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Haas
sage


Reged: 11/22/12

Loc: Wis., USA
Still trying to understand good or bad scopes
      #5537735 - 11/24/12 07:33 PM

Ok, for a beginner, I'm wondering what the thougths are on this scope.
Aperture is king, so with this being a 5" aperture, wouldn't this be a real nice starting scope? This seems kinda cheap, yet the 5" aperture seems pretty attractive. So, if this is one to stay away from what would be the reasons?
Thanks for the wealth of information, you guys are helping me a lot!!

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Celestron+-+PowerSeeker+1000mm+Newtonian+Reflecto...


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frito
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 10/05/12

Loc: Fremont, CA
Re: Still trying to understand good or bad scopes new [Re: Haas]
      #5537753 - 11/24/12 07:48 PM

as a general rule of thumb if you can buy it at a department or electronics store its usually not a great scope. i would say the exception i've seen is fry's electronics sometimes has the celestron nexstar SCT's but they will carry hefty price tags.

what is your experience with astronomy and telescopes? that cheap newt will work ok but i would fear the mount alone will not be very good considering the cost of the scope and if you don't know/want to setup an EQ mount the right way (polar aligining it) it will be a real pain to maneuver around to objects.

just last night actually at our local club's star party in the city we had someone bring a bushnell refractor on an EQ mount out because they could not figure out how to use it and get the finder aligned with the scope. a number of us did our best to try and figure out the mount for a while and gave up on that because its cheap fortunately it was adjustable to alt az so we set it up that way. then we tried to get it to focus on something to align the finder and found that it needed and extension tube or something they were missing to get anything to focus in the thing. now i'm not saying that celestron newt will be that bad but i would not expect it to be a great telescope and you'll end up replacing it or giving up on the hobby if it does give you problems.

my suggestion would be to get a dob, even a small tabletop dob if you want to get really cheap. the advantages of them are no complicated setups just align the red dot sight with the scope then start pointing it at stuff and your off and running no fuss. the larger dobs like 6" and 8" ones are just as simple but require more space and money but will easily outperform anything in their price range.


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oldtimer
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 11/13/08

Loc: Lake County Illinois
Re: Still trying to understand good or bad scopes new [Re: Haas]
      #5537758 - 11/24/12 07:51 PM

With a focal length of 1000mm (40") and a tube length of 26" this must be one of those designs with a built in barlow in the focuser. I would NOT recommend it.

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Ed D
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 04/30/10

Loc: Sunny South Florida
Re: Still trying to understand good or bad scopes new [Re: Haas]
      #5537766 - 11/24/12 07:58 PM

The primary reason to stay away from this one is that it's a Jones-Bird design. Without getting into the technical details, it is an instrument which will give less than stellar performance. There are much better scopes available. Check out these low cost beginner offerings: Orion Beginner Scopes They are having sales right now, as well as offering free shipping. This 70mm refractor is on sale, as well as free shipping.

If aperture is king we would all have a Hubble-size telescope in our back yard. Without good observing conditions the best scope on earth is useless. Also, a scope that is too much for you to handle and ends up gathering dust in a corner is equally useless. True, get the most aperture you can handle and can afford, but don't let that be your primary or only criteria. A tight budget will limit your choices, but you can get a nice little scope that will show you quite a bit and will get you started.

Ed D

Edited by Ed D (11/24/12 08:15 PM)


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Haas
sage


Reged: 11/22/12

Loc: Wis., USA
Re: Still trying to understand good or bad scopes new [Re: frito]
      #5537788 - 11/24/12 08:17 PM

Quote:

as a general rule of thumb if you can buy it at a department or electronics store its usually not a great scope. i would say the exception i've seen is fry's electronics sometimes has the celestron nexstar SCT's but they will carry hefty price tags.

what is your experience with astronomy and telescopes? that cheap newt will work ok but i would fear the mount alone will not be very good considering the cost of the scope and if you don't know/want to setup an EQ mount the right way (polar aligining it) it will be a real pain to maneuver around to objects.

just last night actually at our local club's star party in the city we had someone bring a bushnell refractor on an EQ mount out because they could not figure out how to use it and get the finder aligned with the scope. a number of us did our best to try and figure out the mount for a while and gave up on that because its cheap fortunately it was adjustable to alt az so we set it up that way. then we tried to get it to focus on something to align the finder and found that it needed and extension tube or something they were missing to get anything to focus in the thing. now i'm not saying that celestron newt will be that bad but i would not expect it to be a great telescope and you'll end up replacing it or giving up on the hobby if it does give you problems.

my suggestion would be to get a dob, even a small tabletop dob if you want to get really cheap. the advantages of them are no complicated setups just align the red dot sight with the scope then start pointing it at stuff and your off and running no fuss. the larger dobs like 6" and 8" ones are just as simple but require more space and money but will easily outperform anything in their price range.




Well, as I mentioned in the original post, I am definitely beginner. As for being in a department store, I can certain understand the sentiment there, but I thought since the brand name was one of a good reputation, it might be alright.


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Haas
sage


Reged: 11/22/12

Loc: Wis., USA
Re: Still trying to understand good or bad scopes new [Re: oldtimer]
      #5537789 - 11/24/12 08:18 PM

Quote:

With a focal length of 1000mm (40") and a tube length of 26" this must be one of those designs with a built in barlow in the focuser. I would NOT recommend it.




I'm really not considering the purchase of this, as much as I'm just on a fact finding mission. Can you explain why that focal length is concerning to you?


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Warren914
super member
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Reged: 03/21/12

Loc: Nova Scotia, Canada
Re: Still trying to understand good or bad scopes new [Re: Haas]
      #5537794 - 11/24/12 08:24 PM

Look for a used telescope nearby. There's a 8-inch SkyWatcher for $200 not far from me. You will often get better value getting used equipment or eyepieces.

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frito
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 10/05/12

Loc: Fremont, CA
Re: Still trying to understand good or bad scopes new [Re: Haas]
      #5537796 - 11/24/12 08:25 PM

Quote:

Quote:

With a focal length of 1000mm (40") and a tube length of 26" this must be one of those designs with a built in barlow in the focuser. I would NOT recommend it.




I'm really not considering the purchase of this, as much as I'm just on a fact finding mission. Can you explain why that focal length is concerning to you?




its not the focal length that is the problem. its the fact that it has that long of a focal length yet the tube is only 26" long (660mm) what this tells us is that its using a barlow to increase the focal length of the telescope and that sort of design is common with small cheap reflectors and it performs horribly.

if it truly was a 1000mm FL newtonian then the length of the tube would be in the area of 42-46" long.

Celestron's bottom of the line scopes you often find in stores are often not the greatest telescope you can buy for your money. some people will sware by certain models though YMMV.


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Haas
sage


Reged: 11/22/12

Loc: Wis., USA
Re: Still trying to understand good or bad scopes new [Re: frito]
      #5537813 - 11/24/12 08:36 PM

Quote:

Quote:

Quote:

With a focal length of 1000mm (40") and a tube length of 26" this must be one of those designs with a built in barlow in the focuser. I would NOT recommend it.




I'm really not considering the purchase of this, as much as I'm just on a fact finding mission. Can you explain why that focal length is concerning to you?




its not the focal length that is the problem. its the fact that it has that long of a focal length yet the tube is only 26" long (660mm) what this tells us is that its using a barlow to increase the focal length of the telescope and that sort of design is common with small cheap reflectors and it performs horribly.

if it truly was a 1000mm FL newtonian then the length of the tube would be in the area of 42-46" long.

Celestron's bottom of the line scopes you often find in stores are often not the greatest telescope you can buy for your money. some people will sware by certain models though YMMV.




Ok, thanks for the explanation. I gotta say, for a beginner to find a decent starter scope, this is one overwhelming task to get educated on it.


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Haas
sage


Reged: 11/22/12

Loc: Wis., USA
Re: Still trying to understand good or bad scopes new [Re: Warren914]
      #5537819 - 11/24/12 08:39 PM

Quote:

Look for a used telescope nearby. There's a 8-inch SkyWatcher for $200 not far from me. You will often get better value getting used equipment or eyepieces.




Yeah, I've been looking real hard. So far, I'm not finding much to excite me a whole lot. So far what I've found is a Meade EXT 70 AT, but they want $125.00 for it. Seems a lot for that used. I've also found a skywatcher dob, but it's only a 4.5 and they want $250 for it.


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JohnMurphyRN
sage
*****

Reged: 09/09/12

Loc: Near St Louis
Re: Still trying to understand good or bad scopes new [Re: Haas]
      #5537832 - 11/24/12 08:50 PM

If cost comes into it, then used is the only way to go. A used orion/zhumel/apertura/GSO or whatever(possibly Discovery or even someone's ATM), in the 6-12" range, costing somewhere from $150-600, is the most bang for the buck. Lots of GSO 12"s around for less than $500.

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MikeBOKC
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Reged: 05/10/10

Loc: Oklahoma City, OK
Re: Still trying to understand good or bad scopes new [Re: Haas]
      #5537858 - 11/24/12 09:14 PM

Are you within range of a local astronomy club? If so, drop in on them and try out some scopes. Many clubs also have loaner scopes for newcomers, and all of them can offer good advice. Plus you might find a good used scope deal among the members as well.

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Haas
sage


Reged: 11/22/12

Loc: Wis., USA
Re: Still trying to understand good or bad scopes new [Re: MikeBOKC]
      #5537879 - 11/24/12 09:28 PM

Quote:

Are you within range of a local astronomy club? If so, drop in on them and try out some scopes. Many clubs also have loaner scopes for newcomers, and all of them can offer good advice. Plus you might find a good used scope deal among the members as well.




Yeah, I think I found one just about 10 minutes from my house. I'll be checking them out soon. What do you do, just find out when they meet, and then just show up?


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izar187
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 09/02/06

Loc: 43N
Re: Still trying to understand good or bad scopes new [Re: Haas]
      #5537910 - 11/24/12 10:01 PM

Exactly.
Most clubs do public outreach, and a good part of their purpose is to meet new folks.


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Haas
sage


Reged: 11/22/12

Loc: Wis., USA
Re: Still trying to understand good or bad scopes new [Re: izar187]
      #5537945 - 11/24/12 10:19 PM

Quote:

Exactly.
Most clubs do public outreach, and a good part of their purpose is to meet new folks.




Ha ha, well, I'm a little bit on the shy side with new people, but I'll get through it.


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panhard
It's All Good
*****

Reged: 01/20/08

Loc: Markham Ontario Canada
Re: Still trying to understand good or bad scopes new [Re: Haas]
      #5537955 - 11/24/12 10:23 PM

Don't worry we all gather for the same purpose. I promise no one will bite you they are well fed before going out for the nightly viewing sessions.

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TahoeNoob
sage
*****

Reged: 10/31/12

Loc: Sierra Nevada
Re: Still trying to understand good or bad scopes new [Re: panhard]
      #5537990 - 11/24/12 10:42 PM

That's just great! It's hard enough to break into this hobby! Now I find out that the noobs have to feed the oldtimers too? That just ain't right!

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panhard
It's All Good
*****

Reged: 01/20/08

Loc: Markham Ontario Canada
Re: Still trying to understand good or bad scopes new [Re: TahoeNoob]
      #5538015 - 11/24/12 10:56 PM

Quote:

Now I find out that the noobs have to feed the oldtimers too? That just ain't right!


Don't worry they are fed before going out.

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Haas
sage


Reged: 11/22/12

Loc: Wis., USA
Re: Still trying to understand good or bad scopes new [Re: panhard]
      #5538023 - 11/24/12 11:09 PM

I'll throw some snacks in my pocket.......just in case.

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Tony Flanders
Postmaster
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Reged: 05/18/06

Loc: Cambridge, MA, USA
Re: Still trying to understand good or bad scopes new [Re: Haas]
      #5538315 - 11/25/12 06:52 AM

Quote:

Ok, for a beginner, I'm wondering what the thougths are on this scope.
Aperture is king, so with this being a 5" aperture, wouldn't this be a real nice starting scope? This seems kinda cheap, yet the 5" aperture seems pretty attractive. So, if this is one to stay away from what would be the reasons?
Thanks for the wealth of information, you guys are helping me a lot!!

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Celestron+-+PowerSeeker+1000mm+Newtonian+Reflecto...




In addition to the problematic Bird-Jones design, the mount for this scope seems distinctly anemic. Compare it to one of Celestron's high-end German equatorial mounts. See how much thicker the shafts and bearings are?

Having said all that, the scope you mention undoubtedly would work for you, and deliver very impressive views. But it would take a lot more patience and fiddling than a similar scope costing 50% more.

The most important thing that money buys you at the bottom end of the market is ease of use.


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Haas
sage


Reged: 11/22/12

Loc: Wis., USA
Re: Still trying to understand good or bad scopes new [Re: Tony Flanders]
      #5538824 - 11/25/12 02:17 PM

Still considering strongly a dob, since most suggest these for beginners, and the most aperture for the buck. But I just read another thread about a fellow heading to the dark skies of Wyoming, and most people are suggesting to him to get a dob because the dobs work best for black skies. If I'm mostly in a city, would a dob still be ok, or will it disappoint because of all the city lights?

If dob is still ok in city lights, what's your thoughts on the pricing for this one?

http://milwaukee.craigslist.org/for/3423152346.html

Edited by Haas (11/25/12 02:34 PM)


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panhard
It's All Good
*****

Reged: 01/20/08

Loc: Markham Ontario Canada
Re: Still trying to understand good or bad scopes new [Re: Haas]
      #5538894 - 11/25/12 02:55 PM

Whoever posted that doesn't know squat about telescopes ( lenses are eyepieces) be careful. I would want to see it first.
Here is the price of a new one. Look for the xt4.5 in the listing.link


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Haas
sage


Reged: 11/22/12

Loc: Wis., USA
Re: Still trying to understand good or bad scopes new [Re: panhard]
      #5538945 - 11/25/12 03:19 PM

Ok, so according to the craigslist ad, it comes with a barlow, so the one in your link with a barlow is $299. If they are willing to sell for $230, is this considered decent? I don't know the depreciation of these things.

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SteveG
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Reged: 09/27/06

Loc: Seattle, WA
Re: Still trying to understand good or bad scopes new [Re: Haas]
      #5538973 - 11/25/12 03:34 PM

Haas, that's too much for that scope. Keep looking - i see much better deals all the time. Hold out for a 6" or 8" dob. I typically see 4.5 " dob's go for less than $100, and 6" & 8" dob's going between $150 - $250.

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csrlice12
Postmaster
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Reged: 05/22/12

Loc: Denver, CO
Re: Still trying to understand good or bad scopes new [Re: Haas]
      #5538996 - 11/25/12 03:48 PM

Quote:

Ok, for a beginner, I'm wondering what the thougths are on this scope.
Aperture is king, so with this being a 5" aperture, wouldn't this be a real nice starting scope? This seems kinda cheap, yet the 5" aperture seems pretty attractive. So, if this is one to stay away from what would be the reasons?
Thanks for the wealth of information, you guys are helping me a lot!!

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Celestron+-+PowerSeeker+1000mm+Newtonian+Reflecto...




It's a Bird Jones design; run, run fast in the opposite direction. This thing screams buy something else......You'd be better off with a 6" Dob--a much higher quality scope and you can get it used for about the same price (maybe even new on sale). And that dob's optics will be much,much better.

Like others have said, department store scopes just aren't worth the money.


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csrlice12
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Reged: 05/22/12

Loc: Denver, CO
Re: Still trying to understand good or bad scopes new [Re: Haas]
      #5539006 - 11/25/12 03:55 PM

Quote:

I'll throw some snacks in my pocket.......just in case.




That just means the bear will chase you first...


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frito
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 10/05/12

Loc: Fremont, CA
Re: Still trying to understand good or bad scopes new [Re: SteveG]
      #5539011 - 11/25/12 03:58 PM

Quote:

Haas, that's too much for that scope. Keep looking - i see much better deals all the time. Hold out for a 6" or 8" dob. I typically see 4.5 " dob's go for less than $100, and 6" & 8" dob's going between $150 - $250.




+1 this.

to the OP that XT4.5 is not a bad scope but if your taller you better see it first because they are very small and low to the ground. its a great scope for kids due to its size off the ground. all this being said they are asking far to much for it, probably sticking too much weight into the extra eyepieces and filters that honestly are not worth that much on the used market either. i would not pay more than 150 for it but then again i would not buy it because it will require a stand to raise it up high enough to comfortably use from a astronomy chair or standing.

the XT6,8, and 10 are all taller than this scope and are the same height. for all but the lowest objects in the sky the eyepiece is high enough off the ground to use sitting comfortably and as the person i quoted above said the XT6's sell used for 150-200 and the XT8's for 200-250 don't pay more unless there's a good reason.


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panhard
It's All Good
*****

Reged: 01/20/08

Loc: Markham Ontario Canada
Re: Still trying to understand good or bad scopes new [Re: SteveG]
      #5539024 - 11/25/12 04:11 PM

Quote:

Haas, that's too much for that scope. Keep looking - i see much better deals all the time. Hold out for a 6" or 8" dob. I typically see 4.5 " dob's go for less than $100, and 6" & 8" dob's going between $150 - $250.


Way too much.

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Haas
sage


Reged: 11/22/12

Loc: Wis., USA
Re: Still trying to understand good or bad scopes new [Re: frito]
      #5539025 - 11/25/12 04:11 PM

Ok, thanks guys. I'm just getting anxious, and there aren't too many new ones popping up around here on Craigs list. I'm trying to go used to get more bang for the buck.

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panhard
It's All Good
*****

Reged: 01/20/08

Loc: Markham Ontario Canada
Re: Still trying to understand good or bad scopes new [Re: Haas]
      #5539059 - 11/25/12 04:33 PM

Don't get too anxious. That usually ends up resulting in poor decisions ok.

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frito
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 10/05/12

Loc: Fremont, CA
Re: Still trying to understand good or bad scopes new [Re: Haas]
      #5539078 - 11/25/12 04:40 PM

Quote:

Ok, thanks guys. I'm just getting anxious, and there aren't too many new ones popping up around here on Craigs list. I'm trying to go used to get more bang for the buck.




patience is a virtue when it comes to shopping the local Craigslist for scopes. i rarely see killer deals pop up. but when i do and i'm in the market i jump on it. i would check local astronomy clubs too. they may have members who buy up the deals on craigslist so they can fix them up and resell them to new members for much less than retail or for use in loaner scope programs. my club does this and its sort of funny when my XT8 i got for 200 showed up on CL i stole it out from under a friend of mine in the club who usually buys them up. that same night we had a party planned and i showed up with the scope and told him that i snagged it off craigslist for 200 earlier that day and he was like it was you!!! lol

if you just chomping at the bit to get out and view stuff local clubs are great for that too. then it will give you an idea of whats out there and whats popular and how they perform. don't be afraid to ask if anyone has scopes they want to sell, many people collect too many and don't think about selling them until someone brings it up.


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Cliff Hipsher
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Reged: 12/31/08

Loc: North Chesterfield, VA
Re: Still trying to understand good or bad scopes new [Re: Haas]
      #5539086 - 11/25/12 04:42 PM

Quote:

Quote:

With a focal length of 1000mm (40") and a tube length of 26" this must be one of those designs with a built in barlow in the focuser. I would NOT recommend it.




I'm really not considering the purchase of this, as much as I'm just on a fact finding mission. Can you explain why that focal length is concerning to you?




I have a similar scope as well as an 8" Meade SCT, so I'll give you the low down.

A Newtonian Reflector uses a parabolic primary mirror.

A Bird-Jones Reflector uses a spherical primary mirror.

A Bird-Jones Reflector also uses a "corrector lens assembly" (which some call a Barlow) to compensate for optical issues with spherical mirrors. Some times you may see these scopes advertised as being Catadioptric because they use mirrors AND lenses in the optical train. Purists will argue that point, but who cares?

Any way, the reason Bird-Jones Reflectors are so inexpensive is because it costs less to make a spherical mirror.

And if I may be so bold, a Bird-Jones is not really a 'bad' design. The issues I have seen with Bird-Jones Reflectors have been in the execution, with problems ranging from the mount to the eyepieces that come with the scope.

In my case, the EPs that came with my scope were junk. When I tried a Meade 26mm Super Plossol I was surprised at how good that little scope (102mm) really is.

With that being said, knowing what I know now I would not buy a Bird-Jones again. And its not because the design is bad, its because of where and how these scopes are being manufactured.

If I were you I would hold out for at least a 6" DOB. I snagged a 6" Meade Starfinder for my sister for a mere $100.00, and she loves it.


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Haas
sage


Reged: 11/22/12

Loc: Wis., USA
Re: Still trying to understand good or bad scopes new [Re: Cliff Hipsher]
      #5539105 - 11/25/12 04:49 PM

The only thing making me shy away from dobs is the lack of storage room I have, and my possibility of getting too "lazy" to drag it out for some viewing. I was also considering some of the meade ext's for that very reason.
It's hard for me to tell what's good, and what to stay away from.


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frito
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 10/05/12

Loc: Fremont, CA
Re: Still trying to understand good or bad scopes new [Re: Haas]
      #5539113 - 11/25/12 05:04 PM

a smaller dob while larger in storage and a bit heavier as well than a 4-5" tripod mounted scope are about 5 to 10 times easier to drag out and get setup properly and start viewing with.

trust me i know from experience. i go out to star parties in the area with the club nearly every weekend. i'm setup and ready to view in less than 10 min and i have 2 finder scopes to adjust as well as collimating the scope and very often i don't even need to collimate it because my XT8 holds its collimation surprisingly well.

mean while the guys with newts on goto EQ mounts are leveling their tripod, assembling the mount on the tripod. putting the OTA on the mount. playing with the counter balance weights for a bit. then polar aligning.... you get the picture.

an Alt Az tripod mounted refractor is about as fast and easy to setup as a dob but the difference in what you can see is very large at the same price point and thats why i think the Dob's win.


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csrlice12
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Reged: 05/22/12

Loc: Denver, CO
Re: Still trying to understand good or bad scopes new [Re: Haas]
      #5539115 - 11/25/12 05:04 PM

I'd look at the CN classifieds here in the reflector area. You will more likely get better equipment at a better price then craigslist. It has also more likely been taken care of. CN also has a rating system so you can check out prior history of buyers/sellers. Much safer then craigs list, especiallly if you are not familiar with the equipment.

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Haas
sage


Reged: 11/22/12

Loc: Wis., USA
Re: Still trying to understand good or bad scopes new [Re: csrlice12]
      #5539138 - 11/25/12 05:32 PM

Good Points, frito. I'll keep searching for that dob.

csrlice12 --- I looked a bit on CN classifieds, but that's when I still thought I could get something satisfactory for under $150. I'll look again now that I realize I'm just going to have to spend a bit more.
The reason I was going thru craigs list so much was because I figured there, I was more likely to run across someone who has a very nice scope, but got bored with it, and then is looking to dump it cheap.


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JohnMurphyRN
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Reged: 09/09/12

Loc: Near St Louis
Re: Still trying to understand good or bad scopes new [Re: Haas]
      #5539171 - 11/25/12 05:52 PM

Quote:

Good Points, frito. I'll keep searching for that dob.

csrlice12 --- I looked a bit on CN classifieds, but that's when I still thought I could get something satisfactory for under $150. I'll look again now that I realize I'm just going to have to spend a bit more.
The reason I was going thru craigs list so much was because I figured there, I was more likely to run across someone who has a very nice scope, but got bored with it, and then is looking to dump it cheap.




At CNC you typically see 'real' telescopes for sale at around 60% of replacement cost.

On Craigslist you typically see telescope-shaped objects that most people wouldn't be interested in at a free price point. HOWEVER, occasionally you can sneak up on something pretty good, most often priced at 90% of new (overpriced). RARELY but SOMETIMES you can find something worthwhile having and it also be a pretty good deal. I got my 12.5" Discovery with a bunch of accessories off of Craigslist at a price I'd consider reasonable for the bare primary mirror. I got my Paracorr off Craigslist at a price point I was concerned it was stolen (it wasn't). I got my 17.5", BinoVue, an Ethos EP, a pair of Panoptics, and a Nexstar 6 (pending) off of CNC, all for "reasonable" prices.

With CNC you have a higher degree of certainty that the scope was maintained due to the owner having some knowledge on the topic. You'll probably pay something resembling "reasonable" value.

For an entry level dob if the primary mirror looks ok and you can look through it and see something, it's probably a reasonable low risk at 60% of replacement. You'll find people who know nothing about what they have on Craiglist. This works both ways: you might get it cheap, or they may have damaged it so extensively that you wouldn't want it free.

It's worthwhile looking everywhere, you never know what you'll run accross. Where are you located?


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Haas
sage


Reged: 11/22/12

Loc: Wis., USA
Re: Still trying to understand good or bad scopes new [Re: JohnMurphyRN]
      #5539214 - 11/25/12 06:31 PM

John, I'm in Waukesha, Wisconsin.

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Pentax Syntax
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Reged: 11/03/12

Loc: Maryland
Re: Still trying to understand good or bad scopes new [Re: Haas]
      #5539233 - 11/25/12 06:44 PM

Photons are photons and the Dob will be fine if you find a good one. City astronomy can be challenging but shouldn't really change the scope you are considering. Such things as ergonomics, portability are far more important in making that decision.

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JohnMurphyRN
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Reged: 09/09/12

Loc: Near St Louis
Re: Still trying to understand good or bad scopes new [Re: Haas]
      #5539235 - 11/25/12 06:45 PM

Ok, I just went and looked at Cragslist near to you. I see a couple of things that are mildly interesting but overpriced (but perhaps they'll take less?) and one that SEEMS LIKE A SCREAMING DEAL TO ME...

The Nexstar5 is a good scope, but $500 is more than I'd give - more like $350. There's an XT8 for $285, would be interesting to me at $200, and is what the people around here recommend as the ideal starting scope.

AND THERE'S A 10" DOB FOR $110!!!!! AN OLD COULTER 10.1 DOB!! The pics are good enough to convince me it should be useable. If it was close to me I'd jump on it myself. If you don't get it, I'll try get the guy to ship me just the optics eyepieces and focuser out of it. (assuming it doesn't get pounced on now that I've drawn attention to it)


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frito
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 10/05/12

Loc: Fremont, CA
Re: Still trying to understand good or bad scopes new [Re: JohnMurphyRN]
      #5539253 - 11/25/12 06:55 PM

Quote:

Ok, I just went and looked at Cragslist near to you. I see a couple of things that are mildly interesting but overpriced (but perhaps they'll take less?) and one that SEEMS LIKE A SCREAMING DEAL TO ME...

The Nexstar5 is a good scope, but $500 is more than I'd give - more like $350. There's an XT8 for $285, would be interesting to me at $200, and is what the people around here recommend as the ideal starting scope.

AND THERE'S A 10" DOB FOR $110!!!!! AN OLD COULTER 10.1 DOB!! The pics are good enough to convince me it should be useable. If it was close to me I'd jump on it myself. If you don't get it, I'll try get the guy to ship me just the optics eyepieces and focuser out of it. (assuming it doesn't get pounced on now that I've drawn attention to it)




haha yeah that coulters a steal in pretty much any condition. you could get the mirror stripped and recoated and still be good.

XT8 at 285 is a bit steep. if they will go down to 250 or less i'd pick it up if the coulter's junk or sold already.


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Haas
sage


Reged: 11/22/12

Loc: Wis., USA
Re: Still trying to understand good or bad scopes new [Re: JohnMurphyRN]
      #5539293 - 11/25/12 07:25 PM

Yeah, I saw that one, and it was such a cheap price, I just assumed it to be something wrong, or typo, or something.

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frito
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 10/05/12

Loc: Fremont, CA
Re: Still trying to understand good or bad scopes new [Re: Haas]
      #5539294 - 11/25/12 07:27 PM

no, its just an old scope. they are not pretty but they are good scopes. i viewed through a guys 13.1 Coulter a number a weekends ago and it handily beat my XT8 on Andromeda galaxy (M31) and it should.

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Haas
sage


Reged: 11/22/12

Loc: Wis., USA
Re: Still trying to understand good or bad scopes new [Re: JohnMurphyRN]
      #5539312 - 11/25/12 07:40 PM

Go for it, John. That thing is just too massive for me. I don't even have a decent place to store it.
I might contact the guy on that 8 incher.


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Haas
sage


Reged: 11/22/12

Loc: Wis., USA
Re: Still trying to understand good or bad scopes new [Re: Haas]
      #5539319 - 11/25/12 07:42 PM

Even at $200 bucks, for me to travel to Lodi, and back, will probably cost me another $60 in gas.

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JohnMurphyRN
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Reged: 09/09/12

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Re: Still trying to understand good or bad scopes new [Re: Haas]
      #5539324 - 11/25/12 07:44 PM

Quote:

Go for it, John. That thing is just too massive for me. I don't even have a decent place to store it.
I might contact the guy on that 8 incher.




ok.....Offer at asking price sent for just the optics. We'll see what comes of it. Getting those optics at that price is enough to get me to take the ATM plunge.


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frito
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 10/05/12

Loc: Fremont, CA
Re: Still trying to understand good or bad scopes new [Re: Haas]
      #5539331 - 11/25/12 07:50 PM

Quote:

Even at $200 bucks, for me to travel to Lodi, and back, will probably cost me another $60 in gas.




see if they will meet you half way? many people will. it never hurts to ask questions, you never know how desperate they might be to sell it and if it does not sell quickly they could change their mind.

imho you cannot go wrong with an XT8 or any other 8" dob to start off with. they are light enough to be carried as a single unit and small enough that you can stick them in a corner at your house when not in use. easily fits in a 20 x 20 square area.


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Haas
sage


Reged: 11/22/12

Loc: Wis., USA
Re: Still trying to understand good or bad scopes new [Re: frito]
      #5539344 - 11/25/12 07:57 PM

Quote:

Quote:

Even at $200 bucks, for me to travel to Lodi, and back, will probably cost me another $60 in gas.




see if they will meet you half way? many people will. it never hurts to ask questions, you never know how desperate they might be to sell it and if it does not sell quickly they could change their mind.

imho you cannot go wrong with an XT8 or any other 8" dob to start off with. they are light enough to be carried as a single unit and small enough that you can stick them in a corner at your house when not in use. easily fits in a 20 x 20 square area.




True, and I never thought of the idea of meeting half way. I already contacted him asking how firm he was on price, we'll see where it goes from there. Getting excited already. You'd think I was a 8 year old on Christmas eve.


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krp
Vendor. DarkSiteFinder.com


Reged: 11/10/10

Loc: Central Illinois
Re: Still trying to understand good or bad scopes new [Re: Haas]
      #5539411 - 11/25/12 08:57 PM

Good luck, an 8" dob will show you a lot.

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BigC
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 09/29/10

Loc: SE Indiana
Re: Still trying to understand good or bad scopes new [Re: Haas]
      #5539742 - 11/26/12 02:06 AM

Haas,

Sent you aPM that ought to be of interest.

The scope in the link you posted is overpriced. I paid just over $100 for a 4.5" Starblast used,including shipping from Arizona last year.

Of course some areas have more people offering scopes for sale so chances of finding a good deal vary by your location.

Generally you don't want to pay too close to new price for a used item because you don't have any warranty or return protection.


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Jerry-rigged
sage


Reged: 01/30/12

Loc: Coastal Texas.
Re: Still trying to understand good or bad scopes new [Re: Haas]
      #5540545 - 11/26/12 03:42 PM

Quote:

Go for it, John. That thing is just too massive for me. I don't even have a decent place to store it.
I might contact the guy on that 8 incher.




ANd here I though I got a good deal with my Coulter 10" for $200. Really, though, it does not take up a lot of space. Just a 22" square patch of my garage. And my 10" coulter puts up nice views.

Oh, and your comment about a dob vs an ETX - I have an ETX 90, it is a nice scope, but despite being 40lbs heavier, the dob is more of a grab and go - I just move it to the driveway (one minute), grab my eyepiece box (30 seconds), check collimation(< 1 minute, usually) and I am ready to go, less than 5 minutes. With my ETX, the scope in inside, the tripod in the garage (two trips out) + mount the scope, then get an extension cord and untangle the 12v cord ( I don't use the AA's) Level (usually 5 minutes or so), find "home" and north & level( another minute or three), 2 star align (menus and slewing across the sky take time, 5-10 minutes), and 15 - 20 minutes later I am ready to observe. Not really grab & go. Once it is set up, the Go-to is nice, but I only have a 90mm scope.


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galexand
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Reged: 07/10/12

Loc: Bloomington Indiana
Re: Still trying to understand good or bad scopes new [Re: JohnMurphyRN]
      #5540603 - 11/26/12 04:20 PM

John, You just made my day. There was a 10" coulter odyssey compact on local craigslist, for "best offer." I am looking for a 3" refractor, but I have a soft spot for homeless animals and 10" should be enough aperture to last a lifetime. So I told him, "Try not to be insulted, but I'll give you $100" and the next day the dude dropped it off at my house! (grumbling that his wife can't stand having it take up space)

New toy curse, only got to see the moon and jupiter before a bank of clouds moved in! It's short an EP and finder, in pretty rough condition, but the fix-it list is only half a dozen items, and excepting the hazy mirror (which I will get re-coated if I fall in love with it), it is not going to be expensive.

Anyways, I'm a little excited to have such a large instrument, especially since I only risked $100, so I can experiment with it relatively fearlessly. Maybe I got a great deal, I'm not sure yet.

But I would say, I wouldn't wish this sucker on the unprepared! Between storage, transportation, and usage, it is a bear all around! Plus, you know, it's been a couple years since 1986...


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Haas
sage


Reged: 11/22/12

Loc: Wis., USA
Re: Still trying to understand good or bad scopes new [Re: galexand]
      #5540708 - 11/26/12 05:32 PM

Got the pm, big C, and thanks!!

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Haas
sage


Reged: 11/22/12

Loc: Wis., USA
Re: Still trying to understand good or bad scopes new [Re: krp]
      #5541057 - 11/26/12 09:13 PM

Quote:

Good luck, an 8" dob will show you a lot.




Well, as it turns out, the guy said he just put it up there, and isn't willing to come any lower than $275 bucks for the 8 inch dob.


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