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Ceph and Cass

Done what I should have done first time... (Think before buying)


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I did something that no budding astronomer should... impulse buy their first scope with little educated reasoning... (Yep, after being interested in Astronomy for years, it was the 1998 QE2 asteroid that finally tipped the balance, and made me think... I really DO want to see what's out there.)

I bought a Celestron AstroMaster 127EQ... which I admittedly has at least given me a taste for views beyond the naked eye / modest telephoto lense.

But after knocking it out of good collimation, I found the horror stories online that it is nigh impossible to correct, and worse, and that it was weak entry-level reflector, certainly not worth the £200 price tag paid at Argos. Totally my fault of course, Argos are primed to exploit the uneducated buyer.. and.. they got me.

Anyway...

After seeing the experienced opinions on SGL, and advice from Steve @ FLO I decided to plunge for a SkyWatcher Explorer 200P.

Totally over-stretched my budget.. but I'm hoping its the last telescope I buy for a few years...

Now for some clear skies..... :smiley:

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Worry ye not my friend. You are not the first to make a bad first buy choice when it is a telescope you bought.

It's the hope of this forum that budding astronomers will join, and seek advice BEFORE parting with their precious sheckles.

Sadly, many are of the notion that a scope is scope is a scope, only to get a rude awakening.

However, you have now rectified your not too huge mistake, and equipped yourself with what I would term. the budding astronomers great buddy, an 8" f5 reflector.

That is a good choice, but even so, in time you will get the disease known as aperture fever, which simply means, you desire a bigger light bucket, which translates into a scope with a larger objective, such as a 10 inch, or even a 12 inch mirror. But beware, they also get larger overcoats and mounts, and not as easy to transport.

You will enjoy the sights the 200p will deliver, and come the winter skies, the deeper into the universe you will delve.

Get yourself the planetarium software Stellarium, and a Plnisphere, and or good star map to compliment your instrument.

Loads of help and advice on the forum, with hundreds of eager members just waiting to help and advise you on any aspect of this great subject.

Have a great time.

Best wishes.

Ron.

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Really the problem appears to have been lack of knowledge that is not as best I can see apparent about the 127.

The tube looks too short and I therefore suspect a bird-jones design - use a short mirror, put it in a short tube and put a barlow in the focuser.

The design works if the optical components are good and it is thought out. Unfortunately the components used are cheap and little thought is applied. Bit odd as it would seem less cost to fit a longer focal length mirror and use a longer tube and so not have to fit a barlow in the focuser. So not sure why they build them.

Any way you have learnt how to use a scope, most likely where to point it, what to look at or for and somewhere along the line a lot of other seemingly insignificant bits that you can now apply. An odd fact is you most likely will learn more from things not going right then you will if they do.

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Mate, I made the same mistake with my first 'scope....a skywatcher 200p on eq5....what a lemon...................ah gotcha............yes it was my first scope but I've still got it and absolutely lurve it......And I'm sure you're gonna love it too. :)

Wishing you clear skies. Just a tip, try and do as much as you can during the day (finderscope alignment etc). And also, check out Dion (astronomy shed) on youtube. very helpful videos

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Ideally if it is convenient I would have checked some scopes before buying, but I didn't as it turned out, the weeks leading up to my purchase the only area in Bristol I knew about was the Astro society, the weather was bad, cancelled sessions etc. didn't want to wait anymore :).

That said. I don't regret my purchase or feel it was the wrong decision given what I was prepared to spend versus finding out if I would take to the hobby in the first place.

I did do a lot of reading beforehand however, read reviews of scopes, read this forum before I signed up before deciding on my purchase. I knew beforehand whether I wanted to do imaging or not, things like that.

The biggest mistake is probably is an impulse or rush buy without looking into it.

In the end if other things weren't sucking up money right now, and if I would have had a bit more budget I would have settled for the 8 inch dob as my first scope. I had that view before I bought what I have now ( in my sig ) , and still have that feeling in spite of the fact I have not used other scopes besides what I have currently. That said, I am having much pleasure from the 5 inch and happily invest in a few eyepieces first, some extras like filters perhaps, and do lots more observing with it before going for the bigger DOB.

Seeing I am in no rush, and now own what I feel is a very decent starter scope my next purchase will probably be an 10 inch dob anyway, that will serve as nice jump up next time.

Of course, not meaning to go against the grain, if you can wait and go somewhere to try and use scopes, a club, society friends, by all means do it. However, that is not to say you can't buy wisely without that IMHO. I've bought a lot of goods this way in life, and not regretted it, but investing the time researching, consulting opinions, reading around and doing so thoroughly is a must if you don't try before you buy.

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@ronin

You are indeed right, it is a bird-Jones, when I tried laser collimating it, it produced a very unhelpful scattered array of red dots on the 'sight/target'.

Shortly after,I spotted the focuser Barlow lens and headed to Google to find out what it was for.

Thanks for everyone else's comments too, I can imagine getting this 'aperture fever' bug, but sadly I had to cut a deal with my wife that this would last several years, so getting another big spend past Emma would be some achievement! :)

I'll have to show her the views of Saturn, Jupiter & Nebulae and see if I can't get her hooked ;)

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You will love the Skywatcher 200 - and one of the nice things with the 200 is it can be almost endlessly upgraded. Bigger mount, GoTo, better focuser, flocking, cooling fan etc etc etc - noen of that needs doing amd it will work out the box just fine but it does allow expansion possibilities as and when you have the cash and the time.

Its a great scope - at the sweet spot in many ways - any larger and a refelector can become a chore to lug about - any smaller and you start to lose some of the views.

I am sure you will be happy and congrats on your new window to the universe :)

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Argos... The shop that claim 130mm (if that!) reflectors can achieve 500x zoom, my 150p can only sometimes reach 200

They claim 750x for the 127mm :-/

Good to see other code monkeys propping up stargazing forums :)

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bbwonder - the second scope is a gem and one of the most popular for good reasons - it works very well, is a competent 'jack of all trades' and will give some excellent views. Aperture fever grips us all from time to time and whilst I might hanker after a big dob, I think an 8" newt is about as big as I'd like to go on an eq mount, unless I ever get my observatory setup.

Enjoy the views and perhaps put the Astromaster up on ebay - at least you'll get some return on the investment and have some money for a cheshire and perhaps a couple of reasonable EPs when the misses isn't looking ;)

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I'll have to show her the views of Saturn, Jupiter & Nebulae and see if I can't get her hooked ;)

Worked fine for me, my wife is now quite keen to observe........... :grin: :grin:

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Wow!

I was even taken back by the 9x50 finder scope!!!

The SkyWatcher Explorer 200P is something else.. With it being patchy clouds last night I mainly concentrated on viewing our moon.. The detail was genuinely breathtaking. Also shared the experience with my brother who was shocked by what you can see.. (He lives in deep countryside, so he'll be seeing me more from now on!) :)

Now really looking forward to the next clear night!

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Worked fine for me, my wife is now quite keen to observe........... :grin: :grin:

I showed my wife saturn and she said "Is that it ? , why dont you buy a bigger scope" ... so I did quick, before she could retract the kind offer ;)

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It's the hope of this forum that budding astronomers will join, and seek advice BEFORE parting with their precious sheckles.
So true, I joined SGL as a key part of my research. I am now on my 4th telescope, read SGL and your mind changes.. and changes.. and changes. I have still not bought one, :lol: but nearly there now I have sorted out what I really need rather than what I think I need.

It is great the way the experts on here are so helpful to novices.

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I'm sure this isnt of the quality people here are used to, but here's one of my best shots of the Moon with my shiny new SkyWatcher 8"

Apart from cropping & flipping the image to normal perspective, this is just a through-the-lens photo using a Sub-slr Panasonic Lumix camera.

Sadly the seeing conditions were poor - as the atmospheric shimmering has blurred the detail. But I still like it :)SW200P_Moon.jpg

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