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1st Telescope, portable and cheap(ish)

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My friend is just about to celebrate her 60th revolution around the giant ball of gas we call the sun.

She is very interested in Astronomy so I would like to buy her a Telescope.

It must meet the following criteria:

1. Portable - Ideally something where the mount and the OTA will fit into a back pack or small case\bag

2. Cheap(ish) - I am happy to spend between £250 to £350

I've looked at a couple of telescope that seem to fit the bill but could do with some advise from the wonderful members of Star gazers lounge

Hope you can help

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That's the one I was thinking of Ian :) couldn't remember it's name then lol

It's best used on something like a table but very easy to use and best bang for your buck!


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk so please ignore any spelling doodaaas I may make

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Grotemobile - Thanks for your advise, do you think this would be very portable? I own an EQ mount and I think the weight of it is quite a lot, the counter weights I guess add a lot to the total weight.

Total weight of this Scope is ~ 21 kg, hands will be stronger :p

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it does depend on what she wants to view

but if it's portability you want and if she's happy with lunar and planetary views to start i do like the meade etx 80 back pack observatory

video here:

amazon here but i think you can get it cheaper: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Meade-ETX80-Telescope-Special-Backpack/dp/B000IFZOXU

it's in your price range and has goto which will help with beginners when set up right...

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Sparkyjon, thanks for the advice :smiley: I think she is interested in planetary observations to start. I visited Opticstar (Sale) this afternoon and i discussed the meade etx 80 back pack observatory with the owner. The impression I got from him was that this scope wasn't really suitable for planetar. Do you have or know anyone who has 1st experience of this scope?

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No the only experience i have with it is from videos and reviews. Its just the portability side i like with it as you mentioned that being important.

To be honest i would have thought an 80mm refractor would give you lovely planetary and lunar views.. If he gave that impression it cant be a very good scope as i doubt its any good for deep space objects.

The heritage130p flex tube looks nice and portable so maybe that would be a good option and for the price you could buy two. Lol

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I had the old Meade etx 70 and I'll be honest. Avoide. A dob is the best all round scope. A mak is best for planets due to its long focal length n conpactness. And a refractor is best for planets as well (the dobs a reflector)

I don't own a 130p but I have used one frequently and i found it very portable (as I mentioned needs a table)

There is one scope that could be useful but iv only seen pictures n reviews.


It's a mak. It has tracking faculty (but it's a push to not go to) but again needs a table or such to put it on....

N your more than happy to add me :)


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk please ignore any spelling typo thingys

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You probably won't see much more than white discs of planets with a small telescope like the Meade ETX 80, maybe a hint of Saturn's rings but you'd have to squint. Good on the Moon and star clusters, but then so are binoculars.

The 130 would show a lot more, a 150 more still. The Celestron Omni XLT 150 is a nice mount and scope, you might not want to lift it all as one but the mount and tripod are easily manageable (especially if you carry the weights separately). The Omni CG-4 mount will accept any small to medium scope, so it opens up many more options than the 130 dobsonian. The Omni XLT 150 would take up the average back seat of a car space-wise with the tripod folded away, though I would recommend some sort of padded bag for the scope. This is certainly not a backpack scope, you wouldn't want to carry it more than a few feet at a time (from the house or the boot of a car). I don't know if it's something a 60 revolutions lady could handle on her own comfortably, all EQ mounts are pretty solid and heavy affairs even without the weights.

If you can manage them, a pair of 15x70 binoculars with a large L bracket to attach them to a sturdy photographic tripod would be as portable as it gets, you just need to carry the tripod (or monopod) in one arm and the binoculars around your neck. Best used from a seated position. You would not want to hold them by hand, the view would be too shaky, although you could rest them on something.

Edited by jonathan
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I am in a similar situation regarding a portable scope and the two that have been suggested to me are the Celestron 127 SLT and the Nexstar 4SE. These are relatively small ota's with decent supports (the 4SE haviving the better one). Both are good for planets, they are just over you budget but not by much.



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