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No Love for home built refractors

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19 replies to this topic

#1 oldtimer

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Posted 31 March 2020 - 02:12 PM

Over the years I have fabricated many small refractors from 50 to 102mm.  Many were sold or donated but over time I have accumulated too many.. So I just finished going through 13 pages in the classified here under refractors 'wanted'. hoping to make some great bargain deals. Only one ad and that was from Europe. Everyone wants a 'high end' ED or A[PO.

 

Gary (old-timer).


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#2 plyscope

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Posted 31 March 2020 - 02:33 PM

I have had fun making and using refractors with D&G and Istar lens. The resale value is usually less than the replacement cost of the lens and focuser.

I guess the market for this sort of thing is just really small.


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#3 sg6

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Posted 31 March 2020 - 02:35 PM

In a way makes sense, or some sense.

Many are likely to try imaging, so ED/APO is preferable. An nice achro tends to be long so againg against imaging.

Then comes in a way convenience, ED/APO's tend to be shorter and lighter. At least in ED format, still 2 bits of glass but usually a shorter tube.

 

I suppose these days an ED comes to similar cost as a good achro, Vixen make nice achros but cost is compariable. Some low production number achros cost more. So people ask for an ED, or better



#4 mikerepp

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Posted 31 March 2020 - 02:37 PM

Try running an ad and see what kind of responses you get. 


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#5 MarkGregory

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Posted 31 March 2020 - 03:06 PM

Love to see some photos. Might be interested.


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#6 wrnchhead

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Posted 31 March 2020 - 03:33 PM

Same. I guess making the ad will be a little bit of work but you never know what you may find

#7 deepwoods1

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Posted 31 March 2020 - 03:36 PM

Some may not know what they want until they see it offered. I actually have something coming that I hope to “modify”. I wouldn’t have put up a “wanted” ad. Saw it and said, I want that! List them! 


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#8 dan_h

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Posted 01 April 2020 - 09:28 AM

I have had fun making and using refractors with D&G and Istar lens. The resale value is usually less than the replacement cost of the lens and focuser.

I guess the market for this sort of thing is just really small.

This has been my experience also. But when you think of it, the cost of an objective lens with any pedigree is typically higher than the cost of a similar size mass- produced scope. 

Istar achromats, 6" f5 is shown at $700.00.  Their 5" f8 is $525.00.  You can buy complete scopes with mounts at those prices and you get some comfort in a manufacturer's warranty. 

 

If you build a scope around a lens with no pedigree, ( surplus or other unknown manufacture) it has no resale value at all.  I have sold a couple of SS lenses and essentially scrapped the tube assembly I made. If you can get 75% of the last sale price for the objective, you have done well.  If you spent significant funds on materials and machining custom parts, it is very unlikely that you can recoup any of it. 

 

You have a better chance of selling a high-end piece of machining art, (think polished brass perfection), than you do of selling a well built optically perfect telescope.  I am a tinkerer. Not an artist. But I am having fun.

 

YMMV

 

dan


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#9 Maciek_Cz

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Posted 01 April 2020 - 12:15 PM

I dream of a long achromat to observe the moon, double stars etc...
But unfortunately I have no funds and I watch the sky with what I can 90 f/5.6.
Many astronomy enthusiasts believe that achromat is not a real telescope, unfortunately.


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#10 SeattleScott

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Posted 01 April 2020 - 01:25 PM

It is kind of like cars. If you buy the pieces individually it will cost twice as much as buying a complete car already assembled at the dealership. Mass production has caused this in many areas. Who builds their own computer anymore? So it isn’t really anything against achros. Just the little guy assembling things one by one in his garage can’t compete price wise with mass produced items.

As far as people mainly asking for Apo that makes perfect sense. Most people join CN after they get their starter scope, like an achro, and then look to upgrade later. Also achros are widely available for budget prices so there isn’t a lot to be saved by purchasing used. Shoot, the cost of shipping could end up being a considerable portion of the cost. Are you going to purchase a used 4” F10 for $100 plus $50 shipping? Or just buy a new one for $200?

Scott
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#11 VZsohar

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Posted 14 April 2020 - 02:02 PM

I built a large 9” refractor made of high-quality elements. It looks quite professional, and the image quality is amazing too. What I am surprised that I barely got any responses when I wanted to sell it for a fair price. Nobody even wanted to negotiate neither. And it is true, the used value of custom made refractors are unreasonably low...so quite disappointed about it, especially because I know the value I did put in. So rather keep it and use it than waste it away for change.

#12 rwiederrich

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Posted 14 April 2020 - 02:51 PM

I posted my avatar 10"f/15 for sale nearly 6 years ago and had only one bite and that was for a brutal lowball.  Folks, love to look at and through them...just don't want to give you any real money for all the custom work you put into it.   I'd rather have her hanging from the shop rafters in storage, then give her a way.

 

I've had a large Cave observatory EQ mount with Byers' drive for sale too and that is still in storage too.

 

Rob



#13 daquad

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Posted 14 April 2020 - 06:39 PM

Yeah, I had an 8" f/9 that I made and sold for less than half of what it cost to build.  All quality components, aluminum tube, aluminum baffles held in place with split rings,  Astro-Physics (A-P) 2.7" focuser.  A-P photo-visual telecompressor, Parallax rings, Parallax collimatable lens cell.  I should have kept it, but it wasn't getting used as much as I had hoped in my area of the country, southern New England.  It was fun building it though.

 

Dom Q.


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#14 wrnchhead

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Posted 14 April 2020 - 06:52 PM

Coincidentally I was just talking to a couple of my car buddies and one of them is selling his project car and the other one just recently did and we talked about how you never get out of them what you have in and then you just have to conclude it’s a labor of love.

Having said that I have also had some pretty rare car parts and I couldn’t get out of them what I considered their minimum value so I just either kept them or threw them out as opposed to giving them away for insultingly cheap.

#15 Paul Hyndman

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Posted 14 April 2020 - 08:31 PM

Years ago, one of our club members (ASNH in Ct) with the assistance of a renowned refractor guru from a nearby club (ASGH also in Ct) ground the lenses and built a superb 6" achro... definitely a feat well beyond even contemplation for this one-time ATMer.

 

Regarding rare car parts, being an old-time gear-head myself, when I uncover such parts no longer needed by me, I usually post them on relevant sites with the understanding: "pay the shipping when it arrives, and pay it forward with an act of goodness". Everyone is happy and gets the warm fuzzies.


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#16 RL Sandy

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Posted 14 April 2020 - 09:49 PM

Over the years I have fabricated many small refractors from 50 to 102mm.  Many were sold or donated but over time I have accumulated too many.. So I just finished going through 13 pages in the classified here under refractors 'wanted'. hoping to make some great bargain deals. Only one ad and that was from Europe. Everyone wants a 'high end' ED or A[PO.

 

Gary (old-timer).

 

Over the years I have fabricated many small refractors from 50 to 102mm.  Many were sold or donated but over time I have accumulated too many.. So I just finished going through 13 pages in the classified here under refractors 'wanted'. hoping to make some great bargain deals. Only one ad and that was from Europe. Everyone wants a 'high end' ED or A[PO.

 

Gary (old-timer).



#17 39.1N84.5W

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Posted 14 April 2020 - 11:21 PM

My 8" f6 istar refractor is a homemade job from CN user Jeff B. Still works like a dream scope, which it is.
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#18 Dave1066

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Posted 15 April 2020 - 02:51 PM

Shame none of you are in the UK, I'd buy a home built telescope!



#19 Sean Cunneen

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Posted 15 April 2020 - 03:39 PM

I posted my avatar 10"f/15 for sale nearly 6 years ago and had only one bite and that was for a brutal lowball. Folks, love to look at and through them...just don't want to give you any real money for all the custom work you put into it. I'd rather have her hanging from the shop rafters in storage, then give her a way.

I've had a large Cave observatory EQ mount with Byers' drive for sale too and that is still in storage too.

Rob


I'm still saving up for it, just give me a few more weeks... That build thread was purely epic!

Sean
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#20 rwiederrich

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Posted 17 April 2020 - 01:12 PM

I'm still saving up for it, just give me a few more weeks... That build thread was purely epic!

Sean

 

 

It was fun wasn't it Sean.   Actually....it has gotten itself loaned out to a local group.  I've designed some mods to the EQ head elevation mechanism prior to its install.   Lots of waiting for things to fall into place as OB and similar details are ironed out.

 

Time sure flies bay.

 

Good to hear from you Sean.

 

Rob




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