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Here we go......first hardware purchase


Guest MoJo
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OK folks the BIG question, a pair of 25X100 :lol: to complement the (OLD) 7X50's or one of the 'scopes highlighted in TSAN beginners review. To be used primarily for learning/teaching the night sky but MUST be able to "hold" tha attention of an (albeit interested) 8 yr old.

Do you folks have any opinions?

cheers

MoJo.

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I dont have an 8 year old to compare but i would guess that their attention wouldn't be held by a pair of binoculars IMHO. I would perhaps recommend something like a Celestron 80GT, it's optically fine for it's class (although will have some CA and SA but i doubt it will be noticed), will show you great views of the moon and the rings of saturn as well as some stunning wide field shots of DSO's and on the plus side it's got GOTO which im sure your 8 year old will find fantastic. I have one and it's a great grab and go scope for your personal use also. I paid £200 for mine but you can find them cheaper now if you look around. The one I have is tasco branded (here) but you can find Celestron ones around too.

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I agree with the idea of a goto with an 8 year old. Nothing worse than standing around whilst dad fiddles with the scope trying to find things. guaranteed to put him off. If he starts to learn the constellations, learns about some of the things he is going to be looking at and where they are in the sky then zip there with the scope. Reckon he'll be hooked :lol:

Damien (Damo) has some ETX 70s available for hire so that you could try before you buy

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Both Gordon and Martin make sensible comments. An 8 year old will have difficulty holding a pair of 25x100s anyway. Unless you put them on a robust photo tripod - then they just don't look "cool". At least, not in the way a "proper" telescope with a computerised GOTO will. Also, having it slew automatically across the sky will probably be a great joy to a youngster (it still is to me). Martin is also right about hDad putting him off by "fiddling" with the 'scope to find things. Not nearly so cool as telling the 'scope to go to saturn - and it does.

Hope you both enjoy.

Tom

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Celestron has recently come out with the Celestron NexStar 102mm SLT with SkyAlign. It has the light grasp of half of a pair of 25x100 binos, and has a potential magnification of 200x. It is more expensive than the binos. I like the look of it. It is a goto scope.

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Mojo

My 8 year old uses my old 114mm reflector on an EQ1, and he loves it. However, I think it's too small a FOV still for him, but he loves looking at the planets and moon with it. Once he understood how the scope moves, and how to use the finder, he was off and running. He is limited by not knowing the sky, but then Dad is there to point the scope if he gets stuck!!

I would say the GOTO on the scope would be a big bonus, but I have to disagree with the others - Dad fiddling is not so much of an issue as he is constantly asking questions anyway. Besides, if you do it WITH him instead of for him, it's much better!!

HTH

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I've tried my 8 year old with binos and he was not impressed. Actully I can remember when i started age 13 and i was pretty unimpressed too.

As with Daz's son, Harry has mastered the finderscope/main scope but his interest doesn't extend past the moon and planets at the moment. But i think that is due to the scope (70mm f10). If i was buying for him again or when i buy for my younger son, I will buy one of the Orion USA Starblast dobsonians, which are a 4.5" f4. One of those should be in your budget. Someone at my local club bought one for his daughter and it really is a 'blast'. Harry was very envious. I had a look through it and have to admit, it was a really nice view. I was quite surprised. It's had rave reviews in the mags and online.

Russ

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