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  1. Hi Rick, I would like to buy this please if it is still available.
  2. Yes, this problem is fixed! Just had a look at Jupiter. Far crisper than before with lots more detail visible. Also looked at some double stars and M13. I think this is going to be a great scope. Apart from cosmetics, I just need to fix the focuser rack and pinion - which is missing some teeth! I've been using the back end of a Celestron Travelscope gaffer taped to the Swift tube. Well, it works!
  3. Perfect diagnosis! I took the objective apart and, yes, the front element was back to front. Welcome back, Swift 831!
  4. It was screwed on at an angle, such that I assume the collimation would have been out. One side was at least a millimetre off compared to the other. I eventually had to resort to a vice and brute force to loosen it! Luckily the thread appears not to have been damaged and I was able to screw the focuser back on correctly.
  5. It's very likely that the objective has been taken apart before. The focuser has certainly been removed and replaced awkwardly with cross threading (which I have fixed). I will take a look at the elements. Thank you for the suggestion.
  6. Phew. Thank you. I was hoping that might be the case.
  7. Hello everyone Just been taking my Swift 831 for a spin. The objective is dirty and when I've got a bit more time on my hands I'm intending to dismantle it and give it a good clean (as well as other bits of restoration on the tripod and mount). Anyway, I'm getting a sort of hazy halo around Jupiter, about 1.5 times the size of the planet when in focus. The haze gets bigger as I focus in and smaller as I focus out. When in focus I can easily see two main dark cloud bands and perhaps more. The four Galilean satellites are clear enough. This is with a 15mm Celestron Omni Plossl, so about 67x. I'm a bit concerned about the haze. Could this be a problem with the objective? Is this the likely effect of the dirt and fungus that I haven't cleaned up yet? There is some hazy cloud in the sky. Could it just be that?
  8. Aha! The "missing" drawtube was hiding inside the other drawtube! It is complete with all accessories, including instruction manual, Swift cleaning cloth and lethal sun filter. So I've put it all together and observed the light fitting on the far wall of the room down the hallway... I think this is progress.
  9. I have just acquired a 1960s Swift 831 refractor (see photo). It was described quite fairly as having rusty and dirty parts and not guaranteed to be complete, but I thought I'd take a punt and it was being sold for a good cause. Anyway I'm quite optimistic that it might have some life in it. Everything seems to be there except for one part, the secondary drawtube (number 9 in the parts list). One of the eyepieces is cracked. The mount and tripod seem to work perfectly well. So this looks like it might be a fun project for when I have a bit more time in the summer holiday. However, I have no idea how I should go about trying to clean dirty optics. Any advice would be gratefully received! And the missing part will need some sort of replacement. I'm happy to improvise something, perhaps with parts from a plumber, and it might make sense to make it a 1.25" tube. Any suggestions? Of course, in the highly unlikely event that anyone has a spare Swift 831 secondary drawtube knocking around, I'd love to hear from you!
  10. I bought this used Celestron Travelscope 70 for under a tenner. Very happy with it. OTA only in great condition. Will take it on holidays when the boot is rammed full of toddler equipment. But what is the brass threaded hole in the top of the focuser for (centre of attached image)? I'm guessing perhaps it locks the focuser? If so, can I get some sort of knob that fits in it? What size thread would it be? Any help on this relatively trivial question appreciated...
  11. Just spent a fun couple of hours when I should have been catching up on sleep outside with my new (to me) TAL 1. Getting the hang of using the finder, and it's taking me no time at all to find things like M13, M3, M81 and M82, and M57, all of which I had a look at tonight. But I couldn't find Comet 41P. I used SkySafari 5 Plus to try to locate it. Could this be giving me the wrong position? Or is it too faint at the moment to see in this telescope? As I write the coordinates given are R.A. 13h 46m 08s, dec. +64° 47' 59". Does this sound plausible? Thanks in advance!
  12. I went to a meeting of Wycombe Astro the other week. It was informative and entertaining and they seemed like a nice bunch. They meet just down the road from me so, time permitting, I will probably join and go along when I can.
  13. Thank you everyone. Just popped outside for a quick look with the new telescope. Lots of wispy cloud, but got some great views of the Moon, Jupiter clearly showing two main cloud bands and some other detail if my eyes weren't deceiving me plus the four Galilean satellites, and an open cluster in Auriga, M36 I think but not too sure as I was just sort of aiming in the general direction of the three open clusters and wiggling it around until I found something. And my wife was impressed too. The telescope seems to be in pretty good shape. Nice smooth mount. No vibrations. I noticed four pointy bits coming off brighter stars - is that an unavoidable feature or something to look into? Also I could see some dust that I guess must be on the surface of the eyepiece or Barlow when looking at the Moon. Is there a safe way of cleaning this? Otherwise everything seemed clear and in focus. When I've got a bit more time (early start at work tomorrow morning) I'll be going out with my Turn Left at Orion and being a bit more systematic about things...
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