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SW ED80 - worth upgrading?

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I got a gold tube (ouch!) SW ED80 a few years ago, a Giro like Alt-Az mount and a huge wooden tripod (almost gone, have to change the legs or get a metal one, more practical), back then I used to organise with my son's schoolmates to go and observe Moon and Jupiter, with time passing kids grew and interest slowly vanished but it was lot of fun to hear their marvel when looking through the eyepiece.

Time has gone by, I don't have a big slice of sky to observe from my place but once in a while I like to mount the scope and wonder myself (first time I saw Saturn end of last summer, it was a tiny tiny thing but, wow!!!) through the eyepieces (I own 25 - 12.5 and 7.5 Celestron XL and a Planetary 3.5 which is a pain to use), I wish I could do some D-SLR photography but realised without an EQ mount better forget it but, visual wise, is there something to upgrade on the ED80 (focuser, flattener...) with modest investment or better wait and get a wider one?




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As always I guess it depends what you want to observe and also it sounds like your mount is possibly not the most stable? But the ED80 is very capable and you have some nice eyepieces (apart from the 3.5mm) so you should be able to do a lot with it. Some thoughts are:

- A nice 5mm eyepiece for doubles, planets and Luna  

- A Herschel wedge for white light solar 

- A focuser upgrade with a two speed focuser 

- A UHC filter to enhance faint nebulae

I’m sure you’ll get others chipping in. 🙂

Edited by RobertI
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I loved my Equinox 80ED and found that with a cheap binoviewer and a pair of cheap ortho's, the little scope would have me transfixed for an hour or more on the Moon or Jupiter. But depending on how much will you spend on a new focuser and various other bits and pieces? It may be worth considering moving up to something like a Starfield 102ED, which has a terrific focuser, is still physically small, and will pack much more of a punch. 

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