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Newbie, introduction and advice

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Hi all,

Quick intro.

Have been into astronomy since I was a kid but could NEVER afford anything other than a broken pair of 10x50 binos that I put in for repair at a shop in Chesterfield and never saw them again!

I have kept a passing interest over the years, and now find my interest growing.

The bonus side is I now have a 6 year old boy that I would like to get interested. Not sure if 6 is a bit young, but he is fairly intelligent and likes to look at the moon.

So, as a starter, I have been looking at getting him a Sky-Watcher Infinity 76P. From what I can gather it is a little bit more than just a toy.

For those of you who don't know this very cheap end its a 76mm Reflector, 300mm FL with X30 magnification.

At a snip under £40, would anyone recommend this?

Remember this is for a 6 year old boy (and 46 year old man - yes, I want to play too).

Sky quality is pretty poor where I live in South Normanton, so I don't expect to see that much anyway.

Oh, and of course there is the wife to convince too!

Thanks for reading


Edited by ely_ellis
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Hi Martin, I'm by no means an expert on scopes but I would say if this was purely for a six year old it would be fine. I think if I was going to be using it too then I may go for a small refractor. Ideally a reflector would probably get your a scope dragging in more light for your money (allowing you to see more) however with the eyepiece located at the top of the tube it would be difficult for your six year old to look through:D Skywatcher do quite a few under £100 but I'm not sure which are recommended, others may be able to advise.



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hi There,

Echo comments above, for c£100 you can get a short tube 70mm skywatcher on a alt az mount. This is small & light enough for your son to use but equally will see jupiters moons and saturns rings. You may also want to consider a dobsonian mounted reflector.

However I would wait and see what comes up for sale on SGL as there are frequent changes of kit and lots of good advice. I would also say go along to local astro group and see what others are using and how big scopes can get!

There is a friendly bunch called East Midlands Stargazers who meet up in Belper and Sawley, we have our own comunity site on SGL, which you have obviously found!!


Edited by damnut
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welcome Martin,

it`s all about budget, but if you want a good allround scope a skywatcher 130 is what i bought for my 6 year old a few years back, fantastic little scope and if you have some light polution a bit bigger aperature should help alittle. very easy to use and had some great views through it, i don`t know alot about refractors having never owned one so can`t comment to much on them.

it seems everyone likes different scopes but it does come down to budget, have yopu thought about second hand ? some good bargains to be had and saves you some cash too which is allways good.

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Have you seen THIS one? apparently it's not bad....

It depends on your budget...and wether it will be YOU taking over haha....I bought my 10yo son a 'proper' scope last xmas as he has always had toy scopes...he loves it. It's a SW 150P-DS with full GOTO mount....(but it cost much more than £50 lol!)

Edited by Celeste
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Hi Martin,

Welcome to EMS.

I can recommend the 76mm Sky Watcher Dob, I bought Mrs Baz one for her birthday, and it is surprisingly good. Yes you are limited by the magnification, but its not a bad performer.

I would however suggest that for a budget of £100, I would consider some binoculars and a tripod.

Revelation 15x70 Binoculars

I have a pair of these and they give a nice bright image. Let me know if you want to come over to one of the dark sites next time we get together and I'll put them in the car for you to have a go with.

This would leave some in the kitty for a tripod as well.

They will show a lot of the clusters, and Galaxies, such as M31, and 33. The Pleiades and the Beehive cluster fill the view.

I would also have a look at getting a star atlas, so you can find your way round.

Sky & Telescope's Pocket Sky Atlas: Amazon.co.uk: Roger W. Sinnott: Books

Again, for the money a great little atlas with laminated pages so it won't get wrinkly if it gets wet with dew.

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Hi all, thank you for your replies.

I have been looking at the Skywatcher Heritage 76 Mini Dobsonian which appears to be pretty much the same scope as the Infinity 76P, with a few differences such as 2 eyepieces, a finder scope and the mount of course.

Binos, although I appreciate at this lower end they would prove to be very useful, I don't think there would be as much appeal to my son as having a telescope.

I asked my wife to ask my son if he wanted a telescope and he instantly said "yes". I was surprised because I didn't think he really knew what a telescope was!

Regarding the budget, well the limit is not how much I have to spend but more of how much I am allowed to spend. (lol).

I want to ease my 6 year old into this field and with the looks of the Infinity, that may help to get him hooked. Once hooked, then I can easily (I hope) get permission (from the wife) to go for something a little bigger and better that I can enjoy too.

I am currently bobbing around on a boat in the middle of the North Sea, and due to bad weather causing all work to stop, I have had the opportunity to spend the last few nights looking on the internet at scopes, forums and clubs to try to get a grasp of things.

I found a club with an observatory about 4 miles down the road from me near Mansfield which I never knew existed, (which you probably all know anyway), so I shall try to get down to one of the club meetings once I get home.

Also the Stargazers Lounge group, which was a nice surprise to find this more local group here with members quite close.

Anyway, I'm rattling on.

Thanks again for the advise, and hope to meet some of you in the not too distant future.

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Earlier I sent my missus a link for the Skywatcher Heritage 76 Mini Dobsonian just to test her reaction.

I just got a reply back which surprised me.

This is her actual reply "This one is better .because it look nice and profectional as well.if you get it then get this one."

Now then, I have to consider whether to push my luck or not as the Skywatcher Skyhawk 1145P was one on my list.

I don't want to get too carried away though.

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Hi, welcome and almost *snap*! I've recently bought a similar if slightly inferior Celestron scope for my 9 year old and, of course, proceeded to borrow it quite often. He's not going to see his 'goal object', Jupiter's GRS, but we've seen its moons and, of course, Earth's moon in more detail than we ever have done. Which is great and has been fun but...

...never mind your son, how long before *you* want a better scope? ;-) (not being cheeky, just speaking from recent experience) ...if you can persuade your missus i'd say try and suggest that the 130 could be the basis of a great shared hobby for you and your son and it maybe more than 'just a toy'....it's worth a try! :-)

Edited by heathenwoods
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Mentioned to the wife in an email about the 1145P, but received nothing back. Talked to her on the phone tonight and I tried to work it into the conversation, but was glossed over.

So, it looks like its going to be the Heritage 76 mini for now.

If all goes well, then there could be bigger things on the horizon, but small steps for now.

Looking forward to getting home next Wednesday.

Thanks all


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  • 3 months later...

Hello Martin welcome to SGL from a fellow Radio Amateur well i am in call sign only @ the moment i'm afraid but i have a HF base station and HF/VHF/UHF mobile rig but no car or antennas to use either of them right now sadly :icon_salut: anyways enuff said. welcome once again Martin.

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