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  1. #1
    dUC23's Avatar
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    Default Looking for scope w/ fast setup and maybe 45-60 mins of use per night



    Hello everyone,

    I want to get a little more involved with the purchase of a scope! I have been using my 10x50 binos but looking for a little more! Due to my schedule I only get about 45-60 mins per evening for viewing. I am looking for suggestions on a scope that has quick setup. I will need to store the scope my garage and transport it to the back patio for each viewing.

    I am interested in seeing the planets, moon, messier objects and possibly nebulae in the future? i would also like to take some short exposure pictures of moon and planets.

    Here are a few I have been keeping my eyes on.

    Orion StarBlast 4.5 astro reflector

    Meade Lightbridge 8" truss dob

    Celestron Astromaster 130EQ


    Since the scope will be in the garage, any suggestions on storing it? Sometimes there are lawn clipping ect blowing around when the wind picks up. Do i just cover it with a sheet or similar?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    RussL's Avatar
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    Of those three I would pick the 130EQ just because it's an equitorial mount and it has more aperture than the StarBlast, longer focal length, too. The StarBlast is also equitorially mounted. Everyone else is gonna tell you to get the Dob because of its aperture. But when it comes to quick viewing, you can't beat a short-tube 80mm achromatic refractor, especially for its weight and price. Save the big scopes for when it's a special night. In my book, aperture doesn't always rule.

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    I love my 8" Lightbridge. Grab it, take it to the patio, plunk it down. Turn on the cooling fan. Come back in a half hour. View. If the scope has been in the garage it may already be very close to equilibrium, so start viewing immediately.

    IMO, for visual use there is no telescope criterion that trumps aperture. Bigger is always better. With enough aperture, every night is a special night.

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    I advise beginners to put astrophotography on the back burner and learn the layout of the night sky first.
    Another vote for the Dobsonian. Cap both ends and keep a plug in the focuser. Stick a large black plastic garbage bag over the telescope while it is in the garage to keep the dust off. If you prefer you can get a hand cart with pneumatic wheels to move the telescope around easily. My telescopes have been stored like this since nineteen eighty one.

  5. #5
    Vinnie's Avatar
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    Hi DUC

    Welcome to the forum!

    By fast set up do you mean you can set up quickly, go away for a while while the scope stabilises (cools down) and come back later, or do you want to just take it out of the shed and start observing. If the latter is the case then you will want a refractor.

    FWIW my scopes are stored in my workshop and I just drape old cotton bedsheets over them. I like the scopes to be covered with something that breathes

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    If you are looking at the starblast 4.5 you might want to upgrade to the starblast 6.

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    dUC23's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vinnie View Post
    Hi DUC

    Welcome to the forum!

    or do you want to just take it out of the shed and start observing. If the latter is the case then you will want a refractor.
    Thanks!

    Yes I am looking for true grab and go..... walk to the garage, grab scope, walk to patio, extend legs, remove eye piece cover and start observing.

    I can get the 130EQ delivered for $195 USD and that would even leave me some $$ for future EP's ect. The 8" dob looks awesome and has great aperture but I just looked at the full specs and that thing is pretty big and the heaviest out of the bunch... AND it's the max limit on my budget.

    Maybe I am a "fair weather" observer but i am just being honest with my expectations. If a scope is too heavy / bulky I may not bring it out on some nights.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dUC23 View Post
    Yes I am looking for true grab and go..... walk to the garage, grab scope, walk to patio, extend legs, remove eye piece cover and start observing.
    I walk to my shed, pull the telescope out fully assembled on its cart, remove the focuser plug and the end dust caps on the optical tube assembly, put up the ladder, and commence observing.
    Okay for those who have heard me complain all through last winter sometimes I have to first shovel a lot of the white stuff out of the observing area near the shed though. I almost forgot to mention about tripping over the barn cats several times and fighting with them to see who gets to climb up the ladder first. Sadly I usually lose the race up the ladder.

  9. #9
    dUC23's Avatar
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    New twist to the story! A guy at work heard me talking about getting a scope and said he got one for a gift and used it once and packed it away. I asked what he had and it's a Celestron Nexstar 130 SLT.

    After chatting a little bit more he said he would sell it for $250 USD ($409 new)

    What do you guys think about that deal? Only $55 more than what I can get a 130EQ for. I was reading that the SLT has a diff mount than the EQ bu would that matter for what I am doing?

    The Go-To feature looks kinda fun... Yes, I know it's cheating

    thanks for all the input so far!

  10. #10
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    Hi Duc

    Yep the nexstar series scopes are well regarded. Again though all your choices are reflectors which will need some time to reach thermal equilibrium. If that's not an issue to you then great. If it is an issue then a refractor is the only type of scope that you can realistically set up and observe through almost instantly

 

 
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