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telescope for my husband!

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hello there

I am a young woman in a dilema (not good i know). My husband has been intrested in the sky for some time now, we now have a loft conversion with a huge window so thought it was time to get him is first telescope... Only problem is i do not have a clue were to start!

I have seen a few is this one any good?

Mars 76RDF 700x76mm (3") Newtonian Reflector kit

Bresser 70 Astronomy starter telescope kit

hope some of you enthusiasts can help me

thanks inadvance

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Hello Lyndsey

You need to specify a bit of a budget so people can give you some ideas. The Skywatcher range can be recommended at almost any price though, and the explorer 130 is a great starter scope

Reflectors - Skywatcher Explorer 130

If you have a bit more to spend you can go bigger in size with more bells and whistles, or bigger in size with less bells and whistles and buy a dobsonian

Dobsonians - Skywatcher Skyliner 200P Dobsonian

one thing to mention though about your large window, this would need to be open fully so the scope has an unobstructed view of the sky, looking through a closed window is not really any good and you will never get a decent view.

As in most things of this nature, a phone call to FLO (the site sponsors) will pay you dividends.

Hope some of this has helped (and that my links work but I am not hopeful)


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Some great advice on scopes but if I was you do not use your scope in the loft. Let me explain you have a warm house, well warmer then outside anyway and thermal currents will rise up through the floor and through the roof, this will really destroy the view through your scope.

The best views will be outside when your scope matches the ambient temperature.

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lyndsey, the motorised mount will enable you to keep the chosen object in view (without touching anything), provided the mount has been aligned in the first place. The non-motor driven mount needs manual intervention to keep an object in view.

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I spoke to to First Light Optics for help on chosing my first telescope yesterday. They recommended the Skywatcher Skyliner 150P Dobsonian. This look big and bulky though. I was interested in the Explorer 130 which seems to get an all round good review for people starting out.

Give FLO a call they are very keen to help.


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I had a skywatcher 130 and foun d it great. The motor is ok but I most often did without as it was a hassle to set up. The mount on this scope takes a bit of time to get balanced and aligned. Not hard just time consuming. The slow motion knobs for moving it manually take a bit of practice. Which moves it which way?

I got a dob which is simply set up. Put the tube on the box and tighten up the handles,. Ready to go! Just needs to cool. I have found this much easier to use. just push and pull it to the right position. Even my wife, (who isn't stupid just not into this as much as I am!), can manage to use this.

You will have brillant views of the sky whatever you get. Happy shopping.


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I agree that buying a telescope for a first time user is difficult.

An equatorially mounted one can puzzle a newbie, and not easy to come to terms with. I would recommend a Dobsonian every time.

So simple, but effective. The first time user does not always maintain the interest in the hobby either, and fighting with a difficult mount could hasten the disillusionment.

I suggest a 6" f5 Dob. scope.

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If the scope will be used at or through a window a dobsonian isn't a good choice. It will be sat on the floor and what it can see will be highly restricted.

A newtonian on a mount or a refractor on a mount would be better as they can be positioned at, or closer to, the opening and so have a better field of view.

If the window is angled then I would tend towards a refractor, the head will not then be upper end of the scope and if the window opens enough then the objective end could be more or less through the window.

Probably a terriable thing to suggest but have you thought of a spotting scope, used by birdwatchers? ;):eek: Can be pointed at the sky, and can be used for bird watching round the garden.

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If you are going to use it in the loft and you are thinking of getting an equatorial mount, you may find setting it up difficult if you cannot see polaris (the north star). I might be wrong because I don't have an eq mount but it's a thought that occurred to me.

hi Capricorn, m8, for once I almost agree with you ;) but it probably depends how high the window is. if it's sort of chest level and up then you're probably right; if it's a floor to ceiling job then would it make much difference?

tbh I can't believe that anyone would stay in the loft if they got into the hobby at all for the reasons Doc said and because however big the window is (unless it's the whoe roof) it's surely going to be pretty restrictive and if your luck's anyhting like mine, the one bit of sky you'l be able to see will be a great big empty bit... buy hubby a wooly hat and get him outside...

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i supose if he really gets the bug, he could fit the house with a roll off roof ;)

getting (a bit) more serious, i'm glad to see your thinking of buying your husband a telescope, from the title i thought you were looking for a swap :(

ok thats enough, contact the guys at FLO (link top of screen) though probably best to leave it a few days due to the dreaded lurgy, they are the most helpfull people you can imagine for anyone no matter how (in)experienced and they'll help guide you to the right choice and won't mind talking to you.

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I am looking to spend no more than £150 if at all possible, i dont want to spend alot and he not use it as often as i think he would..

thanks for all your input


The more you pay, the better the views through the scope will be and the more you use it. Bit of a catch 22 this, but a cheap scope will be disappionting and wont be used much.

You need to get something that has a little of the WOW factor to keep the interest up, and small enough to be easily transported outside. Loft views, as has been mentioned before, will be too restrictive to be of any real interest.

My interest in astronomy started many years ago when my parents bought me a 40mm Tasco refractor. It wasnt really very good, but I could see craters on the moon and that was all I was interested in at the time. The images have stuck with me all this time and kept the interest buzzing around.

I think a Skywatcher Evostar 80 Auto CLICK HERE would fit the bill. FLO might be able to do one similar if you call.

This would be a good scope to start with. Easily transportable and easy to use, within budget ( just) and will have a little of the Wow factor that you need.


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The Skywatcher Heritage 130 is a great deal on a smaller scope with tons of aperture but yet stores compactly. You will probably want to set it on a stool and then it will be fine looking out the window.

Homepage - Skywatcher Heritage 130p Flextube

An even better way to start out is with a fantastic book like Nightwatch by Dickinson. This will help you with the night sky much better than a telescope. Then a few months later you will be ready to select a great telescope for you.

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Hello Lyndsey,

I'm afraid viewing through a window (unless you have no other choice) will give you a very limited view and poor images due to heat rising from the house.

The ideal starter telescope is a 6" diameter reflector on a very simple push mount - a Dobsonian.

See here ....

Dobsonians - Skywatcher Skyliner 150P Dobsonian

This is a very capable telescope that will give excellent views.

If after time hubby wants to progress he can easily put this telescope on a motorised mount that will track the planets and stars.

In terms of performance/pounds spent you will not beat this option.


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assuming you're going to be setitng up outside, I'd go for the dob too. Have a look at some of the posts in the equipment help section and the beginners section as there are lots and lots of discussions on the merits for a beginner of different types of scopes. For the dob -

biggest aperture per £

easy and quick to set up

you have to learn the sky to use it

against the dob -

you have to nudge it manually to track things in the sky

you may have to collimate it

you have to learn the sky to use it


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