What was your first "real" scope?

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helicon
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What was your first "real" scope?

#1

Post by helicon »

I received an Edmund red tube 4 1/4" reflector from my parents on Christmas day, 1980. I had been reading the Edmund catalog for a year and all the pages were dog-eared. Then when I woke up on that fateful day my dreams came true! That night was clear and I beheld the Orion Nebula.

Here is a review of the wonderful instrument by noted telescope enthusiast Ed Ting, wobbly equatorial mount and all!

https://www.scopereviews.com/page1x.html

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Like the catalog said, it was an ideal instrument for serious amateurs and "quality-minded" beginners. What was your first "real" scope???
-Michael
Various scopes, 10" Zhumell Dob, ES AR152, AWB 5.1" Onesky newt, Oberwerk 25x100 binos, two eyeballs
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Re: What was your first "real" scope?

#2

Post by Bigzmey »

My first "real" scope was Orion 4.5" short tube Newt. Seeing Saturn in it was surreal. However, I kept straggling with collimation and eventually sold it on eBay and got my first frac. :D
Scopes: Stellarvue: SV102 ED F7; Celestron: 9.25" EdgeHD F10, 8" SCT F10, 6" SCT F10, Omni XLT 150R Achro F5, Onyx 80ED F6.3; Meade: 80ST Achro F5.
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Diagonals: Baader: BBHS silver mirror, Zeiss Spec T2 prism, Clicklock dielectric; TeleVue: Evebrite dielectric; AltairAstro: Positive lock prism.
Filters: Lumicon: DeepSky, UHC, OIII, H-beta; Baader: Moon & SkyGlow, Contrast Booster, UHC-S; Astronomik: UHC, Orion: UltraBlock, SkyGlow.
Observing: DSOs: 2005 (Completed: Messier, Herschel 1, 2, 3. In progress: H2,500: 1565, S110: 77). Doubles: 1382, Comets: 18, Asteroids: 88
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Re: What was your first "real" scope?

#3

Post by Lady Fraktor »

My first was a 70mm f/10 refractor made by a friend of my grandfather.
Proper Telescopes: Antares 105 f/15, Bresser 102 f/13.2, Celestron 150 f/8, Stellarvue NHNGDX 80 f/6.9, TAL 100RS f/10, TS 102 f/11, UR 70 f/10, Vixen ED115s f/7.7
Mounts: Berlebach Planet w/ 410mm pier, Celestron AS-GT, Celestron CG-5 w/ Argo Navis & tracking motor, SLT w/ 250mm pier & tripod mods, Manfrotto 028b w/ SV M2C, Mantrotto 055Pro w/ 128RC, Skywatcher EQ-5 w/ dual drives, TAL MT1C w/ wood tripod, Vixen SXP w/ HAL-130 & 200mm half pier
Diagonal: 2" A-P Maxbright, 2" Baader Herschel Wedge (P), 2" Zeiss/ Baader Amici Prism (DX2), 2" Long Perng Amici Prism, 2" Stellarvue DX, 2" TeleVue EverBrite
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yobbo89
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Re: What was your first "real" scope?

#4

Post by yobbo89 »

i can't realy discribe. but i was about 10 years old and i had this realy cheap plastic refractor telescope from the toy shop, no one knew how to use it and the first and only view from it was a defocused star, that kind of put me off... be-hold 16 years later, my following scope was a 10'' newt/dob and i was blown away and in-love with the views of jupiter,saturn,mars and m42.. : ) and another 5+ years after with $30+40k invested into the hobby and now loving it .
scopes :gso/bintel f4 12"truss tube, bresser messier ar127s /skywatcher 10'' dob,meade 12'' f10 lx200 sct
cameras : asi 1600mm-c/asi1600mm-c,asi120mc,prostar lp guidecam, nikkon d60, sony a7,asi 290 mm
mounts : eq6 pro/eq8/mesu 200 v2
filters : 2'' astronomik lp/badder lrgb h-a,sII,oIII,h-b,Baader Solar Continuum, chroma 3nm ha,sii,oiii,nii,rgb,lowglow,uv/ir,Thousand Oaks Solar Filter,1.25'' #47 violet,pro planet 742 ir,pro planet 807 ir,pro planet 642 bp ir.
extras : skywatcher f4 aplanatic cc, Baader MPCC MKIII Coma Corrector,Orion Field Flattener,zwo 1.25''adc.starlight maxi 2" 9x filter wheel,tele vue 2x barlow .

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Re: What was your first "real" scope?

#5

Post by Lowjiber »

I'm really old. When growing up in a very rural area of southern Missouri, the Sears & Roebuck catalog was the source of everything that existed in the "real world". My granny, who raised me, bought a telescope from the catalog... It was a Sears brand frac, and I remember the box claimed it was so powerful that you could see craters on the Moon.:lol:

It had a flimsy wooden, "folding" tripod and came with one eyepiece that looked to me like a piece of a broken Coke bottle. I seem to recall a fellow named "Galileo" used to drop by to borrow it, saying he was going to discover Jupiter... or something like that.:lol:
John (Urban Astronomer) Apertura AD10 Dob; XLT 150 Dob; XLT 120EQ; Lunt Solar 60 PT/B1200; ES AR102; SW Pro 100ED; 2 SW Pro 80ED's; 90mm Eq; WO Z-61; SW 90mm Virtuso Mak; 2 Orion ST-80's; Quark-C; Cams: ASI120MM-S, ASI174MM & ASI174MM-C
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Re: What was your first "real" scope?

#6

Post by KingNothing13 »

Depends on your definition of "real" :lol:

When I was 12, for Christmas, my mom got me a red cardboard tubed reflector - it was on a long red cardboard mount, with plastic feet attached to the bottom. I do not remember brand, size, etc. (Actually looks a lot like the one in your ad photo - but the mount was red cardboard, and there was no counter-weight).

Later in life, I bought a Celestron FirstScope 114 Short Tube - an EQ mounted Jones Bird. It was okay - saw Saturn and a few other thing through it, but I never got the hang of the EQ mount, so I never really used it.

Then the AD10.
-- Brett

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Primary: Apertura AD10 with ES 82* 18mm (69x), 11mm (114x), & 6.7mm (187x); Nexus II with 8192/716000 Step Encoders
G-n-G: Orion GoScope II 70mm "Travel Scope" with Orion 25mm Kellner (16x), Orion 10mm Kellner (40x)
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starfield
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Re: What was your first "real" scope?

#7

Post by starfield »

My Dad and I took a telescoping making class at the local JC, College of Marin, in the late 60s. We ended up building an 8" F6 reflector and even ground the mirror. The most memorable part of the experience was the instructor, John Dobson. That Dob was about as authentic as you could get!
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Re: What was your first "real" scope?

#8

Post by JayTee »

Christmas of 1964 I received a Tasco 60 mm frac. The tube was silver and it was not the long tube version so it wasn't the f/11 or f/15. I remember the tube being much shorter than that.

Back then I only knew about the planets and the Moon. So that was all it was used for but it did set me on a course to do this the rest of my life.

Cheers,
JT
∞ Scopes: Celestron CPC1100 #2 Scope: 8" f/7.5 Dob AP Scopes: TPO 6" f/9 RC, ES 80mm f/6 APO G&G Scopes: Meade 102mm f/7.8, Bresser 102mm f/4.5 Guide Scopes: 70 & 80mm fracs
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Re: What was your first "real" scope?

#9

Post by helicon »

Great story @starfield - I later on (age 14) worked with Dobson himself when I made my 8" f/6 Dob, too. I even bumped into him at national parks well into the 2000's - first time at the Yellowstone Visitor center and second time at the Death Valley visitor center. He'd lecture the tourists and then take out a couple of his scopes, which he moved around in an old VW bus. In his talks he closed with the fact that he didn't really believe in the Big Bang, so he was definitely a unique (and charming) individual.
-Michael
Various scopes, 10" Zhumell Dob, ES AR152, AWB 5.1" Onesky newt, Oberwerk 25x100 binos, two eyeballs
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Re: What was your first "real" scope?

#10

Post by Shabadoo »

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Re: What was your first "real" scope?

#11

Post by XCalRocketMan »

My first scope was a 2.5" "Scope" refractor which I got for Christmas back in 1963. It had a really cheap tripod but a nice hardback book which I still have somewhere in my house :) It was clear that night and so I went out with it immediately. I aimed it at the bright star in the sky and thought for sure I was seeing a new supernova. Ha. It was, of course, Jupiter, but it took awhile for me to recognize the detail once the seeing improved. Family moved to Maryland from New York, and in 1968 (I think) I got what I would say is my first "real"scope - a Criterion RV-6 on equatorial mount. My dad had my uncle construct a 4' square concrete pad in the backyard and we permanently mounted the pier in the ground nix legs. I wanted to do some astrophotography and so taught myself how to develop B&W film and prints, set up a darkroom in the basement bathroom, and using a 35mm camera with ground glass to focus on, tried imaging. Boy, was that 'fun'. Never quite got any really good images - a few of Jupiter and Saturn, and some fairly decent star fields, Orion nebula and globulars. I can remember one February night I was taking multiple 10 minute exposures of a globular (I think). Now you needed to manually guide back then using a 50-60mm guide scope and eyepiece. Adjustments were made with the Criterion fast/slow speed buttons on a hand controller while keeping a star at or near the crosshairs of the guidescope. Staying still and trying to keep the scope guiding in -5 degree weather was brutal. Every little breeze sent chills through my body from head to toes. When I realized that my focuser wasn't moving when I tried to adjust it because my breath froze it in place I decided that was the end of AP in the super cold winter. Later, in the 70's I got a Criterion Dynascope (8" SCT). I still have and use it today. But consider where we are today - digital photography, awesome post processing software, remote controlled telescopes from the comfort of a warm house, super accurate guiding with powerful mounts, etc. etc. Wow, how do we do it before :)
Scopes/Mounts Celestron EdgeHD-11 on AP1100GTO mount w/APCCpro; William Optics GT102 on iOptron iEQ30 Pro; Criterion Dynamax-8 SCT
Lenses Hyperstar-III; Celestron 0.7x FR; WO Flat/Reducer 0.8x
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Re: What was your first "real" scope?

#12

Post by Refractordude »

My first real scope was the Orion StarBlast 90mm refractor. I purchased a Tasco Red 50mm refractor for less then $15 at the Walmart. It was a returned product. I could not get the mount to operate correctly. I did get a view of a very blue moon one night. The StarBlast was sold, but hooked me into the hobby with a view of the Coathanger cluster.

Telescopes: Celestron 150mm f/8 Refractor, Meade LX70 120mm f/8 Refractor, Vixen 70mm f/12.9 Refractor, Tasco 49N 50mm Red Refractor
Binoculars: Zhumell 20x80 Giant, Oberwerk LW 11x70, Levenhuk Sherman 7x50
Mounts: Orion SkyView Pro Equatorial, Orion Versago II Altazimuth, Farpoint Universal Parrallogram Mount, Orion Tritech II Fluid Head Tripod
Finders: GSO 8x50 Raci, Svbony Red Dot
Diagonals: GSO Dielectric 2", GSO Dielectric 1.25"
Eyepieces: GSO Superview 30mm, Astromania-Olivon 22mm, GSO Plossls 32mm/25mm/20mm, GSO 20mm Superview, Svbony 20mm/15mm/9mm/6mm, Svbony Aspheric 23mm/10mm/4mm, Agena Super Wide Angle 15mm, Few No Name Brand Ebay Plossls
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Re: What was your first "real" scope?

#13

Post by Graeme1858 »

Mine was a 5" Jones Bird Newtonian on an EQ mount. I discovered Globular Clusters with it and was blown away!

Regards

Graeme
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Re: What was your first "real" scope?

#14

Post by jrkirkham »

The college I attended allowed me to take home one of their old 6" Meade newts for an entire school year. They also loaned me a Nikon 35mm SLR for the year. I lived in the country at the time. That was a fun year of exploring and learning how to shoot with a film camera.
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Telescopes: 50mm refractor, ED80 triplet, 90mm makcass, 10" dob, 8"SCT, 11"SCT
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Re: What was your first "real" scope?

#15

Post by pakarinen »

60mm Sears frac on an alt-az mmount, but I'm not sure that counts as "real". If not, Celestron C8 around 1981 or so.

In 1975, I was using a 40-cm RC for photometry and then a 1-meter RC for spectroscopy a year later. I'd say those were real scopes, but they weren't mine. :cry:
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Re: What was your first "real" scope?

#16

Post by John Baars »

001 De eerste echte... 6cmF15 Pollux (640x532).jpg
A 6 cm f/15 refractor. On its back a 4 cm (!) Newton from the departement store. I thought that looked "cool" in those days.
Telescopes in Schiedam : SW 150mm Achromat F/5, SW Evostar 120ED F/7.5, Vixen 102ED F/9, OMC140 Maksutov F/14.3, SW 102 Maksutov F/13 on Vixen GPDX.
Eyepieces: Kitakaru, Eudiascopic, Panoptic, Morpheus, Nagler, Leica ASPH zoom, CZJena, Brandon, Parks, Fujiyama, Pentax XO5 and XO2.5 .
Binoculars: Kasai 2.3X40, AusJena 10X50 Jenoptem, Swarovski Habicht 7X42, Celestron Skymaster 15X70, Swift Observation 20X80.

Rijswijk Observatory Foundation telescopes: Astro-Physics Starfire 130 f/8 on NEQ6, 6 inch Newton on GP, C8 on NEQ6, Meade 14 inch SCT on EQ8, Lunt.

Amateur since 1970.
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Re: What was your first "real" scope?

#17

Post by Bigzmey »

John Baars wrote:
Wed Sep 16, 2020 5:17 pm
Image

A 6 cm f/15 refractor. On its back a 4 cm (!) Newton from the departement store. I thought that looked "cool" in those days.
40mm Newt, no kidding! What was the central obstruction on it?
Scopes: Stellarvue: SV102 ED F7; Celestron: 9.25" EdgeHD F10, 8" SCT F10, 6" SCT F10, Omni XLT 150R Achro F5, Onyx 80ED F6.3; Meade: 80ST Achro F5.
Mounts: ES: Twilight I; Bresser: EXOS2; SW: SkyTee2, AzGTi; UA: MicroStar.
Binos: Orion: Little Giant II 15x70, WorldView 10x50, Nikon: Action EX 16x50 & 8x40.
EPs: Pentax: XWs & XFs; TeleVue: Delites, Panoptic & Plossls; ES: 68s; Vixen: SLVs; Baader: BCOs, Aspherics, Mark IV; Russell Optics: SuperPlossls.
Diagonals: Baader: BBHS silver mirror, Zeiss Spec T2 prism, Clicklock dielectric; TeleVue: Evebrite dielectric; AltairAstro: Positive lock prism.
Filters: Lumicon: DeepSky, UHC, OIII, H-beta; Baader: Moon & SkyGlow, Contrast Booster, UHC-S; Astronomik: UHC, Orion: UltraBlock, SkyGlow.
Observing: DSOs: 2005 (Completed: Messier, Herschel 1, 2, 3. In progress: H2,500: 1565, S110: 77). Doubles: 1382, Comets: 18, Asteroids: 88
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Re: What was your first "real" scope?

#18

Post by John Baars »

Bigzmey wrote:
Wed Sep 16, 2020 9:17 pm
40mm Newt, no kidding! What was the central obstruction on it?
One square centimeter. Rectangular, so 10X10 mm in the lightpath. Not so bad.....25%. Spherical 40mm f/12 or so. The main mirror was glued to the bottom. Magnifications of 40X and of course 80X. I remember the Moon, the Pleiades and the Orion nebula through it. At 40X they weren't all that bad. A bit limited in light grasp, that was all... My 7X50 binoculars had a larger field and went almost as deep, but a 40X magnified Orion nebula was more impressive :smile:
A toy really. But it was all I had when I was a boy. No money for a ( in those days supercostly) 4.5 inch Newton.
Telescopes in Schiedam : SW 150mm Achromat F/5, SW Evostar 120ED F/7.5, Vixen 102ED F/9, OMC140 Maksutov F/14.3, SW 102 Maksutov F/13 on Vixen GPDX.
Eyepieces: Kitakaru, Eudiascopic, Panoptic, Morpheus, Nagler, Leica ASPH zoom, CZJena, Brandon, Parks, Fujiyama, Pentax XO5 and XO2.5 .
Binoculars: Kasai 2.3X40, AusJena 10X50 Jenoptem, Swarovski Habicht 7X42, Celestron Skymaster 15X70, Swift Observation 20X80.

Rijswijk Observatory Foundation telescopes: Astro-Physics Starfire 130 f/8 on NEQ6, 6 inch Newton on GP, C8 on NEQ6, Meade 14 inch SCT on EQ8, Lunt.

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Re: What was your first "real" scope?

#19

Post by DeanD »

helicon wrote:
Tue Sep 15, 2020 7:21 pm
Great story @starfield - I later on (age 14) worked with Dobson himself when I made my 8" f/6 Dob, too. I even bumped into him at national parks well into the 2000's - first time at the Yellowstone Visitor center and second time at the Death Valley visitor center. He'd lecture the tourists and then take out a couple of his scopes, which he moved around in an old VW bus. In his talks he closed with the fact that he didn't really believe in the Big Bang, so he was definitely a unique (and charming) individual.
John spoke at one of our meetings in Adelaide: I remember him charging up and done the aisles throwing copies of his notes to all and sundry, and then bouncing up to sit on the counter at the front of the theatre (he was about 85 then!) to speak. He thought the Big Bang was nonsense, and was a proponent of a sort of "continuous creation", which I think fitted with his Buddhist background (for those who don't know, he was at one stage a Buddhist monk, but he was apparently kicked out of the monastery for disobeying rules, like sneaking out to show people the stars). Definitely a character!

But I digress: my first "real" astronomical scope (other than a 25x30mm Tasco pull-out scope) was a 10" f5.6 dob that I made myself (including the mirror). This was the first scope that I clearly saw the Horsehead with, and in its second iteration it was transformed from a standard dobsonian "cannon" (that is what the Police thought anyway! ;) ) into a truss-tube affair that packed into itself. Unfortunately it was stolen, along with my Vixen 114EDSS and my portable planetarium that were all in a fancy locked trailer that I had set up for my astronomy ed. business. (Long story)

Its successor is a 12" dob-in-a-box, but I cheated and bought a GSO mirror for this one. It's successor will be a 14" go-to binocular scope, which is slowly coming together...
Telescopes: 12" f5 dob, Celestron CPC800, 150mmf5 Celestron achro, Tak TSA102, TV76, ETX125...
Binos: Tak 22x60, Swarovski 8x30 Habicht, FB 25x100, Orion Regulux 15x70...
Eyepieces: way too many (is that possible?), but I do like my TV 32mm plossl, 13mm Nagler T6, 27mm Panoptic and 3-6mm Nagler zoom, plus Fujiyama 18mm and 25mm orthos and Tak 7.5mm LE
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