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Thread: Size Doesn't Have to Matter

  1. #1
    jrkirkham's Avatar
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    Default Size Doesn't Have to Matter



    I just read an inspirational article by Glenn Chaple on page 16 of April's "Astronomy" magazine. He wrote about all the things that he did with his first telescope, a used $15 Edmund Scientific 3" Newtonian reflector with a 60X Ramsden EP, 3X finder, and cardboard tube. He still has it.

    It got me thinking about the first money I ever laid down for astronomy. It was for a cheap pair of 10X50 binoculars over 30 years ago. I still have those things and still use them more than I use my scopes. Each of the past two nights I've stepped outside to spend a few moments stargazing before heading out for bed. I have to work tomorrow, so I didn't spend time with my scopes, but I had my old binoculars with me. Tonight my binoculars and I looked over the collection of new star clusters that are arriving with spring. Last night they helped me introduce my daughter to M41.

    Our gear has become very high tech. Does anyone remember their first equipment?
    AbbN, Lowjiber, aman and 6 others like this.
    Rob
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  3. #2
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    Default

    I sure do Rob!

    Still have my ETX70at. It's my 'grab and go' scope and gets plenty of use.

    Thanks for the reminder.
    Gordon
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    Default

    First astro tech was a 1960's binocular believe brand was Sirius.......Very nice quality glass in them.....designed more for terrestrial viewing, my father used them in Nam. Spent many nights under the stars with them when I was younger. Still enjoy warm nights and pair of binoculars under dark skies....

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    Default

    Yes, I still have my meade 8" I bought last year....well late the year before actually but 15 months ago all up. I don't recall having the drive to buy a scope before they became computerised.
    I suspect I must be one of the few who decided that trying to learn the night sky without the aid of a goto as too much like 'per ardua ad astra'.....
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    Default

    Good question !

    My first telescope , when I was about ten years old, given to me by an uncle of mine.

    A small 60mm frac', tasco brand IIRC , it was ok (ish) on the Moon , everthing else was rather grim.

    It had a small table top tripod, which one night proved Newton's Theory of Gravity , whilst on my bedroom window ledge .

    That , sadly , was the end of that scope . Used Binos for years after that , then freinds scopes till I eventually really got into this madness .

    Clear Skies

    Pete
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Canon Pete View Post
    A small 60mm frac'.....tasco brand IIRC......It had a small table top tripod...
    Are you sure it was 60mm Pete..?
    I had a Tasco 'frac on a table-top tripod when I was a kid - It was 40mm tho...
    No finderscope, upright images, and variable magnification between 25x and 50x
    It was also OK for the Moon, but pretty dire for anything else - though I did see Saturn's rings with it (just) Jupiter's Galilean moons, and the two main cloud-bands. Mars was just a tiny orange blob, but I did manage to pick out a globular cluster with it (probably m13) - no definition, just a faint fuzzy ball.

    I got it for Xmas one year, aged maybe 11-ish - then aged about 14 I got upgraded to the ubiquitous 60mm, on a small EQ mount, with interchangeable eyepieces, and a finderscope.
    At the time, after the 40mm, I thought it was the mutt's nuts

    Though have to admit - If I'd had a 6" reflector (or bigger), I might not have fallen by the wayside as an active observer, for nigh-on 20yrs


    I got back into the hobby some years ago, when I was clearing out my parents' attic for them, and found a box containing my old 60mm.
    I cleaned it up, and tried it out - still worked (and I still have it now), and the view of Saturn that night prompted me to get back into it.
    And the objective from the 40mm was in the box too - all that's left of my first Tasco from 35+ yrs ago
    Last edited by Carlos_dfc; 03-03-2011 at 02:15 PM.
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    Yes, my first scope was bought by my parents in 1957; a Sears Roebuck 60mm refractor that was made in Japan. One night I accidentally found Saturn and that HOOKED me for life.

    Clear skies!
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    Default

    Hello Joe,

    it is great, to remeber. I have assembled my first scope with a 20mm lens (from some geo instrumentation), tubus made with paper, and a cheap EP, taken from a microscope. Watching the Moon was exciting. At that time I was 15 years old. Later I have taken my first astronomy picture of the Orion Nebula, 1 minute fix exposure with Zeiss Tessar 50mm focus, on a 50 ASA b/w film, and forced development in the bathroom. I've got it! The picture is still somewhere in my archive.

    Best

    JG

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    Default

    Now that it was mentioned, I do beleive my first scope was a tasco 40mm.
    Like I said in another thread, it came with a screw in orange sun filter. I remember playing with the filter more than I did with the scope! Heck, I even took it to show-n-tell in 1st or 2nd grade. Not sure what became of that scope.

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    Glenn's article was interesting and is a reminder that one does not need a light bucket to make valuable observations or to enjoy the night skies.

    My first telescope was my Meade 2045LX3 (102mm SCT). I still have it and use it all the time.
    SXINIAS

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