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Hello all,

I've recently been asked to give advice on a first scope for my brother in law, as a christmas present off his mam and dad.

The problem is i bought the celestron powerseeker 127eq as my first scope and i'm still a complete novice so i don't think i'm the best person to be giving out advice atm.

With a budget of £160 i've picked out a few from FLO, but was hoping you guys n girls could help me out?

http://www.firstlightoptics.com/startravel/skywatcher-startravel-80-eq1.html

http://www.firstlightoptics.com/evostar/skywatcher-evostar-90-eq2.html

http://www.firstlightoptics.com/reflectors/skywatcher-explorer-130.html

I was thinking the evostar 90 might be the best bet? I heard that you get more apperture for your money with reflectors but at least with the evostar he won't have to worry about collimation.

What do you think? Thank you in advance.

James

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Tell us a bit more about the recipient.

Will he have trouble storing & setting up?

Stairs & doors to negotiate?

Patience to find his way around the sky or insist on goto?

Sorry to ask questions rather than provide answers. David.

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Thanks for the response's guys, I think the Dob might be the best bet (the price range is slightly lower now £130ish).

I think he'll be fine for storage and access to the garden ect and a goto would be out of price range. I'm just not sure if he would prefer a Dob or mounted scope.

Another option is http://www.firstlightoptics.com/reflectors/skywatcher-skyhawk-1145p.html.

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I think you were probably right with the Evostar 90, they are fairly idiot proof.

The 130 truss has to sit on a table or similar and that never seems right to me.

I have also seen Dobsonians catagorised as "specialist" scopes, not everyone gets along with them. I would think that the 130P truss would need collimating at regular intervals as sliding the secondary and focuser up and down at each use must cause collimation problems.

The 90 is bigger and will show some CA, on things like Jupiter and the moon, eyepieces will be an easier purchase.

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The ST80 is great as a guide scope - but for visual you might just as well get him binoculars. So imho it's between the acro and the newt. But it's a difficult choice not knowing the giftee and their perceptions and preferences.

They might be more interested in planets than the deeper objects, might prefer a traditional refractor type scope, storage space could be an issue, ease of setup and use could be key, and other criteria you might have to sound them out on.

If you can stretch the budget another £30-£40 I would go for a 150P dob for a more encompassing observing experience (greater range of objects), more straighforward setup (just pop it down and turn and tilt), and an overall more absorbing start in the hobby. It's a difficult one to answer but Hth :)

Edited by brantuk
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The 130 truss has to sit on a table or similar and that never seems right to me.

I've said it before but i'll say it again. The Heritage really doesn't need to be on a table or similar. The user can very happily use it from horizon to zenith while seated on any standard height of chair (kitchen,camping,wheelchair).

The only reason it is sold as a tabletop scope is because most observers observe from a standing position. Observing while sitting is better for you all round. Your eyes are relaxed and see better, you are not bending over so back pain is not an issue etc etc.

The Heritage is a great scope and like any Dob............is ssimple to use. No fuss like with an EQ mount. Also it has the largest aperture of the 3 scopes mentioned.

Did i mention that it is so small that storage footprint is less then most vacuum cleaners and the scope can be carried with one hand via a handle cut out of the base.................the whole thing weighs about 6 kilos.

Edited by LukeSkywatcher
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I've had my Heritage, which is a great scope, for well over a year. It's done quite a few miles in the back of a car and hasn't needed collimating once.

If anyone has any concerns about it not being on a tripod then a sturdy camping table, works a treat, like this one which I also own: http://m.gooutdoors.co.uk/hi-gear-stool-table-camping-stool-p142528

For its simplicity, mirror and portability, I can't recommend the Heritage highly enough, especially as a starter scope.

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If it's a surprise present I would not give something that needs maintnence. I'd go with the Evostar 90mm on AZ3 (no need to make them learn how to use an EQ mount). I've given one to my sister when she was 12 and it's fairly easy to use.

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If it's a surprise present I would not give something that needs maintnence. I'd go with the Evostar 90mm on AZ3 (no need to make them learn how to use an EQ mount). I've given one to my sister when she was 12 and it's fairly easy to use.

The Heritage (OUT OF THE BOX) neds no maintnence and the aperture is bigger then the 90mm Evostar.

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I'm just not too found of presents that require maintenance, unless I'm sure the person is willing to do it. Might as well give them a puppy or a plant. ;)

Besides, though it haves larger aperture, it also haves a small focal length and is f/5. So the supplied EPs won't be as nice to use at f/5 and the highest magnification with those EPs will be 65x, so planetary views will be a bit underwhelming. As a beginner I would like a closer look at planets/moon. Those are usually the objects a beginner starts with.

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Thanks for the response's guys, I think the Dob might be the best bet (the price range is slightly lower now £130ish).

I think he'll be fine for storage and access to the garden ect and a goto would be out of price range. I'm just not sure if he would prefer a Dob or mounted scope.

Another option is http://www.firstligh...hawk-1145p.html.

I had this as my first scope and would say that I found it a real faff to use compared to my Dob ( and presumably a smaller dob is even easier.) I would give up and let hubby find something and then get myself muddled about which way to turn the knob things to track, I find nudging the Dob much more instintive.

I guess everyones different but as I was 110% novice and am not mechanically minded at all I think a fair % of straters will be like me.

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