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Good evening,

It's been a while since I last posted. Back then, I had a 200P Dob. I ended up selling the dob as I just wasn't getting out enough with it. My astronomy journey never really took off, although my interest has never wavered. Well, the calling has returned and I've been saving for a more portable scope. I've budgeted around £1000 and have my eye on the Nexstar 6SE. If I may, could I ask a few opinions?

My budget includes a dew shield and maybe an extra lens. Is it worth saving more for the starsense or will I manage without it for now? ]

Do any of you guys own a Nexstar, and if so, what are your opinions of the scope?

I'm aware of the battery problems with the scope. What do you guys use for portable power?

Would you recommend any other additions for a newbie?

Thank you.

 

 

 

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I own a C6/SCT XLT, but without motorised drives or goto mount. (images below, shown with my 're-modded' Meade ETX105 mounted on a Vixen GP (1) and Tele-Optic Giro (2)). It is good enough for my needs, which is mainly lunar and planetary observing.
 

IMG_0050.thumb.JPG.0e83cba8a43fca7212f2ea43c0df5c0f.JPG (1)

post-4682-0-08081900-1394160327_thumb.jpg (2)

The downsides with owning any catadioptric OTA are...

  • notorious dew-magnets - a dew shield is a must have accessory.
  • need time to acclimatise to the ambient outside temperature... i.e. up to 60 minutes.
  • slow f/ratio if planning on astrophotography, unless adding a focal reducer/field flattener - should take from f10 to f6.3
  • large secondary mirror, (about 1/3rd), and narrow field of view rules out some DSO's.

 

The upsides are...

  • compact.
  • easily setup by one person.
  • give outstanding performance on lunar and planetary views.
  • hardly require any collimation.
  • convenient position of eyepiece.

 

Just my 2p's worth.

Edited by Philip R
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1 hour ago, iainmax said:

My budget includes a dew shield and maybe an extra lens. Is it worth saving more for the starsense or will I manage without it for now? ]

Do any of you guys own a Nexstar, and if so, what are your opinions of the scope?

I'm aware of the battery problems with the scope. What do you guys use for portable power?

I have three Nexstars - it is an easy GoTo system to use, particularly as an alt-az.

The Starsense does work and saves time and effort when setting up.  Poor sky conditions (twilight rather than light cloud) can stop it working.  However I have found that GPS (cheaper) is also a significant time and bother saver.

For portable power, use any battery system you like other than the internal primary cells.  There have been extensive postings here on the subject of telescope power.

If you don't have any eyepieces, get a 15mm and 8 or 10mm eyepiece in addition to the 25mm Plossl that comes with it. It probably comes with a decent prism diagonal as supplied with the 8" SCTs.

The red-dot finder is adequate as you only need it for setup.

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1 hour ago, iainmax said:

Cosmic Geoff, are you saying the GPS can replace the need for using Starsense? Can you recommend a GPS system?

They don't do the same thing. Starsense does star alignment automatically.  GPS avoids the faff of entering time and date every time (and lat/long if you ever change location) A lot of newbies struggle to enter these parameters in the correct format.  Once the GPS has loaded its data, all you have to do is sync the telescope with one or two objects.  I have never felt that transferring the Starsense to the GPS-equipped scope was worth the bother.

If you figure out how to control your telescope remotely from a laptop, tablet or smartphone, you may find you can access the latter device's GPS and avoid buying a dedicated dongle.

Celestron offer a GPS dongle for around £150 but I don't have one of these. My GPS is built into that mount.

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My first scope when I came back to astronomy when living is Aus was the 6SE, great scope and a good mount. But as advised above add the dew heater...SCT's are dew magnets.

I still have a 9.25 SCT on the Evolution mount and use it for outreach. Simple and easy to set up.

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A friend of mine recently acquired a nexstar 6se, and I helped him set it up and use it.  I was impressed by the goto accuracy, and every object we chose was close to the centre and easily visible - admittedly under bortle 4 skies, but it was in August and never really dark.  We used a celestron power tank rather than the batteries, which worked well.  The only downside for me was that the tripod was rather short.

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