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Telescope Choice.

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Hi all,

Firstly, I apologise if this is one of many similar posts on here.

I'm looking to get a telescope for my dad for his 60th birthday (at the end of this month!), and I think I've managed to narrow it down to 2:

- Skyhawk-1145P SynScanTM AZ GOTO 114mm (4.5") reflecting telescope (Sky Watcher Skyhawk-1145P SynScanTM AZ GOTO 114mm (4.5") reflecting telescope)

- Meade DS2080 80mm (Meade Meade 80mm computerised GOTO telescope astronomy starter kit)

This will be a first telescope for him, and I'd like it to give him a good start in astronomy as a hobby. I have a number of queries that I hope I can get some help with:

I'd like him to have the ability to use a camera with the telescope - I assume that this is fairly common in amateur astronomy, but is it possible with either of these telescopes?

He spends a number of weeks per year abroad (in which time he'd more than likely be taking the telescope with him), so I was wondering how the GOTO computer would cope with multiple locations. I assume it will involve a setup for every time the location changes (from what I've read it's about 15-20 minutes for a competent person?)?

The reason I'm looking at telescopes with a GOTO mount is that he's a novice to astronomy, so thought the telescopes with GOTO mounts would be ideal. I understand that the price-point I'm looking at is fairly low (up to around £250) - would I be better off spending the same money on a better telescope without the GOTO mount, and have him manually find "targets"?

Apologies for what may be stupid questions - I know nothing about this subject (but I'm trying to learn!), and I want to make The Right Choice .

Thanks in advance. :¬)

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Welcome to SGL :D.

If I could only choose between the two, I'd go for the bigger Skywatcher model as it will show him a lot more than the Meade. But as you correctly guessed, GOTO does cost and takes up a fair bit of your budget. It's also worth noting that GOTO doesn't make a telescope idiot proof, you do need to know some things about the night sky to set it up and if your dad is moving around a lot, it may well confuse him.

Another thing to take into account in regard to transporting it abroad would be if the airline he's travelling on would actually allow the scope on board. It may not be possible.

I reckon given the transport issue and being a complete novice, a good start might be to buy some large(ish) binoculars (15x70's?) and a tripod to hold them steady. They'd be easy to use and easier to transport.



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i think much depends on what way he travels, with plane or with car, or....?

a eq mount do weigh a bit, so if it by plane, that can be difficult, and expensive, but if it is by car, it is much easyer.

these 2 are ok starters AZ GOTO - Skywatcher Explorer 130P SynScan AZ GOTO

AZ GOTO - Skywatcher Startravel 102 SynScan AZ GOTO

i hope you find something that fits for your dad, and hope he will enjoy it very much.


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Tony, Alfi:

Thanks for your prompt replies.

@Tony: I was worried you'd mention about the GOTO aspect of the two telescopes I'd picked taking up a fair whack of the budget. Hopefully someone can give me some pointers towards a non-GOTO telescope in the same sort of budget.

@Alfi: Thanks for those links, I'll have a look at both and compare with the two I was previously looking at.

As far as transport goes - thankfully he'll be driving for the most part, so no worries about damage in transit or extra fees/problems.

Edited by makaio
Replying to Alfi.
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