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Thread: What telescope do you have?

  1. #1
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    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?

  2. #2
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    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.

  3. #3
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    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!!!

    Dips

  4. #4
    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.

  5. #5
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    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!

    Joe

  6. #6
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    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

    v

  7. #7
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    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

    Mike

  8. #8
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    ..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.

  9. #9
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    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.

  10. #10
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    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.

  11. #11
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    [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?

  12. #12
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    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.

  13. #13
    Planetwatcher Guest
    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.

  14. #14
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    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!

  15. #15
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    [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?

  16. #16
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    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?

  17. #17
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    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

  18. #18
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    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;

  19. #19
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    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.

  20. #20
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    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?

  21. #21
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    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;&#3 3;&#33;&#33;&#33;&#33; Clear Skies my friend&#33;&#33;

  22. #22
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    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.

  23. #23
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    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

  24. #24
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    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

  25. #25
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    Aug 2003
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    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

    Star_gazer

  26. #26
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    Nov 2003
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    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,

    Cheers,

  27. #27
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    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

  28. #28
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    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;

  29. #29
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    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?

    seeker

  30. #30
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    Oct 2003
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    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

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