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Here's My Advise

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Posted by Bob Sal on December 10, 2001 14:15:40 UTC

In the $350 range, stay away from the goto telescopes. They are too small and you can do much better for the money. When your first starting out it's mporatnt to learn the sky and how to point your telescope on your own. From the Orion catalog ther are several good scopes in that price range. The Starmax "Mak" are very popular. The 90MM is $300 the 102MM is $389. The same scope from Meade (The ETX series) run about $300 more with the goto and are great if you want to spend more. Staying in your price range, Orion has the 6" XT Dobsonian. That will nice because of the 6" aperture, but it's a small Dob. They are designed for bigger scopes. This will be a little compersome to use compaired to EQ mount that comes with the Starmax. Next Orion has the space probe 130ST reflector which is on the EQ mount and only one inch smaller than the Dob. But the one I recommend is the Astroview 90MM refractor. This will be very easy to use and will deliver the best images of all the scopes mentioned. Now people will say the larger aperture will deliver the brighter images and you will see more items. But basiclly we're talking about a few more faint fuzzy galaxies. The refractors more than make up for this in sharpness and clarity. That's what a beginner wants. Meade and Celestron have versions of most of these scopes as well. So do many other companies so you might want to shop around. But the Orions are great. Anyway, in that price range that's what you should be looking at, a 6" Dob, 90MM Mak, or 90MM reflector.
By the way, most of the goto telescopes from Meade can be run from a car battery plug. There are lots of batteries out there. I use a deep cycle marine battery. I used it for 12 hrs over a 2 day period and it was still 75% charged.
Good Luck.
That's it;
BOB SAL

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