#1481  
Old 31-03-2013, 09:02 PM
kali
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telescope help!

Hi!

I've been reading up on a few telescopes and there are so many recommendations out there it's become very confusing! So I thought I'd ask some experienced users. I was thinking of either getting the Saxon 909EQ2 90mm Refractor Telescope or the Celestron AstroMaster 90AZ Refractor Telescope. What are your thoughts? Or if someone can recommend something that's priced from $200-$400 that would be great too!

I'm a beginner and have never owned or used a telescope before! I'm looking at getting a new digital camera as well so I can get into some astrophotography. Any recommendations are much appreciated!!

Thanks!!

Kali
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  #1482  
Old 01-04-2013, 08:13 AM
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absolut (Rob)
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Hi Kali and

As an owner of the Saxon 909EQ2 (purchased from OzScopes), I can only recommend you don't get the EQ version... That mount is now sitting in the back of my closet. The scope is quite good though (for a cheapie). Only 1 of the eyepieces is respectable, the 10mm that came with mine is awful!

I'm going to give you the advice that I didn't have when I bought my scope (I am a really bad impulse buyer!).
Get "The Backyard Astronomers Guide" and read it.

First thing they tell you about a 90mm scope is it should be on a sturdier EQ3 mount. The EQ2 is particularly nasty with this long refractor... you spend the whole time waiting for the wobbles to settle before you can spend any time looking at anything! That said, the AltAz mounts have their own quirks. Research is your friend. If nothing else, read the reams of amazing advice that can be found on IceInSpace!...

Additionally I recommend you take a look at www.bintel.com.au
I've had nothing but excellent advice and amazing service from them!!

In short, my biggest regret (easily worth $200-400 wasted) is not reading the book first!...

So, please read it!...
Please...
Pretty please...

Good reading and clear skies!!
Rob
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  #1483  
Old 01-04-2013, 06:44 PM
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ZeroID (Brent)
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Hi Kali, best advice, get down to a local club and try out a few scopes so you get an idea of how they work and what suits your ambitions best.
In your price range I'd suggest an 80 mm f5 refractor, Orion or Skywatcher or similar. (They are all made in the same factory) They are quite often sold as a guide scope which I originally bought mine for but as a grab and go and just dang nice wide feild scope they are good value..
If your ambition is to see more then look for a second hand 8" or 10" Dob for more aperture or possibly with a few more $$ watch out for a good deal from retailers like Bintel.

Best advice though is still go and try some with a local astro group.
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  #1484  
Old 03-04-2013, 07:39 PM
kali
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Hi Rob and Brent,

Thank you both for your awesome advice. It really helped heaps! I just bought the book on amazon so hopefully get it sometime next week. Will definitely have to do more research on scopes and check out Bintel. Tried to find some stores to go to in Sydney but it seems a lot of the shops are online these days.

I have looked up a few astro groups, but not sure which one to go to. If anyone can recommend any in Sydney that would be great too!

Thanks again!!

Kali
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  #1485  
Old 04-04-2013, 11:24 AM
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Scorpius51 (John)
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Hi Kali,

Bintel has a shop in Glebe.

Check out their web site for details @
http://www.bintel.com.au/contactus.aspx

Also, check out the current scopes in the IceTrades section on this forum. There are some good 2nd hand scopes available now.
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  #1486  
Old 04-04-2013, 02:06 PM
Nebuloso (Tony)
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Hi all

My name is tony and I've only got myself involved in astronomy in the past 6 months though have had an interest for many years. I own a celestron 6se and have purchased a few accessories such as a power tank portable battery, a co2 filter and camera mount for photography. I'm really loving pointing my scope at far off objects which never cease to amaze me regardless of how many times I look at them. Hoping to get to know you all better and share my love of astronomy with you all.
Cheers.
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  #1487  
Old 24-05-2013, 01:50 AM
stargaze
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Greetings!

Hi all

A friend recently brought over a telescope and we had a little bit of a play around with it (neither of us knew much about astronomy).

We managed to focus on the moon and what an amazing sight!!

I have zero knowledge on astronomy - hoping to find out more by reading and absorbing the knowledge of the iceinspace community

I've read that as a total beginner it's better to start off with a pair of binoculars as opposed to jumping straight into telescopes. This subject is probably discussed to death, but am happy to hear any thoughts on this.

Thanks!
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  #1488  
Old 24-05-2013, 11:52 AM
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Jen
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stargaze View Post
Hi all

A friend recently brought over a telescope and we had a little bit of a play around with it (neither of us knew much about astronomy).

We managed to focus on the moon and what an amazing sight!!

I have zero knowledge on astronomy - hoping to find out more by reading and absorbing the knowledge of the iceinspace community

I've read that as a total beginner it's better to start off with a pair of binoculars as opposed to jumping straight into telescopes. This subject is probably discussed to death, but am happy to hear any thoughts on this.

Thanks!
to IIS you have come to the right place you will learn heaps here and depends on where you live you could go to one of the observing nights to get some awsome hand on stuff
Cheers
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  #1489  
Old 09-07-2013, 06:00 PM
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Howard (Howard)
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Second Jen's comment. I am also an absolute beginner and went to several local area astronomy club viewing nights. Sorted out quite a lot of questions. Totally befuddled before going ... only slightly befuddled now

One of the biggest issues I had was I tend to dive into hobbies big time and spend way over my budget. So my mission going along to club viewing nights was trying to answer the question .... do I really want to spend a bunch of money on this hobby, or am I going to look through a bunch of scopes at a bunch of objects over several weeks and then decide it isn't for me? (before spending a bunch of money!)
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  #1490  
Old 16-08-2013, 01:52 PM
townsy (Sam)
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Hello all. I don't remember a time when I wasn't interested in space and, it seems, the genes have been passed on to my son. I've always wanted to get involved in some astrophotography and thought now would be a good time to get started seeing as my son has shown such interest. Anyway, I have a few questions. I'm getting myself a DSLR and the camera I have settled on is a Canon D60 which I will not be getting modified, at least not yet as I still want to use it for every day shots. I thought I would just attach it to an equatorial mount but which one? I inherited a Meade ETX-125 some years ago which does have a mount but it is not an equatorial. That mount is not in good shape these days anyway, the telescope is fine.

Short term I plan on just attaching the camera to an equatorial mount and taking some 'simple' shots of the night sky and perhaps planets while I learn the craft. However, I'd like to be able to, eventually, add a telescope to the mount rather than purchase another mount and attach the camera to the telescope. Perhaps that's too much forward planning... I guess it comes down to whether I am better off with, for example, an EQ3 or EQ5?

In regards to which mount, is it necessary to pay extra and use the GOTO software with the Skywatcher mounts or purchase a motorised equatorial mount and use EQMOD?

There appears to be at least one method to polar align a mount using a CCD or DSLR, is it more simple to use a polar scope?

Thank you, in advance, for any help you give.
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  #1491  
Old 17-08-2013, 06:41 PM
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1parsec (Dave)
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Hello all forum menbers,

My name is Dave and I live in the UK, Banbury, Oxfordshire.
I've been in to astronomy for many years and have a ccd camera and
10"f6.3 newtonian and enjoy imaging but also like the visual too.
I'm an engineer and often making bits and bobs and doing things to improve my set up as time allows.

All the best, Dave.
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  #1492  
Old 19-08-2013, 08:09 AM
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Ric
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Hi Dave and welcome to IIS.

I'm looking forward to seeing some of your images.

Cheers
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  #1493  
Old 19-08-2013, 03:04 PM
dodgy al (Alan)
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1st post

Hi all

I'm with Basil - have been a member for a while but this is my first post, stimulated by the need to chalk up a few before I can place a classified.

I've always been interested in astronomy but have done very little about it apart from buying equipment that I've hardly ever & sometimes never used due to a) light pollution & b) my natural tendency towards laziness.

I grew up in a country lane on the outskirts of Rockhampton with fabulous dark skies & can never remember a time when I'd look up at the Milky Way without an enormous sense of wonder. In late October 1965 I'd get up before 4:00 AM to "study" for the big Junior exams and spend the first half hour or so in the back yard gazing breathlessly at the great comet.

I'll never forget that experience - it was what got me out of bed.

I love reading about telescopes & have learnt a lot from these forums. Now that I've cracked the ice I might become annoying by asking questions.

Thanks to everyone for making such a great site to visit.

Alan
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  #1494  
Old 19-08-2013, 06:54 PM
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mulberry (Suz)
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Hi everyone,

I am glad to have found this friendly looking forum and fabulous resource. I bought my first refractor (an itty bitty one, really) to view Halley's Comet. Since then, I have mainly pointed it at the moon. Sadly last year, it suffered a fatal accident and I have been scope-less. A helpful fellow from the Brisbane Astronomy Society let me look through his very large dobsonian a few months ago and I realised that I have really been flying blind all these years. For the first time I saw the moons of Jupiter and some other objects invisible to the naked eye! He recommended this forum as a place to learn exactly what kind of scope I need and how to use it. I live too far from any of the clubs to be a regular visitor - but we do get some good dark skies here, especially in winter.

Anyways - looking forward to learning more and 'meeting' you all.

Suz
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  #1495  
Old 19-08-2013, 08:25 PM
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barx1963 (Malcolm)
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Suz
Nice to see you here and welcome to IIS. There is nothing like that first look through a big Dob. Are you thinking in that direction? And how big do you consider "big"?
An 8" dob was what was once considered a big scope and can see lots of objects especially in a dark sky. Easy to setup, portable, inexpensive. Going bigger to 10" or 12" the costs go up a bit and portability becomes more of an issue, but you retain ease of setup and can see lots more.
Over 12" you are getting into serious aperture with lots of decisions to be made.
Anyway, let us know how you go in your astro journey!!



Malcolm
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  #1496  
Old 20-08-2013, 09:21 AM
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Shark Bait (Stu)
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Hi Suz,

Halley's Comet is what got me interested as well.

The dark skies at your location are the stuff of dreams for most who live in the city. I wonder if the scope you looked through was the 14" GOTO Dob that belongs Chris? He and his Wife usually make the trip to Mt Coot-tha for the free public viewing nights.

It is a pity that there are no Astronomical Societies near you, maybe you could start one in your local area? You don't have to be an expert, all that is needed is a passion for the hobby.

Society or not, IIS is the place to be for all things to do with astronomy.

Stu.

Last edited by Shark Bait; 20-08-2013 at 05:28 PM.
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  #1497  
Old 20-08-2013, 11:03 PM
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JungSte (Stephan)
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Just another Brian Cox victim

Hi all,

My name is Stephan, I am a newbie and want to say hello to all users of this excellent website.


Long time ago I studied physics, which I did completely by choice, so there was always some interest in astronomy and all the stuff around our little spaceship earth. But for me it really started when Brian Cox’s series ‘Wonders of the Universe’ was broadcasted here is Australia two years ago or so. I started thinking of acquiring some gear. But that turned out to be more difficult than expected and so I let it go for a while.

When ‘Wonders of the Universe’ was back on the telly some months ago, my interest came back and I re-started my hunt. Being unsure if I was just in a temporary mood or seriously interested I was reluctant to spend big bucks. First I was leaning towards an iOptron Smartstar mount plus a Vixen VMC110L OTA, but decided that approx. $800 was way too much for something that could become too small fairly quickly. So I thought an ETX could be the solution and threw an ‘I take it’ PM to an ETX ad on this website, but the seller decided to withdraw the ad and to keep the scope. I then found a website offering an ETX for little money and I ordered one – it looked like a perfect opportunity – but some 8 weeks later they told me that they couldn’t deliver the thing, instead they refunded the money and so I was back to square one.

I thus increased my $ limits and yep, that did the job. The other day I eventually bought a HEQ5pro from an iceinspace member – and on top a SWED80, although this wasn’t my first scope of choice. But the price was simply irresistible. Well, the scope came basically without anything. So I learned in the meantime that amateur astronomy is a synonym for spending big $s for little, tiny things: I bought nice William Optics focuser & eyepieces plus a GSO diagonal.

So I am ready to go and it’s time for some nights with clear skys! The good thing is that I live in SA, in the Adelaide Hills to be precise. 600m high and far enough from the (country) town Adelaide to have frequently good views at the milky way. The balcony will thus be a good place to start. I expect that the alignment of the EQ mount will kill me the first couple of times, but what can you do?

Thanks everyone for making this website such a useful and interesting place!

Cheers,
Stephan
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  #1498  
Old 21-08-2013, 06:50 PM
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louie_the_fly (Stewart)
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Hi Stephan.

I also live in the Adelaide Hills. Moved to a dark sky site in April and haven't had my scope out yet (8inch SCT on a yet to be used HEQ5Pro). It's really been throwing the rain down this winter. I think we've had nearly 500mm here since we moved in - in an area that has 550 - 650mm annually.

Enjoy the dark sky.

Regards

Stewart
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  #1499  
Old 21-08-2013, 07:30 PM
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JungSte (Stephan)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by louie_the_fly View Post
Hi Stephan.

I also live in the Adelaide Hills. Moved to a dark sky site in April and haven't had my scope out yet (8inch SCT on a yet to be used HEQ5Pro). It's really been throwing the rain down this winter. I think we've had nearly 500mm here since we moved in - in an area that has 550 - 650mm annually.

Enjoy the dark sky.

Regards

Stewart
Thanks Steward,

And you are absolutely right! Winter can be a bit challenging here. But wait for spring to arrive! Beautiful days with 23 °C, crisp air and beautiful colors – just priceless! Not to mention the nights ...


Never heard about Harrogate though, needed to look it up in Google Maps. Looks like a really dark place, unlike Crafers which is a bit on the edge. I am sure your SCT will have heaps of fun during the next couple of months – and yourself as well!

Cheers,
s.
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  #1500  
Old 21-08-2013, 08:37 PM
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louie_the_fly (Stewart)
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Stephan, Harrogate is just 10 minutes east of Woodside, so about 25 minutes from where you are. It certainly gets cold around Crafers and through the valley. Did you have snow the other week?

Our nearest neighbor is about 800 metres away, and we're about 600 metres off the main road behind a couple of hills, so no light pollution. Sometimes it's a bit too dark and quiet.

Stew
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