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Stargazer_00

Really struggling with motivation

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I had similar questions myself when I had a 12" Dob. It was the thought of setting up that stopped me getting outside and I can only imagine that a 16" would be twice as troublesome.

I downsized to an 8" goto SCT purely to lessen the setup time and it worked for me.

Not for everyone of course but for planetary, clusters amd doubles it gives exceptional views and I can be setup in 15mins or so (apart from the cold weather dressing up that is) and by knowing that, I don't feel like it's going to be such a chore before I get to the eyepiece.

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It must be quite frustrating having forked out so much cash only to be too unmotivated to use it and I'm not sure I or anyone will have the answer.

I think the first thing to do and only you can answer this honestly, is to decide whether you are in love with astronomy, or in love with being in love with astronomy. This is not meant to be an attack so please, don't just react to my comments, instead have a think and evaluate.

If after thinking on this, if it is astronomy you love, then I guess the next question is why the loss of enthusiasm? I know for me, sometimes it's as simple as tired/stressed from work, or wondering whether the clouds are gonna roll in.

Or maybe, it's just a lull in enthusiasm that will return as quickly as it left.

If at the end of the day, you sell the lot, then so what... It's your hobby to do with it what you wish so do whatever makes you happy and good luck

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Hi again I thought it was just me, I love the thought of getting the scope out but the reality hits home, too cold, neighbours bedroom lights on, knees aching, back aching, might rain in 10 mins and I end up looking at the scope set up in the sun lounge thinking "looks nice" lol, as you can see from my sig. photo my other hobby is classics cars, I managed to get and improve the nice MGA in the photo and it sat in the garage for month after month, again endless excuses not to use, bad knees,back,might rain etc etc but it did look nice in the garage, I sold it wife spent the money so thats that, I have come to the conclusion that I must just be a lazy old git and getting worse lol

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I sympathise. Have struggled myself last few months. There have been so few opportunities to get out under the stars that when it is clear and moon-less I am not really in the right mind set to go out anyway. Managed a good couple of nights recently and think I am back on track now. Solar astronomy is great but even that is challenging this time of year with so few hours of day light (not to mention :clouds1: ).

I've been at this observing lark for 25 years now and in that time there have been weeks, months even years where I have barely been out at all only for something to catch my eye one day (news article or just a really crisp clear night) and I am back out again.

Hopefully you will be the same and a break will bring you back with even greater enthusiasm. But if not then as Qualia says, don't beat yourself up over it, It's your life, do what you want with it!

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Not really sure what I want to get from this post but wanted to discuss it here nonetheless.  Don't want to depress anyone, certainly!   Basically I haven't been out for a month - 6 weeks despite noticing very clear skies on nights where there was no moon.  I look at the sky, feel cold and then go back in doors..

I don't know what it is or why it is but I just am not motivated to go out anymore.  I bought a 14" dob in the summer and invested heavily into new eyepieces in the autumn in readiness for the winter and simply find myself not wanting to go out into the cold.

I'm seriously starting to look at the scope and eyepeices as money that can be liquidated which is a depressing thought!   I've recently picked up a Virtual Reality headset for my PC which is taking all my enthusiasm as it is an emerging technology that I've gotten into before it's gone mainstream.  It's a very exciting medium and experience and it seems that my enthusiasm  for hobbies is finite and this new one is exhausting all my resources. 

What to do?  I am seriously considering down sizing my kit to the point of a 6" (150p +AZ4) and selling off the Delos and Ethos eyepieces and getting something like a set of BSTs to fill the gap between the TV zoom and the 18 ES and 24 Meade UWAs (i'd never sell the TV zoom and the 18/24mm wont fetch much 2nd hand so would keep them for their wide views).

I don't see i'm ever not going to have a telescope I just don't know if it's worth being as invested in it as I currently am given the way I currently have no motivation to go out when it's really at its best.  That way I can get some cash and invest it in other things I need at the moment (car, better PC, bathroom or kitchen etc etc). 

I guess there is always a chance I would get interested again in the future and regret selling off the kit, but the alternative is simply having perfectly good high quality kit being completely unused when I could sell it on to someone who would really enjoy it and use it :/

A bit stuck, what to do?

Sorry to hear this - it's grim when momentum stops. You haven't been out for 6 weeks - I have been out once in ten weeks!!

Whatever you do, don't give up. :)

Look at the reasons why you are discouraged. Is the 14" too big to move around? I know when I had the 8 inch, cool down time was speedy and it was light enough to lug around - in and out in a very short time. I did check collimation every time but it needed tweaking every six sessions or so. My 16" is a monster but I have done some simple modifications so that I can wheel the blighter out in one go and make it fit through the door. I've even got a LP blackout screen setup to improve conditions....

With a larger telescope that needs longer set up time we start to wonder about whether it's worth the hassle if it clouds over/neighbours' lights go on/it's too cold.

I can relate to your experience but form a slightly different background; I live in a relatively dark sky area and once was very dark until very local light pollution recently became the bane of the hobby.  With the weather being so atrocious, it feels like the odds are stacked against me and it's hard to fight against it, just what is essentially, a hobby.

Currently trying to fight against the inertia by trying out a few things, such as investing in warmer insulation gear and trying to stay awake to go out later in the evening. Hoping the family will eventually give in to my yearnings to live somewhere more remote... :D

By the way, there's a very high chance that you will be inspired to go out again. I have a feeling you will regret selling the gear. If you do, get something a bit more compact and bijou that you will use a lot more.  :)

Edited by Beulah

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With the weather and work commitments I've had this last month, I've only gone out once (for about 40 minutes) in about 4 weeks, but to me that short time outside with the scope gets me excited for the next time. The cold is easy to get over, losing interest isn't. Don't worry if you have lost interest, a clear spell of stargazing in the summer may rekindle it while it's warmer ;).

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Hi Graham

A very good post and a very interesting thread.  If you've read all the replies to your OP then I'm sure you will be feeling better about your predicament.  With so many friendly and well-informed fellow members offering their help and advice there is nothing I can add at all, except to wish you the best in whatever path you choose to follow.  Good luck. :smiley:

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I haven't been out in ages. Don't worry, it's a hobby - do it when you feel like it. There's no need to change now, just do something else for a while :)

We do hobbies because we want to, not because we have to. It's a choice, but, if you sell your kit, you'll lose the ability to choose. The best thing to do right now is to do nothing :)

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Hi there,

I hadn't been outside for a while and thought that my interest was beginning to wane a little and then I finally got out a couple of nights ago.....

I thoroughly loved it again and got some great photos! It was like the first time I'd ever been out there! There's so much and it's just amazing!

Just find someone else that's into the hobby or chat on here about what you've seen and just remember that it's only cold if you don't have the right clothing!

David

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I haven't been out in ages. Don't worry, it's a hobby - do it when you feel like it. There's no need to change now, just do something else for a while :)

We do hobbies because we want to, not because we have to. It's a choice, but, if you sell your kit, you'll lose the ability to choose. The best thing to do right now is to do nothing :)

Spot on Mr Spock, spot on.

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What......?

You mean to say that you don't fancy sitting out in the freezing cold staring at little points of light through a tube for hours on end ?

Pull yourself together man.....for Gods sake.......What's this country coming to ?

(goes off mumbling to pour another brandy)

:-)

Edited by Space Dragon
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Thanks all of you.  I had a good think about it last night and it seems just thinking about it sparked something, I actually felt like putting a scope out to look at some clusters and Jupiter, so I checked astropanel and it said 10% cloud cover, worth a look I thought.  Went to the garden and it was full cloud cover :(

At least I felt that spark again so I'm just going to sit on the kit until I actually need to sell it.  At the moment there are other things I want, not other things I need so I'll just save up for the other things I want and keep what I worked hard to gather until I get that spark again!

thanks again, you've all been a real help :)

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Thanks all of you.  I had a good think about it last night and it seems just thinking about it sparked something, I actually felt like putting a scope out to look at some clusters and Jupiter, so I checked astropanel and it said 10% cloud cover, worth a look I thought.  Went to the garden and it was full cloud cover :(

At least I felt that spark again so I'm just going to sit on the kit until I actually need to sell it.  At the moment there are other things I want, not other things I need so I'll just save up for the other things I want and keep what I worked hard to gather until I get that spark again!

thanks again, you've all been a real help :)

Here's hoping it's clear tonight and it rekindles the spark :)

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I've been through this with my other hobby, fishing, and was advised never to sell your gear. I've seen it happen many times and invariably leads to regrets. You build up a relationship with your gear and that can't be replaced. I know it sounds sad, but I believe it's true. Also an interest or passion is always in your blood and lurking away in the back of your mind, and will inevitably emerge again. I'm hardly in a position to advise someone with so much more experience than me, but personally I would never part with my gear unless I absolutely had to. That fire is bound to be rekindled some day.

Sent from my GT-P5110 using Tapatalk

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I find that when I am struggling for motivation to get out it's generally not for astronomy related reasons and what helps me is to get that in order first whatever that may be.

I have managed to work myself up into a terrible state over Christmas and really haven't done any observing for a month or so, now things are settling back down again the motivation has returned.

Astronomy will always be there and there is no rush or need to let that get you down also, it'll always be waiting for you when you get back.

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well Graham, you may not be suited to this hobby. that is why it is best not to spend too much at the beginning, but enough to give you a decent idea of what you can achieve, perhaps going to a star party may help, or do you belong to a local club. it is a lonely hobby and you do have to force yourself outside in the cold & dark, and a bit of co9mpany can do wonders, but the latest weather can turn anyone off!!

putting the equipment up can be a turnoff, i dont have an observatory, but do have a permanent pier. as i image, there is so much to sort out &  then if the weather turns, it may have to be packed away again within a couple of hours!! 

i think you may need a bit of help & a push,  so try & meet up with some like minded people to share a bit of their enthusiasm, it may rub of!

Fay

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To me, there is significant satisfaction in (novitiate DIY) "making stuff" (general "furbishment", added "electronica" for my modest observatory!) modding my scopes (Not one for *premium* scope owners! lol) to achieve better performance. Oddly, I welcome bad weather as as time to "catch up"! I am aware of MY limited longevity, but if you are relatively young, just put things aside for the moment? :)

Not a good past year financially - A lot of stuff went to <ahem> better(?) homes, to pay for *boring* stuff! But concentrates the (my) mind? At the moment, I have *NO* eyepieces of note... It's strangely liberating! But then VIDEO Astronomy has been my main raison d'etre for a while - You wrest my trusty Watec out of my DEAD hands only! :D

BUT I owe a LOT to my local Astro Soc! To the busy "family guy" who gives me LIFTS to meetings - I missed one, intending to "give it all up", but ran in to him in the street - Apparently I was "missed"! lol. Despite NOT being "my thing", I intend to give a few more "talks" at meetings. I sense an intense NEED for "Astronomy" in our newbies. I do recommend local Astronomy Societies.  ;)

And (hopefully) beyond the "kewl skeptic" thing or even the Brian Cox (Peace be with him) Fandom.

After all, it is rank and file Astronomers who are left to do the real indoctrination work? <chuckle> :p

Edited by Macavity
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the key thing to me if you do decide to sell is that I would urge you to keep things that would be hard to replace. e.g. my 6" f11 scioe is something of a rarity and cost me little so I'd be likely to always keep that no matter what.

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Is there no one locally who could share the hobby with you, I find the more social the viewing the easier it is to get motivated, sharing the experience in real time is very rewarding and makes the long nights less lonely, just having some company can make all the difference. As other have said, don't beat yourself up over it, should you leave and then return to the hobby even many, many years later not much up there will have changed. Good luck in whatever you decide and remember, you only need your eyes to do astronomy so even selling your gear doesn't necessarily mean the end of your interest.

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I had  similar thoughts some time ago, so i went back to basics and bought a good pair of wide angle binoculars and just went out and sat in the garden on a clear night, no setting up etc, no messing  with bits and pieces, eyepieces , just you and your binos and a reclining chair.

Gave me a new sense of awe and inspired me back to the fold! So now its bino,s first then if the spirits willing, out comes the 8in sct. 

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I sold my scope around June time last year , I needed some cash quick so it had to go along with eyepieces and other odds and ends. However part of me wasn't bothered about losing the set up as I found myself spending more time tinkering and swapping kit than actually getting outside and observing. I thought I was more into making a nice eyepiece case than looking at the sky.

By October though I realised how much I do miss my scope. I sit outside ( in the cold) sometimes with just my mk1 's. I bought a pair of bins but I can't get on with them , I have issues when observing with both eyes ! I long to get another scope now and I've much to consider regarding size mainly . I might get something small that I can use as and when with little trips out to nice dark locations or get a decent size dob again 8"-10" . The latter would be really only used in garden though.

I guess I'm saying you'd be right not to give up astronomy , but if you feel the same in a few months then perhaps sell the kit ( as there's a lot of money's worth) and get a smaller set up that not only takes less hassle to set up , but you don't feel guilty for not using it enough. Like you mentioned , a smaller dob and a couple of carefully selected mid price e/p's that you can store out of sight when your not in the mood.

Regards.

Edited by rory

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I sold both my scopes a couple of years ago while going through something similar to what you are experiencing now . I kept my eyepieces knowing that one day I will buy another scope and get back out there . I have come close many times to pulling the trigger on a large dob  such as yours and have been eagerly awaitng and reading your reports on the 14".

Dont beat yourself up about losing interest in the hobby , i am still wondering if i can be bothered to go through it all again but my interest in Astronmy has never waned and I know that one day soon I will get another scope and get back out there. You have a great setup and even if you only use it rarely the fact that you can get out there whenever you fancy and get some fantastic views is enough reason to hold onto your gear. This is a hobby that will always be there for you whenever you want it, so , like me , go off and do something else for a while knowing that it is there for you when you return.

Happy New Year

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