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Stargazing Want to run out and buy a better telescope

  1. Jan 21, 2008 #1
    Man you guys make me want to run out and buy a better telescope. Don't laugh, but I thought I was doing good with a Baytronix Newtonian. (You know the ones on ebay for a few hundred bux)

    I regret it now, I didn't know any better back then. What would you recommend for a budget of around $1000 to $2000 ?
    Enigma Valdez

  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 21, 2008 #2


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    Gold Member

    First off, don't compound your error by spending money on more gear that you haven't tried out or researched. You'll have to decide whether or not you will want to spend the time and effort pursuing astrophotography or if you'll stick with visual observing with an occasional through-the-eyepiece shot of bright objects. If you're not certain, that's OK. Your MANDATORY first step will help you decide. Find a local astronomy club and ask if you can attend their next star-party (group observing session). Be sure to show up early and offer to help people set up, if they will let you. Pay close attention to the space that their gear takes up in their vehicles and to amount of time and labor required to set up and align the scope. Someone might drive up with a big Dobsonian loaded in the back of an SUV, set the rocker box on the ground, put the OTA on the rocker box, fasten a couple of tension springs, slap in an EP and be ready for observing (minus cool-down time) right away, while others with Goto mounts will set up, point their scopes at a couple of bright stars to train the computer and be ready to go almost as fast and yet others will manually align their non-computerized German equatorial mounts. Then comes the good part - usually people will let you look through their scopes to compare what you can see from telescope to telescope. By the time the evening is over, you will have gotten a pretty good idea how various designs and makes of telescopes compare, and if you tell people that you want to buy a scope, you may get a very good deal from a club-member that has a used scope in your price-range and wants to upgrade or to finance accessories for a different scope that is more frequently used.

    Lots of these folks are gear-hungry, and always looking to add or upgrade equipment, and they network pretty well, so if one of their buddies is looking to sell an old C-8 to finance a new Nagler EP, they'll probably know about it.

    Good luck
  4. Jan 21, 2008 #3
    thanks for that... I've only found one or two astronomy clubs near me and I think I'll join up and follow your guidelines. You're right I'm not sure, but I can easily see myself going hardcore.
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