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Another new scope thread


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Hello lounger dudes,

only my third post .

I am hopfully going to get my first scope soon I have +/- £300 to spend -having looked around the forum and other places I have come to the conclusion that a Skywatcher Explorer-200 (EQ5) would be the best deal.Also someone mentioned Sherwoods the internet shop...having looked they have this scope available for £345 or there abouts.

Is that a good price does anyone know?

Also I wondered if anyone has had experience with Sherwoods?

One final question can anyone explain the EQ5 mounts ?

I appreciate any help

Thanks,

Mike

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Hi Mick,

The 8" Newt on a EQ5 is a great alround scope, good on planets as well as being large enough for fainter objects. That Sherwoods price is pretty good, I've dealt with them quite a few times and always been very pleased.

The EQ5 a equatorial mount, which means it can track objects as they move across the sky, the '5' is the size of the mount which governs the size of telescope it can comfortably handle. The EQ5 is a good match for a 8" Newt.

Regards

Gaz :laugh:

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Welcome to the forum

I would say the 8inch sky-watcher on the EQ5 would be a safe bet that would last you many years and for the money you would not get a great deal more, I have used sherwoods once with no problems at all. The EQ5 mount is a great piece of kit and has the option to add motors to it so it will track the stars automatically.

We are a friendly bunch here if you have any questions feel free to ask we are only too happy to help

Mark

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No personal knowledge on the scope but I have on the mount yes go for the Eq5 very stable mount all I want to better my Eq5 is to have it on a wooden tripod not everybodies preference but I think it makes it much less prone to vibrations affecting viewing or esp imaging :laugh:

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One thing i would advise is to be aware of just how big physically an 8" scope is! I remember my first experiences with newts and there sheer size put me off to such an extent i now prefer SCT's even though the newts are better optically IMO.

An f5 8" is about 1 meter long and bulky, it might be worth your while trying to find a local dealer or Astronomical Society so you can see the scope in the flesh before you buy one mail order. Others have no problems with this as it comes with the teritory but you should be aware that it's a beast! I personally try to recommend small refractors to people, not because of the optics, but because of the size. Plus refractors "look like telescopes". As has been mentioned many times before, the best telescope is one you actually use, and you may find yourself not wanting to take the effort to set up lots of heavy equipment if your just starting out. I'm not trying to disuade you, just to make sure your aware of what your buying and it's size.

Just my 2p's worth

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Hi Mike, very good choice... :laugh: heres a pic just scroll down and you find me...

http://stargazerslounge.co.uk/index.php?topic=3369.0

I'm 5ft 6in, if can handle it, I'm sure you can... try Bern at www.modernastronomy.co.uk cheaper by about 30 squid... :laugh:

And if you scroll down even further you can see Daz ( the one with the silly hat ) and his sky-watcher 8 inch.

Mark

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Hi Mike, very good choice... :laugh: heres a pic just scroll down and you find me...

http://stargazerslounge.co.uk/index.php?topic=3369.0

I'm 5ft 6in, if can handle it, I'm sure you can... try Bern at www.modernastronomy.co.uk cheaper by about 30 squid... :laugh:

And if you scroll down even further you can see Daz ( the one with the now aerodynamically sized hat ) and his sky-watcher 8 inch.

Better Daz?

Mark

Mark

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Thanks for all your advice guys -Twinkletoes I'm a shade under 6ft so I'm hoping I will be OK but it looks like a bit more than just hand luggage!

Do I need to buy the right headgear Daz or does that come with the scope?

Are they fairly easy to set up ? I think I'm in for a fairly steep learning curve but I can't wait !

One final question -sorry how difficult is it to find objects -with a EQ5 I think you can add a goto setup -I'm just wondering if I can get by without one ?

Daz with the EQ5 mount I was interested in what the numbers meant but thats to do with counterweight .

Cheers dudes and dudetts

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The GOTO or dont GOTO is a whole discussion in itself. Some people say it's the best thing to happen to astronomy since Newton, others say that it takes away from having to learn the sky yourself. I think after reading a few of these discussions that it's a very personal thing. The best advise is to "suck it and see". Try a manual scope first as it's much cheaper and you tend to get more bang for your buck on the optics side. If you get frustrated finding your targets, then maybe you'de prefer a GOTO scope. Again, i'de advise that you find a local astronomy society and see if you can take a look at their scopes before deciding.

As for ease of setup, it takes a little getting used to setting up an EQ mount, but once you've done it a few times, you can do it with your eyes closed. Well maybe not with your eyes closed as you need to find polaris, but nearly so. Dont be phased by the complexity, thats half the fun!

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Don't forget the HEQ5, Gaz...

I have a 8" F5 newt, I started with this scope on an EQ5 - after a year I upgraded the mount to a HEQ5.

It is a much better mount - but it is more expensive. The EQ5 was fine with the 8". Although it is approaching the upper end of the EQ5's weight limit.

The one thing that did let the EQ5 down was the legs, several people have tried things that do help - filling the legs(which are hollow) with sand or having a heavy weight from the bottom of the mount - this help cut down the vibrations...

Personally I would change the legs over to either wooden legs of better still the legs from a HEQ5.

Regards

Ant

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I didn't Ant, I just thought it might muddy the waters. It's a nice 1,2,3 progression until you get to the HEQ5.. :laugh:

New EQ5s all come with the newer steel legs now (I think there the same as the HEQ5) and are the best upgrade you can give that mount IMHO.

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Mike

As another newbie I am distinctly un-qualified to give you advice, but I'm going to anyway:-

Woolly hat, or other ridiculous headwear is a MUST (think of it as the astronomy equivalent of those nutters wearing Lycra you see cycling....)

Seriously:- I wouldn't consider forking out for the GOTO add-ons yet, believe me, within a couple of weeks you will have a list of 'want-to-haves' as long as your arm!

Get to grips with the mount first (it takes a while)

Get to know a small part of the sky - say, the Orion constellation region ....

After a while you will be able to transfer co-ordinates of the more obvious objects taken from a sky map to the 'scope and that will allow you to find other objects, and so on ........

Don't rush all this - yes, you will be lost and confused quite often - but hey, there's a lot of help to be had from this forum!

...... but above all - ENJOY!!!

P.S. You never know - you might be collimating your own 'scope before Caz gets round to doing hers! :laugh: :laugh:

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ps... I lurve the avatar.... :laugh: :laugh:

:laugh: don't know how long I can stand it :(

MartinB

No argument about GOTO - it's on my 'wanna-have' list, but there's a lot of optical stuff ahead of it (Celestron 9.25 would be nice!) :laugh::wink:

But it's so nice, and you see so much, and you get to know what things look like, that helps to find things. Where's Damien.

I do like looking around for things with my ED 80 on a non goto mount, wouldn't be without my Telrad finder though.

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Back to business in hand!

As has been previously said the Skywatcher 200mm is a bit of a handful to manually move around, however it gives excellent views. The weight and bulk depend on how far you have to go for a dark sky site or if it's just onto the patio!!

The Newtonian will need regular collimation for it to achieve it's full potential - I know do mine every time I take it out and every time I find it's slightly out and it only moves from the dining room to the patio!!!

The EQ5 is a fine mount a solid German equatorial which will last a lifetime - upgradable to a motorised system which you will probably have to do eventually..

If you can go the bit extra go for an HEQ5 mount, motorised and a beefy mount.

Other options are a nice refractor - you will be a little limited with aperture but you will have the portability and no collimation to worry about.

Just remember not to skimp on the mount.... I cannot emphasise enough the importance of a decent mount, the scope you will chop and change, where as a decent mount you will keep for a lifetime.

That's my taxi beeping!!

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