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  1. #1
    flyfishnevada's Avatar
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    Default Have Money ($200), Need Telescope



    OK, I won $175 bucks in fantasy football and was considering how to spend it. I was going to buy a telescope last summer, but my truck needed a wheel bearing

    Here are my wants and needs. Going to use it for astronomy. I live in the sticks and have great viewing conditions at home. I will be transporting it, taking it camping and such. I prefer reflectors and equatorial mounts from the research I have done. I am not afraid of fussy set ups or steep learning curves. Obviously the larger the aperture, the better. I would consider a Dob, but worry about the ease of following objects and the ability transport easily. The ability to add goto later would be nice, but not mandatory. The ability to upgrade later is a big plus also. A package with a decent tripod and some lenses would be nice. My budget is about $200. I can go a little higher.

    First, am I fooling myself thinking I can get a quality scope like I want for this kind of money?

    Second, any suggestions on scopes if I am not crazy? I am thinking something like the Celestron AstroMaster 130 EQ or something similar, but you're the experts.
    Last edited by flyfishnevada; 01-12-2011 at 12:00 AM.

  2. #2
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    Default

    sorry, but you can not get a reflectors and a equatorial mount for $200.
    The one you can get, you do not want!
    Problem is not the OTA but the wobbly rinky-dink mount they sell you with the refractor. Get a set of binoculars for astronomy, learn the sky (use maps and Stellarium software) and save up some more money so you can get a nice GEM (used?) mount and a OTA.

  3. #3
    Bob327's Avatar
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    The only NEW scope that I personally "could" be happy with would be a mini Dob from Orion if I had a budget of $200 bucks...

    The 4.5 inch Starblast mini dob is a nice little telescope...I own one that is used exclusively for traveling ...really draws attention while sitting pool side next to my Bloody Mary when traveling almost every weekend in the summer...

    Guys are spending 3 times your budget just for a single eyepiece...
    so finding a real serious scope for $200 is kind of asking for the impossible...I;d also check used prices on Craigs list locally...NEVER on E-Bay ...this forum as well as Cloudy Nights forums both have a classified section which I personally would trust more then Craigs list or especially E-bay...

    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.

  4. #4
    flyfishnevada's Avatar
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    After I wrote the post, I have discovered that. While some of the components of the 130 are fine, others are POS. I am not afraid of having to upgrade or modify, but I don't want to have to overhaul the whole thing to get it to work properly.

    Now, I'm leaning towards a table top. Seems like the OTA is as good or better than the 130, but the mount is stable. I've also been thinking that a scope that can be set up and ready to use in seconds will get used more and that many are fond of their old table top Dobs even if they have upgraded.

    *EDIT* Looks like Bob jumped in as I was writing. I am was looking at that very scope or it's 6 inch big brother. It's a little out of my budget, but it's not like I'm a school kid. I have an income. Both seem to get great reviews and I see very few disadvantages except maybe the short focal length. Even that seems to be a give and take. Now I'm just looking for the best deal. Also saw the Sky-Watcher Heritage, but it seems to be a European model.
    Last edited by flyfishnevada; 01-12-2011 at 10:45 PM.

  5. #5
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    Nothing wrong with a 400 mm f/4 or f/5 scope.....they are great for lower powered extremely wide FOVs...

    Astronomy is all about grabbing as much light as possible magnification plays second or third fiddle... I own and use 5 scopes all the time...ranging from 2800 mm f/10 down to 80 mm f/5 (smaller then the 114 starblast) ...and I can not remember the last time I every pushed even the big scope up past 300x ...I still view under 100x 90 percent of the time... the big scopes major advantage is that it delivers a lot more light (more stars) ...its disadvantage is that it has a very narrow FOV (less then one degree)

    But I am not a Lunatic and the only interesting Planets Jupiter and Saturn only get a few minutes of my time ... Mars gets a 15 second look as does Venus just to see what phase it is in...

    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.

  6. #6
    flyfishnevada's Avatar
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    After looking at the StarBlast 6, then the SkyQuest XT6 and them XT8, I settled down and decided on the StarBlast 4.5 Astro. It's portable, seems to be really good quality and even though a lot of people say its not great for planetary viewing, what do I know? You can't miss something you've never had.

    I chose it over it's big brother and the bigger dobs mainly due to the cost, but I figured if I'm going to get a starter scope, I should get a starter scope. Not a intermediate scope that I'll want to upgrade soon after purchase. If I get the bug, I will save and buy a really nice scope on an EQ, maybe with goto and motor drive for AP, or a really big Dob, but I'll always have a nice little scope to mess around with, take camping, and what have you.

    I will definitely post up my experience with the scope and probably be asking about accessories soon. I will also take the time between now and when I get it to play around with my 5 or 6 astro programs and apps and maybe borrow a book from the library.
    Last edited by flyfishnevada; 01-13-2011 at 06:43 PM.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by flyfishnevada View Post
    ... I will also take the time between now and when I get it to play around with my 5 or 6 astro programs and apps and maybe borrow a book from the library.
    [ame=http://www.amazon.com/Turn-Left-Orion-Hundred-Telescope/dp/0521781906]"Turn Left at Orion"[/ame] is a good book for small scope owner.
    Enjoy

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    Failing all that im sure 175 dollars is enough for full ninja suit, bolt cutters and big bag with SWAG painted on the side of it.

    Seriously tho, you might get lucky. Years ago I once paid 90eur for a Ford Sierra XR4x4i, the seller didnt know what they had. Man were they not happy to see it relisted the next day for 1500eur. Hahaha

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    Quote Originally Posted by flyfishnevada View Post
    OK, I won $175 bucks in fantasy football and was considering how to spend it. I was going to buy a telescope last summer, but my truck needed a wheel bearing

    Here are my wants and needs. Going to use it for astronomy. I live in the sticks and have great viewing conditions at home. I will be transporting it, taking it camping and such. I prefer reflectors and equatorial mounts from the research I have done. I am not afraid of fussy set ups or steep learning curves. Obviously the larger the aperture, the better. I would consider a Dob, but worry about the ease of following objects and the ability transport easily. The ability to add goto later would be nice, but not mandatory. The ability to upgrade later is a big plus also. A package with a decent tripod and some lenses would be nice. My budget is about $200. I can go a little higher.

    First, am I fooling myself thinking I can get a quality scope like I want for this kind of money?

    Second, any suggestions on scopes if I am not crazy? I am thinking something like the Celestron AstroMaster 130 EQ or something similar, but you're the experts.
    You could look at the used market also .. I have seen several scopes listed on the used market for around 200 ..
    16in Night sky
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    classic Big-mac , Meade eye pieces with a few odd balls thrown in ...
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  10. #10
    flyfishnevada's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rottweiler View Post
    Failing all that im sure 175 dollars is enough for full ninja suit, bolt cutters and big bag with SWAG painted on the side of it.
    I already have that stuff

    I may be changing my mind. Now I'm hot on the Orion SkyQuest 4.5 Dob. A little research let me to think it's a better scope for only $30 more and is still highly portable. Honestly, I thought the thing was like 5 feet tall. Sounds like the eyepieces are a little better as well. A little reading convinced me to get a zoom rather than a barlow since it comes with a 10 and 25 eyepiece.

    I ain't going any higher. This is the one. I swear.*

    *Above statement subject to change.
    Last edited by flyfishnevada; 01-14-2011 at 03:22 AM.

 

 
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