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Hi all

With impending birthdays in a few weeks (me: 40-something, daughter: 4), I've begun toying with the idea of moving up from my 70mm refractor (Orion) to something larger. 

Obvious choice is a Skywatcher 200p dob for my own purposes, learning, and value for money, but something like the Star Discovery 150 appeals due to portability and the mount. I'm assuming the latter is still available as FLO has the stock status as incoming...

I don't get much chance to escape to the back of the garden, with a 4 and 1 year old in the family, but daughter has recently asked to look through my telescope. This time of year it's too late for her but come September the nights will be darker earlier and I'd like to be able to seize her interest.

Skies round here aren't great (south Manchester / Cheshire border). The dob would provide better views of whatever, I believe, but as time is at a premium I'm tempted to forego 2 inches for now for something that would make it a bit easier to find stuff with imperfect skies and also track when the kids want to have a look. It sounds like the mount would let me just browse around without powering up if I want to, too. 

Anyone here with youngsters have experience of this situation? I feel the 150 go-to is an obvious choice at the mo but any experienced advice appreciated...  I've read a couple of threads on here about it but I'm surprised that the Star Discovery seems to have little mention around, as it looks like a great package, but maybe the people that bought it don't do forums!!

Or should I get the dob...

Thanks,

Martin

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I’ve been there with the 4 year old - although it’s my first scope that was bought with her in mind rather than an upgrade.  If it had just been for me, no question I’d have gone for a 200p dob, but when I thought it through and took advice on here I realised that having motorised tracking was a must for anything that involved a “handover” between me locating a target and her looking at it.  I went for a Virtuoso 114p which is a small tabletop dob with tracking but no goto (unless you add the Skywatcher WiFi adaptor).  We used it a few nights before we got the power and tracking running and found it really frustrating, but once we could track it was so much better.  I just don’t think a non-tracking scope is workable for people taking turns at viewing - especially when one is a small child.  But I don’t think the 114p would be a sufficient upgrade for you (I’m planning to upgrade myself before too long).  I have added the WiFi adaptor for goto but in fairly light polluted skies it’s been of little benefit really. 

My other big lesson from working with the wee one is how difficult it is for them to work viewing through an eyepiece.  I’ve got a smartphone adaptor which can be a bit hit or miss and takes work to get properly aligned for planets but works well for the moon.  Finding one that works with your new scope (or considering a camera to laptop option) would greatly increase ease of use and limit frustration.

Good luck getting your daughter involved - my little girl loves looking at stuff and made us wake her at 1am on holiday last month so she could see Saturn. And if you haven’t found it yet, give her a look at some of the planet songs on YouTube...

 

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On ‎09‎/‎07‎/‎2018 at 08:22, iammart said:

Hi all

With impending birthdays in a few weeks (me: 40-something, daughter: 4), I've begun toying with the idea of moving up from my 70mm refractor (Orion) to something larger. 

Obvious choice is a Skywatcher 200p dob for my own purposes, learning, and value for money, but something like the Star Discovery 150 appeals due to portability and the mount. I'm assuming the latter is still available as FLO has the stock status as incoming...

I don't get much chance to escape to the back of the garden, with a 4 and 1 year old in the family, but daughter has recently asked to look through my telescope. This time of year it's too late for her but come September the nights will be darker earlier and I'd like to be able to seize her interest.

Skies round here aren't great (south Manchester / Cheshire border). The dob would provide better views of whatever, I believe, but as time is at a premium I'm tempted to forego 2 inches for now for something that would make it a bit easier to find stuff with imperfect skies and also track when the kids want to have a look. It sounds like the mount would let me just browse around without powering up if I want to, too. 

Anyone here with youngsters have experience of this situation? I feel the 150 go-to is an obvious choice at the mo but any experienced advice appreciated...  I've read a couple of threads on here about it but I'm surprised that the Star Discovery seems to have little mention around, as it looks like a great package, but maybe the people that bought it don't do forums!!

Or should I get the dob...

Thanks,

Martin

 

Hi Martin and welcome from land down under

I would go for either a SW 200 or SW 250 collapsible dob

Easy to store and transport

With club belong to, go into primary schools, grade 1 - 6, and do presentations, as well as Space Badge Joey's scout movement

I use my dob over my SW ED80 on EQ5 mount, as quicker and easier to set up, as 4-6yo's not very patient while doing a 2 star alignment on an EQ mount 

Use a small kitchen step ladder for students to stand on to reach eyepiece

I use a 17mm wide-angle eyepiece, as gives better eye relief for 4yo's, and when viewing Jupiter, wider angle easier showing moons around Jupiter

Have attached pic of my dob, as well as copy Space Badge for Joey's in Australia doc, which you can adapt with your daughter, for Northern Hemisphere

Pic was taken at recent Saturn in the Park public viewing night with my club 

I have a 4yo grandson, and we have hours of enjoyment using my dob

Couple of nights ago, he phone me, and said poppy, poppy, look at the moon, so big, and a bright star beside it

Told him that is not a star, he responded, then has to be Jupiter poppy, which was correct

John

 

Skywatcher 10 inch Dobson.jpg

Space Badge.docx

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Martin

Something else your daughter might have fun with her friends

Scale model of our Solar System, which I use with my club's school and scout programs

Print the attached document on A3, Landscape, and if care to, laminate

AU is one pace, or you can vary depending on your environment

 

 

Solar System.docx

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There are a few members that have the star discovery and in general reviews were very favourable. The freedom find function is great and also means if a child viewing knocks the telescope away from the object you can use the goto to return to the object and carry on viewing without the need to re-align as the mount knows where it is. Also means if you run out of power you can u just move the telescope easy with your hands just loosen the clutch off.

I've got the baby virtuoso mount with freedom find.

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Thanks @happy-kat I like the sound of the freedom find, seems like you get best of both worlds, I guess it works smoothly when it's without power?

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Wide apparent field of view eyepieces that also have long eye relief can make it easier to hand off a non-tracking view.  The object stays in the view longer than in a narrow AFOV eyepiece and the longer eye relief tends to be easier to find the view in than with eyepieces that have tiny eye lenses and tight eye relief.

My daughter figured out how to track with the Dob pretty quickly.  It's fairly intuitive once you practice on the moon a bit.

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Louis

You access the docs I responded back to Martin with

Great for your daughter

In the Joey's Space Badge, is also a link to European Space Agency  https://www.esa.int/esaKIDSen/index.html

Click on Need Help With Your Homework, and glossary from A to Z including Black Holes to the ISS

 

 

 

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