This telescope had been named Telescopium. It was always a 12″ Meade Lightbridge, which I knew was too small the minute that I bought it. Alas, this was my very first telescope, and it took me nearly ten years to decide upon. I used to say I had an $80,000 astronomy problem: I needed a 25″ dobsonian, a 14″ Schmitt-Cassegrain, and a 7″ Takahashi or Astrophysics refractor, PLUS a big Dodge Ram pickup truck to haul it all in, and a place to sleep while out observing. So, until I came up with the $80,000, or couldn’t stand not having my own telescope anymore, I just procrastinated buying one. I finally got sick of going to star parties, see What is a Star Party?, and not being able to do my own observing. I was dependent upon everyone else and, most of the time, kept seeing the same “normal” objects over and over again. I knew there was a lot more out there, I just had to have my own scope in order to find it.
The difficulty became the choice between portability and aperture. My RV was having issues at the time and, besides, the door was only about 2′ wide. This precluded buying the 16″ Meade Lightbridge I really wanted. I had to get something that fit in my, then, car: a 2000 Chrysler Sebring. It also had to be something I could lift. The heaviest piece of the 12″ was about 35 lbs, at the upper limit of what I could then lift, if only for a minute or two. The heaviest piece of the 16″ was around 60 lbs, which I knew was well beyond my lifting capability. So, knowing full well that this was a giant compromise, but wanting to take advantage of summer observing season, I bought the 12″ from Oceanside Photo and Telescope in June, 2007.
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