A Guide to the Sky, Telescopes, and Telescope Programs
There are recommendations all over the web comparing, evaluating and recommending astronomy equipment and accessories. A good portion of this website talks about equipment suitable for an inexpensive telescope program.
This page contains my personal recommendations for or comments about "fun" equipment. I share what I'm liking, suiting my interest and perhaps narrow needs. It's not intended to be a comparison of a product and its competitors. My intent it to highlight items that unique and without direct competitors.
I refrained from calling this page the "Toys" page, because, if I'm being honest, every piece of astronomy equipment falls into the "Toy" category. My focus here is for "non-essential" stuff that is primarily "fun". For example, I love my Nagler 31, but that eyepiece is essential and wondrous. It is fun, but it is fundamentally a serious thing.
My initial recommendations are:
The Nexus is more of a "new" thing, than a "fun" thing, but I really love it. The future of controlling your telescopes is the smartphone or, preferably, a tablet. The Nexus essentially connects your mount wirelessly to your iPad or tablet.
If a picture is worth a thousand words, then look at this picture below and answer this question:
which interface is more intuitive?
Hand-held, character-based menu navigators are obsolete; an immersive, telescope-tracking map is the future.
There are proprietary wireless devices that connect your old school LCD-text hand controller (and generally only that brand) to your tablet, but the Nexus allows you to go straight from the telescope's encoders to your smart device. Before buying a WiFi device built for your specific telescope, consider the Nexus. It's a better investment, because it works for almost anything.
I have three scopes/mounts with encoders that work with varying old-school hand controllers. I can use my Nexus with any of them. The only time I use a hand computer is if I'm running two scopes at the same time.
Questions or comments? Email:Jeff Martin