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Help Find The Right Scope For Me


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Hi all,

So im after a new telescope. Im currently on my 3rd one and i would like some advice and suggestions. So let me give you a brief rundown on my past 3 telescopes.

  • My first one was a very cheap one, it cost me in total about £80 ($104). It was a Celestron Astromaster 70AZ Refractor Telescope. What i liked about it was... it was light weight and easy to move around. This telescope told me that i did indeed enjoy observing the night sky, even tho i only looked at the Moon, Jupiter & Saturn with it.
  • So in less then a year i sold it and moved on to my second one. it was a Skywatcher Skyliner 300P FlexTube GOTO. Now typical me knew i liked astronomy and wanted to go bigger and better. Well i got bigger but this scope was not for me. It was way to large and heavy for me to move around on my own. Im not a strong guy, im small and skinny. So i found my self hardly using it, but when i did i loved the views i got to see.
  • Then a couple of months later, i knew i had to sell it just because i was struggling to use it due to its size and wight. So my third telescope and the one i currently have is a Celestron Nexstar 6SE. I have been using this one now for a couple of years, but still feel like its not a perfect fit for me. I once again like this one due to its size and wight i can move it around on my own. I do like the goto feature but sadly i have never mastered the it. Im bad at star hopping and i believe i have never had it correctly aligned. Also when it asks me for my coordinates i never know what to put in. I have looked online and on my phone but each website and my phone give me different results and in different formats. 

So im now starting to feel like i need a new one, and these is what i feel would fit be best. If their is a scope that matches it.

  1. Something thats not too large and is light, as i said im not very strong and im rather skinny so i need to be able to move it around on my own.
  2. Something motorized i liked the goto but did not like the set up of it. would be nice if their is a scope that i can control from either my laptop or my smartphone. for example once connected to my device it would use the internet to fill in my coordinates, dates, times, location ect. then using a graphic interface for me to be able to click on an object and for the telescope to auto point to it.
  3. Self powered, dont know if that would be possible but something with an inbuilt battery would be grate, to power my Nexstar i have to carry a heavy battery and a log cable that i have nearly tripped over many times.

Thanks in advanced for any  help and suggestions you can provide,

Joe

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Hi

I'd pick a skywatcher star discovery, why...

150p mm mirror so still a good size.

Mount can work in three ways, fully manual, just tracking, goto. And a member had good use from just aa batteries though they used tracking with manual finding. But even the skywatcher battery pack they do a smaller one probably lighter.

It's not heavy I don't think from reading.

Lastly the android application skyscaninit makes sure you do put all the right data in as it does it for you.

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Hello. If you want something of quality then I suggest an Orion optics uk. These are made of aluminium tube assembly so this alone cuts down on weight. So maybe a VX 6 would a good choice for you, or if you wish a bit more aperture then go up to a VX8. These can be used on a motorised Az/eq mount also due to their size..  But best of all you can get a great choice of high quality mirror in 1/12 pv and 1/10 pv, so you are assured of having a great optical performance when the conditions allow these scopes to stretch their legs. If the budget is a bit tight for a new one ,then these scopes do come onto the used market at very sensible prices

I hope the above helps☺

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You really have two dilemmas which you need to separate: for you, what is the best telescope and what is the best mount.

The Nexstar 6SE is a very good telescope - the Schmidt-Cassegrain (SCT) design is light and compact, and suitable for observing a wide range of objects. If you are becoming mainly interested in DSOs, you might consider a quality short-tube refractor which will excel at wide-field low magnifications. A Maksutov telescope would be better, perhaps, if you mainly observe planets and the Moon. An 8" SCT would be a step up over the current 6" with more aperture but still reasonably light and compact.

A 12" Dob is certainly a big telescope and difficult to move around, and as you say, if you don't use it, it's a waste. However, the concept is great. Perhaps a smaller version in 6" or 8" would be more convenient.

Sooner or later, however, you are going to have to master finding your way around the sky - either by learning to use a go-to, or by visually by star hopping (and, ideally both). As go-tos go, the Nexstar is relatively simple. The problems you are having with it will be similar or even more complicated with any other computerised mount.

To be honest, as you seem happy with the Nexstar as a telescope, I really would try to get the hang of its go-to before rushing off to another scope. You'll get a ton of help here with any specific problems.

I would also try to orientate myself visually with the sky. If you don't have them, I might buy a pair of reasonably inexpensive binoculars (about 50 pounds), perhaps 7x50, 8x40 or 10x50. I would also buy a very useful book Turn Left at Orion by Guy Consolmagno which is a fantastic guide to star hopping. You should also, little by little, try to learn the constellations - not difficult if you take it slowly.  Stellarium is an excellent free computer program which will show you the night sky from your location: www.stellarium.org/

Similar to Stellarium, there are also several applications for smart-phones - and depending on you phone, some will show you the sky where you point the phone.

 

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I should add, quite a few go-to mounts now have built in GPS, which will automatically register your co-ordinates and time. I think Celestron do a GPS add-on (which may or may not be suitable for your Nexstar, so CHECK) - but these are very expensive compared to GPSs in general which have come down in price enormously.

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Hello Joe. If you're in W Yorks you can't be far from us, why not come along one Saturday evening and have a look at several different telescopes, we could also show you how to set up your SCT if you bring it with you.  :icon_biggrin:

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I think Peter has the right idea, before you head off down the path of scope number 4 - which could have its own set of issues - have a look for a local Astro club, I know there is one in Huddersfield and one in Wakefield (which I sometimes go to) and they will be more than happy to help you out with your current set up or check out some others telescopes. Or go see Peter at Todmorden he's a good guy who'll help you out.

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22 hours ago, happy-kat said:

Hi

I'd pick a skywatcher star discovery, why...

150p mm mirror so still a good size.

Mount can work in three ways, fully manual, just tracking, goto. And a member had good use from just aa batteries though they used tracking with manual finding. But even the skywatcher battery pack they do a smaller one probably lighter.

It's not heavy I don't think from reading.

Lastly the android application skyscaninit makes sure you do put all the right data in as it does it for you.

hi i am interested in looking in to this a little more, but i can find anything to do with the app you mentioned if i google skyscaninit it brings up 3 results and i dont believe any of them are correct. can your share more info about this app?

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  1. Something thats not too large and is light, as i said im not very strong and im rather skinny so i need to be able to move it around on my own.
  2. Something motorized i liked the goto but did not like the set up of it. would be nice if their is a scope that i can control from either my laptop or my smartphone. for example once connected to my device it would use the internet to fill in my coordinates, dates, times, location ect. then using a graphic interface for me to be able to click on an object and for the telescope to auto point to it.
  3. Self powered, dont know if that would be possible but something with an inbuilt battery would be grate, to power my Nexstar i have to carry a heavy battery and a log cable that i have nearly tripped over many times.

The scope in the link below has everything you have listed above:

https://www.firstlightoptics.com/nexstar-evolution-telescopes/celestron-nexstar-evolution-6-telescope.html

Alternatively you can fit a GPS module to your current 6SE, or as mentioned go along to a society and let others help you master setting up the goto on your 6SE.

Are you happy with the C6 optical tube or do you fancy changing the optics? 

 

 

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