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Cleaning "new" used telescope.

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#1 jrussell

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Posted 30 July 2021 - 10:42 PM

Tonight I finally started a bit of diassembly on the Celestron Firstscope 114 I bought used. I could tell the primary mirror needed attention when I first got it. I thought there was a chip and stress crack in it, but removed the primary cell and found it was just some debris. The mirror however, was filthy. I put it back until I was going to be ready to give it more attention, and will be cleaning it tomorrow. One thing I had noticed previously though was the inside of the tube at the open end. I'm guessing it might be a bit of rust?  Since I'm already doing diassembly I was thinking I'd take care of that too. Would giving it a good coat of flat black Rustoleum be good enough? I'm not looking to pour a lot of money into this, but I do want it to be as useable as possible. Anything else I should be checking other than the focuser?

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#2 ram812

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Posted 30 July 2021 - 11:29 PM

Hello!
If you can successfully remove the scale/rust from inside the OTA, then yes, a really flat black spray will help lots and maybe mitigate future rust. Also, while you're at it, paint any screw heads, nuts and bolts that may cause internal reflections from all the light that's going to be bouncing around in there while out under the stars😁!
OTOH, the primary mirror really does need a good cleaning, and in fact pulling the secondary mirror at the front of the tube will make things a ton easier ( Obviously😉) when it comes time to paint, cleaning it at the same time. Keep your hardware separate for each component to prevent mixing up.
One thing I noticed, although it's hard to tell due to all the mung on the primary mirror is it really needs a center spot...pretty important when you get it all re-assembled as both primary and secondary mirrors need to be properly aligned to achieve maximum light transfer to the eyepiece. The focus tube itself will need to be aligned (Maybe)...it all works together to give you the cleanest image possible. There are lots of threads here on CN to look up for collimating, or aligning all the parts after final assembly. On a side note, spotting the primary with a donut sticker can be done easily by finding the exact center through measuring or using a template. Or, if you have an old 33 or 45rpm record turner of days gone by, setting the mirror on it and center, spin up the mirror and using a fine paint brush and steady hand (I've only observed this method) a painted ring will do just fine.
There are sooo many resources here to accomplish your mission. Great find and I wish you luck😁!
CS, Ralph
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#3 Sky Muse

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Posted 30 July 2021 - 11:39 PM

You can remove everything from the tube, wash the inside of the tube and dry it immediately afterwards(you can do some scrubbing if needed), mask all holes, then mask the outside with a plastic trash-bag and blue painters' tape...

 

interior glossing.jpg   

 

Then you're ready to paint.  I use Rust-Oleum's chalkboard-black...

 

blackening supplies2.jpg

 

I also spray the paint into a plastic lid, and for the shiny parts...

 

secondary assembly8.jpg

 

knobs4.jpg

 

I paint, or flock, from fore to aft on the inside of the telescope, every square millimeter, including the inside of the focusser's draw-tube; any place where an object's light passes by or through.


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#4 ram812

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Posted 30 July 2021 - 11:56 PM

By the way, welcome to Cloudy Nightswelcome.gif

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#5 jrussell

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Posted 03 August 2021 - 10:44 AM

Didn't quite make the progress I'd hoped over the weekend (stupid adulting). I did get the mirrors cleaned and the primary center dotted at least.

IMG_20210801_174107016.jpg

 

The secondary wasn't too bad, but after I removed it I did notice on the edge in a couple of places the reflective surface had flaked off. I don't think it's enough to be worried about though. Everything's been removed from the tube and I cleaned the inside. I still need to hit the rust spots with some sandpaper and mask it so I can get it painted.

 

Sky Muse, I noticed you painted the sides of the secondary mirror in the pics you posted, did you do the same on the primary?

 

I need to pay some attention to the mount too at some point. Mainly just a bit of rust on a couple of threads here and there. Would really like to have this done in the next week or so, but I'm sure something will pop up to impede my progress lol.


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#6 teashea

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Posted 03 August 2021 - 07:44 PM

It is a good project.  Seems that you are approaching it correctly.


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#7 jrussell

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Posted 09 August 2021 - 09:52 AM

I was able to make some more progress over the weekend. Sanded off the rust spots in the tube and got it painted with chalkboard paint along with screws, secondary mirror vane, etc. Remounted mirrors and got everything put back together, put it on the mount/tripod and took it outside to collimate the mirrors. Of course the secondary was WAY off. I futzed and fiddled and adjusted, it looked right, well, no just a little off here, no that's not right... eventually got everything way out of whack and decided to stop before frustration lead to anger.

 

Went back to it after a couple of hours and think I got everything aligned correctly although I'm not certain of it. Was going to try and take it out last night for a test spin but it was too windy. So I'm going to have to wait and see how it is tonight and hopefully I can get it out for either a bit of viewing, or confirming that something is still out of whack.

 

Once I've got the OTA where I need it to be I really do need to give the tripod and mount attention. With it out in the sunlight I saw a bit more rust on some of the threaded parts than I had before.


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#8 Polyphemos

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Posted 09 August 2021 - 12:47 PM

I really enjoy fixing and returning forlorn telescopes to service, and watching others do is nearly as much.  Bravo!


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#9 SteveG

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Posted 09 August 2021 - 01:16 PM

I was able to make some more progress over the weekend. Sanded off the rust spots in the tube and got it painted with chalkboard paint along with screws, secondary mirror vane, etc. Remounted mirrors and got everything put back together, put it on the mount/tripod and took it outside to collimate the mirrors. Of course the secondary was WAY off. I futzed and fiddled and adjusted, it looked right, well, no just a little off here, no that's not right... eventually got everything way out of whack and decided to stop before frustration lead to anger.

 

Went back to it after a couple of hours and think I got everything aligned correctly although I'm not certain of it. Was going to try and take it out last night for a test spin but it was too windy. So I'm going to have to wait and see how it is tonight and hopefully I can get it out for either a bit of viewing, or confirming that something is still out of whack.

 

 

What collimating tools are you using?



#10 jrussell

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Posted 09 August 2021 - 04:26 PM

What collimating tools are you using?

A Cheshire eyepiece.



#11 teashea

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Posted 09 August 2021 - 09:17 PM

I was able to make some more progress over the weekend. Sanded off the rust spots in the tube and got it painted with chalkboard paint along with screws, secondary mirror vane, etc. Remounted mirrors and got everything put back together, put it on the mount/tripod and took it outside to collimate the mirrors. Of course the secondary was WAY off. I futzed and fiddled and adjusted, it looked right, well, no just a little off here, no that's not right... eventually got everything way out of whack and decided to stop before frustration lead to anger.

 

Went back to it after a couple of hours and think I got everything aligned correctly although I'm not certain of it. Was going to try and take it out last night for a test spin but it was too windy. So I'm going to have to wait and see how it is tonight and hopefully I can get it out for either a bit of viewing, or confirming that something is still out of whack.

 

Once I've got the OTA where I need it to be I really do need to give the tripod and mount attention. With it out in the sunlight I saw a bit more rust on some of the threaded parts than I had before.

You are making good progress



#12 Sky Muse

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Posted 10 August 2021 - 12:15 AM

Didn't quite make the progress I'd hoped over the weekend (stupid adulting). I did get the mirrors cleaned and the primary center dotted at least.

attachicon.gifIMG_20210801_174107016.jpg

 

The secondary wasn't too bad, but after I removed it I did notice on the edge in a couple of places the reflective surface had flaked off. I don't think it's enough to be worried about though. Everything's been removed from the tube and I cleaned the inside. I still need to hit the rust spots with some sandpaper and mask it so I can get it painted.

 

Sky Muse, I noticed you painted the sides of the secondary mirror in the pics you posted, did you do the same on the primary?

 

I need to pay some attention to the mount too at some point. Mainly just a bit of rust on a couple of threads here and there. Would really like to have this done in the next week or so, but I'm sure something will pop up to impede my progress lol.

Sorry for the late reply.  Incidentally, and for the benefit of all, this is your kit...

 

https://i.imgur.com/I9HA9pw.jpg

 

It was produced for quite some time, and came with a CG3(EQ-2) equatorial mount.  It is now discontinued.  Its "successor" is this one...

 

https://www.celestro...114eq-telescope

 

But the mount is smaller, less supportive; a CG2(EQ-1) rather, and to cut costs perhaps.  So, you did well in that. 

 

The mirror...

 

I did so for the spherical-primary of my "Bird"...

 

primary blackened5b.jpg

 

Oops, wrong image; ah, here we are...

 

primary blackened7b.jpg

 

A little joke there, but this is no joke...

 

It's that very narrow, ground, frosted, bevelled edge, adjacent to the edge of the top surface, that you want to blacken; with your permission...

 

J. Russel's mirror2.jpg

 

I just went ahead and painted down the side a bit as well, and for good measure; OCD, actually.

 

If any paint strays onto the actual surface of the mirror, you take cotton-swabs, lightly dampened with 91% isopropyl-alcohol(the shortages of that seem to be over now), then wipe the excess off away from the mirror, but only one wipe per tip.  You can rotate the tip halfway round for a second wipe, but only if you get good at it.  You can get a double-pack of 500 of those, 1000 total, at Wal-Mart.  

 

Incidentally, I have practically the same kit.  It's a Meade 114/900, with an EQ-2 mount as well, and perhaps made in the same factory overseas...

 

kit2b.jpg

 

That one, and your own, is the reflective nigh-equivalent, the doppelgänger, of my 4" refractor...

 

FS-102mbd.jpg

 

Once I get my own blackened and flocked, I very well may not be able to tell the difference between the two; observationally.  That means, that in renovating your own, it will be worth all the while.  You may want to send your secondary-mirror off to be re-coated, if at some point you feel that it's necessary.  You may also be able to replace it.  You may even contact Celestron for a replacement, detailing your kit, but always via e-mail, never by telephone, with your name and address included. 

 

I see the mount is on the agenda as well.  This might be of interest...

 

https://www.cloudyni...aleq-2-tune-up/

 

If you need further assistance, I'll be glad to help.  You're welcome to contact me via private-messaging even, if you wish. 

 

Cheers.


Edited by Sky Muse, 10 August 2021 - 12:17 AM.


#13 Brianm14

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Posted 10 August 2021 - 12:44 AM

You can remove everything from the tube, wash the inside of the tube and dry it immediately afterwards(you can do some scrubbing if needed), mask all holes, then mask the outside with a plastic trash-bag and blue painters' tape...

 

attachicon.gifinterior glossing.jpg  

 

Then you're ready to paint.  I use Rust-Oleum's chalkboard-black...

 

attachicon.gifblackening supplies2.jpg

 

I also spray the paint into a plastic lid, and for the shiny parts...

 

attachicon.gifsecondary assembly8.jpg

 

attachicon.gifknobs4.jpg

 

I paint, or flock, from fore to aft on the inside of the telescope, every square millimeter, including the inside of the focusser's draw-tube; any place where an object's light passes by or through.

 Very clear and complete instructions (no small accomplishment), and with the chalkboard paint you’ve hit on great idea!  Bravo, indeed!


Edited by Brianm14, 10 August 2021 - 12:46 AM.


#14 SteveG

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Posted 10 August 2021 - 12:44 AM

A Cheshire eyepiece.

Is it a site tube with crosshairs, and a bevel cut into the side with a shiny surface? That is what is often sold as a Cheshire eyepiece. A true Cheshire only has a hole with a reflective ring on the bottom side. Just curious as the tools are very important, especially after optical disassembly.



#15 jrussell

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Posted 10 August 2021 - 10:02 AM

I did drag the scope out last night and after finding the RFD was quite off (not surprised), with a little hunting I finally was able to get Jupiter. I was using a 23mm Plossl and though I had to extend the draw tube all the way, and pull the eyepiece about half way out, I got a rather nice view. All four of the large moons and just a hint of color banding. I didn't have everything tightened up and ended up bumping the tube when I was going to try and adjust the RDF so I lost Jupiter in the eyepiece. Tried for a minute to get it back but instead called it a night. I'd seen what I was looking for and found out what I needed to know to proceed further.

 

I do have a question I think I already have the answer for, but want to ask anyway. The setting circles on the EQ mount: useful or useless? I lean towards mostly useless as the scale is so small it's hard to say "Yeah, I'll be spot on using them". OTOH, are they useful as in they'll get you in the ballpark? Way back when I was a kid the telescope I had had nothing like setting circles on it and I did all my observing with a a star chart and pushing my telescope this way and that. I know I missed a lot of what I had wanted to find that way (it was also probably the crappiest of crappy telescopes but I loved it), but does anyone find setting circles this small really helpful at all? The main reason I ask is mine are so faded as to be useless and if there's no point in trying to make them readable, it's one less thing I have to worry about doing.

 

Sorry for the late reply.  Incidentally, and for the benefit of all, this is your kit...

 

https://i.imgur.com/I9HA9pw.jpg

 


I see the mount is on the agenda as well.  This might be of interest...

 

https://www.cloudyni...aleq-2-tune-up/

 

If you need further assistance, I'll be glad to help.  You're welcome to contact me via private-messaging even, if you wish. 

 

Cheers.

That is indeed the setup I have with a few differences (tube color, tube rings instead of clamshell, RFD). I'll pull the primary cell at some point soon to darken the rim where you pointed out. Your Meade is indeed a very close relative of my Celestron and I wouldn't be surprised if they came from the same factory. Thanks for the help you've been giving and I'm definitely going to use your EQ-2 tune up on mine.

 

Is it a site tube with crosshairs, and a bevel cut into the side with a shiny surface? That is what is often sold as a Cheshire eyepiece. A true Cheshire only has a hole with a reflective ring on the bottom side. Just curious as the tools are very important, especially after optical disassembly.

It's the former with the crosshairs and bevel cut. This is the first one I've used and it seems to do the job. Of course I have nothing to compare it to.
 


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#16 Sky Muse

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Posted 10 August 2021 - 06:01 PM

I did drag the scope out last night and after finding the RFD was quite off (not surprised), with a little hunting I finally was able to get Jupiter. I was using a 23mm Plossl and though I had to extend the draw tube all the way, and pull the eyepiece about half way out, I got a rather nice view. All four of the large moons and just a hint of color banding. I didn't have everything tightened up and ended up bumping the tube when I was going to try and adjust the RDF so I lost Jupiter in the eyepiece. Tried for a minute to get it back but instead called it a night. I'd seen what I was looking for and found out what I needed to know to proceed further.

 

I do have a question I think I already have the answer for, but want to ask anyway. The setting circles on the EQ mount: useful or useless? I lean towards mostly useless as the scale is so small it's hard to say "Yeah, I'll be spot on using them". OTOH, are they useful as in they'll get you in the ballpark? Way back when I was a kid the telescope I had had nothing like setting circles on it and I did all my observing with a a star chart and pushing my telescope this way and that. I know I missed a lot of what I had wanted to find that way (it was also probably the crappiest of crappy telescopes but I loved it), but does anyone find setting circles this small really helpful at all? The main reason I ask is mine are so faded as to be useless and if there's no point in trying to make them readable, it's one less thing I have to worry about doing.

 

That is indeed the setup I have with a few differences (tube color, tube rings instead of clamshell, RFD). I'll pull the primary cell at some point soon to darken the rim where you pointed out. Your Meade is indeed a very close relative of my Celestron and I wouldn't be surprised if they came from the same factory. Thanks for the help you've been giving and I'm definitely going to use your EQ-2 tune up on mine.

 

It's the former with the crosshairs and bevel cut. This is the first one I've used and it seems to do the job. Of course I have nothing to compare it to.
 

That's odd, that the 23mm(39x) didn't come to focus without having to draw it out a bit. The primary-mirror might be positioned too far forward within its cell, within the OTA.  You can draw it back, so that even a 32mm Plossl will come to focus.  You will need a 32mm to aid in finding objects to observe more closely with shorter focal-length eyepieces, like a 6mm(150x), and a 4mm(225x) even.  A 32mm will provide the lowest power and widest view of the sky, at 28x, and nigh binocular-like.  

 

The cell that holds the primary-mirror, does it contain rubber-grommets, or metal springs, for tensioning of the adjustment-screws...

 

cell tensioning.jpg

 

Two tube-rings instead of a clamp, and the tube other than black?  This is another Celestron "FirstScope" 114EQ, from that same period of time, but with a shorter tube...

 

https://i.imgur.com/g8khQgP.jpg

 

Does yours have a shorter tube like that?

 

I had described the EQ-2's setting-circles within the thread I shared...

 

https://www.youtube....h?v=geQszAVWMok

 

With the proliferation of go-to equatorial mounts over the years, which do not require setting-circles, those of manual equatorial mounts have shrunk down in size to where they're relatively useless.   



#17 jrussell

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Posted 11 August 2021 - 09:00 AM

That's odd, that the 23mm(39x) didn't come to focus without having to draw it out a bit. The primary-mirror might be positioned too far forward within its cell, within the OTA.  You can draw it back, so that even a 32mm Plossl will come to focus.  You will need a 32mm to aid in finding objects to observe more closely with shorter focal-length eyepieces, like a 6mm(150x), and a 4mm(225x) even.  A 32mm will provide the lowest power and widest view of the sky, at 28x, and nigh binocular-like.  

 

The cell that holds the primary-mirror, does it contain rubber-grommets, or metal springs, for tensioning of the adjustment-screws...

 

attachicon.gifcell tensioning.jpg

 

Two tube-rings instead of a clamp, and the tube other than black?  This is another Celestron "FirstScope" 114EQ, from that same period of time, but with a shorter tube...

 

https://i.imgur.com/g8khQgP.jpg

 

Does yours have a shorter tube like that?

 

I had described the EQ-2's setting-circles within the thread I shared...

 

https://www.youtube....h?v=geQszAVWMok

 

With the proliferation of go-to equatorial mounts over the years, which do not require setting-circles, those of manual equatorial mounts have shrunk down in size to where they're relatively useless.   

I thought it was odd that I had to extend everything out that far to focus as well and wondered if it might be something isn't quite set right. I need to take it out during the day and find something to focus on so I have some light to work with.

 

I'm not sure if there's springs or grommets. I didn't really pay any attention to the primary cell when I removed the mirror to clean it, I'll find out which I have when I remove it to blacken the edge of the mirror.

 

This is the same scope I have.

5052506.jpg

 

Maybe the tube on mine is black. It's very faded (between that and the rust I've found I have a feeling it was exposed to the weather a lot), and I thought it was a very deep blue. It's definitely not the short tube version though.



#18 DHurst

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Posted 11 August 2021 - 10:25 AM

Got to love that “refractor” mounted reflectorlol.gif  Just like in the movies!



#19 jrussell

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Posted 11 August 2021 - 03:41 PM

Got to love that “refractor” mounted reflectorlol.gif  Just like in the movies!

Yeah when I first saw the picture I thought, "Ooo, it's one of those ultra rare Celestron Super Duper Microscopes. Just point it to the ground and it make ants look huge!" lol



#20 SteveG

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Posted 11 August 2021 - 07:18 PM

 

That is indeed the setup I have with a few differences (tube color, tube rings instead of clamshell, RFD). I'll pull the primary cell at some point soon to darken the rim where you pointed out. Your Meade is indeed a very close relative of my Celestron and I wouldn't be surprised if they came from the same factory. Thanks for the help you've been giving and I'm definitely going to use your EQ-2 tune up on mine.

 

It's the former with the crosshairs and bevel cut. This is the first one I've used and it seems to do the job. Of course I have nothing to compare it to.
 

Don't waste your time darkening the beveled edge of the primary mirror. It will do absolutely nothing, as the mirror is too deep in the tube to reflect any ambient light.


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#21 SteveG

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Posted 11 August 2021 - 07:51 PM

 

It's the former with the crosshairs and bevel cut. This is the first one I've used and it seems to do the job. Of course I have nothing to compare it to.
 

That should be perfect for collimating your scope. It is not just a cheshire, but a 3 in 1 combo tool. There are 3 steps to proper collimation:

 

1. Site tube - for centering the secondary mirror under the focuser (ignore the center pupil and crosshairs)

2. Secondary tilt - use the crosshairs to properly tilt the secondary axis - aimed at your new center spot

3. Primary tilt - Use the small pupil while illuminating the cutout in the side. Center the reflection in your new center spot using the primary tilt screws.        You might find this final step is easier if you have a collimating cap, which does the same thing.



#22 jrussell

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Posted 23 August 2021 - 09:06 AM

So the latest on my project is that we had about a week of clouds and rain so I wasn't really able to do anything with the scope. I had played around a bit with the collimation in the garage a couple of days but the mirror sliding around in the cell everytime I moved the scope was getting on my nerves. When I put the primary back in, as recommended I only tightened the clips down enough for a business card to fit tightly. After a lot of back and forth, and a bit of googling about it, I ended up removing the cell and putting a drop of clear silicone on either side of one of the clips. I figured that will hold it in place, yet be flexible enough for adjusting. Hopefully it'll hold the collimation as well.

 

The weather had cleared earlier last week so Saturday I took the scope outside to collimate and see if I could figure out why I was having to extend the draw tube and eyepiece fully to get focus. I had also hit the RDF so it was out of alignment and needed to get it back where it needed to be. Wasn't able to resolve the focus issue, and the battery in the RDF died so that didn't get fixed either. Took the scope out that night, new battery in the RDF, no luck. I decided to check out the moon since it was easy enough to find without it, and still the same issue with focusing as I thought would be the case. Tried to find Jupiter just eyeballing it but no luck and called it a night.

 

Yesterday I went back to tinkering. Found the RDF problem wasn't the battery. The metal clip that holds the battery and makes the circuit was bent out a bit. Bent it back in, and that fixed that. Then I moved on to the secondary mirror. I adjusted it a bit this way and that until I felt like I had it better aligned overall than I did before. Redid the collimation of the primary and waited to take it out after dark. By they time I did make it outside the moon was just barely over the neighbor's roof, but was still behind some trees. There was enough there though to get lined up on, I got it centered in the eyepiece and went back and forth until I had the RDF aligned. Since there was too much tree in the way I moved on to Jupiter. With the RDF back in business I lined it up quickly. Centered it in the 23mm, and lo and behold, I didn't have to extend the draw tube or the eyepiece fully to get it focused so I guess the problem had been the secondary mirror. After getting it centered I pulled the 23mm and popped in the 9.7mm. A little tweak of the focuser, wait for the wobble to settle, and there it was. The four large moons were bright dots and Jupiter was crisp and clear with very obvious cloud banding and color. It was probably the best view of Jupiter I've had with a telescope I owned. Now I really want to get it out away from the city lights and see what it can do. Not sure when that'll be but hopefully it won't be too long. Now that I've reached this point with it I'm going to turn to the mount and tripod. Gave them a better once over the other day and they're not as bad as I first thought. Seems the rust is all surface so that'll be my first job. I'm looking forward to using this scope every chance I get. I have a lot to learn and a lot to relearn. Now if I could just find a way to have more time...


Edited by jrussell, 23 August 2021 - 09:11 AM.

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