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  1. #1
    chrisf's Avatar
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    Default I figured this is the right place to start...



    Hello everyone,

    Standard newbie here, wanted to get some specific recommendations to add to the research I have already done looking into the telescope world.

    A few things to give you perspective.

    1) I live in Woodland Hills, CA (Los Angeles), BRIGHT LIGHTS. Unless we take it to the next level, this for now is a backyard nobby activity for me and my 8and 4 year old sons.

    2) I understand aperture size and eyepiece quality are the keys here and what to invest the $ in.

    3) I have a dilemma of wanting it fully computerized (both tracking and view)as I am a software developer and see value in that, yet I don't really see why for my purposes, as that mead $40 eyepiece video adapter would satisfy my needs for my family in that regard. No photography needed, just want to keep the family interested, throwing it up on the TV screen or capturing a simple image. I also see I can increase quality of item #2 if I avoid the tracking automation and motorization, I get that.

    4) I have a budget to start, say 300-500. I want a TURN-KEY package that gives enough bang for the buck, unit to see through all this city light, good quality eyepieces (relatively), proper filters to see the cool magic, little accessories I am going to need, ect., yet also understand if we REALLY start enjoying this I am willing to dive deep for better quality, and will start over and go ala cart to tip the quality quotient long term. I have just been through enough hobbies to learn you have to start slow, and then invest in quality if you like it. The key here is KEEPING my boys interested, keep the wow factor going to make it attractive as a hobby. If you think its best tolower my budget and drop say $200 on a newbie set to get us interested to look further, I can see that too. On the other hand, if you see investing on something of quality that will be with me long term, suggest away, the more info the better, I am interested in everybody's opinion.
    6) We want to see both local and long distance so to speak, so in my research the hedge would be the Catadioptric type (I think!). However, as you are aware, my budget would limit me to the lower end of that category. Is that smart? I have also read go old school on some proven manual 8-10" Dobsonian reflector, so I want to understand which would have a more "net" value proposition for the end result.

    For ref, yes, I have been to the telescope store here locally, nice place, I am a research guy though, the internet is better for peer review IMHO.

    I appreciate any advice you can give me in advance, looking forward to your responses.

    Chris

  2. #2
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    Default

    Hi Chris ...Welcome aboard the forums ...I would suggest you read the stickies at the top of the home page ...There is a lot of information there to be had ...Again , welcome aboard the forums ..By the way , what scope were you looking at at the local shop ?
    16in Night sky Dobsonian F4.5 , 90mm refractor 500mm FL , 7in
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  3. #3
    chrisf's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by roverich View Post
    Hi Chris ...Welcome aboard the forums ...I would suggest you read the stickies at the top of the home page ...There is a lot of information there to be had ...Again , welcome aboard the forums ..By the way , what scope were you looking at at the local shop ?
    Thank you for the nice welcome.

    I have read the stickies here and have researched info from other sources, and have an idea of what I should start with. Problem is I could go 5 different ways and THINK I am making the right decision, yet due to my inexperience in this field would probably not make the WISEST choice. I ask the question as I am looking for the intangibles to increase the odds for success here, to factor in some components such as big city lights and retaining children interest (8yr old at least as he is very interested).

    I went to Woodland Hills Camera (southof blvd) about 6 months ago just to get a feel, just wanted to do more resarch.

    If I had to pull the trigger wihtout mor research, these are the ones that pique my interest. See Title only as I do not have enogh posts

    One of these to start-

    Meade #902 Electronic Telescope Eyepiece

    Orion-SpaceProbe-130ST-EQ-Telescope
    Orion-SkyQuest-XT10-Classic-Dobsonian
    Celestron NexStar 4 SE Telescope
    ioptronsmartstaremc90gotomaksutovcassegraintelesco pe

    Understand, I feel like I am shootng in the dark here, that is why the request for some guidance. Any help would be appreciated.

    Chris

  4. #4
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    Default

    Welcome Chris!
    Have you considered starting off with quality binoculars and a sturdy camera tripod as a first step?
    You can see a lot with binoculars and they are a great learning tool. They will "fill the gap" and give you some valuable experience. You will probably find that you will change your mind as to what telescope is right for you over the next few months. When you do buy a telescope, the binoculars will still be very useful.

    "The key here is KEEPING my boys interested, keep the wow factor going to make it attractive as a hobby."

    I think the best solution to keeping the boys interested is to help them to understand and appreciate what they are looking at. That's what it's all about in my opinion. Anybody that is expecting "fireworks" is surely going to be dissapointed and lose interest quickly.

    Cheers!

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  5. #5
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    Default

    From the choices you give , it would be the orion 10in scope for me ...Aperture rules in the scope world ...It wont have the goto feature you want but it is the most scope for the money ....I don't know much about the meade electronic eyepiece ...
    16in Night sky Dobsonian F4.5 , 90mm refractor 500mm FL , 7in
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  6. #6
    chrisf's Avatar
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    Default

    thanks for the replies, you clearly have more experience with this, and that is what I would like to leverage for my benefit.

    That being said, I like the binoculars idea, I will look into that. Also, the 10" sounds interesting, then I read it weighs 61lbs. wow. See still learning..

    Also for reference, I am not expecting "fireworks" per se to retain my kids interest, just something that is tool to move forward with the hobby. He will generate his own interest, I just want the bullets in the gun. To be specific, 90% looking for stuff versus 10% seeing it is not going to work long term, that is why the goto feature is still in play as that my make what we want more efficient, know what I mean? I am realistic about this, but as a father, it is my OBLIGATION to expose them to all aspects of life (legal ones that is, lol) and let them choose their path.

    I might take my 8yr old to the telescope store this afternoon, anything I should focus on taking a look at?

    Keep the replies coming, all good.

    Chris

  7. #7
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    Default

    Hi Chris ...It might be a good idea to just look at the different types of scopes there with your son and see if he is able to look through the eyepiece from the ground ...That is a big thing right there ...When the scopes are set up and pointed at the sky , the slightest little vibration will make the scope jiggle and so will the view ...It might be a good idea if the kids cant reach the eyepiece to get one of those step stools with the top rail grab handle ..You don't want them grabbing the eyepiece for a handle or the scope for that matter .... Just some thoughts here ...
    16in Night sky Dobsonian F4.5 , 90mm refractor 500mm FL , 7in
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