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I am currently using a 70mm refractor. Would the celestron astromaster 130 be a decent upgrade... Only have 150 pounds to spend thanks 

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Posted (edited)

Hello, I would be glad to make a suggestion but, having had a look at FLO optics webpage for you I found a scope which will be a fantastic upgrade but slightly above your price range. The Skywatcher Skyliner 150P would be a great scope you’ll enjoy for years to come and may be worth the wait while you gather the extra 60 pounds. The Skyliner dobsonians are known to be great scopes and at 6 inches it will offer loads more light gathering capability that your current 70mm refractor. 

I have included the link below, almost always with telescopes it is worth saving that little bit more which gets you the difference between a scope you’ll want to upgrade again a few months down the road, and one which you’ll enjoy for years potentially. Best of luck with your decision, and whatever it may be, clear skies!

i forgot to add that you may want to search one out in your local classifieds including here on SGL and sites like Astro buy and sell of which there is a UK site, the benefit is you may even find a used 8 inch for your price or slightly higher and that’s a win for sure.

https://www.firstlightoptics.com/dobsonians/skywatcher-skyliner-150p-dobsonian.html

Edited by Sunshine
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Posted (edited)

The Skyliner 150 is a good suggestion. Took a quick look on ABS and see someone is selling one for £140.00. Don’t know the seller but might be worth a look. 

https://www.astrobuysell.com/uk/propview.php?view=145740

Also a Skyliner 200Pon ABS at £150.

https://www.astrobuysell.com/uk/propview.php?view=147465

Edited by johninderby
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Very good suggestions there, the 150P is a very capable scope and a comparative bargain really. Just make sure you are ok with the size, length specifically but they take up very little floor space when standing upright.

The Celestron Astromaster 130 is on an EQ mount which is likely to be fiddly to use and not as stable as a dobsonian mount.

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The Explorer 130 you mentioned does not have a very good mount (You would experience lots of vibrations with that combo). It is wiser to save for a little longer and get the Skyliner 150P, which has a very sturdy Dobsonian mount and good optics + larger aperture than the Explorer 130! Believe me, it will be worth it. ?

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Posted (edited)

LAs above a rather poor mount and it is a manual EQ mount as well. Adding just an RA drive motor would add £60.00 to the cost and it would still be a poor mount with only one axis driven.

With a dob you are putting all your money into the optics and paying very little for the mount. Also dobs are so easy to use even for the beginner. 

One of the biggest lessons to be learned by beginners is not wasting money on poor mounts. Save up until you can aford something better or get a decent scope on a simple dob or alt-az mount.

Edited by johninderby
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42 minutes ago, Anthony1979 said:

If you look at the mount size compared with the scope, there is just no way it will be stable enough to enjoy the views, particularly at higher powers.

I use a couple of EQ mounts, one a Vixen GP (EQ5 equivalent) with dual drives, but no goto, for solar, planetary and Lunar viewing ie when I want to look at one target for a long time and have it basically tracked for me so I don't have to keep nudging the scope.

The GP-DX is a goto and that overcomes any awkwardness of finding objects with an EQ mount for visual use. I find star hopping and manually finding targets very tricky with an EQ mount, so would always prefer an Alt AZ for manual use which I tend to do at dark sites.

The Dobs which you have been pointed to are basically very sturdy alt az mounts and will give the most stable views when using a scope visually. They are simple and easy to use. Even if you are considering Astrophotography, the mount shown with the 130 Explorer would not be up to the job so you would end up buying something beefier.

This pic is my 4" scope on the Vixen GP, which gives pretty stable views. Compare the mount size versus scope size to the 130 Explorer and you will see what I mean.

So, I would go with the dob, assuming you have no thoughts about deep sky AP.

20190413_085027.jpg

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10 minutes ago, Anthony1979 said:

Yep, good little scope. Optics are very good for the price and it gives very nice views for the price. The focuser is a little basic, just a plastic helical 1.25", but it does the job well enough. The dob mount is a table top thing which is fine, but I have one and prefer to use it on giro type mount on a tripod. Good little scope.

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