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Goto telecope for beginner.


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Hello. I got a young daughter who's interested in space, so i wanted to get a telescope for both of us, which I got the 130p skywatcher dobsonian. I like the telescope, but the daughter is getting a bit frustrated when I'm having trouble finding objects that I tell her about. To be honest i'm finding it frustrating aswell.

I was wondering is there a GO-TO telescope than any of you guys can recommend us. I don't want her to lose interest just because of my trouble finding objects. I got about £400 to spend. My daughter is young as mentioned, so i wanted a go-to telescope that is easy for both of us to use.

ANy advice would be great aswell.

Thanks.

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As you specify young a couple of times I would suggest the 102 SLT or similar.

It is a wide field refractor and so easier to get objects in the field of view. So I would say easier to use for a young one. Have a Mak and refractor in the Meade range and the refractor is much easier to use. It doesn't have the magnification but as the view is so decent the scope really just has to be in the right general area and whatever will usually be visible.

Basically if you want to use a goto then the Mak, if it is for her then the refractor.

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Hello. I got a young daughter who's interested in space, so i wanted to get a telescope for both of us, which I got the 130p skywatcher dobsonian. I like the telescope, but the daughter is getting a bit frustrated when I'm having trouble finding objects that I tell her about. To be honest i'm finding it frustrating aswell.

I was wondering is there a GO-TO telescope than any of you guys can recommend us. I don't want her to lose interest just because of my trouble finding objects. I got about £400 to spend. My daughter is young as mentioned, so i wanted a go-to telescope that is easy for both of us to use.

ANy advice would be great aswell.

Thanks.

I got that scope and being a newbie too find it easier if you use stellarium first then scan with scope. Its more of a buzz when your object finally comes to view. I found the Andromeda Galaxy no prob :glasses2:

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If you really are fed up, by all means get a GoTo. However, note that there are easy ways of finding DSOs with a Dob and there are hard ways. If you've been doing it the hard way then you should first give yourself the chance to try the easy way. If you still want to give it a shot, shoot back with the answers to these questions:

Which objects can you find in the Dob right now? Are you using a red-dot finder or a finderscope? What books or charts are you using? Can you easily recognise the major constellations?

I ask these questions because once you've got the knack of finding the first few objects, the rest will follow much more easily. Yes, there is a little learning hump at first, but overcoming it isn't as hard as it seems. It's quite possible you just need some hints to get you started: might save you 400 quid... Maybe go out one night after the daughter is in bed and try to find a few things with the scope in a no-pressure situation.

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The "problem" with a dob and sharing it with a young child is that it gets touched and so moved very easily. So the object to show them has gone. As said very frustrating to the child who never gets to see anything.

One easily overlooked thing is height of dad to daughter. Then comes getting it focussed when swapping over.

Maks have a narrow field of view and I suspect that having a nice view of the big easy to find things would at least get the daughter back into it. You are not going to get the Plaisies in a view with a 127 Mak.

A mak is nice sized, compact and with the one I have I have managed to see little. Just too damn narrow a view. Alignment is a pain, I have found that no alignment = no goto is fairly common. Find the 2 WO refractors a lot easier to use and they have a reasonable field of view. Ease of use is a factor here.

The thread is basically about a scope for his young daughter to use, not him. I get the idea this has been lost, since everyone is seeming to tell him what he should get and use. Dad has a scope.

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Sorry if I came across as not thinking about the little girl. Actually, I was thinking about her quite a bit as I was mowing the lawn just now. You see, when I made my comments I had in mind an acquaintance who goes observing with a young daughter, who can't be more than 8 or 10 years old. She seems fine with focusing and looking through their 8" Dob but the problem is impatience to see the next object. She doesn't want to her father to star-hop because it takes too long, as he's new to it. They have an Inteliscope object locator and I've watched them use it together: him moving the Dob and her shouting directions whilst looking at the hand-pad. They have a great time this way and it's very interactive for them. Since the OP likes Dobs, I have a suggestion: sell the current Dob and put the cash towards an 8" Orion Inteliscope (550 quid new). This scope not only has the object locater but the bearings are pretty good and the elevation bearing even has adjustable tension. The 8" gathers substantially more light than a 6", which is no bad thing. Certainly it gathers a LOT more light than a small Mak and it has a wider field of view. Probably cools faster, too.

As for Dobs being hard to use for young kids... I don't know. As I say, this little girl does it very well. I recollect it being easy for me to do the same when I was her age. When I do outreach I often show things to even younger kids through my small Dob and they tend to be fine. I just have to be sure to tell them not to push the scope and show them where the eyepiece is. It's rare for someone not to be able to see anything. When this does happen it can be people of any age who complain that "nothing is there."

Edited by umadog
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