you are confident you can handle. A 4" refractor, a 5"/6" Mak or SCT, a 6-8" Newtonian… all have their charms and are classics for a reason!

 

C. Don't be afraid of collimation. If you're reasonably handy with tools, you can do it too! So don't let that rule your choice. But if you really hate the prospect of maintenance, well, that's a pretty strong argument for a refractor or a Cat.

 

D. Whatever you do, get a good book – NOW! You can start reading before your scope gets home. Turn Left at Orion, suggested above, is the one I got and it's wonderful. Make sure you get the latest edition. I also got "Astronomy for Dummies" (on the kindle) and it's an excellent complement – the two books cover entirely different grounds. 

 

Phew… sorry for the long post!


Edited by radiofm74, 27 February 2021 - 06:57 AM.

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#16 sg6

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Posted 27 February 2021 - 07:42 AM

Avoid the first one, the 127. It is a "Bird-Jones" design and has a barlow in the focuser and in simple terms they do not work well.

 

Never read a review and believe it. Every review of these scopes says how good they are and how great the result is. Except astronomers who will say "AVOID!!!".

 

Personally I would say get something a lot smaller. A simple 80mm achro or something along the same lines but not a table top scope (I just dislike them).


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#17 DouglasPaul

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Posted 27 February 2021 - 08:43 AM

My opinion, stay away from the Bird -Jones. Stay away from anything that looks like the mount isn't real sturdy unless you're willing to build new legs or modify it somehow. Watching an image thats bouncing around crazily just isn't any fun. In the price range you are talking about your best bet is used to get something you can enjoy.

 

I don't know your circumstance or how well a 10 inch dob will fit into your life, it IS a big telescope, but you will get very minimal to no vibration and much better views. There are other alternatives also, take your time and stay away from the bird Jones....smile.gif  


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#18 DouglasPaul

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Posted 27 February 2021 - 08:53 AM

Depending on your location, here is a nice 6 inch Celestron refractor for $450.00 without the mount, $600.00 with it though I'm unfamiliar with that mount. 

 

https://astromart.co...inch-sct-501586



#19 ulrichsd

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Posted 27 February 2021 - 09:10 AM

The 127az is normally $200, I would not pay $400 for it. I have the 130az and that is what you would want for $400. Easy to find stuff with starsense.

I understand that everything is sold out. I would try to find the 130 in stock or place an order and wait.
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#20 ulrichsd

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Posted 27 February 2021 - 09:15 AM

Looks like the 130az is in stock at vwr for $400:
https://us.vwr.com/s...plorer-dx-130az

You can also download the starsense app to make sure your phone is compatible before ordering.

The eyepieces are the weak link, probably want to plan to upgrade. The paradigms are good for $60 each. A lot of people seem to like a zoom ep as well.

Edited by ulrichsd, 27 February 2021 - 09:24 AM.


#21 SeattleScott

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Posted 27 February 2021 - 10:03 AM

The 127mm is a bird-jones design. That alone disqualifies it. I'd pick the dob in a heartbeat.

Good catch.

Scott

#22 Voyageur

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Posted 27 February 2021 - 12:47 PM

Where are you located? The price you mentioned for the 127 is consistent with prices in Australia, and the BT252 appears to be an Australian brand. It is helpful to include your location in your profile to avoid irrelevant recommendations for products not available in your area.


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#23 sevenofnine

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Posted 27 February 2021 - 01:58 PM

Rather than either or the correct answer for you might just be neither. If the 5 inch scope is the right size but the wrong design (Bird-Jones) then choose another design...maybe a Maksutov or Schmidt-Cassegrain. If you have doubts about a large Dob then it's probably not right for you either. Maybe a smaller 8 or 6 inch would be better. Aperture rules in this hobby but if it's too much trouble then you've really wasted your money. Go for quality in a size that attracts you and a method of operation that you feel comfortable with. Good luck with your choice! scratchhead2.gif


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#24 Jethro7

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Posted 27 February 2021 - 02:18 PM

Hi guys, i'm currently struggling in choosing between two telescope and im not sure which one to buy. 

So which one should i buy?

Hello Jokerb12,

For what is worth. If Dave Mitsky, and Toney Flanders,  are kind enough to chime in, you can always take their knowledge for the Gospel and their opinions should be taken to heart. They will never steer you wrong. I always pay attention when ever they chime in on the Topics I start.

 

HAPPY SKIES AND KEEP LOOKING UP Jethro


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#25 MaknMe

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Posted 27 February 2021 - 03:17 PM

I think you have 2 bad choices—for a 1st scope—here.

If the 127 is a bad design (and I have no idea if that is true), there are better choices in the same size/price range. I would recommend a 127mm Mak. I love the views in mine! It is light, easy to set up, and hits the backyard often. I have other scopes, but this one gets the most use.

The problem with a big Dob is that they are so heavy and take so much time to set up—that they don’t hit the backyard very often. From my very limited experience, it appears that most big Dobs never see the night sky after the first year. Every big Dob owner I know loves the views but hates the setup. So, the big beautiful light buckets just sit unused in a garage or basement.

Edited by MaknMe, 27 February 2021 - 03:27 PM.



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