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Telescope help!!!!!

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posted on Dec, 16 2007 @ 06:29 PM
Hello guys and Gals. I have been looking to purchase my first proper scope and was wondering what type and make i should be getting. Obviously after searching and looking having not owned any i need some opinions.

Nothing too expensive maybe like £200-£250 for a used scope ($500)

I have looked at a Meade 125 but im unsure. Funnily it was ATS that got me onto looking for a scope and coincidentally i now need help from other ATS members in which scope to buy.

Any info would be gratefully received

posted on Dec, 16 2007 @ 07:31 PM
I went with one that had all sorts of computer controls by meade and after the thrill of the computer wore off I stopped using it. Now im looking for a 12" or bigger scope with no controllers at all.

I say go with a 10" reflector from meade. No controller no fancy anything. They are the best mirror and the bigger the better.

posted on Dec, 16 2007 @ 07:48 PM
Hey there, Im sure you will find some ideas on this thread,

A member who asked pretty much the same, Have a peek through and you might find some helpfull info

posted on Dec, 16 2007 @ 07:51 PM
Well, most amateur astronomers will have their personal preferences, btu perhaps I can relay mine and it may help you in your search.

First of all it's quite prudent of you to seek as much opinion and guidance as you can before making a significant purchase like this. Kudos for that...

As a kid, I worked my way up through smaller refractor scopes until my parents got tired of "upgrading me" every other Christmas and I had to save up to make the jump to my first 3" reflector. This was a good choice for me because it was still relatively easy to handle but had enough power to pull in Saturn's rings, nebulae and galaxies, plus the never-boring moon with decent clarity.

As an adult, in college, I took my first formal observational astronomy course - something I highly recommend if it is available to you. Most larger community colleges offer this course for a very reasonable fee. The advantage is that you get to learn how to use and manipulate larger scopes as well as get a good handle on the night sky and all the wonders found there.

My class used 8" Celestrons. This is a decent scope, and with about ten to share among the class of twenty or so, the one night per week we were out added up to lots of scope time.

When I finished that class I was ready to buy my first scope of that caliber. I scrounged around for lots of info and pricing - kind of where you are now, I guess. I decided against getting myself a Celestron 8" because the trunk it came in, plus the wedge and tripod, and all the accessories was just too cumbersome and heavy to lug around. It's ok if you can set it up and leave it up under cover, but to haul it around and go through the heavy drudgery of set-up and tear down will discourage you from frequent trips or many viewing nights.

I settled on a Meade 90. It was easy to transport, had great optics, plus the astro-computer made finding celestial objects easy. I had a lot of fun with that scope and it was well worth the money.

After a year or so, I wanted to have a bit more power and resolution, but still want to have relative ease in set-up and portability (so I could take it along on trips to the mountains, desert, etc.).

My latest scope is a Meade ETX125PE, with UHTC (ultr-high transmission coatings). This is a superb instrument with incredible optics, a flawless clock drive, reasonably easy 1-man set-up and portability, and lots of wonderful accessories you can add and enhance your scope with as you go along. The ETX125PE can be found on eBay for about 6-800$ US, depending on condition and accessories. Retail new is over $1K. I got mine on eBay from a user who bought it on a whim then shoved it into a closet after using it once or twice. Since then, I;ve gone back to eBay for eyepieces, camera mounts, computer hook-ups (great because you can sit inside on a cold night and point your scope anywhere and look at the result on your monitor or TV indoors - the family loves it).

Truth is, after all the extras I'm probably well over $2,000 by now, but that was over a couple of years and I pretty much have everything I need now. I'm also having a wonderful time and the scope has a stellar reputation (no pun intended), excellent support, and is just an all-around fantastic instrument. Plus - it looks cool just sitting in my office!

p.s. the red laser dot finder is a very cool feature that lets you 'eyeball' anything and center the scope on it with no guesswork - but the AutoStar computer is the best way to 'explore' and check out the highlights for any given night or location.

1 more hint: forget the batteries for the clock drive - it goes through 8 AA's like nothing and it's a pain to remove the base to change the batteries. Instead - go to the Meade site and buy a plug-in adapter with a 12'v socket. That way you can run it off house current or your car battery if in the field. Works great.

Good luck - U2U me if you have any other questions... and have fun!

posted on Dec, 17 2007 @ 01:40 PM
Cheers guys. Asala my apologies as i am guilty of not completing a search first.

Outrageo the Meade you have is the one i have considered buying from Ebay i have see a few touching the £400-£500 mark and would be happy to part with that if its as good as you say


posted on Dec, 19 2007 @ 05:17 AM
reply to post by thesaint

Hi there thesaint. The type of telescope you what should get depends really on type of astronomy you're into. Are you going to be dinterested in mainly planetary astronomy? In which case a refractor may be your prefered choice, or if you're into deep sky stuff, then a reflector may be better.

Firstly, the minimum size of telescope to see anyhting worthwhile is a 3inch refractor or 6 inch reflector. You should also make sure the telescope is on a sturdy mount- a telescope with a wobbly mount is worse than useless. There are two different types of mount- an azimuth mount (a tripod) and equatorial mount. The equatorial mount is more complicated and expensive but worthwhile is it is aligned with the Earth's axis. This means you only have to worry about East-West rotations of objects rather than all motions as is the case with a tripod.

Also, never by a telescope which is sold only in terms of magnification. Generally speaking the highest mag your telescope will stand is twice the aperture size. So I have a 200mm reflector (8 inch) permenantly set up in my observatory, which will go up to ~400x or so. My telescope is a Skywatcher and I'm happy to recommend the firm to you. Other good makes of telescope include Meade and Celestron. Beware of telescopes sold with spherical mirrors- in general these are rather poor and will give disappointing results!

Let me know how you get on.

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