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Hello and thank you!

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Hi.   I have been reading articles on this site on and off for a year or so and have joined mainly to say thank you.   I have found the answer to pretty much all my kit related questions without even having to post anything myself.

Astronomy was a big childhood interest of mine but entirely book based.  I am now in my 50s and retired and three years ago decided to get myself a telescope and have a look at the planets and the odd nebula.    I plumped for a Skywatcher Newtonian 130 on an EQ2 having done virtually no research.    I had fun with this kit for a couple of years, not least looking at some spectacular views of Jupiter and M42, and I am really pleased that I started with a manually controlled mount as it made me understand the journey astronomers have been on.  I learnt a lot of basics about how to use a telescope, the limitations of the SW 130 and most importantly that I am not patient enough to systematically star hop to anything but the easiest of objects!

So I started reading lots, mainly on this forum, and decided an 8 or 9.25 inch SCT with GOTO was a good fit for me.   Then on ebay I stumbled on an Advanced GT C11 and took a gamble and bought it.   Having got it home I found cosmetic damage, missing bolts, the optics were filthy and the collimation was miles out.   If I ever buy another telescope it won’t be through ebay.   That said, it is now cleaned inside and out, (very carefully!), has had the missing bolts replaced and is collimated.    So it seems I have got away with it and actually have a well functioning telescope.

Purchases of a Telrad (simply brilliant), focal reducer and some X-Cel LX’s and have completed the kit.  I had a couple of good viewing sessions before the clouds descended for December and whilst I was still testing and collimating etc I got to see numerous star clusters and a few nebulae.  I love the new set-up :smiley:    Doubtless a couple more eyepieces will be added in future but I will try to resist for a year or so.

I have a list of targets laid out month by month for next year and can’t wait to get going again.    Maybe Thursday as the forecast currently says it will be clear here.   Fingers crossed...

Thanks again to all the experts here who help beginners like me.

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Welcome to the SGL.

You have become an expert already, many folk may have struggled with what you have achieved so far!

Were always learning, forever learning, its the remembering thats the difficult bit, but if were unsure, we'll ask here.

Enjoy the journey.

Edited by Charic
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Welcome. The site is very user friendly and eager to help in any they can (short of coming to your front door [snicker, snicker]). However if they happen to live next door they may even do that.

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A very warm welcome and glad that you've already found lots of answers. The wealth of knowledge and experience and the generosity of those who share it on SGL always astounds me.

Hope you're enjoying your C11 - what a fine scope!


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Hi Riemann and welcome to SGL, you have been very lucky with your scope purchase from the dreaded bay, but sounds as if you have your GT C11 now working to your satisfaction, a very nice scope indeed. There is a big degree of risk, obtaining optics from the bay, and it is very much a case of caveat emptor, Astro/BuySell is much less of as gamble, as most of the gear comes from Astronomers who tend to look after their equipment, but I have to add a rider, "in the majority of cases", I once received an item described as "in very good condition" but it looked as though it had been stored in a dustbin, enjoy the forum :)

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Many thanks everyone for the warm welcome.

I have another couple of years I guess learning the basics of visual observing and getting through the list of things to see.    If and when I turn my attention to astro-photography I will be doing a stack more reading and doubtless asking dozens of questions!   In the meantime I am enjoying the images that other people post.


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