Taras12 New Member
- Skill Level
- Time with Product
Nov 21, 2009
- User Notes:
Great Beginner ScopePros:
Simple. Basic, Very Good Starter scope you can grow with. Minimum PortabilityCons:
Need a few finer touchesComments:
This scope was my first scope, given to me for my birthday. The setup was easy after downloading several versions of the instruction manual. Some assembly is definitely required.
There is a new Alt-Az mechanism which was not covered in the manual. It's fairly intuitive but still it took a bit of figuring out.
The seating in the Dobsonian mount was loose, so I placed a piece of felt in each yoke to give a tighter fit. Also I modified the Finder Scope with machined aluminum screws and springs for better control and alignment.
The Crayford 2" 2-speed focuser (w/1.25" adapter) was smooth and locks down fairly well. You may want to purchase a 2" extender to help with focusing, because the travel can be a bit short.
Some of this can be remedied by carefully adjusting both the primary and secondary mirrors during collimation. The manual is not really good at describing this adjustment, but there is a wealth of information on the internet to help you. Basically, go on line and "Bing or Google" telescope collimation. It can get pretty confusing at times. Newts are very sensitive to collimation and I recommend that each time you use the scope -- recollimate!!!
On first light -- the scope needed some minor collimation, though most first-timers would have used it right out of the box and gotten good to very good results. Both lenses are more than adequate for viewing, and again, for a starter scope it was great. It does pay to coarsely align the scope & finder during the day and then fine tune it at night. Additionally, the scope is very sensitive to air currents, both from cooling off as well as atmospheric conditions, so I let it equilibrate for about 2 hours before doing the fine alignment. The fan behind the primary mirror is a blessing, though be prepared to purchase lots of AA batteries.
The Moon -- We had clear skies and a full moon my first night out. Both the 30 mm (2") and 9 mm (1 1/4") performed without a flaw. Craters, landmarks and maria were crisp with nice shadows thrown. I did use the included lunar filter because I found out that Newts really are bright with close objects.
Jupiter -- This is where I found out that collimation is essential, because after spending about 30 min collimating the scope, I was able to detect 3 bands and the red spot without difficulty (even with the full moon!). The moons were sharp and bright.
The Andromeda Galaxy was tremendous. I had purchased a nebula filter and the galaxy popped into view. Using my peripheral vision, I could make out the arms as well as the center of the galaxy.
I am very pleased with this scope and continue to use it. I have purchased additional higher quality lenses which make my viewing even better (Meade Series 5000 Super-Wide Set).
This is your very basic telescope -- everything is manual -- no bells, no whistles. You get very good optics, great light gathering and, if you are willing to take the time, a great learning experience. Mind you -- there's no tracking and you have to be gentle when focusing and moving around the scope so be prepared to adjust the scope for the Earth's rotation.
I would recommend spending the few bucks for the felt, machined aluminum screws and springs, and shock absorbing teflon feet (cost me about $10 at my local ACE hardware store). Two pair of Dr Scholl's heel inserts (get gellin') placed underneath the teflon feet really dampen scope vibration.Sort by