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  #1  
Old 14-06-2018, 07:14 PM
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RobNevyn (Rob)
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Join Date: Jun 2018
Location: Central Coast NSW
Posts: 32
Hello from the Central Coast

Hi all,

I have been interested in Astronomy for most of my life however I am still a noob, I've owned a couple of toy telescopes but nothing worth mentioning. After a recent trip to Yulara NT which included a dinner under the stars and a small amount of time on some 6" reflectors my interest was rekindled.
Like most people I want it all, planetary and Deep Space viewing, telescope portability, low cost as possible, wireless/GPS control and setup, possible astrophotography further down the track, etc. however I know this is simply not feasable.
So for a starter kit I can't decide what scope to get, I would like to get either go a Guan Sheng GS-680 8" or Guan Sheng GS-880 10" Dob which are really good value, my only concern is that it is going to be too big to store in my house. I don't see my wife enjoying a 10" Dob in a corner of our bedroom. The other option is perhaps something smaller like a Skywatcher 200/1000 EQ5. Both of these options will be around the $1000 mark which is great but willing to go a bit more if something stands out.
Having said that, i don't want to buy a large telescope and not use it due to lack or portability or laziness to set it up. Any suggestions are welcome.
I also considered the Celestron NexStar Evolution 8 but I think that kind of investment this early on may be unwise plus I have no idea how it would perform in my area.

I'm on the northern part of NSW Central Coast and light pollution in my estate will be typical for a suburb I would imagine.

Also looking at some software, years ago I had an old version of Starry Night Backyard which was easy to use and great for looking at what was coming into view in the coming hours. I have downloaded Stellarium but I need to do some more reading to get up to speed on that.

Anyway, hello and I hope to chat more in the future, many thanks for reading.
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  #2  
Old 14-06-2018, 08:39 PM
glend (Glen)
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Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Lake Macquarie, NSW
Posts: 4,695
Rob, welcome to IIS, there are a fair number of Central Coast members here, and some semi-regular events. Re your scope choices, the 8" or 10" GSO dobsonians are good starter scopes and do not require an Equatorial mount. Obvioualy the 8" takes up a little less space and is easier to handle. For planetarium software i would recommend Sky Safari, which has better graphics imho than Stellarium, it comes in Android and IOS versions so you can just run it on you phone or tablet.
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Old 14-06-2018, 11:15 PM
m11 (Mel)
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Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: Melbourne
Posts: 313
Hi Rob, Welcome to IIS, I have found everyone really helpful and knowleageable.

I am still a noob learning my way, which is half the fun and frustration. It does add sense of excitement to locate a new objects or view certain things in a different light.

If I had to choose from the scopes you have mentioned, I will lean towards to the 10inch as the view I found was a jump up from the 8inch. Even better if you can swing a 10inch goto dob or locate a second hand one. :0 The skywatchers are collapsible which may help with space issue.

The only experience I had with the Celestron Evolution 8inch was a fellow amatuer astronomer had one in the country with us. Unfortunately it wouldn't play nice with the connection from his phone to the scope. Ended using the scope manually rather than the auto alignment with the phone controlling it. Also it dew really quickly as well. Hope it helps, M11
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Old 15-06-2018, 08:02 AM
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Allan_L (Allan)
Member > 10year club

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Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Central Coast NSW
Posts: 2,952
Hi Rob,
Seems you live very close by.
PM me for my address and come around.
You can have a look at my 10" Dob and we can discuss other options.
Seeing how I store mine (which is collapsible) might help you decide.
I can also talk you through the local scene (as Glen alluded to) and we can consider some other options for your start into this hobby.

Uluru is a great place to get inspired.
Interestingly, I was out there too just last month.
Small world.

Regards
Allan
PS: I will PM to you my mobile so you can text me if you like.
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  #5  
Old 15-06-2018, 06:46 PM
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RobNevyn (Rob)
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Join Date: Jun 2018
Location: Central Coast NSW
Posts: 32
Glen, Mel & Allan, thanks for the welcome and advice. this forum looks like a great community.

Allan, I would love to take you up on your offer, I am keen to buy a scope and given that you have a similar set up to what I am leaning toward, your advice and knowledge would be good to have before I purchase.
If it suits you I will call or message you on the weekend.
Many thanks

Cheers
Rob.
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  #6  
Old 17-06-2018, 08:06 AM
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Allan_L (Allan)
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Location: Central Coast NSW
Posts: 2,952
All Welcome

Afternoon Tea and chat at my place today
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  #7  
Old 17-06-2018, 09:02 PM
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RobNevyn (Rob)
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Join Date: Jun 2018
Location: Central Coast NSW
Posts: 32
Thank you Allan, this afternoon was a good learning session, answering all of my questions and helping me decide which way to go.
I pulled the trigger on a SkyWatcher Black Diamond 10" Collapsible Dobsonian, I seriously considered the 12" but cost and portability won in the end, and this will allow more in the budget for new shinies like an observing chair, Hotech collimator and a couple of nice eyepieces.

Would anyone know if the GSO deluxe Newtonian laser collimator III is any good? Not sure if it is self centering like the Hotech.
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  #8  
Old 18-06-2018, 09:26 AM
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Allan_L (Allan)
Member > 10year club

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Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Central Coast NSW
Posts: 2,952
Thanks Rob,
It was great to meet you.
I hope I helped in your purchase decisions.
I look forward to seeing you at some of our local gatherings.
(you don't need to bring a scope to come along)
If you have any further questions, just post a thread on the forum.
Regards
Allan
PS: Thanks for bringing the muffins

Call again anytime
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