Jim’s telescopes

My interest in astronomy was rekindled in early 2003 when on impulse I bought a cheap 70mm refractor from a supermarket. This scope was surprisingly good, and set me on a path of perpetual upgrading. First I wanted more aperture, so I bought an 8″ Dobsonian mounted Newtonian reflector. Then I wanted something more portable, so a 4″ Maksutov-Cassegrain was added to the stable. I got fed up with “nudging” the Dob to track planets so I bought an EQ-6 heavy duty equatorial mount to put the OTA on. Then I wanted widefield views, so got my first “short tube” 80mm refractor. This gave me a taste for refractors, so I added a 6″ f/5 and replaced the 80mm with a William Optics ZenithStar 80 Short.

Eventually I wanted even more aperture than the Dob, but in a smaller package, so replaced the Dob with a 9¼” SCT. During the last couple of years, the price of “ED” refractors (which have much less chromatic aberration than normal achromatic refractors) has reduced considerably, so I’ve bought a cute little ZenithStar 66 SD and replaced my 80mm achro with a Sky-Watcher 80ED.

So, after a mad spree of telescope buying, I’ve gone from a small, cheap refractor, via a medium sized general purpose Dob, to a set of scopes — one for every occasion.

Wide field refractor
Sky-Watcher 80ED
(80mm f/7.5)
William Optics ZS66 SD
(66mm f/5.9)

Helios 6″
(150mm f/5)
High magnification Cassegrain
Sky-Watcher 4″ Mak
(102mm f/12.75)

Celestron 9¼” SCT
(235mm f/10)
MountNexStar 80 alt/az goto
Sky-Watcher EQ-6 GEM

Scopes I no longer have include a Sky-Watcher SkyLiner 200 Dob, a Sky-Watcher StarTravel 80 refractor and a William Optics ZenithStar 80 Short refractor.