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Purchasing advice?

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I have decided that it is too much effort to dis mantle and reassemble the observatory scope to take away with me on weekend trips. As a result I now need a new scope, it must be small enough to be easily transported, have a go to mount (alt /az is fine I don't intend to image with this scope) with a self contained power source and not overly expensive. I am mostly interested in DSOs so I have eliminated a small SCT/MCT due to their central obstruction and excesive focal length. So I think what I am after is a small and fast refractor.. My initial online trawl has thrown up the following scopes:

1. Skywatcher star travel 80 auto (179.00)

2. Meade ETX80 AT-BB achromatic backpack telescope (237.00)

3. Skywatcher Startravel 102 SynScan Telescope (280.00)

The meade has the advantage of a specially made carrying case included in the price (not sure if that is worth the extra 58 pounds).

The skywatcher 102 has the advantage of an extra 20mm of aperture over the other two (is that worth the extra 43/100 pounds?).

The skywatcher 80 has the advantage of being cheaper than the other two.

So would anyone have any comments on the qualities of these scopes or suggestions of other scopes I should consider?



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Personally mate, If DSO'S you seek than I rather get the Skywatcher 130P goto Synscan,

1. It's much bigger apeture

2. It's alot cheaper than the 102 as well (costing £244 from FLO)

However not everyone prefer's reflectors, so I would reccomend you getting the Skywatcher 102 Refractor cos bigger the apeture is better in the long run, Plus the Synscan mount and handset are really good and easier to use.

I would keep away from meade, I know that meade ETX optics are excellent and very hard to beat, but the goto mount is poo! Many people might disagree with me here, However through my personal bad experiences with my Meade 125 ETX, I was severely not happy with it's plastic mount which did not track or find objects properly even though I had it set it up properly.

And that's why I got rid of it, and my Skywatcher 127 Mak EQ-5 replaced it, It was a good move and the synscan goto function is spot on!!!

But end of the day mate!! The choice is yours????

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Thanks for the info on the meade goto, that's the sort of thing I was after!

I did consider going down the reflector route but decided against them on the grounds of overall size, this thing has to fit into the car when loaded for a weekend away with the family, 130 starts to tip the balence too far..

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