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"Junk" Orion SpaceProbe 3"

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14 replies to this topic

#1 BlueTrane2028

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Posted 30 January 2018 - 10:22 PM

So today I was given a 3" Orion SpaceProbe OTA, as in for free.  Came with a basic red dot finder that will probably find a home on a different scope, and what appears to be a 25mm Kellner (it's unlabeled but usable).  Already not a bad deal.  The original tripod was broken and long gone... probably for the best. Nothing like a terrible GEM to make a marginal scope seem far worse.

Well, to make a long story short, I collimated the thing (which was no small feat, the mirror cell is primitive to say the least). After that, I pointed it at the nearly full moon, just holding it free hand against my body.  To my surprise, it resolved a pretty dang decent image. The entire moon fit in the FOV just barely with a 10mm Plossl, and the 25mm EP it came with performed well enough.

So, now I have yet another telescope, which I can basically use like an overgrown binocular.  To make the world's smallest usable Dob out of it or not to is the next question. I'm thinking yes, next time I have scrap wood lying around.

Anyone else find a "junk" scope to be far more useful than expected?


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#2 nirvanix

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Posted 31 January 2018 - 01:18 PM

You need to get a second one and make a real pair of binoculars!

 

I suspect the Orion Spaceprobe is far superior to what's sold in many department stores with their guarantees of 500x. Glad you could get the optics sorted.


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#3 BlueTrane2028

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Posted 31 January 2018 - 02:25 PM

That's not a bad idea!

I also have two 114mm aperture 910mm fL OTAs that are identical except for focuser.  Could do it with those too.

Hmm...



#4 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 31 January 2018 - 04:56 PM

:waytogo: :goodjob:

 

The 3 inch F/9.3 Newtonians are quite good..  

 

Is just the tripod missing or is the entire mount gone? 

 

A set of homemade Wooden legs could make the scope quite usable. 

 

Jon


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#5 starcanoe

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Posted 31 January 2018 - 07:52 PM

I've got one of those 3 inch mirrors from a similar scope. Probably a very old mirror...was unbelievably nasty when I got it...but with a very careful cleaning the coating looks like new.

 

Will make a cute little dob out out of it one day.



#6 skfboiler1

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Posted 01 February 2018 - 01:47 AM

Good find. Put that scope on an Orion Astroview mount with an RA drive and you are good to go.



#7 aeajr

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Posted 01 February 2018 - 05:53 AM

I was given a 3" Tasco reflector when I first got started.   It was no longer wanted.  .965 eyepieces but the images were quite good.  

 

Put that space probe on a mount and use it.   Making a Dob out of it sounds like a good idea.



#8 BlueTrane2028

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Posted 01 February 2018 - 10:52 PM

I was given a 3" Tasco reflector when I first got started.   It was no longer wanted.  .965 eyepieces but the images were quite good.  

 

Put that space probe on a mount and use it.   Making a Dob out of it sounds like a good idea.

This one has a 1.25" focuser, so I can use all my EPs with it.

Being as it was free, I'm definitely not dropping a couple hundred on a mount.  I might see if I can get the EQ mount that came with my Meade 114mm to work with it... I just know nothing about EQ mounts and it's been abused.  I know I'd need one slow motion control knob at minimum.


Edited by BlueTrane2028, 01 February 2018 - 10:53 PM.


#9 ghostboo

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Posted 01 February 2018 - 11:44 PM

Just imagine if Galileo had that exact scope! I often think of that when I'm out with my small refractors. I think he would have been delighted to have my Orion ST80 and a couple EP's out of my junk drawer.


Edited by ghostboo, 01 February 2018 - 11:47 PM.

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#10 BlueTrane2028

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Posted 02 February 2018 - 12:45 PM

We are definitely spoiled in this age of being able to get telescopes shipped to our doors that once upon a time were restricted to the realm of a dedicated observatory, and affordable by the masses.

I'm thankful for all of it, which is a large part of why I said yes to this little guy.  I don't know how regularly it will collect photons, but it can definitely serve a good purpose.


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#11 aeajr

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Posted 02 February 2018 - 01:31 PM

Make a Dob!  Make a Dob!  bounce.gif


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#12 BlueTrane2028

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Posted 02 February 2018 - 11:09 PM

Another minidob is the definite direction, I’ll do it next time I have scrap plywood.
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#13 BlueTrane2028

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Posted 10 August 2018 - 10:15 AM

I'll take a pic eventually, but a 3" mini-dob has been made.

Used an 18" length of 1" black iron pipe, two floor flanges and a street elbow.  Made a box to fit around the OTA to hold it and to bolt to one of the flanges, bolted the whole affair to a circle of wood I bought at Lowe's.

Black pipe is way too much money, so I'm in it a few bucks more than I had hoped to be... but the little scope has already proved itself to be decent.  The mount needs a little work yet but it's not shaky which is obviously good.  Optically, it may be that my eyes are good, or it may be that I know it's there... but I swear I could see the Cassini division (barely) and some surface banding on Saturn with a 6mm Expanse eyepiece in this thing.  It's clearly not a deep sky scope, but it's plenty fine as a quick grab.

I'm not sure what role it will play in my collection (since I have other quick grabs), but it's now completely usable.


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#14 aeajr

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Posted 10 August 2018 - 12:20 PM

Looking forward to your photo.



#15 BlueTrane2028

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Posted 10 August 2018 - 10:36 PM

I won't be winning awards at Stellaphane or anything, but functional has its own beauty.

29034203387_bdafab6cd6_o.jpg


Edited by BlueTrane2028, 10 August 2018 - 10:39 PM.

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