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£600 Scope help for Enthusiastic semi-beginner!


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Right, due to having finished payin off the car and personal loans, I will soon have more wonga to throw at my stargazin', but I'd really like to know your thoughts as to what I could get for my money.

I have currently got a Celestron Astromaster130, with a few upgraded EP's, which is nice enough and for less than £100 it's be great but now I'd like something i can:

Start seein faint DSO's and getting enough contrast/light so the 'small fuzzies' ain't so small and fuzzy! (currently, even the trio of Leo galaxies are only visible with averted vision and a good imagination!)

Get good observing of planets (but if I were to choose, I'd rather have good observing of DSO's than planetary)...as the sights of Jupiter I've got over the past few months have blown me (and everyone I've shown) away, even thru my budget scope!

I'd like a motorized mount and tracking, but I'm not too fussed about a Goto (also, being a Macbook user, I don't think a lot of the software would run without me gettin emulators and other such gubbins!)

Any ideas? I'm open to all suggestions! :)

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A Skywatcher 200 reflector on an EQ5 mount with RA motor, cost around £550? Good for DSO's and planetary. Keep your smaller scope for wide low power viewing and for times you only want to spend 1/2 an hour outside.

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Have to agree with Darren here, if you want to go as 'deep' as possible then get the biggest scope you can. An 8" reflector has enough aperture to show you loads of DSO's and the EQ5 will be sturdy enough for it too. Plus you've got a bit left over to perhaps grab a couple of nice eyepieces.

Tony..

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Another vote for aperture here - if you can do without a motorised mount (not essential for DSO's I'd suggest) you are in 12" dobsonian terratory with that budget - in a 12" scope DSO's actually start to look a bit like they do in the pictures under dark skies :)

John

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Ooh, a few good ideas there...my one concern about a Dob is just how portable are they? I need to keep it in the house (we don't have masses of space!) and also I need to carry it down a few steps and about 80yrds to get into the field out back away from any light. I can do this with the tripod mounted scopes, but as good as Dobs are, they look kinda awkward to move...what say thee?

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Hi phil, ive a skyliner 300p dob, it is big and quite heavy but the views i get through it are amazing and i soon forget about my aching arms!! moving it outside in 2 parts is not a problem as it only takes 30 seconds to stick it back together! i keep it inside when not in use and it takes up hardly any room!!

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Ooh, a few good ideas there...my one concern about a Dob is just how portable are they? I need to keep it in the house (we don't have masses of space!) and also I need to carry it down a few steps and about 80yrds to get into the field out back away from any light. I can do this with the tripod mounted scopes, but as good as Dobs are, they look kinda awkward to move...what say thee?

I keep my 12" dob in my house but I've only got to carry it a few yards to my garden and no steps so that works OK. The optical tube just lifts on and off the base so it's easy to split the scope into two loads.

Personally I have found EQ mounted scopes just as awkward as dobs because of the weight of the counterweights, the mount head, the tripod etc so dob of a given aperture is easier to manage than and EQ mounted scope of the same aperture, in my opinion.

Having said that I guess an 80 yard carry would be more than I would want to try with my 12" dob - but I'm probably a wimp :)

See what others have to say - I know that there are a variety of views on this.

John

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