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Telescope: advice please.

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posted on Sep, 6 2007 @ 10:08 AM
Hi folks,
I have just managed to free up some money for the purpose of buying a telescope.
I have approx 700 pounds UK money to spend,and I wish to get a scope which i can link to my laptop to record images.
I want one thats motorised and has built in star maps.
And I want it to be good at deep space stuff if possible for the price.
I am not totally sure what to go for yet so any ideas/advice is appreciated.

I`ve been checking out the Meade ETX premier series of scopes online,but i cannot find any images taken by that series yet.

Do any ATSers happen to have one of these telescopes?If you do PLEASE please post some images of planets/galaxies captured with it.

This would be a great help for me.
Thanks in advance.

posted on Sep, 6 2007 @ 11:11 AM
reply to post by Silcone Synapse

I've got a Meade ETX 80
A 2004 Xmas gift from the wife. I have not used it for a few years because I'm a nightshift worker.
I like it and it's very good. It has a wired handset and on first use I homed in to Jupiter and I was quite impressed. The bank of batteries stored in a cartridge (rechargeables) never seemed to have much life in them. It's possible the cold weather was running them down at a fairly rapid rate.
I got a free moon filter and two barlow lenses with the 'online deal' I do not know what the price was I never asked my good lady.
The last time my etx80 was brought out was to take on holiday in Devon and it's terrestial capability was mega impressive.
Sorry I cant help much more. Oh! and one of the tripod leg clips snapped due to poor substandard leg lock clips.
Happy Stargazing.

posted on Sep, 7 2007 @ 06:43 AM
Hey thanks anglo,
that sounds a great scope,ill look it up after.The one I am looking at has a similar battery arrangement,so maybe ill get a car adapter for it too.

posted on Sep, 7 2007 @ 07:35 AM
I don't know anything about the EXT series, but you can check out telescope reviews on the Cloudy Nights site. I always find their info useful.

Review on Meade EXT Telescope

Clear Skies.

posted on Sep, 8 2007 @ 08:55 AM
Hey thanks for the link Hal,much appreciated.

I have just found a gallery of pics all taken by the ETX 125 PE,and I think thats settled it...they images are incredible,more than anything I was hoping for.

Holy Moly I can't wait..

posted on Sep, 8 2007 @ 10:52 AM
Those pictures are taken at very long exposures, visually observing will not resolve the same detail. ETXs are alright for casual stuff, but for deep field viewing it falls way short.

It's all about aperture. Build yourself a Dobsonian with about a 12" mirror, that should be a great start, easy to build, cheap and will deliver many years of excellent observing.
my 20" homemade Dob is still my favorite telescope.

posted on Sep, 8 2007 @ 11:55 AM
Yes, those images are impressive. I am just getting into imaging myself. It is tricky, but very fun to do. You may want to get to know your new scope before trying imaging, but if you want to start right away, Meade is closing out there DSI and DSI Pro cameras and you can get them cheap right now.

I picked up a DSI Pro monochrome camera for $129, which used to be around $499, but these may all be gone. I have also ordered the regular DSI color camera from OPT for $99, which used to go for $299 and are still available but going quick.

Meade - DSI Color CCD Camera for $99 at OPT

The camera will come with the Meade Autostar Suite software that you can control the telescope and camera from your laptop.

This is a steal if you can swing it.

posted on Sep, 9 2007 @ 04:57 AM
Thanks for the advice,I was looking at dobsonian scopes too,the 12'' version of this one:

The only thing putting me off is the lack of motorised controls-they are cheaper though,maybe I will try and get a demonstration in the shop.

Those cameras are a bargain!
I'll have to pick one if I go ahead and buy the ETX.
I'll see if the UK stores sell them at that low price (bet they won't).

posted on Sep, 11 2007 @ 08:51 PM
Silcone Synapse, go for the Meade ETX-125.
It's not only the biggest model in the ETX range, but it's also within your price range. You've looked into all this, so you'll know it's fully motorized, and can be totally computer controlled. Hook up your laptop and you're away. It has +30, 000 celestial objects already programmed in, and it can track em all.

But if you're new to astromonmy, then I suggest that you don't get into astrophotography right away. It's hard and you've got to have mad star-gazing skillz. Plus, the cost of equipment skyrockets.
BUT, if you're still adamant, or have experience, then I would recommend the Phillips ToUcam. It's a web-camera that is specifically meant for astrophotography. It mounts directly onto the focuser, and produces excellent quality images.

posted on Sep, 12 2007 @ 06:36 PM
reply to post by Silcone Synapse

I believe newcomers to Astronomy should start off without the go to or motorized control systems. Manually operating your scope gives you a real feel for the night sky and how to find your way around. That's the way I started out and I believe it helped me in the long run. Of course with that being said I do own a Meade 16" LX200GPS-SMT which is slick as snot. But I still enjoy scanning the night sky with my Dob that I built over 20 years ago.

posted on Sep, 14 2007 @ 09:08 AM
Thanks for the good advice,I am off to the shop on Saturday evening to get a demo of a few scopes,Hope the weather is good.
Although Horse chesnut make a good case for the Dob. type,I am still impressed by the Meade,and as I would like to get into the CCD side of things eventually,this may be a better option as its motorised-kinda takes some of the skill out of it i know.
However,having read up more on the larger aperture dobsonians,they do look impressive so I will still try to get a demo/more info at the shop.
In an ideal world,iwould get a few different scopes but thats just dreaming for the moment.

Thanks again all.

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