Author Topic: Newb with newb kids but they like the stars  (Read 737 times)

Damon Brigham

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Newb with newb kids but they like the stars
« on: December 24, 2017, 09:07:18 AM »
Hey,

So I've got a crappy telescope from when I was a child, don't know much about it I put it up the other night along with my youngest daughter appeared at the craters of the moon and moved Wow!
So of course I used to be a bigger and better telescope to let her see stuff such as the rings on Saturn or anything else.  The present one has a rack with stripped screws and the focus barely functions.

So to Kijiji I proceed.  I found that this telescope for 100 bucks.  Not much is stated other than itsCarl Wetzlar Towa Telescope
Catadioptric F=1000mm.

Is that worth it, so long as it is in working order of course.  Or is there any other recommendations from the 100 dollar range that is going to be at least semi decent?  Something for a couple more wow moments from my children.

Thanks!



Bill Pham

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Re: Newb with newb kids but they like the stars
« Reply #1 on: December 27, 2017, 09:50:03 AM »
All these catadioptric telescopes also known as the bird-jones of poor quality and not recommended as you will gradually see in the subsequent posts.

A appropriate newtonian are a much better choice something like the Celestron 114eq [link]ClearSkies!

paurustmorba

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Re: Newb with newb kids but they like the stars
« Reply #2 on: December 27, 2017, 01:31:34 PM »
The Celestron 114eq looks like a pretty good choice.
If you want to say what city you are near, I'll glance at Craig's List for you.

Chad Shepard

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Re: Newb with newb kids but they like the stars
« Reply #3 on: December 28, 2017, 09:22:44 PM »
You also might check to see if there is an astronomy club near you that has public viewing nights. You're likely to find friendly advice and wow moments.

Junee Hunt

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Re: Newb with newb kids but they like the stars
« Reply #4 on: December 29, 2017, 01:44:08 AM »
Welcome! We're here to help. As mentioned, your approximate location lets us help you better. Getting you a scope that won't disappoint will be a great thing for you and your kids. Good luck.

stimtinpaso

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Re: Newb with newb kids but they like the stars
« Reply #5 on: December 31, 2017, 08:00:56 AM »
Check out www.shopgoodwill.com I have seen nice Celestron nexstar or Meade ETX gotos for decent price. Especially search for goodwill close to you so you can check it out before auction as well as you don't have to pay for shipping.

Grant Buchanan

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Re: Newb with newb kids but they like the stars
« Reply #6 on: January 04, 2018, 06:36:38 AM »
Hey,
Thanks for the reply, sorry for linking the picture wrong :-/

I'm in Edmonton, Alberta. Not really looking to add another hobby on top of what I've already got going but more interested to make sure my kids can see in the sky what they want to see. Hah, that sounds cheesy but I like to make sure that they have as much knowledge as I can get them...unfortunately we can' afford the $400 telescopes to do so. So that's where Kijiji came in.

I'll take a look for clubs as well as the Telus World of Science, I think they have nights where you can come and view the stars.

Ha, and of course since I'm in Canada the $100 USD is like $74839 CDN these days :-/ (well closer to $150 CDN, just annoying). So Kijiji will hopefully help me find something that will be a good purchase.

Thanks again everyone for your help!

Todd Vann

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Re: Newb with newb kids but they like the stars
« Reply #7 on: January 04, 2018, 07:35:56 AM »
I certainly would like to know the exact nature of the "crappy" telescope. Is it a refractor, or a reflector? What's the diameter of the main lens or mirror? What's its focal-length? There should be a label on the telescope itself listing its specs. Can you share that with us?

In any event, this is close to your budget, and not bad at all for the price...

https://www.kwtelesc...-xmas-gift.html

To be honest, however, I would make do with what's presently at hand, and save up for something with a bit more oomph, like this...

https://www.lirelana...mini-130-203003

...or one of these...

https://www.kwtelesc...-reflector.html
https://www.kwtelesc...-p13065eq2.html

A beginner perusing used kits in the classifieds is a risky business, as one could easily pay for something that's worse than what they're attempting to replace. As long as the telescopes like that pictured within the Kijiji listing are avoided, and like the plague, then that's one major obstacle out of the way when searching for a used kit. Do tread carefully when looking to get a used telescope. Inexpensive reflector telescopes with a short tube and a long focal-length(1000mm) are going to be of the Jones-Bird design. If it was a true Newtonian, the focal-length would be around 450mm; half of that.

Incidentally, that Jones-Bird is mounted on a mount that's easily worth the price being asked for the entire kit, if not more. It's an EQ-2, and made in Japan by the looks of it. That mount can be motorised, and most any telescope up to 5" can be added. Also, it's a Tanzutsu, not a Towa, therefore it's a bit newer, but still made in Japan, and with practically all the new kits being made in China these days.

It just so happens that I'm looking for an older EQ-2, and that's a bargain of bargains within that listing. The telescope is potentially terrible, however, but who knows really until it's inspected and used.

Michael Litvack

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Re: Newb with newb kids but they like the stars
« Reply #8 on: January 09, 2018, 01:40:51 AM »
When I was in first year, one of my class mates had a 4" Bird-Jones. It was way better than my 60 mm 15-60x scope at the time. On reflection, its biggest failing was that it used 0.965" eyepieces (24.5 mm) rather than much more common 1.25".

At C$100 it's something of a bargain. I would be inclined to go take a look - if it focuses stars to a point and you can get around 75-100x, it will be great for the kids and since it's reasonably compact, they can probably manage it.

lodersconsharp

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Re: Newb with newb kids but they like the stars
« Reply #9 on: January 10, 2018, 10:36:41 AM »
I bet these folks could show you some cool stuff...
http://edmontonrasc.com/outreach/

Cesar Norris

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Re: Newb with newb kids but they like the stars
« Reply #10 on: January 10, 2018, 04:12:15 PM »
Quote
Hey,

So I have a crappy telescope from when I was a kid, don't know much about it but I set it up the other night and my youngest daughter looked at the craters of the moon and went Wow!
So of course I was a bigger and better telescope to let her see stuff like the rings on Saturn or anything else. The current one has a stand with stripped screws and the focus barely works.

So to Kijiji I go. I found this telescope for 100 bucks. Not much is said other than itsCarl Wetzlar Towa Telescope
Catadioptric F=1000mm.

Is that worth it, as long as it's in working order of course. Or is there any other recommendations in the 100 dollar range that will be at least semi decent? Something for a few more wow moments from my kids.

Thanks!

Welcome to Cloudy Nights. Lots of people here to help you.

Buying used can be a great way to save money, as long as you know what you are doing.  I can't say if that is a steal or a dud of a scope. I don't know it.

Someone suggested this was a Bird Jones Newtonian.  Looks more to me like a Mak-Newtonian.  Anyone wish to comment?

I would not recommend a telescope with less than 70 mm aperture and more is better.

I think either of these would serve your purpose.  There are lower priced scopes on the market but I would not recommend them.  The major issue on the cheaper scopes are wobbly mounts that can be real frustrating.  While these are entry level telescopes they should serve your purpose.  And, if you get into this, these will be your grab and go, vacation scopes.

These use standard 1.25" eyepieces and accessories so, over time, if can add eyepieces, filters or a barlow to gain higher magnification. You will have a wide range of choices of accesories and anything you buy for these telescopes will work in larger telescopes.  Avoid anything, new or used, that uses .965 diameter eyepiecesThe Z100 is a short tube tabletop telescope that is great for learning the sky, however the included eyepieces will not have the magnification you would want for planets. I would suggest that you add a 3X barlow lens to get the higher magnifications you would want for planets . This triples the magnification of any eyepiece. You put this in the eyepiece holder and then you put the eyepiece in the barlow. So two eyepieces would give you 4 magnifications.

Zhumell Z100 100 mm Tabletop reflector – About 6 pounds
Includes two eyepieces and a red dot finderhttp://www.ebay.ca/i...h4AAOSwqBJXUNKT
Discussion and review
http://www.cloudynig...m-f4-newtonian/

I have this very inexpensive barlow. Works for me. $11http://www.ebay.com/...505&rk=1&rkt=1
This is an tripod mounted refractor I recommend to people on limited budgets. I was able to find it on Amazon Canada. It includes a barlow lens so no need to add one.

Meade Instruments 209003 Infinity 70 AZ Refractor Telescope - About 13 pounds
70 mm Includes finder scope, 2 eyepieces and a barlow lens that doubles the mag of each eyepiece.https://www.amazon.c...003 Infinity 70
Video
https://www.youtube....h?v=ck0MQZiSc9Y

Jason Kaltwasser

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Re: Newb with newb kids but they like the stars
« Reply #11 on: January 10, 2018, 05:22:01 PM »
We are all real good about helping each other spend money

That said, if your old scope has a glass lens it may be better than you give it credit for. Generally, so-called "beginner" scopes suffer from poor mounting (does it shake andslip a lot?), poor eyepieces (do you have to shove your eye against the tiny,tiny glass hole to see a fuzzy and dim image?), and a finder scope that is hard to look through and miss-aligned. If this is the case a better tripod, a BB-gun red-dot sight,anda couple ofinexpensive eyepieces might be all you need. (If I were you I'd get the BB-gun sight first; nothing is worse than not being able to point the scope where you want it.)

If you can, fill us in on your current scope; brand, whatXwhat, are the eyepieces bigger or smaller than 25mm diameter? Pictures would be even better. We have people on this web-sight that with patience and a little DIY can turn kitchen towel tubes into scientific instruments.

You might be able to buy the Towa scope for less than you would need to "fix" your current scope. But, like buying a used car, you may find that the Towa suffers the same problems your current scope has.

Believe it or not, Saturn's rings do not require a large scope to view, neither do the moons of Jupiter, the phases of Venus, or the Great Orion Nebula.

nijambaci

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Re: Newb with newb kids but they like the stars
« Reply #12 on: January 11, 2018, 02:10:08 AM »
Quote
Someone suggested this was a Bird Jones Newtonian.  Looks more to me like a Mak-Newtonian.  Anyone wish to comment?

I don't think so, Ed. If it was a Mak-Newt it would have a deeply curved corrector (the reflection in the corrector shows it's nearly flat) and - judging from its length, the f-ratio would be around 4 not f/8.7 which is stencilled onto the front..

The give away though is the built-in finder. It really looks just like my pals did (except his was white.) The erect image gadget looks like it belongs on something from the 1960's.

As I said though, it's a pretty good deal at C$100.

David Reynolds

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Re: Newb with newb kids but they like the stars
« Reply #13 on: January 11, 2018, 04:49:13 AM »
Thanks Bruce.  I had never seen a Cat with a side exit eyepiece before so I assumed the Mak.  Appreciate the info.

trapoutampub

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Re: Newb with newb kids but they like the stars
« Reply #14 on: January 11, 2018, 10:14:29 AM »
<p class="citation">QuoteSomeone suggested this was a Bird Jones Newtonian. Looks more to me like a Mak-Newtonian. Anyone wish to comment?[/quote]
Well the plate at the front is not a Bird-Jones. It is however a Catadioptic - as are SCT's and Mak's.
It is the eyepiece location that is the question so the idea of a Mak/Newt seems feasible from the image. Unlikely but it sort of fits.

I also read that the OP apologises for the link being wrong so I will assume that the question and the scope do not match.

For the OP I see there is a Celestron Astromaster 60AZ at $120 in Lethbridge. I would say go get that one. Quite a few on kijiji, more then one is advertised are reflectors and are shown upside down.