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Hello

My brother picked up a an old 1995 Tal 1 Newtonian scope 2nd hand recently, using my standard plossel 1.25" eyepieces i cant achieve focus as there is not enough inward focus travel, the mirror appears to not have been moved, is there any way round this? i had an old tal x3 barlow but i unfortunately sold it. will this solve the problem? Any help appreciated.

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thought I'd update. Ordered 60mm allen head bolts and 40mm setscrews to lift the mirror a bit more and also some longer springs with 1.5mm wire. Sadly the springs are way too stiff, well IMHO as I'd n

wow that's a nice looking one you got there Marcel, mine didn't have the wood case which is a pity. Worth keeping an eye out for the later 1.25-inch focuser as that does make it easier in use but the

Thanks! Its like this gem waited for me since years. Small background: I wished to have a telescope again after a few years of not observing the nightsky. But I simply didnt find one: Too small mounti

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The Tal1 does have limited travel but when I had mine, I think it was a 97 or 98 , I had no problem focusing Vixen NPL  plossls. There was a problem focusing just about everything else especially anything with a built in barlow type element. Eventually I did a big makeover job on it and replaced the focuser with an item off a Celestron/Skywatcher 114mm scope. Not an easy job and the focuser was nothing special but it had the travel to focus just about anything which was a big improvement.

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the barlow should work, does on my Tal-M.

Alternatively moving the mirror cell up the tube using longer screws and springs would allow the standard EP to come to focus, if you do a search there's a few topics on that here and elsewhere. I tried this on the Tal-M and it worked fine, downside for me is the finder is built into the focuser body so that now won't come to focus with modern EP's, not figured a solution for both so far, but at least on the Tal-1 the finder is seperate I believe so won't be affected.

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  • 3 weeks later...

just collected a 1995 tal-1 this evening, luckily it has the 15, 25 and 3x barlow. Sadly no original wood box but otherwise in pretty good shape. Assembled now but no chance to test it as true to form it's all cloud outside in every direction.

@Astroblagger, did you ever do the mirror shift? If not and you still have the scope then I'll update once I've had a chance to look at this one properly but that'll be sometime over the next month or so, probably.

My plan for this Tal-1 is to shift the mirror so it can use regular EP's and use the originals on the baby Tal-M I have, which will complete that scope other than the 32mm extension tube. Seems an easier solution than trying to figure how to adapt the built-in finder to work with newer EP's. I need to drop the mirror back to original location on the M and then test and once I'm happy it can get stripped down and repainted (or powder coated) etc and be stored in its wood box 🙂

I've so gotta stop collecting vintage optical gear!!! 5 scopes and 35+ airs of binos is getting a lot too much lol. Tho I'm quite pleased with the TAL collection, being a TAL-M, TAL-1 and TAL100RS with a range of EP's now at 42 (mk2), 25(mk1,2,3), 15(mk1,2), 9, 6.3mm and 2+3x barlows. Really hope I can resist if a Tal-2 comes up locally 😮

 

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I did it a while back to mine- I used alu spacers so I could  reuse same springs though I swapped the screws for Allen heads to make it easier not to slip and scratch it up collimating

Saw a really beautiful early Tal-2m at the Deutsches Museum Munich last week- no plastic on it anywhere- even the OTA cover cap and finder dew shield were turned aluminium 😍 Most seem to have plastic parts that I’ve seen on eBay 

17101F6B-B868-42D8-9A74-D8126FEB21C3.jpeg

6BF4946C-BAF3-4D7A-8CC2-C44B0A3D8C45.jpeg

7361897D-0994-496F-91BA-D47EE705E5C2.jpeg

Edited by markse68
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wow, very nice that one! This 1 has the plastic end cap intact, worst case if it breaks I'll source a nitrile bearing cap of suitable size like I did for the M. it's metal internally and a snug fit to the tube.

Nice mod, how far did you raise the mirror if I might ask?

For the M I obtained some 3d printer springs and raised that one 25mm ish, probably could have done with being a touch more but those parts may well work ok on the tal-1 once I revert the M back to original screws/springs.

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Haha I can’t actually remember- think they were 20mm long the posts but probably could have been 15. Now of course the 32mm og eps don’t reach focus 😂 But all my 1.25” eps focus now.

What are these nitrile caps you speak of?

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in this post I talked about the Tal-M

 

I got the nitrile bearing cap for the mirror end and used a modified pipe cap for the open end on that scope. Keeps the dust out and also closes any light leaks at the mirror end

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so having swapped the tal-M back to original mirror position, I've used the longer screws and springs I'd fitted on the tal-1 mirror cell and rough collimated. Tal-M now comes to focus fine with the tal-1 32mm bore EPs and gave nice views of the moon. The Tal-1 focused fine with regular 1.25 Ep's (tal and vixen) tho I think slightly longer screws might be better but will see how it goes 🙂

Only thing is the tal-1 EP's are very tight going into the tal-M focuser and impossible on its barlow. The tal-M 15mm has a taper at the end and seems slightly narrower bore, so thinks I'll have to mod these to reduce the bore a little and add a chamfer so they fit more easily.

All in a pretty good result I think, as I can leave the tal-M as original and it'll be a handy scope for popping in the car boot and for the grandaughter to look through. I plan to reverse the threaded insert in the pier so it can be used with just the lower section for her 😉

I guess now I know it'll all work the way I hoped it'll be time to strip both down and sort doing a refurb as time allows. Need to sort the finder on the tal-1 too as its focus is loose and rattles, as does the primary mirror I noticed when I had the cell out.

 

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thought I'd update. Ordered 60mm allen head bolts and 40mm setscrews to lift the mirror a bit more and also some longer springs with 1.5mm wire. Sadly the springs are way too stiff, well IMHO as I'd not want to overstress the threaded holes in the mirror carrier so I've ordered up some 40mmx8mm OD x 1.2mm wire ones which will be fitted when they arrive. The bolts are only threaded at the far end and when screwed all the way give a mirror lift of approx 30-31mm. Handy as that's around the sweet spot for the distance to lift I believe. The 40mm setscrews ideally could've been 5mm longer but I didn't find that length when ordering, they seem to do the job fine tho.

Parts ordered:
M4x60mm:
https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/M4-M5-M6-M8-A2-STAINLESS-STEEL-ALLEN-BOLT-SOCKET-CAP-SCREWS-HEX-HEAD-DIN-912/221307549544?ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT&var=520187427009&_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2649 

M4x40mm
https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/M4-M5-M6-M8-A2-STAINLESS-STEEL-FLAT-POINT-GRUB-SCREWS-SOCKET-SET-SCREW-DIN-916/232246807222?ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT&var=531471400554&_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2649

Springs:
40mmx8mmOD, 1.2mm wire 
https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Compression-Spring-8-20mm-Outer-Dia-10-50mm-Length-Stainless-Steel-Various-Sizes/283335191701?ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT&var=584260830435&_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2649

Rough collimated which is fun when the mirror literally floats about (no springs) but got it reasonably ok for a quick test. Vixen 25mm I was able to focus on some treetops a couple hundred meters away with the rack extended most of the way out. On testing with a Vixen NPL 10mm, focus was a little under halfway raised and was easy to achieve, giving nice views of Saturn just now. Adding a regular 1.25 (tal) 2x Barlow worked fine too, so I feel it was a good result overall.

These particular screws will give the option to lift the mirror further up the tube, tho the setscrews will run out of usefulness if more than a few turns, so not really advisable. If I do need to be able to pull the mirror further back down the tube I can always cut the threaded section a bit longer to suit, luckily I have a tap and die set to do this with, but if you don't then maybe best to find bolts that are threaded on a greater length of the bolt than these ones.

I don't really think stronger springs will make much difference really as their main purpose is to keep the mirror fully raised vs the screw tension while collimating. The setscrews lock the adjustment and the combination of the pair of screws at each adjustment point is what keeps the mirror stable.

Will let you know how I get on with these 40mm springs once they arrive and post a pic of the setup once I've all the bits fitted :)

 

Edited by DaveL59
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  • 2 weeks later...

So the springs arrived today and now installed in the mirror cell. They're quite stiff but not compressing them much since they are around the length needed to allow the mirror to float on them while adjusting collimation, which only needs a mm or two movement at each fixing point. Once the locking set screws are tightened the mirror doesn't seem to move at all so should be fine when handling or moving the scope about. Note that the springs fit into a recess on the end plate so some of the 40mm length is lost so you'll only really get a lift in the range of 28-32mm but that seems in the right zone to achieve focus.

Here's the completed assembly with the bits listed in prev post.

Tal-1 Mirror mod.jpg

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  • 6 months later...

was fortunate enough to snag a Tal-1 1.25-inch focuser which arrived today. Figured I'd go this route as whilst the older unit does hold modern eyepieces ok if I ever loaned this to someone who's less aware and they flip the OTA (or if I forget!) there's a chance a decent EP will end up on the floor, plus the EP will sit better located in the new focuser. 

Comparing it alongside the older 32mm focuser it looks like it might be slightly taller so I may need to raise the mirror a tad further to hit focus, will know more once I've fitted it and had a play. So the ad which said "If you have a TAL 1 non-standard focuser size then this, latest upgraded version, focuser can solve your problem. " isn't exactly correct. Sure it'll hold the EP better, but ain't gonna fix the issue re the mirror location on the older OTA as that'll still need to be moved further up the tube. But then I've already done that bit :D 

No chance to test it tho given total cloud cover here at the moment, so I'll leave fitting it till the weekend I think - apologies in advance for the wet weekend 😉 

Edited by DaveL59
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ok so out for a smoke a short time ago and wow its a hoolie out there, but the clouds largely cleared. OK thinks I, pop the OTA inside and swap the focuser. Off came the old, quick side by side with the new and...

spot the difference?
Yep is taller BUT the foot plate is a lot thicker too. So of course the original screws don't reach the holes :( 

So much for a quick swap then. Dug out the old mirror screws and they are same diameter so for now the new focuser is on with rather long screws. Will sort some better length ones later on when I refurbish it all but it's on at least.

Bonus too, it reaches focus on the stars using the vixen EP's and the TAL 40mm so a fair result I think :)
Didn't get to try the moon to see how sharp as it was only rough collimated after moving the mirror plus it's way too far east at the minute and the cloud rolling in makes it all rather hit & miss so that'll do for this night...

new vs old focuser.JPG

New focuser fitted.JPG

Need shorter screws.JPG

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  • 10 months later...

Just here to say thanks. Will do the mirror shift on my 1997 ( or so) TAL1 also. Its of course the old one with 32mm focusser, but it is complete with all parts inside. Was so lucky. The Plössl 25mm is pretty fine, without doubt, but I think modern EPs will be just great on this fine scope. With 3x barlow the modern EPs will work, but I dont like barlow lenses, so thanks for the informations inside this thread!

5D058679-9301-4A90-AE01-EF627320F576.jpeg

 

 

Edited by Marcel74
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wow that's a nice looking one you got there Marcel, mine didn't have the wood case which is a pity. Worth keeping an eye out for the later 1.25-inch focuser as that does make it easier in use but the original 32mm works fine with care.

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Thanks! Its like this gem waited for me since years. Small background: I wished to have a telescope again after a few years of not observing the nightsky. But I simply didnt find one: Too small mountings, too less quality for lower aperture sizes (no adjustment screws for example, one instead of four spider arms aso, you know this for yourself...) Long story short: Out of a sudden, I typed in russian telescope to one of our online marketplaces and found it. I was pretty impressed by the appearance of the scope itself at the seller and knew: Thats my new one! And I dont want any other! No superduper from nowadays, just this one 🙂 

Ill have a look for those new focusser on later TALs, sure, but its pretty difficult over here. I tried to contact several dealers if they still own parts for older TALs, but nothing. So I asked NPZ in Russia itself, but they dont answer and they left me a bit confused behind not to get any answer in times like these. Well. "You all should take care of your TALs" maybe they want to answer in a different way. And we all should do so! Pretty nice scopes! I dont mind if there is a spherical or parabolic mirror: Moons crater were simply impressive even with the original eps! But right after the covid lockdown Ill buy those mentioned screws and look forward to compare the pictures with newer eps. 

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Ah these scopes have been out of production a good while now and the factory is back to doing military works I think, so parts will largely be on the used market. Well worth setting up a search on ebay, things do turn up from time to time. A seller in the UK was recently selling parts from a TAL-2, not sure if he still had any listings as I've not looked in a while. The bay was where I obtained the focuser and it wasn't too pricey. With luck one will turn up within the EU as from the UK you'd have the complications of whatever vagaries now apply to shipping from a "third country" in terms of paperwork, VAT, duties etc.

When I picked up this TAL-1 it was specifically for the 25mm old-type eyepiece for the TAL-M I also have, wasn't really planning on keeping it but having tested it out I found it was very good, perhaps better than the Skywatcher 130 that I already had, certainly more stable. Hence I did the mirror mod and the focuser as worthwhile improvements to what is a very solid scope and it should last a lifetime or two.

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I found a few sites, mostly in russia, that still lists them in stock. BearOptics, Rusoptics, and NPZ itself, even with price tags. But all of the listed companies never replied to me, at least so far. Then I wrote to one of the NPZ dealer in Europe...dt-group or so in Italy...Even there no reply by them. So I guess youre right: 2nd hand market seems to be the best choice. They dont want to earn money or dont want to sell things to private customers, dont know. So I will keep an eye on ebay too. Vats/customs are unfortunate now, but I know the procedures by parcels from america. It will be a bit more expensive at the end. but compared with actual prices of spare parts for newer scopes it will be less expensive....at a second look 😉 

Edited by Marcel74
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while searching for a focuser I did consider perhaps something like this

SV181 Reflector Type 1.25"Focuser Rack Pinion TO Astronomy Telescope Eyepieces | eBay

Never did the math to see if it'd fit and you'd need to open up the hole for the barrel and drill/tap 4 holes to secure it. Takes it away from being all TAL but might do the job. There's a few different ones so there's bound to be on that'd suit.

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I found the same focusser at a german ebay seller. The one you provided doesnt seem to ship to Austria. The german one provided a technical drawing of the focussers dimensions. Perhaps a nice alternative option. 

D06A1813-FE37-4930-ACA3-CE7178496176.jpeg

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What didn't spring to mind earlier but might be worth a shot - try posting in the wanted section for an original 1.25-inch focuser. You never know someone may have one to offer. An outside chance but maybe worth a go. That way there's no mods needed to the tube but perhaps longer screws to install the focuser as I found when I got hold of one.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi, its me again 🙂

I collimated my TAL from zero, because I cleaned all mirrors, did a centric mark on the main mirror and did some overall rework on the focuser and the mount itself.  And I decided not to add a different focuser and keep all the attachments original. No new screw holes, no finder to be replaced because of the focussers plate and so on. At best I will move the mirror up a few millimeters to to be able to use newer eyepieces. I miss an eyepiece between the 25mm and the K10 for example and I dont want to use the 3x barlow anymore. 

So does anybody know which eyepieces are possible to use after the mirror shift of about 30mm? Will a 30mm Plössl for example work? What about a 6mm Planetary eyepiece? And would it be possbile to add an UWA eyepiece to the park at the end? How do I know if the one or another eyepiece will focus at the end?

Edited by Marcel74
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