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Skyliner 250px vs 250px goto


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Hello mate, I have just bought a 250PX without goto, and have used it twice now. And I have to say, so far, I am glad I didn't get goto, the sense of satisfaction I got from finding a couple of DSO's by starhoping was great, and I think you would lose this with goto, although NOT finding them would have been fustrating!

I believe if you do go down the goto route, it is possible to use the scope without the goto, but somebody with better knowledge may be able to advise you more on that.

I am very happy with the scope, it is quite large to carry, but easy to use and set up, so I think you will be very happy whichever route you take.

Dark skies.

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there is no difference in what you can see, the difference is in what you will find a telrad and some charts or wixey and setting circles and a little experience will save you a fortune. Lots of people with big dobs don't have tracking and goto and with a bit of practice become incredibly adept. The first pic I ever saw of the ISS from earth was taken manually with a dob.

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I have used manual scopes for the best part of ten years, I have also used goto. I find the manual way by star hopping is great fun. But can be time consuming, even with the expireance I have I still can't compete with the knowledge of a computer. You can do both if you have bins or a small spotting scope. They both have their pros and cons, i'm going for the 250px goto for my next scope. It will be nice just to sit back and sip tea while its slewing!

The goto systems get critised alot, but from the ones iv used and borrowed worked really well and got to see a few things I haven't seen before and are difficult to find manually.

Edited by Trickystar1
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As others have said, there will be no real difference in what you see with either scope. The one caveat to this in my opinion would be with high power observing - e.g. planets and moon etc.

Sometimes when observing for detail and difficult to see features at higher powers (150x and above) it is a real advantage to not have to move the telescope as the image drifts across the manual scope's field of view. With tracking (i.e. auto not GOTO) you can concentrate on the object alone.

That said, I personally don't use tracking on my big dob and am quite happy manually tracking at 300x. Given a choice of a manual scope with more aperture or some accessories like those mentioned plus maybe an observing seat, I'd have manual over GOTO any day.

If money is no object then there's no doubt that GOTO can positively enhance the experience for many.

Personally, I like the challenge of the hunt and can find many objects within seconds using a Telrad and right angled finder.

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Michael,

A lot of very sensible comments on the pros and cons here. I was a manual user for about 7 years before recently getting a goto. I LOVED the struggle to learn my way to objects and the thrill of finding them. But I am also loving doing some observing instead of hunting. Living in a light polluted area I struggle to see many DSOs through the finder scope so I spent plenty of time searching for objects - sometimes giving up after a couple of hours because I decided they simple were't visible in my area. There is a good argument that says this is just wasted time, I prefer to look on it as a learning experience. Now I have goto I don't have to worry about how dim something is, the scope will point at it and I can pretty easily see if it's worth observing.

Time at the eyepiece is very valuable given the other committments I have and the unpredictable weather. You need to weigh that up against the rewards (and they are genuinely rewards) of finding things yourself.

PS - set up of the 250px goto is never more than 10 minutes from deciding to take it outside to being ready to observe (ignoring cool down time). It's longer than plonking a manual dob outside but only by a couple of minutes tops.

Personally I think there is a lot to be said for learning astronomy with a manual and then building on that knoweldge with a goto system.

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I have a NEQ6 its function is to track stars/dso's ect so when i find a DSO i can mount a camera and have image of the object, so that i can compare in Stellaruim thats its the object i think it is, the GoTo function has never been used i turn on the mount go to the Tracking Option, set it to "Solar" that's it no date time or anything, it was polar aligned many months back and the indent for the tripod feet make sure its always back in the same spot. So all this comes down to, if you want a Dobby Scope you will need to do your own tracking, if you have a Newty Scope the mount will do it for you at a extra cost.

Edited by Tinker1947
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Thanks for all your responses some great advice I am however still a little unsure I start off thinking ok I'll get a manual mount with some extra eps etc but then I think if I don't get the goto I will miss out on all there is to see

My problem is Iam too indecisive I suppose the outcome is Iam edging towards the manual but just hope I won't be disappointed.

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Ok my original budget was about £300 then I went to £400 then £500 and the wife said ok £500 max then I sat her down and said I really want the goto and she said how much ? I replied £1,500 she said no way so I said I can get it for £900 she said ok but your not spending £1500 so the 250px goto it is

I knew if I stated i was about to spend 1.5k then £900 would sound reasonable

Just like to say thanks again for eveyones response today :D

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I have 200p flextube goto and I love it. I don't feel like I'm missing out on anything like star hopping. Assuming it works like the flextube, then you can still use the scope manually without the goto if you feel like it.

A knowledge of the sky is still needed with the goto. Scanning through the objects on the handset will mean nothing and in most cases you won't even be sure if they are in the sky (well until you press go and it points at the ground). I research objects using Stellarium, this forum and google, get an idea of what I'm looking for what I'm likely to see and then go out and look at it, the only difference is I save a fair bit of time trying to find it with the scope.

Also the base needs to be completely level otherwise the goto isn't that accurate. So you will still need to use the finder scope.

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Let me play the role of the good Mrs MichaelG;

Mrs Mike "what the hell is in these two boxes Fedex just dropped off"

Mr Mike "boxes - I'm on my way home......"

Mrs Mike "you said £900, what the hell have you ordered"

Mr Mike "I'm sure it's all packaging"

Mrs Mike "I looked at the credit card bill it's over a £1100, you said £900"

Mr Mike ".... well it was £915 actually and then I realised it needed colimation every time so I needed a cheshire and there's no point going out without a barlow, this TAL was a steal and it's GoTo you know, had to get a powertank......."

So the lesson here is hide your god damn credit card bills. :D

Great scope, you're going to have some fun with that.

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