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Which scope for a beginner? Meade DS-2130ATS-LNT vs Meade ETX-80AT-TC?

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#1 glenn



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Posted 08 October 2013 - 03:10 AM


I'm new to this, and would like to get a simple telescope which will be able to view galaxies and stars far away. I would like as much details as possible for a reasonable price.

I would want the scope to be a nice entry/beginner scope, but still be able to give excitement as the user gets more into the hobby. In other words, a beginner/intermediate scope.

Meade seems to be offering what I want in terms of size. We have a very tiny apartment, and it should be easy to put it in a suitcase or bag, and these two seems to fit our size needs.

They are fairly different telescopes, and as I have no experience, I need some help in deciding which of these would be best. The DS seems to be able to handle objects further away. Am I correct?

Also does the included AutoStar Suiteā„¢ Astronomer Edition support Mac? (OS X 10.8 / 10.9)

#2 MistrBadgr


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Posted 08 October 2013 - 02:49 PM

Hello and welcome to the forum!

As a disclaimer, I have never used either of these scopes, so I am working from general knowledge and a little from what other people have told me. I really have not heard any serious complaints about the recent productions of either one of these. I do have a little more hesitancy with the 2130, simply due to the basic nature of its design. However, it does seem to work well when properly set up.

With the DS 2130, you should be able to detect dimmer objects than with the ETX 80. The ETX 80 will give a wider field of view. I am not sure which one will give you the better resolution. Each has its strengths and weaknesses that enter into how each will perform. The ETX will, by its nature, be simpler for a beginner to maintain. You do not have to know anything about collimation (internal mirror and lens alignment) with the ETX 80, but you will with the DS 2130.

Light gathering power goes up with the area of the mirror or lens. Comparing a reflecting type scope with a true refractor is a little more difficult, due to the reflector having a mirror and its spider in the light path. However, the DS 2130 should have more than double the light gathering power of the ETX 80.

I believe the ETX 80 can function without a tripod, like on a table top, but I do not think the DS 2130 will be able to. The ETX 80 will be easier to carry around and transport.

All Meade software is written for a PC and not a Mac. Some people have been able to get AutoStar Suite to run in a PC environment on a Mac, but I do not have a Mac, so cannot tell you about it.

Hope this helps,

Bill Steen
Bill Steen, Sky Hunters' Haven Observatory, Broken Arrow, Oklahoma

#3 glenn



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Posted 08 October 2013 - 11:54 PM

Thank you for your help!

I should be as portable as possible. There is some light pollution here, so we will most likely use it for near objects when at home, and bring it with us in the car and drive outside town for other objects.

I'm leaning towards the ETX 80 due to the fact that it is easier to start with, and as you point out, will most likely be usable without the tripod.

But will you f.ex. be able to see a galaxy with good details, or see nebulas with great color and detail with the ETX 80? Will you be able to see it with the naked eye, or will you need to attach a camera to it, and use long shutter time etc?

Sorry for these newbie questions, but I have no experience with this.

Maybe you could recommend a different scope as well? It should be easy to use, 5 min setup, and low maintenance.

The reason for wanting to buy a scope is that I've seen a bunch of objects on pictures, but seeing one yourself with a scope, I can imagine is a whole different experience. I'm thinking of investing in a good DSLR camera later on, so it would be nice to be able to mount the camera easily to the scope as well, without to much expensive adapters.

The possibility for mounting a camera/camera house and hooking it directly up to a big screen laptop would be even better. Live view on a big screen :)

#4 d33d0gg


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Posted 09 October 2013 - 06:20 AM


This is a list of what you should be able to see with differing types of telescopes.

Meade does make an eyepiece that you can hook to your tv video in jack, it is not listed on their store anymore but sure you could find it on ebay if need be. People also use webcams etc.

Also, there is a user on this forum Stew57, that gets really good results with is ETX80 (see link below)


LX200GPS 12"


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