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Dangermouse

Advice on first telescope

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I have always had an interest in astronomy and at the grand old age of 43 have decided to buy a telescope. I have spent some time on the net and thought of building a Dobsonian but then thought I should buy a telescope and see about building one when I have learned a bit more. My budget is £100-£200 but closer to £100 would be good. So far these are what I have in mind.

http://www.firstlightoptics.com/proddetail.php?prod=tal1

http://www.firstlightoptics.com/proddetail.php?prod=s130pm

http://www.firstlightoptics.com/proddetail.php?prod=c114eq

http://www.firstlightoptics.com/proddetail.php?prod=dobsky150

Are these good choices and what are the pros and cons ?

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Welcome aboard DM :rolleyes:

I would go for the last one (the DOB)

Biggest aperture so you will see more things and easy to operate for a beginner

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I second Phillip's suggestion. A 6 inch scope will show you very many astronomical objects. It is always best to get the biggest aperture (size of mirror or lens) scope you can. In addition, the mount on a dobsonian scope is very easy to operate - just point it to where you want to look. You get 2 useful eyepieces with it so you are ready to go "out of the box". The only accessory you might need would be a guide to whats out there - but you can always try your local library for that !.

John.

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One question, have you got a pair of binoculars?

If you haven't or haven't used any to have a proper look around the sky I would recommend that you get some of those before a telescope. 10*50's are the best bet for comfort and light gathering ability. I've got a fairly expensive telescope and I much prefer to look at stars with my bino's. You get a much wider field of view and you will be amazed how many more you can see with a pair.

I managed to pick up a pair of 10*50 ultra wide angle Bressers for £10 and they are fantastic.

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I would say it is...

You did mention building a DOB but believe me, you would be

hard pressed to build one for £160 if you were to buy the mirrors. :rolleyes:

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Cripes DM!!! :rolleyes:

SGL welcome from me too.

I own a Tal1 and it really is a scope I would confidently recommend. Rock steady EQ mount, great optics, good quality accessories supplied "as-standard", and in general a really well constructed setup - built to last.

I have to say though that you will see more in the 6" dob - it's a bit cheaper too. Never owned a dob myself but if you do stretch things to building a larger dob later, then the the Skyliner'll get you accustomed to using one. Heh; budgets are such a pain - the 8" is only £80 more.

HTHS :wink:

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My other hobby is building computers and thats just the same for a few more pounds it will just that much better but you have to draw the line somewhere.

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A friend of mine has that scope (the Skywatcher 6" dob.) He's the president of one of the local astro societies, and it's the only scope he's had for years. He did invest in three Pentax eyepieces, though, but he showed me one of the best views of Jupiter I have ever seen with a pentax ep and that scope.

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I seem to remember asking Steve about the 6" Dob a while back an he pointed out that it would make a good

planetary scope due its 1200mm focal length - curiously, this is longer than the EQ mounted version.

This may well come in handy when Mars becomes visible again this year.

Bear in mind that you always have the option of sticking it on a an EQ mount later on.

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I seem to remember asking Steve about the 6" Dob a while back an he pointed out that it would make a good planetary scope due its 1200mm focal length

Before Mak Newts/ Mak Casses and Apos become affordable, the 6" f8 Newt was known as the amatuer astronmers "Planet Killer".

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I seem to remember asking Steve about the 6" Dob a while back an he pointed out that it would make a good

planetary scope due its 1200mm focal length.

It certainly would. (The Skyliner 150 is a bit unusual in that it is f8 'ish' whereas the 200 and 250 are f6 and f5).

... curiously, this is longer than the EQ mounted version.

Skywatcher have just introduced it mounted on a GEQ (see pic)

Dangermouse,

If you can push the budget an extra £40, you will get considerably more. Not just a larger aperture (77% more light gathering) but also a dual-focuser (for both 1.25" and 2" eyepieces) and a larger/brighter 9x50 finder-scope.

http://www.firstlightoptics.com/proddetail.php?prod=dobsky200

Sorry, I'm a salesman :rolleyes:

post-12699-133877326248_thumb.jpg

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I know its easy to spend other peoples money but there really is a big difference in what a 8" Newt will show over a 6" Newt (a lot more than, say, between 8" and 10" or 10" and 12"). If you don't mind carrying the extra weight then for £40 its an easy choice IMO.

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If you can push the budget an extra £40, you will get considerably more.

What's the delivered price of the 8" dobbo then Steve?

I thought it was +£80?

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If you can spare a little more than you go for 8" dob. It is a big difference in 6*30 or 9*50 finder. And it is also a big difference between 6" and 8". And is also good thing that you can also use 2" eyepieces - good for panorama viewing across Milky Way. That is worth extra £40 believe me.

Saso

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If you can push the budget an extra £40, you will get considerably more.

What's the delivered price of the 8" dobbo then Steve?

I thought it was +£80?

You are right, the 200 is £80 more expensive than the 150 but Dangermous' budget is £100-200 and the price (before SGL discount) of the Skyliner 200 is £240 ... an extra £40 :rolleyes:

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I would love to get the 8" instead of the 6" but that may be difficult as it was a struggle to persuade the wife that spending £160 on a telescope was a good idea ( especially as I may find once I have one I dont use it often but I doubt that provided we eventually get clear skies) but it is my birthday soon so I may hold off ordering for a couple of weeks and see what happens.

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I have just bought the 8" Dob from Steve @ FLO and I certainly recommend it. That 9x50 finder is excellent compared to my previuos scopes 6x30 no question. The scope arrived in perfect condition and good collomation, the included eyepieces are OK for starters. With the 8" Dob there are some very worthwhile mods such as adding a push-to finder system using an angle gauge for next to nothing. It can be moved in one piece or takes seconds to breakdown to 2 pieces, I am finding it much less hassle that my previous expensive equatorial set-up. I used the excuse of a birthday to get the scope also so heres hoping you do the same :rolleyes:

Cheers,

Onslowe

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I have just bought the 8" Dob from Steve @ FLO and I certainly recommend it. With the 8" Dob there are some very worthwhile mods such as adding a push-to finder system using an angle gauge for next to nothing.

Can you give me some more details of this mod ?

Thanks,

Brian.

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