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janesdsg

Is it always this difficult to make a decision?

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Thought I'd pretty much decided on a 12 year old Nexstar 5 ... but then FLO put the Celestron C6-N GT on offer. A bit over my budget, but that extra inch of aperture is soooooo tempting and I'm back in serious indecision mode!

The C6 looks to be larger and heavier than the Nexstar 5 but also looks as though it has a more sturdy mount. Can anyone advise me on which of these two would be better as a "grab and go" scope?

Thanks for your help.

Jane

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All I can advise you to do is take your time and do your research. Try to go to a Astronomy meeting to look at various telescopes. (I wish I did!!).

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Well the Nexstar is considerably smaller but the C6-N GT looks like a nicer scope, both need a power source to work. I suppose it comes down to what you consider as portable if that's what you mean by grab and go, whether you have a car and mean to transport it to a dark site or set up in the garden as and when..

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Well the Nexstar is considerably smaller but the C6-N GT looks like a nicer scope, both need a power source to work. I suppose it comes down to what you consider as portable if that's what you mean by grab and go, whether you have a car and mean to transport it to a dark site or set up in the garden as and when..

We've got a postage stamp for a garden so I'll be heading off in the car, either down to the beach, the farm or to the local disused airfield all of which have next to no light pollution.

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i would get a nice 10-12 inch dob if your skies are dark you will love every minute at the eyepiece

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A dob was in the running early on but came off the list as I need something that breaks down into smallish components so that I can get scope, mount, me, partner, dog and luggage in the car. An SCT or MAK seemed to be the way to go until I got tempted by the C6-N. I've been to Carmarthen Cameras and seen their range of Skywatcher scopes so I know these (SCT and MAK) will work as far as transporting them (and everything else) in the car.

Is there likely to be much difference in setting up time between the SCT and the C6-N? If they're both about the same I'll probably let myself be tempted by the extra aperture.

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you could get the flexi tube dobs or a meade light bridge both are truss designs which break up small and you dont need power to run them. the c6-n is a faster scope and will be better at viewing fainter DSO's were as the sct is slow with a narrow field of view good for the moon and planets and some bright dso's , i would get the c6-n its a good alrounder the only thing you will need to learn the black art of collimation which is simple with one of these http://www.firstlightoptics.com/collimation/cheshire-collimating-eyepiece.html

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If I struggle with a choice and neither option is better or worse than the other I write them on a bit of paper drop them in a hat and pick one. If however your disappointed with the outcome you know you should choose the other.

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If I struggle with a choice and neither option is better or worse than the other I write them on a bit of paper drop them in a hat and pick one. If however your disappointed with the outcome you know you should choose the other.

Brilliant!!

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Whichever one you choose you're going to want a spirit level and a powertank plus lead to connect it to the goto. A case to keep the scope and eyepieces in will be on the list at some point as well so remember to factor these things in to your budget.

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I'm A NexStar 5 SE user, I like it a lot.

The wedge tripod allows for the user to do some light AP work, usually exposures below 5 minutes come out great. I have not tried exposures longer then 5 minutes, yet, so I cannot comment on that aspect.

I am also a disabled gent, with multiple spine problems. Although I am not in a Wheelie chair yet, I soon will be. So portability is a big concern for me, I like the 5 SE for just that reason. I can pack it up by myself in very little time, If you buy a hard/soft shell case, it goes that much easier & the hard case is great for flying or on a train trip to dark skies.

A power tank, EP's & accessories (barlows, Neb filters, color + moon filters, a retical EP for easy alignments, camera adapters, adjustable astronomy chair) will add more to any price of a telescope, so you should keep this in mind as well when making a decision. The 5 SE can be set up & running in about 5-7 minutes for alt / az viewing, while polar alignment can add up to another 30 minutes, depending on how bright Polaris is in your location. I find it takes about 10-20 min for the SCT to cool to -15C, from room temp, when it is first placed outside during the winter.

When I purchased the scope, I also purchased the Celestron 1.25 EP kit along with a Baader Hyperion Mark III 8:24 mm zoom & I am happy for the moment. The Plossl EP's in the kit are good for just starting out as many top end EP's are costing between $200-500 each. The zoom is the one of the best zooms on the market, there is a buyer guide report in these forums if your interested, it's worth the money in my opinion. The views from the 5 SE are great, Jupiter is clear, bright & easily seen with 4 of it's moons, Saturn is well defined, & star hoping is a fun exercise will little to disappoint, alignment can be very accurate when done correctly, & the keypad is user friendly. There is a little bit of a learning curve involved to use this Go-To scope properly, but that can be expected with any scope.

I paid $699 Canadian for my 5 S/E, & by the time I bought the stuff needed to make it work, I spent $1200 before leaving the store, but this included a few camera attachment accessories, the EP kit, zoom, power tank, & a focal reducer/corrector. This can give you an idea about how much you may be spending to make the scope work right out of the box. The 5 SE comes with a 25mm Plossl & this EP fits into the EP kit nicely. The EP kit comes with a 2x Barlow, 6, 8, 13, 17, 32 mm EP's & 7 moon & color filters. The 2'' EP kit is also of benefit, I will be buying 1 within the next month so you won't go wrong by buying either EP kit.

I guess the rest is up to you, & your decision will be affected by what you want to accomplish in astronomy, viewing only or possibly AP, this will influence your choice as well. To finally answer your real question, YES, it is this difficult to make a decision, there are many great scopes out there, just steer clear of the cheap knock-off & department store scopes & you'll do just fine with whatever your decision may be.

Clear Skies to all,

Cheers!

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Something to think about; once you have bought the Nexstar 5 SE, you have the goto mount that is used by the rest of the same line of products. You can actually purchase the 6" or 8" tube assembly by it's self and use the same mount. There is little difference in the mount, you just need to flash the handset with the 6 or 8" values & your up and running with a larger tube using the same mount. This will allow you to go into a larger tube without having to buy the goto mount again, making for a less expensive upgrade in the future.

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Thanks, all, for your comments, advice and link to the collimator. And PaPa Doc the breakdown on timing for set up and use is very useful. Can anyone let me have this sort of info for the C6 so that I can make a comparison, please?

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The C6- N is always going to be more 'difficult' to setup than the C5 NexStar - or any of that range - and heavier. Have another look in Carmarthen Cameras at their Skywatcher range as I am sure there is something there which is similar to the C6 - N. And the guy there is very helpful - if you make sure that he is in on the day you call.

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Janesdg - don't know where you are exactly but the Swansea Astronomical Society have a Star Party at the airport this Friday 22nd. Probably won't be there myself but others can advise and there will probably be a C8 NexStar, amongst others.

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hi, after nearly 5 years, I'm still swapping and changing equipment, so yes it's very difficult to decide what is best and no one thing covers everything you want to do, but then if you have multiple pieces of equipment, you often end up with some stuff not being used for months!

The Nextstars are compact and easy to setup and use with GOTO and are fairly accurate. As well a lots of other stuff, I've long used a Nexstar SLT mount. I've actually just ordered a Nexstar 4se from Amazon, would you believe, it's half the price to buy and get it shipped from the UK by express UPS than it is to buy locally!! But that's Australia for you.

Regarding the mounts, the 6SE and 8SE use a different stronger mount to the 4SE and 5SE, but it doesn't have the wedge. The stronger mount has a 5.5kg payload vs 4.5kg of the smaller mount.

I'm getting the 4SE just for the mount (I'll sell the scope) and will put a camera on to do AP. A lot of people say the wedge is pointless and difficult to set up, but polar aligning any mount in the southern hemisphere is tricky because there's no pole star, so you have to do drift alignment, which will be the same for any mount. I've read that people get a few minutes exposure using an EQ aligned SE, although it's not always clear what FL they are using. I need up to 60s at 600mm, which should be achievable.

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Janesdg - don't know where you are exactly but the Swansea Astronomical Society have a Star Party at the airport this Friday 22nd. Probably won't be there myself but others can advise and there will probably be a C8 NexStar, amongst others.

I'm in St Davids and unfortunately no hope of getting to Swansea for the Star Party this Friday.

But I've made my mind up and decided to go for the C6-N GT.

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you could get the flexi tube dobs or a meade light bridge both are truss designs which break up small and you dont need power to run them. the c6-n is a faster scope and will be better at viewing fainter DSO's were as the sct is slow with a narrow field of view good for the moon and planets and some bright dso's , i would get the c6-n its a good alrounder the only thing you will need to learn the black art of collimation which is simple with one of these http://www.firstligh...g-eyepiece.html

Thanks for the link to the collimator - a secondhand one has just come up on AstroBuyandSell.

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Thanks to everyone for the advice and comments. Really looking forward to the 'scope arriving - probably just in time for the not so good weather forecast for the end of the week!

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