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class="prefix prefixOrange">Vintage Equipment An odd but good gift

Discussion in 'Telescopes and Mounts' started by Leonard, Feb 5, 2019.

An odd but good gift

Started by Leonard on Feb 5, 2019 at 4:21 PM

3 Replies 112 Views 5 Likes

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  1. Leonard

    Leonard Member

    Feb 1, 2019
    Trophy Points:
    West Virginia USA
    I’m new here, but I’m an old man considering amateur astronomy terms. So, I thought I might type out a bit about my background and how I got into the hobby....etc

    It will be 20 years this Christmas when my wife bought me a scope for a gift. She wanted to get me another gift, and didn’t know what to buy me. We were at the local Wal M. She was in line checking out and I was in the eye department waiting. It just so happened that her line was in easy site of the eye department. I was checking out the scopes they used to sell at Christmas, looking through a 114, F8 Tasco reflector. She noticed me and the scope and bought it the next day.

    That 114mm turned out to be a decent scope and a good starter scope. The main mirror is parabolic so the scope can handle mags of 125 to 150 without much of a problem.

    It has a plastic Rack and Pinion focuser, but its diameter is 1.25” diameter. It came with an EQ1 mount, so it bounced around a good bit. I added more weight which settled the mount down a bit. However, the eyepieces left much to be desired; an SR4mm, a 20mm and a 12mm Huygens and a pretty well useless 3x Barlow.

    Yet, I didn’t know they were “bad” eyepieces. I was overjoyed with what I was seeing. The moon with craters inside of craters. I soon discovered the terminator. The second object I observed was Jupiter with the NEB and SEB and moons that danced across the globe. I was able to observe a shadow transit. Who can forget the first time one observed Saturn with the ring system and the Cassini division.

    I was able to locate several DSOs such as Orion NEB, the Double Cluster, Andromeda, Hercules glob Cluster. This was due to another purchase my wife made for me, a nice beginners book, “NightWatch”. It has a lot of good info for s beginner and several beginner star charts. It took time to learn the sky. I didn’t have much help because I am a bit of a loner and my job used to take me away from home several days a week. But with that Tasco 114mm F8, I was able to learn the sky and unlock the beauty of the Cosmos.

    I still have that old scope and times take it out. It does a good job as a grab and go. In fact that was the plan for a few years until I had problems finding a good and small AZ mount that could support the scope.

    About a year after I started observing I purchased 3 plossls and a 2x Barlow. (This was a direct result of the NightWatch book). They were Hands on Optics GTO plossls. A 32mm, a 15mm, and a 9mm. The Barlow was a Celestron standard Barlow. They worked well and after a year I was “hooked”.

    My wife, Helen has never regretted getting me started. And in fact she encourages me to expand my hobby by purchasing more equipment. Upon occasion she has joined me at the scope. My other observing partner was at that time, 20 years ag0, my grandson, Caleb. He was 6 or 7 and he used to sit next to me, waiting for me to let him have a look. It was a special time.

    Well, I need to wrap this up. I get carried away with it once I start typing about astronomy. But it’s time, so I hope I didn’t bore u.

    Last edited: Feb 5, 2019
    Ed D, jgroub, Scopejunkie and 2 others like this.
  2. Seer

    Seer Well-Known Member

    Oct 29, 2018
    Trophy Points:
    Johnstown, Pennsylvania USA
    Not boring at all Leonard. That is a wonderful story. I wish you all the best in your endeavors. I hope that we all have many clear nights in the future to take advantage of.
  3. Gabby76

    Gabby76 Well-Known Member

    Dec 16, 2016
    Trophy Points:
    Slovakia/ Canada
    A great story Leonard :)
    A beginners telescope and some persistence can get you viewing a lot.
    Enjoy the journey!
  4. jgroub

    jgroub Well-Known Member

    Aug 7, 2015
    Trophy Points:
    Denver, CO
    Very nice story, indeed, Leonard. I was all about to tell you to buy some Plossls to upgrade from those other, um, "eyepieces" (note the quotes, meaning that I am scoffing at them), when I see you already did that after a year. Good move!

    May I suggest Turn Left at Orion as a next step for you to take in terms of finding more objects up there? It's a great beginner's book like Nightwatch, but is just one more step advanced from it.


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