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I thought I would share how I fixed my sloppy rack and pinion focuser on Skywatcher 130p.
The issue? When using or collimating the slop in the focuser would put the target or centre dot way out of line.
With the tube tilted downward I removed the 4 screws/nuts of the focuser to remove it from the OTA.
Loosen the lock and 2 adjusting screws, I used a small torx screwdriver as i did't have an allen key small enough.
Remove the 4 screws holding the adjuster bar in place, and remove the adjuster.
Note: Be careful to avoid the very sticky grease used on the drive!
Remove the draw tube assembly, remove the lock/adjusting shim located at the top of the main body.
There were 2 plastic shims 1 each side of the drive I removed both of them.
Thoroughly clean everything with degreaser and isopropyl alcohol except the drive itself.
I cut 2 plastic shims from food packaging, cleaned them, and using 50mm double sided tape I lined out the main focuser body. Be careful to cut to the correct size and shape before installing and don't cover the drive or lock/adjusting shim areas.
Next using teflon tape purchased from eBay I covered the draw tube exterior.
I then did the same covering the plastic shims in the main body.
It was still a little loose so I doubled the teflon tape at the top of the tube either side of the adjusting shim.
Next I added a plastic shim onto the adjuster shim and covered with teflon tape.
Put it all back together and almost no slack!
I can now move the focuser from fully in to fully out without the collomation moving out of the centre ring on the primary.
Complete success I think.
Having suffered for some while with broken teeth on my Tracelscope 70s plastic focuser rack; I finally got around to doing something about it.
First of all I cut a piece of aluminium (aluminum for our friends across the Pond 🇺🇸) the same size and dimensions as the plastic one on the focuser tube. Using the damaged one on the tube as a template, I marked out the replacement and began to file it down to size. Once this was done I copied across the positions of the valleys between the teeth onto the aluminium replacement. Using a manual mitre saw with a blade suitable for metal I cut the valleys. Some rough filing and the rack was almost complete. A hole was drilled at each end to receive a screw. I then cut off the plastic rack from the focuser tube, filed the cut flat and the glued and screwed the replacement into position.
Due to the rough hand marking, cutting and filing it is not 100% smooth running, but at least it gives me full travel.
A couple of pics:
Broken plastic rack (removed). New aluminium rack glued & screwed in place
By Andy Cole
I'm a newbie here but not totally new to astronomy. I've had a telescope since I was a teenager (over 30 years!) and only ever had 1 telescope - a Tasco 40x40mm reflector. I expect members my age are familiar with it - thin and white with a thin metal tripod and a push and pull focuser. It's still functional at more than 30 years old although the thread on the eyepiece is worn so the eyepiece falls off regularly! I've only ever used it to look at the moon, Jupiter and Saturn and that's always been good enough for me. Now I have been thinking of getting a new scope. I have a very limited budget and so I am wondering whether I will get any significant improvements on what I can see.
My earliest memories of the Tasco from childhood were that I could see the rings of Saturn as a line across the circle of the planet. Having rekindled my interest in the last few years, I have started to use it again, and nowadays, when Saturn is visible, I can clearly see the rings 'as a ring' and the gap between the planet and the rings, which I don't remember seeing as a kid.
Vieing Jupiter I can usually see about 4 moons.
I've heard that the Skywatcher Heritage 130P Dobsonian is a good 'budget' telescope, and great for casual use, which is what appeals to me most. I don't want a telescope with complicated setup or one that takes up a lot of space. TheSkywatcher seems to fit the bill, and it also fits my very limited budget.
What I am most interested to find out is whill I get an improved view of the things I have already experienced? I have read some reviews that describe what you can see with this scope and it sounds like it's pretty much what I can already see. And it's maximum 65x magnification doesn't seem like much better than the Tasco's 40x. But will the wider aperture make a bigger difference than the magnification?
I'm also interested to know if I could use this scope for basic astrophotography - I have numerous cameras - phone cameras, compacts and DSLR's (photohraphy is my main hobby). I'm not talking about hour long exposures of dark sky objects, just what can be seen easily through this scope.
I'd love to know what people's opinions are, especially if you own or have used this scope. I'm also interested to hear recommendations for other scopes, but please remember I have limited budget and space. I know that an 8" or more is better and I would love one but they are just too expensive and too large for me.
I am selling my Moonlite installation kit for 8" newtonian focuser as shown here
The installation kit was fitted on my 8" dobson in Italy and used very little (it is essentially new). I no longer need it as the focuser now sits on my 12" dob.
New £58, my price: £40 (including RM 1st class signed-for). PayPal (pay as a friend) or direct bank transfer.
Also advertised on ABS.
Thanks for looking,
By Mark Daniels
Been looking for neat solution to taking small scope abroad using my stuff and not paying out for a dedicated set up.
Have a skywatcher finder which with a barlow and 90 * gives good results. I was looking at an Orion mini eq tabletop tripod but hard to get hold of.
Play a bit of music in a band and have a few microphone stands so got to work with a hack saw.
I used a mic holder as in photo they are about £3 and cut the holder part off and filed flat. Drilled hole through to accept large camera thread (£3 screw bolt)
this allows shortened micstand to fit to the alt az mount. (Mic stand 15 of ebay. )
the dovetail was expensive as i wanted green and got from germany £30 with couier the white finder bracket from tring harrisons £6
so thats £60 but if i went for black dovetail less than £40 seeing i had mic stand already quite a cheap solition
the stand is very stable and provided the telescope is moved clockwise when rotating freehand the threads stay tight with the fine controls either direction works well
overall wiegt is bit over 3 kg and will fit in a standard aluminium camera case
hope this if useful