Wednesday, September 14, 2016

First you RETHINK, then you SELL, then you UPGRADE!

I have put my Celestron NexStar 8i SE telescope up for sale on craigslist today.


I have had to reevalutate my passion astronomy, specifically astrophotography. Visual astronomy isn't my bag anymore as my eyesight isn't up to par (floaters, near-sighted, not as sensitive to low light, etc.) And astrophotography is limited by my location (southern skies blocked by my neighbor's tall pine trees) and limited by weather, age, and equipment. And also I am likely to post to craigslist my Meade 12 inch Dobsonian scope (more on that in a later post)...

As much as I want to produce quality astroimages, the reality is that I would have to invest the cost of a new car to get them... and I am NOT that passionate about that, nor do I have the money to achieve it.

So I while I am planning on upgrading my primary telescope and mount, I will have to learn contentment and not allow my happiness to be dependent upon my images rivaling those who have invested far more into this hobby.

Because though my NexStar 8i SE is a great scope and mount for alt/az visual astronomy it is not the best for astrophotography due to the way Celestron "permanently" mounted the scope on its mount.
I say "permanently" with quotes because it is possible (and I have done it) to remove the scope from its mount, add a dovetail bar, and put it on another mount (i.e. a German equatorial mount hence GEM). I have done that with some success.

However, at the Oregon Star Party, the very first night the declination motor on my LXD-75 mount got smoked, over-heated, and burnt out. Apparently I was not careful about doing a meridian flip and the declination motor housing pinched up against the RA housing too long and poof, no working motor. Stupid me.

I did pick up another used Celestron GEM when I left the OSP but have not been satisfied with its "goto" ability... as in not even close.

So I believe it is time to a NEW mount and scope, a GEM that has reliable "goto" ability AND has the scope on a dovetail bar... OR a scope on an alt/az mount that will allow reasonable astrophotography ability with a reliable "goto" feature.

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