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Mad Matt    15

Hi all. 

 

I live in Manchester and I'm looking for the nearest shop to go and view telescopes, ask question and possibly purchase a telescope.. Ive just tried Opticstar but they are no longer open to the public and the chap says he knows nothing about telescopes...

 

Thanks..

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PeterCPC    1,787

You might be better going to a club to talk to members and see their scopes. You can always ask on here if you know what you want to achieve and your budget. There is a wealth of knowledge here to explore.

Peter

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darknight    73

agree with peter really, if you have no usefull astro shops around a club is a logical place to go, not only for info but you may well find a good second hand instrument there

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Racey    441

You'll also get some exceptionally useful and candid advice from the team at First Light Optics ( @FLO). Although I live the other side of the country from them, @Mrs Racey and I buy all our gear, apart from previously owned stuff from them...

Not only is their advice helpful, but their prices are very competitive... 

 

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Mrs Racey    75
1 minute ago, Racey said:

You'll also get some exceptionally useful and candid advice from the team at First Light Optics ( @FLO). Although I live the other side of the country from them, @Mrs Racey and I buy all our gear, apart from previously owned stuff from them...

Not only is their advice helpful, but their prices are very competitive... 

 

:laughing4: And there was me thinking that with all the gear you're amassing in the "hobby room" you were about to open up shop too... :icon_biggrin:

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Knighty2112    2,226

Not sure about Manchester/Liverpool side of things, but I believe the nearest shops would either be Rother Valley optics off the M1 near Sheffield, or Green Witch in Birstall near Leeds off the M62. If they are out of the question due to distance then a local club would be the best idea as stated. Good luck. 

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JOC    1,438

I'm new to this game., but I am the other side of the country from FLO and can thoroughly recommend them - they sold me my telescope.

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newbie alert    216

A phone call to someone with knowledge and talking to them about what to you want from a scope will teach you more than just physically looking at one..a 1 scope fits all and does everything don't exist..i spoke with my local supplier and I'm really glad I did as in the long run it's saved me money..

I'd stick to the main suppliers who have a shop..and not Amazon etc as they just a warehouse supply chain who will flog you anything without any true knowledge of the subject..

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ronin    3,755

Opticstar stopped being open to people a while back. I see their website kind of implies lots of stuff.

Nearest I can think of will be Greenwitch at Leeds, although they seem to have been quiet over the last several months. Lee there always had a good reputation for being informative.

The next one is Rother Valley (Rotheram). After that a bit stuck for reachable shops. And I suspect you will think neither of them are greatly reachable.

There are getting to be less and less, even if the decline is slow. Wide Screen have moved out of London and set up somewhere around Ely in Cambs. So not sure what the situation with them will be. London had a big catchment of people. Sutton (not sure where Sutton specifically is) is not going to have that amount of foot fall.

Suspect the best idea is to locate a couple of clubs: http://www.astronomyclubs.co.uk/

Pay them a visit or two and have a look at the equipment, then decide on something, then order it from somewhere.

How far is Stoneleigh near Coventry ? There is a big show on there in October (I think October). Although a fair way you at least have the oppertunity to make a day out of it.

Before you ask "What scope?" I will say something inexpensive that you can use easily and often. Be sneaky - ask not for the good points of a scope but the bad points. Makes more interesting reading. There is likely to be something you cannot life with as if honest they are all scopes and all do similar.

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MattJenko    2,291

Joining a local society will give you the opportunity to do something you won't be able to do at a shop, and that is look at the stars through them.

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Mad Matt    15
Posted (edited)

In the end i went to Rother Valley, had a good chat with Adam and came home with a Meade EXT-LS 8". I set it up about an hour ago in anticipation of these clouds shifting. Not looking good till Saturday but at least I'm getting used to things...

Edited by Mad Matt
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Racey    441
4 minutes ago, Mad Matt said:

In the end i went to Rother Valley, had a good chat with Adam and came home with a Meade EXT-LS 8". I set it up about an hour ago in anticipation of these clouds shifting. Not looking good till Saturday but at least I'm getting used to things...

Blimey. Question posed 10 hours ago. 10 hours later scope purchased. You research faster than me... 😃

Now the expensive bit of the journey begins. 

Have fun...

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Astro Imp    2,842

Well done on making a decision, I'm sure you will be more than happy with your purchase.

BTW most of my equipment has been purchased at RVO, I've found Ian and Adam to be very helpful and always ready for a chat.

Good luck, don't forget to let us all know how you get on.

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Mad Matt    15

Ive just packed everything away theres no chance of a clear sky tonight but i have just ordered a 12v adapter:icon_biggrin:

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Knighty2112    2,226
1 hour ago, Mad Matt said:

Ive just packed everything away theres no chance of a clear sky tonight but i have just ordered a 12v adapter:icon_biggrin:

Well done on the new acquisition. Hope you enjoy the new scope when you get some clear skies. Hopefully not too far away for some. Pity the summer solstice is so near too, but hey ho! Once past it we'll be slowly getting the longer nights again! One thing to keep an eye on  though is your bank balance. Once bitten by the Astro bug the old moneroony can deplete from it real quickly! Hehe! ;) 

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Philip R    718
Posted (edited)

Bit late to the party chaps & chapesses...

FLO & RVO get my vote as I have made purchases from both of them in the past.

Edited by Philip R

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JOC    1,438
16 hours ago, Knighty2112 said:

Once bitten by the Astro bug the old moneroony can deplete from it real quickly! Hehe!

 

18 hours ago, Mad Matt said:

but i have just ordered a 12v adapter:icon_biggrin:

Sounds like the slippery slope is already started.  Have fun with your new toy scientific instrument!

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Asur1984    18

Just come across this post, wondering how you were getting on with the scope and, being from just outside of Manchester myself, if you managed to get in contact with any local clubs at all?

 

Jon

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LukeSkywatcher    7,835
On 6/14/2017 at 11:14, Racey said:

You'll also get some exceptionally useful and candid advice from the team at First Light Optics ( @FLO). Although I live the other side of the country from them, @Mrs Racey and I buy all our gear, apart from previously owned stuff from them...

Not only is their advice helpful, but their prices are very competitive... 

 

I live in Ireland and most of my astro gear has been bought from FLO. Not only astro gear, but my microscope which didnt work when i got it. They sent a new one out right away and paid postage on the broken one being sent back and on the new one being sent. My whole meteorite collection (2 of everything they sell) came from FLO also. P&P was expensive when you buy 1 at a time like i did. I should have waited and bought several together, but then the weight of the package increases, so would there have been any saving?.

FLO ARE JUST BRILLIANT. They dont just want your money. They care about your astronomy.

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Dave In Vermont    4,896

What many people over here fail to understand, often until it's too late, is that a good, top-notch shop is something to find and cultivate a positive relationship with. It's not just about finding the lowest price. Often the best shop is one that provides the best aftercare to the customer and the item purchased.

All too frequently I'll hear people bitterly complain about some kit they bought. When they are asked how the seller handled the problem - I'll get a "Deer In-The-Headlights" look. As though the idea of there even being an option for calling the seller had never crossed their mind. A question like "Where did you buy it from?" is met with a shrug and something like "Some guy on eBay."

It's a two-way street. A good dealer will provide excellent care and answers during and after the sale. But one should also show loyalty to the dealer and pass the word about their being your favorite, and why, to someone looking to buy some gear of their specialized field.

I use two such outfits over here. The second one it for the most esoteric, if not bizarre, bits & pieces of astro-kit. Rare stuff!

Dave

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Mad Matt    15
On 20/07/2017 at 20:38, Asur1984 said:

Just come across this post, wondering how you were getting on with the scope and, being from just outside of Manchester myself, if you managed to get in contact with any local clubs at all?

 

Jon

Hi Jon, the scope is fantastic but sadly theres been nothing but cloudy nights for a while now, hoping tonight might give me chance to get the scope out again. I was given a link to a club in Heaton Park but they don't start meeting until September, i will attend the they start up again...

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Louis D    888

It's surprising how many astro shops the UK has.  Here in the US, we've got Orion, Agena Astro, and OPT in CA, Anacortes in WA, Astronomics in OK, Skies Unllimited in PA, and High Point Scientific in NJ.  There are many niche players and mega-vendors selling astro products as well, but there just aren't very many full line, dedicated astro shops in the US anymore.  Many are online only with no brick and mortar presence.  It can be a drive of over 1000 miles to get to the nearest one for many Americans.

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LukeSkywatcher    7,835
On 7/26/2017 at 15:21, Louis D said:

It's surprising how many astro shops the UK has.  Here in the US, we've got Orion, Agena Astro, and OPT in CA, Anacortes in WA, Astronomics in OK, Skies Unllimited in PA, and High Point Scientific in NJ.  There are many niche players and mega-vendors selling astro products as well, but there just aren't very many full line, dedicated astro shops in the US anymore.  Many are online only with no brick and mortar presence.  It can be a drive of over 1000 miles to get to the nearest one for many Americans.

Here in Ireland we have 1 single astro shop that i know of. It's a Celestron dealership. Pretty over-priced too. Ive bought stuff from America and it was cheaper than if i drove the few miles to the shop.

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Dave In Vermont    4,896
Posted (edited)
6 hours ago, LukeSkywatcher said:

Here in Ireland we have 1 single astro shop that i know of. It's a Celestron dealership. Pretty over-priced too. Ive bought stuff from America and it was cheaper than if i drove the few miles to the shop.

That being the case - if you need the 'esoteric or bizarre,' here's a link to the outfit I was thinking of:

http://www.scopestuff.com/

It's well-worth taking a stroll through it. But pack a tent and food - you can easily get lost in there. If you find a lost British Expeditionary Force in there, please give them directions to the exit?

Dave

Edited by Dave In Vermont

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