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i,m just starting out and i,ve been given the chance to buy an unused still in the box scope. i already know its a basic model by reading on here. its a jessops ta700-76. but for a first scope is it worth a buy for 40 quid.

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Hi Ian,

This is a difficult question to answer without knowing a bit more about the 'scope.....One of my concerns for you would be that if it's rubbish, then the views through it will be so disappointing that you will give up on the hobby before you've begun!:cool:

£40 for a 'scope sounds like a bargain, but if the tripod is rickety and doesn't move slowly for minor adjustments it'll get you peed off in no time. Also for £40 one may need to question the optics???!! if they are badly collimated, focusing will be a nightmare (I speak from personal experience of owning a cheap plastic Tasco back in the day, the moon would never get into focus!).

Sorry to rain on your parade, but 40 quid is 40 quid....You might do better to save up, or at leats see what's available 2nd hand.

Stef

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it is a 3" newtonian reflector on a Mickey mouse tripod, so unfortunately it will be of extremely limited use, save your money and either buy some binoculars or save up to get a much better telescope secondhand.

Pizza Pete

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I agree entirely with the other posts on this one - you will only be dissapointed.

I would say that a budget of £100 - £150 is needed for a decent starter scope.

Sorry if that's not what you wanted to hear but it's best to be honest :cool:

John

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I thought for years about getting a small scope from jessops or argos. All I can say is that i'm glad that I waited till I could afford the ones I have now.

A good scope might cost more than you'd expect but its worth it, very worth it as they will give you great views and not kill off any interest you have in the hobby.

EDIT: What you want to do is your looking for a good scope at a decent price then check out the for sale section of this forum, i've found you can find a lot of good deals on there and you'll be getting a scope from ppl who can advise you or are likely to be willing to help you out.

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For goodness sake don't do it!

Had a look at one in our local caravan accessories shop near Skegness!

If it wasn't for the bolsa wood mount! I would still say No.

Our locl Lidle store, 10x50s bin's, 10 quid.....

I hope I wasn't to harsh. ( I don't want you to be disapointed)

Mick.G.

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3" newtonian reflector on a Mickey mouse tripod

I saw one of these @ a local car boot sale. The guy had no idea what he was selling, so I just sat there and assembled it on the ground and set it up to look at the Cotswold hills. Of course, there is no meaningful collimation with a scope like this, and the image was reasonably bright but the image had huge colour fringing @ the edges and was very softly focused.

In other words, it looked the part (c/w finder scope) but was near to hopeless in use. In the dark, it would have delighted for about 10 seconds and then left you wanting.

All the advice here is sound.

Save up - even if it's £5 per week - to get something which has a semi-decent aperture from a brand that is well known enough for them not to risk reputation on making junk.

Astronomy is a strange hobby - if you get it right, you will have your eyes and mind opened in a way you almost cannot control and it will stay with you forever. Get it wrong and you will wonder what the fuss is all about.

Why not get along to your local Astronical Society when they next meet to have a look through some of the members 'scopes ? I promise, you will not be dissappointed and will save yourself time and money

Keep us all informed & good luck

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I agree with whats been said by the others.

With my first scope I made an even more expensive mistake, and bought a rubbish reflector from what looked to be a reputable e-bay dealer :). It was absolute garbage.

luckily, (though i still feel a little bit guilty,) I managed to sell it back on e-bay to someone else and started scouring forums such as this one and "cloudy nights" for advice and eventually got myself a decent wee scope and from there have gradually chopped and changed untill Im happy with what I have now.

I would reccomend getting a pair of binoculars and learning the different constellations while you save up for a decent beginners scope, it neednt cost a fortune , and when you have something in mind, please come back on here and ask for advice before making the final purchase.:cool:

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Again, I agree with the other comments.

A good alternative would be to buy a secondhand 'scope. There's two things about astronomers; 1) they tend to look after their kit, and 2) they're always upgrading. These two things mean that there are always some great secondhand bargains to be had.

I would go for a Skywatcher 130PM, these can be found for around £60 to £70 and are an ideal starter 'scope. I started with one of these secondhand - I bought it off a fellow SGL member by posting an ad in the wanted section.

Welcome to SGL and I hope you find what you want,

Ian

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I started off with a very similar scope from Jessops. I have to say that although it it was a bit shaky and gave pretty limited views, it provided me with some exciting nights of viewing. I had just got into astronomy so didn't want to spend loads of money on a hobby that could have lasted only a couple of weeks, but within a few moths I was hooked then took the leap to upgrade to something bigger!

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Hmm, cat among the pigeons time!

I'd say have a butchers at it and thru it first, before you write it off! Tasco are mostly derided as rubbish scopes, but a few people on here have had success with them as guide scopes. There is always the exception that proves the rule and this may be true for this make too!

It may have a rickety mount, but you should pick up an EQ1 or 2 here, 2nd hand, that would be more than capable of supporting it.

If the optics are ok and give good views, than a £40 start (with cheap upgrades) might not be a bad investment after all.

Or it could be rubbish...

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If you are serious about the hobby, I don't think it's a good idea to buy a 76mm department store type scope. It is much too liimiting in terms of its performance capability, and will lead to frustration very quickly. If you want to give the hobby, and yourself, a fair chance, you should buy at least a 5" (127mm) reflector or a 90mm refractor, on a fairly solid mount. This will allow you to experience good views without the frustration of a less than ideal optical system and a wobbly mount.

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