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Sammyb

Astro accessories are over priced!

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Does anybody else think this?

It seems to me all the extra bits and bobs I need to buy like dew control, collimators, dew shields, adapters etc all seem to cost a fortune and over priced!

Makes it a very expensive hobby!

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It's a small market so the cost of production versus ROI has to reflect this. I'm just glad someone companies out there see a profit margin to be made and therefore are willing to produce high quaility instruments for amateurs.

Can you imagine if this stuff was only available for professionals? you'd be stuck at home with a birding scope, or maybe some binoculars or a tiny toy refractor.

Anything we can do (within reason) to keep the hobby financially viable will keep these manufacturers producing and investing in research and development to make better quality affordable items in the future. ask those who have been doing this 40 years + how much things have changed

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im sure i read somewhere that 50 degree Plossl eyepieces used to be amazinly wide field of view eyepieces and were highly sought after, like the Ethos 100 degree eyepieces we have today.

these days they are simply given away with scopes and are regarded as next to terrible.

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try making them and then say that the hours spent are worth it compared with the purchase price? I actually think that most things are pretty reasonable comparatively - you have to compare it with other 'optical' hobbies like photography.

although if you want 'everything', then you'll end up spending a lot of cash, in reality, you could get by with a small 6" dob, and a few eyepieces so maybe £500 max tops. however, we want to image or get top quality eyepieces and a large scope........

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I agree the scopes you can buy these days are superb for the price.... but I've found when it comes to the extra bits and bobs they seem to cost a lot for what they are.

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and even then you're only looking at a few grand investment. don't some bicycles cost well over 5 grand and loads of people buy those

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True....but you wouldn't spend £50 on a puncture repair kit or £200 on a set of lights, would you ???

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I agree the scopes you can buy these days are superb for the price.... but I've found when it comes to the extra bits and bobs they seem to cost a lot for what they are.

It's economy of scale. If they could make thousands of each kind of adaptor, they would be very cheap, but as it is they can only make hundreds, if we're lucky...

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as said many times before, this pastime will give you top results far cheaper than other pastimes. The amount of pleasure that get out of using well designed equipment is mainly balanced by spending sensibly. This is more the case in the second hand / rescue market, Nick.

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a lot to be said for the second hand market in this field. 99% of astro geeks really look after their gear . I had most of my equipment second hand and it saves a lot of money. as for dew shields , a 99p camp mat did me .

I think like many hobbies ,it can be as cheap or as expensive as you want it to be.

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In some cases I'm inclined to agree, dovetail bars are a good example. Some of them are over £100 for what is effectively a piece of machined aluminium cut into shape by a robotic milling machine. I have no objection to cost as long as it's justifiable, maybe there's more to them than meets the eye but not as far as I can tell.

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I think for some smaller accessories it can be true, like a dew shield or some minor items. They can be bought cheaper or when hand made I reckon, another example may also be a torch. You can look around and find things like that cheaper sometimes in non specialist store where they may be sold with a mark up price because it is seen as specialist and marked up consequently in another store.

On the whole for scopes and eyepieces I suspect it must be tough right now. We can be lucky to get so much quality for the price in a way. Brands such as sky-watcher, I strongly suspect they can do stuff like that because a lot of people get peanuts wages in places like that, and they exploit that to sell things cheaply to the full. There was a documentary I watched not so long ago about manufacturing in China, it was a reality check. It is not funny to see the conditions some people live in little shacks, barely able to feed a family to make items we use everyday, and that includes making items that we take for granted, luxury items.

So no, I don't think we have much room to complain in the scheme of things in a consumer driven society of today when people just want something, claim it is too expensive, because it is just too expensive for them.

Edited by AlexB67
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True....but you wouldn't spend £50 on a puncture repair kit or £200 on a set of lights, would you ???

maybe televue uwa lights :grin:

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The cost of some low production items is justified by production costs focusers etc..., but an aluminium dove tail is a simple piece of kit, I can get a bit of ali for £3 and 20 mins with a good file and a couple of holes , tapped if required, and " Roberts your mothers brother" , a £3 dove tail......... 20 secs in a milling machine should not add up to £29 plus retail.

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One issue is also availability. I want to mount my finder scope on the OTA hinge rings and currently there are two choices:

- add a big long bar

- buy a $9 adapter from the USA, then pay $50 to ship plus the taxes.

It's actually cheaper for me to CAD and mill the piece in aluminium than buy it!

Incidentally if any one wants an adapter to connect guide scope rings to once it's set up it's not hard to order a few more from the CNC factory.

r50ewithfinder-l.jpg

(just the bottom bit).

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i think whats kinda frustrating is buying potentially £2000 of large aperture sct and mount, and they dont include necesities like collimation tools or dew heaters - which you must have on a big scope.

its a bit off in my book :sad:

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Cycle lights:

Trelock LS950 Ion

£129.99 / US$N/A

Lumicycle LED3SI Elite26

£200 / $317

Good cycle lights and yes they go up to £200, didn't search but assume there are more expensive ones also.

Rather like why buy an Ethos when you can get a BST, it doesn't work 10x better.

And bet you can get a £50 inner tube to reduce the number of punctures.

Edited by ronin

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Astronomy can be as simple, or as complicated as you make it. I didn't need every bit and bob or gizmo out there forty years ago, and I still don't. lol :lol:

Guess I'm showing my age. :grin:

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i agree but its not just astronomy, its most hobbies.the biggest rip off ive seen is bobs knobs type devices,basically about £3 of thumb screws for about £25 by the time its gets here-madness!the dew shields are mentally priced too for essentially a stitched together £10 camping mat

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Perhaps the most obvious piece of profiteering is the astro branded power packs.

A 17ah skywatcher power pack costs £100 on Amazon.

Strap a set of jump leads to one and call it a "jump starter" and you can pick them up for well under half that.

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If accessories weren't so expensive then we wouldn't have the wonderful DIY spirit that runs through amateur astronomy :grin:. Having said that, I've always thought they should ship a Cheshire with newts... especially the market entry models; much more use than some of the poor quality barlows that get flung in to the deal.

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i agree but its not just astronomy, its most hobbies.the biggest rip off ive seen is bobs knobs type devices,basically about £3 of thumb screws for about £25 by the time its gets here-madness!the dew shields are mentally priced too for essentially a stitched together £10 camping mat

Yeah, bobs knobs are no more than your hardware store variety of socket head cap screws with a plastic cap squeezed on ; you pay for what you don't know. :embarrassed:

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totally agree with that saying "you pay for what you don't know".ive just purchased 4 dew heater tapes and a controller,best part of £150 and I could have made them for way less than £100 but sometimes you just prefer the peace of mind that comes from using something you haven't had the chance to bodge up

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Iam finding it expensive right now as I just started with a really small budget, but to be fair I think once I have a few good eyepieces, odds and ends such as dew shields a few books etc and a right angled finder scope (coz it breaks my neck trying to use mine when the scope is upright!) I will eventually have spent under £500 and wont actually 'need' more stuff (want maybe but not need) and I will pretty much have good kit for life.

So, at the moment it is expensive, but once I have the things I need it becomes an almost free hobby...

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