View Full Version : new telescope

2010-Jun-01, 10:59 PM
Was looking for my first telescope and I found a Dobsonian-type reflecting telescope made by Coulter Optical, circa 1982.
The add said
"The tube is about 10” in diameter and 36” long and rests in a swivel base made of particle board and painted black.
The mirror is not scratched, the focus slides easily and it seems to be in good shape overall. Comes with an additional lens (or whatever) marked KELLNER 6mm, PARKS K. 6MM Japan"

It was originally sold for $299. The label reads ODYSSEY Made in USA Coulter Optical Co. Idyllwild, CA
They are asking $200 could i have some help please Im so lost

2010-Jun-02, 05:14 AM
Doesn't sound like a good deal to me. If the tube is 10" in diameter, then it sounds like an 8" mirror; which is fine. Coulter made decent but not great scopes IIRC (and that might be a generous assessment, I don't know), but 200 bucks for a 25+ year old scope that originally sold for 299 seems steep. The mirror could be shot and in need of a refigure and recoating for all you know. And those lenses aren't the greatest either. I don't know that I'd offer more than 100-150 for something like that if I took the plunge at all.

2010-Jun-02, 06:17 AM
Coulter's of that era were known as cheap light buckets. Most had about half wave optics. OK for wide field low power deep sky viewing but not so hot for planetary or double star work. Once in a while a good mirror slipped out but not all that often. But they were far cheaper than others of that era. You got what you paid for which at the prices of that era wasn't much. Today you can get a new 8" f/6 for less than $30 more that has far better optics, mechanics and eyepieces as well as more convenient to use (leaning down to under 3 feet to reach the eyepiece can get old very quickly, or you get soggy knees from dewy grass). We had several in the club and those that had them really liked them figuring the low price was worth less optical quality. Today you get good quality for almost the same price (far cheaper in inflated dollars). http://www.telescope.com/control/product/~category_id=classicdobs/~pcategory=dobsonians/~product_id=08943 He needs to price this accordingly.

I agree with Redshifter, he needs to lower the price. These are getting to be rare so maybe he's looking for a collector rather than a user. Though I can't understand why anyone would collect them other than a nostalgic former owner. Some scopes of that era have actually increased in price but it isn't one of them. Certainly a well maintained scope is just as good today as the day it was purchased. Most of my scopes I bought in the 50's and early 60's and they are as good as new, better in fact as today's accessories are better. But sight unseen, no way I'd pay his asking price for that scope.


2010-Jun-02, 03:58 PM
Sonotube Dobs don't seem to age very well. Someone once gave me a Meade 10'' which was much newer than that Coulter, and it was in hardly usable condition. I agree with the others that their asking price is too high. You'd probably get more enjoyment out of a new Dob, even if it's of a smaller aperture.

2010-Jun-03, 01:11 PM
Im so lost. I really felt drawn to that telescope, no particular reason probably just the leather binding and age. Im really excited about finally finding one its become such a big head ache but i only have a little money to work with so Im trying to get the most for it. Guess ill keep going to the observatory for now.
Thanks for setting me straight

2010-Jun-03, 02:27 PM
Just to put in my two cents worth, the scope probably isn't worth a plug nickle right now unless they've had it tucked away wrapped in plastic. But I'll tell you, I owned a Odyssey 10, 12" tube, picked it up personally from Idyllwild in June of 1982. It had the best optics I've ever had, just a good copy I guess. The scope being very close to the ground made it very comfortable for a folding chair. I kind of lost interest in Astronomy in the late 80's unfortunately, and donated it to a Boy Scout Troop who promptly had it fall out of the back of a pickup travelling 60 mph down Interstate 10. I just about died. I just keep thinking of all the good times I had with that scope, keeps me from crying! Put an extra $100 bucks in and you'll have a great Dob from Orion.

2010-Jun-04, 02:07 AM
A cheap scope isn't a good deal. Save for a usable one. In the meantime astronomy clubs have star parties you can attend. Binoculars and a good star chart will show you a lot of things in the sky while you learn your way around up there. Then, when you get the scope you aren't "Lost in Space" so to speak. Some clubs, like mine, have loaner scopes for members ranging from simple 4" refractors for beginners to 13.5" Dob for more advanced users waiting to feed their aperture fever. At least ours does. Something to check out anyway. You'll climb the learning curve much faster with the aide of a good club. There should be one or two in your town. Club members often have extra scopes for sale as well and usually sell to members are a fair price. Lots of resources out there if you go looking for them.


2010-Jun-05, 03:12 AM
Thanks a lot for all the advice thats what i will do for now

2010-Jun-18, 10:49 PM
ok so what about this one-
Meade PACKAGE ETX-80 AT-TC Astro Telescope with AutoStar
with Zhumell Eyepiece and Filter Kit

A built-in Barlow Lens flips into position when needed. This highly desirable feature provides more power when studying lunar and planetary surface features.
An internal Time Chip (TC) keeps precise factory-calibrated time and date.
A bubble-level/compass is provided to make initialization faster and easier.
Includes sturdy, adjustable, aluminum tripod.
Now includes two premium four-element 1.25-inch Super Plössl eyepieces (SP9.7mm, SP26mm) offering comfortable long eye-relief and an expansive wide visual field.
Bonus! AutoStar Suite Astronomer Software on DVD for PC, now with instructional DVD.

The telescope and eyepiece kit are 299 free shipping what do you guys think?

2010-Jun-19, 01:19 AM
Sooo bottom line is i have about $300 to work with and i want the best deal i can get. Im reluctant to make a purchase of such importance without some professional guidance considering how little i know about telescopes. Ive been researching different varieties and brands for close to a year now and some how in the thousands of reviews ive read i still cant seem to make the commitment to one without some one holding my hand. I dont have friends interested in astronomy so i have no one to ask, if any one would like to email me and give me direction its sammitherobot@gmail.com

please excuse my ignorance

2010-Jun-19, 01:25 AM
this is the deal i was considering http://www.telescopes.com/telescopes/refracting-telescopes/meadeetx80attcastrotelescopewithautostar1.cfm

2010-Jun-19, 02:30 AM
You said you'd follow my advice now you aren't. Sure wish I was a vendor without a conscience. You'd be a perfect customer, ignorant and willing to jump at a price point if the technobabble (since you don't know what it means its all babble to you hence my use of the term) sounds good. You have no idea what any of the stuff you quote means or how it will help your viewing. Do your homework. The best source is an astronomy club as mentioned earlier. Attending a few star parties will smarten you up considerably if you are paying attention. And read this http://www.scopereviews.com/begin.html Of course right off it says to join a club.

After doing the homework you'll find you can get the ability to see detail at least twice as small and objects 3.5x fainter without the chromatic problems for a bit less money but you give up all the gee whiz technology that you are mostly paying for in this scope that adds nothing to the quality of the view.


2010-Jul-17, 07:16 PM
I own an ETX-80 and am very happy with it. I purchased it refurbished for 160. and it has given great service so far. To add to the fun I purchased Meades Lunar Planetary Imaging device for fifty bucks off of E-Bay and have had allot of fun imaging the Moon. I think the ETX is a good choice. At any rate best wishes and enjoy.