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Hi everyone , 

Have just joined the forum as i am looking to buy my first scope :) ( well second ). About two years ago i got a National Geographic 76/350 compact scope as a gift. After using it alot i've decided to upgrade as i would like to see more. im still relatively a beginner knowing my way  round the sky have bought a few books so hopefully that will help Turn Left At Orion being one. As you can tell by the title i'm looking for something for £200 or less. I'm not looking to do photography with it, i just would like something better than the scope i have at the moment. Easy to use and to set up would be a plus as well. I don't need anything extremely portable but i do have to use stairs so that might be something to think about. 

Looking forward to reading your suggestions. :D 

 

Edited by Dinoco

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I'd second the Dobsonian option, as this will get you best value for money. A 150mm or (probably second hand) 200mm would be a huge step up from your current scope and keep you going for years to come.

Billy.

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For £200 then you cant go wrong with the current skywatcher AZ bundles...

The mounts were released in 2017 and are both manual AZ - perfect for visual use! The pronto mount costs £125 on its own so you get the 130mm scope for a bargain £75

https://www.firstlightoptics.com/sky-watcher-az-pronto/sky-watcher-explorer-130ps-az-pronto.html

The same scope on a slightly more solid mount. The AZ5 costs £199 on its own, so you get the 130mm scope for £50 !

https://www.firstlightoptics.com/sky-watcher-az5-deluxe/sky-watcher-explorer-130ps-az5-deluxe.html

 

A slightly larger 150mm scope with goto (to help you locate stuff to look at), over budget but a nice starter scope for sure :)

https://www.firstlightoptics.com/az-goto/sky-watcher-star-discovery-150p.html

Here is a second hand one in Rugby (now its within budget)

http://www.astrobuysell.com/uk/propview.php?view=133809

 

All of the above can get down stairs in separates...

 

Otherwise you are looking at a dobsonian. Larger scopes with a simpler AZ mount. 6" or 8". More difficult to manage stairs though!

https://www.firstlightoptics.com/dobsonians/skywatcher-skyliner-150p-dobsonian.html

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

Any of the above will serve you well and help make the National Geographic a bad memory :) 

Alan

Edited by alanjgreen

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9 minutes ago, alanjgreen said:

For £200 then you cant go wrong with the current skywatcher AZ bundles...

The mounts were released in 2017 and are both manual AZ - perfect for visual use! The pronto mount costs £125 on its own so you get the 130mm scope for a bargain £75

https://www.firstlightoptics.com/sky-watcher-az-pronto/sky-watcher-explorer-130ps-az-pronto.html

The same scope on a slightly more solid mount. The AZ5 costs £199 on its own, so you get the 130mm scope for £50 !

https://www.firstlightoptics.com/sky-watcher-az5-deluxe/sky-watcher-explorer-130ps-az5-deluxe.html

 

A slightly larger 150mm scope with goto (to help you locate stuff to look at), over budget but a nice starter scope for sure :)

https://www.firstlightoptics.com/az-goto/sky-watcher-star-discovery-150p.html

Here is a second hand one in Rugby (now its within budget)

http://www.astrobuysell.com/uk/propview.php?view=133809

All of the above can get down stairs in separates...

 

Otherwise you are looking at a dobsonian. Larger scopes with a simpler AZ mount. 6" or 8". More difficult to manage stairs though!

https://www.firstlightoptics.com/dobsonians/skywatcher-skyliner-150p-dobsonian.html

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

Any of the above will serve you well and help make the National Geographic a bad memory :) 

Alan

Hi,

Thanks for the suggestions as above people have suggested the dobsonians I’m a bit worried about how heavy they might be to carry I know they can be separated from the base. The AZ mounts look simple to use too, lots of options :). I think I’ll stay away from goto or tracking at the moment as they usually bump up the price and want to learn by myself to locate stuff. I’ll keep in mind those suggestions thank you.

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My Skywatcher 200p dobsonian base is probably around 10-11kg? It does have a handy carry handle though. I keep it in my spare room upstairs and carry downstairs and out to the back garden in two journeys without any problem. The actual telescope tube is probably around 8-9gk. I recently bought a handy velcro strap thingy with carry handle from Amazon that I can wraparound the optical tube in conjunction with a two wheeled trolley from Aldi if I want to take the two separate halves of the scope for a wee walk across our local play park to get away from the neighbours stupid insecurity lights. I can manage that 400 meter stroll no problem with this setup. :-) 

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2 minutes ago, Cornelius Varley said:

Skywatcher Skyliner review

 

Have seen that video before does sort of help put it in perspective.

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I've got 200p dob of SW variety, and it is not too heavy to carry in two pieces.

OTA is lighter but you need a bit of maneuvering because it is longish, but quite manageable with stairs and doors and all. 

For me base is less comfortable to move - it reminds me of carrying largish travel bag / luggage in form of suitcase because there is handle to move it with one hand. So a bit maneuvering as well is needed.

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Ahem, I may have been talking pish! It would seem from Skywatcher's own website that the total shipping weight for the 200p Dob is 17kg and of that the Optical tube is 11kg. So the base is only around 6kg and I'm obviously a complete upper body weakling! It is a beautiful scope though. I got mine as my first scope from Jessops for £269 a couple of years ago and I love it.

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15 minutes ago, Beagleboy said:

My Skywatcher 200p dobsonian base is probably around 10-11kg? It does have a handy carry handle though. I keep it in my spare room upstairs and carry downstairs and out to the back garden in two journeys without any problem. The actual telescope tube is probably around 8-9gk. I recently bought a handy velcro strap thingy with carry handle from Amazon that I can wraparound the optical tube in conjunction with a two wheeled trolley from Aldi if I want to take the two separate halves of the scope for a wee walk across our local play park to get away from the neighbours stupid insecurity lights. I can manage that 400 meter stroll no problem with this setup. :-) 

Thank you for that info. Unfortunately my wallet won’t let me stretch that far for the 200p :(. I have seen some second hand but I’m unable to get most of them as pick up is a long way from where I live. Is the 150p roughly the same weight? Nice idea about the trolley/strap :) 

Edited by Dinoco

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4 minutes ago, vlaiv said:

I've got 200p dob of SW variety, and it is not too heavy to carry in two pieces.

OTA is lighter but you need a bit of maneuvering because it is longish, but quite manageable with stairs and doors and all. 

For me base is less comfortable to move - it reminds me of carrying largish travel bag / luggage in form of suitcase because there is handle to move it with one hand. So a bit maneuvering as well is needed.

I’ve heard people say the base is more awkward seems a lot of people have Dobsonians.

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Just now, Dinoco said:

Thank you for that info. Unfortunately my wallet won’t let me stretch that far for the 200p :(. I have seen some second hand but I’m unable to get most of them as pick up is a long way from where I live. Is the 150p roughly the same size? Nice idea about the trolley strap :) 

I think that 8" ota is closer to 9-10Kg and base is certainly heavier, probably around 15kg or so. TS website states total weight around 26kg.

On the other hand 6" is stated at 5.8kg ota + 10kg base.

Length of tubes is pretty much the same.

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4 minutes ago, vlaiv said:

I think that 8" ota is closer to 9-10Kg and base is certainly heavier, probably around 15kg or so. TS website states total weight around 26kg.

On the other hand 6" is stated at 5.8kg ota + 10kg base.

Length of tubes is pretty much the same.

Thank you, I know the length is about 112cm? I’ll look at other scopes still but if I do get a dobsonian it will be the 6”

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When cash is tight the Dob really does live in a class of its own. The mount is simply an alt-az of a brilliantly simple design and is not only cheap but superbly stable. The six inch would be significantly easier to manage than the 8 but I wouldn't call either of them a problem. Our 20 inch takes a bit more moving...

:icon_mrgreen:lly

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52 minutes ago, ollypenrice said:

When cash is tight the Dob really does live in a class of its own. The mount is simply an alt-az of a brilliantly simple design and is not only cheap but superbly stable. The six inch would be significantly easier to manage than the 8 but I wouldn't call either of them a problem. Our 20 inch takes a bit more moving...

:icon_mrgreen:lly

Thanks Olly, everyone has suggested to get one so looks like I’ll be ordering one soon :) 

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When weight/bulk is an issue, and money is tight, I'd vote for the well known 5.1" Skywatcher Heritage 130 P Flextube, a nice dob. The price of around 140 GBP would be well below your limit, leaving some money for e.g. an additional eyepiece. Weight is below 7 kgs in total; you can carry it easily single-handed; excellent optics, that hold collimation quite well; decent mechanics. In case, aperture fever sets in, and you end up with a 10-12" Dob in a few years, it would still serve you well as a grab-and-go scope, or travel scope. I bought one last summer, and I'm very pleased with this capable and versatile scope. Many reviews on this; my usual links:

https://www.cloudynights.com/topic/463109-onesky-newtonian-astronomers-without-borders/

http://neilenglish.net/a-newtonian-travel-scope/

Take yourself time with the decision, and keep asking!

Stephan

 

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10 hours ago, Beagleboy said:

 neighbours stupid insecurity lights

Brilliant. Ours just installed an airport runway porch light and it bothered me so much, the "psychology" at work. Think you nailed it. Don't think I can ever look at them the same way, even tho we were on very friendly terms.

Edited by laowhoo

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Hmm there’s a fair few options available to you, if you’ve been enjoying your refractor I would personally go for a skywatcher evostar 90 and an upgraded diaganol to go with it a 90 degree di electric, I would also consider stretching your budget slightly if that’s possible and get some upgraded eyepieces as they will make a hell of a difference to your viewing pleasure, good luck and let us know what you decide on! :D  

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Welcome from land down under

I have a 250mm Skywatcher collapsible dob

Easy to transport and store

I also use a laser pointer to aim where want to view

Just lay pointer along dovetail mount of spotting scope, and point to object want to view

Find also easier with a right angle spotting scope, as saves having to lay on the ground to look through the spotting scope

Cheers

John

  

Skywatcher 10 inch Dobson.jpg

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Think I’ve decided to get a 150p dobsonian. Have just watched numerous videos and looked at websites to see the dimensions etc and it looks easy enough to move. And also think it’s the best telscope for my budget. thanks for everyone that’s helped :) 

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