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Aldi £25 spotting scope mod


Lux1
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After reading many negative reviews online I took the plunge and brought an Aldi spotting scope. I threw caution to the wind, along with the warranty and started to dissemble the scope.

The entire insides of the scope are shiny reflective black plastic, I flocked the entire insides, and sanded around the prisms carefully to reduce reflective glare. I then snapped the zoom eyepiece out, it is all but useless on higher mags, -perhaps it will work better in my Newtonian?

I glued an old Barlow lens body minus the lens in place of the zoom eyepiece, and popped a 15mm eyepiece in. However, there was now not enough back focus to focus on infinity. Cutting down to objective barrel by 25mm has solved this.

It's a lash up, but at least I can now use different eyepieces, and the contrast appears to have improved.

I will just use it for quick peeps at the moon, however it will be interesting to try high powered eyepieces on astronomical targets, - I'm not expecting miracles....

post-7543-137185185533_thumb.jpg

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Very funny, I used the camera on my ipad, however it lacks a flash. The hob under the extractor unit was the best lit place in my kitchen. I live in a 300 year old barn, with tiny windows and therefore depend on artificial light even on sunny days.

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Very funny, I used the camera on my ipad, however it lacks a flash. The hob under the extractor unit was the best lit place in my kitchen. I live in a 300 year old barn, with tiny windows and therefore depend on artificial light even on sunny days.

where in cornwall are you?

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I modded an old Aldi spotter and fitted a Nikon spotter EP in place of the zoom EP. It seems the objective lens is none too bad and the prisms, whilst not top quality suffice for a grab & go to keep in the boot.

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I tried to unscrew to eyepiece it wouldn't budge, it required minimal effort to "snap" out. It won't be going back in, I've just have a look outside and it seems like a vast improvement. Must go to bed, wife is starting to nag...

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Here's a better photo, fitted with a 32mm eyepiece offering about 12x magnification. The trees are about 1/4 mile away. I live in a valley against a railway embankment so have no long reaching views. I missed part of the objective barrel when flocking, hopefully I can improve on the contrast, however it's only a twenty quid scope, the view was so dark through the zoom eyepiece even at 20x.post-7543-137188881304_thumb.jpgpost-7543-137188883039_thumb.jpg

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All set up for a quick look at the moon, please don't mock my setup. At the moment the sky is fairly clear, yet the moon hasn't risen on my horizon yet. The the time it makes an appearance it could be cloudy, and the moon is not at an ideal phase to observe at the moment, however if it stays clear I will try to take some photos...post-7543-13720170146_thumb.jpg

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I once modded a finder scope. Modded it to death.

I glued the objective in, taped it for alignment till the glue set.

Went to it in the morning and bingo, the superglue had nicely and permanantly fogged the internal glass/air surfaces.

It went in the bin.

You have done a better job however!!!

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All set up for a quick look at the moon, please don't mock my setup. At the moment the sky is fairly clear, yet the moon hasn't risen on my horizon yet. The the time it makes an appearance it could be cloudy, and the moon is not at an ideal phase to observe at the moment, however if it stays clear I will try to take some photos...post-7543-13720170146_thumb.jpg

should the scope be the other way round otherwise it'll clash with the mount won't it?

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Haitch- your right, it did foul the mount and had to be turned around. The second time I used this scope the internal reflections from the prisms caused 3 ghost images of the moon, and the contrast was not brilliant either.

So he scope was taken apart again, I found that after removing the prisms the insides of the prism housing are covered in a thin layer of grease, very reflective and quite pointless as the prisms didn't make any contact or even move in that part of the assembly. I cleaned this out and carefully cut flocking material to fit inside around the prisms.

At the same time I cleaned fingerprints of the prisms, not mine as I had worn gloves and blacked the sides and backs of the prisms with a black sharpie pen, in fact I darkened everything that wasn't a lens or prism. The end result was a deep dark matt black with no internal reflections.

On my last look at the moon, I saw hardly any CA, no ghost images and managed to push magnification up to about 80x on the moon, originally the scope struggled at 25 x.

I wouldn't go to this amount of trouble again, the resolution isn't as good as a pair of binoculars, but isn't bad at all now. Stars focus down to pinpoints and I like the fact that with a 32mm eyepiece the scope shows a wide field at 12x.

I could never resolve the ring of Saturn with this at best it showed a pale orange oval, but it is excellent for the moon and bird watching.

I'm hoping to get a real telescope like a 200 or 250mm dob this year, my 130 heritage is excellent but struggles to show detail on Jupiter or Saturn unless seeing conditions are excellent.

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