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I'll go completely against standard protocol here and say that EQ mounts are great for visual, even manual ones.

 

An AZ mount or a dob might seem easier (and for some it is) but it's not always as straightforward as it seems.

 

Depending on whether you've got a diagonal fitted (and what type) and the orientation of the eyepiece (especially with a reflector) up might be up, or it might be down and left might be left or it could be right...

 

An EQ mount is basically an AZ mount that's halfway fallen over - you've got exactly the same 2 axis of motion to deal with, it's just that one of them is aligned with the earth's axis instead of being perpendicular to the ground. Get your head around that and it all falls into place. 

 

Once you've found something, tracking it is way easier with an EQ too, whether it's powered or manual.

 

My (just) 9 year old son's scope is on an EQ and, while I do help with location sometimes and turning the ota to get the eyepiece comfy, he gets it and will happily track stuff by himself with no problems at all. Over the bank holiday weekend I got him up at about 2am for Jupiter and Saturn and he went between the two a bit before flipping round for moonrise...

 

Setup needn't be a pain either, especially for visual. I've found that just getting Polaris roughly in the middle of the hole through the mount (where the polar scope would live) is plenty sufficient, just needing the occasional tweak on the dec to keep things in view if you're tracking for more than a few minutes.

 

If I was in the same sort of position I'd honesty be looking at something like a 127 or 150 (or even a 102) mak or sct and a relatively cheap short refractor for wider views (even something like a celestron travelscope to start with, which is surprising with reasonable eyepieces) and an eq3 or equivalent mount (man enough for these scopes, even with both mounted).

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I've decided on a Mak... In the way of a Meade ETX 90 EC. 

 

Fingers crossed it's a good place to start!

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8 hours ago, DeaconFrost said:

I've decided on a Mak... In the way of a Meade ETX 90 EC. 

A Mak is a good choice - in most cases no collimation adjustments needed. However, the ETX range are fork mounted, so that the optical tube assembly (OTA) and fork mount are a fixed size - no possibility to use a different OTA with the mount.

If you look at my signature, you will see a range of telescopes, all, except the Skyliner 250 and Tasco 3T (I made a crude dovetail plate and ring set for this one as well), have the same width Vixen/Synta dovetail bar. This means that I can swap OTAs and mounts to give a full range of manual, tracking, and GoTo options.

5af7d96e48f7d_ManymountsOTAs.jpg.36d3651d091d4143766e5c644dc0078a.jpg

The photo above gives you an idea.

As I understand it, the ETX90 EC is autotracking, but not full GoTo. You may find this adequate, but full GoTo is useful to find the more difficult objects. The 90 has a 90mm Mak, similar to the LHS red tube above (Skywatcher Virtuoso 90, with mount behind). I would go with a 127mm Mak (black tube, centre rear, with hand-added balance point marks). Mine comes as part of the Skywatcher Skymax with Synscan full GoTo.

There is no perfect telescope, but I find the Skymax is my preferred compromise.

Geoff

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I agree with Geoff Lister - I don't see the point of an electronic mount that is not GoTo, and 90mm seems a bit small.  Maybe the seller of the ETX90 thinks so too... :icon_biggrin:  It's also useful to be able to mix'n match scopes and mounts.

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Posted (edited)

That looks fine for a beginner and observing, I started with one of those, only an ETX105, slightly larger.

I also managed some planetary imaging with it albeit rather basic though.

I did have to replace it when I decided to venture into DS imaging though, but it will certainly get you started. 

Looks like the finderscope is missing though. 

Carole 

Edited by carastro

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"and 90mm seems a bit small".

90mm aperture on a scope is fine and is plenty. Its enough to show lots of great stuff.  If its GoTo, or even just tracks.....great.

Have you read the thread by John about the fun he is having with a 70mm refractor?. I love my little 70mm. I use it for solar observing. Hoping to buy a better 70mm scope ( TV Pronto) very soon for my solar.

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I don't disagree that a good 90mm will show plenty. (A while ago I posted about what my vintage 70mm brass scope would do, and got various replies on the lines that Aperture was king.) I was just thinking that the OP was looking at 130mm reflectors, and that expectations about what is a sensible aperture for a starter scope seem to have shifted upwards in recent decades. Anyway it looks as if the OP has now taken possession of the Meade. Let's wish him clear skies.

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1 hour ago, DeaconFrost said:

I think it has the later hand set with GoTo function. 

Screenshot_20180513-110218~2.png

How did you get it so fast?. You only decided 14 hrs ago. I suppose you could have picked it up yourself. I thought everybody shopped online these days,LOL.

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That's the eBay listing picture LukeSkyWatcher. 

I know you guys said to avoid eBay and I could of gotten a 150mm Dob for the price I paid for this Meade but I think or at least hope having the Go To function will ease me in a little easier and avoid a little frustration trying to find things in the Sky. 

It could be a hunk of junk and the mount not work, but worst case is I might be able to repair the mount or just do something with the tube. 

Here are the rest of the images from the listing...

I hope this turns out to be a good starter scope and in the months coming (besides it stops getting properly dark up here during the summer!) And then I can perhaps save up and buy something else. 

 

Screenshot_20180513-140755.png

Screenshot_20180513-140744~2.png

Screenshot_20180513-140748.png

Screenshot_20180513-140751.png

Screenshot_20180513-140736.png

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Enjoy your new scope. Welcome to the club.

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Looks well cared for and the front objective looks good to. I doubt you will have any major problems. 

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Well it looks like the previous owner took good care of it, enjoy your new scope and clear skies.

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On 12/05/2018 at 17:51, Louis D said:

For a given focal ratio.  Have you seen the 27 inch f/2.7 Dob with an 1850mm focal length?  That's shorter than most 8" SCTs' 2000mm focal length.  It would gather over 11 times more light at less magnification.

As I understand it, the focal ratio doesn't affect magnification either...

 

F/5 scope A - 1000mm focal length, 200mm aperture

 

F/5 scope B - 500mm focal length, 100mm aperture.

 

Put a 10mm ep in these and A will give you 100x magnification, B will yield 50x magnification.

 

Get them both to the same magnification and A will be brighter.

 

 

 

Anyway - good luck to the OP, may that scope bring joy! (Oh, and you can apparently stick that mount on a wedge to get EQ functionality ;))

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Posted (edited)
On 12/05/2018 at 17:51, Louis D said:

 

Edited by jacksdad
multipost fail

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Posted (edited)
On 12/05/2018 at 17:51, Louis D said:

 

Edited by jacksdad
multipost fail

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Woops. I've just purchased a Skywatcher Skymax 127 Mak on a GoTo base. 

I think I will give the Meade 90mm Mak a once over and sell it on and keep SW 127mm Mak!

 

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5 hours ago, DeaconFrost said:

Woops. I've just purchased a Skywatcher Skymax 127 Mak on a GoTo base. 

Did you forget to cancel an ebay bid or something?

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I started with a decent pair of binoculars, recently sold my scope and now use binoculars for sky watching/wildlife watching now. My advice would be binoculars, look in your area for some local astronomy clubs and meets. You will learn a lot from other folks and be able to get some good advice as well as see a selection of scopes in action and maybe get some hands on experience with some scopes before you buy. Good look on your journey through the solar system and maybe beyond @DeaconFrost

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Buying 2 scopes in 3 days.

Must be an SGL record.

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The Meade 90 Mak was bought in error and the nice chap cancelled the order luckily!

I've the Skywatcher Skymax 127 Mak coming later this week fingers crossed. 

 

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2 hours ago, DeaconFrost said:

The Meade 90 Mak was bought in error and the nice chap cancelled the order luckily!

I've the Skywatcher Skymax 127 Mak coming later this week fingers crossed. 

 

Glad it worked out.

You're really going to like the 127 Mak.  I've been impressed by the build quality, light weight, sharp images, and lack of mirror flop and slop.

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