Telescopes with GPS – Buying guide & Comparison
If you’re short on time and you just want to find the best telescope with GPS, this short paragraph should help you get exactly the model you need. According to our findings, the Meade LX200-ACF is the best because it has an impressive 203mm aperture and a 2000mm focal ratio that ensure that the performance that you’ll be getting will truly be unparalleled. Besides, the unit has been outfitted with a state-of-the-art Sony GPS receiver and comes with a 145,000 object library that will enable you to focus on the celestial objects that might be of interest to you. A broad variety of extras is also provided in this deal as you’ll also be getting the AutoStar Suite software, a variable height tripod, as well as other accessories. If the Meade LX200-ACF is unavailable, your second option should be the TwinStar 90mm iOptron.
If you have been considering buying a telescope outfitted with a GPS system, but you’re finding it difficult to make up your mind on a model given the wide array of units available out there, you’re in the perfect place. If you want to make an informed decision, all you have to do is keep on reading as our guide will inevitably assist you in separating the wheat from the chaff.
Some go-to drives and telescope GPS basics
While some prospective buyers are aware that getting such a device equipped with GPS is a great idea, they might be less informed with regard to the reasons why selecting such a product is indeed beneficial. Usually, such a telescope comes with a go-to system that has been paired with a GPS system so that the unit does all the job for you.
We all know how difficult it is to focus the image on a certain celestial object especially when starting out. In such a case, the GPS and go-to drive will work together in acquiring the satellite constellation. All you have to do is set the image on a specific star so that the telescope knows where it’s at. Next, it will figure out the position all by itself.
Some models are smarter than others as they can let you know just what objects are worth seeing depending on the specific time when you’ll be using the telescope. Such units usually come with databases comprising of over 100,000 objects. In a way, what you will be looking for will be a computerized telescope with GPS.
What type do you want to opt for?
Most of the alternatives that you will undoubtedly come across while considering your options can be split up into three main categories. Some are refractors, others are reflectors, and the last are catadioptric, also known as Cassegrain telescopes.
Refractors are more or less common and are typically considered as good-quality choices for people who are only starting out and need a rather budget-friendly choice. Because they are outfitted with a somewhat long tube, they might require an additional purchase consisting of a really sturdy tripod.
Reflectors are easy to carry around as they come with tubes with smaller dimensions. This kind requires a bit of commitment in terms of cleaning and maintenance as dust might accumulate around the lenses, which may bother some users.
Many of the models that have garnered the best GPS telescope reviews are Cassegrain alternatives. They combine the power and compact design of the formerly mentioned types, which is why they’re generally thought of as the most compelling alternatives of all. However, they do cost more when compared to their counterparts, so you’ll have to decide if an expense in the range of thousands of dollars is reasonable for you.
Ease of use and portability
Most GPS telescopes are considerably easier to use compared to those models that don’t have this specific feature. However, if you plan to look at some deep-sky objects or planets when it’s all quiet, and there’s no light interference around you, you’re probably interested in going outside with your telescope. In that case, you need to check whether its weight won’t hinder you when carrying it to a field.
You might also have to take the time to look at the best telescope with GPS reviews to see whether the model can be set up in a timely manner. You can use the mount provided with the main unit or purchase a far more user-friendly one separately, depending on your preferences. The sky’s the limit when it comes to telescopes.
Top GPS telescope reviews in 2017
Now that you know at least some of the critical details that you might have to consider when being in the market for a GPS telescope, we invite you to have a look at the critically acclaimed choices that we have selected for your consideration. They might save you some time that you’d otherwise have to devote to sifting through the hundreds of units available out there.
This telescope has been outfitted with outstanding optics, at least judging by the appreciation it has gathered in this sense. Many owners praise the value it offers for the price, despite the fact that it costs just under twenty-eight hundred dollars. However, since the alignment process usually takes under five minutes, it might pay off to invest in such a high-quality alternative as it can do everything for you.
With an aperture of 203mm and a focal length of 2000mm, it’s easy to see why this Meade model has won the hearts of celestial observers and amateur astronomers. The Sony GPS receiver that it has been equipped with is particularly efficient and will inevitably impress you with its performance.
The only thing that you might fail to be impressed with is the weight and size of this telescope as it is anything but portable. It’s quite heavy, actually, which might bother some owners but they should keep in mind that top-notch optics usually weigh a lot.
Featuring Advanced Coma-Free Optics, this telescope optimizes its large 8-inch clear aperture plus 2000mm focal ratio to collect enough light for bright and clear details in the viewed images.
The device delivers a matchless performance with the exclusive ACF optics that provide a level, flatter field on which it becomes effortless to locate stars out on the periphery of its field of view.
The optics are treated with the exclusive Ultra-High Transmission Coatings from Meade to ensure a high-quality performance and an amazing functionality that no other telescope in its class can hope to match.
The supplied AutoStar II handbox is loaded with a 145,000-object library that you can refer to for information on the various sky objects that can be viewed using the scope.
The patented Level North Technology (LNT) alignment system works well with the exclusive Smart Drive with Permanent Periodic Error Correction (PPEC) to ensure the easy finding of celestial objects to eliminate the guesswork.
One customer noted that the motors on the scope are quite loud especially when slewing to rates faster than 1.5 degrees.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($2699)
TwinStar 90mm iOptron
This computerized Cassegrain telescope is a far more budget-friendly choice for people who are less likely to spend thousands of dollars on a telescope. Surely, such an expense is worth it, but prospective buyers have to consider their personal budgets, as well as the specs of the model when making their final decision.
The unit has a 90mm aperture and a focal ratio of 1200mm, which means that it is an excellent choice if you want to look at the moon, Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, and other planets in our galaxy and beyond. Equipped with the innovative iOptron GoToNova Controller, you’ll be able to enjoy the approximately 80,000 celestial objects database that this model comes with.
The computer controlled GPS equatorial mount will take the guesses out of your entire experience and will inevitably prove its worth if you want to analyze the intricacies of a certain planet, star, or nebula.
Outfitted with a 90mm, fully-coated, achromatic objective lens, this model delivers an outstanding performance by reducing the chromatic aberration to a minimum for an excellent resolution and definition.
The provided 25mm and 10mm Kellner eyepieces provide magnification powers so you can view celestial objects up close with vivid detail and remarkable clarity.
The supplied iOptron GoToNova Controller is loaded with an expansive database of 80,000 celestial objects for an astronomical study so you can note down the distinct features of various objects in the sky.
The iOptron SmartStar-A Computer-Controlled GPS Equatorial Mount enables a problem-free, precision tracking of celestial objects in the night sky following the movement of the Earth itself.
The folding optical assembly employs a combination of mirrors and lenses to facilitate both the day and night viewing of celestial and terrestrial objects while enabling am easy portability and storage.
Although this model is produced by a less popular brand than the big-name units, it can offer the same performance and functionality that can give others a run for the money.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($594.99)
Celestron CPC 925 Starbright
Celestron makes some of the best products in this line, and so it was normal for this particular device to raise up to par in terms of performance and capabilities. This model is an unparalleled GPS Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope that comes with a fully computerized dual fork arm altazimuth mount.
As with some of the other choices we have showcased above, this Celestron one comes with a database consisting of over 40,000 celestial objects that range from Messier objects to nebulae and NGC galaxies. Filtering through the objects of interest is made easy as you’ll find that the interface and database enable you to customize the device.
The GPS receiver that this unit has been outfitted with is responsible for downloading the time and date from orbiting satellites, which means that you don’t even have to make this adjustment by yourself.
Owners say that they would have liked it if the unit had been easier to set up as it is not one of those models that you can just pick up and go stargazing whenever you feel like. The setup process takes quite a bit of time.
Suitable for astrophotography, this 9.25-inch, diffraction-limited, Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope is best for casual observation because of its portability and relatively large aperture so you can view the faint deep-sky objects with ease.
This model is easy to mount and guide, enabling a narrow-field imaging as well as wide-field imaging with the additional telecompression.
The instrument is geared with a fully-computerized dual fork arm altazimuth mount that facilitates the precise tracking of objects moving through the sky without plenty of shakiness and instability.
The GPS alignment utilizes the satellites orbiting the Earth so the telescope can give you the exact coordinates of its location for the effortless alignment with and searching of celestial targets.
This telescope can be moved from one observation post to another, thanks to the ergonomic design of the unit.
This model is on the heavy side so some extra help is needed to lift it into position or to transfer it from one location to another.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($2499)
Another model that makes an excellent choice for both beginners and amateur astronomers is this iOptron alternative that consists of an 114mm Newtonian reflector with a focal ratio of 1,000mm. Considering the aperture and focal length of this device, it goes without saying that it is a highly recommended option for looking at various kinds of celestial objects.
Unlike some of the other units we have talked about earlier on, this iOptron alternative has been equipped with a database consisting of just 5,000 objects that you’ll be able to take advantage of with the help of the GoToNova Controller that’s provided in the box.
A 32-channel GPS has been built in the device so that you’re all ready to go in case you plan to take it on the road and explore the universe in complete peace and solitude. An aluminum tripod and a canvas carrying bag are also part of the deal.
This computerized, reflector telescope enables you to carry out a full range of star gazing with its less spherical aberration or lower scattering of light due to the larger and more durable mirror.
This reflector telescope features the top-notch Cube telescope mount that facilitates the problem-free viewing of celestial objects and tracking them as they move across the night sky.
This telescope has a quick and simple setup so you can start viewing celestial objects in as little time as possible for a maximum time spent on your astronomical study.
The 32-channel internal GPS module enables the easy obtaining of the telescope’s coordinates for the problem-free search of celestial targets
This telescope comes with a cool canvas carry bag that facilitates a hassle-free storage and travel so you can bring the unit along during campouts or various outdoor applications.
The tripod needs to be assembled properly, making sure all the components are in place prior to the mounting of the telescope on it.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($399)
Since it’s one of the most reasonably priced telescopes in this category, it goes without saying that this iOptron model should be given some thought to if you haven’t made your final decision. We’ve noticed that many retailers offer it for less than six hundred dollars which is downright amazing especially when considering its features.
The 8803B is a Newtonian reflector telescope with an aperture of 114mm and a focal length of 1,000mm. As with the previously described iOptron unit, this one boasts an internal 32-channel GPS that takes all the hassle out of setting the right time and location every time as the system will do so on its own.
The computerized altazimuth mount boasted by the device is another reason to take it into account especially as it features a 9-drive speed for precise tracking. The 50,000 object database won’t disappoint you in the least bit, nor will the 256 user-defined objects.
This 114mm Newtonian reflector telescope uses mirrors instead of lenses, which means it is less prone to the scattering of light so the illumination from celestial objects is focused into making the images brighter and more vivid when viewed through the eyepiece.
The innovative red dot finderscope makes it easy to find objects in the night sky, with ample support from the K9 and K25 eyepieces for an adequate magnification.
The computerized altazimuth mount comes geared with a 9-velocity drive speed that enables the precise tracking of objects as they move across the night sky.
The unit ships with the exclusive GoToNova hand controller, which has been cited numerously as the most intuitive controller that can be found on the market today.
The included database is loaded with the information on 50,000 celestial objects along with 256 user-defined sky objects so you have more than enough information on the items viewed through the tool.
The power supply transformer needs to be checked periodically to ensure it can really keep the instrument working for heavy-duty observation tasks.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($458)