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Hello Everyone!


jamdex07
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Decided to enhance my naked eye Astronomy which I have always been fascinated with, actually swat up a bit and in a couple of months take the plunge and buy some hardware.

The penny dropped on Sunday night when I was in my back garden with my nephew and realised I could point out Venus, Saturn and Mars to his amazement...

So, the big question is where do I start?

I'll be able to scrape together about £300 by the end of August (which is when ive decided my hardware 'research' period will end and I’ll actually part with the cash!).

Ideally, I’d like something that I won’t grow out of in a hurry but I’m realistic in what that amount of cash will buy me... I'd like to pass it on to my son when he's old enough (plenty of time yet!) and get him hooked (it’s also an excuse for me to upgrade! :D )

I realise there's probably loads of threads here about this sort of thing, but I really don’t know what I’m looking for!

Also, apologies in advance for the forthcoming sea of probably really stupid questions, but you seem a friendly bunch :)

Thanks loads

Pete.

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hi pete i would check out the for sale section in here i got my skywatcher 200p off here for less than half the rrp. im also newish to the hobby and went out and spent 300 quid on a goto meade ds2000 scope let me tell you unless you know what your doing they are handful i would recomend the 200p that i have got you can pick up a new one from Skyliner 200P 8" Parabolic Dobsonian Telescope its just 5pound over your budjet but talking from experince i got a 4.5 inch meade ds2000 and got this 4 days later and wish i had never botherd with the meade the if you want to see fantasic veiws from the start then i would sujjest get a scope that over 6inch anything less will leave you in some what er....robbed i was a bit dissapointed when i got my 114mm becasue after reading the reveiws got me all excited and it failed to deliver but the 8inch skywatcher i would recomend to anybody as there 1st choice....any way what ever you decide to buy i hope you enjoy every minuite

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If you want the biggest bang for your buck then Dobs are they way to go. If you think you will eventually try your hand at imaging then Dobs are not the way to go. You will want an EQ mount for your scope to do this.

Big apeture = reflectors = cheap(ish)

Small apeture = Refractors = expensive(ish)

Reflectors are good for seeing DSOs (deep space objects).

Refractors are good for seeing planets,moon,clusters etc.

Dobs are manual ALT-az scopes that work best if you have a basic idea of the night sky and how to use charts etc to find objects. But if the only thing you know in the night sky is the Moon.......then thats fine too.

You also have to consider storage,portability etc. No point buying something you can not store safely and easily and move around.

Edited by LukeSkywatcher
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hi pete i would check out the for sale section in here i got my skywatcher 200p off here for less than half the rrp. im also newish to the hobby and went out and spent 300 quid on a goto meade ds2000 scope let me tell you unless you know what your doing they are handful i would recomend the 200p that i have got you can pick up a new one from Skyliner 200P 8" Parabolic Dobsonian Telescope its just 5pound over your budjet but talking from experince i got a 4.5 inch meade ds2000 and got this 4 days later and wish i had never botherd with the meade the if you want to see fantasic veiws from the start then i would sujjest get a scope that over 6inch anything less will leave you in some what er....robbed i was a bit dissapointed when i got my 114mm becasue after reading the reveiws got me all excited and it failed to deliver but the 8inch skywatcher i would recomend to anybody as there 1st choice....any way what ever you decide to buy i hope you enjoy every minuite

As it happens i was looking at that one, anyone else got any other feedback on it? I totally agree with you on the 8" thing.

If you want the biggest bang for your buck then Dobs are they way to go. If you think you will eventually try your hand at imaging then Dobs are not the way to go. You will want an EQ mount for your scope to do this.

Big apeture = reflectors = cheap(ish)

Small apeture = Refractors = expensive(ish)

Reflectors are good for seeing DSOs (deep space objects).

Refractors are good for seeing planets,moon,clusters etc.

Dobs are manual ALT-az scopes that work best if you have a basic idea of the night sky and how to use charts etc to find objects. But if the only thing you know in the night sky is the Moon.......then thats fine too.

You also have to consider storage,portability etc. No point buying something you can not store safely and easily and move around.

Aww, can't i have it all with one? :)

I think i will be eventually trying my had at photography as that's another subject I'm interested in (got a D80 SLR). i don't think i want a GOTO one, i really fancy the challenge/learning curve of finding things for myself - i realise i might be being a little naive there though!

Reflectors & Refractors, i want to go deep space and local - is there nothing that good at both?

Size and storage, i would rather not sacrifice on image quality and put up with bulky and heavy... although it would be nice to have something compact, its not essential.

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Hi J,

Don't be put off by Go-to scopes - you don't have to use the go-to functionality. I quite often prefer to scan around without it. As a novice you have the added luxury of being able to identify objects that the scope is pointing at when you're not quite certain what they are.

Some of the kit that comes up on here regularly in the 'For sale' section is very good value, but it seems you have to be pretty quick off the mark.

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I, personally, would recommend the "learn it yourself" route. Goto strikes me as being akin to playstation "cheats", you can get the results without really trying. I've been gradually learning my way around the sky for 10 months now and am able to recognise constellations with the naked eye, name some of the brighter stars and point out the planets to folk who come past whilst I'm observing.

Ok, so locating the faint fuzzies is a real challenge, but I like life to be like that, I find it very rewarding indeed, and the lessons become learnt.

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I, personally, would recommend the "learn it yourself" route. Goto strikes me as being akin to playstation "cheats", you can get the results without really trying. I've been gradually learning my way around the sky for 10 months now and am able to recognise constellations with the naked eye, name some of the brighter stars and point out the planets to folk who come past whilst I'm observing.

Ok, so locating the faint fuzzies is a real challenge, but I like life to be like that, I find it very rewarding indeed, and the lessons become learnt.

Exactly my feelings - i feel i'll be taking away half of the experience/challenge if i 'cheat'.

Maybe in time when i'm more confident/competent i'll invest in one just to cut down on 'finding' time and spend more time seeing...

Pete.

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re goto lol..... i personally do not have the evening to loose trying to track something down that is little more than a smokey smudge in the eyepiece so i wouldnt leave home without it :-) If your after some "simple" webcam photography i would again say the goto has it advantages as you can quickly "goto" then spend the next hour or so setting the camera up (at least it takes me this amount of time lol)... Seriously just remember the good seeing nights are few and far between... This time of year the nights are also very short and realistically your talking 11pm onwards for viewing maybe a couple of nights a week MAX. I dont have time to scan the skies until the early hours to finally settle on a target. By the time ive found it its ZZzzzzzz time without the goto.

Horses for Courses i personally think people are just too dissmisive reagrding the goto and think its toy like/cheating etc when indeed they are very accurate and reliable these days... They certainly have "their" place in the world of astronomy.

Personally i love goto on my grab and go scope (it really is a grab and go setup and find target all in less than 10 mins jobbie...but would settle for a non goto dob at home NOW i know a bit about the sky ;-)

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HI Pete, welcome to the forum.

With the telescope's, it's a matter of personal preference.

From my own experience, I bought a goto first, and then a 12" dob, I now use the dob most of the time. It takes around the same time to set up, and reach temp, and although it's a lot bigger, it still gets used the most. Good luck!

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