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General Astronomy >> Beginners Forum

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Reged: 10/14/11

Re: Expert opinions requested. new [Re: diggitye]
      #5789369 - 04/09/13 11:36 PM

Make sure there is no rust on mirror and look for sleeks and scratches from a poor mirror cleaning job. Make sure that it moves smoothly on both axis. I believe the Classics used springs for tension - want to make sure they are still there (or some other form of applying tension so you can change eyepieces without losing the target). Look for warped wood on the base. That's pretty well it. Reflectors are fairly basic so not much mechanically to go wrong. And if it does, it can usually be fixed.

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Carpal Tunnel

Reged: 07/07/10

Loc: Davison, Michigan
Re: Expert opinions requested. new [Re: diggitye]
      #5789486 - 04/10/13 01:49 AM

check for damage on the mirrors and the focuser. anything else can be worked upon.

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Tony Flanders

Reged: 05/18/06

Loc: Cambridge, MA, USA
Re: Expert opinions requested. new [Re: diggitye]
      #5789633 - 04/10/13 06:07 AM


So I just came across an Orion XT8 Classic on craigs list for $100. It retails for @ $350. I emailed the seller to see it.

Holy smokes!

Fortunately, Dobs are incredibly simple. This is a bit of an oversimplification, but either it's totally broken or it's fine.

Make sure it moves smoothly, that the focuser works well, and that it comes to focus when viewing a distant light fixture (or anything else). Make sure nothing is loose, notably the secondary mirror.

See how dirty the primary mirror is, and decide if you're willing to undertake cleaning it. That's not a hard job, but it's a little scary.

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Reged: 04/08/13

Loc: Colorado
Re: Expert opinions requested. new [Re: Tony Flanders]
      #5793340 - 04/11/13 09:42 PM

Thanks for all the tips! The $100 scope sold in a few hours so I didn't get a shot at it. I found another 8" Dob for $200 and went to look at it today. I just can't pull the trigger. While I was looking at it I realized I have no idea what I'm doing and I need to look through a few scopes before buying one. I think it was in decent shape, the base edging was peeling away and the sticker was peeling off but as far as I could tell the mirror was clean and scratch free. I just couldn't do it though.

I'm going to go to the star parties this month and try different scopes and talk to some people before making a purchase.

On a side note, I tinkered with my binos so they are useable now (Thanks Gert K A) and I ordered the Backyard Astronomers Guide today!

Baby steps...

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Reged: 10/20/07

Loc: Birthplace James T Kirk
Re: Expert opinions requested. new [Re: diggitye]
      #5793473 - 04/11/13 10:57 PM

I usually stay away from EbAy cause a scope will cost about 25% more. Good to sell on.
a used scope will get you the same scope for 40% less than new.
The 102mm refractors on the Celestron Go-To SLT mounts are pretty darn good for a beginner. I have been observing for 43 years and was stunned how good they are for the money.
You can always use the tube in the future as a large guide scope for Astrophotography.
The 130mm SLT Reflectors are OK too but not as impressive.
Jupiter really blew me away through the 102 refractor.
Everything else I looked at in that price range seemed like a TOY to me.
I have the 127mm Celestron SLT MAK it is dead on GO-TO
Optics are excellent! It is inexpensive but has become my
Grab & Go scope knocking my old C8 out of that job! THATS
how much I think of the SLT...
Hey its good enough for Sheldon and Leonard on the Big Bang Theory!!!LOL..
Good Luck..

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