People who have been members of the society for at least three months may borrow a telescope and accessory equipment for a limited period (usually one month). A $100 security deposit is required. See complete information on scope loans at the end of this article.
The usual reasons for wanted to borrow a telescope are to get some experience with a particular type of telescope before purchase, to obtain an observing instrument while a telescope is being repaired, to fill a need for observing while a first scope is on order, or just to see if astronomical observing is all it’s cracked up to be — for an adult or a (supervised) child.
The DAS currently has four telescopes available for loan:
- Two 8-inch Newtonians on Dobsonian mounts (otherwise known as “8-inch Dobs”),
- Coronado, 40mm hydrogen alpha Personal Solar Telescope (PST).
- Celestron C5, 5-inch diameter Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope on motorized equatorial mount.
- A 7-inch aperture Maksutov optical tube recently donated by TEC, together with an IOptron mount.
- A 5-inch aperture Maksutov-Cassegrain optical tube.
The 8-inch telescope has seen better days, but has good optics and its aperture provides sufficient light-gathering capacity to provide an enjoyable astronomical observing experience. Indeed, many observers have used such a telescope for years with great success. Recently, a DAS member achieved the status of a Astronomical League Master Observer using an inexpensive 8-inch Dobsonian telescope.
The Solar Telescope is in “like-new” condition.
The telescopes are pictured below. Additional equipment that is donated to the DAS may be placed in the loan program in the near future.
To request a telescope loan, and check on the availability of the current loan equipment, please contact the Loan Program Coordinator (see below).
Telescopes Currently Available for Loan to DAS Members
Celestron 8-Inch Newtonian on Dobsonian Mount
8-Inch Newtonian with Dobsonian Mount (Two)
Aperture: 8 inches (200 mm)
Mount: Dobsonian (alt-azimuth on swivel base)
Eyepieces: 25mm and 10mm (1.25″ diameter)
Storage: Scope cover
Coronado 40mm Personal Solar Telescope (PST)
(with case, eyepiece, and small tripod)
Coronado PST 40mm Solar Telescope
Celestron 5-Inch (C5) Schmidt-Cassegrain
Motorized Equatorial Mount
C5 Celestron 5-inch SCT
Eyepieces and case
Recently donated by TEC. Has some small flaws, but optics and operation are unaffected
An iOptron Mount is now available for this telescope. Also will fit any mount capable of handling a 30-lb load.
5-Inch Maksutov-Cassegrain Optical Tube
Scope Loan Procedure and Policies
Email the coordinator, Ed Scholes, at firstname.lastname@example.org, providing your name, age, address, phone number, and membership status (in years or months) and specify the telescope you would like to borrow and the intended use.
The coordinator will contact you when your application has been approved and will communicate the availability of the requested telescope.
Arrange with the coordinator a date and time for you to receive training on the operation and care of the telescope, pay your $100 security deposit, and pick up the telescope.
The person whose name is on the original request must pick up the telescope and receive training on its use. A copy of the equipment loan form, which will include acknowledgement of deposit payment and the required return date, will be provided when the equipment is picked up.
Return the equipment at the end of the loan period. A loan extension for one additional month may be granted if no other loan requests are pending and the coordinator is contacted at least one week before the end of the original loan period.
At the end of the loan period, the equipment will be inspected by the coordinator and the deposit will be returned if the equipment is in acceptable condition (i.e., basically the same condition as when disbursed). The coordinator and borrower will sign off on the loan application and agreement form.
In the event that the loaned equipment is lost or stolen, the borrower will be responsible for the entire used replacement cost of the equipment. In the event that the loaned equipment is damaged, the borrower will be responsible for the cost of repair or replacement, as necessary to return the equipment to working condition. The $100 security deposit will be applied toward the repair or replacement costs.
There are no exceptions to the requirement for 3-months of DAS membership or the deposit policy. Late return of the telescope or missing or damaged equipment may result in loss of some or all of the $100 deposit and additional replacement or repair costs, as explained above.