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Ryp

Present for my Wife, please help :)

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Hello Forum,

I'm Adam, nice to meet you all. I am trying to find a telescope for my Wife, but I have no idea what to get or where to even start.

I have a friend of a friend who told me there is no substitute for aperture and I need a minimum 13cm parabolic mirror...

This means nothing to me...

I really don't want to waste my money, my budget is around £200, my Wife has never touched a telescope in her life.

I think I have found 2 that might be suitable for backyard star gazing, please would you mind taking a look at these links and tell me what you think? I would really appreciate it!

Ok, so first is this one.... not sure what it stands on though SkyWatcher Skyliner 150P Parabolic Dobsonian Telescope

and the second one is http://www.warehouseexpress.com/buy-Sky-Watcher-Explorer-130P-EQ2-Parabolic-Newtonian-Reflector-Telescope/p1524209?cm_mmc=GoogleBase-_-Telescopes-_-Reflector-Telescopes-_-Sky-Watcher-Explorer-130P-EQ2-Parabolic-Newtonian-Reflector-Telescope_1524209

You can probably see I really have no clue so ANY advice you can give me would be fantastic.

Thanks in advance!

Adam.

Edited by Ryp

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The 150p is a great starting point.

Personally id not go with the 130 on an eq2.

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Hello Ryp,

The Skyliner 150P Dobsonian is an excellent choice - and Harrison telescopes are very good to buy from.

The scope gives nice views and is light enough to be easily moved around by a lady.

You manually move the Dobsonian type scope around to track the stars etc - which I do not find a problem but you can adapt this scope in the future to be fully motorised to track the movement of the stars and planets.

A very capable and adaptable choice....

Edited by dweller25

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Hi,

Wow thanks for the fast reply everyone, I really appreciate it.

Looks like it's going to be the 150p then :)

mark7331 - Thanks for those links I'll head over to FLO now and take a look.

After I give her this at Xmas I'll make sure she comes here and says hi.

Thanks again!

Adam

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I started with a 150P on an EQ3-2 mount. This means a reflector (newtonian) with a 150mm (6") diameter, parabolic mirror. EQ is an equatorial mount and 3-2 is just the size - relatively small compared to others.

The EQ2 is a slightly smaller mount and the 130P is a 5" parabolic mirror. It's quite a nice scope with reasonable capabilities that will show you many of the brighter deep sky objects and solar system objects (planets/moon).

The 150P Dobsonian is again a Newtonian reflector but it's mounted differently. The Dobsonian mount moves in altitude (up/down) and azimuth (compass bearing left/right). Known as an Alt/Az mount.

Imho - if you can stretch to a 150P EQ3-2 it would be preferable. You'll get the larger aperture mirror which can see more than the 130P, and an Equatorial mount will help you understand the movement of the stars relative to Earth because you can polar align it.

The Dob however is easier to set up and simplicity to move around the sky from the start with no polar alignment. All three are good starter scopes and easy to set up and use after a good read of the instructions and a little experience.

Any further questions you have about them feel free to ask here. Hope you enjoy the forum and welcome to SGL :)

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You're receiving plenty of good advice on the telescope front. The other thing you need to consider is how to find stuff in the sky. Without a little knowledge you will manage the moon and maybe Jupiter then you'll be stuck.

I would very strongly recommend a good field book. Turn Left At Orion is very popular and very good for those just starting out. Also, a red-dot finder of some sort to allow easy aiming of the telescope. These are lot easier to use than the mini-telescopes (finderscopes) that most telescopes come equipped with. A Telrad or a Rigel Quickfinder would be suitable. Perhaps the latter on a smaller scope, as the former is quite large.

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Some warm clothes would be helpful too - astronomy is all about sitting out in the freezing cold of winter, keeping still and so not generating much warmth. Good fingerless gloves are a good buy.

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Some warm clothes would be helpful too - astronomy is all about sitting out in the freezing cold of winter, keeping still and so not generating much warmth. Good fingerless gloves are a good buy.

good point, i noticed it last night even with my padding it was chilly.

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Good advice there Adam, this is for your Wife isn`t it ?, I have bought electric drills, and other tools in the past for my wife, for Birthdays and Christmas and she lets me use them on a regular basis :) all joking aside have a word with FLO our sponsor, you just might get a good deal from them as has been suggested.

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Might be a bit simple, but ever considered asking your wife?

I like refractors and if someone gave me a reflector I would wonder why.

The 150P if a fine scope, do you know how to collimate it?

A collimator will cost £25-30 for an inexpensive one.

Then add in 2 more eyepieces, say £40 each.

No location, but locate a club and take her along, that way you will see several types and she may help to solidify what she wants.

Contact any nearby clubs and see if the have a viewing evening and ask waht scopes are expected to be there. Astronomers have a habit of taking the biggest they have, and for someone looking for the first time those tend to be for future consideration.

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As you all seem really knowledgeable about buying presents for wives, does anyone know a good supplier for a broomstick and cauldron?

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As you all seem really knowledgeable about buying presents for wives, does anyone know a good supplier for a broomstick and cauldron?

i will ask my wife if she has any spares

EDIT:- 150P dob for now, see how her indoors gets on with it, she can always mount it on an EQ later on should she wish :)

^my two penny worth^

Edited by nicnac

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How easy is it to add motorisation to the Dobsoniam mount at a later stage?

Or if budget permits would it be preferable to get the motorisation included in the specificiation of any telescope (Dobsonian & Non Dobsonian) at purchse rather than as an after market add on?

Thx

Blackos

Edited by Black Hole

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As you all seem really knowledgeable about buying presents for wives, does anyone know a good supplier for a broomstick and cauldron?

Do you know my wife?:)

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Hi, I'd agree with the advice re the dob. Should be easy to set up and use and capable enough for nice views of planets, the moon and star clusters.

Having said that, as Capricorn's post suggests, gifts and practicality don't always go together. I got my first scope having asked for 'a telescope' as a Christmas gift, and will confess to feeling vaguely disappointed at first when I got a reflector, which I didn't even recognise as being a telescope.

Most people have a mental image of a telescope as being a refractor. And I think I secretly had in mind some sort of brass scope on a wooden tripod, which I could keep in the study, perhaps to be mainly used for leaning on, whilst wearing a smoking jacket and a monacle and swirling a glass of brandy next to a swing-top 'globe' full of exotic spirit decanters. I might occasionally point it out of the window, to spot a comet or somesuch, whilst perhaps developing plans to circumnavigate the globe in a hot air balloon, but ultimately it would have been largely decorative.

You can get scopes like that, though they're generally pretty poor for actually looking at stuff through, not to mention being expensive. In fact, there won't be many standard refractors at the sort of price range you mention which would be all that much use, particularly when you'd also need a decent mount to make it usable. The advantage of the dob is a simpler and cheaper inherent mount, so most of the expense goes on the scope itself.

Of course, every scope is different, and serves a different purpose, so it is always difficult to recommend something without knowing what it is hoped to be used for. But if your wife is interested, or thinking she might become interested, in astronomy, then the dob is probably a decent choice for that budget.

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Hi,

Thanks all the brilliant advice, especially the things I would not have thought of like clothing.

Final question, sorry for the lack of knowledge here, but if I go for the Dobsonian 150p, what does it sit on?

It is clearly different from telescopes that use tripods, does it just sit on a flat surface like a table? I have no clue how large or heavy this telescope is.

Warm regards,

Adam

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Adam - the rocker box will just sit on a level floor - it has plastic feet underneath :)

Or you can put a level slab down in the garden to stand it on. It'll stand about as high as your chest so you will need a chair to sit on some of the time unless pointing at the zenith (directly overhead).

Edited by brantuk

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I put my Dobsonian on the patio and observe sitting down - I find it much more comfortable,

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Dashed expectations are sadly a thing in Astronomy :)

Personally I wouldn't part with cash unless your wife has at least seen through a modest sized scope and knows what is available to view and what kind of image is available as it may not marry up with what she had in mind....

We are now in the season of early dark skies and would suggest find a local astronomy club that will be holding some public viewing sessions...

This way she can possibly view through a various amount of different kind of scopes and see what kind of detail - she can observe. Also speak with people pro's con's and get advice.

Then if she still has a desire for owning a scope you are better armed so to speak...

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Hi,

My final question seems to be going against all the advice I received, but can anyone give me their opinion of this First Light Optics - Skywatcher Explorer 130M

Would this be easier for her to use as it's motorised? (in terms of locating objects)

I appreciate the comment about getting her to look through a few scopes and see what she likes and I might have to do that before I decide what to get.

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