AstroMaster 114 EQ or PowerSeeker 127 EQ

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  • Member since
    May, 2005
AstroMaster 114 EQ or PowerSeeker 127 EQ
Posted by Anonymous on Friday, March 28, 2008 11:59 AM

Hi,

Does anyone have any recommendations on these two telescopes?  It seems like the 127eq is a better deal. There is only a a $4.00 difference between the two on Telescopes.com

 

Thank You

Scuba

  • Member since
    July, 2003
  • From: Eastern SD.
Posted by johnjohnson on Friday, March 28, 2008 12:19 PM

ScubaSteve,

Pass on both of these telescopes. They have spherical mirrors and a corrector built in to the focuser. Look for a telescope with a parabolic mirror. In the 5" class this telescope can't be beat. It might be a little more than you wanted to pay but it is "You get what you pay for" kind of thing.

http://www.telescope.com/control/product/~category_id=reflectors/~pcategory=telescopes/~product_id=09851 

20" F5 Obsession, OMI mirror .987 Strehl. 10" F4.7 reflector. 6" F5 ST reflector. 120mm F7.5 EON. 80mm F11.3 guide scope. SkyWatcher EQ-6 Hyper Tuned.   Flicker Astro Site   More Astro Images

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  • Member since
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Posted by zachsdad on Friday, March 28, 2008 12:26 PM

My first scope was the Powerseeker 127EQ.  It is a solidly built easy to use set-up that I was quite happy with.  I replaced it due to aperture fever rather than any short-comings of the scope.  The mount is sturdy and moved smoothly.  Collimating it was a bit tricky because they use rather small, cheap phillips head screws, but at the price-point I didn't have a complaint.  If I were you I would consider getting an eyepiece set to go along with the scope since the 4mm (250x) eyepiece that comes with the scope pushes the theoretical limit of the scope's 5" optics.

With it, from my backyard in a fairly dark area, I saw most of the Messier objects, Jupiter's Great Red Spot, and some great views of the moon.  Here is a shot I took through the 127EQ with a 32mm (31x) eyepiece and a point-and-shoot digital camera:

mymoon.jpg picture by Tdurbin51

Hope this helps.

(Update)  JJ's right.  The scope he's recomending is well worth the extra cost.

Terry's Law of Cosmology: "Light travels faster than sound. That's why some people appear bright until you hear them speak."

18" Obsession Classic dob #1665

10" Orion Skyquest Classic dob

 120mm Orion ST achromat

15 X 70 celestron Skymaster binoculars

  • Member since
    May, 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Friday, March 28, 2008 12:57 PM

Thank you for the info. My intent for the telecope is primarly for my twin 7 yr olds and myself for fun and learning. They have begun to show interest in astronomy and i was thinking that one of those two scopes would be good for that purpose.  Plus, I can keep my wife happy with the price.

Thanks again!

  • Member since
    April, 2008
Posted by GKR78 on Sunday, April 06, 2008 2:18 PM

Please look at something else, I bought the PowerSeeker 127 and spent what seemed like forever trying to collimate it, still it sits in the closet 2 years later waiting for me to bash like a pinata!!!

CPC 1100 XLT C80ED CG5GT Star Hoc 90mm Achro 20X80mm Binos Neximager 3.5mm Stratus, 5mm-24mm Hyperions
  • Member since
    June, 2008
Posted by Astromaster on Wednesday, June 04, 2008 10:40 AM

This post is rather old, so this may not help the poster, but it may help others looking for information about these scopes.

 I was recently in this debate for a beginner scope, and I chose the Astromaster 130EQ. 5" 650mm Focal Length F5. To be honest, I chose the Astromaster because of it's looks, over the powerseeker. You should never base your purchase on aesthetics, but similar price + similar size usualy = similar quality. But I was very surprised at how well it performs. It has a CG-3 mount, and Celestron has recently released a motor drive for the R.A axis, which is nice. Naked eye, using an O-III filter, I was easily able to see the Orion Nebula (M42) from light polluted skies. Granted not the whole thing, but who can?

Since I have never used the powerseeker telescopes, I haven't any information on them, but it seems to me that the Astromaster series are the 'new version' of the Powerseeker, and they may discontinue the Powerseeker line eventually.

 As for what the gentleman above said about the sperical mirror and corrector plate, I don't think this is true. At least not for MY Astromaster. I was a bit scared when I read that so I shoved a pen through my eyepiece, and bohold, no corrector plate. The mirror in the 130 is parabolic.

I haven't got a camera yet (Just ordered a SPC900NC), but when I do, I will post pictures.

 I purchased the telescope on sale for $179 from the site below. The price seems to have gone up since, so I'd look around or wait a bit for a sale.

Clear skies.

http://www.opticsplanet.net/celestron-astromaster-130-eq-reflector-telescope-31045.html

The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift - Albert Einstein
  • Member since
    November, 2003
Posted by Ripps1 on Wednesday, June 04, 2008 12:50 PM

 I'm at a bit of a loss here. How can the PowerSeeker 127 EQ have a 40" focal length in a 20" tube and have no corrector lens ?

GATEWAY ASTRO - a boring but worthwhile site for St. Louis area amateurs. http://groups.yahoo.com/group/gag_astro 15x70 Oberwerk 4.25" StarBlast TV102 C8 18" Obsession w/Sky Commander
  • Member since
    June, 2008
Posted by Astromaster on Wednesday, June 04, 2008 5:51 PM

I guess there must be a corrector lens in the Powerseeker.

I recommend going with the Astromaster 130 EQ instead. Especially if you plan to do any photography with it, since it's fairly fast (F5).

The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift - Albert Einstein
  • Member since
    May, 2008
Posted by StarNerd on Wednesday, June 04, 2008 10:41 PM

Astromaster
... I chose the Astromaster 130EQ. 5" 650mm Focal Length F5 ... As for what the gentleman above said about the sperical mirror and corrector plate, I don't think this is true. At least not for MY Astromaster. I was a bit scared when I read that so I shoved a pen through my eyepiece, and bohold, no corrector plate. The mirror in the 130 is parabolic.

Hi.  I was just talking about this topic in a different thread "Telescopes I'm considering (first-timer)" by Dakrat05.  You can tell by comparing the focal length to the OTA length.  If the focal length is in the neighborhood of double the optical tube length, then expect a corrector plate.  BTW, this is true only for reflector telescopes - Cassegrains are different.  If the focal length and OTA length are similar, then I would not expect a corrector plate.  The AstroMaster 130EQ has a 650mm focal length in a 24-inch (610mm) tube.  The additional 40mm presumably is accounted for by reflecting the light into the focuser.  So, you wouldn't expect to find a corrector plate.

Ripps1
I'm at a bit of a loss here. How can the PowerSeeker 127 EQ have a 40" focal length in a 20" tube and have no corrector lens ?

The PowerSeeker *must* have a corrector plate.  But the AstroMaster 130EQ does not.

I don't own either of these two scopes, but I had a similar experience with the Meade DS-2114 ATS which has a 1000mm focal length in an 18-inch (457mm) tube.  I removed that tube and got a 38-inch (965mm) DS-2130 long tube with a focal length of 1020mm.  I think it was a small improvement, but I can't see the Cassini division, for example, through either tube.  The long tube is still spherical, so maybe that's it, or maybe it needs collimation.

Hey Astromaster, can you see the Cassini division through your Astromaster 130EQ?

Thanks.

-StarNerd

Zhumell Z12 12" F/4.9 Dob with Telrad+8X50 RACI Finder Home-built 5" F/5 on a DS-2000 Go-To Mount with Red Dot Finder Baader Hyperion Eyepieces (24mm, 21mm, 17mm, 13mm, 8mm, 5mm, 3.5mm) Baader Hyperion Aspheric Eyepieces (36mm, 31mm) 16x50 Bushnell Binoculars
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Posted by Astromaster on Thursday, June 05, 2008 11:00 AM

That's a good question.

The maximum power I can reach with my current setup is 325x with 4mm + 2x barlow. Amazingly Saturn is very clear, but the rings are at a very low angle. Something like this:

  

 

 

So because of the angle it's at, it would be very hard to see the cassini division right now. You can see it in the picture, but it's a stacked CCD image, so detail is much easier to see. Because of the clarity if the optics at this magnification, I would think that it is possilbe to see the cassini division with the Astromaster 130eq, but I don't have first hand experience. However, I still have not had a great chance to look at Saturn on a good night. It's been cloudy here for almost the past week, so I've only taken out the scope once this week, and I was too busy looking for M104 to care about Saturn. But, I just got my Phillips SPC900NC camera. Before I do the long exposure mod, I want to get some pictures of planets just in case I destroy the camera in the process. So, my first clear night, I will be out from dusk till dawn trying to get the best of Saturn, Jupiter, and maybe Mars. Though I'm going to need a more powerful Barlow for Mars. So I'll post my results here.

Clear skies!

The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift - Albert Einstein
  • Member since
    May, 2008
Posted by StarNerd on Thursday, June 05, 2008 1:26 PM

I'd be curious to know.  But, you're right about the rings being at a low angle so it's a tougher test for the optics.

I'm curious because I have the same aperature (130mm) but a longer focal length (1020mm) but I have a spherical mirror not parabolic.  I've heard it said (in some forum, might have been this one, I forget) that at longer focal ratios (mine's ~f/8) and smaller aperatures spherical approximates parabolic well enough that they are the same.  In larger aperatures or shorter focal ratios (or both) this approximation breaks down and spherical abberation becomes noticable.

I thought that the Cassini division is a good optics test and if you could see it and I can't, barring Light Pollution (which shouldn't be a factor for planetary viewing, if I understand correctly) then it's either (1) my collimation is off or (2) spherical abberation.  It could be the atmosphere, but I've made attempts on some pretty clear nights.

When I put a 2x barlow with a 6.4mm plossl eyepiece, I get 319x out of mine and Saturn's just too blurry to see and I can't even focus.  Even when I back off to 2x barlow and 9.7mm plossl I get 210x it's blurry and I can't make out any detail.

Here's approximately what I see

Saturn

I shot this with a digital point 'n shoot duct-taped to the eyepiece.  I barely make out the shadow of the ring on the surface of the planet, but no other detail.

I couldn't make out any detail on Mars either, even when it was in opposition last December.  And, the pictures I took were horrible.

-StarNerd

Zhumell Z12 12" F/4.9 Dob with Telrad+8X50 RACI Finder Home-built 5" F/5 on a DS-2000 Go-To Mount with Red Dot Finder Baader Hyperion Eyepieces (24mm, 21mm, 17mm, 13mm, 8mm, 5mm, 3.5mm) Baader Hyperion Aspheric Eyepieces (36mm, 31mm) 16x50 Bushnell Binoculars
  • Member since
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Posted by Astromaster on Thursday, June 05, 2008 2:29 PM

Actually, what I see is very close to that. Maybe a bit clearer, but that could be due to the camera you used. I found, when the telescope was out of collimation, if you stick the planet in the right spot (off centre), it will be very clear, then while it moves off to the centre and to the other edge is gets more and more out of focus, so collimation has a lot to do with your ability to focus.

It looks like I'll have a good chance to picture it tomorrow night before midnight:

http://cleardarksky.com/c/Londonkey.html?1

I'll post my results using an SPC900NC taped to the focuser using a 35mm film canister.

Clear skies.

The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift - Albert Einstein
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Posted by zachsdad on Thursday, June 05, 2008 2:49 PM

Remember the maximum magnification your 5" scopes are capable of is 250X (50X per inch of aperture) and that's only going to be possible on the very best nights.  Above that point you will not achieve focus.

Terry's Law of Cosmology: "Light travels faster than sound. That's why some people appear bright until you hear them speak."

18" Obsession Classic dob #1665

10" Orion Skyquest Classic dob

 120mm Orion ST achromat

15 X 70 celestron Skymaster binoculars

  • Member since
    June, 2008
Posted by Astromaster on Thursday, June 05, 2008 3:57 PM

You're absolutely right Zachsdad. Eventually I plan to upgrade to a 9.25" SCT, but right now I can't afford to spend thousands on a telescope,  now matter how much I want to. So for now I'm going to push this little thing to it's maximum and beyond.

Looking at Saturn at around 217x it appears much clearer, but it is so small that you cannot see any detail. When I push it to 325x, though it is much harder to achieve focus, it is easier to see the space between the planet and the rings, and even though it is past it's maximum, it is incredibly clear for a 'cheap' telescope.

When I get some clear skies, I will only be able to take pictures at 2 magnifications; 163x, and 325x because the CCD chip is approx. 4x4mm, and I only have a 2x barlow. However, unscrewing the lense from the bottom of the barlow, and screwing it on to an eyepiece achieves 1.5x, so 244x is possible once that camera adapter shows up in the mail.

 

The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift - Albert Einstein
  • Member since
    May, 2008
Posted by StarNerd on Thursday, June 05, 2008 9:19 PM

zachsdad
Remember the maximum magnification your 5" scopes are capable of is 250X (50X per inch of aperture) and that's only going to be possible on the very best nights.  Above that point you will not achieve focus.

You are absolutely correct.  Actually, I can't seem to focus anywhere above 200x.  159x looks nice (no barlow, 6.4mm plossl EP).  210x it's still blurry (2x barlow and 9.7mm plossl) and 319x is right out (2x barlow and 6.4mm)!

You've got to try it though.

-StarNerd

 

Zhumell Z12 12" F/4.9 Dob with Telrad+8X50 RACI Finder Home-built 5" F/5 on a DS-2000 Go-To Mount with Red Dot Finder Baader Hyperion Eyepieces (24mm, 21mm, 17mm, 13mm, 8mm, 5mm, 3.5mm) Baader Hyperion Aspheric Eyepieces (36mm, 31mm) 16x50 Bushnell Binoculars

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