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I wish I could afford this hobby *DELETED*

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#1 Hellow533

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Posted 17 November 2012 - 04:31 PM

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#2 csrlice12

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Posted 17 November 2012 - 04:41 PM

The Nexstar 8SE is a nice scope, but fairly expensive for a college student trying to make ends meet. Have you considered the Dob route. You could get a nice 8" Dob for much less then the 8SE. Another route is to maybe go the CG4 mount. The Omni 102 XLT is less than $500 or the 120XLT For around $600. These are 4" (102) and 5" (120) refractprs. These are also good scopes, and the CG4 mount could always be used down the road to mount a SCT or Mak; or even a small widefield APO as a beginning AP setup.

#3 GOLGO13

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Posted 17 November 2012 - 07:10 PM

I got started after college actually. It's not a cheap hobby, but it doesn't have to cost too much. My suggestion would be buy used off of craigslist, astromart.com, or the classifieds here. The best affordable scope is an 8 inch dob. Maybe not the best setup for a college dorm, but if your not in the dorm it should be fine.

Just make sure you know what's a good deal. Some people on Craigslist are crazy...something worth 100 at 500...but sometimes they do it the other way too. Saw a 12 inch dob once for 100 bucks on there.

Also, make the most out of what you have. And find a friend or astronomy group. You can go to star parties and mooch off everyone else. That's probably the best way to get to good views. I don't usually need to bring my scopes when I go to star parties.

#4 SkipW

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Posted 17 November 2012 - 08:05 PM

Where are you going to college? Do they offer Astronomy classes and have equipment for that? If they do outreach, look into getting qualified to help out with that using their equipment; you can probably use it yourself when it's not used for classes, etc. Keep a small scope for yourself, but if the school has better equipment, get approved and use theirs, too.

#5 mich_al

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Posted 17 November 2012 - 08:11 PM

My advice would be to drag your feet a little on the new scope purchase. You're not only starting college but a whole new life that's gonna be a lot different then what it has been. Settle in a bit and see if the need for a new scope is a strong after a semester or so. If it is then go for it.
Al

#6 StarmanDan

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Posted 17 November 2012 - 08:31 PM

Might look into joining an astronomy club. Many have telescopes that they will loan out or have scopes at their observing site for member use.

#7 Pinbout

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Posted 17 November 2012 - 09:25 PM

you could start with an inexpensive pair of 20x80 binos.

on a tripod or a parrallelogram which still needs a tripod.

you can see a lot of messiers, even in a white zone area.

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#8 Dennis_S253

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Posted 17 November 2012 - 09:54 PM

I just picked up a C6-N on a CG-4 mount for 125 on craigs list. There are deals out there. But, I remember my first few yrs of college. It wasn't real easy. There was a lot of study and a lot of partying. I do wish I would have stayed away from the partying in after thought. Best of luck...

#9 ozyrithm

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Posted 17 November 2012 - 10:07 PM

you could start with an inexpensive pair of 20x80 binos.

on a tripod or a parrallelogram which still needs a tripod.

you can see a lot of messiers, even in a white zone area.


What tripod/mount combo is that? Looks like something I'd like to have.

#10 delgado39

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Posted 17 November 2012 - 10:27 PM

Would agree with many here on lagging with any decisions. If funds are limited (or tight), focus on college first, you will always earn enough (hopefully) in the future to treat yourself. Binoculars (my first start) are not a bad route to try and your time might be accounted for with studying, socializing, etc. I was interested in astronomy when I first started college but waited nearly 15 years before indulging in a 60mm refractor with 3 eyepieces. In the beginning funds were limited for me and with kids & wife, well, my time got occupied fast. As the kids grew older I got more opportunities to really enjoy the hobby. As my salary got better the equipment got better. The ultimate nirvana came when I retired. Not saying you need to wait this long to indulge or to enjoy this hobby. Just be mindful of your priorities first.

#11 bassplayer142

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Posted 17 November 2012 - 10:38 PM

I started when I graduated and got a job. I'm not sure I see the problem here though. It sounds like you have a scope already. Why the need to get another if your short on funds?

#12 Hellow533

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Posted 18 November 2012 - 01:50 AM

Like I said, my current scope's mount is old, and I can't find a cheap replacement that's worth buying. Money isn't THAT tight, I have work, plus the GI bill to help knock off a lot of it. I don't work full time, I contract out to a company for IT work, computer security, networking, etc. Either way, I don't want to spend too much on a scope. And yes, I will be in a dorm but not too far from where I currently live. I do need a change though, I'm looking forward to moving out honestly.

#13 coopman

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Posted 18 November 2012 - 08:24 AM

Maybe get yourself an 8" Zhumell or Apertura Dob - lots of bang for the 400 bucks they cost.

#14 BigC

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Posted 18 November 2012 - 10:59 AM

You could place your Mak on a Celestron Nexstar mount as I did;look for someone who is upgrading from SE-type mount to GERM for AP and maybe get a deal.

If you have the room ,the 8" Dob is realy good for exploring the sky albeit without goto.

Having both fast and slow focal ratio scopes gives viewing options.

#15 csrlice12

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Posted 18 November 2012 - 11:42 AM

That Mac would fit nicely on a CG4 mount. You can get the OMNI 102XLT for less than $500, great f9.8 1000mm 4" scope. It is an achromat, but still a great scope. It would also allow you to swap ina and out your Mak on it while giving you that extra plus of a really good 4" acro. and the cost isn't too high. For a little less, you could just buy the CG4 Mount; for about the same price as the CG4 mount alone, you could go to the Orion 90mm 900mm f10 on an EQ2 mount for aroung $300 or so. While not as versitile, The EQ2 mount would also probably hold your 127 Mak. Lots of considerations. +1 on the 6 or 8" Dob; while they would take up a little more room (maybe, maybe not, depends on if you leave the tripod set up)the views they would give you would far outstrip the 127Mak or the 120

#16 Pinbout

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Posted 18 November 2012 - 02:05 PM

this would be a great scope to have.

astro sky 8f8

#17 mikemxyzzy

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Posted 19 November 2012 - 10:18 PM

What tripod/mount combo is that? Looks like something I'd like to have.



The mount looks like a Bogen/Manfrotto 3047. The binoculars are on it backwards because the mount is for photographic use and they assumed you would want to point it down but not up at more than 30 degrees or so.

The tripod looks like a Bogen/Manfrotto 3001.






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