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Hi from a newbie


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For the last couple of years I've been using my Opticron 10x50 binoculars on a tripod. To be honest I have been impressed with the views you can get just with binoculars. When I first saw the Jupiter's moons change position, I was astonished.:icon_eek:

I have two children who have enjoyed sharing my hobby. Now I feel I am ready to move onto buying a telescope. At the moment I am only planning on buying one telescope, but I am coming to realise that one telescope doesn't cover everything, and having seen some of the long lists of telescopes in the signatures of the users here, I am worried I may end up buying several in the future!:)

Anyway, I have been very pleased with how friendly and informative this Forum is, even to someone like me who knows very little about telescopes.

I can't wait until I finally settle on a telescope, choose the extra EPs I need and actually make a purchase!:)

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Hi Merlin and welcome to the forum.

There are plenty of scopes out there of different types which are designed to excel in observing (or imaging) different objects in the night sky. You have made an excellent start by simply looking and learning the heavens with a pair of binos. My belief is that before you buy you must TRY and by that I mean you must get out there and take advantage of local astro clubs observing nights, contact other observing groups out there (...people who may prefer to avoid joining 'societies' :)) or even buddy up with members here who may be local to you in order that you may ACTUALLY look through gear to see what you get for your buck and whether it fulfills your expectations.

That is exactly what I've been doing, looking through all sorts of scopes, using mounts and comparing eyepieces etc in order to build up a picture of what's needed for my interests. My research has led me to start saving up some extra pennies because I want to meet my expectations from the start and not the hard way through lots of purchasing and reselling. This approach does require patience but hey the stars aren't going anywhere so what's the rush!

Continued clear skies for your current observing and let me know if any equipment ideas come to mind.


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Thanks for all the lovely welcome replies:)

starman345, luckily my OH shares my hobby so hopefully there won't be too many disagreements along the way.

JBM1165, I think the advice about getting out there and seeing others' scopes is a good one. My problem is I don't drive so I have to rely on my OH to take me and what with my OH working long hours and us looking after the kids, it is not always easy to make it along club meetings. That is one reason why I want to get a telescope to use in my back garden whenever it is convenient for me.

I'm still trying to decide on the best telescope to buy and I am finding it extraordinarly difficult to decide! Still I'll get there even if I have to end up flipping a coin!

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Thanks Captain Tripps, malx and ezza. Malx it's a complete nightmare isn't it, choosing a new scope. I think I may have made my decision, I just need to talk it through with my OH tonight.

I think right now the most important thing for me is to just make a decision and then get out and enjoy using my new telescope, whichever one I do choose!

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Ah well I have it down to two:

Skywatcher Skymax 127 Supatrak (no GOTO) or

Skywatcher Skyliner 200P Dob

I want to mainly look at planets but I am sure I'll soon want to look at DSOs. I am really attracted to the automatic tracking of the 127 and it is very good for planets and is also nice and easy for me to take on holiday to dark sky sites. The dob is a great all rounder but I am a bit worried about the lack of tracking especially as I want my kids to be able to easily use it too and it is pretty big to pack in the car already full with kids, cases and dog!

What are your choices? And how on earth do you finally decide????:)

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Oddly I was looking at the SkyWatcher EXPLORER-200P (EQ5) up until this morning and then I think it was one of your (thanks for that :)) posts that got me onto the Dobs. Initially I'd discounted them as I fancy getting into photo side of things but then thought that while i learn I just want as much seeing power as possible.

No doubt I'll change my mind shortly.

It sure is a daunting process but that's just part of the fun.

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while i learn I just want as much seeing power as possible.

Yes, I think that is also what is driving my indecision. The dob would be great for seeing power, but the 127 with ist tracking would be great for sharing views of Jupiter etc with my kids.

I had the Explorer 150PL on the EQ3-2 mount on my list but I think I have pretty much ruled that out as a first scope due to the size of the mount and the time it takes to set up. But who knows, the way things are going, I'll change my mind and turn around and buy that instead.

Arghhh I need to make a decision! Glad one of my threads has helped point you in the direction of the dob, though you may also be cursing me for adding yet another option to your list!

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Hi Merlin,

A very warm welcome to SGL, hope you enjoy your new telescope, once you have made the choice, you will then be able to listen to those little night echo`s,"can we have a look now please Dad" Lol.


That made me smile. 'Tis the nature of usernames and my fault for choosing a male sounding one I know, but I would prefer my kids call me Mum:) otherwise it would confuse the hell out of me and my husband!!

Thanks John for the warm welcome and you are right I am looking forward to hearing them asking to have a look (well within reason of course!, it is my telescope after all!) And thanks for the welcome too phillc.

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