View Full Version : What telescope do you have?

2003-Jul-22, 10:50 PM
So, what kind of astronomy equipment do you have?

I'll be honest and let you know that I don't have the greatest gear, just a 4" reflector. I keep meaning to upgrade my telescope, but since I moved to Vancouver (from rural Hornby Island), the skies just aren't dark enough overhead to let me see anything really faint; just planets and the moon.

Maybe when the kids get a little older I'll get my hands on a bigger light bucket.

What are you using?

2003-Jul-23, 12:19 AM
I have a Celestron 3" reflector. So even less good. It was a gift for my 21st birthday. Not the greatest telescope I've ever looked through but I still can see the universe. It's truely amazing the difference in vision between city and coutnry. I've only had my telescope in the country away from all the bright lights once but it was a night I'll remember forever. Such dazzling colours up there. Back in the city most things look bright white and a little hazy.

Telescops are one of those things that as soon as you get it ... you want a bigger one. must ... see ... more.

2003-Jul-24, 01:42 AM
I have a 6" Newtonian reflector but I don't get to use it much due to the weather and light pollution. Next year, when I emigrate to Arizona, I'm going to treat myself to the biggest (portable) go-to scope I can afford!!!


2003-Jul-24, 05:07 AM
I guess I'm a lucky one (well normally that is) I live in Tucson Arizona and we have good skies here almost all the time except for now! It's our Monsoon season and for the next month or so, it will be clouds and thunderstorms to cool of these 108 degree days!

I own 8" Sct and I love it! I find that I'm getting to where its difficult to drag a larger scope around to schools and star parties so the 8" is fantastic for that. THe kids all go so ga ga over their first sightings!

I've also found that having a good set of Binoculars with a Parallelagram mount can really open up the sky, for kids and myself.....

Many a night I have been too lazy to drag out the scope but the Bino's set up in a flash and the wide fields of Tucson reveal so many marvels......I built my mount for less than $100 US and its been one of my best astronomy investments yet.

2003-Jul-24, 05:34 AM
I had waited for over 2 months when my C-14 showed up the beginning of May, and it's soon to be topped off with an SBIG 11000XM camera. (Platform and observation dome to follow in a year or so), Can't wait til fall, the sky will be crisp, clear, and I should get some great shots and viewing, not that the viewing is bad now, the camera is much more sensitive than my eyes could ever be. (Northern SF Bay has some problems with lite polution). The best part, this was a B-day present from my wife. What a gal!


Vince Fukes
2003-Jul-24, 05:40 AM
Well I had a 50mm tasco a few years ag that barely saw the moon, had some terrible colour problems and was as wobbly as a a jelly on a skateboard.

Then two years ago my now wife bought me an excellent 4" Saxon newtonian reflector eq mounted which I've even bagged the Hamburger in Centaurus.

I also managed to get an 8" truss dobsonian, vut despite the 4 times greater light capacity the 4" is easier to set up as its all bolted together and generally doesn't need to be collomated even after a rough road trip. For those of you that are not familiar with a truss design, they are great in terms of how compact they become when stored, but can be a nusiance when trying to put together with gloves in the dark.

FRaiser stick to the 4" have a blast at Mars in August, and save the money on a BIG scope for a trip to a good dark site. I can recommend the Australian Bush as you can almost read by the starlight!

clear skies


Mike Hutchings
2003-Jul-24, 09:03 AM
I use a Mead 90mm refractor with the Autostar Goto facility, the whole setup cost GBP350 new in a sale. This is a nice scope producing good clear images that do not suffer unduly from chromatic aberation that produces colour fringes around bright oblects; this can occur with cheaper refractor telescopes but to a lesser extent with reflectors. Goto is great but does require reasonably careful setting up of the scope before use each time. I also use a digital camera mounted on the eyepiece and have some goog shots of the moon but the planets have defeated me. I have recently aquired a ccd webcam with an adaptor to attach to the scope in place of the eyepiece so that I can do more imaging at higher magnifications. All this depends on good seeing and here in the eastern counties of the UK I get some reasonable viewing but do suffer from the curse of unfriendly lighting. I do not have to go far though to get some really good dark skies.

Have a look at the Yahoo groups as well for things Astronomical and don't miss Mike Weasner's Mighty ETX site - http://www.weasner.com


Don Sevendy
2003-Jul-24, 12:44 PM
..a 17.5" home-built Dobsonian reflector (commercial optics). It's built mostly out of wood, the tube folds up to a mere three inches thick, and the whole thing weighs only about 110 lbs.

I NEVER use it.

2003-Jul-24, 02:28 PM
I have a 8" Nexstar, but hardly get to use it, as I live in Atlanta, Ga. When I do get the chance to take it to the mountains, WOW! Fabulous views. I have had it for a year and still have problems with interfacing with my computer. Oh well, I keep plugging away at it and hope to get better.

2003-Jul-24, 04:27 PM
I own one Orion 8 inch skyview delux and one 12.5 inch Meade dobson.
Both are excellent scopes for my use and they give me very good views at
the eyepiece. I am very fortunate in that I live in rural north central Texas
and I have very dark skys right outside my backdoor. This makes moving
either scope a mute matter. When I go to starparties away from the house
I usually only take the 8 inch scope due to portability problems with the
bigger scope. However it fits nicely in the backseat of a 4 door pickup.
I fully agree that a good pair of binoculars are as valuable as anything
you can own in the way of viewing equipment. Many Messier objects can
be spotted ( even if not resolved) with a good pair of 10X50's. Also when
using bino's, a fold out lounge chair will make things a lot easier.

2003-Jul-24, 05:18 PM
[SIZE=7]I live near London in the UK with a fair degree of light pollution. I have a Meade ETX 125 cm with Go To facility which I haven't yet learnt how to use plus the setting up factor seems too bothersome. I use the 'scope a fair amount particularly for the Moon and planets. But mainly I take out Helios 20x80 binocs 'cos of ease of use, no waiting to set up and portability. They need a tripod ( a Manfroto ) but are not too heavy to use without. They give stunning views of constellations and larger clusters and good views of smaller clusters and binaries.
I would recommend high power binocs to anyone in light polluted areas; I have read that large apertures in 'scopes give no real advantage in light polluted skies because they just take in more of the light that is stopping you get a view. Is this true?

2003-Jul-24, 05:24 PM
Welcome to the Universe Today forums, polymath, bigadd10 and Yonna, I'm really glad you decided to join the conversation.

I wonder if a lot of people have a computerized telescope that they don't really know how to use? I don't have one, but I hear they can be a little too technical and have a terrible interface.

2003-Jul-24, 06:12 PM
I have a Mede 60 mm refractor, (the el cheap 0) model. My wife bought it for our 12th wedding anniversey 2 years ago, thinking we can take up astronomy together.

Until she figured out you have to go outside late at night, and set up far from the light polution of our major city of 120,000 population, tolerate weather, and mosquetos, readjust the eye piece for each of us to look through, and that only one at a time can look. Then there was alligning the finder scope, focusing the main scope, finding something to look at, and having to stand up to look through the eye piece.
She apparently thought it could be hooked up to a computer monitor, and set up in our back yard where we can sit in lawn chairs and operate the thing with a remote.
But then, her idea of camping is a cabin with electric, and running water.

The Barlow lens is screwed up, and so far the Mede company has never returned the two or three E-mail inquiries I've made.
So now it sits under a pile of crap waiting for someone who will give her what she paid for it, or at least $50.

Meanwhile I've been eyeballing an 8 inch reflector at Walmart with the computerized mount which will make it find and point at the object you choose as well as move with it when it does.

But I haven't yet coughed up the $450 price or justified to her investing in a bigger better scope when the first one wasn't that much fun, and you can't get much togetherness in an activity designed for one.

But at least there's a nice little website called UNIVERSE TODAY which keeps me up on what I'm missing when I can steal a few minutes a time or two a week to get on the computer and internet.

2003-Jul-24, 06:51 PM
I have a 10in orion dobson which I love, my telescope and I have seen almost every messier object and a few ncg's. Last winter I converted my dob to a truss tube rocker style dob, so I can bring it to Mt Mauna Kea in Hawaii. This spring I when to Mt Mauna Kea in Hawaii.
Wow the skies were amazing, it took me a little while to line up my finder scope
with my eyepiece, as there were so many stars I practically couldn't tell which one I was aimimg for!

2003-Jul-24, 09:05 PM
[FONT=Arial][SIZE=7][COLOR=blue]I have a 4.5 inch Celestron. It is great for clusters and doubles and some planetary observation. My club (ASNNE.ORG) has a mead LS200, but we really have had a lot of problems with it. Anyone have any ideas?

2003-Jul-24, 09:07 PM
I have a 4.5 inch Celestron. It is great for clusters and doubles and some planetary observation. My club (ASNNE.ORG) has a mead LS200, but we really have had a lot of problems with it. Anyone have any ideas?

2003-Jul-24, 09:52 PM
Originally posted by fraser@Jul 22 2003, 10:50 PM
So, what kind of astronomy equipment do you have?

I'll be honest and let you know that I don't have the greatest gear, just a 4" reflector. I keep meaning to upgrade my telescope, but since I moved to Vancouver (from rural Hornby Island), the skies just aren't dark enough overhead to let me see anything really faint; just planets and the moon.

Maybe when the kids get a little older I'll get my hands on a bigger light bucket.

What are you using?
I have a 4.5" Meade <_<

My dream is a 8" at least scope. Im saving nickels&#33; And my husband gave me for my birthday a pair of binocs...... B)

Great forum, thnxs&#33;.............J@ckie

2003-Jul-25, 01:57 AM
The scope I use most is my Orion StarMax 127mm.It&#39;s a 5" f/12.1 maksutov-cassegrain.I haven had it more that 2 months,but I&#39;ve been using it alot lately&#33;&#33;I missed observing Jupiter and Saturn,but Mars and the Moon look great thru it&#33;&#33;I like using medium to high powered eyepieces.Power ranging from 100x to 200x. I also use a 6"f/12 AstroPhysics superplanetary refractor&#33;Becuase this scope is big and heavy,I don&#39;t use it much&#33;&#33;Too bad&#33;,it&#39;s a great scope.It will get used to view Mars soon&#33;&#33; The Orion 5" mak-cass is my workhorse&#33;&#33;

2003-Jul-26, 02:05 AM
I keep my 6" star gazer steve dobsonian in the garage for popping out into the driveway for quick views. It weighs about 16 lbs including the base, and it cools quickly thanks to a cardboard tube. Attaching a web cam or a digital camera with a scoptronix adapter allows for easy planetary and lunar photography. For wide field views and wide field astrophotography, I use a Tele Vue NP 101 on a german equatorial mount. Plus a thousand oaks solar filter allows me to view and photograph our nearest and dearest star in white light. I&#39;m saving my nickels for the H-alpha filter so I can see flares and ejections. Then I keep a astroscan 4" newtonian I got as a giveaway equiped with a Rigel Quickfinder to use as a loaner to friends and kids.
When I was learning about what telescopes would best meet my desires, I found the book Starware by Phil Harrington to be very useful. Check it out. If you&#39;re gonna put hundreds or thousands into a telescope twenty couple bucks for this book is money well spent.

Daniel T
2003-Jul-26, 02:18 AM
I have an 8" Schmidt-Cassegrain. Have only been outside with it a couple of times this summer. Don&#39;t use it at all in the winter as this is Wisconsin and it gets a tad cold. I&#39;m a fair-weather observer. To be honest, I may be a little lazy. I just have a hard time convincing myself to get out there. I mean, it&#39;s dark. Very dark. Scary. Does anyone else have this problem? It&#39;s a shame because I&#39;m always awestruck by the things I see. Star clusters are my favorite. Open clusters, globular clusters. I can&#39;t view one and not be moved by what I&#39;m seeing. It&#39;s hard to imagine that all of those little sparkles of lights are suns like ours&#33; The sky has become a friendly place to me. Since my telescope is not "go to" I frequently spend a lot of time just searching for objects, but that has forced me to learn the constellations and the names of lots of stars. I can&#39;t walk outside at night without looking up to get my bearings, to check out what stars are out tonight. Ever notice that people think you&#39;re crazy to be standing alone, looking up at the sky?

2003-Jul-26, 08:48 AM
Hey DanielT,you&#39;re not alone&#33;&#33;I live in a semi-rural area,but have a big yard(1 acre).It&#39;s bordered by woodlands on 2 sides.I&#39;m always hearing "strange"noises and things bounding &#39;heavily&#39;through the woods.Yeah,my heart stops...but I restart it and go about my observing&#33;&#33;It&#39;s very private where I live. As for people thinking I&#39;m crazy for looking up in the sky at night...I"LL BE DARNED IF I&#39;M GONNA&#39; LET THAT KEEP ME FROM DOING WHAT I LOVE TO DO&#33;&#33;&#33;&#33;&#33;&#33;&#33;&#33;&#33;&#33;&#33;&#33;&#33;&#33; Clear Skies my friend&#33;&#33;

2003-Jul-27, 08:56 PM
am planning to buy a new telescope, i want it to be sufficient and enabled to perform all the tricks wthout having to regret buying it after 2 or 3 weeks when a better version hits the markets. i have a budget of 200&#036;, and i really need some help from u about the most recommended characteristics that i should consider when buying it.thanks a lot. :rolleyes:

2003-Jul-28, 01:51 AM
4.5" York Skyrover Reflector (I think that&#39;s the Australian equivalent of Meade). One day I will buy this: http://www.meade.com/catalog/lx/12_14_lx200gps.html

2003-Jul-28, 05:53 AM
I am lucky to own a gps 10" uhtc meade for about a year now. I live in Arizona and the skies were clear until last week when the monsoon decided to visit. I recently bought telvue binos, and since I only owned 1 nagler bought another, but the same 16mm, and the views are WOW. GCs are my favorite and the gps was worth saving up for. George from Apache Juction

2003-Aug-01, 07:51 PM
Hi Everyone,

I&#39;m new herebut wanted to share my telescope with you all. I designed a 10" F/4.8 which my husband built for me. The gentleman who did the mirror also made the same telescope for a famous Movie Director who is into astronomy. After the scope was made I painted it. Its my pride and joy. I call it Ole Blue

Thanks for listening
Designer of one Scope in Chi Ill


2003-Nov-10, 12:01 PM
Howdy all,

I just acquired a Tasco Luminova 114mm (4.5") with 900mm (35.5") focul length (Focal Ratio of around f8 i think) on an EQ mount.

Anyone have any ideas as to what i &#39;should&#39; be able to see?

Im a relative newborn to the whole astronomy thing, but even the simplest things are brilliant to see for the first time (Mars is nice and big for us in the Southern Hem. at the moment...)

The scope came with a 4mm, 12.5mm and 20mm lense set and a 3x Barlow.

Any thoughts and suggestions would be handy,


Dave Mitsky
2003-Nov-11, 11:17 PM
I currently own 8 telescopes (which range in aperture from 80mm to 12.5 inches) for some strange reason since I never intended to have a collection. Four are refractors and four are Newtonians, three of them on Dobsonian mounts. Brand names include Apogee, Celestron, Orion, Starsplitter, and Tele Vue. Two are ATM telescopes. My eyepieces are a mixture of the following makes: University Optics, Celestron, Celestron Ultima, Tele Vue, and a few odds and ends ranging from 3 to 35mm. Design wise they consist of 1 Kellner, 3 orthoscopics, 3 Ploessls, 2 Masuyamas (the Ultimas), a Radian, 2 Panoptics, 3 Naglers (type 2 and 6), and a Nagler zoom. In the past I owned a Tele Vue Wide Field and Meade Super and Ultra Wides as well.

I also have access to quite a few club telescopes at the ASH Naylor Observatory, the largest being a 17" f/15 classical Cassegrain.

Dave Mitsky

2003-Nov-12, 01:00 AM
I have a Meade "Polaris" 114 EQ-D, and a Tasco 59T. The Meade is much easier to use, but the Tasco was fine before. Viewing Saturn and Jupiter last year was a real treat using either.
I can only imagine what Dave Mitsky sees, wow&#33;

2003-Nov-13, 01:14 AM
I have a Meade ETX 70 and a 5 inch Dob with a 2x barlow and 25 and 10 mm Plossls

The Meade is a great toy, I don&#39;t care what anyone says it is really fun to take a guided tour of the sky and have someone else do the work. Ok so you don&#39;t see as much as you would with an 8" dob, but still ....

The 5 inch I bought with an EQ2 mount and then built myself a dobsonian mount as I found the heavy tripod a big pain to lug around every time I wanted to use the scope for a quick observing session.. I still use the EQ2 when I want to use a webcam or security cam for imaging, the fine controls help, even though I dont have a motor drive

But I can see where Dave has got to where he is, because I am already planning my next scope, an 8 Inch dob. (A local storehad an 8 inch returned because the base was broken , so I hope to buy the OTA (tube and mirror assembly) and then build my own Dobsonian mount)

Anyway when you build a mount you can use plywood as recommended by the sidewalk astronomers which just has to be better than the chip board that commercial bases are made of

Where wil this end? will my sights next turn to a 10 inch or 12 inch truss next ? this is an illness&#33;&#33;

Or what about big binoculars?


2003-Nov-13, 03:11 AM
Currently working with a Meade 25cm (10") LX200GPS, in alt/az for visual work and polar for imaging with an Olympus OM1. In addition, I use Celestron 20x80 binoculars for comet sweeping.

Clear skies

2003-Nov-13, 04:52 AM
Myself and a friend bought my future stepson an Orion 4.5" starter scope... I was very impressed with it&#33; I&#39;ll probably use it more than he will&#33;&#33;&#33;

2003-Dec-16, 01:51 PM
It&#39;s a Meade LX-200, 12 inch, Schmidt-Cassegrain. Portable if you have another body to help with set up. It did indeed take a while to learn how to get the most out of it. The learning curve wasn&#39;t a big deal , it was fun. :) I use Meade, Celestron, Orion, Tele Vue and various other eyepeices. Along with the scope I carry binoculars, camera adaptors, a camera or two (Olympus: usable manually), off axis guider, star chart (skyAtlas 2000.0 is a great one), filters, mylar sun filter, polar alignment eyepiece, a basic astronomy book, red filtered light for chart reading and a telrad finder among other things :D. It&#39;s a great hobby be it a bit expensive at times. Keep looking up&#33;

2003-Dec-18, 01:33 AM
Well I&#39;m a University student and can&#39;t afford this fancy shmancy stuff. I intend to buy a beast of a Caseegrain telescope at some stage in my life. Maybe they will come decked out with adaptive optics as standard by the time I can afford it&#33;


Dan Luna
2003-Dec-18, 05:32 PM
When you look into it, the GPS GOTO system will know what you&#39;re looking at, automatically download a video stream of it via an Internet satellite from some immense observatory scope, and beam it straight into your eye&#33;

It&#39;s not the telescope that&#39;s my problem, rather the trolley full of add on gear that takes ages to set up e.g. video eyepiece, DVD recorder, laptop for monitoring, all with miles of cable to stumble over in the dark....

2003-Dec-19, 12:50 AM
20" f/5 Tectron (the big honker) which I use to please myself under dark, rural NM skies.

13.1" Coulter Odyssey - part time front yard scope...

10" f/4 home built (the little "purple people eater") for school star parties and other public outreach activities for The Albuquerque Astronomical Society.

Do I have enough scopes? Of course not. When you&#39;re obsessed like I am, ya can never have enough&#33;

Clear dark skies to all&#33;

2003-Dec-19, 11:56 AM
We (my daughter and I) started with a Meade ETX-70, and quickly progressed to a Discovery 8" Dob. Looking for something more portable for star parties, I also bought an Orion 120mm ST refractor.
Nice equipment, beautiful images. Now, if only we had a clear sky in SE Michigan :angry: ....If we get 1 day a month (this time of year) you can see the stars, it&#39;s a good month. And if we get that clear night in the winter, you bet it&#39;s darn cold outside.

2003-Dec-19, 03:34 PM
I am currently using a pair of home made 10" binoculars. I built them out of two old Meade DS-10 telescopes. Here is a picture:

http://home.bresnan.net/~curranm/11WUTS/g2.../binoculars.jpg (http://home.bresnan.net/~curranm/11WUTS/g2/binoculars.jpg)

Check out the rest of the homepage. Would love to see you at the 2004 Weekend Under The Stars.

Marty Curran

2003-Dec-19, 03:39 PM
That&#39;s crazy Marty, what an awesome setup. Binoculars that big must be impressive to look through.

2003-Dec-20, 01:39 AM
greetings earth man.We here greetyou.I have a 10" sct that i use for regular viewing and a6" astro graphics that i use for astrophoto.T mount i put together my self from different parts and built my own drive unit .THE SIX IN came with everthing but the spotter,i made that one and the mount.I am not into the tech stuff but just the viewing that i try to get the boys in the troop to get into. Thanks for listening

2003-Dec-20, 02:19 AM
I just scored an 11 in Starhopper for 400&#036;. It compliments my 4.7 inch Orion refractor. Im in heaven. Best of both worlds&#33; It&#39;s cloudy tonight and I&#39;m feeling blue (shifted?). Oh, my.

2003-Dec-20, 04:47 PM
I am just getting into astonomy, i have always been fascinated by the night sky, but never had enough &#036;&#036;, for my Birthday, i got a NexStar 114 Reflector scope, right now i live in an appartment, and have only used it from the balconey, so i can only really see Saturn and Jupiter, but i am loving it.

2003-Dec-21, 10:39 PM
Hi Guy&#39;s, it is great to read about other peopels telescopes.

I think Scope are like cars, you change them as your needs change.

I have a 10" Meade Dob and a 3" Unitron Refractor.

The 10" meade is a compromise between ease of setup (dobs are Soooo easy) and light gathering.

While the quality of the Meade is best classed as "Average" good to excellent is generally hand crafted as many people in our Astro Club do.

I do have a fundamental problem with computerised scopes though.

Yoiu tend to spend 50% of the investment on a bunch of electronics, avout 30% of the investmetn onthe mount and about 20% on the actual optics.

A dob allows you to send about 80% of the investmetn on the optics, generally either large size (more light gathering=more brighter objects) or higher quality (sharper objects).

Further more the computerised scopes need to be correctly setup, I have a friend with a ETX and she spends 45 frustrating minutes to get it set up verse 3 minutes for the dob.

In addition, you will NEVER learn the night sky with a "click and view".

With a manual scope you will learn the sky and feel the satisfaction in actually finding something.



Daniel T
2003-Dec-22, 11:44 PM
I have an 8&#39;&#39; Celestron SCT. I&#39;m very happy with it. My main interest is star clusters. I&#39;ve recently joined the AAVSO. Getting started doing variable star observing has been challenging, but worth the effort. I can&#39;t tell you what a satisfying feeling it is to be able to contribute to the science of astronomy, if only in a very small way. It&#39;s added a whole new demension to my observing.

As I write this, there is a 12.5&#39; dobsonian being shipped to me from California. Really looking forward to pointing that at the night sky&#33;

Then there are binoculars. I can&#39;t imagine being without them. When not using them to help locate an object in the telescope, I find them just fine all by themselves. Many things in the sky, such as the larger star clusters, are at their best in binoculars. Not to mention it&#39;s nice to just scan the sky when I&#39;m too lazy to get the telescope out.

2004-Jan-01, 02:43 PM
I have a short tube 80mm refractor on a camera tripod and a 127mm Mak-Cas on an EQ-3 mount. I&#39;m considering getting a good solar filter for the 80 to use as a solar scope and getting another refractor to go along side the Mak, something in the 100-120mm range, and maybe a bino-viewer as well.

2004-Jan-02, 12:06 AM
Welcome to the forum GarethB&#33; Please stick around.

Dan Luna
2004-Jan-02, 11:34 AM
Oops, forgot to mention the scope&#33; 10" Dob mainly used to make Moon DVDs for playback on TV.

2004-Jan-25, 06:18 PM
A 114mm (4.5") Tasco 11T reflector (http://www.users.on.net/stargazer1969au/mercury2003scope01.JPG).
I&#39;ve had this scope since 1986 & it still amazes me in it&#39;s ability to keep up with some of the larger scopes (8" - 10") that my friends have. Ok, maybe not so bright or as clear ... but still there to see. B)
I seem to be lucky with my scope as the contrast it gives is fantastic; bright images with a near black background. Other scopes I&#39;ve looked through seem to give you that greyish, washed out background resulting in poor contrast.

I also belong to the Astronomical Society of South Australia (http://www.assa.org.au/) (ASSA) which gives me access to a range of much larger scope to use including a couple of 15" dobs (http://www.users.on.net/stargazer1969au/dscrub02a.jpg), and an 18" & 20" (http://www.users.on.net/stargazer1969au/stockport170802-10a.JPG) Newtonian-Cassegrains mounted in observatories (http://www.users.on.net/stargazer1969au/stockport170802-01a.JPG).

...Ok, I admit the views through these scopes are a little bit better then my Tasco. :rolleyes: lol.

2004-Jan-26, 09:14 PM
Originally posted by Mike Hutchings@Jul 24 2003, 09:03 AM
I use a Mead 90mm refractor with the Autostar Goto facility, the whole setup cost GBP350 new in a sale. This is a nice scope producing good clear images ... but to a lesser extent with reflectors. Goto is great but does require reasonably careful setting up of the scope before use each time.
I have a 114mm Meade reflector, and the GoTo functins never has&#33; :( every time I&#39;ve tried to get ahold of Meade, the phone number is busy, and they don&#39;t have any support on thier website :angry:
If anyone has any ideas, please feel free to let me know&#33;

2004-Jan-26, 09:39 PM
I have a Discovery 12.5" PDHQ coming in the next couple weeks&#33; I am excited ...

I also have a 4" reflector from 1970. It&#39;s time for a replacement&#33;


2004-Jan-28, 10:01 PM

My most frequently used telescope is the 114mm Celestron newt. It&#39;s my "workhorse" for routine solar and lunar observances, and has served me well for over a decade. Impressed with the capabilities of this aperture, I went on to purchase an Orion 4.5 ShorTube specifically to take to Public Education programs. Children and young adults find it easy to handle, and it allows me to "share" my scope and starhop teachings without fear of damaging expensive equipment.

For exacting double star and planetary work, I use my 150mm Intes Mak. It&#39;s a very fine scope and also offers wonderful performance on a wide variety of deep sky objects. It also serves as my "take along" when doing presentations for schools or groups.

I also own an Orion SVD8 for more adult oriented public events. It offers more light gathering ability and is fairly portable. It shows a wider range of deep sky and still gives admirable performance on lunar, planetary and doubles. (the thing is amazing on low surface brightness studies...). I also use it at home, particulary when wanting to view nebulae.

The bulk of my true studies is done with my research grade Meade 12.5. Although it is far from portable, I designed a transport for it so it could be moved around my home observing site with ease. I live in a very rural, very dark sky site, and the capabilites of this telescope amaze me to this day... It will walk 14th magnitude easily, and gives outstanding performance with doubles and planetary.

And although this next scope is not "mine", I am a trained operator and tireless host with the 31" Warren Rupp Observatory scope. I love being twenty feet in the air to observe&#33; When ever I have time to make the drive? I am there. After years of pushing myself and my own equipment to the limits to see mag 15 galaxies, you can&#39;t imagine what a thrill it is to know you&#39;re studying magnitude 17&#33;

So there ya&#39; have it. Add a couple of eyepieces cases crammed to the limit, a couple of pairs of binoculars, and an old Tasco refractor I never had the heart to part with, and enough accessories to start people wondering about my sanity, and you&#39;ll find me...

Rockin&#39; the Night&#33;


2004-Jan-29, 09:19 AM
Holy crap&#33; That&#39;s some substantial gear you&#39;ve got there&#33; One day, when I am no longer a poverty stricken student, I will invest in some serious aperture.

2004-Jan-29, 10:33 PM
Ah&#33; I will make you a trade. You come and enjoy the scopes with me anytime...

And I will buy you a cup of coffee and you can teach me what you learned today&#33;

All the best,


2004-Jan-30, 04:16 AM
I borrowed a Gun scope ( the owner passes it off as a gemscope :) ) to see if I could make out saturns rings, sitting pretty in gemini and all that. :( Not very succesful though.

Maybe if an Australian University ever lets me back in ( or, Allah willing, I get a paying Job &#33;) I may someday earn enough to afford a nice scope, or better yet access to a big one, like maybe, one like the Gemini :D

2004-Jan-30, 09:38 PM
Nice webpage, dude&#33; That represents a significant amount of work...

Hey, now. A spotting scope from a gun is better than none at all. Depending on what power it is, you might even be able to see the general form of Saturn. It should be quite possible for you to see the M44 and definately the M42 in the same way.

Binoculars are also very cool... You&#39;d be surprised at the wealth of deep sky you can see with even a modest pair&#33;

Rockin&#39; the Night,


(i&#39;m still awfully new here and haven&#39;t had time to explore back through all the old postings... but i see that many of you maintain your own websites as well. is there an area somewhere in here where everyone has placed a link to their site? besides fraser... ;) i think it&#39;s awesome to get to know people with the same interests.)

2004-Jan-30, 09:56 PM
TheAstronomer - Your website rocks...

I am currently working on one- an amateur telescope making page to document the 12" Newtonian Reflector that I am currently building - I also plan put up the wiring diagrams for the CCD camera that I plan to build as soon as I am done with the telescope building. I expect to be done all three (website, telescope, and CCD) in a couple months.

2004-Jan-31, 08:22 PM
Hey thank you&#33;

(you can tell what i do when the weather is crappy, can&#39;t you? ;))

I could no more not write about what I observe than I could quit observing&#33;

I look forward to your pages. Mirror making is a very rewarding hobby, and I wish I were so ambitious&#33; Be sure to take lots of pictures. (focault testing is so cool...) The more pages out there that show "how to", the better&#33;

And CCD? Wow... I&#39;m still limpin&#39; along with a video camera and video eyepiece. I&#39;ve got a Phillips ToUCam, but I&#39;ve found out that I need three arms to drive the scope and work the program&#33;

Anybody wanna&#39; lend a hand?

Looking forward to your stuff,


2004-Feb-15, 11:09 PM
I have three scopes.
A Meade 3" refractor purchased from Wal-Mart. Junk.
I have a 4.5" Bushnell/Voyager reflector, purchased fromHardin Optical. Anicel ittle scope. Good potrtability. It&#39;s name is Little Enis, as in "Smoky and the Bandit."
Then two weeks ago I bought an Orion XT8" reflector. He is Big Enis.
It&#39;s a monster.
It has really opened the sky to me.

2004-Feb-16, 08:51 AM
I am not fussy, but i just bought a scope&#33;&#33;&#33;

A 114mm (4.5") Tasco 11T reflector, like Stargazer&#39;s and finally the storms here in Alice Springs have settled so i can have a look&#33;

2004-Feb-18, 12:41 PM
Originally posted by damienpaul@Feb 16 2004, 08:51 AM
I am not fussy, but i just bought a scope&#33;&#33;&#33;

A 114mm (4.5") Tasco 11T reflector, like Stargazer&#39;s and finally the storms here in Alice Springs have settled so i can have a look&#33;
Hey, same names & now same scopes&#33; :D

But is it red? <_<

Have a look HERE (http://www.emling-online.de/digital/tasco_e.html) you may find it interesting B)

2004-Feb-18, 02:42 PM
mead ldx 10"

2004-Feb-18, 05:21 PM
I got a 4.5" Meade reflector, but I haven&#39;t been able to see much because I live near Boston- way too much light pollution <_<

2004-Feb-18, 06:43 PM
Originally posted by jamerz3294@Jan 26 2004, 09:14 PM
I have a 114mm Meade reflector, and the GoTo functins never has&#33; :( every time I&#39;ve tried to get ahold of Meade, the phone number is busy, and they don&#39;t have any support on thier website :angry:
If anyone has any ideas, please feel free to let me know&#33;
Can you be more specific about the problems you&#39;re having? I know it took me awhile to work some things out.

Among other things, I discovered once, setting my Meade 10" SCT up at an unfamiliar location, that some sort of electromagnetic field must have been running through something near the scope. This meant that instead of aligning on true north, it was getting thrown off by the difference in angles between this field and magnetic north. Everything "worked" but the azimuth was consistently off by about 30 degrees.

When I asked myself "why does it seem that this building I&#39;m next to is aligned *perfectly* with magnetic north, I got the needed clue. Moved the scope no more than 10 feet, away from all obvious metal objects, and everything set up just fine.

Usually, with the GOTO scopes, the alignment on your reference stars will never be quite perfect at first, but once you make sure that you&#39;ve aligned on the correct stars, assuming there isn&#39;t an actual defect, things should work fairly well. It has taken me some time to work out the tricks, though. For instance, setting up during daylight, and "sighting in" my guide scope with the main scope (focusing on a distant landmark, then adjusting the guidescope to match as exactly as I can with what the main scope is pointed at) makes things much easier when night falls.

I&#39;ve had a number of misadventures with the GoTo features, to the point that I&#39;ve at times abandoned them, relying instead on charts and pointing to my target with my arm to get a rough reference, then aligning the scope in kind, then searching with the guide scope to locate my target(s).

But in general, most foul-ups seem to have been due to something I did, or didn&#39;t quite understand correctly (in part thanks to Meade&#39;s clear as mud documentations, and in part my own haste, arrogance or failure to read closely).

There are a number of things I have yet to do well, like training the drives and all that stuff mentioned in the manual. Most of it strikes me as something I&#39;ll want to do once I have a permanent obervatory set up, and not worth the time when I tend to cart the scope off to a different location each time I get up the energy to take it out.

2004-Feb-22, 06:17 AM
i have used and owned many telescopes including....3 inch refractor..4 inch refractor..6 inch refractor...4 inch reflector..6 inch reflector.. two goto scopes.. a4 inch celestron and a 8 inch meade..also a home made 10 inch ref and a homemade 12 inch ref i now use a 12 inch dob [tiawan] and a home made 19 inch full mirror thickness newtonian f6.2.....conclusion..if you are only ever going to buy one telescope...make it an 8 inch goto.....i,m slightly biased.....lx200 best wishes........................MAC

2004-Feb-22, 06:32 AM
I have but never use a Galileo telescope. I have never been able to find anything with it, but I know you can see Jupiter and see its moons moving with it so I know its good. One time I was looking through it and I saw some white cloudy thing though had barely any light coming from it. It was the stangest thing i&#39;ve ever seen. Its very hard to explain how it looked. It couldn&#39;t have been a Nebula-maybe, im not sure. Anyway, remember kids, its not how powerful the telescope is that counts, its how big its refractor is that counts. The more light that can reflect off it the more you can see.

2004-Mar-02, 04:02 AM
I have Meade 3" refractor, a 4.5" Bushnell/Voyager reflector and an Orion SkyQuest 8" reflector.

2004-Mar-02, 10:09 AM
Originally posted by NasaBoy@Feb 22 2004, 06:32 AM
Anyway, remember kids, its not how powerful the telescope is that counts, its how big its refractor is that counts. The more light that can reflect off it the more you can see.
:unsure: Um, I think you mean "how big it&#39;s objective lens is that counts. The more light that can be collected by it the more you can see" :unsure:

The objective lens being the mirror on a reflector or the front lens on a refractor. B)

2004-Mar-05, 06:15 AM
I have a 10" Sky Quest XT10 Dobsonian by Orion, a Nexstar 114mm GT Reflector by Celestron, and a 90mm EQ-Mount Maksutov also by Orion. I have also modified a Webcam in order to make simple Planetary Astrophotography. A bunch of images can be found at

http://www.angelfire.com/space/observation...hotography.html (http://www.angelfire.com/space/observations/astrophotography.html)

I really like the 254mm XT10 just becuase of how much light it gathers. But then The Nexstar is probably my favorite as of the portability. The goto is nice but I usually find my self pointing it to objects myself without using goto. When the goto is running it never has the objects centered in the Eyepiece and I must also us my lowest magnification. This keeps me from using high magnification Eyepieces like the 6.3mm. The goto is nice if you only wish to have the scope point itself. I can however find the object much quicker and have it centered and enjoy more without using the goto. Maybe I just don&#39;t want to take the time to get it 100% super accurate aligned to have it slew to objects with absolute perfect perfection.

I have mostly usually studied far off Nebulae, Star Clusters, Globulars and Galaxies but recently my interest has begun to shift towards some Planetary study. I like to enjoy watch these objects for fun usually. But I think I will begin sketching them and perhaps more Astrophotography. I would like to try timing the speed at which the Terminator crosses the moon for fun only. As in finding a crater that is "x" miles distance and the terminator crosses it in "y" amount of time. I could find out the speed of the Terminator&#39;s progress by timing its movement across "x" miles.

I have also previously owned (I still have it, but it is broken) a 60mm Eq Mount Refractor. This was a store bought telescope I got when I was about 8 or 9 years old. I used to look at the Moon with it and also looked at Comet Hale-Bopp with it. I have always had an interest in Astronomy and most likely always will. Keep looking up, I always will.