Friday, 12th October 2012 at 18:13 #2855
On 12/10/2012 11:15, Dave wrote:
I would like some professional advice re a telescope i am about to purchase; it is the 8 inch Meade ETX – LS ACF which is pretty easy to use I hope. I am completely new to telescope purchasing but have done a bit of research on scopes of various types. I have a feeling that GoTo + automatic alignment would give me fewer headaches to begin with and provide a pro-scope look at the heavens. Any thoughts would be gratefully received.
DaveSaturday, 13th October 2012 at 09:08 #3545
I am also new to the world of scopes. I am surprised you haven’t had a reply as yet ,i am sure it wont be long before someone on here gives you the information you are wanting.
Regards to the GO-To i bought a Sky watcher 127 some weeks ago ,this being my first ever scope. It takes a bit to get to grips with the go-to handset and still after 3 weeks and only 4 nights of being able to use it. The advice i was given ,was to get a telescope that had a go -to as this would be idea for someone never used a scope before. I have managed to connect it to my computer and during the day test it with a program called stellarium. Good luck and i hope you get many repliesSaturday, 13th October 2012 at 13:28 #3546
Cheers Graham! I’ll keep looking for further advice; thanks for yours.
DaveSaturday, 13th October 2012 at 17:22 #3547
Hi David and Graham,
I have to say that I think that GOTO telescope systems are great to use and do allow you to find plenty of objects that many would struggle to find especially with our urban skies. I always say that finding a nebula or galaxy is akin to looking for a grey smudge on a grey backround. Much easier under darkier skies where the sky backround is not lit with a light polluted orangery glow form the street lights. Better contrast allows these faint objects to stand much better.
These set ups do work well but need to have the date, time, latitude and logitude set correctly or the ‘scope will head off to the wrong part of the sky.
The usual error is setting the date in the wrong format. Here in the U.K we generally use Day:Month:Year and, of course, in the USA the format is Month:Day:Year. This is enough to make the ‘scope computer point in the wrong part of the sky and cause the user to blame the telescope and easily loose interest in astronomy.
Another problem is knowing correctly the geographical position of your set up and then typing it in the correct format. Some software use Degrees: Minutes:Seconds (53 deg 24 mins 0 sec) and others prefer decimal Degree (53.4 degs). Which ever way it has to be correct or the scope computer will ‘think’ that you are somwhere else and calculate accordingly.
The scope that Dave has mentioned is ‘intelligent’ in that it has a built-in system (GPS) that allows it to level itself, find North and calculate its position on the Earth. This save tthe user having to do this in the set up and should be accurate each time. The price tag on the 8 inch scope appears to be around the Â£1800 mark. That is alot of money for an 8 inch mirror in my opinion but again it would give good views of the Moon, planets, nebule, clusters and galaxies.
I have to be honest and say that I have only seen this particular ‘scope on one occasion (Fred) at the observatory and was surpprised to learn that the built in video camera (it rides underneath the telescope tube) was used for the star allignment
and, although it could be used for general wide field shots of the stars and constelltions, it did not image through the actual main telescope as I first thought. A seperate camera would still be needed to image what you see through the scope.
These are just a couple of thoughts Dave and certainly not an advert for any particular scope but I would have to think carefully what I wanted out of the hobby before I parted with nearly Â£2000. For less spends you could have a good telescope that you push up to an object but you would have to learn where the objects are. GoTos can make you lazy and never learn your way around the sky.
I would strongly suggest coming to a Wednesday meeting and chatting over a cuppa and find out what else may be suitable.
We are holding our Star Party ‘over the water’ at Thurstaton, Wirral on the 20th October.
Rgards from Dave GalvinSunday, 14th October 2012 at 18:16 #3548
Thanks Dave for your super advice and thoughts. I had hoped to get a GoTo scope because I have a Cub Scout pack and I really wanted to support their learning using such a telescope; they are working on their astronomy badge each year and I think they would get a thrill from almost instant usage of this instrument. Point taken on learning start positions etc; I have been out with my Planisphere on the last few clear nights to try and become familiar with positions;still a long way to go!
For my own purposes I had envisaged a decent sized scope; some good Barlow lenses, a Neximage 5Mpixel camera and a Power tank,(or something similar from Halfords).Later I might get a pro-wedge if I have anything left.
Iknow this will cost a lot but I have a really interested group of youngsters and a family who want to get involved!
Will try and make it over to the Wirral next week.
Thanks once again!
DaveSunday, 14th October 2012 at 19:02 #3549
Intresting point regarding the scouts and the astronomy badge.
It may be worth having a chat with Brenden (Obs Director) as we have organised several teach-ins with scout groups in the past.Monday, 15th October 2012 at 09:06 #3550
Thanks; will be in touch with Brendan in the near future.
Is the min scope at Cronton? I need to think about the logistics of Cub travel; we have a full pack on two nights!
I am going to compromise on the type of scope purchased having done a little research over the weekend. The Celestron CPC 800 does have GoTo but I will need to configure the alignment using two bright objects, (the Moon is acceptable); hopefully this will put a little bit more skill into the set-up. I can get my Latitude and Longitude positions from Google Earth I think.
DaveMonday, 15th October 2012 at 09:26 #3551
Hi David, we have many groups such as yours visit our Observatory at Pex Hill but if that is a logistical nightmare we can visit your place of meeting, we can give tailored talks on astronomy and we can also bring telescopes along and if weather is clear give some practical tips, if you come along to the Wirral Star Party seek me out and we can have a chat.
BrendanWednesday, 17th October 2012 at 08:12 #3552
Hi, I have a Celestron CPC 800 and am very happy with it.Alignment can be done on 1, 2 or 3 stars(you don’t need to know the names of them) or you can use solar system alignment if the moon or any planets are visible.With the built in GPS you don’t need to input your latitude or longitude,date or time ,it does this automatically and remembers its position for future setups.From set up to viewing only takes about five to ten minutes.Hope this helps.Regards JohnFriday, 19th October 2012 at 09:30 #3553
Thank you John. I will go ahead and purchase after the STAR PARTY visit tomorrow evening.
DaveFriday, 19th October 2012 at 10:00 #3554
If you buy an SCT telescope,buy a Skylight filter (SCT fitting) also.this filter is used to keep dust out of the tube and can be left in place on the telescope permanently.Another useful addition would be a f6.3 focal reducer to give you a wider field of view.Friday, 26th October 2012 at 14:31 #3555
Thanks John. I now have my scope and am spending a little while reading the instruction manual. I have purchased set of lens’ and filters for the scope and am just getting the ‘low-down’ on how to use these for narrow/wide fields; with greater and smaller magnification.
I will look into buying the Skylight filter; this seems a sensible piece of gear to preserve the scope.
I’ll keep you posted on my progress and hope to seek out your help if I’m stuck and you don’t mind!
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