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Greetings from South Shields


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Hello all,

I have been lurking for long enough, and thought it was time I signed up and introduced myself!

I'm 31 years old and can't believe it has taken me all these years to look up at the sky on a dark clear night and see the beauty of the stars and constellations and be in complete awe. For the past year, weather permitting of course! I've done a fair bit of naked-eye observation, tried to learn my way round the sky, learn the names of the constellations and where they are and can star hop quite well.. considering I couldn't even locate Polaris when I first started, I think I'm doing rather well!

After having a pair of 10x50 bins on loan from a friend recently, I decided I wanted to get a telescope. After many many hours scouring websites and mostly forums, I've decided to go for a Skywatcher 200P + HEQ5 Syntrek. Although originally out of my budget, I was in the market for the plain HEQ5.. but I hadn't realised it'd been discontinued, so I'm currently saving up the extra pennies, hopefully in time for Christmas! I am also a keen photographer and own a DSLR and intend to do some astrophotography, although at a later date.. but this seems to be an ideal setup when the time comes.

Well thats all for now. :D



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Hi Peter & Welcome to SGL.......

And welcome into the world of astronomy.......

There is so much to learn its sometimes hard to take all the info in.........A program which may help you map the night sky better is Stellarium, a 3D planetarium....It can be downloaded for free at www.stellarium.org........

If your going to get into astrophotography the HEQ5 syntrek isnt the mount to go for, as far as i know it only has the 4 control buttons and does not track targets across the night sky unlike the HEQ5 Pro Synscan GOTO : http://www.firstlightoptics.com/proddetail.php?prod=200heq5pro .........Its approx £125 more than the syntrek.......but more than worth paying the extra money for..........

You wont go far wrong with the SW 200P as a starter scope........I sometimes wish i had bought the 200p instead of the 250px.....The one i have is a little too big, other than that its a great scope........

If you ever need any help or guidance dont hesitate to ask anybody here in the forum, were a friendly bunch.......


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Hi Peter - you wont be disappointed with the 200 / HEQ5 for sure. If the Syntrek is beyond your budget you could always shop around as the basic ones come up quite often 2nd hand in good condition.

I'll let the astroimaging folk debate the pros and cons of the gear for imaging - as far as I know it will be ok for short exposure work.

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Thank you all very much for the warm welcome!

Mark, Yes, I love Stellarium, I've spent many hours playing with a few Astro programs I've downloaded.. I like Cartes du Ciel so I can print off starcharts, and recently I got Virtual Moon Atlas. I had considered the GOTO but it is out of my reach budget wise, although I'm having a massive clear out for Christmas, and already raised a few 100 pounds on eBay, maybe I will beable to afford it next month. I'll let you know if I make it! Now do you fancy explaining to my wife why I need to spend a further £125? :D


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You need to spend another £125???? This seems a rather modest amount, and will be when you look back at your purchases in two years time.

You will notice some similarity on many of the purchases that SGL members make. Its trying to negotiate/obtain/by-hook-or-by-crook 'funds' from whoever is the finance controller in your household.

Good luck.


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