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sparky81
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Hi everyone

I am newbie to all this so thought I would say Hi!

I am looking to buy my first telescope soon but keep changing my mind! - there is just too much to choose from!!! I am looking for a reflector and have a max of £400 to spend. I was thinking of a Skywatcher Explorer 200P EQ5, or would i benefit more from having goto tech ?

Any advice is greatly appreciated.

Many thanks

Mark

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Hi Mark and welcome to the forum from another newbie, I have ordered a Celestron nexstar 127 SLT (with GOTO) purely for the simple reason that it's small and portable, and when I get REALLY into it it will do as a backup. I am mainly into lunar and planetry observing at the moment.

Hope this helps

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Hello Mark and welcome to SGL!! The 200P and EQ5 is an exellent choice for a first telescope and mount combination. Enough aparture to see faint DSO's and able to take decent magnification for the Moon and Planets (around 200x max) without having to buy really expensive eyepieces.

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Hi Mark and welcome to SGL

Benefiting from goto depends on you really. There are many on the forum who love the thrill of hunting the faint fuzzies (DSO's) with a dob mount or an EQ mount with an RA motor for tracking once you have the target in view. Others prefer the ease of a goto that, once aligned can give relatively instant gratification.

Sky at night magazine did a test between a goto and non-goto scope to see which was quicker in locating objects, you may think the goto would win hands down, not so. Goto scopes can be more off a faff with their setting up which can frustrate the beginner.

The idea of a scope that will slew to a desired location at the press of a few buttons is very tempting but, as a search on this forum will find, there of plenty of people who have had real problems getting the scope to point up at the sky, let alone at an object. I'm not suggesting that goto is inherently problematic, but it can discourage the beginner who just wants to look at the sky as soon as the scope's unpacked

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Welcome to SGL Mark a nice choice on the first scope. You will find a divided opinion on the virtues of Goto as some folks think you need to learn the night yourself. The first step would be to invest in a scope that has a decent enough aperture that you can carry and set up easily. An 8 inch scope will give you some good views and should be ok to carry. If you have enough in the budget I would then go for the goto. If you have any aspirations to do astrophotgraphy a reasonable Equatorial mount with goto will be invaluable.

Regards

Kevin

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Welcome Mark, GOTO is more civilised and gives more power to your setup so I would take advantage of it. You don't want to progress and then think I should have got GOTO.

JohnH.

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Hi from me too -

GoTo is often a bone of contention among amateur astronomers. Some will argue that GoTo removes any skill and kills the excitement of finding objects for yourself. Others will argue that GoTo opens up the sky for beginners. Which solution is right is down to the individual.

I have seen beginners start the hobby determined to learn the sky and do without GoTo who have ended up giving up the hobby in frustration. The general poor weather in the UK can limit available nights for seeing and when that is coupled with other commitments ( family, work etc) it can reduce the available time to learn the sky to a bare minimum and lead to a large amount of frustration when you have a large scope but cant ever find anything to look at. Alternately I have seen others start the hobby with GoTo and find that it lacks any thrill. Simply pressing a button and letting the scope do all the work can kill the thrill for some people. Which one is right for you depends on how much time you wish to devote to the hobby.

One thing you should be very clear about though is that GoTo is absolutely NOT like using your home DVD player or other household electronics which are 'automatic'. GoTo nearly always requires a reasonable amount of skill from the user to get it set up correctly.

Don't allow any 'snob' attitudes to dictate your choice on GoTo - be realistic in your expectations of how often you will be using your telescope and budget and buy accordingly

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Thanks for the warm welcome :eek: - cant believe I have not found this forum before now!

The question is to goto or not!? Seriously though, thanks for all the advice I am going to think about it for a while and do something that I don't usually do and take my time and not rush in!!!

Any recommendations for a telescope with or without goto will be very helpful.

Thanks for all your responses

Mark

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Hi Mark and welcome to the forum. With all the "stargazing Live" stuff on TV, there are some astro clubs performing some free observational sessions with the public. So what ever you have your eye on, try and get along to some of these events and look through some gear so you can make an informed decision about what might work. Its also good to get up close to this gear so you can judge for yourself what the set up time might be, whether it is portable should you need to go to a dark site etc.

Best of luck and clear skies for your decision.

James

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