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    Default Beginner Scope (Southern Hemisphere)



    Hi there!

    Around this time last year I made a thread asking for good beginner scopes. I had a few things come up so I never did act upon my desire to take on astronomy but I'm once again looking into it. New products come and go so I wanted to create a new thread.

    My requirements are much the same. I'm after portability as I can leave the suburbs within a 15 minute drive or so. The idea of driving out to the wildness with a scope just because I think it'll be relaxing also appeals to me. Second is budget friendly as this is a first scope. Finally, I'm not expecting to see a great deal but basic targazing, views of the moon and perhaps even a glimpse of Mars would be awesome.

    In my old thread I was suggested this scope a Meade Polaris 114EQ Reflector Telescope I am leaning towards that after reading reviews, especially those of first time scope users.

    Before I invest I just wanted opinions of those who know best.

    Many thanks!

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    Default Re: Beginner Scope (Southern Hemisphere)

    If you can stretch the budget get the Meade Infinity 102 refractor. Needs no collimation. Comes with a much better mount. A 102mm refractor will come very close to a 127mm reflector's light grasp, with a sharper image.

    https://www.amazon.com.au/Meade-Inst...563051&sr=8-11

    Meade Infinity 102 Refractor - Opinions?

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    Default Re: Beginner Scope (Southern Hemisphere)

    Hello, the telescope would be a good general use telescope if just starting out.
    You may find the eyepiece in an awkward location once in a while due to the EQ mount but it will give you some good views.
    Refractors: Antares 105 f/15, Celestron 150 f/8, Stellarvue NHNG 80 f/6.9, TAL 100RS f/10, TS 102 f/11, UR 70 f/10, Vixen SD115s f/7.7
    Mounts: Celestron SLT w/ pier mod & EQ-3 tripod, Celestron hypertuned CG-5 w/ tracking motor & Argo Navis, Manfrotto 028B w/ Stellarvue M2C, Manfrotto 055PRO w/ 128RC, TAL-1 HD EQ, Vixen SXP w/ HAL-130 SXG & half pier
    Diagonals: 2" Astro-Physics MaxBright, 2" Zeiss/ Baader prism, 2" Baader Herschel Wedge (Photo Version), 2"
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    Amici prism, 2" Stellarvue Dielectric, 2" TeleVue Everbrite
    Eyepieces: A-Z

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    The weakest link in the optical chain is the large nut located directly behind the
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  4. #4
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    Default Re: Beginner Scope (Southern Hemisphere)

    Regarding the Meade 114 - I believe it is a bird-jones scope (Google the term for a clear definition, it's way above my head to try to fully explain briefly here - or someone else can take that on). Like you, I have been looking for my first scope. I started with a decent pair of 10X50 binoculars at the strong advice of many who have gone down this path well before I did. I am very glad I did -- it is unbelievable what you actually can see with a pair of binos -- and because they are such basic instruments, they allow a more immersive and self-paced method for learning the night sky. Along with the binos, I purchased a good planishpere for my latitude (David Chandler's for 45 degrees), as well as a couple of star atlas' (Sky and Telescope and the Cambridge Star Atlas). These tools, along with a red-light have given me plenty to see and watch and while I continue to look for the right first scope for me (leaning towards something with a decent EQ mount because I like to fidget with things) I am able to learn and gaze pretty much anytime and anywhere I want so long as I have my kit in tow.

    Hope that helps ...... BTW -- if you are thinking about a reflector still, check out the Meade Polaris 130mm. The mount isn't the best per se, but overall it's a pretty good package with very decent reviews. Also some of the Orion reflectors are excellent as well. Or, you could go with low-tech and pick up a Dob for around the price of a reflector and get unbelievable views with significantly reduced technical gadgetry headaches.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Beginner Scope (Southern Hemisphere)

    Quote Originally Posted by jwnrw View Post
    Regarding the Meade 114 - I believe it is a bird-jones scope (Google the term for a clear definition, it's way above my head to try to fully explain briefly here - or someone else can take that on). Like you, I have been looking for my first scope. I started with a decent pair of 10X50 binoculars at the strong advice of many who have gone down this path well before I did. I am very glad I did -- it is unbelievable what you actually can see with a pair of binos -- and because they are such basic instruments, they allow a more immersive and self-paced method for learning the night sky. Along with the binos, I purchased a good planishpere for my latitude (David Chandler's for 45 degrees), as well as a couple of star atlas' (Sky and Telescope and the Cambridge Star Atlas). These tools, along with a red-light have given me plenty to see and watch and while I continue to look for the right first scope for me (leaning towards something with a decent EQ mount because I like to fidget with things) I am able to learn and gaze pretty much anytime and anywhere I want so long as I have my kit in tow.

    Hope that helps ...... BTW -- if you are thinking about a reflector still, check out the Meade Polaris 130mm. The mount isn't the best per se, but overall it's a pretty good package with very decent reviews. Also some of the Orion reflectors are excellent as well. Or, you could go with low-tech and pick up a Dob for around the price of a reflector and get unbelievable views with significantly reduced technical gadgetry headaches.
    There is no 114mm "Bird Jones" in Meade's "Polaris" series; only the 127mm. This is the only 114mm within the series, a long-focus Newtonian at f/8, and this one of my own...

    https://i.imgur.com/3VazIit.jpg

    It's a good kit, the telescope itself excellent. The EQ-2 supports the longer tube okay, but the EQ-2 may need adjusting, and more, upon arrival. Both axes of my own were locked-up upon arrival.
    "Look, son! Up there!" His son shouted back, "I see it! What is it?" The father regaled, "The galaxy!
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    ! Our origin, our destiny!" And so the boy was hooked, and for the rest of his natural life.


    Alan - Refractors: Takahashi FS-102 f/8, Meade 90mm f/10, Antares 80mm f/6, Celestron 70mm f/13, Sears 50mm f/12; Newtonians: Orion 6" f/5, Meade 114mm f/8, Zhumell 100mm f/4; Mounts: "Deluxe" CG-2, EQ-2, AT Voyager I; eyepieces, barlows, and diagonals

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Beginner Scope (Southern Hemisphere)

    Quote Originally Posted by GreenFence View Post
    Hi there!

    Around this time last year I made a thread asking for good beginner scopes. I had a few things come up so I never did act upon my desire to take on astronomy but I'm once again looking into it. New products come and go so I wanted to create a new thread.

    My requirements are much the same. I'm after portability as I can leave the suburbs within a 15 minute drive or so. The idea of driving out to the wildness with a scope just because I think it'll be relaxing also appeals to me. Second is budget friendly as this is a first scope. Finally, I'm not expecting to see a great deal but basic targazing, views of the moon and perhaps even a glimpse of Mars would be awesome.

    In my old thread I was suggested this scope a Meade Polaris 114EQ Reflector Telescope I am leaning towards that after reading reviews, especially those of first time scope users.

    Before I invest I just wanted opinions of those who know best.

    Many thanks!
    If you can get it for a song, like I did, it's a good kit.

    I prefer its single spider-stalk, rather than a three or four spider-vane configuration...

    https://i.imgur.com/eS8BGPB.jpg

    Here's where I had it out one night...

    https://i.imgur.com/fhJhG86.jpg

    I wasn't expecting the views to be as good as what I saw in fact. The included eyepieces are okay, but you'll want better. The barlow added false-colour to the views; a bad thing. The mount is quite mechanical, as are all equatorial mounts. Expect DIY.
    "Look, son! Up there!" His son shouted back, "I see it! What is it?" The father regaled, "The galaxy!
    To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 5 or greater. You currently have 0 signatures.
    ! Our origin, our destiny!" And so the boy was hooked, and for the rest of his natural life.


    Alan - Refractors: Takahashi FS-102 f/8, Meade 90mm f/10, Antares 80mm f/6, Celestron 70mm f/13, Sears 50mm f/12; Newtonians: Orion 6" f/5, Meade 114mm f/8, Zhumell 100mm f/4; Mounts: "Deluxe" CG-2, EQ-2, AT Voyager I; eyepieces, barlows, and diagonals

 

 

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