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Advice on second hand HEQ5 + old Vixen 150 Newton

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Hi all!

It seems things are a-movin' for me: at the local astronomer association, of which I am a member, they are selling the hardware they currently have, to acquire some newer up to date hardware.

I obviously jumped at the occasion, and said I would very much like to consider buying the equipment.

They still have to make me an offer, but I would like to go ahead and ask some opinions of people that know better than me: the equipment is basically an HEQ5 mount, and an older Vixen 150mm Newton, with a particular focussing mechanism, I am told, which involves the secondary mirror moving, instead of the usual Newtonian fixed secondary, lateral focusser setup (I don't know the exact model). They say this OTA is especially designed for astrophotography.

The thing is, it's an oldie: at least 15 years old.

So I was wondering what would be a reasonable price for this setup. They hinted for the combination no less than 700 euros. 

I see a new Skywatcher 150 PDS is available for about £250 on FLO (calculating delivery etc...)... So I'm guessing the price they ask me for the OTA should be notably below that...

Or is Vixen on another level of optical quality, even for oldies?

Obviously it's way better to buy secondhand from people you know, and they already told me that of course they will help me in any way with maintenance and setup, etc... So that's a big pro....

Any info would be GREATLY appreciated!!



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I think the Vixen would be the R150S which is an old model but generally Vixen made very nice scopes, probably Japanese made back then. The focuser might be limited to 1.25" eyepieces. If the optics are in good condition (very important !) it could be a good buy on the HEQ5 mount. Generally used prices for something like this would be around 60% of the new price (assuming all in good condition and in full working order) but I guess the Vixen would have cost quite a bit more than the Skywatcher equivilent when it was purchased.

My advice is to go and have a good look at it and a look through it if possible.

You don't see many of that Vixen model for sale so you would own something unusual, which can have advantages and disadvantages of course !

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Thanks John!

I will definitely have a chance of looking at it, and probably using it, since it's from my astronomy club.

He told me the eyepiece is 2" though. Maybe he modified it, because he's very into DIY.

I didn't find a lot of prices on the net for this one, as it's often discontinued, but I found $249. Would that be a reasonable price?

About the HEQ5, I'm not sure what age it is, but for a well-kept second hand, what would you think is a fair price? €700? I think they will ask something like that...

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For the Vixen scope I guess £150 (190 euros) would be reasonable if the optics are in really good condition. That last bit is very important. Getting the optics re-coated will cost a further £70 (100 euros) so will eat into the value a lot.

Used HEQ mounts (assuming the original non-GOTO type) go for around £250 (312 euros) here.

Assuming everything is in good condition and in good working order I would be looking to pay around £400 (500 euros) for the whole lot.

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I forgot to specify. It's a goto synscan. He also put in a new screw, as according to him, the original screw is frail and may break if the mount is put at certain altitudes (if I remember correctly)..

Including in the package are solar filter, the standard eyepieces and a case for the scope...

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Ehmm... "a bit" meaning 50 euro, or 200?

Sorry to push you...

I actually expect he'll make me a fair offer, as I will remain in contact with him, so eventually I would find out if he treated me fairly...

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An HEQ5 Synscan plus accessories, case etc is currently for sale on the UK Astro Buy & Sell website for £450 GBP, though it has not sold yet.

The used equipment market might be different in Italy though.

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Well, I received the offer!

For HEQ5 Pro Synscan + tripod, Vixen R150S with 6x30 Vixen finder, both 2" and 1,25" focuser; DIY solar filter; Hartman mask for focus; DIY cases for both the HEQ5 and the OTA; one eyepiece Plossl 25mm

he's asking 700 euros.

I'm inclined to say this is rather a good deal. :-)


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