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Celestron Powerseeker 60 AZ  and Celestron Astromaster 130E

Being absolutely new to Astronomy and not knowing much about the subject (other than scouring the internet on the topic and for reviews on equipment which would fit my budget for a few weeks before finally making my decision). I would say I have hit on lucky with the purchase of these 2 Telescopes.

The first one I bought with a bit of Birthday money and put towards a few pounds,…… Purchased from Jessops Internet (Astromaster 130EQ) and this included a FREE Celestron Firecel Light, Charger / hand warmer…. All for 120 pounds incl postage to my works address.  (Mid July 2016)

The second purchase was the Powerseeker 60AZ (30 pounds incl Deliver from AMAZON). BH Monday August 2016.

Firstly, although the Astromaster offers much more light optics and is a lot sturdier with the equatorial mount, the Powerseeker offers almost the same view (other than it is more condensed, lens quality is not there and it is a lot lighter, albeit flimsier - it takes a little extra patience to be able to focus the Powerseeker over the Astromaster - however because  I was not expecting the Hubble Telescope views for the price,….. I would say either of these 2 are ideal for the first time Astronomer like me…. They do what they say on the box and then some).

There is a lot of talk out there saying you would be better off purchasing a pair of Bino's first.  I would agree with this (partially) as from experience, I did just that.
During my travels in my 20s (working for a UK Holiday company overseas) saw me in Tunisia (Sahara Dessert) and Tenerife (Mount Teide Plateau).  As recent as a few years ago (I am now 41) I holidayed in Egypt (Sanai) as well as Turkey (Marmaris).
The Astronomers did manage to keep us interested (providing Beer and BBQ was included)with their torch pens.  We  gasped in awe as they pointed their lasers to the heavens and explained the constellations and the fact that they had around 2000 magnification Telescopes - Dobsonions I recall, all of them MEADE. (made viewing Saturn, the Moon, M51 an absolute treat).
I had my Binoculars to hand throughout all of these experiences and I have to agree, they were quite good and offered me 10X Zoom and a powerful focal view of 50mm. (10 X 50)  Having said that, in a nutshell…. To get the equivalent in a binocular that I have now (130X Magnification or 195X Magnification with a Focal view of 650 / 700mm - with Barlows)  even if we are talking the cheaper of the 2, the Powerseeker 60AZ, it would cost you a few hundred pounds plus to achieve the same with BINO's….. Therefore If I had known I was going to get into this at a later date, I would personally have skipped the Bino's and went straight to the purchase of the Scope.

Why Do I need 2 Scopes……. ???. 

First reason: My Back Garden in my home is (almost ) in a Dark Sky Park and with the Powerseeker alone I see a reddish tint of the Milky way.  If I drive to Keilder water (40 mins away) I always make sure I have someone with me for company - the wife or a friend…. That way, they don't get bored…. Then the Milkyway, the planets and the other well known Deep Space objects and the rest of the Constellations are an absolute treat to view…. The only thing I have not managed to view during my 6 occasions out with them - is the moon, it is never out when I am free and vice versa etc.  However I am awaiting a date with it soon and no doubt, albeit I will be impressed.

Second Reason: the Powerseeker I use on partially cloudy nights and the Astromaster when I have totally clear nights….. Even though I have got the setting up of the Astromaster to 3 minutes, psychologically, the Refractor offers me a quicker 'GRAB and GO' Option….. Not to mention albeit more time in the field (viewing) during the up and coming Stargazing Event I am attending on 22 Oct at Keilder Campsite…. Partially due to condensation.

I have 2 question I have one for the Astromaster 130EQ Newtonian……that is - If I am in the field and I get condensation on the lens and inside, is that my night over and I am limited to the refractor…. Or if I just simply point it at the floor, will I be able to continue viewing the constellations as soon as the Condensation .... if it is possible,..... has dried up?

For the Powerseeker 60AZ Refractor - will I still get condensation in the lens?

Thanks in advance for your responses and I hope you enjoyed the honest, practical review of these 2 Scopes which either one I would highly recommend to the First Timer.

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You're very lucky to live in the Keider Water area! Really dark skies can make even a small telescope spectacular.

Dew is a problem with all telescopes, although some designs are more susceptible than others. One partial solution is to buy or make a dew shield - many people cut up a foam camping mat and use velcro to fix it. A better but more expensive solution is to use heated bands at critical points on the telescope. These raise the temperature of lenses and mirrors to just above the point where dew will condense. You will need strips with a heating element, a controller and a battery - Astrozap is a well known and respected manufacturer, although if you have electrical knowledge and skills you can make your own.

https://www.firstlightoptics.com/dew-prevention.html

Some people also use a quick blast from a battery-operated hairdrier with mixed results!

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  • 3 weeks later...

Thank you for replying to this post.  I have googled the 'how to make' a Dew Shield, checked out your link I have made with a mat and strong Carpet tape  If this works, I will purchase some Velcro to keep it in place.

Thanks gain.

Chris

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