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Hi guys and gals.

As I mentioned in a previous post, looking at a new scope for a beginner.

I was deciding between the SW Virtuoso GTi heritage 150p or the 127 Mak in the same line. I have gravitated towards the Dob for the (pun alert) "flexibility"

My question is more out of curiosity than anything else, but...

What are the Celestron Starsence Explorer's like, more specifically, the Sct's 5&6 ?

I ask because I like the idea of a Goto middle ground of the explorer, where you have to do some of the work your self, learn and be more involved...

..but what gives with the Sct's in this range, are they a worthwhile investment over a cheaper Dob. ?

What am I getting for more money, less aperture and less tech, but I guess a proper mount.

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I have not seen the Celestron Starsense Explorers in the metal, but these are not GoTo scopes, just manual scopes with a clever pointing aid.

The 5" and 6" SCTs are good telescopes, but rather different from a Newtonian, They have a f10 focal ratio but are much shorter than a Newtonian of the same aperture, and cost more to manufacture. They have a large focusing range which often proves useful with accessories.

57 minutes ago, Thomas Burgess said:

but I guess a proper mount.

I don't think so. I think the mounts will be in the lightweight portable or 'starter' class.

An EQ5 Synscan, a Celestron AVX or an Evolution would be my idea of a 'proper mount'.

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10 minutes ago, Cosmic Geoff said:

I don't think so. I think the mounts will be in the lightweight portable or 'starter' class.

An EQ5 Synscan, a Celestron AVX or an Evolution would be my idea of a 'proper mount'.

Yeah, I say "proper mount" in the loosest Sense, as the Virtuoso's I was looking at are tabletops.😁

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1 hour ago, Thomas Burgess said:

Hi guys and gals.

As I mentioned in a previous post, looking at a new scope for a beginner.

I was deciding between the SW Virtuoso GTi heritage 150p or the 127 Mak in the same line. I have gravitated towards the Dob for the (pun alert) "flexibility"

My question is more out of curiosity than anything else, but...

What are the Celestron Starsence Explorer's like, more specifically, the Sct's 5&6 ?

I ask because I like the idea of a Goto middle ground of the explorer, where you have to do some of the work your self, learn and be more involved...

..but what gives with the Sct's in this range, are they a worthwhile investment over a cheaper Dob. ?

What am I getting for more money, less aperture and less tech, but I guess a proper mount.

I used to own the Celestron 127mak Nexstar goto scope, and it was an ok scope, but I had alot of frustration with the alignment and tracking, they just never worked as they should have, especially the tracking. The alignment failed constantly, and the tracking would just suddenly stop working and the object would track off the field of view, and i would have to align a over again to correct this. It really killed my enjoyment after awhile.

I ended up getting a whole new replacement telescope from celestron, but guess what, the exact same issues occurred.

I had some really nice views of the moon and planets, and even the solar eclipse with a solar filter, but it just was plagued with issues,  so I sold it.

I also found it quite cumbersome to lug around, as I have some physical disabilities,  and the tripod was quite shaky even when I weighed it down with weights.

These are all reasons I would not recommend this scope. Also, the whole time I had the 127mak, I regretted not buying a dobsonian scope.

I went a couple years without a telescope, and I just went down the same path you are going down now, trying to choose a scope, and its hard, because there are no perfect scopes, especially in the beginners price range. There is always something about a scope that is a weakness or needs improvement.

I settled after much consideration on the Orion StarBlast 6i IntelliScope 6 inch dobsonian table top.

Apparantly  the focuser sux, but it's more than made up for with the portability which is important to me as I simply cannot lift a full size 6 inch dob, and from what I understand it can function as a wider field ot high magnification depending on your choice of eyepieces.

There is no perfect scope, but this one fits my needs.

Clear skies!

Edited by Cook-net
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1 hour ago, Thomas Burgess said:

Hi guys and gals.

As I mentioned in a previous post, looking at a new scope for a beginner.

I was deciding between the SW Virtuoso GTi heritage 150p or the 127 Mak in the same line. I have gravitated towards the Dob for the (pun alert) "flexibility"

My question is more out of curiosity than anything else, but...

What are the Celestron Starsence Explorer's like, more specifically, the Sct's 5&6 ?

I ask because I like the idea of a Goto middle ground of the explorer, where you have to do some of the work your self, learn and be more involved...

..but what gives with the Sct's in this range, are they a worthwhile investment over a cheaper Dob. ?

What am I getting for more money, less aperture and less tech, but I guess a proper mount.

If you like the idea of a telescope where you still have to do some of the work, then you could look at 'push-to' telescopes as well. Orion Telescopes have the intelliscope system that might be what you are looking for.

FirstLightOptics also sell add-on push-to kits for various Dobsonians, but they are relatively expensive (around £259) so are probably better suited to larger Dobsonians. Of course, that does give you the option of getting a larger Dobsonian without push-to (assuming no space or size restrictions) and then upgrading at a later date when budget allows. You may find that you enjoy learning the night-sky and the push-to kit becomes unnecessary. I should add that I use go-to myself, as I would struggle to find any objects in the nightsky with the level of light pollution where I live and for me that is the big advantage of push-to/go  to systems.

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9 hours ago, Cosmic Geoff said:

The 5" and 6" SCTs are good telescopes, but rather different from a Newtonian, They have a f10 focal ratio but are much shorter than a Newtonian of the same aperture, and cost more to manufacture. They have a large focusing range which often proves useful with accessories.

Do you know if all Sct's are capable of attaching a DSLR and achieving focus? I have a ESO 350D knocking around and the explorer 5/6 would be certainly be more appealing if it was another string to its bow, however weak it might be.

Trying to find meaningful reviews on these scopes is impossible. Only found one so far at https://www.skyatnightmagazine.com/reviews/telescopes/celestron-starsense-explorer-dx-6-inch-schmidt-cassegrain/ and it's a little vague.

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9 minutes ago, Thomas Burgess said:

Do you know if all Sct's are capable of attaching a DSLR and achieving focus?

Compound scopes with moving mirrors like SCTs and MCTs probably have largest focus range out of all scopes. They can easily focus with any sort of accessories attached and focus quite near and far as well.

11 minutes ago, Thomas Burgess said:

Trying to find meaningful reviews on these scopes is impossible.

Try here:

https://www.scopereviews.com/list.html

Down the page there is section on catadioptric scopes and you'll find reviews of C5, C6 and C8 for example.

These are older reviews and focus more on optics and less on mounts supplied with scopes.

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41 minutes ago, vlaiv said:

Compound scopes with moving mirrors like SCTs and MCTs probably have largest focus range out of all scopes. They can easily focus with any sort of accessories attached and focus quite near and far as well.

Try here:

https://www.scopereviews.com/list.html

Down the page there is section on catadioptric scopes and you'll find reviews of C5, C6 and C8 for example.

These are older reviews and focus more on optics and less on mounts supplied with scopes.

Thanks for the help bud, will have a look, really useful.😁

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