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Old 12-06-2012, 10:12 AM   #1
aod
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OMGHi2U Telescopes - learn me a thing or two about them.

I'd really like to get a telescope for something to do/bonding time with my daughter on those rare occasions we get a clear night here. As I'm beginning to look into telescopes I am noticing that you just aren't going to be happy unless you spend $400 or more on them. Am I off on this, or are there some deals out there? It would be nice to be able to show her the craters on the moon and get somewhat clear views of closer planets. It doesn't need to be computerized. Help computer.
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Old 12-06-2012, 10:16 AM   #2
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When you look through them, things that are far away look closer.
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Old 12-06-2012, 10:17 AM   #3
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I have a Meade refractor. It's perfect for moon/planet shots and relatively easy to set up. Have a look over at Orion (telescopes.com).

Refractors page: http://www.telescope.com/Telescopes/...es/pc/1/10.uts
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Old 12-06-2012, 10:17 AM   #4
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well, they help you see things far away. because mirrors and stuff.
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Old 12-06-2012, 10:18 AM   #5
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I won a "decent" telescope from a work raffle many, many years ago. I would say it probably retailed for $100-$150. It came in an aluminum case with 2 or 3 different eyepieces (magnifications). I tried to use it once. It was kinda cool, but I was unimpressed. So I went to the local bar, the Fox Tavern, for a beer and to play bar trivia. I did pretty well, and some good looking cougar started chatting me up. Turns out she lived adjacent to the nearby country club (now a Trump golf course), and had walked the mile it took to get there. I offered her a ride back to her place, deliberately failing to ask if she was married (there was a ring, but not a typical wedding band). When we got back her her place she asked me to come in for a drink. I said, "sorry, but the clouds have moved on, and I want to give my telescope another shot." She didn't take that very well, and stormed into her house. When I got back, I was still unimpressed with the telescope, so I just watched some porn and jerked off thinking of what might have been with the cougar. So yeah, if you're going to buy a telescope, you may have to spend some coin. Hope that helps.
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Old 12-06-2012, 10:19 AM   #6
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She is hotter from 50 yards away.
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Old 12-06-2012, 10:21 AM   #7
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I think Nick is into telescopes, ask him to create a subforum.
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Old 12-06-2012, 10:25 AM   #8
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I went through this with my sig-other a few weeks ago...

My 9 year old daughter wants a telescope for xmas and we got one. I kept going back and forth between:

- a very starter refractor model (that will get used 4 times and put on a shelf and cause minor frustration because it wont focus or see crap). Cost = up to $100 is garbage.

- a 'starter' reflector (Newtonian) scope, cost from $150 to 300 or so.

- a "good" telescope. One that I would use and enjoy with her and that can actually see crap.

The sad reality is that I know there are many cool things to see and experience and when we visit my parents house, the clear nights are AMAZING for seeing planets, the moon, stars and other things (satellites, the ISS...). The reality part of that equation is that realistically, stars are points of slightly-varying-white-colored-light. The moon is a grey ball and planets are round objects that are hard to see. The occasional comet, satellite, eclipse or other phenomenon would be gravy and not sustain the hobby.

But... the number of times we would collectively use it didn't justify the purchase this year. So sadly I gave in and we agreed to get a crap one and if my daughter likes it we will replace it with a good one. (But I am aware of this fact - how can she enjoy the hobby if she has a crap device and can't see **** with it).

So for our together activities we'll stick to various sports and geeky adventures like model rockets, RC planes, kites, board and card games, guitar, drums,...

What I would do ideally is go to the local hardware store and get a big 12" or larger paper tube (sono-tube?), order a large polished mirror from somewhere online and pick out some objective lens/mirror parts or whatever the hell you need to make a homebrew Newtonian / Dobsonian. Apparently for $100 or $200, you can make your own that is 100 times better than a commercial model that costs more.

So - I know nothing quantifiable about telescope selection sadly... Bigger ain't always better, objective-size or 'light-gathering-ability" isn't always the most important factor. I'll follow up on January 4th after being frustrated with the crap model we bought.
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Old 12-06-2012, 10:34 AM   #9
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FT, thanks. Those points are exactly where I am at on this and the wife said NFW on $400. I guess I'll wait and see how things work out for you before I start on this project.
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Old 12-06-2012, 10:35 AM   #10
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Oh, also, they usually have a big end and a little end. You're supposed to look in the little end.
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Old 12-06-2012, 10:37 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FellowTraveller View Post
I went through this with my sig-other a few weeks ago...

My 9 year old daughter wants a telescope for xmas and we got one. I kept going back and forth between:

- a very starter refractor model (that will get used 4 times and put on a shelf and cause minor frustration because it wont focus or see crap). Cost = up to $100 is garbage.

- a 'starter' reflector (Newtonian) scope, cost from $150 to 300 or so.

- a "good" telescope. One that I would use and enjoy with her and that can actually see crap.

The sad reality is that I know there are many cool things to see and experience and when we visit my parents house, the clear nights are AMAZING for seeing planets, the moon, stars and other things (satellites, the ISS...). The reality part of that equation is that realistically, stars are points of slightly-varying-white-colored-light. The moon is a grey ball and planets are round objects that are hard to see. The occasional comet, satellite, eclipse or other phenomenon would be gravy and not sustain the hobby.

But... the number of times we would collectively use it didn't justify the purchase this year. So sadly I gave in and we agreed to get a crap one and if my daughter likes it we will replace it with a good one. (But I am aware of this fact - how can she enjoy the hobby if she has a crap device and can't see **** with it).

So for our together activities we'll stick to various sports and geeky adventures like model rockets, RC planes, kites, board and card games, guitar, drums,...

What I would do ideally is go to the local hardware store and get a big 12" or larger paper tube (sono-tube?), order a large polished mirror from somewhere online and pick out some objective lens/mirror parts or whatever the hell you need to make a homebrew Newtonian / Dobsonian. Apparently for $100 or $200, you can make your own that is 100 times better than a commercial model that costs more.

So - I know nothing quantifiable about telescope selection sadly... Bigger ain't always better, objective-size or 'light-gathering-ability" isn't always the most important factor. I'll follow up on January 4th after being frustrated with the crap model we bought.
The thing is, if you get a crap scope and make the experience miserable, what inspiration does she have for future stargazing? Check out the orion site I posted earlier. The Orion scopes are not too expensive and are pretty decent. If she does not take to it, you can always sell it.
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Old 12-06-2012, 10:37 AM   #12
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Honestly the best bang for your buck would be an XT8 Orion Dobsonian. It falls right at your price range and is an amazing scope for the money. It would take you years to outgrow it. I had one for awhile and the moon was mind blowing. Saturn and Jupiter were very clear as well as some of the more fainter galaxies. Plus it is an excellent beginners scope that can easily, with the right upgrades, become a very heavy contender with much more expensive scopes.
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Old 12-06-2012, 10:46 AM   #13
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If you do go with the cheap end I wouldn't go cheaper that the lower computerized one, you tell them where on earth you are and they slowly swing to keep your object in frame, spending a bunch of time finding and focusing on things is not 'part of the fun' as some would have you think. Having one that you can tell 'go to Uranus' and it slews too Uranus and tracks it while you focus and set it for your kid to watch is a lot better. Otherwise you get a lot of "dad, it's not there anymore".
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Old 12-06-2012, 11:01 AM   #14
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I'd suggest you look at "Spotting Scopes" instead.

They are lower power - typically 20-60 - but are a lot more suitable for looking at birds and landscape objects. You get great detail on the moon as well. Some are waterproof.

I have one with the 90 degree angle eyepiece, which also happens to be easier for kids to use.

20-45 power 60mm scopes start at less than $50. As you move up to the range of $200 to $300, you start to get 80mm scopes with better workmanship, coatings, etc.

I've bought most of items like this at Adorama.com. The one I have is similar to this:
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Old 12-06-2012, 11:04 AM   #15
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I bought this one for my Dad for his birthday last year.

http://www.celestron.com/astronomy/c...ar-102slt.html

I found it on sale for $299.99 and it's been great. He has it up at the lake and while we haven't been able to lock in on any planets yet the automatic features of it are awesome and definitely something I think is great for kids as it's fun and educational to watch the telescope move around on it's own and tell you what you are looking at.

We plan on getting a little deeper into it this year and hope to get some nice views of the larger planets and stuff.

Here is a really crappy pic I took using my iphone over the lens piece...

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Old 12-06-2012, 11:15 AM   #16
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Here is a thread that Nick started.

http://forums.nasioc.com/forums/show....php?t=1630696

and ZMANNH, here is a mount for your teh iphone

http://www.optcorp.com/product.aspx?...kw=iphone&st=2

I know there is one other thread that is worthwhile but search is not being friendly to me today.
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Old 12-06-2012, 11:24 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Clavo View Post
Here is a thread that Nick started.

http://forums.nasioc.com/forums/show....php?t=1630696
:looks at thread: :sees $800, $1200, $1500: Yeah, that thread is largely outside of the scope of this one. I think FellowTraveller has the right idea though. Get a cheaper telescope and if the kid gets into it, then look into spending some coin on a nice computerized one or whatever. Otherwise, you might just end up with a nice expensive computerized dust collector.
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Old 07-29-2013, 04:51 PM   #18
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Old 07-29-2013, 04:56 PM   #19
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Newegg didn't have it?
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Old 07-29-2013, 04:58 PM   #20
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My folks have a slightly larger than that refractor. Everything I've ever read says we should have got a reflector. I mostly set it up on the balcony and spy on people around the lake with it. Or look at the moon, or occasionally planets. Do a little research and get 2 or 3 eyepieces. What eyepiece you use for looking in peoples windows/the moon/planets are probably going to be different. The moon is cool to look at no matter how **** your telescope is, so definitely start there.
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Old 07-29-2013, 05:00 PM   #21
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Oh wow. I've always kind of wanted a telescope. It's hard not to pull the trigger on that. Especially with Prime.
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Old 07-29-2013, 05:09 PM   #22
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Quote:
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Newegg didn't have it?
I'm going to ignore this in order to not turn this new telescope into a bludgeoning device.
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Old 07-29-2013, 05:11 PM   #23
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Quote:
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Newegg didn't have it?
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