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Tell me not to buy anything

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#1 Craig Smith

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Posted 07 December 2020 - 06:58 PM

I am currently scopeless; I was hoping to get something for the upcoming conjunction but most things are out of stock.  I plan to get another SCT, but I still want another small refractor; I've had a WO ZS80 ED and an AT66 ED.  I don't know that I really need a nice refractor, but I'm wondering if I will be disappointed in the cheap ones given what I'm used to.

 

It seems most of the cheap ones have poor focusers and poor mounts, which can be a constant source of frustration.  The main ones I'm looking at are the ES Firstlight 80 and 102 (short) on the Nano mount.  It says it supports 15 lbs but it doesn't say how much the OTAs weigh, and I don't know about the focusers.  I didn't find many reviews here.  I am also intrigued by the Celestron Starsense Explorer 102 but after reading about the reviews it seems a bit much to pay for the quality of scope.

 

So should I just be patient until I can get a better one?



#2 MalVeauX

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Posted 07 December 2020 - 07:06 PM

Heya,

 

Don't buy those first light scopes with the alt-az mounts if you worry about plastic focusers, cheap wobbly mounts, no slow motion control, etc. If you do want to go for one, get one with the small EQ mount, it's quite decent, or the Twilight 1 mount, also decent, but the small EQ mount will handle things better, so then you can get a larger refractor or move on to one of their Maks or Reflectors. Those would be an ok package without getting a toy basically.

 

Unfortunately you can't really get anything hardly at all right now, especially the non-premium stuff, all out of stock.

 

If you order from over-seas, you can have something delivered next week from TeleskopService (Germany). They ship to USA no problem and its reasonable cost. You can get virtually anything there right now if you're really looking to get a good scope and don't want to wait until next year sometime (other than something really premium that is never sold out really).

 

The thing about long 4" achromatic refractors is the mounts usually just cannot handle them.

 

What's your budget?

 

Very best,


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#3 Migwan

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Posted 07 December 2020 - 07:54 PM

Mmm, conjunction.  Don't buy that first light on the alt az and help a newbie out by selling it for a buck and a half when you get your SCT.  No conjunction is worth that.   Not sure you'll get as much back on the one with an eq mount.   Don't do that.

 

jd


Edited by Migwan, 07 December 2020 - 07:55 PM.

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#4 DeanS

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Posted 07 December 2020 - 08:04 PM

There is a nice little AP scope with mount for sale on astromart right now.  But requires a trip to Hawaii and a big check ;)



#5 turtle86

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Posted 07 December 2020 - 08:14 PM

There is a nice little AP scope with mount for sale on astromart right now.  But requires a trip to Hawaii and a big check wink.gif

lol.gif



#6 Craig Smith

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Posted 07 December 2020 - 08:29 PM

There is a nice little AP scope with mount for sale on astromart right now.  But requires a trip to Hawaii and a big check wink.gif

Haha, my wife would certainly approve of a trip to Hawaii but I'm pretty sure she'd rather have a new car than the scope.  :)


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#7 stevew

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Posted 07 December 2020 - 08:33 PM

I am currently scopeless

Brrrr.... I just felt a shiver down my spine when I read that.

My thoughts and prayers are with you...


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#8 Craig Smith

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Posted 07 December 2020 - 08:51 PM

Heya,

 

Don't buy those first light scopes with the alt-az mounts if you worry about plastic focusers, cheap wobbly mounts, no slow motion control, etc. If you do want to go for one, get one with the small EQ mount, it's quite decent, or the Twilight 1 mount, also decent, but the small EQ mount will handle things better, so then you can get a larger refractor or move on to one of their Maks or Reflectors. Those would be an ok package without getting a toy basically.

 

Unfortunately you can't really get anything hardly at all right now, especially the non-premium stuff, all out of stock.

 

If you order from over-seas, you can have something delivered next week from TeleskopService (Germany). They ship to USA no problem and its reasonable cost. You can get virtually anything there right now if you're really looking to get a good scope and don't want to wait until next year sometime (other than something really premium that is never sold out really).

 

The thing about long 4" achromatic refractors is the mounts usually just cannot handle them.

 

What's your budget?

 

Very best,

 

Mmm, conjunction.  Don't buy that first light on the alt az and help a newbie out by selling it for a buck and a half when you get your SCT.  No conjunction is worth that.   Not sure you'll get as much back on the one with an eq mount.   Don't do that.

 

jd

Thanks folks.  I want something I'd still want to keep after I get an SCT.  One "problem" I have is I am strictly a visual observer and don't like EQ mounts.  So that limits things quite a bit.  I am only looking at short/fast scopes, but of course in the achromatic world that limits their usability.

 

I'd like to keep the scope and mount under $1k at this point, so not too many options.  I'm familiar with TeleskopService (I used to live in Munich) but didn't realize they could ship to the US so reasonably.  I assume their 80 and 102 ED scopes are similar to the AT ones but will have to compare.  Probably worth waiting.  Although I've always wanted a 4 inch I know they are a lot more demanding on mounts, and not as travel friendly (not to mention the cost).

 

Anyway, thanks for the sanity check!



#9 Craig Smith

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Posted 07 December 2020 - 08:55 PM

Brrrr.... I just felt a shiver down my spine when I read that.

My thoughts and prayers are with you...

Haha thanks.  I unfortunately have a bad history of selling scopes for various reasons.  Now that my kids are all married off and out of school I can start thinking about this more.  I had hoped to get one earlier but COVID eliminated my wife's job so I thought I should hold off.  But I've missed a good year.


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#10 MalVeauX

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Posted 07 December 2020 - 10:20 PM

Heya,

 

https://www.teleskop...-P-focuser.html

 

It's the same as the AT102ED with different paint and branding. In stock.

 

My 200mm F6 quartz newtonian shipped from T.S. Germany to me here in Florida for like $65 and it was like a 3 day delivery. It was crazy fast. Same with my solar filters and cells I've bought from there.

 

Or, just .... wait.

 

Very best,


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#11 csrlice12

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Posted 07 December 2020 - 10:56 PM

Haha thanks.  I unfortunately have a bad history of selling scopes for various reasons.  Now that my kids are all married off and out of school I can start thinking about this more.  I had hoped to get one earlier but COVID eliminated my wife's job so I thought I should hold off.  But I've missed a good year.

Actually, with the Covid and the forest fires and the weather.its been a pretty crappy year overall.....


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#12 JKAstro

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Posted 07 December 2020 - 11:28 PM

Heya,

 

https://www.teleskop...-P-focuser.html

 

It's the same as the AT102ED with different paint and branding. In stock.

 

My 200mm F6 quartz newtonian shipped from T.S. Germany to me here in Florida for like $65 and it was like a 3 day delivery. It was crazy fast. Same with my solar filters and cells I've bought from there.

 

Or, just .... wait.

 

Very best,

 

Every once in a while someone comes up with the correct answer right off the top and kills the thread.  I don't think there'll be a better deal in a 4 inch scope that can be had before Christmas than this.

 

JK



#13 drd715

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Posted 07 December 2020 - 11:57 PM

Heya,

https://www.teleskop...-P-focuser.html

It's the same as the AT102ED with different paint and branding. In stock.

My 200mm F6 quartz newtonian shipped from T.S. Germany to me here in Florida for like $65 and it was like a 3 day delivery. It was crazy fast. Same with my solar filters and cells I've bought from there.

Or, just .... wait.

Very best,

And the same scope comes in an F-11ed version if you don't mind 1122 mm fl. The view is great from the F-11.

Sent from my SM-N950U using Tapatalk

#14 Craig Smith

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Posted 08 December 2020 - 12:55 AM

Heya,

 

https://www.teleskop...-P-focuser.html

$758 f

It's the same as the AT102ED with different paint and branding. In stock.

 

My 200mm F6 quartz newtonian shipped from T.S. Germany to me here in Florida for like $65 and it was like a 3 day delivery. It was crazy fast. Same with my solar filters and cells I've bought from there.

 

Or, just .... wait.

There are a few differences in specs -- AT say FK-61 glass whereas TS says FPL-51, and TS has a 2.5" focuser vs 2" with the AT.  Shipping is $63 for the 80 and $133 for the 102; exchange rates aren't real good right now.  Total cost is $579 for the 80 and $758 for the 102.  Still not bad.

 

But then there's the mount -- ES and Vixen are out of stock so I'll have to look further.


Edited by Craig Smith, 08 December 2020 - 01:00 AM.


#15 Craig Smith

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Posted 08 December 2020 - 12:58 AM

Actually, with the Covid and the forest fires and the weather.its been a pretty crappy year overall.....

True, I forgot about the fires.  It was just a good year for the planets if/when you could see them.



#16 JKAstro

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Posted 08 December 2020 - 07:18 AM

You could check Stellarvue’s M2 mount. Looks to be in stock on their website. US made so maybe not as affected by shutdowns. I feel it is the ideal mount for a 4 inch.

#17 BruceNewEngland

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Posted 08 December 2020 - 07:48 AM

I second the vote for Stellarvue’s M2C alt-az mount, I’ve got one on a CG5 tripod (using Stellarvue’s riser column) very solid. And the CG5 tripods can be found for $150 or less.

 

PS a little more money will get you the AT102EDL, which should be shipping later this month. Or the AT102ED for $600, which may be in stock in January.

 

Bruce.



#18 Voyager 3

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Posted 08 December 2020 - 11:45 AM

Dont but anything . 

 

 

 

Sry for this poor joke but I tried lol.



#19 alphatripleplus

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Posted 08 December 2020 - 01:19 PM

If you really want a scope by Dec 21, I would suggest you opt for expedited or guaranteed shipping within a specified time frame for whatever scope you choose. (For what it is worth, we are experiencing delays in deliveries with FedEx in our area at the moment).



#20 Tyson M

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Posted 08 December 2020 - 01:43 PM

At this point, time is of the essence.  So the faster you make a decision the more likely you have a scope for the conjunction.

 

Oh yea and dont buy anything, and Marty's suggestions are good :p



#21 havasman

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Posted 08 December 2020 - 02:44 PM

There's a Stellarvue SV80 Access f7 on Astromart with rings, finder and case. 


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#22 Mitchell M.

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Posted 08 December 2020 - 03:10 PM

Since time is of essence, might want to try BookofFaces marketplace. Every-so-often something nice pops up fairly local. Then there's also Craig'sList.



#23 Craig Smith

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Posted 09 December 2020 - 01:11 AM

There's a Stellarvue SV80 Access f7 on Astromart with rings, finder and case. 

Thanks, I was looking for one of these.


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#24 Craig Smith

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Posted 09 December 2020 - 01:12 AM

Since time is of essence, might want to try BookofFaces marketplace. Every-so-often something nice pops up fairly local. Then there's also Craig'sList.

Thanks, yes, I've been looking local for a long time.  There were a few things earlier in the year, but the few decent refractors were being sold as part of large astrophotography packages for a lot of money.  Someone was selling a mount though, I'll have to see if it's still out there.



#25 Craig Smith

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Posted 09 December 2020 - 01:24 AM

Thanks everyone.  Yes, I would need to act quickly, which I don't really like to do.  I'm the type that likes to explore all the options, but that takes time that I don't have.  I will probably take my time and wait for better deals next year, but here's what I found in stock so far.  Some of these are more money or smaller than I had planned on but I want to consider the whole package, and I'm debating how portable I want it.

 

Apertura 72EDR 6.0 Doublet FPL-53 $600
Explore Scientific ED80 6.0 Triplet FCD1 $850

Stellarvue SV80 7.0 Doublet FPL-53 $655 (Used)
Teleskop Service ED80 7.0 Doublet FPL-51 $580

Teleskop Service ED102 7.0 Doublet FPL-51 $760
William Optics Z73 5.9 Doublet FPL-53 $650

William Optics Z81 6.9 Doublet FPL-53 $800
William Optics GT71 5.9 Triplet FPL-53 $850

 

Harder to find are mounts. I normally prefer a manual mount with slow motion controls, but will look at the Stellarvue option if I can find a cheaper tripod.  Here are a few in stock options, including goto ones that would enable me to add an SCT OTA later.  The Skywatcher apparently lets you move it manually as well.

 

Meade LX65 $500
Skywatcher AZ-Gti $380
Stellarvue M002 $430+tripod
TeleVue Tele-Pod $460
Vixen StarGuy $500


Edited by Craig Smith, 09 December 2020 - 01:27 AM.



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