Author Topic: $350 to spend on new telescope, need recommendations  (Read 201 times)

uncritoges

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Re: $350 to spend on new telescope, need recommendations
« Reply #15 on: January 11, 2018, 07:16:51 AM »
Looks like there are a number of Dob options here on CN... too bad we don't know where the OP lives... could be one next door!

therpomercu

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Re: $350 to spend on new telescope, need recommendations
« Reply #16 on: January 12, 2018, 04:11:00 AM »
Found a Bushnell Voyager 8" for $130 about an hour away! I know Bushnell makes a lot of cheap crap scopes but if memory serves me correctly their Dobs werent too bad, with typical GSO mirrors, or am I mistaken? With so much money left over I will be able to replace the focuser which is the only real problem I have with it. I will also add a Telrad of course.

facwindpsychco

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Re: $350 to spend on new telescope, need recommendations
« Reply #17 on: January 13, 2018, 06:28:21 AM »
Look on the Orion clearance page for a 2nd ,that's where I got my Xx12g for 500.00 less , nothing wrong with it

piatimascomp

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Re: $350 to spend on new telescope, need recommendations
« Reply #18 on: January 14, 2018, 02:53:56 AM »
Used 8 inch dob should meet your price range.

nalchsilnighnul

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Re: $350 to spend on new telescope, need recommendations
« Reply #19 on: January 15, 2018, 03:00:07 PM »
Quote
Found a Bushnell Voyager 8" for $130 about an hour away! I know Bushnell makes a lot of cheap crap scopes but if memory serves me correctly their Dobs werent too bad, with typical GSO mirrors, or am I mistaken? With so much money left over I will be able to replace the focuser which is the only real problem I have with it. I will also add a Telrad of course.

I can't find a lot about these. Ed Ting places them only at "category 2" on his ranking, which is "Recommend with reservations", but I don't think he's done a full review of one so I don't know what the specific "reservations" would be. That's a category below the usual recommended dobs (Orion, Zhumell, Skywatcher, etc.).http://www.scoperevi...com/matrix.html

For the price, though, I might still consider it, although you might want to do a little do-it-yourself modding, I'm guessing. I know the old 5" Tabletop reflector from Bushnell had some fans.

Jay Cole

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Re: $350 to spend on new telescope, need recommendations
« Reply #20 on: January 17, 2018, 12:25:56 AM »
Quote
Found a Bushnell Voyager 8" for $130 about an hour away! I know Bushnell makes a lot of cheap crap scopes but if memory serves me correctly their Dobs werent too bad, with typical GSO mirrors, or am I mistaken? With so much money left over I will be able to replace the focuser which is the only real problem I have with it. I will also add a Telrad of course.

It sounds like a strong possibility as you say you will have enough $$ left over for some improvements.

Alex Manuel

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Re: $350 to spend on new telescope, need recommendations
« Reply #21 on: January 17, 2018, 01:46:37 AM »
Sky& Telescope reviewed the Bushnell along with several other brands ,maybe ten years ago, and I believe the Bushnell was acceptable but not top rated. For $120 I'd grab the 8" scope.

caenalfosen

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Re: $350 to spend on new telescope, need recommendations
« Reply #22 on: January 17, 2018, 11:24:42 PM »
Just inspect the primary to make sure it's in one piece.
See if he'll take $100.

Nathan Sorgaard

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Re: $350 to spend on new telescope, need recommendations
« Reply #23 on: January 18, 2018, 06:04:20 AM »
If the scope and mirrors are in good shape it is a good price. You could always sell it later if something better comes along with little loss in money

vertcalnorsdef

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Re: $350 to spend on new telescope, need recommendations
« Reply #24 on: January 18, 2018, 08:47:21 AM »
All good advice. Might as well get ready for all the things to follow if you are like the rest of us. If you spend $350 on the right gear to do astronomy, you might as well get ready to spend 10 times that amount and then some if you get hooked. Keep it simple, it doesn't have to be expensive, but it gets that way if you're really into it.

Kyle Styles

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Re: $350 to spend on new telescope, need recommendations
« Reply #25 on: January 20, 2018, 11:42:41 PM »
>Found a Bushnell Voyager 8" for $130 about an hour away!

There was one of these far away from me, and I was interested, I never ventured out to get it because a orion 8" popped up nearer to me for only a few dollars more. The research I did said the optics were ok, but the mount was not that good.  The mount can be fixed with hand tools, if you are handy.

I would ask the owner to take photos of both mirrors and send them to you.  Also ask about if the focuser is ok, and does scope move ok. Ask if there are any accessories like a finder, and eyepieces, do this before you drive an hour.

Some dust on the optics is ok, but if it is heavily dusted, you may have to clean it. If you are careful you can do that if you feel comfortable.
Check the mirrors for uniform color. Discoloration could mean problems with the coating.

When you arrive for pickup, check the focuser, does it rack and out all the way smoothly. Check the adjustment screws on the secondary and primary. If they are corroded they might not turn.

Turn the scope on both axis, make sure it moves without big sticking. If you have problems turning it in azimuth direction, might mean the ground board is warped, or swollen around the center bolt.

That is my easy cheat sheet from someone who buys used stuff on Craig's list.

Trendsetters Branch

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Re: $350 to spend on new telescope, need recommendations
« Reply #26 on: January 23, 2018, 01:04:26 PM »
I'm just a beginner, what do I know but I'd seriously re-evaluate your budget and consider spending more. If you can find a 8-12 inch dob for your budget, more power to you.  Maybe evaluate a larger scope, and spending more initially. You get what you pay for usually, and $350 is about as cheap as it gets in this hobby.
I would hate to see you spend your $350 and wish you would have gotten something bigger. I'd really consider evaluating your budget. This can be a expensive hobby, but you buy the gear and you are set
Pretty much expect all recommendations for a 8 inch dob, with your price range.

Gabriel Green

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Re: $350 to spend on new telescope, need recommendations
« Reply #27 on: January 23, 2018, 07:09:17 PM »
Quote
I'm just a beginner, what do I know but I'd seriously re-evaluate your budget and consider spending more. If you can find a 8-12 inch dob for your budget, more power to you. Maybe evaluate a larger scope, and spending more initially. You get what you pay for usually, and $350 is about as cheap as it gets in this hobby.
I would hate to see you spend your $350 and wish you would have gotten something bigger. I'd really consider evaluating your budget. This can be a expensive hobby, but you buy the gear and you are set
Pretty much expect all recommendations for a 8 inch dob, with your price range.

Especially if that re-evaluation leads to that 8" SkyWatcher Dob for $355!

Warren Tucker

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Re: $350 to spend on new telescope, need recommendations
« Reply #28 on: January 25, 2018, 06:05:20 PM »
Quote
Quote

I'm just a beginner, what do I know but I'd seriously re-evaluate your budget and consider spending more. If you can find a 8-12 inch dob for your budget, more power to you. Maybe evaluate a larger scope, and spending more initially. You get what you pay for usually, and $350 is about as cheap as it gets in this hobby.
I would hate to see you spend your $350 and wish you would have gotten something bigger. I'd really consider evaluating your budget. This can be a expensive hobby, but you buy the gear and you are set
Pretty much expect all recommendations for a 8 inch dob, with your price range.

Especially if that re-evaluation leads to that 8" SkyWatcher Dob for $355!
I seriously doubt the Skywatcher is going to be $225 better-especially since one can usually negotiate a better price than originally asked for most secondhand items. Would be surprising if the Bushnell seller turned down an even $100.Local to Cincinnati are several dob but "sellers" wanting $350 for used 8" or half that for one without base!

There is a perhaps caution regarding Bushnell scopes:however my Bushnells all seem good and certainly the Ares 6 was excellent.

Steven Tolbert

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Re: $350 to spend on new telescope, need recommendations
« Reply #29 on: January 25, 2018, 10:33:02 PM »
Quote
All good advice. Might as well get ready for all the things to follow if you are like the rest of us. If you spend $350 on the right gear to do astronomy, you might as well get ready to spend 10 times that amount and then some if you get hooked. Keep it simple, it doesn't have to be expensive, but it gets that way if you're really into it.


I decided to finally get my first scope in december, did a very "sensible purchase" of a $165 Celestron C90, and a $60 tripod.

Yesterday I added how much I've spent in 5 months, and it adds up to $996, so beware.

If I was starting over with a $350 budget, and it was truly, really, seriously "not a penny more", for real, then I'd get the Zhumell Tachyon 25x100 astronomy binoculars and a tripod.