103 of 109 people found the following review helpful
on October 6, 2005
I had a chance to use this telescope at a friends house and I was impressed at everything that came with the telescope especially after he told me what he paid for it. First of all, it came with a 4.5" reflector and as a rule, aperture rules. A 4.5" telescope can deliver good planetary images and faint deep sky objects. When I first looked it over, it was a little shaky but I discovered that he did not tighten properly. After going through and tightening the screws and bolts, it was ready for use. The included eyepiece 20mm was great at 45x and with the use of the 3x barlow produced 225x. 225x I feel is too much. 225x is too much for most scopes and sky conditions.
With the 20mm 45x eyepiece, I can clearly see Jupiter with its moons and Mars with its ice cap. I highly recommend getting the accessory kits so that you can get various magnifications and get more visual detail.
The equatorial mount was a bonus as it made tracking the celestial and planetary objects easier. Once you have used a telescope, you will clearly see that having an equatorial mount is so useful.
This is a good starter scope for someone who wants more of an astronomical telescope. You get a lot of scope, brighter images than smaller 60mm scopes for not a lot of money.
30 of 31 people found the following review helpful
on October 17, 2006
I bought this scope as a b-day gift for my hubby who has never owned a telescope before. It was fairly simple to put together, and we found the directions to be very helpful and accurate.
We first tried to view the moon. The finder was a little tricky and it took us about 30 minutes to get the moon aligned so we could really see all the details. It produced a very crisp image with lots of detail. We have been able to view constellations and a few planets also with this telescope and have been impressed with the clarity of the images. It seems there is a learning curve with the eye pieces and finder. Once you get used to it you can find what you are looking for pretty quickly though.
This telescope is not a professional grade scope, and for someone who has used telescopes before or has owned one it may not be enough scope for them.
We have found it to be very sturdy and were very happy that it came with lots of extras other telescopes in this price range leave out. The software helped us out a lot, and just having an accessory tray to put extra pieces on while viewing is a nice bonus.
For a first time telescope this one is great! I'm very impressed by the quality I got for what I paid.
29 of 31 people found the following review helpful
on September 24, 2007
I must admit that this is my first telescope, but I did play with other telescopes and spotting scopes before.
What other people say about it is true: the mount is shaky, and this is an issue for high magnification modes (more than x45). In fact, even a light wind will cause it to move.
The manual is also very basic, doesn't describe much at all.
However, putting it together is very easy, and shouldn't take more than 30 minutes. The instructions are easy to follow, but you might need some help from another person when you mount it for the first time.
The only thing I really don't like is how heavy and big it is, especially with the tripod extended. If you plan to bring it in every night after you are done with it, then consider the fact that you will need to 'unextend' the tripod, which is hard to do because it is heavy and big. I wish there was an easier way to extend the tripod, without screws.
On the other hand, I got it for less than $150, including shipping, so I can't complain.
The image quality is excellent, and it can be very well used for ground observations, although the image is upside down, and the mount is not really meant for ground observation (EQ mount).
For example, there is a radio relay about 1 mile away, and with the naked eye you can't see much of it. However, with full magnification (675 times) you can see the lighbulb on top of it as if you were just a few meters away. Such high magnification comes with the downside that the image is very dim.
Overall, this is a very nice telescope to have as a hobby, but if you want something better (computerized mount, higher magnification, etc.) then you will have to spend over $500
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on February 6, 2014
I got this as a gift from my daughter. After using it a few nights, I did check the mirror collimation with the $28 Celestron 1.25" collimation eyepiece (which I already had). The mirror alignment was very very close, so it needed only minimal adjustment which had no observable effects.
On the third night I was able to see the moon (again) and the Orion nebula at various magnification (20mm eyepiece with and without Barlow). I was also able to see - with a Celestron Ploessel 9mm eyepiece - Jupiter and it four moons, the two main cloud stripes on Jupiter itself, and maybe some weaker ones. And the shadow of one moon on Jupiter itself, a tiny black dot near one of the poles.
I do like the lightweight aluminum mount as well, it is solid if the legs are not completely extended, and it is light enough to carry around without getting a hernia. The finder scope works well for me, just in case I re-align it every time I take the telescope out.
This telescope is very sharp, and a very good value right out of the box. And easy to focus. Five stars!!
EDIT: Recently (February) I did buy and install the Celestron motor drive ($33 on Amazon) and it works perfectly. Once the motor drive speed is adjusted properly with the small knob (which is fairly easy to do), it keeps say Jupiter centered for close to an hour with a 7mm eyepiece. Note that the drive speed only needs to be set once, for a given latitude.
Note that the Celestron 127EQ and 114EQ are quite similar in design and price, nevertheless this one has a much longer tube and does not have a correcting eyepiece in the focus tube, which seems to make it significantly sharper, or at least much easier to collimate.
Recently (April) I got an inexpensive laser collimator (lk1 from seben dot com, identical to the orion lasermate) and tried it on this scope, even though it did not seem to need it. The whole job is very easy, takes less than 5-10 mins if you know what to do (there is no focuser lens in the focusing tube, this is NOT a Bird-Jones design!). The adjustments were minimal and there was no noticeable change in sharpness, as I said above mine was flawless out of the box. Look in the picture section to see my recent picture of Jupiter.
Best additions to this telescope are imo the $30 Celestron motor drive (I love it!), a better quality achromatic $40 Celestron 2x Omni Barlow, and a 9mm Celestron Omni eyepiece($20 ; the telescope seems capable of a lot more than what the rather basic included eyepieces suggest). You will then be in telescope heaven, for very little money.
I have also found that this scope is quite well suited to astrophotography of the planets, in my case in combination with the very reliable Celestron clock drive (have not changed a battery yet on that on in three months of use) and an inexpensive webcam (a logitech C310 in my case).
PS. Added pictures of Jupiter and the Moon (April 2014). Added more pictures of Jupiter and Mars, on the latter I can clearly see one of the polar ice caps (April 2014). Took a nice picture of the Cassini division on Saturn (May 2014). Added another excellent picture I got of Jupiter on a very clear day (March 2015), you can clearly see multiple rings as well as details of the main ring clouds.
69 of 81 people found the following review helpful
on February 5, 2005
While the optics of this scope are good, there are quite a few bad things about this telescope. The tripod is shaky, unstable and cheaply produced. The finder scope is flimsy and almost unusable.
The users manual that comes with this scope is not written for beginners. Important topics such as balancing the telescope, polar alignment and collimation (aligning the mirrors) are glossed over and totally unsuitable for a beginner.
I would recommend spending the extra money to buy an Orion Spaceprobe 3 or SPaceprobe 130.
26 of 29 people found the following review helpful
on September 1, 2007
I purchased one of these telescopes and almost immediately regreted it. The 4mm eyepiece that comes with it is completely useless fo anything but the absolute perfect viewing conditions. The conditions needed for this eyepiece to be useful are very rare. I would recommend that you not go smaller than 5mm for this telescope. The mount is garbage! The finder scope is junk as well. Celestron views this as an entry level telescope and has equiped it with pieces designed to prompt you to quickly replace them, preferably with their products. I have spent over $350 in improvements and I'm not done yet. The mount is extremely sloppy and unstable. The controls get in the way constantly when trying to view objects low on the horizon. The gears inside are very cheap and do not move smoothly. This makes it extremely difficult to locate objects using the Right Assention (RA) and Declination, (Dec) setting circles. Speaking of the setting circles, they are very crude. There is not enough detail to the degree markings on the circles. This forces you to guess at the settings and then search for the object that should be in your eyepiece. The finder scope mount is very loose, making adjustment an exercise in futility. There is almost 1/4" of play between the mount and the bolts that attach the finder scope mount to the telescope tube. The slightest bump puts you out of business, unless you can manage to re-set the finder scope in the dark. The cross-hairs inside the finder scope are invisible at night. Even if you have the finder scope perfectly aligned, at night you still have to guess where the center of the cross-hairs are at. Even if you manage to keep the finder scope from moving on you, you still have to align the finder scope to your telescope. The adjustment screws are not spring loaded and are also cheaply made. You are lucky indeed if you get it aligned properly. The focuser only accepts 1.25 inch eyepieces. This is great from the standpoint that 1.25 eyepieces are cheaper than 2 inch ones because it takes less glass to make the smaller ones. The disadvantage is that if you want eyepieces with wider fields of view, and trust me you will, you need a focuser that will accept both 1.25 and 2 inch eyepieces and accessories. Here is a link to an article I wish I had seen before buying the Celestron Powerseeker 114 EQ, or any other telescope for that matter.
PLEASE, read this article and do some research before you buy! Find the local astronomical society and go to their next meeting, send them an email, call the president of the club or better yet, attend their next "Star Party". It is the best way to find out what you like, and more importantly, what not to buy. This is especially important with eyepieces, (they can be the biggest part of your total investment). Here's a link to the astronomical society, where you can begin your search for your local club.
Take the advise of someone who found this out a bit too late. It is better to spend a bit more initially than to buy a cheap telescope and have to improve it almost immediately.
48 of 57 people found the following review helpful
on January 4, 2006
My recent Christmas experience with the Celestron Powerseeker 114EQ, my first "real" telescope, was a great disappointment. The assembled telescope looked very impressive but functioned poorly. It came without a detailed instruction manual making it difficult to set up, balance, and aim even for a mechanically inclined novice. The plastic finderscope was very cheap, blurry, and hard to align with the main scope. The "equatorial" (EQ) mount knobs moved the scope with jerky motions at times and the scope itself seemed a bit vibration prone on its tripod. Stellar images were blurry and unimpressive (possibly due to mirror misalignment in shipping and/or manufacturing defect) thus other individual scopes may do better than mine in this category. Newtonian reflector type telescope mirrors go out of alignment ("collimation") fairly easily and this scope came without instructions for how to realign them. I returned the telescope within the 30 day refund period and am looking for a better quality and sturdier one like the highly praised Orion Skyquest series or possibly the smaller and more portable Edmund Scientific Astroscan.
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on December 27, 2005
I received this telescope for Christmas and I must say after waiting two nights to use it I am impressed. My first target was M42 Orion's Nebula and the K20 eyepiece gave me a mesmerizing view of this amazing stellar nursery. The mount does have some shakiness to it but, it's nothing that can't be overlooked. I have the updated scope so it came with a metal focuser which is a big plus. The 3x Barlow is okay with the 20 but is useless with the 4 as is the 4mm eyepiece itself. If you are thinking of getting a more expensive scope of this size I recommend getting this and buying a 25mm Plossl eyepiece and a 2x Barlow and possibly a 7.5mm eyepiece (planetary and moon viewing) for the extra money you would spend on a more expensive scope.
14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on August 21, 2008
set up of the telescope is a breeze. the instructions were clear and also had pictures for reference. it took me about 10 minutes to get it together. i see people complaining the tripod is "unstable" NOT TRUE! its called tightening it! problem solved.
the finder scope is made of plastic but hey, its not your main scope and look at what you paid for. the entire setup does feel cheap but think of it in terms of value.
the entire weight is manageable, not portable but not very heavy.
the direction adjustment knobs stick out way too far for what it does and it might get in your way if your not careful.
now, lets get too the good stuff. WHAT CAN YOU SEE???
my first target was the moon, it was clear and high detail, not a difficult task. i went onto jupiter, pretty much the brightest thing in the sky, you can barely make out the red and cream swirls it has and you can see bright spots around it which are the 6? moons. you cannot see jupiter up close even with double scopes (x20 normal plus the x3 add-on). the image isnt the clearest but hey, terms of value.
if you are serious about getting into astronomy, move along with a different telescope. if you are looking for something to have some quick fun with friends and family, this is it.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on July 28, 2010
I was a complete beginner when I bought this scope and a relative newbie now. I bought the scope because I was fascinated with developing astronomy as a hobby, but reluctant to spend a fortune in case I lost interest. I also knew that you needed a scope with a reasonable appeture to stand any chance of seeing anything. The 114 seemed to fit the bill then.
First time out we aimed it at the moon and were blown away at the detail of the craters even with the lowest magnifications. Next time we tried to find Saturn and mars and spent a couple of hours to no avail. However, I persevered and have now been able to see saturn (with it's rings clearly visible) and, last night Jupiter and it's dour moons (just being able to make out the colour of the northern equatorial belt). Still haven't been able to find any nebulae or galaxies despite being pretty confident of their location, but will keep trying.
My biggest piece of advice for those struggling would be download some software like stellarium (free and awesome) to help you with location.
In summary, people are right... It is pretty flimsy and not the best scope, but you get your moneys worth. For me it has been an excellent choice because it's made me want to see more, in more detail and now I know I won't be wasting my money when I can eventually afford a decent computer aided scope with a bigger appeture... For the patient beginner on a budget you can't go wrong... Just don't expect to see images like the Hubble produces on a £100 scope.