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ABC Products® USB to 9 Pin DB9 / Serial / RS-232 / RS232 Converter Convertor Adapter Adaptor Cable Cord Lead for PDA SAT NAV Barcode etc Prolific Chipset PL2303RA, for PC and MAC Supports WIN 98SE, 2000, XP, Vista, 7, 8, MAC os V8.6~9.2 or Higher etc
ABC Products® USB to 9 Pin DB9 / Serial / RS-232 / RS232 Converter Convertor Adapter Adaptor Cable Cord Lead for PDA SAT NAV Barcode etc Prolific Chipset PL2303RA, for PC and MAC Supports WIN 98SE, 2000, XP, Vista, 7, 8, MAC os V8.6~9.2 or Higher etc
Offered by abcproducts
Price: £8.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Works with ASCOM/HEQ5 pro syntrek, 22 Jan. 2012
Good quality inexpensive cable, works fine with ASCOM drivers to control an HEQ5 Pro via the handset from the laptop, which is what I bought it for.

Celestron 130EQ Astromaster Reflector Telescope
Celestron 130EQ Astromaster Reflector Telescope
Price: £129.99

107 of 115 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good first telescope, 20 Nov. 2011
This telescope is good value for money, I've had one for a year and enjoy it, but you will need to understand what you're buying. Downsides first.

- There is no motorised drive on this telescope, so you will need to manually adjust it yourself. This isn't a big deal when you are looking for obvious objects in the sky such as the Moon, Jupiter, Mars and so on, but it will take a bit of practise to get what you want in the viewfinder. It's an obvious point, but the things are you looking at will move across the sky, so if you plan to observe it at a high magnification for a few minutes you'll need to keep adjusting the scope to keep it in view.

- The telescope will wobble a bit when you're adjusting the position or focus of the scope. This means you adjust the position, then wait for a few seconds while it settles, before the image is clear. This is slightly annoying when you're using a high magnification as the wobble is more pronounced.

- If you're looking for a deep space object like the andromeda galaxy or the great nebula in orion, expect to see some grey cloudly blobs. You won't be able to use magnification on those to see them better with this scope due to the way your eyes work, and the width of the telescope to collect that very dim light. Again due to how your eyes work, if you look indirectly at these objects they will appear brighter, which can be a bit odd to try and deal with.

The positive points:

- If you want to see the moon in more detail, this scope can do the job. You will be able to see Jupiter and it's moons with the supplied eyepieces as long as you're not in a heavily light polluted area (look up in the night sky when it's cloudy, if you see orange clouds due to the reflection of the streetlights on them, that's your first clue). Jupiter will look like a white blob, but with the 10x eyepiece you may be able to see some of the darker cloud bands on the planet. You can see Saturn and its rings, although this will not appear larger than a pea with a single ring viewable around it with the supplied eyepieces.

- It's portable enough to collapse the tripod and the telescope into the back of the car and drive somewhere that's less light polluted. You can also move it around from the shed/garage to the garden without too much trouble.

- You can also grab apps for your smartphone (both the android and the iphone have them) that will allow you to point your phone at the sky and it'll tell you what you're pointing at. Then you can follow through with adjusting the scope to point at the object you've identified with the phone.

- The tripod legs are of adjustable height. This is of particular value if you have children who want a look in the eyepiece to check out that shiny star or just look at a planet.

- There are a few small things you can obtain to "upgrade" this scope and these are also purchasable from Amazon. Things that I've bought over time are

(a) Celestron 2x Barlow lens for additional magnification when looking at planets. This gives you four magnification combinations as you basically attach your eyepiece to this and it doubles the magnification. For example with this and looking at Jupiter, you can definitely see the cloud bands although these will appear in black and white to your eyes.

(b) A Moon filter. This screws on the bottom of your supplied eyepieces and gives a green tint over everything. This is useful when you want to stare at the moon for a few minutes because your eyes will start to hurt a bit from the glare of the reflected sunlight.

(c) If you want to do a bit of cheap astrophotography, you can use this scope as a starting point to get a feel for it. Since digitcal cameras work differently to your eyeballs, you'll be able to get colour on the planets that before just looked white to your eyes. My philips SPC880 webcam (flashed to a 900) with a 1.25" webcam adaptor and some free software like Registax was around 40 quid, and provides pretty reasonable photos of the larger/closer planets.

Since England isn't the most naturally cloud-free country, although I've had this scope for nearly a year I only end up using it a few times a month when the skies are clear in the night. This in itself means that it's something to look forward to, stargazing doesn't really get "old" and with the odd upgrade the scope has quite a long lifetime. For the discounted price, if you're looking to get a foothold in some stargazing, it's worth a punt and there's a few relatively inexpensive addons you can get along the way to help.

If you want super clear colour images of planets and very clear deep space object pictures, you will have to shell out a lot more cash :)
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