Author Topic: $300 scope for 10 year old  (Read 481 times)

dsepinumer

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$300 scope for 10 year old
« on: December 24, 2017, 04:50:08 PM »
Hi

I am asking for a friend because I hate to recommend something specific which I have been be aware of, if there may be something better.  I think a celestron is so.  The uncle purchasing this extent tells me that the kid would gain from automatic goto and monitoring.

I looked in all of the numerous lines of scopes:
http://www.celestron...lescopes/series

Seems like he may have to forfeit aperture for goto, which I personally find sad tips?



radnatipni

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Re: $300 scope for 10 year old
« Reply #1 on: December 27, 2017, 01:01:52 PM »
At $300 including goto and no extra eyepieces, the kid won't learn what they're trying to look for because it will just be a fuzz. Oh boy! Guys come look at this fuzzy thing. That's supposed to be IC, NGC, M something. I would let the child have a say in picking it out. Perhaps a used 8"dob could be had. Perhaps a few hours observing with you might encourage better options. IMO a younger person is going to be looking at the bright stuff anyway. Moon, Planets and cool star clusters. You don't need goto for them. Best of luck!

Marvin Alexander

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Re: $300 scope for 10 year old
« Reply #2 on: December 28, 2017, 04:59:22 AM »
I think it depends on the aperture of the scope and the knowlege of the user.

Go-To and Tracking are certainly nice features. However, they are features which demand extra set-up and some knowlege of the stars in order to align and use. Otherwise, Go-To just gets in the way of pointing the scope at what you want to look at. Granted, a lot of Go-To mounts will let you use the Moon or planets as alignment points; but since you have to know which star is a planet in order to correct the initial pointing, why not just point the scope here in the first place if that is all you plan on looking at?Certainly Go-To is great for finding objects too dim for eyeball alignment or even the finder scope, but you have to wonder how dim an object the chosen size scope reveal.

There is no set answer and the boy in question holds more answers than any of us can. My thoughts would be to think of this as his "first" telescope and buy something he can easily point at the Moon and bright stars. I'd go for aperture with slow-motion controls but it still needs to be small enough the boy can move it around himself.

Ryan Lawlor

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Re: $300 scope for 10 year old
« Reply #3 on: December 29, 2017, 04:23:17 PM »
lamplight,

Hi, since I just went thru all this trying to decide what kind of scope to get one of my adult son's for his kids--our grandkids, aged 11 and 7--I guess I can try to help you out some here.

And yes, you will have to sacrifice some aperture for go-to if that's what you want to do--go-to costs nearly twice as much per a given scope of a given aperture as far as I can see. But go-to is nice, once one learns how to use it, etc., keeping the individual--child in our cases--more interested in searching for and looking at various things in the sky I think over not having go-to and having to search the old-fashioned way for things, i.e., star-hopping. It's just the fact that go-to does cost more for a given aperture, and the fact that there is a bit of a learning curve that goes with it. For me, who's familiar w/ go-to scopes--have both a Celestron Edge SCT, and a Meade LX 2000 8" SCT--it wasn't to hard for me to decide to go the go-to route for our grandkids, as I knew I could explain it and teach it to them pretty well, at least for the scope's first light with them (we don't live very close to them), so hope they remember their lessons! (and I also wrote out a simplified, step-by-step set of instructions for them to keep that I think does a better job than the instruction manual does from Celestron). In the end, I got them a Celestron NexStar 5SE (5" SCT), which among other things, was on sale when I bought it a while back--think they all still are for a few more days.

Anyhow, if you do decide to go go-to, I can recommend the NexStar line--they come in different "flavors", from a 4" Mak, thru 5 and 6" SCTs, to an 8" SCT. I think on sale, the 4" Mak might be close to your $300 limit--maybe $400--and would be a good starter scope size as is light and easily set up, and being a Mak, never needs it's mirrors collimated, unlike the larger SCT-type NexStars. Celestron also sells a couple go-to refractors too I believe, that might be even less costly, but still have the same go-to system that the NexStar SCTs and Mak have.

If you decide not to go go-to, then any decent refractor of say 70 mm or greater lens diameter on a decent, stable, alt-azimuth mounting and tripod, should be a good starter scope for a 10-yr old as well. Again, look for something of at least 70-80 mm objective lens, and on a good firm mount--you may need/want to purchase a scope OTA and then a tripod separately for it, in order to get a good stable tripod for it. I can recommend the Vixen Porta mount as a good stable alt-az mount/tripod, as have one of those for my 80 mm Orion refractor.

Hope this helps?

Jim

unmoharib

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Re: $300 scope for 10 year old
« Reply #4 on: December 29, 2017, 09:10:31 PM »
>IN MY OPINION

GOTO is like computers or cell phones or 24/7 television or PS3s and X-boxes. They're ubiquitous to children. Bind the scope to a computer and you're half way there with the kid. Keep it something old fashioned and it's an almost guarantee the scope will become closet art.

When I was his age, I thought **balsa plane models were cool, but they just weren't the same as my generations' plastic models. I even built a few dozen, but again, they didn't hold a candle to the ones my generation enjoyed. I also got far more of a kick out of my HO cars than HO or N gauge (Or Lionel) trains, even if I thought they were really cool. In fact, the cars and track were what I purchased with my lawn/etc money, not trains.

If GOTO keeps him coming back, then he may mow lawns and shovel walks and rake leaves and save for a better scope (or harp at you to get him one hahaha)

**Balsa planes were the things my dad's generation thought were really cool, especially since the new kits had all sorts of improvements... when he got into it, you bought sheets of balsa and plans and had to lay the plans over the balsa to find the cuts...they weren't printed or prescored...you even had to carve your own wheels and propellors and form any wire pieces from raw stock.

John Trujillo

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Re: $300 scope for 10 year old
« Reply #5 on: December 31, 2017, 07:27:23 PM »
Binoculars deserve consideration. A book. Maybe a visit to a star party. If he's fascinated by them, a step up is warranted. If not, maybe not.

Lcs King

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Re: $300 scope for 10 year old
« Reply #6 on: January 03, 2018, 08:06:07 AM »
Whether or not a GOTO scope is a good choice for a 10 year old, I tend to think not, I can't think of $300 GOTO scope that I would recommend to anyone. The scopes recommended so far are a ways beyond the $300 limit, the Nexstar SE is between $450 and $500.. and you are sitting there is a decent GOTO but a rather limited scope...

Decent scopes are available for $300 but if GOTO is a requirement, I would strongly encourage the uncle to up the ante...

Jon

Rodney Slater

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Re: $300 scope for 10 year old
« Reply #7 on: January 08, 2018, 07:57:40 AM »
I always recommend joining a club first.  Go out and get a tour of telescopes others actually use and look through them.  Then decide.

I think a lot of people (parents) think the idea of getting their child a telescope is a fantastic idea.  It is rarely thought all the way through however.  A 10 year old isn't going to sit outside alone in the dark for very long.  IMO, the parents need to be driving this.  As in the parents need to be the ones taking the telescope out and learning how to use it, so the kids can get interested.  10 year olds cannot drive to dark sites either!

I was just asked by another parent at my kids school last week, "We'd like to buy a telescope for our son (age 8) so he can sit in the living room and point it out the window and look at stars."  Oh my....  They really thought they were going to sit in the living room while watching TV, in the Winter, in Massachusetts, with the windows closed and look at stars.  If the parents have no clue what they are getting their child into then it is likely to be a wasted investment.  These parents totally changed their minds the moment I mentioned that, you had to go outside!  Going outside became a non-starter for the whole idea.

I have a 5 and 8 year old.  Both enjoy looking through the telescope, and by looking I mean my 8 year old will spend maybe an hour tops looking at things.  My 5 year old is another story however...  He'd stay up all night looking through the telescope if I let them.  I'd venture to guess my 5 year old is an exception to the rule, while my 8 year old is more typical.

swarfestmatvo

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Re: $300 scope for 10 year old
« Reply #8 on: January 08, 2018, 08:36:00 PM »
Quote
Whether or not a GOTO scope is a good choice for a 10 year old, I tend to think not, I can't think of $300 GOTO scope that I would recommend to anyone. The scopes recommended so far are a ways

The Meade ETX 80 is a very respectable optical tube on a Go To mount that typically sells for $300 or less. I haven't tried it myself, but it sounds promising.

togoseera

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Re: $300 scope for 10 year old
« Reply #9 on: January 09, 2018, 07:43:04 PM »
Quote
These parents totally changed their minds the moment I mentioned that, you had to go outside!  Going outside became a non-starter for the whole idea.


How sad a commentary on our modern, high-tech society. Look how far we've come.

When I was 10 I sat outside sometimes until the wee hours of the morning with my scope. My parents knew where I was, and our neighbors all looked out for each other and their children. My, how things have changed. Sad, huh? All this technology around us, and people are imprisoned in their own homes.

bankrybettdog

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perpemucho

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Re: $300 scope for 10 year old
« Reply #11 on: January 10, 2018, 06:15:00 AM »
I recently just sold my Z10 to a guy who was buying it for his 10 yr old daughter for Christmas. I warned and emphasized to him the size and bulk of a 10" dob, and although not trying to talk him out of the deal, I was honest and said she could easily point and focus it, but moving it outside will require an adult. He was not intimidated by the size, as a friend of theirs had a similar scope, which triggered this girl's interest. And I reminded him that she'd probably never outgrow this scope and its capabilities.

To the OP...I went from years of starhopping to GoTo out of necessity. Perhaps this family lives where the night sky isn't great and the GoTo will keep this lad or lass interested a lot longer than not being able to find things. Trust me, I know all too well.

I have come to appreciate small scopes with electronics. And that's coming from a dob guy who stubbornly stayed with charts and a Telrad for years.

For a ten-yr-old, I'd suggest one of these. Slightly over budget, but a good deal nonetheless. And quite manageable.

http://www.bhphotovi..._Telescope.html

nostcharmacon

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Re: $300 scope for 10 year old
« Reply #12 on: January 10, 2018, 11:13:52 PM »
A 90mm f/14 Maksutov would be a simulation of a 60mm f/21 refractor, and the ultimate sacrifice of precious aperture and a versatile focal-length in favour of non-durable, computerised, electronic "whizz-bangs".

Children want to see, and above all else. The desire for an aperture as large as possible, and as an aid and extension of one's comparably-weak 5mm-8mm pupil, is the prime reason one wants a telescope in the first place; again, to .

Quite frankly, the industry sorely needs to abandon the antiquated f/8 format for 6" Dobsonians for an f/5, or f/6 at most.

Would not the child's guardians also be interested in a look-see, and at the same time helping the child along, and for a kit to grow into...

http://www.highpoint...CFYQlgQod508BhQ
http://www.highpoint...tripod-maz01-00

For an extra $120, the practically all-metal kit would last for decades; and better able to withstand most any if not all instances of rough-housing, for after all, I was 10, once.

Reviews of the 6" f/5...

http://www.chuckhawk...T150_scopes.htm
http://www.cloudynig...i-xlt-150-r1623

Rodney Slater

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Re: $300 scope for 10 year old
« Reply #13 on: January 11, 2018, 02:09:14 AM »
Quote
Quite frankly, the industry sorely needs to abandon the antiquated f/8 format for 6" Dobsonians for an f/5, or f/6 at most.

In the 6 inch aperture, both F/5 and F/8 Dobsonians are are available.. The 6 inch F/5 Starblast would be too short for a normal 10 years old without some sort of stand.

The eyepiece height at the zenith of a 10 inch F/5 Dobsonian is 48 inches, a 6 inch F/8 is about that. The average height of a 10 year old boy in the United States is about 53 inches. This means that the average 10 year old can comfortably view through a 6 inch F/8, an 8 inch F/6 or a 10 inch F/5 at the Zenith.

Jon

The 6 inch F/5 requires a table even with a chair.


Robert Porter

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Re: $300 scope for 10 year old
« Reply #14 on: January 11, 2018, 06:22:04 AM »
Hey, I built that, lol, tk