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New and needing help!


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Can't thank you all enough for your time and help (especially Heather)

Lot's for me to process, I did find something but have red flags waving at me! If it's to good to be true it's not for you!... what do you think https://www.amazon.co.uk/Celestron-31051-AstroMaster-Reflector-Telescope/dp/B0013Z42AK?th=1

After checking the link it's now showing currently unavailable, It was £139 

Edited by miketw
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I think I would consider if an eq mount is a suitable tripod for you. The telescope moves very differently on an eq mount and if it has a reflector telescope then the telescope will need moving within the tripod rings during observation sessions

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32 minutes ago, happy-kat said:

I think I would consider if an eq mount is a suitable tripod for you. The telescope moves very differently on an eq mount and if it has a reflector telescope then the telescope will need moving within the tripod rings during observation sessions

I'd probably never normally suggest an eq mount in this situation, except .... O.P. specifically needs a mount which can track  .

They have never said what their budget is, but express an interest in set ups around or below £200. So the alt az powered mounts which might do the job are just out of their price range, especially as their existing 'scope has a non-standard fixing so they cannot easily keep it and shift it over to a new mount. Really the only way to have tracking in that budget is an eq, because some of those have the facility to add a single cheap motor.

The virtuoso mount would be ideal, if they can get their hands on one.

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I could be wrong but isn't the astromaster a bird-jones affair, if so it's best avoided.  
I had a similar celestron starsense 127 Lt which I think is the same tube as the astro master and although you could just make out the rings of Saturn it was pretty crap.  It probably needed collimating but Collimating a BJ reflector is not easy.

for what it's worth If tracking is the highest priority then I'd get a virtuosa, or a 2nd hand skywatcher GTi mount with any mid range scope.

i got a GTi goto mount for £150 and a celestron omni 127 SCT for £100 here on SGL. 
so a full goto tracking system that will be far superior to an astromaster

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15 minutes ago, W0nderste said:

I could be wrong but isn't the astromaster a bird-jones affair, if so it's best avoided.  
I had a similar celestron starsense 127 Lt which I think is the same tube as the astro master and although you could just make out the rings of Saturn it was pretty crap.  It probably needed collimating but Collimating a BJ reflector is not easy.

for what it's worth If tracking is the highest priority then I'd get a virtuosa, or a 2nd hand skywatcher GTi mount with any mid range scope.

i got a GTi goto mount for £150 and a celestron omni 127 SCT for £100 here on SGL. 
so a full goto tracking system that will be far superior to an astromaster

https://www.celestron.com/products/astromaster-130eq-md-motor-drive-telescope

The astromaster 130 isn't a jones bird, it has a focal length of 650mm and a tube length of 610mm.

The scope I inherited was a celestron 114 eq jones bird, focal length 1000mm, tube length  510mm, the extra lens roughly halved the physical tube length.

Tracking is the highest priority for the O.P., and budget is a major limitation, they have not stated it, but seem to be finding it difficult to contemplate spending over £200.  Ideally , yes, waiting until something crops up second hand would be the best solution, but they are scrambling to try and have something in place for a child coming out of hospital.

The child was entranced for hours by the view through the 76mm reflector he has had for 2 years, even a basic model 130mm like this would be an impressive upgrade to him.

Heather

 

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9 minutes ago, W0nderste said:

I could be wrong but isn't the astromaster a bird-jones affair, if so it's best avoided.  
I had a similar celestron starsense 127 Lt which I think is the same tube as the astro master and although you could just make out the rings of Saturn it was pretty crap.  It probably needed collimating but Collimating a BJ reflector is not easy.

for what it's worth If tracking is the highest priority then I'd get a virtuosa, or a 2nd hand skywatcher GTi mount with any mid range scope.

i got a GTi goto mount for £150 and a celestron omni 127 SCT for £100 here on SGL. 
so a full goto tracking system that will be far superior to an astromaster

Wow, just had a look at the GTi goto mount and a celestron omni 127 SCT scope, looks like a good setup, Heather is right thinking my budget is around the £200 I also had plans buying an extra eyepieces / Barlow lens totalling to £250

If I could find something like above at a similar price I would be very interested.

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1 hour ago, miketw said:

Can't thank you all enough for your time and help (especially Heather)

Lot's for me to process, I did find something but have red flags waving at me! If it's to good to be true it's not for you!... what do you think https://www.amazon.co.uk/Celestron-31051-AstroMaster-Reflector-Telescope/dp/B0013Z42AK?th=1

After checking the link it's now showing currently unavailable, It was £139 

Was it maybe a returned item ? I've had a few bargains from 'Amazon Warehouse' when they get something with damaged packaging or a return, well worth a punt if you see something of that kind, as amazon returns policy applies to warehouse deals too , so you can just send it back at their expense if it's no good. keep an eye on the az page, you never know ...

Heather

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1 minute ago, Tiny Clanger said:

Was it maybe a returned item ? I've had a few bargains from 'Amazon Warehouse' when they get something with damaged packaging or a return, well worth a punt if you see something of that kind, as amazon returns policy applies to warehouse deals too , so you can just send it back at their expense if it's no good. keep an eye on the az page, you never know ...

Heather

I'm unsure Heather, funny thing did happen, I was on the phone to Bristol Cameras and I mentioned the cheap price on Amazon, while on the call I posted the link on SGL and by the time I had ended the call the item became unavailable.

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2 minutes ago, miketw said:

I'm unsure Heather, funny thing did happen, I was on the phone to Bristol Cameras and I mentioned the cheap price on Amazon, while on the call I posted the link on SGL and by the time I had ended the call the item became unavailable.

Maybe Bristol Cameras snapped it up  ?! 🙂

I'm joking, they have never messed me around. Did you get anything helpful from them ? Are their 130 eq and virtuoso really in stock ?

Heather

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44 minutes ago, miketw said:

Wow, just had a look at the GTi goto mount and a celestron omni 127 SCT scope, looks like a good setup, Heather is right thinking my budget is around the £200 I also had plans buying an extra eyepieces / Barlow lens totalling to £250

If I could find something like above at a similar price I would be very interested.

Be aware that the greater the magnification , the less time your target spends crossing the field of view of the eyepiece , so the greater your difficulty finding the thing in the 'scope  in the first place , and tracking it once you found it.

Also the greater the magnification, the greater the effect of a relatively cheap mount and tripod in making that view tremble. Magnification is not everything, and the 'toy' scopes you see advertised which boast huge magnifications are in practice very poor instruments.

The general rule of thumb is that you will seldom usefully exceed a magnification equal to the diameter of your telescope aperture  x2 . So for your current 'scope 76mm x2 =152 , 152x is the highest.  Most beginner mounts, scopes and suburban skies are really going to be happier using a mag. around just their diameter in mm.

To work out the magnification of an eyepiece with any 'scope, take the 'scopes focal length  yours is 700 currently) and divide it by the eyepiece mm , so 700 mm 'scope with a 10mm eyepiece is 70x magnification, whilst a 5mm ep would be pushing the limit on an unusually good steady clear night.

What I'm getting at is that excessive magnification will be detrimental to your view through the 'scope, so planning to buy extra eyepieces and a barlow (I presume to increase the mag.) has a practical usable ceiling beyond which you would be wasting money. What that ceiling is depends on which 'scope you buy. Basic plossls (eg skywatcher ones for around £20 to £25 )are OK, but the higher magnification (lower mm) ones are more difficult to look through. It's complicated  ...  Anything below, say, 10mm will be awkward for what is called 'eye relief' and Jaden may have problems getting his eye in exactly the right spot.

A barlow can help with eye relief, so it might make sense to get a middling EP, say a 15mm and a 2x barlow which would have the effect of making 15mm into 7.5mm when conditions allow . Personally though, I'd hold off on the eyepieces and spend the money on the telescope alone, an extra £50 on the basics of the 'scope and its support will get a better instrument. I bet cheap and second hand plossls are all over ebay etc. , and they make ideal gift suggestions for birthdays or to relatives and friends who would like to make a small contribution .

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Exit pupil size when very small can cause waggle head as you try to position your eye in the right place. Hold a pair of binoculars inside and turn them around now shine a light (not the sun) through the big end, that little circle of light on the little ends is the exit pupil. That is the size of the image circle to position your eye on, exit pupil. Generally speaking the shorter the eyepiece focal length the smaller the exit pupil gets. Unless you chase magnification I don't think you need to concern about this one.

Eye relief is the distance above the eye peice for positioning the eye to see. A bigger eye relief like 20mm on an eyepiece is good for people who observe using glasses. A twist up or pull up eye cup let's both none or glass wearers observe through an eyepiece.

Usually on the description for an eyepiece is the eye relief measurement, I find 16mm -20mm comfortable to use with or without glasses

Edited by happy-kat
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3 hours ago, happy-kat said:

Exit pupil size when very small can cause waggle head as you try to position your eye in the right place. Hold a pair of binoculars inside and turn them around now shine a light (not the sun) through the big end, that little circle of light on the little ends is the exit pupil. That is the size of the image circle to position your eye on, exit pupil. Generally speaking the shorter the eyepiece focal length the smaller the exit pupil gets. Unless you chase magnification I don't think you need to concern about this one.

Eye relief is the distance above the eye peice for positioning the eye to see. A bigger eye relief like 20mm on an eyepiece is good for people who observe using glasses. A twist up or pull up eye cup let's both none or glass wearers observe through an eyepiece.

Usually on the description for an eyepiece is the eye relief measurement, I find 16mm -20mm comfortable to use with or without glasses

Thanks Bright Giant, great to know all this info 👍

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3 hours ago, Tiny Clanger said:

Be aware that the greater the magnification , the less time your target spends crossing the field of view of the eyepiece , so the greater your difficulty finding the thing in the 'scope  in the first place , and tracking it once you found it.

Also the greater the magnification, the greater the effect of a relatively cheap mount and tripod in making that view tremble. Magnification is not everything, and the 'toy' scopes you see advertised which boast huge magnifications are in practice very poor instruments.

The general rule of thumb is that you will seldom usefully exceed a magnification equal to the diameter of your telescope aperture  x2 . So for your current 'scope 76mm x2 =152 , 152x is the highest.  Most beginner mounts, scopes and suburban skies are really going to be happier using a mag. around just their diameter in mm.

To work out the magnification of an eyepiece with any 'scope, take the 'scopes focal length  yours is 700 currently) and divide it by the eyepiece mm , so 700 mm 'scope with a 10mm eyepiece is 70x magnification, whilst a 5mm ep would be pushing the limit on an unusually good steady clear night.

What I'm getting at is that excessive magnification will be detrimental to your view through the 'scope, so planning to buy extra eyepieces and a barlow (I presume to increase the mag.) has a practical usable ceiling beyond which you would be wasting money. What that ceiling is depends on which 'scope you buy. Basic plossls (eg skywatcher ones for around £20 to £25 )are OK, but the higher magnification (lower mm) ones are more difficult to look through. It's complicated  ...  Anything below, say, 10mm will be awkward for what is called 'eye relief' and Jaden may have problems getting his eye in exactly the right spot.

A barlow can help with eye relief, so it might make sense to get a middling EP, say a 15mm and a 2x barlow which would have the effect of making 15mm into 7.5mm when conditions allow . Personally though, I'd hold off on the eyepieces and spend the money on the telescope alone, an extra £50 on the basics of the 'scope and its support will get a better instrument. I bet cheap and second hand plossls are all over ebay etc. , and they make ideal gift suggestions for birthdays or to relatives and friends who would like to make a small contribution .

Heather you are like a book! whatever I read from you I'm being educated.

I noticed this in For Sale / Swap

 

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32 minutes ago, miketw said:

Heather you are like a book! whatever I read from you I'm being educated.

I noticed this in For Sale / Swap

 

Yep, I linked to that yesterday, and said :

"Shame this identical second hand one is in Derby and the seller specifies collection, but maybe you could arrange something ? " ! 🙂

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Hi miketw, I have two alt az goto mounts, and just like you and your son, my wife and I share the eyepiece. One thing to note about goto, is that you don’t necessarily have to align the scope every time you set up. Sometimes I simply set up pointing roughly north and level, manually turn on tracking via the handset and simply use the up and down buttons to find a target using my lowest power eyepiece, the mount will then simply continue to track. We really like the ability to do both, especially tracking, as we can talk about and share our observations, for instance my wife thought she had seen a double star within the Beehive Cluster that I hadn’t, we then increased the magnification and and had a real good look in that particular area. 
One other good thing we like about tracking is that if we have to pop indoors for some warmer clothing, or perhaps a rum and coke, when we return the target is more often than not still within the eyepiece.

 I fully appreciate the financial side of this hobby, it really can snowball, so I have purchased a lot of my equipment second hand, and I genuinely think that 99.9% of the members who post in this forum’s for sale section are honest, genuine and fair, so it is always a good place to look.

Dean.

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