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Telescope selection

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posted on Nov, 14 2004 @ 08:21 PM
I know this is a bit of a loaded question, but I would like some feedback on telescopes.
I am thinking of buying a new telescope and there are so many kinds with so many neat features, it's hard to make any kind of joice.
I heard someone in forum here mention that the drive motor on their scope doesn't work well when the weather is very cold.
Or that it eats batteries etc...
I am interested in something ( atleast 8'' or better ) that I can steer with my laptop and record digital images with.
Any horror stories I should hear??

posted on Nov, 14 2004 @ 08:23 PM
This thread may help.

posted on Nov, 14 2004 @ 08:45 PM
And I did do a search before posting this topic too.
I guess I should get more familure with that search utility.

posted on Nov, 14 2004 @ 09:25 PM
do you have any experience with a telescope?

posted on Nov, 14 2004 @ 09:32 PM
8 inches, huh? They make Meade scopes of that size, except they cost about 2 1/2 thousand. It comes with software that you can use on your laptop, and also a special color camera that fits into where the eyepiece would normally go. The camera connects to your laptop and dowloads the images about 5 seconds after you take them via a USB cable.

And, the scope also comes with the ever popular AutoStar II, which can enhance your viewing experience much more than you normally would with other telescopes.

The one I own is an ETX-125 AutoStar controlled scope, and yes it does eat the batteries really fast in cold weather. But that's only if it's really cold out, like below 25F. It was 17 the night I was out. It's pretty nice, except it is only 5" and can't take pictures of anything to high in the sky because of it's small fork mount. But the larger LX-90 models have a normal sized fork mount that allows pictures to be taken even directly above you in the sky (which is the ideal location for astrophotography).

And don't buy from Celestron, for pete's sake. They copied Meade so many times I can't even believe it. They just charge more to make consumers believe they're higher quality.

Orion! They went so low as to copy two models of field battery/flashlight combos from Celestron! I am boycotting Orion because of the greed that they possess.

Anyway, if you have the dough to blow, you should buy from Meade. Otherwise, Hardin Optical is a really great and inexpensive alternative.

posted on Nov, 14 2004 @ 09:52 PM
i support orion.....

hehehe ive had bad coustomer service with Meade and celectron should be called plastictron.

but yea when it comes to computerized telescopes im going to give it to Meade when it come to manual scopes im going to give it to Orion when it comes to high quality scopes im goign to give it to TeleView.

There is also Hadrin Opitical with their Deep Space series

there is always also teh option of you buildign your own scope

but any way Orion sells celestron and meade products also and yea they did get the giant feild flashlight package from clesctron but their scopes are good and so are the eyepices. its your call

im still for the fact that 1 a large scope is not ideal for teh first scope.
2. a smaler scope will be used more than a larger scope because you can brign it our eaiser.
3. there is no need for computers unless astrophotography is involved
4. only try astrophotography if your willing to loose your manhood

[edit on 14-11-2004 by Mizar]

[edit on 14-11-2004 by Mizar]

posted on Nov, 14 2004 @ 10:20 PM
Build yourself a COPYSCOPE. You may even be able to scrounge the parts instead of buying them. Yeah, I know everybody wants MORE POWER
along with all the bells and whistles, but the copyscope will allow alot of poor folks to wet their feet in Astronomy.

posted on Nov, 14 2004 @ 10:45 PM
Just a few tips for you. First off don't worry about the magnification power, its light gathering ability is much more important.
Second, check out reflectors, they are much smaller in size but just as powerful, a lot more powerful.

Just a couple of tips.

Be Cool

posted on Nov, 15 2004 @ 06:47 AM
Thank you all very much.
I found the Copyscope thing very interesting. Does anyone have any experience with this approach. How about old camera (35mm) parts and telephoto lenses? Could they be adapted to a Copyscope?

posted on Nov, 15 2004 @ 12:30 PM
Here's another thread that may help: Astronomy: Telescopes.

Personally I've used about everything imaginable while still being an amatuer astronomer. I own a 10 inch Schmidt-Cassegrain. Great for just casual observing and CCD imaging. An 18.5 inch Newtonian Reflector on a Dobsonian mount. Perfect for those deep sky objects. An 8 inch Newtonian Reflector on a German Equitorial mount. Perfect for planets and solar observations.

The key though is portability. You have to take into account how much you can lift and how much you can transport. The 18.5 inch Dob may be an amazing scope, but its immense size makes it hard to carry around. For a beginner telescope I would really reccomend an Orion Intelliscope. I've used a 10 inch, and it's great. There is a computer with a catalouge of several thousand objects, and it still leaves the fun of having to move it yourself. It's great for teaching beginning telescope users.

Oh, and don't forget to buy some books. There's a lot out there, so don't just buy what has the prettiest pictures.

posted on Nov, 15 2004 @ 05:47 PM
Id recomend the 6 inch intelescope

posted on Nov, 15 2004 @ 06:30 PM
I can plug my laptop in and it sets itself completely on it's own using GPS, it's a 10'' Cassegrain and my sons, one is three, other is 14 months old, check out the night sky at least two or three times a month. My kids are young but both can recite to you the order of the planets in our solar system. I love my scope. I also bought the color CCD eye piece to plug in so I can view on my color TV or my laptop.

posted on Nov, 15 2004 @ 06:30 PM
Maksutov. Compact. Get a finderscope, solar eclipse filter, compact equatorial mount with a computerized motor drive, barlow, city-smog filter, zoom eyepiece, cleaning kit, a flashlight with a red lens and a warm jacket. Get a CCD camera and PC software. Get a good field guide to the stars and planets. Put it all in a Captain's suitcase with wheels and a collapsible handle. With this outfit you can go anywhere, do anything- from eclipses to the moon, planets, comets, asteroid search, CCD time exposures of galaxies etc.- I set mine (an Orion) up on an old galvanized trash can with a garden chair. I bring the scope in at the end of the night and leave the 'observatory' in the garden.

You can do serious amateur astronomy with these- comet hunting, NEO surveys, Moonblinking, and so on. Join a society. Bigger is better, and an 8" Mak that fits in a suitcase is equivalent to a reflector four feet long.

Used to brew my own. Fun making mirrors. Ends up costing more than buying a cheap Mak, too big, lots of resilvering etc.

[edit on 15-11-2004 by Chakotay]

posted on Nov, 15 2004 @ 06:55 PM
He's right you know, about Maks. The ETX series from the 90 on up are all Maks, and they are about equal to a huge reflector.

The ETX series also comes with either a Alt/Az mount, or it changes to an equatorial mount in about 5 seconds. And it's not just some cheap "originally an equitorial" that you set to 0, it's a real piece of work. You should check out Meade's website for more on the mount and the scope.

But it looks like you're either looking for an LX-90 or a LX-200GPS. GPS won't really do anything but appear much cooler and advanced than the 90. All it does is saves about 10 minutes at the beginning of each set up so you don't have to level and point north. I never had GPS on my ETX telescope and I turned out fine, right? (That's what all parents say to their kids about cell phones, TV's, video games, computers, ect.

Schmidt-Cassegrains are just as good as a Mak, but they use less glass for the front correcting lens (hence more light gets through to the eyepiece, which is optimal for astrophotography).

I hope this helps!

[edit on 11/15/04 by diehard_democrat]

posted on Nov, 16 2004 @ 05:01 PM
The ETX-125ATU I was talking about (the one that I own) is now "old", because they came out with a more advanced and all around better ETX-125PE. What makes it even worse, is that it has a really cool picture on the tube that makes me twitch every time I am reminded by my consience that someone, somewhere, owns a better telescope than me.

Here's what really [censored] me off: The ETX that I bought from Discovery Channel Store had to be returned within 30 days of purchase, had to be unused, and needed to include the original receipt. Well, I bought it in August, used it many times, and the receipt knows I'm looking for it.

So, is anybody here interested in a $1200 scope for only $825? I'm serious. If you are thinking of buying a cheap telescope that is only like two months old, taken great care of, and is basically in new condition, just send a U2U and I'll try to get in contact.

And no, I'm not selling it on eBay. I don't want it to end up somewhere where it might be neglected.

[edit on 11/16/04 by diehard_democrat]

posted on Nov, 16 2004 @ 06:04 PM
Die hard there is nothing better about teh new model ETX's the only thing they have changed is the finder witch is a telerad now instead of acro, a perty picture on the tube, and a built in level. thats it. the only time telerad finders really win out over acros is in dark sky sites and even then acros will do the job fine. the make of the scopes is the same, the standard tripod is thr same the auto star is the same, the optics are the same. they dont even come standard with the UTHC coatings. there is no major advancement in them except for a 100$ price jump its a meade scam to get peopel to buy perty scopes for christmas.

unless you want to pay 100 bucks for a level there is no point in it. spend your money by sending your 125 back to the Meade company and asking to upgrade your optics to UTHC for 90 dollars. then your scope will be better

[edit on 16-11-2004 by Mizar]

posted on Nov, 16 2004 @ 06:26 PM
Um, you got it wrong.

The UHTC comes standard now. Because everybody wanted it, and nobody would buy the standard coatings, they had tons of the standard coated scopes backing up their warehouse.

This new one electronically senses when it is perfectly level, and it automatically points itself to true north. All you have do to is enter your country and state, or your zipcode if you're in the US.

There's also my "old" (two months) ETX that's currently up for grabs. The $1200 scope is yours for $825 or B/O. U2U me if you're interested. I have already heard from cmdrkeenkid, but he is not completely sure just yet, so you still have a chance.

Mizar: You said you were interested in a scope that wasn't too big or too expensive? Here's your deal, buddy.

[edit on 11/16/04 by diehard_democrat]

posted on Nov, 16 2004 @ 08:14 PM
Um, I'm interested, but gotta convince my wife first.
Don't wait for me....

posted on Nov, 16 2004 @ 08:18 PM
im young and i bought a telescope and i think its the greatest thing ive ever bought

posted on Nov, 16 2004 @ 08:27 PM
Yeah, I know what it feels like too. Christmas, I was 11 and I got my first telescope. Piece of crap really, but I still keep it because it's what sparked my love for astronomy.

[edit on 11/16/04 by diehard_democrat]

[edit on 11/16/04 by thisisajokenobodyreallyeditedthis]

[edit on 11/16/04 by diehard_democrat]

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