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I had a horrible thought tonight...


Takahashi
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While driving up the road from work, I noticed how clear it was, and realised that if I wanted to go obsy'ing, I'd have that lovely task of (after some dinner), 30-40 minutes of lugging 6 loads of gear out to the car, travel to site, another 30-40 minutes unloading the car, 20-30 minutes of setting-up, all the while thinking... and this was the kicker... I just couldn't be bothered.

The worst part is that I've only just started back into astronomy after about 20 years, and now, having bought a huge amount of gear, I'm facing this gargantuan task any time I want to go out. Fact is, I made a huge mistake from the outset; I bought too much gear, great gear, but not conducive to regular outings, where I'd be better suited to having a simple G&G setup, or semi-permanent setup in a garden shed or obsy. I live in a flat (ground-floor, thankfully), and this is the main problem.

Yep, I'm feeling sorry for myself. ;) ...but I am seriously thinking of shedding everything, as the prospect of moving to a house w/garden is nowhere near possible, not for a long while, and my car is starting to display signs of "replace me, or else" ;).

Anyone else have these most unpleasant moments, or having sold everything ended up regretting not sticking it out?

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Yes, been there, given up, sold the lot and then returned but with different aspirations. Kicked the imaging as it was getting me down and i dreaded the setup each time. Rediscovered purely visual and never looked back. I now have the same buzz i did 25 years ago.

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I can honestly recommend a set of BIG bins. Mounted on a tripod you can easily set them up in moments and take them anywhere. I'm sure that I could easier carry mine back to work as hand baggage, tripod included.

Then you can leave the big setting up for when you've got a good chance to really enjoy it to its fullest extent.

Edited by yeti monster
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Unless there is a financial need to flog the gear and if storage isn't a problem then it seems that getting rid is a way of punishing yourself for not being bothered. Enthusiasm comes and goes and the stars aren't going anywhere soon.

How about a small altaz mount with your megrez for a grab and go?

John

Edited by Rusty Strings
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While driving up the road from work, I noticed how clear it was, and realised that if I wanted to go obsy'ing, I'd have that lovely task of (after some dinner), 30-40 minutes of lugging 6 loads of gear out to the car, travel to site, another 30-40 minutes unloading the car, 20-30 minutes of setting-up, all the while thinking... and this was the kicker... I just couldn't be bothered.

The worst part is that I've only just started back into astronomy after about 20 years, and now, having bought a huge amount of gear, I'm facing this gargantuan task any time I want to go out. Fact is, I made a huge mistake from the outset; I bought too much gear, great gear, but not conducive to regular outings, where I'd be better suited to having a simple G&G setup, or semi-permanent setup in a garden shed or obsy. I live in a flat (ground-floor, thankfully), and this is the main problem.

Yep, I'm feeling sorry for myself. :p ...but I am seriously thinking of shedding everything, as the prospect of moving to a house w/garden is nowhere near possible, not for a long while, and my car is starting to display signs of "replace me, or else" :).

Anyone else have these most unpleasant moments, or having sold everything ended up regretting not sticking it out?

How about a swapsies? My 130P is very portable ;)

Just kidding ;)

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You have just discovered why so many folks have a quick set up/grab and go option even to just nip to the end of the garden with....

selling up crosses everybodys mind....

right now is not a good time.. the world is awash with second hand equipment and is I suspect about to be further awash with older ccd cameras as well...

I can recommend trading/selling excess gear and investing in a smal tracking mount...

Steve

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... I just couldn't be bothered.

I've been there too. With the arrival of my son a few years ago, the thought of losing sleep outside makes me feel the same...and I'm still there. I had a 12" LX200GPS that was steadily depreciating, so sold that, and had a few other telescopes that I was keeping for sentimental or collectible reasons...they went too. Also, any really technical gear I had I sold before it became obsolete, I had a ccd camera briefly, but didn't have anywhere near enough patience for that!

Basically, with the exception of an older model ETX125EC and a PST, anything that I considered to be easily replaceable is something that I haven't kept. I figure I can re-evaluate later if I want to...

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I usually decide on what type of session I want first. Then I pick the relevant gear. Travel to site and back usually means just observing - so one scope and a few ep's is fine. I leave the photo sessions to lengthier back yard time, or save it for star parties and meetings etc.

Just my opinion but I have more quality time with the sky if plan ahead. On the other hand - if you wanna sell everything I'll take it all off your hands for fifty quid lol ;)

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You are not the first and you won't be the last to think this...

I have often had the same thought about lugging out the 16" dob and then having to wait 1 hour for it to cool.

My advice would be a good quallity Alt/Az mount, tripod, and refractor and just do visual.

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Similar problem just over a year ago , I had a Meade LX200 R 10" which I never used so I sold it and bought a Flextube 300 and a 120 Equinox on a WO EZTouch Mount. Now when I do manage to find the time to get outside I am not put off by the thought of spending 1 hour setting everything up and seeing as it is all in my garage there is virtually no cooling down time. I can literally be outside viewing in less than 10 minutes but I do have the advantage of a garden so I have no need to travel.

Go for something easy to set up and use and just enjoy seeing what is up there with a minimum of aggro.

Anything for an easy life.

Edited by vlebo
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Thanks for the comments, folks.

John, I think you nailed it with the "punishing yourself for not being bothered"! It's worryingly childish to think this way, but it is true.

Russ (and others), I had thought about going ""visual only", but I suspect that would soon revert to AP-hunger, as it was my main impetus in getting back into astronomy this time round; back in the 80's, it was financially and technically way out of my reach, whereas pretty much anyone with a dSLR and some modest hardware can produce stunning results, as we see here regularly. Also, I do have a reasonable set of bins; 15x70s, which see some use now and then, but again, when I'm out for a sesh, all my time and effort is concentrated on the monster task of "orchestrating" the main hardware for AP.

Mick, the Alt-Az G&G route is one I've recently contemplated, having already contacted Steve about options to that end, and it's still a "go-er", since it can also be used for standard terrestrial viewing and photography; something I'll undoubtedly be doing a lot more of in the coming months. However, my recent photo-hardware acquisitions have put that particular purchase on the back-burner for a few months. ;)

I realise I'm just on a "down", but I'm still certain that my current set-up is way too complex for me, in terms of usability and portability, and as such, rather than sell the lot, I may instead pare it down to manageable size/type while retaining a core collection of bits. In plain english; I'll probably shed the Meg72, multi-mount, Lodestar, and a bunch of eyepieces. I'll still have the "problem" of having to lug the bigger scope and NEQ6 around, but it will still have the potential of doing AP work, if not as comprehensive as I'd originally planned.

Again, thanks for the encouragement and advice, and I hope this current lull will dissipate, as even with my first few forays into AP, I've been pleasantly surprised at the result. If my current financial situation (and car-health) improves, this may just turn out to be a blip, and things will return to pre-Christmas enthusiasm levels...

Ivor.

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I sympathise with you Ivor. I went through a 14yr lul !! For a long while I had AP ambitions. But on realising just how much gear I would need, the type of set up time etc, I decided to re-vamp what I did visually. I now have a serious scope in my 16" LB and a grab n go in my 8.5", which takes less than 5 minutes to set up. With both scopes my visual observing incorporates sketching what I see at the EP. It's a great way to get more out of just visual - and I find I enjoy my scope time that much more. ;)

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I too have gone round and round in circles.

As all my kit has to be moved in and out of the house every session I decided to limit my scopes to the following criteria :-

1. Must cool down quickly. The reason for this is I tend to be in and out in 2/3 hours max, usually observing as the night gets colder (7-10PM).

2. Must be useable on A Vixen GP-DX as it's quite light in weight which is good for my dodgy back.

The scopes that fill the bill for me are an 5" F/8 refractor and a 8" F/6 reflector, both perform well and cool quickly and are not too heavy. I'm content that these two scopes give me the maximum performance for the least hassle and allow me to concentrate on the views.

I also have a 4" F/8 refractor which I take on holiday and which I will grow old with - very light, very high performance, cools quickly and no collimation.

I have given up on astro photography as I found lugging all the extra equipment out was a grind, plus I find observation and drawing more involving.

Just my two penneth :-))

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I've been there as well. I been tempted by imaging a few times but I've had to be honest with myself that it won't suit me and my observing circumstances. I've now gathered stuff which is pretty much "grab and go" so a decent alt-az mount and OTA's that I can bung on and off it quickly. Downgrading from a 12" dob to a 10" Orion Optics OTA was part of this.

The most important thing to bear in mind is this is supposed to be fun - if you are not having fun (and it's not just a temporary blip) then something needs to be done to put the fun back into the hobby.

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I was like that too last night. got in, straight away put the scope out to cool down, made dinner, ate dinner, let it go down, then had a cuddle with the other half,almost fell asleep, then persuaded him to bring it in whilst cursing myself for not keeping myself on my feet...once I've sat down, there's no getting back up, its a real killer.

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The thoughts of even lugging" my 90EQ a few feet outside the house and setting up depressed me to no end (it was ok when the scope was new and i was excited). I just about packed it away for good and was going to go back to my 10x50 bins that have served me so well for nearly 30 yrs. But i knew then that i wanted apeture........so the 10x50s would not give me what i wanted. I invested in a set of 20x90 bins and tripod and once again my whole universe (of astronomy) opened up. I am outside and set up within 2 mins. Then i wanted more magnification that bins dont give me so another scope was on the cards. It HAD to be compact and light. Thats where the SW Heritage 130P flextube Dob came into my life.

I store it in my garage in the box. When i want to use it i just grab the box and take the scope out. The only setup involved is letting it cool down but because i store it outside in the garage the ambient temp of the scope is pretty close to the outside temp so there is not much cooling down to do. The scope is ready when my eyes are dark adapted. Now on the average observing session i have the SW outside, the 20x90s outside mounted and my 450D also.

The only thing that keeps me inside now is the weather.

P.S.~~~I'm now also going to use the 90EQ as a simple ALT-AZ scope.

Edited by LukeSkywatcher
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Ordering my first 'scope, and it being a Skywatcher ST120 on an AZ3, from FLO today, wasn't an accident. (*eta: entirely apart from my eye issues - I'm pretty sure I'd have gone for this 'scope anyway)

The number of people with 'grab and go' 'scopes listed in their sigs, isn't an accident either. For me, that was one of the most important things to notice on this site.

Yes, the ST120 is a bit bigger format to the usual, and it's about the biggest I can comfortably carry on my motorbike, otherwise it'd have to be handlebar mounted and look like I was driving an RPG. It's still very much in the spirit of a short tube grab and go though.

I do worry when I see large aperture light buckets being bought by people as their first purchase, and do wonder just how much use they will ever get. If the stuff doesn't get used, it is a dreadful waste of money, as well as a dreadful waste of good equipment.

Isn't it better to have a 'grab and go' first, and even if you get totally addicted to the hobby, still have it as a 'scope that's going to get a heck of a lot of use? Refuse point blank to even think about buying another 'scope, for at least 18 months too.

Also, while using that 'scope, over a period of time, people will see where their true astronomy interest really is, learning that as they go along?

Sure, short term sales for the manufacturers wouldn't be so good, but long term, they'd have a much bigger and more solidly based set of customers? I think this hobby sheds far more participants than is healthy or necessary, and almost all of that can be laid at the feet of bad initial purchasing decisions.

What are the 'scopes that rarely crop up on the secondhand market, and then don't hang around long when they do show up?

The ST80 is definitely one isn't it?

Big stuff is common, and goes cheap, doesn't it?

To me anyway, that starter 'scope is the single most important purchase of all, not as a 'stepping stone' to bigger and bigger light buckets, but a real 'keeper' that can deliver real viewing pleasure year in and year out, hopefully for the rest of your life. To achieve that, it has to be really user friendly, and deliver great value for money.

If everyone does it, it might mess up the secondhand market though . . . . ;)

Edited by Ogri
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Ogri,

Another reason people go for huge lightbuckets is because the light pollution is horrendous in their garden; to the point that an urban dweller with a 16" Newtonian will see they same quality of objects as rural folks with an 8 or 10" Newtonian.

Remember most people just want to observe from the comfort of their own garden. :eek:

Nice bike BTW. I used to be a Honda owner until I got married and had kids...

Edited by Beulah
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Ogri,

Another reason people go for huge lightbuckets is because the light pollution is horrendous in their garden; to the point that an urban dweller with a 16" Newtonian will see they same quality of objects as rural folks with an 8 or 10" Newtonian.

Remember most people just want to observe from the comfort of their own garden. :eek:

Nice bike BTW. I used to be a Honda owner until I got married and had kids...

Fair comment. Sad though isn't it?

Still, the way things are going, Councils may not be able to afford to pay street light electric bills or replace light bulbs for much longer (think positive, hehe)!

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