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Re: Still on the lookout

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  • dem742
    Thanks Brian, it s nice to get an evaluation from someone using a similar sized scope. I take your point on board and realise this is no Orion, however given
    Message 1 of 26 , Jul 1, 2008
      Thanks Brian, it's nice to get an evaluation from someone using a
      similar sized scope. I take your point on board and realise this is
      no Orion, however given my budget I will not fool myself into
      thinking I'm going to get "top of the range" for an "entry level"
      price.

      I have to say my biggest concern is the EQ1. It's a scarey thought
      to think that a mount may discourage using the scope on any given
      night. I'm really going to have to give that issue some serious
      thought. Any other comments on the EQ1 would be very appreciated,
      whether it has to do with how bad it might be or how it can be used
      with some satisfaction, as in keeping it tight as Brian pointed out.

      Thanks

      --- In telescopes@yahoogroups.com, "Brian W" <mljbw2@...> wrote:
      >
      > --- In telescopes@yahoogroups.com, "dem742" <katieruss_2@> wrote:
      > >
      > > I'm still keeping an eye open for a decent scope that fits
      within my
      > > £100 budget. I noticed that the Skywatcher Skyhawk -1145PM has
      really
      > > come down in price, still marginally above my spend limit, but
      > > possibly worth going that little extra. I've seen some very good
      > > reviews online, including one from BBC Sky At Night.
      >
      > I can answer some of your questions. I have an Orion 4.5 that
      looks a
      > lot like the sky hawk. The major difference that I can see from the
      > review is that the FR in mine is 3.9.
      >
      > As for the EQ mount it is going to make life a little miserable
      until
      > you get used to it. But it is good enough to use if you keep things
      > tight.
      >
      > I can see(on a good night with dark skies) the whether bands on
      > Jupiter. The rings of Saturn are sharp and crisp although not
      > differentiated. The moon is also a pleasure to observe
      >
      > I have had many 'oh wow' moments observing nebulae and clusters.
      Again
      > from a dark site.
      >
      > I have even just finished all 110 of the Messier objects. Mind you
      > many of them were very small and a challenge in a 4.5 but they were
      > there.
      >
      > Now the sky hawk is not an Orion and there are some differences
      but a
      > good 4.5 will show you a lot from a dark site. And it took me a
      year
      > to get enough experience to use the basic scope to its limit. If
      one
      > was to augment it with better eye pieces and a better mount this
      scope
      > could keep you happy for quite a while unless aperture fever
      strikes.
      >
      > All in all I have been pleased that we got our 4.5 and even though
      we
      > have ordered an 8" the 4.5 will still get a lot of use.
      >
      > Brian
      >
    • Brian W
      ... You are right it is not a top of the range mount but it does the job for manual viewing. I tend to ignore the slow motion controls and just move it by hand
      Message 2 of 26 , Jul 1, 2008
        --- In telescopes@yahoogroups.com, "dem742" <katieruss_2@...> wrote:
        >
        > Thanks Brian, it's nice to get an evaluation from someone using a
        > similar sized scope. I take your point on board and realise this is
        > no Orion, however given my budget I will not fool myself into
        > thinking I'm going to get "top of the range" for an "entry level"
        > price.
        >
        You are right it is not a top of the range mount but it does the job
        for manual viewing. I tend to ignore the slow motion controls and just
        move it by hand until I have got my object centered and then i use the
        slow motion controls. When focusing there is enough shake to make it a
        challenge but it is doable. I have given up on polar alignment so the
        slow motion controls do not always move the image in the same way.
        However I do believe that this mount will allow you to enjoy your
        telescope once you have figured out how to make it work.

        Although I would suggest trying to find the same scope in a dob mount.
        Brian
      • dem742
        Thanks again Brian. I m still mulling things over. The hangup I m having is the thought of spending what is a fair bit of money to me on a scope with a mount
        Message 3 of 26 , Jul 1, 2008
          Thanks again Brian. I'm still mulling things over. The hangup I'm
          having is the thought of spending what is a fair bit of money to me
          on a scope with a mount that will technically do the job but could
          be challenging. I really fear spending my lot on a scope that I'm
          too discouraged to bother with due to the frustration of dealing
          with it's mount.

          If I were in a position of spending a bit more, (and it's a big IF),
          would moving up to the Skywatcher Explorer-130PM be the way forward
          to buying with more confidence? It boasts an EQ2 mount, which I have
          no idea if it's appreciably better than the EQ1 as I have no
          experience with either. Another marginal improvment is the extra
          1/2" of aperture, which has to be a good thing.

          I know I'm sounding a bit fickle, OK a LOT fickle, but would the
          Explorer 130-PM totally address these concerns? Again the odds of
          being able to increase my budget to this extent are slim, but would
          this be a good option if so? Would there be a better scope in the
          £155 range that would be better considered?

          Thanks again.

          D.E.M.

          --- In telescopes@yahoogroups.com, "Brian W" <mljbw2@...> wrote:
          >
          > --- In telescopes@yahoogroups.com, "dem742" <katieruss_2@> wrote:
          > >
          > > Thanks Brian, it's nice to get an evaluation from someone using
          a
          > > similar sized scope. I take your point on board and realise this
          is
          > > no Orion, however given my budget I will not fool myself into
          > > thinking I'm going to get "top of the range" for an "entry
          level"
          > > price.
          > >
          > You are right it is not a top of the range mount but it does the
          job
          > for manual viewing. I tend to ignore the slow motion controls and
          just
          > move it by hand until I have got my object centered and then i use
          the
          > slow motion controls. When focusing there is enough shake to make
          it a
          > challenge but it is doable. I have given up on polar alignment so
          the
          > slow motion controls do not always move the image in the same way.
          > However I do believe that this mount will allow you to enjoy your
          > telescope once you have figured out how to make it work.
          >
          > Although I would suggest trying to find the same scope in a dob
          mount.
          > Brian
          >
        • Jim Haley
          Ace Astronomical has Skywatcher Explorer 130 for just £119 shipped. See http://www.acecameras.co.uk/asp/web/ph/cat/prodtype/1523/prodtype.asp This is an f7
          Message 4 of 26 , Jul 1, 2008
            Ace Astronomical has Skywatcher Explorer 130 for just £119 shipped. See

            http://www.acecameras.co.uk/asp/web/ph/cat/prodtype/1523/prodtype.asp


            This is an f7 But on the EQ2 mount. Not quite as rich field but should have a smaller
            secondary and be easier on eyepieces. Aperture always rules (at these smaller sizes) so I
            would could get as big of a mirror as I could afford.

            I have the Orion 4.5 on the EQ1 mount also. I often adjust it so it operates in Alt -Az mode
            (set the polar alignment to horizontal). You do have to be careful with this setup as
            loosening the wrong adjustment causes the tube and weight assy to "clunk" over 90 degrees.
            If you really do not like the EQ1 mount you could always make a little dob mount for the 4.5.

            Jim Haley
          • dem742
            That looks like a very good option Jim, it s the same money as the Skyhawk but with more aperture and an EQ2. The only thing it lacks is the motor driven
            Message 5 of 26 , Jul 1, 2008
              That looks like a very good option Jim, it's the same money as the
              Skyhawk but with more aperture and an EQ2. The only thing it lacks
              is the motor driven feature. My lack of experience leaves me unsure
              as to how much of a drawback that can be. My old scope merely has a
              basic tripod with the fork.

              With that old scope I was looking at Jupiter the other night, well
              attempting to, and while trying to follow it my scope jerked to the
              right and it was a case of "now you see it, now you don't". The only
              way to control it is to manually guide the body of the scope, no
              controls, no motor. Smooth and sure motions are not possible.

              I've never used a proper mount with the controls let alone a motor
              driven unit, so I can't really appreciate how much level of control
              motor drive would have over proper manual control.

              --- In telescopes@yahoogroups.com, "Jim Haley" <jimhaleyscomet@...>
              wrote:
              >
              > Ace Astronomical has Skywatcher Explorer 130 for just £119
              shipped. See
              >
              >
              http://www.acecameras.co.uk/asp/web/ph/cat/prodtype/1523/prodtype.asp
              >
              >
              > This is an f7 But on the EQ2 mount. Not quite as rich field but
              should have a smaller
              > secondary and be easier on eyepieces. Aperture always rules (at
              these smaller sizes) so I
              > would could get as big of a mirror as I could afford.
              >
              > I have the Orion 4.5 on the EQ1 mount also. I often adjust it so
              it operates in Alt -Az mode
              > (set the polar alignment to horizontal). You do have to be
              careful with this setup as
              > loosening the wrong adjustment causes the tube and weight assy
              to "clunk" over 90 degrees.
              > If you really do not like the EQ1 mount you could always make a
              little dob mount for the 4.5.
              >
              > Jim Haley
              >
            • Gene Baraff
              ... the ... only ... control ... The EQ2 mount pictured there seems to have the flexible cable controls going to the slow motion gears. In practice, with this
              Message 6 of 26 , Jul 1, 2008
                --- In telescopes@yahoogroups.com, "dem742" <katieruss_2@...> wrote:
                >
                > With that old scope I was looking at Jupiter the other night, well
                > attempting to, and while trying to follow it my scope jerked to
                the
                > right and it was a case of "now you see it, now you don't". The
                only
                > way to control it is to manually guide the body of the scope, no
                > controls, no motor. Smooth and sure motions are not possible.
                >
                > I've never used a proper mount with the controls let alone a motor
                > driven unit, so I can't really appreciate how much level of
                control
                > motor drive would have over proper manual control.
                > **************
                The EQ2 mount pictured there seems to have the flexible cable
                controls
                going to the slow motion gears. In practice, with this mount, you
                would loose the clutches and slew the scope manually to the object.
                Then, having acquired it, you would tighten the clutches and use the
                flexible cable controls to move the scope. Those flexible cables
                should allow you to control the scope without causing it to shake
                while you are moving it.

                This - if you are trying to keep the budget down - is an excellent
                compromise. In any case, with the EQ2 mount, you would (as far as i
                know) have to use a flexible cable to move the scope in declination
                anyhow, because the motor for that mount is capable of moving it
                only
                in R.A.

                I've used the mount (albeit with a CG5 Celestron 127mm SCT) and
                found
                that it was fully satisfactory - controllable with no excessive
                shake)
                but I can't give you a first hand recommendation with regard to the
                130mm f/7 Newt you are thinking about.

                Gene Baraff
              • sparkysquirrell
                I think you ll learn more without a motor drive. Plus, it takes all the fun out of finding objects for yourself and working out RA, Dec, etc. I wish you many
                Message 7 of 26 , Jul 1, 2008
                  I think you'll learn more without a motor drive. Plus, it takes all
                  the fun out of finding objects for yourself and working out RA, Dec,
                  etc. I wish you many happy hours with whichever scope you decide on!

                  Alton Leonard

                  --- In telescopes@yahoogroups.com, "dem742" <katieruss_2@...> wrote:
                  >
                  > That looks like a very good option Jim, it's the same money as the
                  > Skyhawk but with more aperture and an EQ2. The only thing it lacks
                  > is the motor driven feature. My lack of experience leaves me unsure
                  > as to how much of a drawback that can be. My old scope merely has a
                  > basic tripod with the fork.
                  >
                  > With that old scope I was looking at Jupiter the other night, well
                  > attempting to, and while trying to follow it my scope jerked to the
                  > right and it was a case of "now you see it, now you don't". The
                  only
                  > way to control it is to manually guide the body of the scope, no
                  > controls, no motor. Smooth and sure motions are not possible.
                  >
                  > I've never used a proper mount with the controls let alone a motor
                  > driven unit, so I can't really appreciate how much level of control
                  > motor drive would have over proper manual control.
                  >
                  > --- In telescopes@yahoogroups.com, "Jim Haley" <jimhaleyscomet@>
                  > wrote:
                  > >
                  > > Ace Astronomical has Skywatcher Explorer 130 for just £119
                  > shipped. See
                  > >
                  > >
                  >
                  http://www.acecameras.co.uk/asp/web/ph/cat/prodtype/1523/prodtype.asp
                  > >
                  > >
                  > > This is an f7 But on the EQ2 mount. Not quite as rich field but
                  > should have a smaller
                  > > secondary and be easier on eyepieces. Aperture always rules (at
                  > these smaller sizes) so I
                  > > would could get as big of a mirror as I could afford.
                  > >
                  > > I have the Orion 4.5 on the EQ1 mount also. I often adjust it so
                  > it operates in Alt -Az mode
                  > > (set the polar alignment to horizontal). You do have to be
                  > careful with this setup as
                  > > loosening the wrong adjustment causes the tube and weight assy
                  > to "clunk" over 90 degrees.
                  > > If you really do not like the EQ1 mount you could always make a
                  > little dob mount for the 4.5.
                  > >
                  > > Jim Haley
                  > >
                  >
                • stargazer_7@cox.net
                  Hello, Dem 742 - (Sorry, I m not sure of your actual name) I m a bit late coming into this thread -- I had been quietly reading more recent posts on this
                  Message 8 of 26 , Jul 1, 2008
                    Hello, Dem 742 -
                    (Sorry, I'm not sure of your actual name)

                    I'm a bit late coming into this thread -- I had been quietly reading more recent posts on this thread. I was reticent to throw in my two cents' (pence?) worth, but I'd like to speak up and offer a few comments.

                    From what I've read from your posts, you seem particularly concerned with the usability of the planned scope. I gather that you want good views, through a good scope on a mount that won't bounce and jiggle if you look at it cross-eyed.

                    Unlike Brian, I don't own a similar-sized scope at present. However, I began my love for the starry skies with a humble little 60mm scope with very spartan tabletop tripod legs. From there I moved up to a 6" equatorial, then on to a 10" eq. I now use a 10" alt-az (Dob-mounted), and am designing a 22" scope.

                    Generally speaking, having any scope to look through is better than no scope, except for a *really* horrible one. A good friend (who now lives at a distance) once had a 4.5" scope such as some which you've been discussing with Brian. He liked it at the time, but the mountings are just not substantial enough to either keep the scope steady, or to do a good job of finding and tracking sky objects.

                    In your situation, I would advise passing on scopes with such mountings (EQ1/EQ2) -- at those prices, manufacturers cannot provide a truly decent (equatorial) mounting, plus the telescope with its optics, and make a profit.

                    If perhaps you could hang on for a bit until you expanded your budget a bit, my recommendation would be an alt-az-mounted 6", similar to Orion's SkyQuest XT6. You can see this (as an example) at

                    http://www.telescope.com/control/product/~category_id=dobsonians/~pcategory=telescopes/~product_id=09182

                    You can add the IntelliScope object locator later when the budget permits. In the meantime, you would have 150mm of aperture on a solid, pleasure-to-use mounting which is quite steady. As others have said, aperture rules and 150mm of mirror would provide some very nice viewing for many years of enjoyment.

                    I cannot stress enough how badly a poor mounting can impair the usage of a telescope, regardless of any other factors. Again, I would pass on a scope with the wobbly equatorial mountings . . . use your budget for a good scope on a steady mount.

                    Just my opinion -- as they say, "Your mileage may vary." :-)

                    cheers,
                    Dave G.
                    northern Virginia, USA



                    ---- dem742 <katieruss_2@...> wrote:
                    > Thanks Brian, it's nice to get an evaluation from someone using a
                    > similar sized scope. I take your point on board and realise this is
                    > no Orion, however given my budget I will not fool myself into
                    > thinking I'm going to get "top of the range" for an "entry level"
                    > price.
                    >
                    > I have to say my biggest concern is the EQ1. It's a scarey thought
                    > to think that a mount may discourage using the scope on any given
                    > night. I'm really going to have to give that issue some serious
                    > thought. Any other comments on the EQ1 would be very appreciated,
                    > whether it has to do with how bad it might be or how it can be used
                    > with some satisfaction, as in keeping it tight as Brian pointed out.
                    >
                    > Thanks
                    >
                    > --- In telescopes@yahoogroups.com, "Brian W" <mljbw2@...> wrote:
                    > >
                    > > --- In telescopes@yahoogroups.com, "dem742" <katieruss_2@> wrote:
                    > > >
                    > > > I'm still keeping an eye open for a decent scope that fits
                    > within my
                    > > > £100 budget. I noticed that the Skywatcher Skyhawk -1145PM has
                    > really
                    > > > come down in price, still marginally above my spend limit, but
                    > > > possibly worth going that little extra. I've seen some very good
                    > > > reviews online, including one from BBC Sky At Night.
                    > >
                    > > I can answer some of your questions. I have an Orion 4.5 that
                    > looks a
                    > > lot like the sky hawk. The major difference that I can see from the
                    > > review is that the FR in mine is 3.9.
                    > >
                    > > As for the EQ mount it is going to make life a little miserable
                    > until
                    > > you get used to it. But it is good enough to use if you keep things
                    > > tight.
                    > >
                    > > I can see(on a good night with dark skies) the whether bands on
                    > > Jupiter. The rings of Saturn are sharp and crisp although not
                    > > differentiated. The moon is also a pleasure to observe
                    > >
                    > > I have had many 'oh wow' moments observing nebulae and clusters.
                    > Again
                    > > from a dark site.
                    > >
                    > > I have even just finished all 110 of the Messier objects. Mind you
                    > > many of them were very small and a challenge in a 4.5 but they were
                    > > there.
                    > >
                    > > Now the sky hawk is not an Orion and there are some differences
                    > but a
                    > > good 4.5 will show you a lot from a dark site. And it took me a
                    > year
                    > > to get enough experience to use the basic scope to its limit. If
                    > one
                    > > was to augment it with better eye pieces and a better mount this
                    > scope
                    > > could keep you happy for quite a while unless aperture fever
                    > strikes.
                    > >
                    > > All in all I have been pleased that we got our 4.5 and even though
                    > we
                    > > have ordered an 8" the 4.5 will still get a lot of use.
                    > >
                    > > Brian
                    > >
                    >
                    >
                  • Geoff Gaherty
                    ... I ve tested the 4.5 f/4 tube assembly (StarBlast) on both the StarBlast Dob mount and the EQ1, and also the 130mm f/5 on EQ2. I haven t tested the 130mm
                    Message 9 of 26 , Jul 1, 2008
                      dem742 wrote:
                      > That looks like a very good option Jim, it's the same money as the
                      > Skyhawk but with more aperture and an EQ2. The only thing it lacks
                      > is the motor driven feature. My lack of experience leaves me unsure
                      > as to how much of a drawback that can be. My old scope merely has a
                      > basic tripod with the fork.
                      >
                      > With that old scope I was looking at Jupiter the other night, well
                      > attempting to, and while trying to follow it my scope jerked to the
                      > right and it was a case of "now you see it, now you don't". The only
                      > way to control it is to manually guide the body of the scope, no
                      > controls, no motor. Smooth and sure motions are not possible.
                      >
                      > I've never used a proper mount with the controls let alone a motor
                      > driven unit, so I can't really appreciate how much level of control
                      > motor drive would have over proper manual control.

                      I've tested the 4.5" f/4 tube assembly (StarBlast) on both the StarBlast
                      Dob mount and the EQ1, and also the 130mm f/5 on EQ2. I haven't tested
                      the 130mm f/7, but would expect it to have poor image quality because it
                      has a spherical mirror rather than a parabolic (which the f/5 has) and
                      its focal ratio is too low to get away with a spherical mirror (needs to
                      be at least f/9). The EQ1 is shaky and hard to use; the EQ2 not much
                      better. It's a terrible pity that Skywatcher doesn't make the StarBlast
                      Dob version available outside the USA and Canada, as it's just SO much
                      better than the EQ1 or EQ2. Synta (whether badged Orion, SkyWatcher, or
                      Celestron) does an excellent job with these small parabolic mirrors; too
                      bad they don't mount them adequately!

                      Geoff

                      --
                      Geoff Gaherty
                      Foxmead Observatory
                      Coldwater, Ontario, Canada
                      http://www.gaherty.ca
                    • Erik De Sonville
                      ... The StarBlast 4.5 Dob is available in Belgium, and as I find on the web also in the UK: http://www.scsastro.co.uk/it030024.htm Regards Erik De Sonville
                      Message 10 of 26 , Jul 2, 2008
                        --- In telescopes@yahoogroups.com, Geoff Gaherty <geoff@...> wrote:
                        >
                        > I've tested the 4.5" f/4 tube assembly (StarBlast) on both
                        > the StarBlast Dob mount and the EQ1, and also the 130mm f/5
                        > on EQ2. I haven't tested the 130mm f/7, but would expect it
                        > to have poor image quality because it has a spherical mirror
                        > rather than a parabolic (which the f/5 has) and its focal ratio
                        > is too low to get away with a spherical mirror (needs to be at
                        > least f/9). The EQ1 is shaky and hard to use; the EQ2 not much
                        > better. It's a terrible pity that Skywatcher doesn't make the
                        > StarBlast Dob version available outside the USA and Canada, as
                        > it's just SO much better than the EQ1 or EQ2. Synta (whether
                        > badged Orion, SkyWatcher, or Celestron) does an excellent job
                        > with these small parabolic mirrors; too bad they don't mount
                        > them adequately!

                        The StarBlast 4.5" Dob is available in Belgium, and as I find on the
                        web also in the UK: http://www.scsastro.co.uk/it030024.htm

                        Regards
                        Erik De Sonville
                      • Jim Haley
                        Slow motion controls will help you track the object. A motor does it automatically (once polar aligned) but it is really just a luxury for visual use. I
                        Message 11 of 26 , Jul 2, 2008
                          Slow motion controls will help you track the object. A motor does it automatically (once
                          polar aligned) but it is really just a luxury for visual use. I would not factor the motor into my
                          initial scope purchase decision as you want to purchase the maximum aperture you can
                          afford. Later you can usually easily add a motor but you can not easily add more aperture!

                          Jim Haley
                        • Jim Haley
                          ... Geoff, How did you know it was a spherical mirror. I completely missed that! I agree with Geoff, avoid a spherical mirror f7 scope! Jim Haley
                          Message 12 of 26 , Jul 2, 2008
                            > I've tested the 4.5" f/4 tube assembly (StarBlast) on both the StarBlast
                            > Dob mount and the EQ1, and also the 130mm f/5 on EQ2. I haven't tested
                            > the 130mm f/7, but would expect it to have poor image quality because it
                            > has a spherical mirror rather than a parabolic (which the f/5 has) and
                            > its focal ratio is too low to get away with a spherical mirror (needs to
                            > be at least f/9). The EQ1 is shaky and hard to use; the EQ2 not much
                            > better. It's a terrible pity that Skywatcher doesn't make the StarBlast
                            > Dob version available outside the USA and Canada, as it's just SO much
                            > better than the EQ1 or EQ2. Synta (whether badged Orion, SkyWatcher, or
                            > Celestron) does an excellent job with these small parabolic mirrors; too
                            > bad they don't mount them adequately!
                            >
                            > Geoff
                            >

                            Geoff, How did you know it was a spherical mirror. I completely missed that!

                            I agree with Geoff, avoid a spherical mirror f7 scope!

                            Jim Haley
                          • Jim Haley
                            If I were in your shoes I would follow up on the following www.astrobuysell.com link for an orion XT6i. It is a bit more than you wanted to spend but a far
                            Message 13 of 26 , Jul 2, 2008
                              If I were in your shoes I would follow up on the following www.astrobuysell.com link for an
                              orion XT6i. It is a bit more than you wanted to spend but a far superior scope to anything
                              discussed so far.

                              http://www.astrobuysell.com/uk/propview.php?view=19497

                              Jim Haley
                            • Geoff Gaherty
                              ... Good point. For most beginners, the advantages of a Dobsonian mount (simplicity of operation, lack of vibration, and portability) generally outweigh the
                              Message 14 of 26 , Jul 2, 2008
                                Jim Haley wrote:
                                > Slow motion controls will help you track the object. A motor does it automatically (once
                                > polar aligned) but it is really just a luxury for visual use. I would not factor the motor into my
                                > initial scope purchase decision as you want to purchase the maximum aperture you can
                                > afford. Later you can usually easily add a motor but you can not easily add more aperture!

                                Good point. For most beginners, the advantages of a Dobsonian mount
                                (simplicity of operation, lack of vibration, and portability) generally
                                outweigh the advantages of an equatorial mount (tracking,
                                astrophotography potential). In fact most of the equatorials supplied
                                with beginner's telescopes aren't steady enough for any sort of
                                astrophotography. The addition of a motor drive is, as you say, a
                                luxury. Most of the equatorial mounts I've used over the years have not
                                had motor drives. My most-used equatorial today is a Vixen Super
                                Polaris which does not have a drive, having instead supremely smooth
                                manual slow motions. I use this primarily with my Orion 100mm ED
                                refractor, but also used it recently to test the Orion 120mm EON ED
                                refractor:

                                http://www.starrynight.com/sntimes/2008/07/wwwgfx_cur/eon.jpg

                                For visual use, it works extremely well, and I particularly enjoy the
                                "all manual" route with big refractors!

                                Geoff

                                --
                                Geoff Gaherty
                                Foxmead Observatory
                                Coldwater, Ontario, Canada
                                http://www.gaherty.ca
                              • Dave
                                ... That s the scope I suggested yesterday evening :-) cheers, Dave G.
                                Message 15 of 26 , Jul 2, 2008
                                  Jim Haley wrote:
                                  >
                                  > If I were in your shoes I would follow up on the following
                                  > www.astrobuysell.com link for an
                                  > orion XT6i. It is a bit more than you wanted to spend but a far
                                  > superior scope to anything
                                  > discussed so far.
                                  >
                                  > http://www.astrobuysell.com/uk/propview.php?view=19497
                                  > <http://www.astrobuysell.com/uk/propview.php?view=19497>
                                  >
                                  > Jim Haley
                                  >








                                  That's the scope I suggested yesterday evening :-)

                                  cheers,
                                  Dave G.
                                • Geoff Gaherty
                                  ... I ve learned to read advertising text very carefully. If a scope has a parabolic mirror, it becomes a feature and gets mentioned in the text. If it
                                  Message 16 of 26 , Jul 2, 2008
                                    Jim Haley wrote:
                                    > Geoff, How did you know it was a spherical mirror. I completely missed that!

                                    I've learned to read advertising text very carefully. If a scope has a
                                    parabolic mirror, it becomes a "feature" and gets mentioned in the text.
                                    If it doesn't say, that's a strong indicator that it is NOT parabolic,
                                    confirmed by the lower price point. Orion is a bit more up-front than
                                    most importers, and clearly indicates in its Product Specs that this is
                                    a spherical mirror:

                                    http://www.telescope.com/control/product/~category_id=reflectors/~pcategory=telescopes/~product_id=09851

                                    Geoff

                                    --
                                    Geoff Gaherty
                                    Foxmead Observatory
                                    Coldwater, Ontario, Canada
                                    http://www.gaherty.ca
                                  • Geoff Gaherty
                                    ... That is an excellent deal! I have an XT6i myself, and it s everything the ad says it is. Geoff -- Geoff Gaherty Foxmead Observatory Coldwater, Ontario,
                                    Message 17 of 26 , Jul 2, 2008
                                      Jim Haley wrote:
                                      > If I were in your shoes I would follow up on the following www.astrobuysell.com link for an
                                      > orion XT6i. It is a bit more than you wanted to spend but a far superior scope to anything
                                      > discussed so far.
                                      >
                                      > http://www.astrobuysell.com/uk/propview.php?view=19497

                                      That is an excellent deal! I have an XT6i myself, and it's everything
                                      the ad says it is.

                                      Geoff

                                      --
                                      Geoff Gaherty
                                      Foxmead Observatory
                                      Coldwater, Ontario, Canada
                                      http://www.gaherty.ca
                                    • Jack & Lynn Kramer
                                      From: Geoff Gaherty ... I agree that for a person just starting out, a motor drive is a luxury, and a simple Dobsonian mount is a better
                                      Message 18 of 26 , Jul 2, 2008
                                        From: "Geoff Gaherty" <geoff@...>
                                        > The addition of a motor drive is, as you say, a
                                        > luxury. Most of the equatorial mounts I've used over the years have not
                                        > had motor drives. My most-used equatorial today is a Vixen Super
                                        > Polaris which does not have a drive, having instead supremely smooth
                                        > manual slow motions.

                                        I agree that for a person just starting out, a motor drive is a luxury, and
                                        a simple Dobsonian mount is a better choice. About twelve years ago when I
                                        bought a Celestron/Vixen GP-C102, I got it without the motor drive. Within
                                        about three months I went back to the dealer and ordered the motor drive.
                                        For serious study of objects it's very nice not to have to fiddle with _any_
                                        kind of manual tracking, but just keep the object centered in the field to
                                        catch that fleeting moment of perfect seeing. But in all my years of
                                        observing (over 50), that GP-C102 was the first scope I ever had with a
                                        motor drive.

                                        Jack Kramer
                                        Lily Lake, Illinois
                                      • dem742
                                        That indeed looks like a superb scope for this kind of money. Unfortunatly for me going that extra £50 over my budget is a real difficult stretch, however I
                                        Message 19 of 26 , Jul 2, 2008
                                          That indeed looks like a superb scope for this kind of money.
                                          Unfortunatly for me going that extra £50 over my budget is a real
                                          difficult stretch, however I think I would pull all the stops and
                                          just do it if not for the location of the scope being 233 miles (4
                                          hr 10 min) away. This scope is advertised (Collection Only). A rough
                                          calculation indicates my petrol costs to be in the region of £80,
                                          give or take. Now I'm looking at more than doubling my initial
                                          budget.

                                          I don't want to appear ungrateful, I really do appreciate the link,
                                          however I must stay within my budget for the most part. This budget
                                          is unfortunatly not about to increase significantly in the
                                          foreseeable future.

                                          As things stand, I have not given up on the Skyhawk 1145-pm. The
                                          pro's being it gets some good reviews, is motor driven, parabolic
                                          mirror and not bad aperture.....the con's seem mainly focused on
                                          it's lack of a rock solid mount, which I can appreciate is a huge
                                          factor. It's certainly no Orion but it appears to be a scope I can
                                          enjoy some viewing and learn to use despite it's limitations, and
                                          more importantly, it's within my modest budget.

                                          That said, I've not decided on which scope yet, but whatever I scope
                                          I choose will be a more educated decision. I owe alot of gratitude
                                          for that to you guys for all your help and tips so far.

                                          D E M



                                          --- In telescopes@yahoogroups.com, "Jim Haley" <jimhaleyscomet@...>
                                          wrote:
                                          >
                                          > If I were in your shoes I would follow up on the following
                                          www.astrobuysell.com link for an
                                          > orion XT6i. It is a bit more than you wanted to spend but a far
                                          superior scope to anything
                                          > discussed so far.
                                          >
                                          > http://www.astrobuysell.com/uk/propview.php?view=19497
                                          >
                                          > Jim Haley
                                          >
                                        • dem742
                                          Well I finally got a scope. In the end I found a 4 month old used Skywatcher Explorer 130PM on Ebay and it was also local to me. It is in immaculate condition
                                          Message 20 of 26 , Jul 3, 2008
                                            Well I finally got a scope. In the end I found a 4 month old used
                                            Skywatcher Explorer 130PM on Ebay and it was also local to me. It is
                                            in immaculate condition and also came with a moon filter and a 4mm
                                            Plossl. The winning bid amounted to £102 which was £17 less than the
                                            new Skyhawk I was also considering, so I managed to stay within
                                            budget and get what I think will be an enjoyable scope.

                                            I cannot thank all who helped me enough. The advice made it a more
                                            informed decision and although I realise the drawbacks of the EQ2, I
                                            can also appreciate it is a decent scope at the price.

                                            I'm all excited now, I think I'll get it all set up and view the
                                            glorious er, ummm ..... clouds. Well, next clear night, you know
                                            what I'll be doing!

                                            Thanks again


                                            --- In telescopes@yahoogroups.com, "dem742" <katieruss_2@...> wrote:
                                            >
                                            > That indeed looks like a superb scope for this kind of money.
                                            > Unfortunatly for me going that extra £50 over my budget is a real
                                            > difficult stretch, however I think I would pull all the stops and
                                            > just do it if not for the location of the scope being 233 miles (4
                                            > hr 10 min) away. This scope is advertised (Collection Only). A
                                            rough
                                            > calculation indicates my petrol costs to be in the region of £80,
                                            > give or take. Now I'm looking at more than doubling my initial
                                            > budget.
                                            >
                                            > I don't want to appear ungrateful, I really do appreciate the
                                            link,
                                            > however I must stay within my budget for the most part. This
                                            budget
                                            > is unfortunatly not about to increase significantly in the
                                            > foreseeable future.
                                            >
                                            > As things stand, I have not given up on the Skyhawk 1145-pm. The
                                            > pro's being it gets some good reviews, is motor driven, parabolic
                                            > mirror and not bad aperture.....the con's seem mainly focused on
                                            > it's lack of a rock solid mount, which I can appreciate is a huge
                                            > factor. It's certainly no Orion but it appears to be a scope I can
                                            > enjoy some viewing and learn to use despite it's limitations, and
                                            > more importantly, it's within my modest budget.
                                            >
                                            > That said, I've not decided on which scope yet, but whatever I
                                            scope
                                            > I choose will be a more educated decision. I owe alot of gratitude
                                            > for that to you guys for all your help and tips so far.
                                            >
                                            > D E M
                                            >
                                            >
                                            >
                                            > --- In telescopes@yahoogroups.com, "Jim Haley" <jimhaleyscomet@>
                                            > wrote:
                                            > >
                                            > > If I were in your shoes I would follow up on the following
                                            > www.astrobuysell.com link for an
                                            > > orion XT6i. It is a bit more than you wanted to spend but a far
                                            > superior scope to anything
                                            > > discussed so far.
                                            > >
                                            > > http://www.astrobuysell.com/uk/propview.php?view=19497
                                            > >
                                            > > Jim Haley
                                            > >
                                            >
                                          • Geoff Gaherty
                                            ... I had one of these for a while, and its optics are excellent. The mount is adequate because of the scope s short focal length. I think you ll be very
                                            Message 21 of 26 , Jul 3, 2008
                                              dem742 wrote:
                                              > Well I finally got a scope. In the end I found a 4 month old used
                                              > Skywatcher Explorer 130PM on Ebay and it was also local to me. It is
                                              > in immaculate condition and also came with a moon filter and a 4mm
                                              > Plossl. The winning bid amounted to £102 which was £17 less than the
                                              > new Skyhawk I was also considering, so I managed to stay within
                                              > budget and get what I think will be an enjoyable scope.

                                              I had one of these for a while, and its optics are excellent. The mount
                                              is adequate because of the scope's short focal length. I think you'll
                                              be very happy with it.

                                              > I'm all excited now, I think I'll get it all set up and view the
                                              > glorious er, ummm ..... clouds. Well, next clear night, you know
                                              > what I'll be doing!

                                              That's par for the course! Any telescope purchase is automatically
                                              followed by cloudy skies. The more you spend, the longer the clouds
                                              remain. But they will clear eventually, and there's the Moon, Saturn,
                                              and Jupiter all waiting for you!

                                              Geoff

                                              --
                                              Geoff Gaherty
                                              Foxmead Observatory
                                              Coldwater, Ontario, Canada
                                              http://www.gaherty.ca
                                            • Brian W
                                              ... Fantastic, now a final suggestion... download some software that will help you to explore the heavens. With this hobby you really do need a good road map.
                                              Message 22 of 26 , Jul 3, 2008
                                                --- In telescopes@yahoogroups.com, "dem742" <katieruss_2@...> wrote:
                                                >
                                                > Well I finally got a scope. In the end I found a 4 month old used
                                                > Skywatcher Explorer 130PM on Ebay and it was also local to me. It is
                                                > in immaculate condition and also came with a moon filter and a 4mm
                                                > Plossl. The winning bid amounted to £102 which was £17 less than the
                                                > new Skyhawk I was also considering, so I managed to stay within
                                                > budget and get what I think will be an enjoyable scope.

                                                Fantastic, now a final suggestion... download some software that will
                                                help you to explore the heavens. With this hobby you really do need a
                                                good road map. You might consider going to 'Cloudy Nights' and
                                                checking out the section called "Small Wonders" if you haven't already
                                                found it.
                                                Brian
                                              • dem742
                                                Thanks Brian, I already have Stellarium and I find it to be an excellent program. As a beginner I find most star charts a little disorienting and Stellarium
                                                Message 23 of 26 , Jul 4, 2008
                                                  Thanks Brian, I already have Stellarium and I find it to be an
                                                  excellent program. As a beginner I find most star charts a little
                                                  disorienting and Stellarium simplifies it by simulating me standing
                                                  in a field with a compass and showing me what I should be seeing at
                                                  my given coordinates.

                                                  Thanks for suggesting that Cloudy Nights site, I'll be sure to have
                                                  a look, anything else that helps me understand and navigate the
                                                  night sky can only be a good thing. If anyone else knows of any
                                                  other good software I would be very interested indeed.

                                                  Thanks,
                                                  DEM


                                                  --- In telescopes@yahoogroups.com, "Brian W" <mljbw2@...> wrote:
                                                  >
                                                  > --- In telescopes@yahoogroups.com, "dem742" <katieruss_2@> wrote:
                                                  > >
                                                  > > Well I finally got a scope. In the end I found a 4 month old
                                                  used
                                                  > > Skywatcher Explorer 130PM on Ebay and it was also local to me.
                                                  It is
                                                  > > in immaculate condition and also came with a moon filter and a
                                                  4mm
                                                  > > Plossl. The winning bid amounted to £102 which was £17 less than
                                                  the
                                                  > > new Skyhawk I was also considering, so I managed to stay within
                                                  > > budget and get what I think will be an enjoyable scope.
                                                  >
                                                  > Fantastic, now a final suggestion... download some software that
                                                  will
                                                  > help you to explore the heavens. With this hobby you really do
                                                  need a
                                                  > good road map. You might consider going to 'Cloudy Nights' and
                                                  > checking out the section called "Small Wonders" if you haven't
                                                  already
                                                  > found it.
                                                  > Brian
                                                  >
                                                • Brian W
                                                  ... Stellarium helped me to bag all of the Messier list in my 4.5. It is a good program although it is occasionally a little thin in the stars for some of the
                                                  Message 24 of 26 , Jul 4, 2008
                                                    --- In telescopes@yahoogroups.com, "dem742" <katieruss_2@...> wrote:
                                                    >
                                                    > Thanks Brian, I already have Stellarium and I find it to be an
                                                    > excellent program.

                                                    Stellarium helped me to bag all of the Messier list in my 4.5. It is a
                                                    good program although it is occasionally a little thin in the stars
                                                    for some of the star hops you may wish to try. Have fun.
                                                    Brian
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