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Celestron Service Department?

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#1 Fiske



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Posted 28 October 2005 - 12:41 PM

I had a problem with my C11 last year -- the retaining collar on the primary came loose. I carefully, removed the corrector plate, checked the position of the alignment mark on the back of the primary, snugged the retaining collar back down with a home-made spanner tool making sure not to pinch the primary optic, and then carefully replaced the corrector aligning the etched corrector number with a piece of tape I had previously positioned on the OTA.

Despite all the care, something is wrong with the scope. Even though I've collimated it, and the central obstuction shadow is centered at high magnification, the focus isn't as sharp as before. One side of out-of-focus stars is a tad brighter than the other. And in focus, I can see a slight blur off the side of stars.

Rather than mucking about endlessly with corrector plate positioning, etc., I'm thinking about sending it back to Celestron for service.

Here's the question: do I dare? Can I trust them to fix the problem? There have been a lot of changes at Celestron and a lot of people have left, from what I've heard.

I'd like to hear opinions from folk who have recently had experience with Celestron technical support? Especially people who have returned OTAs.

#2 Rcade


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Posted 28 October 2005 - 01:19 PM

Sorry to hear you are having troubles. I have had nothing but good luck dealing with their repair department. They were fast and made the repaires needed. They packed my mount well and it arrived without damage. This has been in the past 10 months. If it is a warrantee item they may balk since you went into the scope yourself.

Good Luck !!!

#3 Fiske



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Posted 28 October 2005 - 03:03 PM


Thanks for your response. I plucked up my courage and called Celestron (before reading your response, actually).

I talked with John, who was definitely the right guy. He told me that the retaining collar doesn't actually retain anything. It just covers the gap between the mirror and the central baffle tube.

When I explained what the initial problem was with my scope, he said what happened is that the primary mirror had broken loose from the adhesive material that holds it in place (I forgot what he called it) and shifted slightly. He said even moving a millimeter or two is a big deal for this type of scope. When I snugged the collar back down, it didn't fix anything because the mirror had already moved.

He said they need to disassemble the scope, remove all the original adhesive material, and rebed it (this involves spinning it with some sort of laser testing to ensure that it is perfectly centered on the baffle. They'll also clean and recollimate everything.

All this, with the shipping, will amount to about $325. It wasn't under warranty anyway.

John gave me an RMA, and I plan to ship the scope next week.

(I've got plenty of others to use while this one is at the hospital. ;) )

#4 garyc11



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Posted 28 October 2005 - 04:06 PM

john is the man at celestron. the guy has stayed on the phone with me for hours helping me with my scope and talking about stargazing. your scope is in good hands.

#5 davidpitre



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Posted 28 October 2005 - 07:05 PM

Man!!! Compare this to dealing with Meade!
I own a Meade Schmidt C., but when and if I buy ever buy a different SCT I'll go with Celestron if only for the customer service.
Why do we continue to support a company with such universally agreed on pathetic customer service?

#6 Rusty



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Posted 28 October 2005 - 08:33 PM

John's comments are a little odd. I've had my primary off for recoating. It's centered by three equally-spaced felt pads which cover a cork strip, resulting in a very snug fit.

The mirror is further held in place and cushioned by sealing it with RTV rubber. Mine showed [b]no[/] evidence whatsoever of having been "spun"; the RTV was quite unevenly distributed on the back of the mirror, and there's no way it could have been spun, then had the RTV applied. In fact there's no need for it, as the Celestron technique works quite well.

Now I can't say this procedure is for the faint-hearted, especially with a fork-mounted 11, but it's not rocket science either.

Anyway, Fisk, I suspect your mirror somehow got canted in its mount when the collar loosened. Due to the way the mirror is affixed to the focuser bracket, this is quite possible. I'm headed for Chiefland tomorrow, but if you'll PM me, I can walk you through a procedure that might work.

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