Advise on a Go-To

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Advise on a Go-To

Postby mtaggesell » Wed Apr 12, 2006 12:36 pm

Hi all.

At last I've registered. Been hovering around for a few months. Have to say that the forums here are an immense help.

However, I need some more advise if possible please.

I have purshased a Skywatcher 150 EQ3-2. It is a wonderful Scope. However, I'm finding that the setting up, and constant tweaking to follow my Planetary object manually very hard work. I seem to be tweaking more than looking. It's in a way spoiling my fun (although I'm adamant I'm sticking with this hobby!)

I'm therefore looking at getting a Go-To / Driven Scope

I'm not a deep space chappie - more Planetary. Can anyone advise at all which way to go in the same price range-ish please?

In addition, does anyone know of a Company that actually sells scopes on a Hire Purchase aggreement. I've been trying to find one (so I can really treat myself to a bigger scope over a payment period)

Any advise would be greatly appreciated. Whether it be for the scope, purchasing or general beginners :)
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RE: Advise on a Go-To

Postby alandavidshaw » Wed Apr 12, 2006 2:16 pm

Hi mate, welcome to the forum.

You have PM.
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RE: Advise on a Go-To

Postby Chanctonbury » Wed Apr 12, 2006 2:16 pm

Hi Mel A and welcome!

You could always add an RA motor-drive to your EQ3-2 mount (I have) so that once you have acquired a planetary object, it will just track it for you provided you are polar aligned which is a requirement of any mount.

Most of the companies that advertise in the magazines offer HP payment schemes.

Hopefully a planetary viewer will come along soon and advise - I am a deep sky imager so my contribution to your next choice would be a little biased in the wrong area!
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RE: Advise on a Go-To

Postby protege » Thu Apr 13, 2006 11:36 pm

I appreciate that this is an astronomy rather than personal finance forum but if you can get HP then you can probably also get a bank loan and this is a much cheaper way to buy something than HP. HP on a £1500 scope over 36 months will cost you roughly £67 a month and £1000 in interest charges (which are very close to credit card rates). A £1500 bank loan over 24 months will also cost around £67 a month but you'll only pay about £100 in interest charges.

HP is, in general, a rip-off. Having said that, taking advantage of interest-free "buy now, pay later" schemes can be useful (Warehouse Express do this) so long as you pay the money off in full before the 9 months interest free period is up. If you don't you're forced to pay the rip-off HP interest rates.

Cheers,
John.

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RE: Advise on a Go-To

Postby mtaggesell » Wed Apr 19, 2006 9:03 am

Thanks for your advise guys. Sorry I didn't mean the post to turn into a finance advise topic. It was just a quick add at the end of the post. My apologies.

I guess I'm just very confused. I love this new hobby. But want more......

I'll try to explain.

The view I see from the 150 is crisp. I'll never forget my view viewing of Saturn. However, although a wonderful sight - it was still quite small. I constantly trawl thorugh sites on the internet - and am beginning to think that to see a bigger image I'm gonna have to really think about spending a lot of cash!

I see a world of Reflectors, Refractrors, Maks and SCT's and am awefully confused. If I shell out - will my viewing improve at all? Am I expecting too much? As I'm used to manully tracking object shall I go for a Dob instead?

I'm now looking at doing planetary AND DSO's. Is there a make that will do both - but to a good level. I hear that Mak's and SCT's are good...but some say this and some say that. MY only prob is that I would love to have tracking so I can just look and admire instead of twiddle. I would like to do some astrophotography too as soime stage :) (not a lot to ask for :P) I just find I'm becomming very confused. I'm looking at spending aobut £1000-1500. To some this sint much - but to me, it's a massive investment.

Thanks much
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RE: Advise on a Go-To

Postby protege » Thu Apr 20, 2006 1:10 am

Mel,

Your comments about the "massive investment" are spot on...whether we pay £150 or £15000 (I wish!!!) for our scopes it represents a large proportion of our money and it's worth getting it right first time by taking the time to choose the right telescope. Asking questions on this forum is a good way to get sensible answers from sensible people who've "been there, done that" etc.

And it was me who turned the chat to finance. Don't see why we shouldn't...especially as I hate to see people getting ripped off by ludicrous interest rates.

I recently coughed up £1500 for a Meade LX-90. The GOTO is wonderful, the views through the scope are stunning, it'll fit in my car, it's ok for one person to lift while still attached to the tripod and it's fine for planets and DSO's. I couldn't ask for more! Well, a clear night would be nice [:)]

Cheers,
John.
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RE: Advise on a Go-To

Postby dazza1639 » Thu Apr 20, 2006 9:46 am

Hi Mel,

I bought an LX 90 two years ago, and haven't regretted it. The optics are good and the GOTO does make life very simple. Meade also do some useful accessories - like a flip mirror etc, which makes astrophotography (exposures up to 60-90 seconds) pretty straight forward. The LX90 is a great all round 'scope. It will do well for lunar, planetary or Deep Sky Objects - but it does have a big central obstruction (like most SCT's) so contrast on planets is reduced.

Another route you might want to take (particularly if planets rather than lunar/DSO's is what you are after) is a reasonable refractor on an HEQ5 skyscan pro. The skywatcher 100mm APO on this mount is an excellent planetary 'scope. The mount is rock solid, and the GOTO facility on it is easy to use.

Hope this is helpful.

Tom
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RE: Advise on a Go-To

Postby mtaggesell » Thu Apr 20, 2006 11:56 pm

Hey guys.

Thanks for taking the time to post.

It's strange that you guys BOTH have the Scope my supplier has advised me to think about. In fact he suggested to wait and continue using the 150. Then in a few months time - I'm still hungry for more to get the LX90. I spoke to him about, as you also suggested Tom, about a Refractor. But he advised me that the LX90 is (almost) future proof and upgradeable. It's also a pretty good all-rounder

I notice that the LX90 comes in 2 models, one with GPS and one without. Is the standard one easy to setup? £300 is a lot of cash just for the simplicity of setting up 15 minutes quicker with GPS.

Again thanks for post guys. I really appreciate it :) Here's to more posts *cheers*
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RE: Advise on a Go-To

Postby protege » Fri Apr 21, 2006 1:03 am

I may be a bit biased but I have to say that the LX90 is an excellent scope. As to being upgradeable and futureproof...not too sure on this. How futureproof does a couple of mirrors in a tube need to be? Certainly the Autostar can be updated easily via the Internet and there's lots of accessories available for the telescope as well. I'm hoping the telescope I bought will last many years, or until I win the lottery/premium bonds!

As for GPS, unless I'm missing something it's of almost no use unless you move locations regularly. On the non-GPS model once your location is entered into the autostar, that's it! It never needs doing again and having the GPS won't save you one second of time in setting up. The setting up process is very simple (I have the LNT model but without GPS) and takes about two minutes.

There are, of course, loads of scopes to choose from and an SCT is certainly a bit of a compromise but in general it's a good scope but there are others at a similar price which are clearly going to be equally as good.

If you go for an LX90, budget for the following:-

(1) A dewshield. Almost essential. Never tried the flexible ones but I bought a solid one from Telescope house for £99. Not cheap for a painted metal tube!

(2) More eyepieces. As the LX90 is an F10 scope, there's no need to spend a fortune. The Moonfish 15mm costs about £40 and gives excellent views.

(3) Longer term, an external power supply as you can go through a lot of batteries if you do a lot of viewing.

(4) A DVD player, Xbox, PSP etc. for the 355 cloudy nights per year that your new purchase has provoked [&:]

Cheers,
John.


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RE: Advise on a Go-To

Postby mtaggesell » Fri Apr 21, 2006 10:46 am

[quote]There are, of course, loads of scopes to choose from and an SCT is certainly a bit of a compromise but in general it's a good scope but there are others at a similar price which are clearly going to be equally as good.[/quote][quote]ORIGINAL: jaycee

LOL

You've done it now mate - I'm confused again :P

I see that Celestron do a similar model too! Any other I should think of? How about I just give you the cash - and get one for me :P
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