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Just got my first scope


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Well its been a while in coming but I have my first scope sorted :D

Now here's the part where you all laugh...its a Meade ETX70 and it cost me £50 off eBay.

Anyway, my idea is its cheap and it gets me started with some observing and some very low level photography stuff (very low indeed...probably non existent). I live in an area with 4 streetlights, where its so dark I can stand in my back yard on a clear night and see millions of stars. 50m from my front door....total and utter darkness :)

My main question though is: is the mount fairly universal? as in if I were to get a larger Meade scope would I be able to chuck it on the same mount and tripod?

Havnt even got it and already Im watching something else on eBay :)

Edited by splatt
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Hey, not much wrong with a 70mm (f5) scope for 50 quid. Cant tell you about the mount query. You will see plenty with the 70mm though. The Kellner EP's that come with it are not much good but they will do for now.

I'd be happy enough to pick up a 70mm scope for 50 quid.

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Thanks folks

I must admit I am half expecting an empty box or a box containing a smashed scope to arrive :)

It comes with 4 eyepieces, look to be Meade's own jobbies. Will keep my eyes open for some better quality eyepieces and a camera mount/adaptor/whatever they are called.

Edited by splatt
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I've not used an ETX70 but looking at the pictures of them I'd say that the mount and tripod were bespoke for the scope. I doubt anything larger would fit and the tripod would not be stable enough for a larger scope.

It's probably best to get the best out of the scope you have bought at such a bargain price then think about moving to something larger when you have an idea where your interests lie.

Here is a great source of information about ETX scopes:

Weasner's Mighty ETX Site

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An ETX 70 for £ 50 great buy you should get a E P set from FLO

great price

clear skies :)

I agree. The scope cost you next to nothing (bargain). A good EP kit such as the Revelation or Celestron kit (i'd go with the Revelation) would be within reason (price wise) and you could still use the EP's with any scope you buy in the future.

Edited by LukeSkywatcher
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That's a real bargain price. Bet you have lots of fun with that. To be honest... I'd save your money for now, get used to the scope with the EP's that come with it. They may not be the best in the world, but I'm sure you'll get some reasonable views with them. It'll also allow you time to get an idea of what you want to see and look at, which will help decide what ep's to get.

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While looking on eBay for some EP's I chucked a rather hopeful last minute bid in on a Celestron Astromaster 130...for £60..and won.

I need to stay away from eBay :)

However Im pretty chuffed, as I can use the Meade for quick, easy, light setups and the Celestron to mess around with photography too for when Im feeling a little more adventurous.

Only issue is the Celestron doesnt have a motor mount. Any suggestions on how best to combat this?

Im now putting eBay on my blocked website list :D

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Thanks folks

Will keep my eyes open for some better quality eyepieces and a camera mount/adaptor/whatever they are called.

I know someone whos selling an eyepiece kit AND a camera adapter, he says looking skywards and whistling :)

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Replied to your PM Tophouse.

Still waiting for scopes to arrive...annoying as its been clear skies here the last few nights.

Debating starting a blog charting my progress with budget eBay astronomy...might come in useful for those on a mega-tight budget wanting to get into the hobby.

Then again countless others have probably beaten me to it :p

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Not sure what eyepieces came with it, you mention 4.

The 70 works pretty well with something like 6, 8, 15, 25.

Had a 4mm and may as well have binned it.

Didn't try(buy) a 5mm, stuck to the 6mm.

Pretty easy to set up, just spend a little extra time doing a good job rather then plonking it down and rushing it. With a 25mm eyepiece in every alignment star used to be in the field of view.

Had such a field of view that simply putting the 25mm in and pointing it by sighting along the tube usually had the desired object in view.

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Hi Splatt,

My main question though is: is the mount fairly universal? as in if I were to get a larger Meade scope would I be able to chuck it on the same mount and tripod?

The mount is not at all universal.

Another 70 mm refractor may fit, but it's probably longer which causes some problems with the mount (touching it at an angle above some 70 degrees), and heavier too which could damage the motor.

So it's indeed a stand-alone device.

Intention, I guess.

Nevertheless a real bargain for 50 quid.

Regards from Berlin, Germany,

Goetz

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Hi Splatt,

Before the ETX70 comes in, please do the following preparation work. You will need it for immediate success when setting up the GoTo telescope.

1. You should know the geographical longitude and altitude of your loacation. The built-in computer may propose some destinations in GB, but they could be too far away from your actual location (more than 150 miles, and that hampers 100% exact alignment of the telescope).

2. I propose to do the 2-star alignment. The computer will propose some bright stars for this purpose. Be prepared to choose the desired alignment star from a list with Arabic star names (no kidding, I am serious). The baby must have a name, and Meade in its wisdom opted for the Arabic names. Well, admittedly Celestron, Skywatcher etc. use Arabic names too. - So you need a star map which provides you with these names. - Make sure that alignment star #1 is not too close to star #2.

Full success and have fun!

Regards from Berlin, Germany,

Goetz

And yes, I owned an ETX70 too.

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Well the Celestron arrived a couple of hours ago...looks like its never even been touched :p

Just set it up in the front room to make sure all is OK. Seems to be working absolutely fine and Im now praying to every god I know for clear skies tonight!

Edited by splatt
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OK when you get outside try it on Albeiro a double star..You should see two beautifull sharp points of light one blue and one orange...Fine! Its overhead and is the bottom of the cross of Cygnus...

Then perhaps M13/ M15 which are bright balls of millions of stars. Should look like a fuzz ball. Where to find these? Buy Turn left at Orion or download stellarium..

Then after midnight try it on Jupiter....four moons..a distictive belt of clouds...

Now you will be hooked forever.

You will need lots of patience setting it up right but it gets easier I promise...

I love e-bay..Have bought and sold many scopes under £100...IMHO its better for buying than selling. If you want to sell something that is in good condition you get a better price on astro buy and sell...

Oh yes and as I am galaxy mad try M31 which is about half way up to the North, down and right from the W of Cassiopea. In a 70mm scope it will be an oval glow...Over 100 million stars I believe...

Enjoy....The forecast is pretty much for spells of clear but also showers for the rest of the week so you should get a few slots...

Mark

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Nice one thanks

I got a couple of books with the scope, one of which is a Phillips Stargazer Guide 2009 which has some handy maps in.

Trawling the web now to find some Mac compatible night sky software.

Still very cloudy :p

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  • 2 weeks later...

Looks like I have been had with the Meade.

Paid for it two weeks ago, sent multiple emails to the seller but to no avail.

Im giving them the benefit of the doubt and assuming she is ill or away or something. Ill leave it a couple more days before opening a dispute.

Oh well, at least I have the Astromaster

and now some night sky software :)

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