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new scope advice.


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Hi all, I'm purchasing a new scope in May but I'm not sure which to go with. I've narrowed my options down to one of the following, Skymax 102 SynScan, STARTRAVEL 102 SynScan or NexStar 127 SLT Maksutov. my quandary is which one would be the better purchase for both deep sky and planetary/lunar? I have an ETX-70AT which is great for clusters and does the moon well, but it's not so great for Jupiter and Saturn. All three of the scope options have been chosen due to budget constraints, any advice would be very much appreciated.

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The 102 MAK has some advantages - lighter than the 127 so less work for the mount to do. Also slightly less focal length - 1300 vs 1500 so wider field of view. I get almost 1.5 degrees with my Skymax 102 and GSO 32mm plossl.

In the end aperture is king, but on the cheaper GOTO mounts you need to be careful of the stability with heavier scopes.

Clear skies

Paul

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I want a GoTo for the ease of finding elusive DSOs, I also want something fairly portable. Fussy fella aint I!

It's alright the computer finding them, but would you like to be able to see something too?

Out of your choices I'd go for the 127 Mak :D

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I've got the 127SLT and it's perfectly portable and excellent on Saturn and Jupiter, and it'll pick out the Andromeda Galaxy as a feint fuzz on good clear nights - the only thing to bear in mind is it needs a good 45 mins to an hour "cool down" period.

Good luck

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The 127 SLT or the Skymax version is my top choice for my first scope if I decide to spend up to 400. On the other extreme I'm also thinking spending less than 150 on a 130P Heritage Flextube Dob and saving the rest to get a good mount for astrophoto!

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If you follow rowan46's advice, you will have a superb 8 inch usable telescope which can later be put onto an astro mount.

I was in the same situation as you last month, even down to the same telescopes. The most recent post on my blog explains in depth my thinking, but essentially, I've dropped the goto/eq mount idea initially and gone for a 10 inch dobsonian, which can later be transferred to an astro mount.

Have a look at some of the longer threads, there is some great advice in there.

Alan

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  • 3 weeks later...

Nice one! I am at this very moment pushing my scope trolley with my new 127SLT in it up a hill to a dark site near my village - lovely clear night, shocking hill.

I have a beer for when I get there though.

Enjoy your scope!

Alan

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Great choice!

In case you want to start taking pictures of those planets (who doesn't), I recommend getting the Mobberley book first before starting so you know path to take.

One note on the book: just ignore the part where he says you need a scope that costs more than a thousand pounds (a C9.25) :-)

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Sadly, due to Family commitments I haven't had the chance to get it out of the packaging yet, so I dont even know what the box that Celestron put in looks like. Another busy night tonight and tomorrow, I may get to open the box on Monday. :)

Edited by kalon
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