First Telescope

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archer520

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I want to buy a telescope for use on my back deck. This will be my first telescope as an adult (had a cheap one when younger and loved it). Looking for a wide range of viewing opportunities at night (no terrestrial viewing). I live in a low light (rural) area and will be able to store the telescope just inside a set of double doors off the deck so size/weight isn't a big issue. <br /><br />I am thinking about buying an Orion SkyQuest XT10 telescope. This is based on internet research with little else to go on. <br /><br />I would like to get some input from more experienced people, any help appreciated. <br /><br />Also, is the IntelliScope Computer Controller going to be a good idea to help a newbie have success up front?
 
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bbrock

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Yes, the XT10 is an excellent choice. I have used one for several years and I will stick with it. The Intelliscope works OK if your on a solid surface. Using it in the grass gives too much pointing error. You can now integrate the Intelliscope with Starry Night Planitarium Software. I don't have experience with this, and I can't vouch for the accuracy. <br /><br />My experience with the Intelliscope has been very brief. I used it for a couple of weeks, and haven't used it since. Sort of like moving into a town and buying a map to find your way around. Once around town and the map becomes less useful. There seems to be more satisfaction in finding objects by star hopping and studying star charts. You also learn the sky better. <br /><br />Then again, if you do something wrong and you cant see what you were looking for, you could become discouraged quickly using the Intelliscope. <br /><br />Clear Skies<br />Bill
 
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dkaakd

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My 2 cents worth:<br /><br />Before making the investment (and a good one it is!) go to a couple of local star parties or find a local astonomy club that will let you come out and view different setups. You may find your expectations are better met with an SCT versus a Dob. Or you might decide you like the size of a small refractor. It is always better to try before you buy. <br /><br />I can't even begin to tell you how many friends I have had that bought one setup only to realize that they wanted more apature or less size/setup time and ended up spending more money, time, and effort to find the "right scope". <br /><br />Also, if you are married (like me) a little research will save a lot explaining to your spouse. A divorce make a telescope a very expensive proposition!<br /><br />Dave
 
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bbrock

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I just wanted to echo what crazyeddie mentioned. It's amazing what the combination of a Telrad and finder scope will do for you. One or the other by itself is good, but the two together make object location very easy. I personally use the Orion EZ Finder ll, But the idea is the same. I also replaced the 9x50 finder with the 9x50 Right Angle finder. I don't even need to come off the stool.<br /><br />The sequence is simple. Point the EZ Finder over the spot in the sky where the object is located ( 10 deg FOV ). Lean over and look through the finder scope ( 5 deg FOV ), center the object you are targeting and you are good to go with the telescope. It's about that fast. <br /><br />I did have to drill holes in the scope -- close to the mounting bracket of the finder scope to mount the EZ Finder. <br /><br />Clear Skies<br />Bill<br /><br />
 
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nevers

Guest
When you say "deck", what kind of deck is it exactly? If it's a wooden deck I don't think any telescope would be stable enough on that type of surface.
 
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archer520

Guest
Thanks for the great input from everyone. I have ordered the XT 10. <br /><br />Good point on the deck, I hadn't even thought about that. If it turns out to be too unstable I will be able to set it up beside the deck without much difference in convenience.
 
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nevers

Guest
Come on down - we can take pictures of clouds! (It's getting better but still nothing like the last two summers!)
 
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6676

Guest
I received a Astro Telescope and Spotting Scope 1200X90 (III) for Christmas, but know nothing about telescopes. Does anyone know of this brand, have an suggestions? The Telescope itself has TwinStar printed on the side of the scope.
 
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adrenalynn

Guest
Hi 6676, welcome to SDC!<br /><br />I have only seen the TwinStar scopes being sold on eBay, and then they tend to be the 6" refractors. I'm guessing similar to this, only yours a bit larger: http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=130186420510<br /><br />I'm guessing what you have is a 90mm refractor with 1200mm focal length. I'm guessing, although I can't prove it at the moment, that it's made by Apogee, Inc.<br /><br />They tend to be very inexpensive and tough to do an awful lot with, even the 6" reflectors...<br /><br />The important thing for you to do is start learning the sky. If you're on a tight budget, I recommend downloading the free/open-source program http://www.stellarium.org/ Stellarium. Once you tell it where you are, it can show you what's up in the night sky and where. Then you can start figuring out what you can point your new scope out.<br /><br />Keep your hopes modest at this point until you have a chance to play with the scope a bit. Saturn, Jupiter, the Moon, perhaps Mars, depends what kind of mount (tripod and head) came with it.<br /><br />Can you take a picture of everything you got with it and upload it some where? Or you can send it to me and I'll host it.<br /><br />Again - welcome! <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p>.</p><p><font size="3">bipartisan</font>  (<span style="color:blue" class="pointer"><span class="pron"><font face="Lucida Sans Unicode" size="2">bī-pär'tĭ-zən, -sən</font></span></span>) [Adj.]  Maintaining the ability to blame republications when your stimulus plan proves to be a devastating failure.</p><p><strong><font color="#ff0000"><font color="#ff0000">IMPE</font><font color="#c0c0c0">ACH</font> <font color="#0000ff"><font color="#c0c0c0">O</font>BAMA</font>!</font></strong></p> </div>
 
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6676

Guest
I have done a little more research and found that I received a Silver Astro Venture 90 MM Portable Telescope, but the main problem I am having is that we are not able to focus on anything. Everything is blury. Any tips?
 
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weeman

Guest
Hmm....it should be something simple to adjust the focus, like a knob that is on the stem of the eye piece. What type of telescope is it? Is it a reflecting or a refracting? In other words, do you look through one end of the telescope (like a pair of binoculars)? Or is the eye piece on the side of the telescope? <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p> </p><p><strong><font color="#ff0000">Techies: We do it in the dark. </font></strong></p><p><font color="#0000ff"><strong>"Put your hand on a stove for a minute and it seems like an hour. Sit with that special girl for an hour and it seems like a minute. That's relativity.</strong><strong>" -Albert Einstein </strong></font></p> </div>
 
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adrenalynn

Guest
I don't have a ton of time at the moment, but I'd suggest posting what your eyepieces (brand, mm, etc) as well. <br /><br />"90mm" would lead us to absolutely expect it's a refractor. 3.5" wouldn't be much of a reflector! <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p>.</p><p><font size="3">bipartisan</font>  (<span style="color:blue" class="pointer"><span class="pron"><font face="Lucida Sans Unicode" size="2">bī-pär'tĭ-zən, -sən</font></span></span>) [Adj.]  Maintaining the ability to blame republications when your stimulus plan proves to be a devastating failure.</p><p><strong><font color="#ff0000"><font color="#ff0000">IMPE</font><font color="#c0c0c0">ACH</font> <font color="#0000ff"><font color="#c0c0c0">O</font>BAMA</font>!</font></strong></p> </div>
 
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