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Meade Vs Celestron Vs Skywatcher


martintblack
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Good Evening All

I have been asked by my lecturers to look into some new scopes for undergraduate students, to replace their aging C5s, and 8" Meade lx200 Classic (I think).

I came back with a list of recommendations:

Skywatcher Explorer 200p DS on a HEQ5 pro Synscan Mount.

Skywatcher AZ GOTO mounts with the old C5 OTAs on them (since they aren't bad, just the mounts that have gone)

Originally they asked me to find telescopes inexperienced students could 'shove down, turn on, and find cool things with'! I know there is the new auto-leveling gps all-singing-all-dancing Meades around, but I thought they were very pricey.

I am being asked now why I have chosen Skywatcher over Celestron or Meade. Personally, I've just had better experience with them, over the other two manufacturers.

So I put it to you fellow SGL-ers, what are your opinions? I am only a 3rd year undergrad myself, so the more experienced observers backing I have the better. I am open top other suggestions too, but the price needs to stay fairly low!

Thanks very much

Martin

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IMHO at the level of gear you are buying there isn't much difference between the 3 companies.

You can chose the gear based on function/ specification and then pick whichever supplier makes the best design for you rather than buy based on the company name.

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You want something to 'shove down, turn on, and find cool things with' and you suggested a equatorial mounted Newtonian? ;)

IIRC, Synta own the Skywatcher brand and they bought out Celestron as well, so there probably isn't much to chose between I'd imagine - same glass, different branding. Have used SW gear for what it's worth and found them good, but then I haven't had anything to compare against.

For the criteria given, some kind of GOTO AZ seems the best way forward, no?

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The specific use is a little bit loose. There isn't very much practical observing done within the department (hence the asking me!), so it is for general observing use in general. I though the GOTO AZ is the best for the small scopes, so it is nice to get some back up on that one.

The other one is a bit more complex to set up and use, but it's also for the more 'advanced' students. Makes a decent set up for imaging too, which is my interest, so that's a plus!

Ignoring the manufacturer, any other suggestions of kit you think might be of use?

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yeti Mosnter - Not sure what the plan is for the old scopes. I think the plan is to keep the OTAs from the C5s, but chuck the mounts (trust me, best thing for them!). As for the 8" Meade, I do not know. I would like to take a bash at fixing it, or maybe making use of it for something else, but they might want to try to sell it. Need to speak to them about that.

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Taken from a learning point of view,how about a Dobsonian Telescope.

here is a link to the type of scope i am thinking of.

Celestron Star Hopper Telescopes Dobsonian telescopes buy on-line at f1telescopes.co.uk

All your students need to know to use this scope is how to read a star map (classroom stuff) and the main stars in a Constellation then to find "cool stuff" you simply "Star Hop" like dot to dot.

Simple setup,no messing around and plenty to learn in the class room and at the scope plus they are cheap for the size of scope you get for your money.

Regards

Tim

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Thanks Angeleyes, it is a good idea, however we already have a couple of Dobsonians.

Must be said though, they were very rarely used until recently, think the lecturers were a bit too rusty on being able to find things without a computer to point them to it!

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Hello again

All the Skywatcher scopes i have seen are of good quality for the money.It maybe an idea to download or print off a Catalogue and show them,let them make up there own minds but as said above,Celestron and Skywatcher are the same company now.

Regards

Tim

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Ref your idea to put the C5 on the SkyWatcher SynScan AZ goto mount. It will work just fine.

I have a C6S which I often take off its CG5 mount and put on a SkyWatcher SynScan AZ goto mount. The C6/Skywatcher AZ mount is a very lightweight and portable package..... great for grab and go. The position of the dovetail on the C6S results in the scope being rotated 90 degrees from normal when mounted on the SkyWatcher AZ goto mount.(focuser knob on the top of the scope, 12 o clock position, and finder scope on the bottom, 8 o'clock position) .. a little strange looking but functional.

The SkyWatcher SynScan AZ GOTO mount easily takes the weight of the C6 OTA, finder scope, telrad finder, a DSLR camera, T ring, etc ... about 2 kilos over the mount's published rating. Accuracy is dead on within the center third of the eyepiee (25mm eyepiece; 150 mm, f/10 scope).

The only downside to the mount is the tripod which vibrates, excessively and also can deflect from orthogonality, resulting in poor goto accuracy and tracking. Fortunately the fix for the tripod is simple ... tightening up all the nuts and bolts on the tripod generally solves the deflection problem and reduces the vibration to acceptable levels for viewing. Further stiffening can be achieved by injecting epoxy between the upper tripod leg sockets and the tripod legs. The tripod definitely is not in the same class as the mount.

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