This is a hobby I have not really gone into any detail about here yet but one that I have invested quite a bit of time and money in for a few years now. Time to put that right.
My first telescope was a Celestron 8SE, a decision that I deliberated over for quite a while as I wasn’t getting what I wanted out of binoculars for one reason or another. The 8SE is an 8″ Schmidt-Cassegrain Telescope, or SCT, which is a fairly decent size for a first telescope and a keeper for some time to come; the electronic goto mount was the weakest part and that has now gone (sold it to someone who uses it for solar observing with a much smaller telescope), the problems with the 8SE goto mount were mainly that it was at the weight and size limit for the 8SE Optical Tube Assembly, or OTA, and there was no room to add more parts to the 8SE such as a different focuser or big heavy eyepieces and diagonals, there just wasn’t the room or stability. Another thing that I found disappointing was the power socket for an external 12v supply – despite several attempts to cure it I just could not prevent it from dropping the power mid-session, this was due to the poor contacts inherent in the design of the chosen socket; maybe not all of them suffered from this but mine did with the socket that was fitted so I replaced it for a BNC, very secure and never faltered again, although by the time I finished that modification I was ready to sell the mount as I had already switched to using a bigger manual mount that could accommodate all of the extras I had fitted to the 8SE OTA, but more on that power socket modification in another post.
The 8SE OTA is a great scope for lunar and planetary observing, and bright objects that you want to get zoomed right up to, it is not so great for dim wide field objects such as faint nebula although it certainly works well on the Orion Nebula and Andromeda Galaxy as they happen to be the brightest of their kind.
The replacement mount I spoke of earlier is a Skywatcher NEQ6 Pro SynTrek, a non-goto guiding mount that can handle a lot of weight and size, although the largest scope I have fitted to it to date is the 8SE it should easily be able to handle a 9.25, 11, or 12 inch SCT should I choose to upgrade to one in the future, so it was an investment really.
Since starting out with the 8SE I have purchased several other telescopes, mounts, and binoculars, all with specific purposes and specialities in mind, as well as ancillary pieces of equipment that all aid in the enjoyment of the hobby.
That’s all for now, more when I can be bothered!