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General Chat Thread, Any amateur astonomers out there? in General; ...
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    Dos_Box's Avatar
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    Any amateur astonomers out there?

    I need some telescope purchasing advice. I recently inherited a scope which has reignited a dormant hobby I once used to be interested in, namely astronomy. The scope I had been given is, unfortunately over 25 years old and the scope is now 'tired' according to a telecope shop I was in today (the image isn't what it should be) as it had been stored in an attic for many years. What I am after is a better scope, with automated sighting and good image results. Teh shop I went to for advice was keenly pointign to a scope costing £400 with the advice 'you'd proberbly never need another scope again if you where to buy this'. \yes, and for that price I'd never forgive myself either. This scope was a Skymax-127 and I can't remeber teh stand\trackign device model.
    What I am looking at though is this one from Celestron:Celestron 31145 NexStar 130 SLT Series Newtonian: Amazon.co.uk: Electronics & Photo
    Which is a lot cheaper, and has all of the features I want. Does anyone out the in EduGeek land have a scopelike this or can recommend an alternative in that price range?

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    tom_newton's Avatar
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    I know a man who may be able to help.. if you get no decent replies, give me a shout and i'll introduce you.

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    speckytecky's Avatar
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    Like Tom I too know a man who will know (Andy Burns the Chairman of the Wiltshire Astronomy Association) Wiltshire Astronomical Society - Community and have posted your question on to him. I'll post up any reply forthcoming.

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    tom_newton's Avatar
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    Your man sounds better than mine ;-P

  5. Thanks to tom_newton from:

    speckytecky (28th August 2010)

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    speckytecky's Avatar
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    Here is the nswer to the question I asked!

    While Celestron have a good reputation at the top end of their scopes (and deservedly so) some of the low cost range can get 'tired' very quickly.

    It would be interesting to find out what exactly your friend expects to do with the telescope. His old scope may just need a better mounting - but these can run over £500 for GOTO options.

    The SkyMax is a good scope but the mount untested. I would certainly not label any scope as 'all you would ever need'. I should know, between Chippenham and Spain I own AND USE over 15 telescopes... all for different things, with some 'safety first' duplication and use for outreach (more robust for transporting).

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    I've a Meade ETX-125 which wasn't cheap, but still only classed as entry/medium level scope. If you are insisting on a GOTO Scope, you would be looking at over £1000 before you start getting a decent scope. Now if you wanted a non-GOTO scope, ie bigger aperture etc, you would not need to spend that much. You could even think about purchasing a Dob scope.

    I've been out of touch with Astronomy for a year or 2 now, but as others have suggested try and contact your local Astronomy Club and get advice, and try various types of scopes. There's no such thing as the best scope, its down to budget and what you are trying to view etc.

    You could try the forums on The Society for Popular Astronomy - nice friendly lot

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    Dos_Box's Avatar
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    Thanks all for your help. I'lldig some more tomorrow.

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    Trapper's Avatar
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    I've been meaning to buy one for years, but I live in the city now so not much point. Much better back at my parents as it's semi-rural.

    I had a letter from Patrick Moore giving telescope buying advice!

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    JJonas's Avatar
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    Best bit of advice I had that I chose to ignore was buy the biggest one you can actually use. As a result of ignoring it I now have a telescope that is to big to set up on a regular basis and wish I had gone for a smaller scope.

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    Dos_Box's Avatar
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    Yeah, the 'guy in the shop' said as much. Basically go for something you can have at hand (as they take time to assemble and you can easily store a folded up one in a cupboard) and get in and out easily as sometimes you want to just rush outside to view things. I won't be buying this month as we had a few short holiday breaks last month and have to live a bit frugally, but will look at buying something earlier in October, which will be better as the nights will be closing in and will give more time for early evening watching.

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