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Your REAL first scope


virtualpilot45
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Although (hopefully) most of us who do have telescopes have the real thing, I was wondering who has kept that old, toy-like, piece-of-plastic thing they bought before researching? I dug mine out to see how it compared with my current scope.

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The telescope is a refracter, 'suitable' for terrestrial and astronomical uses. To be honest, even locating the moon with this is a bit of a struggle, as there is no finderscope and lowest mag. is 20x.

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The rack and pinion focuser is largely smooth but jerks suddenly at one point.

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This is how the telescope connects to the 'mount'. 'Nuff said.

(Actually this was ok most of the time but the scope sometimes slewed upwards as my eye pushed down on the eyepiece.)

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The provided eyepieces, with the Skywatcher 25mm for comparison. Note the suspicious similarity in height, even for different magnifications.

Specs

Eduscience Telescope.................Skywatcher Explorer 150P

30mm Aperture.........................150mm Aperture

Refractor...................................Reflector

20x, 30x 40x EPs......................25mm,10mm,2x Barlow

Plastic mount, alt control............Aluminium mount, EQ control

Plastic construction....................Metal & Plastic construction

Very lightweight.........................Quite heavy

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I sold mine in the mid 90's but really regret doing so now. I only got about £20 and would love to have a go now out of nostalgia. It was a 60mm frac that magnified by x25, x50 and x75 and had no finderscope. It did have a sturdy wooden tripod. I was still in awe looking at the moon.

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My 1st scope was a secondhand 1960's Tasco 60mm F/13.3 refractor on a rather wobbly alt-azimuth yoke mount. I've still got it in it's nice wooden fitted case. With decent eyepieces (ie: not the supplied ones !) it's optically a very nice scope. I managed to see enough with it to get me hooked in the hobby 30 years ago :)

Don't think I could ever sell it :icon_eek:

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I still have my first toy-ish scope which looks remarkably like yours. I can't remember the specs but I was only able to look into the Moon, M45, M42 and the next thing I knew I want a proper 'scope. I began saving for a Skywatcher 200.

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It's great how these telescopes, even though they are frequently derided by many experienced observers, can still hook you into 'proper' astronomy, and don't make you just give up immediately!

I completely agree. :) I remember making a simple refractor telescope as a kid and a periscope, they worked and the views were quite good with both. IMO I think the denotation and connotation of telescopes from childhood have carried some of us through to adulthood as proved. They have certainly sparked our interest - or we wouldn't be here ? :icon_eek:

Edited by Telrad
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Those eyepieces look so funny lined up like pieces of Lego :-)

It's amazing what gets sold out there. My first 'scope' was a 2-inch Tasco thing with a zoom ring in the middle. It gobbled up light, so the moon through the scope looked dimmer than using my own eyes. My first 'real' scope was a 6-inch newtonian from Astro Systems in Luton, about 22 years ago. Nice to see what others started out with.

Clear skies

Chris

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First scope was a 60mm refractor which I bought off the teacher who introduced me to astronomy in the mid 70's!.. As he was having trouble moving his eq mounted scope now I sent it back to him, that scope has seen some use!.

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I had a 60mm tasco refractor for about 8-9 yrs and just recently palmed it off to a neighbour with the same scope who doesn't have a clue how to use it, don't bother i said. Although i used to view the moon and jupiter with it until i stripped it down then i couldn't see the bottom of the garden. cleared some junk so a good result.

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I've been digging through the loft for my old scope. One of those 1980s white jobs that were, I think, made by Tasco. Sadly, although I have found the 'scope, I can't find the tripod or most of the eyepieces (would they be 0.95?) as they seem to have been lost during house moves.

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... My first 'real' scope was a 6-inch newtonian from Astro Systems in Luton, about 22 years ago......

I had one of those too. It was my 2nd scope but, as with you, my 1st proper one :)

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My first was a 50mm 'Swift', bought from a Chemist Shop, in Soho Road, Handsworth.

I still have it, in the loft, in its box, with the wooden tripod.

Helped me find my way around, and I had some great times with it. The only drawback was the eyepiece (No pun intended).

It was single magnification, due to a non interchangeable eyepiece. I toyed with the idea of putting the OG onto a homemade tube, but I never got 'a round tuit'.

That eyepiece wobbled a bit in it's mount, but it never seemed to affect focussing, and with that 'scope I saw Saturn's rings and Cassini's division. (Albeit just as a dark ring) Jupiter and its belts and moons was always a fine sight. Never manage to resolve much of Mars though for some reason.)

JonJon :)

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My first scope was a Tasco 60mm f/12 with the finder using a pick-off mirror from the light cone. It had slo-mo controls on the alt-az mount and it was pretty **** and very shaky, but it allowed me to see rings around saturn and two belts on Jupiter.

I sold it to a mate to kelp scrape together the cash for my first real scope - the 222mm f5.6 Newt that I had a teenager.

I still have the mirror from that scope, though I'll probably get it refigured to use in my briefcase travel scope.

I'm tempted to make contact with the guy that bought the Tasco, to see if it still in existence to get it back up and running for nostalgia reasons...

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I was given 60mm Prinz Astral 400 on an alt-az yoke mount and wooden tripod in about 1978 I think. I still have it, in the original cardboard box, albeit battered from years of use. It's optically still a really nice lunar scope, but the mount is too wobbly for much more than that. Seeing Saturn through that scope was the key moment for me.

Edited by RikM
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Mine was a Tasco 3" reflector - found it hard to find objects but when I took it to work one evening I had the lads on the shift queing up to look at the moon. They thought it was fantastic.

Took it out early (4.30 am) one May morning and watched Jupiter until it faded into the dawn, I have been hooked on Astronomy ever since. Still got the Tasco but now I have an ETX 105 and a 10" Orion UK dobsonian as well. Still look forward to observing Jupiter as often as possible.

Edited by starlady
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I got a 30x40 plastic piece of junk (single lens, no achro), but as an 8 year old loved it. After about a year of on and off use, it got stashed in the attic. At school we had a very decent 70mm F/10 achromat, which really got me into astronomy. I then built my own 6" F/8 Newtonian on a (not really great) alt-az mount. I later rebuilt it completely, and put it on a very low Berlebach tripod, which was going cheap because nobody wanted a tripod that low (brilliant for a newt, though).

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My first scope was a rather fetching red 60mm Tasco refractor on a steel alt-az mount that was purchased in Argos around 1986. I had my first closeup views of Jupiter, Saturn and the Moon with it. After 3 months I contracted aperture fever and spent my student grant on an Orion Optics 6" Newtonian and the Tasco was relegated to projection solar observing.

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