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Complete beginner with Tasco 302911 HELP!

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Hi everyone,

My partner bought me a second-hand Tasco 302911 and I'm keen to get out and use it. I have read that these are not the best scopes but as I am a complete and utter beginner I'm not too worried about that right now. 

Can anyone point me in the right direction (to articles, YouTube videos etc) which can help me to understand the absolute basics of setting up and using a telescope like this? I have no clue what any of it does and any instructions I've found are all in a foreign language to me (all the jargon is difficult to wade through rather than the instructions being in French!). 

Any pointers for a total beginner would be gratefully received. 

Thank you in advance :)

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First, your telescope probably came with an Equatorial mount on a tripod. This is specially designed to allow the telescope to follow the stars, planets etc. as they "move" across the sky (they don't, but appear to as our Earth rotates). Check this Youtube video:

Next you want to check the small finderscope is aligned with the main telescope. In daylight, centre the main telescope on a distant object such as a church tower, radio mast etc. and tighten it so it doesn't move. Then adjust the screws which retain the finderscope so it too is centred on the same point. Then you're done and in future (except for occasional fine tuning) when you use the low power finder to locate objects in the sky, the higher power main telescope will be centred.

Be aware that one of the disadvantages of your telescope is that the eyepieces are 0.965 inch diameter. This means you cannot use the more common 1.25 inch eyepieces which are now almost universal. It may be possible to buy a new 1.25 focuser or an adapter, although ultimately cost may not be justified. Otherwise keep a lookout for secondhand vintage eyepieces, but remember most will not be top quality (unless you're lucky enough to stumble on Zeiss, Nikon or Pentax etc - but this is very remote).

Finally, once you've got your telescope up and working, you may want to check it for colimation. Reflector telescope like yours use two mirrors and for best results these need to be perfectly aligned. If you are near an astronomy club, one of the members may be prepared to talk you through it first time. At first it seems complicated, but you soon get used to it.

Edited by Putaendo Patrick
Spelin & Grama
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This diagram make help you to understand what is happening inside your reflector telescope, as compared to a refractor which uses glass lenses:


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Hello,  this is my first post on the forums. For history's sake I would like to make a correction on the information posted about the eyepieces sizes for this scope. This scope uses both sized eyepieces 0.965 and 1.25. It also comes on a German equatorial mount.

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