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Hi Everyone!

I just wanted to introduce myself to you all and what a lovely community SGL is.

I have my 14 year old son to thank for rekindling my passion for astronomy with his youthful enthusiasm. He could be out getting up to teenage mischief but instead he's leafing through Norton's and running Stellarium (although being a mean guitarist is his other hobby). I guess I've got a year or two tops sharing stargazing with him before he is mobbed by groupies so I plan to upgrade equipment to maximise this time together.

I want to upgrade from a 4" Tasco Newtonian (now you know why my enthusiasm waned!) to a 6" or 8" SCT. I saw a Celestron CPC 800 XLT at the Widescreen Centre and it scared the life out of me! SO much larger than it seems in pictures. I'm thinking about the NexStar 6SE or 8SE, probably used. It seems to fill the role of 'livingroom' friendly and portable. An 8" LX90 or LX10 is another option.

My main concerns are: livingroom space (downstairs is open plan), portability, buying a 6" and wishing I'd got an 8", being lazy to carry or set up an 8" GOTO (compared to the ease of the small Newt).

We are in light-polluted suburban North London (though I have seen the Cygnus Rift, barely) but we'd love get some size on Saturn, resolve the stars in globular clusters and see the shapes of the Ring and Dumbell Nebulas.

Any thoughts on this will be much appreciated!

Clear skies,

Greg and Tom XX

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Greg and Tom Welcome to the SGL

I have a Meade LX90 8" ACF great bit of kit ,before I got my scope I asked my local Astronomy club what they thought of my choice I was going to get the Meade 6"

but was put off and so I got the 8" get as large as you can it will save you money in the long run and them there are eyepieces they can run from £30.00 to 600.00 each

and you will need filters ect ect ect

If I was getting a scope to day I would go to this site and speak to Steve at First Light Optics he is the best and gives you good advice with no oblegation

In a light polluted area 8" is the smallest IMHO



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hi and welcome to the forum,

if money is not so much of an issue i`d go for the 8" cpc celestron,

fantasic scope, has gps so it doesn`t take ages setting up, can be broken down to two pieces of managable size, i.e. scope and mount, plus have goto capabilty.

i`ve sat and looked through one and they are very nice, second hand 8" cpc`s go for around the £1300 ish mark and come up now and again.

i also know that brantuk from this site may be selling his in the very near future so you might want to pm him about it and i can say it`s in a fantastic condition.

bying second hand leaves more money for other things and when you sell, if you do you will get most if not all your money back

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Decisions Decisions, one this for certain when you buy your new scope the weather will be cloudy for ages afterwards, anyway welcome aboard Greg and Tom. Goto mounts just save time and are convenient ans will alow tracking for webcam images of the moon and planets for the beginner.


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Hi Greg and Tom and welcome to the group :mad:

I'm an ardent CPC fan (cos I have one lol) and can thouroughly reccomend them. Beautiful optics - superb tracking and a doddle to set up with the gps. All scopes look bigger than the picture so don't let that put you off.

I'm looking to upgrade mine in future, soon as a 925 comes up for the right deal as mentioned above.

Cheers :D

Rob: thanks for the endorsement. :eek:

Edited by brantuk
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Hi and welcome to SGL.

My first scope was a NexStar 6SE with GPS and it's a great scope - got me hooked the first time I looked through it! I still using it now and even do some imaging with it. It's my old faithfull. That said the guys are right - the aperture is everything. Six months after buying the 6SE I had a 12" Newt and the difference was amazing, so if you can, go for the 8". One extra bit of kit that I found made life easier is an Ambubble levelling bubble (you can get them at FLO at about £20) - it sits between the tripod and the mount so you can balance after you attach the scope - it made alignment much more accurate.

I hope you have fun


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Hello and welcome Greg and Tom. You are right, the size of telescopes can be a bit of a shock. My husband recently bought a SW200 PDS and when it arrived the first thought was 'where on earth are we going to put it!'.

I agree with the majority here and would go with the 8'' rather than 6'' finances and space allowing. You'll only end up wishing for the bigger aperture afterwards.

I have a ten year old son who is also very interested in astronomy - its great to share a hobby like this. We can't wait until winter so that he can join us in the cold and dark.:mad:

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I bid you a warm welcome to the SGL forums.

This is a great knowledge resource, and your astronomy will certainly benefit being here. Questions are more than welcome, there is an abundance of talented people at your disposal.

Your son seems to be a great lad, and you are very proud of him, and a good relationship exists.

Some good advice has been given, and normally I would plump for aperture as a first requirement. However, in your situation, in London, where the light pollution is going to be a nuisance to you, perhaps a Goto telescope would fit the bill. Some of the Deep Sky Objects are faint, and the LP makes it difficult to find them by star hopping, a method used when not using a Goto scope.

Of course these models are going to affect choice, as big aperture, and Goto can make an expensive combination.

If you can manage an 8" on a H EQ5 mount, and a selection of suitable visual filters, then you have a good setup that will bring you some exciting viewing.

The second hand area is another source to look at.

Some very good deals can be found, and you can rely on integrity when dealing with the vast majority of amateur astronomers.

Our For Sale are, is under the Equipment board.

Best Wishes.


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Hi Greg and Tom,

Welcome to SGL.

Maybe when you get your scope, a tent and some basic camping gear may be a useful addition. (Take a double duvet each, and sleep sandwiched in it, dead toasty)

Then you can travel to a dark site, and when you are done, put the scope in the car, and then get some kip! Like you will be able to sleep any way! :mad:

I don't know any dark sites down your way, but someone will give you advice.

Clear skies!

Edited by BAZ Senior
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Welcome to SGL Greg & Tom

A cpc 800 would be a great upgrade easy set up built in GPS and can be taken apart into 2 pieces scope & mount and tripod so it wouldn't take to much room up.

clear skies :mad:

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hi lads nice to see a couple of generations getting together for gazing i agree with everybody here i have a 10" lx90 and am out every night i can they are fantastic scopes and i managed to pick mine up for 850 bargain there great because its a big scope thats still manageable "just" and with goto and auto align its easy peasy hope you two have some great views with your new inevitable purchase and get out of the haze and smog as often as you can as a dark spot is fantastic and can make a lot of difference enjoy and welcome to the group clear sky,s

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Thanks so much for the warm welcome and good advice. I'd not thought about 8" being a min for light polluted skies but I suppose it makes sense as it'll help with the contrast.

All the best,

Greg & Tom XX

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