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how many years of service one can expect?


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Hi, i am a beginner in astronomy and it's my fist Post.

I am very glad to be here. i am about to purchase a telescope, it probably will be a reflector.

I was wondering how many years of service one would expect from

1. Refractors

2. Reflectors

3. Catadioptrics.

Thank you.

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There are many in use today that are well over 100years old! You may need to recoat mirrors every decade or so if they have older type coatings but the modern ones should last quite a bit longer - it all depends on the "nasties" in your bit of the atmosphere.

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As others have said, optics should last and last if looked after. In fact, the optics will almost certainly outlast the electronics and motors. This is something to keep in mind if buying a scope that can't be operated without the built-in motors. I think this is mainly the case for alt/az SCTs.

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Apart from very old glass developing 'crazing' or hairline surface cracks, I've never heard of a scope "wearing out" from use. I've seem scopes abused to death, dropped, scratched up, even left to rot in damp and / or dusty environs.

That said, I am restoring a 1950's 8" Cave Astrola reflector that is just gorgeous - and the drive motor still works fine.

Dan

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As others have said, optics should last and last if looked after. In fact, the optics will almost certainly outlast the electronics and motors. This is something to keep in mind if buying a scope that can't be operated without the built-in motors. I think this is mainly the case for alt/az SCTs.

Alt/az SCT's can be operated without the electronics.

I have a Meade LX200gps and this has manual adjusters for both axis. But even without these you would just need to unlock the clamps, move them by hand, and lock the clamps again.

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I had doubts about reflectors that they might get too smudgy within 5-6 years.

i was hoping for a scope to give 8-10 years of service, but who would have guessed you can actually restore more than 100 year old reflector by re-coating.

Thanks a lot for your help.

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Electronics, bearings, gears and motors are the weakest link here. proper care and all should last a long time.

totally agree, its a bit similar to owning an old VCR, how many of use owned one? thay did need some looking after, moving mechanical parts seemed especially prone to breakdown

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I had doubts about reflectors that they might get too smudgy within 5-6 years.

Not with modern coatings, you should get 20 years + from the coatings, in any case recoating is a nuisance rather than a major expense.

The more expensive scopes (irrespective of type) tend to be better built than the cheaper ones and will last longer ... apart from electronics, the weak parts are wearing out of threads in the bits where they get bolted together etc. But in practise even cheap scopes tend to last until you drop them.

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