First post on Astromart.
We are moving to our new to us retirement home in SE Missouri. This place has awesome seeing. The nearest town is 23 miles away with a population below 300. The nearest neighbor is more than half a mile away. I mean it is in the middle of nowhere just left of in back of beyond. The expectation is to have the most wonderful clear skies ever experienced.
The intention is to try to do world class amateur astrophotography on a retirement budget. We will build an observatory with a concrete pier. We have a complete machine shop that is moving with us. Not sure whether to purchase or build a GEM. If anyone has scratch-built a heavy mount We would love to hear from them. Why do people build steel piers when steel embedded in concrete is more rigid?
For an OTA, we are thinking a C14, or something along those lines. Need advice on that. We loved our Meade ETX90, but that is the largest telescope we have owned or used. We see lots of advice about jumping up in small increments. But that would not satisfy our desire to do astrophotography of planets and deep sky objects. We can only afford to do this once rather than trading up over and over. Perhaps a refractor would be better? There is an older gray colored C14 OTA only for sale from a friend at $2K. We would like to help our friend, but do not want to buy the wrong telescope. We get one chance only and need your help.