Telescopes (Meade ETX 70 & Skylux) in Lidl Monday 22nd N

15 years 6 months ago #5827 by dave_lillis

Dave - the planeterial fog is that which you find hovering in the skies of Ireland... :cry:

And by the way lads, since you're all off to Lidl, I've cancelled the orders for the Tak FCT 200 observatory systems. Xmas cheer to you all :wink:

Dave


I hope you didnt cancel thinking the ETX will track and image just as good since everyone in the country is getting one :wink:

BTW, scopetronix.com have a number of bits and pieces which you can add onto the scope, just scroll down the left hand side of their page until you see ETX, you could easily spend the price of the scope again.

Dave L. on facebook , See my images in flickr
Chairman. Shannonside Astronomy Club (Limerick)

Carrying around my 20" obsession is going to kill me,
but what a way to go. :)
+ 12"LX200, MK67, Meade2045, 4"refractor

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15 years 6 months ago #5828 by dmcdona
Sorry Leo - you weren't in the mix and I'm afraid the cancellation has gone in already... Get yer skates on to Lidl old boy but watch for out for the rush!

The Tak would be too heavy anyway. Bah humbug! :twisted:

Dave

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15 years 6 months ago #5830 by dmcdona
Dave L - I'm absolutely sure that the ETX will give a Tak 200 some serious competition - seriously! At the price differential, the ETX sounds like a good buy - especially for chucking in the supplied rucksack at the last minute and heading off to find a hole in the planeterial fog - probably somewhere in the sunny south. A great way to kick start a youngster with an inkling for looking up. And those not so young to get outside a bit more!

I suspect a lot of you folks on this board will have stiff competition from officianados of Sliver and 10 :wink:

Dave

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15 years 6 months ago #5838 by Liam
Replied by Liam on topic PC Connection
The EXT 70 has a PC connection. There is a CD and connecting cable kit available for $49.95 + shipping which will allow you to control this scope from your lap top.... eh .. if you have a lap-top that is....

Anyway the kit is "#506 AstroFinder" available from Colorado Scientific Instruments & Supply Co. Denver, Colorado. A nice stocking filler!

Web site: www.sciencecompany.com

e mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Happy Shopping

Liam

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15 years 6 months ago #5839 by John OBrien
Great that it has a PC connection! I'm betting I can make a DIY cable for this - they're usually simple serial type things, the only thing is software but there seems to be a lot of Meade related homebrew/freeware stuff out on the net (have to have a proper look around to be sure).

It certainly looks like there will be a fair few Meade users in here come next week. :)

"We are the music makers ... and we are the dreamers of dreams." - W.W.

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15 years 6 months ago #5840 by Gleth
The ETX70 is a great little scope, for solar observing (with a proper filter of course) as well as night sky stuff. Mine will happily hook up to a laptop for control, but I've not needed to bother as the handset has all you really need to get pointed in the right direction :-) It takes 6 AA batteries to power it, and they seem to last for a good night's viewing unless it gets really cold, when you'll want a second set to swap with. The Lidl offer says there is a backpack with it, which I really wish I had for mine as that would make taking it around on my scooter easier than it is now...

All in all I would reccomend this as a great first, or secondary scope.

Have Fun,
Jim.

Have Fun,
Jim
--
Jim McBoyle

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15 years 6 months ago #5841 by Sizzzzzle
Hi,

First of all I really like this website, and I am generally more of a reader than a poster.
I would be a very beginner in Astronomy. I know a few of the stars, like to go to heavens-above.com, and get the satelites passing and look out for them.

Reading the posts about the LIDL scopes it seems that people here are recommending them. My question is - which one should I buy? :)

The more expensive one does look nice, but I am wondering if I need that computer thingy with it. Although looking around at the websites and reviews about it there is a mention of using a camera with it, which is something I would be interested in doing at some stage.

The cheaper one looks nice and simple to use. Could I use a camera with that one too?

I really want to see more of the sky than I can with my binoculars, which are only 8 X 25 I think. Either of the telescopes would let me see more right? I want a scope that I could use for a long while, and then maybe progress to something bigger in a few years. So which would be the best to go with?

Would welcome any answers to me questions.
Thanks again :)

Sizzzzzzzzzle

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15 years 6 months ago #5842 by albertw

Great that it has a PC connection! I'm betting I can make a DIY cable for this - they're usually simple serial type things, the only thing is software but there seems to be a lot of Meade related homebrew/freeware stuff out on the net (have to have a proper look around to be sure).


If its the same as the 437 autostar then you can make it easily. You dont need Meades software as the instruction set will just be a subset of the LX200 and several programs (Xephem anyway) already support driving the scope through this interface.

Cheers,
~Al

Albert White MSc FRAS
Chairperson, International Dark Sky Association - Irish Section
www.darksky.ie/

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15 years 6 months ago #5843 by dmcdona
Welcome aboard Sizzzzzle! If you are after advice about amateur astronomy, you're definately in the right place. Be prepared for a flurry of replies though!

Its great that you've started off with binoculars and heavens
-above - I assume that you therefore have more knowledge than your average man on a bus and have an idea of what you'd like to accomplish.

So, the next progression for you is a telesope. As you're aware, there are thousands to choose from and you can pay a little or a lot. And then there's all the accessories.

I think the first decision you need to make in order to achieve your current objectives is how much you are prepared to budget for the scope. If both of the scopes are within your budget, then its lilely the more expensive one will be better. However, I know nothing of the performance of either of the scopes - but I'm sure the previois posts in this topic cover that.

As for the computer thingy, this will help you *find* objects you want to look at. Personally, I don't have a GOTO scope (that's the computer bit) so I use a computer star atlas, find what I'm looking for, then manually move the scope to that position. Its not as easy as it seems - the GOTO computer definately helps if you are a beginner.

Some of the posts refer to attaching a camera to these scopes - I'm not so sure the cheaper of the two can handle that. I'll leave the technical details to others on this board. Its fair to say though that if you want to take the kinds of *wow* pictures you see on the net or in the mags (eg the Andromeda galaxy) then neither of these scopes and theior mounts can do a good job for you. If you are serious about astrophotography, you'll need to do a lot more research (and spend more money!).

Lastly, there is a phenomenon you will suffer from called 'apeture fever'. It commonly strikes down amateur astronomers, particularly in the early days of them taking up the hobby. I suffered a severe bout a year or so ago and am just recovering, I think :wink:

When/if you get a scope, within a few months you will be looking for something bigger/better - you'll be searching high and low for extra accessories to help you get that little bit more of a view... But that's the fun of it all :!:

So, take your time, ask all the questions you need to ask - the lads here will be delighted to assist where they can - and above all, enjoy!

Dave




but it seems the Meade scope can manage at least a piggy-backed affair and can manage (with the purchase of an accessory) to take a camera attached directly to the

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15 years 6 months ago #5844 by ayiomamitis
Gentlemen,

For anyone into satellites and their imaging (?), the LX-200 instruction set is a god-send for the simple reason that software already exists which will track a satellite as it crosses the sky.

Anyone interested, for example, in observing and/or imaging the ISS as it makes the next overhead pass, the software is already available and for free. I do not know to what extent the ETX-70 will allow for sufficient image scale but I will go and check the Meade site for specs.

If it is indeed doable, I would personally pick up such a scope for this particular purpose alone and nothing else.

Anthony.

Anthony Ayiomamitis
Athens, Greece
www.perseus.gr

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15 years 6 months ago #5845 by albertw

Anyone interested, for example, in observing and/or imaging the ISS as it makes the next overhead pass, the software is already available and for free. I do not know to what extent the ETX-70 will allow for sufficient image scale but I will go and check the Meade site for specs.


At 70mm diameter and 300mm focal length its not going to be the best scope for high magnification detail. That siad I did see detail on Mars though Jim's ETX 70 last summer.

Cheers,
~Al

Albert White MSc FRAS
Chairperson, International Dark Sky Association - Irish Section
www.darksky.ie/

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15 years 6 months ago #5847 by albertw
Just been on to lidl.

They are getting a lot of enquires about the computer telescope, and they expect that it will be very popular.

At the moment they were unable to tell me how many will be in each store and consequently whtether you needed to queue up before opening to get one. They may have more information later in the week so I'll call back then.

Cheers,
~Al

Albert White MSc FRAS
Chairperson, International Dark Sky Association - Irish Section
www.darksky.ie/

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15 years 6 months ago #5848 by albertw
From Terry:

Hi all,

Further to the last email on the Lidl Telescopes; some clarification of their website info may be helpful!

A. The ETX-70 Computer telescope.

1. It refers to 3 eyepieces, but only gives details for one - a MA25mm (MA = Modified Achromat - a fairly basic type)

2. The reference to "planetarial fog" should of course be "planetary nebulae" (the joys of translation!)

3. By a process of deduction & some simple maths the highest power eyepiece of the three must be a 4mm (type not known).

4. That then explains the odd description given under "Magnification" as: "14x -262, 5x". It should be "14x - 262.5x" the latter figure being the power of the 4mm eyepiece + 3x Barlow used with a 350mm FL telescope!

5. The other eyepiece must be a medium power one, say about 10mm, giving a power of approx. 35x, or 105x if used with the Barlow.

NB: Although I'm sure that the GoTo will indeed point the telescope, once it's set up properly, to any of the 1400 objects in the database, bear in mind that you may not be able to see all of them through that telescope! For example, if you input "M76", it will probably point to get it in the field of view, but as it's magnitude 11.5, you may not see it, unless you have very clear, very dark, skies! Some of the NGC objects will be even fainter, and even harder to see!

B. The 70mm Skylux Refractor.

1. It doesn't specifically mention it, but a 3x Barlow is also included.

2. Again, the website doesn't specifically mention it, but there are slow motion controls on both axes.

3. If the telescope package is exactly the same as last year, it will also include an accessory / stabilising tray on the tripod, and maybe an erecting (terrestrial) eyepiece too.

General:

My personal opinion is that for a reasonably competent & knowledgeable amateur, it's not worth paying the extra for the GoTo telescope. A telescope of that size will perform best on bright objects such as the Moon & major planets, & the Sun by projection or with a Mylar filter (but don't try observing the Sun unless you KNOW what ALL the risks are!), and bright objects such as the Pleiades, M31, M42, M13 etc. Most of you don't need 'GoTo' to find them! Also, with an F/ratio of F/5, it won't give as good images as the F/10 Skylux. It also has the benefit of powered tracking, but is that worth the extra €110? But that's just my personal opinion, and if you want the convenience of battery-powered drive, & GoTo to find your targets, then it's good value.

Clear Skies,

Terry Moseley

____________________________
IFAS, www.irishastronomy.org

Albert White MSc FRAS
Chairperson, International Dark Sky Association - Irish Section
www.darksky.ie/

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15 years 6 months ago #5849 by ctr
Liam Said:-

I have seen an EXT105 close up recently and I think the control mechanism is the same on the 70. If so, it is well able to carry a larger scope (not an 8" mind!... are you listening Conor?) or to piggyback a camera.


Liam,

As you know I've been exploring ways to CHEAPLY get some sort of goto for my C8.

How about this...
Fit a red-dot finder on the ETX-70, use Auto-Star to locate the object and then just align my C8 to the Red dot. My C8 can then track from there.
Would this work...would two scopes put too much of an error and I might not find the object. Do red-dot finders actually project an Red dot that I could locate :?:

Just thoughts, but if it would work it would provide a sort of cheap GOTO for any scope. 8)

Conor

Each of us is here on earth for a reason, and each of us has a special mission to carry out - Maria Shriver

[/color]

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15 years 6 months ago #5852 by stepryan

Just been on to lidl.

They are getting a lot of enquires about the computer telescope, and they expect that it will be very popular.

At the moment they were unable to tell me how many will be in each store and consequently whtether you needed to queue up before opening to get one. They may have more information later in the week so I'll call back then.

Cheers,
~Al


if you do find out Al it would be great as it looks there will be a bit of a rush on them. in this country i don't think many people will be looking at this gift horse in the mouth. funny thing is the offer isn't available in the north from the looks of their site.
stephen.

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15 years 6 months ago #5855 by Cathy
I'm a student in Galway and I'd like to buy a telescope for here, mainly because I don't want to take my Celestron down on the five hour bus journey from home - would it be worth not eating anything but beans on toast for a few weeks to afford the more expensive telescope? I have to admit I quite like the idea of motorised tracking, but apart from that it's quite similar to the Skylux, isn't it?

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15 years 6 months ago #5857 by ayiomamitis

Anyone interested, for example, in observing and/or imaging the ISS as it makes the next overhead pass, the software is already available and for free. I do not know to what extent the ETX-70 will allow for sufficient image scale but I will go and check the Meade site for specs.


At 70mm diameter and 300mm focal length its not going to be the best scope for high magnification detail. That siad I did see detail on Mars though Jim's ETX 70 last summer.

Cheers,
~Al


Hi Al,

It seems the focal length is 350 mm rather than 300 mm. However, there should an image scale problem with either focal length for the ISS etc.

It would seem to be a good buy for a youngster just getting into astronomy. There are pros and cons to both scopes being offered.

Anthony.

Anthony Ayiomamitis
Athens, Greece
www.perseus.gr

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15 years 6 months ago #5858 by michaeloconnell
Hi Sizzzzzle,
Welcome to the website! Hope you feel at home here.
You raised some valid points and, to be honest, there's no easy answer.
There's pros and cons to everything and this is no exception.
I have a goto scope and love it. I find it very useful to find the various targets around the sky and it provides lots of information about each object. However, some people feel that you'd learn more if you had to find the target manually without the assistance of a computer.
As for astrophotography, neither scope is the perfect answer. If your looking for a first scope, my advice is to forget about astrophotography and just focus ion the visual side of things. If you can't see what you're pointed at or don't understand what your looking at, there's little point in taking an image of it - that's just my opinion anyway.
The ETX has the advantage of been very portable. I intend in travelling to the solar eclipse in 2006 in Turkey. For this trip, this scope would fit the bill perfectly as it's small and compact and could be brought on as hand luggage. The other scope would be alot longer and bulkier. The ETX will track objects across the sky which is handy as it saves you nudging the scope all the time.
Personally, if you can afford the ETX, my advice would be to go for it. If you can't afford it, the skylux is also a fine instrument.
Neither instrument will disappoint.

Clear skies,

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15 years 6 months ago #5861 by dmcdona
Cathy - both scopes seem to be value for money (ie you get what what you pay for) and the other folks on the board seem to think they're good starter scopes (I've no experience of them myself). Pay what you can afford. If it means beans on toast for a couple of weeks and you're prepared to economise, then it'll be worth it all the more. Besides, you could always chew on one of the rucksack straps....

Dave

ps - when I was at Uni, I lived on sugar puffs and black coffee for two weeks!

pps - if you choose the more expensive scope, I'll send you some cheese to grate over the beans - free :wink:

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15 years 6 months ago #5864 by dave_lillis
Hi all,
Regarding computer control, you can use Starry night with if, you might need to download the telescope driver from
ascom-standards.org/
I use Ascom to drive the 12" and it does a perfect job, from what I can se it will also drive the ETX amoungst many others.
It looks like skymap will also drive the scope.

As for the PC cable, do not just go and plug in the serial port of your PC to the AUX port, you'll blow the controller, you might want to have a look at this.

www.weasner.com/etx/autostar/2004/494-506.html

The problem is that the autostar 494 controller (which as far as I can see is this one) does not have a built in serial port. The "other" autostar (which is the well know autostar for the LX90, LX200) does have a serial port but isnt the one on offer here.
If its not a 494, then is a simple cable which can be easily made up, I made up one for my currect scope.

For people who are starting, I think this is a great starter scope, if only these were around 15-20 years ago. I wouldnt bother with photography until your well used to looking through it.

For those who aren't, its a very portable, throw over your sholder second scope, great for holidays and various eclipses that will be happening over the next few years.

Not been readibly able to plug it into a PC is not an issue for me, the whole idea is thats its portible, I'm not going to be carry a laptop around with it, of couse there is the upload of new objects like comets to be considered.

Dave L. on facebook , See my images in flickr
Chairman. Shannonside Astronomy Club (Limerick)

Carrying around my 20" obsession is going to kill me,
but what a way to go. :)
+ 12"LX200, MK67, Meade2045, 4"refractor

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15 years 6 months ago #5873 by dave_lillis

Fit a red-dot finder on the ETX-70, use Auto-Star to locate the object and then just align my C8 to the Red dot. My C8 can then track from there.
Would this work...would two scopes put too much of an error and I might not find the object. Do red-dot finders actually project an Red dot that I could locate :?:


Unfortunately, this will not work, the new etx red dot finder does not contain a high power laser which puts a dot in the sky, what it does have a a small lazer which is projected onto a piece of tranparent plastic, you then look through it and and allign the red dot on the transparent plastic to the background image in the sky.

IF you got one of those fancy hand laser pointers and stuck it on the ETX70, then it would work :P

Dave L. on facebook , See my images in flickr
Chairman. Shannonside Astronomy Club (Limerick)

Carrying around my 20" obsession is going to kill me,
but what a way to go. :)
+ 12"LX200, MK67, Meade2045, 4"refractor

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15 years 6 months ago #5874 by ctr
Thanks Dave

I thought it sounded too silly to work :lol:

How much are those lazer thingys?

When will Lidl stock those I wonder? :idea:

Conor

Each of us is here on earth for a reason, and each of us has a special mission to carry out - Maria Shriver

[/color]

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15 years 6 months ago #5875 by albertw

When will Lidl stock those I wonder?


not likley!

www.betapointer.com sell the 5mv green ones.

Cheers,
~Al

Albert White MSc FRAS
Chairperson, International Dark Sky Association - Irish Section
www.darksky.ie/

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15 years 6 months ago #5877 by orions neb
hi all :)

is it my imagination or is that ETX70 made out of plastic? i was looking at the picture.....that scope is plastic, the mount is most definatley made of plastic there is to much glare of it to be anything else? as for the magnification it seems like 15x is all you get for good viewing anymore than that will be no good...i shall stick to my binos and leave the cr..p where it belongs :evil: i dont know how anyone can rate this scope for any beginner. people say dont buy from catalogues or certain high street shops as usauly the equipment is poor.......well here is an example of what not to buy...guys....your saying one thing and doing another. as a beginner myself i know this item is something i should keep clear of and save the money up for a better qaulity scope dont you agree?

maybe the scope might be good? maybe not.......if the beginners out there buy this scope and there happy with it..all is well and i will eat my words...if its not good......well it wasnt me that recommened it.

my main concern is how can a supermarket sell such a scope if its the genuine item and not a immitation? dont forget xmas is comming up soon isnt this the time to avoid junk scopes for your children and yourself? maybe ive lost the plot....and you all can slag me off for being honest but im the one keeping away from junk scopes and some of you are buying them.....why? so all the advice astronomy forums/magazines and so on give about not to buy junk scopes is all false? lidl is some kind of supermarket isnt it? my wife goes there shopping sometimes for household items.....would you normally buy a scope from a shop that sells food/other things? dont think so somehow.

well.....for what its worth i wont be getting it. even if it turns out to be a great scope? i wont be sorry for not getting it. its my loss. im sorry if this post sounds rude but i had to mention my opinion. most of you will probably attack my veiws? but im not at fault here im just stating the fact about junk scopes and places where there sold. if im wrong then what does it make the astronomers that give advice about junk scopes.

i think im in for a bad day for saying what i did but im glad its of my chest and wait for the replys if any?

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15 years 6 months ago #5878 by stepryan

hi all :)

is it my imagination or is that ETX70 made out of plastic? i was looking at the picture.....that scope is plastic, the mount is most definatley made of plastic there is to much glare of it to be anything else? as for the magnification it seems like 15x is all you get for good viewing anymore than that will be no good...i shall stick to my binos and leave the cr..p where it belongs :evil: i dont know how anyone can rate this scope for any beginner. people say dont buy from catalogues or certain high street shops as usauly the equipment is poor.......well here is an example of what not to buy...guys....your saying one thing and doing another. as a beginner myself i know this item is something i should keep clear of and save the money up for a better qaulity scope dont you agree?

maybe the scope might be good? maybe not.......if the beginners out there buy this scope and there happy with it..all is well and i will eat my words...if its not good......well it wasnt me that recommened it.

my main concern is how can a supermarket sell such a scope if its the genuine item and not a immitation? dont forget xmas is comming up soon isnt this the time to avoid junk scopes for your children and yourself? maybe ive lost the plot....and you all can slag me off for being honest but im the one keeping away from junk scopes and some of you are buying them.....why? so all the advice astronomy forums/magazines and so on give about not to buy junk scopes is all false? lidl is some kind of supermarket isnt it? my wife goes there shopping sometimes for household items.....would you normally buy a scope from a shop that sells food/other things? dont think so somehow.

well.....for what its worth i wont be getting it. even if it turns out to be a great scope? i wont be sorry for not getting it. its my loss. im sorry if this post sounds rude but i had to mention my opinion. most of you will probably attack my veiws? but im not at fault here im just stating the fact about junk scopes and places where there sold. if im wrong then what does it make the astronomers that give advice about junk scopes.

i think im in for a bad day for saying what i did but im glad its of my chest and wait for the replys if any?


i think your right when you say it is made out of plastic. but for the price they are aiming at you cannot really expect too much. the thing with this scope it is coming at a great price ( priced in england at £300) and from a telescope maker that is reputable. generally you could expect their optics even at the low end to be better than the plastic lenses of a tasco scope. if they are supplying it at a low price maybe the got a large amount of themm at a good price. most telescope suppliers in europe would be order ing them in their dozens at best rather than in bulk like they could. i don't think they would risk their reputation over trying to sell a few fake telescopes particularly when they are new in the market in this country. the choice is really up to yourself. you can ignore it and save for a larger more expensive scope. most people here who are recommending it already have decent scopes and are really recommending it as a cheap second scope that is very portable and has an electronic drive and controls.
stephen.

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