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Tasco 375x Astro 112mm Reflector


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Hi all,

As you can probably tell, I'm new to the forums, and new to the who telescope idea.

I have bought a Tasco 375x Astro 112mm Reflector off ebay (brand new) £41 and I was just wondering if it's actually any good, or have I bought a pile o'poo!

The Details:

Model 302911 375x Astronomical reflector

Magnification: 25x 75x 125x 375x

Objective Aperture: 112mm

Focal Length: 500mm

Mount: Full Equatorial with Altitude Azimuth and Hour circles

Trackers: 2x manual flexible controls

Eyepieces: 20mm, 4mm Huygenian type.

Full size adjustable wooden tripod

3x Barlow Lens

5x25 Finderscope

Accessory bracket to hold 5 x optics

Can be adapted to fit standard SLR cameras by using an optional camera adapter tube (#6660) and a T-mount.

Galaxsee Skywatch Software CD-ROM

Star Maps, Moon Maps and Astro guide

10 years Manufacturers warranty

To be honest, non of that means anything to me!

Is it alright for a beginner, or have i bought a load of junk?

Thanks for any help

Kain

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To be fair it IS a pile of junk. But dont let that stop you using it now you have it! It will still show you sights to take your breath away. My advice would be to extend your expenditure and buy a good introduction to astronomy. A personal favourite of mine is "Stargazing with a small telescope" by Robin Scagell, you can find it on amazon for £6.39. It an excellent book that will teach you all you need to get started. Another excellent book is "Turn left at Orion" also available from amazon but a little more at £14.24.

My advice would be to get out there and use your 'scope and see what it can show you. Once you have worked out whats wrong with it (wobbly views mainly) you can start to think about if you want to invest some money into this hobby or if it's not for you. If the former (and i hope it is the former) come back and ask some more questions, everyone here is always happy to help and no question is too stupid as we were all beginers once.

Clear skies to you and happy stargazing!

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Oh dear, it's junk! oh well just my look for buying something on a whim, ahh well!

I have ordered that book you reccomended, thanks. I feel abit disapointed now.

One thing though, will I be able to see that comet thats falling to bits with it?

Cheers

Kain

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Dont be disapointed at least you have the beginings of an astronomer! As for the comet to be honest i dont know as i've never used a 114mm scope with a focal length of 500mm. I would guess yes assuming you can find it. But finding it would probably be the hard part as it's not visible to the eye as far as im aware.

As i said, dont be afraid of getting out in the night and setting your telescope up. Aim it at the moon and marvel at the craters, they still blow me away now. I dont think you'll be disapointed after then hehe but be aware that in this game you get what you pay for and you can pay a lot for decent telescope gear. Even if you only get a few nights of pleasure out of it, for £40 thats cheaper than going to the pub in my mind. A bargin really!

A lot of people on this forum started out with tasco scopes (and lots of us still have them!) they are great for hooking you on the hobby just dont expect miracles though.

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Well ass long I can see Jupiter's belts, I'm happy, I have always wanted to see them for myself rarther than pictures.

Is there anything I can buy to 'upgrade' the telescope?

I would love to see the Orion Nebula too, but I doubt I will now.

Still, It aint going to stop me trying!

Kain

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Actually the only reason you can't see orions nebula is the time of year, not the quality of your scope. As for "upgrading" your scope, i'de advise hanging fire a bit until you've used it for a good few nights. You might be tempted to buy more eyepieces but i wouldn't as if you want to get into astronomy you'll likely change your scope which means you'll have different needs for eyepieces. Your first upgrade if would be a decent mount. But as i said leave it until you've played a bit.

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"Even if you only get a few nights of pleasure out of it, for £40 that's cheaper than going to the pub in my mind. A bargin really!" - So Gordon, how much do you spend in the Pub every night? - In Glasgow, £40 gets you quite a few beers - enough to get your stomach pumped at the Royal Infirmary.

Kain, I am sure you will get lots of pleasure from your new 'scope - you wont see as much as if you had spent £1000 - but then, you are probably getting a good intro to astronomy - and you can always upgrade when you have exhausted the possibilities of your 'scope. Enjoy.

Tom

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Thanks Tom

Oh just a side note, could anyone explain what all these various numbers mean?

I can explain the mechanics of a thunderstorm, but I ain't got a clue when it comes to this sort of thing lol!

Kain

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My boy has a toy reflector from Jessops that has a 70mm aperture (yours is bigger at 112mm) and I've seen Saturn's rings through it. The moon is awesome as well.

Saturn is fairly easy to find, South at about 45 degrees up, there's a bright star, thats it.

The directions are a bit off and depend on the time, but you should find it from that.

Tip 1, line up the finderscope and main telescope before it gets dark. Its doable in the dark, but harder. Line it up on a streetlight as they dont move, stars do.

Tip 2, use the eyepiece with the biggest number on it. That will (surprisingly) give you the best image to start off and also make things easier to find as the angle that you are looking through is bigger.

Tip 3, have a bash at the moon, its catching.

Tip 4, as Gordon said, its not a lot of cash if you dont like it. But I bet you will if you give it a go.

Enjoy.

Captain Chaos

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Guinness in my local is £3 a pint :D

Plus a taxi there and a taxi back, add a kebab or a curry and £40 doesn't go very far

A kebab and a curry !!! You will need your stomach pumped. Don't make it a Vindaloo.

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Kain,

There's a lot of objects you can see with that scope of yours mate and it's a good tool for learning the sky with too before if you feel the need that is to upgrade to a larger scope...

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Welcome to SGL Kain :D

... could anyone explain what all these various numbers mean?

Magnification: 25x 75x 125x 375x

Magnifications available (in theory) with the eyepieces and 3x barlow supplied

Objective Aperture: 112mm

Aperture size - the hole in the front where the light comes in. The bigger the aperture, the more light is collected and delivered to your eye. You can do a lot of worthwhile astronomy with a 112mm aperture :D

Focal Length: 500mm

The distance from the large mirror to your eye. It is also approximately the length of the telescope tube. The longer the focal length, the more magnification a given eyepiece will deliver. (magnification = telescope focal length / eyepiece focal length. Your 20mm will achieve 25x mag: 500/20=25x)

Mount: Full Equatorial with Altitude Azimuth and Hour circles

A type of mount (better known as a German Equatorial or GEQ) that, once aligned, will allow you to find (using the setting circles) and to track objects (using the 'manual flexible controls').

Trackers: 2x manual flexible controls

See above (better known as slow-motion controls)

Eyepieces: 20mm, 4mm Huygenian type.

Huygenian eyepieces are adequate at best; if you throw out the 4mm, change the 20mm for a Plossl eyepiece (£20-30) and the supplied 3x barlow for a good 2x barlow (£30-40), you will improve things considerably.

3x Barlow Lens

Will increase an eyepieces magnification by three - see above.

5x25 Finderscope

Essentially, a low magnification telescope with cross-hairs that can be used for targeting (centering in the eyepiece) an object.

Can be adapted to fit standard SLR cameras by using an optional camera adapter tube (#6660) and a T-mount.

Don't do it - it'll end in tears.

Hope that helps :D

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I have just stopped using a Tasco Luminova 114mm reflector. It was actually a very good scope for its class, and putting it on a sound mount made a lot of difference. Now, there are Tasco scopes and Tasco scopes. Now, a couple of things. Huygenian eyepieces are a 300 year old design, and generally not up the standard of modern eps. If your eps are .965" in diameter (slightly less than the breadth of your thumb) you may be able to remove an insert from the focusing tube, and get some inexpensive 1.25" dia. Plossl eps. If you can't do that, Antares makes some good .965" Plossls which are fairly inexpensive.

Your best magnisication will probably be about 100 - 150. That was the case with my other scope which was a little inferior to the TAsco. I would suggest a 25mm ep, an 8mm, and a 2x Barlow.

Take the 3x Barlow, carefully remove the lens, put a reed in the end and drill some holes, and use it for a penny whistle.

You will have a good time with this scope on DSOs, and lots of fun looking at the moon. Planets will be a little iffy, but you will be able to see the rings of Saturn, and perhaps bands on Jupiter on a good night.

Best wishes, you should have a good time with this scope. The fact that the tripod is wooden is a plus, as they tend to be less shaky than aluminium.

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Thanks guys.

Its quite exciting thinking that I will finally see Saturn and Jupiter with my eyes rather than pictures.

Do you know where I can get those eyepieces from Steve?

Thanks for all the info guys, it's been very much appreciated and welcoming.

Kain

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Do you know where I can get those eyepieces from Steve?

Hi Kain,

For starters, here are some dealers that can help:

http://www.skyviewoptics.co.uk/default.asp

http://www.rothervalleyoptics.co.uk/home.php

http://www.sherwoods-photo.com/

Me (just send a PM :D)

Meade Series 3000 Plossls are available for as little as £19.99.

Others, I am sure, will suggest/recommend other dealers and eyepieces.

Hope that helps

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