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Equipment Discussions >> Equipment

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kbastro
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 04/20/08

Loc: Running from Clouds
True cost of astronomy?
      #5524721 - 11/17/12 05:17 PM

I often pondered the cost of astronomy,, finacially,,,
equipment, accessories & books + travel cost... (escaping to dark sites aka on the road)..
I know I have been travelling on the road for 18 yrs to get to supreme dark skies as well as investing a minumum of at least 30K towards equipment over the past 18 years,,.

is it just me, or does everyone want big better faster more?? (and darker)!

so after having owned/owning at least 25 scopes and about 7 mounts as well as film/digital/ccd cameras and traveling more than 150,000 miles in that time to image/observe,

I wonder how much money I would have,, or spent,,

help my head is spinning.....

Kev b


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csrlice12
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 05/22/12

Loc: Denver, CO
Re: True cost of astronomy? new [Re: kbastro]
      #5524732 - 11/17/12 05:25 PM

It's not a matter of how much you spent, it's a matter of if it was worth it. So far for me, worth every penny. But, then, I'm only at about $3K so far....but the views, priceless....

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Glen A W
sage


Reged: 07/04/08

Loc: WEST VIRGINIA USA
Re: True cost of astronomy? new [Re: csrlice12]
      #5524749 - 11/17/12 05:34 PM

It's a joke. I have spent like you, Kev. Now I have scopes I like and they are not overly fancy. I have come to recognize that this is about the sky. I was never into the consumerism as much as some, but still - if you have the money, it is easy to fall into.

I am totally happy with my current scopes, and I intend to use them until they are no longer serviceable. I enjoy the sky much more by not concentrating on equipment. Some of the best views I have had lately were from Spruce Knob, after Hurricane Sandy, a trip on which I took no equipment!

GW


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Glen A W
sage


Reged: 07/04/08

Loc: WEST VIRGINIA USA
Re: True cost of astronomy? new [Re: Glen A W]
      #5524752 - 11/17/12 05:35 PM

And, you hear people complain about the high cost of astronomy, but you can buy a used C8 for $450 and the needed accessories and books for a couple hundred more. "Astronomy" does not require constant outlay, especially if you live where you can observe. "Buying things compulsively" is another matter. I'm not out to make anyone mad - I have been guilty myself. I don't have 78 eyepieces just by chance. GW

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Glen A W
sage


Reged: 07/04/08

Loc: WEST VIRGINIA USA
Re: True cost of astronomy? new [Re: Glen A W]
      #5524762 - 11/17/12 05:39 PM

Not to beat this to death, but compulsive or not, the money I have spent was worth every penny. GW

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Midnight Dan
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 01/23/08

Loc: Hilton, NY, Yellow Zone (Bortl...
Re: True cost of astronomy? new [Re: Glen A W]
      #5524786 - 11/17/12 05:52 PM

You can spend a lot on any hobby. The nice thing about astronomy is that you can buy some decent gear for not too much money, and that's all you really HAVE to spend. If you want to get buy pretty cheaply, you can.

My astronomy expenses pale compared to my wife's hobby - horses. The ongoing costs for food, horse shoes, vet care, etc. are large and continuous and don't stop unless you drop the hobby all together.

For my 2 cents, astronomy is a pretty modestly priced hobby. But again, like any hobby, you can always choose to spend as much as you want.

-Dan


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csrlice12
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 05/22/12

Loc: Denver, CO
Re: True cost of astronomy? new [Re: Midnight Dan]
      #5524790 - 11/17/12 05:54 PM

Anyone know how to mount a scope on a Bass boat????

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SubaruB4
member


Reged: 11/14/12

Loc: Greenwich, CT
Re: True cost of astronomy? new [Re: Glen A W]
      #5524807 - 11/17/12 06:04 PM

Quote:

And, you hear people complain about the high cost of astronomy, but you can buy a used C8 for $450 and the needed accessories and books for a couple hundred more. "Astronomy" does not require constant outlay, especially if you live where you can observe. "Buying things compulsively" is another matter. I'm not out to make anyone mad - I have been guilty myself. I don't have 78 eyepieces just by chance. GW




I've always wanted a scope since my early teens but the cost was a huge put off, I'm not sure where the $450 comes from for the C8 but I don't think ebay has that many great deals.

But I say for most the price is a huge turn off.


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Starman1
Vendor (EyepiecesEtc.com)
*****

Reged: 06/24/03

Loc: Los Angeles
Re: True cost of astronomy? new [Re: SubaruB4]
      #5524832 - 11/17/12 06:22 PM

1) It's my hobby, my profession, and my passion.
2) I can't take it with me.
3) The people in the industry are generally so nice......
4) I enjoy the buying experience and getting new toys--don't you?
5) Because I travel to observe, I probably have paid more for gas over the years than I have for all the equipment I've bought.
Gas is more expensive now than 40 years ago, but my income is higher, too, so it probably evens out.
That's an exaggeration, of course, but still! I went out last Sunday night and the 354 mile round trip cost me $52 in gas, and I have a small car.
[My "close" dark sky site is a round trip of ~200 miles].
Figure 12X a year for the last 35 years.......
Nope. I've spent more than that for just eyepieces.
6) I've got to face it, I'm an addict. The 12 step plan to beat it entails....naw, who am I kidding? I don't want to be cured!
And my wife is an enabler--after 10 purchases on eBay, she says to me, "Honey, don't you need a new eyepiece or something?"
Life is Good.


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MikeBOKC
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 05/10/10

Loc: Oklahoma City, OK
Re: True cost of astronomy? new [Re: kbastro]
      #5524856 - 11/17/12 06:32 PM

I have owned eight scopes in my life since the first 60mm refractor in 1957. Have three currently and will probably add one more, but I expect the scopes to outlive me. Eyepieces and other accessories? Maybe 20 items total. I suspect I have about $12,000 iin current equipment, accumulated over a number of years. Might spend another $3,000 tops. I know people who have twice that much invested in boats, three-wheelers, expensive shotguns for competitive trap shooting, huge home entertainment centers, one with a single-engine airplane, etc. Not to mention the people with lake or mountain cabins or trailers. And I bet I get more hours of use out of my astro gear in a year than any of them do with their toys. So no, this is not an expensive hobby if you figure cost per hour, and certainly not when you add in the enjoyment and satisfaction. And one of the nicest things about it is that once each of us shuffles off the mortal coil we know someone somewhere will continue to use and enjoy the equipment we left behind.

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thomas68
professor emeritus


Reged: 01/25/11

Loc: North west Indiana
Re: True cost of astronomy? new [Re: Starman1]
      #5524863 - 11/17/12 06:37 PM

I just hope my wife don't find out how much I've spent in the last two years!

Tom


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dlapoint
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 08/18/03

Loc: Moncton NB Canada
Re: True cost of astronomy? new [Re: MikeBOKC]
      #5524866 - 11/17/12 06:40 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.

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csa/montana
Den Mama
*****

Reged: 05/14/05

Loc: montana
Re: True cost of astronomy? new [Re: SubaruB4]
      #5524873 - 11/17/12 06:46 PM

Quote:

I've always wanted a scope since my early teens but the cost was a huge put off, I'm not sure where the $450 comes from for the C8 but I don't think ebay has that many great deals.

But I say for most the price is a huge turn off.




My first scope, including 2 eyepieces, came to $299! This was a brand new 8" Dob. Don't know how a price this good would be a huge turn off for people getting into astronomy.


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MDB
super member


Reged: 06/06/12

Loc: Idaho
Re: True cost of astronomy? new [Re: csa/montana]
      #5524952 - 11/17/12 07:31 PM

Could be 'astronomical'.......sorry!

Mike


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Messyone
sage


Reged: 05/02/12

Loc: Down Under
Re: True cost of astronomy? new [Re: csa/montana]
      #5524960 - 11/17/12 07:33 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
Matt


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mich_al
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 05/10/09

Loc: Rural central lower Michigan ...
Re: True cost of astronomy? new [Re: Messyone]
      #5524999 - 11/17/12 08:01 PM

I've followerd similar threads in the past and people claim they are 10 years and $150 in and happy. Originally I thought I'd spend $200 or so and see if I was really interested in looking at the sky. Now after adding a couple of zeros to that I'm thinking about a different mount and binoviewers. Not many of my purchases have been big ticket items, most where a hundred dollars or so but they tend to add up. I've kept good record of where it all went. Recently I have sold a few things.

Al


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dan_h
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 12/10/07

Re: True cost of astronomy? new [Re: kbastro]
      #5525113 - 11/17/12 09:12 PM

Quote:

I often pondered the cost of astronomy,, finacially,,,
equipment, accessories & books + travel cost... (escaping to dark sites aka on the road)..
I know I have been travelling on the road for 18 yrs to get to supreme dark skies as well as investing a minumum of at least 30K towards equipment over the past 18 years,,.

is it just me, or does everyone want big better faster more?? (and darker)!

so after having owned/owning at least 25 scopes and about 7 mounts as well as film/digital/ccd cameras and traveling more than 150,000 miles in that time to image/observe,

I wonder how much money I would have,, or spent,,

help my head is spinning.....

Kev b




I was once seriously into some amateur sport. Trained two hours a day every day. Kept logs, got a coaching certificate, travelled the country many times and had a ball for ten years. Spent a LOT of money. Got some good memories and a few red ribbons. Quit cold turkey and changed interests. I would do it all over again in a heartbeat under the same circumstances.

Life is a journey. You pay your fee and you take your chances. You can change direction any time. And yes, there are times when I feel the resources I have tied up in astronomy could bring me more happiness if invested elsewhere.

You see ads all the time from individuals who are getting out of this hobby and selling all their gear. One day, it may be me advertising, but not just yet.

dan


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BlueGrass
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 07/25/09

Loc: Wasatch Front, UT
Re: True cost of astronomy? new [Re: dan_h]
      #5525261 - 11/17/12 11:02 PM

For those that are visual only, the expenses are typically tied up in OTAs and eyepieces. For imagers however, the costs quickly escalate many times with high end mounts, CCDs, filters, adapters, software, etc. The costs can easily top 15k for a single mount, OTA, CCD setup... what we spend always seem to come under some sort of scrutiny... from ourselves and the community at large. Astronomy is what you make of it. If you're happy with an 80mm refractor, occasionally spending a few hours in the backyard, great. If you're a dedicated imager, traveling to dark sites with enough gear to fill a truck bed, that's great too. In the end, IMHO it's the personal satisfaction we receive that counts.

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MitchAlsup
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 08/31/09

Re: True cost of astronomy? new [Re: BlueGrass]
      #5525267 - 11/17/12 11:07 PM

I probably spent a similar amount as OP on astronomy.

But compared to racing my Ferrari on race track, astronlmy is essentialy invisible in overall cash flows.


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RTLR 12
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 12/04/08

Loc: The Great Pacific NorthWest
Re: True cost of astronomy? new [Re: MitchAlsup]
      #5525331 - 11/18/12 12:13 AM

My brother collects Ferraris. Astronomy is cheap...

Stan


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