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#21 of 40 OFFLINE   ChrisWiggles

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Posted May 12 2007 - 02:51 PM

I got a cheapie electric mead as a gift, and it's kind of nifty, but I would spend more for a quality telescope if you're really interested in using it with any kind of frequency. The electronic part also sucks and really isn't very precise to be able to track anything. The optics are also pretty bad, but it's one of mead's cheapest. The binocular suggestion is a really excellent one by the way, if you get a good pair of binoculars with a stabilizing feature, they are really a fantastic way to look at things, and they're not huge either. They'll also save you a lot of money instead of getting a quality telescope. If you're looking at cheap telescopes, I would probably go the binocular route instead.

But what do I know, I live in seattle, there aren't ever any stars here. Hell, it's hard enough just to find that big yellow constallation on most days. You know, the sun? Posted Image Posted Image

#22 of 40 OFFLINE   KyleC

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Posted August 15 2007 - 01:00 AM

Does anyone know anything about Celestron?

#23 of 40 ONLINE   Regulus

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Posted August 15 2007 - 04:01 AM

I own a Dobsonian Telescope. Its a 20-Inch Starmaster that I take with me to the Countryside to do my Observing. It uses an Orion Telescopes 80mm Shorttube Refractor as its Finder along with a Telrad. My Mother euphamistically calls it "The Cannon" and I can tell you when you look at Something with it it will BLOW YOUR MIND! I have Three Eyepieces that I use on it, a University Optics 40mm Plossl, (56x) a Celestron 35 mm Ultrascopic, (79x) and an Orion 7-21mm Zoom (131-393x) I tend to use the lower power Eyepieces more often, as you magnify the Atmospheric Turbulance as well as the object you are observing. (I may be able to "Blow Up" Jupiter to the size of a Basketball, but the Turbulance makes it look like an Amoeba!) During one Outing I decided to look for a Galaxy in the Constellation Pegasus. I was "Star Hopping" to the object, looking through my Scope and tapping the scope to move it into posotion when I realised I had Company! Red and Blue Lights were flashing! Posted Image It turned out the Authorities were on the lookout for someone who was illegally dumping Garbage along the roadsides. Someone had spotted me, and thought the scope was an Apparatus to dump Garbage! After my talk with thye Officers I aimed the Scope at M13 in Hurcules and invited them to take a look. Boy they were amazed at all the stars packed into that Cluster! Thyey went on their way and about 3 hours later one of them came back with his son, who had one of those "Department Store" type Telescopes. I showed them many more objects, and the kid was amazed at how he could see different colored stars in my scope. I never saw them again but I hope the kid has done what I did and progressed his Hobby as I did. Posted Image

I started this hobby at the age on 9 1n 1969 with a 60mm Refractor, then progressed to the following: 3-Inch Reflector 1973, 6-Inch Reflector, 1976, 17-Inch Reflector 1991, 20 Inch Reflector 2000.)

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#24 of 40 OFFLINE   Dan D.

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Posted August 15 2007 - 06:54 AM

Hi again Kyle. I get around to HTF a little less frequently these days, but saw your thread pop up again. It's funny, I haven't been using my scope much in the past year or two but took it out for a great night of viewing this past weekend, and I plan to do more.

Celestron is a good company that has long been a competitor to Meade - that is until Meade bought them a couple of years ago. They still keep the model lines separate, but I think they are sharing some parts now. Meade and Celestron are pretty much the Ford and Chevy of the telescope world, both with a broad range of products and both pretty dependable. I'd still advise you to stay away from their lower level "department store" stuff though.

Your post back in May linked to two very good scopes. They are very comparable in quality and functionality. The ETX is going to give you convenience and portability. Don't underestimate the value of that, particularly if you have to travel to a viewing site. The LXD75 is a bit bigger, so it will give you a more light grabbing ability which is always a big plus, but the Newtonian design is quite a bit bulkier and overall the scope and tripod will be heavier. Still, prices being equal, I'd probably go for the LXD.

#25 of 40 OFFLINE   KyleC

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Posted August 16 2007 - 02:47 AM

I pretty much have it narrowed down to these two:

http://meade.telesco....ngs-28013.html

http://meade.telesco....ube-54694.html

#26 of 40 OFFLINE   Dan D.

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Posted August 16 2007 - 02:48 PM

The ETX is a great, convenient small package, but you just can't beat the light grabbing capability of 8" LXD. The mirror on the LXD is going to be 2.5x the size of the one in the 5" ETX - that's a huge beneift.

The ETX is still a great scope and again, you can't underestimate the convenience factor of easy portability and use. You'll get far more value out of a smaller scope that you'll take out more frequently than a bigger one that's too much of a pain to lug around.

It might be helpful to see these both, or something similar, in person. Do you have any local shops?

#27 of 40 OFFLINE   PeterK

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Posted August 17 2007 - 02:34 PM

Regulus, how do you haul that 20" beast around?
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#28 of 40 OFFLINE   Greg_R

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Posted August 22 2007 - 12:52 PM

I've seen 20" Dobsonians break down and pack into the back of a Ford Festiva before. Keep in mind that these things are 10+ feet long when fully assembled.

#29 of 40 OFFLINE   KyleC

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Posted September 01 2007 - 12:40 PM

I went with the LXD75 SC8. The initial setup (training the drives, alignment) is rather difficult and the manual is even more frustrating. I hope I get to see something tonight.

#30 of 40 OFFLINE   Sam Posten

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Posted January 07 2014 - 09:30 PM

Rise, rise from the grave! =)

I've wanted to get into visual astronomy since my college classes back in the late 80s, never could pull the trigger on something that I felt would get me very far. The difference between the department store junk and the 'real' ones my university had were night and day... And now with the advent of accessible amateur astrophotography being a potential avenue for exploration, I had been kinda keeping an eye on scopes for a while but never willing to spend the $3k plus to really get into it.

Fast forward to Christmas when my mom surprised me by buying me.... a department store scope! With the caveat that if I wanted to take it back I could and could put those dollars towards what I really wanted.

To her credit, she bought me a pretty cool little scope. It's a celestron refractor, and while the legs might be a little wobbly in the reviews, it has a decent goto controller and not entirely junk construction.

You can't even find it on their web site, but the astro sites have all taken notice and have sampled a few, sniffing that it's not total crap but still there are better scopes available if you don't mind losing the motor.
http://www.cloudynig...5/o/all/fpart/1

I think it's a shrunk down version of the 102GT you can find on Celestron's site:
http://www.celestron...-telescope.html

http://www.cloudynig...5/o/all/fpart/1

http://costcocouple....0-gt-telescope/

After waffling for a few weeks I've decided I'm keeping the scope, you can't go wrong having a fun little refractor even if you buy a monster dobs or cassegrain down the road. I had hoped to have it opened up and tested out tonight but work conspired against me, so hoping for clear nights soon.

I decided I need to start modest and work my way up from here when I have enough experience to know what I really want down the road, because booooooy do I have a list of what I'd like to get next.

First up, a 8 or 10" Dobs:
http://www.amazon.co...d=IQ5NOQRZGSWRY

http://www.amazon.co...=I1O59Q2I9SVE71

I think I might pull the trigger on this neat little $200 desktop guy for car travel next tho:
http://www.amazon.co...0?ie=UTF8&psc=1

This is the scope I've had my eyes on for a while but haven't pulled the trigger on because it's over $1k.
http://www.amazon.co...88978842&sr=1-9

This is the one I'd like to get, long term:
http://www.amazon.co...eywords=cpc 800

This is that one's big brother:
http://www.amazon.co...8978871&sr=1-30

This one is actually a contender too instead of either of those last two, it's considered an intermediate good bang for the buck unit at $2200
http://www.amazon.co...d=I61HV2MWHTUHG

And this is the one if I hit the lottery!
http://www.amazon.co...=I36DYRJU9PSY9Y

Baby steps, Sam, baby steps! =)

Anyone else having fun star gazing these days? Good views of the moon?
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#31 of 40 OFFLINE   Aaron Silverman

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Posted January 08 2014 - 12:52 PM

I've been meaning to get back outside lately. Usually in the winter we can get OK views from our house. My son's school has a bunch of scopes and does Astronomy Nights now and then. . .I should see if they have one coming up soon.

 

I have 2 inexpensive scopes of my own -- a Celestron FirstScope (which is fabulous, considering it costs $50) and a "My First Lab" Stargazer, which was some kind of Amazon exclusive item that they only sold briefly. It ran about $100 and is OK for the money, but aside from having a real tripod, inferior to the FirstScope.


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#32 of 40 OFFLINE   Sam Posten

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Posted January 09 2014 - 04:44 PM

Got the first scope hooked up, wound up with the starblast after all. Just pulled it out of the box and aimed. Mom's present will have to wait for a warmer night for me to fiddle with =)

The craters on the moon were breathtakingly sharp with the 17mm eyepiece and I couldnt focus at all with the 6mm.

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#33 of 40 OFFLINE   Edwin-S

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Posted January 09 2014 - 07:34 PM

Wow. What you can get for 1200 bucks now. The 10" Meade Newtonian that I bought in the eighties cost something like 1200 brand new. It did come with a motorized German equatorial mount which doesn't seem to start appearing on 'scopes now until the 2000 dollar mark; however, it doesn't have the electronic star finding gear that all of those 'scopes sport now. You still have to find stuff the old fashioned way. Funny thing is it is virtually new. I've never really been able to use it, because almost all of my working life has been on night shifts. It doesn't help that the best viewing nights are the cold ones. I live up North, but I hate the cold. When the cold moves in, I move into hibernation mode. It turned out the last thing I wanted to do was spend time freezing looking at stars, after freezing while working under them.

 

Still have it though, so you never know. Maybe, one of these days.


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#34 of 40 OFFLINE   Sam Posten

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Posted January 09 2014 - 08:27 PM

Pics pics pics Edwin!

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#35 of 40 OFFLINE   Edwin-S

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Posted January 09 2014 - 08:36 PM

Pics pics pics Edwin!

 

Ha ha. I'll see what I can do. I don't do a lot of photo uploads to the net. What is the best way of going about it? It may be a day or so.


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#36 of 40 OFFLINE   Bryan^H

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Posted January 10 2014 - 08:53 AM

ch.jpg

$999.99   The David H. Levy Comet hunter

 

This spring, my new star gazing hobby begins!


housekeeping 2.jpg

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#37 of 40 OFFLINE   Sam Posten

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Posted January 10 2014 - 05:02 PM

Niiiiiiiice, what kind of mount?

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#38 of 40 OFFLINE   Bryan^H

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Posted January 11 2014 - 07:54 AM

It is a 6" Maksutov-Newtonian.

The mount I'm looking at is:

Meade LX80 Multi-Mount

mmeade.jpg

 

 

 

I dabbled in astronomy in the early 90's with a Celestron Reflector telescope, and had a pretty good time.  But it was also a reeeally busy time in my life so I gave it up.  Now my life is just basically work/home life so I have more than enough time.


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#39 of 40 OFFLINE   Edwin-S

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Posted January 11 2014 - 11:37 PM

Pics of old 'scope. Not as fancy as the new stuff.

Scope 1.jpg

Scope 2.jpg

Scope 3.jpg

 

This particular scope had an eyepiece focal length that was designed specifically for astrophotography. Using standard eyepieces requires an eyepiece barrel extension to increase the focal length. I have all of the eyepieces and the extender but they are packed away in a box somewhere in the house.


"You bring a horse for me?" "Looks like......looks like we're shy of one horse." "No.......You brought two too many."

#40 of 40 OFFLINE   Sam Posten

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Posted January 12 2014 - 05:10 PM

Awesome stuff guys, thanks for the pics! Got my present assembled, so next clear night will chill it down and try it out!

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