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Classic.965 to 1.25 adapter. Hobby killer?

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#1 b_bafford

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Posted 03 February 2021 - 11:42 PM

I have a scope that my friend left to me after his passing. It’s total junk and very old. We used it in the early 2000’s. It is very similar to a Meade model 227 refractor but I have no clue what it is right now. Back then my friends were consistently underwhelmed at my giddiness of Andromeda through a .965. eyepiece.
With the rise of YouTube I realize this scope for them was a hobby killer. Well it’s a long story however I own the scope but have no pictures or access to it. I will retrieve it this summer. I want to pass it to his nephew because I want to honor my friend and I have no use for it.
My plans are to put a .965 to 1.25 diagonal in it and a Svbony 8-24mm zoom and give it to this 9 year old kid. Then of course share an evening showing him how to use it, giving him a copy of the latest Astronomy magazine and showing him a few constellations. Any flaws in this plan? Any tips on improving this experience? The cost of this is to be kept as low as possible, please keep that in mind. Thank you in advance.
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#2 ovgjr

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Posted 04 February 2021 - 12:05 AM

No flaws, I think you're doing a wonderful thing for your nephew. I'm assuming you are referring to an old 60mm long focal acromat refractor. I don't consider these junk at all. He may like astronomy and treasure that old scope.


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#3 Richard O'Neill

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Posted 04 February 2021 - 12:07 AM

 He is rather young so be sure to teach him how to care for it. Good luck, you will have planted a seed.


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#4 ngc7319_20

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Posted 04 February 2021 - 12:21 AM

Couple thoughts:

 

Overall good plan!

 

Sometimes the little locking thumb screws on the telescope focuser won't hold much weight.  The diagonal alone is probably OK.  I'm less sure about the diagonal + zoom.  Need to make sure it doesn't try to slide out or rotate down.  Just check it first time you set it up.  If its an issue, sometimes plastic thumbscrews actually hold better... one source...

http://www.scopestuff.com/ss_scast.htm

http://www.scopestuff.com/ss_nscr2.htm

 

Maybe add some binoculars to the package if he has none?  Will help in finding stuff.  One idea...

https://oberwerk.com...ght-binoculars/

 

Phone app like Sky Safari Plus (if has phone) can be a big help identifying stuff, finding planets and satellites, etc.



#5 wrvond

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Posted 04 February 2021 - 01:23 AM

I have a scope that my friend left to me after his passing. It’s total junk and very old. We used it in the early 2000’s. It is very similar to a Meade model 227 refractor but I have no clue what it is right now. Back then my friends were consistently underwhelmed at my giddiness of Andromeda through a .965. eyepiece.
With the rise of YouTube I realize this scope for them was a hobby killer. Well it’s a long story however I own the scope but have no pictures or access to it. I will retrieve it this summer. I want to pass it to his nephew because I want to honor my friend and I have no use for it.
My plans are to put a .965 to 1.25 diagonal in it and a Svbony 8-24mm zoom and give it to this 9 year old kid. Then of course share an evening showing him how to use it, giving him a copy of the latest Astronomy magazine and showing him a few constellations. Any flaws in this plan? Any tips on improving this experience? The cost of this is to be kept as low as possible, please keep that in mind. Thank you in advance.

When you go to use it, the mount is going to be very shaky. Ensure the wing nuts at the hub are tight, keep the legs retracted, and hang a jug of water from the bottom of the mount. This will make it about as steady as you get it.

If you have an iPhone you can install Celestron’s SkyPortal or Stellarium  for free. I imagine there is something similar for Android.


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#6 b_bafford

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Posted 04 February 2021 - 12:12 PM

Thanks for the replies, the water jug thing is a charmingly obvious old trick that I’m pretty happy to hear about. The scope itself is possibly a 60mm, may or may not be actual junk, might be really great. I guess we will find out. The reason for the zoom lens is to show the young lad the various abilities of scopes, you have all gotten me centered in my plans and excitement is starting to build. Thank you.

#7 wrvond

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Posted 04 February 2021 - 02:12 PM

Thanks for the replies, the water jug thing is a charmingly obvious old trick that I’m pretty happy to hear about. The scope itself is possibly a 60mm, may or may not be actual junk, might be really great. I guess we will find out. The reason for the zoom lens is to show the young lad the various abilities of scopes, you have all gotten me centered in my plans and excitement is starting to build. Thank you.

I hesitate to call any telescope "junk" as long as a person can get a magnified view of celestial objects. Some are harder to use than others, or have more limitations than others, but all have their uses. If the one you have serves as an inexpensive introduction to a world of wonder, then I think it's far from junk.

 

Good luck!


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#8 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 04 February 2021 - 03:12 PM

I hesitate to call any telescope "junk" as long as a person can get a magnified view of celestial objects. Some are harder to use than others, or have more limitations than others, but all have their uses. If the one you have serves as an inexpensive introduction to a world of wonder, then I think it's far from junk.

 

Good luck!

 

I'm also very hesitant to call any telescope a hobby killer.  If a telescope can kill this hobby, the spirit and spark would have been killed by the numerous obstacles and hardships one experiences using the most perfect telescope..

 

Cold, hot, cloudy, windy, dew, mosquitoes, sleeplessness, disappointment and frustration.. 

 

That said, hybrid diagonals are a good thing..

 

Jon


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#9 jgraham

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Posted 04 February 2021 - 08:21 PM

Like many, I started with a small refractor on a simple mount when I was very young and I loved every minute of it. 58 years later I have refurbed many olde small refractors on simple mounts and I see a common theme; they are hard to point because they lack a useable finder and they are hard to look through because they lack a decent eyepiece. If the scope has an effective means of pointing it, even a simple sighting tube, and a decent low power eyepiece these are wonderful scopes. I would encourage a youngster to point the scope at any bright object they can find; stars, planets, and the moon, and they will be off to a fine start. The rest will come with time and experience.

 

I had a simple 60mm f/11.7 refractor on a lightweight altaz mount out last night fitted with a stock 25mm Kelner giving 28x and it was an absolute pleasure. True, it vibrated like a tuning fork when I touched it, but if I waited a few seconds to let it settle the image was sharp giving a wonderful view of the Pleiades and M42 and the Trapezium. I went on and hit a few favorites including M41, M44, and Sirius, and Sigma Orionis. I can’t wait for it to turn warm!

 

Enjoy the little things. :)


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#10 b_bafford

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Posted 05 February 2021 - 04:52 AM

I’m eager for warmth as well, but I’m getting good at bundling up. My beginning with telescopes was with the one that I am tuning up then giving to this kid. It is a good point that they can be hard to aim, a cheap red dot finder should fix that (bonus, red dots for his age group should be like red lasers for kittens). I remember the first time I discovered the double cluster, I saw it in the sky and didn’t know if it was worth a look but figured I’d try. I pointed at it with my finder scope and then went to the eyepiece. Expecting the need to adjust a little to bring the target in sight I was not ready for what I was seeing. The double cluster at 66x staring right back at me. Pretty awesome experience. I hope he gets it. He’s a very bright kid, always on his tablet doing the Minecraft. Very smart just like his uncle. I hope this can direct his curiosity in a productive manner. Also I don’t believe many of these products are junk scopes or hobby killers, however my old scope that I sometimes still use is called those all over the internet. I’m a exotic car mechanic so naturally a tinkerer. My Celestron 127EQ is a delight for me. Most complain about collimating but with my Cheshire collimater I get very precise collimation. I can understand the frustration of people who can’t use their lasers because of the Jones Bird built in lens but that’s never slowed me down and I even like the uniqueness of the thing. Thankfully not a hobby killer but possibly a junk scope. Junk in the right hands can be a goldmine.
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#11 starman876

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Posted 05 February 2021 - 01:23 PM

do not forget there are many wonderful .965 eyepieces available.  They are not cheap, but companies like Zeiss, Tak, Nikon and others while expensive made many great .965" eyepieces which are still cherished today.


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#12 Terra Nova

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Posted 06 February 2021 - 01:08 PM

do not forget there are many wonderful .965 eyepieces available.  They are not cheap, but companies like Zeiss, Tak, Nikon and others while expensive made many great .965" eyepieces which are still cherished today.

I love my set good old circle T volcanic tops with my Takahashi FC-76 outfitted with its 1.25” Tak prism star diagonal, and I love my set of 0.965” circle T and circle V flat-tops with my FC-60 and it’ 0.965” Tak prism star diagonal. Both include the same range: 25mm, 18mm, 12.5mm, 9mm, 7mm, 6mm, 5mm, and 4mm. Both sets work great respectively, and are each well suited for the size of the scope.


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#13 BigC

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Posted 11 February 2021 - 02:54 PM

Oddly enough some of my thrift scopes manufactured in the 80s ,90s? actually have 1.25" focuser but were sold with a sleeve reducer and low-end .965 eyepieces. It might pay to check the focuser and diagonal for such an insert.

 

The plastic focuser of many inexpensive common scopes flex too much with heavy eyepieces so simple lightweight MA eyepieces are preferable.



#14 vahe

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Posted 12 February 2021 - 09:32 AM

do not forget there are many wonderful .965 eyepieces available.  They are not cheap, but companies like Zeiss, Tak, Nikon and others while expensive made many great .965" eyepieces which are still cherished today.

 

Here are my .965 eyepieces, Pentax SMC Ortho's 6, 7, 9, 12 & 18mm, performance is about as good as it gets.

.

Vahe

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#15 PETER DREW

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Posted 13 February 2021 - 08:19 AM

I have a stock of wide angle binocular eyepieces.  Everyone that brings in a .96 fit small telescope for fixing gets one of these.  Transforms the view through the telescope. 


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#16 Marc-Andre

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Posted 13 February 2021 - 10:34 AM

A guide book would also help.  Links to astronomy guide books on Amazon.

 

Turn Left At Orion

 

Exploring the Night Sky with Binoculars

 

Starwatch: A Month-by-Month Guide to the Night Sky

 

The Illustrated Guide to the Night Sky: Identify the Key Stars and Constellations with a Special Planisphere

 

The Star Guide: Learn How To Read The Night Sky Star By Star



#17 b_bafford

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Posted 13 February 2021 - 08:02 PM

A guide book would also help. Links to astronomy guide books on Amazon.

Turn Left At Orion

Exploring the Night Sky with Binoculars

Starwatch: A Month-by-Month Guide to the Night Sky

The Illustrated Guide to the Night Sky: Identify the Key Stars and Constellations with a Special Planisphere

The Star Guide: Learn How To Read The Night Sky Star By Star



#18 b_bafford

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Posted 13 February 2021 - 08:06 PM

Astronomy magazine was enough for me years ago and I believe being somewhat limited to finding constellations at first is a good practice. However many of those books you mentioned have been on my radar for awhile, “Left turn at Orion” in particular. Have you read these books and (if so) which one do you recommend most?
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#19 Bomber Bob

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Posted 14 February 2021 - 09:48 AM

I have a stock of wide angle binocular eyepieces.  Everyone that brings in a .96 fit small telescope for fixing gets one of these.  Transforms the view through the telescope. 

I have a couple of converted bino eyepieces that I bought right here on CN from Sheldon [MASILMW] -- 1.25" barrels, Kellner or Plossl designs.  These are fine for low power.  He also sells some NOS and used .965" eyepieces and other accessories.

 

And, don't forget the better quality microscope eyepieces.  Many of these have 23.2 mm barrels, so all it takes is cutting & shaping a piece of paper towel tubing as a bushing for .965" focusers.  I use a 1970s Bausch & Lomb 25mm Wide Field often -- generous eye relief.  (Years ago, there was a vendor who sold a thin brass bushing, but I can't find that link or info.)


Edited by Bomber Bob, 14 February 2021 - 09:49 AM.


#20 CHASLX200

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Posted 14 February 2021 - 09:49 AM

Hobby saver if you ask me. I never liked .965 OD" stuff.



#21 Marc-Andre

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Posted 14 February 2021 - 07:55 PM

Astronomy magazine was enough for me years ago and I believe being somewhat limited to finding constellations at first is a good practice. However many of those books you mentioned have been on my radar for awhile, “Left turn at Orion” in particular. Have you read these books and (if so) which one do you recommend most?

I won "Turn Left at Orion" in a raffle and though I've not read it front to back , I find it to be a good reference with sketches showing what is seen in a small refractor or cat telescope, and a 8"-10" dob.

 

I also have "The Star Guide" found for $5 in a yard sale, which I also like as a reference. It has a planisphere.

 

A nine year old may be young for either, but would learn a lot and grow into them if interested.

 

I also have night sky for Binoculars which serves its purpose.

 

I have the others saved on Amazon's wish list should I have $ to spend for books someday.

 

I've not gotten "Astronomy" in years, but do like "Sky & Telescope" for the "Observing" section.


Edited by Marc-Andre, 14 February 2021 - 07:57 PM.


#22 DeWayne

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Posted 19 February 2021 - 02:35 PM

Someone in CN Classifieds apparently has a slew of Parks .965 to 1.25 hybrid diagonals NOS at a good price.  I have one of these also and find it to be really excellent.  I like being able to easily swap between .965 and 1.25 eyepieces on my 60mm f/15 refractor.  Might be worth considering as part of your upgrade.  Good luck -- sounds like a worthy and fun project!


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#23 starman876

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Posted 19 February 2021 - 03:20 PM

Some years ago I was talking with Markus Ludes about eyepieces.  I mentioned I wanted some good eyepieces. but none of the .965 junk.  Boy, did I get an earful about .965 eyepieces.   Never again after that have I said anything bad about .965 eyepieces.  


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#24 Bomber Bob

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Posted 19 February 2021 - 04:37 PM

Ol' BB will straighten y'all out on .965" accessories:

 

- I tried using the bundled stuff with my 1978 Tasco (Towa) back when it was all new, and found them wanting -- and limiting the objective's potential.  That's why I bought Meade (Tani) 1.25" Series 2 MA's & RG OR's.

 

- Finding brand new .965" stuff ain't easy!  Over the years, I have found a few vendors in Germany & Japan that still sell new / NOS .965" accessories.  Here on CN, Sheldon [MASILMW] occasionally gets used high-quality .965" accessories.  On eBay, shikom_24 has quality used .965" stuff more regularly, and at reasonable prices.

 

- Used quality .965" stuff can be just as expensive as used quality 1.25" stuff.  I bought my spectros .965" (& 35mm barrel) eyepieces as a set, but individually, each one was almost as much as a used TV Nagler or Radian.  Only the used Tak, Zeiss & rarer Pentax .965" eyepieces are higher than my spectros Kellners & Plossls. IOW:  No cheap or free lunch at this smaller size -- dang it!

 

- Truth:  Optically, my NOS .965" Tak prism diagonal is as good as my brand new LSS Tak 1.25" prism diagonal.  BOTH give better high-power & high-resolution views than my Baader 1.25" prism diagonal -- BUT, it's not the CZJ version, which is even better than the Baader, based on reports by CN owners.

 

- Would this old tightwad spend $$$ on quality accessories for a Towa 60mm or 80mm F15 refractor?  Assuming it's undamaged, and star tests are good... Yes!  Upgrading the stuff on my Towa 43 years ago was definitely worth it back then; and, I still have that high-quality Tani diagonal today.

 

- Based on owner reports, there are better-quality hybrid .965" / 1.25" diagonals available today than the couple I tried years ago.  If I had no other options, I'd try one of the recommended models myself.


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#25 Marc-Andre

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Posted 26 February 2021 - 08:21 PM

Astronomy magazine was enough for me years ago and I believe being somewhat limited to finding constellations at first is a good practice. However many of those books you mentioned have been on my radar for awhile, “Left turn at Orion” in particular. Have you read these books and (if so) which one do you recommend most?

I don't know why I forgot about this book.  I got it for a great nephew and one for grandsons.  It's only 75 pages.  The link lets you preview several pages.

 

Link


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