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Walking on the Moon

Is this a good second-hand deal?


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Hi All,

I am eager to get into this hobby and was hoping to upgrade from binoculars to a proper telescope.

I was looking at second-hand telescopes and came across a Sky-Watcher Explorer 130/650 with an AZ-Go2 WiFi mount for £260. It comes with a SynScan WiFi adaptor, a SynScan hand controller and a Sky-Watcher auto-focuser. It also comes with some eyepieces, filters and other bits & bobs.

 

This seems like a lot of equipment for a first telescope but looking at retail prices it's more than 50% off. It's not much more than I was expecting to pay for a beginner Dobsonian.

 

Would you recommend I pick this telescope up or go for a more basic Dobsonian? I am willing and prepared to go through a steep learning curve so that's not an issue. 

This is an equivalent telescope from FLO:

https://www.firstlightoptics.com/sky-watcher/sky-watcher-explorer-130p-az-go2-wifi-parabolic-newtonian-telescope.html

 

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Welcome to SGL.

The first comment is to ask who is selling the scope?
Scopes bought on a whim by someone with little knowledge may not have been looked after.
If you don't know how to assess the package for problems, you may get a lemon.
Though sometimes you can get a genuine item at a good price.
At £260 against £365 new I would expect a reasonably new scope in good condition. Importantly I consider myself able to assess the scope and seller.
But if you are inexperienced, do you want to risk some of the £260 if it is not what it seems to be?

HTH, David.

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Were/are you able to go see it before agreeing to purchase and have it demonstrated so you can verify that it is working correctly and to get a look at some distant objects to confirm it gives a good image?

If the seller is willing to do that for you then it would give some idea that it's a working setup, as well as the chance to form an opinion of how genuine they are. There's no guarantee of course that it won't fail or have issues later on which is the risk you'd take with any used electronics/motorised mount, so be listening out for gears grinding or binding etc as the mount swings from target to target. Note that a goto mount can be tested in daytimes, you just pick a target that is offered, no need to be able to see it in the eyepiece as we're just testing functionality here, so if an excuse is made that you can't in daytime it isn't a valid one 😉 

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48 minutes ago, Carbon Brush said:

Welcome to SGL.

The first comment is to ask who is selling the scope?
Scopes bought on a whim by someone with little knowledge may not have been looked after.
If you don't know how to assess the package for problems, you may get a lemon.
Though sometimes you can get a genuine item at a good price.
At £260 against £365 new I would expect a reasonably new scope in good condition. Importantly I consider myself able to assess the scope and seller.
But if you are inexperienced, do you want to risk some of the £260 if it is not what it seems to be?

HTH, David.

Yes, I absolutely agree. Thankfully the seller is very close so it will not be a problem to go and see it in person. 

They state it is fully working and has only been used at their house. Examinationing the images I cannot see any cosmetic damages.

Are there any points you recommend I ask / look out for?

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3 minutes ago, Spitfire38 said:

Yes, I absolutely agree. Thankfully the seller is very close so it will not be a problem to go and see it in person. 

They state it is fully working and has only been used at their house. Examinationing the images I cannot see any cosmetic damages.

Are there any points you recommend I ask / look out for?

Do take a good look at both the main primary mirror and the smaller secondary (look down the focuser tube for this latter one) to check the condition. However if you shine a torch at the mirror be aware that it'll look dreadful so just use the available light to see if there's any surface imperfections and if it gives good reflection.

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