I have now been into this hobby for almost two years now. All of these scopes have been found locally 2nd hand in thrift stores. Here is my current collection of keepers until I might find something of a similar design that beats one of them out.
(Left to right)
1. TwinStar AstroMark, 80x400mm.
(Gives Wide Views. I sometimes use this for just a quick night time view, and also as a backyard spotting scope for birds).
2, Meade 390, 90x1000mm.
(I also have a similar sized Celestron AstroMaster 90 that just slightly edges this one out in performance, but the two are so close that the nicer build quality of the Meade puts it ahead of the Celestron in my opinion, The slight difference in performance is only noticed in a direct comparison). I'm going to be bringing the AstroMaster down to the family cabin where I have better skys, and will keep the Meade at my house where it will be used more often.
3. Tasco 11TR, 114.3x900mm.
(This was my first decent scope found, and it performs well and is in amazing condition). It's kind of redundant to the dob, but I still like it. It beat out a Vixen of the same size, so the Tasco now sits on the mount that came with the Vixen.
4. Celestron StarHopper 6" Dob, 152x1219mm.
(This is my largest and top performing scope).
5. Bushnll SkyChief II, 60x910mm
(This is the nicest vintage scope I have found so far. I like its performance and it gets used often.)
In the last year I think my only new scope addition has been the Meade 390. The only other scope I picked up in the last year has been this little millennium era Lomo Captain 40x290mm Maksutov Gregorianbut spotting scope, and its not great for astronomy use in my light polluted skys. It provides a nice sharp image, but does not gather a whole lot of light and is a bit darker than the others. Its best used in daylight. It will be used on backpacking trips where size and weight is a primary concern.
Overall my collection size has shrunk down in count this last year, and that's a good thing. These for now keepers each offer something a little different. I have about $350 -400 invested in the scopes pictured above (Not counting a few additional eye pieces and accessories). I keep my best finds, and my total cost out in the hobby is higher, but has been offset with a few sales.
Edit: I have a small 6' x20' something 2nd story deck off to the right of this room, that I should use, but for the last two years, it has had a broken lock on the door that does not open. (it's on my to do list of things to fix). Lol... Its been so long I almost forgot about it. It would sure beat dragging the scopes out though the opposite end of the house.
This is now going to be my weekend project. (Finally fix that dang deadbolt lock, so I could move the dob just 5 feet over to the right for a clean backyard southern view). It will also get me another 4 to 5 feet off the ground to help clear the tree's, I'm not sure why I did not do this earlier.
But with winter quickly approaching, 30 minutes spent fixing the lock will make things much easier. No more slipping down the icy hill.
4 to 5 feet does not sound like much, but will help me to dodge a few trees that all all taller now than when this photo was taken. My Chicago area suburban back yard is completely surrounded by trees in all directions, which makes my viewing sessions limited in time. I also have very poor viewing conditions due to light pollution.
Edited by Mbinoc, 28 November 2020 - 02:27 PM.