Telescope Let-Down

10 12 2010

In every city we’ve been in or passed through I’ve browsed Craigslist for telescopes, looking for the right replacement for the huge Dobsonian that I sold.

[Back story: The Dobsonian telescope would never have fit in the RV. It could, however, be replaced with a smaller telescope of similar or better light gathering ability. In a nutshell, the mirror size would be the same, but the layout of the telescope’s mirrors / lenses would be more compact… and more expensive.]

Yesterday I found the perfect replacement: an 11″ Celestron Nexstar GPS telescope. They were selling this multi-thousand-dollar telescope along with about $1500 of accessories for $1750 – a steal. They had bought the telescope for their young son, had purchased way more telescope than they could handle, and wanted nothing other than to get rid of the telescope quickly. I called the sellers as soon as I saw the ad, confirming the awesomeness of the deal and arranging to visit that night. Here’s what ensued:

5:00pm: I finish up my telescope checklist, covering the things I wanted to look at that night

6:00pm: Lisa calls, telling me that a guy she had spoken with the night before was coming over to look at the telescope

6:05pm: Ayo, who is in a gymnastics class, tells me to hightail it over there and buy it

6:30pm: I’m five minutes away from their house and I get the call. The guy just paid and is bringing it to his car. I offer more, but the lady doesn’t want to deal with a bidding war. I tell her that the telescope would be used primarily for free public science education. No dice.


I tend to get interested in things for a while, and then move on. But astronomy wasn’t something that I had lost interest in. Space considerations just dictated that it was time to sell my old telescope. Yesterday was super disappointing, but also reinvigorated my desire to get a new telescope and get back to observing and informal education.

posted by jay




2 responses

13 12 2010

Hi..sorry to hear about your telescope story. Hopefully better luck next time.

I too am one of those people who bought more telescope than I could handle (timewise that is…not enough time in the day..rather night). I bought a Takahashi 5″ refractor (TOA 130) and am seriously considering selling it. Maybe you will see it on craigslist..though with CCD camera, mount, lenses, binoviewer and all it is more like $12-$14K (another reason to sell it). I’m in the California East Bay area and one day would like to move to New Mexico/Southern Colorado and have my own piece of land and build a little observatory!

BTW..enjoy reading your blog.



13 12 2010

That telescope could buy you the land in New Mexico. My opinion: Take $10k and buy the land, and spend the rest on a MASSIVE reflector + accessories.

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