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CornishJon

My late father's telescopes - any advice appreciated

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Hello,

I hope it’s ok to post here, I’m looking for advice regarding my late father’s telescopes.

He sadly passed away from Leukemia last year and was a keen astronomer, my sister and I have inherited his belongings including a number of telescopes, some quite large:

Bresser 152s, sky watcher 6”, sky watcher skymax 6”, sky watcher 12” dobsonian, Meade Lightbridge 16” dobsonian (I hope I’ve got that right)

It’s been an incredibly upsetting time for us and they’re currently in a storage unit along with the rest of his things. We sadly need to sell them due to the unit costing us quite a lot of money and other practicalities.

The issue is that as we don’t know anything about telescopes and it’s all second hand with limited instructions so I’m not sure what bits go with what and if there’s something missing will it still be sellable - I think some are missing the focus finder(?!)

The other issue is the largest Meade Lightbridge 16” dobsonian has a dirty mirror, it’s either dust or fungus. Is it rendered worthless with a dirty mirror? It’s £2400 new, what is a realistic price for this? Do I just sell 'sold as seen' or try and fix first?

If anyone is able to take a look at the collection of stuff and offer any advice I would appreciate it so much.

Some photos and videos are here:
https://photos.app.goo.gl/faqJYZBRKw7PSzME8

Thank you,
Jon
 

Edited by CornishJon

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Hello Jon

I’m very sorry to hear of your father. I can’t imagine how difficult it is to sort through and carefully and thoughtfully dispose of / sell his belongings.

I think you’ve come to the right place here; there’s a wealth of knowledge and experience on this forum.

I think the first thing to do would be to examine the For Sale board on here, and specifically the “sold / closed ads” section. You’ll get a guide to a lot of prices on there and you could even private-message some of the vendors to ask what they actually got for things; I’ve found people here overwhelmingly helpful and pleasant so I’m sure no one would mind.

There is a Meade 16” light bridge currently for sale here: 

Yours appears to be in mechanically good condition from the pics, and the mirror might clean up nicely from someone who knows what they’re doing. It’s also surprising just how well a grubby mirror can perform. So you might look at a slight discount you Mark’s scope above, but probably nothing drastic. Mirrors can also be professionally recoated  - Orion Optics UK have a “hilux” coating service.

Selling big scopes at this time of year can sometimes take a while because of the light nights - people just aren’t thinking about astronomy as much (can you believe that?!).

Finally, a useful site to compare prices is https://www.astrobuysell.com/uk/ . It’s not the easiest to navigate but there’s a large archive of sold stuff and so you can benchmark your prices there.

I’m sure others will have much more specific advice for you. All the best with things.

Paul

Edited by FenlandPaul
Added words re recoating mirrors

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Hello Jon I am really sorry to hear of your sad loss. Clearly your father was a keen astronomer which shows from the equipment that he had.

The management of SGL recently changed the procedures for selling equipment and I will try and help you place an advert in the correct place in the 'for sale' board.

Firstly we must determine a price for the equipment which is normally 60/65% of the new price. Secondly the location of the equipment so that members can work out distances to travel. Some carriers will not transport telescopes especially if original boxes are not available. Finally you need to determine payment method.

Have a go at starting a thread on the 'for sale' board. Once you have started the thread I can always go into the thread and add or amend items as necessary.

 

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Condolences.

Best of luck with this.  You may well find that there is a tradeoff between quick sale/marketing effort.  A used telescope dealer might take away all of it as a job lot, but is unlikely to give you a good price.   To realize the best price you will have to identify everything and package it into attractive lots e.g. the same collection of bits that come in the box if you bought that telescope new, and in working order.  For this you will obviously need on-site help from somebody who knows about this stuff.  Maybe there is an astro club near you who can help out?

As someone who has both bought and sold (or tried to sell) used kit I would  comment that you should be prepared for some items to be slow to sell or to fetch less than the guidelines indicated above.  A few months ago I bought a high-end telescope in excellent condition plus a boxful of valuable accessories for what in retrospect seems like embarrassingly little money. That seems to happen with some telescope models. Previously I got a scruffy telescope outfit from a dealer for about half the price of a new one. (It still works okay).  A few years ago I put a 70mm refractor on ebay at a starting price of £25, collection only.  I got £25 less fees for it.  I am trying to sell a Newtonian OTA but there has bee almost no interest so far.

If you have accessories, you will find that buyers will be happy to take a box of accessories along with the telescope & mount but may not be prepared to pay much extra for them.  You might get more cataloguing them individually but that could entail a lot of work.

Edited by Cosmic Geoff
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I'm sorry to hear of your loss. I guess from your username that you're from Cornwall but I can't guess from where in the county. For info, there are a few very active clubs/societies in the county that might be able to help, particularly if your father was a member. Cornwall Astronomical Society meets near Penzance and Helston; Kernow Astronomers meets at St Columb Major near Newquay and also holds practical evenings at Trevarrian campsite in the winter. Callington Astronomy Group meet at St Dominick, near Saltash. In addition, the Roseland, Caradon and Tolcarne observatories have associated groups. You could also look at the Go Stargazing website to find events near you. While I'd hope you'd "catch the bug", at the very least you'd get the chance to talk to some very knowledgeable people at those events about your father's astro equipment. BTW, if you do 'catch the bug' a local club might be prepared to offer storage in exchange for you sharing the gear with members. I wish you all the best however it turns out.

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11 hours ago, Geoff_L said:

I'm sorry to hear of your loss. I guess from your username that you're from Cornwall but I can't guess from where in the county. For info, there are a few very active clubs/societies in the county that might be able to help, particularly if your father was a member. Cornwall Astronomical Society meets near Penzance and Helston; Kernow Astronomers meets at St Columb Major near Newquay and also holds practical evenings at Trevarrian campsite in the winter. Callington Astronomy Group meet at St Dominick, near Saltash. In addition, the Roseland, Caradon and Tolcarne observatories have associated groups. You could also look at the Go Stargazing website to find events near you. While I'd hope you'd "catch the bug", at the very least you'd get the chance to talk to some very knowledgeable people at those events about your father's astro equipment. BTW, if you do 'catch the bug' a local club might be prepared to offer storage in exchange for you sharing the gear with members. I wish you all the best however it turns out.

Geoff what an excellent reply and so much information on Cornwall.

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Hello Jon,

My father passed away two years ago so I can understand how you feel at the moment.

Your dad had some very nice telescopes that you may feel better about selling to astronomers who will use and value them rather than a dealer who will just be looking to make a profit.

As already suggested, talking to the members of your local astronomy club may help.

I am sure the scopes would sell if you advertised them on this site or perhaps Ukastronomy buysell.

Personally I would have bought the 6” Skymax from you but I suspect you live in Cornwall so it’s a bit too far

Best of luck 

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+1 for the club, someone would probably help you out the right bits with the right scopes and see if anything is missing.

Sorry about your Dad .

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Hi everyone, 

Sorry I haven't replied sooner.

Thank you all for your responses and suggestions, it's so great to see so many people being so caring and helpful to me.

As luck would have it someone from Kernow Astronomers messaged me about the scopes and was interested in one, he also offered his help identify the equipment and accessories, I met both him and another member of the club last Friday where all the equipment is stored (they live quite near). They were so kind and helpful telling me about the scopes, what goes with what, what condition they are in (apparently the lightbridge mirror just needs a clean), and roughly what sort of price to expect., I even offered a tenner each for petrol and they declined.

I will try and get around to listing them very soon (I have a 7 month old and barely have any time to eat dinner!) whilst taking on board all of your advice.

My faith in humanity has been restored thanks to all of you and the guys from the club.

Thank you ever so much,

Jon

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