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Grumpy Martian

Deciding what type of telescope I'd really be happy with.

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That sounds ideal as long as you manage your expectations regarding the performance of three inches of aperture. Many people are totally happy with one small scope and I hope this works out for you. I found (like John i think) that 100mm is the least I tend to be satisfied with and personally I edge towards the 120mm mark. I am still at the point where I like the variety my scopes provide although naturally as I get a bit older this may well change. Good luck buddy!

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1 hour ago, Moonshane said:

That sounds ideal as long as you manage your expectations regarding the performance of three inches of aperture. Many people are totally happy with one small scope and I hope this works out for you. I found (like John i think) that 100mm is the least I tend to be satisfied with and personally I edge towards the 120mm mark. I am still at the point where I like the variety my scopes provide although naturally as I get a bit older this may well change. Good luck buddy!

I think John has actually now discovered the joys of a smaller scope with his Pronto, small and quick to setup does have it benefits, if the optics are good enough to keep your interest.

Quite right about managing expectations though, an 80mm scope is still an 80mm scope despite its other benefits.

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The 70mm aperture TV Ranger helped me out of a period of doldrums with regard to astronomy - it's just so easy to pop out for some observing time and just as quick to pop back in again !. So a really small aperture can give you something when anything larger or more complicated would not have been set up.

I'm not sure that I would be happy if my only scope was a 70mm though.

But thats just me. Your inclinations in the hobby might be different from all of us. 

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Martin, how about 100ED, it does get great reviews

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53 minutes ago, nightfisher said:

Martin, how about 100ED, it does get great reviews

Easier to manage. Lighter weight. Something to think about. What ever I choose, it will be to use where I live in Hertfordshire. I still have the larger Newtonian in Dorset. Thanks nightfisher

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2 hours ago, nightfisher said:

Martin, how about 100ED, it does get great reviews

This would be my first choice too Martin. Really good all-rounder. Great optics. Still easy to set up. And a significant step up from the 80mm. 

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11 hours ago, heliumstar said:

This one : https://www.altairastro.com/Starwave-80ED-R-V2-FPL53-Refractor-Telescope.html ?

Great telescope. The mechanics are superb and views are crispy clear. That snap to focus is beautiful ;) Takes 160x magnification on Jupiter really well.

+1 for this scope. I got one as a travel scope with a star discovery goto mount. Fantastic well built instrument. Solid focuser and perfect for quick set up and good views.

Steve 

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13 hours ago, Starpaw said:

You could use something like this with a monitor:

https://www.modernastronomy.com/shop/cameras/astro-video/revolution-imager/revolution-imager-r2/

Or the Lodestar X2 with Starlight Live software. 

There's other options out there too, which I cannot remember off the top of my head.

I would go down this route myself if it weren't for the fact that I do most of my observing in a tiny front garden in a "tough" East London area (live in a first floor flat). I have an 80mm frac on a lightweight altaz mount/photo tripod combo. If I see trouble approaching I can quickly and easily get back inside with the kit, which wouldn't be so easy with a  camera and monitor/laptop. Not ideal situation, but hey ho.

 

I'm now considering this option - thanks @Starpaw

Does anyone who does EAA know you must have an eq mount or will a goto altaz like a skywatcher star discovery be ok? 

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11 hours ago, Trikeflyer said:

I'm now considering this option - thanks @Starpaw

Does anyone who does EAA know you must have an eq mount or will a goto altaz like a skywatcher star discovery be ok? 

As far as I know, a go-to altaz mount is fine because you do exposures under 30 seconds.

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I'd think it totally depends on image scale / magnification.

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Guys, this EAA thing really got me going the last few days. I'll open new topic so we don't interfere here.

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Martin 

I appreciate situations change, and sometimes quickly. But given our conversation when you drove up, I would advise against selling the 120 now unless you have to. 

I know you aren’t acting in haste, but I still think you could end up repenting at your leisure. 

An 80mm, as others have said and as you have seen is a lovely scope for all manner of reasons. I know because I bought Susie one and used it many times. It had numerous advantages over the 120. Yet we sold it. It just didn’t deliver the views we wanted of the targets we wanted and she kept setting up the 120 in preference to the 80 🙄

We reached for it first on several occasions and perhaps still would on a few limited occasions if we had it. But the views weren’t a patch on the 120 and over a protracted period we realised the “inconvenience” of the 120’s weight and bulk were being ignored as it yielded so much more under any sky. 

As I showed you, we even still have a carbon 70mm refractor. It plays it’s part as a backpack scope when we can’t fly with the Takahashi. But I wouldn’t be happy on a long term basis with small scopes only. 

Get an 80 if you wish. Or how about a 130P Heritage on the Castor ? But don’t sell the 120 until you know you are happy with what you’ve bought. 

I’d be prepared to wager you’ll soon find the things currently counting against the 120 won’t seem as significant in a few months. Would you be lucky enough to get the scope back again if that’s the case..?

Unless you really have to, don’t sell the 120 until you’ve had 3 to 4 months of never reaching for it... I think like us and @John you’d love the little scope at times. But from what you said, I fear you’d miss the 120 again in the long term...

Simon

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I can understand the feeling that the 120ED is "too big" - I passed mine on based on similar reasoning. Not to say that everyone should, far from it, but if you're feeling that way, I get it.

And I too have a Newt to drag out and set up on nights when it seems worth it, a 8" f/6, and I'm glad I do. But most of the time, it's a TV-85. Or a Borg 70FL. Or even a TV-60. Always on a manual alt-az mount. Plonk, point, look.

I do keep nosing about for things to try that might somehow appeal in a slightly different way - 130mm f/5 Newt? 150mm Cassegrain without the Mak or Schmidt bits? We'll see.

Lately, my 15x50 bins have been getting a lot of use. With a very nice monopod and adjustable mounting head, it's so easy, comfortable and enjoyable to check in on old favourites. The monopod has its own three feet to stand on, and so the whole self-contained rig stands by the door ready to oblige any mad impulse which may arise.

:happy11:

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On 12/10/2018 at 12:53, Stargazer McCabe said:

Martin 

I appreciate situations change, and sometimes quickly. But given our conversation when you drove up, I would advise against selling the 120 now unless you have to. 

I know you aren’t acting in haste, but I still think you could end up repenting at your leisure. 

An 80mm, as others have said and as you have seen is a lovely scope for all manner of reasons. I know because I bought Susie one and used it many times. It had numerous advantages over the 120. Yet we sold it. It just didn’t deliver the views we wanted of the targets we wanted and she kept setting up the 120 in preference to the 80 🙄

We reached for it first on several occasions and perhaps still would on a few limited occasions if we had it. But the views weren’t a patch on the 120 and over a protracted period we realised the “inconvenience” of the 120’s weight and bulk were being ignored as it yielded so much more under any sky. 

As I showed you, we even still have a carbon 70mm refractor. It plays it’s part as a backpack scope when we can’t fly with the Takahashi. But I wouldn’t be happy on a long term basis with small scopes only. 

Get an 80 if you wish. Or how about a 130P Heritage on the Castor ? But don’t sell the 120 until you know you are happy with what you’ve bought. 

I’d be prepared to wager you’ll soon find the things currently counting against the 120 won’t seem as significant in a few months. Would you be lucky enough to get the scope back again if that’s the case..?

Unless you really have to, don’t sell the 120 until you’ve had 3 to 4 months of never reaching for it... I think like us and @John you’d love the little scope at times. But from what you said, I fear you’d miss the 120 again in the long term...

Simon

You're a fountain of sense Simon and I am grateful for your advice. I am going to keep the 120. I will change a few things to see if I can reduce the weight of the setup as a whole. Lighter tube rings and dovetail bar. Remove the bulky height tube. I will though probably buy an 80 mm ED sometime. 

Thanks everyone for all the advice. It's what makes SGL. 

Edited by Grumpy Martian
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@Grumpy Martian

Martin, it’s a pleasure. What you say here and via your text message makes good sense. 
I liked the 80. Lovely scope. But I always looked through it and thought "I must remember to look at that with a bigger scope next time"...

Edited by Stargazer McCabe
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