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Scope for beginners / children: help me choose


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Hi folks -

First post and totally bewildered by the telescope options available!

Here's my requirements:

(1) max spend £175 or so

(2) don't mind 2nd hand if mint condition

(3) needs to be suitable for beginners to use and, most importantly, two children aged 9 and 11

(4) want to use it for moon / planet viewing plus anything else that will excite kids!

I've got the following options that appeal:

(1) 2nd hand mint condition Skywatcher 130p Supatrak with power cable, battery pack and some filters - £120 delivered

(2) Skywatcher Heritage 114p Virtuoso - compact so more suitable for kids? - £164 delivered plus brand new / guarantee etc

(3) Skywatcher Heritage 90p Virtuoso - compact, no need for collimation but smaller aperture - same price as (2)

Any thoughts on what to go for?

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Of the 3 I would have said the 130P Supatrak, but not by much.

Reason is:

The 114 is I think a fast f/4 scope that is likely to be "difficult". At f/4 it is fast so needs good collimation and the eyepieces need to be good (good=costly).

The 90 is nice, the negative point is that the field of view is narrow so geting things in the scope could be a problem. But both children are old enough I guess. Just set the finder up well.

It will however give good planetary views and eyepieces are easy (plossl's are fine and they are inexpensive)

So either the 130 Supatrak or the 90.

All Track but are not goto.

Not sure how easy to use any are, I think the handset they come with (same one???) can take a bit of learning. The changng of the speed means pressing 2 buttons and something flashes. Why they didn't just put a button on for High/Low speed I don't know.

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From the options you have given I would go for Skywatcher 130p Supatrak, this has a larger aperture which basically means you can see more and for the price seems very good value. You might want to use some of your spare budget getting some decent eye pieces to go with it.

Im sure there will be plenty of other people who will give you some sound advice.

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I chose the Orion StarMax 90mm TableTop Maksutov-Cassegrain for my 5 yrs old.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Orion-StarMax-TableTop-Maksutov-Cassegrain-Telescope/dp/B002JO06PO

Mainly because it's small, can be used a a grab-and-go for myself and I like the position of the focuser, easier for children IMHO.

It's a matter of taste of course ;)

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I would also go for the 130P SuperTrak for the same reasons as given by Junior. I'll also 2nd his recommendation to spend a little of what you save on eyepieces. They make such a difference to what you'll see it's incredible. I went for the Celestron X-Cel's (about £70 each) as they seem to give excellent quality for the money. If you're looking to do mainly lunar and planetary to begin with, a short focal length X-Cel (5mm) would give you about 130x magnification and some nice views of the lunar craters and Jupiter. They also have good eye relief meaning you don't have to get your eye REALLY close to see what's in there!

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Hi folks -

First post and totally bewildered by the telescope options available!

Here's my requirements:

(1) max spend £175 or so

(2) don't mind 2nd hand if mint condition

(3) needs to be suitable for beginners to use and, most importantly, two children aged 9 and 11

(4) want to use it for moon / planet viewing plus anything else that will excite kids!

I've got the following options that appeal:

(1) 2nd hand mint condition Skywatcher 130p Supatrak with power cable, battery pack and some filters - £120 delivered

(2) Skywatcher Heritage 114p Virtuoso - compact so more suitable for kids? - £164 delivered plus brand new / guarantee etc

(3) Skywatcher Heritage 90p Virtuoso - compact, no need for collimation but smaller aperture - same price as (2)

Any thoughts on what to go for?

You could do a lot worse than get this one. It's a bargain. You've then got room in your budget to get the necessary accessories.

http://www.firstlightoptics.com/clearance/clearance_skywatcher-heritage-130p-flextube_10420.html

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