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Old 06-14-2016, 10:53 AM   #11
Jerry-rigged
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For the planets Venus, Saturn and Jupiter, you can get a good look at 50x-100x. Most any scope with at least a 3"/75mm objective and a long-ish focal length (F8 or longer) will work. For other planets (Mars, Uranus, etc) you need a lot of power to see anything more than a slightly colored blob. Well, Mars is kind of on the edge. Good seeing conditions, and 150x and it starts be an orange ball with some light and dark shadows. My 80mm scope can hit 150x, but at that magnification, the mount becomes super important - if you are on the driveway, some one can walk by and it will shake your view! My mount is a decent one - a Vixen Porta II - but my 80mm scope at 150x is about all it can handle.

A new cheep Chinese 8" dob will put up a great view at 150x, but the problem becomes tracking with the dob at that high power - the planet will only stay in view for about 30-45 seconds, as the earth turns.

Looking at planets at high power is where computer controlled scopes are great. On the rare occasion I can get my ETX90 to work right, it is wonderful being able to watch a planet for several minutes at a time. If you want a computer controlled scope, Don't cheap out! Low end versions have the worst combo of cheap, shaky mounts and cheep drive trains that either wear out quick, or are not repeatable, or both.

What Price range are you looking at?

Jerry
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Old 12-17-2019, 11:31 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Jerry-rigged View Post
For the planets Venus, Saturn and Jupiter, you can get a good look at 50x-100x. Most any scope with at least a 3"/75mm objective and a long-ish focal length (F8 or longer) will work. For other planets (Mars, Uranus, etc) you need a lot of power to see anything more than a slightly colored blob. Well, Mars is kind of on the edge. Good seeing conditions, and 150x and it starts be an orange ball with some light and dark shadows. My 80mm scope can hit 150x, but at that magnification, the mount becomes super important - if you are on the driveway, some one can walk by and it will shake your view! My mount is a decent one - a Vixen Porta II - but my 80mm scope at 150x is about all it can handle.

A new cheep Chinese 8" dob will put up a great view at 150x, but the problem becomes tracking with the dob at that high power - the planet will only stay in view for about 30-45 seconds, as the earth turns.

Looking at planets at high power is where computer controlled scopes are great. On the rare occasion I can get my ETX90 to work right, it is wonderful being able to watch a planet for several minutes at a time. If you want a computer controlled scope, Don't cheap out! Low end versions have the worst combo of cheap, shaky mounts and cheep drive trains that either wear out quick, or are not repeatable, or both.

What Price range are you looking at?

Jerry
What computerized scope do you recommend?

I have a 10" Dob and a 8" Cassegrain, I'm considering selling both and going with a modern computerized scope . It is really hard to show stuff to my kids though because they either bump the scope or the object moves out of range too fast.
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Old 12-17-2019, 11:54 AM   #13
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I see someone resurrected this old thread and that's great.

Now, my question... With the advent of digital cameras and Bluetooth, I can imagine someone putting out a computer controlled digital telescope with Bluetooth to show the image on a laptop instead of having to squint and hope nobody brushes up against the mount and moves it half a minute of angle. That way, a bunch of us can watch instead of one at a time. And record the view for later, too.

Or is that out of my non-billionaire budget?

I know I can cobble it together with my Nikon, a telescope, some lens adapters and an app to show the Nikon's image on an Android device. Anyone tried it and satisfied with the results?

Or is someone already selling a solid system to take all the jerry rigging out of it?

On an aside, I could have used that setup last night to watch the frantic efforts at the chemical plant across the bay... They had a huge flare going, and I suspect there was a lot of personnel activity that would have been interesting from a few miles away.
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Old 12-25-2019, 08:24 PM   #14
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with telescopes you pay for what you get. go cheap you get cheap. Tasco and a few other Walmart store stuff is ****. Get a Celestron or a Meade telescope much better quality. But it is very enjoyable hobby.
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Old 01-18-2020, 10:14 AM   #15
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I lived in the Houston area until about 30 years ago and I remember when Brazos Bend park was developed with an observatory and a 36in. telescope was installed ... a gifted scope from a school in Louisiana is what I heard ... does anyone know if it's still there? Never had the opportunity but would've liked to have seen it and through it ... at sea level it would've really helped the 'seeing' ...
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Old 01-20-2020, 12:23 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by acoastalbender View Post
I lived in the Houston area until about 30 years ago and I remember when Brazos Bend park was developed with an observatory and a 36in. telescope was installed ... a gifted scope from a school in Louisiana is what I heard ... does anyone know if it's still there? Never had the opportunity but would've liked to have seen it and through it ... at sea level it would've really helped the 'seeing' ...
When someone mentioned telescopes, that was the first thing I thought about. We used to go down to the park on scheduled events when groups set up their own telescopes and made an entire evening of it. With the high point being our turn in line to get in to look through the big telescope.

I'm curious, too... Whether they still do it.

We always brought a bucket of chicken for a picnic dinner and to feed the raccoons.
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