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RichMK

New member in Milton Keynes, telescope TBC

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Hi all

Just a quick hello from a new member in Milton Keynes.  :smiley:

I haven't bought a telescope, but I'm trying (first "real" telescope).

I have a number of scopes in mind, but can't seem to click the buy button. I'm looking for a good all rounder goto on a reasonable budget (when you see my list, you'll see how poor) . To be able to view planets to DSOs. Transportable is something it needs to be too. i.e back of the car to the coast.

I've looked different types and come across lots of new phrases like "secondary obstruction", collimating, barlow, focal reducer and "the aperture is king".

So my list I'm trying to choose from...

Celestron SE 4 (MAK) or could stretch to the 5 (SCT)
Celestron Nexstar 127 SLT (MAK)
Skywatcher Skymax 127 (MAK)
Celestron Nexstar 130 SLT (Reflector)
Skywatcher Explorer 130P (Reflector)
Skywatcher Star Discovery 150P
If anyone has any thoughts of opinions of scopes on the list, please pass them on. I've spent days looking at websites I've overloaded my brain with information.
Rich.
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hi mate and welcome to the wonderfull world of SGL from south wales. can i recomend a skywatcher 150p or 200p great scopes thay are well made and easy to use.thay are good for moon,planets ,DSOs and just about everything else and not bad for taking pic too. good luck with your scope when you get it.clear skys..charl..

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Locate a few clubs and if possible go look at what people use and which then hopefully fits your requirements best.

http://www.astronomyclubs.co.uk/Clubs/Counties.aspx

There is a club at MK, but also Bedford, St Neots and I heard of one at Sandy, not sure what is North thinking Towcester, Northampton and West to Buckingham. There is one at Luton - on the East side as the A505 heads to Hitchin.

As you mention goto which means motors and tracking is there the intention to attach a camera and get images?

Usually people say "no intention", then ask 4 months later about attaching a camera to the wrong type of scope on the wrong type of mount to get long exposure images.

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Hi all

If anyone has any thoughts of opinions of scopes on the list, please pass them on. I've spent days looking at websites I've overloaded my brain with information.
Rich.

Hi Rich,

I know what you mean.  You have come to the right place.  The advice you get here is from people who actually use the equipment rather than from some manufacturer's blurb.

Also, people fall over themselves to help.  This is a cool place...

Cheers,

Mark

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I recommend you buy a reflector on a Dobsonian mount for a first scope.

If you can afford the  200mm  f5  version, then you have a firts class workhorse of a telescope for your first buy.

The 8" mirror has a good area for light collection, and the simplicity of operating the Dob. mount is great.

The scope will dismantle to get into even a smallish car, and off you go to a reasonable dark viewing sited, if yours at home is plagued with too much light pollution.

When you feel ready to upgrade, you will have learned much about the sky, and many of the object available to you in that telescope.

If you want to go upmarket to a larger unit, or Imaging is tempting you, then go for an equatorial mount to mount the 8" OTA on to.

That way you can progress incrementally up the scale, if you anticipate a larger mirror, then buy an EQ mount that will be suitable to carry the larger telescope.

The mount is a very important part of any setup, it be able to bear the weight of the OTA, and all the devices that are needed for Astro photography.

A guide telescope with 'Mount Rings, a CCD or DSLR Camera, plus a few other bits and bobs. Laptop, software, for guiding, processing etc. etc.etc.

the price is rocketing  :grin:.

Please learn to walk before you run in this game. it can get rather demanding on your wallet.

Don't forget the used equipment market. Some very good equipment can be acquired from Astro Classifieds, not least our own here on SGL, although you need a large number of posts to gain access to those.

In the main, Amateur Astronomers do sell their astro gear in very good condition, because it has been cared for properly.

Be wary of E Bay stuff  though, not all bad, but seek advice here before committing to anything.

Good Luck

Ron.

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Thanks for the welcome guys.

I would say not worried about a camera. The one I have isn't very good (holiday snaps) and although I expect you get great pride in doing your own pictures, I can't compete with NASA  :grin:

I'd love to be able to buy the Celestron SE 5. I hear it's good for DSOs too. Not to mention mobile and well made...and pricey.

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Hi Rich, welcome to SGL :)

The 150 and 200 Dobsonians are ideal starter scopes. Go for the 200 if you can, it's a quality scope and very capable. The 150 is also an excellent scope but with less resolving power and light gathering ability. It's also costs less.

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Hi Rich,

Warm welcome to SGL. Another vote for th 200p dob, it has a fierce reputation and will give you good service for many years.

Before spending would advise you  to find a local astro club and go along to see what others have and what may suit you best. Also Tring astro is 30 miles down the road and they have a great stock to play with and very knowledgeable too.

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Hi Rich and welcome to SGL, keep your finger off the button if you can, until you have had time to research things a little longer. Ron has gone to lengths to explain some of the basic fundamentals, when considering investing in a Dobsonian, which many find the best bang for their buck to start with.

If your locality has light pollution, this is going to have some bearing on your choice of scope, because unfortunately there is no one instrument that can cover all eventualities.  Dark skies and a good aperture are very important when seeking out DSO, this is also better if you want to get the best out of whatever you decide to purchase, journeying to dark sites every time you want observe may not, however, fit into your domestic program. 

If, as is your intention to have GOTO, then your choice of the Skywatcher Star Discovery with 150 aperture, may be the one that floats your boat, however, taking it out under darkish skies with all those pinpoints of light can be somewhat confusing. What I am saying is, it is best to get a little acquainted with the night sky before you even do this, using Binoculars if this helps, it can be very rewarding in the long run and great fun finding your way about, good luck and enjoy the forum :)

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Hi and welcome - a big reflector, which is cheap by the way - would be excellent and let you see lots of feint fuzzies - which I love - galaxies unbelievable ancient and unfathomably distant DSOs - and then there is astrophotography ! - best wishes and good luck - Tony

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Hello and a warm welcome to the SGL . I am a dob man myself but of course they are not Go To. The Mak 127 also has a big following on this site

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this comes in well under your budget of the celestron 5se and it realy is the scope of choice. everyone in front of me said this type of scope for good reason

http://www.firstlightoptics.com/dobsonians/skywatcher-skyliner-200p-dobsonian.html

nearly forgot, welcome to sgl the best astronomy forum on the web

Edited by faulksy
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this comes in well under your budget of the celestron 5se and it realy is the scope of choice. everyone in front of me said this type of scope for good reason

http://www.firstlightoptics.com/dobsonians/skywatcher-skyliner-200p-dobsonian.html

nearly forgot, welcome to sgl the best astronomy forum on the web

Following advice from the good people at SGL, I bought this too.  Everyone who has used one say its great.

Cheers,

Mark

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Hi Rich and welcome to SGL - Glad that you found us, this is a forum full of helpful people and information.

Look forward to seeing you around :)

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Rich,

Welcome to the club :) :)

Just started and completely blown away. SGL people are respectful and very helpful. Best advice is already given, go see a local astronomy club, look through the scopes they use. This will be a tremendous help selecting(apart from all advice that is already given in this thread).

Clear skies!

Marc

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I have a sky watcher 150P, great scope. just learning myself. Ive had been advised to stretch to the 200 if I could, but funds would not allow. Last night i saw a great image of Saturn, some Messier objects M103 for example, so the 150P is a good scope. I got mine second hand too, so consider that option if you want more bang for your buck

maybe get a 5mm lens as I don't think they come as standard.

good hunting.

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