Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 01-03-2014, 09:34 AM   #21
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Nodak's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Cavalier
Posts: 2,317
Have fun with your new scope.
__________________

__________________
"Don't take life so serious, son. It ain't nohow permanent." Pogo Possum (Walt Kelly)
Nodak is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 01-03-2014, 11:51 AM   #22
Full time employment: Posting here.
GalaxyBoy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: The Beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains
Posts: 843
The classic advice for a beginner's scope is not a telescope at all, but a pair of binoculars with 7x50 being a very good size for astronomy. Binocs give a wide field of view making it easy to find things, and you will learn your way around the sky while doing it. Plus, if you decide to take the plunge and invest in a "real" telescope, you will still use the binocs a lot. I own an 18" Dobsonian (hence my screen name) but I still routinely use my binoculars. Plus, you can use binoculars at ball games, etc.

The Astroscan is a very close second recommendation. It also gives a wide field (although not as wide), and you will also keep and use it if and when you go for a bigger scope. One big advantage of the astroscan is that it uses standard, 1.25" eyepieces instead of the cheaper 0.965" eyepieces that come with the el-cheapo refractors at Wally World (a/k/a "Christmas Trash Scopes"). A good friend of mine still loves his astroscan after several decades of use and his main scope is a 25"!

Some celestial objects are quite large (in apparent size against the sky, I mean) and need a wide field. For example, M31 - the Andromeda Galaxy - is far too large to fit into the field of view of almost all telescopes except the astroscan. The occasional good comet also demands the astroscan. I could list others.

A second "purchase" might be to join your local astronomy club. There you will find all sorts of good advice.

Good luck, and clear skies!

EDIT: Forgot to mention to the OP to be sure to get something to deal with dew, especially a dew cap. I have attended astronomy club meetings where the entire meeting was devoted to how to deal with dew. As a minimum, have an old hair dryer handy if you're near power. Unless, of course, you live in the dry desert or something.
__________________

__________________
GalaxyBoy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-03-2014, 02:49 PM   #23
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
travelover's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 9,874
Quote:
Originally Posted by GalaxyBoy View Post
The classic advice for a beginner's scope is not a telescope at all, but a pair of binoculars with 7x50 being a very good size for astronomy....... !
Thanks. DW already spends a fair amount of time using the binoculars in conjunction with an iPad app to track the comings and goings up there

Quote:
EDIT: Forgot to mention to the OP to be sure to get something to deal with dew, especially a dew cap. I have attended astronomy club meetings where the entire meeting was devoted to how to deal with dew. As a minimum, have an old hair dryer handy if you're near power. Unless, of course, you live in the dry desert or something.
Right. Edmund sells a dew cap for $16 including shipping. I may just make one, though.
__________________
Yes, I have achieved work / life balance.
travelover is online now   Reply With Quote
No joy in Muddville
Old 01-08-2014, 04:31 PM   #24
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
travelover's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 9,874
No joy in Muddville

Quote:
Originally Posted by travelover View Post
I ended up buying the eBay Astroscan with an extra lense for about $150 with shipping - half new price. This one is made in Japan, new ones are Chinese.

I hope DW likes it.
I got the scope today, but was alarmed to hear it clunk when I took it out of the box. One of the two cast iron counterbalance weights has broken loose and broken the mirror.

The good news is that the seller has cheerfully offered to refund my money, so it looks like my loss is limited to the $20 or so to ship it back.

Back to the hunt..........
__________________
Yes, I have achieved work / life balance.
travelover is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 01-08-2014, 04:36 PM   #25
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Seattle
Posts: 2,904
If you are near Seattle, I have a 10" Dobsonian Orion SkyQuest series in excellent condition. It is rather a monster, almost 5 feet long. All manual though..no auto tracking. They are pretty inexpensive for the quality, but there is no way I can fit this in our RV when we ER next year so I am trying to downsize everything.
__________________
Fermion is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-08-2014, 05:53 PM   #26
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
travelover's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 9,874
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fermion View Post
If you are near Seattle, I have a 10" Dobsonian Orion SkyQuest series in excellent condition. It is rather a monster, almost 5 feet long. All manual though..no auto tracking. They are pretty inexpensive for the quality, but there is no way I can fit this in our RV when we ER next year so I am trying to downsize everything.
Thanks, sounds like a nice 'scope.

I haven't given up on the Astroscan, which is readily portable and should get used.
__________________
Yes, I have achieved work / life balance.
travelover is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 01-09-2014, 08:29 AM   #27
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
zinger1457's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 1,452
Quote:
Originally Posted by travelover View Post
I haven't given up on the Astroscan, which is readily portable and should get used.
I almost scooped up an Astroscan on ebay a couple days ago with a BuyItNow price of $75. In the 5 minutes I was thinking it over and decided to go for it someone else grabbed it.
__________________
zinger1457 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-09-2014, 09:45 AM   #28
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
travelover's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 9,874
Quote:
Originally Posted by zinger1457 View Post
I almost scooped up an Astroscan on ebay a couple days ago with a BuyItNow price of $75. In the 5 minutes I was thinking it over and decided to go for it someone else grabbed it.
Next time PM me!
I found one on Craigslist at a good price, but it is 300 miles from me, so I'm still lookin'.
__________________
Yes, I have achieved work / life balance.
travelover is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 01-09-2014, 10:29 AM   #29
Full time employment: Posting here.
GalaxyBoy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: The Beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains
Posts: 843
By the way, THE place to go for telescope classified ads on the 'net has been for years astromart. Probably caters more to the intermediate or advanced amateur, but I thought I'd post it for reference.
__________________
GalaxyBoy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-09-2014, 06:07 PM   #30
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
travelover's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 9,874
Quote:
Originally Posted by GalaxyBoy View Post
By the way, THE place to go for telescope classified ads on the 'net has been for years astromart. Probably caters more to the intermediate or advanced amateur, but I thought I'd post it for reference.
Looks good, but they want $15 a year just to join.
__________________
Yes, I have achieved work / life balance.
travelover is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 01-09-2014, 06:28 PM   #31
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Nodak's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Cavalier
Posts: 2,317
Lots of good info at these sites.

Astronomy Magazine - Interactive Star Charts, Planets, Meteors, Comets, Telescopes
SkyandTelescope.com
Skymania News - Space and astronomy news and advice

Sky and Telescope has a free android app (S&T Skyweek) that will give observing tips for upcoming events.
__________________
"Don't take life so serious, son. It ain't nohow permanent." Pogo Possum (Walt Kelly)
Nodak is offline   Reply With Quote
Update
Old 01-13-2014, 07:19 AM   #32
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
travelover's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 9,874
Update

After lots of internet research and a little compulsion, I bought a new scope. The new scope is an Orion Starblast. Unless you are a geek, quit reading now. Some of what follows was pointed out by others, but I wanted to put together a synopsis in case anyone searching in the future has a similar question.

The Starblast is very similar to the Astroscan in operation, but instead of a ball joint type mount it uses a two axis adjustable mount to scan the sky. Like the Astroscan, it is very compact and can be stashed in a trunk and set up on a picnic table, which should make it more likely to actually get used.

Supposedly, the Astroscan is collimated (aligned) for life, but the mirror is tensioned in place by foam rubber. The best models are older US or Japanese models, but that means that the foam rubber has had more time to deteriorate. Also, if the scope was not aligned perfectly to begin with, you are kind of hosed. So, the beauty of the Astroscan is that it is all self contained and never needs adjusting, but that un-adjustability is also its major flaw. The Starblast is readily adjustable.

I bought the new one on Amazon. Amazon usually has several "used" versions of anything for sale at at least 10% off. These items, if fulfilled by Amazon, are actually new but in a scuffed package. I bought the "used" Starblast for $186 as opposed to $320 (shipped) for a new Astroscan. I did find a used Starblast 10 miles from me on eBay for $100, but it was dirty in the pictures and I had been warned about mold and mildew inside scopes stored in damp basements or garages, so I decided to splurge on new.
__________________
Yes, I have achieved work / life balance.
travelover is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 01-13-2014, 09:22 AM   #33
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Nodak's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Cavalier
Posts: 2,317
Sounds like a good little scope. I am not familiar with it but will have to check it out.
__________________
"Don't take life so serious, son. It ain't nohow permanent." Pogo Possum (Walt Kelly)
Nodak is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-13-2014, 12:01 PM   #34
Full time employment: Posting here.
GalaxyBoy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: The Beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains
Posts: 843
Looks like a great little scope and I'm sure you and your DW will have a great time with it. This time of year there are some great targets for widefield scopes, such as M42 (Great Nebula in Orion), M45 (Pleiades), M31 (Andromeda Galaxy), the Double Cluster in Perseus, and more. Not to mention simply sweeping the Milky Way.

Now, go forth and learn how to locate these things. That's half the fun!
__________________

__________________
GalaxyBoy is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


 

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 07:16 PM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.