Author Topic: Which would you pick?  (Read 1321 times)

Jose Melo

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Which would you pick?
« on: December 23, 2017, 11:21:57 PM »
Between the 6" Orion StarSeeker GoTo, or a 8" dob? Both come with two or three EPs and are comparably priced.  Is the extra 2" of aperture value ditching the guided/GoTo, ya think?

This is for my 14 year-old son.

Thanks!
Kevin



Dave Jones

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Re: Which would you pick?
« Reply #1 on: December 24, 2017, 03:49:39 PM »
I would go with the goto scope myself, but it is an interesting question for a newcomer about that could be better.  Certainly a manual bracket would provide a learning experience with having to deal with alt/az coordinates, and it would be a skill which will last a lifetime.  However, there's nothing like the convenience of goto and monitoring for having the ability to find a bunch of things in 1 night.  A goto would also isolate any frustrations with finding things to the setup procedure.  There are plenty of thing (especially if you've got poor light pollution) that will not appear in an 8" scope so if not having a goto it may lead to frustration when studying since you don't know if you just didn't discover it or even if it's not observable.

I have never owned a manual scope/mount myself.  I really don't feel like I'm missing anything...

Bob

brigtigeartgib

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Re: Which would you pick?
« Reply #2 on: December 27, 2017, 01:43:33 PM »
It sounds like more of a personal choice.

Why don't you ask your son which he prefers ???

David Lipson

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Re: Which would you pick?
« Reply #3 on: December 29, 2017, 04:58:00 PM »
14 year olds have notoriously short attention spans. This is a tricky one. How much does he want to do this? You didn't mention that. Is this a birthday present? Is he already interested or are you trying to get him interested? I think we could use a few more parameters before we can give you an informed answer. Help us out here. Thanks.

STARKID2U

Matthew Calhoun

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Re: Which would you pick?
« Reply #4 on: December 31, 2017, 04:24:17 PM »
All good points... He is interested for sure. As for whether he would find more excitement in looking for objects manually or lazily letting the GoTo find and track, I'm not completely sure (and I'm not sure he is either!). As I have had quite a bit of experience in the past all the way from a 6" mak-newt to a 12" LX200 to a 15" dob, I tend to think "aperture!!!" -- but he will be much more easily impressed, I believe, without having to go big, as he's never really looked through a scope, but only a cheap binoc (it has been a number of years since I have had a scope). The GoTo feature will definitely help, and he seems interested in AP on a basic level too, but that 2 more inches...... lol

frosperloacatch

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Re: Which would you pick?
« Reply #5 on: December 31, 2017, 08:36:24 PM »
The dob. More aperture, simpler, no electronics, durable, etc. If cared for, the dob can be passed down generations. Probly can't say that about entry level electronics.

Daniel Johnson

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Re: Which would you pick?
« Reply #6 on: January 01, 2018, 05:22:33 AM »
That two inches more ...

I would get him the 8" Dob. I think it is a great first scope with adequate aperture for seeing a lot of cool stuff. I agree about the frustrations without goto but there are frustrations associated with keeping electronics powered and working adequately also. There is something very nice about the simplicity of the Dob.

In the beginning, there will be no problems finding the big bright stuff. Pretty soon, Hercules (just one example of many) will be high enough to both learn to identify and to figure out how to find M13. It is very rewarding to learn to do that and I predict he will pick it up fast.

adlaycomsu

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Re: Which would you pick?
« Reply #7 on: January 03, 2018, 09:14:27 PM »
Great questions/comments, and I have more for Kevin:

Is this your family's first scope? If yes, and answer to the next question is yes, then the 8 inch Dob would save you money for eyepieces. If however this is yes and the answer to the next question is NO, then get the goto system. It's easy to setup.Most folks strongly discourage the use of batteries as goto scopes eat batteries like candy, even more so in the winter time.

Are you familiar with the night sky?

Have you guys attended a star party recently? If you haven't, I strongly encourage you to go to one of these and experience the different scopes and ask the folks questions. With a goto scope, you don't have to be very knowledgeable on the night sky, but a goto scope will help you appreciate and become more knowledgeable.

You want to get and keep your 14 year old's attention. The ease by which the goto on an alt-az mount can be setup will allow you to start observing right away.

Additionally, for a bit more money, I would also recommend the Celestron 6 SE. It is listed at $799. The Orion setup is listed as $629, but I feel the Celestron mount and scope will be more solid. Hope others can state an opinion on this for you.

Hope my 2 cents helps and best wishes on your choice and many nights of enjoyment too!

Clear Skies,

Gary

Praveen Mac

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Re: Which would you pick?
« Reply #8 on: January 04, 2018, 12:37:15 PM »
Quote
All good points... He is interested for sure. As for whether he would find more excitement in looking for objects manually or lazily letting the GoTo find and track, I'm not completely sure (and I'm not sure he is either!). As I have had quite a bit of experience in the past all the way from a 6" mak-newt to a 12" LX200 to a 15" dob, I tend to think "aperture!!!" -- but he will be much more easily impressed, I believe, without having to go big, as he's never really looked through a scope, but only a cheap binoc (it has been a number of years since I have had a scope). The GoTo feature will definitely help, and he seems interested in AP on a basic level too, but that 2 more inches...... lol

If you have a local astronomy club in your area, contact them and find out when their viewing sessions are, and join them if you can. You can be sure that all available setup options will be available for hands on tinkering, and also lots of great info and advice.

Charlie Carpenter

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Re: Which would you pick?
« Reply #9 on: January 04, 2018, 06:46:17 PM »
Hmmmm.........
How is your light pollution? Hard to star hop when there's hardly any stars.  My skies are in a white/gray zone and I'd have a hard time finding much as I would with a go to.
My daughter suggested that she'd be interested in looking at the skies, so I got my first scope in decades.  But in reality, she's hardly ever out there with me. How's your son's attention span for standing in the dark, looking up and not being engaged every second?
And jic its a bust, as a fall back position, which one would you like to use the most?
If you think learning the skies is a good thing for him no matter which you pick, buy a larger format sky atlas.
Good luck
SB

Elroy Stockton

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Re: Which would you pick?
« Reply #10 on: January 08, 2018, 12:57:11 PM »
I cast my vote for a goto, though I have no experience with the Orion goto system. While searching and finding objects to view can be a lot of fun it can also be frustrating as hell. Overall, the computer assist just makes sense to me. Why hack your way through the woods when there's a highway going in the same direction? As for passing down Dobs to the next generation, I can tell you had I been left one it would have been sold, given away or junked very quickly.

I hope he enjoys whatever you choose.

rich

Dennis Collins

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Re: Which would you pick?
« Reply #11 on: January 10, 2018, 01:01:53 AM »
I HAVE had an experience with the Orion StarSeeker IV goto - a bad one.
After trying everything, including a swap-out for a new drive unit with Orion, I gave up and gave it away.
I now have an iOptron ALT-AZ MP, which works perfectly!

My Celestron AVX GEM also works great - I recommend a Celestron goto scope over the Orion based on the better goto capability (as the iOptron is above your budget level).

Brian Olatunji

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Re: Which would you pick?
« Reply #12 on: January 10, 2018, 11:43:37 AM »
I'd recommend a Celestron Nexstar SE 6http://www.highpoint...telescope-11068
Or even the 5" model if it's fits the budget better.

Michael Ritchie

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Re: Which would you pick?
« Reply #13 on: January 11, 2018, 12:48:55 AM »
Quote
Between the 6" Orion StarSeeker GoTo, or an 8" dob? Both come with a couple of EPs and are comparably priced. Is the extra 2" of aperture worth ditching the guided/GoTo, ya think?

This will be for my 14 year old son.

Thanks!
Kevin

First, tell us about your location and where the telescope will be used. Find the observing area on the map. For example I live on Long Island, East of NYC. I am in a Dark White zone, the second worst and I can see a lot with my 5" scope.
http://darksitefinde...maps/world.html

Tell us about the ground light situation. This has as much of an impact on what you can see as the darkness of the sky. I observe in front of my house where there is a streetlight close buy. Just moving to a location where the ground is dark allows me to see more.Tell us about your son. Is her a looker or a finder?

The dob will show you more if you are willing to put in the time to find it. You can see things if you can find them. This involves using star charts and planning out star hops and observing sessions.

The Orion will let you find the things you want to see. And the Orion you selected has a great advantage over other some other GoTo scopes. You don't have to use the computer. You can use it manually. Some GoTo, such as the Celestron NexStar series, require you to use the computer. The Orion does not.

While the 8" Dob can show you more, the Orion will help you find more. And if he is like most teens today, he is very computer savy.Learning the Goto system will be easy for him. Later he will likely learn how to control the scope from his laptop, tablet or smart phone. He might even set it up outside and observe from his computer in the house. Yes, you can actually do that.

I started with a GoTo system. I now have three scopes. Two are GoTo and one is a Pushto where the computer tells me where to find things but I move the scope.
https://www.youtube....ogk9pwlw&t=306s
The advantage of the 8" Dob is that it pulls in more light for the $$ and it is dead simple to use. As long as you don't mind hunting for your targets,this is a wonderful scope and they are very popular. The disadvantage is that it is all manual. Finding and tracking are on you. Of course some would call this an advantage as it forces you to study sky charts and learn the sky. There is certainly some truth to that.One advantage of the Goto system, besides the fact that it finds things,is that it tracks what it finds. The Dob you have to nudge and jundge as the Earth rotates. The Orion will keep the target in the eyepiece, tracking it.

Not only is trackingvery convenient for observing but it will allow him to expand into entry level web and video imaging. This is not high end astrophotography with expensive cameras and long exposures. It uses relatively low cost web style camerasand computers. Something a 14 year old would likely LOVE.

This video is a bit out of date, so don't run to buy anything he mentions, but you will get the idea. This is much harder to do with a non-tracking scope like a manual Dob.

Introductory astrophotography using a Webcam for planetary imaging -https://www.youtube....h?v=CeHj6qT5JSEThe final point, transport. The Orion is smaller and lighter which means it will be easier to transport in a small car. It will also be easier to take on vacation that the 8" Dob. I have an 8" Dob, a 5" Mak and 80 mm refractor. The 80 mm refractor is the one that goes with me on vacation. That 6" Orion wouldbe much friendlier to family travel.

Also, from a weight point of view, a 14 year old should easily be able to handle the Orion scope. The 8" Dob is much bigger and much heavier and might be more challenging. If lugging it about is a burden he may not want to use it as often.It is more about the boy then the telescope.Either is a wonderful first scope. What will fit his personality and give him the best opportunity for quick and future success.If he, and you, stay in astronomy over time you will likely accumulate:

Binoculars - 7X35, 8X40, 10X50, 15X70 or larger - This is where I started
A grab and go scope - smaller, lighter, easy to set-up and easy to travel. This is where I would put the Orion scope. My first telescope is in this category
A light bucket - Something 8" or larger. This is where I put the Dob.
If you start with the Orion and this is a passing interest, oh well. I have to daughters and there were many passing interests.

If this becomes a passion, you can take the 6" scope with you when you travel and later, you might be looking at a 10" or a 12" Dob to complement the 6" Orion. Believe me it won't go to waste.

I would recommend the GoTo scope.

Naturally your smileage will vary.

Nick Nisianakis

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Re: Which would you pick?
« Reply #14 on: January 11, 2018, 04:20:31 AM »
Kevin:

You asked which one I would choose. This is how I see it:

I am not a Goto guy but I understand that it can be a good thing for many observers.

However, this particular GOTO scope, the 6 inch F/5 Newtonian on the Starseeker IV mount is not one I would recommend. The mount appears to be based on the Celestron SLT mount and has the same spindley 1.25 inch diameter legs. They are appropriate for an 80 mm F/5, woefully undersized for the 130SLT and for a 6 inch, it should be a no-no. I replaced the legs on my 130SLT, it made things better but still not something I recommend.

The 6 inch Newtonians are quite capable at high magnifications but with and undersized mount and a marginal focused, they are held back..

If you want a GOTO scope, spend enough to get a decent quality scope. The Celestron 6SE previously mentioned would be a good choice.

The 8 inch Dob is a quite different animal. I would be looking at the Zhumell Z8 as it has a better focuser and finder than the XT-8. Both are good but you get more with the Z-8. This is a simple scope but very capable and should be reliable and trouble free for a long time to come. I have the 10 inch version, it's 15 years old and going strong.

This is a scope for Starhoppers but it can be used with various degree wheels, digital levels etc.

There is also something called EZ-PUSH TO, it uses an android smartphone or tablet and guides you to the target manually. You can buy a Z-8 with it installed for $509. So far though, I have not seen reports by owners.

https://romer-optics...ds-of-dobsonian

For more money, there's the Orion XT-8I, i stands for Intelliscope, a well know Push-To option.

To answer your question: I would choose the 8 inch Dob, I would recommend the Celestron 6SE for some one wanting GOTO.

Jon