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What I'd like from a scope


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Ok so as an update I haven't ordered yet but tested my sons scienceworx telescope more and my brothers national geographic one which was a bit better.

Obviously both aren't very good but I spent 30 mins out doors with them to make sure what we need from a telescope.

What I feel we need is:

1. something that is stable my son is 4 so when he looks and taps or knocks it I don't want it to swing around or fall.

2. not produce triple or double images. by this I mean when looking through the scope even if you get the focus just right you get, these refelctions or doubles that appear just above or below.

3. the viewing hole you are looking through not to be tiny and like 2-5 mm wide as my son will struggle alot to get a decent look.

4. for what we used you often  had to adjust how you looked into the viewing hole to see the moon or star as it was reflected off a mirror and the light often caused issues when viewing as it bounced around in there.

5. it would be nice to be able to view, for example the moon as a whole with decent detail then simply swap an eye piece and get a much closer view whilst not having to unscrew anything and loose where we were.

will a skywatcher 100p be enough and suit these issues or is the extra £30 on a 130p really justifiable?

oh and when an eyepiece says 1.25" is that its length or the diameter of the viewing hole?

or are there other options I haven't considered or been mentioned???

p.s thank you everyone for your help so far 

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1.25" refers to the eyepiece barrels diameter . Modern eyepieces come in 1.25" and. 2" .

The small hole you refer to is down mainly to the eyepiece design. Plossl design and ortho design eyepieces for example have little eye relief at high magnification.

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It depends on the budget, but I feel if you have a little ready cash you could get a small but really decent dobsonian like this. It isn't a toy, so it won't let you or your little one down. You just set it up on a garden table and of you go.

I feel a dobsonian (a newtonian telescope on an alt-az mount) would be the best bet for your child. They are intuitively simple to master and the telescope with about 5" of aperture will show a nice amount of detail on the Moon, Jupiter and Saturn, and if you've got reasonably dark skies, you'll be able to work through the entire Messier list together. The Heritage comes with two supplied eyepieces giving x26 & x65, so your son could practice with these for a good while. If after a month or so, he wanted a little more power you could always purchase a cheap x2 Barlow and effectively be doubling your child's eyepiece collection. He'd then have something like x26 & x52 and x65 & x130. Not massive amounts of power but sufficient to be getting on with :grin:

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The 130p I did mention towards end if post I did mean to say heritage sorry. But there's also a 100p.

Will these cover my criteria ?

Also I thought eye relief was the area your eye sits on not the actual hole you look through?

Definitely cleared up other questions about eye pieces though thank you :)

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I think you will find eye felief being how close you have to put the eye to the EP in order to see. For example I went for a BST 8mm EP which has good eye relief meaning I can easily view it with wearing glasses.

I'm quite new so can only offer some points to thing about.

I think that with 1.25" EP there specific viewing down the EP will be required, so he may still have to hunt around a little bit if it is a dark object, something like the moon will be bright and you can quickly line up the eye because of the brightness.

Going for a reflector on a normal tripod will require him to stand on some steps or something similar. If my 10 yo daughter views a high moon or Jupiter at the moment she stands on a 2 step set of steps. He would also have to learn not to hold onto the scope which can be handy with some steps as they have something to hold onto.

The wider the scope the more detail you will see. Yes you can pay less now for something narrower, but if you get into this more yourself and as he gets a bit older when you want to look at planets or some DSO like galaxies or nebula you may struggle more for detail to see them,

I'm sure someone will soon put me right if I've given some bad suggestions.

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The 130 heritage is a good telescope It has a solid enough base that shaky views are kept to minimum. Once set up the focuser is higher than you think. So you could place it on an upturned flower planter or something along those lines to give enough height for viewing while seated.

I had excellent lunar views with this scope , I used a 9mm and a x2 Barlow (144 x) and the image was pin sharp. .for the whole of the moon in view something like 15mm plossl would work , or slightly higher if you get a wider fov eyepiece. . Most plossls are around 50 degrees.

You are right eye relief is how far your eye needs to be away from the lens ( where the image forms) exit pupil is the size of the light cone you'll get.

Edited by rory
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Thanks Rory and language o think o got most of what you guys said.

Sounds like those scopes will cover my criteria which is awesome.

On his birthday we go to lego land as well so with money in mind

Will it make a huge or big noticeable difference going from the skywatcher 100p to the heritage 130p?

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So this is a 4 year old that you don't want wobbling about on a set of steps, apart from the broken bones the scope could get dented, so a refractor where he looks through a Eye Piece at ground level set on a EQ GoTo mount so when its left unattended it will still track thats DSO you just took 10 minutes to find for him,,,,,

This would fit the bill and will last him for quite few years (and yourself)

http://www.firstlightoptics.com/startravel/skywatcher-startravel-102-synscan-az-goto.html

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Looks great but my max budget is £124 unfortunately.

He has a little table and chairs so I could easily set up a scope that has a base on there in the garden.

He's bound to knock it a bit when looking through just something that's sturdy and not likely to fly off from target.

I doubt do will be looked at till he's a bit older it will just be this solar system to be honest.

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The new 100p looks a good buy too.

Under budget which is always good. Small compact and with a proper focuser. No worrying about needing a light shroud either as it's a solid tube.

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Yeah that's what makes me interested is no need for a shroud and £30 cheaper.

But will 30 extra millimetres make a difference on the heritage 130p or is it counteracted by lack of shroud?

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If your going to be mainly looking at the moon and planets , with a splash of deep sky objects now and then , then I'd say it would be fine and wouldn't suffer greatly to it's bigger brother. .

My first scope was a. 90mm . And I wasn't disappointed with that at all .

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I'll have to wait and see how the 29th goes we have arranged to meet some ppl for a stargazing night. It's difficult decision as I'm trying to understand how much difference the 2 have. but im sure the skywatcher 100p comes with a X2 barlow which doubles viewing power?

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  • 3 years later...

Is this better than the explorer 130? When ever I look at the heritage, the explorer also pops up.

Will be primarily for looking in our solar system but would be nice to see some spiral galaxies or nebulae on occasion.

https://www.jessops.com/p/skywatcher/explorer-130-eq2-telescope-89841?gclid=EAIaIQobChMIpp6W19ux2QIVDl4ZCh3fzgqsEAQYAiABEgItpfD_BwE

Edit: In the end my son asked for a few large presents that year so we had to compromise on the scope unfortunately

Edited by peter12
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The explorer is a 130mm Newtonian, just like the Heritage version. Your link, above, is for the tube mounted on an equatorial mount (the "eq2" in the title). This is very similar to the Celestron Astromaster 130EQ-MD in my signature. An equatorial mount is not easy to set up - I found it very frustrating - and as you move the telescope around the heavens, you find that the eyepiece is pointing at different angles :hmh:, so you have to keep releasing the mounting rings and rotating the tube to get the eyepiece pointing sideways again. Because of the way an equatorial mount works, it has extra weights to balance the weight of the main tube, so is essentially heavier than it needs to be. 

The Heritage 130p is on what is known as a "Dobsonian" altitude/Azimuth mount, that gives you essentially an up/down/left/right operation (more intuitive to the average user), and keeps the eyepiece pointing up - much more user-friendly for children. The truss-tube design is very robust, and means that the tube can be easily collapsed for storage - no need to take it off the mount. This is mine, showing table options

5a8ae18eed839_130ponmount.thumb.jpg.27ac4a4eb6727025b7ef6dd05d45ccae.jpg

These are some of the additions that I made (Microsoft Paint and laser/inkjet printer for the altitude scale, hacksaw & a bit of superglue for the rest), to hold the eyepieces and help pointing it in the right direction.

5a8ae19c7ce2b_130pMountadditions.thumb.jpg.4a9761a86b392eaf35c027051af9541f.jpg

The spectacular planets, Jupiter and Saturn (+ Mars), are at the moment only visible before dawn, towards the South. This 'scope is good for looking at the Moon, and at the moment the M42 nebula in Orion's sword, and when it is a really clear night, and preferably when the Moon is not too bright, you should be able to see some galaxies.

I use the free planetarium program "Stellarium" on my PC, to work out what I am going to see when I get outside. When you get it running, press "F6" to get the location window and select Cardiff or Swansea to get the view right, or search for another town nearer to you, and when selected tick the "use as default" box, to keep it for next time. There are also some great apps for phones/tablets; I use Celestron's SkyPortal on my android tablet.

I hope that this gives you some help in deciding on your next steps.

Geoff

Edited by Geoff Lister
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You may want to consider buying or making some library steps for your son. If you make one then you can pick the weight, materials, and number of steps, as well as the width/depth of each step to provide a solid platform for him to stand on. Something like this can be very useful - even for some adults (who I have seen using them):

https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=library+steps+with+pole&dcr=0&tbm=isch&source=iu&ictx=1&fir=cnqRbqX3SsQNJM%3A%2CvEnHleTN8tNswM%2C_&usg=__mFe3-4DBpzPg4cOoi_RnpQOnoBE%3D&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjK9JS_prLZAhVFNMAKHTArDIIQ9QEILTAC#imgrc=qmOXhN4Ee3OZkM:

Also - a shroud is easy enough to run up from thin camping foam or black material - so don't let it put you off the truss design. A 130 offers more light grab than the 100 and will give access to more and deeper space objects, and better  contrast and clarity on near space (planets etc). Hth :)

 

Edited by brantuk
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Alternatively, instead of steps, provided you have clear visibility near ground level, you can place the base on a paved patio, or 3 bricks level on softer ground, and either stand (if short) or kneel on some form of padded cushion (if taller). A plastic step-stool also makes a good low-level seat. If leaning over the eyepiece, it is useful to have something to rest your hands on, other than the base, eyepiece, or 'scope tube itself; to give you better stability. Another stool or chair is useful here. My wife has found my shoulder works for her :happy11:.

Ben's suggestion, above, is OK, but you may find it cheaper to buy from a UK supplier. If you want to look at the "faint fuzzies" the 130mm mirror gives you a better chance of success than the smaller options, for little extra weight or cost.

Geoff

Edited by Geoff Lister
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I do not use a shroud, and have not experienced problems with the 130p, or my bigger Skyliner 250PX. Try it first without, and if stray light is getting in, a tube of stiff card will show you if you need something more permanent. If your cloud cover in South Wales is the same as here, on the other side of the Bristol Channel, a shroud is not going to help much :hmh:.

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