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General Astronomy => Beginners Forum => Topic started by: settmagganen on December 27, 2017, 09:54:33 PM

Title: Some advice please on a scope for my granddaughters birthday.
Post by: settmagganen on December 27, 2017, 09:54:33 PM
Hello, I would like to get some advice for a scope for my granddaughter. She is turning 12 in 3 weeks.  She is NOT new to telescopes. She currently has a celestron 102gt for the last 3 years.
She loves astronomy. Where none of my kids when they were younger were attracted to it. She loves it. She will get behind the eyepiece and just slowly scan the entire night sky. She does know how to use the hand control after I align it. But she always ends up just scanning the night sky.
I have the first time she saw M13 she discovered by scanning the night sky burnt into my head. I was inside getting coffee and she comes running in Grandpa I found something. She was so excited.
The only time I take cpc1100 out is when she is staying a weekend at our house. If she is not there I do not take the scope out.
i have $600 to spend. I was thinking of just a ota to go on her nexstar mount. I was thinking something with a wider field. I want it be a good quality ota. So many options out there that I bang my head against a wall. Please throw some options my way.
thanks
Title: Re: Some advice please on a scope for my granddaughters birthday.
Post by: Tawakal Stahlberg on December 28, 2017, 05:14:52 AM
A 6" F5 would be a good low power sweeper. Double the light grasp too. There are some higher quality but not super pricey premium options available from Europe, such as Telescope Service or Orion Optics (which is also sold by TS). Or the Celestron Omni series is available in US and has a 2" focuser.

if she is a star sweeper, she will probably be much happier with a manual alt az mount like Versago. No idea if Nexstar will handle a 6" OTA. Looks like Celestron sells it with a 5" but no more. From the looks of the tripod you just aren't going to get much more than that short tube 4" refractor on that mount.

Scott
Title: Re: Some advice please on a scope for my granddaughters birthday.
Post by: moiquadachus on December 30, 2017, 11:40:56 PM
I would go for aperture. A 6" or 8", but it will probably not fit (as the previous poster said). I star sweeped when I was young and found a couple things, but I would definitely keep with GOTO. But if you go manual, then you can easily afford an 8" dobsonian, or even a 10". She will definitely have to star hop with that, and if she enjoys that, then that is probably what I would get.
Title: Re: Some advice please on a scope for my granddaughters birthday.
Post by: neukascome on December 31, 2017, 02:07:00 AM
Terrific that you are considering doing this for her. I've been a science teacher for 12yr olds for decades and know how much they can love science and astronomy but can get stuck without the help of a parent or other family member. So kudos to you.

One obvious telescope to consider is an 8" dobsonian like the Orion XT 8". For $600, you can help her get the OTA as well as a couple of good eyepieces and perhaps a green laser finder. This would be a nice complement to her 4" refractor. A small hand truck might be needed since it may be too much weight for a 12 yr old to carry. Lucky kid!
Title: Re: Some advice please on a scope for my granddaughters birthday.
Post by: Sean Schaefer on December 31, 2017, 08:46:12 AM
Orion Optics:http://www.orionopti.../VX/vx6-6l.html (http://www.orionoptics.co.uk/VX/vx6-6l.html)
the TS model I see now has a carbon fiber tube and is a bit beyond your budget. Especially if you also need a mount.

Scott
Title: Re: Some advice please on a scope for my granddaughters birthday.
Post by: alinvibee on January 01, 2018, 02:54:30 AM
Quote
A 6" F5 would be a good low power sweeper. Double the light grasp too. There are some higher quality but not super pricey premium options available from Europe, such as Telescope Service or Orion Optics (which is also sold by TS). Or the Celestron Omni series is available in US and has a 2" focuser.

if she is a star sweeper, she will probably be much happier with a manual alt az mount like Versago. No idea if Nexstar will handle a 6" OTA. Looks like Celestron sells it with a 5" but no more. From the looks of the tripod you just aren't going to get much more than that short tube 4" refractor on that mount.

Scott

I do have a vixen porta mount 2 that I use with my solar scope. I think that might be able to handle more then the nexstar.
Title: Re: Some advice please on a scope for my granddaughters birthday.
Post by: Jim Snyder on January 04, 2018, 05:12:34 AM
Quote
Terrific that you are considering doing this for her. I've been a science teacher for 12yr olds for decades and know how much they can love science and astronomy but can get stuck without the help of a parent or other family member. So kudos to you.

One obvious telescope to consider is an 8" dobsonian like the Orion XT 8". For $600, you can help her get the OTA as well as a couple of good eyepieces and perhaps a green laser finder. This would be a nice complement to her 4" refractor. A small hand truck might be needed since it may be too much weight for a 12 yr old to carry. Lucky kid!

Thanks, she is my girl!  You should hear her play the drums! Kid know 2 Led Zeppelin songs by heart lol and plays in rock bands they form at her music school. Wife and I pretty much raised her. She and my son moved in with us when she was 1. Her dad bought a house last year, but she still spends every other weekend with us.

I would like to keep the scope to a refractor so she does not have to mess with collimating. I want it to be something that will serve her well for many years to come. For now the scopes will stay at my house. When she is a little older she can take it to her house. My son shows no interest in astronomy and I am sure he will not go out and help her set it up.
Title: Re: Some advice please on a scope for my granddaughters birthday.
Post by: Darren Hatch on January 10, 2018, 10:50:44 PM
Does she own binoculars? If not, then that's my recommendation. Not too heavy ones, maybe 8x40 or even 8x35. Easily handheld anyway.

If going for high end, light, really good looking, for example these: http://www.telescope...71/p/103507.uts (http://www.telescope.com/Binoculars/Birding-Binoculars/Orion-Savannah-Pro-8x42-ED-Waterproof-Binoculars/pc/-1/c/5/sc/71/p/103507.uts)

Multi purpose is a bonus. "Astronomical" binoculars have a tendency for being a bit too heavy.
Title: Re: Some advice please on a scope for my granddaughters birthday.
Post by: longtichaten on January 11, 2018, 12:41:12 AM
She has a 4" refractor now. I can't think of anything that would improve on that, and still ride that mount reasonably well. Maybe a 6" F5 newt? From the way it looks though that scope might have clearance issues with the mount...

I believe if you want to improve the views the next logical step is a 6-8" dob. The 6" might not have much more light grasp than the frac (secondary considerations) but it would likely be F8 which would improve planetary views I'd think, and should be in the just manageable range. The 8" would definately improve the views all around, but might take some growing into.

Binoculars is a good idea too for a natural born sky sweeper.
Title: Re: Some advice please on a scope for my granddaughters birthday.
Post by: William Mendoza on January 11, 2018, 03:30:29 AM
Eyepieces? A zoom?
Variable polarizing 2 piece filter?
Title: Re: Some advice please on a scope for my granddaughters birthday.
Post by: Jim Parker on January 11, 2018, 07:50:00 AM
Heya,

Aperture will reveal more, so I too will lean towards a 6 inch reflector of some kind, like the F5 ones. There's also a 6 inch F6 that is nice, to avoid the cost of coma correction and it's easier on eyepieces. Or you could move into the 8 inch aperture range with a dob.

Nexstar mounts can only take a certain size/weight, so after something like 17~22 inches (have to read manual) it will not clear and the weight is limited. So if you want to enhance what's already on the Nexstar mount, maybe an SCT like the 6SE or a C6A, as that will fit on them for sure, and are nice, well within budget.

Very best,
Title: Re: Some advice please on a scope for my granddaughters birthday.
Post by: plicoptorol on January 11, 2018, 08:24:17 AM
Wow that sounds like a great kid.

I have the GT mount and over the next couple of days I will see if it can handle a 6" f/5 newt.
Dob is an excellent Idea for big light grasp. You could set both up, and she can use goto
to see where something is then see if she can find it in the DOB once she knows the general area.
Another thing to consider would be an orion st80.  Very wide field for sweeping.
It will definitely fit on your gt, if it has a standard dovetail.

You could also improve the gt performance. It will handle light weight 2" eyepieces.
You could get a 30 - 40 mm 2" eyepiece and a mirror diagonal. That would give her a wider view.
If you go this route keep the weight down Some 2" eyepieces are monsters.

Antares makes a 80mm f/6 telescope with a 2" focuser, that would be awesome.
This is mostly sold in canada. It is hard to find down here.

Good luck, and have fun.
Title: Re: Some advice please on a scope for my granddaughters birthday.
Post by: monsresiwor on January 11, 2018, 08:32:48 AM
Quote
Does she own binoculars? If not, then that's my recommendation. Not too heavy ones, maybe 8x40 or even 8x35. Easily handheld anyway.

If going for high end, light, really good looking, for example these: http://www.telescope...71/p/103507.uts (http://www.telescope.com/Binoculars/Birding-Binoculars/Orion-Savannah-Pro-8x42-ED-Waterproof-Binoculars/pc/-1/c/5/sc/71/p/103507.uts)

Multi purpose is a bonus. "Astronomical" binoculars have a tendency for being a bit too heavy.

I do have 2 pair of binoculars 10x60 mariner. Orion resolux 15x70. I want a scope mainly because she mentioned she would like a better scope last summer. I figure this would be a nice surprise.. especially since she has not mentioned it in so long.
Title: Re: Some advice please on a scope for my granddaughters birthday.
Post by: suppsilzuning on January 12, 2018, 12:31:51 AM
Quote
Wow that sounds like a great kid.

I have the GT mount and over the next couple of days I will see if it can handle a 6" f/5 newt.
Dob is an excellent Idea for big light grasp. You could set both up, and she can use goto
to see where something is then see if she can find it in the DOB once she knows the general area.
Another thing to consider would be an orion st80.  Very wide field for sweeping.
It will definitely fit on your gt, if it has a standard dovetail.

You could also improve the gt performance. It will handle light weight 2" eyepieces.
You could get a 30 - 40 mm 2" eyepiece and a mirror diagonal. That would give her a wider view.
If you go this route keep the weight down Some 2" eyepieces are monsters.

Antares makes a 80mm f/6 telescope with a 2" focuser, that would be awesome.
This is mostly sold in canada. It is hard to find down here.

Good luck, and have fun

An 80mm is definitely under consideration . And would be very nice to bring to fort wilderness at Disney. It's where we go on vacation every summer. We usually bring the GT and the binoculars there. Would like more aperture because I want it to be a scope she will use often for the next few years
Title: Re: Some advice please on a scope for my granddaughters birthday.
Post by: seucamthepo on January 13, 2018, 03:19:58 AM
Upside of a Dob - you can go up to 8" of aperture for as little as $400 or get a nicer, more accessorized model that is still in your budget. 4" to 8" is a huge difference.

Upside of a 6" F5 newt on an alt az mount - considerably wider FOV. Up to over a 3 deg FOV compared to the 8" Dob maxing out about 2 deg. Also the newt on the tripod is nicer ergonomically because it is adjustable height (which can adjust as she grows) and the tube is short, so the eyepiece position doesn't change as much when moving to different parts of the sky. And 6" is a big improvement over 4". Big, but not huge,

To me it comes down to getting better views of targets with a larger aperture instrument that is a bit less affected by coma and collimation, or getting a true low power sweeper because that is how she likes to observe, The 8" Dob has close to twice the focal length of the refractor she currently uses, so she will immediately be looking at a much smaller FOV unless you also get a wide field 2" eyepiece to go with it. Personally I feel like 8" of aperture is sort of a minimum for serious DSO observing, so I would lean that way. But what it really comes down to is this, is her joy in the destination or the journey? If her joy is in the destination, the 8" Dob will show better views of the targets. If the joy is in the journey, the 6" newt on alt az will be more pleasurable to use and help her find more targets more quickly. So does she mostly get excited about having found something, or is she more excited about how it looks?

Scott
Title: Re: Some advice please on a scope for my granddaughters birthday.
Post by: exjeraca on January 13, 2018, 06:12:35 AM
Quote
Upside of a Dob - you can go up to 8" of aperture for as little as $400 or get a nicer, more accessorized model that is still in your budget. 4" to 8" is a huge difference.

Upside of a 6" F5 newt on an alt az mount - considerably wider FOV. Up to over a 3 deg FOV compared to the 8" Dob maxing out about 2 deg. Also the newt on the tripod is nicer ergonomically because it is adjustable height (which can adjust as she grows) and the tube is short, so the eyepiece position doesn't change as much when moving to different parts of the sky. And 6" is a big improvement over 4". Big, but not huge,

To me it comes down to getting better views of targets with a larger aperture instrument that is a bit less affected by coma and collimation, or getting a true low power sweeper because that is how she likes to observe, The 8" Dob has close to twice the focal length of the refractor she currently uses, so she will immediately be looking at a much smaller FOV unless you also get a wide field 2" eyepiece to go with it. Personally I feel like 8" of aperture is sort of a minimum for serious DSO observing, so I would lean that way. But what it really comes down to is this, is her joy in the destination or the journey? If her joy is in the destination, the 8" Dob will show better views of the targets. If the joy is in the journey, the 6" newt on alt az will be more pleasurable to use and help her find more targets more quickly. So does she mostly get excited about having found something, or is she more excited about how it looks?

Scott

I ruled out reflectors mainly because of collimating.
Title: Re: Some advice please on a scope for my granddaughters birthday.
Post by: laucongsnagal on January 13, 2018, 07:16:02 AM
maybe a small camera bag to carry her own eyepieces in too.
Then in time let her select the type of scope she wants.
Title: Re: Some advice please on a scope for my granddaughters birthday.
Post by: brentioscaraph on January 13, 2018, 12:36:58 PM
What do you guys think of a explore scientific 127 f6.5. On a vixen porta mount 2 ?
Title: Re: Some advice please on a scope for my granddaughters birthday.
Post by: exmartata on January 14, 2018, 03:00:46 AM
Hello, and welcome,

"I would like to keep the scope to a refractor so she does not have to mess with collimating."

I would think that the Nexstar mount is already maxed out with the 4" refractor.

What would not seem to be a worthwhile jump from a 4" aperture to a 5" aperture among other telescope designs, among refractors the jump to an extra inch is a bit more worthwhile...

http://explorescient...-ar1271200maz01 (http://explorescientificusa.com/collections/firstlight/products/fl-ar1271200maz01)

However, given the length and bulk of that 5" f/9.4 refractor, the mount that comes with it would struggle a bit. The refractor is really under-mounted with the manual Twilight I alt-azimuth mount. Also, the refractor is of a long focal-length(1200mm), and would not be that conducive to wide-field views. It would, however, exhibit much less false colour when viewing brighter objects, and when compared to this shorter 5" f/5...

http://www.telescope.../346/p/9836.uts (http://www.telescope.com/Telescopes/Refractor-Telescopes/Refractor-Optical-Tube-Assemblies/Orion-120mm-f50-Refractor-Telescope-Optical-Tube-Assembly/pc/1/c/10/sc/346/p/9836.uts)

That one may mount on the NexStar, but only if its weight would not prematurely wear out the motors and gears of the mount. But that fast 5" f/5 refractor is bare-bones; no tube-rings, dovetail, finderscope or diagonal; and fitting it out may end up costing the same as this one...

https://www.bhphotov...2,&A=details&Q= (https://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/controller/home?O=&sku=1046080&gclid=CKOIzvHomdICFZ26wAod0scPOQ&is=REG&ap=y&c3api=1876%2C92051677682%2C&A=details&Q=)

That one is also offered on the manual Twilight I...

https://www.bhphotov...2,&A=details&Q= (https://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/controller/home?O=&sku=1085758&gclid=CLXpx6PpmdICFVW5wAodcmAAnQ&is=REG&ap=y&c3api=1876%2C91438732682%2C&A=details&Q=)

It, too, however, may also be under-mounted on the Twilight I. The telescope/mount pairings decided upon by the manufacturers are what they are. Owners of these kits sometimes employ do-it-yourself mods and such to make the Twilight I stronger, the mounting-arm that holds the telescope in particular; bracings of metal, plates and bars, for example.

In addition, those two shorter refractors are achromats, and would only be suitable for the dimmer deep-space objects primarily if not exclusively. When aimed at brighter objects, the objects would be surrounded by a halo of false colour, and the image would be less sharp as a result...

https://i.ytimg.com/...Q/hqdefault.jpg (https://i.ytimg.com/vi/wG6lxFW-pyQ/hqdefault.jpg)I have a 4" refractor myself...
However, for a brighter and somewhat wider view, I really had no other recourse but to choose a 6" f/5 Newtonian...
I've had a blast with it; so much so that I'm in the process of enhancing the telescope further to make it the best that it can be. Newtonians are the handyman's, or tinkerer's, telescope. In so doing, I've found it to be quite rewarding, especially there at the eyepiece. The powers range from a low and wide 19x, to 250x and beyond with the aid of 2x and 3x barlows, and for observing practically everything in the night sky. The manual alt-azimuth mount has slow-motion controls and allows for ease in pointing the telescope to any area of the sky; straight up even is possible, towards the zenith...

http://agenaastro.co...ltaz-mount.html (http://agenaastro.com/gso-skyview-deluxe-altaz-mount.html)
http://www.highpoint...CFQQMaQody80B2A (http://www.highpointscientific.com/celestron-omni-xlt-150-newtonian-reflector-optical-tube-assembly-ota-31057ota?utm_source=google&utm_medium=cse&utm_term=CEL-31057-OTA&gclid=CJLLrN7ymdICFQQMaQody80B2A)

Collimating a Newtonian is not to be dreaded that much...

http://www.forumskyl...Collimation.pdf (http://www.forumskylive.it/Public/data/serastrof/201281510358_Astro%20Babys%20Guide%20to%20Collimation.pdf)

Once the telescope is collimated properly, it then only needs a minor and occasional adjustment now and then.This is the manual for the refractor kit that you have now...

http://www.celestron...T_Manual_sm.pdf (http://www.celestron.com/media/796045/NxStr102GT_Manual_sm.pdf)

The NexStar mount looks to have a Vixen-style dovetail clamp. The following wide-field telescopes could be removed from their kit-mounts and transferred over to the NexStar in seconds...

I have this one...https://www.telescop...ector-telescope (https://www.telescopesplus.com/products/zhumell-z100-portable-altazimuth-reflector-telescope)

http://agenaastro.co...CFVm4wAod0bYFHw (http://agenaastro.com/meade-lightbridge-mini-114-203002.html?gclid=CLepo7v3mdICFVm4wAod0bYFHw)

The 100mm f/4 would not be brighter than the refractor, but it would offer wider fields-of-view. The 114mm f/4 Newtonians might be somewhat brighter, and also with wider views. Also, f/4 Newtonians are fond of better-quality and corrective eyepieces.

These 5" f/5 Newtonians might be doable on the NexStar, but I'd be careful when balancing and motioning them on the NexStar...

http://agenaastro.co...CFQe1wAodd1wEMQ (http://agenaastro.com/meade-lightbridge-mini-130-203003.html?gclid=CMupl_73mdICFQe1wAodd1wEMQ)
https://www.telescop...ector-telescope (https://www.telescopesplus.com/products/zhumell-z130-portable-altazimuth-reflector-telescope)

The two would be somewhat brighter than the refractor, and still with wider views. The Zhumell Z130 has tube-rings, which would allow for rotation of the tube for more comfortable eye placement.
Title: Re: Some advice please on a scope for my granddaughters birthday.
Post by: larterpchaka on January 14, 2018, 03:14:34 AM
Quote
What do you guys think of a explore scientific 127 f6.5. On a vixen porta mount 2 ?

For improved stability...

http://agenaastro.co...ltaz-mount.html (http://agenaastro.com/gso-skyview-deluxe-altaz-mount.html)
Title: Re: Some advice please on a scope for my granddaughters birthday.
Post by: pafunsirep on January 18, 2018, 03:56:59 AM
If she already has a 4" refractor I'd recommend getting a 10" Dobsonian.
Title: Re: Some advice please on a scope for my granddaughters birthday.
Post by: anficonco on January 20, 2018, 11:36:50 PM
Even under a really dark sky, I seldom recommend scopes that are smaller than 4" .. so I think your grand daughter is well catered for. As others have commented, an 8" Dobsonian would be the next logical step in terms of ight gathering. However, even with 45 years' experience, I still find Dobsonians unintuitive to use. Others take to them...

As an alternative - I really enjoy scanning through the sky at low power and have found that binoviewers make this an even more rewarding practice. Of course, binoviewers require pairs of eyepieces, they're heavy and they can demand a lot of back-focus. The Black Night (http://siebertoptics.com/SiebertOptics-blacknightbinoviewers.html) model has a large clear aperture and can be configured to work on most scopes.

On reflection, this may run a bit outside your budget but I found using two eyes relaxed my brain and changed my observing enormously.
Title: Re: Some advice please on a scope for my granddaughters birthday.
Post by: Jaimeylos Chiessa on January 23, 2018, 08:53:57 AM
Quote
The only time I take cpc1100 out is when she is staying a weekend at our house. If she is not there I do not take the scope out.

Think you have the answer right here! It's her's

Incredible scope.
Title: Re: Some advice please on a scope for my granddaughters birthday.
Post by: Bobby Javier on January 23, 2018, 07:36:05 PM
Disney World has pretty horrible light pollution. My wife and I go there every year and besides the Moon and planets I've only noticed a handful of stars.
That said, if you have decided against reflectors then a high quality short tube refractor in the 80/85mm range on a simple Alt/Az mount seems to be the key. It is much easier to sweep the heavens that way. My 70mm Televue Pronto cradled in an upswing mount and camera tripod is extreemly convenient,
requires no power, alignment or use of altitude or azimuth cables. Rigs like this can be had from time to time cheaply.
Cliff
Title: Re: Some advice please on a scope for my granddaughters birthday.
Post by: dogswargersdurch on January 25, 2018, 04:25:20 PM
"I would like to keep the scope to a refractor so she does not have to mess with collimating."

Orion sells their AstroView 120ST for $600. It can be upgraded to a 2" dual speed Crayford and seems quite portable. I'm thinking of getting one myself.
Title: Re: Some advice please on a scope for my granddaughters birthday.
Post by: Lamont Cox on January 25, 2018, 06:38:14 PM
Quote
Quote

What do you guys think of a explore scientific 127 f6.5. On a vixen porta mount 2 ?

For improved stability...

http://agenaastro.co...ltaz-mount.html (http://agenaastro.com/gso-skyview-deluxe-altaz-mount.html)
I like that, and I can afford it. Thanks
Title: Re: Some advice please on a scope for my granddaughters birthday.
Post by: Matt Gibson on January 31, 2018, 04:41:47 AM
Quote
Quote

The only time I take cpc1100 out is when she is staying a weekend at our house. If she is not there I do not take the scope out.

Think you have the answer right here! It's her's

Incredible scope.
LOL. I was selling it last fall. She said hey! I thought I was getting that when I am older. Took it off of Craigslist immediately
Title: Re: Some advice please on a scope for my granddaughters birthday.
Post by: Brandon Garrido on January 31, 2018, 05:55:51 AM
Quote
Hello, I would like to get some advice for a scope for my granddaughter. She is turning 12 in 3 weeks.  She is NOT new to telescopes. She currently has a celestron 102gt for the last 3 years.
She loves astronomy. Where none of my kids when they were younger were attracted to it. She loves it. She will get behind the eyepiece and just slowly scan the entire night sky. She does know how to use the hand control after I align it. But she always ends up just scanning the night sky.
I have the first time she saw M13 she discovered by scanning the night sky burnt into my head. I was inside getting coffee and she comes running in Grandpa I found something. She was so excited.
The only time I take cpc1100 out is when she is staying a weekend at our house. If she is not there I do not take the scope out.
i have $600 to spend. I was thinking of just a ota to go on her nexstar mount. I was thinking something with a wider field. I want it be a good quality ota. So many options out there that I bang my head against a wall. Please throw some options my way.
thanks

Wow.
A great scope for her would be a 6" f/8 dob.
That's WAY under budget, so spend the extra $ on a set of 60° eyepieces to cover 50-200x and maybe a UHC-type nebula filter, and you have the perfect gift.
Ideal for scanning the skies. Plenty of aperture to see deeper than the 4". Easy to set up and use.
Easy for a 12 year old to transport. Maximum field with 1.25"--1.27°, with 2"--2.16°, nice wide fields.
Collimation is very uncritical. Eyepiece height ideal for sitting by a young person.
I started at 12 with a 4.25" equatorial reflector on a heavy pier mount and I could only have dreamed about an easy-to-use 6" scope.
Title: Re: Some advice please on a scope for my granddaughters birthday.
Post by: Darkz Tousa on January 31, 2018, 08:35:59 AM
Quote
What do you guys think of a explore scientific 127 f6.5. On a vixen porta mount 2 ?

I think that is spending a lot of money for not a dramatic difference. Porta II for her 4" maybe and call it good? If reflectors are out then you aren't going to get a much better wide field scope than what she has. At least the AR127 is higher quality than her Celestron.

I need to collimate my OO F4.8 newt 2-3 times a year. You could check the collimation when she visits. If she is a low power sweeper type than collimation is less critical. Bottom line is you are not going to get a dramatic upgrade unless you go newt. The OO comes with hand figured 1/10th (or so) optics, better focuser, cooling fan, probably shorter and lighter. Personally I wouldn't put an AR 127 on a Porta II. I know some people do it, and maybe it's ok for low power. But the OO 6" F5 newt would be better on that mount. And probably about the same price as the AR127. I would either just get her a Porta II or get the OO or similar 6" F5 newt with the Porta II. I wouldn't get an AR127 with a porta II. Not stable enough, and not that different than what she already has.

Scott
Title: Re: Some advice please on a scope for my granddaughters birthday.
Post by: Jeremy Swaine on January 31, 2018, 12:33:46 PM
Thinking again...

She's ready using a GoTo tracking mount, the Nexstar.

Suggesting moving to a total manual setup and new scope means she has to re-learn everything and fuss with "finding" stuff. This may matter a lot in terms of getting something new.

Do you want to get a new scope that compliments the current refractor and remains on the Nexstar mount?
Or are you looking to add a new system to compliment the Nexstar mount that is simply bigger/more aperture/etc?

Very best,
Title: Re: Some advice please on a scope for my granddaughters birthday.
Post by: Joel Hall on February 02, 2018, 02:16:38 PM
It was said she does a lot of sweeping and that she doesn't use the computer that much.
Ergo, a non-computerized scope might be just fine.
I mentioned a 6" dob, but it was mentioned a wide field could be useful.
That makes a Celestron Omni XLT 6" f/5 newtonian on CG4 mount hard to beat.
A RA drive motor can easily be added if desired.
6" is a full magnitude deeper reach than her 4", and it's possible the eyepiece height might be comfortable for her at 12 years old.
That mount has decent setting circles on it, too, that can be used with a low power eyepiece to find nearly any target.
And RA sweeps are possible that can find a lot of objects, like one sweep in Scorpius that crosses 11 DSOs without moving declination.
Title: Re: Some advice please on a scope for my granddaughters birthday.
Post by: Kunjan Blanco on February 09, 2018, 12:06:02 AM
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What do you guys think of a explore scientific 127 f6.5. On a vixen porta mount 2 ?

For improved stability...

http://agenaastro.co...ltaz-mount.html (http://agenaastro.com/gso-skyview-deluxe-altaz-mount.html)
Very good scope. It will resolve more than than 102gt. But it will have more false color. Not an issue if she is looking at mostly DSOs. Even bright stuff like the Moon is OK. Lots of folks are not bothered by the color

I really like mine

I agree with SkyMuse on getting a sturdier mount
Title: Re: Some advice please on a scope for my granddaughters birthday.
Post by: ingeblomes on February 09, 2018, 09:26:04 AM
Is that mount going to be better than a porta II? Maybe, I am not familiar with it personally. But it is about the same weight as a porta II so unless it is designed to higher tolerances I doubt it will be much better. Fine for a 6" F5 newt but not so great for an AR127 I would think. Granted the AR 127 is 16lb and the mount is rated for 20lb but then my CG5 was rated for 35lb but no one in their right mind would put a 35lb refractor on that mount.

The CG4 mentioned by Starman would be a good match for an AR127 though if that is the desired scope.

Scott