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Astronomy doesn't have to be expensive!

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Astronomy doesn't have to be expensive!

Postby Supercooper » Mon Feb 29, 2016 6:58 pm

Hi all,

This thread aims to show that this wonderful hobby of ours need not be constrained by the size of your wallet. I intend to demonstrate how, in just a few weeks I can purchase a fantastic telescope that anyone would be proud to own, for the price of (or less than) one week's subscription to the Sky at Night Magazine! Can't be done? We'll see...

Let's start with a couple of pics of my latest aquisitions.

My SkyWatcher Mak90 f13.9 on Eq2 = Bought for £44.45

and my SkyWatcher 130p f5 on Eq2-3 = Bought for £30.00

Together with my 1p telescope from China, I'm keeping it cheap!

I'm just waiting for a 6x30 Finder and two eyepieces to arrive (£16) and we're ready to test!

The 130p had two eyepieces (10mm & 25mm) and the Mak90 had one (20mm) - I needed a finder for the Mak, and found someone selling one with two eyepieces incuded so I thought, why not!

Cheers, Barry
Attachments
SkyWatcher130- (Small).jpg
The proud father!
SkyWatcher130- (Small).jpg (40.98 KiB) Viewed 3906 times
Last edited by Supercooper on Wed Jul 27, 2016 12:43 am, edited 1 time in total.
________________________________________________________________________________________
For My FREE Telescope Help Website: http://supercooper.jimdo.com/

Using fab Helios f8 150mm Achromatic Refractor on SkyWatcher EQ5 - enjoing the views!
Supercooper
 
Posts: 119
Joined: Sun Feb 14, 2016 10:14 am

Re: Astronomy doesn't have to be expensive!

Postby Aratus » Mon Feb 29, 2016 11:08 pm

Ebay acquisitions or a second -hand shop?

It is possible to get a bargin on either. Sadly too many people buy a telescope and then after a while sell them. Our gain in this case. I hope you have plenty of room!
I use an 11" Celestron SCT (CPC 1100) on an equatorial wedge, housed in a 2.2m Pulsar observatory. I use a ZWO ASI1600MC and Canon 500D for imaging.
Aratus
 
Posts: 838
Joined: Tue Jan 12, 2016 2:17 pm
Location: East Lincolnshire

Re: Astronomy doesn't have to be expensive!

Postby Supercooper » Tue Mar 01, 2016 9:30 am

Hi, Aratus,

Ebay: It's easy to find a bargain. The Mak90 was the worst listing I've ever seen... (Quote)

"Telescope Damaged One lens missing at side."

Translation = SkyWatcher Mak90 on Eq2. Perfect but needs replacement finder.

The 130p was more straightforward. A complete description of the scope incl specs and reviews! But the dec axis was broken off! Luckily for me, it only took two hours to fix.

For those who sniff at eBay you can read this:
http://www.ebay.co.uk/gds/Buying-a-Tele ... 220/g.html

Cheers, all, Barry
________________________________________________________________________________________
For My FREE Telescope Help Website: http://supercooper.jimdo.com/

Using fab Helios f8 150mm Achromatic Refractor on SkyWatcher EQ5 - enjoing the views!
Supercooper
 
Posts: 119
Joined: Sun Feb 14, 2016 10:14 am

Astronomy doesn't have to be expensive!

Postby Aratus » Tue Mar 01, 2016 8:16 pm

Supercooper wrote:
"Telescope Damaged One lens missing at side."

Translation = SkyWatcher Mak90 on Eq2. Perfect but needs replacement finder.



That raised a smile. :D

I did recently buy a second-hand telescope off Ebay, but simply as an act of nostalgia - it was my first telescope back in 1971. I was going to keep it in the corner of the room as an ornament, but bizarrely I've started taking it out and using it! and logging the observations! :?
I’ll probably start a post about it later.

From what you've said here, I think there are real bargins to be had - especially if folk here could get some help fixing them up. I guess in extreme cases 2 broken telescopes might make 1 good one.
I use an 11" Celestron SCT (CPC 1100) on an equatorial wedge, housed in a 2.2m Pulsar observatory. I use a ZWO ASI1600MC and Canon 500D for imaging.
Aratus
 
Posts: 838
Joined: Tue Jan 12, 2016 2:17 pm
Location: East Lincolnshire

Re: Astronomy doesn't have to be expensive!

Postby Supercooper » Fri Mar 04, 2016 3:09 pm

Indeed. The declination axis on the 130P needed replacing and it turned out that the Dec slow-motion is inoperative. The clamp works fine, but the slow-mo isn't funtional. On the other hand, the return spring mechanism from the Dec slow-mo on the Mak90 was missing. So, I've swapped the 130P spring and bullet into the Mak90 and now the Mak90 is perfect in all respects. The 130P, which didn't have a working Dec slow-mo, still doesn't, however, nothing's changed with the 130P but there are fewer parts not working!
________________________________________________________________________________________
For My FREE Telescope Help Website: http://supercooper.jimdo.com/

Using fab Helios f8 150mm Achromatic Refractor on SkyWatcher EQ5 - enjoing the views!
Supercooper
 
Posts: 119
Joined: Sun Feb 14, 2016 10:14 am

Re: Astronomy doesn't have to be expensive!

Postby Supercooper » Fri Mar 04, 2016 11:08 pm

I was writing an answer in another thread and went off looking for 'parts'. What I found was a complete 130mm telescope with a bent spider "Not Working" which comes with two eyepieces (worth app. £20 each!) on sale for £20. Can't resist that one! See bent spider in pic:

Won that one for £28 - Will fix up and be a good 'Quick look' scope for when it's not worth setting up an eq. :o)

Barry

Addendum: Decided to move this one on with a 'proper' listing: sold for £89.
Attachments
SkyWatcher 130P Heritage (3).jpg
Fixed up. Ready for action.
SkyWatcher 130P Heritage (3).jpg (241.88 KiB) Viewed 2889 times
130PHeritage.jpg
"Broken Telescope"... :o/
130PHeritage.jpg (31.31 KiB) Viewed 3828 times
Last edited by Supercooper on Wed Sep 07, 2016 10:27 am, edited 4 times in total.
________________________________________________________________________________________
For My FREE Telescope Help Website: http://supercooper.jimdo.com/

Using fab Helios f8 150mm Achromatic Refractor on SkyWatcher EQ5 - enjoing the views!
Supercooper
 
Posts: 119
Joined: Sun Feb 14, 2016 10:14 am

Re: Astronomy doesn't have to be expensive!

Postby Supercooper » Sat Mar 05, 2016 2:50 pm

Oh, and here's the telescope I bought from China for a penny... I can see Jupiter's moons! (Of course!)

Now I've used the penny telescope in my "What Size Telescope Will I Need to See Jupiter's Moons" guide I think I'll convert it into a finder for the £28 130P.

Barry
Attachments
SortedPennySmall.jpg
SortedPennySmall.jpg (17.44 KiB) Viewed 3818 times
________________________________________________________________________________________
For My FREE Telescope Help Website: http://supercooper.jimdo.com/

Using fab Helios f8 150mm Achromatic Refractor on SkyWatcher EQ5 - enjoing the views!
Supercooper
 
Posts: 119
Joined: Sun Feb 14, 2016 10:14 am

Re: Astronomy doesn't have to be expensive!

Postby Supercooper » Thu Mar 17, 2016 10:32 am

Here's a good one:

I bought a webcam for the telescope and needed some way of doing eyepiece projection. I looked online and was amazed at the price of the adapter tubes. Typically £30 and upwards!

This revelation sent me to the garage, where, in half an hour, I knocked up (Including black paint) a cardboard tube version for PENNIES! Which works perfectly.

Made from: Three sections of 35mm tube, some PVA glue, and 'external use' black paint.

Suitability: It accepts any size eyepiece. It extends from 80mm to 140mm should it be necessary. It has the cam adapter in one end so attaching the cam is faultless. The fit is firm and does not move at all when the scope is moved.

I hope this has been interesting.
Attachments
EPESmall2.jpg
The equipment train.
EPESmall2.jpg (27.85 KiB) Viewed 3723 times
EPESmall1.jpg
All together now!
EPESmall1.jpg (29.54 KiB) Viewed 3723 times
________________________________________________________________________________________
For My FREE Telescope Help Website: http://supercooper.jimdo.com/

Using fab Helios f8 150mm Achromatic Refractor on SkyWatcher EQ5 - enjoing the views!
Supercooper
 
Posts: 119
Joined: Sun Feb 14, 2016 10:14 am

Re: Astronomy doesn't have to be expensive!

Postby Aratus » Thu Mar 17, 2016 2:29 pm

Barry

As usual I am impressed. :mrgreen: I would always try a home remedy for something like this, but often (not always) my skills in this sort of area fail me and I end up buying! It is good to get some pointers.

for clarification . . .

How do the 3 pieces of 35mm tubing extend?
35mm is 1 3/8th inch, so is that an outside dimension? The inside presumably is 1 1/4 inch (1 2/8")
What size eyepiece to you have there?
I use an 11" Celestron SCT (CPC 1100) on an equatorial wedge, housed in a 2.2m Pulsar observatory. I use a ZWO ASI1600MC and Canon 500D for imaging.
Aratus
 
Posts: 838
Joined: Tue Jan 12, 2016 2:17 pm
Location: East Lincolnshire

Re: Astronomy doesn't have to be expensive!

Postby Supercooper » Fri Mar 18, 2016 2:06 am

Hi,

The first piece of tube is the "outer" and has a constriction at one end to snugly fit the outside of my SkyWatcher eyepieces.

The second piece of tube is the "inner". It has a constriction made of part of the third tube, that accepts the 1.25" cam adapter. It also has an outer lip to stop it going too far in.

The third bit of tube is used to make rings of diminishing diameter to pack out the inside wall of the "inner" tube to accept the cam adapter at one end. It also packs out the inside end of the "outer" tube to fit the outside of my SkyWatcher eyepieces snugly.

Once it was all opearting smoothly I took it all apart and painted it all in black acryllic.

I made it out of 35mm or 40mm cardboard tubing (I didn't measure it! Probably 40mm actually). But, some of the tubes weren't 40mm when I'd finished with them!

See crude diagram below...


Cheers, Barry
Attachments
Diagram1.jpg
Rough diagram to show layout of tubes.
Diagram1.jpg (36.75 KiB) Viewed 3714 times
________________________________________________________________________________________
For My FREE Telescope Help Website: http://supercooper.jimdo.com/

Using fab Helios f8 150mm Achromatic Refractor on SkyWatcher EQ5 - enjoing the views!
Supercooper
 
Posts: 119
Joined: Sun Feb 14, 2016 10:14 am

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