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EPIC FAILURE!! First scope sucks so far!!!

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#26 GlennLeDrew

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Posted 28 April 2013 - 03:34 AM

Peter,
In the other thread you started, wherein you asked about this scope which had come up for sale, most responses were cautionary about this scooe's quality. However, it shouldn't be so bad as the impression we're getting.

My first thought from your first post was that you were looking at the Moon when it was quite low in the sky (yellowed by atmospheric extinction.) this is not the best place to examine any object, because atmospheric distortion is usually awful. Especially at higher magnification.

Have you tried to focus on a star higher up in the sky? If when at best focus it looks lopsided, instead of symmetrically round, then your collimation needs improvement. The will make for a substantial improvement.

In the end, these Bird-jones designs as manufactured generally seem to not live up to even their somewhat limited potential, and cannot deliver good higher magnification views. But they *should* be OK at low to moderate power...

#27 planet earth

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Posted 28 April 2013 - 05:22 AM

Return the scope to the store asap.
The price is too high for what it is.
If you want a 114mm Reflector get one that's a regular Newtonian.
Usually the label on the tube will read 114mm 900mmfl.
I picked up two on kijiji, one Tasco for $30.00 and one Orbiter for $20.00 both like new with 1.25 inch focusars.
Both have spherical mirrors but are capable of X150 magnification which is plenty good.
The eq mounts are so so, and the tripods are too light.
Eyepieces included were basically junk, but 2 were kinda useable.
Sam

#28 *skyguy*

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Posted 28 April 2013 - 06:40 AM

My first thought from your first post was that you were looking at the Moon when it was quite low in the sky (yellowed by atmospheric extinction.)



+1 .... A full moon just rising over the horizon will look like an out-of-focus yellow ball in any telescope! Set your scope up in the daytime and see if you can get a sharp, focused image of a moderately distant object. If you do, there is nothing wrong with the scope. Good Luck!

#29 howard929

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Posted 28 April 2013 - 08:12 AM

So I'm totally bummed out..... Waited all night for the moon to come out and when it finally did all I could see through my scope was a yellow BLOB! Moon was a yellowish color tonight if anyone's wondering why I'm calling it yellow. Clear sky's by the way. I tired using both the 10mm and 20mm lens. For an hour I tried to focus it and still couldn't get a good image. Gave myself a migraine trying so hard to focus it. I could literally see more features on the moon tonight with the naked eye than I could through my new scope. Using AstroMaster 114 for anyone new reading my story. Anyways I'm going to call it a night and probably return the scope tomorrow.


I have a dumb question. When you were trying to focus on the moon last night, were you turning the knob VERY slowly? Is it possible that you blew past focus w/o realizing it? There's just one tiny point where focus will be optimal and anything before or past that point will begin to be out of focus as you described.

#30 jerwin

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Posted 28 April 2013 - 08:47 AM

I wonder if the corrector that looks to be installed in the focuser is backwards, or if its missing completely.

Jim

#31 lamplight

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Posted 28 April 2013 - 08:54 AM

I'm betting if its not a totally screwed up optical path it was condensation or breath fog or something..the first time that happened with my SCT after bringing it to a local field was very disappointing..

Agreed , need to do a daylight test and failing that pics posted here will help.

#32 howard929

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Posted 28 April 2013 - 09:01 AM

I wonder if the corrector that looks to be installed in the focuser is backwards, or if its missing completely.

Jim


I never saw a Bird Jones reflector so I know nothing about them other then... possibly, don't buy one?

Anyway. This thread has me thinking about first telescope suggestions. I think we should ask a prospective buyer if they like to tinker or not or are willing to tinker. Yes and a reflector is fine, no, then something else.

#33 geekgroupie

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Posted 28 April 2013 - 09:16 AM

Welcome to my world. You are not alone. I've taken quite a few xanax just to keep from throwing my scope in the bottom of Lake Champion. Hang in there.... a year from now you'll be amazed at how much you've learned.

#34 GOLGO13

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Posted 28 April 2013 - 09:25 AM

Patience is key with telescopes. However, this is why I sometimes suggest refractors. In general you won't have much tinkering to do and it can be up and running very quickly.

Sometimes I will ask how handy is someone...I got my dad the orion 70mm alt/az refractor because I know him. He would never be able to do collimation. Partially because his hands shake.

Take you time and read the manual...or take it back and get the refractor.

#35 geekgroupie

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Posted 28 April 2013 - 09:30 AM

I'm so disappointed thanks for all your help though. I just tried using it again while talking with you but still looks like *BLEEP* a giant blurry yellow ball. I want to launch it off my BELCONY!!!


When I get to that point, I open up a bud light lime, play some Pink Floyd Great Gig in the Sky and dance around in the dark. It works wonders. This is a life long adventure. You will not get this over night.... I read once that it takes a full year of working at this.... otherwise you might as well just watch it on tv. I took that advice to heart and cherish it immensely.

Thanks for your post, it's nice to know I'm not the only one. I've had online help to the point of exhaustion, visited an astrophotographer who had no intention of looking thru my scope and have been to star parties which were only show and tell events... not an opportunity for a lesson.

Again, this is a life long journey..... ready, study, practice, slow down and practice is what I do. Folks here are the bomb!

#36 geekgroupie

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Posted 28 April 2013 - 09:37 AM

Patience is key with telescopes. However, this is why I sometimes suggest refractors. In general you won't have much tinkering to do and it can be up and running very quickly.

Sometimes I will ask how handy is someone...I got my dad the orion 70mm alt/az refractor because I know him. He would never be able to do collimation. Partially because his hands shake.

Take you time and read the manual...or take it back and get the refractor.



yes... take your time and read the manual about 50 times. I read that advice once and I got much out of it.

#37 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 28 April 2013 - 09:39 AM

Peter,
In the other thread you started, wherein you asked about this scope which had come up for sale, most responses were cautionary about this scooe's quality. However, it shouldn't be so bad as the impression we're getting.



I agree, it shouldn't be this bad. The moon low on the horizon, maybe partially obstructed.

I agree with the suggestions to test it during the day, pick a distant object, a tree is good because of the leaves provide some detail, and just see if you can get a clean focus.

As far as collimation goes, the primary mirror is spherical and there is a Barlow-like corrector in the focuser. I have never had any luck improving the image in a Jones-Bird scope by adjusting the collimation.

Jon

#38 BigC

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Posted 28 April 2013 - 09:53 AM

It really sounds to me as if you didn't actually have the scope pointed at the Moon;it is possible to get an unfocusable off-axis blob of light when a scope is sort of close but not pointed exactly at the desired object.Been there,done that.

I have Bird-Jones scopes and they will provide good low to medium power views if in adjustment.

Try during the day ,take the scope out and look for a distinctive distant (at least hundreds of yards distant not just across the street) fairly large object and see if you can get a good focus.( Do not try to use the Sun.) If you can clearly see that far off house even though upside down,tighten the alt and az knobs and adjust the finder the the house is centered in the finder window.Go back and forth until the same smallest detail you can make out through the finder is centered in both the finder and the main eyepiece.

If you can't even get a good focus on a house or tree then the mirrors are seriously out of collimation. If when looking into the focuser tube you see your eye centered in a reflection of the primary(big) mirror centered in the diagonal mirror ,then collimation is good enough to use.

Do you need or wear glasses? Because I,and likely others who have had old-style cataract surgery, often have to bring the eyepiece out just a bit further than the usual focuser will allow.In that case you just insert the eyepiece barrell (the chrome part) only far enough that the screw will hold it in place,rather than pushing the barrell all the way.The extra half-inch or so can be all that is needed to reach focus.

OR, do as Sam suggests and return the scope ;then check the classified online and locally for a 114 that is phyically f8 ,that is ,about 3 feet long.Such a scope ought to work better.It will be easier to collimate and will accomadate higher magnification. I have that type also.And have paid from $5 to $25 at thrift stores.A private seller with a complete with all parts and instructions,scope in very good condition might reasonably ask $50 to $75.Have them demonstrate that it works, if possible.

#39 shawnhar

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Posted 28 April 2013 - 10:47 AM

Yeah the focuser moves in and out 2''. As I focused in and out the image pretty much stayed the same in size and quality. I would get a quick glimpse of a crater as I focused out. Or at least I hope it was a crater. Other than that the image constantly filled the whole eye piece in or out. The only time I could get the sky and image in one shot was to move the scope so it only picked up half the moon and half the sky.


Quick glimpse of a crater as you focused out sounds like you went past focus. Use very tiny movements when close to focus. The 20mm should allow you to see the entire moon.
I thought the same thing my 1st night with the 114 astromaster, it doesn't suck that bad. :grin:
I think it is possible you were looking at an out of focus star and not the moon, did it look like this?
https://www.youtube....h?v=ozS9aBlOg8g
Did you rack the focuser all the way in and all the way out?
Look in the focuser with a light and make sure there is a piece of glass in there, it's a correcting lens, if that is missing you will never reach focus.

#40 geekgroupie

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Posted 28 April 2013 - 12:49 PM

I agree with a earlier post. Take it out during the day and use the highest number (mm) eye piece and try to see something (tree etc). in a reflector it will be up side down but that should not stop you from seeing it.

Also check the bore of the eye piece, it might have a filter in it.

It might be easier also if you took some pictures of the tube, Eye piece, focuser, inside and out and post them here.

Dont worry we will have you sorted out in no time


Yes.... I like this post. quite encouraging. Would be interested in seeing pictures and following your adventure. I also learned to setup during daylight... otherwise I ended up chasing my fanny

#41 geekgroupie

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Posted 28 April 2013 - 12:51 PM

As I mentioned... welcome to my world. Actually, all the tears and heartache I've been thru has paid off... I understand what you're going through. Hang in there.. it'll pay off

#42 Pharquart

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Posted 28 April 2013 - 01:48 PM

Definitely check that there's a small lens at the bottom of the focuser, at the end close to the secondary mirror. My old Jones-Bird design telescope used a F/3.3 (approx) spherical mirror, but in a F/5(ish) tube. Translation: without the little Barlow-like lens in the focuser, I could never come to focus. The lens was able to be unscrewed from the focuser, so perhaps yours came out at some point.

Atmosphere (viewing low on the horizon) and thermal problems (not being cooled all the way) will certainly reduce the quality of your views, but not anywhere near as badly as you're suggesting. You should still get a clear image of the moon with light and dark areas (craters and mountains don't show up well until you're further away from full), though it might seem to be "swimming" due to seeing and tube currents.

Brian

#43 Stargaz18

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Posted 28 April 2013 - 02:01 PM

sounds like trying to focus on a street light to me

#44 PeterParker123

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Posted 28 April 2013 - 02:05 PM

Okay, so I took the scope out today for day time viewing. I was able to focus on a tree about 300yards away. I was able to focus good on the tree itself. The branches were clear as day but the no leafs were clear. I used the 20mm eyepiece which allowed me to see everything right side up not upside down. The picture was sideways though. Everything came through the scope on about a 45 degree angle. Image was slanted to the left. I had to focus very, very slowly like a few people said.

#45 PeterParker123

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Posted 28 April 2013 - 02:10 PM

There were also birds in the tree. Shouldn't I have been able to get a close up of a bird on a branch from only 300yards away?

#46 caheaton

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Posted 28 April 2013 - 02:28 PM

I'm puzzled by your description of "everything at a 45 degree angle", do you mean the image was rotated a bit relative the way you were looking, or was the image somehow distorted? If it's the latter that could be a sign of a problem. It's good that the branches came to focus. We're the birds on the same branch or on some that were maybe a bit closer? If closer, that would explain why they didn't come into focus. Your targets have to be pretty far away to come to focus in the scope. Remember, the scope was designed to look at objects that are essentially at infinity for all practical purposes! :-)

Image being sideways is normal for a reflector. What does surprise me is that you said the 20mm allowed the image to be right side up, as the normal view through a newtonian is upside down and inverted left to right. Are you by any chance using a diagonal with this scope? (A diagonal looks like a 90 degree elbow with one end plugging into the scope and the other end holding the eyepiece).

#47 Haas

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Posted 28 April 2013 - 02:29 PM

Yeah, you should have been able to see the bird, but you would have needed to make sure the bird is in your line of view, too. Could it be you're expecting a wider field of view than what it gives? It would make sense if you were able to get focus for a second on a crater, but couldn't see the entire moon? Maybe it's working fine, and you got a close up on the moon that filled your entire field of view?

#48 shawnhar

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Posted 28 April 2013 - 03:29 PM

There were also birds in the tree. Shouldn't I have been able to get a close up of a bird on a branch from only 300yards away?

Youv'e almost got it going, if you could focus on the branch and it was sharp then all is good. You need to understand that the leaves and the branches are not going to be in focus at the same time, if they are closer or further than the branch you have to refocus for each distance. (even if it's only a couple of feet) When you focus on something half a mile away, not as much of an impact.

#49 jerwin

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Posted 28 April 2013 - 05:01 PM

I'd probably double check your finder is pointing to the right place. If there were birds in the finder but you couldn't get anything into focus in the eyepiece, you were probably off by a little bit, which after 300 yards is a lot, and after 10million light years is...well, really a lot. if you can find an object that you can definitely identify, even the very top of the tree, get it in the eyepiece and check the finder. see how close it is, you might need to adjust the finder to actually get to that spot, then move to another object in the finder and see if it's really in the eyepiece.

Believe it or not, your first light wasn't THAT far off of mine. I had moments of just thinking I wasted money on a terrible telescope. Now granted I did donate my first telescope (which was pretty terrible) to another noob and I'm now on my 5th scope, but that's all part of the fun.

Get a month under your belt and anyone you talk to about astronomy (that's never done it) will think you're Neil DeGrasse Tyson or Stephen Hawking.

Give it a few more tries before we lose you forever.

Good luck,
Jim

#50 BSJ

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Posted 29 April 2013 - 06:18 AM

AstroMasters don't have a finder. It has two plastic discs about 3/4" apart with dots on each of them.

The AstroMaster series scopes should be avoided like the plague!

Nothing worth while will come of owning one. Other than learning what a scope/mount system shouldn't be like...






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