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Beginner scope stories

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#26 killdabuddha



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Posted 02 January 2013 - 11:43 PM

I guess it's true that there aren't really many of us, and I sure never thought we'd have a scope. Talk about alien. I just happened upon CN while researchin which binocular to buy for my gold prospecting trip to AZ. Figured it wouldn't hurt to have some glasses, but then I learned that they were useful for astronomy, which surprised me. After all, what good would 12x be for that? Two months later I got the 20x. But it isn't just me--most people to whom I've shown anything have been just as surprised at what a modest binoc shows. But unlike myself, they'd never spent time here. I'd also already been studyin all things astronomical even before the binocs. But I can honestly say that we would never have a scope were it not for CN, and that even then, when readin the binoc section, we never once thought of a scope. They're so foreign to most of us, and intimidating by what I assumed were the hidden complexities, expensive engineering, and general difficulty. What's more, I assumed that if we were gonna have a real scope, wouldn't it be a refractor? Wasn't the reflector the poor man's scope? Wasn't the emphasis upon (lite) BUCKET? Yes, but it was Dobson who'd said that it was ok, and not anything in the performance of a reflector that made it cheap...

And THAT'S what we get for bein innocent CN readers who just wanted the most for their binocular $$. That, and binocs just happen to be one of those gateway drugs. That's rite. Take away the scope and we're all otherwise exactly the same as any crack addict or vampire. And do you believe in vampires?

#27 Meadeball



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Posted 03 January 2013 - 06:15 AM

And do you believe in vampires?

Only the kind that attach themselves to my legs when I'm observing in a summer field, requiring a bit of tweezer surgery when I get back home ... :tomatodance:

#28 csrlice12



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Posted 03 January 2013 - 09:17 AM

It was 9* last night (and partly cloudy), so I looked at my telescope instead of through it. Which reminds me, I need to go to the scope store and pick up a couple bolt cases.
Romantics? Hey, we're star geeks, we need all the help we can get......

#29 BarabinoSr


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Posted 05 January 2013 - 03:12 PM

I always have had an interest in the Night Sky. I began with a small 1.5" alt-azimuth refractor during the summer of 1965 . I thoroughly enjoyed using the little scope and from there I met my life long friend and brother Mel Dawson who now lives in Riverview Fl later in 1970. We founded the Vega Observatory on Aug. 16,1970 and back then sported a couple of small telescopes- a 60mm f/8 variable power( 15x,30x,45x and 60x) refractor converted to an astronomical scope. We also used a 4"(100m) diameter f/8 Selsi "Star-Gazer) Newtonian on a flimsy alt-azimuth mount. The mount was so bad that we called it a 'Blancmange", but the optics were simple but decent. Today the old Vega Observatory has evolved into the Vega Sky Center( 1975), www.vega-sky-center.com. The website is maintained by webmaster Mel Dawson. (dawsonian2000@yahoo.com)

#30 wdretired


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Posted 05 January 2013 - 10:21 PM

My story began when I found this old wooden crate under a table at a local Tag Sale. . . When I opened it I wasn't impressed because it contained some old metal telescope wrapped in rags. It was marked $100 but someone had crossed it out and wrote $50. . I wasn't going to pay that for it and I wasn't sure I really wanted it at all. . finally I figured I would offer them $25 and hope I wasn't getting took. They accepted it and I put the big heavy wooden crate in the car (barely fit). No manual so I didn't have any idea what kind of scope it was . . so I got online and tried to find a manual. I ended up on Cloudy Nights where some great guys helped me figure out I had an old late 1950's Tasco 10TE. Whoopee Do!, I had no idea what that was . . after learning as much as I could, I finally got it out under the stars and one of the first things I saw was Jupiter and three moons. . . Wow! that did it . . I was hooked. I would have called the men in the white coats a couple of weeks earlier if I had seen someone sitting in their driveway (lights off) playing with a telescope with temps about 18 degrees. After some weeks of learning and viewing, I had a chance to trade a camera for a 127 NextStar telescope. After researching and finding out how good it was, I was really impressed with it and couldn't wait to make the trade, but the trade fell through and I was really disappointed. My wife tried to make me feel better but the disappointment was obvious. I had been saving for a new camera so my wife went to see how much I had saved and told me that if I wanted to make myself a small loan, I could go and order a new one. This type thing happens when you live on a tight budget. This story has a happy ending because in about 4 more days, this newbie will have two telescopes. A reflector and a refractor. Why several weeks ago I couldn't even tell you what a reflector or refractor was. Probably a lot of you will think this man has lost his mind but I'm actually thinking about joining an astronomy club. No telling what I'll do when I see Saturn. I've gone from scratching my head (looking at a telescope) to doing a Polar Alignment. (Grin)

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