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0.965 diagonal and barlow combination?


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Hi folks

After several months agonizing about what my first scope should be, the decision was kinda made for me at a car boot sale on Saturday when I picked up a 50/600mm refractor (branded "Unicon") for a fiver. If I was buying new then I obviously would have gone for something bigger and better, but thought it would be useful to play around with for a bit.

It came with a 6x24 finder, a diagonal and two 0.965" eyepieces (6 and 12.5mm), all of which are fairly grubby and basic-looking, which maybe explains why I wasn't able to see much through it, though I did manage to locate the moon and see some nice detail on the terminator, so I can see that it works in principle :-)

I was thinking about buying a hybrid diagonal, a 1.25" eyepiece like a 20mm plossl and a barlow for "closeups".

I notice that Scopes'n'Skies sell a 0.965 barlow - my question is, which order is better:

focuser-diagonal-(1.25)barlow-eyepiece or
focuser-(0.965)barlow-diagonal-eyepiece

... or doesn't it make any difference? I think the former would be cheaper, but I'm not necessarily worried about that - I just want to get the maximum out of the scope, bearing in mind its natural limitations.

Sorry if this is a daft question!

cheers

Chris

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Have you tried carefully cleaning eyepieces and objective lens? The current Sky at Night magazine describes the procedure for refractors. I haven't used my 60mm Unicon for a couple of months now (since I got the Megrez) but found it useful for a quick hop around the sky.

I wouldn't expect too much from it though. The Moon is quite good and you can easily see the galilean moons of Jupiter (and just about make out some banding when the seeing is very clear).

I managed to attach a webcam by sawing off the nose piece from the image erector which came with the scope (it was originally my sister's) and glueing it to the front of a plastic box which had the innards of a Logitech E1000 webcam (only £10 from supermarket) inside. I've attached an example of the sort of image that can be obtained.

I did try using a 0.965" to 1.25" adapter in order to use 1.25" eyepieces, but using the adapter I just don't seem to be able to reach focus.

Anyway, getting back to your question, I think the usual arrangement is focuser-diagonal-eyepiece :)

Paul

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I was going to say welcome to SGL but then noticed you have been here for three years :)

As for your question I would go for your first option. I still have my very first scope I looked through 20 years ago and thats a 60mm Prinz very similar to yours and it gives very good views.

Give it a very good clean and I think you will be surprised.

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Thanks for the advice guys - I will pick up a Sky At Night tomorrow and give the cleaning a go. I'm not expecting Pillars of Creation but it would be nice to actually see something (anything!), other than the moon of course. It's good to know that basic astrophotography is not completely out of the question Paul!

Oh and yes, thanks for the welcome Doc, it seems I've been waiting to take the plunge for rather longer than I thought!

cheers

Chris

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Just a quick update, as suggested I gave the scope a thorough clean using the Sky at Night guide. They advised against it but I had to remove the objective and clean the inside because it was so filthy it looked like a petri-dish. My new plossl and diagonal arrived today and can't believe the difference, I can see every detail on the trees down the road and the image looks huge and bright compared to last week!

As suspected, the focuser is very close to the stop and although I haven't been able to try it out on "infinity" yet due to weather, I don't think there will be enough ... in-focus is the term? Am quite prepared to shorten the tube; just reading up on people's hacksaw experiences...

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