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Rec on telescope for Christmas?
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First Month Member
Supporting Member of Barthmobile.com 11/13
posted
A friend is considering a replacement for his 17 year old son's refractor telescope on a simple tripod mount. The kid is serious, and has informed "Santa" he is ready for something better.

The budget could be in the $200 to $300 range, on sale. He is thinking of a reflector telescope (6"?) with, at least an equatorial mount (with control knobs or motor drive).

How close is he, and are there any recommendations?


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84 30T PeeThirty-Something, 502 powered
 
Posts: 7397 | Location: AZ Central Highlands | Member Since: 01-09-2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Supporting Member of Barthmobile.com 2/16
Captain Doom
Picture of Rusty
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There are some at Orion that are considered very good values. Orion has superb customer service.

Anacortes Telescope and Wild Bird also sells Orion products such as these Dobsonians ("Dobsonian" is the type of mount; the scope is a Newtonian).

Oceanside Photo and Telescope's (OPT) clearance center has this one, a very good buy.

$300 won't buy both a decent equatorial (EQ) mount and a scope, but the computer-controlled mounts are sturdier and will track well; additionally, the eyepiece stays accessible, which it doesn't on a EQ mount. And the computer allows easy finding of objects once the scope is aligned - but 4.5" is the largest in the price range. Dobsonians are sturdy, but at the price level, won't have a computer and won't track objects - but a 6" can be had...but shipping can be expensive.


Rusty


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Posts: 8200 | Location: Brooker, FL, USA | Member Since: 09-08-2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Supporting Member of Barthmobile.com 12/10
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One of the recommendations I always like to make is to find a local Astronomical Society or other amateur astronomy group. The advantage is they generally have easy access to telescopes when they are having star parties. When I was a member of the St. Louis Astronomical Society we had several loaner scopes that could be checked out for a month at a time. By going to star parties you find what type of gazing suits your interest. Different scopes and mounts are better suited for different targets.
Usually the cost to join is only slightly greater than membership in Barthmobile, the members equally friendly and quick to help and offer guidance.


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Posts: 725 | Location: St. Charles, MO, USA | Member Since: 10-09-2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
First Month Member
Supporting Member of Barthmobile.com 11/13
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Thanks, Rusty.

I had already mumbled something to him about OPT, but nothing intelligent or specific. Smiler

I will pass the rest on to him. I think it is neat when a kid is into something besides Facebook and loud music.


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84 30T PeeThirty-Something, 502 powered
 
Posts: 7397 | Location: AZ Central Highlands | Member Since: 01-09-2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
First Month Member
Supporting Member of Barthmobile.com 11/13
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quote:
Originally posted by ccctimtation:
One of the recommendations I always like to make is to find a local Astronomical Society or other amateur astronomy group. The advantage is they generally have easy access to telescopes when they are having star parties. When I was a member of the St. Louis Astronomical Society we had several loaner scopes that could be checked out for a month at a time. By going to star parties you find what type of gazing suits your interest. Different scopes and mounts are better suited for different targets.
Usually the cost to join is only slightly greater than membership in Barthmobile, the members equally friendly and quick to help and offer guidance.


That's a good point, Tim. A club can help with both knowledge and equipment. It's interesting that you bring that up, since I first met the guy at the local rock club, which I joined to learn and use their workshop equipment. Lapidary equipment is horribly expensive for a casual hobby.


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84 30T PeeThirty-Something, 502 powered
 
Posts: 7397 | Location: AZ Central Highlands | Member Since: 01-09-2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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