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What have been your most serendipitous finds and acquisitions?

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#1 25585

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Posted 01 October 2020 - 05:53 PM

serendipitous
/ˌsɛr(ə)nˈdɪpɪtəs/
adjective
occurring or discovered by chance in a happy or beneficial way.

 

For me, in telescopes, it was my 100mm Sky-Watcher 100 ED Equinox. An estate sale of a beautiful near-mint scope, at a bargain price.

 

For mounting, a Tele Vue Renaissance walnut & brass tripod, also at a low price.

 

For eyepieces, my very first, a Vixen 32mm Erfle circle-V.  



#2 Bill Jensen

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Posted 01 October 2020 - 06:04 PM

Finger-less gloves at the Oregon Star Party swap meet. A lady had "seconds" that she sold, for about $5. It got cold that night, and they were a welcome addition to the gear I brought. 


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#3 SonnyE

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Posted 01 October 2020 - 06:18 PM

My struggle with bad equipment ended when a friend wanted to loan me his Infinity OSC camera.

I resisted, he persisted. I told him what if I liked it and wanted to keep it. He told me we'd work something out.

I relented, he sent it.

The first picture, the very first night changed my life. The struggle was over!

Then he sold it to me at an offer I could not refuse.

 

And the rest... is history.


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#4 Rovert9988

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Posted 01 October 2020 - 07:14 PM

My 10" dob.

 

I got a complete dob with primary cooling fan and a decent 2 speed focuser. Included with the sale was 8 eyepieces ranging from cheap plossls to a collective ortho and an older Questar zoom eyepiece. Plus a small aluminum case, laser collimator, cheshire, telrad, and a right angle finder scope. All for $100.

 

The owner lived a couple hours away, but just 15 minutes from my friend. He picked it up for me, and then the next weekend I visited him and picked it up myself. The owner knew it was worth more, but it was gathering dust and he just wanted it to go to someone who would use it more.


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#5 Stelios

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Posted 01 October 2020 - 07:42 PM

I bought a helical focuser for my OAG because I wanted to help someone in a sort of "distress" sale.

 

Turned out to be an excellent purchase, which I had stupidly been telling myself was unlikely to be useful. 


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#6 csrlice12

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Posted 01 October 2020 - 10:13 PM

Got the 26.6, 10, 6.6 Orthostar orthos, the 20mm Orthostar Erfle (marked Erfle, not Wide), a 16mm volcano top prevernonscope Brandon, an unmarked about 20mm with a red filter installed, a 5ish mm marked "Precision Optical Supply Company, Made in USA, a Coulter collimation cap, and a Coulter Ronchi eyepieces in a really nice wood case for $150 in 2014.


Edited by csrlice12, 01 October 2020 - 10:13 PM.

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#7 csrlice12

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Posted 01 October 2020 - 10:17 PM

Oh, and I got the last New 40XW when the Pentax HQ in Denver found it and a 30mm in their back room (they had the local scope shop(now gone) sell it for them since it was "discontinued stock".  BillP got the 30mm.


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#8 Mitrovarr

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Posted 01 October 2020 - 10:42 PM

100mm Pentax achromat at a pawn shop for ~$250.
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#9 mich_al

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Posted 02 October 2020 - 09:55 AM

6ft tripod at Salvation Army $4.  Now holds my 15x70 binoculars for animal voyeurism when they're not on my Zero Gravity chair.


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#10 DSOGabe

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Posted 02 October 2020 - 03:16 PM

When OPT posted a used LX850 on their website. I'd been thinking about one but the price for a new one had me holding off, but snapped that one up in a hearbeat. Its was in excellent condition.


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#11 sunrag

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Posted 02 October 2020 - 03:44 PM

Nnew Zhumell Z8 OTA for $75. But it came without Alt bearings or base. Then I spent $200 more to make a base and purchase alt bearings!

Celestron 6SE complete for $190 (with tripod, mount, diagonal, eyepiece) - but sold it later as I did not like it.

Just last week a complete Meade MTS SN6 (6" Schmidt Newt) with pedestal, working clock drive, nice eyepiece for $100 from a very nice gentleman.

 

Today: Missed out on a $100 dob (Meade Starfinder - it was advertised as 10" dob but looked more like 8" dob. But it came with very nice set of 3 eps and barlow).


Edited by sunrag, 02 October 2020 - 03:44 PM.

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#12 Rutilus

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Posted 02 October 2020 - 04:03 PM

Swift 8.5 x 44 wide angle Audubon binoculars from a charity shop for $20. Dated to 1979, but the prisms 

inside are like mint condition.

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#13 lphilpot

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Posted 02 October 2020 - 04:44 PM

Hardly a premium telescope, but for what it is the Comet Catcher OTA I got for $40 has been a lot of fun.


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#14 PETER DREW

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Posted 03 October 2020 - 06:47 AM

I bought an as advertised 5" F 15 lens in brass cell for £15.  It turned out to be a Ross telescope triplet APO  


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#15 Sky_LO

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Posted 12 October 2020 - 01:24 PM

I got a Nexstar 6 SE on craigs list for $150

The whole 2 hour drive there to pick it up I was hoping it wasn't a  "too good to be true" scenario

When I picked it up it was freaking  NEW IN BOX - shocking.....! 

 

i think the grandma that had it thought she broke it? 

When I got it home there was 1/2 of an EP in the visual back. 

Someone tried unscrewing the EP to remove it (which came apart)

rather than removing it with the visual back thumb screws. 

 

She told me it was way too complex for her.  The visual back was there still in the packaging. 

I don't think the scope ever had a first light -   

 

I removed the EP easily, and the scope is perfect.  

Amazing find.

 

-Lauren   


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#16 cuzimthedad

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Posted 12 October 2020 - 01:56 PM

A friend of mine upgraded his mount just as I was looking for a mount sturdy enough to handle an ES 127 ED, so he gave me his "old" Atlas and we were both happy as clams. The Atlas handles the 127 with ease.


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#17 alphatripleplus

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Posted 13 October 2020 - 08:11 AM

Figuring out that a 7nm narrowband H-alpha filter allows me take interesting pics with my 80mm achromat that has massive CA.


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#18 RobertMaples

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Posted 13 October 2020 - 12:03 PM

Meade 10" Lightbridge.  Found it at a discount store that sales a lot of overstock and open box deals.  That scope ships in two boxes and the second box was missing.  The only thing in the second box is the base, so the OTA was complete including the red dot finder, 2" eyepiece and 1-1/4" eyepiece adapter.  They had it priced at $300 but were also having a 20% off Labor Day weekend sale the day I bought it.


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#19 jwaldo

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Posted 13 October 2020 - 01:52 PM

I bought my 6" Dob on impulse when Hardin was closing them out for $99. At that price I figured it would be a nice beater scope for public outreach, or a Christmas gift for someone. But the sample I got turned out to have an awesome mirror. It's my planet-killer now.


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#20 John Carlini

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Posted 13 October 2020 - 10:48 PM

I stumbled upon a small, correct-image, straight finder with Synta-style bracket on eBay for dirt cheap. It was in really nice condition and possibly from an old Celestron. I use it frequently when taking images with the DSLR. Being a straight finder, it helps me minimize head movements between camera and pointing.


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#21 Bowlerhat

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Posted 14 October 2020 - 12:20 AM

2

my coffee stained "sports vid" on junkshop. Turns out really made by asahi instead of a clone after seeing little makers mark.

Zeiss Jena Telementor II (3)

Telementor II, was going to purchase an eyepiece, had a talk with seller and found out he got an OTA for cheap.

Vixen Custom 60mm (1)

1971 vixen, bought it off for 25$, it has metal plate serial instead of sticker. Vixen is common, but not so much of earlier models.


Edited by Bowlerhat, 14 October 2020 - 12:23 AM.

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