Thinking of Getting Celestron NexStar 6 SE W/Accessorries

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  • Member since
    November, 2013
Thinking of Getting Celestron NexStar 6 SE W/Accessorries
Posted by teajay101 on Wednesday, November 20, 2013 8:20 AM

As a newbie to astronomy I've done quite a bit of research on buying my first telescope.  I have narrowed my choices to the Celestron NexStar 6 se and the Celestron Sky Prodigy (either the 130 or the 6).  I am strongly leaning towards the NexStar at $699 because for an additional $150 I can get the bundle (Celestron Filter and Lens kit, the Power Tank and the AC adapter).  Unfortunately the Sky Prodigy doesn't offer the bundle.  Anyway, I do have a couple of questions.  One, does anyone have any comments, good or bad, about the NexStar and two, Would I be better off buying the GPS unit to go with it.  Since this is going to be a large investment, I really want to make sure I'm getting the best bang for my buck so to speak.  I live in the country and have a very nice place to do my observing and at some point in time might like to do some astroimaging.  My main interests are in observing the moon and planets first then moving on to deep space.  Thanks.

  • Member since
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Posted by teajay101 on Wednesday, November 20, 2013 10:10 AM

Also, if anyone has a scope like the one I'm thinking of purchasing, do you have any suggestions for any other accesspories that I might need or want?

  • Member since
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Posted by Aratus on Wednesday, November 20, 2013 11:06 AM

The GPS is only really useful if you are forever changing your location.  Once you set your home coordinates the unit remembers.   If you observe from several locations, it is easy enough to have them on a piece of paper.   It is a lot of money for something which is not really needed - in my opinion.

The Celestron SE series has been going for  a while now, and is considered pretty standard.   I've never felt the need for anything different.   A power tank is handy, even if it is only used for accessories.   I would suggest a dew shield as a cheap but essential accessory.   A x2 barlow with a 8mm and 25mm eyepiece gives a good range of magnifications.

The standard range of filters can be useful, but the darker ones will be hard to use with a small telescope.  I'm pleased I have filters, but they don't get used that often.    Something like a nebula filter is used more.     

Aratus

Location:  North West Devon, UK

-------------------------------------------------

Celestron Nexstar8i (8" SCT).

Celestron Skymaster binoculars 15x70

Other:0.63 & 0.33 correctors. X2 & X4 barlow.

Imagers: Meade DSI & Celestron NexImage.  Canon EOS 550D

 

 

  • Member since
    November, 2009
Posted by Poppa Chris on Wednesday, November 20, 2013 2:13 PM

I fully agree with Aratus here, with one caveat... If you have the room in your budget for the GPS add-on, use that cash to go for the Nexstar 8SE.  You'll be a lot happier with the views it can give.  It should also come with the "kit" as Celestron is currently running its annual pre-Christmas special on this line of scopes.

---Poppa Chris---

Denham Springs, Louisiana USA

"Second star to the right - Then straight on until morning!" - Peter Pan

Celestron CPC1100GPS (XLT) - 279mm aperature, 2800mm Focal length. (f10) Celestron Ultima LX (70deg AFOV) Eyepieces 32mm thru 5mm, Canon EOS Rebel T2i DSLR, Backyard EOS imaging software, Orion Star Shoot Planetary Imager IV, Celestron Skymaster 15x70 binoculars

 

  • Member since
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Posted by teajay101 on Wednesday, November 20, 2013 3:54 PM

Thank you both Aratus and Poppa Chris for your replies and advice.  I will add the dew-shield to my order and after reflecting (no pun intended) on it, I think I will splurge the other $150 and go with the NexStar 8 SE kit.  After reading both descriptions, it says the 8 has like 73% more light gathering ability than the 6 has so....Now if I just don't have some emergency come up that requires much cash I should be fine.

 

 
  • Member since
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Posted by teajay101 on Wednesday, November 20, 2013 4:13 PM

Aratus, I noticed you have the Celestron Skymaster 15x70 binoculars.  May I ask how you like them?  Are they hard to focus or very heavy if you do any observing with them?  thanks

  • Member since
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Posted by Aratus on Wednesday, November 20, 2013 4:33 PM

The binoculars are fairly heavy, but quite usable.  They can be used with a tripod, but I tend to use them without.  They are very easy to focus, and I use them as often as the telescope.  In fact they compliment the telescope very well.   I've been very pleased with them.   I have been told that they don't take too kindly to rough treatment, but it isn't difficult to treat them well.

Poppa Chris is quite right that the upgrade from 6 inch to 8 is good value for the extra money.   An 8 inch is heavier, but managable and a significant improvement, (if you can afford it, of course)

Aratus

Location:  North West Devon, UK

-------------------------------------------------

Celestron Nexstar8i (8" SCT).

Celestron Skymaster binoculars 15x70

Other:0.63 & 0.33 correctors. X2 & X4 barlow.

Imagers: Meade DSI & Celestron NexImage.  Canon EOS 550D

 

 

  • Member since
    November, 2009
Posted by Poppa Chris on Wednesday, November 20, 2013 4:51 PM

Another "ditto" on the 15x70 Skymasters.  I use my pair a lot more than my telescope, especially in the eraly mornings when I go out to fetch my newspaper.  They are my grab & go scope.  I always use mine handlheld.  I think the trick is to hold them out near the objective lenses for better balance.  If you hold them near the what would seem like the normal gripping point thier weight tends to be an issue in trying to hold them steady.

---Poppa Chris---

Denham Springs, Louisiana USA

"Second star to the right - Then straight on until morning!" - Peter Pan

Celestron CPC1100GPS (XLT) - 279mm aperature, 2800mm Focal length. (f10) Celestron Ultima LX (70deg AFOV) Eyepieces 32mm thru 5mm, Canon EOS Rebel T2i DSLR, Backyard EOS imaging software, Orion Star Shoot Planetary Imager IV, Celestron Skymaster 15x70 binoculars

 

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  • From: PA, USA, Earth Moderator
Posted by DaveMitsky on Wednesday, November 20, 2013 6:31 PM

If you're serious about doing serious astroimaging, an 8" SCT on a German equatorial mount will be a far better, albeit more expensive, choice than a "one-armed bandit" SE.

When it comes to imaging, the quality of the mount is more important that that of the optical tube.

Dave Mitsky

Sic itur ad astra!

Chance favors the prepared mind.

A man is a small thing, and the night is very large and full of wonders.

  • Member since
    October, 2005
Posted by leo731 on Friday, November 22, 2013 4:22 PM

The Celestron C-6 is a very good SCT scope.  I have to agree with Dave that using their CGE mount will make for a far sturdier platform should you decide to do astrophotography in the future.  Also if you should decide in the future to upgrade you can trade in your C-6 for a C-8 (or larger) optical tube assembly as it will fit easily on the CGE mount saving quite a bit of money.

I use the C6 and enjoy it very much.  It is large enough to see most everything yet light enough to lug around.  I would rather not buy the GPS as it really isn't needed as your mount's computer can be set to your coordinates easily.

The AC adapter makes life so much easier when viewing from home too.

The dew shield is a must not just for retarding the formation of dew but for blocking stray light which reduces contrast as well as keeping wayward fingers and other things off your corrector plate.

Good luck,

L

A nebula in the eyepiece is worth two in the Atlas.

B.G
  • Member since
    December, 2013
Posted by B.G on Thursday, December 05, 2013 12:54 PM

teajay101 i have had the 6se for about 4-5 years and it is a great scope you will need a battery because draws alott of power it is easy to set up and with the use of the three star alingment skyalign the closer you center the stars the better the alignment you do not need a GPS even if you go to differant places they are easy to find on the internet or if you have a gps in your car you use for dirrections will tell you your location after a few set ups it will take about 15-20 minutes to set  up and even if what you are looking for is not centered it will be close enough for you to find  in my club the people that look thru my scope are amazed at what and how the image looks. even if i had do to all over again with what i no now i would have gotten the same scope again PS. you need to level the tripod as close as you can so you will need to buy a round bubble level    

B.G.

  • Member since
    November, 2013
Posted by teajay101 on Thursday, December 05, 2013 2:18 PM

Thanks BG  (and all who have responded to my post)  I took the plunge and ordered the scope and accessory kit Tuesday and can"t wait for it to arrive!  Now tho, they're calling for an ice storm for here tonight so it might be delayed for a while.  Just my luck  lol. 

 

  • Member since
    November, 2009
Posted by Poppa Chris on Thursday, December 05, 2013 2:32 PM

You're welcome!  Now don't keep us in suspense.  Exactly what did you buy?

---Poppa Chris---

Denham Springs, Louisiana USA

"Second star to the right - Then straight on until morning!" - Peter Pan

Celestron CPC1100GPS (XLT) - 279mm aperature, 2800mm Focal length. (f10) Celestron Ultima LX (70deg AFOV) Eyepieces 32mm thru 5mm, Canon EOS Rebel T2i DSLR, Backyard EOS imaging software, Orion Star Shoot Planetary Imager IV, Celestron Skymaster 15x70 binoculars

 

  • Member since
    November, 2013
Posted by teajay101 on Thursday, December 05, 2013 4:31 PM

Lol.  Ok, I decided to go with the Celestron Nexstar 6 SE, the lens and filter accessory kit, the portable power tank, the dew shield, the AC adapter and the Telrad reflex sight.  It was a good deal for the scope and accessories then bought the dew shield and Telrad seperately.  Guess you could say I treated myself to an early Christmas gift!  Anyways, when they arrive and I'm able to actually use them (after this weather clears up)  I'll report back with details on my using them.  Also, do you think joining an astronomy club would be helpful?  It looks like there's only one here in central Arkansas and I'm not sure if it's worth joining or not.  What do you think?

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  • From: PA, USA, Earth Moderator
Posted by DaveMitsky on Thursday, December 05, 2013 7:16 PM

I've belonged to five different astronomy clubs over the years and overall the experience has been very positive.  

It wouldn't hurt to attend a meeting or two to see if the club's geared towards helping its members, novices in particular, or is overly concerned with things like Robert's Rules of Order or public outreach.

Dave Mitsky

Sic itur ad astra!

Chance favors the prepared mind.

A man is a small thing, and the night is very large and full of wonders.

  • Member since
    November, 2009
Posted by Poppa Chris on Friday, December 06, 2013 6:20 AM

teajay101

Lol.  Ok, I decided to go with the Celestron Nexstar 6 SE, the lens and filter accessory kit, the portable power tank, the dew shield, the AC adapter and the Telrad reflex sight.  It was a good deal for the scope and accessories then bought the dew shield and Telrad seperately.  Guess you could say I treated myself to an early Christmas gift!  Anyways, when they arrive and I'm able to actually use them (after this weather clears up)  I'll report back with details on my using them.  Also, do you think joining an astronomy club would be helpful?  It looks like there's only one here in central Arkansas and I'm not sure if it's worth joining or not.  What do you think?

 

Central Arkansas!?!  Man some of the best dark sky I've ever experienced was just above Russellville.  Go past Dover on old Hwy 7 to the Long Pool Recreation Area (Big Piney Creek).  The is a large paved parking lot at the campsites that is just perfect for viewing.  I try to take a little pride in star-hopping skills but in this case there were so many bright stars I just got lost in the crowd! It's a trip I make every spring with some buddies to go whitewater canoeing (or just camping in my case since I'm getting a bit long in the tooth for the rigorous stuff)  The other guys have asked me to bring my CPC1100 up there, but I have balked at it a bit since it is a 450 mile trip for me to get there from south Louisiana.  But I think the Spring 2013 trip has changed my mind for 2014...

 

PS:  Why not check the club out?  Every club I've ever known allows visitors as a recruiting tool.  All you can lose is a couple of hours of your time.

 

---Poppa Chris---

Denham Springs, Louisiana USA

"Second star to the right - Then straight on until morning!" - Peter Pan

Celestron CPC1100GPS (XLT) - 279mm aperature, 2800mm Focal length. (f10) Celestron Ultima LX (70deg AFOV) Eyepieces 32mm thru 5mm, Canon EOS Rebel T2i DSLR, Backyard EOS imaging software, Orion Star Shoot Planetary Imager IV, Celestron Skymaster 15x70 binoculars

 

  • Member since
    November, 2013
Posted by teajay101 on Friday, December 06, 2013 7:11 AM

Thanks Poppa Chris, I'll give the club some consideration.  Thanks, too, for the tip about Long Pool Recreation Area.  It's only about an hour or so from my house so I'll definetly check it out.  There are several areas here that are close by me that I would like to check out thus why I'm considering the GPS unit for the scope.  I know of some other secluded areas where the viewing should be great and without a GPS I don't know what co-ordinates that I should enter.  Maybe a hand held unit would work?  (And save some money as well)

 

 

 

 

 

  • Member since
    November, 2009
Posted by Poppa Chris on Friday, December 06, 2013 8:23 AM

The handheld GPS will work fine.  You can enter its time and coordinates into your scopes hand controller.  Plus you'll get to use it for other activities than just astronomy.

Let me know what you think about Long Pool if you go and check it out.  My group usually goes there in April and stays there for a full week.

---Poppa Chris---

Denham Springs, Louisiana USA

"Second star to the right - Then straight on until morning!" - Peter Pan

Celestron CPC1100GPS (XLT) - 279mm aperature, 2800mm Focal length. (f10) Celestron Ultima LX (70deg AFOV) Eyepieces 32mm thru 5mm, Canon EOS Rebel T2i DSLR, Backyard EOS imaging software, Orion Star Shoot Planetary Imager IV, Celestron Skymaster 15x70 binoculars

 

  • Member since
    November, 2013
Posted by teajay101 on Friday, December 06, 2013 8:35 AM

Thanks for the info about the GPS and the viewing site.  I will definetly let you know about it as soon as the weather clears and I'm able to go.  Also, can anyone come visit your group when you go in April or is for your group only?

 

 

"The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step."  Old Chinese Proverb

  • Member since
    November, 2009
Posted by Poppa Chris on Friday, December 06, 2013 8:58 AM

[/quote]

teajay101

Thanks for the info about the GPS and the viewing site.  I will definetly let you know about it as soon as the weather clears and I'm able to go.  Also, can anyone come visit your group when you go in April or is for your group only?

 

 

"The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step."  Old Chinese Proverb

 

 

We'd be glad to have you in camp.  I'll send you a Private Message when it gets closer  (it's always in April) and give you some more details.  It is primative camping, so if you plan on staying overnight for the dark sky you'll need a tent, etc.  Plus, if you decide to show up, you won't leave hungry!!!

Big Smile

---Poppa Chris---

Denham Springs, Louisiana USA

"Second star to the right - Then straight on until morning!" - Peter Pan

Celestron CPC1100GPS (XLT) - 279mm aperature, 2800mm Focal length. (f10) Celestron Ultima LX (70deg AFOV) Eyepieces 32mm thru 5mm, Canon EOS Rebel T2i DSLR, Backyard EOS imaging software, Orion Star Shoot Planetary Imager IV, Celestron Skymaster 15x70 binoculars

 

  • Member since
    December, 2013
Posted by Radar on Friday, December 06, 2013 4:45 PM

Dear Friend:

I have a Nexstar 6" and I am very happy with it.  I got the kit with eyepieces, power tank and a/c adapter.  I also got the semi hard case  and dew shield.   You don't need the gps really.  I put everything on a luggage cart and call myself the self contained astronomer.  You can't do that with an 8" but the light gathering ability gives me aperture envy.

my next purchased will be for better eyepieces.  and you can read a lot of reviews at telescopes.com.  Some of the problems listed in the reviews have been fixed.  If you intend to set up the scope in one location the 8" is the way to go.

  • Member since
    November, 2013
Posted by teajay101 on Friday, December 06, 2013 5:45 PM

Thanks Radar.  I started out by settling on the 6se but then decided to go with the 8".  However, after thinking about it for a while, I went back to the 6" and that is what I wound up ordering.  My reasoning was that I do plan on going to different locations for my observing instead of just here at my house (Can't wait to take it to Pensacola with me this summer!) and I will probably wind up giving it to one of my grandsons that is very interested in astronomy and getting myself a larger one later on, either an 8" or possibly larger.  I don't own a GPS of any kind and have never used one but I have read that inputting longitude and latitude into the controller is far more accurate than just inputting the name of  the closeest town where you observe.  Anyway, that is an item that's going to have to wait for a little while right now.

 

And as my luck would have it, I ordered this Tuesday and it was scheduled to be delivered today but due to the ice storm we're having here, it is sitting in the FedEx facility in Little Rock and don't know when they'll be able to get it out here to me!  lol.

  • Member since
    November, 2009
Posted by Poppa Chris on Saturday, December 07, 2013 7:50 AM

Minor "head's up" that shouldn't stop you from trying, but just to temper your expectations...

Pensacola, for that matter Gulf Shores eastward to Destin, the light pollution is pretty bad (personal observation).  While it can be dealt with through filters, it definitely won't be up to snuff with the great skies you can get within an hour of your home base in Arkansas.  All the salt and humidity in the seashore air seems to exacerbate the situation.

 

The above being said, go for it!  Nothing like finding out for yourself what your astronomy kit can do for you. It's part of the fun of the hobby after all.

---Poppa Chris---

Denham Springs, Louisiana USA

"Second star to the right - Then straight on until morning!" - Peter Pan

Celestron CPC1100GPS (XLT) - 279mm aperature, 2800mm Focal length. (f10) Celestron Ultima LX (70deg AFOV) Eyepieces 32mm thru 5mm, Canon EOS Rebel T2i DSLR, Backyard EOS imaging software, Orion Star Shoot Planetary Imager IV, Celestron Skymaster 15x70 binoculars

 

  • Member since
    November, 2013
Posted by teajay101 on Saturday, December 07, 2013 8:16 AM

That's true about the light pollution but there are a few spots along the coast from Pensacola to Navarre that have a semblance of dark skys where I hope to be able to set up and observe.  If not, I'll travel on down the coast past Destin to some (hopefully) dark areas.  However, I hadn't thought about the humidity and salt in the air.  I'll have to be extremely careful as I don't want to ruin the optics or the electronics.  Do you have any suggestions about the best way to protect the equipment from the salt and humidity?  I'd really like to try observing there but not at the cost of ruining my scope.

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  • From: PA, USA, Earth Moderator
Posted by DaveMitsky on Saturday, December 07, 2013 3:43 PM

They're quite a distance from Destin but you may want to try the Chiefland Astronomy Village sometime or the Cedar Keys Star Party, if they have one in 2015.

http://www.cav-sfo.com/CAV-ChieflandObserversWelcome.html

http://www.cedarkey.org/events.php

http://www.gotastronomy.com/Cedar_Key.htm

Dave Mitsky

Sic itur ad astra!

Chance favors the prepared mind.

A man is a small thing, and the night is very large and full of wonders.

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