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Thread: Buying advice on a portable telescope for urban use

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    Default Buying advice on a portable telescope for urban use



    Greetings all. I own an 8" Dob that now gets very little use since I now live on the 3rd floor of a condo and i absolutely hate moving the thing (especially via car). So i'm looking for a scope that will get a lot of use and be decent in light polluted skies. I'll take occasional trips to darker skies but 80% of use will be in or near the city. Essentially I want the best combination of portability and quality optics.

    Currently my considerations are:
    Meade ETX90
    Meade NG90
    Meade NG130mm reflector
    Celestron NexStar 90 SLT
    Celestron NexStar 4SE (unlikely but still a consideration)

    I'd like to keep it under $500 but will consider a bit more if it's super worth it. Having a carrying case/bag that is specifically made for the scope is a big plus which is why i like the ETX90 a lot. Again, portability is a huge focus here. Would love to hear suggestions and recommendations. As far as my viewing preferences - moon, planets and clusters are my favorites.

    Thanks!

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    Default Re: Buying advice on a portable telescope for urban use

    If you can afford it the 102mm SLT is a very good choice for small package with decent light gathering ability.
    A Rubbermaid case or large plastic toolbox from harbor freight will work as a case for the telescope and accessories.

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    Default Re: Buying advice on a portable telescope for urban use

    Hi Jae, and welcome.

    The ETX90 is a nice little scope: very sharp optics, good contrast and highly portable. I'm not sure about the NG130: the price is good, and it also has a carry bag. It will give a much brighter field than the ETX90, but it looks like it is a Bird-Jones-type "newtonian" with some sort of corrector plate to fold the optics. My experience of these hasn't been great; the optics were less than good!

    I think it is good to get as much aperture as you can so what about the ETX125? An ETX90 on steroids! Great optics, a bit over your budget, but easy to carry around: and probably fairly easy to find second-hand as they have been around for a long time. I have one which is housed in a small suit-case, and the tripod has a Meade carry bag.

    All the best, and good luck,

    Dean
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    Default Re: Buying advice on a portable telescope for urban use

    I have a little 90mm Mak. It's just for a quick grab-n-go for the planets, it does a good job with that and that's about all it does a good job on.

    The 5" Mak, either the ETX125 or the Celestron 127, will be a much better option. But if it were me, I would go with Gabby's suggestion of the 102SLT as it is a much more versatile and general purpose instrument with a wider field of view.
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