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Sammyb

Astro accessories are over priced!

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

I thought this once.... I think I even believed it too :grin:
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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:

Indeed. Credit where credit's due, it'll be quite some work for Bob to sort out the exact screw type needed for each different scope. Especially if the manufacturers change the screw threads without changing the model number or anything of the scope. (I don't know if this does happen, but similar practice with wireless adapters has been a chronic bugbear of those trying to ensure Linux support for them.) You're paying for the assurance they'll be compatible.
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once I have the things I need it becomes an almost free hobby...

when you transition from the things you need to the things you want it gets much much more expensive :)

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Ive foud basic accessories like weights and rings are expensive for a simple mechanical art, but that is true of most hobbies and is where manufactures make a profit, especially with the "beginners scoes". How much can they make on an Astrolux? Next to nothing by the timenshippimg and distribution comes into it, but the beginner in paticular wants a cheap entry into the hobby, and will liekly have to buying at least some accessories at the same time.

That said, adaption is ypur friend. Theres no need to get a dedicated red torch wjen you cam just tape a red sweet wrapper over the front - plus you get to eat said sweet.... Double bonus :) you can uee a lot of stuff from campimg and mainstream photography as well, just as old school photography can be done with kitchenware and "raw" chemicals and cheap telescope OTAs

Sent from my C5303 using Tapatalk 2

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Indeed. Credit where credit's due, it'll be quite some work for Bob to sort out the exact screw type needed for each different scope. Especially if the manufacturers change the screw threads without changing the model number or anything of the scope. (I don't know if this does happen, but similar practice with wireless adapters has been a chronic bugbear of those trying to ensure Linux support for them.)

" You're paying for the assurance they'll be compatible. "

That's a fair way to look at it, but still, for what they are I think its excessive, gouging, and a ripoff.

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Not as bad as GUITARIST accessories. Stamp the word "Fender" on a cheap 1/4" jack lead?

Stick two Ge diodes back to back across an op-amp output - Call it a "Distortion+" pedal etc.

Be thankful you don't need "vintage" electronics or beat up "pre-aged" guitars telescopes? :D

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the problem is that someone has to make all these things and if they are doing it for a living then they have to charge for their time. as has been said, if they make small volumes then this increases unit prices. I don't know if e.g. Bob's Knobs are turned units but if they are then they would presumably take an hour or so to make, then there's the raw materials and the machinery needed t create them, then shipping, then import duty.......none of which is free.

personally, I do choose to make most of the stuff I need but my (spare) time is free. not everyone has the inclination or the skills to make things themselves and this is why you have to pay someone else to do it. if you can make or buy something of equal quality for less, then go for it but a quality product will always find a market and Bob's Knobs (not sure why we are picking on them by the way!?) are well regarded by everyone, last forever and work superbly I'd have thought.

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The OTA is very cheap compared with the rest of astro gear, it's the hook that the manufacturers catch us with to sell lots more of astro gear.

Just like any other hobby really.

Never regretted buying decent optical gear though, including cameras, binoculars & spotting scopes. There is always that day when you grab them and enjoy the experience.

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it's true that the scope is the cheap bit. that said, if they supplied a number of different accessories (like dew straps, controllers, Cheshire, red dot finder), they would be accused of hiking the prices or supplying a load of stuff people say they don't want and charging for it. they cannot win unfortunately.

I for one appreciate that businesses need to make a profit (market forces will dictate how much profit they can make) to ensure they stay around to supply me with the stuff I need. I have no issue with it at all.

blimey, I should put away my orange box for a bit now I think :0))

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Of course the other issue is that you rarely get a fair owner review of the very expensive kit.

Generally speaking people are reluctant to take to the internet and admit that that item they just spent £150 on is actually no better than a £20 equivalent from B&Q. Really expensive kit will always get five star reviews from people who are trying to justify their purchases to themselves.

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Of course the other issue is that you rarely get a fair owner review of the very expensive kit.

Generally speaking people are reluctant to take to the internet and admit that that item they just spent £150 on is actually no better than a £20 equivalent from B&Q. Really expensive kit will always get five star reviews from people who are trying to justify their purchases to themselves.

true. there's an element of Emperor's new clothes about expensive kit. that said.....

I must get around to a comparison at f4 sometime.

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it's true that the scope is the cheap bit. that said, if they supplied a number of different accessories (like dew straps, controllers, Cheshire, red dot finder), they would be accused of hiking the prices or supplying a load of stuff people say they don't want and charging for it. they cannot win unfortunately.

I for one appreciate that businesses need to make a profit (market forces will dictate how much profit they can make) to ensure they stay around to supply me with the stuff I need. I have no issue with it at all.

blimey, I should put away my orange box for a bit now I think :0))

You're right. I personally think scopes should be supplied OTA only so customers can choose accessories for themselves. There are far too many rubbish eyepieces supplied with f/5 newts and then inevitably flogged when people realise they're mostly useless. Yes, dew shields are essential for SCTs, but why supply a standard plastic dewshield when you might want a heated one.

If manufacturers would make more of a deal of the accessory market the volume will take care for itself.

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Not as bad as GUITARIST accessories. Stamp the word "Fender" on a cheap 1/4" jack lead?

Stick two Ge diodes back to back across an op-amp output - Call it a "Distortion+" pedal etc.

Be thankful you don't need "vintage" electronics or beat up "pre-aged" guitars telescopes? :D

I've certainly spent way more money on guitars, amps, pa and associated equipment over the years - though over a much longer timescale.

Personally I think we're extremely well served in this hobby from a pure price/quality/performance perspective - there aren't many areas when like for like pricing has fallen over such a long term, thanks mainly to the competition from the far east/China. I do agree that some accessories look relatively expensive for what they are (adaptors and mounting hardware being good examples), but consider the cost of asking a local machine shop to make these for you, or if your lucky to have the tools the cost of your own skilled labor.

As ever we live in interesting times and I think the 3D Printing, laser cutting and CNC will lead to a small revolution where business spring up to make these small run one off bits to order, but they will still need design (accurate drawings) and to survive as businesses they will need to recoup the investment in machinery and make a fair profit..

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I think if money is tight then taking up any optical hobby is going to be a real grind on you and your resources.

I also believe the market serves the entry level really well offering up eyepieces for udner £20 a piece, and most required accessories for under £30. Over the course of a year you'd expect most starts to get a good range of accessories to increase their enjoyment. And of course there is a massive range of quality and pricing all the way up to eyepieces which themselves cost considerably more than many of the entry level starter scopes+mounts. And those eyepieces, in reality, show the exact same objects and magnifications just with improved clarity and reduced optical defects (which many entry level astronomers can't even see until their eyes becomes attuned to observing astronomical subjects).

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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.

Tonight on our weekly night ride, my riding buddies will almost entirely be using lights that cost £200+. Cheaper lights just aren't reliable enough when plummeting through a pitch black forest. Yesterday the guy I was riding with was on a £5000+ carbon Ibis. Those sorts of prices ardn't unusual these days. Shorts priced at £200? Gloves at £60? Wheels at £2000? All easily available.

Cycling has always been expensive if you want good reliable stuff that can take a year-round battering.

By comparison I find astronomy gear cheap, almost pocket money cheap. I don't take photos and don't need Delos level EPs, so most of my kit is workable mid-range stuff.

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don't forget that most of us skinflint astronomers buy the bulk of our kit used anyway - no profit margin there for manufacturers! :0)

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Tonight on our weekly night ride, my riding buddies will almost entirely be using lights that cost £200+. Cheaper lights just aren't reliable enough when plummeting through a pitch black forest. Yesterday the guy I was riding with was on a £5000+ carbon Ibis. Those sorts of prices ardn't unusual these days. Shorts priced at £200? Gloves at £60? Wheels at £2000? All easily available.

Exactly the same in astro: eyepieces at £500 each, CCDs at £3000, mounts at £5k, filters at £200, even adaptors at £60.

I think astro is even worse as there's so much more variety and so many disciplines. A generalist like me would have no trouble spending £50k.

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the problem is that someone has to make all these things and if they are doing it for a living then they have to charge for their time. as has been said, if they make small volumes then this increases unit prices. I don't know if e.g. Bob's Knobs are turned units but if they are then they would presumably take an hour or so to make, then there's the raw materials and the machinery needed t create them, then shipping, then import duty.......none of which is free.

personally, I do choose to make most of the stuff I need but my (spare) time is free. not everyone has the inclination or the skills to make things themselves and this is why you have to pay someone else to do it. if you can make or buy something of equal quality for less, then go for it but a quality product will always find a market and Bob's Knobs (not sure why we are picking on them by the way!?) are well regarded by everyone, last forever and work superbly I'd have thought.

Not picking on them, just my opinion. It takes about 15 seconds to form a knob by squeezing on in a vise or using parrallel jaw pliers, simple enough. Caps are available in black and other colours. Here's some photos to show you all they are, click on to enlarge.

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post-21902-0-10207600-1377161618_thumb.j

post-21902-0-35145800-1377161632_thumb.j

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there's always more than one way to skin a cat - as I say I always make my own stuff. if you don't want to pay the price, don't. as I said earlier, market forces dictate profit levels. if people stop buying, the prices/offers will change.

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You're right. I personally think scopes should be supplied OTA only so customers can choose accessories for themselves....

If you buy from some of the more expensive brands, thats exactly what they do.

I do think that SCT's and Mak's should be supplied with a dew shield as standard though - just like that other design with glass at the top of the tube, the refractor, is :smiley:

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I've certainly spent way more money on guitars, amps, pa and associated equipment over the years - though over a much longer timescale.

Guitarists (musicians) tend to be "artist" only. With notable exceptions of course! ^ ^ ^

Astronomers often have "technical knowledge" - Are hard-bitten Savvy customers. :p

Astro Accessories seem reasonably priced. But custom finder shoes - Hmm? Branded field flatteners / reducers - OK, but generic versions may exist. Of more concern (controversy!) is the need for some scopes to be immediately "upgraded" or "accessorised" to achieve advertised function. <wink> This can be quite minor... or not! Some of us anticipate this, and view it with equanimity. But it is a very fair point though. :)

Aside: I decided to go with "Bob" of knob fame. He does provide an exemplary service. I don't really see them as (beginner) accessories - More "developer" stuff? Certainly one CAN buy all sorts of engineering hardware on Ebay, but you have to know the terminology (UK & US). Need the ability to identify (uncommon) threads, buy in quantity, may pay "handling" charges etc.

Edited by Macavity

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By comparison I find astronomy gear cheap, almost pocket money cheap. I don't take photos and don't need Delos level EPs, so most of my kit is workable mid-range stuff.

Yup, that's my experience. Maybe not pocket money cheap, but if my flat catches fire, I'm rescuing my bike. I can replace the scope for less than the wheels.

My worst buy? £250 on halogen lamps for my bike, just before high power LEDs took off. They still work pretty well, though.

Personally, I've been pretty amazed by what you can get for your money in a telescope - but also a little puzzled that so much DIY seems to be about fixing things that surely don't same much money. I mean, collimation knobs? Springs?

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Personally, I've been pretty amazed by what you can get for your money in a telescope - but also a little puzzled that so much DIY seems to be about fixing things that surely don't same much money. I mean, collimation knobs? Springs?

Is there a typo in there, because I don't exactly get your point?

Having to upgrade collimation knobs and springs in a telescope is frastrating. I think the manufacturer should spend the extra few pennies to use good quality materials in these small components to save us spending pounds or tens of pounds and a headache to rectify them.

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Personally, I've been pretty amazed by what you can get for your money in a telescope - but also a little puzzled that so much DIY seems to be about fixing things that surely don't same much money. I mean, collimation knobs? Springs?

I do agree and think specifically of recent threads discussing the design shortfalls and required modifications for the Altair and Quattro Imaging Newts - there is no doubt something should be fit for purpose. Though there is still considerable room for after market modifications to improve and squeeze the very best performance out of the kit, much to be learned in the process and a sense of achievement in the end results.

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