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My First Telescope - Celestron Astromaster 130EQ-MD


vignesh1230
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Hi guys i just recently joined this forums :).

After some weeks of waiting for the clouds to go away, I finally figured out how to get the most out of my first telescope. It had been sitting in the corner of my room for weeks collecting dust O.o

This is what i think of it :

Lets start with the tripod. Its pretty stable if placed on flat ground (my backyard is bumpy concrete). When the legs are retracted its almost rock solid (again with my bumpy concrete). When fully extended its still stable but takes a few seconds to recover from bumps or shaking.

Next, the CG-3 EQ mount. I can spot some faults with it but not much being a beginner. Setting circles : The Declination circle had been incorrectly set at the factory. When the optical tube is parallel with the polar axis, the circle reads 0 degrees instead of 90 degrees. With the right ascension circle, you have to realign the circle every time you move tilt the tube. Since the circle does not move with the tube it feels as if it was there just for show :). Another things is that the actual pointer it so far away from the dial that its pretty hard to read it precisely. It depends on what angle your looking at the dial from.

The slow mo cables work well but sometimes they tend to get in the way of the tube. Sometimes when your not looking while turning the tube, it gets caught on the cable. But i got to say, the cables are pretty strong, i accidentally bent it 90 degrees and it still went back to normal with no curves. After a few turns of the cable, the screw holding it to the gear loosens itself meaning i have to tighten it every few turns. I'm going to see if i can tap a little hole for it to get some grip.

Now to the tube. Its performs very well and i like it. There are two rings that are padded with cotton or felt which don't scratch the tube. It also has a piggyback adapter to take photos. The rings are attached with a dovetail attachment and its very stable. The optics are very clear and crisp. The first DSO i saw was M42:headbang: and could see very clearly and saw the colors of it. When i viewed Jupiter, i could faintly see the bands of it using the 10mm supplied with the telescope. I used the 20mm as a locater.

I wish i could change the red dot finder. Using it is like taking a blind guess at where an object in the sky is. As before it depends on which angle your looking at it from.

I really love my first telescope and it definitely gets a thumbs up from me and I hope this is helpful to any people out there thinking of buying this telescope.

If your going to buy this i recommend getting the Celestron 94303 Eyepiece and Filter kit for 1.25" as it gives more eyepieces and has filters to view the planets with more detail. I am in the process of buying a DSLR to do Astrophotography.

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This is my first review^.^ ( I'm 13 and i love astronomy :D)

This is the moon taken with my camera ( afocal by hand and sorry for bad image quality because i didnt have my manual focus on and it looked better on camera)

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Edited by vignesh1230
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Thanks for the review.

As to the setting circles - I believe that the RA circle isn't supposed to move with the scope. It is moveable so that you can set it to the RA of a known object at the start of the session and then use it for the rest of the session as RA changes due to location/time/date. I could be wrong though :)

Dec set to 0 isn't bad - Mine is set to 70 when the tube lines up with the mount :)

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I have the same model which I bought about a month ago, except it hasn't got the motor.

I'm also in the process of deciding to buy the eyepiece set; I will have to work my finances out, as I'm a mature student on a budget.

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  • 1 month later...

Great review :)

I have the same telescope but the non-motored tripod version. And I also have the celestron eyepeice lenses and filters kit. Im really impressed with both although the skies havent let us have a good play with them all yet.

Those are great moon photos too! :) We've been trying to get afocal shots too. It can be a bit tough hey, I dont know how to get them sharp i must admit other than chucking them into photoshop afterwards.

Porl''

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  • 2 weeks later...

I bought the same scope for my son this christmas. The red dot finder really is useless. I became so frustrated with it I ended up removing the finderscope from an old TAL-1, and attaching it with araldite. Result: a useable scope.

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  • 1 month later...

Great review. I was just looking at buying the Celestron EP & Filter set (it's fluctuating between £135 - £150 on Amazon at the moment!) Do you notice much of a difference with the EP's included in this set compared to the 20mm & 10mm that came with the telescope?

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  • 2 weeks later...

Great review, very informative. I hope to purchase this soon as my first telescope (seems like best value), currently using a 76mm tabletop Reflector at the moment to learn my way around the skies beforehand so will make AM 130EQ seem like a dream!

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  • 1 month later...

I have the same scope - had it about about 6 weeks now. Well made and pretty solid mount and tripod. I've pushed it to it's limit and it's enabled me to see which aspects I would like to improve next. I think it was good value for money - I bought it from Amazon UK for £136 (with free delivery to Prime members like me). They're a bit more now.

My requirements are quite hefty as I'm interested in astrophotography which really pushes the limits in pretty well all aspects. This telescope has served me well as a first scope. In fact as I improve the mount and replace the tripod with a good solid pier I expect to get yet more from it.

Edited by Gina
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  • 1 year later...

I also have the same scope with the motor drive, I agree with the comments about the star finder, even with the blackest of skies it is still un-usable.

I take most of my lunar images Afocal and they always look better on the camera but a quick session with registax soon sorts it out.

Very tempted by the Pier option as i find it a pain spending 20 minutes or so polar aligning every time i get it out.

I also use a 3x barlow with modded webcam for some awesome lunar images.

Good review.

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