Looking for guidance on buying the "right" family telescope.

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nevers

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Try looking at a Globular in Sagittarius called "Djorg 2" or NGC 6569, 6569, 6558 or 6638. These are the faint objects I'm talking about. M13....come on. <img src="/images/icons/wink.gif" /> You should know me better then that! <img src="/images/icons/wink.gif" />
 
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crimson_ghost

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OK, I like the Orion XT12 - provided I can have a system where it follows what I am viewing. So where do I find an Equatorial Mount for it? I did googled it and all I found was pages and pages of "do it yourself" mounts....not interested. The XT12 is $1,000 the computer for it is another $150 -- how much is a mount? Sounds like I will buy all the filters I want as well at these prices. <br /><br />Is there a difference in eye peices? Or is what comes with the telescope suficcient?
 
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bbrock

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The Orion Dobs are excellent telescopes, but they do not have tracking capability. I could be mistaken, but Dobs in general are hand operated. I know this sounds cheap, but there are great advantages to this. Once you have learned your way around the night sky, Dobs are easy to point and easy to look through. They require no power source. They are quiet and fast pointing. Right now, if I tried to look at M13 overhead with a refractor or cassegrain scope, I would need to lay on the ground to look throuhg the eye piece. Not with the Dob. I can see more in less time with no humming motors and battery packs. Additionally, newtonian reflectors give excellent images. The Orion Optics are fantastic. <br /><br /> I own an XT10 with the Inteliscope Computer. After you learn your way around the night sky, GoTo Computers are nice decorations for the side of your telescope. My best investments for the XT10 was not the computer, but the 9x50 Right Angle correct image finder scope - AND - the Orion EZ Finder II. I mounted the EZ Finder below and two the left of the finder scope. This aids in quick pointing and bing in good position to look through the finder scope. The EZ Finder gives me a 10 degree field of view with no magnification that puts me near the center of the Finder Scope view (9x50). The finder scope is an excellent telescope on its own. I can normally see bright clusters and bright nebula with the finder and move the scope precisely over the target or portion of the target I want to view. Once on target, use the lowest power EP to start with and the rest is just playing around. <br /><br />Dobs are for observation only, not photography. They have no tracking.<br /><br />Best of luck<br />Bill<br /><br />
 
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tfwthom

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If you want tracking you need a GEM or you need to move up to the Go-To scopes. DOB's are not going to give it to you even with a tracking platform.<br /><br />That puts you into the Meade LXD (GEM) or the LX series or the Celestron NexStar, the CGE series, or the Advanced series. (I like Meade but this is the old Chevy vs Ford kinda thing)<br /><br />Why you see all the plans for homemade EQ mounts is that for the larger scopes you end up with something like a G11 mount because of the weight of the OTA. G11's cost around $2k for the stripped down model without adjustable legs, etc.<br /><br />Best advice.....contact a local astronomy club and go out observing with them. Look at the scopes they own (even a small club covers most of the types available) then decide what you want to invest in. Remember take the base cost of a scope and add 25% to 50% for the extras (eyepieces, barlow, etc) <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <font size="1" color="#3366ff">www.siriuslookers.org</font> </div>
 
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crimson_ghost

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OK, I think I am moving away from the dobsonian mount. <br /><br />What Meade telescope is going to give me "go-to" and tracking ? I am online looking at a LDX55:<br />http://www.astrostuff.com/10LXD55_Telescope.htm<br />but I can't find it on the meade website, all I see is a LDX75. I most like the reflectors - but I see there is an LDX55 refractor (a 6" that clearly has the capabilities I desire most) :<br />http://www.astrostuff.com/meadelxd55ref.htm<br /><br />Both are very affordable and very portable....thoughts? <br /><br />
 
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crimson_ghost

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I looked up that telesope, it seems much smaller and much more expensive. What is the viewing differences between this design ang the larger Meade LX or LDX reflector scopes? I like that I read it has its own GPS - so all you need to do is sit it there and let it line itself up -- the ultimate yuppie toy. Does it also have tracking? and can I (down the road when I learn more, i know, i know) mount a camara onto it?<br /><br />Why is this telescope so short in tube length ? <br /><br />these certainly aren't cheap 2,700 for the 9.5" and 3.6 for the 11". Is the price for gagets or is the scope really that good?
 
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tfwthom

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We can only suggest based on what you are telling us, they are only suggestions.<br /><br />Myself, I was looking for something to do astrophotography but couldn't afford an LX-200 at the time so I got an LX-90. The wife liked the wide field views of the TeleVue Pronto but also wanted to split doubles so we got her a TV-85. Then we got into planets so we bought a TAK FS-128.<br /><br />It's all trade offs, buy the best that you can afford that will do what you want. I had to put a new trans in the truck so we didn't get the Denk BinoViewers this year (next year) I still want a CCD camera but I'll stay with film for awhile yet. (I do have an ST-4 autoguider) Got the TAK instead of the CCD camera this year.<br /><br />I've got about $40k equipment now and this is a hobby that you just shovel money into. Just get something to get you started, get the wife and kids into the hobby (makes spending money easier) and enjoy. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <font size="1" color="#3366ff">www.siriuslookers.org</font> </div>
 
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crimson_ghost

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TFW - I am laughing away over here...you made my wife run out of the room - after reading your post (with my wife over my shoulder) I read CE's about the wife being over my shoulder ! <br /><br />My poor wife saw you say $40K into a hobby and could only say "not another one!" You see, I am into salt water fish tanks and my main tank is a reef. We don't know the cash layout for the hobby as the set up was over 4 years (as a matter of fact, I wouldn't want to know) But we know its $500/month for the past 5 years :) LOL<br /><br />CE - you misunderstood me, I was mearly comparing size to cost. Not understanding much of what I read, its difficult to see a 6 foot monster scope cost 1,200 and a little pee-wee weigh in at three times that amount. <br /><br />I do hit the sites you suggest, I just don;t understand all the lingo. And what I do undersand doesn't always stick in the noodle.....<br /><br />So back to the basics - no, cost isn't an issue (within reason) - but hey, a cheaper price is always more attractive isn't it?)<br /><br />
 
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tfwthom

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OK you want the scope for a once in a life time puschase? Got about $12k sitting around?<br /><br />This is what I would get: (might be my next scope)<br /><br />Meade 12"LX200GPS-Smart Mount Technology (SMT) with UHTC Coatings $3890<br /><br />Meade #1403 Tube Balance Weight System $109<br /><br />Meade 10"/12" Superwedge $390<br /><br />Meade Piggyback Bracket 12" SCT $62.50<br /><br />Meade #647 Flip-Mirror System with UHTC coatings 1.25"/2.00" $250<br /><br />SBIG ST-2000XM / CFW-8A bundle $3,990.00<br /><br />TeleVue 2x Big Barlow - 2" with Brass Clamp Ring $198.00<br /><br />TeleVue 31mm Nagler Type 5 ON SALE! $530.00<br /><br />TeleVue 20mm Nagler Type 5 ON SALE! $370.00<br /><br />TeleVue 13mm Nagler Type 6 ON SALE! $240.00<br /><br />2 TeleVue 19mm Panoptic $240.00 each<br /><br />Premium Denk II Binoviewer $799.00<br /><br />Covers you for anything you want to do, CCD, piggyback, visual, film. Since you don't have anything you have to buy it all.<br /><br />The Nagles can become Possls and you don't really need the binoviewers or the CCD camera but if you want to dream it doesn't cost any thing to dream big lol<br /> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <font size="1" color="#3366ff">www.siriuslookers.org</font> </div>
 
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crimson_ghost

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oK, thanks. I think this has become no longer useful for me. Thank to all for the great input - I will continue to read up on the sources you have pointed out to me and see if I can find the scope for my family.
 
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bobw

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I've got an 8" LX200. It's pretty heavy for me I'm about 160 pound male. The tripod has a big, about 1/2" diameter bolt that sticks up out of the center. You have to set the telescope right down on the bolt in the dark. The hole the bolt screws into is sturdy enough but the main cover on the bottom of the 'scope, surrounding the bolt hole, is thin sheet metal. About 1/4" beneath the sheet metal is the computer board. If you set the scope down too hard in the wrong spot I think the bolt could bend the sheet metal and crunch the computer.<br /><br />My old telescope was a 4 1/2" celestron reflector. It's pretty light, quick to cool down, and easy to use. I use it more than the LX200 for that reason. Honestly, setting up the big scope is a major project. I wouldn't recomend it for a "family scope" if, by that, you mean letting the kids use it all the time inviting the neighborhood to join in. <br /><br />I got some books about astrophotography, too. A good one you should check out is "The Art and Science of Ccd Astronomy"<br /><br />http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/3540761039/104-5787617-5805515?v=glance<br /><br />It is a compilation of the experiences of about a dozen amateur astronomers. It's not point and click. I'm not trying to discourage you but for a "family telescope" something like an 8" dob would be something the kids could use with their friends, learn a lot, see a lot, and not risk the price of what a lot of people drive to work.<br /><br />If you want something for your hobby and you want it to last a lifetime before you outgrow it I wouldn't call that a "family scope". Whatever you get I hope you enjoy it. Good luck. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> </div>
 
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