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Purchasing telescope - seeking advice


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Finally! Order PLACED!    I have plumped for this in the end: http://www.firstlightoptics.com/dobsonians/skywatcher-skyliner-300p-flextube-goto.html Decided to get the powertank now http://www.firs

I had a ropey old 3'' with a wobbly mount as a child growing up in the UK; this first scope got me inspired but could hardly ever see anything accept a fleeting glimpse of Jupiter and the moon. Then a

I have a 300P GoTo Dob and very please with the GoTo 2 star aligne and it gets anything you use the GoTo in a low power EP, leave it for 30 minutes and the DSO is still there, the other scope is a 250

Well, as aperture increases so are the amount of objects you can observe, so GoTo/PushTo can really come handy, but still not a must have...

Is the Orion 14" GoTo totally out of your budget? I' ve been drooling over it, I think it hits a sweet spot, you have to keep in mind that for 16" f/4+

dobs you may need a ladder to observe close to the zenith due to the OTA length. There is also a guy on youtube that made a PushTo system 

for a dobsonian with a RasberryPi and encoders but I don't know how easy of a mod that would be...

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The 14 inch goto is just on the upper edge of my budget, with none left for accesories etc..  but then there is Christmas just around the corner.  I would primarily get one of the eyepiece kits and a powertank.  But this scope just on it's own just squeaks into my budget.

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My reasoning being buying a 12" GoTo Skywatcher, it goes through a 30" (Standard size) Doorway, the 14" would require a bit of passing through at a angle, this leads to paint missing from the frame and bits missing from the base should it need to go through a doorway...

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I ran a spreadsheet calculation to see which Orion goto scope is the best value with regards to aperture, here are the results.  Based this the 14 inch seems to be the sweetspot, and then prices head North again with the 16 incher.

diameter (inch) radius (inch) area (inch^2) £ goto price price/area 6 3 28.27433     8 4 50.26548 683.33 13.59442 10 5 78.53982 874.99 11.14072 12 6 113.0973 1,399.99 12.37863 14 7 153.938 1,633.33 10.61031 16 8 201.0619 2283.33 11.35635
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Hmm, that table didn't come out very well, let's try this:

diameter radius area goto price price/area

6

3 28.27433     8 4 50.26548 683.33 13.59442 10 5 78.53982 874.99 11.14072 12 6 113.0973 1,399.99 12.37863 14 7 153.938 1,633.33 10.61031 16 8 201.0619 2283.33 11.35635
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OK well, it goes like this:

XT8G, 8 inch  = 13.59 £/inch^2

XT10G, 10 inch = 11.14 £/inch^2

XX12G, 12 inch = 12.39 £/inch^2

XX14G, 14 inch = 10.61 £/inch^2

XX16G, 16 inch  = 11.36 £/inch^2

So, on this simple aperture measure the best value scope is the XX14G.

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The 14 inch goto is just on the upper edge of my budget, with none left for accesories etc..  but then there is Christmas just around the corner.  I would primarily get one of the eyepiece kits and a powertank.  But this scope just on it's own just squeaks into my budget.

just remember theres 2 orion optics, theres uk which are hand made sort of like mine and theres the other orion. worth considering sky watcher as well.

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just remember theres 2 orion optics, theres uk which are hand made sort of like mine and theres the other orion. worth considering sky watcher as well.

How do you tell which are which.  I know it is silly, but the Skywatcher scopes just don't have the looks for me, and the 3 truss design seriously puts me off.  No doubt, there is nothing wrong with them at all.

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Have you thought about setting circles and a wixey for manual finding stuff?

Do you like the chase of finding by hand?

I do like the chase but I did 4 years of that already so now Id rather find stuff, I think. so goto or push to has to be in there.

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The Orion scopes you have posted above are the US Orion and their scopes are based on the Skywatcher, subtle cosmetic differences but they are Skywatcher in reality.

Another point that may or may not be relevant is that Orion (US) will only sell spares to whoever purchased the scope originally and you may be asked for proof of purchase.

The two mean that you have the hassle of getting additional or replacement items and if I or anyone else bought it from you then we are not going to get anything from Orion. In effect I would never buy a used Orion scope.

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Damn! Was about to order the Orion xx14g from the UK.telescopes site when I realise the posted prices do not include VAT! ANnnoying. So now looking at the Skywatcher 350p GOTO DOB. I was avoiding that as I find the 3 truss design unnerving, but how does it actually perform? Now I got all excited about getting a 14 inches with GOTO, don't really want downgrade aperture.

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I sure hope I can make a decision soon, this is harder than buying a car!  I have another thought, which is to get one of these now for visual imaging, to get started.

http://www.firstlightoptics.com/reflectors/skywatcher-explorer-300p-ds-neq6-pro.html

Then, when I feel ready for some AP, invest in the right scope to go on this nice mount, not sure what I would do with the 300P at that point though?  Any thoughts?

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Finally! Order PLACED!  :grin:  I have plumped for this in the end:

http://www.firstlightoptics.com/dobsonians/skywatcher-skyliner-300p-flextube-goto.html

Decided to get the powertank now

http://www.firstlightoptics.com/batteries-powerpacks/skywatcher-powertank-17ah.html

And the Celestron eyepiece and filter kit, which I have had before

http://www.firstlightoptics.com/eyepiece-sets/celestron-eyeopener-eyepiece-and-filter-kit.html

I think all of this amounts to the perfect combination of reasonable price, technology GoTo/tracking, aperture (12 inch will show me a lot I have never seen before!).  Portability, and relative ease of setup, so I actually get the thing out to use on a regular basis.

Ordered from FLO, who are brialliant.  Should arrive on Thursday (looks at forecast doubtfully).

Thanks to everyone on here for all the advice.  Now I have gone for it, I feel very happy with the decision and look forward to sharing my experiences on other threads!

Clear Skies All!

Count Borgula

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Your love the views the 300P gives, mount it on a Flat slab, i just point mine roughly North, on the first Align star its pushed to the Star then i use the handset with a high power EP to sycn it to, the second Star it slews and when its stopped you centre the Star and that's it, i found a Telrad is the quickest way to align if your not using the GoTo, The GoTo once aligned is really accurate a 17mm Nagler has the object in its FOV from a short slew to a full East - West slew, really pleased with the whole Scope.....You will need a chair mine came from FLO.....

Slab and Chair....

20140807_121529.jpg

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