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It's always tough to give advice, what suits one person may not be ok for someone else.............but here goes.......

A 102mm refractor will show a surprising variety of objects very well, from moon/planets, double stars and lots of deep sky objects, even from a light polluted town.

For me, I'd sooner spend the money on a scope without the technology, as more of the money will go into the optics and beefier mount, but I do know from the local club I'm a member of that many do struggle to find stuff, and after a few sessions they give up, and the scope gathers dust, not starlight. So perhaps the go-to would get around that problem.

The 250x magnification that's mentioned may be reasonable on a good night, but I'd be looking more at the low and mid powers as more useful more often. At least the ridiculous 500x mags don't get into the specification, so that's a big plus I think.

The scope takes 8x AA batteries. Perhaps that will be fine, don't know, but what I do know is that my clubs members often say that a lot of go-to issues are sorted if a separate rechargeable power pack is used - as in cold conditions the voltage drop makes the AAs not work the system properly - whether that would apply to this scope I don't know, but it's a point to take into consideration.

If it were me, I'd read what others have to say, and try to find some reviews before spending your money.

HTH, all the best, Ed.

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Yeah, if you have a tight budget, you might consider dropping the go-to, and get a Dobsonian or refractor on alt-az mount for now.

With that being said, the GO-TO is really nice if you want to quickly be able to access the cool stuff. Some people consider it to be cheating and prefer to manually get to know their way around the sky.

The scope and mount is ok, you get what you pay for, but in my eyes neither the scope or the mount really shines. Like Ed said, the battery powered mount might actually need a real 12v power tank to work properly.

It also depends a little, what do you wanna do with it? Do you intend to travel with it?

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Hi all. I'm after some opinions on this for a starter scope for some one on a tight budget???

All comments welcome please...


For that kind of price, I'd be far more tempted at a 150P Dobsonian, or the 130P Heritage if budget won't stretch to the 150P. Go-to is an expensive add on, and you'll find it much more fun finding everything yourself (I certainly did). Plus, the 130P will give you change from £200, which will cover a few eyepieces.

It all depends on what you want to view really, the 130P/150P Dobs will be good all rounders, being able to give good views of DSO's and Planets, because the 150P is slower (focal ratio is ~F/8), it will be easier on eyepieces, so lower quality eyepieces will give better views in that than the Heritage which is F/5.

Note: Focal Ratio = Focal Length / Aperture in mm, Focal Ratio of 5 or less is considered fast, 6 or more is slow (although F/6 really isn't that slow). Focal Ratio goes all the way from F/1 to F/20 or even higher.


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The trouble with a GO TO scope is just setting it up.

Iv got a 102mm refractor with a manual mount + a C11, GO TO

scope & its the manual scope that gets most use.

No batterys to worry about.A 120mm refractor with

manual mount would get a lot of use.Have a look

on Astro Buy & Sell.I have bought a lot of s/hand

EPs from there.


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I am in the process of converting my EQ5 mount to GOTO - I had a 4SE until recently and was convinced by that scope that GOTO is for me. Agree it is not for everyone.

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No way will that scope give 250x.

150x maybe, and that is a maybe, I would still doubt that in realistaic terms.

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