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Thread: Need Help Buying First Scope

  1. #11
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    Default Re: Need Help Buying First Scope



    Hello and welcome to the forum Michael.
    ​Alex
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  2. #12
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    Default Re: Need Help Buying First Scope

    Welcome.
    Clear skies and best of luck
    On your new purchase
    Jeff

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  3. #13
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    Default Re: Need Help Buying First Scope

    Thanks for the responses. How would I get something like this:

    Amazon Celestron-21049-PowerSeeker-127EQ Newtonian


    But pay someone to perform a professional alignment?

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    Default Re: Need Help Buying First Scope

    I'm just looking to go alone in the wilderness and star gaze. I'm traveling to a "Class 1" Darkness area. It's 3-4 hours out of the way. with Forest Service roads and "inaccessible" trail areas and 55 degree hills so my Land Rover is getting quite a workout. I've looked at the light pollution maps online and it's really one of the few places left that is Class 1 with 0.000 light pollution and very few visitors. I'm trying to do this on a new moon with clear skies.

    I just want to buy a scope, unpack it, aim it at the sky and have it instantly work. I'm reading all these 1 star reviews on Amazon about laser alignments and blurry lenses etc. So I think it would be better if there was a professional I could ship the Amazon scope to who could fine tune it.

    I just remembered I did the same with my CB radio. Instead of paying $1000+ I purchased a $200 model and had a professional fine tune it to enhance the power and sensitivity. The guy was a whiz and I starting getting crystal clear reception in Florida - From California. Something about solar wind or something. So now if I get stuck out there I can use my CB to call for help because supposidly there is no cell/data for 100 miles or something like that.

    So now I just need the right scope. Class 1 darkness on a Bortela scale or something like that.

  5. #15
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    Default Re: Need Help Buying First Scope

    Quote Originally Posted by Needtobuytelescope View Post

    I just want to buy a scope, unpack it, aim it at the sky and have it instantly work. I'm reading all these 1 star reviews on Amazon about laser alignments and blurry lenses etc. So I think it would be better if there was a professional I could ship the Amazon scope to who could fine tune it.
    First, stop reading the reviews. They are mostly marketing tools for vendors trying to sell you something and are mostly made by beginners with no experience to base an accurate opinion on. You will get much better information by asking here.

    You should really get with a local astronomy club to see first hand the different types (and sizes) of scopes, what is involved with transporting and setting them up, and how each performs. This will be invaluable to you.

    There is no need, and likely no way, to send a new scope to a "professional" to ""fine tune it", it will come able to perform to it's maximum ability.

    I'm not sure what you mean by a "professional alignment", if you're talking about aligning the mirrors of a reflector (the 127EQ Newt is a reflector) then "No" the mirrors will need to be aligned every time you use it and you will have to learn how to collimate (align) the mirrors.

    I'm not sure what you mean by "have it instantly work". Any scope will instantly work by just looking through it but there are things you have to do with every one of them to start, some are more involved with setting up but they ALL have to be set up. You have to put an eyepiece in and focus it. The only exception to this is binoculars which I highly recommend you get regardless of the scope you get, EVERY astronomer NEEDS binoculars.

    An equatorial mount will have to be polar aligned to use properly, if you get one you will have to learn how to do that, its easy. An alt/az mount does not require alignment. But there are advantages to the EQ mount including astrophotography, easier star hopping, and easier manual tracking.

    A goto mount will have to be aligned to find and track objects regardless of the type of mount and will require power (battery or A/C).

    A Newtonian will require frequent collimation (alignment of the mirrors), if you get one you will have to learn this, again its easy.

    The Powerseeker 127EQ Newt is NOT a scope I would recommend, especially for you as it has a lens in the focuser that has to come out to collimate the scope (yes the scope needs frequent collimation) and has to be in to use. The mount is inadequate for the scope. It is meant to be used as a low power wide field instrument and will struggle with higher magnifications (definitely NOT a good planetary scope). The light weight mount has to be polar aligned when you set it up.

    Again, I do HIGHLY recommend some binoculars. They will be the ONLY instrument that is just get them out and start looking and they will show you a TREMENDOUS amount of stuff. They are my most used instrument by far and I have many, many scopes. They are the ultimate in portability, useful during the day, useful no matter what scope/scopes you have, more comfortable using both eyes, outperform scopes of similar size (it's a scope for each eye), and are FUN!! A set of 10x50s attached to an old wooden mop/broom handle with a METAL tripod adapter to use as a monopod (stability) can blow your socks off for as little as $30.
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    Default Re: Need Help Buying First Scope

    Quote Originally Posted by Ozman13 View Post
    ... I do HIGHLY recommend some binoculars. They will be the ONLY instrument that is just get them out and start looking and they will show you a TREMENDOUS amount of stuff. They are my most used instrument by far and I have many, many scopes. They are the ultimate in portability, useful during the day, useful no matter what scope/scopes you have, more comfortable using both eyes, outperform scopes of similar size (it's a scope for each eye), and are FUN!! A set of 10x50s attached to an old wooden mop/broom handle with a METAL tripod adapter to use as a monopod (stability) can blow your socks off for as little as $30.
    Bingo. Binoculars are the only astronomical tool that will fit with your absolutely-no-effort-on-my-part requirement.

    Good luck on your trip!

    smp
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    Default Re: Need Help Buying First Scope

    You can have a scope fine-tuned but every time you move it you run the risk of knocking something out of alignment. This is especially true after being shipped (say from the "fine tuner" to you). A telescope is a much more delicate instrument than a CB radio. Some scopes are much more susceptible to being knocked out of alignment than others. A Newtonian design OTA requires you look at the collimation every time you use it. You may not need to tweak the collimation but you should always check. The other two designs that are less susceptible to being knocked out of alignment are a refractor and a Catadioptric OTA (like a Schmidt Cassegrain Telescope [SCT]). The refractor is the more rugged of the two. So if you are looking for a quick and simple setup with little to no maintenance required your best bet is a refractor on a manual Alt-Az mount. See the link from my first post. The only drawback to the refractor is they tend to have the smallest aperture size per dollar because it is prohibitively expensive to make large refractors.

    Now since you are lucky enough to have Bortle 1 Sky within driving distance then you should really consider a larger aperture scope, 8" or greater. So now we are back to either an SCT or a Newt. You get your best bang for the buck from a Dobsonian mounted Newtonian telescope. An 8" Dob starts at around $350.

    This hobby is not like CB radios, it is much more like flying RC planes (don't bring up drones). You can't pick up an RC plane and expect to fly it perfectly from the get-go. It takes time and practice and a basic understanding of what you're doing/and need to do to accomplish your desired objective. So with a telescope, approaching it from a "plop and gawk" standpoint means you may tire very quickly from all the procedures needing to be accomplished to get the very best views.

    So setting aside your mild paranoia for having to fiddle/mess/tweak/sweat over/panic about the collimation. Approach it as a necessary procedure (much like fastening your seat belt) before you start your journey. Collimating a Newt when you get the hang of it takes less than 3-4 minutes. It takes me longer than that to pick the eyepieces (EPs) I'm going to use for that night's observing.

    As to the Celestron scope you've listed above: the PowerSeeker 127EQ Newt. It is a Newtonian so you will have to check its collimation. Unfortunately, it is a hybrid Newtonian called a "Bird Jones" design. This design puts a lens in the focuser tube to correct the mirrors spherical nature plus allowing the use of a shorter tube for such a long focal length. The downside of this is that this design is particularly difficult to collimate, you may want to stay away from this scope. Additionally, you get the added bonus of it being on an EQ mount which means you need to take the time (several minutes) to adequately align it to the pole so the mount will function acceptably. An EQ (equatorial) mount is a much tougher gig than an Alt-Az mount. All around, this Scope is a "High Maintenance" date!

    So if I've talked you out of the smaller Newt and into a larger aperture Newt, then check this one out. https://www.amazon.com/SkyWatcher-S1...79930225&psc=1


    And this slightly better one: https://www.highpointscientific.com/...-telescope-ad8

    Cheers,
    JT

    PS. If all of this now seems like too much of a bother, then do what a couple other posts have suggested -- go with a nice pair of binoculars! jt
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    Default Re: Need Help Buying First Scope

    I do not recommend the PowerSeeker 127EQ. There is a learning curve to all EQ mounts, and the cheap ones can be very, very frustrating. I also don't recommend so-called Bird Jones scopes, for reasons explained by jaetea.

    Many newcomers to amateur astronomy have misconceptions about scopes and their capabilities. Your first post mentions "amazing magnification," which suggests that you may have unrealistic expectations and need some experience in what a scope can and cannot do.

    There is a saying in this hobby that aperture is king. A telescope is about light-gathering ability, not "power." Ads for scopes proclaiming huge magnification are misleading or even dishonest. The PowerSeeker (name itself is meaningless) advertises magnification of up to 450x. That is completely unrealistic! At 450x, especially with the cheap supplied 4mm EP and Barlow, the view will be extremely dark and fuzzy. You will not see any detail on the object you are looking at.

    I'm going to repeat my earlier advice, also mentioned by Ozman: find a nearby astronomy club and attend at least one star party they have. Not only will this give you a better idea of the different types of scopes, but it will help you decide if you even like this hobby. If you can't do that, then start with some decent binoculars and begin to learn the night sky.
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