Author Topic: New Telescope for a Beginner  (Read 1597 times)

tioteyclasbeat

  • Active Astronomer
  • ***
  • Posts: 130
  • Activity:
    0%
  • Reputation: +0/-0
    • View Profile
New Telescope for a Beginner
« on: December 24, 2017, 02:49:46 AM »
Hello All,

New to this community and hobby.  Been browsing this forum just a little bit and looking at exactly what to get for my very first significant range.

First to mention, my funding it up to 700 USD (can be raised if it is really necessary).

My inlaws have a home in the outskirts of Fort Davis, Texas near Mc Donald Observatory.  Beautiful dark skies country.  The Observatory hosts a lot of 'Star parties" out there that got me quite interested in this hobby later volunteers must reveal what they can do using their telescopes showing me viewings of the moon into Jupitier to clusters into Messier Objects.

We see there a few times each year, so I am looking for a telescope that I will post between my hometown of Houston.  Whom I can do some moon and planet viewings.  And to Fort Davis where I can perhaps do a little more serious viewing in the Davis Mountains.

I have been looking at the discussion quite a bit today and yesterday and there are a couple of things I'm currently considering:

Orion 09007 SpaceProbe 130ST Equatorial Reflector (cheap-er telescope all manual.  Great learning experience perhaps)

Celestron 5SE (Automatic, might be easier and more fun to see things earlier without much hassle) Folks on this forum tend to like this one when I looked at other topics.

Orion Starseeker IV 150MM (Automatic as well, kind-a exactly the same as the 5SE however from Celestron?  The main reason why I put this in here is that people state that Orion makes good quality solutions.  Is there any difference and preference compared?

I might have forgotten a good deal of different things, but there are quite a lot of terms that are being used by the community.  Excuse me as I understand as we go.

Best Regards,



stunfalriave

  • Active Astronomer
  • ***
  • Posts: 115
  • Activity:
    0%
  • Reputation: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: New Telescope for a Beginner
« Reply #1 on: December 24, 2017, 08:13:29 AM »
I would drop all these and look at an 8-10" Dob.  It is going to show you far more than a little 5-6" scope can, and for less money than the latter two.

Brian Ross

  • Active Astronomer
  • ***
  • Posts: 112
  • Activity:
    0%
  • Reputation: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: New Telescope for a Beginner
« Reply #2 on: December 24, 2017, 07:53:37 PM »
Thank you for your reply!

But, these 'Dobs' are rather large to my expertise and therefore not very simple so ferry between Houston & Fort Davis.  Might aswell not be easy to carry down the stairs of a 3th-floor apartment

Thank you anyway for your reply I am definitely keeping a dob in mind for your future.

Jamal Plump

  • Active Astronomer
  • ***
  • Posts: 115
  • Activity:
    0%
  • Reputation: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: New Telescope for a Beginner
« Reply #3 on: December 27, 2017, 12:41:29 PM »
Quote
Thank you for your reply!

However, these 'Dobs' are quite large to my knowledge and therefore not very easy so ferry between Houston & Fort Davis. Might aswell not be easy to carry down the stairs of a 3th-floor apartment

Thank you anyway for your reply I am definitely keeping a dob in mind for the future.

A 5" scope on a tripod will have a wider profile and take up nearly as much space in the car.

You could also get a truss or collapsible Dob.

Tom Doyle

  • Active Astronomer
  • ***
  • Posts: 129
  • Activity:
    0%
  • Reputation: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: New Telescope for a Beginner
« Reply #4 on: December 29, 2017, 03:17:51 AM »
Welcome to Cloudy Nights!

The Orion and Celestron mounts are fairly reliable. I have owned the 8 SE for several years now and never regretted it. The 8-inch Dobs would be a great scope, but a GOTO scope will allow you to observe any object easier due to its tracking. This makes a night out under the stars quite enjoyable.

For a bit more, I'd go with the 6 SE. The six inch SCT is a great scope and the the SE is quite easy to setup, align, and run. Currently, the 6 SE runs for $799.00.

Best wishes on your choice of scope and mount, and clear skies after you get 'em home!

Gary

Corey Gibson

  • Active Astronomer
  • ***
  • Posts: 133
  • Activity:
    0%
  • Reputation: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: New Telescope for a Beginner
« Reply #5 on: December 30, 2017, 02:06:36 PM »
No disrespect to Augustus. Forget the "Dob". They are big, heavy, manual and and not so convenient for transporting especial if your traveling in a sedan. I will probably get some flax for saying this but it is my opinion.
Since I am a Celestron guy and based on what you said you want to do and your cost restraints I would recommend the Celestron 5SE. It would be easier to transport, easy to setup and with computerized "Goto" function you will be looking at objects much quicker. Hopes this helps.

Ryan Lawlor

  • Active Astronomer
  • ***
  • Posts: 122
  • Activity:
    0%
  • Reputation: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: New Telescope for a Beginner
« Reply #6 on: December 31, 2017, 05:06:01 PM »
Quote
Quote

Thank you for your reply!

However, these 'Dobs' are quite large to my knowledge and therefore not very easy so ferry between Houston & Fort Davis. Might aswell not be easy to carry down the stairs of a 3th-floor apartment

Thank you anyway for your reply I am definitely keeping a dob in mind for the future.

A 5" scope on a tripod will have a wider profile and take up nearly as much space in the car.

You could also get a truss or collapsible Dob.
A Collapsible Dob, Do you have an example of that?

inuninab

  • Active Astronomer
  • ***
  • Posts: 133
  • Activity:
    0%
  • Reputation: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: New Telescope for a Beginner
« Reply #7 on: December 31, 2017, 06:29:24 PM »
Hi JamesOrbit and welcome to the forums!

​Ofthe3 you list, the Celestron is the only one I'd consider at all. The tripod on the 1st one is suspect and the 3rd costs too much because you're (over)paying for features. The advantage of the 5SE over the others includes really small package size. If that's a dominant concern for you then there you go.

If you really want to save $ look at a 5" f5 tabletop Dob. The Zhumell Z130 may be the best one but they've gotten hard to find. I have a AWB OneSky that I know to be a really capable scope. They're much more solidly mounted than the EQ 5" scopes you are considering. Both I listed cost $200!!

But the most effective scope in your price range is an Orion XT8i. It is a Dob, not "automatic" but with an electronic finder that effectively helps you locate objects manually. They're calledpush-to scopes. Eight inch aperture is a big step up and the finder system works well. Hand guiding a Dob quickly becomes second nature. This scope in West Texas skies will absolutely knock your socks off.
________________________________________
edit - The XT8i will fit in the back seat or trunk of most cars. It is NOT heavy. I'm old and still carry my fully assembled and significantly modified (added weight) XT10i back and forth from the garage to my viewing spot. The 130mm tabletop Dobs weigh in @ 15lbs assembled and take up much less room than a child's carseat. Additionally, they have no tripod to deal with.

The push-to system is a simplified and effective way to quickly find objects and I think, based on my own experience, that it extremely effective for those just learning their way around the sky and just learning how to find objects. My XT10i was my 1st scope, completely stock and bought 3rd or 4th hand.

The 5SE is a very good, full featured scope that will serve you well if that's the way you go but it is optically not competitive with the XT8i (aperture carries great weight) and competitive with but not superior to the $200 scopes.

Jeff Smith

  • Active Astronomer
  • ***
  • Posts: 106
  • Activity:
    0%
  • Reputation: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: New Telescope for a Beginner
« Reply #8 on: January 01, 2018, 11:19:20 PM »
Also you can see a lot from the light polluted suburbs of Houston just as I can see from the light polluted suburbs of North Dallas. The 5SE would be a good start for you. WhatI would give to be able to setup in the Davis Mountains region.

Gabriel Green

  • Active Astronomer
  • ***
  • Posts: 107
  • Activity:
    0%
  • Reputation: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: New Telescope for a Beginner
« Reply #9 on: January 02, 2018, 12:37:03 AM »
Given what you've said so far, I'd say +1 on the 8" dob. Tube will fit in the trunk of a Corolla, and the base takes up one seat. A strap handle, or carry bag would make it even easier on the stairs. It really isn't very heavy or cumbersome.

Alternately, a used 6" SCT can be found new for under $400 and a Twilight 1 tripod is $200, cheaper used if you watch the classifieds. If you want a goto scope the Celestron 6SE is around $800 new, as mentioned above.

acoplochop

  • Active Astronomer
  • ***
  • Posts: 119
  • Activity:
    0%
  • Reputation: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: New Telescope for a Beginner
« Reply #10 on: January 03, 2018, 01:46:32 PM »
There are two Orion scopes called Starseeker IV 150.

I would recommend the reflector. At about 1/2 the price of the Mak it is well within your stated budget yet still very manageable in size. About 23 pounds all up. You remove the OTA from the mount to put it in the car.
http://www.telescope...d=Starseeker IV

Video Overview - Note that this one can be moved manually without losing orientation.  Most GoTo scopes can't do that.
https://www.youtube....h?v=Z7goOnANFZQ

Take the $400 you save and put it into quality eyepieces.

Note that the Mak, all Maks, have fairly narrow fields of view. Fine for planets but less so for deep space objects, some of which will not fit in the field of view.  So this scope can easily go lower power wider view for DSOs.  Or you can go higher power for planets. You said you did not want a big Dobsonian due to bulk and weight and those are very good reasons.  You also wanted computer assist and that makes sense to me too.

But I will put the Orion XT8i Intelliscope up for consideration.  I own this one.
Computer assisted but not motorized.  All up it is 43 pounds. Can be moved in two pieces of about 21 pounds each.  OTA will fit across the back seat of most sedans, 47 inches.  Base can go in the trunk.
http://www.telescope...ts?keyword=XT8i

How the Intelliscope works
https://www.youtube....h?v=EmHogk9pwlw

I have 3 scopes
Short tube 80 mm Goto refractor
5" Mak - GoTo
8" Computer assisted Dob

Mine lives in the garage on a cart. I just roll it out to my observation site, down the sidewalk.

Attached Thumbnails


Richard Reed

  • Active Astronomer
  • ***
  • Posts: 130
  • Activity:
    0%
  • Reputation: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: New Telescope for a Beginner
« Reply #11 on: January 04, 2018, 04:08:20 PM »
Havasman mentioned the AWB OneSky. I started with that one and loved it. Inexpensive, capable, supremely portable. Read the reviews and the long-running thread devoted to it here in the forum.

https://www.cloudyni...ithout-borders/

Welcome to the hobby!

junktranasop

  • Active Astronomer
  • ***
  • Posts: 111
  • Activity:
    0%
  • Reputation: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: New Telescope for a Beginner
« Reply #12 on: January 10, 2018, 01:02:51 AM »
Thank you everyone! This is a lot of information and I will need some time to consider it all. Currently, I am leaning towards to 5/6SE but the dobare currently still under consideration.

Guy Cleveland

  • Active Astronomer
  • ***
  • Posts: 129
  • Activity:
    0%
  • Reputation: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: New Telescope for a Beginner
« Reply #13 on: January 10, 2018, 03:05:28 PM »
If you can afford the 6SE that would be a great choice. Also be aware that you will need to buy a couple of good Eyepieces.

To help you decided here are some great pictures taken with a 6SE.

https://www.cloudyni...-6-se-asi290mm/

Nathan Harper

  • Active Astronomer
  • ***
  • Posts: 129
  • Activity:
    0%
  • Reputation: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: New Telescope for a Beginner
« Reply #14 on: January 10, 2018, 03:54:53 PM »
It might be worth checking craigslist in your area or posting a wanted ad in CN classifieds. I see a lot of the 6" scopes for sale on craigslist in my area. There is also some AVX mounts for sale in our classifieds that would make a great mount for a smaller SCT or a refractor, this is a goto mount. An Explore Scientific 102mm doublet refractor would give you some great views on that mount if you didn't want to use a reflecting scope. The price would put you over 700 for something like that, but is doable for under $1000 if you get a used mount.