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If you could do this hobby all over again, what would you change?

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#1 AnakChan



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Posted 29 October 2020 - 07:05 AM

Don’t know if this classifies as Off Topic Observatory but Mods, do feel free to move to the appropriate forum section.


If i were to have the ability to meet my younger self & could redo this hobby, I think I would advise my younger self to save up as much as I can for a large Dob of at least 16” or more & with quality premium eyepieces, cos in my older age my eyesights are shot & have fallen back to astrophotography to “see”. Don’t get me wrong...whilst I do enjoy astrophotography, there is something nice about visual. I did do a lot of visual too when I was young but didn’t have ideal setups (actually not too bad - Meade DS10A but with ave 1.25” eyepieces). I’d advise myself to take care of my eyes better, appreciate the hunt of objects with visual & have the patience to spend more time seeing rather than jumping from one object to another.


I would also advise my younger self to jot more notes down on my observations & keep good records as there is something nostalgic about going through your old notes when you’re older.


Just reminiscing the past... what would you do if you could redo this hobby all over again?

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#2 P_Myers


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Posted 29 October 2020 - 08:38 AM

Spend my money on chasing wine, women and song...it would have been cheaper smile.gif
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#3 SkyArcher



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Posted 29 October 2020 - 08:41 AM

My socks...

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#4 Couder


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Posted 29 October 2020 - 08:51 AM

I bought one mount after the other, repaired/updated them only to find they would not hold both scopes as promised. Then sold them at a loss just to buy another one. I would buy the Astro-Physics mount earlier and save not only $ but a lot of work and time. I would also have kept a couple of the scopes I got rid of, but I like what I have now.

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Posted 29 October 2020 - 08:56 AM

I'd go straight for the 72-inch build that one of my mentors offered me decades ago... and I foolishly declined; called it "Too Big". Instead, I settled for the miniscule 36-incher that I'm enjoying now. I guess it worked out OK, though. Building a dome for the 72-inch F/4.5 scope would have depleted my wallet and energy.    Tom


~click on~ >>>

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#6 Jim7728



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Posted 29 October 2020 - 08:57 AM

Nothing...the journey of trying out different equipment was all part of the fun. 

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#7 Vesper818



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Posted 29 October 2020 - 10:01 AM

I wished for a telescope as a youngster, but large family, limited resources prevented specialisation at that age. My parents gave us all the freedom to learn whatever we wanted, Persue hobbies, artss and dreams, and encouraged self reliance. A rich childhood paved the way to astronomy in more settled adulthood.
I don't think I would change a thing in how astronomy took hold. My 6 year old son, a month onto homeschooling first grade, announced that he wanted to "write a book about the planets."
A trip to the library found magazine instructions to build a telescope with a copier lens and plumbing parts.
If I had known astronomy better, I would have been teaching my son. Instead we spent the year immersed in the richness of the subject and learned together. And many a night , my husband slogged at midnight from the swing shift to find me glued to the eyepiece in the back yard.
I don't think I would change a thing.
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#8 spereira


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Posted 29 October 2020 - 10:03 AM

Folks, the posts about socks and wine & women may get a chuckle, but are off-topic here.

Please, let's stay on-topic, so we can gather other members' thoughts.



#9 John Carlini

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Posted 29 October 2020 - 10:05 AM

I'm fairly satisfied with the path I've chosen. I've learned a lot over the years trying different techniques and technology. My only regret was not making copies of my college astronomy project papers.

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#10 wxcloud


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Posted 29 October 2020 - 10:39 AM

Probably would have skipped out on the rasa 8 as well as the edgeHD 8 and probably the EQ 6 R pro and gone with a couple smaller refractors and mount. And possibly an upgraded dob for something bigger that was along the lines of grab and go when I just want to take a look instead of looking forward to several trips to set up and break down when we actually get freak clear skies and my work schedule works decent for the hobby.

Maybe have gone with a smaller "premium" mount that could be left pretty much assembled and moved around relatively easy for astrophotography and another rig for some visual with larger secondary setups for both pursuits.

#11 ShaulaB



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Posted 29 October 2020 - 10:43 AM

I would have moved to a house out in the country, under darker skies. With a 16" Dob.
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#12 DSOGabe


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Posted 29 October 2020 - 11:00 AM

I have an old 8in LX6 scope from when I was more active years ago. When I decided to start over, I wish I would have done more research when I found out the drive on it was shot. I could have simply deforked it instead of getting a new 8in scope. The money spent on that could have been saved up for a larger scope instead.  

#13 Mizzmi27


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Posted 29 October 2020 - 11:06 AM

Since I just started last week... I would've liked to have started earlier.

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#14 Napp



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Posted 29 October 2020 - 11:16 AM

Wish I hadn’t drifted away from the hobby for so many years.  Missed out on a lot of incredible events and the opportunity to meet and learn from some incredible people.

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#15 jerobe


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Posted 29 October 2020 - 11:33 AM

I would have joined an astronomy club much sooner. I was an independent hobbyist for many years and missed out on club members' experience, shared equipment and dark sites.  When you get started in this hobby, being in a club allows for a better knowledge foundation and probably cuts down on a number of costly equipment purchases.

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#16 litesong


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Posted 29 October 2020 - 12:03 PM

I would have joined an astronomy club much sooner.

Ditto! That, & hope I could have found a durable GOTO telescope with excellent optics, that I could have afforded.....yeah, yeah, I know...impossible.

Edited by litesong, 29 October 2020 - 12:07 PM.

#17 WoodyEnd



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Posted 29 October 2020 - 03:15 PM

I would have chosen houses based on their astronomy potential.   

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#18 BradFran



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Posted 29 October 2020 - 03:39 PM

Do whatever it takes to move to a dark sky location... just move to NZ/OZ in the 90s and avoid the rush.

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#19 rowdy388



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Posted 29 October 2020 - 03:48 PM

I probably wouldn't have planted so many trees around my house 30 years ago. They grow like weeds in the northeast.

I own several acres of wooded land to the west of my house which aren't a problem. It's the ones I planted to the south 

without thinking about the future that are.

Edited by rowdy388, 29 October 2020 - 03:53 PM.

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#20 Wilsonman



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Posted 29 October 2020 - 04:37 PM

I started out with a  40 mm Tasco refractor at age 11 - which was razor sharp, but obviously not designed for DSO. My next step was a 3" Edmund reflector which was very usable, but also not suitable for the faint fuzzies. Despite not having money for a larger scope, I spent many enjoyable hours with what I had and learned a lot. I did envy a few people I knew who had 'giant' 6" Newtonians, but it wasn't until my college years that I was able to purchase larger scopes - beginning with a 4" Unitron and then a 10" Cave Deluxe Newtonian. The only thing I might have done differently at the start would have been to join a club with older, more experienced members - that could have been useful in terms of learning how to handle more advanced instruments at an earlier age.

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#21 bumm



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Posted 29 October 2020 - 05:06 PM

I would've started keeping a log MUCH earlier.


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#22 alphatripleplus


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Posted 29 October 2020 - 05:18 PM

I would have started with better optics than I've had in the past, started with a German Equatorial mount earlier, and avoided the heavy LX200 that I had in the 90s.

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#23 edwincjones


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Posted 29 October 2020 - 05:30 PM

If I had a do over, I would get the best quality optics I could reasonably afford

then be happy with choices and not keep looking for perfection


-handheld binoculars, probably 8x56

-a grab and go refractor <100mm

-100mm binocular


and go go go small and light



Edited by edwincjones, 29 October 2020 - 05:33 PM.

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#24 justfred


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Posted 29 October 2020 - 05:39 PM

+1 to join a club. Would also have built a dob base for that wonderful old 6 inch Dynascope.



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#25 clearwaterdave


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Posted 29 October 2020 - 07:22 PM

I would have started the hobby earlier in life when my kids were young.,And I would have learned to starhop right off.,cheers.,

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