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Telescope service and refurbishment

equipment reflector Orion optics
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#1 TJO


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Posted 19 November 2019 - 12:46 PM


New member as of today. I have recovered my Orion 120 mm reflector from  my brother's backyard. It's been covered and under the porch the entire time but want to find a company that may clean, service and get the scope back up to speed. I live in the San Francisco Bay area and would love any input!


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#2 Gary Z

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Posted 19 November 2019 - 12:54 PM

Welcome TJO, You may want  to seek advice from an astronomy club near you and see who they would recommend.  In fact, someone in the club could even be able to do this or assist you.  I  know you said you recovered it.  Was the scope covered?  What do you see?  Can you provide any pictures detailing your concerns? 


The Orion 120mm scope, i believe you might be referring to is a refractor telescope.  Just so you are aware, depending on what needs to be done, it may be easier to purchase a new scope.  Orion sells a 120mm refractor that sells for $249.00. Is this your scope? : https://www.telescop...s?keyword=120mm refractor



#3 barbarosa



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Posted 19 November 2019 - 01:34 PM

AFAIK there is only one telescope specialist dealer in the Bay Area and that is Orion. I do not know whether they offer any after sale/out of warranty service. You should give them a call.


You may not need a professional service. If the scope was dry and there is only minor or no sign of corrosion of the metal parts you might want to carefully clean the front glass, the objective. There are many suggested methods and cleaning solutions you can find on CN, they all work. What you want to avoid is rubbing the lens which may trap grit and scratch the lens. If the lens is very dusty start with a squeeze bulb blower, not canned "air" and then let whatever solution you use do the the work. Don't over think it. Lens coatings are tough.


Any other glass left with or on the scope, an eyepiece or diagonal may also require cleaning, although if they were installed and capped they may be just fine.


With the objective clean you can evaluate or send photos here for other comment, any other problems you see. Mold is a possibility, it can etch the glass (which cannot be undone but maybe minor and not visible when the scope is in use) and it requires a different cleaning method.


I once picked up a small refractor that had been stored for several years in a damp and rusting metal shed.  Many of the metal parts were pitted and some of the screws were EOL from rust. The objective had a thick film of dust and who knows what, all of which came off using Kleenex and Windex (gasp but with care it works). Rusty screws were replaced,  and the pitted metal was smoothed and waxed and left pretty much as found to indicate vintage. Optically is was a good as when new and it found a new home with a teacher collecting scopes for an astronomy unit.

Edited by barbarosa, 19 November 2019 - 01:50 PM.

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#4 zakry3323


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Posted 19 November 2019 - 01:35 PM

I'll second Gary's advice. It may not be worth it to have it serviced professionally, but there is a lot that you can do yourself or with some assistance depending on its condition. Please post some pics! 

#5 sg6



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Posted 19 November 2019 - 01:41 PM

Big point is the lens - is it clean?

You can remove the focuser and take it apart - I have just done it to one of mine. I sort of had to as I could figure out how it worked and so make adjustments.


Flocking/blackening the inside of the tube is unknown and you could I suspect manage that.


So the big one is that front lens and the state of it.


If a cemented doublet then could be easy = take cell out clean both sides and replace.

If separated doublet bit more involved and could be best if someone with some experience did it. Mainly it is making sure that what come out goes back in as it came out.


As above maybe wander along to a club and ask.


I would do it myself, but worked as an optical engineer for 5 years so not overly scared about the described scope. I would hesitate if it were a triplet or good ED. Just not so easy to get the lens back to ideal/optimum locations. But at least it would be me doing whatever to my own scope.


Have met people who say "I can do that" then I find they are not sure what a lens even is.


As said check the lens. If just rear and front faces are mucky they can be cleaned easily - spray with a cleaner to soften the crud first. Then lots of tissues and cleaner.


Focuser do that yourself. Not difficult and you will find out how the thing works and adjusts - I do not like mine. Just seems odd.


Inside the tube is likely to be a couple of long handles brushes and eventually some matt black paint.

Before any paint remove the lens cell !!!!

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