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Greetings from the great state of Texas!

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N6GQ
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Greetings from the great state of Texas!

#1

Post by N6GQ » Thu Jan 09, 2020 5:40 pm

Hey all, I'm a middle-aged guy (50) who just went through a number of life-changing events (lost my mom to cancer, got my own cancer diagnosis and went through treatment, went through a divorce of a 20 year marriage, and moved to another state. Suffice it to say I've been through the wringer, but came out the other side and have a new lust for life that includes getting back into Astronomy after being gone for 30+ years.

When I was in college, I rented a room from a very nice man who was an astronomy whiz and telescope maker. When I graduated, he made me a beautiful 10" newtonian that I still have. Its very light weight and still works quite well. Its bulky though and I hesitate to take it out much due to size, fragility, etc. But I'd like to get back into star gazing - its been many years and now with new technology in tracking/mounts/etc I'd like to learn and get myself a new toy.

I've taken on many new hobbies lately - ones that I've always wanted to do but because of other life priorities I never indulged. But now, I'm indulging. Bought a new C7 ZO6 Corvette, bought a couple houses here in Texas, indulging in my love of coffee/espresso, and many other things.

So, all of that to say I'm looking for a new telescope - one that does computer tracking, one that is big enough that I can really see some good stuff, yet is manageable, and allows me to do some short-exposure photography. Any suggestions? Probably $3k or less to start til I figure out where to go with this. Is there a "small block chevy" of the Telescope world? I was thinking a 10 or 12" dobsonian with a tracking mount, but also looking at the SCTs as well, maybe they're more manageable and transportable? Suggestions? I'm reading as I can but need a few suggestions to pivot from.

Thanks much and thanks for the forum!

Jeff in Fort Worth, TX
Celestron Nexstar 6SE, Baader Hyperion zoom EP, Canon 1500D, Oberwerk 11x70LW
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#2

Post by helicon » Thu Jan 09, 2020 5:45 pm

Hello Jeff and Welcome to TSS! If you are interested in AP as well as visual something like a 102mm refractor could fit the bill. Dobs generally are not good for AP. You also could spring for an 8" SCT which could do both visual and AP. Other folks may have some additional ideas as well. Glad that you decided to get back into the hobby.
-Michael
Various scopes, 10" Zhumell Dob, ES AR152, AWB 5.1" Onesky newt, Oberwerk 25x100 binos, two eyeballs
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#3

Post by N6GQ » Thu Jan 09, 2020 6:02 pm

helicon wrote:
Thu Jan 09, 2020 5:45 pm
Hello Jeff and Welcome to TSS! If you are interested in AP as well as visual something like a 102mm refractor could fit the bill. Dobs generally are not good for AP. You also could spring for an 8" SCT which could do both visual and AP. Other folks may have some additional ideas as well. Glad that you decided to get back into the hobby.
Thanks for the comments! For AP, I'm just thinking of putting my iPhone on the eyepiece and grabbing some neat pictures at this point - I'm by no means a photographer, just want to have the option to do something like that.
Celestron Nexstar 6SE, Baader Hyperion zoom EP, Canon 1500D, Oberwerk 11x70LW
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#4

Post by Gordon » Thu Jan 09, 2020 6:13 pm

Welcome to TSS Jeff.

:text-welcomewave:
Gordon
Scopes: Explore Scientific ED80CF, Skywatcher 254N, Orion ST80, Orion Atlas EQ-g mount, Orion SSAG guider. Baader MPCC MkIII coma corrector, Vixen 70mm refractor. Lunt LS35THa solar scope. Skywatcher EQ5pro mount. Imagers: ZWO ASI1600 MM Cool, ZWO ASI174mm-C (for use with my Quark chromosphere), ZWO ASI120MC Filters: LRGB, Ha 7nm, O-III 7nm, S-II 7nm Eyepieces: a few, Primary software: Cartes du Ciel, EQMOD, SGP, Nebulosity, Photoshop, StarTools V1.4
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#5

Post by turonrambar » Thu Jan 09, 2020 6:23 pm

Welcome Jeff,

The TSS forums welcome you. It's great here with members who are very helpful and full of Astronomy knowledge.
Group members are helpful, and I know I like it here, I hope you do too.

kip


:text-welcomeconfetti:
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kip mason

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#6

Post by russmax » Thu Jan 09, 2020 7:17 pm

Hi, Jeff in Fort Worth. Greetings from Russmax in Austin.

I think you would be happy with something like this, for your $3k: An 11" SCT on a dual-fork alt-az goto mount. Probably the biggest, manageable scope that is easy to set up and use. You'll get some great views out of this one, and no fussing with polar alignment.
https://www.highpointscientific.com/com ... -11075-xlt

For your quick smart phone shots that mount is probably sufficient. If you want to do more with astrophotography, beyond planets and the moon, you'll want a smaller, lower focal length scope, and rock solid EQ mount. Something like this:
https://www.highpointscientific.com/com ... cope-24732

The first scope is better for viewing planets, but will certainly show you deep sky goodies. The second scope can show you planets, but is better for deep sky stuff, and for hanging astrophotography equipment: cameras, autoguiders, etc. The second choice is cheaper, leaving you budget for said astrophotography equipment.

--Russmax
----------
Celestron AVX 8" SCT & Omni XLT 102 AZ
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#7

Post by Lady Fraktor » Thu Jan 09, 2020 7:17 pm

Hello and welcome to the forums :)
Proper Telescopes: Antares 105 f/15, Celestron 150 f/8, Stellarvue NHNGDX 80 f/6.9, TAL 100RS f/10, TS 102 f/11, UR 70 f/10, Vixen ED115s f/7.7
Mounts: Celestron AS-GT, Celestron CG-5 w/ Argo Navis & tracking motor, SLT w/ pier & tripod mods, Manfrotto 028b w/ SV M2C, Mantrotto 055Pro w/ 128RC, TAL MT1C, Vixen SXP w/ HAL-130 & half pier
Diagonal: 2" A-P Maxbright, 2" Baader Herschel Wedge (P), 2" Zeiss/ Baader Amici Prism (DX2), 2" Orion Amici Prism, 2" Stellarvue DX, 2" TeleVue EverBrite
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#8

Post by Makuser » Thu Jan 09, 2020 7:55 pm

Hello Jeff. It's always exciting to have a new member on board here at TSS. And, I am glad that you are still optimistic about resuming your astronomy interests. You have come to the right place to get caught up and receive excellent advice from the friendly and knowledgeable folks on here. Welcome to the forum Jeff, and the best of wishes on your astronomy adventures.
:text-welcomeconfetti:
- Marshall
Orion Astroview 120ST f/5 Refractor on EQ3 mount
Celestron Omni XLT150R f/5 Refractor on CG4 mount with dual axis drives.
Orion 180mm f/15 Maksutov-Cassegrain on CG5-GT Goto mount.
Orion XT12i 12" f/4.9 Dobsonian Intelliscope.
Celestron SkyMaster 15x70 Binoculars. ZWO ASI120MC camera.
>)))))*>
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#9

Post by N6GQ » Thu Jan 09, 2020 8:10 pm

russmax wrote:
Thu Jan 09, 2020 7:17 pm
Hi, Jeff in Fort Worth. Greetings from Russmax in Austin.

I think you would be happy with something like this, for your $3k: An 11" SCT on a dual-fork alt-az goto mount. Probably the biggest, manageable scope that is easy to set up and use. You'll get some great views out of this one, and no fussing with polar alignment.
https://www.highpointscientific.com/com ... -11075-xlt

For your quick smart phone shots that mount is probably sufficient. If you want to do more with astrophotography, beyond planets and the moon, you'll want a smaller, lower focal length scope, and rock solid EQ mount. Something like this:
https://www.highpointscientific.com/com ... cope-24732

The first scope is better for viewing planets, but will certainly show you deep sky goodies. The second scope can show you planets, but is better for deep sky stuff, and for hanging astrophotography equipment: cameras, autoguiders, etc. The second choice is cheaper, leaving you budget for said astrophotography equipment.

--Russmax
Wonderful - thank you. The second one was one that I had looked at so I'm glad I'm sort of in the ballpark.

I appreciate the feedback and welcome everyone, this is a great forum and I really am looking forward to learning more and interacting. Thank you again!
Celestron Nexstar 6SE, Baader Hyperion zoom EP, Canon 1500D, Oberwerk 11x70LW
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#10

Post by Bigzmey » Thu Jan 09, 2020 8:17 pm

Welcome on board Jeff!
Scopes: Stellarvue: SV102 ED F7; Celestron: 9.25" EdgeHD F10, 8" SCT F10, 6" SCT, F10, Omni 150R Achro F5, Onyx 80ED F6.3; Meade: ST80 Achro F5.
Mounts: ES Twilight I, Bresser EXOS2, SW SkyTee2, AzGTi, UA MicroStar. Binos: Orion 15x70, 10x50, Nikon 8x40.
EPs: Pentax: XWs; TeleVue: Delites, Panoptic, Plossls & barlows; ES: 68s; Vixen: SLVs; Baader: BCOs, Aspherics, Mark IV; Meade: UWAs & Plossls.
Diagonals: Baader: BBHS mirror, Zeiss Spec prism, Clicklock; TeleVue: Evebrite. Filters: Lumicon, Baader, Astronomik.
Observing: DSOs: 1694 (Completed: M110, H1, H2. In progress: H3: 195, H2,500: 1272, S110: 77). Doubles: 1103, Comets: 13, Asteroids: 73
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#11

Post by smp » Thu Jan 09, 2020 9:15 pm

Hi Jeff, and welcome here to the Forum!

smp
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- - - - -
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#12

Post by ProfEclipse » Thu Jan 09, 2020 9:24 pm

Hello and Welcome, Jeff!
Equipment: Celestron C6 Newt, Celestron Advanced VX, ASI ZWO1600MM-Cool, Orion Mini Deluxe Pro Autoguider

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#13

Post by prowler75 » Thu Jan 09, 2020 9:25 pm

Hi Jeff! Welcome aboard the forum!
:text-welcomewave:
Craig
Telescopes: Zhumell Z12, Orion XT8, Explore Scientific FL-AR127/1200, Celestron Omni XLT AZ 102, Tasco 8v
Eyepieces: GSO 30mm, Explore Scientific 70° 25mm, 82° 18mm, 11mm, 8.8mm, 6.5mm. KK Orthos 12mm and 9mm
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#14

Post by JayTee » Thu Jan 09, 2020 9:46 pm

Hello Jeff,

Welcome to TSS. Glad you joined us.

Your story very closely mimics mine. From 2009 to 2012, I too went through a divorce and treatment for stage 4 cancer. When I came out the other side, I picked up a gently-used CPC 1100. I can say that that telescope was as much like therapy as any other routine I was required to go through. I also have an 8in Newt that I built back in 1972. I recently put it on a Dobsonian mount and it has a new life and gets used a lot now. Because my CPC is such a great telescope, my recommendation to you is to get the CPC 1100 HD. It is a fantastic telescope.

Congratulations on your new lease on life I know what it feels like.

Cheers,
JT
Main: C-stron CPC1100 #2 Scope: 8" f/7.5 Dob mounted Newt AP Scopes: TPO 6" f/9 RC, ES 80mm f/6 APO G&G Scope: Meade 102mm f/7.8, Bresser 102mm f/4.5 Guide Scopes: 70 & 80mm fracs Mounts: C-stron AVX CGEM & GT Alt-Az, Meade DS2000 Cameras: Canon T3i (x2), ASI120MC Binos: 10X50,10.5X70,15X70 (x2), 25X100 EPs: ES: 21 100°, 30 82° X-Cels: 9, 12, 18, 25 Clubs: RCA & HAS
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#15

Post by N6GQ » Thu Jan 09, 2020 10:23 pm

JayTee wrote:
Thu Jan 09, 2020 9:46 pm
Hello Jeff,

Welcome to TSS. Glad you joined us.

Your story very closely mimics mine. From 2009 to 2012, I too went through a divorce and treatment for stage 4 cancer. When I came out the other side, I picked up a gently-used CPC 1100. I can say that that telescope was as much like therapy as any other routine I was required to go through. I also have an 8in Newt that I built back in 1972. I recently put it on a Dobsonian mount and it has a new life and gets used a lot now. Because my CPC is such a great telescope, my recommendation to you is to get the CPC 1100 HD. It is a fantastic telescope.

Congratulations on your new lease on life I know what it feels like.

Cheers,
JT
JT, good to meet you and thank you for the insight and info about your journey. I'm glad you're a survivor and sounds like we're on a similar path. I'll take a look at the CPC 1100 HD - thank you!
Celestron Nexstar 6SE, Baader Hyperion zoom EP, Canon 1500D, Oberwerk 11x70LW
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#16

Post by bladekeeper » Fri Jan 10, 2020 4:05 am

Hello Jeff! Welcome to TSS and thanks for joining us! :)

:text-welcomewave:
Bryan
Scopes: Apertura AD12 f/5; Celestron C6-R f/8; ES AR127 f/6.4; Stellarvue SV102T f/7; iOptron MC90 f/13.3; Orion ST80A f/5; ES ED80 f/6; Celestron Premium 80 f/11.4; Celestron C80 f/11.4; Unitron Model 142 f/16; Meade NG60 f/10
Mounts: Celestron AVX; Bresser EXOS-2; ES Twilight I; ES Twilight II; iOptron Cube-G; AZ3/wood tripod; Vixen Polaris
Binoculars: Pentax PCF WP II 10×50, Bresser Corvette 10×50, Bresser Hunter 16×50 and 8×40, Garrett Gemini 12×60 LW, Gordon 10×50, Apogee 20×100

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#17

Post by Peter802 » Fri Jan 10, 2020 8:33 am

Hello Jeff.
Welcome to the forum and back to this great hobby.
Clear Skies.
Regards,

Peter
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#18

Post by Ylem » Sat Jan 11, 2020 1:17 am

Welcome Jeff :)

Thanks for joining us
A bunch of SCTs and MCTs scattered around the house and an Orion ST80.
A big box of Plossls :D

Clear Skies,
Jeff :mrgreen:
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#19

Post by Richard » Sat Jan 11, 2020 2:23 pm

Hi and welcome Jeff
Reflectors GSO 200 Dobs
Refractors Tasco 10TE-5
SCT C5 on a SLT mount
Mak 150 Bosma on a EQ5
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#20

Post by Smitty » Sat Jan 11, 2020 5:47 pm

:text-welcomewave: to TSS Jeff!

Looking forward to your first light report on whichever telescope & mount you choose to purchase. :handgestures-thumbupleft:

N6GQ = aircraft tail number? :think:
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