There is another interesting thread on the orange version here. However, I thought this one might also help someone in the future. While the orange version is a gorgeous-looking showpiece, mine is a project...hopefully a worthy one.
Bought this, and probably overpaid, but the seller was a good guy and drove around an hour to meet me. He had advertised it as being in need of work, with the primary (no pun, you will see further down, intended) issue being inability to reach focus. When I met with him, he was correct. NO image was visible through the 26mm ep. All that I could see was a whitish blur. When I removed the ep, I could see reflections of objects in the distance, so I was confused. Regardless, even though there was quite a bit of rust, typical slop in the Polaris mount controls, and only one ep, I bought it. I was banking on the hope that the biggest issue could be solved relatively simply. The seller said he had used it until he disassembled to clean the mirror.
When I got home, I shined a flashlight onto the mirror for a more thorough inspection. I had initially passed off the weird look of the mirror to what looked like smeared dirt and bad lighting. When I took a closer look, I was really worried that it was a ruined mirror. While I could see my reflection, get nice bouncing light, and see the primary mirror when looking through the empty ep holder into the secondary, I could not get anything significant with the ep in place. I started to suspect that the mirror was in backwards.
I took the cell out of the tube, and was pretty certain that was the issue. Anyone with ANY kind of experience would have probably recognized the issue right away, but I did not. Sure enough, as I lifted the mirror out of the cell, I found that it had been put in with the mirror facing the cell. LOL.
I would have felt bad about paying $80 for the whole kit, and realizing the problem was that simple, BUT there is a significant (in my opinion) amount of work needed, for this scope to be up and running well. Cosmetically, it should be ok. The focuser/focuser knob, slo-mo controls, mount locks, etc, need some real help. The mirror looks like it will be "ok", but REALLY dirty. I am hoping that it is not permanently stained. The secondary has a variety of sleeks. But, who doesn't like a project?
This will be slow-going, just like everything I seem to attempt. But, I thought I would start the thread to get a few questions answered, and ultimately help anyone else that tries to cobble one of these back to life. I have had a few newts in the couple of years I have been into this hobby. However, I never seemed to get the hang of getting the secondary into the right spot.
1. When reassembling, what is the best way to get the secondary in place, relative to the focuser/ep? Doesn't it need to be properly squared away before trying to actually collimate the thing?
2. Is the mount something that should be disassembled completely, cleaned, and reassembled? There is a ton of slop in the locks and the controls.
3. The declination control knob was moved onto the opposite side right ascension shaft??? Not sure why. I was going to move it back to the correct location, but discovered that the shaft to clamp onto (where the long flexible shaft with the big silver weight/knob is now) is a bigger diameter. Am I confused? Shouldn't the longer control knob slip on there? I do not see why there would have originally been two knobs for the RA control.
I will have more, but that is it for now.