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Just a quick comment on the service I've received from Steve Collingwood at SCTelescopes.

I had a 14" Meade LX200 which had developed a very serious intermittent fault with its electronics. By arrangement, I took the scope to Steve today for him to look at as he is a trained Meade service engineer with many years experience behind him.

He offered to work on the scope while I waited since I had a 260 mile round trip and it would potentially save me a second journey to collect the scope. In addition I would provide a second pair of hands as the 14" is a good weight to manhandle. That suited me fine so work began.

The electronic faults were investigated and fixed. The scope was then thoroughly cleaned and serviced to a good standard. Normally Steve would accurately collimate the scope before it left the workshop but, as it was going to be bounced around in the back of a car for several hours, we agreed it probably wasn't worth as it would be better done once remounted in the dome. Even so, Steve had a quick check for any obvious misalignment before letting the unit leave. 

Steve was a very pleasant and knowledgeable chap with a good, traditional approach to and appreciation of quality engineering. The final price was reasonable, the work quality good and, most importantly, the tea was nice!

All-in-all a good experience.

AndyG

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A big thumbs up from me for the TLC lavished on my aging C11 by Steve and the other hints and tips he passed on as well.

A visit is always interesting - just for the chat - to any other wandering astronomer that happens to pop in and to eyeball the Aladdin cave that is his workshop.

Neil

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As per Neil / 'ngwillym' review of SCTelescopes, here is another thumbs up.

I took my 'modded' Meade ETX105 to Steve during mid-August 2015 as the primary mirror was loose. Fortunately all it was the threaded ring/collar that attaches the primary to the baffle tube had become loose and it just wanted tightening up. He also re-collimated the 'scope too. All completed in about an hour and a half.

Steve, if you are reading this: "Thank you!" 

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I have been having trouble with my planeta 250 truss cassegrain ever since I messed about trying to fit a new focuser. I had tried re-collimating it myself with internet guides and books etc and having astro buddies give it a go  but to no avail, it just wasn't right.

I took it to Steve workshop in Kent. He opened up especially on a saturday for me. He spent over 2 hours using all sorts of collimation tools I had never seen nor used before and tested it all by eye and using an optical bench with an artificial star with some other very cool bits of kit that he has manufactured himself.

We chatted the whole time and it became apparent that he is unbeleiveably knowledgeable about all things optical! He let melook through all of the visual tools he was using so I could see the progress we were making towards the scope being much better in terms of star shape. Anyone who has used one of these OTA's will be the first to tell you that they are an unforgiving beast! Everything has to be just right or they simple give horrible views. However when set up properly they give great sharp views of the moon and planets. My images of jupiter that I took with it and an ASI120MC before i messed with the focuser and mirror spacing are some of the best I have managed and are in the planetary section on here if you're interested in the OTA's potential.

What was also apparent was steves passion for astronomy and that he was a thoroughly nice bloke, i could have chatted to him for hours.

I highly recommend his services to anyone who has a scope that they need repairing/restoring/sorting! He is awesome! I am yet to remount my Planeta but when I do I cannot wait to see how much better the views are since he worked his magic on it.

 

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