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Ethics and Etiquette- scope part-out?

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18 replies to this topic

#1 DIYDarren

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Posted 04 June 2020 - 10:57 PM

Hey everyone,

 

Ok so here's my newbie telescopers question for tonight...

 

I have bought a few odds and ends classic scopes off of Craigslist, etc. I'm not in a position to store scopes that I don't have an imminent use for, or that I have found a better version of. Case in point, I have a "Traq" branded scope which is a Towa made 60mm x 800mm (with extension tube) from the 70s, on a cheap altaz yoke mount. Optics seem to be fine, but extension tube kinda wobbly, and all in all nothing too exceptional.

 

So to the question at hand- I could use a few of the parts to help repair/restore some of my other scopes. Is it culturally acceptable to harvest parts and ruin an otherwise "fine" scope? Should I first offer it up on the group here? Or offer the harvested parts I don't need?

 

If it had a broken objective or something then I feel more clear cut, but since it otherwise "works" I feel guilty for dismantling it.

 

What do you all think is the right thing to do?

 

Thanks in advance for any thoughts.

 

 



#2 Barlowbill

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Posted 05 June 2020 - 12:18 AM

It is yours.  Do as you please.  If you end up with extra stuff, feel free to offer it on the Classified.  Nothing wrong with giving it away and asking the recipient to pay for mailing.


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#3 Sleep Deprived

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Posted 05 June 2020 - 12:29 AM

It's your property.  Do with it what you wish.

 

Having said that, if any of your property has historical significance, you may wish to consider yourself more of a 'caretaker' so that the historical significance of the object isn't lost on your watch.  The specific equipment you are asking about, though, probably has exactly zero historical significance.

 

I have another hobby - I am also a stamp collector.  Stamp collecting forums have been abuzz over the last many years because of some historically significant pieces of philately have been altered in order to make $$$.  A block of 9 stamps (3x3) from the 1850's could be considered a scarce item.  This is in the era when stamps were not perforated, but were printed on a solid sheet of paper ("imperforate").  If one or two of the stamps along the outside are damaged, it may be very tempting to cut up the block, essentially destroying 8 stamps, and save the center stamp - cut well clear of the middle stamp so the border shows small parts of the 8 stamps surrounding the center stamp.  Then send the Jumbo (that is the term used for a larger-than-normal stamp) into a certifying company, get an extremely high grade, and sell the single stamp for much more than the damaged block from which it came.  Again, the argument is over property rights - "It's my block of 9 and I can do with it what I want."  Legally, this is true.  But.... if that was the last block of 9 of that stamp, a unique item has been destroyed, simply for the sake of the almighty dollar.  To 'part out' the last of any particular item (stamp or scope) is, at the least a pity, and at the most unethical.  If it isn't historically significant (stamp or scope) it is probably up to the owner and no one (well, few anyway) would have a problem.


Edited by Sleep Deprived, 05 June 2020 - 12:31 AM.

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#4 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 05 June 2020 - 12:58 AM

Darren:

 

My thinking:

 

I'm a caretaker. A scope deserves respect and a caring owner. It deserves to be used. If I can't give it the respect it deserves, I'll give it to someone who can?

 

If a scope is whole and in reasonable condition, I'm reluctant to use it as a parts scope. 

 

This is something you need to decide for yourself. The scope you describe seems to be rather mundane. Still..

 

Jon


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#5 Piaget

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Posted 05 June 2020 - 01:17 AM

I love cannibalizing old scopes to make bizarre scopes like you might see on Toy Story. I just machined together Meade 90/800mm with 2 60mm focusers brazed together to make a ST 90 with a 500mm Shortened OTA. It has 10 inches of focus range. Works great.


Edited by Piaget, 05 June 2020 - 01:19 AM.


#6 sg6

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Posted 05 June 2020 - 02:19 AM

I know exactly what you mean. I wanted, still do want, to build a ultra-portable dobsonian. About the footprint of a laptop. Wanted a 150mm mirror and the slower f/8.

 

One appeared at a very, very good price, £50. I got in first for it, and went to collect, about 50 miles away and all major roads, so easy drive, and it was a club night so I drove back to the club meeting then home. All rather convenient.

 

Scope is absolutely immaculate, not a mark on it. Came with a 240mm dovetail - unmarked, a cheshire collimator, and a few other bits, couple of eyepieces.

 

Like you it is so good I do not really want to pull it apart. It is an immaculate scope. Trouble is I will likely never get another as easily.

 

Presently drawing out the items I need to cut or have made for the potential portable - that is interesting.

 

If the optics of yours is good and they will not really be transferable to another OTA I would be more tempted to rebuild the Traq if possible.


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#7 DIYDarren

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Posted 05 June 2020 - 07:04 AM

Hey everyone, thanks for the great overnight thoughts for me to consider. Hmm various viewpoints but I do appreciate the ultimate "you'll need to make your own judgement on this".

 

I think in this particular case, with the Traq 60mm, I don't think it has much significance, doesn't have much value (can't imagine on the forum here anyone wanting it enough to pay for it plus shipping, etc.), and even trying to "give it away"- I really don't have anyone to give it TO. So I feel stuck. (I'm sure many of you feel the same way when considering purchasing a barn-find scope- better to not get it in the first place then to get stuck with the quandary of what to do with it.)

 

Let me ask you this then- in regards to the tripods/mounts. I would be more inclined to keep the OTA as it is smaller and easier to store, and may have useful parts down the road. Any reason not to pitch the cheesy mount? Or is that a no-no to separate the two? Hah again feeling stuck.

 

I'm not looking for folks to make my decision for me, as being new to the hobby just trying to figure out some philosophies and strategies for dealing with collections.

Thanks,

Darren



#8 starman876

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Posted 05 June 2020 - 08:01 AM

Some have stated it is downright wrong to part out a classic scope.   There are others who only obtain scopes to part them out.   My bottom line is; it is your scope, do with it what you want.  If you do not like someone parting out a scope don't watch.  


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#9 Wisconsin Steve

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Posted 05 June 2020 - 08:04 AM

Some scopes are too far gone or missing too many pieces that finding the replacement parts is almost impossible. Those are good candidates for parting out. As for people who don't agree with parting out scopes, don't buy the parts. If there wasn't a market for "pieces" people wouldn't part them out.

 

Steve


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#10 Chuck Hards

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Posted 05 June 2020 - 08:24 AM

Welcome to Cloudy Nights, Darren!

 

Too many Towas still in the world to worry about this question.  I can think of only one or two models perhaps, that I would consider parting-out to be a last resort, only if completely unfixable.   Rehabilitating a pretty common example with whatever parts work is certainly acceptable.  

 

When you get to makers like Royal Astro or Zeiss, then you have an ethical decision to make.  But Towa?    No.  Do what you want with it. 

 

My two cents, but of course it's just opinion.   Some people love anything with an objective and eyepiece in it, but I'm not the Mother Theresa of orphan telescopes anymore.  :lol:


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#11 starman876

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Posted 05 June 2020 - 08:53 AM

Welcome to Cloudy Nights, Darren!

 

Too many Towas still in the world to worry about this question.  I can think of only one or two models perhaps, that I would consider parting-out to be a last resort, only if completely unfixable.   Rehabilitating a pretty common example with whatever parts work is certainly acceptable.  

 

When you get to makers like Royal Astro or Zeiss, then you have an ethical decision to make.  But Towa?    No.  Do what you want with it. 

 

My two cents, but of course it's just opinion.   Some people love anything with an objective and eyepiece in it, but I'm not the Mother Theresa of orphan telescopes anymore.  lol.gif

Ethical decision ?   I really cannot go into all the discussion this point opens up about things in our world.  In my opinion ethical choices about telescopes is the last thing I am going to worry about. 


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#12 DIYDarren

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Posted 05 June 2020 - 09:05 AM

Haha, thanks for the latest two perspectives, certainly in the scheme of "things to worry about" this is probably pretty low! Again as a newby just looking for some sense of normal practices in the hobby. :)

 

Darren



#13 Chuck Hards

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Posted 05 June 2020 - 09:44 AM

Ethical decision ?   I really cannot go into all the discussion this point opens up about things in our world.  In my opinion ethical choices about telescopes is the last thing I am going to worry about. 

Correct, you cannot go into all the discussion this point opens up about things in our world.  The comment was very specific to telescopes, which is what the OP asked about, although he used the term "culturally acceptable".


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#14 csrlice12

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Posted 05 June 2020 - 09:51 AM

You need to buy it a companion scope to keep it company.  It hasn't read your initial post yet has it?  If it has, you're doomed to a lifetime of endless clouds and eyepieces with lost purging....telescopes never forget, and carry a grudge.



#15 starman876

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Posted 05 June 2020 - 11:18 AM

Correct, you cannot go into all the discussion this point opens up about things in our world.  The comment was very specific to telescopes, which is what the OP asked about, although he used the term "culturally acceptable".

The only time ethics come into the equation is when someone asks me for a part that I do not have sitting on the shelf by itself.   The only way I can provide it is by robbing it off a complete instrument.   If I do provide the part now what was a complete set up is now all parts.  I really hate to do that.   However, it does provide a service to someone who is restoring a similar scope back to a complete set up.  Maybe I should just say let's trade scopes and I will just charge for the part that is missing. 


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#16 AstroKerr

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Posted 05 June 2020 - 02:40 PM

Do as you will, young Skywalker. 


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#17 Ben H

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Posted 05 June 2020 - 03:07 PM

Every Towa parted out is one less Towa in the classifieds. A victory for all mankind!



#18 starman876

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Posted 05 June 2020 - 03:13 PM

Every Towa parted out is one less Towa in the classifieds. A victory for all mankind!

that is what I call scope bashing.



#19 CHASLX200

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Posted 06 June 2020 - 06:05 AM

When in doubt part it out.


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