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  1. #1
    gmssms's Avatar
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    Default final telescope decision



    Well all,

    looks like Friday is the day to get out and make the purchase. Just trying to make that final decision on how best to spend the funds available.

    Looking at one of these two mainly.
    Celestron Nexstar 6se
    Celestron C6 OTA on a Vixen Porta II Mount

    There's also that little nagging feeling wondering if a 80 to 120 refractor would be better as a first telescope on the Vixen or similar mount.

    The 6se gives me the go to and tracking but with the additional cost and weight as well as the need for power. The difference in price ranges from 150 to 190 more than the C6 OTA and Vixen mount.

    The C6 OTA and Vixen mount provide use without power and would force me to learn the sky rather than rely on the goto.

    I think the C6 and the Vixen mount would be lighter.

    I do plan on using it mainly on my upper deck in my back yard and much lesser in my front yard. I have no view of the celestial NP from my front yard due to neighbors house. I also have two street lights out front, not great viewing conditions.

    My deck provides me views form about 10 to 15 degrees west of north to the east, if that makes any sense. If not from 350 degrees to 170 degrees, 0 degrres being north and 90 degrees being east.

    Mobility and weight have rules out the C6-SGT I was originally looking at. I think either of these would work well for a grab and go scope.

    I might try AP later, but from everything I've read it is best to start with visual and go to that after some time if the interest is still there.

    Any goos thoughts, comments or suggestions?

    Thanks!

    Sincerely,

    Gerry

  2. #2
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by gmssms View Post
    There's also that little nagging feeling wondering if a 80 to 120 refractor would be better as a first telescope on the Vixen or similar mount.
    Well, if you find yourself wanting something more portable later, you can find 80-114mm scopes on ebay for cheap enough. I ordered a Meade 114mm with finder scope, 9mm and 25mm eyepiece, and mounting rings for $86 shipped. I'm opting to make a nice cheap little dobsonian mount for it. The same seller had just the optical tube assembly alone for $36 +shipping, which if I already had the eyepieces I probably would have gone for instead to save myself a few more bucks.
    Meade 114NT/500 - 4.5" Newtonian f/8
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  3. #3
    astronut's Avatar
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    Default

    More aperture............MUST get more aperture..........so easy a caveman can do it. All you have to remember..........
    Dave
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  4. #4
    gmssms's Avatar
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    Default

    I tihnk the decision will be made when I'm in the store.

    I'm really split between going with a GOTO and just doing it manually.

    Each has it's own benefits and drawbacks.

    The setup time is also important. Due to my work schedule I need something I can get out there with fast during the week. The weekends however I have more time available at night.

    Almost thinking maybe the 6SE for the weekends and a little travel type scope for the weekdays.

    decision, decisions, decisions.

  5. #5
    PBalu's Avatar
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    Default

    Good luck with picking up the scope of your choice. I took months before I decided and all I had to go by was the websites and of course, tons of help from this forum. Cheers and good scope hunting!
    Balu.
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  6. #6
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    Default

    Gerry:

    I do not care what scope you are using viewing from a deck is going to cause you some amount of problems ..Never "felt" a deck that was rock solid... vibration pads will help somewhat .

    Your comment about your work schedule and time available begs me to ask if you considered just how long you will have to wait for the scope to cool down/heat up before it will show any detail at all... 6" SCT = 30-45 minutes... vs a 4" refractor = 2 minutes

    Bob G
    CPC1100 housed in a slotted domed observatory (Exploradome) 4 and 5 inch refractors for use from the lawn, a 8" Sct (NS 8i) for star parties...
    I Hate the winter so I use heated Motorcycle clothing to stay warm while observing in winter
    Retired, also have 2 other hobbies
    1. tinker with older Corvettes (6 in garage)
    2. make a heck of a lot of sawdust in my wood shop.

  7. #7
    gmssms's Avatar
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    Default

    Bob,

    I didn't even think about a cool down\up period. That's why I find this forum so great, the sharing of knowledge.

    I'm used to using my 200mm lens on my camera and my bnoculars. Those of course take little to no time at all.

    For the weeknights I need something that pretty much allows me to walk out and start observing.
    Weekend nights are a different story. Those I have enough time for that.

    Perhaps a 6se for the weekend and a small refractor for the week.

    So it might not be Friday I get the telescope. It all depends on what I can decide between now and then.

    Thanks!

    Gerry

  8. #8
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    Default

    San Diego ... light pollution .... if you can't see many stars, you will have a very difficult time finding objects manually. In light polluted areas, goto telescopes are almost a necessity, especially for beginners. Take a few minutes and read this interview with Rod Mollise. It may help you in your decision.

    Urban Observer’s Survival Guide, Part I | One-Minute Astronomer
    Urban Observer’s Survival Guide, Part II | One-Minute Astronomer
    Urban Observer’s Survival Guide, Part III | One-Minute Astronomer

    You mentioned portability. The 6SE is a very portable telescope. I don't think that there is much difference in portability regarding its mount and tripod and the Vixen you are considering. My C6S mounted on a SkyWatcher AZ mount (similar to the 6 SE mount) is very portable. I can take the telescope, mount, tripod, observing chair, battery pack, eyepiece set, etc. down a flight of stairs to my car in one trip. If I were more entergetic, I could walk with it a few hundred meters up the mountain side to my observing spot with no problem ... but I'm a little lazy so I drive. You should be able to do likewise with the 6SE.

    As far as cooling down ... that can be a factor but I suspect that not that big a deal in San Diego as the telescope tube should be near ambient unless you are storing it in an air conditioned spot. I generally sit my scope out on the balcony when the sun is setting and it is pretty much acclimated by the time darkness sets in. In any case, as you wait for thermal equilibrium, you can look at the moon, bright star clusters, practice finding objects without using the goto function, etc. which don't seen as impacted as planets, etc.

    Last thing, you may just want to wait a bit to be very sure before heading to the telescope store. However, becarefull of the analysis trap ... as you can debate the various aspects of telescopes until the cows come home.
    SXINIAS

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  10. #9
    gmssms's Avatar
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    Default

    my inside temp is usually within a few degrees of the outside temp, though some days more like 10 to 15.

    By the time I get my stuff done when I get home I only have at most a couple hours before it's sleep time. I plan on assemling the scope indoors and then taking it out to the deck or into the yard. Normally no stairs will be involved in the carry out process.

    I've been trying to decide for over a month now. Just trying to make the best choice possible.

    I think the two main decisions will be manual or goto mount and should I get something smaller for weekdays when I just don't feel like taking the SCT6 out. Something between the SCT6 and my 10x20 binoculars.

    I might just wait, hit the Stars in the Park and see what they see through their scopes. The location in Balboa Park will be similar to what I have in my yard.

    Thanks!

    Gerry

  11. #10
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    sxinias - the cows used to come home down by me. Now that farmland is all houses. Funny the cows never gave off as much light as these houses do.

    I might head to the store to check out the scopes, then return later after making a final decision.

    I'm kind of tempted to buy a travel or spotting scope until I really decide what scope to go with.

    Thanks!

    Gerry

 

 
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