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Why crave for long eye relief, and then restrict it with a raised eyecup? Why conceive wide fields optics only to make them narrow with same raised eyecup? My Myriads and Nirvana/TS/William clones have a rotating eyecup that resists turning firmly, they never spin unless I want them to. The Meade/Maxvision 18mm/82° and 34mm/68°, on the other hand, possess a rubber eyecup that also serves as a grippy external frame. These oversize grips offered so much leverage to the turning mechanism, they triggered it often with no will on my part. 

Almost each time I handled them, the integral cup spun, reducing the eye relief and field, plus it made me doubt if I had fully seated and locked them in the diagonal. The 34mm was the worst offender, its mechanism had almost no resistance at all. That was very annoying, when you observe you want quietness, your gear shouldn't be doing irritating things of its own.

Having had enough of that, I lifted the rubber with a handy little tool I always carry in my back pocket: the Dunlop Ultex guitar pick. Ultex is plastic, but it's the glassiest pick material, dump it on something hard and its sounds almost like glass foil or stone foil, if such a thing was possible (Dunlop's more rubbery Tortex was great but it's outdated, just compare). Still Ultex is flexible, a mandatory quality of guitar and bass picks. And it won't scratch anodized aluminum.

A 1mm thick pick did the job after a 0.73mm colleague broke; not tough enough. 0.60mm's give out the most harmonics but they were too thin at first sight for this. I don't play 1mm's anymore, they mute too much harmonics, however this one got a nice alternate occupation.

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Experience from many other little jobs similar to this one made me keep the broken pick when most folks would dump it right away. Never trash something until the work is over. This piece of scrap plastic proved the ideal tool, with the right curvature and bite, to remove the crystalline superglue that remained on the metal cylinder.

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The mechanism is simply a stud that moves inside a curved slot.  I wiped the now-useless grease, and filled the slot with a short piece of electric wire to block the stud. Sorry for the blurry shot.

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No need to glue the wire, the tight-fitting rubber housing keeps it in place. I did put three drops of glue to attach the rubber to the inside metal housing. I kept the caps on, but I should have taped them to better protect the lenses against tools and glue, big sin here! I didn't use superglue, I'll wait and see if that all-purpose Pattex sticks hard enough to both metal and rubber. If it doesn't, superglue it will be. The "tire" fits the "wheel" tight enough that even no glue could do temporarily.

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Did the same with the 34mm:

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Interesting how the crown's edge has some green anodizing that was destined to match the green deco of the eyepiece, had it been sold under the Meade brand. It was impossible to lift that massive rubber housing with a pick, I had to do it with a screwdriver, but it inevitably scratched the black barrel, which I patched up with a black marker. These are the black smears under the wire.

There is some risk in opening a high-grade eyepiece, so don't try before you have praticed on cheap or damaged ones. It also voids the warranty, be careful. Waterproof eyepieces are obviously a no-no for that mod! Assuming one could unscrew the sealed parts, humid air would enter through the thinnest opening, and ruin the anti-fogging protection.

I hope this is interesting even if you don't get to use the tip. I didn't know what I would find in there, nor did I know how I would fix the sloppy eyecup. Simply opening a bits drawer made me notice that piece of wire, bulb switched on inside my head. I had considered drilling the frame to insert a locking screw but what an awful lot more work and risk it would be!

Somehow it escaped my mind that I also own a 24/82 Meade/Maxvision ocular that has a turning integral rubber frame and eyecup, but much firmer fortunately; I might do the same mod for it or not. And a 7mm Panorama, if a preliminary, partial takedown shows it can be done safely. I'll keep you posted.

Edited by Ben the Ignorant
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I often find that if you don't wear glasses, long eye relief can be a pain, causing blackouts. Twist up eyecups fix that nicely. It seems your mod stops the mechanism working and locks it in the lowest position. Is that correct?

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Yes, it stops it and locks it in the position that leaves maximal field and eye relief. I don't want twist-up, I never had a problem with blackouts, and these eyepieces don't have excessive eye relief. But the real problem was the twist-ups twisted when they shouldn't.

I don't wear glasses, by the way.

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It looks to me that removing that "stud" would allow you to remove the entire rotating assembly and examine the inside to determine what sets the friction. I did this with a Celestron Regal zoom and discovered that it was three pads made of the exact same flocking material that we use to line the inside of Newtonians. Replacing those changed the eyecup from something that would fall down if you so much as looked at it to something that will only rotate when desired. 

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10 hours ago, Ben the Ignorant said:

Yes, it stops it and locks it in the position that leaves maximal field and eye relief. I don't want twist-up, I never had a problem with blackouts, and these eyepieces don't have excessive eye relief. But the real problem was the twist-ups twisted when they shouldn't.

I don't wear glasses, by the way.

I guess I'm referencing eyepieces like the 32mm Plossl where the long eye relief makes it hard to hold head position and allows reflections and glare. Also, Delos have sliding eye guards which, if set correctly, really help with eye position. So, if it's not needed on this particular eyepiece, fair enough, but perhaps Richochet's suggestion is worth looking into to keep the functionality.

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I'm not really sure why you kept the eyecups on them when they don't do anything but add bulk and weight when in the fully down position.  On the SWAs in particular, they steal a few millimeters of eye relief due to the rubber's thickness.  On the UWAs, they are flush with the top of the eyepiece due to a raised eye lens area, so the eyecup doesn't steal any eye relief on them.  I rather like the sleek look of my decloaked eyepieces.  That, and they take less room in the eyepiece case.

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Im all for decloaking bulky eyepieces, having never been a fan of extendable eyeshields. It seems to be fashionable to stick massive bodied eyepieces in today's scopes, as if the bulk improves performance. TV Radians had a poorly design eye shield that used a click-stop mechanism, which extended as soon as you picked the eyepiece up. Junk, as were the over rated Radians! Pentax XW's, which I love, are also burdened by unnecessary bulk, due to their extendable eye shield. Reading the leaflet that comes with the XW's, it says "New American Size!" :evil5:  It sheds some light on the real reasons for bulking up eyepieces. It's fashion, and like the hairstyles of the 1980's, sooner or later will hopefully dissapear forever!

Don't get me started on undercuts!!:mad:

Edited by mikeDnight
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Decloaked eyepieces are not my thing, they are cold to the touch, and I prefer the grip of rubber. My personal response is to keep the eyecup down all the time. The following pics describre how I did it on the 18mm/82° Maxvision/Meade.

First I peeled off the rubber, which the Pattex universal glue had not kept in place, as I expected and hoped because I have planned another solution since yesterday. Superglue would make maintainance hard and clumsy, plus it's a mess. Glue blots, eek!

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A jeweler's screwdriver took care of the brass screw that keeps the teflon ring in the slot. On the black housing is the sticky silicone grease that would always be exposed, stain fingers or other things, and risk making its way onto the lenses.

I fully degreased it. This time I put serious protection over the lenses, taped caps on both ends!

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Next step: mark the middle-line of the three bulges, 13.5mm on each side of the zero. Pencils marks, a check with a magnifier, rectifitying the marks' position, and making a permanent mark with a needletip punch. See the small dent on top of the zero.

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Draw a cross centered on this dent, make it more visible with a fat pencil, make the screw hole with a 3mm punch.

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Through each hole in the rubber, another mark with the needletip tool is made in the metal. Then it's pre-drilled at 2.5mm diameter, the required size for a 3mm tap. The tapping and threading kit is the one sold regularly in every supermarket in Europe for 20€, and it always worked splendidly. Oil the tool before each pass, and stop turning when you feel resistance. Clean the tool and re-oïl. Only two or three passes were needed, this alloy is soft.

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When tapping any diameter, large or small, I never use the full length of the levers, that would exert too much torque, and possibly break the super-hard but brittle steel. I work slow but safe.

This time again guitar saddles provided the 3mm Allen screws that saved the day.

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And the final reassembly. Saddle screws come in several lengths because guitar strings sit at different heights, I had a choice between three sizes, one is flush with the thick rubber skin, great! The screws keep the rubber from sliding off the frame, while the segment of electric wire still jams the mechanical slot (see the previous post).

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The extra screws don't look extraneous, and if I ever sell the eyepiece, just removing the wire restores the mechanism. No need to cut through hardened glue and leave vicious little hard particles close to the optics, just undo the screws.

Volià! The eyepiece is now a single block, no play, no worry from grease or unwanted motion, peace of mind!

Edited by Ben the Ignorant
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22 hours ago, Ricochet said:

It looks to me that removing that "stud" would allow you to remove the entire rotating assembly and examine the inside to determine what sets the friction. I did this with a Celestron Regal zoom and discovered that it was three pads made of the exact same flocking material that we use to line the inside of Newtonians. Replacing those changed the eyecup from something that would fall down if you so much as looked at it to something that will only rotate when desired. 

I tried inserting film between the rotating barrels but there was not enough room, very tight assembly. The only material that would fit was a single layer of tape that was torn after a few rotations, and disassembly was required to extract the debris; that's why I settled for the other solution.

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17 hours ago, mikeDnight said:

Im all for decloaking bulky eyepieces, having never been a fan of extendable eyeshields. It seems to be fashionable to stick massive bodied eyepieces in today's scopes, as if the bulk improves performance. TV Radians had a poorly design eye shield that used a click-stop mechanism, which extended as soon as you picked the eyepiece up. Junk, as were the over rated Radians! Pentax XW's, which I love, are also burdened by unnecessary bulk, due to their extendable eye shield. Reading the leaflet that comes with the XW's, it says "New American Size!" :evil5:  It sheds some light on the real reasons for bulking up eyepieces. It's fashion, and like the hairstyles of the 1980's, sooner or later will hopefully dissapear forever!

Don't get me started on undercuts!!:mad:

 

Read with interest, I’m always modding stuff !!

But ouch, I’m a big fan of TV Radians ? I’ve compared them with other top eyepieces like Naglers, Vixen LVW.  I do agree that I’d prefer a simple twist up eyecup on Radians. But if a Radian eyecup is too loose, it’s an easy fix to put more tension on the internal spring that runs on the notches that are revealed when the ring with the TV logo and focal length info is removed. It’s a good plan to tape a cardboard circle over the eyelens to protect it prior to dismantling. It’s a bit fiddly, but a long term fix. If you carefully reduce the diameter of the spring, that tightens the movement of the eyecup.

Happy new year to all, including mikeDnight ? from Ed.

 

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3 hours ago, NGC 1502 said:

 

Read with interest, I’m always modding stuff !!

But ouch, I’m a big fan of TV Radians ? I’ve compared them with other top eyepieces like Naglers, Vixen LVW.  I do agree that I’d prefer a simple twist up eyecup on Radians. But if a Radian eyecup is too loose, it’s an easy fix to put more tension on the internal spring that runs on the notches that are revealed when the ring with the TV logo and focal length info is removed. It’s a good plan to tape a cardboard circle over the eyelens to protect it prior to dismantling. It’s a bit fiddly, but a long term fix. If you carefully reduce the diameter of the spring, that tightens the movement of the eyecup.

Happy new year to all, including mikeDnight ? from Ed.

 

Sorry Ed, I was having a grump! I'm feeling better now!! :angel:

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1 hour ago, mikeDnight said:

Sorry Ed, I was having a grump! I'm feeling better now!! :angel:

No apologies needed Mike, as always, YMMV.  I do think that quite genuinely, different peoples like or otherwise of a product, depends on so many variables that it’s tough to know what would be good for us.

Then there’s the everlasting go-to or manual debate, imaging v observing, etc.......in my local club we have every type of amateur astronomer possible, and we are all best mates, except when it comes to the very last mince pie at the Christmas social.........?

My apologies to the OP for the thread drift on my part.

Cheers from Ed......?

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Time to lock the 34/68's slack hull. Like for the 18/82, I removed the brass screw and its teflon or delrin ring thanks to a jeweler's screwdriver (that needed to be thinned down a bit to match the screw):

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Look at the mess I made with a screwdriver when I had to forcefully pry out the glued rubber! After this mod only screws will hold it, not superglue that has to be cracked at every maintainance.

This eyecup has recesses that helped me put the 3mm punch at the precise location, but the rubber is so thick the punch couldn't get through. I extracted a little rubber bit with an awl...

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...and finished the job with a drill:

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Following this I marked the aluminum barrel through the holes made in the rubber, no chance of error thanks to those helpful recesses. Tapped the holes as explained in the previous post, and reassembled the whole thing. While I did all this the housing holding the lenses was stored away in a corner where nothing but an earthquake could touch it.

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The tool bits in the cap were used to deburr the aluminum barrel after drilling and tapping it. Couldn't place the drill inside the barrel but simply holding the bits in my fingers and spinning them a few dozen times did the trick. Note the safety caps remained taped till the last moment. Protecting the lenses is priority number one in these activities.

During the tapping I suddenly felt a tiny itch inside an eyelid. A piece of aluminum had flown out, might also have landed on an unprotected lens, waiting for a cleaning session to cause a scratch. Manual tapping can't make shards fly but the previous job with the drill did, these microscopic things take surprising paths.

They stick to clothes or anything and fly off at the slightest disturbance. So, don't drill or file metal close to lenses, and clean the workplace plus the ground when you're finished. Tedious but needed! Needed but tedious, I know. :hmh:

As for the 18/82 some guitar saddle screws keep the eyecup from sliding up or down, while the wire added inside the slot impedes rotation. Making this optical jewel of an eyepiece trouble-free was a must. Now there's nothing but enjoyment from it!

Edited by Ben the Ignorant
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8 hours ago, Ben the Ignorant said:

I removed the brass screw and its teflon or delrin ring

Actually, from my disassembly experience, I think it's nylon.  It's more durable than teflon and slipperier than delrin, but not as slippery as teflon.

I find it interesting the lengths you've gone to to eliminate eyecup movement.

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19 hours ago, Louis D said:

I find it interesting the lengths you've gone to to eliminate eyecup movement.

Well, Louis, I didn't know how much of a commitment it would prove to be, but when I started opening the eyepieces to look for a solution, I had to go forward.

 

The 24/82 hand grenade was next. It didn't resist the rhino attack either. Don't try to fight the rhino from the Dunlop zoo, it's tougher than you. All guitarists know that! :icon_biggrin:

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But the truth is this hull was barely glued to the aluminum cylinder. Only one small glue blot to crack. Wasn't too little because the rubber is quite tight. No scratches or dents on the shiny but soft metal have to be deplored thanks to the tough but flexible and slippery nature of Ultex.

 

The much bigger brass screw required only a regular screwdriver, no need for special tool here.

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Lifting off the rubber revealed this:

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That grease is not just useless there, it's also filthy. All of it was wiped off with picker-upper paper, and the film residue was taken care of with solvent. This was close to my lenses?

 

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The corresponding grease and crud inside the cup.

 

To make marks for the 3mm punch at the right and consistent height I slid the awl on a pile of things:

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The recesses made centering easy. Punching/drilling/tapping went as before, nothing new to say or show.

 

Checking the screws turn freely after deburring:

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Adding the wire which fills the slot to keep the sliding gear from moving:

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The best moment is the final reassembly:

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Or so I thought, because the collar snapped out of place.

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I assumed it was superglued but no, a sharp ridge around the eyecup keeps it there. It moved during the rough handling of pushing hard to put the tight-fitting giant eyecup into place. I might superglue that one next time I work on my eyepieces, for now it's enough.

And before you feel sorry for me, what am I doing, tinkering and posting on the internet when I should be preparing for the New Year? Well, my mother's birthday occurs in the last days of the year, and my family couldn't regroup today, so we bundled the two events in one evening, and ate too much celebrated them on Friday.

In my book I'm already in 2018! Happy New Year to you all!

 

Edited by Ben the Ignorant
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Not yet, Louis; I still have a 7/82.  :headbang:

 

Who's to say keeping a pet rhino in your home is a stupid idea? Mine helped me again do a job too hard for me alone! Plus, the animal is more delicate than you thought, he didn't scratch anything.

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Pulling the rubber away revealed a screw. What is it for?

 

It's not standard; screws with such a long slot usually call for a 1mm thick screwdriver but this one didn't even accept a 0.8mm. Another pick unlocked that key; my 0.60mm Dunlop for bass has nearly flat sides, replaced the screwdriver without suffering a scratch. I assume those non-standard screws are made as oddballs to discourage people with ordinary tools to tamper with them. But what if you know what you're doing, or are at least ready to learn at the cost of some risk?

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The screw has a plastic ring at the tip that acts as the finger in the usual sliding mechanism I want to neutralize. Don't you love that golden shine?

 

As in the previous eyepieces, I inserted a piece of electric wire in the slot. Pushed till I felt resistance. No need to dismantle anything here thanks to the different design, what a relief! And no need to drill and tap and clean the mess of oil and metal debris, even better!

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After a quick visit to the surgeon to have a brain grafted, I remembered to tape the caps that protect the glass. Tools close to lenses and no secure caps?

 

Cut the wire, leaving a little slack outside.

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Pushed it inside again, it dispappeared but was a bit too long, it filled the place where the screw had to enter. No prob, just twisting the mechanism made the wire come out so I could recut:

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And yes, that was planned, not just luck. Before cutting I checked if twisting the barrel would made the wire come out, and it did. :hello2:

 

A tad too long again, did the cut again. On the last time a needle helped me grab it from the shallow pit and pull it out for the next trim.

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Only three cuts were required, half a millimeter each. I had not been too unaccurate, nice for an operation done for the first time.

 

I forgot to take a pic of the raised cup but here it is now, locked at the minimal height, the only that works for me:

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It climbed seven or eight millimeters, and reduced the field to 50 or 55 degrees, I guess. Why did I study features, compared brands and models and prices, brainstormed so many details about panoramic eyepieces, only to have that superb wide field cut down? No, my 82's must remain 82's.

Some unusual tools, procedures and materials intervened here, but only the result matters. Now when I slide the 7mm in the diagonal I don't doubt the locking screw is tight because I feel the eyepiece turning. Is the whole eyepiece moving because the screw is loose, or is it just that twist-up cup playing tricks on me again? I don't have those worries and questions when I stargaze now, I just look at the stars. 

Edited by Ben the Ignorant
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On ‎31‎/‎12‎/‎2017 at 22:42, Louis D said:

If you're done modifying them, it's time for a group shot of all your modified eyepieces.

Okay, now. :happy11:

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Here's the new family. They all have something new in common, their wild spinning syndrom has been cured. No crippling from the surgery, just stitches that look like the oculars were born with them. Little shiny allen screws that could pass for factory installed. The main change, the grafting of a wire, is inside, and it's reversible. In the Sky Panorama's case things are even better, no external mod shows.

What is to be seen is there's nothing to be seen. Someone who knows Panorama's would notice it doesn't twist anymore, if they handle it. But unlike many mods, that one leaves no visual clue it was performed; best kind of mod, I would do all of them like that if it was possible.

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I find a thread like this to be quite an eye opener.  Do all astronomers use the eye cups on their EP's?  If I am being honest I don't think I've ever utilised an eyecup on an EP in the year since owning a telescope.  To take that further I have an eclectic EP collection and couldn't even say which EP has an eyecup and which do not.  I just hover above the EP and use my eye!  Am I the only one that does this?

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I find the eyecups and their positioning important in two respects:

- a guide to rest the eyebrow on to ensure that my eye is correctly positioned.

- to minimise the effect of stray light getting between my face and the eyepiece top which causes reflections on the eyelens surface reducing contrast.

With the eyepieces that I have with adjustable eyecups (eg: Delos, XW's) I find that the outermost position of the eyecup is the best one for me. I don't wear glasses when observing.

I really don't like hovering my eye off the top of the eyepiece. I don't find it relaxing and the potential for those contrast robbing reflections on the eyelens is there.

The eyepiece is the point where we interface with our scopes though so precisely how we do that will be a matter of personal preference I reckon.

 

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      2. My secondary mirror flip is broken, the plastic piece part fell off. Is it possible to fix? The mirror itself is also very dirty (see attachments) and I don't think it can be cleaned further. Any tips on how to replace it and where to buy the parts? Or is it possible to not use the 90 eye piece viewport and instead use the front one so I don't need to fix the flip or the mirror?
      4. My secondary baffle is sliding off. I've read that this is a problem w/older models. I tried pushing it to the right place and it requires some force, but after 1 minute it slides back to its original place. What should I do? Does this matter?
      5. The plastic attachment to hold the smaller lens (finderscope?) wobbles no matter how tightly I screw it on. I don't know if it has anything to do with the front plastic part being a little broken.
      Thank you for your help in advance, and I am still learning terminology so be easy on me
       
       






    • By deanchapman2705
      Hi,
      I'm relatively new to the whole telescope thing but have done my research and was fixed on getting the Orion skyquest XT8i or XT10i. By spending that much money, I didn't like the idea of purchasing it online from their website without seeing it in person (and not having the reassurance of being able to take it back) and looked for stores in the UK that would supply them. After plenty of research, it seems like they don't exist anymore and they are only in the US? Is this right or could anyone help me?
      (I've looked at the Sky-watcher 250PX/200PX flextube skyscan goto but it is significantly heavier and the noise of the goto mechanism sounds like a table saw so that's put me off of it...)
      Any help would be much appreciated,
      Thanks
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