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Stargazing Telescope Advice

  1. Dec 2, 2006 #1
    Hi - I hope I am posting in the right place, my apologies if not. I am looking for someone who can give me some advice on a telescope model. I am 30 years old, and have been comtemplating a telescope for quite some time, but first I familiarized myself with astronomy and the sky somewhat. I am now ready to make a purchase. I am interested in spending between $1000 - $2000 on a good scope and accessories. I was looking for a telescope with a fair amount of portability, and ease of initial alignment. While I am interested in some amateur astronomic photography, I don't think an equatorial mount would be the right choice for me, due to its weight and size. My location and small apartment (I am a military employee stationed in the Middle East,and my quarters are rather small) play a largepart in this. There is some light pollution here, so I would need something I could easily transport to an area with darker skies.
    Basically, I think I am looking for the impossible...a light portable motorized scope with Goto features, but sturdy enough to attach a camera and get at least some halfway decent planetary photos. I was looking at the NexStar 8SE, but some of the reviews say the mount and tripod are barely adequate for the scope itself. I would like at least an 8" aperture, as I don't think I will be happy with the smaller standard 5" or 6".
    If I am looking for the impossible, let me know. Thank you in advance for your time and advice!

    Best regards,

    Aaron G. Flanigan
    GS-9, USAF
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 2, 2006 #2

    Chronos

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    Hi Aaron! Welcome to PF. You probably came to the right place as there are plenty of enthusiasts here. Aperature is good and the difference between 6 and 8 inches is night and day. The price break is also favorable compared to >8" scopes. An SC is clearly what you want, and you are in the right ballpark pricewise. I really like the Meade. It's a nice instrument, portable [33 pounds] and comes with GPS - a big plus:

    http://www.meade.com/lx90gps/index.html

    At the top of your $ range, but don't be afraid to check the resale market. Dealers often carry preowned or open box scopes of this ilk at huge discounts. Just make sure you get some kind of warranty. If it is fully functional after 60 days, you almost can't go wrong.
     
  4. Dec 2, 2006 #3
    Re:

    Thanks for the reply. I was initially looking at Meades, but they are a bit pricey unless I can find a used one for a price break. A big factor that I failed to mention earlier is that I am concerned about shipping....as I live overseas...so shipping something like this requires a huge amount of preparation and packaging. I know from talking with several manufacturers and distributors directly that Meade and many other telescope manufacturers actually refuse to honor warranties if the telescope is shipped outside the continental U.S. I don't want to receive a broken telescope, and bear the cost to have it shipped back and replaced or repaired. Do you have any experience on this? I am almost convinced that I should wait until I return stateside...however I may not be back for quite some time (possibly 2 years or more), so I don't want to not do this and then lose my interest due to not having the proper equipment to continue my hobby.

    :A
     
  5. Dec 3, 2006 #4

    Chronos

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    European dealerships are probably your best bet given your location. Here are a couple you might try:

    Israel
    Cosmos Pat-El Trading
    52008 Ramat-Gan
    Tel.: +972-3-672 4303 · Fax: +972-3-672 2577
    Meade · Bresser · Coronado

    Turkey
    OPTRONIK
    Ilk Adim Sk. No. 18 · 06700 Ankara
    Tel.: +90-312-447 4753 · Fax: +90-312-447 6578
    Meade · Bresser · Coronado
     
  6. Dec 3, 2006 #5
    Re:

    Unfortunately, that means that those models will probably be 220 volt only...no good to me when I return to the states. I know, I can't have the best of both worlds. :cry:

    Thanks for the contacts, I will still try and see if i can get a 110V model over here.

    Aaron
     
  7. Dec 3, 2006 #6

    russ_watters

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    Actually, most telescopes are 12 volts. So the only thing it may come with that is 220 is a transformer (and often they are sold separately anyway).
     
  8. Dec 4, 2006 #7
    Re:

    Well, I've decided to open up my options a little more (as well as my wallet). I am looking right now at POSSIBLY acquiring a used Meade LX200R w/GPS and 10" aperture. :!!) I'll have to have FedEx send it to me, which won't be cheap, but at least I can rest assured that it will be insured! I should know in about a week if it works out or not. If not, I'll settle for an LX90 model. Wish me luck.

    Best regards,

    :A
     
  9. Dec 5, 2006 #8

    Chronos

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    Best wishes. You made a good choice, IMO. Let us know how it works out for you. I'm a bit jealous, to tell the truth.
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2006
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