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OneSky Newtonian - Astronomers without borders

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#1 jlandy

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Posted 23 May 2014 - 07:59 PM

I was recently gifted the Astronomers without Boarders 5" Newtonian. It is my first telescope, right out of the box with minor setup I was already seeing Jupiter, her moons, mars, and Saturn's rings.

I have since upgraded it slightly to be more user friendly, it occurred to me that other beginners might be looking to make similar modifications- I thought here might be a good place to document my adventures

I have upgraded the mount to an inexpensive altazinuthal tripod, bought some eyepieces, and beginning to dabble in taking pictures

If the moderators don't object I'll continue to post updates of upgrades and pictures as they come. In excited to start this hobby, I welcome any and all ideas!

-J

#2 jlandy

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Posted 23 May 2014 - 08:33 PM

Collimation was rather easy, for some reason reviews online have said the instructions were not at all helpful - there are 6 screws; 3 fat, 3 tall (first picture), looking through the collimator you turn the fat screws to push the mirror to center through the eyepiece by putting the little dot marked on the mirror in the big dot of the collimator (pictures 1 and 2). I did this just by pointing the scope at a well lit wall. I'm sure there are fancier ways to do this with more expensive equipment, but so far i dont think there have been any issues. Once the mirror is aligned, tighten the tall screws to lock her into place. Time to look at the sky!

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#3 jlandy

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Posted 23 May 2014 - 08:52 PM

picture 2 - not collimated

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#4 jlandy

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Posted 23 May 2014 - 08:52 PM

picture 3 - collimated

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#5 jlandy

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Posted 23 May 2014 - 09:28 PM

The "dobsonian" mount provided with the scope works very well. The bearings are smooth and there really isn't any unfairness to cause any wobble. It was very easy to simply pick a target and look at it - I kinda stumbled on Saturn, I never thought a small telescope like this would be able to show her rings.

My problem was my only place to put the mount was on a very shaky picnic table. I bought this - http://www.celestron...-tripods/tripod,-heavy-duty-alt-azimuth - knowing I could use the existing 1/4-20 mounting hole, which brought me to my only complaint with the telescope. The mounting hole on the dovetail is on the wrong end.

Using the existing mounting hole, the scope is too far back on the altazimuthal mount (i think they placed the hole on the geometric center, not the center of mass), which lets gravity kick in and point the scope straight up (first picture)

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#6 jlandy

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Posted 23 May 2014 - 09:31 PM

Fixing the problem was very easy. You only need a drill, #7 drill bit, and a 1/4-20 drill tap which you can buy at sears for $5. The hole on the left of the picture is the original mounting hole. Not knowing where i would have to mount it i tapped the center and the right holes (both work for balancing the telescope)

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#7 jlandy

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Posted 23 May 2014 - 09:37 PM

The telescope comes with a 25mm and a 10mm plossl eyepiece. Like all beginners the first thing I did was look at the moon. It happened to be nearly full that night, I held up my junk Moto X cellphone camera and took a shot - I think it turned out pretty good!

This was the 10mm eyepiece, 130mm newtonian f/5 telescope using a Moto X cellphone which tells me the picture was 4.5mm focal length, no flash, 2.4 aperture, 1/99 exposure time, ISO 160

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#8 AngryHandyman

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Posted 23 May 2014 - 11:08 PM

Nice work! Thanks for sharing.

#9 jlandy

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Posted 23 May 2014 - 11:33 PM

Thanks! I just figured out how to get a DSLR focused on my small Newtonian, going to document my failures and post some pictures hopefully soon... Upset that tonight's new meteor shower is covered by by new England weather

#10 SteveG

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Posted 24 May 2014 - 05:23 PM

This is a fantastic little scope. I have the Bushnell version sold a few years ago named Ares 5 ($140). I'm amazed at the quality of view this little 5" scope puts up. Here is a list of my mod's & accessories used with this scope:

Use heavy grease on the focuser threads. I used some wheel bearing grease, and it really improves the feel and removes some of the focuser sloppiness.

Get a 13mm Nagler Type 6. The eyepiece was made for this scope. I can use it all night with just this eyepiece!

I added a Synta dovetail shoe to allow me to use my various finders. I removed the RDF base which is non-standard. I don't like bending down to look through an RDF, so I usually just use my laser - quick and simple.

I agree the dob mount is limiting, and I've placed mine on a Vixen Porta II mount, which utilizes the dovetail mounting rail.

Build a light shield for the open truss. The factory shield is far too small. I purchased some Krydex black plastic from Scopestuff, and rolled it into a tube shape to fit inside the tube. I used rivets and a cheap rivet gun to close the tube, and 2 more to attach the rolled tube to the black plastic light shield on the scope. This took careful measuring, and to get the plastic inside the tube requires removal of the upper tube ring. I used black gaffers tape to cover the seams (inside and outside), and a hole saw to cut the round focuser hole. It came out pretty slick, and the scope is far more functional now.

I'll post some pic's starting with this:

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#11 SteveG

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Posted 24 May 2014 - 05:23 PM

Tube retracted:

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#12 SteveG

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Posted 24 May 2014 - 05:24 PM

Extended:

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#13 SteveG

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Posted 24 May 2014 - 05:25 PM

rivets on back side:

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#14 SteveG

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Posted 24 May 2014 - 05:26 PM

Inside the tube:

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#15 SteveG

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Posted 24 May 2014 - 05:26 PM

Focuser hole:

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#16 AngryHandyman

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Posted 24 May 2014 - 07:53 PM

Looks great, the custom light shield is terrific and fits beautifully! Thanks for the pics.

#17 BSJ

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Posted 24 May 2014 - 07:59 PM

The only "female" planet is Venus.

The rest are named for "male" deities.

#18 jlandy

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Posted 25 May 2014 - 08:31 AM

I really like the idea of greasing the focuser, i'm definitely going to try that shroud idea too. Thanks for the suggestions!

#19 Alan French

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Posted 25 May 2014 - 10:27 AM

The looseness of the focuser is annoying, but I am not sure grease close to hands and eyepiece optics is the best solution.

Clear skies, Alan

#20 gene 4181

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Posted 25 May 2014 - 10:48 AM

The looseness of the focuser is annoying, but I am not sure grease close to hands and eyepiece optics is the best solution.

Clear skies, Alan

try wrapping the focuser tube threads with 2 wraps of teflon pipe tape. it will probably come off slowly, but won't mar eyepieces .

#21 SteveG

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Posted 25 May 2014 - 02:38 PM

The looseness of the focuser is annoying, but I am not sure grease close to hands and eyepiece optics is the best solution.

Clear skies, Alan


Avoiding the threads has been easy, and the grease dramatically improved the performance and feel of the focuser.

#22 Alan French

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Posted 25 May 2014 - 04:56 PM

The looseness of the focuser is annoying, but I am not sure grease close to hands and eyepiece optics is the best solution.

Clear skies, Alan


Avoiding the threads has been easy, and the grease dramatically improved the performance and feel of the focuser.


I'd never remember. Safer not to have grease where I can get at it.

Clear skies, Alan

#23 DocFinance

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Posted 25 May 2014 - 05:06 PM

I agree about grease. My C80 has too much grease on the focuser and it's been a pain.

#24 jlandy

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Posted 25 May 2014 - 08:15 PM

I greased the threads, what a great difference in feel. I have been focusing using the tightening screws to avoid getting grease on my fingers

#25 SteveG

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Posted 26 May 2014 - 02:29 PM

I greased the threads, what a great difference in feel. I have been focusing using the tightening screws to avoid getting grease on my fingers


Yes - it really makes a nice difference with this focuser. Good job, and enjoy!






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