Author Topic: Talked myself out of a big scope, how about this little one?  (Read 119 times)

poithegepur

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Re: Talked myself out of a big scope, how about this little one?
« Reply #15 on: January 10, 2018, 10:08:59 PM »
Based on your location I would go with a used 6" or 8" dob. You won't run out of objects to look at.

Jason Hillyer

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Re: Talked myself out of a big scope, how about this little one?
« Reply #16 on: January 12, 2018, 06:09:38 PM »
I'm not a huge fan of the Meade ETX refractors, I found the build quality and general reliability of the ETX-80's ancestor - the ETX-70 left a lot to be desired. I do know that others here like them a lot. You might want to use search (or google) and hunt down posts from Ed (aeajr). He has some very comprehensive and thoughtful threads. A small, highly portable instrument that helps you find things is a beautiful idea.

I, too, typically recommend a small/medium sized Dobsonian for beginners because the case for the optics and cost is so compelling. It's a long running joke on Cloudy Nights that the knee-jerk response to any question is "buy a Dob!"

Truth be told, I actually dislike such instruments myself. As a beginner, I went through several types of OTAs and mounts but preferred small refractors on manual alt-az mounts for visual use. I found them more intuitive and easy to use, despite their small size, than the other instruments that I had tried. Bigger is better, unless it isn't. I will admit that good quality alt-az mounts are kind of of a niche product these days and that my preferences are a bit unusual. Moreover, higher quality refractors on manual mounts are generally MORE expensive than Dobsonians (or ETXs), so that probably won't help you unless you buy used (and in that case, there are also used Dobsonians.)

Good luck.

bandretaco

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Re: Talked myself out of a big scope, how about this little one?
« Reply #17 on: January 12, 2018, 07:21:39 PM »
The previously mentioned parabolic 130mm f/5 newtonians for about 200 usd are nice for the price. And, as mentioned, a used 6in/8in dob for 150-200 usd.

The 130mm f/5 newtonians usually come with a little dob mount, and have rings and/or vixen dovetail to mount on a small alt/az or eq mount.

The small dob mount may interest your kids in a few short years.

Good viewing,

Dave

sennessningwilch

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Re: Talked myself out of a big scope, how about this little one?
« Reply #18 on: January 12, 2018, 08:23:00 PM »
I'd recommend pouncing on a used 8" dob. I lucked into one for $30(!) on Craigslist.

Jared Morgan

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Re: Talked myself out of a big scope, how about this little one?
« Reply #19 on: January 13, 2018, 07:35:37 AM »
If want something which is small enough to fit into a backpack* and won't cost you a fortune, the nice AWB 130 is indeed a great choiche (if you rare not allowed to purchase one from AWB, the same scope is available from Skywatcher as Heritage 130).
Another great "cheap" telescope, albeit more expensive than the 130, is the C90 or Skywatcher Maksutov 90/1250, as large as a can of coffee; it can be placed even on phototripod (if you have one), or purchased with a small, light mount (in this case my advice is to go straight for manual mounts, as an easy and painless way to save money; it is also available with computerized mount, e.g. ETX90 or SLT90), is extremely rugged and can easily outperform fast small achromatic reractors (e.g. ETX80) on the vast majority of targets, starting from Moon&planets.
Last, if you prefer a small achromatic refractor, the most compact ones are "fast achros" (70-80mm at f/5 or so); I can not say to be especially fond of them, but can be quite capable from dark skies; in such cases IMHO there are better options than the ETX (in the worst case can get one of these http://www.celestron...table-telescope or, since am not a Celestron fanboy, http://www.meade.com...scope-80mm.html ) *the 130 "baby DOb" is as large as a can of beer, so the backpack has to be sized accordingly; however it has an handle, which, toghether with its low weight, makes its carrying very easy, even for children. Only downside is that the scope is very low (expect to have the eyepiece at 50cm from ground...), and tall people have to use a table/bench/rock

ceisilipan

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Re: Talked myself out of a big scope, how about this little one?
« Reply #20 on: January 13, 2018, 12:23:04 PM »
This 5" f/5 Newtonian comes with tube-rings and a dovetail-bar...

https://www.telescop...ector-telescope

...and would switch out in seconds onto this mount, and to get it up off the ground...

http://www.telescope...b2BXRoCZpvw_wcB

You're actually paying very little if any for the particle-board mount that comes with the telescope anyway.

If you want it in white, and the mount with slow-motion controls...

https://www.bhphotov...d}&Q=&A=details

Bryan Sonian

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Re: Talked myself out of a big scope, how about this little one?
« Reply #21 on: January 13, 2018, 03:54:15 PM »
Welcome, you had said that it may collect dust. From a beginners point of view and I am. It will collect dust if you don't buy a scope that provides good views. Not that a smallerScope won't but your expectations may not be realistic for a 400 mm. I believe that you would be happy at the views and the simplicity of a Dob.There is next to no frustration and you won't run out of objects to see. Look at Craig's list and find a 10". Good luck in your search and keep us posted.

Darius Swick

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Re: Talked myself out of a big scope, how about this little one?
« Reply #22 on: January 16, 2018, 11:34:27 PM »
Sorting through all the responses and looking up stuff I have axed the ETX plan.

I am thinking now that 130mm or so is more of a realistic size/functionality balance, so maybe I need to start over in my planning and not be so cheap.

First things first, if I wanted a big scope I would put an Orion 12" truss dob on my credit card with their payment plan option. If its not a backpack scope its not what I am looking for right now and price is important but not the deciding factor.

I still haven't fully decided what "backpack scope" is and I am not dead set on a certain size limit though.

That Vixen (or the converted Zhumell) is an interesting option to consider though by the time I add in a case its expensive enough that I would rather get more scope used for the same money (or that scope used).

I even seriously considered a 8" Meade LX 200 EMC Schmidt-Cassegrain that was listed used for $900 asking, because it comes with a carrying case making it at least suitcase portable, and lots of accessories. But I was kinda scared off by the fact that its old, essentially unsupported parts wise, and has a lot of parts to fail. It did seem to have a good aftermarket upgrade following but I'm not sure I want to go and replace half the parts right after I get it just to make it work right. I may yet throw an offer of $600 at him or something since its been for sale for a month at least so far if the forum consensus was that it was exactly the sort of scope I am looking for, but that's REALLY pushing it on price for my "small" scope and somewhat over on size too though that aperture in that size package makes it worth it I think. I see a 1280 F6.3 and a 2000 F10 listed for 8" and I don't know which this would be.

soamezquipack

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Re: Talked myself out of a big scope, how about this little one?
« Reply #23 on: January 17, 2018, 12:23:42 AM »
Welcome to the asylum

My most active observing period was when my kids were small. We would all have dinner together, I would set the scope out on the back porch to cool. Then it was bath- book- bed for the wee ones. Once they were down and out I could go polar align my scope and enjoy some observing time. This was balanced with wife quiet evening time on cloudy nights. It was an effective plan and now my grown daughters often take their friends out to dark skies to observe the meteor showers or just stargaze.

Scope on a budget> Used 6-8" Dob is always the best bang for the buck. An SCT is nice and an 8" Mead is available for $300 in LA right now. A steal!

Whatever you get, balance it with your family life and you will be rewarded.

Rahul Sanders

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Re: Talked myself out of a big scope, how about this little one?
« Reply #24 on: January 18, 2018, 07:22:09 AM »
Quote

The older LX-200 mounts can and do fail and as you say, they are essentially unsupported. Every so often I see a want ad for an older LX-200 hand controller. There's a certain sadness there because that likely means the end of that mount.

Jon

Robert Porter

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Re: Talked myself out of a big scope, how about this little one?
« Reply #25 on: January 20, 2018, 03:36:15 PM »
If you want to go with a 130mm scope, there's really only one that meets your criteria.

https://www.astronom...els2rl8f02pc437

The AWB 130mm reflector. I don't know that it's a 'backpack' scope, but it's easily transportable, sits on a table top, or you can get a stool to set it on. Plus, it's a great deal for the money.

Here's a ten minute setup video, just showing how easy this telescope is to take around, set up, and use.

https://www.youtube....h?v=-muZ9KRMY40

Found a great video on YouTube for making a portable tripod for that AWB telescope, too!

https://www.youtube....h?v=HsGD9mU8cR0

carewemi

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Re: Talked myself out of a big scope, how about this little one?
« Reply #26 on: January 20, 2018, 11:26:46 PM »
Orion XT6. Add a Rigel reflex sight, a couple of EPs, and an Orion DeepMap 600 and you're good to go.

I'll also tell your fortune...

You will eventually sell it, buy a bigger scope, sell that one, buy an enormous scope, sell that one, go back to the bigger scope, and eventually get another XT6 because they're so blame easy to use and give great performance.

The glass has gone dark....

Fred

Jairo Zilinskas

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Re: Talked myself out of a big scope, how about this little one?
« Reply #27 on: January 21, 2018, 06:28:53 AM »
There's Explore Scientific's wide-ranging "First Light" series...

https://explorescien...ions/firstlight

Here's a backpackable kit...

https://telescopes.n...dF4PxoCJHvw_wcB

Theodore Inlaw

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Re: Talked myself out of a big scope, how about this little one?
« Reply #28 on: January 23, 2018, 03:33:04 AM »
On the LX200's - almost all of their issues arise from failing capacitors. If you're handy with a soldering iron, the preventive maintenance - replacing the tantalum caps with electrolytics - is relatively easy. If not, there are some vendors offering the service.

If it is currently functional and you are willing to invest an evening or two, the 8" LX200 would be a very good choice.

Michael Burney

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Re: Talked myself out of a big scope, how about this little one?
« Reply #29 on: January 23, 2018, 01:46:54 PM »
Every scope described here makes me drool.