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True cost of astronomy?

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#51 csrlice12

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Posted 19 November 2012 - 03:43 PM

"Have you priced a top-quality rooster saddle lately?"

Can't say that I have; but then, I don't ride roosters..... :lol:

#52 rdandrea

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Posted 19 November 2012 - 03:46 PM

:roflmao:

#53 George Methvin

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Posted 19 November 2012 - 04:05 PM

Funny the more I stay away from reading the CN forums the less I spend. Its like going in to a bar everyones drinking so you feel the need for a drink also. :lol:. I can just hear the guys pleading with there wifes after reading on CN about all the folks that have bought new shinny toys " OH honey all the other guy have one why can't I have one too" :roflmao: Spend that money you can't take it with you when you die so why leave any behind. Clear sky and happy spending.

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#54 evilmedic13

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Posted 19 November 2012 - 11:51 PM

Between photography and my motorcycles, this is a cheap hobby, for now. I've got more invested in building my plastic models than this as well. The most expensive pursuits I've ever had, were women and beer. The women were well worth it, the beer? I wish I had that money back.
As far as this and my photography goes, I justify it knowing that if my son picks up the interest, all the glass will be his to enjoy. Then again, if he turns out like his mom, the gear is doomed.

#55 pogobbler

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 02:45 AM

I think this hobby would be a lot cheaper if it weren't for sites like this one convincing us that we need bigger, better, faster, more!!!!


A website can't convince you to spend more, other people can't convince you to spend more... only you can convince yourself to spend more.

#56 RTLR 12

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 04:19 AM

I have to agree with Tom. A web site(SPEND MORE MONEY) can't convince you spend more, other people (SPEND MORE MONEY) can't convince you spend more...only you can (SPEND MORE MONEY) convince yourself to spend more. It's not like there are subliminal messages here on CN (SPEND MORE MONEY)

Stan

#57 csrlice12

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 08:30 AM

There are (spend) No sublimingal (more) messages (money)here. Thank You--this is a public spending message brought to you by the Spend More Money Society. :lol:

#58 FirstSight

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 10:15 AM

The true cost of Astronomy is nothing compared to the cost of my 12 year old daughters ballet classes over the last 5 years :shrug:
Matt


My other serious hobby than astronomy provides a wonderfully illustrative example. This past weekend, I made roughly $300 refereeing competitive-level U16B soccer games in a huge three-day weekend college showcase tournament, where teams from all over the eastern half of the country came to Raleigh. For example, one of the games I worked was between a U16 team from Houston, Texas vs a team from Kentucky, and there were many teams here from Florida or north up to New York. Soccer teams at this level travel to two, three or more such tournaments each season, in addition to traveling around their local region for regular-season league games. If you are the parents of a serious competitive-level soccer player, now THERE'S an expensive vicarious hobby, and many of the parents also paid to travel with their player to watch the games. Let's see: motel room for three nights, travel costs (really long car trip or flight), meals out, and we haven't got to fees for the soccer-club, tournament entry fees, training fees, etc.

This past weekend alone probably cost an Ethos or two per player. I'm happy that some of that money is flowing downhill into my pockets to finance my astro-equipment and other indulgences. It's even worth getting barked at by surly 16-year old boys and surly coaches with English accents and parents who think they've paid for the privilige of complaining about the refs.

#59 SKYGZR

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 07:55 PM

The only way the "cost" goes away is when one leaves the hobby..no matter what that may be. "Women" seem to be the most expensive...(sorry ladies).

#60 jgraham

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 08:09 PM

I'm not so sure about the cost, but the value is tremendous.

#61 bassplayer142

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 08:22 PM

Disagree immensely. Spending a few hours in the eyepieces forum will make you feel like your equipment is junk.... more often than not there are reports from people who spend five figures or more on eyepieces. There is nothing wrong with this as it is their freedom and they are well educated and offer great advice, but it isn't the type of discussion any beginner should delve into if their prone to spending. Not everyone needs or should own a full set of ethos or would even benefit from this. This is like a beginner surfer reading about how fun and easy it is to surf jaws. There are a half dozen sub forums here that you should not enter if you are happy with your equipment. Its the forbidden fruit that once tasted is a hard road to exit. Its human nature to want what you can't have, but this only happens when you read or see how well others have it.

#62 Glen A W

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 08:45 PM

It's not really as bad as it was in the pre-Internet days. It used to be that most of use were stuck with pretty pathetic equipment. There were 2" eyepieces and so forth out there, but who could afford them? Anybody who could was really gonna make you jealous back then, compared to your Kellners. You are talking about a whole different experience for those who could afford them. These days, you can at least get most of the benefit with a low-cost 2" Chinese unit.

And then there are the big scopes. It used to be that most people would have a small refractor or fairly small reflector. Those scopes could show some things but not too much. Yet, if you were well off, you could have any size scope you wanted. Today, most of us can get a big scope if it suits us. The C-8 was once a pretty grand thing, costing more in the actual uncorrected dollar amount decades ago than it does today!

We are really very lucky. GW

#63 Glen A W

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 08:47 PM

PS - I have believed since 2008 that this is the time to get all the gear you want for the rest of your life. The prices couldn't get any cheaper. GW

#64 HCR32

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 09:46 PM

Starting off in this hobby can sometimes lead to some cash loss because you really need to find what interests you and alot of that is by trail and error of owning equipment. On my travels I've spent 10s of thousands but I have to say that its money well spent once you know what you really want. Another plus is that even if you pack your gear up and unpack it ten years later it's still very useable and sometimes find that your gear is worth more then you spent on it even though it's been used!

#65 ThreeD

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 09:50 PM

The true cost of Astronomy is nothing compared to the cost of my 12 year old daughters ballet classes over the last 5 years :shrug:
Matt


My other serious hobby than astronomy provides a wonderfully illustrative example. This past weekend, I made roughly $300 refereeing competitive-level U16B soccer games in a huge three-day weekend college showcase tournament, where teams from all over the eastern half of the country came to Raleigh. For example, one of the games I worked was between a U16 team from Houston, Texas vs a team from Kentucky, and there were many teams here from Florida or north up to New York. Soccer teams at this level travel to two, three or more such tournaments each season, in addition to traveling around their local region for regular-season league games. If you are the parents of a serious competitive-level soccer player, now THERE'S an expensive vicarious hobby, and many of the parents also paid to travel with their player to watch the games. Let's see: motel room for three nights, travel costs (really long car trip or flight), meals out, and we haven't got to fees for the soccer-club, tournament entry fees, training fees, etc.

This past weekend alone probably cost an Ethos or two per player. I'm happy that some of that money is flowing downhill into my pockets to finance my astro-equipment and other indulgences. It's even worth getting barked at by surly 16-year old boys and surly coaches with English accents and parents who think they've paid for the privilige of complaining about the refs.

Yup. AAU basketball here. My daughter doesn't play at the level where we travel a lot but we typically do two tournaments that require three nights in a hotel. Let me tell you that Reno can be quite expensive on Memorial Day weekend when everything is booked up because 900+ teams are in town. Just the session fees and the local tournaments can add up pretty quick. The multi-day travel tournaments just put it over the top.

As for astro costs? Yeah, I've dumped a chunk of change into this hobby in the last few years but to be honest I really don't see the need to spend that much more money. Sure, if a bunch of money drops in my lap I may buy something big (like a larger yet lighter premium scope) but at this point I think the biggest thing left is to build an EQ platform. I'm happy with my gear.

#66 starrancher

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 10:08 PM

It seems that some can be influenced quite easily into thinking that you must have top dollar merchandise or you cannot run with the Joneses . It really is unfortunate the percentage of human beings that can't rationally think for themselves and feel the need to keep up with the so called Joneses is as high as it is . When still residing in So. Cal. , an observing buddy of mine after visiting our local vendors showroom came away reporting to me that Plossls were no more than beginner eyepieces . Being obviously convinced by a salesperson that works on commission no ? Here that you must spend more to gain a half way decent image of Planetary , Lunar or DSOs entering ones eyeball .
Cheese and Rice !
I've looked through enough so called premium oculars to know that this is just not the case . Of course if one feels the need of having to have more than a 52 degree AFOV or you are effectively trying to view through a drinking straw , then by all means , empty every pocket . But the last time I checked , Plossls are still a most highly chosen ocular design for showing fine detail in Planetary viewing . I have personally compared back to back on numerous occasions repeatedly the Plossl and a premium ocular and found that no more can be seen other than a wider FOV from the latter . Only a quality Orthoscopic would be regarded as superior to a Plossl for fine Planetary detail and the FOV is typically narrower .
Another influence is that one must invest in 2" oculars . With a short focal length scope , quite a wide FOV can be had with 1.25" oculars . In my SN8 , I can grab all of M31 with its companions that an 8" can pull in light with a 32mm Plossl . I like the view with the 26mm better even though the galaxy spills over the FOV just a bit . But with a good wide field scope , much can be saved by not having the need for 2" oculars .
Both of my main scopes are also modest units that I wouldn't call something that breaks the bank , but yet I've more than likely had views with this modest equipment that the masses will probably never see . The viewing location , darkness of the sky and pristine seeing conditions will do more for what can be seen with modest equipment than the most expensive stuff out there with lousy sky conditions can .
So , I'm not made of money like the Gieco biker dude and I refuse to put myself in the poorhouse to try to keep up with the Joneses or attempt to impress others .
The "look at me" syndrome has pathetically run rampant in this society today . What a pathetic trait , having to show off to others no matter what the cost .
People that drive vehicles that are worth more than the structure that they reside in just so they can look cool in the eyes of others of so they might think . A sixty thousand dollar auto and not even a garage to keep it in . I just gotta shake my head in disgust and think ,"what an idiot !" . But it doesn't even stop there ! With the advent of the on board thunder box that these morons ride around with in their trunk , if they can't be seen , well by kracky ! , your gonna hear me ! What utter stupidity ! Look at me ! Look at me ! Look at me ! ... And if you can't , then hear me now ! They're so stupid that they don't even know that they make a target out of themselves . No stealth here ! It just gives you time to go get the rocket launcher .
Life's a stage I guess . This ain't a movie for cryin out loud , it's real life , but I guess the weak minded will just continue to remain easily influenced into thinking they have to have more than what they need or they don't amount to much . Of course everybody wants to be the star of the show . No cameo spot for me !

:foreheadslap: :tonofbricks:

#67 stevenf

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Posted 21 November 2012 - 02:55 AM

Cool story bro.

#68 Peter9

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Posted 21 November 2012 - 05:29 AM

Well said. :bow: :bow: :bow:

Regards. Peter

#69 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 21 November 2012 - 06:16 AM

I'm not so sure about the cost, but the value is tremendous.


:waytogo:

Amateur astronomy is a hobby that can be enjoyed on any budget and it's value is not related to the equipment we bring but what we bring inside ourselves.

Jon

#70 highfnum

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Posted 21 November 2012 - 06:52 AM

I started 1967 with 50 dollar scope
I figure 30k over 40 years
Solar scopes and photo cameras eat money

#71 csrlice12

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Posted 21 November 2012 - 08:29 AM

The cost: less then a few counseling sessions.
The views: Priceless; and also result in not needing counseling sessions....

#72 FirstSight

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Posted 21 November 2012 - 09:04 AM

The cost: less then a few counseling sessions.
The views: Priceless; and also result in not needing counseling sessions....


Some of the "counseling sessions" I've had from Dr. Nagler turned out to be rather expensive. But the therapeutic results have been worthwhile, and long-lasting.

#73 EFT

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Posted 21 November 2012 - 10:39 AM

I have certainly spent my share in the hobby and admit to be somewhat of an equipment junky ;) (especially considering how little time I have to get out under the sky, darn that sleeping thing :smirk:). But there are many expensive hobbies. My other hobby/business is restoring vintage musical instruments and they can get quite expensive. Since I got into the astronomy hobby I have spent quite a bit, but I have tried to be careful, research my expenditures and buy used 90% of the time. When possible I even trade to move up in capability. You can spend a lot in this hobby, but can still do it wisely and in many cases you can save money by improving the equipment that you already have due to the good availability of aftermarket vendors and servicers. Personally, the improvement of average equipment to good equipment by tweaking, tuning, and yes, spending, is a fun part of the hobby that I know a lot of people are into (just look at all the DIY people and scope builders out there).

I am personally thankful that this hobby has weathered the great recession fairly well considering that it is far from a necessity for anyone. When I got laid off a few years ago and there were simply no job prospects, I was lucky to be in the hobby and have started an astronomy "hobby" business on the side. Because of that, I was able to make the decision to make the business and hobby my full-time endeavor and avoid loosing everything. While expansion to a full-time business was not in itself cheap or easy, I have been able to benefit from people's willingness to continue to spend in this hobby. I look forward to days when business can do a better job of filling the gap from full-time steady employment, but I have found in past few years that doing something you enjoy for work is more important than the "stability" of a regular paycheck for doing something you don't enjoy and do not plan to go back to that grind.

So on this day before Thanksgiving, I am thankful for amateur astronomers' willingness to continue to spend in these hard times, for if not, my family would be facing a lot more of the trouble that others have faced in the downturn. I encourage people to keep spending, but spend wisely, and when possible, buy American since the benefit to all of us is doubled. If you can afford it, get the "best," but if you cannot, realize that there is a tremendous amount of enjoyment that can be had from equipment that is not the "best". There is no sin in spending any amount of money in the hobby, as long as it does not take food from your table or clothes from your back, but remember that the astronomy hobby is what you make of it, not what you spend on it. It is a hobby that can be enjoyed with anything from a small pair of binoculars to a 1M monster scope. Just be thankful for having a hobby to enjoy and the time to enjoy it.

Thank you for supporting the hobby.
Ed Thomas.

#74 sewhite

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Posted 21 November 2012 - 11:52 AM

Thank you Ed Thomas for sharing word of wisdom with us!

#75 t.r.

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Posted 21 November 2012 - 12:02 PM

Astronomy is like camping. You start off with a 29.00 tent and a garbage bag full of blankets. 20 years later your pulling a fifth wheel with your big @ss truck. Its a journey.

:bow: :lol:

Its human nature to want what you can't have, but this only happens when you read or see how well others have it.


I don't think that is quite what is going on. For me, it is more like this quote from the movie,The Last Samurai, talking about the Japanese..." They are an intriguing people. From the moment they wake, they devote themselves to the perfection of whatever they pursue. I have never seen such discipline". I think many in this hobby strive for just that...perfection! ;)








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