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Help with choosing a telescope please.


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As some of you may have read in the introductions area I am looking to buy myself a telescope after returning the Celestron Astromaster that I paid too much for. I paid £230 for that one so now have that amount to choose my new telescope, this time I wish to take some advise from those who know first. Please note I am new to this so I would appreciate any pros and cons to be pointed out please. I may be able to stretch to a few more £s if the difference is worth while, also I wonder is it wise to invest the same money on a better second hand telescope or stick with a new one with a guarantee?

I also think I would like to learn without "go to" but do quite like the idea of motor tracking.

Your input is gratefully received, Jamie.

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Starting with the idea of motor driven: I would suggest that the mount is an EQ5, the EQ3-2 isn't really stable enough.

As to scope, your decision, if reflector then a 150 is preferable as it is bigger. I would suggest the 150PL over the 150P, bit less critical on settings.

The 130P has a good name and only comes in 130P format, just smaller and not sure how long you will stick with it. The 150 you will use for longer before getting bigger.

If you want a refractor then Evostar 90 or 102. Achro's but for a start pretty good and robust.

Start searching the various retailer sites, suggest FLO, Sherwoods and Rother Valley as a start. See what each have to offer then decide.

Visit a club if you can, many are having public nights to go along and look and hopefully try a bit.

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Jamie, some tough questions there and with such a diversity of people on this board you'll be pushed to get an exact answer. It's all down to personal preferences, the type of observing you want to do, what space you have for storage, and to a degree how to future proof your investment.

Your budget is quite limited, so you will get more scope for your money buying second hand. Be careful though, there are some scopes on e-bay that look good for the money, but have a reputation for being bad - Saben being the one that comes to mind. Try to stick with Orion Optics, Skywatcher and Celestron. You have to be a member of this forum for a month and have more than 50 posts before access to the for sale section, so if you are in no rush then start posting and by this time next month you'll have access to that section.

As for the type... well that depends on what you want to see or do. If you want deepsky objects then ideally you need to go for as large an aperture as possible, ideally with a low focal ratio. The focal ratio is the focal length (the point where the lens or mirror forms the image) divided by the aperture (size of the mirror or lens). If it's planets then the general consensus is that a higher focal ratio scope is better as this will give higher magnification.

There is one thing I think everyone will agree on, and that is that there is no such thing as a "one scope fits all"

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Jamie, some tough questions there and with such a diversity of people on this board you'll be pushed to get an exact answer. It's all down to personal preferences, the type of observing you want to do, what space you have for storage, and to a degree how to future proof your investment.

Your budget is quite limited, so you will get more scope for your money buying second hand. Be careful though, there are some scopes on e-bay that look good for the money, but have a reputation for being bad - Saben being the one that comes to mind. Try to stick with Orion Optics, Skywatcher and Celestron. You have to be a member of this forum for a month and have more than 50 posts before access to the for sale section, so if you are in no rush then start posting and by this time next month you'll have access to that section.

As for the type... well that depends on what you want to see or do. If you want deepsky objects then ideally you need to go for as large an aperture as possible, ideally with a low focal ratio. The focal ratio is the focal length (the point where the lens or mirror forms the image) divided by the aperture (size of the mirror or lens). If it's planets then the general consensus is that a higher focal ratio scope is better as this will give higher magnification.

There is one thing I think everyone will agree on, and that is that there is no such thing as a "one scope fits all"

Good advice here.

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Thanks for the advise all, I have been a searching and seem to be getting drawn toward the Skyliner 200p Dobsonian, my only worry is the size. I can store in my garage but fear that it may not be ideal for the telescope, maybe I'll try to convince my wife that we do not need an airing cupboard! I don't think lifting it into and out of the loft at each use would do me or the scope any good.

Jamie.

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Thanks for the advise all, I have been a searching and seem to be getting drawn toward the Skyliner 200p Dobsonian, my only worry is the size. I can store in my garage but fear that it may not be ideal for the telescope, maybe I'll try to convince my wife that we do not need an airing cupboard! I don't think lifting it into and out of the loft at each use would do me or the scope any good.

Jamie.

If you go with the Dob Jamie you shouldn't have any problems storing it in the garage. Dont forget it will have an end cap over the OTA, you can also put a cheap shower cap on the bottom of the tube whilst not in use to stop any dust being drawn up the tube.

The 200p Dob is a good size too. You will get a lot of use out of that. HTH.

Gra.

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well i would spend an hour or two saying hello to everyone on here !! only 46 post to go for you till the for sale section appears !! , then you will be able to see what is foe sale second hand , i dont think i have heard a bad report about any form of transactions on here ! take care

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Hi

Based on my experience and I think other posts I've seen you should be looking at the mount very carefully. I also started with an AstroMaster 130

The telescope is OK for the money. The tripod is total rubbish. It looks the part but is way too wobbly. My 130 now sits nicely on a CG5 with surveyor's tripod and is solid as a rock. It has also started a new life as a wide view imaging telescope on an HEQ5 Pro which I bought with a SW200P

If I was starting again I'd go for a 150P newt first with again as mentioned a CG5/EQ5

.

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The advice of buying used is worth serious consideration - when you reach 50 post here - unless you want a new telescope in the next few days.

They are usually kept in very good condition and the sort of telescopes you are looking at come up at regular intervals, as people change their equipment quite often. You will save money, have the opportunity to look at the telescope and after a while if you want do move to another type or a bigger scope you can sell on and purchase another.

The same advice of used would apply to eyepiece also.

Good luck whatever you decide to do and welcome

andrew

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