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weemax

Thinking about a Meade ETX90...

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Hi all!

I really have to get a scope!, Ive thought about it for long enough now, and its slmosst time to buy.

I was looking in the local adverts at THIS scope, it does seem a bit pricey does it? Howver reading up on it , it seems a decent enough scope. Is there anything to look out for, as it would be my first scope? I dont want to get burned - is this a possibiblity with telescopes?

I wonder if Id be safer/better off buying a Skywatcher 130p from a reputable source...?

Thanks for any help guys

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I've had the earlier non autostar version for many years. It is an excellent performer both astronomically and terrestrially. It's very compact and quite heavy. They can vary depending on how well the optics have been assembled, there is no simple way to adjust them. Mine fortunately is a good one and gives textbook star images, superb on the Moon, Sun with a solar filter, Jupiter and Saturn. It's a little small for DSO's but the brighter ones are OK. The price is about right, however you could get a much larger Dobsonian for the same outlay. :smiley:

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I suppose it depends on what you want to look at, although that's hard to know until you start using a scope and find out what really interests you.

Personally, I feel the ETX 90 is a bit on the small size to give you a decent look at fainter deep sky objects and would recommend the well troden path of a 200mm reflector on a Dobsonian mount like this. As scopes go, it's pretty much the closest thing to an all-rounder money can buy. It has 5x the light gathering capability of the Meade (you can never have too much aperture) but a similar focal length, so whilst it will deliver good planetary views, it will be a long way ahead on nebula and globular clusters. However, the focal length to aperture ratio at F6, isn't so fast as to massively demanding eyepieces - It will give good views with modest glass, but has the capability of providing amazing views with expensive ones - It has an upgrade path built in, whereas the Meade is a bit of a dead end.

If the thought of going totally manual brings you out in a sweat, then for the Meade money, I'd probably have a look at the Skywatcher Skymax 127 AZ GOTO instead. It will do what the Meade does, but has double the aperture.

Russell

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I used to have an ETX-90 and loved it. Gave me good views of the planets, and the views of the main Messiers were good enough to keep me interested. I eventually had to sell it for personal reasons, but when returning to the fold went for another small Mak (my current 4SE).

I like the simplicity of setting up etc and the light weight, and GOTO is very useful when you have the demands of a busy job, family and (shh) other hobbies!

Having said all that, I've never seen a DSO through a big Dob, so maybe I just don't know what I'm missing . . !

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The thing I find really off putting with the ETX90 is the use of plastic gears. Which have caused problems with some users. Caveat emptor.

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I had the EC version of the ETX90 way back in the 90's. Optically it was very good, however mechanically a nightmare! I couldn't ever get the AltAz clutches to engage sufficiently so the goto function never worked properly. Without goto, the scope is virtually useless as the focal length is far too long to find anything manually by star hopping.

In the end I removed the scope o.t.a. from the rubbish mount and used it as a daytime spotter on a photo tripod, at which it excelled. Perhaps the mount mechanics have been improved upon over the last few years, but even so I would agree with Russell that an obstructed 90mm aperture is on the small side for astronomy purposes and that something simpler (a classic 6" or 8" Dob for instance, or a larger Mak) would be a MUCH better choice.

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I have the ETX80 and it has been nothing but trouble (GOTO-wise), okay I have used it manually for lunar observing but thats it really.' If ' I were you I would save my money and get something better.

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Ok! Im settled. I wont be buying that.

I was looking at Skywatcher Skyliner 6"... Would the extra £ for the 8" be worth it - Is this a good model to choose?

Im sorry, but I really need expert opinion, as I'm walking into this pretty blind.

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An 8" Dob would be a great buy, certainly better than a 6" if you can manage the extra size and cost. :smiley:

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Ok! Im settled. I wont be buying that.

I was looking at Skywatcher Skyliner 6"... Would the extra £ for the 8" be worth it - Is this a good model to choose?

Im sorry, but I really need expert opinion, as I'm walking into this pretty blind.

I refer M'lud to my earlier answer. :D

Russell

Edited by russ.will

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I had an 8inch dob amazing value for money great views of jupiters bands grs ect easy to use great optics .but found it a bit hard with stair gates snd moveing about ect but coukd not fault it befor that i tryied a 127 mak a meade etx 80 a 60mm refracter .dob was best views

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