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Inching Toward a Happy Ending

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#1 rdandrea

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Posted 30 January 2014 - 02:50 PM

Several weeks ago, there was a post in "Favorite Used Telescope Ads" that pointed to a Craigslist entry from a disgruntled buyer who bought a scope for his/her granddaughter and received only portions of a scope.

Not wanting to see any little girl disappointed on Christmas, I took it upon myself to respond to the email address in the CL ad. It turns out that the buyer was in Virginia and the scope was in Connecticut and Dad was out of town on business. We've been going back and forth for several weeks trying to figure out what we could about the scope and what was missing. Earlier this week, I finally tied up many of the loose ends. Some remain. Here's what we know:

1. The Craigslist ad was posted by Grandma.

2. The scope in question is a Celestron Powerseeker 70 AZ, a fairly typical 70mm f/10 Chinese department store scope. It uses 1-1/4" accessories.

3. The granddaughter is 8 years old and named Peyton. (Cool name. Go Broncos!!!!)

4. The scope was missing the finder and finder mount, eyepieces, and diagonal. No wonder Peyton couldn't see anything.

5. I now have a mailing address for Peyton but promised not to give it out. More on this below.

Amicus Sidera said he had a Meade 5x24 mm finder he could donate. I have a 9mm GSO Plossl I can donate. I told Amicus before he sent anything, I wanted to call Celestron to get some specs on the finder. That's when things got interesting. And very pleasant all of a sudden.

The Celestron tech asked me where the scope was bought. There were two different models of the Powerseeker 70: the 21036 and the 21036-WM. The WM stands for (you guessed it) Walmart. They had different finders and different eyepiece packages. I told the tech I didn't know and proceeded to tell him the whole story about why I was asking. He graciously agreed to send the finder and eyepieces to Peyton free of charge. I'm gently trying him to get him to send the diagonal too (without being pushy) because this scope uses an oddball 90-degree RACI diagonal. I'll know how successful I was by later today or tomorrow.

So at this point, depending on whether Celestron comes through with the RACI, we MIGHT need a diagonal, or maybe two--a regular 90 degree 1-1/4 diagonal and an erect-image 45 degree terrestrial diagonal. The eyepieces that come with the scope are 20mm and 4mm, no doubt junk. I'll certainly throw in the 9mm GSO from my "unloved" eyepiece box. That might turn out to be a good nearly-maximum power for this scope. If someone has a 25 to 28mm 1-1/4" eyepiece, that would give them some really useful low power that doesn't overlap with the Celestron eyepieces. Amicus is going to contribute a Mag-5 Sky Atlas, a planisphere, and a red LED light. I have a few of those I can throw in too. If someone has a spare eyepiece and/or diagonal, or maybe a 2x shorty barlow, please PM me. If it's something it turns out we need, I'll PM you my address and you can send it to me. I'll collect all the contributions, put your name on each of them, and put them all in one Priority Mail Flat Rate box for shipment to CT. I'll eat that part of the shipping. I'd like to do it this way because I think the parents were a bit nervous about giving their address out to dozens of people.

I also gave Dad contact information for the nearest astronomy club, which is in Waterbury, CT, in case he needs face-to-face help or some mentoring for Peyton.

I think that Celestron went well above and beyond the call of duty making whole a scope that wasn't under warranty. I commend them.

Again, please PM me if you have anything to offer.

--Ralph

#2 fjs

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Posted 30 January 2014 - 03:18 PM

Well, it really was bought from them, but kudos to them anyway. I think we can be pretty sure they were not responsible for the parts being missing.
Kudos to you too, Ralph. Thanks for being part of what makes Cloudy Nights so special.

#3 rdandrea

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Posted 30 January 2014 - 03:23 PM

Well, it really was bought from them, but kudos to them anyway.



You're right. I edited my post to reflect that the scope wasn't under warranty.

#4 rdandrea

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Posted 30 January 2014 - 06:49 PM

Celestron called tonight. They're sending the finder and mount, two eyepieces, and the RACI diagonal. Another member has stepped up to donate a Barlow.

What we still need is a 28-25 mm eyepiece of some sort, maybe a Kellner or a Plossl. Like the kind that come with most scopes and then you grow out of them and buy Televues. Of course, if anyone has a 15 to offer, that would be good too.

Thanks.

#5 Datapanic

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Posted 31 January 2014 - 12:17 AM

That's really great that you acted on this and even got Celestron to help out as well! A big way to go for Amicus too for providing a the educational material and red LED light.

I hope that someone can come up with a ~26mm eyepiece. If not, I'm sure Stellar Visions in Tucson has something that would work. A low power eyepiece is essential!

#6 amicus sidera

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Posted 31 January 2014 - 07:50 AM

You bet, Dan! A 25mm or 26mm would be perfect. Maybe someone has one of those Meade 25mm Modified Achromats, the one's that they seemed to put on every scope for a while, lying in a drawer somewhere that they'd be willing to part with.

I think what Celestron has done here is wonderful, and speaks volumes about the company; I've never been a big fan, but after this display of goodwill I know where any new telescopes that I purchase will come from.

#7 Dave M

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Posted 31 January 2014 - 09:15 AM

It was Really Great that you both stepped up to help out on this :waytogo: Ralph, Fred :bow:

#8 amicus sidera

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Posted 31 January 2014 - 09:19 AM

Anyone else here on this forum would do the same, Dave; we're about the most open-handed bunch of people you could ask for, if the folks here who've sent me things I've needed (often entirely gratis) are any indication.

Paying' it forward... :)

#9 Al8236

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Posted 31 January 2014 - 09:27 AM

I went and had a rummage through my eyepiece case in the observatory.
I have a Meade 25mm MA that I could send along, PM me!

#10 amicus sidera

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Posted 31 January 2014 - 09:39 AM

That's great, Al! :applause: I knew the forum would come through! That eyepiece would be perfect.

Everything is going through Ralph (rdandrea); if you'd like, just send him a PM to let him know, and he'll reply with his address.



#11 Al8236

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Posted 31 January 2014 - 09:44 AM

O.K. Thanks!

#12 Dave M

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Posted 31 January 2014 - 09:46 AM

Agreed!, Just giving a little credit where credit is due :)

#13 TOM KIEHL

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Posted 31 January 2014 - 10:12 AM

Agreed!, Just giving a little credit where credit is due :)


+ 1..... Glad to see you guy's made something of this.. :waytogo: :applause:

#14 rdandrea

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Posted 31 January 2014 - 10:22 AM

I went and had a rummage through my eyepiece case in the observatory.
I have a Meade 25mm MA that I could send along, PM me!


PM Sent. Thank you very much Al!

#15 Al8236

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Posted 31 January 2014 - 10:43 AM

I'll drop it in the post while my son is in surgery today.
Thank you for letting me be a part of this!

#16 rdandrea

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Posted 31 January 2014 - 10:55 AM

Thank YOU for participating. Good luck and a quick recovery to your son. I think unless someone has an EP between 25 and 9 they want to part with, we're probably good to go. Thanks also to ngc2289 for the Barlow!

#17 starman876

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Posted 31 January 2014 - 11:33 AM

Great bunch of people in this forum. This has been stated over and over again. whatever you do not find I will provide. I have way too much gear anyway.

#18 snork

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Posted 31 January 2014 - 12:32 PM

Great gesture on everyone's part. :)

#19 rdandrea

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Posted 31 January 2014 - 03:59 PM

ngc2289 has just messaged me that he's sending a 15mm eyepiece. I think we're actually good now. Thanks to everyone who offered. We're done!

#20 rdandrea

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Posted 08 February 2014 - 04:48 PM

Just bumping this thread to let everyone know that a package is on its way to young Peyton, the little girl who got half a scope for Christmas. Inside was:
-25mm MA eyepiece
-15mm Kellner eyepiece
-10mm GSO Plossl eyepiece
-2x Barlow
-three red keychain flashlights
-a planisphere
-Edmund Mag 5 Star Atlas
-a small nylon case to hold her eyepieces
-"The Stars: A New Way To See Them" by H.A. Rey
-"Find the Constellations" by H.A. Rey

Thanks to Amicus Sidera, ngc2289, and Al8236 for your contributions, to others who offered stuff, and to my wife for graciously standing in line at the Post Office this morning.

It should be there Monday or Tuesday. Hopefully, we'll win over another convert to our hobby.

I think we're done now.

#21 starman876

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Posted 08 February 2014 - 05:29 PM

That is awesome. :waytogo: :waytogo: :waytogo:

#22 fjs

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Posted 08 February 2014 - 05:51 PM

:waytogo: So cool!






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