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Buster

Light weight telescope

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Hi, I am looking to buy my husband a telescope but he has a bad back so it has to be lightweight also he is a beginner and obviously we don't want to spend a huge amount. Can anyone advise on a telescope. I believe Celestrons are a good make. Thank you in advance.

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Without knowing your exact budget I would recommend a small dobsonian type telescope. Lightweight and easy to use for a beginner although this one is also used by more experienced observers as a portable little quick set up scope. An excellent performing little scope.

https://www.firstlightoptics.com/beginner-telescopes/skywatcher-heritage-130p-flextube.html

Take a look at this one and let us know what you think.

 

Edited by johninderby
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The skywatcher 130pds is really light, needs an az4 tripod/mount or similar. I had one, great little scope. A 150pds would be a step up for not much more. Depending on quite how bad his back is, a small skywatcher dobsonian would be great, either a 150px (£210) or 200px (£275). No mount needed for dobsonians, it's built in. 

PS the 130 Heritage John mentions is basically the same optically as the 130pds but a simpler set-up. Good views as well. I wouldn't mind having one myself.

Edited by Ships and Stars
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8 hours ago, Buster said:

Hi, I am looking to buy my husband a telescope but he has a bad back so it has to be lightweight also he is a beginner and obviously we don't want to spend a huge amount. Can anyone advise on a telescope. I believe Celestrons are a good make. Thank you in advance.

How much weight can he lift if it is hugged close to his body?  My back isn't the best, so about 40 pounds is my max.  That's why I can't use my 15" Dob much any more because the mirror box weighs 65 pounds.  I figure I'll use it more when I get a vacation/retirement home in the New Mexico mountains where I can leave it setup and wheel it out of the garage or shed for observing.

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can u also tell us does he want something for the planets, maybe deep sky stuff like galaxies nebulas and clusters? whats your budjet? and where do u live huge city? large city med city? town? etc

joejaguar

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22 hours ago, Buster said:

Hi, I am looking to buy my husband a telescope but he has a bad back so it has to be lightweight also he is a beginner and obviously we don't want to spend a huge amount. Can anyone advise on a telescope. I believe Celestrons are a good make. Thank you in advance.

You say "we" so does that mean your husband is in on it or is it a surprise? Could you visit a local telescope retailer or astronomy society to look at a variety of telescopes and get an idea of what sort of instrument he could manage? 

A 130mm Newtonian or 127mm Maksutov on an alt-az (not eq!) mount would be my initial suggestions. 

With regards to brands you can't just go by brand name as the major brands produce everything from excellent to terrible. You have to look for feedback and advice on the specific model or line of telescopes that you are considering. 

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I agree with ricochet Celestron meade skywatcher etc and others are good name brand and have lots good scopes BUT they also have basic low entry ones that are also not great ok but not great. They have to make a price point for those that just want to try a telescope and don't want to spend too much.

I also have a utube video explaining people who shop at the big box stores ebay Costco Canadian tire amazon, too sometimes shopping there is even worse than going to a real telescope store or buying from a real interenet telescope store.

those store again have a certain price point and for the general population a scope up to $200 maybe just cheap enough to entice brand new people. Those same good quality name brands sell the same scope to these low costs big box stores and put cheaper accessiors or items to make that scope cheaper for them BUT a brand new person who doesn't know astronomy or telescopes wont know what good or bad.

anyway I cant go into detail here if you would like to see that video go to youtube seach my name joe Aguiar whats a good starter telescopes. The video is about 20 min long.

I don't want to put a link cause I was told we can put links to are utube channel once and awhile but not too often and I just did one where a new person needed help how to polar align a eq mount couple days ago so I don't want to do another one in case I get in trouble BUT just search my name.

so even the big name brands you can get good models bad models, I also say get it from a real scope store the cost might be $50 more but it normally comes with better quality items.

hope this helps

joejaguar

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@Buster

I have a bad back and find using Dobsonians/ Newtonians hurts.

I find observing from the rear of a telescope whilst sitting down is the most comfortable for my back.

Therefore my suggestion would be a lightweight Maksutov like this one, which is good for the planets, the Moon and brighter deep sky objects....

https://www.firstlightoptics.com/sky-watcher-az5-deluxe/sky-watcher-skymax-127-az5-deluxe.html

 

Edited by dweller25
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A lot depends on your husband's restrictions. When you say "bad back", do you mean he can't lift heavy weights, can't bend/twist, can't stand for long periods, or a combination of all those?

I have a dodgy back (I can carry heavy weights but too much bending kicks it off) , but I'm still able to carry and use an 8" Skywatcher Skyliner. Although it' too low for me, therefore it's propped up on an upturned water butt base and I plan to buy an adjustable observing chair.

https://www.firstlightoptics.com/dobsonians/skywatcher-skyliner-200p-dobsonian.html

My most comfortable viewing has been with a Skywatcher 130PS reflector and AZ5 mount. At 6ft tall, with the tripod legs extended fully and tripod extension attached, the eyepiece height is perfect. Allowing me to stand for hours without bending. It's also super lightweight with the tube being only 2.7kg and the mount/tripod approx 5kg.

https://www.firstlightoptics.com/sky-watcher-az5-deluxe/sky-watcher-explorer-130ps-az5-deluxe.html

 

 

 

 

Edited by ScouseSpaceCadet
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You hit the nail on the head. All of what you said he cannot do. So needs something he can sit down and use easily.

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Thanks everyone for their advice. He basically cannot lift much at all, no bending, lifting, twisting  or standing for long periods. So thought something he can sit down with. We live in the countryside with no light pollution so on a clear night get a brilliant view. It is a surprise for Xmas. I like the first one quoted 130p as it looks easy to use and a good price. 

Edited by Buster

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yep that one can fit the bill its not expensive easy to use and set-up and not too heavy, in a country sky it can show a lot being 5 inches

joejaguar

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So something along these lines would probably work for your husband:

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Edited by Louis D
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